The Ancestry of Hattie E. J. Bruce - the Thomas Read Family


THOMAS READ [#312], bap. Colchester, Essex, England 19 Oct 1627, d. Sudbury, MA 13 Sep 1701,[1/322] m(1) probably England KATHERINE ____, d. Sudbury 25[1] 26 Sep 1677,[6/322] m(2) Sudbury 7 Mar 1677-8 Mary (____) Wood, m(3) Sudbury 29 Dec 1689 Arabella Thong, d. Sudbury 29 Apr 1717.[6/322]

Thomas Read was born in Colchester, Essex, England and was baptised there in the St. Nicholas parish on 19 Oct 1627.[1/175] He was the son of Thomas and Rachel Read as evidenced by his father's will: "In the name of God, Amen. I Thomas Read of Colchester, in the County of Essex, carpenter ... make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament ... FIRST. I give the house in which I now live in the parish of Alsaints in Colchester to Thomas Read, my sonne, now liveing in new England in America. To hold to him and the heirs of his body forever if he lives [and] comes over unto England to enjoye itt. And in case he shall not bee living to come over to enjoye it then my will and mynd is that the same shall bee sold by my Executors to the best advantage that may bee. And the moneyes thereof arising to be cairfully conveyed to him to be frugally layed out there in new England to purchase land or an Annuity for him and his wife for life ... More I give to my said sonne, Thomas Read, the somme of seaventy pounds to be paid him by my Executors within twelve months after my decease ...".[1/173]

The father's will further contains mention of "my sonne-in-law Daniel Bacon, now living in new England in America and Mary, his wife, my daughter". This reference is important as Thomas Read of Sudbury in his will of 1701 mentioned his cousin (i.e. nephew) John Bacon of Watertown. Thus there is firm evidence connecting Thomas Read of Colchester with his son Thomas of Sudbury. Thomas of Colchester died between 13 Jul 1665 and 3 Mar 1665-6, having been born there about 1595 and having married about 1618 Rachel, parentage unknown.[1/173,178]

Thomas Read was not in this country prior to 1640 as the Register of Admissions to the Royal Grammar School of Colchester records "Thomas Reade, eldest son of Thomas Reade Carpenter Born in St. Nicholas, Colchester. In his 12th year. Admitted March 1639-0". There was a Thomas Read, listed 24 Oct 1644, as an apprentice to Thomas King of Watertown, with two years unexpired time. This could be Thomas Read the ancestor but was more probably an older man as apprenticeships rarely expired before the apprentice reached the age of twenty-one.[1/176] A more detailed search of the records might provide proof one way or the other.

It is certain however that Thomas Read was in Sudbury by 1654. How much sooner he came is uncertain. The details regarding some land in Lanham, which he acquired from his kinsman Reverend Edmund Browne, suggest that he married in England and came over during the years between 1650 and 1653. Lanham was a hamlet in Sudbury on the west side of the river. Just how Thomas was connected with Rev. Browne is not shown, but it is thought that he was a nephew or nephew-in-law. In Middlesex County Deed 12:6 "Thomas Read of Sudbury ... with ye free & voluntary consent of Katherine his wife ... confirm unto Said Mathew Gibbs ... one third part of farm wch ye said Thomas Read bought of Edmund Brown Pastor of ye Church of Christ in Sudbury ..." This deed was dated 28 Sep 1661. That Katherine joined in the deed and did not merely release her dower may mean that she had an interest. This could be because the Reads received the land from her family.[1/176]

The following record shows a family connection between Thomas Read and Reverend Browne and also shows the approximate timing of the purchase. "The Deposition of Peter King aged about seventy two years do testify that I heard Mr Edmund Browne, Pastor of the church of Sudbury ... Several times Say that he had sold his Land at Lanham unto his cousin Thomas Read of Sudbury and had received money in old England Unto the said Browns satisfaction. Also Jonathan Stanap, aged about Sixty Six years living with the abovesaid Mr Edmund Browne about the same time as he sold his Land in Lannam to Thomas Read of Sudbury do testify the same as Mr Peter King abovesd hath done and Said Thomas Read has been in possession of said Land for upwards of forty years - Sworn March 29, 1699".[1/.1767]

"Capt Samuel How testifieth that Mr Edmund Brown Pastor of the Church of Sudbury did Say to Capt Edmund Goodenow and my Selfe That the above named Thomas Read's father had paid him in England for his lands at Lannum and a pair of oxen fifty pounds which Said Brown Spake to us upward of thirty years Since ..." Sworn March 29, 1699.[1/177][3/43:176]

The word cousin is very loosely applied in the old records. It is used not only in its present sense, but also as niece, nephew, or kinsman and has even been used to mean grandchild. This sale was about the time of Thomas Read's marriage, as the land had been his for over forty years in 1699. As the money was paid in England, it seems some arrangement of dowry or allowance to either Thomas or Katherine may be a possibility.

Thomas returned to England as he was there in January 1666-7 to receive his share of his father's estate. From a bill by his brother "Isaac Reade of Wrabness, Co. Essex, Clerk" it appears Thomas was not satisfied with his share. The will mentioned that the residue of the estate should go to "my children, Thomas Read, Isaac Read, and Rachel Read to be equally shared and parted amongst them". Isaac claims, however, that "he left out of love to complainant (i.e. Isaac) and his children all the residue of his estate to complainant and his heirs".[1/176]

Thomas was mentioned in "An Accompt of Losse Susteined by Severall Inhabitants of ye towne of Sudbury by ye Indian Enemy ye 21th Aprill 1676". Of a total loss of 2707 pounds, Thomas Read, who was last on the list, had a loss of three pounds.[5/219] It is not stated what the loss entailed. A town record dated 26 Mar 1677 ordered Peter King, Thomas Read, Sr., John Goodenow, John Smith, and Joseph Freeman to have liberty granted them to build a sawmill upon Hop Brook above Mr. Peter Noyes' mill.[4/18]

In Thomas' will, dated 9 Sep 1701 and witnessed by James Sherman, Samuel How, and Edmund Bowker, are mentioned "beloved wife Arabella Read", "only Son Thomas Read", "youngest son of my above-named Thomas", and "cousin John Bacon of Watertown".[2/10:364] Given the times, Arabella left an amazing will dated 20 Apr 1716. She gave freedom to Frank, her negro maid servant. What's more, she gave the servant all of her moveable estate and made her sole executrix.

REF: [1] The Stevens-Miller Ancestry - Winifred Lovering Holman,
     [2] Middlesex County Probate (First Series Docket 18620)
     [3] Middlesex County Deeds
     [4] The Annals of Sudbury, Wayland, and Maynard - Reverend Alfred
         S. Hudson, 1891
     [5] The New England Historic Genealogical Register, 1881
     [6] Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850,
         New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1903


1. Thomas, b. prob. Sudbury, MA abt. 1653, d. after 1726,
   m. 30 May 1677 Mary Goodrich, b. Wethersfield, CT 15 Dec
   1650, d. Sudbury 2 Oct 1724[6/322]

THOMAS READ [#156], b. probably Sudbury, MA abt. 1653, d. probably Oxford, MA after 1726, m. Sudbury, MA 30 May 1677 MARY GOODRICH (dau. of John Goodrich and Elizabeth), b. Wethersfield, CT 15 Dec 1650, d. Sudbury 2 Oct 1724.[2/322]

Little can be found of this Thomas Read. In 1689 his father for "the naturall affection" which he bore to his "Loving and only Son Thomas Read Junr" of Sudbury, gave him several pieces of land and meadow in Sudbury, one of which he had bought from Ensign Thomas Noyes and Peter Noyes and one which his wife Katherine had bought from the town of Sudbury. On 22 May 1711 Thomas gave to his "beloved friend and Cousin [i.e. his son's father-in-law] Samuel Biglo liveing ... in ... Marlborough" land in Glastonbury, CT, given to him by his father-in-law, John Goodrich. On 31 Jan 1723-4 Thomas Read, Sr., of Sudbury, sold to his son Joseph, for 200 pounds, the homestead upon which he, Thomas Sr., and his wife Mary then dwelt. 30 Nov 1726 Thomas Read Sr. and his son Joseph Read, for 400 pounds, sold to Thomas Sanderson the land where he and the said Joseph were then living. Sarah, the wife of Joseph, released her dower.[1/179]

Mary died between the above mentioned dates, and it is evident that Thomas made his home with his youngest son, Joseph. The latter went to Leicester, where he had two children born in 1727 and 1729, then went to Oxford and had a child born there in 1731. Joseph died that December. Presumably Thomas went with Joseph to both these places, and the tradition is that he died in Oxford about 1733, although his death does not appear on the published Oxford records. Oxford records, however don't include gravestone records as many towns do. A trip to the early Oxford burying ground may help provide the information. No will or administration of his estate appears in the Worcester Probate Index, but there may be a settlement of his estate in the deeds of that county.[1/179]

REF: [1] The Stevens-Miller Ancestry - Winifred Lovering Holman,
     [2] Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850,
         New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1903


