The house at 437 Linebrook Rd. assumed its present form in three stages. The right (east) side of the main house was originally a traditional five bay center chimney house, and is traditionally said to have been constructed by wealthy land-owner Allen Perley in 1784 about the time of his marriage. The left (west) side three bay addition was constructed circa 1840-50, which added a second front entry. On the far right is a smaller single story wing that was constructed later. The house displays updated Greek Revival and Colonial revival finishes, but original architectural elements still remain in the fireplace mantels and moldings.
The two fireplace foundations help indicate the date of construction. The east (right) side firplace is supported with a brick arch, which are frequently found in the 18th Century. The west chimney is supported by brick piers and horizontal timbers, a later form of support. To the west of the house is a ceramic tile silo, a reminder of the previous agricultural use of the farm. The house sits across Linebrook Rd. from the homestead of early settler Allan Perley.
The historic Allan Perley homestead
The information below is from History and Genealogy of the Perley Family by historian M.V.B Perley, written in 1906, and the report written by Ann Grady for the Massasssachusetts Historical Commissions MACRIS inventory.
Allan Perley, the emigrant ancestor ol the Perley Family in America, was born in Wales, England, in the first quarter of the year 1608, and died in Ipswich, Massachusetts, 28 Dec, 1675. He married, in the year 1635, Susanna Bokesen, or Bokenson, who died in Ipswich, 11 Feb., 1692, after a widowhood of sixteen years. Mr. Perley came to this country, at the age of twenty-two years, in the fleet with Governor Winthrop, and located in “Charlestowne Village.” He relocated in Ipswich, on High Street. He resided there about seventeen years, selling, 3 Sept., 1652, for £21, his “dwelling house and homestead” to Walter Roper, carpenter, of Topsfield.
Mr. Perley was a large land-holder, with possessions in Ipswich, Essex, Rowley and Boxford. In 1651, there was “granted to Alen Perlye (in exchange for thirty acres more or less at Chebacco) the sum of forty-five acres of upland lying beyond Mr. Winthrop’s farme, Joyneing up to some of the properties thereabouts.” M.V.B. Perley states that the site of the home of the earliest Linebrook settler, Allan Perley, was across from 437 Linebrook. The area was known early as “The Ipswich Farms”, or “The Farms,” a delineation that continued until the incorporation of Linebrook Parish. Allan Perley died on 28 December 1675 at Linebrook Parish, Ipswich, Essex, MA, USA, at age 67.
“Samuel Perley was born in Linebrook Parish, Ipswich, 11 March, 1712-8, died there, in the prime of life, 10 April, 1753. He was a lad of twelve years when his father died, and 28 July, 1725, his mother was appointed his guardian. He married (published 10 Jan., 1740-1) Ruth How, who was born to Abraham and Hephzibah- Andrew How of his native parish, 19 April, 1722. He was admitted to the Linebrook church 28 June, 1754. His dwelling, built by his grandfather, stood on the knoll, where the cellar is still visible, just east of Howe brook, in Linebrook. Mr. Perley, “being very sick.” made his will three days before his death, 14 May, 1758. The Perley children: Samuel, John, Nathaniel, Ruth, Abraham, Martha.
Stephen Perley (1684-1728)
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen Perley)
“Stephen Perley was born on the immigrant-ancestral estate in Ipswich, 15 June, 1684, and died there 4 Sept., 1725. He married 11 March, 1715, (published 19 Feb., 1715), his cousin Hannah Coker, who was born 10 March, 1682-3, and was living in 1727, but probably died the year following. Mr. Perley’s home had been the home of his father and grandfather, our first American ancestor. He was a husbandman, and was diligent in the retired pursuit of his lordly occupation. So far removed from the public business of the town, he seldom, if ever, participated in its official duties. Besides his ample homestead, he occupied land in Boxford, that had been his father’s. He died intestate, but no probate inventory of his estate was made till 27 Feb., 1728-9. His mother and his cousin, Thomas Perley, were appointed administrators 5 Nov., 1728. The Perley children : Deborah, Allen, and Sarah. Jeremiah Perley was appointed guardian of Allen and Sarah, 26 July, 1736, when they were over fourteen years of age.”
Allen Perley (1718-1804) The presumed builder of this house
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen Perley).
