Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thomas Shannon and Anne Rand of Rye and Chester

A search of available literature reveals very little about Thomas Shannon.  I was able to find the following information:

Thomas Shannon married May 31, 1753, Ann Rand.  [1]
Lived at Chester.  
Children: Bettie b. September 18, 1753 
              William b. August 25, 1755
              John b. August 16, 1757
              Thomas b. 1759
              Samuel b. 1762
              Sarah b. 1766

Thomas Shannon came from the "Shoals", married a sister of Nathaniel Rand...

Thomas Shannon, born near Dublin, in Ireland or as some would say, near the river Shannon.  Emigrated to America about 1722, settled at the Isle of Shoals and later went to Rye where he married Mary Rand and soon after moved to lot 38 in Chester where they resided a short time. [2]

That's about it, all that is written about Thomas Shannon and his wife Anne Rand and some of it obviously cannot be correct.  Firstly and most obvious is that Thomas married Anne Rand and not Mary.  Also if he immigrated in 1722 but did not marry Anne until 1753 he would have been rather old.  Possibly it was his father that emigrated in 1722 and brought Thomas with him as a small child. 

internet errors

A search of ancestry.com and other internet sites gives the same basic information along with some big errors concerning the parentage of Thomas.  His parents are unknown.  His mother and father were not Nathaniel Shannon and Abigail Vaughan. This is a different family with which our Thomas had no association.  

Abigail and Nathaniel Shannon had two children, Nathaniel Jr. and Cutts.[3]  In her 1756 will, proved in October of 1762, Abigail left her estate to her grandchildren from Nathaniel and Cutts and to Cutts himself. There is no mention of a son Thomas in her will. [4] Cutts had a son named Thomas who lived in Dover, it is possible that he was the Thomas Shannon found in the Dover town records.

There is no record of a Thomas Shannon in New Hampshire until 1726 when a "Thomas Shannon" was taxed in New Castle, this would probably have been a year or so before our Thomas' birth. It is possible that the Thomas Shannon who was taxed was the father of Thomas who married Anne Rand. As Shannon is an Irish name, and given time frame, it is highly likely that his father was one of the many new immigrants coming from the north of Ireland.  These immigrants were for the most part staunch Presbyterians and were being persecuted in Ireland for not not following the Anglican faith.

Thomas and Anne were living on the cusp of an exciting and terrifying time, the American Revolution.  We do not know when they died or if they lived long enough to be a witness to history in the making.  I hope they did, although with three sons fighting in the war it must have been a harrowing time.  As is typical of the times, little mention is made of the daughters of the family. 

The date of death for both Thomas and Anne is unknown.  I have seen October 1811 as a date for Anne but am not sure what the source is for that. In the 1790 census of Chester there is listed John, Thomas and William Shannon. Also on the list is Jeremiah Leavitt, the future husband of Sarah Shannon. 


[1]Parsons, Langdon B., History of the Town of Rye, NH From Its Discovery and Settlement to December 31, 1903, (Concord, NH: Rumford Print. Co., 1905), 296, digital image, Archive (http://www.archive.org : accessed 23 December 2015).

[2] Harriet Eliza Noyes, A Memorial of the Town of Hampstead, New Hampshire, Vol 2 (Boston: G. B. Reed, 1903) 753.

[3] Stearns, Ezra S., William F. Whitcher, and Edward E. Parker. Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. New York: Lewis Pub., 1908. Print.

[4] Otis G. Hammond, New Hampshire Wills and Probate, Vol. 35, (The State of New Hampshire, 1936) 394.

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