It's always fun to find an ancestor I've overlooked, and to find there is quite a bit of information about him, AND to find his will AND his inventory. So it's been a fun morning.
Matthew Whipple isn't a name that leaps to my mind when remembering my immigrant ancestors, but maybe now he will be. There is a log of information about him on the Geni sight, and more on AmericanAncestors. The will is found in Volume 1 of The Probate Records of Essex County, which means it's been transcribed and although I still struggle with archaic spellings and meanings and even vocabulary, at least I don't have to try to read ancient handwriting.
Matthew was born, or christened, December 19,1588, in Bocking, Essex, England. His parents were Matthew Whipple and Joan. Matthew of England was a clothier, and based on his will, was apparently well off. I'm not finding a lot of information about Bocking on line, but I did find St Mary's Church, which is where Matthew probably attended as a child, and where his father is buried (likely his mother, too).. He had at least nine brothers and sisters, and Matthew was the fifth child born into the family.
Matthew married Ann or Anne Hawkins on May 7, 1622, at St Mary's church in Bocking. I haven't done any proof work to say whether I believe this or not, but Ann is supposed to be a granddaughter of the famous John Hawkins, merchant, slave trader, explorer, treasurer and controller of the English Navy. (I am learning to be somewhat doubtful when I find a line tied to someone famous, since I've been burned a few times by published genealogies that turned out to be mistaken or in some cases just plain fraudulent.)
Matthew and Ann had at least 5 children and possibly more. Apparently most were born in Bocking but the last one or two may have been born in Ipswich, Massachusetts Bay Colony. The family immigrated apparently between 1636 and 1638. He was a member of the church there and I believe that when I see the phrase "Deacon Whipple" it refers to our Matthew. Ann died sometime before September 28, 1646, when Matthew married Rose Barker Chute, who outlived him.
I've found that Matthew held many offices but I've not found a list other than that he was frequently a "clerke", That indicates he could read and write, and that is supported by contents of his inventory which included 29 books. He was one of the largest landowners in the area, along with his brother John. From his inventory, we can see that he farmed, that he had several weapons, and that he had a large amount of linen goods as well as at least three wheels, two linen and one cotton. It appears that his home had at least three rooms as many objects, including 85 "peeces" of pewter were in the hall, and the linens and some clothes were in the parlor. There was a chamber over the parlor which held miscellaneous items, and then there are a lot of tools that must have been kept in a barn. He had a dwelling house with 4 acres of ground that included a "barne" and other out houses, a 6 acre lot, a four acre lot, six acres of marsh, and a farm containing 160 acres plus a meadow of 30 acres, and then another 20 acres of marsh and "wast" land. We are surprised that his estate was valued at only a little over 287 pounds when we see the long list of his property.
His will was written March 7, 1645 and then he added a codicil September 13, 1646 to provide for his new wife, Rose. All of her items that she brought to the marriage were to remain hers, and she was given 10 pounds, besides. William must have died within a year, because the will was proven July 28, 1647.
I'd love to learn more about Matthew and his life in both Bocking and Ipswich. It's been fun to learn this much but I always have more questions, it seems. For now, we know of another immigrant to the New World, one who apparently did well for himself and his family. It's a start.
The line of descent is:
Matthew Whipple-Ann Hawkins
Anna Whipple-John Annable
Elizabeth Annable-John Whittemore
John Whittemore-Elizabeth Lloyd
John Whittemore-Lydia Clough
Josiah Whittermore-Lucy Snow
Josiah Whittemore-Betsy Foster
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen