52 Ancestors 2015 #13 Job Tyler – Described as “evil incarnate”

Week 13 (March 26 – April 1) – Different. What ancestor seems to be your polar opposite? What ancestor did something that seems completely different than what they “should” have done or what you would have done?

Job Tyler is my eleventh great-grandfather. He was born in 1617 in Cranbrook, Kent, England and baptised on October 12, 1617 according to the “Tyler Index to Parish Registers, 1538-1874”.

…in 1638, an 18 year-old who may have been a descendant by the name of Job Tyler became the first settler of Andover, Massachusetts.  He and his brother (John Tyler) had left England when their father was beheaded by King Charles I, due to bitter debates rising from a law-making body of which he was a member. (From The Legacy of the Tylers By Clark L. Smithson)

He arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1638 and on March 20 of that year he married Mary Horton (Possibly the Widow Horton). They had Moses in 1641, Twins – of which one died – the other, Hopestill survived in 1645,  son Tyler Tyler in 1646 who died that same year. Hannah was born in 1648, John in 1650 who died in 1652, another son John who was born in 1653 and Samuel in 1655.

What a rabble-rouser Job was. He was a fighter for what he perceived as his rights, whether he was in the right or wrong and as it seems, he was mostly in the wrong and not shy about stirring up trouble when it suited his purpose. He was evil personified with no conscience, remorse or guilt. His evilness was like a cancer that spread and it infected the entire family most of whom were the victims, except for his son Moses Tyler, who was a little more spiteful or revengeful than his father and also without a conscience. He turned against his own family in a personal vendetta accusing many of the wives of his brothers of being witches and convincing the husbands that they were. -Jeanette Maloney

There are records of legal issues and complaints that go from Andover to Rowley to Mendon and around the region. It looks like Job didn’t suffer fools easily and defended his family with fierce protectiveness – until he and Moses turned on his family for, it appears, not being independent enough and following the herd of social pressure.

“Job had much legal trouble in Andover. We find in 1658 that a charge was brought against John Godfrey of witchcraft and the accuser and principal sufferer from his “wiles” was Mary, wife of Job Tyler. This accusation was brought in connection with a law suit against Godfrey and the accusation was not established.”(p.6) The Tyler Genealogy”

John Godfrey, described as “a most active patron of country courts and a stirrer up of strife,” was a man who knew how to make effective use of the law suit.   In a series of disputes over the mortgage and other things, Job Tyler and Godfrey instigated law suits against each other.   Still frustrated, Job discovered an effective means that made the establishment sit up and take notice.   Job accused Godfrey of witchcraft in 1659.   Although never convicted on this count, Godfrey was discredited and his standing weakened.

Job realized that a witchcraft allegation acted as powerful medicine for his otherwise failing cases.” by Jeanette Maloney Jeanette Maloney further writes: “In 1671, with little more than the clothes on their backs, Job and his family moved west to the new town of Mendon, a land of apple trees and wild cranberries. They settled beyond the last garrison houses, the only places of safety during Indian raids. There, up the Blackstone River, Job helped establish the new settlement.  His blacksmith son, Hopestill, was attracted by the iron ore found in the swamps. His daughter, Mary, now married to widower John Post, went with the family.

In 1676 an Indian raid on Mendon destroyed the town, yet again leaving the family with nothing except the pewter plates and brass kettles that they managed to bury in time in the swamps. John Post was killed by the Indians. His wife Mary (Tyler) Post and their young daughters, Mary Post and Hannah Post, survived as well as his daughter, Susannah Post, by his previous marriage. In 1678, Hopestill Tyler married Mary Lovett, daughter of Mendon neighbor Richard Lovett. In the next year Hopestill and his new wife loaded their precious feather bed and settled in the south part of Andover, where he took up his trade as blacksmith. Hopestill’s sister Mary (Tyler) Post, now remarried to blacksmith John Bridges, settled in the north part of Andover.

Mary (Tyler) Post Bridges and Mary (Lovett) Tyler, both wives of Andover blacksmiths, would be arrested for witchcraft in 1692. The original Andover blacksmith, Thomas Chandler, aged 65, still spiteful from his previous dealings with Job Tyler, was on the side of the accusers.

By 1680 Job and his sons, Moses Tyler and John Tyler, managed to make their way back to their original safe haven in Rowley Village, and settled there permanently. As before, they tried to avoid the taxes of both Rowley Village and Andover by settling in the area between the two centers. However, Job Tyler and his son Moses were duly inspected to see if they attended church services, with the result that they were assigned to pay rates to the Andover church.

