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Esther Weston Towne born 1763

I have added more and better photographs plus the information on the back of the daguerreotype at the bottom of this post.

Here is Esther Weston Towne born 1763. She is my oldest identified Daguerreotype. My early Towne family is from Salem, Massachusetts. She is not my ancestor but she is a New England Towne.

My ancestor William Towne was born about the year 1600 in England. He married Joanna Blessing about 1620. They are the parents of my ancestor Joseph Towne of Salem, who was born about 1639 and married Phoebe Perkins. Joseph's sisters Mary Towne Easty and Rebecca Towne Nurse were hanged in the Salem Witchcraft trials of 1692/1693. Their sister Sarah escaped hanging when the trials were ended.

My line then proceeds to Johanna Towne who married Thomas Nichols. Their daughter Anna married William Vining in 1723 and comes all the way down to me.

Esther Weston Towne pictured here was born in 1763 or 1764 and would have been an eye witness to the American Revolutionary War. She married Archelaus Towne and had several children. Her father was perhaps Ebenezer Weston  She is from Amherst, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.  She actually has a faint smile on her face.   I see on ancestry that she has many descendants   I do not descend from her. I bought this original because she was identified as a Towne from New England and I knew I needed to save it and share it. This picture was made 1845-1850 as she died in April of 1850.

I think Esther Weston Towne is quite a lovely old New England lady. I am always amazed when photographs such as this one, taken in the 1840's/1850's, have survived as identified people. The problem with daguerreotypes and ambrotypes: there was no place to write the person's name unless the family attaches a little piece of paper or takes the image out of the case and writes on the inside back. Someone tucked a piece of paper inside this dag with info on her and one granddaughter.

They were so expensive that no one ever thought the day would come when the sitter would be unknown. I have several 1820's- 1830's oil paintings of people and the same problem occurs: a beautiful painting but no one wrote the person's name on the back of the frame.

My mother was smart to go through all of the little snapshots in her picture box and write names on all of them. Everyone should do that.

All descendants please copy these and add them to your family archives. These pictures are also posted on my page at  I also posted a tree on just her, called  Esther Weston Towne Family Tree, so that people on Ancestry could find her.

Attached to back of dag:  "Esther Weston Towne grandmother of Miss Mary Ann Danforth who died at Hillsboro Center N. H. June 1913. "