EDMUND Ingalls left four sons, viz. Robert, John, Henry and Samuel. Our immigrant ancestors adhered to the old custom of leaving their land to the eldest son, wherefore Robert inherited in Lynn. The younger sons shifted for themselves. So it was that John, Henry and Samuel went to Ipswich, and from there Henry removed to Andover.
Of Robert Ingalls, the eldest son, who remained in Lynn, we know but little, i.e. as to his personality. He married Sarah Harker, the daughter of William Harker (Harcher or Hacker). He became a large landholder and in some documents he described himself as a planter. In 1663-64 he was the town constable, although he was not then a freeman. He also sat on grand juries at Salem. He had five sons, viz. John, Robert, Samuel, Nathaniel and Eleazar. John, who must have been born in 1646, married Elizabeth Barrett (or Barret) of Salem, and removed in 1694 to Rehoboth, where he became the progenitor of that branch of the family. Eleazar, the youngest son, went to Marblehead, where he entered the trade of cooper and became a wealthy merchant and the progenitor of the Ingalls' of Marblehead. He owned land at Peach's Point and one of the beaches there used to be known as Ingalls' beach.
So far as I am aware the original boundaries of the Ingalls lands in Lynn have not heretofore been carefully traced. However, we know approximately as to their situation and extent and are able to define many of the lines with accuracy.
Edmund Ingalls built his house a few rods north of Ingalls pond. He probably selected that place out of the consideration that in the "fayre plain" stretching eastward it was close to a pool of fresh water and was not far, i.e., less than half a mile, from a cove that afforded good landing on the beach, which was desirable for fishing. He built his house on a southern slope, sheltered from the north wind and to the eastward there was a natural clearing amidst the woodland. As the first comer he had unrestricted choice and it seems to me now, and as I remember the topography 50 years ago, that he selected the fairest place. John Wood, and his son William, who came to Lynn soon after Edmund and Francis, being the next settlers, established themselves at what is now the northeast comer of Essex and Chestnut streets, about a third of a mile northwest of where Edmund Ingalls had his house. In subsequent years the part of Lynn where the Woods lived became known as Woodend, and it is still so known by old-timers, though the official designation is now East Lynn. Essex street, originally known as Lynn road, has long been a main highway between Salem and Lynn and it is possible that the first settlers worked their way through the forest along what subsequently became its course. It is not improbable that previously it had been an Indian pathway.
In 1637 a committee was appointed by the town of Lynn to divide the lands; or as it was expressed in the record "to lay out farmes." The land was laid out in those parts of the town best adapted to cultivation; and the woodlands and Nahant were reserved as common property. In 1638 the committee appointed by the town to divide the lands completed that task and a book was provided, in which the names of the proprietors, with the number of acres allotted to each were recorded. That book became lost, but a copy of the first three pages was preserved in the files of the Quarterly Court, at Salem, from which Alonzo Lewis made a transcription. The first page begins with the words "These lands were given to the inhabitants of Lynn, A.D. 1638." On the same page is the entry "Edmund and Francis Ingalls, upland and meadow, 120 acres."
It has been heretofore assumed, even within the family, that this entry referred to the original Ingalls farm in Lynn, extending eastward from Ingalls pond or the general vicinity of Chestnut street, although in that assumption there have always been perplexities, which ought to have been evident to anyone of an analytical turn of mind. I shall now show, beyond any shadow of doubt, that this grant of 120 acres of upland and meadow was miles away from Ingalls pond and was in fact just to the northeast of what is now Lynnfield Center and just to the south of the bend of the Ipswich river at Phelps mills. Recognizing this fact, in order to explain events and situations we shall have to fall back to a large extent upon inferences.
It may be here remarked that the allotment of lands in 1638 appears to have been to some extent, at least, only nominal, i.e., certain persons were granted rights to a certain number of acres of land without the latter being actually laid out, which in some instances was not done until many years later. I shall presently cite an instance of this.
