Hovey Homestead in Dracut (demolished 1933)
Benjamin Hovey (1775-1866) and Lois Jenkins (1767-1846)
Generation Five Family 553
BENJAMIN HOVEY (Mary Abbott Hovey4, Henry3, George2, George1), b. at Dracut, 9 May 1775 of Thomas and Mary (Abbott) Hovey; d. at Dracut, 30 Mar 1866; m. at Medford, 2 Aug 1797, LOIS (Louisa) JENKINS, b. at Malden, 2 Aug 1767 daughter of Ezekiel and Margaret (Floyd) Jenkins; (1) Lois d. at Dracut, 8 Aug 1846.
Benjamin Hovey had a hat factory in Dracut which was located on Pleasant Street until 1814 when the shop was moved to Sladen Street. (2) Benjamin grew up in the historic Hovey homestead in Dracut that remained in the family 130 years; the house was demolished in 1933. (3)
Benjamin Hovey wrote his will February 1860. He bequeaths all of his personal and real estate to daughter Nancy H. Hovey. He describes at length the boundaries of the property that will go to Nancy. He makes bequests of five dollars each to his three grandchildren Mary Emerson, Joseph Swan and Edward P. Swan. Nancy H. Hovey was named executrix. The three grandchildren named are the children of Benjamin and Lois’s daughter Mary Hovey and her husband Joseph Swan. Mary Swan Emerson died in 1863 between the date of the will and the probate of the estate. (4)
Daughter Nancy Heath Hovey did not marry. She lived with her father until his death and after lived on her own in the family home. In 1878, a guardian was appointed for her as she was incapable of caring for herself and was described as "insane." The petition was made by the selectmen of Dracut. Her nephew Joseph Swan was named her guardian. At the time of the guardianship, the value of her real property was $2,075 and the amount of her personal estate $1,146. The personal estate included $1,100 in cash in savings accounts. Perhaps Nancy developed dementia in her later years as she was functioning well enough to serve as executrix of her father's estate in 1866. (5)
Benjamin and Lois Hovey had five children born at Dracut.
1. MARY HOVEY, b. 9 Nov 1797; d. at Lowell, 20 May 1853; m. 27 Mar 1824, JOSEPH SWAN, b. about 1796 in NH; Joseph d. at Dracut, 1845. Mary Hovey and Joseph Swan had four children at Dracut one of whom died in infancy. These are the only grandchildren of Benjamin Hovey and Lois Jenkins.
2. BENJAMIN HOVEY, b. 26 Nov 1800; d. 12 Dec 1801.
3. BENJAMIN HOVEY, b. 7 Jun 1804; d. 2 May 1805.
4. LOUISA HOVEY, b. 30 Aug 1806; d. 1 Oct 1829. Louisa did not marry.
5. NANCY HEATH HOVEY, b. 13 Nov 1808; d. at Dracut, May 1882.
1) Floyd, “Descendants of Joel Jenkins,” NEHGR, p 319
2) Coburn, History of Dracut, p 224
3) Duda, Rebecca A. (28 April 2018), “At the Crossroads in Dracut Stood the Hovey Tavern,” Lowell Sun Blogs, http://blogs.lowellsun.com/history/2018/04/28/at-the-crossroads-in-dracut-stood-the-hovey-tavern/?doing_wp_cron=1532033685.4760420322418212890625
4) Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871. Probate of Benjamin Hovey, 1866, Case number 34657.
5) Middlesex County (Mass.) Probate Packets (1 - 4702) (Second Series) 1872-1967 (And 4703 - 19,935); Author: Massachusetts. Probate Court (Middlesex County); Probate Place: Middlesex, Massachusetts, case number 5498, guardianship of Nancy H. Hovey.