Daniels of Massachusetts Bay Colony - Generation II Joseph Daniell (1638 - 1715)


Joseph Daniell

b.1638 (est.), Watertown, Massachusetts, d. June 23, 1715 Medway, Massachusetts

Chooses Guardian

April 7, 1657, Cambridge County Court records show Joseph Daniell, then 19, chose Robert Parker of Cambridge as his guardian.

Buys First Home - Cambridge

1660, Joseph Daniell purchased the home of David Fiske*. The home was located in Cambridge on the north side of Linnean Street, the south west corner of Botanic Garden.
*David, then a surveyor, age 36, decided to move his family to Cambridge Farms with a group of families known
as the "Farmers". Cambridge Farms became incorporated as Lexington, Massachusetts in 1713.

Move to Medfield

Click on image to enlarge

1662 Joseph Daniell moved to Medfield, Massachusetts and was accepted as a townsman on February 3, 1662 and in the following October drew lands indicating he was already the owner of a farm. This section of Medfield, in an area west of the Charles River known as the Boggastowe, was a frontier settlement at the time of Joseph's arrival. Located on Island Road, (modern day Millis) his new homestead is 25 miles southwest from the home he left in Cambridge. Like his father before him, Joseph was not concerned about leaving a familiar environment for the uncertainty of a frontier settlement. Joseph Daniell was the second colonist to settle in the area.

The Handbook of Medway, Massachusetts, page 8, identifies Joseph Daniell as the second white settler.

Note: The area where the Joseph Daniell's homestead is located was originally called Medfield, which then became Medway (1713) and then became Millis (1885). I have modified this section to reflect the appropriate town name at the time of the event. This often confuses researchers since one normally would assume a new town name means a new geographic location, which in this case is not true.

Joseph Daniell Home as illustrated in the publication
titled "Handbook of Medway"
Published in 1913

Joseph Daniell Home Circa 2003
80 Island Avenue, Millis, Massachusetts

Daniell - Fairbanks Marriage

November 16, 1665, Joseph married Mary Fairbanks, daughter of Sergeant George Fairbanks and Mary Adams Fairbanks at Boggastowe Farms.
George Fairbanks was the first settler in the area having arrived in 1658. Joseph and Mary were the first to be married at Boggastowe Farms.
The name Boggastowe was a name used by the Indians to describe the area west of the Charles river.
Marriage Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Marrages p.133,
Note: Mary is recorded in the records as Marie..

The Fairbanks House - Dedham

Note: Mary Fairbanks Daniell's grandfather, Jonathan Fairbanks' Dedham, Massachusetts home, believed to be built about 1636, is considered to be the oldest existing frame house in America today.

Forming a Family

September 23, 1666, Mary then 18 gave birth to her first son, Joseph Daniell, Jr.
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

May 4,1669, A first daughter was born which was named after her mother, Mary
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

October 20, 1671, A second son, Samuel was born
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

July 10, 1674, A second daughter, Mehitable was born.
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

King Philips War

June 1675, King Philip's War begins with fighting between colonists and Indians, which quickly spreads across eastern Massachusetts.

July 14,1675, Mendon, Massachusetts was attacked claiming several lives. The town’s buildings were burned to the ground and the town was subsequently abandoned.

King Philips War - The Attack at Medway

February 1676, The citizens of Medfield had been bracing for an attack of King Philips warriors for several days. As a precaution many families in the area including the Daniell's sought out the safety of the large stone house located on the north shore of South End Pond. The house was a garrison-type fortress built by Mary's father, Sergeant George Fairbanks and the residents of Boggastowe farms. It was recorded that the home was two stories high, sixty-five to seventy feet long. It was constructed using flat stones laid in clay mortar, with a double row of portholes on all sides, and was lined with heavy oak plank.

South Pond Looking Northeast

Note: Some of the stones were still visible in 1836, but the last of them had been hauled off by 1886, and for a century no one has known exactly where George Fairbanks' house stood.

It was George's responsibility as a Sergeant in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, an elite organization outside juristiction of the local militia, to provide a safe place in the event of hostility in the frontier.

During daylight hours the men would venture out to tend to livestock and other tasks returning each night to the safety of the house. The attack at Medfield came on February 21, 1676. It has been recorded that 9 families, more than 60 people were protected by the stone house and survived; however, others in outlying areas lost their lives and many homes were destroyed by fire. Jonathan Wood was attacked at Death's Bridge and died. Jonathan's pregnant wife went into labor upon hearing the news of his death and died hours later. A baby girl named Silence was born the day her parents died.

Fairbank's garrison was attacked again on May 6, 1676. The Indians attempted to ignite the house by rolling a cart loaded with burning flax down the hill, but the cart lodged on a boulder, and when a warrior attempted to free the cart, he was killed by a shot from the house. Again the attack was resisted successfully. Friendly Indians from Natick were on hand to assist with the defense. Joseph, Mary and their 4 children, Joseph, 10, Mary, 7, Samuel, 6, and Mehitable aged 2 were among those to lose their home.

George F. Daniels 1887 Account

Family historian George F. Daniels published the following account based on family records reviewed at a meeting of the Daniels Fraternity which met in Franklin, Massachusetts in August of 1877.

Life Returns to Normal

Joseph and Mary rebuilt their home and continued to develop their land and grow their family.

April 24, 1677, Joseph and Mary's third son, Ebenezer was born.
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

March 09, 1678/79, Elizabeth, daughter number three is born.
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

March 17, 1679/80, Jeremiah, son number four is born
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

June 16, 1680, 3-month-old Jeremiah dies
Deaths Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Deaths p.206

Birth of Eleazer

March 09, 1680/81, Eleazer, the last child of Joseph and Mary Daniell, was born. He was named after Mary's uncle, Eleazer Fairbanks. Eleazer was to become my 5th great grandfather.
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

George Fairbanks Dies

January 10, 1682, Mary Fairbank Daniell's father, George Fairbanks Sr falls through the ice while crossing the Charles River and drowns.

Death Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Deaths p.210

Death of Wife - Mary Fairbanks Daniell

June 9, 1682, Mary dies at the age of 32 leaving 8 children behind between the ages of 1 and 15 years.
Death Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Deaths p.206

Joseph Daniell Marries 2nd Wife

1683, Joseph and Rachel Sheffield married sometime in 1683. She is the 23 year old daughter of William and Mary Sheffield of Sherborn.

Family Additions

Together Joseph and Rachel would have 3 additional children.

November 3, 1684, Jeremiah was born.
Note: It was a common practice to name a child after a deceased sibling
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

October 16, 1686, Rachel was born
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

April 9, 1687, Zechariah was born
Birth Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.44

Death of Wife, Rachel

May 3, 1687, Tragedy strikes again when Rachel dies less than a month after the birth of Zechariah. While we have no way of knowing why Rachel died it's clear that life during the 1600's was filled with the harsh reality that complications from childbirth could often lead to an early death.
Death Recorded, Medfield Vital Records, Births p.206, Recorded after May 2, 1687

Building a Mill

1686, Medway agreed to give Joseph Daniell rights to dam the Boggastowe Brook as long as he agreed to maintain a mill. This was the first mill that Joseph and his descendents were to maintain on the Boggastowe over the next 138 years.

1695, Joseph Daniel is listed as a selectman of the town of Medfield.
Handbook of Medway, Massachusetts, page 11

Joseph and Mary's home and barn are still standing, having been rebuilt after being burned by attacking Indians during King Philips War.

Joseph Daniell Marries 3rd Wife

1697, Joseph Daniel and Lydia Adams Allen married sometime in 1697. Lydia was the widow of James Allen.

Eleazer Moves to Mendon

May 5, 1705 Eleazer, now 24 years old bought 20 acres of land in Mendon, Massachusetts 15 miles southwest of his home on Island Road in Medfield.

1705, Medfield votes to build a new Meeting House. "The inhabitants on the West Side of the river shall have half their pay toward building refunded if they build a Meeting House on that side within twenty years". George Fayrebanke and Joseph Daniel are appointed and act on this committee in charge of building the new Meeting House.
Handbook of Medway, Massachusetts, page 12

Joseph Daniell Dies

June 23, 1715, Joseph Daniell dies. While no headstone can be found today I believe Joseph Daniell was buried at Bare Hill since it was designated as the town's burying place in 1714.
Handbook of Medway, Massachusetts, page 14
Note: Bare Hill was later called Meeting House Hill, the site of the first churches of the parish and the first burying ground: directly across from the LaCroix place in Millis
Handbook of Medway, Massachusetts, page 81, Old Grant Localities

Medway Massachusetts in 1713

Below is the first map of Medway, Massachusetts. Among many other things the map shows the location of Joseph Daniell Sr., his first son, Joseph Daniell Jr. and 3rd son Ebenezer's homes. In addition, the stone house that provided a safe haven from the attacking Indians is identified in the upper right hand corner as George Fairbanks "stone house".

Map Courtesy of the Millis Historical Commission
Click on image to enlarge


Previous Generation - Robert Daniell   Next Generation - Eleazer Daniels  


Coat of Arms   Library   Name Evolution   Other Links   Research Links