Between 1630 and 1637 there was an influx of settlers into Lynn, who apparently set themselves down where they desired in places that were vacant, and of course during the first year or two most of the land was vacant. I can not discover that there was any official allocation or any organization during that period. However, it is to be remembered that the early records of the town were lost. It is clear that Edmund and Francis Ingalls had no near neighbors for several years. Immediately to the southwest of them was the Sagamore Hill farm, that I have previously described, which was laid out previous to 1636. In 1638 Edmund Lewis located just south of Edmund Ingalls, and from him and his lands Lewis street derived its name, his farm stretching easterly. The Lewis lands adjoined the Ingalls lands and remained in the possession of the Lewis family for many years. To the north of Edmund Ingalls was Joseph Floyd, who located previously to 1638 and received a grant of the land extending from the town common (Woodend) to the "little river" (Stacy's brook), which he sold to Henry Silsbee in 1666. This land subsequently passed to Benjamin Ireson, and Henry Silsbee obtained the land to the east of the brook, which remained in the Silsbee family for more than two centuries.
MAP OF THE INGALLS FARM IN EAST LYNN.
Further north, near the corner of Fayette and Essex Streets, Henry Collins was situated. Henry Collins was a starch maker who came from Stepney, London, England, in 1635, accompanied by wife, children, and five servants (probably meaning his workmen). Collins Swamp, now Silver Lake, got its name from Henry Collins, whose land stretched eastward from the road to Lynnfield and along what is now Essex Street, lying mainly to the north thereof. The parcels of land in that territory subsequently in the name of members of the Ingalls family clearly resulted from the intermarriages between the families. The Ingalls land proper did not extend so far north.
Edmund Ingalls placed himself on the slope rising to the north of Ingalls pond and appropriated the fair plain extending eastward, probably by negotiation with the Indians, as I have previously suggested. Francis Ingalls when he instituted his tannery in 1630 placed himself on Humphrey's Brook where Burrill street crosses it in what is now Swampscott. The distance between those points is about five-eighths of a mile.*
The main settlement of Lynn in this early period was to the westward of the plantation of Edmund and Francis Ingalls, being extensively in what subsequently became known as West Lynn. There, in West Lynn, were the meeting house, the common, and the burying ground. Later a little village grew up at Woodend and in deeds from 1666 to 1721 references are made to a common there, which long ago ceased to exist as such. Adjoining Francis Ingalls to the south was William Witter and immediately to the east of them was the Humphrey farm called Swampscott.**
To the westward of them the situation was quite different, and owing to the rapid influx of settlers during the first few years it obviously became necessary to allocate the lands among them, wherefore the appointment of the town committee. That committee probably could not, or did not want to, oust the original settlers from their positions, who no doubt were left as they were, but it assigned areas and defined bounds. In making the allotment in 1638 the committee, for some reason that we can not now determine,*** granted to Edmund and Francis Ingalls 120 acres of land which was in addition to that which they were occupying. We must therefore make a sharp distinction between the Ingalls farm and the Ingalls grant. The former is shown in my map of East Lynn, and the latter in my map of Lynnfield.
* In the early days of Lynn land was of little value, £1 per acre being a nominal figure. In principle it was a basis for subsistence and a man had no use for more than he could cultivate. There were some purchases for investment or the use of sons, as appears from the accounts of Edmund Ingalls. There were some large grants, e.g. to John Humphrey, who contemplated exploitation through tenancy, and there was some tenancy, but commercially this quickly proved a failure, the grants soon disintegrated, and the creation of large landed estates in Massachusetts was abortive. The attempt of John Humphrey, who had been one of the principal promoters of the company, was disastrous to him. In the course of a century land value increased a good deal. In 1697 a portion of the Ingalls land was reckoned at £3 to £5 per acre and in 1737 the same was inventoried at £18.
**There were several Humphrey farms, tracts or grants and consequently it is important to refer to them by name. There were (1) Sagamore Hill; (2) Swampscott; (3) the Plains Farm, adjoining Swampscott; and (4) the Pond Farm, embracing Suntaug lake. The farm called Swampscott extended westward from Phillips' Beach, south of the Salem line, upon which it abutted for 1.2 mile. From there the line ran southwesterly to the beach just west of Stacy's brook, this tract comprising about 1200 acres. John Humphrey sold Swampscott to Lady Deborah Moody in 1641.
***This was perhaps in response to their demand for such an allotment by virtue of their having paid their expenses in coming from England to Massachusetts. The size of the parcel is rather indicative of such an explanation. We may imagine their contention that they occupied their lands in East Lynn and Swampscott by deed from the Indians, resulting from their own adventure, and that they were further entitled to 120 acres promised them by the Massachusetts Bay Company, to which the town committee acceded with a grant in an out-of-the way place. How else may this be explained! This view seems to be supported by this allotment being made jointly to Edmund and Francis, which otherwise would ipso facto be strange. We may remind ourselves also that Lady Susan Humphrey was then living in Lynn and that she was sister of Lady Arbella Johnson, whom the Ingalls had probably known in Boston (England) previous to the emigration. So we may conceive a powerful and favorable influence. This association may, moreover, have preserved for the Ingalls a link with their old home. It is worthy of mention that Rev. Samuel Whiting, the honored pastor of the Lynn church for many years, also came from Skirbeck.
There is no original definition of either of these tracts of land and in tracing back title to them the searcher would come to an end with the recital of definition in documents of 1685 and 1686 in respect of the grant and the mere fact of possession in respect of the farm.
There is some vagueness in regard to early titles, or rather the methods by which they were obtained. The seacoast from three miles south of the Charles river to three miles north of the mouth of the Merrimac, together with the hinterland indefinitely, was claimed by the Massachusetts Bay Company under patent from Charles I, March 19, 1628. That company made specific promises of allotments to the settlers that it persuaded to come over. Edmund and Francis Ingalls probably had such a promise. Inasmuch as they, together with Edmund Quincy, of Fishtoft, were the first party to come from Boston (Lincolnshire) it may be conjectured that they had some special backing from the Clinton family. Anyway, if we so imagine we may more easily understand some subsequent events, and especially their claim for an additional allotment of 120 acres in 1637.
They left Salem with a roving permission, and making up their minds to settle in Lynn they doubtless obtained a deed from the Indians. We know that they made arrangements with the Indians; and their intelligence and shrewdness, and clearly they were endowed with both qualities, would naturally have directed them to secure such a document. This was done later by others. There was a feeling that the company had promised to bestow what it did not really own and that it would be safer to obtain title from the Indians whom they found in actual possession. Also, there was not in 1629 any organization that would have obtained and maintained for them any promised allotment, and anyhow they had cut loose.
As more settlers arrived and learned the situation in the new country they did not like the idea of a proprietary company administered in London and in rather short order the seat of government was transferred to Massachusetts and the titular ownership of the land was assumed by the people themselves. This was something like a revolution. This assumption was confined, however, to those who had obtained the privileges of freemen, which were restricted to those who were members of a church and had certificates from their ministers that their opinions were approved. An exception from this formula was made in the instances of "the old planters." (It is possible that Edmund and Francis Ingalls came under that head.)
There was no incorporation of the several early towns. Incorporation occurred ipso facto by the freemen of a town appearing in the General Court or general assembly and into it being admitted. Thus was Lynn incorporated in 1630. By 1634 this method became too clumsy and thereafter the freemen sent representatives.
With the incorporation of the towns in this way and the definition of their bounds the lands within them became the common property of their freemen, subject apparently to prior rights and subject to allocations by the General Court. Thus, Edmund and Francis Ingalls were not disturbed and the General Court did lay out some large farms, e.g. several for Mr. Humphrey. In the main, however, the lands having become common property, town by town, grants to individuals were made by the several towns, as was done in Lynn in 1637-38. Not all of the land was at once allotted, however, and some remained community land for a long time. Thus, the peninsula of Nahant was not divided among the people until 1657. Other holdings were not individualized until much later. It was not until 1706 that a division was made of all the remaining community land of Lynn, only the "training field", or the Common, being reserved.
It is clear that some settlers were not quite satisfied with their titles by town grant and therefore obtained confirmatory deeds from the Indians. In fact all along during the first half century, the people of Lynn were nervous as to the rights of the Indians and they did not become at ease in their minds until in 1686 the heirs of Wenepoykin* gave a deed confirming the title of the town to the lands on which it stood, thus assuring the allotments of 1638, and giving to everybody a blanket quitclaim.
