Remembering Our Ancestors: Molly Moulton

“Molly was none of your heart-broken, sick-brained women – bless her prolificness – read the list of her jewels (children).”

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Today, we remember our 8th (and 9th) great-grandmother Mary “Molly” Moulton Needham, whose 315th birthday we would have celebrated last Sunday.  The above statement about Molly being a rather robust person was taken from the book “Family Record” by Absalom Gardner, written around 1860, the better part of a century after her departure.

Mary “Molly” Moutlon was born on 29 September 1702 in Salem, MA.  Her great-great-grandfather Robert Moulton was a shipwright, had come to Massachusetts Bay in 1629 from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, England, and had settled in Salem.  Since then the family had been living there, and when Molly, as they called her, was 19 years old, she married Anthony Needham IV, grandson of Ann Potter, whose parents had died a very unfortunate death on the day before Christmas Eve of 1641 in County Tyrone, Ireland when little Ann was just nine.  Anthony (IV) Needham’s grandfather Antony (II) had immigrated in 1653, so both Molly and Anthony came from families that had been established in the New World for a good long time.  Their marriage took place on 10 June 1722 in Salem.

By 1723, the family had moved from Salem to Brimfield, Massachusetts, where Anthony had been the first white settler in the town.  The family had numerous land grants in Brimfield, and Anthony lead the pioneer work of clearing the wilderness and building up a prosperous community.  All Molly’s and Anthony’s children were born in Brimfield; the two actually had 10 children that lived to adulthood, six sons and four daughters.

By the time Molly was 60, in June of 1763, her husband died at the age of 66.  She followed him 27 years later in 1790, and they lie buried side by side in Wales Cemetery #1 in Wales, Hampden County, MA.

Rest in Peace, Molly and Anthony.

Mary and Anthony Needham
Mary “Molly” Moulton Needham and Anthony Needham’s grave markers. Hers is on the left, his on the left.

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