Saturday, January 11, 2020

Thomas Carter: Immigrant to New England 1610-1676

photo by Johannes Plenio

Researching Thomas Carter, who settled in Salisbury, can be very confusing. There were three contemporary Thomas Carters, each with a wife named Mary, in Massachusetts and their histories are all mixed up on, so proceed with caution if you are looking for background on Thomas. This Thomas was not married to either Mary Dalton or Mary Parkhurst.

english origins
Thomas was born in England around 1610, his origins and parents are unknown.  In 1635 he was listed on the manifest for the ship The Planter bound for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He was 25 years old and a servant to a man named George Giddings.  George was a yeoman from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, so it is possible that that is where Thomas was from. George probably paid Thomas' passage in return of a set amount of years' labor.  George and Thomas settled first in Ipswich.  In 1638 Thomas was made a Freeman, which implied church membership, and a release from his indenture. He was granted land in Ipswich that year, but did not stay long.

 By 1641, Thomas was living in Salisbury, Massachusetts.  He was one of the first proprietors of that town. Thomas, unlike some of his neighbors, kept his name out of the courts, so little is known about him. In 1664 he made his mark on the agreement to create the new settlement of Amesbury.  He served on the Essex Grand Jury in 1666. 

wife and children
Thomas was married by the 1641 birth of his and his wife's first child.  All we know of his wife is that her name was Mary. The couple had nine children all told, all who lived to adulthood save one# 1. Mary Carter b. Oct 6, 1641; mar. Joseph Lancaster
2.Thomas Carter b. 1643, d. 14 Aug
3. Martha Carter b. Feb 1645, d. soon
4. Martha Carter b. Mar 1647
5. Elizabeth Carter b. April 1649; mar Unknown and had children (evidenced by brother, Samuel's will) 
6. John Carter b. May 18, 1650; mar Martha Brown my ancestor
7. Abigail Carter b. Feb 1652; mar. Stephen Flanders
8. Samuel Carter b. October 25, 1656; mar Sarah (Unknown) Brown, widow of Ephraim Brown 
9. Sarah Carter b. say 1658; mar. John Davis.

His will was written on 30 Oct 1676 and it was proved by 14 November of that same year. He named his wife in his will, so she outlived him. He gave each of his five living daughters 5 pounds and split the rest of his estate between his two living sons John and Samuel and his wife Mary. 

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration. feature name Thomas Carter

This is the plat map of the original settlers of Salisbury, Massachusetts 

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