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Doggett, S and Sons


Samuel Doggett, Sr. (1727-1794)

  • Dorcester, millwright and Dedham, housewright

Samuel Doggett, Jr. (1751 - 1831)

  • Dedham millwright and housewright

  • RW soldier 1775 through 1778

Isaac Doggett (1758-1807)

  • Probable planemaker

  • Dedham carpenter and housewright

 Excerpts from a "Plane Chatter" article entitled "Samuel Doggett and Sons, Planemakers from Dedham" from EAIA's "The Chronicle", March 2021


Samuel Doggett Sr. (1727-1794) a millwright in Dorchester and a housewright in Dedham, MA was first identified as planemaker based on research done by Richard De Avila and presented in PlaneTalk V-1. In that article, Samuel’s son, Samuel Doggett Jr. (1751-1831) was also documented as a millwright and housewright from Dedham, but his being a planemaker was not yet confirmed.1,2 In PlaneTalk V-2, Bob Seifert first reported a plane marked I‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM. 3 With the publication of the 5th Edition of A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, Samuel Jr. was now identified as a planemaker, while his brother Isaac (1758-1807) was believed to be a planemaker. 4

The identity of Samuel Sr., Samuel Jr. and Isaac have been reasonably established, none-the-less it is important to make sure there were no other individuals who might have made the S and I Doggett planes. Therefore, the deeds in Norfolk, Suffolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Middlesex and Worcester Counties were searched for S and I Doggetts and their trades in the years ranging from 1750 to 1800.5 The only craftsmen involved with a woodworking trade, and thus might have made the S⁝ DOGGETT, S‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM and I‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM planes were Samuel Sr., Samuel Jr. and Isaac Doggett of Dedham, the men presented in GAWP5.


             Figure 1 above: Typical S⁝DOGGETT Planes of Samuel Doggett Sr. 



















     Figure 2 above: Typical S‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM Planes of Samuel Doggett Jr.


Samuel Doggett Sr.

Finding information on family and individual histories is often difficult and results at times can be limited.  We are very fortunate in having several excellent information sources for the Doggetts. Much of what we know about the family came from the genealogy; A History of the Doggett-Daggett Family, written by SB Doggett in 1894.6 Period deeds, period diaries and period town records helped round out the information on their trade/occupation activities.

Samuel Sr. married Abigail Davenport in Dorchester on 9-7-1749. The family genealogy has Samuel and Abigail moving to Dedham shortly thereafter where “he became a ‘housewright.’” 7 Independently, Samuel Sr. was recorded as living in Dedham based on two Dedham town records dating from March and April 1750. Aside from the quick succession of early moves, Samuel Sr. and Abigail lived the majority of their adult lives in Dedham. All eight children were all born and raised there, with the births dating from 1750 through 1771. Samuel died in Dedham in 1794 and Abigail died in Dedham 1803.

Based on Dedham deed records, Samuel Sr. was first recorded as a housewright on 7-24-1753. In this deed Samuel bought “twenty rods of land (with a dwelling house + well thereto belonging) lying and being situate in Dedham aforesaid near the causeway commonly called Mr. Dwight’s Causeway…”


Samuel is recorded as a housewright in all of the other Dedham deeds/leases which date to 1759, 1762, 1763, 1766, 1778, 1784 and 1793. 8 These dates cover nearly the entire adult life of Samuel Sr. and in his will and probate from 1794, he is identified as a housewright. 9

Samuel Doggett’s house is documented in a period map as well as a period painting. In a 1782 French Army Camp map, described by Nathaniel Ames, Samuel’s house is noted as being on the Post Road between Boston and Providence, next door to the Episcopal Church and diagonally positioned across the road from the First Church meeting house, a few doors from the Ames family. 10 A 1795 painting of Dedham Village by Rev. Jonathan Fisher, captures many of the same town features.

