437 Linebrook Road, the John, Silas and Allen Perley house (1784)

437 Linebrook Road, the John, Silas and Allen Perley house (1784)

Original parts of the Allen Perley house at 437 Linebrook Rd. in Ipswich are listed by the Massachusetts Historical commission as having been constructed in 1784. The house was constructed at this location before the beginning of the 19th Century, and the first (middle) part of the structure is an older home that was moved from Rowley by John Perley. He and his son Silas expanded it in either direction. Alan Perley was the owner in the late 19th and early Century.

There is an oral history that the house belonged to the Heard family, but I have found no evidence to support that. Real estate listings that date the house to 1748 may refer to the age of the older house that was moved from Rowley.

John and Silas Perley

M. V. B. Perley’s History and Genealogy of the Perley Family published in 1906 indicates that John Perley was the builder of the “Allen Perley house.”

“JOHN PERLEY was born Saturday, 6 Feb., 1768, in the same 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 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), is 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.”


M.V. B. Perley identifies this as the residence of John Perley and his son Silas in his book, published in 1906. Construction of the house at this location dates to about 1800, but the center of the structure is an older house that John Perley moved from Rowley.

Allen Perley

The widow of Allen Perley is shown as the owner in the 1832 Ipswich map. The 1856 map lists A. M. Perley. The 1910 Ipswich map shows the owner as Charles.M. Perley, who operated a dairy from this location.

The Perley Family Genealogy by M.B.V Perley indicates that Allen Perley, for whom the house is named, was a direct descendant of Allen Perley the emigrant ancestor of the Perley family in America. Born in Wales, England in 1608, he came to this country at the age of twenty-two years, in the fleet with Governor Winthrop. He married Susanna Bokensen. Their home was on High Street in Ipswich, at the location of the Nathaniel Lord house. Over the years, a large area of land along Linebrook Road became the family estate.

M.V.B Perley continues with a later generation of Allen Perleys.

“Allen Perley 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. … He lived on the parental estate, till about the time of his marriage, when he became owner of the house, hitherto his brother-in-law, Samuel Perley’s. He became a farmer of means and importance. 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. He died Oct. 14, 1804. His widow had half of the homestead during her life. His son Allen had an adjoining farm that was bought of Joseph Fisk.

“Allen Perley (the son) was born on the site of the cellar, 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.”

Martin Van Buren (M.V.B) Perley, 437 Linebrook Rd.

Martin Van Buren Perley

Martin Van Buren Perley

Martin Van Buren Perley (1835 -1926) was born in Ipswich,  son of Silas and Elizabeth Perley of Linebrook Parish, 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).


View from the rear, 439 Linebrook Rd.

View more photos


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.