Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Another interesting story from the Essex County Court Records involving one of my
ancestors. this time my apparently feisty 10x great grandmother Jennet Dickinson,
widow of Thomas Dickinson. After his death in 1662 a dispute began between
some debtors of both Thomas and some of his heirs which eventually involved land
the widow claimed as hers. By this time Jennet has remarried and was now known as
Jennet Whipple.  Things reached a head in August 1674, which brought matters to the
Essex County Quarterly Court on  29 Sep 1674. All spelling is that of the clerks and
transcribers. The small"t" after a name denotes they signed their names to the
document on which their testimony was given: 

Mrs. Jennet Whipple, widow and executrix, and one of the heirs of the estate of Thomas Dickanson, deceased v. Richard Waite and Returne Waite. Verdict for plaintiff. Appealed to the next Court of Assistants. Richard and Returne Waite were bound, with Thomas Marshall and Henry Skerry, as sureties.*

*Writ, dated Sept. 22, 1674, for turning her out in the extremity of weather, signed by Shu. Walker, t for the court, and served by Nicho. Paige,t constable of Boston. Bond of Rich. Wayte,t Returne Waitet Willm. Hudsont and Jno. Williams.t

Sarah Gile, aged sixteen years, deposed that she lived in the house in controversy when Return Wait came in to serve the execution and required Mrs. Whipple to go out for the house was Bozoon Allen's. She refused, and he took hold of her to put her out and asked Marshal Skirrey to assist him, which he did. They pulled her along, she taking hold of things to stay herself, and being too strong for her, forced her out of doors, it being rainy and nearly night. Sworn in court.

Mrs. Gennett Whipple's bill of cost, 2li. 3s. 8d.

Letter of attorney, dated Sept. 25, 1674, given by Rich. Wayte§ of Boston to Left. Richard Way of Boston. Wit: Ephraim Turnert and Jno. Williams.t Acknowledged, Sept. 25, 1674, before Edward Tyng,t assistant.

Jno. Pickard, aged fifty-three years, deposed that after the execution was served he found Mrs. Gennet Whipple standing in the rain out of doors, her head covered with her apron, and requesting shelter of Returne Wait and Marshal Skerry who stood under a pentice or house-side. She was forced to seek the neighbors' houses for relief. Nehemiah Jewet testified that he was also present. Sworn in court.


Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume V (Google eBook) 1672-1674 Essex Institute, Salem, Ma 1916

Reading this I could picture Jennet grabbing hold of tables and chairs and doorways trying
to keep from being thrown out of her house.

In this case the Court found in favor of Jennet, but the verdict was appealed.  I hope to
find out whether poor Grandma Jennet was once more thrown out into the "extremity of

No comments: