Saturday, February 3, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ DWINNELL of Topsfield, Massachusetts


My 9th great grandfather, Michael Dwinell or Dunnell, is of unknown origins.  Some think that perhaps the surname is perhaps French Huguenot, and other books say he was possibly Irish, but there is no proof either way.  He was born about 1640 and died in 1717 in Topsfield, Massachusetts.  His wife is only known as “Mary”, although Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of New England states her name was Mary Read (no proof).   They had nine children in the Topsfield records, and his son Michael, Jr., was the first physician in Topsfield. Michael Dwinnel owned a large amount of land, including 50 acres he bought from Francis Peabody in 1672. 

My 8th great grandfather, John Dunnell (1674 – 1742), lived in Topsfield as a “husbandman” or farmer.  He married Mary Read of Salem in 1701.  His wife was the executor of his will which was witnessed by Jeremiah Towne, Jacob Dwinnell, and Richard Towne.

His daughter, Keziah Dwinel (b. 1703), my 7th great grandmother, married Nicholas Cree.  Their son, Richard Cree (1727 – 1769), married Ruth Johnson, whose mother was Rebecca Towne.  Rebecca’s grandfather was Edmund Towne (1628 – 1678), a brother of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse who was hanged as a witch in 1692.  Perhaps Rebecca Towne was named after her poor grandmother, the victim of the Salem hysteria?   The two Towne men mentioned above as witnesses to the will of John Dunnell in 1742 were both grandsons of Edmund Towne, too.

Some DWINNELL resources:

The True Genealogy of the Dunnell and Dwinnell Family, by Henry Gale Dunnell, 1862 (Google Books)

The Dwinnell, Dunnell Genealogy,  by Ira A. Dwinnell, 1974

The History of Topsfield, Massachusetts, by George F. Dow, 1940  (

The Vital Records of Topsfield, Massachusetts, 1903

My DWINNELL genealogy:

Generation 1:  Michael Dunnell, born about 1640, maybe in France, died 1717 in Topsfield, Massachusetts; married Mary Unknown about 1668.  Nine children.

Generation 2:  John Dunnell, born 16 December 1674 in Topsfield, died 28 January 1742 in Topsfield; married Mary Read on 25 February 1701 in Salem, Massachusetts.  She was born about 1682 in Salem. Six children.

Generation 3: Keziah Dwinell, born 14 December 1703 in Topsfield, married Nicholas Cree of Marblehead on 7 October 1723 in Topsfield.  Six children.

Generation 4: Richard Cree m. Ruth Johnson
Generation 5: Stephen Cree m. Hannah Smith
Generation 6:  Sarah Cree m. James Phillips
Generation 7: Hannah Phillips m. Capt. Thomas Russell Lewis
Generation 8:  Hannah Eliza Lewis m. Abijah Franklin Hitchings
Generation 9: Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 10: Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ DWINNELL of Topsfield, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 3, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

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