“Allen Perley (1718 – 1804) was born on the immigrant ancestral estate, “Ipswich Farms,” Friday, 9 May, 1718. In his fortieth year, 10 Nov., 1757, he married Martha Fowler, who was then 19 years old, having been born to John and Mercy-How Fowler of the same place. Mr. Perley lived on the parental estate, when he became owner of the house, hitherto his brother-in-law, Samuel Perley’s. That house was built by the first Samuel, located on a site near the residence of the late Silas Perley; was in 1767, removed across the brook there, and sold by Allen Perley in 1784 to Capt. Abraham How, (which is presumed to be when he\Allen Perley built the house at 437 Linebrook), who occupied it, till he was succeeded by his son Abel Howe, who reared there a large and interesting family of children, and with the land adjoining was sold, 24 February, 1870 to M. V. B. Perley, who razed it and opened the land to other land contiguous. (*The estate of the widow of Silas Perley, Elizabeth, divided the estate in portions, 1870-1873, selling a portion to M.V.B. Perley.)
He (Allen Perley) returned to his early home, upon the sale to Capt. How, and became a farmer of means and importance. He, as did his father and grandfather, attended church at Topsfield and thus was much more identified with the Topsfield than with the Ipswich history, being from the former center two miles, and six from the latter. He was a member of Capt. Abraham How’s company that marched toward the scene of conflict, on that truly historic day at Concord and Lexington, proceeding twelve miles and drawing pay for a day’s service. Their children: Martha, Deborah, Hannah, John, Allen, Stephen, Jacob, Sarah.
His widow had the improvement of the east end of the house (See 1832 map), the west half of the barn, half of the homestead and half of the salt marsh, during her life; and also half of his livestock, and all his provisions in the house or growing in the field, all his furniture and money he had at his decease. His son Allen had an adjoining farm that was bought of Joseph Fisk.” (See 1832 Ipswich map).
Allen Perley (2) 1763-1843
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-Allen Perley)
“Allen Perley was born on the site of the cellar, page 48, Friday, 13 May, 1763. His home was the farm just north of and around the old cemetery, about a mile east of his birthplace. The farm was originally a Fisk place. In recent years it has been owned successively by Clapp, Day and Woodward. It is now (1904) occupied by Adam G. Lauer. Mr. Perley was a diligent farmer, and for those times a successful one. In Nov., 1788, he married Esther Burpee of Rowley. The records of their deaths are in the Linebrook Cemetery: Perley children : Allen, Joseph Burpee, Abraham, Daniel Jewett, Eliza.”
The John Perley (1768 – 1858) and Silas Perley house
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-John-Perley)
“John Perley (the son of Allen Perley 1718 – 1804) was born Saturday, 6 Feb., 1768, in the same house (*the Samuel Perley house) the other children were, but after it was removed across the brook to a point opposite the residence of Abel Spofford Howe.
“Upon his marriage (to Mehitable Dennils of Rowley, int. Nov. 27, 1798). he purchased a house located in Rowley, a little distance north of the first site of the Linebrook meeting house or Rev. George Lesslie’s estate, and removed it over frozen meadows to its present location, just east of his birthplace. He doubled the size of it by building to the west end. His son Silas added as much more to the east end, upon his marriage, and entered upon the cultivation of the farm, occupying the part of the house he built and two rooms which were relinquished by his father.
“The middle portion of this house, which is pictured above, (was) among the few oldest houses in the town. The farm proper contained about seventy-five acres, but Mr. Perley’s possessions were much greater, and, too, were much greater than appears by the probate inventory of his estate, he having settled estates upon some of his children before his death.
“In his old age John Perley occasionally spoke of ”going after old Shays,” referring to his enlistment in January, 1787, for thirty days, for the suppression of Shays’ Rebellion. A notice of his death in the Salem Gazette said: “Mr. Perley listened to the booming cannon on Bunker Hill in 1775 with trembling anxiety for the vanquishing of the British; and was afterwards active to overcome that rebellious people led on by Shays. He devoted his after life to agriculture, and was ever opposed to every form of oppression.
“Mr. Perley’s first wife was Mehitable Dwinnells, born in Topsfield 3 April, 1775 to Jacob and Joanna-Rhoads-Clark Dwinnells of Rowley, and married 2 Jan., 1799. This lady was mother of all his children. She had a good mind, was agreeably social and a provident housewife. One Saturday evening, she disappeared, and the family were unable to find her till the next morning, when by diligent search she was discovered in the brook, to which she had gone to fetch a pail of water. Whether she was drowned by accident or heart failure is not known. The latter cause prevailed among her relatives.
“His second wife was Susannah Pearson, married 6 July, 1841. She was born in 1795, in Byfield Parish it is thought, to David and Lydia-Welch Pearson, afterwards of Canaan, NH. After the death of her husband she went to live with her brother Dea. Moses Pearson, in Coventy Vt., where she died 27 July, 1865. She was a good, kind, charitable, sterling Christian, whose life, as the writer (Martin Van Buren Perley) knew it, is one of his most cherished memories.”
