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Emery Family Papers

Emery Family Papers

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Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Emery family
Title:Emery Family Papers
Quantity:2.5 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:The Emery Family papers contain deeds, probate papers, and miscellaneous papers.
Collection Number:MSS 669

Series List

SERIES II. Probate Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Emery Family papers contain deeds, probate papers, and miscellaneous papers. The materials were originally placed in volumes, but were removed from the volumes prior to being processed in 2001. This collection has been divided into three series, and an item level inventory can be found in the Appendix.

Series I. Deeds contains deeds from 1645-1844. The majority of the deeds involve a member of the Emery family for properties in: Newbury, Salisbury, and Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Chester, New Hampshire. There are some deeds in this series that do not directly involve a member of the Emery family for properties in: Newbury, Rowley, Boxford, and Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Narragansett Solders Township, Maine.

Series II. Probate Papers contains wills of Emery family members in addition to a few other people. There are several documents appointing executors and or administrators to wills, powers of attorney, and guardianship. Also included in this series are receipts concerning estates, a writ relating to the Artichoke Mill, and the division of books from a library.

Series III. Other contains papers concerning local town affairs by officials and citizens, tax papers, a bill of sale for a black man, personal letters, articles of indenture, and vital records for the Hale and Emery families. There are several papers concerning appointments to Justice of the Peace, sever letters describing church appointments, deeds for church pews, and certificates of membership for the Essex Agricultural Society and the Bunker Hill Monument Association. Also included in this series is Continental currency, a bank note from the state of Massachusetts Bay, and a bank note from Eagle Bank.

Biographical Sketches

John Emery Sr. was born September 29, 1597, in Romsey, England, to John and Agnes Emery. Emery, his brother Anthony, their wives, and two of his five children left Southampton, England for Boston on April 3, 1635, on the ship James, and arrived in Boston June 3, 1635. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Newbury, Massachusetts where he lived until his death in 1683. His first wife, Alice Grantham (1599-1649), gave birth to four of Emery’s five children, including: John (born 1628), Ann (1631-1687), and Ebenezer (born 1648). In 1650, he married Mary Webster, the widow of John Webster and daughter of John and Judith Shatswell. Mary had one child, Jonathan (1652-1723), and died in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1694.

On arrival to Newbury, John Sr. was granted a half-acre of land by the town of Newbury for a house lot. During his lifetime, Emery was granted many acres of land by the town. At various times he either sold or gave most of his land to his son, John Jr. Emery was appointed one of ninety-one freeholders of Newbury in 1642. In 1644, he was granted twenty two acres and five rods in the great field beyond the town.

Emery held many positions of town authority, such as Newbury Selectman, Fence Viewer, Collector of Votes, and was a member of the Woodman party. In 1663, Emery found himself in trouble for entertaining travelers and Quakers, and was fined four pounds; he unsuccessfully petitioned the General Court for remission of his fine. Emery died November 3, 1683.

John Emery Jr. was born in 1628, in England, to John (1597-1683) and Alice (1599-1649) Emery, in England. He sailed with his family to Boston, Massachusetts in 1635, and shortly thereafter they moved to Newbury, Massachusetts. He married Mary Webster (died 1709), the daughter of John and Mary (Shatswell) Webster in 1648, and they had thirteen children: Mary (born 1652); Hannah (born 1654); John (1656-1730); Bethia (born 1658); Sarah (born 1660); Joseph (born 1663); Stephen (1666-1746/7); Abigail (born 1668); Samuel (1670-1724); Judith (born 1673); Lydia (born 1675); Elizabeth (born 1680); and Josiah (1681-1718).

Emery was a Selectman, Jury of Trials, chosen to carry votes to Salem, served on trial juries, was a tything man, and a way warden. He owned fourscore acres of land over the Artichoke/Rasberry River, and was made a freeman in 1690 (Emery 3-5). Emery died in 1693 (Burns 20).

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Bayley, Abner, 1716-1798
Davis, Enoch
Emery family
Emery, Eliphalet
Emery, Flavius
Emery, Hannah
Emery, John, 1597-1683
Emery, John, 1628-1693
Emery, Nathaniel
Emery, Samuel
Hale, Moses, 1715-1779
Little, Tristram
Moody, Caleb
Moody, Nicholas
Short, Nicholas
Newburyport Woolen Mills
Justices of the Peace
Pews and pew rights
Probate records
Newbury (Mass.)


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Emery Family Papers, MSS 669, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was given to the Essex Institute prior to 1977 from an unknown source.

Processing Information

Collection processed by John Kerwin, January 2001. Updated by Hilary Streifer, January 2018.

Related Material

Burns, Judith Elaine. The Revised Genealogical Records of the Descendants of John Emery of Newbury, Massachusetts. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1982.

Coffin, Joseph. A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport and West Newbury. MA: Peter E. Randall, 1977.

Currier, John. J. “Ould Newbury” Historical and Biographical Sketches. Boston: Damril and Upham. 1896.

Emery, Rufus. Emery. Four generations of the descendants of John Emery, Sen., of Newbury, Mass., and Anthony Emery of Kittery, Maine. Salem, Mass.: Emery Cleaves, 1890.

Emery, Sarah Anna. Reminiscences of a Newburyport Nonagenarian. Heritage Books, Inc., 1978.

Heritage Consulting. Millennium File [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2003.

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