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Brown Family of Hamilton, Mass. Papers

Brown Family of Hamilton, Mass. Papers

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Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 166 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-948-6012
Creator:Brown family
Title:Brown Family of Hamilton, Mass. Papers
Quantity:3 linear feet (3 boxes, 1 flat file)
Abstract:The Brown Family of Hamilton, Mass. Papers contains materials created by various Brown family members as well as Dodge family members and includes records for the town of Hamilton.
Collection Number:MSS 678

Series List

SERIES I. Hamilton, Mass., Town Records
SERIES II. Brown Family PapersSERIES III. Dodge Family Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Brown Family of Hamilton, Mass. Papers contains materials created by various Brown family members as well as Dodge family members and includes records for the town of Hamilton. It has been organized into four series.

Series I. Hamilton, Mass., Town Records consists of papers relating to the militia in Hamilton (lists of men serving), surveyors of highways records (correspondence and assessments), post office accounts and correspondence created by Daniel Brown and Israel D. Brown, overseers of the poor correspondence and reports, lists of voters in the town of Hamilton, selectmen's papers, and an appointment of Joseph Patch, Jr., as Collector of Taxes.

Series II. Brown Family Papers has been subdivided into two subseries. Subseries A. Israel D. Brown Papers contains personal deeds, receipts, notes payable, correspondence, and estate papers for at least six individuals. These estate papers include receipts, lists of debts owed, results of auctions, wills, and inventories. Subseries B. Other Brown Family Members contains deeds, legal papers, receipts, a plot plan, a will, and guardianship papers for various members of the Brown family of Hamilton. These papers are arranged chronologically.

Series III. Dodge Family Papers contains deeds, correspondence, accounts, receipts, and estate papers for various members of the Dodge family of Hamilton, including George Jr. and Henry. These papers are arranged chronologically.

Series IV. Other consists of papers for other people from the town of Hamilton and some Ipswich deeds. Of interest is the account book (1729-1732) probably kept by Deacon Matthew Whipple of contributions to defray the church expenses associated with the sacrament of communion. These papers are arranged in alphabetical order.

Biographical/Historical Sketches

In June 1638, John Winthrop (1606-1676), son of the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bought most of present-day Essex County from Masconomet, chief of the Agawam Native Americans, for the sum of twenty English pounds. Hamilton was first settled in 1638 and was originally a section of Ipswich known as the "Hamlet." The first recorded land grant in the Hamlet was Matthew Whipple's farm, dated 1638. Three years later the new stagecoach road from Boston to Newburyport (Bay Road) was laid out through the Whipple land. Other early settlers of the Hamlet, including the Appletons, Winthrops, Lamsons, and Dodges, were attracted by countryside similar to the English farms and estates they had left behind. The town was incorporated on June 21, 1793, and named for Alexander Hamilton, whose portrait became the town seal in 1903. With the arrival of the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1839, the population center moved gradually southward toward the depot.

In the 1700s, people in Hamilton received their mail at Brown's Tavern, which was at the north corner of Farms Road (now Cutler Road) and Main Street (now Bay Road). Capt. Daniel Brown (1749-1834) was the first postmaster (starting in 1803), as well as a tavern keeper and blacksmith. Stagecoaches made regular stops at the tavern as they traveled between Boston and Newburyport.

Israel D. Brown was born in 1781 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Brown, Jr. (1749-1834) and Zerviah Dane (1757-1845). He served as a selectman, surveyor of highways, and postmaster in the town of Hamilton. He was a tavern keeper and the administrator of many people's estates in Hamilton. He married twice; first to Nabby Patch (born 1765) in 1814 and then to Lydia Stone (born circa 1789) in 1830. He had three children with Nabby: Mary (1815-before 1865); Ednah (1821-1905); and George (born 1825). He had a son, Daniel C. Brown (born 1835) with Lydia. He died in 1873.

George Dodge was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, on May 5, 1709. He married Martha Fiske (1711-1749) and they had two sons: Jonathan (1743-1822) and George, Jr. (1749-1827). He died on February 12, 1793 in Ipswich.

George Dodge, Jr. was born in 1749 in Beverly, Massachusetts, to George and Martha Fiske Dodge. He married Mary Cleaves (1755-before 1780) in 1774 and they had two sons: Henry (1776-1835) and Joshua (1779-1861). In 1780, he married Sally Brown and they had five children: Mary Cleaves (1781-1852), Jesse (1783-1862), Huldah (born 1786), Martha (born 1791), and Lavinia (1796-1835). He died on May 12, 1827 in Ipswich.

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.

Adams, Samuel, Jr.
Adams, Stephen
Appleton, Oliver
Baker, John
Berry, Thomas
Bowls, Joseph
Brown family
Brown, Azor, Capt., 1787-1834
Brown, Daniel, 1749-1834
Brown, Edward
Brown, Israel D., 1781-1873
Brown, Jacob, 1711-circa 1778
Brown, John
Brown, Nathaniel
Brown, Thomas
Brown, William, Jr.
Browne, Thomas, born 1678
Chapman, Nathan
Cutler, Temple
Dane, Anna, 1790-1878
Dane, John
Dane, Nathan, 1752-1835
Dane, Nathaniel, Jr.
Dean, Nehemiah
Dodge family
Dodge, Ezra
Dodge, George, 1709-1793
Dodge, George, Jr., 1749-1827
Dodge, Henry, 1775-1835
Dodge, James B.
Dodge, John Woodbury, 1797-1855
Dodge, Jonathan, 1743-1822
Dodge, Livermore
Dodge, Michal
Dodge, Solomon
Dutch, Benjamin
Emerson, Nathaniel
Fisk, Jonathan
Gardner, John
Giddings, David
Giddings, Joshua, 1813-1887
Goodue, John
Gould, Richard
Hathorne, Nathaniel, 1762-1832
Heard, John, Jr.
Howard, Pitman
Killam, Daniel
Lamson, Caleb
Lamson, Edwards
Lamson, Samuel
Lamson, Sarah
Lovering, Joseph, 1758-1848
Lummus, Porter
Manning, John, 1789-1852
Patch, Benjamin
Patch, Joseph, Jr., 1784-1866
Patch, Paul D., 1814-1878
Patch, Paul, circa 1774-1843
Perkins, John
Poland, Oliver
Porter, Dudley
Porter, Ebenezer
Proctor, Francis
Quarles, Samuel
Rich, Thomas P.
Sargent, Daniel
Smith, Isaac
Smith, John
Thompson, John
Towne, Daniel
Wallis, David
Warner, Philemon, Jr.
Whipple, Matthew, 1685-1764
Whipple, Samuel
Whipple, Thomas
Whittier, John, Jr.
Whittredge, John
Whittredge, John, Jr., 1774-1830
Wise, Daniel
Woodbury, Andrew
Overseers of the Poor (Hamilton, Mass.)
Administration of estates
African Americans
Pews and pew rights
Postal service
Hamilton (Mass.)
Hamilton (Mass.)--History, Military
Hamilton (Mass.)--Tax assessment
Ipswich (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

Brown Family of Hamilton, Mass. Papers, MSS 678, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was a gift of Mrs. Dexter R. Hunneman on March 29, 1952. She owned "The Tavern" in Hamilton, formerly the home of generations of the Brown family. Some of the material may have been donated by Charles F. Montgomery on July 1, 1954. Formerly cataloged as Fam. Mss. 471.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Tamara Gaydos, June 2018.

Related Material Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

"History of Hamilton, MA." Town of Hamilton, MA, Town of Hamilton, MA, 2018,

Related Collections

Azor Brown Diaries, 1810-1829, DIA 27

Matthew Whipple Diary, 1696, DIA 236

Hamilton, Mass. Records, 1796-1861, EC 11

Account book of Daniel Brown, 1774-1817, MSS 1043.1

Account book of Daniel Brown, 1790-1816, MSS 1043.2

Account book of Daniel Brown, 1785-1835, MSS 1043.3

Account book of Daniel Brown, 1812-1821, MSS 1043.4

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