Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Before I move on to Samuel Upton, I thought I'd share Vinton's description of the
close relationship between Samuel and his brother William:

The names of William and Samuel Upton often appear together, at least in the county and parish records. They were hut sixteen months apart in age. Their names are coupled together in their father's will; and what they inherited from him, they held and enjoyed together, as has been stated, till 1708, and notwithstanding the division made of their real estate at that time, they still lived together on Wood Hill, all their days. At least half a century they occupied the same house. They owned land together, not only in Danvers, but in North Reading and in Middleton. They were always taxed together and taxed alike in the town and parish books. They held their negro servant together; they together manumitted him in 1717; they sat together in the meeting-house, and their wives sat together. It is likely that their deaths were not far apart; that of William early in 1740; that of Samuel three or four years later.

The names of William Upton and Samuel Upton appear on the records of the parish of Salem Village in a list of persons taxed in 1689 for the support of Rev. Samuel Parris. then minister of that parish. Each of these brothers was to pay three shillings. The highest tax was one pound; the lowest. 2s. 6d In 1690, they were taxed 4s. each; in 1695. 9s each; in 1697. 12s. each. They continued to be taxed, year after year, till 1734, when the first volume of parish records ends. The second volume was destroyed by fire about 1867 ; so that it does not appear how much longer they were taxed, nor, by consequence, bow much longer they lived. We learn this, however, that they were both living in Danvers in 1734. It is also certain that Samuel Upton was living there in March, 1743. when a child of Samuel Upton. Junior, was baptized. He was then about 77 vears old. He doubtless died soon after.

It was the custom in those days, instead of our present practice of pews held as private property, to choose a committee annually to assign seats in the meeting-house to the individuals composing the parish, and to record the arrangement from year to year in the parish book. The men and the women sat apart. The chief seats were given to age; the next, to office; last of all, to " rates" or taxes paid, that is, to property. William and Samuel Upton, in 1702, sat "in the long fore seat below," and also in 1726. Their wives, in 1726, sat "in the second long seat below." When these brothers were older, they had the front seat.-pp35-37

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

Considering the twenty children in the two families, the Uptons must have taken up quite
a bit of space in those pews when attending church!

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