Joseph Porter (1638 - 1714) MP

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Birthplace: Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Danvers, Essex, Massachusetts
Occupation: Tanner; Farmer
Managed by: Thomas Shirley
Last Updated:

About Joseph Porter

"On January 2, 1664/5, he and his father made a contract with Major William Hathorne, as a preliminary to Joseph's marriage with the Major's daughter, Elizabeth, by which Hathorne agreed to give his daughter L50 within two years of her marriage and Sergeant Porter agreed to give his son the Downing farm and half an acre in Salem town on his wedding day and L50 in horses, cattle, hides, cider, corn and money within one year thereof." [from Essex Deeds 3:139]

NOTE: p. 196, same book, has Elizabeth Hathorne m. to Israel, Joseph's brother. I believe Joseph was actually m. to Anna Hathorne, Elizabeth's sister, and in fact later on, as you will note, the narrative on Joseph indicates that ANNA, not ELIZABETH is his wife.

"Joseph Porter was, like his father, a tanner and farmer. The farm was partly in Topsfield and Porter was commonly selected on the committees to perambulate the boundary between that town and Salem. He served on the grand jury in 1677 and was constable in 1688. In 1681 the town of Wenham claimed that part of the Downing farm was within its bounds and seized some of Porter's property for taxes. Salem appointed Lieut. John Putnam and Mr. Israel Porter to take legal action in the matter, and Wenham's claims were defeated. In 1696 Porter bouight additional property in Topsfield, a twenty-acre lot on the souith side of Ipswich river, from widow Sarah Williams.

Porter's house, somewhat altered, is still standing in Danvers. In the graveyard, close at hand, is a rough stone marked A. P. which probably marks the grave of his wife, who predeceased him.

The will of Mr. Joseph Porter, Sr., of Salem, was made July 15, 1713, an dproved January 17, 1714/15. To my son Joseph, all my homestead that I now live upon, my dwelling-houise, barn and housing, together with all the farm known formerly as Mr. Downing's farm, except as hereinafter given. To my son Samuel, the land he now lives upon, together withthe dwelling-house and one hundred acres adjoig the land he lives upon, it being the southerly part of my farm; also ten acres lying in the east corner of my farm. To my son Nathaniel, twenty acres bought of widow Williams of Salem, joining the land of Isaac Estey of Topsfield; also ten acres of meadow. To my son William, twenty acres lying to the west of land William hath already in possession, and ten acres of meadow adjoining the meadow given to my son Samuel. To my four sons, to be equally divided, my indoor movables and wearing apparel. To my son Joseph, a negro boy. To my six daughters Anne, Mary, Abigail, Hepsibah, Ruth and Mehitable, L50 apiece beside what they have had already. Executor: my son Joseph.

(from Essex Probate, 311:215]. The executor died at about the same time as the testator, and Samuel and Nathaniel Porter were appointed administrators cum testamento annexo of their father's estate. In 1719/20 the widow of the executor [ed. note: Mary Bayley Porter, widow of Joseph Porter], having married George Bixby, sued the administrators in the interest of her three Porter children, charging them with extravagance and the retention of exorbitant fees. She apparently won her case as she and her husband appear to have been in charge of the final settlement of the estate.

The homestead farm was valued in the inventory at L900, and a negro boy named Robin, aged about thirteen, at L40. There were three silver cups, one 'with a foot to it' valued at L4, the second 'with 2 handels to it - prity large one' at L3, and the third 'with 2 handels to it - a small cup' at 18s.

Sources

  1. The History of Salem Massachusetts, volume II, 1638-1670 by Sidney Perley. Page: p161

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Joseph Porter's Timeline

1638
September 9, 1638
Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts
September 9, 1638
Hingham, by Rev. Peter Hobart
1664
January 27, 1664
Age 25
Salem, Essex, MA
1665
October 30, 1665
Age 27
Danvers, Mass.
1667
September 5, 1667
Age 28
1669
August 4, 1669
Age 30
1670
March 8, 1670
Age 31
Salem, Essex, MA
1672
December 18, 1672
Age 34
1674
August 30, 1674
Age 35
1676
May 23, 1676
Age 37
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States