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Charles Hoyt Ellingwood was told that one of his Ellingwood ancestors was at the seige of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. There were several seiges, the most noted being in May-June 1745. Beverly is known to have sent a regiment. There was a Capt. Ellinwood there who was captured and his son taken as a surety. This had to have been a cousin. If Charles was right, Ebenezer is the only candidate, although he was piloting a schooner in Barbadoes the following October. It's possible the person involved wasn't an Elllinwood, but records of seige participants are sketchy.

The earliest record found of Ebenezer's adventures at sea is the following account:

Capt. Ebenezer Ellinwood, master of the schooner Success, made declaration that on Oct. 11, 1745 he sailed from Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, for Marblehead, and on Nov. 16, "they had a very hard Gale of Wind at West N. West, which obliged them to lay under a three Reiff'd foresail & continued four Days when a Sea broke in upon them, stove the Boats, broke down their Breastworks & Coops Shattered the Bulkhead of the Vessell whereby they took in so much water between Decks that it came into the Hold, shifted it, and Damaged their Goods. And after they got before it they scudded forty four Hours under their Bare Poles being constantly under Water while the Weather lasted. And that they arrived in Salem Harbour on the Evening of the twenty seventh day of November currant." Nov. 18, 1745. Andrew Stone and John Hilton, two of the mariners, made oath to the above. These marine protests had a curious formality, illustrated by this part of the same record: ...Ebenezer Ellinwood [does] hereby protest against the wind & storm aforesaid for all losses and damages the said schooner and cargo have suffered and sustained."16

     Brothers Ebenezer and William Ellinwood, Jr., were both sea captains and they seem to have business partners of a kind. It was surely the same schooner Success that is described as being 50 tons, with William at the helm for trips made to Barbadoes between 1750 and 1754.17 By 1758 "Eben Ellenwood" owned (maybe the major shareholder) of the schooner Two Brothers, which was insured in February 1758 for a trip to Maryland and back. John Hilton was the master, obviously having been promoted from within the Ellinwood crew since 1745,18 and it may have been John's daughter who was the Love Hilton who married Ebenezer's son Benjamin. Ebenezer and William had their 1759 taxes abated for their "late misfortunes at sea."19 They must have lost Two Brothers. The 1760 tax list for Beverly is unusual in that it outlines the value of major personal property. Neither brother had a schooner-sized vessel in that year. Their brother David was in the same business. He lost a sloop in 1757, but a 40 ton vessel is listed in his 1760 tax record. Ebenezer had a 7 ton vessel, probably a ferry boat, since he ran the Beverly/Salem ferry. He also had 2 slaves, valued at £24, 1 horse, 4 cows, 3 pigs and 2 oxen.
     Ebenezer appears often in town records and for various reasons. In July 1751 he told the selectmen of Beverly "that I have Robert Mathews an Inhabitent of the town of dwell with me for some time therefore you may warn him out if you pleas."1 He was elected a hogreeve (overseer of pigs) for Beverly in 1753.2 Approvals for "innholders" (who provided rooms) and "retailers" (who provided food and drink) was granted periodically by the town and the local court. Ebenezer petitioned the court on the last day of 1754 for a license to be "a retailer of spiritous liquors" in Beverly for the following year,2.5 "he has for some time past, kept an Inn in the Town of Beverly, but being now concerned in the fishery." He got his license a week later. He petitioned the county court in 1756 for an innkeeper's license, which was granted on 19 November.3.5 A General Court petition says "He is owner of an House in said Town situated near the Ferry, which has for many Years past been improved as a Tavern, that the present Tenant being about to move out of it, he proposes to move into it himself." This license was granted on 9 November. He is on the list of Beverly retailers in 1756.3 Confusing this is a simultaneous petition by John White to have a house of public entertainment in the same house Ebenezer had his tavern. Houses of entertainment were another way of describing a tavern or an inn. Ebenezer is on the list of Beverly innholders in 1757.4 Ebenezer, "innholder," is involved in deed and court records up to 1767, but he also appears as "shoreman" up to 1764, as well as in some years that he had his inn and retail licenses. The only other Ebenezer in Beverly was his son, who came of age in 1765. Original deeds that refer to him as innholder and shoreman were passed down in the family and undoubtedly refer to the same person. With William Ellinwood at the helm of their schooner in the 1750s, it's reasonable to find Ebenezer in Beverly as a merchant and serving as a town officer at the same time. His "fishery" concern undoubtedly included an interest in shipping that didn't necessarily involve his going to sea. John White, who lived in Wenham, was probably a first cousin of Elizabeth (Corning) Ellinwood's step-father Josiah White.
     Rev. Hale of Beverly included an Ebenezer Ellinwood on his list of Beverly parish members who had small pox, recorded on 19 February 1752, but it isn't clear exactly when they were afflicted, if they died or which Ebenezer. This may have been Ebenezer, "Jr.," Capt. Ebenezer's younger cousin, who appears to have moved to Amherst, New Hampshire, to join his parents and siblings about 1753, or Capt. Ebenezer's son Ebenezer. If Capt. Ebenezer had small pox in 1752, it may help explain why he turned, at least temporarily, to a life in his home town, and a business in his own house. A 1768 court record calls him a yoeman,19.5 as do his estate papers, suggesting he had retired from commercial life in that year. He was only 49, but he may have been physically debilitated enough, perhaps by the earlier illness and later afflictions, given that he died 3 years later. The last reference to him serving any public duty was also in 1768.
     The Ellinwoods owned waterfront property in Beverly facing Salem probably beginning with Ralph, the immigrant, and it was divided among his descendants. Being at the ferry, Ebenezer had a prime spot for attracting travellers to his inn. It also explains why he had a ferry boat listed in his estate inventory in 1771 and a 7 ton vessel listed in his 1760 tax record. A researcher says that Ebenezer and Benjamin Waters of Salem hired the ferry in 1769 for 3 years for £10 a year.20 There is no documentary source given for this. The Essex Register had an article in 1819 describing the Massey house, which Waters at one point occupied, and its associations with the Salem-Beverly ferry. The Masseys operated the Salem side of the ferry for many years. Nathaniel Massey and "Ellingwood" operated it in 1723. This could have been either Benjamin or his son (and Ebenezer's father) William. Robert Hale operated the Beverly side between about 1744 and 1764, so the Ellinwoods would have had only a periodic interest. Ebenezer's brother Joshua, according to differnt accounts by relatives, lived at the foot of the ferry and on a bluff near the ferry, referred to as "Mt. Joshua." An old photograph shows a large, 18th century house on that bluff. The post card below shows this area after the road infrastructure was modernized and a bridge built in place of the ferry.

