Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Holbrook line: Thomas Blower 1587-1639 Immigrant

Can we call a man an immigrant if his daughter had come to Massachusetts a couple of years earlier?  I'm not sure how accurate the label is, but since he was the oldest ancestor of this family to arrive here, I'm calling him the immigrant. 

I don't have a lot to write about Thomas and most of what I've found was in The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England Volume I.  Thomas was baptized at Stanstead, Suffolk, England on April 23, 1587, the son of Thomas and Susan Vincent Blower.  He probably had brothers and sisters since his parents lived until at least 1597,but we don't have their names, and we don't know what the elder Thomas did for a living.

Thomas married Alice Frost, daughter of Edward and Thomasine Belgrave Frost on November 19, 1613 in Stanstead.  She was about seven years younger than he, having been baptized December 1, 1594.  Seven of the children were born in England, and the eighth, Pyam, was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  (Note:  Pyam is not a certainty but Anderson says there is no other logical parent for the child, except this couple.  It's also possible that he may have been adopted by this couple, formally or informally.)   The other children were Hannah, Alice, Joshua, Thomas, Mary, John, and a second Thomas.  Hannah, Joshua, and the first Thomas all died young, in England.

Thomas and possibly his wife and children on the Truelove, in 1635.  Alice had come over earlier,  Their first residence was Boston and they may have stayed there.  There is no mention of Thomas becoming a freeman; in fact, it appears that he had financial difficulties and his wife may have had legal difficulties (she was a midwife).  In 1640, a resident of Hitcham, Suffolk wrote to John Winthrop regarding. 24 pounds that he claimed Thomas Blower owed him.  Unfortunately, by this time Thomas was deceased, so we don't know if the gentleman ever collected his debt.  Thomas is believed to have died by September 9, 1639.

Reading between the lines, one wonders why Thomas came to Massachusetts.  Was it to be with his daughter, to escape economic pressures, or to help his wife evade legal problems?  Perhaps it was some combination of the the above, and perhaps Thomas hoped to make a fresh start in the New World.  We don't know how he supported himself or the family, but we do know that his wife remarried in 1640, to William Tilly.  With small children to support, she needed to find security quickly, and remarried quickly, as many widows did. 

Now that I know Alice Frost Blower became Alice Frost Blower Tilly, and that she was a midwife, I'm anxious to learn more about her.  Midwifes sometimes left records, and it would be fascinating to find hers! 

I'd like to find an occupation for Thomas.  Perhaps he didn't work and that is why Alice was a midwife, but if that's the case, I'd like to know what his physical limitations were.  I'd like to know whether he was a member of a church.  I'd like to know what dreams he had when coming to the New World, and whether or not they were fulfilled.  He's an interesting ancestor, since we know so little about him.

The line of descent is:

Thomas Blower-Alice Frost
Alice Blower-Richard Brackett
John Brackett-Hannah French
Hannah Bracket-Joseph Stannard
John Stannard-Hannah Jordan
John Stannard-Hannah Hatchett
Libbeus Stnnard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants