Born: about 1605 in England
Spouses: Oliver Mellowes
02 (M): Joseph Makepeace (10)
Died: 1666 in Boston, Suffolk, MA
1595 – 1667
England Boston, Massachusetts
Tonight I want to tell you about one of our ancestors who came in the early days of colonial America and made important contributions to our beginnings.
Thomas Makepeace was born in England about 1595. The exact place and time of his birth is not known with certainty, but many researchers, after examining old church documents, seem to agree that he belongs to the line of Makepeaces from Burton Dasset in Warwickshire. Sometime before he came to America he probably moved to Bristol in Somerset, England and met his wife and also Wyllys, Saltonstall, Whiting, and Holyoke.
He arrived in the colonies between 1635 and 1637 and settled in Dorchester which was a Massachusetts Bay Colony village a few miles south of Boston. Our record says his first wife, Alice Brasier, died in England in 1638. So did he come without her? His eldest son inherited the home Thomas had in England and was living in it when Thomas died in 1667. Perhaps Alice was ill and stayed behind with her eldest son, while father and the other children came to America. Or, perhaps the 1638 date is wrong. Perhaps she died earlier and Thomas came after she died. Most of Thomas's children were with his first wife. Did he bring all his little children with him? We know that except for the eldest son, all the children ended up in America. In his will he leaves money to a kinswoman, Mary. Perhaps she came to America with him and helped him care for the children. Ester (sometimes written Hester and at least once Easter) was quite small, being born in 1634, and would have been a large amount of care for a man without a wife. The other children named in the will besides Thomas Jr., the one who inherited the English home, and Ester, are William, Hannah, Mary, and Waitawhile. All but Waitawhile are named in the will before Ester, and are undoubtedly children of Thomas and Alice. Waitawhile was possibly born from his second marriage. Or perhaps Alice did come to America with Thomas and Waitawhile was her daughter.
For some people there will be too much "perhaps" in this sketch. But I think what we don't know can be food for the imagination. It can also point to places where future research may shed light. In the meantime here are the things we do know about Thomas Makepeace:
All the following records are from the William Makepeace source unless otherwise indicated.
7 Sep 1637 - A meeting of Boston officials recorded, "It is agreed that Mr. Thomas Makepeace shall have a house plot and a garden plot."
25 Sep 1637 - The court says where the house and garden shall be located.
1638 - He became one of the original members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, a membership indicating he was a man of importance and wealth. Also, he had the title of "Mr." which indicates he was a man of some importance.
25 Mar 1639 in the Boston Record - "Mr. John Underhill hath surrendered unto Mr. Thomas Makepeace of Dorchester, his house in Boston, with an hundred acres of upland ground at Muddy River, and ten acres of meadow, or marsh ground there; and his share of woodlands in the islands, with a garden at the house, and another behind Mr. Parker's house, to the quantity of half an acre, and somewhat more; and, also, near half an acre upon the Fort Hill, for the sum of an hundred pounds."
13 Jan 1640 - Thomas was informed by the court that, "Because of his novile disposition they were weary of him unless he should reform." (Pope) This record seems to indicate that Thomas was an independent minded man. 1640 was long before our Bill of Rights guaranteed us the freedom of speech. Free thinking was not encouraged by the Pilgrims in The Massachusetts Bay Colony.
2 Jun 1641- in the Massachusetts Record, "Mr. John Oliver, Mr. Edward Alleyn, William Parks, are appointed to view and settle Mr. Makepeace his farm of 200 acres."
25 Jul 1641 - "Mrs. Elizabeth Makepeace, lately called Mrs. Elizabeth Mellowes, but now ye wife of Mr. Makepeace, of Dorchester, was granted . . . (a transfer of membership to the church in Dorchester.)" We don't know the exact date of Thomas and Elizabeth's marriage. We do know that Elizabeth had at least three small children that she brought with her to the marriage. She had previously been married to Oliver Mellowes, who had a marriage prior to his marriage to Elizabeth.. Thomas had 5 or 6 (I'm not positive about Waitawhile's mother). And then there were four children under 20 from Oliver's first marriage to Mary James. Did they come along with their step-mother? We don't know. We know Thomas was interested in their welfare. (See 22 May 1651 below.) With or without them, it made for quite a large houseful of children. He could well use that 100 acres plus that he had purchased in Boston.
1641 - Thomas gave all the rents and profits of Thompson's Island to the town of Dorchester for the support of free schools. This record tells us how highly Thomas valued education. It also indicates that he valued the common man, else why need education be free? Free education was not the norm in the world of 1641.
14 Jun 1641- Thomas was one of 5 proprietors of the Dover, New Hampshire, and Swampscott patents. Other proprietors were: George Wyllys, Robert Saltonstall, William Whiting, Edward Holyoke. On this date the five partners petitioned the "general Court" to have both patents and the jurisdiction of the people dwelling within the limits of these patents, come under the government of Massachusetts Bay Colony. The petition was granted. The land is actually in what is now New Hampshire. All of the proprietors, according to the Makepeace family history, came from either Bristol or Shrewsbury. This is a good clue to where Thomas was from. This description of "patent" and "proprietor" as they applied to Thomas comes from our cousin, Wayne Olsen. "I think the patent means a formal grant from the King of England allowing settlement of acreage in the new world. I suspect that it implies that Thomas was a privileged person in the upper class of society, especially considering the names of the other 4 proprietors he collaborated with. I think it also implies that he had money and bankrolled the sailing ship and support of the specific settlement. Being a proprietor means pretty much the same thing, I think, designating him as one of the founders or leaders of the settlement."
13 Jan 1649 - a Suffolk deed transferring 7 acres of land in Dorchester from Thomas Makepeace to Roger Williams.
11 Jul 1649 - a deed transferring 9 acres of land in Dorchester from Thomas Makepeace to Augustine Clement.
22 May 1651 - Thomas petitioned the General Court for the right to sell a house and land in Braintree for the benefit of the six children of Oliver Mellowes and gave security with the eldest son John to pay the others portions, which was granted.
2 Jun 1653 - a court decision regarding Thomas's son William. William was an apprentice to Mr. Hutchingson, a cooper. Mr. Hutchingson had apparently tried to take some sort of legal action against William. Thomas petitioned the court in his son's behalf and the court found, ". . . the judgment of the Commissioners Court, and the lawe, title Masters and Servants, doe declare, that the proceedings of Mr. Hutchingson in reference to William Makepeace, the apprentice, to bee wthout, and against lawe."
1654 - Thomas received pay from the Massachusetts Bay treasury for service in the "Narragansett Expedition." The Narragansett Indians were a small tribe of Indians that mainly occupied the islands to the south of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Look for Narragansett Bay on a map of Rhode Island. These Indians were supposed to be paying a tribute of Wampum to the Massachusetts Bay treasury. They didn't have enough wampum so in 1653 they stole it from the Montauk Indians who lived at the east end of Long Island. The colonists did not want war among the Indian tribes so they sent Thomas and some others down to try to settle the problem. They must have been successful because there was no major battles at that time. Perhaps Thomas was a friend of Roger Williams. You can see above in 1649 that Thomas had sold Roger land. Roger Williams started the colony of Rhode Island. He had respect for the Indians and so they had great respect for him.
12 Jun1854 - Thomas witnessed a deed in London. (Pope)
21 Jul 1854 - He witnessed a deed in Boston. (Pope) Travel between these two places seems to be getting faster.
Jan 1655 - A deed was registered and recorded by Deputy Governor, R. Bellingham.
2 Apr 1662 - Thomas is referred to in the abstract of a court file as, "Thomas Makepeace of Boston, aged nere 70 (seventy) years."
30 Jun 1666 - Thomas's will is dated. Here follow a summary of who got what in the will:
Names eldest son, Thomas, to whom he has previously given house and land in England.
Names son William - the house in Boston after the death of Thos's daughter Mary who is currently living there with her family. Also, William will own a debt of 3 pounds owed by Thomas Terry of Block Island. (Find Block Island south of Rhode Island.)
Names eldest daughter, Hannah, wife of Stephen Hoppin, of Thompson's Island - 3 pounds
Names daughter Mary, wife of Lawrence Willis-use of the house in Boston during her life. Also a debt owed by John Willis, Sr, of Bridgewater, and another owed by his son, John Willis, Jr., of Bridgewater.
