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Michael Emerson and Hannah Webster

Michael EMERSON.
Born on 6 April 1627 at Howsham, Cadney, Lincolnshire, England; son of Thomas EMERSON and Margaret FROE. He was christened on (14)(19-S2) April 1627 in Cadney, Lincolnshire, England.

On (1-S7)(31-8) March 1651 he is mentioned in a "Presentment as a witness who might be called in a case reported by the Grand Jury of Essex County Court, Massachusetts." (S8). His place of residence is not mentioned.

On 3 MAR 1655 he received from the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts one of the allotments of land that were made to inhabitants. It was recorded that, “Voted and granted that Michael Emerson shall have two cow commons and four acres of meadow to be laid out after the second division of meadow is all laid out.” This shows that he was then a resident of the town and had two cows. His brother, Robert Emerson, was granted land at the same time.

He married Hannah WEBSTER [F7515] on 1 APR 1657 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Besides being a farmer, Michael learned the trade of “cordwainer” or shoemaker. From the skills he learned with this trade, he was chosen as “sealer of leather,” with which office he had authority to see that all sales of leather were made honestly, and to certify as to quailty and quantity. He was the first to hold this office and was elected to it every year from 1675 until 1702. In 1677 he was appointed a helper, Andrew Greeley, after he "complained."

On 17 JAN 1658 he again received a share in meadow land. “Michaell Emerson’s third division of meadow being a quarter of an acre, shall be laid out together with his four acres of meadow which was formerly granted to him.”

He was elected one of the "tithing men," appointed to keep order in the house of worship.

He was elected to be a constable in 1659, and one piece of his writing exists in the files of the Essex County Court. A warrant had been placed in his hands and he endorsed on the back the following memorandum, "This attachmt was served upon ye body of John Godfrey by me Michaell Emerson Constable of haverhill aprill 16th 60". Besides the work of the court a constable had to collect “rates” or taxes, and keep close personal accounts with the town.

On 28 FEB 1661 he received a portion in the fourth division of meadow. In 1661 he was also allowed to exchange his two cow commons for two “ox commons.”

On 6 Jan 1662 he and his brother Robert purchaseda farm of six acres in the southwestern part of the town. The price was eighty five pounds and the deed contained the condition that they should "pay for two acres and a half of accomodations upon ye sd land," and also "Six score acres of third Division of Upland more or less North East from Merrie’s Pond Bounded with a white Oak & a black Oak by ye sd Pond & two white Oaks at ye north. Also three Parcells of Second Division of Meadow two Pcells of it Joiining unto Merrie’s Creek at ye East End of Merrie’s Creek Pond & one parcell upon ye Swamp lying in John Chinarees Third Division of Upland--All which Pcells are bounded round with upland & ye other Pcell of it lying upon a Runn which runns into Merrie’s Creek Pond near to ye West End of my third Division of Upland and bounded round with Upland." (Essex Deeds, 30, 85.).

Afterward at an unknown date the town gave him a tract adjoining his farm, and on 14 Dec 1663 permitted him to exchange some land. Transcripts of this documents says: "Laid out to Michael Emerson, Forty and four acres of upland adjoining to his other land which he had of Robert Swan, bounded with a white oak between Thomas Lillford and him and with a black oak at the pond. One acre of Meadow in that land is laid out to Mr. Ward, bounded with upland.

On 19 NOV 1662 he was appointed from Haverhill to “join with Newbury men to lay out and state the way between them and us.” (S2).

On 14 DEC 1663 he is again mentioned in the records. “Michael Emerson and Robert Emerson shall have liberty to lay down twenty or thirty acres of land, which is part of that they bnought of Robert Swan, on the south side, and to take up as much as they lay down on the south west side os said land; George Browne and Robert Swan are chosen & appointed for to exchange and lay out the land now granted to the two Emersons.”