Job died in 1700 and was buried in Andover in the old burying ground.Job’s son Moses Tyler learned and retained one important lesson from his father’s experiences; witchcraft accusations represented a powerful weapon to use against enemies.

After the death of Moses’ wife in1689, Moses married Sarah (Hasey) Sprague, the widow of Phineas Sprague. Her daughter, Martha Sprague, aged 13 in 1689, provided the ideal means for Moses Tyler to make witchcraft accusations in 1692. Martha became the leader of the Andover circle of afflicted girls. The following are the dates in 1692, names, ages, and relationship of the women and girls of his own family that Moses Tyler directly or indirectly accused as witches:

1. Jul 28, Mary (Tyler) Post Bridges, 48, (Moses’ sister Mary) Not Guilty

2. Aug 2, Mary Post, 28 (Daughter of Moses’ sister Mary) Condemned/ Reprieved

3. Aug 25, Susannah Post, 31 (Stepdaughter of Moses’ sister Mary)

4. Aug 25, Hannah Post, 26 (Daughter of Moses’ sister Mary)

5. Aug 25, Sarah Bridges, 17 (Stepdaughter of Moses’ sister Mary)

6. Aug 25, Mary Bridges, Jr, 13 (Daughter of Moses’ sister Mary)

7. Aug 31, Mary Parker, 55 (Mother-in-law of Moses’ brother John) Hanged as a witch

8. Sep 7, Mary (Lovett) Tyler, 40 (Wife of Moses’ brother Hopestill)

9. Sep 7, Hannah Tyler, 14 (Daughter of Moses’ brother Hopestill)

10. Sep 7, Joanna Tyler, 11 (Daughter of Moses’ brother Hopestill)

11. Sep 7, Martha Tyler, 11 (Daughter of Moses’ brother Hopestill)”

By 1688, Job had returned to Mendon. The last official record of him was his deed of his land in Mendon to his son Moses in November 1700.

Tyler home - Witch Hollow Farm

History of the Tyler Homestead Also known as Boxford House, Tyler-Wood House, “Witch Hollow Farm”

The Tyler Homestead is a very integral part of the Job Tyler family history. The following presents the best information we have been able to collect on the history of the place, and is taken from interviews with local historians, from “Memory Hold the Door,” written by Arthur Pinkham, from data submitted by The Friends of Witch Hollow Farm, from information gathered at Reunion ’88, from Colonel O.Z. Tyler’s Sweet Land of Liberty, and from miscellaneous collected articles and clippings. (If you know of other good sources, please pass them along.)

The Tyler Homestead in West Boxford, Massachusetts, is the earliest home known of the Job Tyler family. Job, the first Tyler known in America, came to Boxford in 1640 and was one of the very first settlers in the community of Boxford. The first Tyler home was built on a tract of land at the corner of Ipswich Road and Main Street. The hearth of that very early structure is still in the rear of the large white house, sometimes known as the Boxford House.

The oldest part of the house is the dining room, and was built (1694?) by Moses Tyler (#2), son of Job. Moses had come to clear land and establish a farm, and likely Job lived and worked with him at least for a few years.

Moses was probably involved with the construction of the barn and the stone wall still remaining on the property, and in some ways the barn should be considered as predating the house. Moses had an earlier dwelling on the property, but it has long since been demolished.

The main house was built by Captain John Tyler (#11), probably with the assistance of Moses, who was in his 80s at the time. A good description of the work during this period come from Volume I of The Descendants of Job Tyler (p. 41). The house at present standing (that is, the rear part) was built by Moses’ son, Captain John Tyler, probably about the time of Moses’ death, 1727. Some “bricks” have recently been found buried in the present driveway, which would appear to locate the old fireplace of Moses at a few rods to the east of the present dwelling (1666?): and it is not at all unlikely that when the first house was abandoned for purposes of living, it continued to be used as a storehouse, until it finally passed off the scene in decay. …The present imposing country house is due to the kindly efforts of Gideon Tyler, son of Captain John, who succeeded to the premises upon his father’s death …Captain John’s “rear rooms” are very well preserved and quaint, being quite low-posted, with heavy beams exposed to view, and the poem of a cozy fireplace… The second portion of the house was joined to the first in 1748, when Gideon (# 72) was married.

Gideon passed the house on to his son, John (#272), who was married in 1791. However, Gideon’s will said rooms had to be set aside for Gideon’s sisters, Mehitable and Anna, who never married. Two rooms with chimneys were constructed in an ell plan specifically for them, where they lived until both died in 1833, when they were in their eighties. John’s daughter, Mehitable, married Captain Enoch Wood, a sea-captain from another prominent Essex County family.

