Joshua Sears

Joshua Sears (1791 - 1857)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Joshua Sears
Born in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 14 Jul 2019
This page has been accessed 8 times.


Joshua was born in 1791. He was the son of Ebenezer Sears and Hannah Gray. He passed away in 1857.


  • May, Samuel. The Descendants of Richard Sares (Sears) of Yarmouth, Mass., 1638-1888Page 246 (Joel Munsell's Sons, 1890) No 669 Joshua Sears was long known as an industrious and successful merchant, capitalist and ship-owner. He removed from Yarmouth to Boston in 1808, and soon engaged in business on Long Wharf, continuing in the same store till the close of his life, and accumulated a large property. He was just in his dealings, painstaking, frugal, temperate, assiduous and far-seeking. He was an original thinker, a great reader, with a tenacious memory, enabling him to repeat much that he had read, even whole pages of the Iliad, (Pope's translation) Articles of noticeable ability were often written by him for the papers, and he would doubtless have stood high in any profession he might have chosen. His married life was brief, but happy. "Man proposes but God disposes," was the exclamation with which he bowed to the severity of bereavement. Carrying his infant in his arms to the baptismal font, he seemed ever after especially solicitous that the education of the child should be religious, and when himself about to depart, his interest in this was deeply marked in the charge to his son's guardians. Mr Sears left legacies to numerous relatives (including each of two Crocker nieces), to the Seaman's Friend Society, and for a nautical school at Yarmouth. The balance of his large property was left in trust for his son, Joshua M Sears.
  • NEHGS Register Oct 1873 The Will of Joshua Sears: Know all men by these presents, that I, Joshua Sears, of Yarmouth, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Merchant, do make and publish this my last will and testament, as follows, to wit: I give to my brother, Charles Sears, of said Yarmouth, twenty-five thousand dollars. I give to my brother, Willard Sears, of New-Bedford, in said Commonwealth, twenty-five thousand dollars. I give, devise and bequeath to my nieces, Hannah Sears and Catherine Sears, daughters of my brother Charles Sears, the house in said Yarmouth now occupied by said Charles Sears, the stable and Register Office, with the land under and around them, being the same premises which said Charles conveyed to me. It being understood that my brother Charles Sears shall with his wife occupy the same during their lives and the life of the survivor of them, they paying the taxes and keeping the premises in repair. I give to my niece, Mary Jane Myrick, two thousand dollars, in full for services rendered and which she shall render to my son, Joshua Montgomery Sears, until he shall be five years old. I give to my nephew, Cyrus A Sears, ten thousand dollars, to be paid to him-five thousand dollars when he shall be twenty-five years old, and five thousand when he shall be thirty-five years old, the interest on said sums, until payment of the principal, to be paid by my executors and trustees to said Cyrus or his guardian. I give to my nephew, Isaac Myrick, fifteen hundred dollars to set him up in business. I give to the other children of Isaac and Lucy Myrick, one thousand dollars to each. I give to my nieces, the children of my sister, Sally Crocker, fifteen hundred dollars to each. I five to the two children of my sister, Hannah Hamblin, one thoudand dollars to each. I order and direct my executors and trustees to pay to my sister, Hannah Hamblin, the income of five thoudand dollars during her life. I give to my executors and trustees five thousand dollars, in trust, to pay the income to my niece, Olivia R Sears, during her life, and after her decease said five thousand dollars to go to her heirs. I give to the town of Yarmouth, my native town, fifteen thousand dollars, for the purpose of founding a school on the north side of Yarmouth, for teaching navigation and kindred sciences. I five to the Boston Seaman's Friend Society three thousand dollars. I nominate and appoint Alpheus Hardy, of Dorchester, in said Commonwealth, merchant, to be the guardian of my son, Joshua Montogomery Sears. I nominate and appoint Alpheus Hardy, of Dorchester, Horatio Harris, of Roxbury, merchants, and Hugh Montgomery, of Boston, counsellor-at-law, all of said Commonwealth, to be the executors of and the trustees under this my will; and it is my will, and I request that my executors shall not be required to give any other or greater bonds to the Judge of Probate than said Judge shall, under all the circumstances of the case, in his discretion think best. All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate I give to said Alpheus Hardy, Horatio Harris and Hugh Montgomery, their