The very inperfect way in which lands were surveyed at that period resulted in many misunderstandings. The bonds of the Emerson farm were so poorly defined that question arose as to whether their line did not include some of the common land, and they were obliged to pay for some which was found to be fenced into their farm accidently.

In 1666 Michael Emerson moved to Haverhill, and settled near the White-house-on Mill Street. The grantees offered that if he would 'go back to the woods' they would give him a tract of land. He accepted the offer, and settled not far from the corner of Primrose and Winter streets. The 'Emerson Estate' on the south side of the latter street is part of the original tract of Michael Emerson."

He was seemingly disliked by a neighbor named White.

He was fined for severly punishing one of his 15 children. In the 1674 Records of the County Court, "Michael Emerson was fined 5s for his cruel and excessive beating of his daughter with a flayle swingel and kicking of her." Chase (S9) says that the daughter was Elizabeth who would have been 9 years old at the time. He was under bonds in Hampton Court on 16 May 1676 and it was abated in Nov 1676.

He was appointed one of the surveyors of highways in 1695, his portion being “between the Saw Mill river and the Great Plain.” At that same town meeting he was elected one of the tithing men, appointed to keep order in the place of worship, thus evidencing that he was a member of the church. This is important because the church records for the period of his residence in Haverhill have been lost.

Michael Emerson conveyed lands to his son Jonathan, two acres, most of it an apple orchard, on 21 MAY 1695.

On 21 MAY 1699 he conveyed lands to his sons Jonathan nad Joshua, ten acres that he bought of Peter Green and Thomas Davis, and eight acres of his Spicket meadow, reserving to himself life use of his mansion house and four acres of upland.

He wrote his will (given below) on 18 JUL 1709, but the date when it was proved is not given.

On 11 JUL 1713 he gave to his oldest son John a tract of land: Know all men by these presents that I Michael Emerson of ye town of Haverhill in Essex County in ye province of Massachusetts Bay in New England on ye Consideration of that naturall love which I doe bear to my son John Emerson of Newbury in ye same county doe freely give unto ye said John Emerson my son all my right title and interest in that land & meadow land which my brother Robert and I bought of Robert Swanne lying by and ajoyning to a pond in Haverhill called Merry Creek Pond and three acres of meadow of that side of my Spicket meadow next to meadow now or formerly of John or Onisephory Marsh as also one third part of that meadow which I bought of Mathias Button in a meadow called Strong water meadow which land and meadow above said I vallue at Sixty pounds money & doe freely give ye same & every part and parcel thereof with all & singular ye priviledges thereof thereon or to all or any of them belonging or any wise appertaining, etc.... Witness my hand & seal this Eleventh Day of July in ye Elevernth yeare of His Majties Reign. (1713)

Michael Emerson
marke & seal

Witnessed by Nathaniel Ayer and Josiah Gage, who made oath in court to the same February ye 16 Day 1715-6. (Essex Deeds, 29, 86.).

On 3 JUN 1715, Michael Emmerson, cordwainer, (his usual description), conveyed to my grandson, Michael Emerson, now about six years of age, son of my own son Joshua Emerson, 44 acres of land, adjoining land he had bought of Robert Swan, and some other lands. He personally appeared before Justice Woodbridge and attested his signature on 24 NOV 1715. This is that latest date in which he appears in the records. He apparently died shortly after this date.


