4 Hall Cousins... reflecting on the past

Esther Hall, wife of Edward Hall

by C Hall ~ June 19th, 2009. Filed under: A Word about the Wives.

Esther Hall will most likely forever remain a mystery.  We have not been able to discover any documentation that gives her maiden name, birth or death dates, where she was born or where she died and is buried; nor the names of her parents.  No marriage records exists in those early records that are available.

I recently read a small book on early Duxbury.  The author made the comment that the search for love did not seem to travel far as most men in the Plymouth Colony married the daughters of their neighbors.  Is it possible that Esther’s family was of Plymouth Colony and a near neighbor of Edward Hall?  But then we have the fact that Edward, for no apparent reason that can be found, leaves Plymouth Colony for Braintree and remains there for about 5 years, where his first two children are born and recorded in the Braintree Vital Records.  I suspect that Esther was considerably younger than Edward and base this only on the fact that their last child, Benjamin, was born in 1668 when Edward was about 57 years of age.  Could it be possible that Esther’s family was of Braintree and that Edward and Esther lived with them the first few years of their marriage so that a very young wife might have the assistance of her mother as she bore her first two children?  We’ll probably never know the answers to these questions.

The only documentation on Esther Hall or the Widow Hall in Rehoboth follows.  There is no way to know for sure if the first entry from PCR pertains to Esther.

  • October 7, 1651, Grand Enquest presented Samuel Eaton and Goodwife Halle, of the towne of Duxborrow, for mixed dansing. Released with admonition (PCR 2:174).
  • Widow Hall appears on the earliest extant tax list in the town of Rehoboth, 1671 (Early Rehoboth, Vol. 1, by Bowen, p. 39).
  • Ester Hall is shown with one share of the Rehoboth North Purchase on 28 May 1672, Rehoboth town records (Early Rehoboth, p. 41).
  • Widow Hall appears on the Rehoboth 1674 tax list (Early Rehoboth, p. 16).

There are no further entries in the Rehoboth town records for either the Widow Hall or Esther Hall.

The Rehoboth Vital records contain the marriage of an Esther Hall to Thomas Jordan in Rehoboth on 24 December 1674.  There has been much speculation in published genealogies and histories that it was the Widow Esther Hall who married Thomas Jordan.  Other published genealogies and histories claim that it was Edward and Esther’s daughter, Esther, who married Thomas Jordan.  The only thing that is for certain is that there is absolutely no proof for either speculation.

The last document that mentions Esther Hall is a 1715 Quit Claim deed in which the siblings, Samuel, Thomas, Andrew, and Benjamin convey land in favor of their brothers, John and Preserved, described as:

…the lands which our father Edward Hall and our mother Esther Hall had in said Rehoboth in the Town of Attleborough in said county of Bristol….

The deed was recorded May 21, 1715 (Bristol Co. Deeds, 9:81-82).

7 Responses to Esther Hall, wife of Edward Hall

  1. April

    I hope this is accurate. I have Edward married to Esther Thayer(1619-1674). They married 10 September 1654 in Medfield, Norfolk, Mass. I hope this is of some help.

  2. Nancy Mitchell

    Have you ever found anything to disprove the notion that Esther/ Hester Hall was Hester Gove related to John Gove?

  3. C Hall

    April, thank you for visiting our blog and for your comment. We have looked at Esther Thayer with interest, however, we have never been able to find proof that she was the Esther/Hester who married Edward Hall. We cannot find a marriage in the Medfield, Massachusetts vital records, and the date of September 10, 1654 just does not fit since the first child, John, was born in Braintree, MA in November 1650 and the second known child, Esther, was also born in Braintree in August 1654. Those two births are documented in the Braintree Vital Records, and therefore we must assume that Edward and Esther were married about 1649 or before.

  4. C Hall

    John Gove, born in England in 1604, died in Charlestown, MA in 1647/48 has been of great interest to us in our search for the parents of Esther/Hester Hall. We’ve read several genealogies that have Esther/Hester listed as the daughter of John Gove, presumably based on the fact that Goodman Hall of Duxbury was named in John Gove’s Will; one genealogy even stated that Goodman Hall was named as a Legatee in the Will.

    However, in reading the transcription of the will, found in “The Gove Book: History and Genealogy of the American Family of Gove…” by William Henry Gove, John Gove listed debts that were due from him and those that were due to him. Goodman Hall of Duxbury is listed as a debtor to John Gove in the sum of 4 Shillings. He was not listed elsewhere in the Will and according to the transcription, he definitely was not a Legatee.

    “A Note on the Antecedents of John and Mary (Shard) Gove, of London and Charlestown” by Richard S. Wheeler (The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, vol. 11, 174-179, 1994) gives the most complete list of the children that I have read to date (all born or baptized in England between 1631/32 and 1647). According to this article, 6 children were born to John and Mary (Shard) Gove, with the first being John, baptized 25 March 1631/32, and the last being Benjamin, baptized 4 July 1647. Only 2 daughters were listed, Mary and Rachel.

    Then again, Mary Shard might have been the second wife of John Gove. Nothing has been found on children of John Gove and his first wife whom, according to “The Gove Book”, he married about 1625. “The Gove Book” gives John’s children, beginning with John, born in 1627, so there is no indication that he had children with his first wife.

    Based on the above, we have not been able to tie Esther/Hester Hall to the Gove family.

  5. Nancy Mitchell

    Thanks so much for answering the question about a possible relationship between Esther Hall and the Gove family. It was very useful. I do have another question for you since I have found another very weird link between Edward Hall and the Widow Mary Hall of Cambridge (who is my ancestor). The Widow Mary Hall had sons Stephen and John Hall (plus William and Susanna). Children of Stephen and John Hall married children of Grace Tay and Thomas Willis in Medford. Grace Tay was the daughter of Grace Newell and William Tay. Grace Newell’s first cousin, Mary Newell (daughter of Abraham Newell Jr) married John Hall, son of Edward Hall. Furthermore, I think Joseph Newell, who was a brother of Mary Newell married Ann Phillips and when he died, she married Stephen Hall Jr. son of Stephen Hall and grandson of Widow Mary Hall. By the way, just to confuse things even more, the Widow Mary’s other son William Hall died in 1667 and his widow, Sarah Meriam was briefly married to John Gove’s son, John before she too died! I certainly can’t see any real link between the Widow Mary Hall (whose husband was probably Nathaniel Hall) and this Edward Hall but there are just too many coincidences to not think that there is some relationship.

  6. David Hall

    It is also difficult for me to see any evidence that Hester/Ester has any relation to the Gove or Thayer families, however, it is also difficult for me to dismiss the fact that I have seen several family trees listing a Hester Thayer or Esther Gove as the wife of Edward Hall. Now, John Gove’s will was also an interest to me, which I can see why some would think there is a connection. In the case of Hester Thayer, again, I have not been able to “connect the dots,” but I believe there was a family in Braintree during that time named Thayer and that there might also be some connection. Some have even suggested that Edward married Hester Thayer first, had 1-2 kids, divorced, and then married Ester Gove before continuing to have additional children, but I find this highly unlikely. I wish I knew where those family trees were getting their information – family Bibles? And where did the dates come from?

  7. C Hall

    David,

    Thanks very much for your comments. Where the information and dates are coming from on these family trees is the problem. Until someone provides good primary sources for the information it can only be viewed as unreliable. And sadly others will take that information that has not been sourced and add it to their family trees and the information then keeps going round and round without proof.

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