Names daughter Ester, wife of John Browne of Marlborough - 3 pounds plus all the debts owed by John Browne
Names daughter Waitawhile, wife of Josiah Cooper, of Boston - 3 pounds
Names nine children of daughter Hannah Hoppin: Deliverance, John, Stephen, Hannah, Sarah, Thomas, Opportunity, Joseph, Benjamin - 10 pounds each, except that Stephen shall not get his until he reforms from his "wild and wasteful course."
Names five children of Browne: Elizabeth, Joseph, Sarah, Mary, John - 10 pounds each
Names two children of Cooper: Elizabeth and the unborn child of Waitawhile - 10 pounds each
Names kinswoman, Mary, wife of John Pearce of Rhode Island - 3 pounds
Names wife's 3 daughters - Martha, wife of Joseph Walters, Mary, wife of Emanuel Springfield in England, and Mary, wife of James Dennis of Boston - 50 shillings each.
Names son-in-law Abel Langley - 50 shillings
Names wife, Elizabeth - 1/3 of the whole before the other legacies are paid.
The remainder of the estate is to be divided into 3 parts. One part to wife Elizabeth, one part to daughter, Waitawhile, and one part to Josiah Cooper, her husband.
Wife Elizabeth, daughter Waitawhile, and son-in-law Cooper executors.
His will, dated Boston, June 30, 1666, is on record in the probate office in Boston.
The inventory of Thomas's Estate was dated 2 Mar 1667. He left an estate worth 291 pounds and 7 shillings which included one dwelling house and grounds worth 180 pounds. Do you think all those people and grandchildren in his will were able to receive what he wanted to leave for them?
And so we assume Thomas Makepeace died in Boston, Jan or Feb 1667.
So, dear children, what do you think of our ancestor, Thomas Makepeace? We don't know a great deal about him, but the little we do makes me think he was a good and solid citizen in the very early days of our country. He was a man of wealth but in at least one instance he used his wealth to benefit his whole community by providing the financing for free schools. He served his new government by trying to make peace among the Indian tribes. He was a man of independent opinions and not afraid to express them in a climate not always wanting to listen. He was a good father, supporting his son William at court, hoping to leave a legacy even to each of his grandchildren, marrying a woman with three children of her own plus four step-children, and in trying to see that his wife's step-children were provided for. And he had a wonderful name. If you want to learn the legend that went with his name, check out the notes with his daughter Ester. Woman didn't get to do much outside their homes in those days, so I gave the family legend to Ester.
Now here is how you are related to Thomas Makepeace. He was the father of Ester Makepeace. Ester was the mother of Elizabeth Browne. Elizabeth was the mother of Thomas Gustin. Thomas was the father of Thomas Gustin Jr. Thomas Gustin Jr. was the father of Elizabeth Gustin. Elizabeth Gustin was the mother of Rodolphus Derrick. (Do you remember him? He wrote a journal of his year's adventure traveling down the Ohio River to explore Illinois.) Rodolphus was the father of Franklin H. Derrick. Franklin H. was the father of Mary Derrick. (Never forget Mary Derrick!) Mary was the mother of Flora Balis. Flora was the mother of Harold Stevens. Harold was the father of Paul Stevens. Paul is the father of Dawne Stevens. Dawne is the mother of . . . Sarah, Hannah, Timmy, and Becky!
So Hooray for Thomas Makepeace and his novile ideas!.
Mr Dyers research is based on "The Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, Mass.", by Waldo C. Sprague.
(02) Joseph Makepeace:
Christened: 20 Sep 1646
In a writing dated 1 August 1638, Mr. John Underhill "surrendered unto Mr. Thomas Makepeace of Dorchester, his house in Boston with an hundred acres of upland ground at Muddy River and ten acres of meadow or marsh ground there, and his share of woodland in the Islands with a garden at the house and another behind Mr. Parker's house to the quantity of half an acre and somewhat more, and also near half an acre upon the fort hill" [BTR
On 13 January 1647[/8] Mr. Thomas Makepeace and Roger Williams, both of Dorchester, made an agreement regarding seven acres of land in Dorchester neck purchased by Williams [SLR
Revised: February 19, 2018