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Robert the Bruce, 21st Great-Grandfather

February 21, 2017 14 Comments

birthplace, Turnberry Castle

birthplace, Turnberry Castle

This is one of the ways I descend from the famous badass, Robert the Bruce:

Robert Bruce (1274 – 1329)
21st great-grandfather
Marjorie Bruce (1297 – 1316)
daughter of Robert Bruce
Robert II, King of Scotland, Stewart (1316 – 1390)
son of Marjorie Bruce
Robert Scotland Stewart (1337 – 1406)
son of Robert II, King of Scotland, Stewart
James I Scotland Stewart (1394 – 1434)
son of Robert Scotland Stewart
Joan Stewart (1428 – 1486)
daughter of James I Scotland Stewart
John Gordon (1450 – 1517)
son of Joan Stewart
Robert Lord Gordon (1475 – 1525)
son of John Gordon
Catherine Gordon (1497 – 1537)
daughter of Robert Lord Gordon
Lady Elizabeth Ashton (1524 – 1588)
daughter of Catherine Gordon
Capt Roger Dudley (1535 – 1585)
son of Lady Elizabeth Ashton
Gov Thomas Dudley (1576 – 1653)
son of Capt Roger Dudley
Anne Dudley (1612 – 1672)
daughter of Gov Thomas Dudley
John Bradstreet (1652 – 1718)
son of Anne Dudley
Mercy Bradstreet (1689 – 1725)
daughter of John Bradstreet
Caleb Hazen (1720 – 1777)
son of Mercy Bradstreet
Mercy Hazen (1747 – 1819)
daughter of Caleb Hazen
Martha Mead (1784 – 1860)
daughter of Mercy Hazen
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of Martha Mead
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Robert The Bruce was born on 11 July 1274, probably in Turnberry Castle. He was descended from Scots, Gaelic and English nobility. His mother, Countess Marjorie of Carrick, was heir to a Gaelic earldom.

Robert’s grandfather, Robert Bruce ‘The Competitor’, was one of the claimants to the Scots throne. Bruce’s father, Robert de Brus of Annandale, fought in Wales for Edward I, was made governor of Carlisle Castle and fought on Edward’s side at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296. The Bruces refused to support John Balliol’s kingship and stayed close to Edward I. Balliol gave Bruce lands to the Comyns.

In 1298 Robert the Bruce became a guardian of Scotland alongside his great rival John ‘Red’ Comyn of Badenoch, and William Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews. When Bruce and Comyn quarrelled Bruce resigned as guardian. In 1302 Bruce submitted to Edward I and returned ‘to the King’s peace’. Bruce married Elizabeth de Burgh.

Robert the Bruce’s father died in 1304. Bruce now had a viable claim to the throne. On 10 February 1306 Bruce met John Comyn of Badenoch at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries. A fight broke out, daggers were drawn and Bruce killed Red Comyn by the altar. The Pope excommunicated Bruce but Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, absolved him and made plans for Bruce to quickly take the throne. On 27 March 1306, Isobel of Fife, Countess of Buchan, crowned Bruce at Scone. His inauguration was small and hastily arranged but Robert Bruce was now King of Scots.

To Edward I the usurper King Robert was a rebel to be crushed. Edward’s reprisals were swift and brutal. Bruce was defeated at Methven. His wife, daughter and sisters were captured and imprisoned in England. Countess Isobel was locked in an iron cage at Berwick while Bruce’s brothers were hanged, drawn and beheaded. Bruce fled Edward’s wrath and spent a long winter hiding on the islands off the west coast and Ireland.

Bruce began a guerrilla war and struck at his enemies. His forces defeated Edward’s men at Glen Trool and Loudon Hill, then Edward I finally died in July 1307 – Bruce now faced Longshanks’ son, Edward II.

Bruce attacked his Scots enemies – destroying Comyn strongholds along the Great Glen and harrowing Buchan and the north east. His men cut a bloody swathe through Galloway and the south west.

One by one Scotland’s castles fell to Bruce and his supporters. Bruce had the castles ‘slighted’ – walls were torn down and defences were raised to the ground – the fortresses were made useless to an invading English army. As more castles fell more nobles pledged support to Bruce.

In 1314 Bruce watched Edward II’s army march toward Stirling Castle. Edward II had been given a year to relieve the besieged English force at Stirling or surrender the castle. Their forces met at the Battle of Bannockburn on 23 and 24 June 1314. Thousands died as the Scots defeated Edward’s army. The river was choked with the dead as Edward II fled the field and returned to England.

Bannockburn was not the end of Bruce’s struggle but it was a turning point. Captured English nobles were traded for his family and King Robert I gained international recognition. The Scots took the final English stronghold at Berwick in 1318 but Edward II still claimed overlordship of Scotland. Two years later the Scots sent a letter to the Pope – the Declaration of Arbroath – as part of an ongoing battle of words.

In 1327 Edward II was deposed by his Queen, Isabella. He was murdered in captivity. The English made peace with the Scots and renounced their claim of overlordship. The Black Rood, taken by Edward I, was returned to the Scots. It seemed that Bruce had finally won.

Robert the Bruce retired to Cardross near Dumbarton on the Firth of Clyde. He lived peacefully in a comfortable mansion house until his death on 7 June 1329. He asked that James Douglas take his heart on crusade. Bruce’s body was buried at Dunfermline Abbey, by his wife Elizabeth’s side, beneath an alabaster tomb. Bruce’s heart was finally buried at Melrose Abbey.

In the 1370s the Scots poet John Barbour wrote of Bruce, the hero-king, in ‘The Brus’.

Robert I, known as Robert the Bruce, was the king of the Scots who secured Scotland’s independence from England.

Here is another lineage:

Robert I “The Bruce” Bruce, King of Scotland (1274 – 1329)
21st great-grandfather
Margaret Bruce (1307 – 1346)
daughter of Robert I “The Bruce” Bruce, King of Scotland
John Glen (1349 – 1419)
son of Margaret Bruce
Isabel Glen (1380 – 1421)
daughter of John Glen
Isabel Ogilvie (1406 – 1484)
daughter of Isabel Glen
Elizabeth Kennedy (1434 – 1475)
daughter of Isabel Ogilvie
Isabella Vaus (1451 – 1510)
daughter of Elizabeth Kennedy
Marion Accarson (1478 – 1538)
daughter of Isabella Vaus
Catherine Gordon (1497 – 1537)
daughter of Marion Accarson
Lady Elizabeth Ashton (1524 – 1588)
daughter of Catherine Gordon
Capt Roger Dudley (1535 – 1585)
son of Lady Elizabeth Ashton
Gov Thomas Dudley (1576 – 1653)
son of Capt Roger Dudley
Anne Dudley (1612 – 1672)
daughter of Gov Thomas Dudley
John Bradstreet (1652 – 1718)
son of Anne Dudley
Mercy Bradstreet (1689 – 1725)
daughter of John Bradstreet
Caleb Hazen (1720 – 1777)
son of Mercy Bradstreet
Mercy Hazen (1747 – 1819)
daughter of Caleb Hazen
Martha Mead (1784 – 1860)
daughter of Mercy Hazen
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of Martha Mead
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Both connect with Anne Dudley, my famous poet ancestor. One went through the Gordons for many generations, and the other went though the Kennedy family.

Robert's grave

Robert’s grave

Robert was born on 11 July 1274 into an aristocratic Scottish family. Through his father he was distantly related to the Scottish royal family. His mother had Gaelic antecedents. Bruce’s grandfather was one of the claimants to the Scottish throne during a succession dispute in 1290 – 1292. The English king, Edward I, was asked to arbitrate and chose John Balliol to be king. Both Bruce and his father refused to back Balliol and supported Edward I’s invasion of Scotland in 1296 to force Balliol to abdicate. Edward then ruled Scotland as a province of England.

Bruce then supported William Wallace’s uprising against the English. After Wallace was defeated, Bruce’s lands were not confiscated and in 1298, Bruce became a guardian of Scotland, with John Comyn, Balliol’s nephew and Bruce’s greatest rival for the Scottish throne In 1306, Bruce quarrelled with Comyn and stabbed him in a church in Dumfries. He was outlawed by Edward and excommunicated by the pope. Bruce now proclaimed his right to the throne and on 27 March was crowned king at Scone. The following year, Bruce was deposed by Edward’s army and forced to flee. His wife and daughters were imprisoned and three of his brothers executed. Robert spent the winter on the island off the coast of Antrim (Northern Ireland).

Returning to Scotland, Robert waged a highly successful guerrilla war against the English. At the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314, he defeated a much larger English army under Edward II, confirming the re-establishment of an independent Scottish monarchy. Two years later, his brother Edward Bruce was inaugurated as high king of Ireland but was killed in battle in 1318. Even after Bannockburn and the Scottish capture of Berwick in 1318, Edward II refused to give up his claim to the overlordship of Scotland. In 1320, the Scottish earls, barons and the ‘community of the realm’ sent a letter to Pope John XXII declaring that Robert was their rightful monarch. This was the ‘Declaration of Arbroath’ and it asserted the antiquity of the Scottish people and their monarchy.

Four years later, Robert received papal recognition as king of an independent Scotland. The Franco-Scottish alliance was renewed in the Treaty of Corbeil, by which the Scots were obliged to make war on England should hostilities break out between England and France. In 1327, the English deposed Edward II in favour of his son and peace was made with Scotland. This included a total renunciation of all English claims to superiority over Scotland. Robert died on 7 June 1329. He was buried at Dunfermline. He requested that his heart be taken to the Holy Land, but it only got as far as Spain. It was returned to Scotland and buried in Melrose Abbey.

Lawrence Washington, 11th Great-Grandfather

January 31, 2017 1 Comment

When Lawrence Washington and his twin brother Robert were born in 1568 in Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, England, their father, Robert, was 24, and their mother, Elizabeth, was 21. He married Lady Margaret Butler on August 3, 1588. Lady Margaret was heiress to a wool fortune.  Her father helped Lawrence prosper in the wool trade and become a prominent citizen.  He was mayor of Northhampton from 1532-1545, and acquired a manor house known as Sulgrave.   Lawrence and Margaret has 17 children, 8 sons and 9 daughters.  They married well and created an illustrious lineage, that includes George Washington, the first US president….and me. Lawrence died on December 13, 1616, at the age of 48.  He is buried at St Mary the Virgin with St John Churchyard, Great Brington, Daventry District, Northamptonshire, England  His plot: Grave is below a stone slab in the chancel of the church.

Lawrence Washington (1568 – 1616)
11th great-grandfather
Richard Washington (1592 – 1642)
son of Lawrence Washington
John Washington (1632 – 1677)
son of Richard Washington
Richard Washington (1660 – 1725)
son of John Washington
Elizabeth Washington (1689 – 1773)
daughter of Richard Washington
Elizabeth Lanier (1719 – 1795)
daughter of Elizabeth Washington
Martha Burch (1743 – 1803)
daughter of Elizabeth Lanier
David Darden (1770 – 1820)
son of Martha Burch
Minerva Truly Darden (1806 – 1837)
daughter of David Darden
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Minerva Truly Darden
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Sulgrave Manor

Sulgrave Manor

Nicholas Atwood, 11th Great-Grandfather

November 25, 2016 1 Comment

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church

My eleventh great-grandfather was probably born in Sanderstead,Surrey, England in 1539.  He died in Surrey May 10, 1586. He married Olive Harman at St. Martins, London on 30 Jan 1569. (Olive Harman was born in 1548 in Sanderstand, Surrey, England,81 died in 1603 in Elstree Church, Herefordshire, England 81 and was buried in 1603 in Elstree Church, Herefordshire, England.)
Nicholas was baptized at All Saints’ Sanderstead.  His parents were John Hewson Attewood and Margaret Grenville.
Nicholas Atwood was assistant of the Queens Carriages. Due to the estate being left to Nicholas eldest son Harman, the younger brother John (Jonanem) sued Harman for the Estate but lost. (See Generation 10 for details of how the estate
passed to Harman)..

Here lyeth Nicholas Wood thirde sonne/ of John At wood of Sanderstead Corte who
served/ Queen Elizabeth sens the second year of her/ rayne & deceased the XIIIth
of May 1586 and left/ behind him a wife & children ix vii sonns HARMON/JOHN

Olive Harman was born in 1548 in Sanderstead, Surrey, She was the daughter of James Harman. She also Married William Marleville and John Buck.

Nicholas Atwood (1539 – 1586)
11th great-grandfather
John Atwood (1582 – 1644)
son of Nicholas Atwood
John Thomas Wood (1614 – 1675)
son of John Atwood
Margaret Wood (1635 – 1693)
daughter of John Thomas Wood
Elizabeth Manchester (1667 – 1727)
daughter of Margaret Wood
Dr. James Sweet (1686 – 1751)
son of Elizabeth Manchester
Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
son of Dr. James Sweet
Samuel Thomas Sweet (1765 – 1844)
son of Thomas Sweet
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Samuel Thomas Sweet
Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
daughter of Valentine Sweet
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am  the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

A Chancery suit includes a statement that the Court Roll in 1547 show Nicholas Atwood to have then been the heir of Sanderstead Manor. Nicholas Atwood, was born before 1539, most likely at Sanderstead Court. He served Queen Elizabeth after the second year of her reign, as Assistant Sergeant of the Queen’s Carriages with his cousin, John Ownstead as Sergeant.

At St. Martin’s, 30 Jan 1569, he married Olive Harman (1548-1603), daughter and heiress of James Harman. Most of their children were baptized at St. Martin’s. When in the country, they resided at Court farm and here one night, when roads were especially bad, the Queen returning from one of her trips, spent the night at Court Farm.

Nicholas died 10 May 1586, in Sanderstead and was buried in St. Martin’s, 14 May 1586. His wife, Olive married for a second and third time. Her monument in Elstree Church names her Atwood children.