heirs and assigns, as joint tenants in trust, to hold, invest and manage, and take care of the same according to their best knowledge and discretion, and I wish them to invest one-half part of said estate in bottom mortgages on estates which shall be considered of twice the value of the money loaned thereon, the title of sch estates to be well examined. I give to my son, Joshua M Sears, the sum of thirty-thousand dollars, to be paid to him at the age of twenty-one years. All such parts of the income of my estate which may be necessary for the support and education of my son, I order to be used for that purpose, and when he shall be twenty-one years old, I direct that four thousand dollars shall be paid to him annually; when he shall be twenty-five years old, six thousand dollars per year, and ten thousand dollars per year when he shall be thirty-five years old. And in case of the death of my son before he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, then I direct that ten thousand dollars be paid to said town of Yarmouth for the purpose of a library, and six thousand dollars for free lectures in said town. And the residue and remainder of said estate I direct to be paid and divided, one-third thereof to my brother Charles, one-third to my brother Willard, and one-third to the children of my brother Thomas W Sears. Witness my hand and seal this 5th day of February, A.D. 1857 "Aid" erased and "Friend" inserted; "Six" erased and "ten" inserted, before signing. In presence of us, who sign as witnesses to this will Joshua Sears [seal] Wm H Howard, Joseph C Pray, Saml B Deane The Barnstable Patriot remarks upon the will as follows: "Much harsh and unkind remark has been made by thoughtless persons as to some of the provisions and some of the omissions of this will, and we think it just, therefore, to say that the testator fully intended to make many other bequests, and would have done so on the day after this was executed; but his health declined so rapidly that he was unable to do more. It was wise in him and in those who advised him, that he fully executed what was done, making that part of his intention sure, and all will agree that this partial and incomplete will 'is much better than none, and all that could be obtained under the circumstances,' using the language of one of the executors. The result is simply an admonition to all the men to attend to so important a duty before the last suffering hours of life."
  • Title: Terms of an agreement to sell the mansion house estate of the late Jeremiah Mason to the trustees of Joshua Sears, 1865 Sept. 15. Description: 1 item (2 p.) Notes: Holograph, signed. Outlines the terms by which James McGregor, on behalf of the heirs of the late Jeremiah Mason, agrees to sell Mason's estate at 154 Tremont Street, Boston to the heirs of Joshua Sears for $67,500. Subjects: Real property -- Massachusetts -- Boston. Other authors: McGregor, James, d. 1877. Mason, Jeremiah, 1768-1848. Sears, Joshua, d. 1857. Control No.: ocm20986561 BOSTON ATHENAEUM BOSTON, MA 02108-3777
  • History of Barnstable Co In 1809 an academy was erected on Hawes's lane, Yarmouth Port. It was the same building now used as a market house by A. C. Megathlin, but stood, when erected, about seventy-five feet southwest of its present location. This was a private school, where a large number of the incipient sea captains and merchants of the town acquired a good solid basis for an education. James Henry, a brilliant and well-educated young Irishman, taught for several years; after him Hugh Montgomery, the early friend of the late Joshua Sears, succeeded
  • World Vital Records Fri Dec 21, 1866 Vol XXI, No 36, Vineyard Gazette p.1 Recollections of an Old Merchant. --- The Boston Commercial Bulletin, under the above heading, is giving a sketch of the business history of Boston for the past fifty years. Among other characters introduced is Josh Sears, of whom the following story is told: Those were the days of sharp practice. The principles of a concern then did not delegate certain transactions to their clerks as they do now-a-days. Josh was an early bird, sunrise rarely found him under the sheets; if there was a worm to be caught he was sure to catch it. At the time we write of, Boston controlled full three-quarters of the West India trade of the country, and the daily arrival of severl [sic] cargoes of molasses in the season was no unusual occurrance. We have sold our birthright in it since to New York, as we have nearly every thing else that once gave us a commercial pre-eminence, and for something else than a mess of pottage. A cargo of molasses was classified after being landed on the pier, as sour for distilling, and sweet for retail, and after the cargo was landed and guaged by the Custom House official, it was offered by sale. If it was a fair average cargo it was offered to the jobbers, the price being fixed upon