The Cog(g)swell Family came to New England on the Angel Gabriel and were shipwrecked at Pemaquid in Maine by the great storm of August 15, 1635. They all survived that disaster and together with his wife, three sons and five daughters, John Cogswell came to Ipswich and was granted two lots of land in town in 1635.

In 1636 he received "The Cogswell Grant" of "Three Hundred acres of land at the further Chebokoe, having the River on the South east, the land of Willm White on the North west, and A Creeke romminge out of the River towards William White's farme on the North east. Bounded also on the West with a Creek and a little creeke" from the town. Cogswell's Grant comprised the whole point of land, 5 or 6 miles east of the town, as shown by the highlighted area on the map.

John Cogswell first built a log cabin with thatched roof on the northwest corner of his land -- nearest to the Ipswich meeting-house to which they all walked about 4.5 miles each way every Sunday, at times under armed guard. Probably the cabin was situated on a little rise, close to the creek, next to the road around W. Marshall's houselot on the map. His household was the third farm in Chebacco, and soon joined by others.

John's son William and his sons and nephews built homes on the Grant, William's being on the site where his son Jonathan, around 1740-50 built a dwelling house which has now been restored and refurnished. A big old fireplace from Williams's 1690 house and some beams in the cellar remain. It's shown as the A. Boyd Est. on the map and remains today, a historic place.

In 1656 Ipswich arranged for the main road to Gloucester to pass over the Cogswell property: "Granted to William Cogswell in full satisfaction for the highway through his father's and his farm, three acres and a half of land joining Thomas Bishop's land on the back side of his fence. Also agree with William Cogswell to keep a ferry on Chebacco River, for which he is to have two pence a person for everyone he carries over." The ferry to Billy's Point was replaced by a short-lived bridge in 1666 and the road was rerouted in 1668. The second Chebacco bridge, erected in 1700, stood until 1764 when it was replaced by Choate's bridge.

John's son, William settled on the home place, and lived in a house that then stood a little to the north of the site now occupied by the ancient Cogswell house. He possessed many of the traits of his father. He was a man of Christian character, and one of the most influential citizens in that part of Ipswich. It was largely by his efforts that the Gospel ministry was established in Chebacco. After two years of opposition, and several appeals to the General Court, at last, May 5, 1679, the Parish of Chebacco was established. Mr. Cogswell gave the land on which to erect a meeting-house, a lot thirteen rods by three. This first meeting-house in Chebacco stood on what was long known as Meeting-house Hill. Mr. Cogswell entertained at his house the Ecclesiastical Council that met Aug. 12, 1683, to organize the church and to obtain Mr. John Wise, their first pastor. He donated the land it was built on, and the land for the Burying place. The Cogswells donated the land for the Spring St. cemetery as well.

William Cogswell was the defendant in the "historic" suit, Cogswell vs. Cogswell, brought by his nephew, John [26] Cogswell, son of John [5] Cogswell, who had appointed William guardian of his children when he sailed for London, and who died at sea. After two years of trials and appeals, William was found innocent, and John was ordered to pay the court's costs, 13 4s.

The International Cody Family Association