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This biography is still being researched, compiled and cited. A critical review of the interpretation of records of the family in the 1692 witchcraft trials is here.

     Given that his apprenticeship started in 1658 when he was about 13, which was the norm, he was born about 1646. His sister Mary was born about 16441 His sister Hannah was born about 1648.2 He had a sibling referred to as "A lit litle infant also a twinn of Job Tilers dyed" on "Month 1 day 28" 1646. On the contemporary Julian calendar, this was 28 March 1646.3 A Report of the Record Commissioners, etc. (Boston:1884), "Roxbury Church Records," 173. This strongly suggests Hopestill was the other twin, and given the high mortality risk for twins at the time, that they were born some time in the Winter of 1645/46. His gravestone says he was in his 89th year, which means he was 88 and would turn 89 within the next year.3 Given that he died late in January, he most likely would have turned 89 some time in 1734. In order to accomodate this evidence, I posit that they were born late in 1645 or January 1646.
     Hopestill was apprenticed to Thomas Chandler to learn the blacksmith trade in 1658.1 The agreement was for 9 1/2 years. A seven-year long court case arose over his father's apparent change of heart and the drastic measures he took. Hopestill appears to have apprenticed with someone, perhaps Chandler, since he ended up being a blacksmith and married about 9 1/2 years later,
     Hopestill likely moved to Mendon and may have lived with his father there by the time he was married in 1669. was married in Mendon, and daughter Mary was born there the next year. There follows a seven-year gap in the birth records of her siblings. All the births of his known children are accounted for except Daniel, who was born in that gap. The family moved to Roxbury in 1675 during Native American raids on Mendon.1 They were in Andover by 1681,1 and Hopestill is listed among churchmembers there in 1686.1 The town granted him the liberty to open a shop near his house in 1687.1 The family moved to Preston, Connecticut, in 1697. Hopestill was one of the founding members of the church there in November of 1698.1


children of Hopestill Tyler and Mary Lovett:

i. Mary, b. 31 January 1669/70
ii. Daniel
iii. Martha, bap. 9 April 1676. She wasn't the "Martha Tyler" accused of witchcraft in 1692 (see above)1 "Mathew, son of Hep. Tiler." Hopestill refers to her as "my dafter mathew" in his will. Martha is sometimes recorded as "Marthew," and in the English-cum-New England accent, the "r" was silent. Roxbury, 134.
iv. John, b. 19 February 1677
v. Johannah, b. 21 November 1681. She was the Johannah/Hannah accused of witchcraft in 1692. There wasn't another sibling named Hannah (see above).
vi. James, b. 28 December 1683
vii. Hopestill, b. October 1685
viii. Mehitable, b. June 1687 dy





vital records sources: His marriage is in the published Vital Records of Medfield, Massachusetts to the year 1850, (New England Historic Genealogical Society: Boston, 1903), 176. His sister Hannah and Mary's brother James married the same day. An 1850 handwritten transcription of the original records at familysearch.org shows that the marriages were performed by Ralph Wheelock of Medfield.

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all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted