Saturday, December 6, 2014

52 Ancestors #48 - Townes Go to Town with Mutliple Births - Susannah Wildes and Benjamin Towne

I was casually researching the descendants of Edmund Towne and ran into multiple births in my husband's line of the Townes. 
Edmund Towne and Mary Browning (Post #47) had twins. One of the twins was Joseph Towne.
Joseph Towne and Amy Smith  
[my husband's 8th gr grandparents]
Joseph's Birth & Background
Joseph Towne was Edmund Towne & Mary Browning’s son (nephew of 3 women tried in Salem Witch Trials see Post #47). Of their 3 sons, Joseph one of them.
But Joseph was born a twin on September 2, 1661.

According to the record his twin sister did not survive:

"Joseph & a daughter of Edmond Towne borne 2 of Sept 1661"
 Joseph Towne's Marriage & Family

On August 10, 1687, Joseph Towne  married Amy Smith whose  first name often phonetically spelled Eamey=Eame=Aemy, and even Ruhama:
from "New England Marriages Prior to 1700"
Amy Smith was born in about 1668. I'm not certain where (with a name like Smith....well..) I don't have a date of death for Amy but, not before 1709 and not after 1756.
Joseph & Amy's Children:
1 Benjamin (husband’s 7th gr-grandfather)
--B. May 10, 1691 Topsfield, Essex, MA
--D. Feb 11, 1772 Topsfield, Essex, MA
2 Nathan Towne (1693 –?)
3 Daniel Towne (1695-1712)
4 Jesse Towne (1695-1754)
5 Nathaniel Towne (1700-?)
6 Joseph (1703-1717)
7 Amy Towne (1704-?)
8 Amos Towne (1709-1747)

Benjamin Towne And Susannah Wildes

[my husband's 7th great grandparents]
Benjamin Towne was married four times.
Though his father and mother Joseph and Amy seemed to have no multiple births, their son Benjamin and his wife certainly did.

Benjamin Towne - His Marriages & His Family
Benjamin's First Marriage 
Benjamin married 1st Catherine [last name unknown] on April 1, 1713 Topsfield, Essex, MA.  
Catherine was probably born November1689 in Topsfield. When she died is not known to me, but likely before 1722 and probably in Topsfield, MA.
No family seems to have resulted. 
Benjamin's Second Marriage
Benjamin married 2nd, Susannah Wildes [Wilde/Wilds] 
Susannah was born October 20,1697 in Topsfield, MA.
(Susannah Wildes may have been daughter of Ephraim Wildes. Ephraim's 2nd wife, Sarah Wildes, was tried and executed as a witch.This was sad, but familiar story for Benjamin Towne, who had 3 great aunts, his father's sisters, also tried as witches. He would have been a toddler when it happened. Likely the nastiness of the trials took decades to dissipate. I suppose New England has its own Hatfields and McCoys.)

Marriage #2. Benjamin and Susannah were married on  April 12, 1722 in Topsfield, MA. 
Their Family
Susannah (my husband’s 7th gr grandmother) and she had 6 pregnancies (that I know of) from those six, she had 9 children! (Remember, but her husband had been a twin).
 Susannah had multiple births—more than once:
* Her sons, Jacob and Joseph (born in 1728) were twins;
* & three sons, Edmund, Elijah and Ezra were triplets.

Susannah Beats the Odds
Susannah beat the “odds” in many ways:
1 Of the (recorded) children she gave birth to 1 girl & 8 boys.
2 She had a set of twins.
3 She also had a set of triplets.
4 The children of multiple births (twins and triplets) were boys; I understand it’s less common to have boys in multiple births.
Unfortunately she didn’t beat the odds when it came to death.
She’d given birth to the triplets the final day of April 30 of 1736 and died only a couple months later in early July (5th) of 1736.
Susannah was 38 years old when she died.

Their children: *yellow signifies multiple births*
1 Benjamin [Jr] (1723 -1784)
2 Ephraim  (1725-1793)
3 Jacob  (1728-1807)
4 Joseph  (1728-1789)

5 Eli  (1731-1800)
6 Susannah  (1733-?)
7 Edmund  (1736-1813)
8 Elijah  (1736-1814)
9 Ezra (1736-1795)

Now what was Benjamin going to do with all those children? I would hope he would have had the help of the elder two children, some in-laws and some hired people. But he finally broke down and remarried.

Benjamin's Third Marriage
His 3rd  wife was Mary Perkins, who he married on May 2 in 1738 also in Topsfield.
Mary was in her mid-40s. 

But Mary pre-deceased Benjamin by 12 years, dying November 6, 1760 at about  61.
When Mary died, the children were grown. But apparently, Benjamin was the marrying kind. 

Benjamin's Fourth Marriage
He married a 4th time, the following spring on April 15 of 1761.
His 4th wife was  Mary Frances Howlet[t] [Clark] who was in her late 50s in Topsfield, MA. She was the widow of Jacob Clark. She may also have been some kind of relative of his 2nd wife.

Benjamin died February 11, 1772 in Topsfield, MA. His fourth wife outlived him by about 10 years. 
"Capt Benjamin Towne Departed this life... 11th 1772 aged 80 years and 9 months"

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