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William was baptized at the First Church in Beverly with three of his siblings.1 HIs father died when he was about 5. HIs mother was still alive but I don't find any record of her remarrying or when she died. It's likely she and her children continued to live in their house on or near Essex Street by what is now called the town's common (see more at William, Sr.'s, page). William, Jr., was given 8 after his father's estate was probated, which was a double portion due to him as the oldest son. The land was held in trust. I haven't seen the original probate document, only an abstract, but his mother would have gotten her dower thirds, usually including right in the family's house and the land on it. Also typical would be that William, Jr., shared in that right and should inherit the whole after his mother's death.
     Priscilla Baker, daughter of Cornelius Baker and Hannah Woodbery, was William's first wife. There's no evidence they had any children or of when she died. He then married Abigail Gale. On 21 October 1705 they owned the covenant at the Beverly Church and had their son William baptized.2
     William was a blacksmith, a trade also followed by his sons William and Jacob, at least. It's likely his mother arranged an apprenticeship about 1687, when he was 13, which was the norm. At a Beverly town meeting on 13 March 1704/05 it was agreed that part of the town's taxes would be used to pay him for a lock for the watch house.3 He was paid 2 shillings, 3 pence.
     The family moved to Manchester around 1711-1713, and it may be that his mother died about this time, leaving him to dispose of the Beverly property as he wanted. He bought his first pieces of property in Manchester in 1711.4 One was from Samuel Allen on 21 May 1711. A deed from Robert Leach to William in 17155 selling him the next lot to the east refers to his house being on the first lot. Robert Leach was a house carpenter and had sold him other land in Manchester in 1712. It's plausible to think Leach built the Hooper's house in 1711/1712, and once having established himself there, put the property in Beverly up for sale. Joseph Corning bought it in 4 June 1713.6
     The 1711 and 1715 deeds show that the house was on the south side of what is now Summer Street. Subsequent deeds put it in the Kettle Cove neighborhood. In his will, William gave his son Jacob the house. When Jacob wrote his will in 1798, he gave half ownerships of his house to grandsons Jacob Hooper and Jacob Kitfield, but that house was on the north side of the road, and it was the only house in his possession. I haven't found deeds to trace a clear ownership of the original house. It's possible William later had the house built on the north side of the road and moved there, but he only had one house when he died. If he sold the first one, there isn't a recorded deed to show it.
     There is a house in a plausible spot on the south side of the road that might be 18th century, but with modifications. This was a Hooper house, but I can only trace it back with certainty to John Hooper (1775-1837). He was a son of William (1742-1823), son of Andrew (1742-1779), son of William and Abigail. Deeds for the abutting property to the south (where his daughter Abigail and her husband John Edwards lived) say that "William Hooper, deceased" was the owner in 1778. The house there may have burned or been torn down by the time William died and the house that stands there now was built by John in the late 18th or early 19th century.
     On a tax list of people in Manchester 12 February 1717, his "rate" was about average for the town at 19 shillings, 6 pence.7 Another tax was assessed on 15 July 1717 to defray the costs of maintaining the minister. William was to pay 1, 1 shilling.8 The following September the "country rate" was assessed according to how many adult men were in a household, house(s) and land and personal estate. For one adult male he was assessed 5, 2 in the category for "houses and lands" and 1, 3 shillings for personal estate.9
     At town meetings in Manchester, William was elected a surveyor of highways on 30 March 1719, 17 March 1723/24, 22 December 1729, 18 March 1733/34 and 17 March 1734/35. 10 On 28 March 1720, he was elected town constable11 and on 17 March 1723/24, a selectman. 12 He was a surveyor of fences, elected on 7 March 1726/27 and 5 March 1732/33.13 He served as a hogreeve beginning 27 March 1727/2814 He was chosen to assist the selectmen as assessor on 10 March 1728/2915 and for a jury of trials 21 December 1731.16 At about 60 years old, William then retired from civic duty, as far as the records show.

William's will:17

In the name of God aman the seventeen day of Febeuery and in the year of our lord one thousand seven hunderad and fourty two, I William Hooper of Manchester in the County of Essex in the Province of the Massachustts Bay in New England, black smith, being in a good composed mind and memory thanks be to God for it, calling to mind the mortaleity of my body and knowing that it tis appiontted for men once to dye, do make this my last will and tesament that it to say principally and first of all I give and recomend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and my body I recomend to the soul into the hands of God that gave it and my body I recomend to the earth to be decently buried at the diseretion of my executors after named, nothing doubting but at the genral resuration [resurrection] I shall reicive the same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worly estate where it hath plesed God to bless me with in this life I give and despose of in the folloing maner

Itm I give unto my beloved wife Abigall the sole inprovment of all my rael and parsonl estate durning my widow
[during her widowhood?], and after her decese my sons and daugters and there heirs as folloth: I give unto my son Jacob Hooper my duelling house and barn and half my smith shop and half my smith twels and one pole of land in bradth ajoying on the back side of the house and barn to the high way from said barn to the shop to be one pole wide [parallel] and all so cartes, plows and chains

Itm I give unto my daughter Abigall Edwards fourty five pound old tenor with what she has al redy recvid, I give unto my daughter Elisabath Bishop and her heirs fourty five pounds old tenor with what she has recvid all redy, I give umto my daughter Lyday Allin and her heirs fourty five pounds old tenor with what she has recvied al rady, I ive unto my daughter Sarah Searl and her heirs fourty five pound old tenor with what she has recvid al rady, I give unto my daughter Priseler Allen and her heirs fourty five pounds old tanor with what she has recvied al rady.

Itm I give unto my daughter Judey Hooper and her heirs forty five pounds old tenor to be paid in sundery perticklers at the same price as I charged my other daughters after my wife deceses, also I give unto my daughters all my house hold good to be equely divied be tween them after my wife decess

Itm I give unto my two grandsons William Hooper and Asa Hooper one acer of land betwen them to be equel, the bounds of said acer of land is at the north ester corner of my feld northerly on the hig way esterly on Joseph Knights land, also all my rael estate that remains I give in the following maner: I give unto my tow gransons William and Asa one fift parte of my lands to them and their heirs and I order by this my will that William and Asa afore said shall pay unto there three sisters Lyda Hooper, Abigall and Sarah three pounds, ten shilling old tenor to each of them after my wife deceses. I give unto my son Andraw Hooper and his heirs two fifth parts of my lands, also I give unto my son Jacob Hooper and his heirs two fifth parts of my lands also I order by this will that my son Andraw Hooper and my son Jacob Hooper shall pay in equal part of the legaceys to there sisters if not paid after my wife

also I do ordain and appint my wife Abigaill with my son Andraw Hooper to be my sole executors of this my last will and testament. Forthermore I do hear by disanull, revoke all others former wills and testements made by me or any thing appertaing there unto

In witnesses whereof I have hear unto set my hand and seal the day and year before riten, signed, sealed, published,
[?], and delevered by the said William Hooper as his last will and testement in the presents of us the subsecribers

William Hupar

Joseph Knight
Samuel Morgan
John Ffoster

The will was brought to court and proved on 10 February 1755, at which time an inventory was ordered to be taken within the next two months.

His inventory:

to 1 house & barn & 60 poles of land 46/13 shillings/4 pence
to 2 acres of field & orcharding by ye house 26/13/4
to 10 3/4 acres land in ye field before ye house 110/3/9
to 1 acre & 150 poles of upland & marsh land upon the point near ye beach 18/13/4
to 33 poles thatch land 2/0/0
to about 25 acres pasturing land at 2:13:4
[per acre] 66/13/4
to 24 1/2 acres wood land adjoyning to ye homestead at 3:6:8 81/13/4
to 16th lot in Glocester west division of lots 15/0/0
to 19th lot ditto 16/6/8
to 1 oxen 5/18/4
to 1 1/2 cow 3/12/0
to 1/2 steer 2 years old 0/10/8
to 1/2 heifer 1 year old 0/7/4
to sundry blacksmiths tools 1/12/0
to 1 hog 1/4/0
to 1 iron crow 0/6/8
to 1 ox chain 0/6/8
to 1 beetle & wedges 0/2/8
to 1 pair old steelyards 0/1/0
to 1 tow comb 0/2/0
to 2 augres 0/2/4
to 2 gouges & 1 chizzel 0/1/8
to 1 woolen wheel 0/2/0
to 1 maple table 0/6/0
to 2 square old tables 0/1/0
to 1 old chest with draws 0/13/4
to 1 old chest 0/3/4
to andirons, shovels & tongs 0/8/0
to 1 bed & furniture 4/12/0
to 1 ditto 2/17/4
to 4 cotton & linen sheets 0/16/0
to 1 cotton sheet 0/5/0
to 3 1/2 pair tow sheets 1/0/0
to 3 bolster cases 0/4/0
to 5 pillow cases 0/4/0
to 4 table cloths 0/5/0
to 22 1/2 lbs of pewter at 11
[shillings] 1/0/9 1/2
to coffee pot saucers & peper boxe 0/1/8
to 1 lamp 0/1/0
to 1 skimmer & flesh fork 0/1/0
to 1 trammel & crooks 0/5/4
to 1 iron pot 0/4/0
to 2 iron kettles 0/3/8
to 1 iron skillet 0/6/0
to 8 old chairs 0/5/4
to 1 looking glass 0/3/4
to 6 glass bottles 0/2/4
to a parcel books 0/3/4
to 1 linen wheel 0/1/4
to 1 old chest with draws 0/3/4
to 1 old cupbord 0/1/4
to 1 meal chest 0/2/8
to earthen ware 0/1/6
to wooden ware 0/3/8
to 1/2 cross cut saw 0/5/4
to wearing clothing 1/11/0
to 1 mortar & pestil 0/3/0
to 2 thirds pew in ye meeting house 4/8/0
to 1 right in ye 2nd seat ditto 0/10/8
to 1/2 pew in ye southward gallery 1/1/4

brought to court and accepted on 1 January 1756.

Andrew Hooper, only acting execr of ye testamt of his father William Hooper late of Manchester decd, his acct of adms of sd estate exhibited to the Honl Tho Berry Esq, Judge of Probte of Wills, etc. January 12 AD 1756

the estate of ye sd decd is cr

By real estate pr inventory 389.17.1
By personal ditto as pr ditto 31.15.7

The estate of ye sd decd is dr
[indebted] for wth

I pray your Honds allowance

to Andrew Hooper's acct 4.16.5
to Jacob Hooper 5.11.4
to funeral charge in all 10.7.9

proving ye will, journey with witnesses, expences & fees 2.2.4
prizing ye estate
[?] apprizers, measuring of lands, etc. 2.14.8
the execr for his time & trouble 1.10.0
[stating], examg [examining], & recordg this acct 0.10.0

On 10 January 1768 a division of the estate was ordered, undoubtedly since Abigail (Gale) Hooper had recently died.

William's estate was divided as follows:

son Jacob: as is described in the will
son Andrew: half of the smith's shop and a right in the second seat in the meeting house in Manchester
grandsons William and Asa: as is described in the will

There was also a further division of the remainder of the real estate. The whole division was approved at court on 24 June 1769.

children of William Hooper and Abigial Gale:18

i. William, b. 11 April 1705
ii. Andrew, b. 14 August 1706
iii. Abigail, b. 13 January 1708/09
iv. Elizabeth, b. 23 November 1710
v. Edward, bap. 12 April 1713
vi. Lydia, bap. 1 April 1716 (B)
vii. Sarah, b. 3 August 1717 (M)
viii. Priscilla, b. 24 March 1720
ix. Jacob, bap. 22 February 1721/22
x. Juda/Judith, bap. 21 November 1725

vital records sources: His baptism is from Vital records of Beverly, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield Historical Society:Topsfield, MA, 1906), 185, taken from the records of the First Church, Beverly, record. His marriage is in the First Church records, "John Edwards and Abigail Hooper, both of Manchester," His death is in the First Church records,, age 81, and published in Vital Records of Manchester, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Salem:1903), 262.

1. Records of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772 [hereafter RFCB] (Essex Institute: Salem, 1905), 95.
2. RFCB, 45.
3. Municipal Documents of the City of Beverly, Massachusetts, (Beverly:1901), 389.
4. Essex Co., MA, deeds, 23:246-248.
5. Ibid, 33:194.
6. Essex Co., MA, deed records 28:176.
7. Town Records of Manchester, vol. 1 (Salem, 1889), 137.
8. Ibid, 139.
9. Ibid, 140.
10. Ibid, 143, 156, 179, 193, 197.
11. Ibid, 147.
12. Ibid, 156.
13. Ibid, 169, 189.
14. Ibid, 173.
15. Ibid, 175.
16. Ibid, 184.
17. Essex Co., MA, probate case 13889.
18. William through Lydia are in Vital records of Beverly, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield Historical Society:Topsfield, MA, 1906), 185, 189. Sarah to Judith are in Vital Records of Manchester, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Salem:1903), 63-64. The entry in the latter for Abigail, bap. 1733, erroneously gives Abigail as her mother instead of Lydia. She was the daughter of William, Jr.

all text and photographs 1998-2022 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted

1. to William Hooper: 2 acres, 17 poles of upland and marsh, south on the highway 31 poles & 7/10, east on Andrew and Jacob Hooper's marsh 2 courses 9 poles & 4/10, south on sd Hooper's march two courses, 13 poles & 1/10, northeast on sd. Hooper's marsh 14 poles & 9/10, east on sd Hooper's marsh 2 poles & 2/10, south on sd Hooper's marsh 1 poles, east partly on sd Hooper's marsh and partly on Herrick's and Edward's marsh 14 poles & 7/10, north on sd Herrick's land 15 poles & 3/10, northwest on sd Hooper's land 10 poles & 4/10, also 120 poles of land in the great field bounding north on the highway 5 poles, west on land of Andrew Hooper 28 poles, south on said Hooper's land 2 poles & 3/10, west on said Hooper's land 6 poles, south on 2. 1 pole, east on sd Hooper's land and land of 2. 23 poles & 2/10, also two acres & 100 poles land in sd field bounded north of Jacob Hooper's land and 3. 15 & 3/4, easterly on land of Joseph Knight 29 poles & 6/10

William (the elder) didn't give Andrew any land in his will and I don't find Andrew buying land either. He had a house when he died and bequeathed it to his daughter Abigail, with his wife having her dower thirds. Abigail, Jr., married William Young. I find no record of them selling her interest in the house, or widow Abigail selling hers. If her son John ended up with this house, then we can say that the house that still stands on the south side of the road wasn't William's, and may have been built for Andrew in the mid 18th century. I can't trace the ownership of Jacob Hooper's house on the north side of the road that Jacob Hooper and Jacob Kitfield inherited. In any case, it isn't still standing. Deed boundary descriptions are very vague, and many other deeds for abutting property owners would have to researched to possible help solve this mystery.