First Generation

1. Thomas AVERY1,2,3 was born about 1631.1 He died before September 1681 at the age of 50.1

This is not the same Thomas Avery as the Thomas Avery who sailed on the Mary & John and was made a freeman in Salem, Massachusetts, 1643, and described as a blacksmith. This assumption is found in the majority of databases but it is incorrect. The two Thomas Averys are very different men. There is further discussion of this error after citation of the records of the Thomas Avery of Portsmouth [originally Massachusetts, later New Hampshire]

Thomas is usually listed as being of Greenland, NH, but New Hampshire was a part of Massachusetts until 1679. By 1653, Portsmouth had actually absorbed the village of Greenland. Not until 1703 would Greenland become an incorporated town again. Thomas was named in Portsmouth by 1657 as a proprietor. In 1671 he served as the public executioner. The Inventory of his estate in September of 1681 showed both an old house and a new one. His wife Joan verified the estate He had sons Thomas [a Thomas Avery had a seat in the meeting-house of Portsmouth in 1693], possibly John, and Robert. Probably other children including a daughter Elizabeth, in court in 1692.

It's interesting that the following marriage is recorded in Totnes, County Devon, England.
1640 Thomas Every and Jonne Babbidge married 20 June.
NEH&G Register, 1914, Vol 68, p.57
A man married in 1640 could certainly have been in Portsmouth by 1657. He would not have likely been on the "Mary & John" in 1633. There really is no indication in the English records that this Thomas "Every" came to America, but it is a marriage of a Thomas to a Joan.

New Hampshire State Papers
Vol. XXXX, p.66-67
The first Avery mentioned in the Provincial papers is a Lawrence Avery. And this is the only time he appears in the 40 volumes. There is a bill from Richard Cutt of New England stating that he is indebted to Lawrence Avery for 11 pounds, 7 shillings & 10 pence, to be paid before the 20th of June next. signed 29 May 1651 by Richard Cutt and recorded 29 of the 3rd month [May] 1651.
Also recorded was an earlier statement when John Cutt acknowledged a debt of 11 pounds, 12 shillings, and 2 pence, to be paid half in money and the other half in commodities before Aug 30th next, signed 7 Jul 1650. This was also recorded on the 29th of the 3rd month of 1651.

From Essex Institute, Historical Collections, Vol. XL, January 1904, "The Avery Family of Greenland, N.H., by William H. Manning, p.89f
From Brewster's Portsmouth, p.28 - Thomas Avery was a landholder in 1657 at Portsmouth
From Hackett's First Thirty Pages of the Town Books, p.38 - Thomas Avery was taxed for support of the church.

Earliest mention I've found of Thomas Avery
New Hampshire State Papers
Court in Dover. 18th 4th m. [June] 1659
Thomas Every plaintiff against Jno Hall defendant in an action of ye Case for taking away a parcell of pipe staves & deteining of them. Withdrawen.
He continued to appear in the courts.
Presentments for Portsmouth Court 1660 4th m. [June] 1660
We Present Thos. Everie for being in Drincke on the Lords day & for his unsivell [uncivil] carriage bateing [beating] John Webstares quart pott against his owne head being denied Drinck by John Webster.
Confest. sentence 3sh 4p drinking & 5sh brack saboth [breaking the sabbath].
p.524 [Court Papers, Vol. 1]
The constable was ordered to attach the bodys of Francis Gray, Thomas Avery, & Jno PUttle & take bond of them to the value of five "pownds" apiece for appearance at the Court.
The attachment was served upon Tho: Averys Cow the 19th December 1666 by John Partridge, Constable
Grand Jury presentments the 29th March 1670
Thomas Avory and Sarah Shurband were witnesses in the case of Henry Shurband & John Kenniston for fighting.
Presentments given by Grand Jury 28 Jun 1671
Thomas Avery plaintiff against Phillip Lewis defendant in an action of trespass upon the case for throwing down part of the fence of his Corn field whereby 3 acres of his Indian Corn is quite destroyed.
Jury finds for the plaintiff 11£ damages & costs. Defendant appealed to Court of Assistance.
Court of adjournment 1 Jul 1671
Thomas Avery appoynted by this court to be executioner for this Countie & to be allowed 5sh per day for his attendance during the Courts Sitting & halfe a Crawn a pecce for every one he executes his office one to be pd by the Tressr of ye Countie.

The North Church [Congregational] of Portsmouth was founded in 1671. At its founding, a cemetery for Greenland was set aside on a knoll overlooking the Winnicut River, "joining to Thomas Avery's and Leonard Week's land".

New Hampshire State Papers
County Court sitting at Portsmouth 25 Jun 1672
Phillip Lewis plaintiff against Thomas Avery defendant in action of the Case for felling of trees & planting his Land & fencing in ye same without his Leave wherein the title is intended. Withdrawen.
p.284 ...not dated but prob 1672
Tho: Avery presented for being drunke was owned by him. The Court sentence him to pay a fine of 10sh & fees.
Jun 1678
Presentments of Dover & Portsmouth
We pres: Thos: Every & Christiver Kenison for Drinking & fighting in A Saterday Night. Witnes Leonard Weeks at Greneland, bound in 40sh a peece to appear at ye next Court of Associates
p.374 ...not dated but just prior to Court of 7 Jun 1681
Court orders an attachment be Issued out for Tho: Avery to Answr his presentment.
p.375 7 Jun 1681
Jno. Cotten administr. to Wm Cotten plaintiff agt. Tho: Avery in an action of debt of 17sh ye defent owned ye debt and acknowledged a Judgmt of 17sh & costs.
p.377 Continuation of Court of 7 Jun 1681
Thos: Avery being attached to Answr his prsent & departing without Leave for contempt is fined 10sh & Math: Haynes that was bound for him, court declairs his bond forfeit & gives him Like Liberties as Jos: Hall above has. [Joseph Hall in the previous entry was also fined 10 sh and his bond forfeited but given until the first Wednesday of Sept next]

New Hampshire State Papers:
Vol 19, p.680
Proceedings of President and Council
In Court
Sept 7, 1681
Tho. Avery. for striking and wounding Will Cate & breach of ye peace Sentenced to pay 20sh fine to ye Treasurer, ye cure of ye said Cate & costs & Fees, or stand committed etc.
Joan Avery, for being drunk, Ordered to sit in ye stocks one hour or redeem by paying 5sh in mony (& fees) or stand committed. She had leav to redeem and pay ye five shillings.

New Hampshire State Papers: Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire
Vol. 1 1635-1717
State Papers Series, Vol. 31; Rumford Printing Co. 1907
Inventory of the estate of Thomas Avery, Sept. 1681; taken by Walter Neal Leavitt and Samuel Haines, Jr.; amount in real estate and live stock £112.12.0; other articles not valued: attested by Joan Avery Nov 1, 1681

New Hampshire State Papers
Quarter Court, Portsmouth 6 Jun 1682
Edward Cate having attached the widdow Avery to this Court & not entering his action she is allowed 2 days for her attendance 4sh & Leon: Weekes having attached a Cow of hers to the suit & putting it into the hands of sd Cate 3 mos. since which is to her damage, the Court orders the sd Weekes, Constable, to cause her Cow to be returned to her & pay her 5sh for the want of her.


The following information deals with other Averys, including the records of the Thomas Avery of Salem who came on the "Mary & John". I believe none of these reviewed below have any direct connection to Thomas Avery of Portsmouth, NH. I have placed them here for reference, and also to illustrate many of the places in print this wrong connection has been perpetuated.

Most Avery databases state that he "was a blacksmith and became a freeman at Salem Massachusetts in 1643. He may have been the Thomas Avery listed on the passenger list of the ship "Mary & John" which departed from Southampton, England in 1633. He was noted as bound for Salem, MA". I don't know what proof exists that this Thomas Avery is the same as the Thomas Avery in Portsmouth.
And in fact the book Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Vol I, A-B has an article on the Thomas Avery of Salem and states that he is "not the Thomas Avery of Portsmouth whose widow was named Joan, with whom Torrey has confused him." So the mix-up between the two Thomas Averys started very long ago.

The ship "Mary and John" made five voyages from England to America - none shown in 1633. The "passenger list" for the Mary and John notes that it sailed in 1630 - there was no official list, but there have been attempts to compile one.. It departed from Plymouth, England and landed at Nantucket, MA. See the following website:
The date for the sailing quoted as 1634 is shown one place as March 24, 1633/4, London. This was Old Style dating when March 25th began the new year so the date should read as Mar 24, 1633.
Listed as passengers Thomas Avery bound for Salem, also Thomas Savery & William Savery bound for Plymouth - interesting play on names.
The Mary and John, under the supervision of Robert Sayres, Master,
sailed to New England from Southampton on March 24, 1634, but the arrival
was not recorded. Here again is confusion over the date. But the website also states that the ship was in harbor at Whitehall and ready for sailing in February of 1633, so by old style dating it apparently left on the last day of 1633, arriving in New England in 1634.

The Great Migration Newletter, Vol. 17, No. 2, Apr-Jun 2008
"Mary & John of Southampton, 1634"
States that a passenger list for the Mary & John sailing from Southampton, was prepared on 24 Mar 1633/4 and 26 Mar 1634. It contained only the names of the males who had taken the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy implying that they were at least age sixteen. There were 56 names, but two men were left behind to sail on a later vessel. Sixteen of the men on the list appear in New England records within a year of arrival and are easily identified with the passengers of 1634. A Thomas Avery IS on this list. He was admitted to Salem church 30 Sep 1638, became a freeman in Salem 28 Feb 1642/3.

There is a deed in Salem, 10 Mar 1657, and Thomas Avery's wife was named Susanna, not Joan. Still Another red flag as to whether or not the Thomas in Salem and the Thomas in Portsmouth can be the same man is that Thomas of Portsmouth is said to have already been a landholder in Portsmouth by 1657.

The Averell-Averill-Avery Family: a Record of the Descendants of Will Averell of Ipswich, Mass. by Clara Arlette Avery, publisher unknown, date 190?, has brief notes about the New Hampshire line. She notes that by tradition "two brothers" landed in Salem, one calling himself Avery and the other Averill. The only man in early Salem of either name was Thomas Avery. [not true - there were others] He removed to Portsmouth, N.H. and was the progenitor of the Portsmouth Averys. No indication of how she knew this Thomas of Salem and later Portsmouth was the same man. On p.75, the author notes that Thomas Avery was a blacksmith and appeared in the Salem records as early as 1637 - this is possibly the Thomas Avery listed on the passenger list of the "Mary & John". In the Essex Court Records, Vols. 1-4, p.196. Tomes Averi of Salem was a witness in a case [author didn't give the date]. P. 205 of the court records is the will of Rebecca Bacon, widow of William Bacon of Salem, 9th month, 1655. She appointed brothers Joseph Boys, Thomas Avery & Nathl. Felton as Overseers. Son Isaac was under age but was made sole executor, assisted by Robert Buffum, also referred to as a Brother. She also names cousins [probably nieces & nephews in this time frame], sisters to include Sister Buffum, Sister Southwick, & Sister Avery and a sister Judith in Old England [Then in parenthesis, the author states that the wife of Thomas Avery is Susanna - which does not agree with the Joan that settled his estate in 1681. She doesn't say how she knows this] The terms "brother" and "sister" in this time frame could have referred to in-laws or church members, etc. so more research would be needed regarding all the names given. Essex County Court Records have reference to litigation over the inheritance of one Ann Potter and Thomas Avery of Salem is mentioned as if related to Ann's family - again there is not a direct quote from the records or a date. [Actually a transcript of Rebecca Bacon's will named her "cousin Anne Potter".] In Old Ipswich Records among the Essex County Records, Vol. 16, p.44, Widow Woodmansee's Thirds are involved in extensive controversy and the name of Thomas Avery of Salem appears in this case - no hint of exactly why his name appears or the date of these proceedings. Meeting House Green, article by a Mr. Waters names some of the Salem Quakers imprisoned at Ipswich 19 Oct 1658 and names Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra his wife and Joshua Buffum - all named in the Will of Rebecca Bacon [No, the will says sister Southwick and names sister Buffam and brother Robert Buffam - doesn't have those names at all] But by 1657 Thomas Avery was a resident of Portsmouth and there is no other indication that he was Quaker except his name in association in the Bacon will. On p.97 of the Averill book, the author states that Thomas Avery of Salem & Portsmouth had died in 1681. She lists several references to a Thomas Averill of Ipswich in the Essex County Court papers after the date of 1657 - believing that he was a son of William Averell of Ipswich. Caution would have to be taken in researching these records - the names Avery/Averell seem to be used interchangebly.

A complete transcription of Rebecca Bacon's will is reprinted in Records & Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts; Vol. 1, 1636-1656.
Essex Institute, Salem, MA 1911; p.411-13 She was a widow living in Salem. It was dated 23:1: 1655 and proved 19:9:1655. Her son Isaac Bacon was to be executor with Robert Buffam [called brother] assisting Isaac. Cousins Ann Potter & Richard Cherlcraft received land and livestock, and some of her household furnishings. They were to have half the profit from the and land toward maintaining themselves until Isaac comes of age - Richard to be at Anne's disposing. If Isaac died, the cousins would receive the whole estate - or if either of them died, the other would get the share. If all three died, then the estate to return to the town. She gave articles of clothing to her sister Buffam [presumably wife of Robert], sister Boys [Boyce, possibly wife of Joseph Boyce who aided in the taking of her inventory], sister Southwick, and sister Avery [presumably wife of Thomas who was one of the overseers] & Hornis. The rest of wearing apparel to cousin Anne to give to Abigail what she sees fit. Brother Robert Buffam is to dwell in the house and Isaac to live with him. She wanted to dispose of an acre for the use of Ann Potter until Isaac comes to age. Overseers to be brother Jouise [Joseph?] Boys and Brother Thomas Avery, and Brother Nathaniel Felton. There was a sister Judith in old England to whom she owed a debt that was to be paid. Cousin Jorg Bedell [George Beadle] was to receive one of the swords and some of the books. Wit: Henry Trask & George Beadle.
Her Inventory was taken 10 Jul 1655 by Thomas Gardner Sr, and Joseph Boyce; sworn to by Robt. Buffum and is also reprinted in the book. It was considerable for the times.

The Records of the First Church in Salem, Massachusetts
Edited by Richard D. Pierce, Essex Institute; Salem, MA 1974
"A Catalogue of the names of those persons that are joined in full Comunyon"
1637 30th day; 7th mo
Thomas Avery removed
[the words in italics were added at some later time in a different hand….]

Although the court records of Essex County indicate the spelling Averill as often as Avery, the deed book had only Averys.
This is a deed showing Thomas Avery's wife as Susanna, and it coincides with the date he is said to have left and gone to Portsmouth.
Essex County Deeds 1639-1678
Abstracts of Volumes 1-4, Copy Books, Essex Co, Massachusetts
Essex Soc. Of Genealogists, Inc.; Heritage Books, 2003
DB 1: 92 Thomas Avery of Salem [blacksmith] with Susanna his wife, granted to George Corwin [merchant] his dwelling house, shop, barn or other outhouses thereto belonging, with 16 acres of upland & 6 acres of meadow, all which upland & meadow except 1 acre of meadow is bounded by the land of John Sutherick on the North & land of Thomas Goldthwait formerly Edward Harnet Sr's on the E and land of Brigett Giles on the W & Brooksby River running through said meadow. The other acre of meadow is between the meadow land of Brigett Giles & Thomas Goldthwait, near the dwelling house of Samuel Verry, higher in the river, as by deed dated 10 Mar 1657/8.
Recorded 18: 1 mo: 1657/8
DB 4:370 10 Nov 1671 Bridget Giles, widow of Salem, granted to son Eliezer Giles, husbandman, of Salem, for natural affection about 20 acres formerly belonging to her husband Edward Giles, dec'd, bounded on the E by land of Capt George Corwin, which he bought of Thomas Avery & extending both side of the brook upwards to the farther corner of her son John Giles' now dwelling house, N by land of John King & said John Giles, W by land of sd John Giles, S by the Common. Signed: Bridget (x) Giles.
Ack. 29: 5 mo: 1675 Wit: Thomas Coldum and Timothy W
Recorded 20 Mar 1675

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts
Vol. I 1636-1656
Essex Institute, Salem, MA 1911
Feb 1642/43 Salem 28: 12: 1642 p.50 Thomas Avery made freeman.
May 1649 Court at Ipswich p.168 Will. Avery Jr, Thomas Avery, John Aniball & Thos Rolinson Sr fined for not watching, being warned. [Notice the presence of a William Avery Jr. Was this perhaps the first record of the Thomas Averill who later seems to be of Ipswich?]]
Which Thomas ....Avery or Averill?
Nov 1655 p.410 Imperfect will of George Bridgman presented, Salem Court. One of the witnesses was Tomes Averi.
This was the same Court 29: 9: 1655 when the will of Mrs. Rebecca Bacon was proved by George Bedle & Henry Trask. p.411-413
Jun 1656 p.428 Ezekiell Wathen, apprentice to Thomas Avery, discharged, being 20 years old. [Vol. 154, p.340, July 2000, of the New England Historical & Genealogical Record has an article on the Wathens and quotes that on 27 Aug 1644, shortly after the death of his widowed mother Margery, the Salem Qrtrly Court ordered Ezekiel be committed to Thomas "Abree" as an apprentice until he became twenty years old, if his master lived that long. 30 Dec 1647, the Court ordered 1/4 of the house of the widow Wathen and 1/4 of one year's rent be paid to Avery for the use of Ezekiel Wathen. A footnote suggests that mary of the passengers on the sailing of the Mary & John in Mar 1633/4 were from Wiltshire & the West County and Avery may have been previously acquainted with the Wathen family. Another footnote states that family legend considered Avery a harsh master who neglected Ezekiel's education. Later documents show that all members of Ezekiel's signed with their "marks".]

By 1657, Thomas is said to have been a resident of Portsmouth which would seem to indicate the following records in Salem are of a Thomas Averill, a completely different man, which means some of the above records could also be this different Thomas. The names Avery/Averill seem to have been used indiscriminately in the Essex records.
Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts
Vol II 1656-1662
Essex Institute, Salem, MA 1911
Mar 1657 p.21 Thomas Averill deposed that he heard Goodman Cummins acknowledge he owed 5.2.6 to Zerobabell Phillips for his son Isaac, to be paid in wheat. Thomas Averill deposed that before Zerobabell came to answer before Mr. Symonds, Robert Crose met Zerobabell and the latter had given power of attorney to Corporal Androse, etc.
Jul 1658 p.109 Summons for Thomas Avery & Samuel Shaddock for absenting themselves from public worship
Dec 1658 p.137 Writ: John Andrews v. Thomas Averill for debt. Dated 19:9:1657; signed by Robert Lord for the Court, served by Edward Browne of Ipswich, by attachment of wheat.
Mar 1659 p.138 Thomas Averill deposed that at last lecture day at Ipswich, Corporal Andrews desired him to see the heifer at Mr. Baker's house. Sworn 27 Dec 1658.

There is evidence of other Averys or Averills in Salem from the court records in Essex County during this same time. These records include the surname Ivory - one William Ivory had lived in Linn. There was a Christopher Avery of Gloster found in Salem, circa 1643-55. He was living apart from his wife who was still in England. And there was a James, possibly his kinsman as they lived in the same place - James was made a freeman in Gloster. There was William Avery, apparently both a Jr and Sr, present in the Salem area, or at least the area covered by the Court at Essex [they seem to have been from Ipswich], and William Avery Jr is mentioned once in conjunction with Thomas Avery, but they have both appeared in other records as Averill. Wives or daughters names are mentioned in the records - an Abigail and a Sarah Averill. The younger William Averill was a carpenter. There was a Thomas and a John in this group, too. This family continued in the records, after the mid 1660's appearing in Topsfield, long after Thomas Avery and sons had gone to Portsmouth,

The Groton Avery Clan
Vol 1
By Elroy McKendree Avery & Catharine Hitchcock (Tilden) Avery
Cleveland, 1912
American Avery Clans
The Portsmouth Branch [descendants of Thomas Avery]
Thomas Avery, blacksmith, came to America in the “John and Mary” in 1633. He was first at Salem, Mass. And afterwards at Portsmouth, N.H. His descendants are numerous in New Hampshire. Some of his descendants are supposed to have been been at Townsend, Mass. One of these, Robert, left a large family. No history of this family has been written, though much material has been collected in searching for records of other Averys.
Again, there was nothing to indicate why the Thomas Avery in Portsvmouth is believed to be the same as Thomas Avery of Salem - it seems to be a simple assumption without any documentary proof..

The Ipswich Branch [descendants of William Averell or Averill, called Avery]
This William Avery first appears in Ipswich Mass in 1637. His will signed Will Averell, is dated 1653. His wife's name was Abigail; they had seven children. His son William had ten sons. Much difficulty has been experienced in tracing this family owing to the various spellings of the name by descendants. Many Averys of Maine and NY and nearly all Averells and Averills of the U.S. are descendants of this William. There has been a tradition among the Groton Averys that their Christopher Avery had a brother William in Massachusetts. It was easily proved that William Avery of Dedham could not have been a brother, but it is possible that Christopher of Groton and William of Ipswich were akin.

Thomas AVERY and Joan\Jane [AVERY] were married.1 Joan\Jane [AVERY]1 was born (date unknown).

New Hampshire State Papers:
Vol 19, p.680
Proceedings of President and Council
In Court
Sept 7, 1681
Tho. Avery. for striking and wounding Will Cate & breach of ye peace Sentenced to pay 20sh fine to ye Treasurer, ye cure of ye said Cate & costs & Fees, or stand committed etc.
Joan Avery, for being drunk, Ordered to sit in ye stocks one hour or redeem by paying 5sh in mony (& fees) or stand committed. She had leav to redeem and pay ye five shillings.

After the settling of Thomas Avery's estate, the Cates must have still tried to collect.
New Hampshire State Papers
Quarter Court, Portsmouth 6 Jun 1682
Edward Cate having attached the widdow Avery to this Court & not entering his action she is allowed 2 days for her attendance 4sh & Leon: Weekes having attached a Cow of hers to the suit & putting it into the hands of sd Cate 3 mos. since which is to her damage, the Court orders the sd Weekes, Constable, to cause her Cow to be returned to her & pay her 5sh for the want of her.

"In 1682 (Richard) was in Hampton jail for calling himself married to widow Jane Avery of Greenland, although he had a wife in Rhode Island, not seen in 4 years and married to another man."
In one place the Genealogical Dictionary stated that Joan Avery, widow of Thomas Avery probably married a Richard Andrews. In another place his name was given as Richard Ambrose.

Thomas AVERY and Joan\Jane [AVERY] had the following children:



Thomas AVERY.