the hogsheads as they ran. Josh would often buy several hundred hogsheads, and resell to the smaller jobbers he of course always bought them 'as they run' but not till after he knew exactly how they did run. Now every one knew that Josh Sears was a very shrewd buyer, but how he always managed to get the best retailing molasses out of a cargo, without getting any sour hogsheads, passed the understanding of importers and buyers, till at last a very shrewd importer, whom we will call G---, had his suspicions that the early prowling propensities of Josh meant something besides exercise to get up an appetite. A cargo of molasses having arrived to his consignment, he determined to watch. So taking his position early one morning where he could see unobserved, he waited. Not long after a well known individual was seen approaching, bung driver and broomstick in hand, accompanied by two Irishmen. Said individual proceeded to try the molasses, and upon every hogshead that proved satisfactory he placed a small private mark. When he had selected the quantity he wanted, he ordered the men to toll them into a certain position and then left the wharf before anyone was stirring. As soon as he was out of hearing, G--- jumped from his hiding place, with a laugh "Ah!" said he, "I have it. Josh, old fellow, you are done now." He immediately procured a large gang of men, shifted the hogsheads, replacing them with others, taking the precaution to put the same private chalk mark on, and leaving a few of the original private inspections at the head of each tier for Josh to try. Shortly after returning to the counting room Josh entered as expected. 'Well, G---, what are you asking for the Ellsworth's cargo?' 'Twenty-eight cents.' 'Fair cargo?' 'Yes.' 'Go and look at it now?' 'Yes. Where is it landed?' This last question was almost too much for G---'s gravity. 'Bartlett's wharf; well, come along.' Arrived at the wharf Josh cast his eye keenly along the hogsheads: there were big marks. All right, and then he went through the form of trying several hogsheads at the head of each tier. They proved satisfactory. 'Think it will run about like this, G--?' 'I don't know. Ther it is; take it as you find it.' 'Well, I'll take thos six tiers, send up as soon as you can, and take off the gauges,' and Josh putting on his big S in chalk, they both left. Josh, as usual, immediately ordered up the ten hogsheads as a sample. Well aware of this custom, G--- had arranged to have ten good ones sent. In due time they arrived, and were deposited on the sidewalk at the back of the store. Invitations were sent out to the jobbers to come and inspect; they came, everything was satisfactory, the balance was sold at a handsome advance, clerk was sent down to deliver, gauges were taken off, book-keeper made out the bills. Josh was sitting down at the old desk, pleasantly calculating the net profits of his dodge, when suddenly his reverie was disturbed by the entrance of Mr. A., with 'Look here, Sears, that molasses you sent me is sour.' 'What?' Enter Mr. B. 'That molasses is not what I bought; it is sour.' 'The devil it is!' Enter Mr. C. loquitur. 'Every hogshead of that confounded molasses is sour.' This was too much; up jumped the irate Josh and put for G---'s counting room. G--- was in. 'Look here, G---,' says Josh, 'that molasses I bought of you has soured mighty suddenly, or else you have given me what I did not buy. I'd like to have it explained. 'Certainly, Mr. Sears, there is a peculiarity about this'South side' molasses; if it is disturbed by rolling the hogsheads before sunrise, it invariably sours, and I have been thinking that perhaps some--- Josh stopped to hear no more, but jamming his hat fiercely over his right ear, and plunging his hands in his pockets, left without a word.
  • Joshua and Phebe's son Joshua Montgomery Sears was born December 25, 1854 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co, Massachusetts One week later on January 1, 1855, his mother Phebe Snow Sears died. The Yarmouth newspaper reported on January 5, 1855:  ?Died - in this village, 1st inst., Mrs. Phebe C., wife of Joshua Sears, Esq., age 34.? And on the next page:  ?Sudden Death. It is with extreme regret that we learn the melancholy intelligence of the decease of the estimable wife of our friend Joshua Sears, Esq. at Yarmouth, on Monday morning - just one week after the birth of their only child. This afflicting dispensation will be severely felt by a large circle of friends, besides the bereaved husband. [Courier]?

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Is Joshua your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Joshua by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 1
Joshua Sears
Joshua Sears

Joshua is 17 degrees from Mags Gaulden, 15 degrees from Dennis Wilson and 14 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

S  >  Sears  >  Joshua Sears