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Ralph Ellingwood
     Ralph is thought to be the same person as Ralph "Ellwood,"(1) a 28-year-old who came to Salem, MA, on the ship Truelove which set sail on 19 September and arrived in November of 1635. Ellwood, Ellinwood and Ellenwood, etc., are other spellings in early records. Many people at this time were illiterate - even those who could sign their names - so determining exactly what the surname was in England is impossible. The family settled on variations of Ellinwood. Ralph was in a 1637 division of marsh and meadow at Salem, given one-half acre for a family of two, indicating that he married Elizabeth between this event and his arrival in Massachusetts.(1) Her first name is known from a depostion she made in 1641.(2) Ralph was elected a fenceviewer for Salem on 4 April 1640, but his name is crossed out in the record.(4) He probably didn't serve. An inquest was ordered in 1644 when a servant of Ralph's was found dead.(5) Ralph was admitted to the Salem church in 21 March 1646/47 and "Goodwife," presumably Elizabeth, joined on 13 August 1648 (New Style date?).(6)
     Early in 1652/53 Robert "Gowing" sold Ralph his houses in Wenham, with 8 acres adjoining and common land associated with them, 10 acres "on the neck," and 1 acres of meadow "in Great Meadow near the Island." (7) Later in the same year Ralph, "planter," sold to Francis Skerry 1 acre near Ipswich ferry.(8) In January of 1660 (New Style) the Town of Salem agreed with Ralph to keep a poor woman named Sarah Lambert for 2 years, £10 a year, and the use of some "waste land." It is supposedly this land that he and his family settled on in what became the town of Beverly. His son Ralph's birth is recorded in the Beverly vital records (1657), but his son Stephen (bap. 1656) is not, suggesting a move around 1656-57. Ralph owned land and it is more likely that the "wast land" that he could use (there is no mention that it was deeded to him) was somewhere in Salem. Ralph and Eleanor were among the founding members of the Beverly church, Ralph appearing on a petition dated 23 April 1667 to present "our desires to be a church of our selves" in what was known as Bass River.(9)
     Ralph and Eleanor appear in various court records. Ralph was charged with trespass by Richard Hollingsworth in 1638;(10) with "absence from watch," which was not proved, in 1642,(11) with insufficient fences in 1647,(12) with putting his cattle in the general field in 1649,(13) and, with John Smith, carting dung away from John Knight’s land in 1673.(14) Ralph and Eleanor were involved in a case of slander that was typical of the time.(15) Mary (Dixy), wife of Hugh Woodberry, accused Richard Stackhouse of calling her a "filthy, bob-tailed sow" and that he would "stab her and stamp her fine as the earth." In such cases others were called to testify. Ralph said that Stackhouse called him and Eleanor "rogue and baud." Henry Baily said Stackhouse "abused him with words," calling hime a "knave," among other things. Thomas Tuck and Samuel Corning (another Ellingwood ancestor) testified that they overheard Stackhouse slander Ralph and Eleanor. Stackhouse's daughter testified that Mary Woodberry gave her "abusive speeches" and hit her with a broom.
     Eleanor is called Ellen in her marriage record, but her son Benjamin named his first daughter Eleanor and she is "Ellenor" in Ralph's probate paper is. She may have been a daughter of Henry and Sarah Linn/Lynn. Three of their children were baptized by their widowed and remarried mother, Mrs. Sarah Gunison, in 1647 at First Church, Boston (now Dorchester), the oldest born in 1638. Perhaps Eleanor was an older sister baptized in England. Her last child was born in 1670, so she may have been born about 1628-30. A court record dated 29 September 1669 gives the ages of Ralph and Eleanor as about "three score" and about 33 respectively.(16) Ralph's age given on the ship list is probably more accurate and puts the court record off by two years. Court depositions were often inaccurate by larger margins. The court record places Eleanor's birth before those of Henry Lynn's known children, and if the margin of error for her age is similar to Ralph's, she may have been born before 1635, when many settlers arrived from England in the Winthrop Fleet.

Inventory of the estate of Ralf Ellinwood of Beverly, taken Jan. 30, 1673, by Henery Skerry, sr., Tho. Rootes and John Massey:

The lot commonly called Molton's lot, with the building, orcharding, etc., 135li.; plowabell Land, pasture, with part of the orchard, 130li.; 1 Cowes, 7li. 10s.; 2 Heffers with Calf, 5h. 10s.; 2 Oxen, 8li. 10s.; 1 Calfe, 1li.; 1 mare & to No. mare Colts, 3li.; 15 sheepe, with theare lambs, 7li. 10s.; 4 swine & 3 pigs, 3li. 5s.; 6 Loads of haye, 6li.; A Beed part Fethers & partt Flockes with 3 Fether pillowes with a bolster & Covering 3li. 10s.; a flock bed with 3 blancitts, 1li. 10s.; 20 Bushels of Ingen Corne, 3li.; 15 Bushels of barly, 2li.; 2 bushels of peese, 8s.; 8 Flitches of Bacon, 3li. 10s.; 2 bushels of Ry, 7s.; 30li. of sheeps wooll, ili. 10s.; 16li. of hempe, 8s.; 10li. of flax, 10s.; Chaines & Fetters & horse Trases, 16s.; Cart & wheles with a Cops & bolt with plow lornes, 2li.; 3 Boxes For wheeles, 5s.; 6li. wedges, 2s.; axes & hoes, 8s.; 2 hacks & 1 pare of Fiar Tongs, 10s.; 2 Akers of Salt marsh Ground Laying to the Common, ili.; 3 Iorne pots and a Scel-lett, 15s.; warming pan, 10s.; a brace Cettell & scellitt, ili. 10s.; a barrell of a Gun, 3s.; 5 puter platters & an old pott & porrenger, 1li. 2s.; half a barrel of mackrell, 9s.; 10 bushels of Turnups, 10s.; 1 barrell & half of sider, iSs.; 3 spining wheels, 10s.; 2 Chests, 15s.; 20li. of Cheese, 6s. 8d.; 8noi. of Cotten yearne, 16s.; woodden dishes & boles & earthen platters, 5s.; 2 old siths & 2 Repe hooks, 4s.; a sider prees & pounding Troff, ili.; a connew, l0s.; 4 old bibels & sume other books, 18s.; 4 pare of sheets with pillo bears and Tabell clothes, 4oi.; 5 yeards of home maide wollen Cloth, 1li.; mony, 3s.; a towell, is. 6d.; his best suite of home spun Cloth, 3li.; 2 wascots, a Cote an drawers, ili. 5s.; his stockens, shewes, & hats, 1li.; 3 shirts & neck clothes, lii. l0s.; 3 chaires, 5s.; total, 351li. 11s. 1d. Attested 3: Sm: 1673 by Ellenor, the widow of the deceased.
(17)

children of Ralph and Elizabeth Ellinwood:

Josiah b. 26 March 1644 (Salem vital records)
James

children of Ralph and Eleanor (Lynn) Ellinwood:

Stephen bap. 16 January 1656
Ralph b. 18 March 1657
John b. 2 July 1659
Joseph b. 12 March 1661/62, died young
Mary b. 3 February 1663/64
Elizabeth b. 27 June 1666, died young?
Benjamin b. 2 January 1667/68
David b. 6 July 1670



sources for vital records: Regarding his death, Ralph’s will was written on the former date and his inventory was taken on the latter. Essex Co., MA, probate file #8710. His second marriage appears in the Salem, MA, vital records (from an Essex County Quarterly Court record): "Raluph Elenwood and Ellen Lyn."

1. a hyphen over a letter usually indicates a contraction.
2. 25 December 1637; Town Records of Salem, Massachusetts (hereafter TRS),1: .
3. 29 June 1641; Essex County Quarterly Court Files (hereafter EQC), 1:28; .
4. TRS, 1: .
5. 27 August 1633; EQC, 1:71.
6. 7. 24 January 1653/54, Essex Co. deed book 1:17.
8. 9. 22 June 1653, Essex Co. deed book 1:18.
10. 25 October 1638; EQC, 1:10.
11. 28 February 1642/43; EQC, 1:50.
12. The fences were "next the corn field on Cape An side." EQC, 1:152.
13. He was fined "for a pound breach." EQC, 1:180.
14. 15. 13 May 1660; EQC, 1:18.
16. 29 September 1669; EQC, 4:216.
17. EQC, 22:6-7.


all text and photographs © 1998-2005 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted