Summer spots: Part Two

To continue my look at outdoor spots my family enjoyed this socially distant summer, I now will talk about Appleton Farms in Ipswich and Hamilton, not too far from the Crane Estate. The Trustees website describes Appleton farm as the “gift of Colonel Francis R. Appleton, Jr. and his wife Joan, [and] one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country, established in 1638 and maintained by nine generations of the Appleton family.”

During our two visits to Appleton Farm this summer, my family and I found three monuments (there are more) to members of the Appleton family, the first to the above Joan Egleston Appleton (1912-2006), and then monuments to Col. Appleton’s parents – Francis R. Appleton (1854-1929) and Fanny L. Appleton (1864-1958).[1]

The Trustees website provides a lengthy description of the Appleton Family Papers, with detail on several of the family members over the nine generations of ownership, back to Samuel Appleton, a native of Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, who arrived in Ipswich in 1636 with his wife Judith Everard, and their five children. Samuel Appleton has a royal descent from Henry I, King of England (who died in 1135), while his wife Judith has a royal descent from Robert I, King of France (who died in 923); Samuel and Judith are ancestors of President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Jane Means (Appleton) Pierce.[2]

Decent treatments of the first generation of the Appleton family in Massachusetts and their origins in England are contained in two mid-20th-century works by Walter Goodwin Davis: The Ancestry of Phoebe Tilton and The Ancestry of Mary Isaac c. 1549-1613, Wife of Thomas Appleton of Little Waldingfield, co. Suffolk and Mother of Samuel Appleton of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

My first “Summer Spots” post highlighted some Rhode Island connections to the Crane family of Ipswich, so I will do the same for the Appleton family. Through Francis Randall Appleton [Sr.]’s mother, this family descends from my ancestor Gov. Roger Williams, as well as religious “heretic” Anne Hutchinson (also of royal descent from King Edward I of England), an ancestor of the Bush presidents and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Six years ago, for our annual benefit dinner, I researched the ancestors of our speaker, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and discovered, among other things, that she descended from Rev. John Wheelwright, Anne’s brother-in-law, and I made a chart showing her kinship to Anne’s three presidential descendants. I have adjusted the chart below to include the last owners of Appleton Farms.

Click on image to expand it.

Concluded here.

Sources for the chart

In addition to the Appleton Family Papers: C.C. Child, Ancestors of Doris Kearns Goodwin; Marston Watson, Royal Families Volume Two, 1-5, 7-8, 16-17, 40-41, 120-21; Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College Vol. V., June 1793-September, 1805, 610-11 (marriages of Nicholas Phillips Randall [Yale 1803]); Early Marriages from Newspapers Published in Central New York, 56 (marriage of Nicholas P. Randall, and Sibil, dau. of Edward Dyer of Rutland, Vt.); Early Families of Rutland, Vermont, 120-21 (family of Edward Dyer); Descendants of Roger Williams Book III, 3-10, 17-18, 44, 135-36. Appleton ancestor Mary Greene (wife of Edward Dyer), was the daughter of William Greene and Mary Sayles, daughter of John Sayles and Mary Williams, daughter of Gov. Roger Williams and Mary Barnard. Mary (Greene) Dyer’s father William Greene was the son of John Greene and Anne Almy, daughter of William Almy and Audrey Barlow (this last of royal descent from King Henry II of England), ancestors of U.S. Presidents Harding, Nixon, and Carter (see Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents, 346-47).


[1] These are monuments, not gravestones: the three family members named are buried, along with Col. Francis Randall Appleton, Jr., at Old South Cemetery in Ipswich.

[2] Gary Boyd Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents, 2009 edition, 354-59.

About Christopher C. Child

Chris Child has worked for various departments at NEHGS since 1997 and became a full-time employee in July 2003. He has been a member of NEHGS since the age of eleven. He has written several articles in American Ancestors, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and The Mayflower Descendant. He is the co-editor of The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton (NEHGS, 2011), co-author of The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2011) and Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus and Alice Nelson Pratt (Newbury Street Press, 2013), and author of The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2014). Chris holds a B.A. in history from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

3 thoughts on “Summer spots: Part Two

  1. I’m lucky to live close to Appleton Farms and I walk there frequently. Those monuments (from a building at Harvard that was taken down and replaced by Widener Library) are all over. Sometimes I come across one down a long path lined by towering pine trees, and feel like I’m in a Tolkien novel. Thanks for the link to the Appleton Family Papers. When researching my ancestors in Newbury & Ipswich, I’ve often seen Major Samuel Appleton’s (1624-96) name on legal documents, this is a nice resource to learn more about the family.

  2. Monuments vs. Gravestones: I am intrigued by your footnote that explains that the memorial stones you viewed are monuments not gravestones, as the people memorialized were buried elsewhere. When researching from afar, a site like findagrave may be the easiest way to “view” a monument or gravestone, but the findagrave entry may not make it at all clear whether or not the memorial is an original gravestone from the era when the person died. I have seen many examples on findagrave and other websites, in books, and in cemeteries in which the memorial pictured, described, or seen was erected long after the person died, perhaps by descendants or by a town or historical society. That presents a question concerning the reliability of the information presented on the memorial.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.