Thursday, April 17, 2008

Joseph DANIELS and Mary FAIRBANKS - Early America

Many thanks to David B. Daniels
research, writing and web site "Daniels of Massachusetts Bay Colony."

Home of Joseph and Mary Fairbanks Daniell (Daniels) 1676
80 Island Ave., Millis, MA

Joseph Daniell Barn 1660
Joseph and Mary Fairbanks Daniell built their first home on this site about 1660. The present day home was rebuilt in 1676 after being burned by the Indians during King Philips War. Area historians say the barn was built prior to 1660.
See David B Daniels work at:

Joseph Daniell

b.1638 (est.), Watertown, Massachusetts, d. June 23, 1715 Medway, Massachusetts

Chooses Guardian

April 7, 1657, Cambridge County Court records show Joseph Daniell, then 19, chose Robert Parker of Cambridge as his guardian.

Buys First Home - Cambridge

1660, Joseph Daniell purchased the home of David Fiske*. The home was located in Cambridge on the north side of Linnean Street, the south west corner of Botanic Garden.

*David, then a surveyor, age 36, decided to move his family to Cambridge Farms with a group of families known as the "Farmers". Cambridge Farms became incorporated as Lexington, Massachusetts in 1713.

Move to Medfield

Joseph Daniell moved to Medfield, Massachusetts and was accepted as a townsman on February 3, 1662 and in the following October drew lands indicating he was already the owner of a farm. This section of Medfield, in an area west of the Charles River known as the Boggastowe, was a frontier settlement at the time of Joseph's arrival. Located on Island Road, (modern day Millis) his new homestead is 25 miles southwest from the home he left in Cambridge. Like his father before him, Joseph was not concerned about leaving a familiar environment for the uncertainty of a frontier settlement. Joseph Daniell was the second colonist to settle in the area.

Note: The area where the Joseph Daniell's homestead is located was originally called Medfield, which then became Medway (1713) and then became Millis (1885). I have modified this section to reflect the appropriate town name at the time of the event. This often confuses researchers since one normally would assume a new town name means a new geographic location, which in this case is not true.

Daniell - Fairbanks Marriage

November 16, 1665, Joseph married Mary Fairbanks, daughter of Sergeant George Fairbanks and Mary Adams Fairbanks at Boggastowe Farms. The name Boggastowe was a name used by the Indians to describe the area west of the Charles river. George Fairbanks was the first settler in the area having arrived in 1658. Joseph and Mary were the first to be married at Boggastowe Farms.

The Fairbanks House - Dedham

Note: Mary Fairbanks Daniell's grandfather, Jonathan Fairbanks' home, built in 1636, located in Dedham, Massachusetts is considered to be the oldest existing frame house in America today.

Forming a Family

September 23, 1666, Mary then 18 gave birth to her first son, Josheph Daniell, Jr.

May 4,1669, A first daughter was born which was named after her mother, Mary

October 20, 1671, A second son, Samuel was born

July 10, 1674, A second daughter, Mehitable was born.

King Philips War

June 1675, King Philip's War begins with fighting between colonists and Indians, which quickly spreads across eastern Massachusetts.

July 14,1675, Mendon, Massachusetts was attacked claiming several lives. The town’s buildings were burned to the ground and the town was subsequently abandoned.

King Philips War - The Attack at Medway

February 1676, The citizens of Medfield had been bracing for an attack of King Philips warriors for several days. As a precaution many families in the area including the Daniell's sought out the safety of the large stone house [George Faribanks Stone Fort photo below] located on the north shore of South End Pond. The house was a garrison-type fortress built by Mary's father, Sergeant George Fairbanks and the residents of Boggastowe farms. It was recorded that the home was two stories high, sixty-five to seventy feet long. It was constructed using flat stones laid in clay mortar, with a double row of portholes on all sides, and was lined with heavy oak plank.

Note: Some of the stones were still visible in 1836, but the last of them had been hauled off by 1886, and for a century no one has known exactly where Fairbanks' house stood.

It was George's responsibility as a Sergeant in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, an elite organization outside jurisdiction of the local militia, to provide a safe place in the event of hostility in the frontier.

During daylight hours the men would venture out to tend to livestock and other tasks returning each night to the safety of the house. The attack at Medfield came on February 21, 1676. It has been recorded that 9 families, more than 60 people were protected by the stone house and survived; however, others in outlying areas lost their lives and many homes were destroyed by fire. Jonathan Wood was attacked at Death's Bridge and died. Jonathan's pregnant wife went into labor upon hearing the news of his death and died hours later. A baby girl named Silence was born the day her parents died.

Fairbank's garrison was attacked again on May 6, 1676. The Indians attempted to ignite the house by rolling a cart loaded with burning flax down the hill, but the cart lodged on a boulder, and when a warrior attempted to free the cart, he was killed by a shot from the house. Again the attack was resisted successfully. Friendly Indians from Natick were on hand to assist with the defense. Joseph, Mary and their 4 children, Joseph, 10, Mary, 7, Samuel, 6, and Mehitable aged 2 were among those to lose their home.