Silas Perley (1800-1861)
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-John-Silas Perley)
“Silas Perley was born 24 Oct., 1800, in Ipswich-Linebrook, in the house now standing at the junction of the roads next west of the old cemetery, and pictured on page 166. He was a strong-built muscular man. He was a peer of the best in the pastimes of his dav, in wrestling and other athletic sports, and could swing the emblem of ”ruthless time’ through the heaviest grass with equal skill and ease, or lift weight. He was a man of versatile talent, of varied business ability and excellent judgment and could conduct with success any yeoman enterprise. As a farmer, he dug profit from sterile soil and employed his winters in timbering, furnishing large quantities of material for the shipyards of Essex. He built some six or eight gondolas for boating salt hay or grass on Rowley river. He had three afloat at one time. These flat-bottomed boats, of fifteen to twenty-five tons, were constructed on the triangle between the roads in front of his residence, and were drawn by eight to a dozen yoke of oxen to the Warehouse landing in Rowley. In middle life he was butcher and boot and shoe manufacturer. He was a Democrat in warp and woof, and woe to the man who assailed the doctrine. His political faith was in Jefferson and Jackson, and was a member of a company of cavalry in the Second Brigade and Second Division of the State troops. This troop of horse was called “The Washington Huzzas.” His ensign, epaulettes and spurs are a treasure of his son. He went boating 28 Aug., 1861, as he had been hundreds of times before. In “towing up,” he must cross a creek, and clad as he was with heavy overcoat and heavy marsh boots, he thought better, no doubt, to go above and cross in shallow water, than to attempt to swim; so throwing the tow rope to one who had already swam the fast making tide, he sought to cross above. Strange enough he chose the only fatal spot within rods of that one. He walked into a gully, became entangled in eel-grass and perished. Mr. Perley married, Rev. Moses Welch of the local church officiating, 11 April, 1832, his cousin Elizabeth Perley, born 19 April, 1798. Perley children : Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren Perley.
Jacob Perley (1791-1854)
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-Jacob Perley)
M. V. B. Perley wrote that Jacob Perley ( (b. 1791, d. 1854), the son of Allen and brother of John, was granted the entire stretch of land on the southeast side from the brook to the cemetery, opposite 437 Linebrook.
“Jacob Perley was born on the site opposite A. S. Howe’s residence, Linebrook Parish, Ipswich, Friday, 12 Aug., 1776. His father’s home was his by inheritance. He was a very extensive land owner, controlling, at one time, by deed or mortgage, all on the southeast side of the road from Galloup’s brook in Topsfield to the old cemetery in Linebrook. Upon a division of it at his death, the homestead fell to the youngest son, Augustus M. This is the farm of the emigrant referred to on page 4 as the grant of 3 July, 1651.”
Augustus Monroe Perley
(Lineal Descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-Jacob-Augustus Monroe Perley)
“Augustus Monroe Perley was born 30 Dec, 1816, on the immigrant-ancestral farm in Linebrook. In the settlement of his father’s estate the farm became his. He married 10 Nov., 1846, Miss Almira Johnson of Newburyport, born 16 March, 1819. She is an excellent woman; she was a good wife and mother; she made her home cheerful and happy. For helpful hospitality and kindness of heart, among a thousand, she is to be commended. She lives with her daughter in Haverhill. Mr. Perley died in West Newbury, 21 April, 1891. The Salem Observer recorded his death in these words:
“After three days illness, Augustus Monroe Perlev died at the age of seventy-four years, three months, twentv- two days, having been born Dec. 30, 1816. His nativity was the old Perley farm continuously from 1651, situated in Linebrook Parish, Ipswich. Mr. Perley was a practical farmer, and coming into possession of the parental estate made it one of the best around, giving it his earliest and ripest manhood. Selling that, he bought the Cummings farm in Boxford, which he greatly improved, and sold at a handsome advance. He then bought in Hampstead, N. H., a farm which grew in worth from year to year, till in turn he sold that, and bought the Dr. Warren estate in West Newbury, his late home.”
Joseph Burpee Perley and Charles Melville Perley
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-Allen-Joseph B.-Charles Melville Perley)
“Joseph Burpee Perley was born in Ipswich-Linebrook 28 Sept., 1791. He built his home near the new cemetery, lately the property of Ezekiel P. Potter, and destroyed by fire 29 Dec, 1886. Upon the sale to Potter, he occupied his parental farm. Later he purchased for his son Charles M. the ancestral estate of the Perley family, which, except a few years, has been in the Perley name since 8 July, 1651, when it was granted Allan-1.
He was a farmer, a man who never overworked and was never idle. He married 11 Sept., 1887, Hannah Pearson Tappan, a lady of culture, born 22 Feb., 1809, to Capt. Sewell and Hannah Tappan of Newburyport. She died of consumption 26 July, 1870, at the age of sixty-one years, and was buried in Newburyport. He died 10 March, 1885, aged ninetv-three years, five months and ten days. Perley children: Elizabeth Green, Hannah Sewell, Louis Richmond, Charles Melville, Laura Annette, Louis Richmond.”
Anne Grady wrote about the Charles M. Perley farm: “Noted even in the 18th century for its fruit trees, the farm under C.M. Perley became known in the late 19th century for its milk production. C.M. Perley operated an extensive milk route in Ipswich. The current buildings are across Linebrook Rd. from the site of the first Perley house in Linebrook.”
The author, Martin Van Buren (M.V.B) Perley
(Lineal descent: Allan-Timothy-Stephen-Allen-John-Silas-Martin Van Buren Perley)
Martin Van Buren Perley (1835 -1926) was the son of Silas and Elizabeth Perley of Linebrook Parish, grandson of John Perley, and a descendant of Allan Perley, who immigrated to America from Wales in 1630. He was a contemporary and relative of Sidney Perley (1858-1928) of Boxford, lawyer and prolific genealogist and historian. M. V. B. Perley graduated from Topsfield Academy and received a degree from Dartmouth College. He became the editor and publisher of the Gloucester “Telegram,” was editor of the Gloucester “Chronicle,” editor of the Ipswich Chronicle, was a correspondent for the Boston “Globe,” was a publisher of directories and farmer’s almanacs, and published the “Essex County Historical and Genealogical Register.” He was the author of “History and Genealogy of the Perley Family” (1906), A Pen-Ramble in Linebrook” and A short history of the Salem village witchcraft trials” (1911).
- The Perley Family Genealogy by M.B.V Perley
- 1983 report by Ann Grady for the Ipswich Historical Commission IPS 281 MACRIS
- Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter
- 1832 Ipswich map
- 1856 Ipswich map
- 1872 Ipswich map
- 1884 Ipswich map
- 1910 Ipswich map
- Salem Deeds Book 175, page 247: Twenty acres of swamp and meadow primarily in Boxford from Allen Perley to his son John Perley, April 1798. (This is the only deed that can be found from Allen Perley to John Perley)
- Salem Deeds, Book 282, page 106: John Perley deed to Silas Perley half of his lands and half of his buildings thereon, February 20, 1832.
- Salem Deeds Book 697, page 136: M.V.B. Perley to Elizabeth Perley, several Parcels, February 1866, including 48 acres that was part of the “75 acre Silas Perley farm being sold together with the house lot and tillage land.”
- Salem Deeds, Book 798, pages 60, 61, 62: Elizabeth Perley (widow of Silas) sale of “Silas Perley Farm” to T. Day of East Boston, 75 acres “running northeast to the land of Joseph Perley.” (See 1856 map) In the following deed, the mortgage from from T. D. Day is cancelled for receipt of $2000, and the “Silas Perley Farm” is returned to Elizabeth Perley.
- Salem Deeds, Book 597, Page 41: Estate of John Perley, three parcels and grassland to William F. Conant. Nov. 5, 1859.
- Salem Deeds Book 1835 Page 103 Charles M. Perley, sale of 6 acre parcel without buildings to Connolly, 1906. (Parcel formerly owned by Clarence Howe).
- Allen Perley 1718 – 1804, father of John Perley, grandfather of Silas Perley
- Martin Van Buren Perley 1835–1926 (parents: Silas and Elizabeth Perley)
- Findagrave: Silas Perley 1800–1861 (parents: John and Mehetable Perley)
- Findagrave: John Perley 1768 – 1858 (parents: Allen and Martha Fowler Perley)
- Findagrave: Allen Perley 1718–1804 (parents: Stephen and Hannah Perley)
- Allen Perley, 1768 – 1843, father of Jacob Perley., who was the father of Augustus Monroe Perley. The name A. M. Perley is shown for this house in the 1856 map.
- The Agawam manual and directory: a directory of the Agawam district : first part, Ipswich, Rowley, and Hamilton, 1888 – Perley, M. V. B (re: Samuel Conant)
- Directory of the Town of Ipswich, H. C. Waite, 1896
- Perley Manuscript 4 Sale Abe Books July 18 2020
- Perley Farms Final Research Notes Tammy Goss July 18 2020
- Perley Farms Final Research Notes Tammy Goss July 18 2020
- Allen Perley Farm dated Owners Lists Tammy Goss July 18 2020