~Ye Ole Atte Wode Annals, pp. 3, 5
• Background Information. 179
~History of the Atwood Family, in England and the United States: To which is Appended a Short Account of the Tenney Family, p. 4, Nycholas Wood, died 1586, was the third son of John Atwoode, who died in 1520, and the father of Harman Attwood, also written Attwoodd. Harman Attwood is called Harman Woode until the entry of the baptism of his third child in the Saunderstead register. The Atte Woodes or Atwoods had many different spelling for their name in the records that can be found.
• Epitath. 110
“Here lyeth Nycholas Wood, the third son of John At Wood of Sanderstead corte, who served Queene Elizabeth seus the second yeare of her rayne, and deceased the 14 of may, 1586, leaving behind him a wyfe and children, – 7 sons, Harman, John, Nicholas, Thomas, James, John, Richard, Allis, Susan.”

~History of the Atwood Family, in England and the United States: To which is Appended a Short Account of the Tenney Family, p. 6

Nicholas Morris, Virginia Colonist

November 2, 2016 8 Comments

Immigrant to Virginia Colony

Immigrant to Virginia Colony

My eighth great-grandfather Nicholas Morris “the Immigrant” was born in England in 1605.  He died in St Stephens Parish, Northumberland Co. Virginia on 20 Jan 1663. He was a Justice of the Court by profession. His wife, Martha, was born in England  about 1609.  She remarried after Nicholas died.

Nicholas Morris owned land on the Great Wicomico River before 1651. His near neighbor and associate was John Mottram, an English Protestant who had frequent visitors among those who had been banished from the colony of Maryland.
Nicholas and his wife, Martha (poss.Mottram) were living in the Virginia Colony by 1641, and first lived on land leased from John Upton. By April 1652, Nicholas was well-established in Northumberland County and was appointed a justice along with John Haynie.
Will probabted, in Virginia, data from per Ancestral File, ver. 4.19. According to Tidewater Virginia Families by Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis, his will was presented in court in Northumberland Co.,VA on 20 Jan 1664, so he had to have died previous to that. He left his son, Anthony Morris, the plantation on which he lived, containing 550 acres and his wife, the land called “ye Island, being 506 acres”. He also bequeathed to his daughter, Jane (Morris) Haynie, one cow and to each of his three grandchildren, Martha, Elizabeth and Richard Haynie, one yearling heifer.
Martha Morris later married Thomas Lane, a wealthy land owner of Northumberland Co.
She signed her Morris inheritance over to her son, Anthony, on 15 July 1665.
Thomas Morris
John Morris
George Morris
Abraham Morris
Mary Morris
Elizabeth Morris
Edward Morris b. Bet. 1626 – 1652
Nickolas Morris b. Bet. 1626 – 1652
William Morris b. Bet. 1628 – 1642
Jane Morris b. About. 1630 in VA
Anthony Morris b. 1645 in Northumberland Co., VA m.Dorothy Samford (Wife) Marriage: 1665

Nicholas Morris (1605 – 1664)
8th great-grandfather
John Morris (1633 – 1713)
son of Nicholas Morris
William Morris (1659 – 1727)
son of John Morris
Thomas Morris (1678 – 1741)
son of William Morris
Thomas Morris (1730 – 1791)
son of Thomas Morris
Joanna Morris (1762 – 1839)
daughter of Thomas Morris
John Samuel Taylor (1798 – 1873)
son of Joanna Morris
William Ellison Taylor (1839 – 1918)
son of John Samuel Taylor
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of William Ellison Taylor
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Nicholas Morris served as a Justice of the Northumberland County Court eighteen times between 10 July 1652 and 21 Feb 1658/59 (Northumberland County Order Book 1650-1652, p. 64 and 1652-1665). He also signed the Great Oath (Northumberland County Order Book 1650-1652 p. 139b) VIRGINIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY NOV 1986. When he died, he left and estate of 1000 acres in his 1664 will.

Eight Years of Genealogy Studies

October 13, 2016 1 Comment

1900 Census

1900 Census

My grandpa Ernie

My grandpa Ernie

I will soon celebrate my  anniversary as a student of my family history. I joined during the financial crash of 2008. I had just inherited some stocks and bonds when they began to vanish into thin air before my very eyes. I was watching a website following the stock market when I saw an ad for the Ancestry site. I decided to take the free offer of two weeks because I was sure I could learn everything I needed to know in that two weeks. I had not planned to stay on for the paying contract.  The first piece of evidence I found was the 1900 census taken on Indian Territory in Oklahoma.  My grandfather lived there with his father and step mother.  The census taker recorded him and his brother Ed as children of this Cherokee woman who was my grandfather’s second wife.  This lady, Annie, turned out to be a relatively famous Cherokee con woman.  In this census she says she was born in New Mexico in 1854.  That is pretty suspicious since she says her parents were born in Georgia and North Carolina, a place where the Cherokees originated.  She would be under very special circumstances to be born as a Cherokee in New Mexico in 1854.  Later she says in other census records that she was born in Florida. She did have a reputation within the Morse family as a witch.  I did not know any of this when I saw this record of my grandpa on the Cherokee Nation at the age of 10.  I started searching madly to learn more about him and all my other ancestors.  I became fascinated with all the history I learned and the puzzle of matching up the data with the tree.  When the two weeks had passed I signed up for a permanent membership, and never looked back.

Now that I am a relatively sophisticated investigator of my ancestry I would urge beginners to follow some simple guidelines in order to have the best results:

  • Be very careful to verify records of all kinds
  • Don’t take other people’s research as factual
  • Be aware that spelling was a very loose discipline in old records
  • Triple check the identity of relatives with common names like John Taylor
  • There is specious data printed in many places, including history books
  • Travel to the physical places your ancestors lived can be revealing
  • Be willing to admit mistakes and go about corrections when you find them
  • Read and study about the places and times in which they lived for depth

There are more records available all the time.  Since I joined the DNA study at Ancestry I have found new information and connections.  My yearly subscription to this vast database is the best entertainment value for my dollar.  I thought I would be done in 2 weeks, but now I know I can’t quit until I reach Adam and Eve. Have you ever looked into your own family history, gentle reader?  What surprised you?


DNA Breakthrough

October 3, 2016 1 Comment

Andrew Armour's fort

Andrew Armour’s fort

I recently started to study the matches that has found for me. I took the test long ago and had paid little attention to that section of the website. I was asked to help a living person who is trying to find his birth father. He contacted me through the message system in Ancestry because he saw I was related to a DNA match he has. This man has done more research and has a much broader understanding of the various kinds of DNA testing available, and how to apply them to answer mystery ancestry questions. I have taken some time to look through the surnames he and I share with no luck in finding a connection.   We are waiting for a y chromosome test from my brother to be processed at Ancestry to see if that reveals more.  The match may come from as far back as 10 generations, so the whole thing is pretty complicated.  I hope we find the answer my distant adopted cousin is seeking.  In the process I am learning more about DNA testing and how helpful it can be.