The two houses in the right background, which date to the 18th century, were likely Ellinwood houses. The street running beside the left house is Ellingwood Court. The larger house to the right may have been Ebenezer's, considering his house was used as a tavern and inn.

In 1756 there is the cryptic notation that the town treasury paid Ebenezer for "his trouble in searching for Thomas Malchys [Malachi's] cloathing and carrying them to Manchester," along with reimbursement for keeping John Martin, one of the town's poor.7 The town paid various willing householders for this particular charity. Another of the town's poor was Abigail Ellinwood, who was elderly, single and a first cousin of Ebenezer's father. In 1766 Ebenezer agreed to rent a messuage (tenant property) and about 5 acres of land from the town for Abigail's use.8
     When the Acadians were evacuated from their home lands in Nova Scotia following the war with France, they were scattered all along the American Atlantic coast and left at the mercy of the host towns. Beverly had a group in residence, and Ebenezer and Elizabeth gave shelter to two women. He made an agreement with the Town of Beverly on 13 February 1758 "for a part of his old house near the meeting house the western end and cellar under it & half the garden & priveledges of well for 2 french females late inhabitants of [Nova Scotia] & now residing in the town."9 A year-and-a-half later the town paid him "for rent for the french Newtralls [neutrals, Acadians] in his house Near the meeting house & allso for mending the glass windows, the time being 19 months & 10 days."10
     Ebenezer was, among many others, paid for his work on a road over a mill dam in 1758.11 It was probably for materials rather than labor. The pot was sweetened, at least for some, by free liquor. He was compensated for a gallon of rum for laborers at project not identified in 1762.12 In the following year he provided rocks for work at the "causey" (probably causeway and perhaps the same road at the mill dam).13 As for other civic duty, his name was drawn from a pool of potential men to serve on a grand jury at Salem in 1763.14 He served as a juror in Superior Court in 1768.15
     Ebenezer wasn't shy about having slaves. One was a man named Caesar, who worked on the Beverly Ferry. The following image is a notice Ebenezer posted in a local paper when Caesar "ran away."

Ebenezer was abated part of his taxes for the "loss of his negro" in 1758,5 who is undoubtedly the unnamed slave of Ebenezer in Rev. Hale's Beverly death records who drowned in that year. Was he a worker on the ferry? Those records also mention the death of a slave infant in 1757. The tax list for 1760 includes 2 slaves. One may have been Jethro, who is known to have been with Ebenezer in 1763.6 Jethro is the only slave named in Ebenezer's estate inventory. It was very likely Jethro who was beaten by Thomas Diall in 1764. Ebenezer brought him to court for the offense and for trespass and won a judgement of 9 shillings and court costs.6.5 Jethro was "owned" by several wealthy families in Beverly before and after he was with the Ellinwoods.

