Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Thomas Dexter Family- US 1629 to current

Kent Lineage

** Connecting to the Daniel Allen Lineage at Daniel Allen (1648-   ) **

Generation One:
Thomas Dexter
b. 1600; m. wife unknown; d. 1677 at Boston, Suffolk, MA; buried Oliver Family tomb King's Chapel Burying Ground, Boston, Suffolk, MA.

Their Children:
1.Thomas b. abt. 1620 at England
2. William abt. 1622 at England; m. July 1653 Sarah Vincent; d. 1694 aged 72 years.
3. Mary b. abt. 1624 at England; m(1) October 1639 John Frend; m(2) James Oliver
4. Frances b. abt 1626 at England; m. 1647 Richard Woode

     Thomas Dexter is thought to have arrived either with Mr. Endicott in 1629 or a year later in the fleet of 1630 with Governor Winthrop. He immigrated with three children and servants but there is no listing of his wife. By 1630 he settled on a farm in Lynn, Essex, MA. He was called by those in the area "Farmer Dexter". The land was located on the west side of the Saugus River where later the iron works was built.
      By 1633, he built a bridge over the Saugus River, and a mill. He also was the general manager and an investor in the Saugus Iron Works.
      He became a freeman in 1631 and was later disfranchised on 4 March 1633,for speaking against the established colonial government. He had many issues with neighbors and towns people. In 1631, he had a quarrel with Mr. Endicott (later governor), : in which the Salem magistrate struck Mr. Dexter, who had him complained of in court at Boston. Mr. Endicott said in his defense: "I hear I am much complained of by Goodman Dexter for striking him. Understanding since it is not lawful for a justice of the peace to strike, but if you had soon the manner of his earrings with such daring of me, with arms akimbo, it would have provoked a very patient man. He has given out that if I had a purse he would make me empty it, and if he cannot have justice here, he will do wonders in England, and if he cannot prevail there, he will do wonders in England, and if he cannot prevail there, he will try it out with me here at blows. If it were lawful for me to try it out at blows and he a fit man for me to deal with , you would not hear me complain." The jury gave Mr. Dexter a verdict of £10.
     In 1633, he was ordered by the court to be set in the bilboes, disfranchised and fined £10 In  1637 he and nine others obtained a grant for the township of Sandwich, Barnstable, MA by the Plymouth Court. He built the first grist mill there. In 1638, he returned to Lynn where he had 350 acres assigned to him. He was in Lynn until 1646. He then went to Barnstable, Barnstable, MA where he purchased two farms. One was next to the mill stream and later left  to his son, William. The other was on the northeastern side of Scorton Hill. The house was on the north side of the old county road. He still had a taste for lawsuits for in 1648, he had no  less than 6 lawsuits in court, all decided in his favor.
     His largest lawsuit was with the inhabitants of Lynn over the ownership of the land now called Nahunt. He bought this land from the Indian chief Pognanum (Black Will) and paid for it with "a suit of good clothes". He then fenced in this area for his cows. "The title to this was disputed by the other inhabitants (1657) who, if his claim was denied, would share in the division of the land. The result was a defeat for him and his heirs, although they kept it in court over thirty-eight years."
     Thomas Dexter took the oath of fidelity in 1657, and was admitted a freeman to Plymouth Colony on 1 June 1658. He gave his son, Thomas, the large estate and mill in Sandwich, and his West Barnstable barn to his son William. He died at the home of his daughter in Boston, Suffolk, MA in 1677. He is buried in the Oliver tomb in the King's Chapel burying ground.

Generation Two:
Thomas Dexter b. abt 1620 at England; m. 8 November 1648 Elizabeth Vincent at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA d. 29 December 1686 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA, aged 66 years.
Their Children:
1. Mary b. 11 August 1649 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA;; m. 12 October 1670 Daniel Allen
2. Elizabeth b. 21 September 1651 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; d. young at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA.
3. Thomas b. 1653 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; d. 1679
4. John b. 1656 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; m. 10 November 1682 Mehitabel Hallett
5. Elizabeth b. 7 April 1660 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; by 1714 her mother left her all of her estate.
6. Abigail b. 12 June 1663 at Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; m. 30 June 1684 Jonathan Hallett

      In 1647 he was chosen to be constable for the town of Sandwich, Barnstable, MA. This appointment shows that he was born before his family came to the Americas, since one had to be over aged 24 years in order to hold this post. In 1648 he was keeping the mill his father had built in  1640. In 1655 he was assigned as Ensign of a militia company, and was known as Ensign Dexter. He served on the jury between 1652 and 1659. He was a surveyor of highways and collector of taxes in 1675. He is also listed in the records of 1680 to be an inn keeper. Like his father he had numerous lawsuits; "In one case when there was a dispute between the town of Sandwich and him, the matter was left to Mr. Thomas Prence, Mr. Thomas Hinckley and Mr. Constant Southworth to settle." In 1655 he was entitled to the honor of being called Mister and in his later years was called Gentleman. On top[ of the land his father entailed him with, he  was granted 100 acres upland in Sandwich in 1667.
     "Agreement for division of property of late Thomas Dexter, Gentleman February 16, 1686-7, between Elizabeth Dexter, Daniel Allen of Swansea for his wife Mary. Jonathan Hallet of Yarmouth for his wife Abigai, and John Dexter: "The widow to have one-third part of all movable estate and chattles, the mill excepted; also to enjoy ye westerly end of the dwelling house, both cellar and two lower rooms and chamber and garrett for the rest of her life; but id she sees fit to rent her part she is to let her son John Dexter or his heirs have the refusal of it at same price others would pay. She is also to have the corn, rye, wheat, butter, and meat she now possesses; and her son John is to cut and carry home for her suitable and sufficient firewood while she dwells in Sandwich, to winter and summer two cows for her and to pay her £9 per annum while she lives. Th eson John to have the rest of the estate both real and personal paying to his sister Elizabeth Dexter £55 (£5 down and balnce in four years but if she married within three years the £50 is to be paid withinone year after her marriage). To Jonathan Hallet £50, one hald on next Michael mas day, the rest within three years from daate of agreement. To Daniel Allen £16 on or beofre 16 February 1688-89. John is to pay all debts and receive all debts due the estate.

Elizbaeth Dexter, Jr. and Jonathan Hallett signed by marks. Witnesses were Stephen Skiff, James Percival, and William Bassett, June 1687."

Sources:1. Genealogy of the Dexter Family in America, Descendants of Thomas Dexter, compiled by William A. Warden and Robert L. Dexter, Worcester, MA. 1905.

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