I have had an excellent breakthrough on my maternal side by searching through all the matches and reading the trees.  Some of the folks with whom I am matched have no tree.  I am not sure what there are doing there.  They are not much use until they get some data to go with the genetics.  By following my matches in the Armer line I have found very early colonists from Plymouth and more new connections yet to be researched in Massachusetts.  I have found Andrew Armour, 5th great-grandfather, born in Scotland 1740, died in Georgia, 1801.  This line is also rich with history and original documents galore.   The map above is of Andrew’s fort.  I also have his will and testament in his own beautiful hand. I always love seeing the ancestors’ handwriting.

In the never ending research to learn more about my ancestors I appreciate any and all breakthroughs that help me verify my family members.  The time spent studying my matches has given me a major breakthrough that will yield much  more data as I dig into it.  I will soon write more bios of this new/old branch of Scotsmen.  If you have access to the Ancestry DNA database I believe you will learn something significant from taking the test.  If you are already studying genealogy I recommend paying attention to the DNA section for possible happy consequences.

DNA, History, Connections

September 11, 2016 2 Comments

My Ethnicity Map

My Ethnicity Map

Europe 99%
Great Britain 85%
Europe West 6%
Trace Regions 8%
West Asia < 1%
Trace Regions < 1%

I have studied my ancestry since 2008, and have made much progress. There are several dead ends that seem kind of hopeless. My maternal grandmother was an orphan who was adopted right after the Civil War in Mississippi in a county where the courthouse burned to the ground with all the records. I know who her adopted parents were, and that she had a brother named Fidel who was adopted by the same family.  My paternal 2nd great-grandfather was part of a Swiss/Pennsylvania Dutch family.  I know who his nephew was because I have written notes form my own great-grandmother. I can trace his nephew back to Virginia, and then to Switzerland, but I can find no record of his birth.  I have not found his parents out of all the Petersons scattered all over the Midwest.  I hold a grudge against the state of Indiana for this oversight/problem, because that was the state of his birth.  I desperately want to hook up the data, but can’t find the hard evidence to do so.

The big problem with records of all kinds is that they were created by human beings.  There are errors for all kinds of reasons.  Since all these cases are extremely cold I have no way to verify anything I might find in writing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I have made errors because of common names like Taylor, Smith and Morse in my tree that can easily be mistaken for  another person with the same last name.  Still, I do learn a lot about the history of the times even when I am proceeding along an erroneous lead.  When I find errors sometimes I can rebuild with accurate data easily, but often I am back to square one without a clue.

I sent my DNA sample to when the service was first available.  With few folks in the study my DNA was described as 99.9% from the British Isles.  Now the a few years have passed and more comparison DNA has been added I am only 85% from Britain.  I have not paid too much attention to this data, only checking in infrequently.  The impressive part of this data is that I now have 540 4th cousins or closer in the site’s database.  I have started looking at this as a new way to trace the connections because I was recently contacted by an adopted man looking for his birth parents. His closest DNA match is a 2nd cousin of mine.  He and I do not show any match, but male DNA, containing the y chromosome, has more detailed information, as I have recently discovered.  I began to research more about how these tests work and what we can discern from them.  My relative in search of his roots informed me that a match can go back for up to 12 generations.  Finally all my research may be useful to solve this adopted man’s mystery.  He has turned my attention to this fascinating element of genealogy research that I had not really used.  I don’t think I will solve my brick walls (as we call the dead ends in family trees), but it does give me a new way to discover my connections to all my relations.  I am grateful all these 540 people felt curious enough to send in DNA samples for our mutual benefit.  Have you examined your DNA, gentle reader?  Any surprises?

Richard Masterson, Tenth Great-Grandfather

August 21, 2016 3 Comments

Masterson Coat of Arms

Masterson Coat of Arms

My 10th great-grandfather was a deacon of the church in Leiden, Holland.  He arrived in Plymouth in 1629 and died four years later.

Richard Masterson lived in Sandwich, Kent. He and several others were brought before church courts for criticizing the Church of England and the Book of Common Prayer, as well as for non-attendance at services. He was excommunicated several times. Richard Masterson was in Leiden by 7 Oct 1611. He was a wool comber by occupation. He bought a house on the Uiterstegracht on 2 Jan 1614, the sale of which was the subject of years of negotiation by his wife’s second husband. With four others, he wrote a letter from Leiden to William Bradford in 1625 about their hopes of emigrating to New England. From Michael Paulick’s research, it would seem that Masterson traveled between Leiden and Sandwich. Richard Masterson arrived in New England in 1629 from Leiden. Nathaniel Morton in his history of the Plymouth church described Masterson as a “holy man” and “experienced saint,” “the said Richard Masterson having bin officious with parte of his estate for publick Good; and a man of Abillitie as a second steven to defend the truth by sound argument Grounded on the scriptures of truth…” He died in 1633 in the epidemic of infectious fever and Mary Masterson married Rev. Ralph Smith, the minister for Plymouth until 1636. They moved to Manchester by 1645, and Ipswich by 1652.

Richard Masterson (1590 – 1633)
10th great-grandfather
Sarah Masterson (1612 – 1714)
daughter of Richard Masterson
Margaret Wood (1635 – 1693)
daughter of Sarah Masterson
Elizabeth Manchester (1667 – 1727)
daughter of Margaret Wood
Dr. James Sweet (1686 – 1751)
son of Elizabeth Manchester
Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
son of Dr. James Sweet
Samuel Thomas Sweet (1765 – 1844)
son of Thomas Sweet
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Samuel Thomas Sweet
Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
daughter of Valentine Sweet
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Richard and Mary were among the Puritans in Leyden, Holland, but did not immigrate until 1629 on the second “Mayflower.” Their nephew John Ellis also made the voyage.

!Initial source: Family group sheet in the FGRA collection of the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, submitted by Edith Haddon
Littleford, 330 E 19th St, Idaho Falls, Idaho. Her source: Rec of Jewell David, Rt1 Box 822, Kent, Washington.

In “NEHGR” vol. 119 pg 162 is the extracted record of the marriage, “Archives of Leyden – Banns: the 1st; Nov. 9, 1619 – Richard
Masterson,woolcomber from Sandwich in England, accompanied by Wiliam Talbot and John Ellis, his brother-in-law with Mary Goodall, spinster, from Leiston , in England acc. by Elisabeth Keble and Mary Wing her acquaintnces.” The second banns were published Nov. 16th, the third banns Nov. 23rd and the marriage was performed “before Alpphen and Tetrolde, bailiffs this XXiii November 1619.” There is an article in “NEHGR” vol 144 (1990) pg 24, titled “The Mary Atwood Sampler”. It has an account of Richard and Mary (Goodall) Masterson which says “Richard Masterson, who was in Leyden, Holland, as early as 1611, was a woolcomber from Sandwich, England, according to the record of his marriage in Leyden 23 November 1619 to Mary Goodall, a spinster from ‘Leessen,’ England [perhaps Leiston in Suffolk?] (D. Plooij and J. Rendel Harris, “Leyden Documents Relating to the Pilgrim Fathers” [Leyden, 1920], IX, XL).

Richard died in 1633 when an ‘infectious fever of which many fell very sick and upwards of 20 persons died’ struck the Plymouth settlement (Samuel Eliot Morison, “Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647 by William Bradford” [New York, 1975], 160). Mary (Goodall) Masterson married, second, before 1 July 1633 Rev. Ralph Smith of Plymouth. Mary, who ‘in 1650, according to a note of [Ralph] Smith, was sixty years old, died in 1659’ (D. Plooij, “The Pilgrim Fathers from the Dutch Point of View” [New York, 1932], 116.

An article, “The Sandwich Separatists”, by Michael R. Paulick, published in”NEHGR” vol 154 pg 353-369, names, on page 355, the wife of John Ellis, who was called brother-in-law in the Leiden marriage record of Richard Masterson. It quotes the parish register of St. Peter’s, Sandwich, Kent, England, giving the marriage of John Ellys and Blandyna Maistersonne. However, it says no baptismal record has been found for either of them but the baptisms of six of their children were listed. This article gives more detail about the separatist” movement in Sandwich and some of the activities of Richard Masterson. It quotes a 1977 history of Kent by Peter Clark that “by 1600 there was a signigicant group of vociferous left-wing radicals and separatists standing outside the mainstream of Kentish Puritanism.”

On page 358 is a quote from the records of the Sandwich Deanery: “To the 2 and 3 article wee presente Thomas Allen and Thomas Baker and
Richard Masterson for affirming that the forme of gods worshipp in the Churche of England established by lawe and contained in the booke of Common Prayer and administracion of the sacraments is a corrupt & unlawfull worshipp and repugnant to the scriptures and that the rites and ceremonyes in the Churche of England by lawe established are wicked anechristin & superstitious and suche as religiows godlie menn cannott neather maye with good conscience use or approve of. To the 65 article wee presente the saide Thomas Allen Thomas Baker
Richard Masterson & Abigaell Atkins for not frequenting there parishe churche one sondayes to heere divine service.

To the 66 (article) wee presente the saide Thomas Allen Thomas Baker & Richard Masterson & Abigaell Atkins for recusants which forebears to come to churche to common prayer & to heere gods word preached.” The article goes on to say “Richard Masterson was summoned but failed
to appear on 2 and 26 July, 22 October, 3 and 13 December 1613, and was excommunicated 17 January 1613/14 along with Allen, Baker, and
Atkins, the sentence delivered 13 February 1613[/14] by Harimus White, minister. [“Comperta and Detecta Book,” Sandwich Deanery, f59v,
ff59v-60r, f60v, f61r.]”

“The Book of Common Prayer established the form of Protestant worship and was enforced by the 1559 Act for the Uniformity of Common Prayer and Divine Service. This Act required ‘strict church attendance and rigid adherence to the Book of Common Prayer.’ All ministers of any parish were required to follow the written order of service for matins (morning service), evensong, and the administration of the sacraments. Substantial fines were imposed on any citizen who declared or spoke ‘anything in the derogation, depraving, or despising of the same book…’ or who refused to attend church services. [David Cressy and Lori Anne Ferrell, “Religion & Society in Early Modern England” (…1996), 56-59.] Separatists held the view that only services that were contained in the scriptures should be followed and all other forms of worship of man’s invention were ‘antechristin’.”

It quotes a letter written by the rector of St. Peter’s and other Sandwich ministers in 1613 to the Privy Council of James I, which said “many notablesectes and heresies” were being spread among the people “by such as have recourse unto the towns of Amsterdam, and other partes beyond the seaes” and among the “chiefest sowers” were “Richard Masterson the ellder and Richard Masterson the younger, Thomas Allen and John Ellis”

The article says “The reference to two Richard Mastersons is puzzling; so far, examination of the parish registers of Sandwich shows no trace of a Richard Masterson elder or younger. These terms were commonly – but by no means always – used for father and son or uncle and Nephew. Richard Masterson of St. Peter’s appears only in the ecclesiatical court records. Richard of Leiden was unmarried until 1619 so he had no children to baptize.[36] The note indicated by this number says “It should be noted that the St. Peter’s and St. Mary’s registers are particularly difficult to read, illegible in some areas. A John Maisterson is named in St. Peter’s parish register but his will of 1620 does not indicate any connection with Richard or Blandyna …” “It is possible that the Privy Council confused a Richard Marston with Richard Masterson. The pronunciation of both names with an English long ‘a’ might have sounded similar and perhaps led to a mix-up. Marston apparently had a Separatist reputation….”

The article went on to quote a warning letter to the mayor and stated that the law prohibited these activities and that those accused were fortunate in receiving only an “admonishon and reprehension”. However, “Richard Masterson was summoned 4 and 14 November 1614, and
excommunicated on 28 November 1614.” Still he continued and “had soon returned from Leiden as a professed Brownist or Separatist.” He
was summoned again 10 June 1616 with the following: “To the 2 article wee have one Richard Masterson whoe refuseth to come to our church
traduceth our service and ceremonyes ys a professed Brownest or Separest and hathe formerlye ben often presented and stubbornelye hath stood longe excommunicated and continuallye endeavoreth to infecte others with the same leavin soe that we are greived that the
performaunce of our duetyes herein hat noe better effecte.” He was excommunicated again on the 28th, and yet again on 20 December.
Further in the article it says “When Richard Masterson died in 1633 he was described by Bradford as one of the ‘ancient friends which have lived in Holland.’ If there was a single Richard Masterson, there is evidence that he might have been moving between Leiden and Sandwich. He is recorded in both locations at various times as follows:
7 Oct. 1611 betrothat in Leiden; called acquaintance of Isaac Allerton
2 July 1613 excommunicated in Sandwich with Allen, Baker, and Atkins
4 Nov. 1614 At Sandwich, ‘Lyeinge at Mr. Varall’s,’ excommunicated
22 Jan 1614/15 Leiden, various lawsuits 1612-1615 [Register 143:206]

Jan. 1615 Leiden, purchased house from Roger Wilson 10 Jun 1616 Sandwich, excommunicated as ‘Brownist or Separatist’ Dec. 1616 Sandwich, excommunicated with Mary Plofer for slander 4 Sept. 1618 Letter from Sabin Staresmore in London to John Carver March 1619 Leiden, certificate of good behavior includes Roger Wilson Perhaps his master, Christopher Verrall, who was wealthy and had powerful connections in Sandwich, had actually ‘underhand may[n]teyned and protected the offendors,’ as the Privy Council had accused him of doing. If Richard Masterson was not working with Verrall’s permission it is difficult to understand how he could maintain employment as a servant and travel back and forth between Sandwich and Leiden before Verral’s death in 1615. It is unlikely that any of those who had ‘recourse’ to Leiden made the trip between the two countries without the full knowledge of the other Leiden Separatists.”

The will of Christopher Verral is included in “Appendix” at the end of the article. It is long and difficult to understand but one sentence says “I do forgive my man Richard Masterson all the money which he oweth me and I give him 20s. to make him a ring in token of my good will.”

