The 1872 Diary Of The Mooresville Macy Farmstead


A Farmstead in Morgan County, IN has stood as a sentinel on the South West corner of Mooresville since 1859 when William Monroe Macy (WMM), 1820-1911, built the home. It stands in 2010 as the residence of Donovan and Joyce Robinson. WMM was prosperous by local community standards of the period, however, that did not afford him much leisure. He managed many diverse businesses which kept him and his entire family hard at work every season of the year. This book focuses primarily on the "personal journal" Alva Perry...
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A Farmstead in Morgan County, IN has stood as a sentinel on the South West corner of Mooresville since 1859 when William Monroe Macy (WMM), 1820-1911, built the home. It stands in 2010 as the residence of Donovan and Joyce Robinson. WMM was prosperous by local community standards of the period, however, that did not afford him much leisure. He managed many diverse businesses which kept him and his entire family hard at work every season of the year. This book focuses primarily on the "personal journal" Alva Perry Macy wrote during 1872 while living on this Farmstead. The activities he records are through the eyes of a 14 year old who seems fascinated with the industry around him. The farm life of the 1870's would not be considered "the good old days" by most young adults of today. His focus on local people and their names will hopefully provide today's history buffs a chance to put a bit of life on the stark printed pages of genealogy records. To put the "journal" in perspective, the family history has been explored to properly position the Mooresville Macys of 1872. The Robinsons gathered many facts about the Macys in libraries and from surviving descendants. Many stories have been told numerous times by other authors. The Robinsons have compiled what they believe to be an accurate account of the Macy Farmstead.... and offer it to the interest of others. Alva is a ninth generation derivative of Mayflower passengers (John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley) of 1620. His ancestors also include the early Nantucket settlers (Thomas Macy) who challenged the raw wilderness of the 1600's. The Macys were somehow driven for 300 years to continue in that vein as they moved inland and westward "from the Atlantic to the Pacific".
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449006297
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 2/18/2010
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

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The 1872 Diary of the Mooresville Macy Farmstead

.....footsteps from the Mayflower to California
By Donovan L. Robinson Joyce A. Robinson


Copyright © 2010 Donovan L. and Joyce A. Robinson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4490-0629-7

Chapter One

JOHN HOWLAND 13th Signer of the Mayflower Compact

John Howland was born about 1593, the son of Henry Howland of Fen Staten, Huntingdonshire, England. Henry came from London and was identified in the will of Humphrey Howland, a citizen and draper of St. Swithisn's, London. The will was proved 10 July 1646 and mentions his brothers George, Arthur, John and Henry; the last three in New England.

John came on the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Governor John Carver at about twenty-seven years old. During the voyage there was a fierce storm out of the west and for many days it was impossible to have any sail. The ship was just drifting under bare masts while the helmsman tried to keep the ship heading into the wind as she wallowed through heavy seas. It was during this storm that John Howland was swept overboard. Luckily, the ship was trailing some topsail halyards and Howland managed to grab one of these and hang on until he was hauled aboard by crew members with a boat hook.

On December 16, Howland was one of the ten men who took the shallop (small open boat) for the third time to search for a suitable location for the Colony. They chose the site which is now Plymouth for their first settlement. When Governor Carver died during that first winter, Howland inherited his estate and immediately bought his own freedom. In 1624 he married Elizabeth Tilley, who had also been a passenger on the Mayflower with her parents, John Tilley and his wife. The Howlands had three boys and seven girls.

John Howland's house, along with Samuel Fuller's and Stephen Hopkins'; was built on a slope from the highway to the beach, which is known as Cole's Hill.

From 1627 to 1641, John Howland was in charge of the so-called Undertakers, who were responsible to promote trade in every possible way in order to pay off the Colony's debt to their investors. They established a trading post along the Kenebec River on the present site of Augusta, Maine. With Howland in charge, they did a brisk trade in beaver, otter and other furs with the Abnaki Indians, in exchange for 'coats, shirts, rugs, blankets, etc.".

During his lifetime in Plymouth, Howland was a town officer, partner in the trading company of the Colony, and an assistant or deputy almost continually. He was also prominent in the church, in which he was ordained a pastor.

In Plymouth, records that were kept by Secretary Nathaniel Morton say: "The 23rd of February 1672 Mr. John Howland, Senior, of the town of Plymouth, deceased. He was a Godly man and an ancient professor in the ways of Christ; he lived until he attained above eighty years in the world. He was one of the first comers into this land, and proved a useful instrument of good in his place, and was the last man that was left of those who came over in the ship called Mayflower, that lived in Plymouth; he was with honor interred at the towne of Plymouth on the 25th of February 1672".

His wife Elizabeth died fifteen years later, on 21 December 1687, at the age of eighty.

Thomas Macy's Nantucket

A most definitive work on early settlement has been written by Professor Henry Chandlee Forman who describes the evolution of Sherburne in his Early Nantucket and its Whale Houses. The first dwellings were adjacent to Maddakat Harbor, north of the Ditch and enclosed by Long Pond. The colonials occupied themselves with fishing and farming, and were, to some extent, illiterate. According to Forman they must have built temporary shelters "like dug-outs, puncheon sheds - that is, those having vertical planks for walls stuck in the ground - and wig-wams". The first Proprietors, being fisherman or husbandmen, desperately needed skilled craftsmen. Fourteen more families, or half share men, including seamen, a tailor, a shoemaker, a blacksmith, a fisherman, a cooper, and a carpenter joined the community. The early organization was simple. The earliest Town Records were kept jointly by Robert Pike at Salisbury and at Nantucket by Thomas Macy. On 5-10-1661, these records indicate that Thomas Coffin Sr., Thomas Macy, Edward Starbuck, and Peter Folger were designated to measure and lay out the meadows, woods, and the uplands of the Island, and together with William Mayhew, Richard Swain, John Bishop, all owners, were to determine what should be divided up and what should be retained as common land. They were to designate the town bounds after setting aside a convenient amount of land for public use. Once they had chosen their own lots, (obviously a privilege awarded them for their efforts), the proprietors and their associates were to draw lots for the remainder. On 7-15-1661 each man drew a house lot of 60 square rods (~3/8 Acre). As these were scattered about, they represented a premature form of homesteading. All voters were those residents who were free holders. In 1792, the Proprietors had grown to 500 through purchase, sale, or inheritance, but by 1800 they had decreased to 300. Dr. Guba has described the system thus:

"The peculiar land tenure was conceived and arranged by the original settlers in an attempt to provide for the general welfare by a common ownership of the island and by a common interest in each other".

In 1660 Edward Starbuck moved to the north end of Hummock Pond, while Thomas Macy went to Wannacomet, east of Capaum. Other settlers moved south west via Reed Pond, Wyers and Macy's Pond to the western sections of Hummock Pond; some moved still further to Wesco (or, "the White Stone") which was adjacent to Nantucket Harbor. The various names were derived from two sources; the majority of the names were Indian although modified by usage, e.g., Mattaket, Muskeikat, Tuckernucket, Sasagacha, Nopadea, Aquidnet, Monomoy, Squam, Shimmo, Siasconset, Wescoe and others. Others were English e.g., Northam, Uppertown and Middletown; others like Jeremy Cove, Eel Point, Smith's Point, Reed Pond, Pumpkin Road, Swain's Neck and Tom Nevers Head, either refer to conditions or to owners. At first their properties followed a crescent-shaped scatteration. There was no recognizable town. There were few facilities, no streets, and no order. In 1673 the town of Sherburne extended from Wesco past Capaum Harbor to Hummock.


THOMAS MACY, (1608-1682) the progenitor of the Macy family in America, came to Massachusetts Colony from Chilmark, Wiltshire County, England, about 1635 (possibly the year prior). It should be noted that his arrival occurred simultaneously with the departure of Roger Williams, and that he put into practice the principles taught by Williams.

Thomas was a merchant and dealt in textiles as well as being a planter. He was absolutely fearless, devout and scholarly for his day. He was first town clerk of Salisbury, now Amesbury. He served as overseer of schools, and was deputy to the general court.

In 1638 he began a relentless opposition to the sale of rum to the Indians. The year later he became a freeman. In the year 1657 the Baptists sought to have the town divided that they might be free to worship as they pleased and to be absolved from supporting the established church. In this they were defeated and were periodically fined for non-attendance. The government of the Puritans in Massachusetts made a strict allegiance to the Protestant church mandatory and a special act passed by the general court denied Joseph Peaslee and Thomas Macy the right of "free speech" upon the charge of "disorderly practices", which consisted of preaching to their fellow Baptists.

The culminating offense of Thomas Macy occurred in 1659. He manifested sympathy for four English Quaker missionaries, whom he sheltered in his home during a rain storm. For this offense he was arrested, convicted and fined 30 shillings. Two of these missionaries, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson, were hung 10-27-1659 on Boston Common, and buried without religious rites. Their crime was .......... being a Quaker!

Upon his departure to Nantucket Isle, he left land, dwelling, cattle, household furnishings - everything except that which he carried in an open boat. Some months prior to his departure, he and nine others purchased Nantucket Island. It was mutually agreed that each would receive twenty-two and one-half acres. They were privileged to sell one-half of each holding, which they did. It was further agreed that the remaining 29,000 acres would be held in trust for the Indians, numbering about 3,000. It was agreed also that any contract with an Indian to purchase his land was null and void. At this time the Indian in Massachusetts could not buy land. Land in Massachusetts Colony was not sold but granted by the King of England. Those who had much money were granted much land; little money, little land; no money, no land. Both Indian and Quaker were subject to the "Vagabond Act". Both were sold as chattels and deported as slaves to the Barbados.

For the first five years, the authority of Thomas Macy upon Nantucket was absolute, there being no other jurisdiction. He established a government upon the principles of peace more than twenty years before the arrival of William Penn. Nantucket was an asylum for Englishmen who were denied their rights upon English soil, and victims of English laws.

In 1664 Nantucket came under the jurisdiction of New York, prior to ceding it to Massachusetts in 1692. In 1664 Thomas Macy returned to Amesbury and disposed of his previous homestead.

In 1676 Thomas Macy confiscated one half barrel of rum, there being a prohibitory law against the sale of rum upon Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. In a letter to the governor he dwelt at length upon the evil influence of rum upon the Indians. He further says "that for thirty-eight years he had done his utmost in persuading the whites not to sell rum to the Indians." For generations in American history it has been taught "that rum was a Divine instrument sent from God to be used in the extermination of the Indian."

The traits of Thomas Macy have been remarkably reproduced, when times and seasons brought them forth. Descendants of his are numbered in every advanced step in American history and in crucial hours they assumed their measure of responsibility.

Thomas was born at Chilmark, England, 1608, he died on Nantucket 4-19-1682. He married Sarah Hopcott 7-8-1639 (also of Chilmark), who died 1706 at 94 years on Nantucket.


JOHN MACY I, b 7-14-1655: d 10-14-1691 .....son of Thomas & Sarah

John was 4 years old when his father migrated to Nantucket. He became a house carpenter. Since he was the only son to reach maturity and marry, he became the slender thread by which present day Macys cling to Nantucket history.

In 1676, he married Deborah Gardner, b. 2-12-1658, d. 4-2-1712. She was the daughter of Richard and Sarah (Shattuck) Gardner.

Richard Gardner was son of Thomas Gardner, b. in Dorsetshire, England, d. in Salem, Mass, 10-29-1674; He was a member of the company of original settlers of Cape Ann and Salem. They came under the Charter of Dorsetshire Company (1624). He was also overseer of a plantation; became one of the earliest settlers of Salem (1626), became a freeman (1636), represented Salem in general court (1637), and held several local offices. He was a large real estate holder.

John, Deborah, and their children were all born and died upon Nantucket.


JOHN MACY II, b 1675, d 11 -28-1751.

He married Judith Worth b 12-22-1689; d 11-8-1767. She was the daughter of John & Miriam Gardner Worth.

Their children were all born on Nantucket.

Within the years 1708-11, nine hundred of the thousand white inhabitants of Nantucket espoused the Quaker faith. The history of the inhabitants of the island prior to that date is included in the history of the early Baptists of New England, who numbered about 5,000 in America at the time of the founding of Brown University.

John Macy II, grandson of the first settler of Nantucket, was the first Macy to join the Society of Friends, which he did in 1711. Other members of the family quickly followed.

The will of John Macy II indicates he possessed considerable property.


John Macy III b 12-23-1721: d 7-18-1795

John III was born on Nantucket 12-23-1721. He migrated with his family to Guilford Co. NC on 4-28-1771. He died in son Barachiah's home 7-18-1795. He married Eunice Coleman, b 10-18-1724 on 8-13-1743. She died on Nantucket 12- 28-1768 prior to the family migration to North Carolina.

New Garden NC Settlers

The 1754-1770 New Garden settlers from PA, VA, MD, and NC were soon reinforced by other immigrants who also came from old Quaker stock. These were the settlers from Nantucket Island, MA. This movement began in 1771 and Libni Coffin was the first Nantucket man to arrive at New Garden. During the next 5 years from 1771 to 1775, ..... 41 of the 50 certificates were from Nantucket.

This migration stopped suddenly with the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. During the war the growth was by local population growth. About the end of the 18th century there began the great migration to the mid west which sapped the strength of all NC Quaker meetings and ended the existence of many. New Garden contributed in large numbers to the movement but had sufficient vitality to withstand the lost membership.

The Quakers have been at the front in settling and civilizing almost every wilderness and plain, in bringing order and law to newly acquired territories which would otherwise have been dominated by pillage and despoliation. They built schools, meeting houses, cultivated farms and founded villages and towns. This migration and development is a blueprint of the Macy genes which landed at Plymouth, MA in 1620 and subsequently made their way to -Nantucket, MA - New Garden, NC, -Jefferson County, TN, - Economy, IN, -Mooresville, IN, -Dayton, OR, -Greenleaf, ID and settled along the -Pacific coast states.

This book focuses on William Monroe Macy who carried these genes from Jefferson County, TN to Denair, CA between 1820 and 1911. At every juncture, he and his fellow travelers procured land, contributed to the community settlement and moved on west as if driven by a migratory gene.

History books are largely filled with accounts of wars, land acquisition, political leaders, founding of states, counties and towns and geographical descriptions. Too little is noted of the people who actually settled the various parts of the country. 'Settlers' have been grouped and left there by historians. The Quakers permeated every new land, and with their peaceful ways, their honesty and integrity, were such quiet, though forceful leaders in the building of peaceful civilizations that historians, thinking in terms of wars and strife, have paid them small attention.

It has been said that fully 50% of all American families, now living, and whose ancestors have lived in America since the early days have some ancestral Quaker connections. These are fortunate in that, although they are not likely to be able to establish their lines of descent through other channels, they can nearly always authoritatively establish their genealogical ancestor descent insofar as it connects with Quakers.

Chapter Two


BY Aaron Macy (1948)

Barachiah Macy was born on Nantucket Island, which lies off the shores of the state of Massachusetts, on February 24, 1760. He was the ninth child of John Macy III and Eunice Coleman Macy.

Barachiah's mother died on December 28, 1768, four days after Clement, his youngest brother, was born. This was on Nantucket Island when Barachiah was about nine years old.

In 1771, when Barachiah was about 11 years old, his father, John Macy III and most of his children moved to Guilford County, North Carolina and became members of the New Garden Quaker Monthly Meeting.

Barachiah married Lucinda Barnard (a 6th generation descendant of John Howland) on March 20, 1783 at this monthly meeting. Lucinda was born on Nantucket Island and with her parents, Benjamin Barnard and Eunice Fitch Barnard migrated to Guilford County North Carolina at the same time that Barachiah's father moved his family to the same neighborhood.

Barachiah and Lucinda lived in Guilford County for about 19 years where their 5 older children were born; Mary (1st) who died when about 1 year old; William; Mary (2nd, named for her deceased sister); Jonathan; Anna; Matilda; Eunice, who died when about 3 years old; and Elihu, who died when a little over 7 months old.

In 1800 a brother-in-law was moving to Western Tennessee and Barachiah accompanied him looking for a new location. It was at this time that most all of the Quakers in the Southern states were leaving the South and migrating North and West to "slave free territory".

They bought land on Lost Creek, in Jefferson County and Barachiah returned then to North Carolina to get his affairs in shape to move to the new home.

In 1801 he sent his oldest son, William (about 15 years old) to plant a crop so the family would have provisions when they subsequently moved to their new home.


Excerpted from The 1872 Diary of the Mooresville Macy Farmstead by Donovan L. Robinson Joyce A. Robinson Copyright © 2010 by Donovan L. and Joyce A. Robinson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Macy Farmstead....................4
Transcontinental Migration of the MACY GENES....................6
Macy Route to Mooresville, IN....................7
JOHN HOWLAND....................10
Thomas Macy's Nantucket....................12
THOMAS MACY....................13
JOHN MACY I....................15
JOHN MACY II....................15
JOHN MACY III....................15
New Garden NC Settlers....................16
BARACHIAH MACY....................17
Guilford County, NC Land Warrants....................19
Jefferson County, TN Land Sales....................20
Notes on WILLIAM MACY....................27
Six Macy Brides for Six Hadley Grooms....................32
Notes on WILLIAM MONROE MACY....................34
The Coded Love Letters....................37
The William Monroe Macy Household....................43
Right of Way for Mooresville Monrovia Gravel Road Co....................44
Wm. M. Macy Farm Census-1880....................45
Aaron Mills Macy....................48
Hannah Mariah Macy....................48
ALVA PERRY MACY....................50
Alva Perry Macy's Journal-1872....................51
William M Macy Sale of Toll Road Rejected - 1882....................364
Macy after Mooresville....................367
Mooresville Monrovia Gravel Road Co Bankrupts....................370
THE AFTERGLOW....................373
Final Entries - Death Records....................381
Aaron Mills Macy Obituary....................389
Death Takes Ida M Macy....................390
Descendants of John Howland....................391
Descendants of Thomas Macy....................406
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