Michael Emerson of Haverhill in ye county of Essex in New England: calling To mind ye mortality of this Life: being of a perfect memory and of good Compas mentus understanding but Considering my Later End drawing near I do theirfore make this my last will and testament & bequest:my Body I Comit after Death unto ye Earth by a Desant burial & my Spirit to return to god who gave it. In trusting to a glorioas Resarection at ye last day & an inheritanc among the saints in Light: Threw Jesus Christ: ouer alone Redeemer. And for those few things of this world which it hath Pleased God to bestow upon me I do will and bestowe and despos of as foloeath I will ye all my Just Debts be payed: and ye Rest of my Eastat I bequeath & give in mannor foloing: viz: unto my beloved wife Hannah Emerson I give the youse of the east end of my dwelling house all the Dayes of her life that she shal Remain my widow. I all so give hir my best bed and all ye beding their unto belonging and two cows & a smal bras kitel and a belmetel skilet. this. I give to my wife besides aseutabel and comfortabel maintenanc sewtabel for my widow out of my Eastat acording to ye Quantity thear of to be found her by my two Escutors of this my will I Do allso give unto my Eldest son John Emerson all my waring aparell besids what I have all Redy given him by Dead & no more: and unto my Son Samuel Emerson I give the sum of twenty pownds: and all my lands & meadows in haverhill which I have not before this day disposed of by Dead. I: give be tween my two yongest sons namely Jonathan & Joshua Emerson: in perticilur: I do give unto my son Joshua Emerson my Dewling house and two acres of land ajoyning their unto and my Duck medow. thes last mentioned hous land & meadwo I give unto my son Joshua Emerson in ye [...] land hear to fore unto Jonathan Emerson and all ye Rest & Remainer of my {...} whear I now Live and all my out lands and medows. I: give Equely between my two above sons Jonathan Emerson & Joshua Emerson yt is to say firstly my homestead and also my farm land about forty fouer acres and my Spicet medow and allso my Strong water medow. I do hear by give and bequeath to & Equely between Joanthan & Joshua: and all my Commonages and all or aney other writhts or titels or Intrests in lands. or: medows to me belonging. I do give unto Them ye sd Jonathan & Joshua I. give the above named land & medow To them and their heiars after them to be by them disposed of to their heiars as they shall think most fit and shal see caus to dispose it: I: allso will and order my sd two sons The Excuters of this my will Jointly & Equely to give in and pay unto their Mother or Carey in unto heir a good and sufficient quantity of provision & Things nesesery for heir suport & maintainenc boath Comforting & Conveniant for heir maintainan & for her to kee house with in ye End of ye house which I have willed to heir whear she shal live all ye dayes of her widowwhed to be Equely given by Jonathan & Joshua my two Excutors: I: do all so will and order these my two sons Excutors to my will to pay out as Leageseys for this my Eastat which I have given them these several leageseys hear after menshoned unto & among my hear after named Children: viz: to John Emerson: my wearing apparil as above & unto Samuel Emerson the sum of twenty pounds as a bove and unto my Dafter hannah Duston the sum of twenty pounds besids what they have alredy hadallso unto my Dafter Abagail: now Smith the sum of sixten besids what thay have had alredy given them: and unto my son in Law hew Mathews I do give the sum of forty shillings besids what I have formerly given him allso I: do give to hew Mathewses Children as foloeath to his son John Mathews and his dafter Johannah Mathews I give thirty shillings apice IF: they be living & Come for it and to mary mathews my grandagter. I give the sum of fiveten pownds if she shal live unto the time of payment or be maried & have a Child: and I do constitute these my two sons Jonathan Emerson & Joshua Emerson to be the sole and Jont Excutors of This my Last will & Testiment To pay the legaseys hear in wiled and given in all Respects as it is hear seat downe and wiled but I do not bind & order my sons to pay these leagiseis in money but in good pay at money pric and I do give them Three years time after my Deceas for to fulfill and Compleat all ye Several Bequethments that I have hear in Expresed and given unto my Children & Gran Children: in Confirmation of what is hear writen in this my Last will & testament I have hear unto set to my hand and seal this eightenth day of July in ye year one thousand seven hundred and nine in ye 8th year of her majst Reign Queen Anne of great britain.

Michael Emerson
Marke & seal

Sined & sealed in presents of these witneses
Timothy Kezer
Nathan N. Simon
his marke
James Jorden.

He did not write his will himself because his sight had so failed that he could not see to even write his name. From references to him as deceased a little later, it may be inferred that it was taken into court near the close of the year 1715. Thus it appears that he died between December of 1715 and March of 1716.