Letter sent to William Bradford and William Brewster by Richard Masterson and others
To our most dear, and entirely beloved bretheren, Mr. William Bradford and Mr. William Brewster, grace mercy and true peace be multiplied, from God our Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Most dear christian friends and brethren, as it is no small grief Unto you, so is it no less unto us, that we are constrained to live thus disunited each from other, especially considering our affections each unto other, for the mutual edifying and comfort of both, in these evil days wherein we live: if it pleased the Lord to bring us again together, than which as no outward thing could be more comfortable unto us, or is more desired of us, if the Lord see it good; so see we no hope of means of accomplishing the same, except it come from you, and therefore, must with patience rest in the work and will of God, performing our duties to him and you assunder; whom we are not any way able to help, but by our continual prayers to him for you, and sympathy of affections with you, for the troubles which befal you; till it please the Lord to reunite us again. But our dearly beloved brethren, concerning your kind and respective letter, howsoever written by one of you, yet as we continue with the consent (at least in afection) of you both, although we cannot answer your desire and expectation, by reason it hath pleased the Lord to take to himself out of this miserable world our dearly beloved pastor, yet for ourselves we are minded as formerly, to come unto you, when and as the Lord affordeth means, though we see little hope thereof at present, as being unable of ourselves, and that our friends will help us we see little hope. And now, brethren, what shall we say further unto you; our desires and prayers to God, is (if such were his good will and pleasure) we might be reunited for the edifying and mutual comfort of both, which, when he sees fit, he will accomplish. In the mean time, we commit you unto him and to the word of his grace; whom we beseech to guide and direct both you and us, in all his ways, according to that, his word, and to bless all our lawful endeavours, for the glory of his name and good of his people. Salute, we pray you, all the church and brethren with you to whom we would have sent this letter. If we knew it could not be prejudicial unto you, as we hope it cannot; yet fearing the worst, we thought fit either to direct it to you, our two beloved brethen, leaving it to your goodly wisdom and discretion, to manifest our mind to the rest of our loving friends and brethren, as you see most convenient. And thus intreating you to remember us in your prayers, as we also do you; we for this time command you and all your affairs to the direction and protection of the Almighty, and rest,

Your assured loving friends

And brethren in the Lord,






David Thomas, Ninth Great-Grandfather

August 15, 2016 1 Comment

Thomas Coat of Arms

Thomas Coat of Arms

David Thomas is thought to have been born in Wales about 1620, David probably arrived in America about 1640-1 on the ship “Sampson”. It certainly is a fact that a session of the Quarterly Courts at Salem on 8th July 1645 “David Thomas” is a witness in a suit for defamation of character brought by John Bartoll against Alice, wife of John Peach, Jr, for having said that the plaintiffs wife, Parnell Bartoll, had “committed adultery with the Boatswain of the ship “Sampson” in the cabin of Parnell about four years ago.” This is the first record that we know of for David Thomas in America.

David lived in that part of Salem which is about to become the town of Marblehead. David left Marblehead probably early 1661, and removed to the part of Salem which later became Beverly. Two known maps showed the location of the Salem property of David Thomas agree that David owns Lot 16, which seems to have had no dwellings on it while David owned it.

It is significant that his wife Joanna executed her consent to the sale of the Beverly property by an instrument dated at Plymouth 14th July 1669. (Essex County Deeds book 3, pages 57 and 189). It seems this must have been the year David and Joanna Thomas moved to Middleborough. The birth of his son Edward Thomas on 6th February 1669 is the first entry in the Town Records of Middleborough, even though that entry may have been made at a later date, since the Town Records are said to have been destroyed by the Indians during King Philip’s War of 1675.

David is a Farmer at “Middlebury” and his family is one of the 16 families that constituted this Town in 1675. During this year when Indians attacked “Middlebury’s” new white inhabitants, forcing these settlers back into the Old Plymouth Colony Village. After this war ended these early settlers returned and 28th June 1677 those who had owned lands there, numbering 68 persons, met and agreed to re-settle “Middlebury” presently what is now called Middleborough.

David Thomas’s house at Middleborough (not standing anymore) is a little distance southeast of the town proper at the end of what is now Thomas Street at the area that became well known as “Thomastown”.

David Thomas (1620 – 1689)
9th great-grandfather
Mary Thomas (1664 – 1754)
daughter of David Thomas
Ann Northup (1696 – 1772)
daughter of Mary Thomas
Ann Gifford (1715 – 1795)
daughter of Ann Northup
Frances Congdon (1738 – 1755)
daughter of Ann Gifford
Samuel Thomas Sweet (1765 – 1844)
son of Frances Congdon
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Samuel Thomas Sweet
Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
daughter of Valentine Sweet
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

David Thomas and his wife came from Salem to Middleboro soon after 1668, the of he selling his land in Salem. They settled in Thomastown, where their descedants are still living. He bought into the Twenty-six Men’s purchase.
He had sveral children, David, Joanna, William, Jeremiah, and Edward, the last born February 6 1669, the first birth in the early records of the town.

Source: History of the Town of Middleboro.

William Thomas, 7th Great-Grandfather

May 6, 2016 1 Comment



My 7th great-grandfather was a gentleman and a trader in Massachusetts Colony.  Another descendant paid a professional genealogist to research his history.  The results that follow are fascinating because she takes steps to figure out which of the various William Thomas’s my ancestor was.  I have made big mistakes in my own tree on the ancestors with very common names like John Taylor.  Record keeping varies from place to place and time to time.  I am impressed and pleased with this expert research.  I once paid for research to be done by the Somerset PA Historical Society, which I visited in person.  They stiffed me and did no investigation for the fee they charged. This experience burned me on the idea of paid experts. This example is very well done.  The lady who did the work is:

Diane Rapaport, Historical Consultant/Attorney Quill Pen Historical Consulting, P. O. Box 204, Lexington, MA 02420 Tel.: 781-698-7884 (866-QUILLPEN) – Fax: 781-861-6744 (888-QPFAXES) Email: Web:

She does very thorough work. Thanks to James Crawford for making this public information.  We appreciate your contribution, cousin.

