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Rowley, Massachusetts

Maximilian Jewett was born in Bradford West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of Edward and Mary (Tayler) Jewett. He was baptized there 4 October 1607. in 1639 he with his wife Ann and brother Joseph left England and settled in Rowley mass. with others under the leadership of Ezekiel Rogers.

He was admitted a freeman of the town on may 13, 1640. Under the first charter of the Massachusetts Colony, before a member of the community could vote or hold public office he must first be made a freeman by the General Quarterly Court. To become such he was required to produce evidence that he was a respectable member of some Congregational Church and take an Oath of allegiance to the government of the colony.

Maxmillian Jewett

Signatures of Maximilian and Joseph Jewett

Maximilian became a Deacon of the church in Dec. 1639, and served in that capacity for forty-five years. He owned several tracts of land in and around the town of Rowley. Many are recorded in the Rowley Town Records.

Maximilian also had land granted to him in Merrimac in 1658. At that time it was part of Rowley, later it became incorporated into Bradford.

The name of Maximilian Jewett appears often in the town records of Rowley. Some of the entries found there.

Maximilian Jewett was one of the leading men of the town. He served as representative to the General Court in 21 of the 35 years between 1641 and 1676.

He was overseer of the will of Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, signed April 17, 1660, and:

In the year 1665 five years after the death of Mr. Ezekiel Rogers, his relative Ezekiel Rogers the son of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, of Ipswich, brought an action against the widow of his uncle which occasioned the following: The testimony of Maximilian Jewett saith that I heard our Mr. Rogers express himself very mush dissatisfied with the carriage of Ezekiel Rogers, in particularly his familiarity with John Smith, his servant the Scotchman, & that in some times going behind the meeting house, which bred fears & jealousies in his mind. He also objected to him because he had long haire.


Like his father before him, Maximilian Jewett was a clothier. He and his brother Joseph were among the first, if not the first to manufacture woolen cloth in America.

Ann the wife of Maximilian Jewet buried November ye ninth day 1667. He remarried: 'Maximilian Jewit and Ellinor Boynton married August the thirty day 1671.

Maximilian Jewit died October ye Ninetenth day 1684.

An inventory of his estate was prepared by Nehemiah Jewett, John Dresser, and Leonard Harriman in November 1684:

Inventory of his estate).

Fifty-four men founded Rowley, of these forty-one were known to be church members. The church with its burial ground nearby was built on a slight elevation near the centre of town. Land for the burial ground was given to the town by Deacon Maximilian Jewett. Some indication of the place of religion in the lives of these early pioneers may be gained from the fact that weekly lectures were given by the ministers in the meeting house every Thursday in addition to the weekly Sunday services. The laws respecting the Sabbath and religion were strict and attendance at these services was compulsory. Often the meetings were true tasks of the settlers' endurance for not only were the meetings long, but, until 1824, the Rowley meeting house was unheated.

Town meetings were held annually to settle local affairs, select town officers, and to elect delegates to the General Court or legislative assembly of the colony. There was no religious toleration in the colony. The Puritans who left England in search of freedom to worship according to their own views were very intolerant of others. They were convinced that they ware tight and had no intention of tolerating any dissenting opinions. Religious disagreement was cruelly punished and often resulted in banishment from the community; the colony of Rhode Island was founded by such dissenters.

The freemen of Rowley enjoyed an ample measure of self government, however, this is not meant to imply social equality. In an ordinance of 1677, seating in the meeting house was enforced under penalty according to the precedence prescribed by the town's selectmen. First seated were the wealthy, the better educated, those in office, and those connected through birth with the first families. Those of lower standing, yeomen, artisans, tradesmen, and the like were seated next; followed by the servants and poorer people. Lastly Indians and Negroes "whether slaves or free" were seated.

The early settlers of Rowley were not only men with deep religious convictions but also men of reasonable means. when a dispute over the boundaries of the township arose with the neighbouring towns of Ipswich and Newbury the Rowley Company was able to buy the disputed lands for the sum of 800. The Rowley settlers contributed to the fund according to their means or judgement. In return they were proportionally granted allotments in Rowley. Those who contributed nothing were given a one an a half acre house lot and one and a half gates in the common, to a maximum grant of six acres and fifteen gates. (The gate or ox gate was a, measure of land which varied with locality but averaged about fifteen acres.) Besides their house lots pasture and woodland rights in the common the settlers also received planting lots or ploughland.

Before long the citizens of Rowley began to benefit from their determination and drive. A visitor to the town in 1650 described the townsfolk as very industrious in every way. In 1646 the Rev. Rogers writing to a friend in England mentions good returns from fisheries and optimism for development of the fur trade. he also mention activity in lumbering and shipbuilding and the sufficiency of grain produced.

Many of the early settlers in Rowley were Yorkshiremen and like the Jewett brothers were acquainted with the cloth trade. By 1643 the first fulling mill in the American colonies was in operation. Rowley soon became the leader in the production of woolen and cloth goods. A writer of the day speaking of the inhabitants remarked that they caused there little-ones to be very diligent in spinning cotton-wool. A visitor to the town in 1680 records that 103 of the 104 families in the town made cloth in their own homes. Not all the townspeople were solely engaged in the cloth industry. many were also involved in other trades and professions including, blacksmiths, tanners, shoemakers, coopers, tailors, shipwrights, carpenters and masons.

1643 Rowley:Ezekiel Jewett, son of Maximilian and Ann borne the first moneth the fifth day.
He was the eldest son of Deacon Maximilian Jewett.

Ezekiel Jewett was admitted freeman May 15 1669. He succeeded his father as Deacon of the church at Rowley, was ordained Oct. 24, 1686, and served until September 2, 1723. Ezekiel was a representative to the General Court for Rowley for a number of years; 1690, 1692, 1697, 1699, 1707, 1713, 1718, 1719.

In 1667 he had lands laid out for him in Hog Marsh and owned two freeholds in Rowley. The Rowley records of 1670 show:

Dec. 10 1670 land laid out in Merrimack lot 18-To Ezekiel Jewett, laide out to him one hundred forty and five Acres as part of his father Parrats right and part of Richard Thurrells right bounded by John Tenny east, by Mr. Worsters on the south west by the river North west it is twenty pole wide, and at the middle range, twenty and four pole wide, and at the upper end forty seaven pole and a halfe wide, Also there is added a parcell of common land and a meadow at the end of his lot, untill he come to land laide out to John Pallmer runninge upon a street line on the dame line that mr Danforth hath run.

The town records of Rowley for 1677 show a list of landholders in the town and reflect their standing in the community:

Ezekiel Jewett married 26 Feb. 1663/4, Faith Parratt daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Parrat of Rowley. She was born at Rowley 20 January, 1642 and died there 15 October 1715. Her gravestone may be found in the Rowley Cemetery, the inscription reads:


Ezekiel Jewett died 2, September 1723. In his will dated 16, February 1722/3 he mentions my now wife (Elizabeth daughter of Joseph How, of Lynn) ... my son Francis to have my Bradford land; son Thomas my Boxford land. He also mentions sons Maximilian, Stephen, daughters Sarah Baily and Elizabeth Nelson. Ezekiel is buried in the Rowley Cemetry.

1723 IN YE

Thomas Jewett son of Ezekiel & Faith borne September the twentyeth (1666). He married Hannah Swan widow of Richard Swan and daughter of William Story of Ipswich on 18 May 1692. He lived in Rowley until 1703 when he settled on a tract of land near Boxford owned by his father which he inherited in 1723. Thomas was a tithing man of Boxford 1703-4, a fence weaver in 1704-5, he was chosen for grand jury duty in 1706 and was town clerk 1710-1721.

In September 1716 the town agreed hire Thomas Jewett to teach Scoul for writing and arithemetick to the 6 parts of ye Town, ye Town is for to give him forty shillings per month for ye six months, and convient diat and lodgings.

Thomas Jewett died in Boxford 6 May, 1731. His son Ezekiel was born in Rowley 12 January 1692/3, and married Martha Thurston, daughter of Daniel and Mary (Dresser) Thurston at Newbury 9, January 1718. Martha was born 27 November 1699 and died in Boxford in 1780.

Ezekiel came into possession of his father's farm in Boxford where he lived and raised a family of thirteen children (six sons-seven daughters). He also owned other lands including several tracts in Ringe N. H. where some of his children settled. In the history of Winchenrdon Mass. is the entry March 16, 1754 Ezekiel Jewett enters his claim as one of the first settlers. he was active in settling Boxford and his name appears in the town records. Committe for fining town line headed by Ezecal Jueat. The town was enlarged by certain men among them Ezekiel Jewett. He served as a soldier during the French and Indian wars. Ezekiel Jewett died in the fall of 1775.

Thomas Jewett born 20 March 1720 in Boxford was the son of Ezekiel and Martha Jewett. He married 2 Aril 1744 Martha Hale of Groton Mass. They lived in Boxford where he died before his father in 1775. His father in his will mentions the four children of son Thomas deceased.

One of the four children of Thomas Jewett was Daniel born at Boxford in 1744. he with Isaac Stickney, Deacon Jonathan Burpee Jeremiah Burpee, Richard Estey Sr., Richard Estey Jr., Joseph Barker, Jacob Barker, Joseph Lesley and John Pickard (all except Daniel heads of families from Rowley), a number of young men from Boxford, Nehemiah Howard of Reading, Samuel Briges of Marblehead, Capt. Francis Peabody and family and the families of Mr. Smith and Saunders all left Massachusetts in 1763 and settled at Maugerville on the Saint John River in what was then known as Nova Scotia.