Two brothers, Moses and Aaron Pengry both resided in Ipswich by 1641, and were active in town affairs. The surnames of their descendants are alternatively spelled Pingree, Pengre, Pengrey, Pengry, Pingre, Pingrey, Pingry.
In 1648, Aaron Pengry was a subscriber to Major Denison’s salary. Denison was the town’s military leader, a member of the select men, and deputy to the General Court from Ipswich. In 1654, Aaron Pengry owned a house lot on High St. near Lord Square, near John Brewer and Mark Quilter. On Aug. 10, 1662, he bought of John and Sarah Gage of Rowley, some marsh land near said Quilter’s which was said to be in the vicinity of Ipswich Village, the area of town abutting Rowley. On May 81, 1671, Aaron Pengry husbandman, bough a dwelling house and acre at the northwest part of Ipswich. He married Jennet, widow of Robert Starkweather, who died in 1674. She was born about 1622, and survived both husbands.
Aaron Pengry made his will May 4, 1684, which was probated, Nov. 17, 1696. He apparently had no children, and names sons of his brother Moses as executors: Moses, Aaron and John. His wife, Jenet, survived him: “To my beloved wife I give and bequeath the movable estate I received with her when I married to her to be at her dispose during her natural life and at her death; Also I give her all my estate for her use and benefit while she liveth… fifty shillings unto her son John Starkweather; forty shillings to Sarah Branscomb.” The Ipswich descendants of Moses Pengry lived primarily in Rowley and the Ipswich Village area. Long before the corner of Mile Lane and High Street became famous for the Clam Box, it was known as Pingrey’s Plain and was where the wicked were hung.
Moses Pengry was recipient in a deed of real estate in 1641. He married Abigail daughter of Robert Clement, who is said to have come from London to Haverhill, Mass., as early as 1642 with his children. In Robert Clement’s will he names Moses Pingree, husband of his daughter Abigail. In 1641, Moses Pengry was in the list of commoners, and in 1648, he subscribed three shillings toward Major Daniel Denison’s salary. In 1650 Moses Pengry received a grant of land 40 acres beyond Mr. Hubbard’s farm near the Wenham line. In 1653, Moses Pengry pastured two cows on the north side of the river. In 1654 he was one of the selectmen. In 1656 Deacon Pengry was assessed by the selectmen 4 pounds 5s as a spinner. In 1659 Moses Pengry has liberty to fell two white oaks. I
In 1652, it was “Granted to Moses Pengry a parcel of land by the warehouse below Obadiah Wood‘s fence, to set up his salt pans and works and fence in his woods; also liberty to fell wood out of the swamp near the town for his use. The manufacture of salt by the evaporation of sea water is an ancient industry. Deacon Moses Pengry kept fires burning under large boilers day and night, and the water was gradually evaporated, leaving a residuum of pure salt. These primitive salt works were by the river side, near the Town landing. A part of his house is believed to be still standing, although unrecognizable from its early form.
Moses Pengry was selectman and often in town business, was Deputy to the General Court in 1665, and was deacon in the first church. Moses Pengry died in 1696, aged 86. His wife Lydia died January 16th, 1676. Among the soldiers fighting in King Philip’s War are four members of the Pengry family: John Pengry, Aaron Pengry, John Pengry, and Moses Pengry.
Corporal John Andrews, taverner repeatedly violating his license agreement. The Court in Salem in June, 1658 determined that it “thought meet to license Corporal Andrews to keepe an ordinary for the entertainment of strangers only till the next Court at Ipswich, and not longer, provided that the Inhabitants do at the said Court present some meet person to keepe an ordinary that the Court shall approve off.” Deacon Moses Pengry, who had signed the complaint against Andrews, was instructed to prepare himself to open an ordinary. Andrews was so angry about the verdict that he went on a rage and tore down the door of the home of chief marshall Edward Brown, the gate at Lt. Samuel Appleton’s yard, and Moses Pengry’s sign. Moses Pengry obtained a liquor license and opened his ordinary in the same year.
Joseph Jewett, one of the most prominent men of Rowley, bought lots in 1656, near the Egypt River, together with 16 acres of land that lies within the common fence. On that property, a house was then occupied by Aaron Pengry, son of Deacon Moses Pengry, the salt maker.
In 1659, the records read, “John Perkins, Moses Pengry and Searg’t Clarke apoynted a committy to treat with Newbury and Rowley about Plumb Island.“ In 1644 when the division into lots was made at Plum Island, John Pengry, continued his purchases of lots at Middle Island. John Pengry and Faith Jewett were married on May 20, 1678. He had been enrolled as a soldier in King Philip’s war in 1675, and was chosen a member of the “Jury for Tryalls,” for the trial of the last of the unfortunates who were charged with witchcraft. Three were found guilty and sentenced to death.
Sources and further reading:
- A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Moses Pengry, of Ipswich, Mass by William Morrill Pingry · 1881
- Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Massachusetts, by Abraham Hammatt.
- Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Thomas Franklin Waters Volume I and Volume II online at Archive.org
- Publications of the Rowley Historical Society (Volume 1)
- The history of Rowley, anciently including Bradford, Boxford, and Georgetown, from the year 1639 to the present time – Gage, Thomas
- The early records of the town of Rowley, Massachusetts, 1639-1672 : being volume 1 of the printed records of the town
- Ipswich village and the old Rowley road – Waters, Thomas Franklin, 1851-1919
- Copy of the record of deaths of the First Church in Rowley, Mass. – Blodgette, George B. (George Brainard)
- Vital Records of Ipswich
- Vital Records of Rowley
- A Brief Genealogical History of Robert Starkweather of Roxbury and Ipswich, Massachusetts Who Was the Original American Ancestor of All Those Bearing the Name of Starkweather and of His Son John Starkweather of Ipswich, Mass. and Preston, Conn. and of His Descendants in Various Lines, 1640-1898. Starkweather, Carlton Lee, M. D..