This Old House # 5 ~ David Tilden

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

One of the first English settlers of this area was David Tilden born in Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, David was one of twelve children born to Stephen Tilden and Hannah Little. David’s grandfather was Nathaniel Tilden who arrived at Plymouth Plantation in February 1634 aboard the Hercules. In 1654 this area had been established as the Ponkapoag Plantation, 6000 acres of land set aside for the Ponkapoag Indians. And it was from the native people that David received his deed of land. The deed gave land ownership of 20 acres to David Tilden, Husbandman, “outdone of the English Tenants of Lessees…” for 5 pounds 15 shillings, “a certain messuage or Tenement with lands thereto belonging”.

A small building was already on the site where David Tilden planned to build his new home. Jabez Searle, who had received a grant from his father Robert in 1710 and lived on the property until at least 1723 had apparently built a small building which most likely is the rear portion of the present day Tilden House. The original portion of the house built by David consists of the two east rooms in the two-story front portion of the house along with the lean-to built by Jabez Searle.

Portions of the homestead were built as early as 1709 and the main structure was largely constructed in 1725. This historic site still stands on the original tract of land deeded to David Tilden by the Ponkapoag Indians. The house resting on a small knoll overlooking the meadows of the Pequit Brook make this view one of the rare untouched and preserved Colonial views in Massachusetts. The view from the door at the Tilden House is almost exactly as David Tilden would have seen it 275 years ago.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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