I have decided to occasionally write about ancestors where I don't have an exact birthdate. Today I want to feature one of my 8th great-grandfathers, Joseph Jewett. Tomorrow (1 Jun 2017) is his wife's birthday so I plan to write about her then.
Much of the information I have about Joseph Jewett comes from the book, Early Settlers of Rowley Massachusetts, by George Brainard Blodgette and Amos Everett Jewett which was published by Picton Press in Camden, Maine in 1997, a third printing of the book originally published in 1933. It is a book I enjoy looking through as I had ancestors living there for almost a hundred years, and relatives for many years after that. Of course there is also a section about Joseph in the Jewett Genealogy, Volume 1, pages 24-27, copyright 1908. Now that I have downloaded to my computer a copy of that book, which would now be in the public domain, I can easily check its contents also.
So I did that. To my surprise I find that Frederick Clarke Jewett, who wrote the genealogy has assigned a birthdate to Joseph. He states that Joseph was born 1 Feb 1654. However in checking the published birth records for Rowley, I find a Joseph born 1 Feb 1656, the son of Joseph and Ann. The month and day are the same, but the year is different and my Joseph was not the son of Joseph and Ann, but he was the son of Maximilian and Ann. Maximilian and the older Joseph were the immigrants, sons of Edward and Mary (Taylor) Jewett of Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. The published Rowley records do not include a birth record for Joseph, the son of Maximilian, so I will leave his birthdate as about 1655.
Both publications call my Joseph, Ensign Joseph Jewett. It is recorded that he was a soldier in King Philip's War 1675-6 and received a small pension and a land grant. This War is not well known as it was a hundred years before the American Revolution. History Bits calls it "the most devastating war in American history as measured by deaths in proportion to the population of the combatants." The English settlers and allies from the Mohegan Indians battled against the Wampanoag, Narragansett, Nipmuc and other native people. After many deaths and devastation, the English had control of New England.
Apparently after the War, on 2 Mar 1676/77 Joseph married Rebecca Law. Joseph and Rebecca had 4 children who all lived to adulthood and were married and had children. Joseph became a widower when his wife died in Dec 1729. Joseph remarried in Bradford, a neighboring town, 20 Jan 1731/32 to Mary who was the widow of Nathaniel Gage and before that the widow of Thomas Green. They were married over 3 years before Joseph died 29 Oct 1735. His grandson, the Rev. Jedidiah Jewett noted that he died "in the 81 year of his age."