Sunday, January 11, 2009

E. B. Wight family genealogy

Thomas Wight Genealogy
"A Record of Thomas Wight of Dedham and Medfield and of his Descendants 1635 - 1890" by William Ward Wight, Milwaukee, Swain & Tate - Printers 1890

I know nothing of Thomas Wight’s arrival in New England, or his history there previous to the winter of 1635-6, at which time he seems to have been in Watertown. Over a year later he appears tangibly in Dedham. “”The 18th of ye 5th month, comonly called July 1637” Thomas Wight with eleven other persons, having been duly certified by the magistrate, and having subscribed unto the covenant, was admitted an inhabitant of Dedham. At this time his family consisted of his wife Alice or Elsie, and his children Henry, John, Thomas, and, doubtless, Mary. In the distribution of lands for homesteads, Thomas Wight received from the town the portion, twelve acres, allotted to each married man. The boundaries of this early grant to our ancestor, are given in the Town Records as follows:

“Thomas Wight twelve Acres more or lesse made up good by an enlargemt tune in amonst ye Rockes & for woode and timbr as it lyeth ye one side of the highwaye leading into the Rockes for ye most pte & John Luson from that wave upon a lyne southwest unto ye brooke as that side lyeth next John Luson towards the North. And the other side lyeth by Anthony ffisher throughout wth a c’rtyne p’cell of grounds for a Situacon of a house a yeard Roome & easmt of water by the Brooke within the said Antho. ffishers lyne as by the marks and dooles app’eth. The one head abbvutteth upon the waest towards the East and the other upon John Lusons Rockes towards ye west, the high waye leading towards the Ragged playne run’g through the same.”

The highway at that time passed over the hill to the southeast of where it now runs adjoining the residence of Thomas Wight. The outline of this grand will ever be easily traced by the Rockes and Brooke. In addition to the home lot, is a number of subsequent grants of “planting ground,” woodland and meadow. His tillage land besides the home lot, consisted of 15 acres on the east side of the present public road, extending from the cross road bounding his home lot nearly to the great common. (Wight’s Wight Family, 9, 10.) The history of this home lot I shall advert to in another place, p.5.

The life, then, which our ancestor had abandoned in England, he begins anuew in quiet and seclusion in the New England wilds. Far from the excitement of the contests between Charles I. and his embittered subjects, the career of Thomas Wight was, as I believe, most congenial and adapted to his character. E and his wife were received into the church “ye 6th of ye 7 mo. 1640” On October 8, 1640, he became a freeman (Register, III, 188). For six years, beginning in 1641, he was a selectman of Dedham (Mann’s Annals, 79). His name frequently occurs In the early records. He took an active part in the concerns of the town and was repeatedly selected for the performance of various public services (Wight’s Wight Family. 11) The earliest mention of his name in the Record of Births, Marriages and Deaths, occurs in 1639, in the following style: “Samuell, the Son of Thomas & Alice Wight, was borne the 5 of the 12 mo.” (Hill’s Records of Dedham, I., 1; Register, IV, 360). [Samuel was our line.] Thomas Wight’s name appears fourth on a list of Dedham inhabitants who (first of 11th month 1644) “taking into consideration the great necesitie of providing some meanes for the Education of the youth in sd Towne, did with an unanimous consent, declare by voate, their willingness to promote that worke, promising to put too their hands, to provide maintenance for a free school in our sd Towne.” Resolutions follow to raise L20 per annum, and put it with certain set apart lands in the hands of feofees to be improved for the school. This was the first free school in Massachusetts supported by a tax. (Register, XXII, 165). The last recorded instance of his labors for the commonweal in Dedham is in 1650,when he, with others, was deputed by the town to attend to the erection of a village for the Indians at Natick. Other instances of his and of his descendants’ regard for the aborigines will be noticed in their proper sequence. After 1650 hes name does not again appear in connection with Dedham affairs except on the lists made out from time to time of the division of lands among the origianl proprietors, and on the lists of persons assessed for the payment of the public charges. (Wight’s Wight Family, 11.)

As early as 1649 he became interested in the movement for dividing Dedham, which resulted in the formation of Medfield. Under the date of November 14, 1649, the following minute appears in the Dedham Records: “Chosen by the inhabitants assembled for the managing and transaction of whatever is or may be needed for the further performing of the erecting, disposing, and government of the said villages, the men whose names are hereunder written, who are fully authorized thereunto until there by such a company of men engaged in that plantation and associated together as the town of Dedham shall judge meet for that work and trust. Ralph Wheelock, Thomas Wight, Robert Hinsdell, Henry Chickering, John Dwight, Peter Woodward, Eleazar Lusher.” (Tilden’s Medfield, 36.) The agreement entered into by all who desired to be accepted as inhabitants of the village, is signed by Thomas Wight and his son John. On May 10, 1650, Thomas Wight was chosed the first of a committee of five – Thomas Wight, Robert Hinsdell, Timothy Dwight, Samuel Bulleyn and John Frairy – to assist and direct the measurer in laying out house lots in Medfield, and inasmuch as every grantee of house lots was directed to pay to the collector of the town one shilling for every acre in payment of the charges that concerned the town, Thomas Wight was chosen such collector. At the same meeting (May 10, 1650), Thomas Wight, was named to represent Medfield, to assist and advise in laying out the farm to the heirs of Mr. Edward Alleye, who had died in 1642. At the same meeting Thomas Wight, Robert Hinsdell and Samuel Bullen, were chosen to be present at the laying of the line betwixt Dedham and Medfield. At the same meeting Thomas Wight, Peter Woodward, John Dwight, Timothy Dwight, Samuel Bullen, and Eleazar Lusher were chosen a committee on laying out highways. (Tilden’s Medfield, 37-42.) On June 19, 1650, the committee proceeded to lay out thirteen house lots, no portion being more than 12 acres, the chairman of the committee mentioning his own and his son’s portion last, as follows:

12 – To Thomas Wight, twelve acres, touching upon Robert Hinsdale at one angle, otherwise upon waste land.
This was on what is now Green Street, a little way from North Street, Medfield.

13 – To John Wight, six acres, abutting on Thomas Wight on the southwest, all else on waste land.

“Wight’s Lane” led from North Street to these lots. (Tilden’s Medfield, 45.)

