When?: Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology is the study of tree-ring dating. By knowing when trees were cut down and their positioning within a structure, one can approximate the original construction date as well as subsequent building additions that might be present.

Tree Rings

It was known that the First Home was completed by 1632 when the Aldens lived in Duxbury year-round. However, it was uncertain when they moved into the Second Home and left the First behind. Dendrochronology showed that the earliest timber in the Second Home was felled in either 1636 or 1698. All other sampled timbers dated from after 1698. Together with the fact that no 17th-century artifacts were found by the Second Home, it is likely that this structure was built around 1700. This implies that the original occupants were not John and Priscilla, but rather their children and grandchildren.