Samuel Sr. identified himself as a housewright up to and including his will in 1794. His probate continues in this vein, 11 listing him as a housewright rather than reverting to a more generic term such as ‘Gentleman” His inventory has been referenced by early investigators De Avila and Karl West 12 due to its’ rather interesting content. The inventory includes:


Framing and turning tools, cider mill tools and moulds, shop and bench tools of various sorts, one work bench and two vices, one foot wheel, four grindstones, one polisher, lathe and bench and wheel, box of unfinished tools and 37 pieces of tool stuff, 689 feet of beech and birch stuff. (figure 3)













   Figure 3 above: section from Samuel Sr.’s 1794 inventory                                                                       













Figure 4 above: Samuel Sr.’s gravestone 13


Samuel Doggett Jr.

Samuel Doggett Jr. was born in Dedham on 10-5-1751, the oldest surviving son of Samuel and Abigail Doggett. He died in Dedham on 11-19-1831 at the age of 80. 14 Information about Samuel Jr. was not as extensive as with his father, but sufficient material exists to construct a reasonable picture.


Samuel married Elizabeth Bedlam on 6-11-1777 and both were from Dedham. Their three children, Betsey, John and Samuel, were born in Dedham between the years 1778 and 1794.

Samuel Jr. took part in the Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1778. His service started with his militia company’s engagement on April, 19, 1775 as part of the day’s battles at Lexington and Concord. He was in the 1st parish company commanded by Captain Aaron Fuller, who fought the British Regulars along the “Battle Road” at Menotomy, during the retreat from Concord and Lexington.  Samuel was one of five planemakers known to have fought that day. 15

A search of Massachusetts deeds was conducted to ascertain Samuel Jr.’s movements and trade(s) following his Revolutionary War service and marriage. He appeared in Dedham deeds for the years; 1778, 1791, 1801 and 1815. 16




The first deed, from 1778, (figure 5) is of particular importance in that he is buying part of his father’s house and that both Sr. and Jr. are identified as housewrights! The timing is such that he would have finished his apprenticeship some seven years before and would have been well establishing his trade but was in the early phase of starting his own family.

Figure 5 below: 1778 deed with Sr. and Jr. as housewrights.

In all of the remaining deeds from 1791 through 1815, he is listed as a gentleman, which does not add to our knowledge of whether Samuel continued as a craftsman. Samuel and Elizabeth raised their family in the “old” family home without evidence of any additional moves.


Figure 6 below: 1815 portrait of Lieut. Samuel Doggett 17













A series of period records from the years 1794 to 1796 provides valuable information that Samuel did continue in his housewright trade. It also provides us with additional information about his brother Isaac. 18, 19

One such record: 8-17-1794 The Court “Voted to accept Isaac Doggett and Samuel Doggett, contractors of Dedham, after they presented a wooden model of the Court House to the committee.”

De Avila noted in 1980 that Samuel Jr. did not leave a will, an inventory or probate records, and thus Samuel’s being a planemaker could not be verified. 20    While such records were not found during the course of this research, a couple of important items were found in Samuel’s Revolutionary War pension re-application from 1828. First, in the recounting of his change in assets between 1820 and 1828, Samuel records that $40 worth of “Mechanical tools” were disbursed to “sundry persons” over “sundry times”. The second ... (his 1828 pension re-application) ... verifies that Samuel’s trade continued as a housewright throughout his working years. In addition, the account also addresses the state of Samuel’s declining health and his inability to carry on his trade. In stating that it had been 12 years since he had been able to work, his “retirement” from his housewright trade dated to ca. 1816.

Isaac Doggett

Isaac Doggett, son of Samuel Doggett Sr. and brother of Samuel Doggett Jr. was born in Dedham on 1-11-1758. He died there on 5-31-1807.


Isaac married Rebecca Ellis in Dedham on 12-7-1784 and their only child Seth was born there on 2-14-1786. 21 From the records already discussed, it is known that Isaac, like his father and his brother Samuel, was also a carpenter / housewright.

A review of Isaac’s deeds from Dedham, recorded from 1781 through 1798, confirm this finding. A total of seven deeds were found for Isaac and three list him as a housewright (1781, 1797 and 1798). One from 1797 lists him as a carpenter.

Although no date is given, the History of the Doggett-Daggett Family notes that Isaac Doggett lived next to his brother Samuel Doggett Jr. 22   


Isaac’s service in the Revolutionary War was limited to two brief enlistments in 1776 and 1778. 23

S and I Doggett Planes

S and I Doggett planes, exhibit a uniformity of style for the molding planes which bear each mark. In addition, the planes are consistently well made and of a very high quality.  A review of the molding planes attributed to Samuel Sr., Samuel Jr. and Isaac reveals some very compelling and important clues.


GAWP5 describes the S⁝DOGGETT molding planes as being made of birch, 9 3/8 to 10 ¼” long with heavy flat chamfers and the “A” wedge. (figure 23, left) GAWP5 also states that the planes date from “as early as ca. 1747”. 24 Almost all of these extremely rare planes (<50 known) have flat chamfers that end with early decorative flutes as seen with the tongue and groove pair in figure 1.


S⁝DOGGETT molder curtesy MJD                                                                              



A couple S⁝DOGGETT planes (ca. 1770) have surfaced where the flat chamfers end with a level stop followed by a bold “gouge” cut which is roughly the same width of the chamfers. (Figures 7 left and 8 for one of these planes) 25 These planes are designated “late” and represent a “transitional” style that was used some 20 or 30 years after the more typical, early style planes were made.26 Note that these late planes are not recorded in GAWP5. In both styles of planes, early and late, the “A” wedges remain constant with the rounded finial and the long straight cut out below the finial as shown in figure 12, left.


Figure 7 below: Chamfer details on  “transitional” S Doggett molders, late Samuel Sr. left and early Samuel Jr.  right. 27










Figure 8 below: Late molding plane reverse, Samuel Sr.


GAWP5 describes the more common, but still rare, S‧ DOGGETT / DEDHAM molding planes as being made of birch, having heavy round chamfers and the B wedge. (figures 9 and 12 right) 28 The planes are 10 to 101/4” in length. The typical style of the body chamfers and the chamfer stops are shown in figure 2. These details suggest a later manufacture date, ca. 1780 to 1820, than the S⁝DOGGETT planes, hence the reasonable assumption of there being a second planemaking generation.

Figure 9 below; imprint and wedge for S‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM 29                               







Figure 10 below; imprint and wedge for I‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM 30

One S‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM plane has been described as being 10 ¼” long with flat chamfers and “flutes” (or herein described as bold gouge cuts) as shown in figures 7 right and 11. 31, 32 This earlier styled ca. 1770 plane with the flat chamfers is extremely important as the plane, aside from the wedge, appears to be a duplicate of the two late Samuel Sr. planes. Together, these three planes provide the clearest argument for there being two separate S Doggett planemakers. It makes sense that this early plane represents the style used by Samuel Jr. during his apprenticeship … reflecting the style being used by his father at the same time. This would form a rough parallel with the 1778 deed where both the father and the son are described as housewrights.


Figure 11 below; early molding plane, Samuel Jr.











Figure 12 below: Wedge styles, Samuel Sr. left and Samuel Jr. right


Interestingly, the wedge style of the son’s planes is a constant, as is the

case with the father, each craftsman following their own artistic sense.



PlaneTalk reported this imprint on a plane that was 9 7/8” long with a “steel skate fastened by homemade rivets.” 33 GAWP5 describes the same tongue plane as being made of beech and having heavy round chamfers, ca 1780. 34


The wedge outline, chamfer style and imprint style (figure 10) match those of the typical Samuel Jr. plane, which fits very well with their being brothers who lived next door to one another.

In summary, the direct parallels between the S⁝DOGGETT and S‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM “transitional” planes of ca. 1770, as well as the direct parallels between the typical S‧ and I‧DOGGETT / DEDHAM planes of ca. 1780, are strong supportive arguments for Samuel and his two sons being our planemakers.


  1. PlaneTalk V-1, by Richard De Avila, Spring 1980, pg 7 and 8. De Avila obtained the Doggett family information from the Dedham Historical Society and the Dedham Registry of Deeds as well as from the book titled, A History of the Doggett-Daggett Family by SB Doggett, 1894.

  2. Samuel Doggett / Dedham is listed as an 18th Century New England planemaker but no dates given in Wooden Planes in 19th Century America, Second Edition, 1978, by Kenneth Roberts, pg 14. A plane by Samuel Doggett Jr. was illustrated on pg 13.

  3. PlaneTalk V-2, by Bob Seifert, Summer 1980, pg 19. Also appeared in Pollak’s GAWP2, 1987.

  4. A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, by Thomas Elliott, 2018, .pg 107 and 108. In GAWP4  and earlier editions, Samuel Jr. was identified as a probable planemaker.

  5. Massachusetts Land Records 1620-1986 database found in the online site FamilySearch. Note that the reported deed dates refer to the date the principles agreed to the transaction and not to the date the deeds were registered. Another family group, Samuel Sr., Abigail with a Samuel Jr. lived in Needham at the same general timeframe as so care was exercised to keep the families separate.

  6.  A History of the Daggett-Doggett Family, by SB Doggett, 1894

  7. A History of the Daggett-Doggett Family, pgs 392-393.

  8. Massachusetts Land Records 1620-1986.

  9. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991., Ancestry database.

  10. The Dedham Historical Register, Vol 9-1, pgs 9-10.

  11. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991, Ancestry database.

  12. An Interest Aroused, by Karl West, The Chronicle, March 1987, Vol 40 No. 1, pg 14.

  13. Find a Grave online website

  14. A History of the Daggett-Doggett Family, pgs 413-414.

  15. Four Planemakers and April 19, 1775, P Lasswell, in The Catalog of American Wooden Planes, Issue 24 pgs 1-5, September 1997. The fifth planemaker, Joseph Gould from Reading, was added to the group by Lasswell in SOJ 5-2, 2004, pg 220-221 and Elliott in The Chronicle Vol 62 No 1, 2009, pgs 35-39.

  16. Massachusetts Land Records 1620-1986.

  17. Lt. Samuel Doggett by Gilbert Stuart, 1815. Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

  18. The Dedham Historical Register, Vol 1- 1, 1893, pgs 1-5.

  19. The Dedham Historical Register Vol 3 and 6.

  20. PlaneTalk V-1, by Richard De Avila.

  21. A History of the Daggett-Doggett Family, pg 415.

  22. A History of the Daggett-Doggett Family, pg 415.

  23. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, Vol. 1-17, Secretary of the Commonwealth, 1896-1908. A third entry from 1777 lists a Sgt. Isaac Dagget from Capt. Abel Richardson’s Wrentham Company. The roll was sworn in Dedham, but Isaac’s town was not specifically identified.

  24. A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, pg 108.

  25. Photos courtesy of Michael Humphrey. Another round with these features is known from 2014.

  26. The relative terms of early, late and transitional are assigned to these planes by the author.

  27. The transitional Samuel Sr. and Jr. plane images provided by Michael Humphrey.

  28. A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, pg 108.

  29. A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, pg 108. Wedge shown at 55% in the original. The “dot” between the S and D, not shown in GAWP5 has been added.

  30. A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, pg 107. Wedge shown at 55% in the original.

  31. 50 A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, pg 108.

  32. The terms used to describe the chamfer stops can be somewhat subjective.  The chamfer stop terminology and drawings presented by Michael Humphrey in The Catalog of American Wooden Planes, December 1994, Issue 13 pg 1-3, are used herein to help provide consistency.

  33. PlaneTalk V-2, pg 19.

  34. A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, 5th Edition, pg 107.

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