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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Thomas

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 755-757 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This is an ancient and honorable name in England, and is of frequent mention both in military and civil records. The American ancestor of Frank Warner Thomas of Troy, New York, is captain John Thomas, of Braintree, Massachusetts, son of Andrew Thomas, of Carmaethan, Wales, a descendant of Sir Rys ap Thomas, created Knight of the Garter in 1507, and one of the four knights who accompanied the king to the Field of the Cloth of Gold and a nephew of Captain John Thomas, who was a valiant and honorable captain in the Royal Navy in 1656. Captain John Thomas (later the emigrant) in 1688 was selected as the messenger to carry to Holland, from the Lords and Bishops of England, their invitation to William of Orange to come over and expel James II from the English throne. This was a most hazardous undertaking and required the greatest secrecy and caution. Sewing the letters underneath the lining of his coat, he took passage, but before reaching his destination his vessel was compelled to heave-to, and submit to being searched by an English man-of-war. He escaped detection and safely delivered his letters and messages to William. When William invaded England, Captain John Thomas was commander of the vessel that conveyed the Prince and Princess of Orange to the English shore. For this and other valuable services he was given by the King a paper grant of thirty thousand pounds and four oil paintings of the King and Queen, Prince George and Princess, afterward Queen Anne. The portrait of the King has descended through seven generations in the male line to Frank Warner Thomas, of Troy; that of the Queen was destroyed during the revolution, while those of the Prince and Princess are the property of Linus C. Bird, of Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, a descendant through the female line. Captain John was a mariner and commanded vessels that sailed the world over, it being his boast that there were few seaports in the whole world he had not entered with his ship. For some reason unexplained he was compelled to leave England prior to 1694. He is first heard from in New England in 1694, and the first mention is in the diary of Judge Samuel Lewell, who names him in that year. He settled in Braintree, where he married. In 1714 he received a summons to return to England, which he felt it imperative to obey. Having a large amount of gold in the house he determined to bury it for greater security during his absence, reserving only enough for his own and family expenses. On the night of October 4, 1714, with his treasure and a spade, he left the house, later returning with his clothes soiled and his spade showing evidences of recent use. He entered the living room of his home, sat down in his accustomed chair without speaking, and when his wife approached him a little later he was dead. The buried treasure was never found. Letters of administration were granted on his estate November 10, 1714. The inventory showed property valued at twelve hundred and one pounds nine shillings, a very large amount for that early day. He married, at Weymouth, Massachusetts, Lydia, born at Weymouth, 1678, daughter of Deacon Abiah Whitman. Her will was probated in Suffolk county May 15, 1757, surviving her husband forty-three years. Children:

  1. Andrew, born in Weymouth, January 15, 1702, died without issue before 1745;
  2. a daughter, died without issue;
  3. a daughter, died without issue;
  4. John, of further mention;
  5. Lydia, born July 13, 1709, married William Salesbury, and had issue;
  6. Mary, a posthumous child, born November 28, 1714, died without issue, and buried at Copps Hill burying ground.

(II) John (2), second son and fourth child of Captain John (1) and Lydia (Whitman) Thomas, was born February 27, 1709-10, died 1781. His will was probated in Suffolk county, April 8, 1783. He was a farmer and large land owner. In March, 1742, Colonel John Vassell granted to him lands in Lunenburg and in Petersboro, and two hundred acres in Lunenburg and Townsend, for which he paid one thousand pounds. In the same year he purchased of the same party other lands in Peterstown, for which he paid five hundred and fifty pounds. In 1781 he sold a lot in Braintree to John Hollis for six hundred pounds. These transactions were very large for that day. His entire life was spent in Braintree, where he died. He served the town as constable, 1742-44, coroner 1745-6 and again in 1761. He married Silence, daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Randall) Orcutt; she was born in Weymouth, January 14, 1720, died there 1799, surviving her husband eighteen years. Children:

  1. John (3), of further mention;
  2. Sarah, born May 12, 1755, (never married and tore the record from the old family Bible to conceal her age), died 1828;
  3. Mary, born September 1753, married Cabeb [Caleb?] Hunt, and left issue.

(III) John (3), eldest and only son of John (2) and Silence (Orcutt) Thomas, was born June 16, 1751, died at Weymouth, July 10, 1834. He resided at Braintree, Hanson, Randolph and Weymouth, Massachusetts. He was a man of education, a schoolmaster, and was known far and near as "Governor" Thomas because of his pompous ways. He was rather inclined to be a Tory during the revolution, but his wife was very patriotic and had an excess of zeal for the colonial cause that preserved the balance. He married, December 4, 1774, Lydia, daughter of Captain Nathaniel Bayley and his wife, Tamar White. Captain Bayley was a revolutionary officer and a member of the provincial congress. John and Lydia Thomas had twelve children, eight of whom married and reared families.

(IV) Captain Andrew, eldest son of John (3) and Lydia (Bayley) Thomas, was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, November 10, 1776, died at South Weymouth, intestate, October 12, 1857, letters of administration granted in Suffolk county, December 5, 1857. He was a boot manufacturer, a man of great pride, had an upright, soldierly figure and bearing, being exceedingly careful in his dress. He served in the war of 1812 in Captain Joseph Le Barron's company, Fourth regiment Massachusetts militia: was afterwards commissioned captain, and served on the staff of his brigade commander. He married, at Weymouth, June 10, 1801, Polly, daughter of Jacob Loud, of Weymouth, and Lydia Joy, his wife. She was born at Weymouth, November 13, 1781, died April 30, 1833. She was a descendant of Elder William Brewster of the "Mayflower" and of the three revolutionary soldiers — her father, Jacob Loud (2), and her two grandfathers, Jacob Loud (1) and Nehemiah Joy, the latter a cousin of General Henry Clinton, commander of the English army at New York. Captain Andrew married (second) Deborah Whitmarsh, of Weymouth, no issue. He married (third) Zerviah Tower, widow of John Ager, who survived him a few years: no issue. Children, all by first wife, Polly Loud:

  1. Allen, born February 17, 1802; no issue.
  2. Bayley, born August 13, 1803; served in civil war with four of his sons.
  3. Nancy, born September 22, 1805, died 1905; married Warren Shaw.
  4. Minot, see forward.
  5. Edmund, born June 23, 1810, died March 2, 1874; his only son Edmund enlisted in Eighteenth Regiment, Massachusetts.
  6. Warren, born April 27, 1813, died without issue.
  7. John Warren, born April 1, 1815, died 1890; was sheriff of Suffolk county, Massachusetts, twenty-one years, 1856-1878.
  8. Noah Loud, born April 27, 1817, deceased.
  9. Henry, born May 27, 1818, died without issue.
  10. Andrew, born February 21, 1821, died without issue.
  11. Allen, born October 2, 1824, died without issue.
  12. Henry, born June 21, 1827, died 1905; his son, Colonel Henry A. Thomas, was postmaster of Boston, Massachusetts.

(V) Minot, third son and fourth child of Captain Andrew and Polly (Loud) Thomas was born at South Weymouth, Massachusetts, November 26, 1808, died June 25, 1848. He was a manufacturer of boots and shoes at South Weymouth, Massachusetts, and a leading citizen of that town and of his native state. He was much in public life; was justice of the peace and town moderator many years. In 1842-43 was representative to the Massachusetts state legislature; was appointed commissioner for the distribution of "Surplus money." He served for many years in the state militia, was adjutant upon the staff of General Appleton Howe, and in 1840 brigade quartermaster upon the staff of General Fisher A. Kingsbury. In politics he was a Democrat. He married, November 30, 1826, Nancy White, born at Hanson, October 22, 1811, died at Troy, New York, October 24, 1893, daughter of Bethuel and Soviah (Standish) White, granddaughter of Joel White, of Halifax, and great-granddaughter of Captain Joshua White, of Middleboro, Massachusetts, the two latter soldiers of the revolution. She was a descendant from Captain Miles Standish, John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, Peregrine White (the first white child born in Plymouth), George Soule and Richard Warren, all passengers in the "Mayflower" except Peregrine White. Children:

  1. William Henry, born in Pembroke, Massachusetts, November 6, 1827, died June 23, 1863; was postmaster of South Weymouth.
  2. Francis, of further mention.
  3. Soviah Standish, born August 30, 1832, died young;
  4. Bethuel White, born October 27, 1824, died young.
  5. Albert, born October 11, 1839; enlisted in civil war; served in Company H, 8th and 24th Massachusetts volunteer regiments; was in thirty battles, which he safely survived; was discharged with honor; died June, 1893.
  6. Soviah Standish (2), born, March 24, 1841; married Charles S. Woodruff, M. D.
  7. Minot Alvah, born July 5, 1842, died May 10, 1868; enlisted in the civil war: served in Company H, 12th Massachusetts Volunteers, and was honorably discharged, receiving the thanks of the commonwealth expressed in resolutions adopted by the legislature.

