Plaque on Water St,. Ipswich MA in memory of Daniel HoveyHistory

The Life of Daniel Hovey

At the foot of Hovey Street on Water Street along the Ipswich River is a plaque dedicated to the memory of Daniel Hovey, placed there by his descendants. The original wharf on the river in Ipswich was Hovey’s Wharf at this approximate location. Daniel Hovey was born in 1618 in Waltham Abbey, Essex Co., England. He came to Ipswich and died in 1692.

Hovey married Abigail Andrews, born about 1618 in Norwich, Norfolkshire, England. She died in 1665. Hovey served as a surveyor of highways in 1648 – 50, was constable in 1658, and was chosen as a selectman in 1659. In 1656 he was one of a committee to set up a saw mill on the Chebacco river in what is now Essex.

In 1637 the town of Ipswich granted Daniel Hovey six acres of land on Muddy creek plus a one acre house lot on the South side of the Town River on what is now called Tansey Lane (a continuation of Turkey Shore Road). In 1639 two lots were conveyed by William Holdred to “Daniel Hovey of Ipswich, planter,” and, also, one dwelling house built on the house lot and all the fencing belonging to both lots. This was Daniel Hovey’s first known home.

The town granted Hovey right to build a “highway” to go to his lot in 1650 and two years later gave him liberty to build his fence down to the river “at his ground which he bought of William Knowlton.” A 1659 town meeting granted him liberty to build a wharf and building on this same ground.

Daniel Hovey House, Turkey Shore Ipswich MA

In the Ipswich Antiquarian Papers is a drawing by Everett S. Hubbard of Daniel Hovey’s house built in 1668, described as a “very ancient dwelling and wharf at the northerly end of Turkey Shore” built and owned by Daniel Hovey, the ancestor of the Ipswich Hovey.” Note the asymmetrical layout, very typical of first period homes, in which one side was built first and the house was expanded over the generations. This house burned down in 1894.

The illustration of the house above is by Edwin Whitefield in 1888. Whitefield lived in Boston and Reading, MA and published five volumes of The Homes of Our Forefathers, which showed early houses of New England. The symmetrical layout with the river cove and hill in the background suggest that his subject was actually the John Kendrick house at 3 Hovey Street which was built in 1665, expanded in 1702.

The Hovey Book: The English Ancestry And American Descendants Of Daniel Hovey Of Ipswich, Massachusetts

In May, 1668, Daniel Hovey and two of his sons James and Thomas joined a group who had departed from Ipswich to Quaboag in western Massachusetts (later named Brookfield). They received lots of land laid out to the father and sons adjoined. Daniel Hovey had relocated to Hadley before the 1675 massacre of settlers in Brookfield during King Philip’s War. He also suffered from assaults by the Indians and returned to Ipswich by 1678. In his will he bequeathed his lands in Brookfield to son Joseph. His farm in Topsfield was continued by son John. His (second?) wife Ester was given one room and all of the goods in the house, plus the cows.

William J. Barton wrote,

William J. Barton identified this as the historic location of Hovey’s Wharf. Across the river is Brown’s Wharf on Water St., and to it’s right is the York-Averill house, still standing.



Daniel Hovey house, photo by Arthur Wesley Dow, circa 1900

Daniel Hovey's house on Tansey Lane

Daniel Hovey’s house on Tansy Lane

Hovey house Tansy Lane

The Hovey house on Tansey Lane burned in 1894.

The photo above is of the rear of the house as it looked just before it burned in 1894. At this point the chimney had been removed and the old house was being used as a barn. The house on the left appears to be the 1725 Stephen Boardman house at the corner of Turkey Shore Road and Labor in Vain road. Behind it is the Isaac Foss house, a Gothic Revival home built in 1850. The first house on Labor in Vain Road (McMahon) would be just out of the photo on the left near the fence at the intersection visible in this picture. Today the two houses on the river side of Tansey Lane are in the approximate location of the old Hovey house.

The Will of DANIEL HOVEY, 1691-1692 

I, Daniel Hovey, Senr of Ipswich, considering the changes of man Doe Desygne by the helpe of the Lord to settle my concernes as may be for the glory of god and the good of my family. My soul I desyre to resigne amt commit into the hands of my Loving father in Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of my righteousness. My body to lie decently buried in earth in hope of a glorious and blessed resurrection by Christ. Amen.

Item. The estate which God of his grace hath given me, I have disposed of as followeth: To my oldest sons Daniel and John Hovey and my daughter Agnes, I have given them their portions of that estate I had to our mutual concent. The one at Ipswich, the other at Topsfield, now in their possession, Abigail paid by my son John to my son Ayers.

Item, to my son Thomas and James his son Daniel, I give all that my yland called Hovey’s yland which with the thatch banks and low marsh belonging to me on the other side of the creek which I allowed Quarter Master Perkins to improve, holding my possession till I had occasion for the same. Also all the houses and Land in Ipswich that I shall not dispose of before death.

Item. I give to my sons Joseph and Nathaniel Hovey one hundred rods of ground apiece. Joseph bounded next to Mr. Emerson’s land from the highway to that land Daniel Ringe. Nathaniel one hundred rods of my land next to my son Daniel with the dwelling house, barn, part of the orchard to butt on Daniel Ringe, half planting lot, about three acres, with a way to it over the bridge I made to go to it. Three acres at Plumb Island also, which lands I leave in the hands of my executor and over-seers that is left after my death to be disposed of as follows: The children of Joseph Hovey to have an equal proportion of what is left after my death as to their father legatee. The children of my son Nathaniel to have an equal proportion among them, only Nathaniel Hovey the son of Nathaniel Hovey to have a double proportion if he live to the age of one and twenty. If not, then to be divided amongst the other children of that family.

Item. My movables to my son Nathaniel, those sheep he hath of mine, to his children; my cart and plow, irons, chains, great tramell, great brass Kettle, iron Kettle, little iron pot, my pewter porringer and drinking cup, with one chamber pot, my wife’s wearing apparel to Nathaniel Children.

The other to Joseph his brother’s children: all my wearing cloaths, my great brass pot and pewter quart pot, and my great Bible and books as follows: Come to Christ and Welcome, Cotton on the Covenant, Mather’s seven sermons, to Nathaniel Children.

To Daniel, grandchild those sheep with which ———- and books also, Christian Warfare, Calvin on Job, Ten Divines, The Golden Scepter, with what other books undisposed of by me of mine and such tools for his trade as a suitable of mine.

To Abigail Hodgkins wife of Thomas Hodgkins the brass pan and pewter salt seller; my part of the mare and colt to grandchild Daniel and Ivory.

Item. My interest of Brookfield and Swampfield I give to my son Joseph and Nathaniel children.

Item. I make my son Thomas Executor and would have his Nephew (Daniel) in case he lives to age of capable to join in the same with him–and he pay out of his part to his brother James and sister Pricilla and John Ayers ten pounds apiece within three years after his possession, and in case of his death I put James Hovey in his room and let them four equally divide his part.

My bed, bolster and pillow with my green rug, a pair of blankets with the bed stead to Daniel grandchild.

I would have my son John at Topsfield to take his possession with his books.

I would appoint my loving sons Daniel Hovey and John Hovey to be my overseers of this my last will and see to discharge my funeral charges which I allow four pounds estate and to take and inventory of my estate and to discharge all of my debts and make probate of my will and see his nephews have their equal proportion, Joseph and Nathaniel children who have lately deceased for which I allow my overseers three pounds apiece for their care and trouble.

This is my will as witness my hande and seale:
Aged 73, and going into my 74, this 21 of March 1691-2.

Proved Oct. 3, 1692.


Categories: History, People

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