Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914 (Chapter 11)

By Frederick Greenwood, East Templeton, MA — 1914


To any person a little acquainted with the topography of Newton, Mass., the map shown in the front of this volume will clearly show the location of the estate of Thomas Greenwood, which he occupied at the time of his death and which he purchased of Isaac Parker. Names of his neighbors and location of their home are also given. The map shows the town of Newton as it was in 1700. At the present, 1912, all parts of the house of Thomas Greenwood have disappeared and on the site of the Greenwood homestead is now a very large and elegant establishment owned and occupied by George and Anjie Armstrong. This is now a very valuable part of Newton. Just when the original house disappeared is not known for a certainty. It was probably standing in 1841, when the property was bought for $5,000 by Ezra Hutchinson from William Ladd. On June 30, 1866, Ezra Hutchinson sold to Francis M. Johnson for $28,000 and he had evidently very much improved the property from what it was when Mr. Ladd owned it. F.M. Johnson built a large and expensive establishment. The house was partly destroyed by fire after his death and stood in that state till 1896 when bought by Nathaniel M. and Elbridge K. Jewell, who rebuilt it. No division of the original property was made until Aug. 1, 1888, when Susan M. Johnson, widow of Francis, sold a part of the south side to Mrs. Hope V. Baker. The Newton boulevard syndicate pared off a part of the estate and it may have lost a little on the south side when Beacon street was laid out. The Boston (Sudbury River) aqueduct passes through the estate. The land originally extended from Beacon to Hammond streets.

By Middlesex county probate records, docket 6909, old series, it appears: Thomas Greenwood, Sen., dec'd Sept. 1, 1693, widow Abigail and sons Thomas and John admrs.; widow's dower, £88 6s. 5d. of the personal property and to have £I II s. 8d. annually from the income of the estate; eldest son Thomas agreed that 2d son John should have the real estate, John to pay yearly allowance to the widow, to pay to Thomas £103 10s. 6d. and to bring up William and James till they are 14 years old, teach them to read and write and have the profits of their labors; the widow to have 1/3 of the house and at her death 1/3 of the real estate to be divided among the 4 brothers; John to pay James and William when of age £L31 1s. 3d. apiece; Abigail and Thomas guardians to the minor sons, William and James, Nov. 20, 1694.

John Greenwood, after death of his father, Thomas, occupied the Greenwood estate till day of his death. His will made Aug. 15, 1737, probated Oct. 4, 1737 (Midd'x probate docket 690) leaves to wife £66, one half indoor furnishings, 1/3 corn crop and use of n.e. room down stairs. Thomas, eldest son, to have £60 after wife's dowery shall cease; son Daniel owes £40, he to pay the estate £10 only; movables to daughters: Eliz. Childs, Hannah Fuller, Ruth Jackson, Susanna Bacon, after decease of wife and £5 apiece; balance of estate to youngest son Josiah. As executor of his father's estate Josiah files an agreement to provide a horse for his mother to ride to church on.

The third occupant of the Thomas Greenwood estate was a Lieut. Josiah Greenwood, son of above John. His will made 25 Mar., 1789, probated 13 June 1792 (Middlesex probate docket 690) provides wife Prudence to abide by her marriage agreement; legacies to now surviving children, Neverson, Ebenezer, Ester Murdock, Sarah Greenwood and Alice Clark and granddaughter Sarah Bartlett, consisting of books and house furnishings; daughters Norcross and other children and grandchildren, not mentioned have had their shares; to son Ebenezer all the real estate and personal not disposed of.

The occupancy of the Thomas Greenwood Estate by Ebenezer was only for a few months. A petition, Dec. 17, 1792, reads: Whereas Ebenezer Greenwood, yeoman, is a person who by idleness and intemperance wastes his estates so as to endanger his family being reduced to suffering, the court orders his removal from Ex'orship of his father's estate and puts him under guardianship of Dr. John King, Capt. Wm. Hammond, Gent., and Sam. Murdock. Neverson Greenwood, house wright, is summoned to administer the estate but declines and Wm. Hammond appointed; inventory, 1 Apr. 1793, 30 acres, house and barn, £257, 7 acres meadow £18. Court orders that real estate of Ebenezer be sold to pay his debts. It is described: 37 acres of tillage, pasture and meadow, with house and barn pleasantly situated about one mile from Mr. Homer's meeting house. Sold at public vendue for £331 to John Thwing.

John Thwing, the fifth occupant of the Thomas Greenwood estate, by his will 1813, left the use of his homestead, about 30 a., with house and barn, to his wife Patty for life; balance of his estate to be sold for benefit of his children; will presented 9 Nov. 1813. Widow, Martha Thwing, d. 1820 (Newton death records).

Thomas Harback and Eben. White, exeors. of will of John Thwing sold at public vendue for $2585 thirty acres with house and barn and 4 a. of marsh to Mary Ladd and Sarah Ladd, spinsters Nov. 1, 1820.

  • Sarah Ladd sold to Mary Ladd 1/2 of the above June 4, 1822.
  • Mary Ladd sold the whole of the above to Wm. Ladd for $4,000 Apr. 20, 1824.
  • Wm. Ladd for $5,000 sold same to Ezra C. Hutchinson, Sep. 9, 1841.
  • Ezra C. Hutchinson sold to Francis M. Johnson Jne 30, 1866, for $28,000
  • Susan M. Johnson, widow of Francis, sold part of the above (south side) to Mrs. Hope V. Baker Aug. 1, 1888.
  • Susan M. Johnson and Wm. and Lucy Peabody (widow and daughter of F.M.J.) sold balance of real estate to Eugene R. Knapp, 16 Mar. 1890.
  • Eugene R. Knapp sold to A.D.S. Bell, 20 Dec. 1892.
  • Bell and ux. sold to Robert Bishop 27 July 1894.
  • Dana Estes, Bell & Bishop combined their real estate and formed the Newton Boulevard Syndicate Sept., 1895.
  • Above syndicate sold to Mrs. Carolina D. Jewett the Hammond street side of the lot reserving a strip on the west side, which borders the Newton (Commonwealth Ave.) Boulevard, 18 Apr. 1896.
  • Nathaniel M. Jewett and Elbrige K. Jewett, exors. of will of Mrs. C.D. Jewett, sold the above to Mrs. Angie B. Armstrong, present owners (1912), Feb. 27, 1899.
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