*Erroneously spelled Winnipurkit and Wenepurket.
The Ingalls farm had therefore been unallotted probably for the reason that there was already an Indian deed for it. In respect of this farm many of the lines are traceable from ancient deeds and from a property map of 1852 that still showed them clearly. For more than 100 years following 1629 there were no deeds of record disposing of any of the property except among members of the family. In 1686 when Robert Ingalls made his deed of gift the southwest corner of the land was on Chestnut Street near the Ingalls Pond. Thence the line ran northerly to the town common in Woodend which was somewhere in the neighborhood of the intersection of Chestnut Street and Olive Street. On the easterly side of the common it abutted for 13 rods (about 215 ft.). From that point it ran easterly for 80 rods (1320 ft.) along the line of Benjamin Ireson (previously Joseph Floyd's) to Stacey's Brook ("the little river"). Thence it turned southward along the brook (the land of Henry Silsbee being on the other side of the brook) to about the present line of the Boston & Maine railway (originally the Eastern railroad). From this point there is a stretch in respect of which we are at present uncertain, especially as to whether this, the southern portion of the land, extended eastward beyond the brook. As for the rest, the line, returning to the pond, was substantially as shown on the property map of 1852, and in my accompanying map which outlines the description hereinbefore. The farm thus described comprised about 50 acres. On my map the triple line encloses the original area and the double line delimits what remained in the possession of the heirs of Jacob Ingalls in 1880.
William Harker had died in 1661 leaving all of his property, which was considerable for the time, to his daughter, who was the wife of Robert Ingalls, with the intention that it should devise to their children.* (* I have been unable to discover the situation of the Harker farm.) Among other things William Hacker left a right to an allotment of 30 acres, according to the division of 1638, which had not been exercised by him. Robert Ingalls caused this to be laid out to himself in 1681. There were other instances of such delay, but I know of no other so long postponed as this. In 1697 Robert Ingalls deeded this parcel to his son Eleazar, describing it as a square abutting easterly on the Mr. Humphrey's farm and being surrounded on the other three sides by common land, showing that even then there was much territory unoccupied. It is to be conjectured that this location was in abutment on Mr. Humphrey's farm at Suntaug lake.
On Jan. 1, 1686, Robert Ingalls, sr. conveyed all of his property to three of his sons, viz., Robert, jr., Samuel, and Nathaniel, they to take care of their parents during the remainder of their lives. The three sons were bound to the fulfillment of the agreement on their part upon penalty of their father's displeasure and the forfeiture by any delinquent to his other two brothers of his part interest.
It is noteworthy that in this deed of gift no mention is made of sons John and Eleazar. This may have been, of course, that Robert, sr., thought that he had previously adequately provided for them. John was then living in Lynn and owned a house and land in Woodend. Eleazer removed, while still a very young man, to Marblehead, where he was as early as 1681.
At some time previous to 1672 Francis Ingalls sold his share of the grant in Lynnfield to John Pearson of Lynn. On May 21, 1685, Pearson conveyed his interest to Joseph and Benjamin Pope, of Salem. Up to this time this property had not been divided.
Soon after their purchase the Pope brothers evidently began to press for a division of this land. From the fact that for nearly 50 years it had remained undivided implies that the Ingalls regarded it as being of no immediate importance to themselves. However, it adjoined land in Salem that was owned by the Popes, in fact was contiguous to the home farm of Joseph Pope, and probably they were desirous of extending their definite bounds. Consequently an agreement for division was executed March 30, 1686, and recorded April 15, 1686 (Essex deeds VII, p. 398). This agreement was signed by the two Popes and by Robert Ingalls, sr., by Robert Ingalls, jr., and by Samuel Ingalls, "with the consent and allowance of his father," Robert, jr., signing for Samuel. This language is peculiar. Why should Samuel, who was 36 years of age have had to have the consent and allowance of his father? Why did not Nathaniel sign? Why did Robert, sr., who had previously made a deed of gift, recorded, have to sign?* (*Probably the signature of Robert, sr., was required in view of the conditional character of his deed of gift.)