All this action for the management of town affairs in Medfield was taken in Dedham. On the first of the eleventh month, 1650 (January 11, 1651, N.S.) Dedham surrendered jurisdiction of Medfield. The date of the removal of Thomas Wight from Dedham to Medfield in not known. Whenever he removed he took with him his entire family, except his eldest son Henry. His family consisted of his wife and following children: Henry, John, Mary, Samuel and Ephrain. From the valuation of the town of Medfield in 1652, it wouyld appear that Thomas Wight was then the wealthiest citizen of the new town. His valuation was L322 and his son John L88. Thomas Wight had in 1653 a grant “to be laid oute on the North plains, to begine at that end toward natick.” There were also later grants to him as well as to other citizens. In 1654 Thomas Wight became selectman of Medfield, and served during the following years, 1654, ’55, ’58 - ’64 – the last being the year of his death. (Tilden’s Medfield, 56, 60 et. Seq.)

References to our progenitor in the Medfield records show various duties which he was called upon to perform: In 1654 “Brother wight and brother barber are requested and Deputed to pro Cure slepers & planks for the metting House ether by procuring planks sawen or to purchase them for the town.” (Tilden’s Medfield, 62.) The next year the town settled with Brother Wight for procuring glass for the meeting house. On February 6, 1660j, George Fairbanks received a grant of “such timber for fencing as shall make three hundred rails, with posts for it, as shall vew set out by brother Wight, and John Metcalf shall appoint him with what he has already fallen to make up three hundred rails.” (Jameson’s Medway, 26.) In 1660 John Thurston had become the wealthiest citizen, valuation L281; Thomas Wight stood second with a valuation of L266. In 1661 it became his duty to assist in seating people in the meeting house.

In 1664, 8th month, 19th day, Thomas Wight’s name was third signed with his sons Samuel and Thomas, and his son-in-law, Thomas Ellis, and 41 other inhabitants of Medfield to a memorial to the general court of the colony, stating that representations had been made to the king that there were divisions and dissatisfaction about the present government and “earnest desire for the continuance thereof and of all the liberties pertaining thereto, which are contained in the charter granted by King James and King Charles the first of famous memorie, under the encouragement and security of which charter we, or out fathers, ventured over the ocean into this wilderness through great hazards, charges and that they may not be subjected to the arbitrary power of any who are not chosen by the people according to their patent. “so earnestly begging ye sweete presence and blessing of God on all your faithfule Endeauors Wee shall rest full obedience to support the present Government with our Persons and estates.” This petition is in full in the Register XIII., 346, where it is stated that the original is signed with the own hands of the signers.

In 1667 Thomas Wight is mentioned as a deacon in the Medfield church.

In 1670 the selectman paid Thomas Wight “for hemp and bell rope making.” 1s, 6d.
On January 25, 1672, Thomas Wight was chairman of a committee, “To treat and conclud with John of Boggastow, we mene John a Wawameg of Natick for the interest and right he claims in the Lands within our Towne Bownes on the west side of Charles River.” – what was later Medway. (Jameson’s Medway, 17.) The business was promptly attended to, and under date of March 1, 1672, the record says: “This day the rate for the Endians pay was Drawen up it being 21L &7s.” Thomas Wight seems to have taken much interest in the future Medway. In 1659j he and his son Thomas had received grants of lots on the west side of Charles River, the former of 15 scres and the latter of 6 acres. This was in the Old Grant; in 1660 the New Grant immediately to the was divided by lot among the Medfield proprietors. In this division Thomas Wight received 166 acres, the largest except two, of 47 proprietors. I find no specific reference to these tracts in Thomas Wight’s will, but all his children (except Henry) and several of his grandchildren held land west of the Charles, for which we see their names. No Wights lived there until Nathaniel Wight moved about 1713 to Medway.

We find our ancestor useful in other ways. The inventory of the estate of Samuel Morse of Medfield was taken by Thomas Wight, George Barber and Ralph Wheelock, 10:5: 1654 (Register, IX, 141); of Abraham Harding, by Thomas Wight, Robert Hensdell and Ralph Wheelocke, 6:2: 1655 (Register, IX, 135); and of John Fisher of Medfield, by Capt. George Barber, William Avery, Peter Woodward, Thomas Wight and Henry Adams, 9:5: 1668 (Register, XIX, 36).

Thomas Wight and all his surviving sons in Medfield and his son-in-law subscribed for building the new brick college at Cambridge, now known as Harvard University. (Tilden’s Medfield, 76; Register, X, 49). Thomas Wight’s name occurs immediately after Mr. John Wilson’s and Mr. Ralph Wheelock’s;

Thomas Wight, Sr. 4 bushelles of Endian corne of which he have payd 3s in money.
Ephraim Wight, 2 bushelles of Endian corne.

Samuell Wight, 1 bushell of Endian corne.

Thomas Wight, Jr. 1 bushell of Endian corne.

Thomas Elice, 1 bushell of Endian corne and a half.

Thomas Wight died in Medfield March 17, 1673-4.

Of his first wife I know but very little. The Dedham records state that Alice, wife of Thomas Wight, was received into the church the 6th day of the 7th month of 1640. The Medfield record give her death July 15, 1665. It is with sincere regret that I am compelled to leave our great mother so meagrely chronicled. On December 7, 1665, Thomas Wight married for his second wife Lydia, widow of James Penniman of Boston, and sister of John Eliot the apostle to the Indians. Se a reference to her in Thomas Wight’s will Lydia Eliot was, probably, baptized at Nasing, Eng. July 1, 1610, her father being Bennett Eliot, (Register XXVIII, 145). She is the Lydia Eliot mentioned by Mr. Wm. H. Whitmore in the Heraldic Journal, Oct. 1868, p.199, he being then in doubt whether she cad crossed the ocean. I have not the date of he marriage to James Penniman, but of her nine children the eldest was baptized March 26, 1633; the youngest was born September 29, 1653. Her first husband died December 26, 1664. (Register, XXXVII, 168). Lydia Wight’s will was made December 2, 1673, and was probated July 27, 1676 – the latter act approximating the date of her death. In this instrument she mentions her former husband James Penniman executor, and her “loving cousin” Jacob Eliot and Theophilus Frary overseers. Inventory L109:11:04. Children mentioned: Samuel Penniman, Lydia Adams, Sarah Robinson, Bethia Allin; Hanna Hall, Abigail Corie, Mary Penniman. As to the Penniman family, see Bates’ Braintree Records. The signature to Lydia Wight’s will: [Lydia Wight]

