Perhaps they themselves thought they had been blessed.
Besides farming, Dr. Greven lists the following trades as having been represented in early eighteenth-century Andover: shoemaking, blacksmithing, joinery, carpentry, weaving, tailoring, and tanning. Three sons of an Andover farmer, John Frye Jr. (1672-1739), whose estate included 611 acres ("nearly all of it in Andover") , did not become farmers, he notes, perhaps because John died intestate and his land holdings had to be divided amongst his five (out of seven) surviving sons. The portions sound as if they would be plentiful enough, but not when one considers the work required to get rocky soil to produce viable crops. Accordingly, one of those sons set himself up as a blacksmith; two others became hatters. What Greven doesn't mention is what virtually every other secondary source that I have read does: that by 1718 a Samuel Frye had set up a saw mill and grist mill in what later became known as Frye Village (and which today is known as Shawsheen Village, my very own neighborhood). Charlotte Helen Abbott (1844-1921), in one of her many unpublished genealogies, doesn't mention it, either.  She does mention John's son Samuel (1675-1689) and a grandson also named Samuel (1694-1761), neither of which were, by her lights, associated with millwork.( Not that she is always accurate -- she has John Frye Jr.'s death date as 1737 -- although she is almost always colorful, e.g., she cites another John Frye [1682-1753], known as "great John," who weighed 300 lbs.) The secondary sources go on to say that one of Samuel Frye's sons added a fulling mill  to the Frye Village complex, and that a later descendant, Theophilus Frye, operated those mills during the Revolutionary War period. But the earliest Theopohilus Frye that Miss Abbott writes about was born in 1776. I am not particularly interested in sorting out the Frye family lineage. I leave that to the Fryes themselves. But since I am interested in Andover's earliest manufactories, because they are relevant to my theme and my book's title, I will have to make a trip to the Andover Center for History and Culture to find out if its archives are the source of the Frye Village origin story.
To be continued.
1. Philip J. Greven Jr., Four Generations: Population, Land and Family in Andover, Massachusetts (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970).
2. Greven, 177.
3. Greven, 232.
4. Charlotte Helen Abbott, "Early Records of the Frye Family of Andover." https://mhl.org/sites/default/files/files/Abbott/Frye%20Family.pdf Retrieved April 17, 2022.
5. Fulling was the name for an early (pre-Industrial Revolution) step in the process of making woolen cloth, so it is related to the textile industry and therefore relevant to my story. Not relevant but interesting to me is that the names of workers who performed the fulling task -- which involved pounding woolen cloth with a club -- were called fullers, tuckers, and walkers, all of which became common English surnames.