Henry Ewell


Born: ? in ?

Died: 1681 in Scituate, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts Bay

Father: ?

Mother: ?

Family #1

Spouse/Partner: Sarah Annable (1622 – 1687)

Married: 22-23 Nov 1638 in Marshfield, Plymouth County, Plymouth Colony

Child: John Ewell (1640 – 1686)

Child: Ebenezer Ewell (1643 – )

Child: Sarah Ewell (1645 – )

Child: Hannah Ewell (1649 – )

Child: Gershom Ewell (1650 – )

Child: Bethia Ewell (1653 – )

Child: Ichabod Ewell (1659 – )

Child: Deborah Ewell (1663 – )

Child: Eunice Ewell (? – )

Child: Rebecca Ewell (? – 1669)


Henry was a member in good standing at St. Peter's church in Sandwich (County Kent, England), and a cordwainer (shoemaker) by trade.

He emigrated from Sandwich (County Kent, England) in Mar 1634/35 on the ship "Hercules," John Weatherby, master.

Following his arrival in Scituate (Plymouth County, Plymouth Colony), became a member of the first church in Scituate, and was a soldier in the Pequot war in 1637. He was a freeman by at least 1638.

He moved to Barnstable (Barstable County, Plymouth Colony) in 1638 with the others of the church, but returned to Scituate about 1648, where he settled on a farm (about two miles southwest of Scituate Harbor) where he remained for the rest of his life.

Henry was a Puritan, but about 1660 he became a convert to the teachings of George Fox, and joined the Society of Friends. He sold land to them for a meeting house, and is listed as one of the leading members of that organization.

His home in Scituate was burned by natives on 19 Apr 1676, during King Phillip's War. According to the "History of Scituate" by Samuel Deane, when the Indians first approached, Sarah (Henry's wife) was along with infant grandchild John Northey (son of daughter Sarah). She didn't notice the attackers until they were almost on the house at which time she fled toward a nearby garrison, intending to raise the alarm. In the rush, she forgot her grandchild. The Indians entered the house, taking bread from the oven, then rushed forward to attack the garrison. After they were engaged in battle, Sarah managed to return to the house and found John sleeping quietly in his cradle. She carried him back safely to the garrison. The house was burned a few hours after this. The house was rebuilt afterwards.

There is a tradition that the home of Henry Ewell was the "Old Oaken Bucket Homestead" mention in the Samuel Woodworth poem, Samuel being a descendent of the John Northey who was left in the house when the Indans attacked.

From Henry's will, dated 16 Aug 1681, proved 1688:

  • he bequeathed all of his estate to his wife Sarah, who was also appointed the sole executrix;
  • wife Sarah was to repair/replace those goods received by daughter Hannah as a legacy from Goody Woodfield (unknown relationship) that were damaged or worn, except those goods that were burned when the house was torched by Indians;
  • he bequeathed one shilling each to sons Gershom and Ichabod, and to daughters Sarah (Northey), Hannah, Eunice, and Deborah.

Change Date

This data was last changed on 11 Jul 2007, and is stored in datafile B.

Primary and Secondary Sources

(see About Sources)

Genealogical notes of Barnstable families.
by Amos Otis (revised by C.F. Swift); Barnstable, Mass.: F.B. & F.P. Goss, 1888-1890. [applies to name, death, marriage, notes]
Genealogy of Henry Ewell of Sandwich, England and Scituate, Massachusetts
by Joseph E. Ewell; Bath, N.Y., Press of the Steuben Courier. 1987. Full title: "Genealogy of Henry Ewell of Sandwich, England and Scituate, Massachusetts : and his descendants extending to John Ewell of the fourth generation." [applies to name, death, marriage, notes]
Web: Ancestry Database (Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33)
by Robert Charles Anderson; ancestry.com [Original data: The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Vol. 1-3. Boston, MA, USA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995. This is a consolidation work containing biographical sketches of a single individual or family, arriving in New England between 1620 and 1633. It is based on numerous secondary and primary sources with references to each. (no document images)] [applies to marriage]
Will - Transcribed (Henry Ewell)
Dated 16 Aug 1681, Probated 13 Mar 1688/9. [Taken from "Genealogy of Henry Ewell of Sandwich England. . ." by Joseph Ewell, 1987, on pages 17-18.] [applies to name, death, notes]
Will - Transcribed (Sarah Ewell)
Dated 20/24 Aug 1697, Probated 29 Dec 1709. [Taken from "Genealogy of Henry Ewell of Sandwich England. . ." by Joseph Ewell, 1987, on pages 20-22.] [applies to name]

Research Notes (source comments, unreliable information)

Considering the animosity between Puritans and Quakers, could the reason for the Henry's return to Scituate from Barnstable be related? George Fox only started preaching the faith about 1648.

In "Genealogical Notes of Barstable Families," he is listed as moving to Barstable in 1639, returning to Scituate in 1646. These are not large distinctions from the dates shown, but they do differ.

According to the Scituate Historical Society, the Old Oaken Bucket homestead (including the well) made famous by Samuel Woodworth's poem is currently operated as a museum. The site indicates that Samuel's father married Betsy Northey, supporting the idea that Samuel was a descendent of Henry's son John Northey.

I haven't been there and can't find "official" confirmation yet, but there is claimed to be a sign in front of the house which states:

1630-1930 The Old Oaken Bucket Homestead and well made famous by Samuel Woodworth in his poem "The Old Oaken Bucket." Homestead erected by John Northey in 1675. This would be a year off from the known date the original house burned, but may be an error on the sign. Henry may well have enlisted his son-in-law John to rebuild it.

This house is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of 9 Apr 1996.

"Genealogical notes of Barstable Families" notes that Henry resided in West Barnstable, near Anthony Annable, but that his name is mistakenly recorded as Henry Coxswell, "a blunder of the town clerk."