This is not the Lydia Eliot concerning whom Rev. Samuel Danforth, colleague of the Apostle, wrote as follows on page 252 of Roxbury church records: “Anno 1655, 26d, 6m, Lydia Eliot being convict of theft & lying &pride, all wch became famous & notorious, she was cast out of ye church. Her theift was ye taking away of lace from one shop in Boston, & neer ye space of a year after, stealing away a Tiffany Hood out of another shop, and being charged wth these things by ye Owners, she denyed ym agn & againe, but afterwd was found out & made restitution (she stold also a skaine of yarn of halfe a pound, wch was found out after her excommunication). 2d 9m 1656, Lydia upon her humiliation was received againe & ye Church confirmed their love to her.” Ellsworth Eliot, M. D. of New York, to whom I am indebted for several favors, conjectures that this Lydia may have been one of the brothers who assumed the surname of he employer.

2. – 1. Henry, born
3. – 2. John, born
4. – 3. Thomas, born
5. – 4. Mary, born
6. – 5. Samuel, born in Dedham, February 5, 1639.
7. – 6. Ephraim, born in Dedham, January 27, 1645.


In the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and seventy-two, the seventh day of the twelfth month, I, Thomas Wight, Senior, of Medfield, in the county of Suffolk, in New England, being by the good hand of God in some comfortable measure of health at the present, and sound in my memory and understanding, yet being grown fin age and accompanied with he infirmities incident thereunto, and thereby frequently put in mind of my mortality, do, therefore, in the name and fear of God (in preparation to my expected change), make and ordain this my last will and testament for the disposing and settling the things of this life wherewith it hath pleased God to intrust me, in manner and form as followeth: Wherein, I first give and commit my soul into the hands of Jesus Christ, my dear redeemer, and my body to the earth whence it was t5aken, to be after my decease christianly buried at the discretion of my executors.

Imprimis – Whereas Lydia, my present dear and well beloved wife, did before my marriage with her make and agreement with me in all respects concerning her supply from me in case of my departure out of this natural life before herself, which agreement, under my hand and seal, is yet remaining in the keeping of Mr. John Eliot, Pastor of the Church of Christ, in Roxbury, her brother.
Item – I do hereby fully settle and confirm unto and upon my son, Henry Wight, of Dedham, my eldest son, all those my houses and lands lying and being in Dedham, formerly contracted for, with all the rights and privileges thereunto belinging, and further I give unto the said Henry, my son, my two bigest books.
Item – I give and bequeath unto my son, Thomas Wight, the one half of that parcell of wood land which I formerly bought of Major Lusher, lying in Dedham bounds, and four acres of my swamp lying by William Cheney’s, on the side next the said William Cheney and of the swamp at the end of Month Street lotts, three acres adjoining to his own swamp, and the one half of all wearing clothes, both linen and wollen, boots, shoes and hats.
Item – I will and bequeath unto my son Samuel Wight, and to his heirs forever, all that parcell of meadow which I formerly bought of John Warfield of Medfield, and all that parcell of land granted me by the town of Medfield, lying and adjoining to the parcell last above mentioned, and also one other parcell of coarse meadow lying in the swamp called Maple swamp, as also one-half of all my wearing clothes, both linen and wollen, boots, shoes and hats.
Item – I will and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Ellis, the wife of Thomas Ellis, and her heirs forever, that my bed, bedstead, and all the furniture thereunto belonging, fitted in all respects for use, as it now standeth in the parlor chamber in my dwelling house, as also one half of all such brass, pewter and iron pots as I shall leave at the time of my decease.
Item – I will and bequeath unto my son, Ephraim Wight, and his heirs forever, all that my dwelling house, barn and outhouses belonging to the sme, with all that my house lot whereupon they stand and are situated, and all other the appurtenances and accommodations to that my house and lot, as well already laid out as tobe laid out whatsoever, both meadow, upland and swamp not formerly given and bequeasted with all town rights and priviledges any way belonging or any way appertaining to the same or any part thereof: as also the one half of all that tract of woodland which I formerly bought of Major Lusher, of Dedham, lying in Dedham bounds; as also twelve acres of land which I rformerly bought of John Ellis; as also four acres of meadow land lying on the mill brook; as also all that my parcell of land lying in Dedham bounds, comonly known by the name of the round plain, the ten acres formerly given to my son, Thomas Wight, exepted.
Item – I will and bequeath unto my grandchild, Juda Ellis, the daughter of my daughter, Mary Ellis, five pounds, to be paid to my executors in good and current country pay, within six months after my decease; and as for the residue of my estate, bills, bonds, debts, cattle, household stuff and moveables of what kind or sort soever, not formerly given and bequeathed (my just debts being paid and my fureral expenses discharged) are hereby willed and bequeathed unto my son Ephraim Wight.
Item – I do hereby nominate, appoint, ordain and constitute my wellbeloved son, Henry Wight of Dedham, and my son, Ephraim Wight, of Medfield, to be my executors to this my last will and testament to whom I give and commit full power and trust for the full execution and performance of this my last will and testament, to whom I give all respects as is above mentioned; and in witness that this is my last will and testament contianed in this sheet of paper, I do hereby renounce all other wills and bequeathments by me at any time formerly made, and have hereunto put my hands and seal, the date and year above written.

Signed, sealed and published
in the presence of his mark
George Barber THOMAS + WIGHT, and a seale
his mark
Henry H Laland

George Barber and Henry Leland, the two witnesses to this instrument, personally appeared before John Leverett, Esq., Govr., and Edward Tyng, Assist., April 2d, 1674, and deposed that they were present on the day of the date of this instrument, and then and there did heare and see :Thomas Wight, the subscriber, seal and publish the same as his last will and testament; and that when he so did, he was of sound disposing mind, to their best understanding. – Suffolk County Probate Records, Vol. 7, 444.


A true inventory of the estate, both of Lands, Housings and Cattle and moveable goods of Thomas Wight sen., late of Medfield, in the county of Suffolk, in New England, who deceased March the seventeenth, 1673, with all other dues to him belonging, as it was apprized the 24th, 1 mo., 1673-4, by those underwritten:

Imprimis—To his books
To his wearing apparel
feather bed, bedstead and covering
a cup board, table and chairs


a bedstead and furniture
a chest of linen
several pieces of linen and woolen cloth
31 lb. Of yerne


a chest, bedstead and bedding

tables, forms and a chair
andirons, firepan, tonges, hakes
bellows, combs, hourglass, shears

14 pieces of pewter
iron pots and brass vessels
frying pay, gridiron, mortar, spitt and seversl vessells and lumber


Flax, old iron, 8 corn sacks and lumber


a bedstead and bedding and spinning wheel


wheat and rye and Indian corn
fann and lumber


a tub of pork, suet, lumber


several iron tools and instruments
spinning wheel, saddle and horse furniture, stock cards and grindstone

To a musket and pike
cart, plough, chains and hooks
cart rope and plough irons
two cows, two oxen, one yearling and one calf
hay in the barn,ladder and pitch forks
5 sheep and two swine
the dwelling house and barn and other outhouses, with twelve acres of land on which the building stands
pasture land and orchard adjoining to the house and lot
16 acres and one rod of swamp land
4 “ of meadow on the mill brook
11 “ of meadow land by Charles River
14 “ of land on round plain
7 “ and one rod of land
16 “ of land by Joseph Morse
8 “ of land by London farm
10 “ and half of woodland west Charles River
7 “ of land and 25 poles
16 “ and half of land on long plain
166 “ of land on the new grant
3 “ of swamp land
4 “ of meadow land
110 “ of land in Dedham bounds
Debts due to the estate

Remembered since in land
3 acres of land more
debts to be paid out of the estate

his mark

{There is an error I the footing of the inventory, it should be L464 05 01.]
Henry Wight and Ephraim Wight personally appeared April 2, 1674, before John Leverett, Esq. Govr and Edward Tyng, Assist., and made oath that this paper contains a just and true inventory of the estate of their late father, Thomas Wight, of Medfield, to the best of their knowledge, and that when they know more they will discover the same. – Suffolk County Probate Records, Vol. 7, 447.
In the probate records, the date of the death of Thomas Wight, prefixed to the inventory of his estate, is March 17th 1678 –the year 1674, according to the manner of dating at that time, not commencing till eight days later, March 25. His estate wa apprized seven days after his decease, the 24th, 1 mo 1673-4. His death is recorded in the Medfield records under the year 1674, as it should be. (Wight’s Wight Family, 105-110.)


The description of the home lot which Thomas Wight received in 1639 in Dedham has already been given, p.1. The house erected by him on this lot stood at the foot of a little rise of land on the margin of the plain on the northwest of the brook mentioned in the grand and but a little distance from it. This little house was of slender material and thatched. The frame building which succeeded this was occupied by Henry Wight when his father and the remainder of the family moved to Medfield. Whatever title Henry had to the premises was confirmed to him by his father, by his will probated in 1674. Under date November 25, 1678, occurs the following record: “Granted to Henery Wight so much timber of the Towne comon land as will make a dwelling House for his Son Joseph Eight, and to take also two or three loads of pine timber fore bord for the sayd House.” This dwelling house was an addition to the frame residence just mentioned. Upon the death intestate in 1680 of Henry, the title to these premises vested in his four surviving sons in common but finally settled in the elder of these, Joseph, who passed his life there, dying in 1729. His eventual successor in the residence and ownership was his son Ebenezer, whose nine children were born there. His eldest surviving son Joseph, born 1748, was the last Wight to occupy this aged frame. Here he was born, here his twelve children were born, and here he died in 1826. Here in 1774 had died the last of the aborigines in Dedham, Sarah Quabish, whose husband died in another town two years later. During the later life of Joseph and for a short period after his death, there were tenants in the old house – the latest occupant being Joel Stowell. About 1830 the anciend dwelling, the
home of six generations of Wights, was taken to pieces. Where the hearth stone was Danforth Phipps Wight M.D. (267), planted in 1840 an elm tree, which now flourishes, -- may it ever flourish! -- in remembrance of the common ancestor of us all. Upon the death of Ebenezer the title to the premises passed to his son Rev. Ebenezer (125), and after his death in 1821, it passed to his children in common. In the youngest of these Edward (270), the title finally rested and upon his death and the death of his widow in 1887, it has settled in their children. Thus this sacred little spot has been continuously in the Wight family from 1636 up to this hour. There are now no buildings upon it.

Rev. Ebenezer Wight did not live after manhood upon the old grant. Upon his marriage to Catherine Fuller he resided in the Fuller homestead on the main street in Dedham, about a stone’s throw from the old grant. This homestead finally vested in the children of Rev. Ebenezer, and here Danforth Phipps Wight, M.D., passed his long and useful life. Upon the death of the last survivor of these children, the title passed to Danforth Phipps Wight (570), a son of Rev. Ebenezer’s son Edward, in whom it now rests. His title is an estate for life with remainder to his widow and children. The old Fuller house, full of rare and ancient furniture, was inhabited until October, 1884 and stood upon its lot until December, 1884. From April, 1884, it was occupied by its owner Danforth Phipps Wight, who at the time was building upon the same lot a new residence in the colonial style. Some of the wainscoting of the old house was transferred to the lower hall of the new mansion and much of the old furniture ornaments, and gives a quaint flavor to, the recent building. Since October, 1884, the present owner has occupied his new home and dispenses, as I well know, a genial and abundant hospitality.


As already stated, p. 2, the home lot of Thomas Wight in Medfield was twelve acres in quantity, “touching upon Robert Hinsdale’s at one angle, otherwise uipon waste land.” The six acres of John Wight joined his father upon the southwest. The houses upon these lots were a short dstance from North street and Wight’s lane, now Green Street, led from North street thereto. The residence build upon the twelve acres of Thomas was his home the remainder of his life. By consulting the inventory of his estate, p. 4, the reader can form his own conjecture as to the number and arrangement of the rooms in this house, and as to the wealth of its occupant. By his will the home lot, dwelling house, barn and outhouses went to his youngest son, Ephraim Wight (7). These home buildings escaped the torch of King Philip’s Indians in 1676, although structures close by fell victims to the flames. Said Ephraim dwelt uon this spot until his death in 1723, when his youngest son, Daniel Wight (42), inherited the place. It was his some until his death in 1744. His eldest son, Peter Wight (108), succeeded to the ownership; but in 1762 he sold the estate to John Hooker of Medway. This Medfield homestead was, therefore, in the family from about 1650 until 1762. The same year said Hooker resold to Nathan Coolidge. During the latter’s ownership the house was severed from the lot, and removed by Barachias Mason. The house became a part of the Mason homestead on North street opposite Dale street. This house descended to Johnson Mason, and was the one in which Lowell Mason the musician was born. The mason house, which thus annexed and absorbed the old Wight homestead, still stands, although itself divided and removed to other lots.

The old Wight lot, after the severance of the dwelling, remained in the Coolidge family until 1797. The Coolidges were neighbors of the Wights, Peter Coolidge, the first of that name in Medfield, having bought in 1732 from John Fisher the old Robert Hinsdale place above mentioned. At the division of the Coolidge estate in 1797, Margaret Ellis, grand daughter of said Peter Coolidge, and niece of said Nathan Coolidge, received this Wight lot as her Coolidge inheritance. In 1810 she and her husband, Obed Ellis, deeded it to Nathan Allen, Jr. He failed in business (butchering) some years after, and his creditors appear to have come into possession of the lot by sheriff’s deed. In 1824 they sold the lot to Amos Thayer and his son Otis W. Thayer, who, together carried on the samme business there. A few years subsequently the lot and the same business passed in to the hand of Elijah Thayer, another son of Amos. About 1854 he sold the place to John and Alson Dyer. After a few years they sold it to a Mr. Brown, who kept an hotel there. He, in turn, sold it to Solomon Cohoon, also a hotel keeper. Still later he sold the same piece of land to Alonzo B. Parker, the present owner. The lot has now no buildings upon it, but traces of the old Wight cellar are still visible.


6. SAMUEL2 WIGHT (Thomas1) born February, 1639, is the earliest Wight mentioned in Dedham records: “Samuell ye some of our brother Thomas wight was baptised ye 15th of ye 7 month, 1640.” (Hill’s Dedham Records, II, 24.) He moved to Medfield aboutr 1650 with his father. In 1662 “Henirry Smith, John Bowers and Samervell wight ar Chosen to burn the woods in there severall parts of the town as they now live.” (Tilden’s Medfield, 68.) The ancient Bible of Samuel’s remote descendent, Martha Gibbs Wight (426) now of Marietta, Geo., thus records his marriage: “Mr. Samuel Wight and Miss Hannah Albee, of Medfield, Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, were married by the Rev. Mr. John Wilson of the town aforesaid, on the 25th day of March, 1663.” Samuel was made a freeman October 8, 1672 (Register, III, 242), and as early as 1673 was settled in the north part of the town. The same year he was constable. His name appears in the list of Medfield proprietors, made in 1675. (Tilden’s Medfield, 78). His home was burned by King Philip’s Indians, February 21, 1676, but was rebuilt, apparently on the same spot, the site of which is still visible near the house of Mr. William C. Allen o the west side of North St. (Tilden’s Medfield, 84, 512). On account of his losses by the Indians, Samuel’s subscription of one bushel of corn to the “new brick college,” at Cambridge, was forgiven.

For the same cause he petitioned for releif from his taxes, and the records of the General Court, May 9, 11678, show the following action:
“Samuel Wight of Medfield, having suffered great loss by fire by the indian enemy, brought very low humbly desired the favor of the Court to remit him the rates about three or four pounds already due for the last year, hoping God will enable him to pay rates again for the future” “The Court granted his request.” (Tilden’s Medfield, 96).

The name of Samuel appears in the early lists of Dedham tax-payers; his name and his wife’s appear among the members of Medfield parish church in 1697 (Tilden’s Medfield, 108, 109); and his name occurs among the proprietors of the “black swamp” Medway in 1702 (Jameson’s Medway, 40). His will was made May 19, 1710, appointing his sons Samuel and Joseph executors. He died December 21, 1716; his widow died April 24, 1723; both in Medfield. There also their children were born,

28. - 1. Hannah, born March 25, 1664; died the same year,
29. - 2. Samuel, born November 11, 1665,
30. - 3. Hannah, born February 4, 1667,
31. - 4. John, born May2, 1670j; history unknown; is not mentioned in his father’s will
32. - 5, Nathaniel, born October 11, 1672; died October 1675
33. - 6. Benjamin, born January 30, 1674,
34. - 7. Abigail, born Spetember 7, 1679
35. - 8. Jonathan, born September 11, 1682.

Note 1. Samuel’s signature attached to papers relating to the estate of his brother Thomas in 1690:

Samuell Wight
(but Samuel made his mark to his will.)
Note 2. Hannah Albee, born in Braintree August 16, 1641 (Register III, 126) was daughter of Benjamin Albee (Albie, Alby), who about 1651, 1652 moved from Braintree to Medfield, and subsequently to Menden. (Savage’s Gen. Dict. I. 20; Tilden’s Medfield, 294).

Third Generation

35. JOSEPH3 WIGHT (Samuel2, Thomas1) born September 7, 1679, inherited his father’s homestead and buildings on North St. Medfield. His portion of the Black Swamp, Medway, upon its division in 1702, was 3 rods, 3 feet. (Jameson’s Medway, 40) The surname of his wife Mercy has thus far eluded most diligent search. She died January 31, 1724, in Medfield, where her children were born. Joseph was married in Boston, February 15, 1724, by Samuel Checkley, Esq., to Mrs. Martha Thayer of Bellingham, Mass. To this town he removed in 1729, selling his Medfield estate. His name appears, November 23, 1737, in the first list of members of Bellingham Baptist church, of which he was one of the deacons. He died October 25, 1758, his widow died October 14, 1759 – both in Bellingham. The administration upon Mrs. Wight’s estate, granted March 15, 1760, discloses that she had a daughter who was married to Jonathan Thompson.