William Thomas (1695 – 1733)
7th great-grandfather
Mary Thomas (1729 – 1801)
daughter of William Thomas
Joseph Morse III (1756 – 1835)
son of Mary Thomas
John Henry Morse (1775 – 1864)
son of Joseph Morse III
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of John Henry Morse
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse

May 31, 2010
By Diane Rapaport
Research Objective
Documentation of the parents and origins of William Thomas:
b. 1695, Marlborough, MA (or Wales?)
d. 25 July 1733, Marlborough, MA
m. 19 June 1721, to Lydia Eager (b. 03 July 1696, Marlborough, MA, d. 12 Oct 1735, Marlborough, MA)
Their children:
Lovina Thomas, b. 15 Aug 1721, Marlborough, MA, d. Shrewsbury, MA
Sophia Thomas, b. 28 July 1723, Marlborough, MA, d. 24 Aug 1745
William Thomas, b. 19 Mar 1724, Marlborough, MA [Note: Per Marlborough Vital Records, year should be 1725; see below.]
Lydia Thomas, b. 30 Sep 1727, Marlborough, MA
Mary Thomas, b. 16 Feb 1729, Framingham, MA [Note: Marlborough Vital Records suggest that the birthplace was Marlborough; see below.]
Odoardo Thomas, b. 7 May 1731, Marlborough, MA
[Note: The information about William Thomas and his family, which you provided by .ged file, is unsourced. The Ancestry record “hints” in other public trees include only “OneWorldTree” and “Massachusetts Marriages” database, which are not authoritative sources.]
Summary of Research Results
Jim, I searched numerous record sources—vital records, probate records, land records, trial court records, and secondary sources (which I found online and at the Massachusetts Archives, the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society)—for clues to the life and origins of William Thomas. I found much documentation about William (which I am providing to you as PDF and JPG files, posted at the “Files and Messages” page of our project at Ancestry’s Expert Connect – scroll down to the bottom of that page, where you will find the files, which you can read or download to your computer).
The search revealed other men named William Thomas in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, during the relevant time period, including a Native American from the town of Natick, the son of a blacksmith from Newton, and a “husbandman” (the colonial term for a farmer or laborer) from Lambstown in Worcester County (where, as it turns out, your William had connections). But I was able to distinguish these other men from your William Thomas, who was identified consistently in the records as a “gentleman” (and in a few instances as a “trader”), suggesting that he was of a high social rank. I also discovered in the Middlesex County Court records that he was a licensed “retailer” and probably operated a store in Marlborough; the license was transferred to his wife Lydia after his death.
I discovered that William purchased land in Framingham, the town next to Marlborough, in 1720, just before his marriage to Lydia; at the time of that land purchase, he was identified in the deed as being of Framingham, suggesting that he already lived there. I could not find any record of his purchasing property in Marlborough (although the probate records indicate that he owned real estate in the town); it is possible, since Framingham adjoins Marlborough, that the land was actually the same that he purchased in 1720, and that the town boundaries changed. (I found no evidence of other Thomas families in Framingham before that date.) And, I discovered documentation in the Worcester County land records, as well as in the Middlesex County probate records, that William began buying land in Shrewsbury, Worcester County, shortly before his death.
In the 8 hours authorized for this project, I was unable to determine more about William’s origins. I did find evidence, in the guardianship records of his children (after the death of William and his wife), that William’s sons chose an uncle from Shrewsbury, Asa Bouker, to be their guardian. I did not have time to do any research about Asa Bouker or his connections with either William or Lydia. I found evidence in land and probate records of other people with the Thomas surname in early Middlesex County and elsewhere in Massachusetts (see my notes, below), but I did not have time to follow up on those leads. One promising name might be Nathaniel Thomas of Plymouth (identified as “Esquire,” suggesting that he was a “gentleman” like William), who had some connection with a wealthy Elizabeth Thomas who died in Medford, Middlesex County, in 1729. Perhaps William was indeed of Wales, as you suggested. Also intriguing is the name of his son, Odoardo, which my quick Google search indicates is an Italian name, and may suggest some cosmopolitan origins for your William Thomas.
The next step that I would recommend is to search for more information about Asa Bouker of Shrewsbury, Nathaniel Thomas, and other early Thomas families in Massachusetts, as well as resources about early Boston, since William Thomas or his family (like many families of high social rank) may have spent time there upon arriving in New England. I also would recommend a more review of the probate and land records that I have obtained (I provided you with copies, but have not made a thorough study), to see if there are any other clues about family members. I would be happy to continue the search, if you would like to consider authorizing more time!

Sources Consulted
Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (database of the New England Historic Genealogical Society)
Searched Thomas surname in Marlborough, MA:
In published Marlborough Vital Records, earliest entry is marriage of William and “Lidia” Eager in 1721 (see copy, Thomas Wm & Eager Lidia marriage.pdf), followed by their children’s births (see copy, Thomas Wm children births.pdf), and the deaths of William, his wife Lydia, and their daughter Sophia (see copy, Thomas Wm Lydia Sophia deaths.pdf). [Note: According to the vital records, son William was born 1725, not 1724, and daughter Mary was born in Marlborough, not Framingham, but otherwise all the dates match up with the information in your family tree (except there is no record or date for William Sr.’s birth).]
Searched Thomas surname in Middlesex County to 1721:
In published Newton Vital Records, marriage record of:
Thomas, William and Anna Loverin, Aug. 29, 1695, in Watertown (see copy, Newton VRs marriages.pdf). But note that William and Anna had a daughter in 1695. However, it appears that this William Thomas of Newton and a first wife, Elizabeth, had a son William in 1687; see below.
Thomas, Joanna, ch. William and Ann (second w.), Oct. 28, 1695.
Thomas, William, s. William and Elizabeth, Aug. 31, 1687. (See copy, Newton VRs births.pdf.) Probably this is the William Thomas, blacksmith, and his son, and no relation to your William Thomas. See notes re: probate records, below.
Searched Thomas surname in Worcester County to 1721:
Found only a Sarah Thomas who married in Mendon in 1707.
Searched Thomas surname in Framingham:
No early Thomas entries
Note: I have not made an exhaustive search of the available published vital records. Many births were not recorded with the town officials, however, but evidence can be found in collateral records, such as church, land, probate, etc. I did not have time to search church records.

(Reviewed at Middlesex County Registry of Deeds and on microfilm at New England Historic Genealogical Society)
As you will see, I reviewed some deed records for dates afterWilliam Thomas’ death, since sometimes deeds are not recorded until years after the conveyance.
Middlesex County, MA
Grantee Index, 1639-1799 (microfilm)
(and I briefly searched deed book volumes, where indicated)
I searched for early entries with the Thomas surname, before William’s death in 1733, which I noted, since the index did not refer to the town, and reviewing the records might show connection with Marlborough or William Thomas:
1685, July 20, Thomas, Ales & Benjamin, from E. Corlett, 9: 411 – Ales Thomas of Boston & Benjamin his son, purchased land in Cambridge
1686, Oct 20, Thomas, John &al from F. Hinchman, 10: 7 – no Thomas found on this page
1687, March 9, Thomas, Edward, agent, from W. Cutter, 10: 33 – Mentions Edward Thomas of Boston
1697, Nov 23, Thomas Edward, from C. Morton, 12: 106 – no Thomas found on this page
1701, Dec 12, Nathaniel Jr from J. Croade, 13: 89 – Nathaniel Thomas Jr. of Plymouth buys land in Groton
1719, May 11, Thomas, Joshua, from M. Meeds, atty, 20: 333 – Joshua Thomas of Boston
1720, March 30, Thomas, John & Solomon, Samuel’s est., deposition 12: 733 – no Thomas found on this page
1721, Aug 18, Thomas John &al, deposition, 21: 412 – re: John Thomas of Natick, Indian
Entries for William Thomas, all after his death date:
1735, Feb 27, Thomas, William, from Edward Clap, 36: 516 – This seems likely to be your William Thomas, since it refers to him as “gentleman” and the conveyance in Framingham occurred in 1720, before his marriage. (Copy, Thomas Wm deed Mdsx v36p516.jpg and Thomas Wm deed Mdsx v36p517.jpg.)
1739 March 12, Thomas, William, from B. Tray, 39: 642 –William Thomas of Natick, Indian
1742, Dec 11, Thomas, William, from T. Bowman, 44: 51 – William Thomas of Natick
1745, Apr. 2, Thomas, William, from M. Speen, 45: 97
1747, Feb. 10, Thomas, William, from S. Abram, 46: 429

1752, Feb 8, Thomas, William, from M. Tom, 49: 357
Other William Thomas entries after this date, but not until 1782; no entries found for Lydia Thomas
Grantee Index, 1639-1799, A-G
Found several entries for surname Eager (Eagar, Augur, Egar), who might be relatives of Lydia Eager, but no entries for Lydia.
Grantor Index, 1639-1799, S-Z
(and I briefly searched deed book volumes, where indicated)
No entries for a William Thomas until 1738:
1738, Feb 19, Thomas, William, to D. Morse and J. Carver, 39: 542, 547 – William Thomas of Natick, Indian
No other entries for William Thomas until 1749:
1749, July 24, Thomas, William, to J. Loring, 49: 61
Worcester County, MA
Grantee Index, 1731-1839, P-Z (microfilm)
(and briefly searched deed books, where indicated)
1734, Thomas, William, from Gerstrom Keyes, Nahum Ward and Eleaser Rice, 4: 432-437, Shrewsbury deeds (Copies, Thomas Wm deed Worcester v4p433.jpg, Thomas Wm deed Worcester v4p434.jpg, Thomas Wm deed Worcester v4p435a.jpg, Thomas Wm deed Worcester v4p435b.jpg, Thomas Wm deed Worcester v4p436.jpg, Thomas Wm deed Worcester v4p437.jpg) – These land purchases occurred in 1730 and 1733, and refer to William as “of Marlborough,” “Gentleman” and “Trader.” No other people surnamed Thomas are mentioned, and no obvious clues to his origins, although it is possible that he may have been related to some of the people involved.
1734, Thomas, William, from Saml Smith, 5: 161, Hardwick – William Thomas of Lambstown, husbandman, 1734
1736, Thomas, William, from Saml March, 9:25, Hardwick –William Thomas of Lambstown, husbandman, 1736
1737, Thomas, William, from John Jordan, 9: 73, Hardwick –William Thomas of Lambstown, husbandman, 1736
1740, Thomas, William, from Amos Thomas, 13: 141, Hardwick –William Thomas, husbandman, of Lambstown, Worcester County, and Amos Thomas, husbandman of same town. Deed signed 1739, so obviously not your William Thomas.
1746, Thomas, William, from Amos Thomas, 20: 556, Hardwick
1746, Thomas, William, from Amos Thomas, 22: 1, Hardwick

And more William Thomas entries after this date, to 1838
No entries for Lydia Thomas
Grantor Index, 1731-1839, T-Z (microfilm)
1735, Thomas, William, to Stephen Harrington, 7:17
1740, Thomas, William, to Ebenr Foskett, 13: 68
1740, Thomas, William Jr., to Ebenr Foskett, 13: 68
1742, Thomas, William, to Amos Thomas, 16: 207
And more William Thomas entries after this date, to 1836
The only Lydia Thomas entry was:
1787, Thomas, Lydia, to Fos Fayerweather, 102: 20
(Reviewed at Massachusetts Archives)
Early Thomas records in Middlesex probate:
William, Newton, 1698, Will, 22416
Will refers to this William Thomas as a blacksmith, and he signs will with mark. Leaves estate to widow for her life, and then to son William. Small estate, about 50 pounds.
William, Newton, 1699, Guardian, 22417
Papers say he is about 12 years old in 1699. Nathaniel Hancock appointed guardian.
William, Marlborough, 1734, Administration, 22418. This is your William Thomas. See copy, Thomas Wm Mdsx probate.pdf. Note: I did not have time to make a thorough study of these records for further clues.
William, Marlborough, 1740, Guardian, 22421. This is the son of your William Thomas. See copy, Thomas Wm Jr Mdsx guardianship.pdf.
Lydia, Marlborough, 1735, Administration, 22406. This is the wife of your William Thomas. See copy, Thomas Lydia Mdsx probate.pdf.
Lydia, Marlborough, 1743, Guardian, 22419. Mary, Marlborough, 1743, Guardian, 22419. Sophia, Marlborough, 1743, Guardian, 22419. These are William and Lydia’s daughters. See copy, Thomas Wm daughters Mdsx guardianship.pdf.
Odoardo, Marlborough, 1743, Guardian, 22420. This is the son of your William Thomas. See copy, Thomas Odoardo Mdsx guardianship.pdf.

Elizabeth, Medford, 1729, Will, 22399
Leaves most of property to nephew Henry Dunster, etc.; gives gold ring to Nathanil Thomas Esqr., but mentions no other Thomas heirs; apparently wealthy [consider copying re: freed slave Tonney]
Paul, Natick, 1746, Administration, 22408
Solomon, Natick, 1736, Administration, 22412
Solomon Jr., Natick, 1737, Administration, 22413
Early Thomas entries in Worcester County probate:
Aaron, Hardwick, 1748, Guardianship, 58837
Amos, Hardwick, 1754, Will, 58844
Israel, Hardwick, 1748, Guardianship, 58869
William, Leominster, 1746, Administration, 58910
William, Hardwick, 1747, Administration, 58911
Middlesex County Court Folio Collection index
Thomas, Lydia, Concord 1733-127-A-II
Paid excise tax
Thomas, Lydia, Marlborough, 1733-129-A-3
Granted retailer’s license
Thomas, William, 1725-86x-III
Marlboro retailer
Thomas, William & Jonathan How, 1730, 119-A-2
Renewed license
Thomas, William, 1727-252-2
Marlboro licensed retailer
Thomas, William, 1726-107x-4
Marlboro licensed retailer
Thomas, William, 1685-117-6
Bond for administrator of Mark Woods & Strattons’ Est.
Mary E. Spalding, for Franklin P. Rice, Colonial Records of Marlborough, Mass. (Boston: NEHGS, 1909) – Early records, only to 1660s
Charles Hudson, History of the Town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from its First Settlement in 1657 to 1861, with a Brief Sketch of the Town of Northborough. . . (Boston, Press of T. R. Margin, 1862). Brief entry for William Thomas family on p. 458. (No new information.)
Marlborough, Massachusetts, Burial Ground Inscriptions: Old Common, Spring Hill, and Brigham Cemeteries (Worcester, Mass.: Franklin P. Rice, 1908). No inscriptions for surname Thomas.
Note: Marlborough town records, 1666-1847, are available from FHL on microfilm.

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