Anyhow, this document is of great importance. It begins by reciting that 120 acres of land had been granted to Edmund and Francis Ingalls by the town of Lynn, thus checking with the town book of 1638. It then proceeds to describe the grant as abutting easterly upon land that had been Edward Farrington's but was now in tenure of Joseph and Benjamin Pope; northerly upon the Salem line; westerly upon the land of Isaac and John Hart; southerly upon the land of John Poole. In the partition the Ingalls' were to have up to the middle of the tract as nearly as could be determined, to the westward of a bound tree of John Hart's, to the northward of John Poole's meadow about 30 rods from John Hart's bounds eastward, and from thence to the northward upon a line to a small pine tree standing near the Salem line about 30 rods eastward from a tree called "Seven men's bounds."
SITUATION OF THE INGALLS GRANT IN LYNNFIELD.
The Popes were to have their half on that part lying on the eastern side of the tract, bordering and ranging on the land that was Edward Farrington's; and on the meadow of John Poole on the southward; and on the Salem line on the northward side.
This was a good description. We may visualize a tract of land about half of a mile wide and half a mile long, with its northwestern corner at or near the "Seven men's bounds." The last is a well known historic spot. In 1639 upon order of the General Court a Committee had run the line between Lynn and Salem from a cliff by the sea straight to the long pond (i.e., Spring pond); thence straight to the island in Mr. Humphrey's pond (Suntaug Lake); thence in a straight line to six great pine trees, called "Seven Men's bounds", from the seven men who laid out the line. In 1673 another committee perambulating the line extended it from the Seven Men's bounds in a straight line to the Great River (Ipswich river). Thus is definitely located the 120-acre grant to Edmund and Francis Ingalls in 1638. The Ingalls grant had therefore nothing to do with the Ingalls farm and is not especially identified with the name. What finally became of the Ingalls part of it I have not traced.*
*Between 1686 and 1736 there are no deeds of record in respect of this property. Title to it should have passed to Samuel 3 and Nathaniel, 3 but it does not appear in the inventory of the estate of either of them. However, it is to be observed that many conveyances of real estate were made at that time without being recorded.
Following the deed of gift by Robert Ingalls and the division of the 120-acre grant, both in 1686, events are obscure. Robert Ingalls in bestowing his property upon three of his sons evidently did not intend that they should divide it, but rather should jointly work upon it, for the maintenance of their parents; for the insurance of which the integrity of the property was doubtless deemed necessary. The provision for forfeit of interest implies the absence of division. Likewise does the fact that Robert, jr. dying in 1689, was insolvent and his brother Samuel had to, or anyway did, advance money to clear his estate. Robert, jr. had forfeited his interest by his death. Samuel also supplied money to his father. In order to settle these accounts Robert, sr. in 1697 deeded to Samuel the northern portion of his farm.
This last is a perplexing document. In 1686 Robert, sr. had deeded away all of his property. No annulment of that deed is of record. In 1697 he deeds a portion of it, which according to the record is no longer his to deed. In 1698 Robert, sr. died leaving no will and there was no administration of his estate, wherefore it is to be inferred that the deed of gift of 1686 then came into full effect.
About this time also, John, the eldest son, removed to Rehoboth, where he is of record as being in 1694. He had lived on a portion of the farm that had been given to him previous to 1686. In 1696 he sold this to his brother Nathaniel.
Equally perplexing is a deed for the 30 acres of Harker land laid out in 1681 that Robert, sr. executed in favor of his son Eleazar in 1696, also for the purpose of raising money. Although this deed is of record I believe that Samuel and Nathaniel challenged this transaction. However, on May 30, 1698, they quitclaimed to Eleazer, referring to the deed of gift of 1686 as having been made conditionally and to the death of their brother Robert before the conditions were fulfilled.*
* It was a common custom among our forefathers upon approaching old age to convey their property to one or more sons upon the condition of maintenance. The deed of gift by Robert, sr. was evidently interpreted beyond its text, i.e., it was understood to be more conditional than would follow from its language. Obviously none of the sons were to acquire title until their father died, then only if they survived him, while he himself considered that he had reserved rights. This produced rather a strange and unsatisfactory situation, but if we look at it in such a way some of the legal perplexities are perhaps clarified.
Altogether there were events in the history of the Lynn branch of the Ingalls family that we can only vaguely surmise. Robert Ingalls had inherited the farm of his father and a few years later that of his father-in-law. He had exercised the right of his father-in-law to a 30-acre allotment and he owned 60 acres from the allotment to his own father. He owned a tract on Blood's brook in Rumney marsh and he had some other scattered parcels. In his deed of gift to three of his sons he refers to his farms, farm houses and dwellings, all in the plural. Yet, scarcely more than 10 years later he evidently finds himself in difficulties. Anyhow, he seems to have repented of his deed of gift. Robert, Jr. dies and his family disappears from the picture, his widow going to live with her father. Robert, sr. endeavors to raise money from son Eleazer and probably precipitates a family dispute. We sense these things from the scanty records. It is only clear that Nathaniel Ingalls emerges as the chieftain of the family in Lynn.
At this time the sons of Robert Ingalls were men of maturity, even of middle age. Robert3 had died. John, Samuel and Nathaniel were living in Lynn. Robert, sr., John and Samuel registered as freemen in 1691. It is significant that this followed an order of the General Court, Feb. 12,1690, repealing the clause of the law requiring a certificate from a minister of the gospel and substituting a property qualification and a certificate from the selectmen of a town to the effect that the applicant "is not vicious in life." The three sons were married and lived in houses built for them, or by them, on the farm. There were evidently family difficulties, but anyhow all passed unscathed through the terrible witchcraft year of 1692.
Political and social events are often of only indirect bearing on family life, but the witchcraft delusion was a terror that occurred right at home.
Samuel3 Ingalls lived always in Lynn and when he died, in 1711, he left a farm of 14 acres to his son Samuel. His descendants, who were not numerous, continued to live there until 1805, when James6 (Samuel5 Samuel4 Samuel3) removed to Littleton, and during the next 40 years I find no record of any member of this branch of the family in Lynn. At some time previous to 1852, however, Tyler Ingalls (of this descent) took up an abode in Fayette street, near Essex, but this was not on a part of the original farm. In the division of the latter Samuel3 had the northern part and Nathaniel3 the southern.
Nathaniel Ingalls3 was born about 1660. Zaccheus Collins in mentioning his death in his diary gives his age "about 80" at that time (1737) which is not contradictory of "about 1660" as the date of his birth. In 1676 he was drafted to go with the troops in King Philip's war, but his father objected on the ground that "the boy was not fit" and offered to go in his stead. He did not join with his father and brother in taking the freeman's oath in 1691, whence it may be inferred that he did not then own property and was probably living with his father. About 1691 or 1692 he married Anne Collins, daughter of Joseph Collins, who was a son of Henry Collins, the immigrant. They had 10 children, of whom five were sons, viz.:
Rebecca Collins, who married Joseph Ingalls4 was the daughter of Eleazar Collins, who was son of Henry Collins2. Consequently Joseph Ingalls and Rebecca Collins were cousins and their descendants derive doubly from Henry Collins, the immigrant ancestor. The farm of Henry Collins was a little to the north of that of the Ingalls' and owing to the marriages between the families much of the Collins land eventually passed to the Ingalls name. Ingalls street, north of Essex street, derives its name in this way.
Nathaniel Ingalls died in 1737. He lived at the corner of Fayette and Olive Streets in a large house that subsequently became the home of his son Jacob. This house was demolished about 1881, or a few years later. I remember it as an ancient, forbidding structure, in a sad state of disrepair. This was the oldest house associated with the name of Ingalls in Lynn. It was of architectural style of the seventeenth century, two stories in height, with a long roof sloping down to one story in the rear, with huge chimney, central door in front, that were characteristics of the time. It is written that to drag in the heavy sticks to fill the great fireplace in the house a horse was walked into the house. Even 50 years ago there were grandchildren who remembered enjoying the warm corner by the side of the fire or sitting on the settle in front of it. Those were the days of sanded floors, pewter on the shelves, and a spinning wheel by the fireside.