(VI) Francis, second son of Minot and Nancy (White) Thomas, was born at South Weymouth, Massachusetts, April 19, 1830, died at Brunswick, Rensselaer county, New York, August 9, 1909. In 1850 he engaged in the boot and shoe business in Cleveland, Ohio; returning east in 1855, he settled in Troy, New York, where he established an extensive tobacco business. In 1870 he removed to New York City, where he was a wholesaler of leaf tobacco until 1878, then returning to Troy, where he engaged in the manufacture of mineral paint. In 1901, after an active and successful business life of half a century, he retired from active effort. He had an active political life as well. Beginning life as a Democrat, he remained steadfast until the civil war, when after being a War Democrat and intensely loyal, he transferred his allegiance to the Republican party. He served under President Lincoln (by whom he was appointed) as inspector of tobacco, liquors and oils in his congressional district, and collector of the duties on such. In religion he was a Presbyterian. He married (first) Caroline Frances Connell, born in Leicester, Massachusetts, May 19, 1838, died in Troy, New York, May 5, 1863, daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth (Sprague) Connell, a descendant of the Mayflower passenger John Howland and of four revolutionary soldiers — Timothy Sprague, Jonathan Sargent, Benjamin Haynes, and Seth Hitchcock. Captain Joshua Sprague, her paternal grandfather, was a soldier of the war of 1812. Francis Thomas married (second) 1885, Anna W. Becket, who died in 1887. Children, all by first marriage:

  1. Frank Warner, of further mention.
  2. William Haynes, born October 17, 1866; graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, class 1890, degree of C. E.; removed to Springfield, Ohio, where he is in practice of his profession and treasurer of the Indianapolis Switch and Frog Company, of Springfield; married (first) 1891, Lucy Bixby, of Boston, died 1893; married (second) 1895, Emily Divenbeck Finch.
  3. Ernest Ralph, born January 30, 1876, died 1884.

(VII) Frank Warner, eldest son of Francis and Caroline Frances (Connell) Thomas, was born at Troy, New York, October 11, 1859. He was educated in the public schools of Troy and Brooklyn, New York; Troy Academy, and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and graduated from latter in 1880. He had in the meantime pursued a course of legal study, and in November, 1881, was admitted to the Rensselaer county bar, and began practice in Troy, where he has since been actively and successfully engaged in his profession. He is learned in the law, skilful in its application, and commands a satisfactory and satisfied clientage. In 1889 he was appointed special attorney for the United States in civil actions arising in Rensselaer county, a position he still holds (1910). He is a thoroughly well-informed man on many subjects outside the law, and has written a great deal on historical subjects, his utterances having weight, and are recognized as having value, as he treats his subject only after exhaustive research. He is a ready and pleasing speaker, much in demand as an after-dinner orator. He is a member of the historic Troy Citizens' Corps; Weymouth Historical Society; Sons of the Revolution, through the patriotic services of ten ancestors; Society of the Second War with Great Britain, in the right of his two great-grandfathers, of which he has been state president; Society of the War of 1812, of which he is now vice-president; Society of American Wars, and is national councillor of the American Institute of Civics. His club is the Pafraets Dael of Troy. He married, at Troy, July 15, 1885, Carrie Maud, daughter of Samuel S. and Mary A. (Knight) Green, of Chicago. She was born, July 3, 1860, and is a descendant of four revolutionary soldiers: Elkanah Barton, Ebenezer Barton, Simeon Green and Samuel Hilton, and is a descendant of Philip de la Noye, of early Plymouth days. Children:

  1. John Francis, born June 19, 1887; graduate of Williams College with the degree of A. B., class of 1910, now a law student.
  2. Frank, born and died June 16, 1889.
  3. Howard Standish, born August 6, 1893.
  4. William Minot, February 20, 1901.

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