Monday, February 23, 2015


Starting with this post for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, I turn to another
branch of my paternal grandmother Cora Barker's family tree, the Uptons. I wrote
 last year about immigrant ancestor John Upton. I'll now write about two of his sons,
my 7x great grandfathers William and Samuel Upton. Much of what I know about them
comes from John Adams Vinton's genealogy of the family, The Upton Memorial.

William and Samuel were born a year apart, William in 1663 and Samuel the next year.
They seemed to be inseparable and their life seems like something out of a novel by
Dickens or Austen.  They and their families shared the same house, which must have
been interesting since they both had ten children. (They even both had one set of twins
among their children). This week the subject will be William, the elder brother: 

"William Upton, brother of the preceding, and son of the first John Upton by his wife Eleanor; born in Danvers, June 10, 1663; married Mary Maber, May 27, 1701.

William Upton and his brother Samuel received by their father's will that portion of his real estate which lay in the south-west corner of what is now Danvers, near the line of Lynnfield. It was given to them together, and they continued to hold it together till 1708, when they made an amicable division. They divided the farm between them in equal parts of sixty acres each, running a line straight through the tract; the easterly part being assigned to Samuel, and the westerly part to William. Each brother, by a solemn and carefully worded compact, guaranteed to the other his share of the patrimony. They lived near together, apparently in the same house. They transacted their business together, as will appear from the deeds which follow. They seem to have entertained a strong affection for each other, and to have been men of good position. and of estimable character. Many of their neighbors were involved in the witchcraft delusion, but they kept clear of that terrible affair.

Their father, twelve or thirteen years before his death, bought one-half of a valuable tract of land in the east part of North Reading, commonly called the Gusset. Eight years later, these two sons of his purchased the other half.

1694, Dec. 25.—John Pool of Lynn, yeoman, and Mary his wife, for £19.10. sell to William Upton and Samuel Upton of Salem [of the part now Danvers], a piece of land in Reading, near Will's Hill, and commonly known by the name of the Gusset; that is to say. Pool and his wife convey to them one half of this Gusset, on the east end of Swan Pond, &c

John Pool lived, probably in what is now Lynntield, not far distant. Will's Hill was a part of the Bellingham farm, ahead) mentioned. In 1694, the date of this purchase, the Bellingham farm belonged to the Wilkins family, into which Jonathan Upton, nephew of these brothers, married in 1724. It is now in Middleton.

1696, June 23.—Samuel Wilkins. yeoman, and Sarah his wife, and Jane Wilkins. widow of Samuel Wilkins late of Salem deceased, for twelve pounds, convey to Samuel Upton and William Upton of Salem, yeomen, a parcel of meadow land, containing six or seven acres more or less, situate in Salem, lying and being in the meadow commonly called Gusset meadow, and is bounded south with the meadow of the said Uptons; easterly with the brook which runs out of a cedar swamp; north and west with the upland of Thomas and Henry Wilkins. These grantors all made their marks.

It seems that a part of the Gusset meadow was within the bounds of Salem, and in the county of Essex. This part belonged to the Wilkins family, of whom more in the sequel. It was quite valuable, and the Uptons desired to possess the whole.

1696-7, Feb. 24.—John Hill of Salem, planter, for L12 16s., "in current silver money," conveys to William Upton and Samuel Upton "of Salem Village" [Danvers], about four acres of meadow in the township of Salem. in a place commonly called the Pound meadow." -

The Upton Memorial: A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of John Upton, of North Reading, Mass. ... Printed for Private Use Bath, Me. 1874

To be continued.

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