Ebenezer died of an unknown illness in 1771 when he was 51. This is taken from his estate papers:

An Inventory of all the Estate both real and personal of Capt. Ebenezer Ellingwood late of Beverly decd. taken by Elizabeth Ellingwood at the apprisement of Capt. George Raymond, Messrs. Robert Roundey & Isaac Woodberry being authorized and impowered by a Commission from the Honble. Nathl. Ropes Esqr. Judge of the Probate of wills & granting Administration for the County of Essex and so forth.


dwelling house 100 l
another dwelling house 80 l
barn 30 l
blacksmith shop 80 l
about 13 ½ acres of homestead land 180 l
7 acre wood lot 13 l, 10 s
wood lot 80 s
wood house 48 s
fish house 36 s
wearing apparel 7 l, 4 s, 2 p
feather bed & bedding 69 s
feather bed & bedding 62 s
bed & bedding 51 s, 3 p?
bed & bedding 15 s
13 sheets 37 s, 4 p
table linen 4 s, 6 p
18 chairs 25 s
looking glass 40 s
case of bottles 4 s
two pair andirons 15 s
two pair of fire shovel and tongs 9 s
iron toaster 18 p
2 iron pots and kettle 7 s, 6 p
2 pair of scales 6 s
10 (lbs.?) of lead weight 6 s, 8 p
tin ware 8 s
coffee pot 3 s
7 cod leads 9 s
3 augers 3 s
ax and shovel 3 s
old iron 13 s, 4 p
brass kettle 8 s
horse cart 40 s
jack 3 s
2 brass kettles 22 s
Bible 20 s
some books 2 s, 6 p
baskets 3 s
saddle 15 s
clock 18 s
horse 5 l
2 hogs 64 s
2 steers 85 s, 4 p
cow 74 s
3 cows 7 l, 9 s, 4 p
1 year old heifers 36 s
pair of "chare"? wheels 8 s?
chain 40 s
cart & wheels 66 s, 8 p
yoke & irons 3 s, 4 p
grindstone 4 p
plow and irons 6 s
iron crow(bar?) 10 s
chain 7 s
ax 4s
dung fork 2 s
1 hay forks 2 s
horse tackling & collar 9 s
cops? 2 s
chain 2 s
plow 15 s
2 rakes 12 p?
barrel of turpentine 10 s
sled 4 s
hoe 18 p?
2 chests 11 s
6 tea spoons 11 s
pair of silver buckles 3 s, 10 p
3 tables 30 s
desk 24 s
writing desk 2 s, 8 p
2 tables 3 s
54 (lbs.?) pewter 53 s
2 brass candlesticks 3 s
brass basin
cutlass & cartouche box
[together with basin] 8 s, 2 p
coverlets 30 s
7 cider barrels 10 s, 6 p
2 [?] & dry cask 14 s
canoe 12 s
2 beds & bedding 61 s
looking glass 5 s
shingles 16 s
ferry boat 6 l
negro man called Jethro 33 l, 16 s, 8 p
cash due from William Ellingwood estate
[surely Ebenezer's brother, who died in 1766. His wife sold some of William's real estate to pay debts as late as 1774] 66 l, 1 s, 4 p
two notes due from Samuel Goodridge 12 l, 8 s, 9 p
note due from Capt. Ebenezer Ellingwood
[Jr.] 70 l
one schooner 60 l
pair steelyards 2 s
note of hand on Larkin Thorndike 4 l, 1 s, 5 p

Essex July 2nd 1771 Then Mrs. Elizabeth Ellingwood admx. presented the aforewritten and made Oath that it contains a true and perfect Inventory of the Estate of Capt. Ebenezer Ellingwood decd. so far as now come to her Hands and Knowledge and that if any more shall appear hereafter she will consent? to be added.