Born in (1635-S2)(1639-S3) at Ipswich, Massachusetts; daughter of John WEBSTER and Mary SHATSWELL.

She married Michael EMERSON on 1 April 1657. It was said of her that, “She had no holiday life; what with the cares of a large family, the waywardness of one child, another daughter’s dreadful experiences, and the inevitable difficulties of pioneer life, she had heavy burdens; but she bore all well and left a name for worthy living.” She survived her husband, but the time of her death is not known.

  1. Hannah EMERSON. Born 23 December 1657 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. She married Thomas DUSTIN on 3 December 1677. She died After 1709.
  2. John EMERSON. Born 30 JUL 1659. He died 15 AUG 1659.
  3. Mary EMERSON. born 5 OCT 1660. She married 28 AUG 1683 at Newbury, Massachusetts to Hugh MATTHEWS.
  4. John EMERSON. Born 18 MAR 1661-2 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. He settled at Newbury, Massachusetts. He married (1) about 1689 to Judith CHENEY, dau. of Daniel CHENEY and Sarah BAYLEY. He married (2) 2 NOV 1710 at Newbury, Massachusets to Hannah POOR. He died 6 MAR 1745 at Newbury, Massachusetts.
  5. Samuel EMERSON. Born 2 FEB 1663-4 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married 14 DEC 1687 to Judith DAVIS, dau. of John DAVIS and probably Jane PEASLEY. He bought land in Dover, New Hampshire on the Oyster River. He held many public offices there. His wife was taken captive by the Indians and helf captive for five years. He and his wife joined in organizing the church in Durham, New Hampshire in 1718 and he was its first deacon. His will was made 13 MAR 1739 and was proved 31 AUG 1743.
  6. Elizabeth EMERSON. Born 26 JAN 1665. It was said that all Michael’s children did credit to the family except Elizabeth, “who again and again fell into disgrace.” And also, “Let the mantle of charity cover her history.”
  7. Abigail EMERSON. Born 17 DEC 1667. She died 31 DEC 1667.
  8. Jonathan EMERSON. Born 9 MAR 1669-70 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married 15 JUN 1699 to Hannah DAY, daughter of John DAY and Sarah PENGRY. He was active in public life. He and John Swan had permission from the town on 7 MAR 1704-5 to build a grist mill on the Little River between the West bridge and Joseph Kingsbury’s land. He died 19 AUG 1736.
  9. Abigail EMERSON. Born 20 NOV 1671. She married 30 NOV 1693 to Samuel SMITH of Newbury, Massachusetts. They had 10 children.
  10. Judith EMERSON. Born 2 JUL 1673. She died 8 SEP 1673.
  11. Joshua EMERSON. Born 2 MAR 1675. He died 26 MAR 1676.
  12. Ruth EMERSON. Born 8 MAY 1676. She died 28 AUG 1677.
  13. Judith EMERSON. Born 7 NOV 1677.
  14. Joshua EMERSON. Born 17 NOV 1678 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married 2 JUL 1706 to Mary CLARK; daughter of Haniel CLARK and Mary GUTTERSON. They resided at Haverhill. He made his will 29 MAY 1742 and it was proved 19 JUL 1742.
  15. Susanna EMERSON. Born 30 APR 1680. She died 8 MAY 1680.


Michael Emerson and Hannah Webster 
Hannah Emerson and Thomas Dustin   
Jonathan Dustin and Elizabeth Watts    
Mehitable Dustin and Jonathan Marsh          
Miriam Marsh and Thomas Haynes
William Haynes and Polly Stoddard
Daphne Haynes and Isaiah Hamblin
Jacob Vernon Hamblin and Sarah Priscilla Leavitt 
Ella Ann Hamblin and Warren Moroni Tenney.         
Clive Vernon Tenney and Minnie Williams
Mildred Ella Tenney and Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris