Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Bird 1593-1662, Immigrant

The dates I've used in the title of this are not ones I necessarily put much credence in.  Most sources say Thomas was born about 1600 in England, and that he died in 1662 in Hartford, Connecticut.  I've been able to find a few bits and pieces of information about Thomas but not nearly as much as I'd like, and some of those bits and pieces don't necessarily belong to this man.  I've tried to weed out the obviously wrong ones. 

So, Thomas was born in England and died in Hartford, Connecticut.  There is a Thomas Bird who was baptized November 5, 1593 in St Andrew Parish, Enfield Borough, London, England. He was the child of Robert and (from a different, undocumented source) possibly Amy.  This may be our Thomas although 1593 is several years away from "about 1600".  The jury is still out, as far as I'm concerned, as other researchers feel strongly that he came from the area of Braintree, Essex. We don't have birth dates for the children (Hannah, James, Joseph, Mary) but based on their marriage dates, they were probably born in the 1620's, so Thomas's first marriage would have taken place there, too.  I've seen various names for this first wife put forth but they are all just speculation at this point.  We do know he married Mary Belden as a subsequent wife, about 1660, in Hartford, Ct.. 

Thomas and his family were in Hartford by 1639, when he was granted land there.  He also purchased land from Thomas Judd in 1644.  There is apparently no mention of him in church records, but it is likely he was a Puritan, one who possibly stayed out of trouble with both the church and the courts.  His name is notable more for the lack of records than for the records currently available. 

We don't know when his wife died, but Thomas remarried just about two years before his own death, which was probably in July of 1662.  His inventory was presented on August 10, 1662 and showed a total estate of 149 -05-10.  This was not a large estate but it wasn't poverty level.  I'm still looking to find more about the inventory.  Son Joseph was left the dwelling place and land, but I don't know if that was all of the land or just the land the dwelling was on.  I also don't know if there was more than one piece of land at the time of Thomas's death. 

As is often the case, there is much not known about this immigrant ancestor, who by most standards was not an "illustrious" man.  But he was here, he supported the culture of the area, he probably paid his taxes and tithes, and probably served in the military, and he supported his family.  Those were the things that the many "ordinary" men did, and we can be proud of each of his actions.  I'd certainly like to learn more about him!

The line of descent is:

Thomas Bird-unknown first wife
James Bird-Lydia Steele
Rebecca Bird-Samuel Lamb
Samuel Lamb-Martha Stebbins
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants