48. JOSEPH 3 DUNHAM (Joseph 2 John 1), born in Plymouth say 1675-6. There is no death record and no probate for Joseph but he was dead by December 1752 when his widow conveyed land to two of her sons in return for support. Joseph married probably in Freetown 19 June 1706 BETHIA CHASE, daughter of Benjamin and Phillipa (Sherman) Chase. Bethia was born in Freetown 3 December 1686; died after 13 April 1753 when she acknowledged a deed.
Joseph 3 Dunham was a house carpenter like his father, and this may explain why he is of record in the towns of Plympton, Freetown, Norton, Edgartown and finally Middleboro, Massachusetts. The first two children of Joseph and Bethia (Chase) Dunham are recorded in the Vital Records of Freetown. These were Hannah, born 1 June 1707 and Stephen, born 5 May 1709. The next record we have of Joseph Dunham is a statement of his residence on Lockety Neck in Norton.
The minister Joseph Avery, was preaching at Freetown by 1710, and on 23 December 1710 he was called to the church at Norton. On 1 January 1711-12 the rate bill for building Mr. Avery’s house gives a list of the inhabitants of Norton at that date. Mr. Avery did not accept the call until 13 September 1714. It is likely that Joseph Dunham was the man building the house for Joseph Avery, as deeds prove his residence in Norton between 1713 and 1715. A series of deeds shows the purchase and sale of several parcels of land in Norton by Joseph Dunham.
Bristol Co. LR 8:158 dated 16 September 1713 shows that Joseph 3 Dunham, of Norton, house carpenter, purchased of Jos. Woodward of Taunton, one Rumford lot in Norton.
Bristol Co. LR 9:393 dated 3 June 1715 shows that Joseph 3 Dunham sells to Benj. Simson 70 acres in several lands in Norton. These parcels are listed as follows:
- 1. 5 acres NE end of ½ part of 10 acres. . .the VIII Rumford lot I bought of Thomas Stephens (my dwelling house)
- 2. ½ part of 3 Rumford lots #V, and VII
- 3. 6 acres, part of 11 acres I bought of Thomas Stephens and adjoining 30 acres I had of Jos. Woodward, (from John Hodges to the mill)
- 4. 4 acres yet to be laid out
Joseph Dunham signed the covenant of the Norton Church on 4 October 1714, and on 22 May 1715 his son Joseph was baptized there.
The next two deeds to Joseph and Bethia Dunham indicate his residence in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes County, and then in Middleboro, Plymouth County. These deeds are interesting as they are the conveyance of land in Middleboro by the brothers of Bethia (Chase) Dunham.
Bristol County Land Record 18:93, dated 26 June, 1724, from Walter Chase to Joseph and Bethia Dunham:
- “To all Christian people to whom this present deed of gift shall come, Walter Chase of Taunton in the County of Bristol in New England, Yeoman sendeth greeting, Know ye that I the said Walter Chase for and in consideration of the love, good will which I bear towards my loving friends Joseph Donham of Edgartown in Dukes County in New England aforesaid, Houseright, and Bethiah his wife, have given and granted and by these presents do freely...give and grant unto the said Joseph Donham and Bethia his wife one quarter of a forty acre lot being the fourteenth lot in the first division of a certain tract of land called the Sixteen Shilling Purchase lying in Middlebouough in the County of Plymouth in New England aforesaid, to have and to hold the said given premises, with all the priviledges and appurtences thereunto belonging unto the said Joseph Donham and his wife, their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, to their own and only proper use whereof from henceforth forever absolute . . . any condition or . . . In witness whereof I the said Walter Chase have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty sixth day of June being in the tenth year of the reign of our soverign Lord King George, anno domini, one thousand seven hundred twenty and four.
- Walter Chase (seal)
- Witnesses: William Caswell -- John Greene
- Bristol Co. at Freetown in June 26, 1724 personally appeared the above named Walter Chase and acknowledged the above instrument to be his free voluntary act and deed. -- Sept 11 1724 -- Josiah Cotton, Reg.”
Bristol County Land Record 19:15, dated 27January, 1724/5 from Benjamin Chase to Joseph and Bethia Donham:
- “To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, Benjamin Chase of Freetown in the County of Bristol in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Husbandman sendeth greeting, Know ye that I the said Benjamin Chase for and in Consideration of the love and affection which I bear towards my brother Joseph Donham and Bethia Donham his wife of Middleborough in the County of Plymouth in the Province aforesaid, House Carpenter, have given granted and by these presents do freely clearly and absolutely give and grant to the said Joseph Donham and Bethia Donham his wife their life time and to the heirs of the said Bethia Donham executors, administrators assigns forever, one quarter part of the fourteenth lot of land in number in the first division in the Sixteen Shilling Purchase in Middleborough in the County of Plymouth and the said Joseph Donham and Bethia Donham his wife their lifetime and to the heirs of the said Bethia Donham Executors, administrators or assigns forever lawfully, peaceably and quietly have holden unto any person and forever lawfully. . .Benjamin Chase hath here unto set his hand and seal the twenty seventh day of January in the Eleventh year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George King of Great Britain and in the year of our Lord 1724/5.
- Benjamin Chase (Seal)
- Witness: Abraham Simmons -- Thomas Terrey, Junr
- Bristol Co. at Freetown in January the twenty seventh day 1724/5 appeared the above named Benjamin Chase and acknowledged the above written to be his free act and deed. Before me Thomas Terry, Justice of Peace -- Recd. April 30, 1725”
On 6 September 1730 by will of her father Benjamin Chase,  Bethia was given ½ of the 14th lot in Middleboro and a cow. The death of Benjamin Chase in Freetown may explain why Bristol Co. LR 28:20 calls Joseph Dunham “of Freetown” as they may have been in Freetown at the time of Benjamin Chase’s death. In a final deed, Plymouth Co. LR 30:201 dated 9 June 1735, Joseph Dunham of Middleborough sells to Elkanah Leonard “...a certain lot of land in first allotment of Sixteen Shilling Purchase butting upon Taunton Path, now called the Rhode Island Road...contains 40 acres, and is the same lot I bought of MacFarland...”
Joseph Dunham died sometime between the date of this deed (9 June 1735) and 15 December 1752 when his widow Bethia conveys the 14th lot to two of her sons Stephen and Josiah. Plymouth County Land Record 79:209 therefore identifies another child of Joseph and Bethia as son Josiah.
Plymouth County Land Record 79:209, dated 15 December 1752, not recorded until 19 May, 1796, Bethiah Dunham to Stephen Dunham et al:
- “To all people to whom these presents shall come greeting, Know ye that I Bethiah Donham of Middleborough in the county of Plymouth in the province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England widow, for and in consideration that two of my sons (viz) Stephen Dunham of Middleborough in the County of Plymouth, yeoman and Josiah Dunham of Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island...have undertaken to maintain me Bethiah Dunham my life time from this time forward and my sons have made an agreement under hand and seal to perform it upon the forfeiture of their both paying one hundred and fifty pounds lawful money if they don’t fulfill it, have given granted bargained sold conveyed and confirmed and do by these presents sell convey and confirm unto them the said Stephen Dunham and the said Josiah Donham their heirs and assigns forever, a certain lot of land being a forty acre lot be it more or less, and the fourteenth lot in number in the first division of land called the Sixteen Shilling Purchase lying in Middleborough in the county of Plymouth in New England which land I hold by deed of gift, and also by my father Benjamin Chases will, and from my brother Benjamin Chase and my brother Walter Chase formerly all of Taunton and for the bounds thereof, reference to be had to the proprietors bounds and the said forty acre lot is to be equally for advantage divided between the said Stephen Donham and Josiah Donham, to have and to hold, the granted bargained premises with all and singular the appurtenances and privileges to them the said Stephen Donham and the said Josiah Donham their heirs and assigns forever,...dated, 15th day of December 1752.
- Bethiah Dunham
- Witnesses: Benjamin Samson -- Jonathan Reed
- April 13, 1753 the above named Bethiah Donham personally appeared and acknowledged the foregoing instrument to be her voluntary act and deed. -- Received May 19, 1796 and recorded.”
Children of Joseph and Bethia (Chase) Dunham:
- 274. i. HANNAH 4 DUNHAM, b. 1 June 1707 (Freetown VR)
- 275. ii. STEPHEN 4 DUNHAM, b. 5 May 1709 (Freetown VR)
- 276. iii. CALEB 4 DUNHAM, b. say 1711
- 277. iv. JOSIAH 4 DUNHAM, b. say 1713, a child proven by Plymouth County LR 79:209
- 278. v. JOSEPH 4 DUNHAM, bp. 11 May 1715 (Norton VR)
- 279. vi. EPHRAIM 4 DUNHAM, b. say 1717
- 280. vii. BETHIAH 4 DUNHAM, b. say 1719-1720
- 282. viii. JONATHAN 4 DUNHAM, b. say 1723
- 283. ix. PHEBE 4 DUNHAM, b. say 1725
NOTE: Previous listed children 281. Nathaniel-4 Dunham b. say 1721 and 284. Mary-4 Dunham b. say 1727 were removed in Mar 2015 as NOT children of Joseph-3 Dunham and Bethia (Chase) Dunham.
- 1. TAG 30:154.
- 2. Plymouth Co. LR 79:209.
- 3. Taunton VR, p. 254.
- 4. NEHGR 87:51.
- 5. Plymouth Co. LR 79:209.
- 6. Freetown VR, unpaged.
- 7. History of Norton, p. 60.
- 8. Will of Benjamin Chase, Bristol Co., MA Probate Records Book 2:196; and NEHGR 87:51.