Ephraim Washburn is my fourth great-grandfather. He was born in Plymouth on 21 August 1794, the only child of Seth and Deborah (Wright) Washburn. His parents were in their 50s and 40s respectively when he was born and between them had eight children from previous marriages. Ephraim’s birth is not recorded in Plymouth Vital Records, but is calculated from his age at death.
Ephraim married Mary Lucas at Plymouth on 7 November 1822. Their marriage was performed by Rev. James Kendall and recorded in Plymouth Vital Records. Mary was born Carver 12 October 1792, the daughter of Ephraim and Azubah (Pratt) Lucas. Note that James Kendall was a minister at the First Parish Church in Plymouth.
|First Parish Church, Plymouth, ca 1907|
Although he was the youngest son, Ephraim was named the executor of his father Seth's estate in June 1826.
Mary and Ephraim lived in the Chiltonville neighborhood of Plymouth. On a circa 1857 map of the village, it shows E. Washburn living on the end of what became Russell Mills Road, now Jordan Road. His home was across from the Russell Mills Cotton Duck Factory. At that time there was a Baptist Church listed on the same road, maybe where later was a Methodist/Episcopal chapel next to the old cemetery.
Ephraim’s son Seth lived on this same road, so perhaps he inherited his father’s home.
|Ephraim's son Seth's home on what is now Jordan Road|
Ephraim and Mary had four children born Plymouth:
1. Lucy Ann, born 19 February 1823, m. Elijah Sherman, died 16 February 1905, Plymouth.
2. Mary, born Abt. 1825, married Tilden Pierce in 1873, died 22 July.
3. Seth, born 16 March 1828, married Mary Briggs Bumpus, served in Civil War, died Plymouth 12 March 1921.
4. Hannah born 09 May 1832, married William Bearce/Bearse in 1854, died Plymouth 18 May 1909.
1850 census, Plymouth:
Washburn, Ephraim, 56, works in the iron works
Washburn, Polly, 58
Danforth, Mary, 25
not named , age 3/12, male
Hannah, age 18
Zuba Lucas, 93, f
Seth Washburn, 22, seaman
Notes: Polly must be Mary’s nickname. Mary Danforth is their daughter and the male baby would be her son Ichabod. I believe Ichabod was illegitimate, so not sure if the Danforth is really her surname. Her later marriage to Tilden Pierce is called her first marriage. Zuba Lucas would be Mary’s mother Azubah Pratt Lucas.
1855 State Census, Plymouth:
Ephraim Washburn, 61, farmer
Mary Washburn, 63
Mary Washburn, 29
Hannah Washburn, 32
Ichabod Washburn, 5
Seth Washburn, 25, laborer
(Note: Ichabod is Mary’s son)
1860 Census, Plymouth, MA, Chiltonville Post Office:
Ephraim Washburn, 66, male, white, born MA, farmer, real estate worth $800; personal estate worth $200
Mary Washburn 67, female, born MA
Mary Washburn, 34, female, oper pulp mills, born MA (so born ca 1826)
1865 State Census, Plymouth:
Ephm Washburn, 71, widowed, farmer
Mary Washburn, 38
Ephraim’s son Seth is a few households away with his family.
1870 Census, Plymouth MA , Chiltonville Post Office:
Washburn, Ephraim, 75, farmer, real estate $300, born MA
Washburn, Deborah, 71, keeping house, born MA
Mary died between 1860, when she is named in the census, and 1865, when Ephraim is called a widower in the state census. Her date of death and burial location are not known, but I would guess she is buried at Russell Mills Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
At age 72, Ephraim married second Deborah Morton. I love that Ephraim was optimistic enough to marry at that age!
Their marriage is recorded in Massachusetts Vital Records:
6 December 1866, Ephraim Washburn, of Plymouth, 72, of Plymouth, farmer, 2nd marriage, son of Seth and Deborah
to Deborah Morton, 67, of Plymouth, daughter of Silas and Eunice, by Rev. Geo. F. Pool, Methodist Minister.
|Methodist Church, Plymouth|
Ephraim Washburn died Plymouth 25 November 1870 at age 76. He is buried at Russell Mills Cemetery but no headstone survives.
|Russell Mills Cemetery, Plymouth|
The Plymouth Old Colony Newspaper had an announcement of Ephraim’s death in November 1870:
“In Chiltonville, 25th, Mr. Ephraim Washburn, 76 yrs., 3 mos.”
MA VR also has his death recorded, Vol: 230 ; Page: 333 :
25 Nov 1870, Ephraim Washburn, M, married, 76, 3, 4, marasmus senilis, which I’ve read is just a fancy Latin way of saying he died of old age. Of Plymouth, born Plymouth, farmer, father Ephraim b. Plymouth (note: this is an error as father was Seth).
Deborah was appointed the executrix of Ephraim’s estate in April 1871 but she died soon after has there is a new administrator mentioned in December 1871.
Ephraim’s will was dated 11 Jan 1867, written in Plymouth and stating he was in good health and of sound and disposing mind and memory. He appoints wife Deborah his executrix and leaves her all of his estate as long as she remains unmarried, with the remainder after her death going to his children or their heirs. It was witnessed by George Whiting, A. Mason and L. E. Damin
|Ephraim Washburn's signature from his will|
The inventory of Ephraim Washburn late of Plymouth was conducted 12 January 1871. On 25 April 1871 John H. Harlow, Leander Lovell and Lemuel Bradford made oath to accuracy of inventory. Real estate worth $400 and personal estate valued at $582.46. On 26 April 1871 Deborah Washburn made oath before judge also.
In another document, Deborah Washburn represents Ephraim Washburn who died possessed of personal estate and she is his widow and has under her charge a family consisting of herself, that she is almost helpless from infirmity. Signed by Deborah Washburn on 17 April 1871. At probate court held at North Bridgewater on 3rd Monday of April 1871, since she is the widow and is entitled to an allowance.
Another document concerns the appointment of Stephen Doten, JBS Hadaway, James E. Clark to appraise on oath the estate and effects of Ephraim Washburn late of Plymouth and deliver this order to John Harlow administrator of the will, 11 Dec 1871. Inventory of real estate given as $911.00, no personal estate, dated 12 Feb 1872, signed by same three men.
An accounting of John Harlow, administrator of the estate of Ephraim Washburn late of Plymouth, charged himself with amounts received: $78.24 (Schedule A); allowed for sundry payments and charges 65.75 (Schedule B), balance $12.49. The undersigned were parties interested, examined and allowed for the accounting: First names very faint and hard to read, could by Lucy _ Thomas, Seth Washburn (his mark), Mary Pierce, Hannah Bearse. On the second Monday of February 1874 it was requested by the interested parties that it should be allowed.
Note: Lucy, Seth, Mary and Hannah are all Ephraim’s children, although Lucy’s married name was Sherman.
24 April 1873, Cash for rent of Wm M. Lapham, 24.50
3 Dec 1873, Cash for rent of Benjamin B. Besse 43.50
13 Jan 1874, Cash for rent of Joshua Standish by Ellis Whitney $10
21 Jan 1874, Cash for rent by Benjamin B. Besse 24 cents
Paid cash for stamps Dec 11, 1871, $2
Gustavus S. Bates bill Feb 13 1872 .50
Stephen Doten and others (appraising) $6
Town tax for year 1871 $6.88
Town tax for year 1872 6.56
Town tax for year 1873 6.56
F.H. Churchill's bill December 1873 3.65
Benjamin B. Besse's bill Dec 1, 1873 3.60
Charge for administration $30
Schedule of Personal Estate
Money in Plymouth Savings Bank $516.46
Cook stove $3
6 wooden chairs 1.50
L. _lan(?) .50
2 tables 2
2 feather beds 20
2 bedsteads 1
2 straw beds .50
air tight stove 4
sundry small articles 5
Schedule of real estate
Homestead including house and barn and about 7 acres ___ $700
Woodland about 20 acres 211
There is also an earlier schedule of real estate, different writing, value matches earlier inventory. House and lots comprising homestead at Russell Mills Plymouth and wood lot at Chiltonville $400.
Source Not Listed Above:
W.T. Davis, Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families, 1889