George F. Daniels 1887 Account

Family historian George F. Daniels published the following account based on family records reviewed at a meeting of the Daniels Fraternity which met in Franklin, Massachusetts in August of 1877.
"21, Feb. 1676 – the burning of Medfield and incident of Philips War. At this time six families, in the present Millis, and six others not far distant in the present Sherborn, had settled on the “west side,” and for their safety a stone garrison-house situated near Boggastow pond, an expansion of the brook, a half mile or more northeasterly from Joseph’s (Daniell) residence had been erected. This house says the history, was at one time occupied as a dwelling by Mr. Fairbanks. Tradition says at the time of the raid upon the west side (which was on the morning following the burning of the town) Joseph was at home alone attending to his cattle, his wife and children (eldest being 10 years of age) having been previously sent to the stronghold, and knowing his peril was on the watch and seeing at a distance the enemy approaching fled to the blockhouse. The Indians came up, burned his buildings and followed on to the rendezvous in which most of the residents of the vicinity had gathered, besieging it persistently for days, but failed in all their attempts, and finally withdrew. Two months later there was another alarm and a second unsuccessful attack on the garrison here assembled. It is related that on one of these occasions a farm cart was loaded with hay, flax and other combustibles, set on fire and started on its errand of destruction down the slope on which the house was situated, but turning aside it rested against a rock and the garrison was unharmed. A shot from the house is said to have dispatched one of the venturesome assailants who attempted to start it again on its course."

Source: Notes on a Franklin Branch of the Daniell, or Daniels Family by George F. Daniels.
Published in Oxford, Massachusetts, 1897

George FAIRBANKS old stone fort


Life Returns to Normal

Joseph and Mary rebuilt their home and continued to develop their land and grow their family.

April 24, 1677, Joseph and Mary's third son, Ebenezer was born.

March 09, 1678/79, Elizabeth, daughter number three is born.

March 17, 1679/80, Jeremiah, son number four is born

June 16, 1680, 3-month-old Jeremiah dies

Birth of Eleazer

March 09, 1680/81, Eleazer, the last child of Joseph and Mary Daniell, was born. He was named after Mary's uncle, Eleazer Fairbanks...

Mary Daniell's Father Dies

January 10, 1682, George Fairbanks Sr. falls through the ice while crossing the Charles River and drowns.

Death of Wife - Mary Fairbanks Daniell

June 9, 1682, Mary dies at the age of 32 leaving 8 children behind between the ages of 1 and 15 years.

Joseph Daniell Marries 2nd Wife

1683, Joseph and Rachel Sheffield married sometime in 1683. She is the 23 year old daughter of William and Mary Sheffield of Sherborn.

Family Additions

Together Joseph and Rachel would have 3 additional children.

November 3, 1684, Jeremiah was born.
Note: It was a common practice to name a child after a deceased sibling
October 16, 1686, Rachel was born
April 9, 1687, Zechariah was born

Death of Wife, Rachel

May 3, 1687, tragedy strikes again when Rachel dies less than a month after the birth of Zechariah. While we have no way of knowing why Rachel died it's clear that life during the 1600's was filled with the harsh reality that complications from childbirth could often lead to an early death.

Building a Mill

1686, Medway agreed to give Joseph Daniell rights to dam the Boggastowe Brook as long as he agreed to maintain a mill. This was the first mill that Joseph and his descendents were to maintain on the Boggastowe over the next 138 years.

Joseph and Mary's home and barn are still standing, having been rebuilt after being burned by attacking Indians during King Philips War.

Joseph Daniell Marries 3rd Wife

1697, Joseph Daniel and Lydia Adams Allen married sometime in 1697. Lydia was the widow of James Allen.

Eleazer Moves to Mendon

May 5, 1705 Eleazer, now 24 years old bought 20 acres of land in Mendon, Massachusetts 15 miles southwest of his home on Island Road in Medfield.

Joseph Daniell Dies

June 23, 1715, Joseph Daniell dies. While only a few headstones exist today it’s believed that Joseph, Mary his wife were buried in the ancient cemetery located in Sherborn, a mile or two from his homestead. This ... cemetery contains a monument which identifies it as the resting-place of the first settlers of the area.

resting place of George FAIRBANKS, Joseph DANIELL and Mary FAIRBANKS DANIELL (DANIELS)

Medway Massachusetts in 1713

Below is the first map of Medway, Massachusetts. Among many other things the map shows the location of Joseph Daniell Sr., his first son, Joseph Daniell Jr. and 3rd son Ebenezer's homes. In addition, the stone house that provided a safe haven from the attacking Indians is identified in the upper right hand corner as George Fairbanks "stone house".

Ninth Great Grandparents
12- Deacon Joseph DANIELS b. Abt 1640 of Medfield, Norfolk, MA, d. 23 Jun 1715 and his wife 12-Mary FAIRBANKS b.10 Sep 1647 Dedham, Norfolk, MA, d. 9 Jun 1682 Mary was the daughter of Capt. George FAIRBANKS and Mary ADAMS and grand daughter of Jonathan FAIRBANKS.

11-Captain Eleazer DANIELS b.1681
10-Rachel DANIELS b.1720
9-Abner RAWSON b.1764
8-Amariah RAWSON b.1787
7-Adaline RAWSON b.1811
6-Mary DUNN b.1833
5-Harriett Camilla ENSIGN b.1859
4-George Ensign SMITH b.1898
3-Camilla SMITH b.1926

1 comment:

Linechaser said...

My eighth great-grandparents.

1. Deacon Joseph DANIELL (1638-1715) + Mary FAIRBANKS
2. Joseph DANIELL, Jr. (1666-1739) + Bethiah BRECK
3. Samuel DANIELL (1693-1788) + Sarah PHIPPS
4. Capt. Japheth DANIELS (1737-1805) + Melathiah HAYWARD
5. Japheth DANIELS, Jr. (1777-1851) + Betsey RIDER
6. Lawson DANIELS (1801-1851) + Clarissa Underwood POND
7. Newell DANIELS (1828-1904) + Isabells Ophelia STONE
8. Lee Hayden DANIELS (1860-1890) + Adelaide M STODDARD
9. Cora Jean DANIELS (1888-1970) + Arthur Julian NELSON
10. Joan Elizabeth NELSON (1921-2003) + Frank Edward THOMAS