The Wainwright Family of Essex County Massachusetts

Generations 1-4
Generations 5-7

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The Lurvey, Elwell, Dutch, Vinson, Bennet, Somes, and Holland Families

Last Updated 02 November, 2006


homas Wainwright married Lydia Lurvey in April of 1790. The Lurveys were later settlers to Essex County who, nevertheless, intermarried with the first families of Gloucester.  Later branches of the family would find their way into northern New England,  upstate New York and points west.  It is likely that all people in the US with the name of Lurvey descend from this family.

Peter Lurvy, the immigrant ancestor, had already arrived in Ipswich by 1679. William Monroe Newton, in his "History of Barnard Vermont quotes Dr. W.A. Dewey who assisted him in compiling his book:

"The name Lurvey is a good transliteration of the German, which is a common name among German Jews. There is a tradition in the Lurvey family that the first Lurvey who immigrated to Massachusetts in the 17th century [Peter Lurvey] was of Jewish descent, and came from Archangel in Russia. It is noticeable that many of the Lurveys have Old Testament names such as Reuben, Levi, Samuel, Issac, and Jacob, and that their noses tend to be aquiline."

Peter and his wife Mary had two sons, Peter, and Eliezer; and one daughter, Mary.  Eliezer 's family settled in Haverhill, Bradford, and eventually Vermont, while Mary married John Stockwell and remained in Ipswich. 

Peter's son Peter moved to Gloucester around 1710 settling in the fourth parish at what is now Lanesville. He married Love Parsons of Ipswich in 1702, a very young lady who died in 1708, shortly after the birth of their daughter Sarah. In 1710 Peter married Rachell Elwell and had seven children, five of whom married in the area.

Rachell Elwell came from one of the earliest families in Gloucester. Her grandfather Robert Elwell owned land in Dorchester as early as early as 1634.  He later removed to Gloucester where he purchased the parcel of land we now know as Stage Fort Point.  He resided on Eastern Point.  By his wife Joanne, Robert had eleven children, including Samuel Elwell, born around 1635. 

In 1658 Samuel Elwell married Hester (Esther) Dutch, daughter of Osman Dutch and Grace Pratt.  On 30 October 1692 Hester, along with two other women- Rebecca,  wife of Richard Dike, and Abigail Rowe, daughter of Hugh Rowe, were taken to Ipswich, for examination on a charge of witchcraft.  They were all released on 7 November 1692. In her later years, Hester was listed in town records as a "poor distressed widow".

Jacob Elwell, the second son of Samuel and Hester Elwell, was born in 1662.  He was killed on 11 May 1710 at Cape Sable during Queen Anne's War. In 1686 he married Abigail Vinson, daughter of William Vinson and his second wife Rachel Cooke.  William Vinson arrived in Gloucester from Salem in 1635.  He was the original owner of Five Pound Island, a small island located at the mouth of Gloucester Harbor.  He was admitted a freeman in 1643, and served as a selectman in 1647, 1651, 1660, 1674, and 1675.

The second son of Peter and Rachell, Jacob Lurvey, was born in 1712.  In 1733 he married Sarah Bennet, daughter of Anthony and Rebecca Bennet and granddaughter of Anthony Bennet Sr, yet another founding settler of Gloucester.  A carpenter by trade, Anthony Bennet Sr. arrived in Gloucester from Beverly after 1671.  He received grants of land along the Mill River and set up a sawmill operation that was family operated in town for several generations. He married Abigail Somes, daughter of Morris Somes, who lived along the Mill River. Morris' wife, Elizabeth Kendall was from Cambridge, a member of a prominent family of that name.  Jacob and Sarah Lurvey had 10 children, 8 of whom lived to maturity.  It is likely that Jacob and Sarah moved to New Gloucester, Cumberland County Maine with their family.

Their eighth child, David Lurvey, was born in 1748.  David married Lydia Holland at New Gloucester Maine.  She was daughter of Richard Holland  and Sarah Cunningham  of Gloucester Massachusetts.  They had two children, Lydia and Job, before she died. Captain Lurvey returned to Gloucester in 1770 with his children, and they were baptised at the Fourth Parish Church.   Job was sent to the Shaker community at New Gloucester to live with his uncle, Daniel Jackson.  As soon as he was old enough, Job left the Shakers, and settled in Paris Maine. He married Elizabeth Tobey in New Gloucester in 1798, moved to Woodstock Maine in 1820 and headed a large and successful family. It is uncertain where David's daughter Lydia spent her youth, but it is possible that the Shakers raised her, as well.  In 1774, Captain David Lurvey married Abigail Davis, and had three additional children.  He appears to have spent his life at sea, and probably died there around 1810.

Lydia Lurvey married Thomas Wainwright of Rowley Massachusetts in 1790 and had several children, but none is included in the town's vital records. This was partly due to the incomplete record keeping typical of the times, but also because the family did not appear to have a strong church affiliation. Up to the 1840's, towns relied on local Churches to record vital records, much like English Parishes. In 1850, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted legislation requiring each town to maintain its own list of births, marriages and deaths, and funded efforts to collect church, cemetery, and family records in order to compile records prior to 1850 that were published in 1910.  As a result, the Commonwealth has today one of the most comprehensive sets of vital records available of any state in the nation.

In 1815, a widowed Lydia Wainwright married Benjamin Soper Marshall. He had been friendly with the Wainwright family since 1790, for we find his name along with Thomas's in the Warning Out documents issued by the Gloucester Selectmen in August of that year. In January 1816 the Columbian Centennial, a popular newspaper of the time, ran an erroneous announcement of the marriage of Benjamin to Lydia's daughter Nancy Wainwright. 

Lydia Marshall died of Consumption (Tuberculosis) in 1825.

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