1. Thomas, b. Sudbury, MA 22 Mar 1677-8, d. Sudbury 1 May
   1755, m(1) Watertown, MA 3 Dec 1701 Mary (Bigelow)
   Bruce, b. Watertown 12 Sep 1677, d. Sudbury 21 Feb 1707-8,[2/322]
   m(2) Sudbury 1 Jul 1708 Abigail Bacon, b. Watertown abt. 1685,
   d. before 1755
2. Mary, b. Sudbury 5 Jan 167980,[2/117] m. 13 Oct 1701 Joseph
3. Rachel, b. Sudbury 19 Jun 1682, m. 1704 Isaac Heath
4. Nathaniel, b. Sudbury 16 Aug 1684, may have died young
5. Elizabeth, b. Sudbury 16 Nov 1687, m. 28 Dec 1709 Nathaniel
6. Hannah, b. Sudbury 17 Oct 1689, d. Sudbury 3 Aug 1691[2/322]
7. Joseph, b. abt. 1695, d. Oxford, MA 30 Dec 1731, m. 26 Nov.
   1723 Sarah Rice

THOMAS READ [#78], b. Sudbury, MA 22 Mar 1677-8, d. Sudbury 1 May 1755, m(1) Watertown, MA 3 Dec 1701 MARY (BIGELOW) Bruce (dau. of Samuel Bigelow and Mary Flagg), b. Watertown 12 Sep 1677, d. Sudbury 21 Feb 1707-8, m(2) Sudbury 1 Jul 1708 Abigail Bacon, b. Watertown abt. 1685, d. probably Sudbury before 1755. Mary Bigelow m(1) Watertown 2 Feb 1699 David Bruce (son of Thomas Bruce and Magdalen), b. abt. 1672, d. Marlborough, MA 22 Jul 1701.

39. Katherine Read
b. 31? Jan 1707

d. ?

78. Thomas Read
b. 22 Mar 1678 Sudbury, MA
d. 1 May 1755 Sudbury, MA
156. Thomas Read
b. c.1653 prob. Sudbury, MA d. after 1726
312. Thomas Read 1627-1701
313. Katherine ____ ?-1677
157. Mary Goodrich
b. 1650 Wethersfield, CT d. 1724 Sudbury, MA
314. John Goodrich ?-1680
315. Elizabeth ____ ?-1670
79. Mary Bigelow
b. 12 Sep 1677 Watertown, MA
d. 21 Feb 1708 Sudbury, MA
158. Samuel Bigelow
b. 1653 Watertown, MA d. Waltham, MA 1731
316. John Bigelow 1617-1703
317. Mary Warren 1624-1691
159. Mary Flagg
b. 1658 Watertown, MA d. 1720 Watertown, MA
318. Thomas Flagg 1621?-1698
319. Mary ____ c.1619-1703

Thomas Read received a good deal of his grand father's estate at the time of the latter's death. This fact may have been what kept him in Sudbury when his father and brother moved to Leicester. Thomas' first wife was Mary Bigelow, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Flagg) Bigelow. She was the widow of David Bruce, son of Thomas Bruce.

Thomas Read sold land to Joseph Parmenter on 15 Jun 1719. His wife Abigail released her dower. Thomas and Abigail mortgaged their farm of twenty five acres on 2 Sep 1740. Thomas left no will, and no administration was effected on his estate.[1/180]

Thomas and Mary Read's daughter Katherine was baptised in Sudbury on 16 Mar 1706-7.[2]

REF: [1] The Stevens-Miller Ancestry - Winifred Lovering Holman,
     [2] First Parish Records of Sudbury - Israel Loring, 1704

Children (by Mary):

1. Nathaniel, b. Sudbury, MA 6 Oct 1702, m. Phebe Lamb
2. Isaac, b. Sudbury 23 Feb 1704, m. 11 Feb 172930 Experience
3. Katherine, b. Sudbury, MA [31?] Jan 1706-7, m(1) Joseph Joslin,
   b. Marlborough, MA 23 Nov 1699, d. Westborough, MA 27 May
   1761, m(2) Westborough 3 May 1764 Israel Allen of Shrewsbury

Children (by Abigail):

4. Mary, b. Sudbury 1 May 1709, m. 10 Mar 1729-30 Samuel Burbank
5. Abigail, b. Sudbury 12 Feb 1710-1, m. 11 Mar 1742 Daniel
6. Daniel, b. Sudbury 19 May 1714, m. 13 Apr 1737 Rebecca Mead
7. Betty, b. Sudbury 16 Jun 1716, d. Fitzwilliam, NH 18 Mar
   1784, m(1) John Bent, m(2) Joshua Harrington
8. Lydia, b. Sudbury 20 Aug 1718, m. 1737 Edward Grout
9. Joseph, b. Sudbury 4 Dec 1722, m. 16 Jan 1748-9 Sarah Goodenow

Mary's Child (by David Bruce):

10. David Bruce, b. 20 Dec 1700, m(1) 20 Feb 1726-7 Mary Brigham,
   b. 27 Oct 1701, m(2) Hannah Pierce

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