This house was occupied in succession by Nathaniel3 Jacob4 and Jacob5. Upon the death of the last, in 1823, it passed to his son John who lived in it until his death in 1848 and during his time he reduced the old chimney and fireplace to modern proportions.
It is safe to assume that his old house was built about 1691 by Nathaniel Ingalls about the time he married Anne Collins; perhaps some years earlier by his brother John who sold a house, orchard and other land to Nathaniel a few years after his removal to Rehoboth. There must have been another old house near by that was occupied by Samuel Ingalls and is mentioned in his will, but of this I have neither recollection nor definite record. On the northeast comer of Fayette and Olive streets there used to be an ancient well and this may have been close to the house of Samuel Ingalls. The house of John Ingalls was in the same vicinity. There were therefore three or four Ingalls houses of about 1690, or earlier, on this tract, the oldest near the pond and the others near Woodend. All of the latter were around the little "Common," as were also houses of the Iresons and Collins. It may be imagined that Robert Ingalls lived in the house built by Edmund, which is portrayed on p. 21 while his sons built their own houses on edges of the farm in proximity to the village center. The oldest houses in New England were built in sheltered places favored with water supply, there being no other considerations such as proximity to roads and neighbors for then there were neither of them. Later they built on the roadsides for the sake of convenience and society. I conjecture that the succession of Ingalls houses in East Lynn was something like that. We can now do nothing but conjecture.*
* Of the houses now standing in Fayette and Essex streets none is either ancient or historic, The Gustavus Andrews house on the west side of Fayette street, near B!oomfield, was built by Jacob Ingalls, 3rd, about 1818. The house on the east side of Fayette, opposite Olive, was built by James Ingalls about 1801. Several houses in Essex street that are known as Ingalls houses and date from about the middle of the eighteenth century are on Collins land. Parrot street was opened through Ingalls land and there is a small house there that is old. However, Parrott street itself is comparatively modern. It does not appear on the map of 1852; nor does the extension of Chatham street from Essex to Lewis.
Of the personality of Nathaniel Ingalls we know nothing at all. Upon his death in 1737, when he was known as "old Nathaniel Ingalls," he left an estate, chiefly in land, that was large for this time, and the inventory of it in comparison with the total valuation of the town indicates that he must have been one of its well-to-do men. His son William left Lynn and became the progenitor of the Ingalls family of Sullivan, Me. The other four sons remained in Lynn and most of the present bearers of the name in that place are descended from one or another of them. In his will Nathaniel bequeathed his land to his sons Nathaniel and Jacob. The last received the old homestead and the land south of the present line of the Boston & Maine railway. Nathaniel had the land to the north. The homestead that was thus divided consisted of 18 acres.
As I have previously mentioned, Nathaniel3 married Anne Collins, and Joseph his son married Rebecca Collins, who was the daughter of Eleazer Collins and Rebecca Newhall. Up to this time the members of the Ingalls family in Lynn had mostly been farmers, tilling their own land. Eleazer Collins, however, was a mariner, and evidently he brought his son-in-law into a maritime atmosphere. His sons John Ingalls and Eleazer Collins Ingalls both followed the sea, as likewise did Captain Abner, who was the son of John5 (Joseph4 Nathaniel3) and Captain Collins, who was the son of Eleazer Collins.* (* Capt. Collins Ingalls kept a journal of a voyage to Sumatra in 1827-28, which is preserved in the collections of the Essex institute.) Captain Eleazer Collins Ingalls (1731-1801) is noteworthy as the first of the family to have a middle name. This custom did not become common, however, until well along in the eighteenth century. Previous to that time it was the practice to distinguish among those of the same Christian name by referring to one as John, another as John, jr., another as John, 2nd, and so on. About the beginning of the nineteenth century there was in Lynn a string of Johns up to John 4th. This did not imply descent but simply relative date of birth, which is important for the genealogist to bear in mind. Thus the occurrence of John, jr., does not imply that he was the son of John, but rather that contemporaneously there were two Johns.
