Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thomas Sargent and Rachel Barnes of Amesbury, MA

Thomas Sargent was born on 11 June 1643 in Salisbury, MA.  He was the son of William Sargent and Elizabeth Perkins.  He was the first of two sons and the first of three sibling to whom I am related. His brother William and sister Elizabeth are also in my family tree. Although his father was a seaman, Thomas chose, like his brother William, to farm for a living. Here is what I know about Thomas Sargent.

In 1668, 15 year old Sarah Osgood, daughter of William Osgood of Salisbury and Amesbury, gave birth to a baby girl. Thomas Sargent, she claimed, was the father. Thomas denied that the child was his.  An illegitimate child was a problem, on many levels.  First, there was the scandal of premarital sex, good puritan men and women did not dally before marriage. Of greater, long term consequence was the problem of who was financially responsible for the upbringing of the child.  Because Thomas denied fathering the child, the Osgood family took him to court.

Before the actual court case involving Thomas, Sarah Osgood appeared alone before the court to be punished for fornication. This was in April of 1668.  She had yet to deliver the child and was sentenced to be whipped, at the meeting house, within six weeks of giving birth, or she could pay a fine. Capt Pike and Mr. Thomas Bradbury were responsible for overseeing the punishment. It is interesting to note that Thomas Bradbury was Thomas Sargent's uncle. Finally, in October of 1668, Thomas and Sarah appeared in court togethere.  The court found that there was "some suspicion" that Thomas might be the father of Sarah's baby, but ultimately found him not guilty. Thomas dodged the bullet, maybe with some help from his Uncle Bradbury. Sarah's child was known as Elizabeth Sargent.  Sarah later went on to marry John Colby.

1668 was a busy year for our Thomas.  Troubles in court and marriage all in the same year.  I wonder what his wife thought of it all.  Thomas married Rachel Barnes on 2 March 1667/8.  She was the daughter of William Barnes and his wife, Rachel Unknown.  Thomas was 24 years old, Rachel was 18.  They would be married for 38 years and have 12 children.

Thomas, like his brother William, was a farmer.  Their father had been a seaman, who had settled down in Salisbury and accrued land both there and in Amesbury.  On 12 April 1664 Thomas bought 24 acres of land west of the Pawpaw River in Salisbury. In 1666 his father deeded Thomas 30 acres of upland in Salisbury on the Merrimac that adjoined the land he had already purchased.  This was unusual in that Thomas was unmarried at the time, and most fathers hung on to their land until the bitter end.  William generously gave both his sons land before he died.

In 1669 William gave him more land.  This land was described as "the six acres of marsh granted to him by the town of Salisbury, and a sweepage lot of salt marsh in Salisbury at a place called ye beache being lot number 8 containing three acres and four rods, being half the lot of marsh between two islands called Barnss Iland and Ware Iland." On the say day that William deeded Thomas land, William Barnes, Thomas' father in law also deeded him land in Salisbury and Amesbury.

Thomas' father William died in 1675, his mother was already deceased.  William left his estate to be divided between his surviving children. When William Barnes died he left Rachel a 60 acre lot of land in Amesbury called Champion Green and 1/2 a "childen's lot" also in Amesbury. It seems as if Thomas benefited from a generous father and father in law.

Thomas was unable or unwilling to give his own sons much land.  In 1701 he did deed his two oldest sons part of his  homestead.  The others had to wait for their land.

Thomas called himself "planter" and "yeoman" in deeds and in his will.  We know he was a farmer.  He also served, as most men did, in the militia.  He held the rank of Lieutenant. He took the oath of allegiance in 1677 but did not take the freeman's oath.  He served as constable of Amesbury in 1677 and again in 1678. Very little else is known of him.

Children of thomas and rachel
 1. Thomas b. 24 Feb 1669, d. 18 March 1669
 2. John b. 27 March 1672 d. 9 Nov 1690 age 18
 3. Mary b. 14 Oct. 1674, m. John Sanders 26 Dec 1695, living in 1717
 4. Thomas b. 15 Nov 1676, m. Dec 17 1702 Mary Stevens, 
 5. Jacob b. 1 Oct 1678, m. Gertrude Davis
 6. William b. 1 Dec 1680, d. unmarried 1712 age 32
 7. Rachel b. 12 Aug 1683, m. 14 Dec 1703 Richard Currier 
 8. Hannah b. 23 July 1685, m. 13 July 1703 William Somes, m. 2nd ____Smith
 9. Joseph b. 2 June 1687, m. 17 Nov 1715 Elizabeth Carr, m. 2nd Widow Sarah Currier
10. Judith b. 2 June 1687 (twin), d. 22 May 1688
11. Judith b. 1 July 1689, d. 15 Sept 1715
12. John b. 18 May 1692, m. Hannah Quimby

Thomas and Rachel followed the usual child bearing pattern of the day.  A child was born roughly every two years.  The first child was born within a year of marriage.  The last child was born when Rachel was about 42 and Thomas 48. Thomas was survived by nine of his children, Rachel by seven. 

will and probate
Thomas wrote his will in 1706.  His first bequest was to his wife Rachel, who still had children under the age of 21 to raise.  She would hold his estate for the remainder of her widowhood. He divided his land between his sons, giving money to his daughters. Rachel's will was proved in Feb 1719.  She divided her household goods between her surviving daughters.

In the inventory of Thomas' estate are listed his clothes, books, arms and ammunition. He also owned farm animals, a cask of cider and a looking glass. The largest part of his estate was land. The total value of the estate was 452 pounds.

my Sargent Ancestry through Thomas and then all three Sargent Siblings:
William Sargent and Elizabeth Perkins
Thomas Sargent and Rachel Barnes
Rachel Sargent and William Currier
Hannah Currier and Ezekiel Worhen
Jacob Worthen and Mary Brown
Rachel Worthen and Enoch Rowell
William Rowell and Sally Leavitt           Samuel Duncan Rowell and Mary Polly Moore
Viola Rowell                                         Enoch Converse Rowell
Jennie Clover Rowell and John Clark Thornton

                                  William Sargent and Elizabeth Perkins___________________
Thomas Sargent-Rachel Barnes      William Sargent-Mary Colby      Elizabeth Sargent-Samuel Colby
Rachel Sargent-William Currier     Jacob Sargent-Judith Harvey     Elizabeth Colby-John Rowell
Hannah Currier-Ezekiel Worthen   Tabitha Sargent-John Foss        Enoch Rowell-Merriam Converse
Jacob Worthen-Mary Brown           David Foss-Ann Richardson       Enoch Rowell-Rachel Worthen
Rachel Worthen-Enoch Rowell        Ann Foss-Reuben Moore 
                                                     Mary Moore-Samuel Moore

Enoch Rowell - Rachel Worthen

William Rowell-Sally Leavitt                    Samuel D. Rowell-Mary Moore
                           Viola Rowell                                      Enoch C. Rowell
Jennie Clover Rowell-John Clark Thornton
my grandparents 
my parents

Hoyt, Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury

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