     A list of 49 creditors appears in an account presented at court by Elizabeth in October 1772. Other debts included losses from the sale of Jethro and the schooner, a mortgage held by Elizabeth's mother Lois White, bonds held by daughters Sarah and Hannah Ellinwood that were forfieted, costs of "mourning" and sundry expenses for handling the estate. Who bought Jethro isn't said, but it was probably another Ellingwood ancestor named Josiah Lovett, Jr., who has a "negro" named Jethro in his estate inventory of 1774. Another account of debts was presented in April 1773, including close relatives and local businessmen. Some appear on both accounts, but it isn't obviously for the same debts carried over. Lois White also appears on the second list, as does the very prominent Salem merchant Richard Derby and several of Ebenezer and Elizabeth's sons-in-law. One of Derby's debts was paid by one of her sons (not named, but surely Ebenezer, Jr.) by the time another account was presented in June 1773, and given that this the only debt mentioned as such, one is left wondering about the circumstances. Was Derby not to be made to wait? Did the son feel responsible for that particular debt? There is a ledger for Derby's accounts at that time that may show the debt and payment. Ebenezer's debts were so large that Elizabeth had to declare his estate insolvent. The court ordered that his real estate be sold. Elizabeth had been granted a third of her homestead by a committee to set off her dowry right.
     She must have had some of her own resources or obtained loans, given that she bought the remaining two thirds from the estate. Deed records will presumably shed light on who the other heirs were. Her mother bought another house and land from the estate, probably the same for which she held a mortgage. The family clearly wanted the most valuable of the real estate to stay in the family. These accounts indicate that Drs. William Fairfield and Israel Woodbury attended Ebenezer during his "last sickness."
     Ebenezer, Elizabeth, their daughter Elizabeth and probably their three other daughters who died young are buried in the Abbot St. Cemetery, also known as the "Ancient Burying Ground" in Beverly. Their stones are attributed to the shop of Richard Parks, which made many of the local gravestones of the mid to late 1700s. The stones aren't listed in Ebenezer's estate papers, suggesting that the family paid for them out-of-pocket, perhaps later. The stone of his daughter Elizabeth was made by the same shop, and she died in 1782. They may have been ordered at the same time.

children of Ebenezer Ellinwood and Elizabeth Corning:

i. Ebenezer b. 17 February 1744/1745
ii. Sarah b. 28 February 1746/1747
iii. Eunice b. 14 January 1747/1748, died young
iv. Hannah b. 10 May 1749
v. Ezra b. 30 May 1751
vi. Benjamin b. 16 August 1753
vii. John, b. 1 October 1756
viii. Lois b. 28 June 1759, (prob. the infant child of Ebenezer who died in 1761)
ix. Lois bap. 25 October 1761
x. Elizabeth b. 17 October 1763, d. 1 March 1782
xi. Eunice bap. 17 November 1765, died young
xii. Eunice b. 9 June 1768

vital records sources: Ebenezer's birth comes from Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield:1906), 123; his marriage and death are from ibid, vol. 2 (Topsfield:1907), 108, 430, the latter citing his gravestone.
1. Beverly town records, vol. 4, pg. 64. People were at times warned out of a town if they weren't established residents and could not support themselves. Towns supported their own poor and indigent residents but they didn't want to support those of other towns.
2. Ibid, vol. 3, pg. , 20 March 1753. Among the elected town offices were reeves or wardens for stray livestock.
2.5. The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, etc., vol. 15 [ARPP] (Boston:1908), p. 257. Essex County Court of Sessions of the Peace, December term (31 December) 1754, pp. 165-166 [ECSP].
3. ECSP, 4 March 1756.
3.5. ARPP, 1756-1757, p. 620. ECSP, November term, 1756, pg. 218.
4. Ibid, 5 July 1757.
5. Ibid, 22 March 1758.
6. Ibid, vol. 4. The First Parish Unitarian Church, Beverly, records Jethro's child Chloe being baptized on 13 November 1763 and names Ebenezer as Jethro's "master."
6.5. Essex County Inferior Court of Common Pleas, December term, 1764, vol. 2, pg. 426 [ECCCP].
7. Ibid, 5 October 1756. John Martin apparently fell on hard times as a resident of Beverly.
8. Ibid, 6 April 1766.
9. Ibid, 23 November 1757.
10. Ibid, 7 August 1759.
11. Ibid, 22 March 1758.
12. Ibid, 6 April 1762.
13. Ibid, paid for the work 1 March 1763.
14. Ibid, 4 October 1763.
15. Ibid, 14 October 1768.
16. "Essex County Notarial Records," in Essex Institute Historical Collections, vol. 46, pg. 86.
17. Essex Institute Historical Collections, vol. 69, pg. 164.
18. Ibid, vol. 46, pg. 85.
19. Beverly town records, vol. 3, pg. , 20 March 1760.
19.5. ECCCP, October term (5 October), 1768, vol. 3, p. 316.
20. Joseph B. Felt, Annals of Salem (Salem:1845), p. 302. Waters was a baker who had a house and land by Salem Ferry (Almira White, Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster.
21. Essex Co., MA, probate file #8695.
22. Beverly vital records.

[We] have set to her ye sd widow for improvement...for acres & apbout one hundred poles of land at the easterly end fo the premises bounded as folloeth Beginning at a stake against ye highway between the houses & from thence runs northerly with sd highway seven poles and sexteen links to a take and stones from thence

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted