The Muzzy Family of Massachusetts

Polli Jost Turner, Editor

 

Most of the information on the early generations were taken from The Mussey, Muzzey, Muzzy Genealogy, compiled by Joanne Muzzy Belsey, and available on microfilm through any LDS Family History Center. I have recently heard from Joanne by email, and learned that she has updated her book twice since the edition on file in the Salt Lake City Family History Library.

In her first edition of her book, Joanne gives this explanation of the origin of the Muzzy name:
"This family originated in France, bearing the name Mussett. . . . Some unknown members of the family removed to England where the spelling of the name was changed from time to time, such as Musset, Mussey, Muzzie, Muzzey, Muzzy, and several others. But from information obtained from the College of Heraldry in London the various spellings were all derived from the original Musset . . . . "

In her recent email, however, she has said that a cousin in France offers a better explanation. In Joanne's words:
". . .when Joan of Arc was getting her army together, two or three  brothers from the town of Muzy, France, joined her. . . . they fought so bravely and well with Joan, that they were given land in the Loire Valley and permission to use the name of their village as their Surname, thus Muzy. This is still not absolute, but closer than the previous . . . ."

Continuing from Joanne's book:
"There are several landmarks in Lexington, MA, as well as a Muzzey Street and a Muzzey High School, these landmarks bear the names of Amos and Isaac Muzzey (two of the Minutemen in the battle on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775) and there is a famous tavern which was built and owned by Benjamin Muzzey. His son ran it for years, then John's granddaughter and her husband John Buckman were running it at the time of the battle. It was to this tavern that Paul Revere came to give the alarm that the British were coming. The tavern was the rendezvous of the Minutemen. It faces on the Green where the battle was fought . . . .

"On Lexington Green there is a monument erected in 1799 by the inhabitants of Lexington in memory of the eight Minutemen who were killed in the battle of Lexington:"

"Ensign Robert Munroe, and Messrs Jonas Parker, Samuel Hadley, Jonathon Harrington, Jr., Isaac Muzzey, Caleb Harrington and John Brown of Lexington and Asakel Porter, of Woburn, who fell on this field, the first victims of the sword of British Tyrany and oppression on the morning of the ever memorable nineteenth of April, Anno Dominae 1775. "

Joanne enjoys hearing from any Muzzy descendants! Let me know if you'd like to contact her!

In May of 2005, my family and I visited Lexington and took photos of the Muzzy graves we found in the Old Burying Ground there. Click here to see them.

 


First Generation--
"Abraham Mussey took the oath of Allegiance for passage to New England, and sailed on the "Mary and John", arriving in Massachusetts Sept. 4, 1633. Also listed among the passengers were John and Robert who were brothers, and most likely sons of Abraham. . . Abraham obtained a grant of land Jan. 26, 1634, at Ipswich, now Essex, MA, where his sons were then residing, Robert with a young family. There are no further records of Abraham."
1. John Muzzy,
2.
Robert Muzzy,

 

 

Second Generation--
Robert Muzzy, born in England. Married Bridget Bradstreet. They lived in Ipswich, MA, and had a grant of land 100 acres northwest of the North Road.
1. Joseph Muzzy,
died 1680. Married (Feb. 9, 1671, in Ipswich, MA) Esther Jackman.
2.
Benjamin Muzzy,
born ca. 1635; died before March 28, 1691. Married Alice Dexter.
3. Mary Muzzy,
4. Ellen Muzzy,

 

 

Third Generation--
Benjamin Muzzy, born ca. 1635; died before March 28, 1691. Married Alice Dexter, daughter of Richard Dexter of Malden. He was a soldier in King Phillip’s war.
1. Joseph Muzzy,
2. Richard Muzzy,
3. Sarah Muzzy,
4.
Benjamin Muzzy,
Benjamin Muzzy, born April 16, 1657, in Malden, MA; died March 28, 1735, at Lexington, MA; 77 years old. Married Sarah Langhorne.
5. Robert Muzzy,
6. John Muzzy,
7. Mary Muzzy,
8. Elizabeth Muzzy,

 

 

Third Generation--Buckman Tavern
Benjamin Muzzy, born April 16, 1657, in Malden, MA; died March 28, 1735, at Lexington, MA; 77 years old. See a photo of his grave here
Married Sarah Langhorne, died Jan. 28, 1710; 55 years old. See a photo of her grave here
In 1675, when he was a trooper in King Phillip’s war, he lived in Rumney Marsh. He moved to Cambridge sometime before 1681, and in 1693 bought property in Lexington where his descendants live to this day. He opened the first Public House there, which was later operated by his son John, and later by John’s granddaughter and her husband, John Buckman. It is still in existence, known as the "Buckman Tavern". The tavern was the rendezvous of the Minutemen, and it was there that Paul Revere came to give the alarm that the British were coming. It faces on the green where the battle was fought. At Benjamin’s death, among other things listed in his possession were three slaves--a man valued at 80 pounds, and a woman and child valued at 60 pounds.
1. Mary Muzzy,
born July 13, 1683, at Cambridge, MA.
2. Benjamin Muzzy,
born Feb. 20, 1689; died before 1763, at Lexington. Married Patience.
3. Richard Muzzy,
4. John Muzzy,
took over the Public House which later became Buckman's Tavern. Married Elizabeth Bradshaw.
Their daughter Jane married Samuel Stone, and had a daughter, Ruth Stone. It was Ruth that married John Buckman. The Buckmans took over the Public House and renamed it Buckman Tavern. They were running it at the time of the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775.
5. Amos Muzzy,
6. Bethia Muzzy,
7. Thomas Muzzy,

 

 

Fourth Generation--Plaque on Lexington Green
Benjamin Muzzy, born Feb. 20, 1689; died Jan. 19, 1764, Lexington; 84 years old. Married Patience, died October 7, 1762; 80 years old. Both were buried in Lexington. For a photo of their grave, click here
Benjamin was a soldier in 1707, captured by Indians and held in captivity. In 1729, he petitioned the General Court for a grant of land of sum of money in consideration of his suffering and losses. He was given a grant of 200 acres near "Wachuset Hill".
1.
Joseph Muzzy,
baptized March 19, 1710, in Cambridge, MA. Married Lois Pierce.
2. Esther Muzzy,
bapt. May 18, 1712; died May 4, 1777; 64 years old. Married Nathaniel Merriam.
3. John Muzzy,
born 1716; died 1784; 68 years old. He and his son Isaac were among the Minutemen who met the British on Lexington Green, April 19, 1775, where the first shots were fired in the American Revolution. Isaac was one of the eight men killed on Lexington Green when those shots were fired. He was 30 years old at the time.
4. Mary Muzzy,
bapt. March 2, 1718; died Aug. 4, 1777, at Rutland; 59 years old. Married Mr. Kendall, and later married Benjamin Reed, Jr. in Brookfield, MA.
5. Benjamin Muzzy,
bapt. May 18, 1729; died before April 26, 1760. Married Hannah Discom.

 

 

Fifth Generation--Muzzey Street, Lexington
Joseph Muzzy, baptized March 19, 1710, in Cambridge, MA. Married Lois Pierce.
1. Lois Muzzy,
bapt. Oct. 12, 1735, at Lexington, MA; died Feb. 4, 1785; 49 years old. Married (Dec. 25, 1731, in Shrewsbury, MA) Isaac Drury.
2. Sarah Muzzy,
bapt. April 2, 1735, in Lexington, MA. Married (May 23, 1765) Josiah Boucker, Jr., of Westboro, MA.
3.
Joseph Muzzy, Jr.,
born Aug. 26, 1740, in Sudbury, MA.; died before Jan. 28, 1776, when his last son was born. Married (June 11, 1763, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA.) Hannah Meriam, of Groton, MA.
4. Abigail Muzzy,
bapt. July 28, 1745, in Lexington, MA. Married (Feb. 4, 1766, in Shrewsbury, MA) Joseph Sherman, Jr. Second marriage (intentions July 5, 1782, in Shrewsbury, MA) Timothy Wheelock
5. Nathan Muzzy,
born May 12, 1751.

 

 

Sixth Generation--Minuteman Statue, in front of Lexington Green
Joseph Muzzy, Jr., born Aug. 26, 1740, in Sudbury, MA.; died before Jan. 28, 1776, when his last son was born. Married (June 11, 1763, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA.) Hannah Meriam, of Groton, MA. Hannah’s parents were Hezekiah Meriam and Prudence Pierce.
Two brothers of the Meriam family bought the rights to Noah Webster’s Dictionary, which was thereafter called the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. At the start of the Revolution, "The British driven back from the North Bridge, were outflanked by the pursuing Minutemen, at a corner of the Meriam farm where the roads forked, and were driven in utter route and confusion of retreat toward Boston. Meriam’s Corner is marked by a bronze tablet and shares equally in the victory of the day with the North Bridge, both having played their part in the famous "Concord Fight." (from the Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, pub. by American Historical Society, p. 320.)
Joseph Muzzy fought in the Revolutionary War. A sergeant, he was part of Capt. Job Cushing’s company of Minutemen and militia, in Col. Artemas Ward’s Regiment which marched on the Paul Revere’s alarm of April 19, 1775, to Cambridge and the Battle of Bunker Hill. He served nine days, then was reported deceased--he may have died during the battle at Meriam Corner, wife’s family home. His last child was born nine months later, probably conceived just before Joseph left his wife to join the militia. (From Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Boston: Wright & Potter, State Printers, 1891, Vol. XI, p. 256.)
1. Jonathan Muzzy,
born Nov. 2, 1764, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA; died Oct. 8, 1834; 69 years old. Married (Feb. 14, 1788, in Medfield, Worcester Co., MA.) Melatiah Clark, of Medfield, MA.
2. Nathan Muzzy,
born Sept. 15, 1766, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA; died Oct. 6, 1809; 43 years old. Married (March 30, 1790) Mary Parks, "Molly," daughter of John Parks.
3. Miriam Muzzy,
born April 1, 1768, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA.
4. Hannah Muzzy,
born Jan. 18, 1770, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA; died in giving birth to their first child, a girl, Feb. 12, 1790; 20 years old. Married Alfred Hood.
5.
Sarah Muzzy,
"Sally," born Dec. 29, 1771, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA; died Aug. 28, 1799; 27 years old. There is no official record of her death in Shrewsbury, but an entry by the town doctor, Dr. Edward Flint notes, "Mrs. Sally Graves deceased 28 Aug. 1799." Married Crispus Graves.
6. Annis Muzzy,
born May 16, 1774, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA. Married (Oct. 14, 1793, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA.) Samuel Parks. They lived in Wendall, Franklin Co., MA.
7. Joseph Muzzy,
born Jan. 28, 1776, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA. Married (April 25, 1799, in Hardwick, Worcester Co., MA.) Lucinda Page.

 

 

Sixth Generation --
Sarah Muzzy, "Sally", born Dec. 29, 1771, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA; died Aug. 28, 1799; 27 years old. Married (Dec. 8, 1790, in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., MA) Crispus Graves, born May 18, 1768, in Southboro, Worcester Co., MA.; died ca. 1795; about 26 years old. Charles H. Graves’ family Bible says Joseph was the "eldest child of his family". Crispus was lost at sea when son Joseph was only three years old.
1. Zachariah Graves,
baptized June 30, 1793. We find no other mention of this child--this came from the town records. Charles Graves’, in his family Bible, says that his grandfather Joseph was the oldest child of Crispus and Sally. However, if Zachariah were younger, he could not have been baptized June 30, 1793, when his older brother was not even two months old. I begin to wonder if Joseph were baptized under the name Zachariah, and his name was later changed to honor his grandfathers, Joseph Muzzy and Joseph Graves. The other possibility is that the two boys were twins. But if so, why were both boys not mentioned in the town records?
2.
Joseph Muzzy Graves,
born May 7, 1793, in Chelsea, Suffolk Co., MA; died Jan. 15, 1870, in Charlestown, MA; 76 years old. Baptized as a child, June 30, 1793, acc. to Ken Graves’ book. He was epileptic, according to his granddaughter’s medical records. He was raised by his aunt Annis Muzzy Parks, his mother's sister, who lived in Franklin Co., MA. At 14 years of age, he was sent away to trade school--he was a shoemaker by trade (according to a history of Royalston, MA, where he was ordained). Converted in 1816, he was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1821. In 1834 he received an honorary MA degree from Middlebury College in Vermont. Married Susannah Watkins.

 

Boulder from Amos Muzzey's farm

This boulder on Lexington Green marks the line of the Minutemen in the battle.
It came from the farm of Amos Muzzey, one of the Minutemen in that battle.

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Sources:
The Mussey, Muzzey, Muzzy Genealogy
, compiled by Joanne Muzzy Belsey, and available on microfilm through any LDS Family History Center

Joanne Muzzy Belsey, herself, by email. Please contact me and I will forward your email to her.

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Links:

The Battle of Lexington:
http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/E/lexington/lexingxx.htm

Inscriptions of the graves in the Old Burying Ground in Lexington:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jdevlin/ma/lexington_cem.htm
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jdevlin/ma/lexington_cem2.htm

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March 1, 2013
Polli Turner


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The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds!
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth!
Psalm 145:17&18 (NASB)