Their daughter, Rebecca Wood, who never married, moved into the Boxford House and lived in it until she died in 1918, giving it the name of Tyler-Wood House.

Arthur Pinkham, a Tyler descendant, learned this was his ancestral home at a meeting of the Whiting Club, a social fraternity, and then read about it in Volumes I and II. Both Mr. Pinkham and his wife had ancestors in the family ten generations back. He went to see it, and bought the property with 120 acres in 1929 for $11,000. The structure was not in good condition, and the Pinkhams began making many necessary interior alterations and gradually did much ot its restoration. Many antique artifacts came with the house.

For instance, they found an oaken hand-loom older than one on display at Williamsburg. A wooden keg was found in the Tap Room which had the initials of Gideon Tyler. The biggest problem for the Pinkhams was there was not water in the well for modern plumbing. When he explained to a neighbor the only problem with the property was there was no water, his neighbor replied, “Why, that’s the only thing the matter with Hell!” They put in an artesian well, which created the lovely pond now found on the property.

The house and barn are historically significant not only because of their important Tyler history, but also because of their age and integrity architecturally. The logs used for the walls were so hard they couldn’t be drilled through to install electrical wiring. The windows still have shutters that are built into the wall, so they could be closed from the inside in case of Indian attack. The interior horizontal paneling is the oldest form found in New England, and is referred to as “thumb and feather” design.

The barn also is a very important structure historically, and at one time was the largest barn in the country. The structure is as it was when originally built in the 1600s. The floor is made of solid wood planks 14 to 16 inches wide. When recent owners needed to replace some of them, they had great difficulty finding boards wide enought to match the original.

After the Pinkhams, the Tyler Homestead property was sold to Edward French in 1958, the first owner who was not in the Job Tyler lineage. In 1970, it was purchased by David and Audrey Ladd. The Ladds continued much of the restoration work, including cleaning of the walls and chimneys and exposing the original surfaces.

Audrey Ladd also did much toward recording the history of the place, and was the first to refer to it as Witch Hollow Farm, a name given because of its association with the Salem witch trials. Boxford’s witch, Rebecca Eames, was the sister of Prudence Blake, who married Quartermaster Moses Tyler. Rebecca claimed in court that she had been bewitched by the Devil in the hollow through which Ipswich Road runs. Some of the hangings are said to have taken place at the back of the property. Also, the spirit of Mary Tyler (#3), sister of Quartermaster Moses (#2), is still said to inhabit the house 300 years later.

The property was then purchased by the Rich’s in the 1980s. In 1997, it was designated as a historic site and the house and the remaining farmland were split. The farm was designated as a conservancy preserve and the house was bought by Lawrence and Tina Morris, who give it loving care. – Norman Tyler

About Witch Hollow Farm

About Witch Hollow Farm

Tyler home - Witch Hollow Farm

Tyler home – Witch Hollow Farm

Witch Hollow is an old farm house built around 1666 by Job Tyler. It is actually three houses joined together and includes two secret passages, reportedly used in case of indian raids (or were they used for someother sinister purpose?) In the late 1600’s it was the home of Mary Tyler.

She had a suitor by the name of Timothy Swan, but Mary did not care for him. Finally Timothy couldn’t bear her rejection any more and had her arrested. They took her off by oxcart to Salem where she was tried and convicted of witchcraft for having a pact with the Devil and doing detestable acts on Timothy Swan (“he was tortured and afflicted and pined and wasted away”)However, for some unknown reason Mary was not executed but imprisoned instead.

Finally she was freed and returned to Witch Hollow where some say she still resides today. She has been reportedly seen by the former owners roaming the house and grounds carrying a curry comb. Noise such as a loud banging and the rustling of paper have also been heard in the attic. A black pitch-like substance of an unknown source has also been seen dripping from the living room ceiling.

Tyler Memorial - erected 1909

Tyler Memorial – erected 1901

“He did not, as Professor Tyler said, “learn prudence very fast, but he was himself…He had a good deal of individuality and he gave utterance to it at times with more vigor than grace. He did not shape his words to suit sensitive ears. He resented dictation and found it hard to restrain himself from what he wanted to do through any prudential policy.”

Yet, when you shall read hereafter what manner of men his sons and grandsons were and what they stood for in all the places where they lived; as you come down through the years, generation by generation, and see what thousands of his descendants have stood for in their homes and before the public, in peace and in war, as pioneers and as dwellers in the cities, you will realize that there must have been good stock in the old man; and he trained a family to be useful and honored in the communities where they dwelt.” (p.15)

“From this old canvas there gazes steadily out, not an ideal but a very real personage, and out and out Yankee type.” (p. 15) (From The Tyler Genealogy by Willard I. Tyler Brigham )

There is much about Job Tyler that could be considered “evil” and manipulative, but I have also discovered that he was a fiercely protective family man, one who used whatever tools necessary to survive and thrive in the colonies.

Job Tyler (1619 – 1700) is your 11th great grandfather
 Samuel Tyler (1655 – 1695) son of Job Tyler
 Mary Tyler (1689 – 1772) daughter of Samuel Tyler
 Mary Balcom (1718 – 1778) daughter of Mary Tyler
 Bathsheba Fisher (1752 – 1850) daughter of Mary Balcom
 Otis Titus (1779 – 1846) son of Bathsheba Fisher
 Jane Titus (1800 – ) daughter of Otis Titus
 Mercy Laura Hawkins (1848 – 1883) daughter of Samuel Melville Hawkins
 Carrie Evelyn Hawkins (1869 – 1949) daughter of Mercy Laura Hawkins
 Hazel Pearl Roberts (1900 – 1990) daughter of Carrie Evelyn Hawkins
 Helen Adelaide Reynolds (1920 – 2003) daughter of Hazel Pearl Roberts

About T.K. Eldridge

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23 Responses to 52 Ancestors 2015 #13 Job Tyler – Described as “evil incarnate”

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors 2015 #41: Colorful ancestors | Of Loons and Lady Slippers

  2. Pingback: 52 Ancestors 2015 #44: Frightening | Of Loons and Lady Slippers

  3. So interesting! Job Tyler is my 8th great grandfather.

    • Mary Decker Vercruysse says:

      Moses Quartermaster Tyler is my 7th great grandfather

      • T.K. Eldridge says:

        So, you’re descended from Prudence Blake & Moses Tyler – also related to the Eames (through Prudence & her sister Rebecca)

  4. Phyllis Sanders says:

    I am Phyllis Tyler-Sanders. Job Tyler is my ninth great grandfather. Job Tyler, John Tyler, Joseph Tyler, Solomon Tyler, Royal Tyler, Sylvanus Tyler, William P. Tyler, Charles Weston Tyler, Ralph L. Tyler, Richard M. Tyler, then me.

    • Norman Tyler, FAICP says:

      Hello Phyllis Tyler Sanders,

      Do you have an interest in the long, interesting history of the Tyler family in America? I found information on you and your possible interest on WordPress.

      Let me introduce myself. I am Norman Tyler, a direct descendant of immigrant Job Tyler, who arrived in New England in 1638. The genealogy of the Job Tyler family has been well documented, first in Volumes I and II of The Descendants of Job Tyler Since 1638, written by the genealogical researcher Willard I. Tyler Brigham; these two volumes were first published in 1912. In 1988, my parents, Charles and Norma Tyler, and I worked on a third volume of the Tyler family genealogy, based on their years of research to update the first volumes. These three volumes contain almost 10,000 names listing and describing the descendants of Job Tyler. As many individuals have expanded this genealogy with research on their own families, the scope of information on this Tyler line is truly huge.

      In the 1980s, my parents established the Job Tyler Family Association, which brought together many families and individuals through a series of reunions and a regular newsletter. My mother and I continued this well into the 1990s. My attic is filled with hundreds of folders and thousands of 3×5 cards representing information they collected in their years on the road throughout the U.S., collecting information from many sources and stopping at many cemeteries and libraries. Since the passing of both of my parents, the significant research they were conducting over the years has stalled.

      I am now retired and have time to consider what to do with the information in our Tyler genealogy archive. I considered the task of updating the three volumes with a Volume IV, but it would be a very imposing task. However, I am a writer, and a more interesting project is writing a book on the Job Tyler line family history, pulling together many stories from the 17th century forward. Over the past year I have put down almost 65,000 words (approximately 250 pages) filled with interesting information on the Job Tyler line. The manuscript includes stories such as: Mary Sawyer Tyler of “Mary Had a Little Lamb;” Mary Tyler of West Boxford, accused in the Salem Witch Trials; Moses Coit Tyler, an academic who established the country’s first historical association; Comfort Tyler, well respected until he got involved with the Aaron Burr Conspiracy; and many other stories to share. The chapters give an idea of the book’s scope. The current chapters are: Introduction; 1) Origins of the Tyler Name; 2) Immigrant Job Tyler’s Arrival; 3) West Boxford and the Tyler Homestead 4) Willard I. Tyler Brigham’s and the Tyler Lineage; 5) Notable Tylers Over 400 Years; 6) Tyler Family Stories and Memorabilia; 7) Tyler Family Associations; 8): Further Research; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.

      The reason I am reaching out to you and many others is to see if you are interested in such a history. If you would like to be kept informed about this project, please let me know by responding to this email. Also, I encourage you to pass this information along to others.

      A bit more about myself. I am #9114 in Volume III of The Descendants of Job Tyler. I live with my wife, Ilene, in a historic house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During my career I have been an architect/planner, professor of urban planning and historic preservation, and a writer. Much of the information on my writing can be seen at our personal web site, tylertopics.com/writing. Feel free to peruse it at your leisure.

      I have just posted online the current draft manuscript of my Job Tyler Family History, which can be viewed at http://tylertopics.com/jobtylerfamilyhistory.pdf

      If you are interested in the history of the Tyler family in America, I would be pleased to hear from you.


      Norman Tyler…

      126 N. Division Street

      Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104


      Web site: tylertopics.com/writing

  5. William M Griffiths says:

    Would love to visit the home and property on my visit to Boston. Job is my 10th great grand father, and it would be great to take some family photos of the farm.

  6. Stacy Rinehart says:

    This house is on my bucket list. I am learning all kinds of things about this family!

    Job Tyler (1615 – 1700)
    9th great-grandfather
    Moses Tylar (1641 – 1727)
    Son of Job Tyler
    Ebenezer Tyler (1673 – 1743)
    Son of Moses Tylar
    Nathaniel Tyler (1702 – 1781)
    Son of Ebenezer Tyler
    Jesse Tyler (1752 – 1813)
    Son of Nathaniel Tyler
    Hepsibeth Tyler (1796 – 1879)
    Daughter of Jesse Tyler
    Hugh Alexander Rogers (1819 – 1893)
    Son of Hepsibeth Tyler
    Henry Albert Rogers (1852 – 1930)
    Son of Hugh Alexander Rogers
    Grace Eleanor Rogers (1874 – 1967)
    Daughter of Henry Albert Rogers
    Harold G Miner (1894 – 1958)
    Son of Grace Eleanor Rogers
    Jeanette Miner (1936 – 1999)
    Daughter of Harold G Miner
    Stacy Rene Rinehart
    You are the daughter of Jeanette Miner

  7. Laurie Kehoe says:

    I am also a direct descendant of Job Tyler, from Moses’ granddaughter Hannah who married Jonathan Cummings. I am going to be writing a novel based on the witch trials and our family. Fascinating information here!

  8. Valerie Rogers kelley says:

    Job is my 9th great grandfather. I still live in the area and will try to get over to see this house soon.
    Amazing to think my ancestors are the basis of a book!!

    • Norman Tyler, FAICP says:

      Valerie, I have now completed my Tyler Family narrative history manuscript and it is being distributed online to readers, who are responding with comments and suggestions. Let me know if you would like to volunteer informally as a reader as well before it goes to print. My email is ntyler@emich.edu.

  9. Kathie Johnson says:

    I am the 8th great grand-daughter of Job Tyler. Mary Ayer Parker is my 8th great-grandmother. Mary was executed because of Job and his son Moses. Mary was the mother-in-law of Job’s son John who married Hannah Parker (Mary’s daughter). So as was told earlier in your story, yes my family was responsible for Mary’s execution.

  10. Jasmin says:

    Ebenezer Tyler 1673-1743 is my husbands 9th great grandfather, We reside in Western MA.

  11. Gord Kuglin says:

    My friend found out that she descends from Job Tyler’s brother Roger. She’s stunned to learn that there is this connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Let alone that their father Lawrence was beheaded at the King’s insistence. Does this same family actually descend from the famed instigator of the Peasants Revolt; Wat Tyler? Quite the history if so.

    • T.K. Eldridge says:

      They are supposedly descended from Wat Tyler. The book I referenced said as much (From The Legacy of the Tylers By Clark L. Smithson)

  12. Elizabeth Barrett says:

    MaryTyler Post Bridges was my 8th great grandmother, her daughter Mary Bridges who married Nathaniel Wheeler my seventh..

  13. Carolyn Copp says:

    I’m a descendant too…I don’t live that far from his stomping grounds…will need to check it out. Thanks for the very extensive research!

  14. I am also related to Ebenezer Tyler. Through the Swafford Davis line. I’m not sure if he is my 9th or 10th great grandfather

  15. Ashley Thom says:

    I too am a direct descendent.. Job Tyler is my 9th great grandfather. I find the family history fascinating and am always looking for more. It’s so cool to find so many other descendants also! I can’t wait to read your books to learn more. Visiting the Tyler Homestead is very much on my bucket list!

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