Vocationally, the Ingalls of Lynn were first farmers. Then a branch of them became mariners. Later some of them, living in Swampscott were fishermen. In the course of time, especially toward the end of the eighteenth century the farmers, mariners and fishermen tended to become cordwainers. They might be farmers and mariners part of the time and cordwainers part of the time. Soon they were shoe makers all of the time. The Lynn directory of 1841 evinces that then to have been the principal occupation. About the time of the Civil War the more enterprising among them began to be shoe manufacturers. The transition from the old shop to the factory employing many persons had then occurred.
INGALLS POND IN 1886.
The descendants of Samuel3 and Nathaniel4 gradually parted with their portions of the original farm. The descendants of Jacob4 on the other hand hung on to theirs and a map of Lynn property in 1852 shows that practically the whole stretch from Ingalls pond to Stacey's brook, south of the line of the Boston & Maine railway was still in their possession, especially in the names of John Augustus Ingalls7 and the heirs of Sydney Ingalls7 (1816-1848). A map of 1880 shows some excisions, but large parcels still remaining.
Even in 1880, as I remember it, this land was mainly an open field, upland and meadow. Bloomfield street, running easterly from Ingalls pond, was merely a farm lane, closed by a gate that I had to open in order to make a short cut toward Stacey's brook.
At the present time small plots of the original land are owned by Parkers, descended from a sister of John Augustus Ingalls, while Sydney Ingalls8, a gentleman of 81 years, who was the son of Sidney7, owns a fraction of an acre of the original land and lives on it. In this instance therefore there is a possession of 300 years with the name.
After the death of John Augustus Ingalls I examined the contents of an ancient iron safe in his house. It was packed full with family documents going back to 1690. These were mainly deeds, drafts for wills, financial accounts and letters. From them I gleaned important genealogical data, but no doubt I overlooked much of historical interest, my attention not then being so directed; or perhaps, I should say I was too inexperienced to interpret what I read. Recently I have endeavored to ascertain the whereabouts of those documents, but no one but myself appears now even to know that there was such a collection. This illustrates how family records disappear. In 1915 a tablet was erected on the north slope from Ingalls (Goldfish) pond, inscribed as follows.
This tablet is a bronze plate set into a boulder. The inscription is not entirely satisfactory in its phrasing, but anyhow it marks the historic place. The reference to much of the land in the vicinity being still owned by descendants of Edmund Ingalls is correct, but as I have previously explained there is only a small parcel now with the family name.
The name of Ingalls is now becoming scarce in Lynn as previously it had become in Ipswich, Andover, Marblehead and Rehoboth. Divisions of lands among children, the urge to go elsewhere to look for better things, and multiplication from the stocks have all promoted dispersion. For some reason or another also the Lynn family was less prolific than other branches. Among its members we do not find so large families as there were at Andover and elsewhere. It may be remarked that Lynn was growing up as a town and becoming a city, and the Ingalls there came to be living in a community while their cousins elsewhere were living on farms. However, in my boyhood, 50 years ago, there were still a good many Ingalls in Lynn. Most of them were descendants of Nathaniel Ingalls.
Nevertheless, I am sure that there are more of the name still living in Lynn than in any of the other towns with which the family was associated during the first two centuries. The explanation of this is primarily that Lynn was situated on the sea; and secondarily and principally that it developed into an industrial place. Consequently there were better opportunities for livelihood and as the family multiplied the sons and daughters could do as well at home as they could anywhere else. Moreover, there were the satisfying social attractions of a community.
In the country towns on the other hand the basis of livelihood was always the farm, which seldom was more than 100 acres in area, and would not support more than one family. Consequently the sons were constantly being flung off to seek farms elsewhere or to adopt trades and the original farm would come down through one line, which might end with daughters only, or with one son who did not desire to be a farmer. Even at the present time the two groups of what were Ingalls farms in Andover are in sparsely settled regions and remote from railway stations.*
* This may be rather misleading. Both these groups of farms were near stations on the Salem-Lawrence branch of the Boston & Maine railway, but since the abandonment of that line a few years ago they have become remote.
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