77. - 1. Mercy, born November 6, 1702,
78. - 2. Joseph, born January 14, 1704,
79. - 3. Samuel, born March 8, 1707, died in Medfield, August 14, 1708,
80. - 4. Rebecca (Rebekah in record), born June 2, 1709, nothing known,
81. - 5. Keziah, born November 22, 1712, died in Medfield, November 11, 1717
82. - 6. Elnathan, born December 22, 1715,
83. - 7. Martha, born September 18, 1718,
84. - 8. Keziah, born January 25, 1724.

82. ELNATHAN4 WIGHT (Joseph3, Samuel2, Thomas1), born December 23, 1715, moved to Bellingham with his father, and on December 30, 1743, he bought 16 acres there from Deacon Joseph Holbrook for L49. “It appears from the town records that he had a part assigned him in the transaction of publick business before his preparations for the ministry commenced. Being convinced of the necessity of education to the minister of the gospel, he thought it his duty to devote himself to study previous to his entering on the work. In contemplating this subject he had many discouragements to meet. He knew that money must be expended with little hope of receiving anything like a remuneration for his expenditures. He knew also that the prospect of being supported by his labors as a preacher were very small. In these trials he sought advice from ministers in the vicinity, but they refused to give him the direction and encouragement he desired and needed, because he did not agree with them on the mode and subjects of baptism. This was particularly afflicting to him, as he had none of his denomination with whom he could consult. He commenced his studies some time this year (1746) under the Rev. Graham of Southbury, Connect., where he pursued them for more than three years. The languages and theology seem to have occupied most of the time. Mr. Graham was to him a friend and a father. Towards the close of the year 1749 he wished to obtain a license to preach. This he sought from Presbyterian or Congregational ministers, but they refused to license him. When he found he could not be licensed in this way, he, by the advice of Mr. Graham and others, set out on a journey to New Jersey, to obtain his desire from Baptist ministers, but he found obstructions in the way and finally returned without reaching the place of his destination. Soon after his return he succeeded in obtaining from Pedobaptist ministers what he had before sought in vain. This was probably through the kindness of Mr. Graham, who had for a long time been his friend. After he was licensed he delayed to commence preaching for some time; and when he approached the time that he was to befin, his feelings were much depressed and his fears very great. He preached his first sermon March 4, 1750, and, not withstanding his previous fears, when he came to preach he found much composure and satisfaction. May 28, 1750, he was requested by the church of this place (Bellingham) to supply them one month as a candidate. At the end of that term they gave him a call to become their pastor. August 27, same year, Mr. Wight accepted the call of this church and proceeded to preach to them. The small number of Baptists in this quarter at that time rendered it difficult to obtain assistance in ordaining Mr. Wight from his own domination, in consequence of which application was made for the purpose to Presbyterian ministers; but they did not choose to ordain him. As Mr. Wight held to open communion he seems to have preferred being ordained by Congregational ministers, but he found that his catholicism was not reciprocated. By these attempts Mr. Wight’s ordaination was deferred till 1755. On the 14th day of January of this year a council was organized and proceeded to examine the candidate, and finding satisfaction they unanimously agreed to go forward with his ordination. From this time he continued to discharge his duty as a pastor with fidelity and acceptance till his death, which took place November 6, 1761. Thus he was suddenly cut off in the midst of his days in the 46th year of his age. Over his temper, which was naturally quick and irascible, he gained an ascendancy which made him a pleasant and instruction companion. He was a studious man. Most, if not all, of his sermons were written out and he generally read them. They were full of good sense and very doctrinal. But, notwithstanding his studiousness, he laboured much with his own hands. His support was always small amounting at the most to about $40 or $50 annually. His views of doctrine were highly Calvinistick, though not Antinomian. On the subject of addressing the calls of the gospel to sinners in general, he agreed with those who hold what has been called general atonement. In regard to the mode and subjects of baptism he was a Baptist. It is necessary, however, to observe that he held to open communion especially in the fore part of his ministry. He tried much to unity the Congregationalists and Baptists, thinking, as he says, that the Baptists were uncharitable in refusing to commune with those who were members of Congregational churches. But his exertions were unavailing. Mr. Wight was a very conscientious man, and of distinguished piety, as is evident from his diary and from the inscription placed over his door, “I know that thou wilt bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living.’ In his day, Mr. Wight sustained the character of a steadfast, able, enlightened and evangelical preacher” (Fisher’s Centennial Discourse). The sermon at his ordination Rev. Elnatian nimself preached and it was published. He was, especially in the early part of his ministry, an open communion Baptist. He was a man of eminently devout feelings, and his preaching was of a strictly evangelical type. He generally wrote his sermons and delivered them with the manuscript before him. (Sprague’s Annals VI, 68) An original sermon of Rev. Elnathan, owned by his descendant Gertrude Abbey Wight, daughter of Charles Leonard Wight (1798), of Chicago, is now lying before me. It is in the customary manner of the early New England discourses and has many subdivisions, in the last of whicgh the preacher says he “shall endeavour some suitable improvement by way of application.” The text is Isaiah L. 10. The sermon was preached July 20, 1755. Rev. Elanthan married August 13, 1754, Abigail Blood. After hes death his widow married August 15, 1764, Nathan Mann of Wrentham, who the same wear was appointed guuadian of Elnathan’s children Upon the death of Mr. Mann she returned from Wrentham and resided with her son Eliab in Bellingham, where she died aged 84, February 265, 1802. “She was a woman of more than usual power and excellence.”

182. -1. Nathan, born in Bellingham, August 15, 1757.
183. -2. Eliab, born in Bellingham, June 20, 1760

Note. Abigail Blood’s ancestry is as yet undiscovered. There were many Bloods in Groton and in Concord, Mass. For the early bearers of the name see Butler’s Groton and Walcott’s Concord.

183. NATHAN5 WIGHT (Elanathan4, Joseph3, Samuel2, Thomas1), born August 15, 1757, was brought up at his stepfather’s home in Wrentham (Franklin) under the ministry of the venerable Dr. N. Emmons. Upon reaching his majority he, with his brother Eliab entered into the possession of their father’s Bellingham estate, where they lived for sometime together. Nathan ultimately resigned the entire possession to his brother. As Captain Nathan he married in Franklin November 6, 1780, Jerusha Metcalf, born there in 1760. Their five children were born in Bellingham. There is recorded in Springfield a deed dated November 11, 1796 of a farm in South Brimfield (now Wales) for $1600 from Daniel Munger to “Eliab and Nathan Wight, gentlemen.” The next year Eliab conveyed his share in this farm to his brother and Nathan removed to Wales. He was a prominent man in business and town affairs in Wales and was selectman in 1790, 1800 and 1802. Nathan was a farmer and drover and eventually became a shipper to Holland Purchase, N.Y., which latter circjmstance turned his attention to that state as a place of residence. He moved to Attica soon after the death of his wife which occurred April 8, 1817. Here he had a saw mill. He died of apoplexy in Attica December 1, 1832 “very much lamented by all his aquaintances.” So writes his son Theron to his brother Pliny December 9, 1832. The writer further states that Nathan, their father, had been at work in his mill the Thursday previous to his death and had been out of doors half an hour before he died.

376. -1. Pliny, born June 2, 1783.
377. -2. James, born January 2, 1786, died unmarried in Wales, Mass, in June 1841
378. -3. Lucippa, born November 28, 1794.
379. -4. Theron, born March 23, 1794.
380. -5. Julitta, born July 17, 1799; named for her mother’s sister.

Note 1. Fac simile of Nathan’s handwriting:
[s] Nathan Wight
Note 2. The Metcalfs: For an account of the origin of this name see Jameson’s Medway, 502. Rev. Leonard Metcalf was born in 1545 and was rector of Tatterford, Norfolk, Eng. (Jameson’s Medway, 502.) His son Michael was born in Tatterford, 1586, and was a dornix weaver in Norwich, of which city he was made freeman June 21, 1618. His wife Sarah was born Hune 17, 1593, and was married October 15, 1616. Their seven eldest children were born in St. Benedict’s, Norwich, and four later at St. Edmondsbury. He was a man of much prominence in Norwich and was the object of the persecutions of Bishop Wren and his chancelor Corbet. See the statement of his reasons for emigrating made by Michael Metcalf in a letter “to all of the true professors of Christ’s Gospel within the city of Norwich,” written from Plymouth, Eng., on the eve of his departure for America, Register, XVI, 279. He sailed in April 1637, with his wife, eight children and his servant Thomas Comberbach. (Hotten’s Original Lists, 289) He was admitted a townsman of Dedham, July 14, 1637. His wife died November 30, 1644; he died December 24, 1664. (Hill’s Dedham Records, I, 127,9.) Three of his children are of present interest:

1. MICHAEL METCALF (August 29, 1620 - December 24, 1654) of Dedham, married April 2, 1644, Mary Fairbanks (36, Note). Their daughter Mary, born August 15, 1646, married, December 10, 1668, John Ware (153, Note 1) of Dedham. Another daughter Sarah, born December 7, 1648, married June 4, 16777, Robert Ware (153, Note 1), of Wrentham. The youngest child of Michael and Mary Metcalf was Eleazar, born March 20, 1653, deacon of the Wrentham church. He married, April 9, 1684, Milletiah Fisher. The oldest surviving son of Deacon Eleazar was Michael, born May 21, 1687, elder of the Wrentham church. He married Abiel Haven (Note 3) and had a daughter Jerusha, who married Nathan 5 Wight above. Abiel, the eleventh child of Michael and Abiel Metcalf, married Michael 5 Ware (58),. Eleazar and Milletian Metcalf had a younger son, Eleazar, born November 21, 1710, who married Margaret5 Ware 58).
2. JOHN METCALF (September 5, 1622 - November 27, 1675) of Dedham, married March 22, 1647, Mary Chickering and had a son, Eleazar Metcalf, father of Michael, father of Peletiah, father of Benjamin Metcalf, who married Eunice6 Ware (59). (Register XLI, 48).

3. DEACON THOMAS METCALF (December 27, 1629 - November 16, 1702), of Dedham, married, September 12, 1656, Sarah Paige. Their son, Thomas Metcalf, born May 7, 1671,.married Sarah Avery (46).
Authority: Register VI, 171.
Note 3. Haven: Richard Haven, with his wife Susanna, came from the west of England and settled in Lynn in 1645. There Susanna died February 7, 1682, and there Richard died in 1703. Among twelve children were:
1. NATHANIEL HAVEN (June 30, 1664 - 1746) of Framingham; wife Elizabeth. Their oldest child, Martha, born April 7, 1690, married, first, Samuel Wesson, and, second, January 12, 1714, Isaac Cozzens. Isaac and Martha had Rebecca Cozzens (March 24, 1730 - November 19, 1707), who, May 22, 1750, married Ezekiel Morse. Their son, Abner Morse, was father of Betsey Morse, who married Seneca6 Wight (380).
2. DEACON MOSES HAVEN (May 20, 1667 - November 14, 1747), of Lynn, married Mary Ballord. Their youngest child, Daniel Haven, born June 16, 1708, an octogenarian, lived in Framingham and Dover, and had, by wife Mehetabel, a daughter, Avial Haven, born July 1, 1732. She was the wife of Col. James Metcalf (Note 2). (Adams’ Haven Genealogy).
376. PLINY6 WIGHT (Nathan5, Elnathan4, Joseph3, Samuel2, Thomas1), born June 2, 1783, removed to South Brimfield with his father. There he married October 25, 1806, Anny Fletcher. Pliny having studied law settled for the practice of his profession in Hartford, Conn. Here his two eldest children were born. In 1811 he returned to South Brimfield to reside and here his five youngest children were born. The name of the town of South Brimfield was changed in 1828 to Wales, in honor of James Lawrence Wales a wealthy benefactor and honored citizen of that town, who had married Polly Fletcher, an elder sister of Anna. Upon his death childless July 3, 1840, he willed his property to the children of Pliny Wight. Pliny died June 5, 1835, his widow died June 12, 1856, both in Wales.

881. -1. CAROLINE METCALF, born September 20, 1807.
882. -2. PRESTON FLETCHER, born April 20, 1809.
883. -3. LEONARD BURKE, born in East Hartford, August 31, 1811.
884. -4. NATHAN DAVENPORT, born May 7, 1813.
885. -5. MARY LAWRENCE, born July 17, 1815.
886. -6. NANCY HAVEN, born February 7, 1818.
887. -7. JANE DAMARIS, born May 11, 1820, lives unmarried in Wales, Mass
888. -8. LYMAN LINCOLN, born July 21, 1822.

Note 1. Signature of Pliny Wight; [s] Pliny Wight

Note 2. The autograph of Rev. Elnathan4 Wight (82) which was not received in time for proper insertion, is here reproduced:

[s] Elnathan Wight Clerk

Note 3. The Fletchers: Robert Fletcher, born in 1592, died at his home in Concord, Mass., April 3, 1677. Among his five children were two, William and Francis.

1. WILLIAM FLETCHER, born in England 1622, maried in Concord October 7, 1645, Lydia Bates and settled in Chelmsford, Mass. He died November 6, 1677, his widow died October 12, 1704. Their son Joshua Fletcher (March 30, 1648 - November 21, 1713), had among ten children two sons:
A. JOSHUA FLETCHER , born about 1699, died October 19, 1732, lived in that part of Chelmsford now walled Westford. He married Dorothy Hale, who died August 20, 1770. Their son Gershom (July 27, 1720 - June 28, 1779), of Westford and Groton, by wife Lydia Townsend, had a son Rev. Joshua Fletcher (September 24, 1756 - August 15, 1829), of Plymouth, HJ. H. who married in 1775, Sarah Brown. His son Joshua Fletcher (May 16 1776 - May 21, 1852), a merchant inSan Felipe de Austin, Tex., married Sarah Pulsifer of Campton, N. H., and had a son Amos Fletcher of New Yourk, husband of Maria Wight, not yet identified. Amos and Maria had, 1. Willima Henry Fletcher, born July 4, 1842, who died in the Union Army in the Rebellion; 2. Angeline Fletcher, born February 10, 1846, wife of George Carman of New York, and mother of William, Charles and Fletcher Carman; 3. Eliza Jane Fletcher, 1854 - 1856. – A younger son of Rev. Joshua Fletcher was Samuel Fletcher (July 31, 1785 - October 28, 1858), Dartmouth 1810, a lawyer in Concord, N. H., treasurer of Andover Theological Seminary. He married, second, Hannah7 (Chickering) Briggs (47) the intentions being filed in Dedham, January 30, 1847, the marriage February 13, 1847.
B. CAPTAIN JOSEPH FLETCHER (June 10, 1689 - October 4, 1772) of
Westford married November 17, 1712, Sarah Adams of Concord, Mass, who died April 24, 1761. Their son Pelatiah Fletcher (May 3, 1727 - February 23, 1807), by wife Dorothy Hildreth, was father of another Pelatiah (April 4, 1676 - May 7, 1811). The younger Pelatiah married Spetember 22, 1788, Sally Woodward, and had a daughter Patty Fletcher, born June 28, 1789, who married April 9, 1807, Jacob Osgood (March 13, 1787 - May 12, 1857), of Westford. Their son Alden Pitt Osgood married Nancy7 Wight (1067)

FRANCIS FLETCHER, born in Concord, Mass, 1636, married August 1, 1656, Elizabeth Wheeler, and had a son Samuel (August 6, 1657 - October 28, 1744), selectman and town clerk of Concord. His son Timothy Fletcher born August 28, 1704, by wife Elizabeth had a son Ephraim, who was born February 5, 1740, and lived for a time in Brimfield. Ephraim married Sarah Davenport and died in Newport, N. H. January 1, 1836. Of his nine children were Polly, born July 7, 1771, who married James I. Wales and died childless September 8, 1844; and Anny, born in Sutton, January 8, 1781, wife of Pliny6 Wight, above. See Fletcher’s Fletcher Family, and Register XXII, 389.

883. LEONARD BURKE6 WIGHT (Pliny6, Nathan5, Elnathan4, Joseph3, Samuel2, Thomas1) born August 31, 1811, married in Holland, Mass, March 31, 1833, Lucy, daughter of Elisha and Lucy (Chandler) Marcy, of Holland, born there May 1, 1814. Lucy died in Wales May 2, 1842 (Chandler’s Chandler Family, 532). Leonard was town clerk of Wales, 1840 - 1843, and was selectman during the years 1845, 1846, 1847. He married November 29, 1842, Mercy Wood Bigelow, born in Chester, Mass, November 21, 1812, daughter of Daniel and Mercy (Wood) Bigelow, of Chester. Mercy had been a teacher at New Salem, Franklin, Shelburne Falls, and Charlestown, Mass. Leonard was a merchant while living n Wales. He removed from there to mercantile pursuits in Springfield, Mass, and in 1856 took up his residence in Chicago, Ill., where he died April 4, 1884. He widow resides with her son Eugene in Washington, D. C. Leonard’s children were born in Wales.

1797. -1. Emily Lucy, born June 11, 1834
1798. -2. Charles Leonard, born October 20, 1839
1799. a.3. Albert L. Born August 19, 1841, died in Wales, May 7, 1842, of measles
1800. -4 Eugene Barton, born December 6, 1843

1799. Eugene Barton8 Wight (Leonard Burke7, Pliny6, Nathan5, Elnathan4, Joseph3, Samuel2, Thomas1), born December 6, 1843, graduated at Chicago University, and studied two years at the University of Berlin, and one year at the University of Paris. Upon returning to this country, he studied law with the present U. S. Chief Justice Fuller, became a lawyer in Chicago and was at the same time editorial writer upon the Chicago Tribune staff. By the fire of 1871 he was a heavy loser. Directly afterward he went to Washington, D. C. as correspondent of the Chicago Evening Post, and was later its business manager and associate editor. He became afterward connected with the Evening Press Association and a part owner of the Evening Post. He is better and longer known, however, as Washington Correspondent of the Chicago Tribune and Boston Journal. This latter paper he represented in Washington since 1872, and his communications to it by wire, over the signature Webb, may be read in that paper daily. In an article, “Men of the Quill.” In the Milwaukee Sentinel, May 31, 1885, Mr. Wight is mentioned as one who had made the name of Washington correspondent an honor to those who wore it. Eugene married December 29, 1875, Mary Dennie Clapp, daughter of William Warland and Caroline (Dennie) Clapp, of Boston. Mr. Clapp is the proprietor of the Boston Journal.


2697 -1. Warland, born in Washington, March 11, 1880, nothing told
2698 -2. Delano, born in Boston, May 10, 1882. Nothing told.

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