All In The Family Part II: Exodus to A New World by Brandon C. Hovey

If you missed part I go here.


All In The Family Part II: Exodus to A New World

                                     By Brandon C. Hovey

          As I said in the earlier installment of this series regarding the Hovey family’s history, we are now dealing with history not ‘history.’  I make this distinction due to the effects of unreliable primary sources with numerous exaggerations and the slipshod record-keeping of Pre-Norman Conquest England.

This installment focuses on the Hoveys leaving the uncertain environment of England ruled by the Stuarts to an even more uncertain environment in the New World: America. Daniel Hovey, son of Richard is born in 1618 at Waltham Abbey, Essex County, England into an existence unlike his ancestor, Tovi the Proud.

Daniel was the son of Richard Hovey.  Richard Hovey was born in 1575, and was a glover by trade in Essex.  Richard passed in 1637.  Daniel, being the youngest of nine children was likely not going to have much in terms of either an inheritance or an opportunity in Stuart-era England.  Further reading can be done at

Daniel set out for the Massachusetts Colony.  He arrived sometime in 1633-1635, and in his late teens he was one of the first settlers of Ipswich, Mass. Aside from the clothes on his back, not much is known of Hovey’s inventory upon his arrival in the future United States.  Hovey was a learned man though.  He maintained a correspondence with John Gibbons, rector of Waltham Abbey.  Gibbons was something of a mentor to Daniel Hovey.

Before Hovey left for the new world Gibbons gave him a tome called G. DE SALUSTE DU BARTAS: HIS DIVINE WEEKES AND WORKES, an epic poem (Elizabeth, 2012).  Daniel Hovey was not only a learned man; he was also an ambitious man.  Sometime after his arrival in 1636, he became a landowner.  Daniel Hovey married Abigail Andrews in 1642, they would have seven children.

Along with seven children, land, and a wharf on his property: Daniel Hovey was not a man without industry.  He was also a public servant. His offices were many and his duties were varied.  Daniel Hovey would nowadays be called a polymath.

As for what he did as a trade that is hard to determine.

“There is no positive evidence as to the occupation of Daniel Hovey, but it seems fair to assume that living in Ipswich he may have derived his living from the sea, directly or indirectly. That he should build a wharf with adjacent buildings would seem to indicate that he was linked to the fishing industry, either as a dealer or packer of fish. We find nothing to substantiate his owning of boats or fishing equipment. Whatever his occupation at Ipswich, he seems to have done very well at it, and had acquired a considerable estate before his death” (Westbrookfield Historical Commission, 2008).

Alongside being a public servant, Hovey was also a litigant in several legal battles throughout the course of his life.  One such legal battle had him at odds with a local military commander, General Daniel Dennison in 1667.  This led him to leave Ipswich and re-settle at Quahog Plantation in the summer of 1668 (Westbrookfield Historical Commission, 2008).

You can read about Quahog Plantation here.

He and his family left for Hadley, Massachutsetts, sometime around 1673, and it was here that the settlers would be attacked by the area Native American tribes.  Again he found himself in legal trouble for his inability to pay rent while at Hadley  He returned to Ipswich with his wife and family.

The life of Daniel Hovey was accomplished and full of triumph and tragedy like any life.  For further reading on this settler visit here, the next installment of this series will cover United States Army generals Charles and Alvin Hovey and their service during the American Civil War.

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