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Wildes Family Papers, 1692-1769, 1846

Identifier: MSS 498

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers of the Wildes family, early settlers of Topsfield, Massachusetts. The papers include legal documents, accounts, receipts, inventories, town tax records, bills and maps. There are also papers of the related Averell, Peabody, and Perkins families.

The legal papers include deeds, warrants, minutes, acquittals, probate documents, summons, and depositions. There are also copies of early deeds assigning lots of land in Topsfield. The financial papers include accounts, receipts, bills, inventories, promissory notes, and Topsfield tax records. The collection also contains a small notebook and account book of Ephraim Wildes, two property boundary maps, and copies of vital records for Mary and Hepzibah Peabody.


  • Creation: 1692-1769, 1846


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical Sketches

Ephraim Wildes was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts, in February 1665, the son of John and his second wife Sarah (Averill) Wildes. He served as town treasurer and constable in Topsfield, and later as selectman, juror, and grand juror. He married Mary Howlett in 1689; their surviving children included John, Mary, Ephraim, Jonathan, Susannah, Sarah, Dorothy, Jacob, Priscilla, Samuel, Hannah, Amos, Nathan, and Elijah. Ephraim Wildes died on April 2, 1725, in Topsfield.

John Wildes was born on June 25, 1690, in Topsfield, the son of Ephraim and Mary Wildes. He was a house wright in Topsfield and was active in town affairs, acting as moderator of town meetings twenty-two times and elected selectman in thirteen years. He married Phebe Perkins in about 1714; their surviving children included John, Katherine, Zebulon, Elisha, Sarah, and Amos. John Wildes died on September 27, 1750, in Topsfield.

Elisha Wildes was born on September 23, 1720, in Topsfield, the son of John and Phebe Wildes. He served as constable and selectman in Topsfield. He married Mary Bradstreet in 1754, and their children included Sylvanus, Mehitable, and Sarah. Elisha Wildes died on June 26, 1787, in Topsfield.


2 Linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the papers of the Wildes family, early settlers of Topsfield, Massachusetts.

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


The provenance of this material is unknown.

Bibliography and Related Collections

Davis, Walter Goodwin. The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes, 1759-1820, of Topsfield, Massachusetts. Portland, Maine: The Anthoensen Press, 1959. CS71.W669 1959

Topsfield Historical Society Records, 1661-1957, 1967-1973. MSS 232

Topsfield, Massachusetts Town Records 1616-1971, 2000-2006. EC 31

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, November 2016.

WILDES FAMILY PAPERS, 1692-1769, 1846
Processed by: Lee Jacoby; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA