Joseph Hovey was born in Ipswich in 1653. He lived in Hadley, Massachusetts
until 1690 when he moved to Milton. He married Hannah, daughter of Richard and
Mary Pratt of Malden, on May 31, 1677. Joseph died in the summer of 1693 at the age
of forty. His brother, John Hovey, Sr., of Topsfield was named administrator of the
estate. The inventory amounted to £11, 12s, 8d, being all personal. The estate was
The historical context of Joseph's life coincided with that of his father, Daniel
Hovey, who preceded Joseph in death by only one year. When Joseph was born in
1653, there was no king on the throne in England. Oliver Cromwell sat as Lord High
Protector in what became to be known as the Interregnum. This ended in 1660, two
years following Oliver Cromwell's death when Charles II was asked to return from exile
and assume his father's throne. Following Charles' death in 1685, James II, Charles'
brother assumed the throne. He was deposed nearly 4 years later after his brutal
attempts to force Catholicism on England. James' Protestant daughter, Mary, along
with her husband, William of Orange, became the only dual monarchy of England,
ruling as William and Mary. The year that Joseph's father, Daniel Hovey, died was the
year of the tragic Salem Witch trials (see Appendix 5). See, also, the section on
historical context of Daniel Hovey's life for more details.
Joseph and Hannah had seven children, as follows:
I. Joseph, born Feb. 28, 1677-8 and died in the late summer of 1735 at the age of fifty-seven. He was a cooper by trade (barrel maker). He acquired the inn known as the Sign of the Blue Anchor by mortgage from the heirs of the former owner, Capt. Jonathan Remington of Cambridge, in 1704-5. This ancient tavern was situated near what was then the market place, and included the house and other buildings and land. It was then bounded on the south side by the "Lane that leads from the market place Towards Cooks Pond," and on the west side by "the Queens highway leading to the College." Joseph conducted the tavern for five years before selling it to his brother John, a baker. Joseph married Mary Marret of Cambridge on Dec. 10, 1702. She outlived Joseph and married Nathaniel Parker of Newton, a yeoman (a farmer who owns his own land), on Jan. 27, 1736-7. Mr. Parker died before 1758. She died between 1758 and 1761. They had six children; four sons and two daughters.
II. Ebenezer, born Nov. 5, 1680 and died in the early spring of 1756. He was a Deacon. He began as a blacksmith but subsequently was a yeoman. He settled in Weymouth in 1703 and lived there the rest of his life. He married, first, Joanna, daughter of Joseph Benson of Hull about 1702. She died in Weymouth March 26, 1735. He married, second, widow Sarah King of Norton, Nov. 13, 1735. Deacon Hovey had five children, 3 daughters and 2 sons.
III. Hannah, born Nov. 21, 1682. No other information is known.
IV. John, born Aug. 21, 1684.
V. Caleb, born June 4, 1687 and died before Feb. 3, 1745. He married Mary Winchester of Brookline in June of 1713. They had six children; four daughters and two sons.
VI. Thomas, born June 6, 1689. No other information is known.
VII. James, born about 1691 and died July 13, 1765, at the age of seventy-four. He was a saddler (a saddle-tree maker), and a yeoman. He was also a Deacon in the church. Deacon Hovey married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of William Mellins of Charlestown, a mariner, about 1718. She died in a fall on Oct. 1, 1750 at the age of fifty-four. He married, second, Susannah Dexter of Malden on May 7, 1751. James had five children by Elizabeth; 3 sons and 2 daughters.