18th Century

Samuel Cary (1742-1812)                     Sarah Cary (1753-1824)

James Cary and his Family

James Cary emigrated from Bristol, England in 1639 and settled in Charlestown, MA. His great grandson, Samuel Cary was born in Charlestown in 1713 and became a ship’s captain. He married Margaret Graves (Greaves) on December 24, 1741 and they had four children. Through marriage and inheritance, the properties owned by Gov. Richard Bellingham were bequeathed to the Graves family. After Margaret’s death in 1762, the property; consisting of a farm, two houses and various out buildings was consolidated from the Graves heirs in 1765 by Capt. Samuel Cary who came to it through his marriage to Margaret.

Samuel & Sarah Cary

Upon Capt. Cary’s death in 1769, his eldest son, Samuel Cary, Jr., bought out his two brothers and became sole owner of the property. He married Sarah Gray on October 22, 1772 and the couple came to live in the house. Samuel had purchased a sugar plantation in Grenada. He returned there in the summer of 1773, leaving his expectant wife and her mother at the Cary home in Chelsea. A few months after the birth of their first child, Samuel, Sarah left him in her mother’s care in Chelsea and traveled to Grenada to join her husband. They would remain in Grenada until 1791, Samuel tending to his business and Sarah caring for their ever-growing family. While living in Grenada, Sarah bore 10 more children-2 of whom died in infancy.

Sarah had four more children after the couple’s return to Chelsea. Samuel came back to their home with great plans for improving the house and property. Thousands of dollars were spent on trees, both ornamental and fruit bearing. Improvements were made on the farm and thousands more were spent on the interior of the house including beautiful raised paneling in many of the rooms.

In 1795, an insurrection took place on Grenada and many plantations were reduced to ashes. This, along with the constant struggle to make a profit on the estate at Chelsea, created ongoing financial problems for the family. Samuel died in 1812 and Sarah in 1824.