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Unlike most of the men in the Ellinwood family in Beverly, William didn't make a career at sea. I haven't found where he lived when he and Abigail started their family, but it was likely on his father's property at what would become known as "Ellingwood Point." In the early 18th century, the family and those referring to them locally spelled the name "Ellinwood." William joined the First Parish Unitarian Church in Beverly shortly after Abigail on 31 July 1715,1 when he "subjected himself to ye governmt of cht [christ] in his chh [church]." In 1719 he called himself a "shoreman," which described mariner who fished at what were likely local ports.2 A 1733 deed says he was a "husbandman" (farmer) living in Beverly.3 I haven't found anything to pinpoint when his wife Abigail died. It was after their last child of record, Abigail, was born on 2 April 1725, and when he married Mary Taylor, widow of Jasper Swinnerton of Danvers in 1735. They were married by the minister of the church in the Middle Precinct or Parish of Salem, which later became the Congrational Church in Peabody when that town was incorporated. I find no connection between the Jasper Swinnerton family and this area of Salem. Mary, daughter of Jasper and Mary, was baptized at Salem Village Church, now Danvers, in 1729.
     After William and Mary married he left Beverly to live on the Swinnerton's farm in Salem Village. This appears to have been on the southwest side what is now Andover St. (Rt. 114) just west of the intersection with Rt. 1. Two deeds in 1740 say he was a husbandman in Salem,4 and another in 1761, of Danvers,5
which had been incorporated in 1757. Mary and her daughter Mary, Jr., were provided for in Jasper's will,6 Mary, Jr., was given the homestead property to be hers after her mother's death, but there was no formal follow-up in probate court about Mary, Sr.'s, dower portions, as was customary. In December 1746, maybe since young Mary was now of age and had married Nathaniel Pope the previous March, Mary, Sr., petitioned the court to appoint a guardian, saying William was "converting" the Swinnerton homestead to his own use. Her dower portion was also laid out, thus formalizing the will bequest. Had Mary, Jr., not been involved, William could have legally done what he wanted with the property.
     William and Mary (Sr.) signed a deed, William still of Danvers, in November 1766.8 This is the last record I've found of Mary. When William sold a homestead in Beverly to his son Joshua in September 1772,8 he was back in Beverly. It's likely that when Mary died, the Popes had control of the Danvers property and William either voluntarily left or was unwelcome to stay. He probably spent his last days living Joshua.
     The house William sold to Joshua was probably their home while Joshua's mother Abigail was still alive. Ebenezer, Joshua and Abigail theoretically would have gone to Salem Village with their father and stepmother. The boys were back in Beverly when they were of age and declared their marriage intentions in April and June of 1744. Abigail also declared hers in April as a resident of Beverly, although she was, at 19, a minor. Her fiancee was 17, which was unusual.9      I don't know where any of William's sons were in Beverly when they married. Benjamin appears to have been the son of William who "foundered" (was shipwrecked) in 1764, but I find no record of him other than his birth. In 1755 William bought his grandfather Benjamin Ellinwood's house on Ellingwood Point and some surrounding land from his cousin Benjamin, to whom their grandfather willed it. Joshua doesn't appear in land records until his father sold him their family homestead, also on the Point, in 1772. Ebenezer settled near the First Church of Beverly, decidedly not on the Point, probably as early as 1747, when he bought a house there. He bought other houses and land nearby from his wife's family. This suggests William and Joshua were on the Point by 1744, and Joshua could have been in their father's house as early as that. Abigail may have moved in with either of them before she married. There's no recorded Ellinwood presence in what became Danvers other than the time William, Sr., lived there with Mary. If there was a significence rather than a coincidence that the three younger children all married in 1744, I can't find it.
     Joshua very likely settled on the family homestead on Ellingwood's Point, raised his family there and William joined them after Mary died. Having sold the place to Joshua just before he died, there wasn't an estate to probate. The homestead was on the west end of the point. The house was built on an elevated spot and was locally known as "Joshua's Mountain" or "Mt. Joshua," with views to the south and west across the wide waterway created by the ends of the Bass, Danvers and North Rivers. Joshua may have built a new house after he was deeded the property, but more likely not. When he died in 1794, his probate papers describe a 2 1/2 story house facing east. The first and second floors were divided by half, indicating a central staircase. North and south of the staircase (and maybe a central chimney) on both floors were a front room and a back bedroom, each with their own fireplace. The "garret" or attic and cellar were also divided into north and south rooms. If the house was built for William when he started his family, it may have been a salt-box type house. In those houses, the kitchen was tucked under the back slope. William and his wives weren't given gravestones. Only William has a burial record, and he went to the Abbott Street Burying Ground, likely next to Abigail. In his lifetime, two wives and four of his six known children died.

children of William Ellinwood and Abigail Woodbery:10

i. Benjamin, b. 16 September 1713
ii. William, b. 10 June 1716
iii. Ebenezer , b. 30 October 1719
iv. Joshua, b. 27 December 1721
v. Abigail, b. 2 April 1725

Child of William Ellinwood and Mary Taylor?:

unnamed, sex unknown, d. 173611

vital records sources: William's birth record comes from Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield:1906), 124; his first marriage is from Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, vol. 3 (Salem:1924), 330. This refer to a marriage in Salem, erroneously saying in 1718. The original town record (images at says this came from "a return of marriages by Robert Hale of Beverly." Hale likely married the couple where Abigail lived in Salem, along the west side of Bass River across from Beverly. His second marriage is on the same page as the published records cited above. The original town record (images at says they were married by Rev. Benjamin Prescott, William of Beverly and widow Mary of Salem. His burial is from Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield:1907), 427, citing a First Church record.

1. William Phineas Upham, Records of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772 (Salem:1905), 51.
2. Essex County, MA, deed, 36:144.
3. Essex County deed, 75:131.
4. Essex County deed, 83:138 (front and back of same page).
5. Essex County deed, 109:143.
6. Essex County, MA, probate file #27015.
7. Essex County deed, 121:215.
8. Essex County deed, 130:85.
9. Intentions to marry first entered to the town clerk before being published, all of Beverly: 7 April 1744, Ebenezer and Elizabeth Corning; 27 Apr 1744, Andrew Stone and Abigial Ellinwood,; 7 June 1744, Joshua and Joanna Ober. See images of Beverly town records at
10. Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield:1906),121-124. 11. Rev. Robert Hale's record of deaths in Beverly, included in vol. 2 of the published Beverly vital records (see vital records sources).

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