4th GENERATION
1792 - THOMAS BLODGET(T)

born bpt 18 Nov 1604, Stowmarket, County Suffolk, England, a son of Robert Blogatt and Mary Witlock (Whitlock).

died ca 1642 ae 37 at Cambridge, MA.

married SUSAN___________.

1793 SUSAN____________

born 1606/7 (based on stated age at time of death).

died 24 Jan (7d) or 10 Feb (9) 1660/1 ae 54.

married 2) 15 Feb 1643/4 James Thompson.

Our information about the Blodgett family line comes primarily from the Blodget-Blodgett Genealogy, a seven volume history on the descendents of Thomas Blodgett of Cambridge. The work was compiled by Rev. Franklin C. Thompson, a retired Congregational minister. (11)

Thomas, the immigrant, and his ancestors, at least those of the preceding three or more generations, lived in Suffolk County, England, in the area of Haughly and then Stowmarket, towns about two miles apart, and about ten to twelve miles northwest of Ipswich on the west coast of England. Thompson reported that Thomas was baptized at Stowmarket 18 November 1604.

Thomas emigrated to New England in 1635, setting sail from England aboard the "Increase" on the 18th of April with his wife, Susan, and two small sons, and arriving at Boston the end of July. His permit to emigrate read as follows:

xviij Aprillis 1635. Theis underwritten names are to be transported to New England imbarqued in the Increase de Lo (i.e. the Increase of London) Robert Lea Mr. Thep'te pred having brought certificates from the minister and justices of ye peace of his conformities to the Church of England.

    • Thomas Bloggett Glover 30 yeres
    • Susan Bloggett xvor (Latin for wife) 37 yeres
    • Daniell Blogett 4
    • Samvell Blogett 1 and 1/2

(Thompson added this was taken from Hotten: Original Lists, 1875, NY. He also added that Susan's age was probably 27, not 37.)

One always speculates as to the reasons an immigrant had to gamble on a life in the New World. Thompson suggested that perhaps one strong motivating influence was the hope of escaping the scourge of the Black Plague that struck London, Suffolk and other areas with devastating regularity. The years 1593, 1599, 1603 and 1608 were all plague years. In

1625, so many died that it was known as the year of the Great Plague. In 1631 Thomas' Uncle John died. About the same time Thomas himself lost two small sons to this killer.

Religious differences, as well as plague, agitated Stowmarket, as they did all England. Dr. Thomas Young became vicar in 1623. He was a man of strong Presbyterian leanings, best known as a tutor of John Milton, the Puritan poet. Contrary to the policies of King Charles I and of Archbishop Laud, who sought to enforce strict conformity to high Anglicanism, Dr. Young brought to Stowmarket, in 1634, lecturers who expounded Presbyterianism. At the same time there was an active Catholic party headed by the powerful Tyrell family, which helped to keep the people aroused. (11)

Newtown (Newetowne), where Thomas Blodgett settled, was one of several small towns established in the Bay Colony following the arrival of Winthrop's Company of settlers in June 1630 and Newtown was on its way to becoming settled by the spring of 1631.

As the different areas were being settled it became evident that groups of English families moved from some English town along with their minister and settled down together in the New World. Thomas Hooker was one such minister who arrived in 1633 to join some of his followers who were already in the Boston area. On 11 October 1633, Mr. Hooker was chosen as pastor at Newtown and he and his followers joined the settlers there. His liberal beliefs, however, clashed with the conservatism of the Massachusetts authorities and he asked permission to remove to Connecticut with his flock. Permission was finally granted in 1635 providing they agreed to remain under the jurisdiction of the Bay. (3)

The Rev. Thomas Shepard and his friends happened to arrive at the moment Hooker and the church at Newtown were preparing their migration to Connecticut. Rev. Hooker's group were eager to sell their houses and lands, and the newcomers were glad to purchase a settlement already made. After having made these arrangements, Rev. Shepard formed a church and those who came over on the ship, the "Defense", which arrived 3 October 1635, formed the nucleus. Thomas Shepard, in contrast to Hooker, took a very decided and emphatic stand against religious toleration. He felt it was essential to settle and secure religion according to the way the Puritan believed was of God. (5)

It was into this scene that Thomas Blodgett made his entrance -- into Newtown and into the congregation of Thomas Shepard. The church, known as the First Church at Cambridge, was established 1 February 1636. About a month later on 3 March 1636 (7,9) Thomas Blodgett was allotted land in Newtown and on the same day was made a freeman. To have become a freeman he would have had to belong to the church, and to the right church.

Newtown in 1638 "was but a little village, scarcely 300 yards from north to south and 400 yards from east to west, on the northerly bank of the Charles River, three miles west of Boston. Its area was divided by four short streets parallel to the river, crossed from north to south by four others .... Within this area were forty or fifty unpainted wooden houses with shingled roofs. A little church, of hand-hewn logs, stood near the center of the village. Extending eastward from Harvard Square in what is now Massachusetts Avenue was a row of houses, which formed the northerly limit of the town .... These houses fronted south. Each was provided with a lot, which extended back of the houses, some 500 feet into the present College Yard. Other lots occupied the remaining area of the Yard; to the north of these was the Charlestown Path (now Kirkland Street) extending eastward three miles to Charlestown. From Charlestown one took the ferry for the few hundred yards across the mouth of the Charles River to Boston." (3, pgs. 345-346)

Thomas Blodgett evidently prospered in his new environment for in 1638 he conveyed a house and land in Garden Street and the following year an estate in Dunstain Street. (4) He did not, however, live long to enjoy the success of his labors, for he died at the early age of thirty-seven. His will, dated 10 August 1641, was probated in 1643.

Thomas Blodgget.
Cambridge in America.
(24 (5) 1643 in Margin.)

I Thomas Bloggett being at this time in my right mind, give to wife Susan my whole estate after my decease, as well within doors as without. She to bring vp my children in such learning & other things as is meete for them, & pay oldest son Daniel 15 pounds when one & twenty or in one month after her decease. To my 2d son Samuel 15 pounds, as above. To daughter Susanna 15 pounds. Should they have a father-in-law who does not treat them well my will is that the Deacons & our brother ffessington & our brother Edward Winchship, they or either of them should have power to see unto it & reforme it by one meanes or other. Written this 10th day of the 6th month 1641.

In presence of us Hereunto I set my hand

Thos: Harris Thomas Blogget

John Mena

Deposed by Tho: Harris & John Mena the 8 (5) 1642 before

Increase Nowell Sec. (7a)

After Thomas' widow, Susan, married James Thompson on the 15th February 1643/4, the family lived at Woburn, the domicile of her second husband. James Thompson was born about 1593 in England. He was admitted as a freeman in December 1633, being then of Charlestown. He settled in Woburn in 1642 where he died in 1682, age 89. His first wife, Elizabeth, had died in Woburn 13 November 1642.

Children of Thomas Blodgett and Susan__________:

1. Nathaniel Blodgett, bp 28 Feb 1628/9 (11), bur 8 May 1630, died of bubonic plague (11). On some family group sheets collected the year was given as 1633.

2. John Blodgett, born 1622 (1). The date seems out of line with the others and perhaps was copied wrong. The year 1631 has also been given on family group sheets. He was bur 4 May 1632, died of the bubonic plague (11). The year 1633 has also been given.

3. Daniel Blodgett, bp 14 May 1631, Stowmarket, died 28 Jan 1672, Chelmsford, MA, married 1) 15 Sept 1633 Mary Butterfield, who died Sept 1666, d/o Benjamin and Ann Butterfield of Woburn and Chelmsford, 6 sons and 1 daughter. Daniel was made a freeman in Cambridge 7 May 1651. (7b) He was a signer of the petition on 19 May 1653 requesting permission to lay out the town of Chelmsford. When the new settlement was established he became one of its leading inhabitants. (4)

4. Samuel Blodgett See Ancestor 896.

5. Susannah Blodgett, born June 1637 at Cambridge, MA, died 6 Feb 1697/8, Cambridge Vital records but resided at Woburn, married 28 Nov 1655 Jonathan Thompson, her step-brother, seven children. Susannah and Jonathan Thompson lived at Woburn. Jonathan was the first male teacher in Woburn 1673-75.

6. Thomas, died 7 Aug 1639, Cambridge, as an infant.

References:

1. Banks, Charles Edward. THE PLANTERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH, 1620-1640. The Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore.

2. Farmer, John. A GENEALOGICAL REGISTER OF THE FIRST SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND. Reprinted with additions and corrections by Samuel G. Drake, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1969.

3. Hart, Albert Bushnell, edd. COMMONWEALTH HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Vol. 1, The State History Company, New York, 1927-28.

4. Lawrence, Ruth. COLONIAL FAMILIES OF AMERICA. National Americana Society, New York.

5. Morison, Samuel Eliot. BUILDERS OF THE BAY COLONY. Houghton Mifflin Co., The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Boston and New York, 1930. Chapter on Master Thomas Shepard, pgs. 105-135.

6. National Society of Daughters of American Colonists. LINEAGE BOOK, Vol. XVI, pgs. 387-391.

7. NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER, published quarterly under the patronage of the New England Genealogical Society, Samuel G. Drake, publisher, Boston.

a. Vol. II, p. 185-6, "Abstracts of Earliest Wills".

b. Vol. III, p. 94, "List of Freemen of Cambridge".

c. Vol. III, p 248, "Records of Boston".

d. Vol. XIII, "Records of Woburn".

e. Vol. XIV, p. 310, "The Founders of New England".

8. Northend, William D. THE BAY COLONY. Estes and Lauriat, Boston, 1896.

9. Pope, Charles Henry. THE PIONEERS OF MASSACHUSETTS. Privately printed, 1900.

10. Savage, James. A GENEALOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND, Vol. I. Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1965.

11. Thompson, Rev. Franklin C. BLODGET-BLODGETT GENEALOGY, Descendents of Thomas of Cambridge. LDS Film # 0896868. no date given. References cited in this work applicable to this ancestor:

a. Early data from Rush Maxwell Blodgett
b. Ashahel Blodgett, His Ancestors and Descendents, Isaac D. Blodgett.
c. Seth Blodgett, His Ancestors and Descendents, Mrs. Grace Limeburner.
d. Town and vital records of Woburn, Chelmsford, and Cambridge.

12. Virkus, Frederick, ed. THE ABRIDGED COMPENDIUM OF AMERICAN GENEALOGY, Vol. III, p. 75, 1928. F.A. Virkus and Co., 44-442 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL.

13. Winthrop, John. THE HISTORY OF NEW ENGLAND FROM 1630-1640. Edited by John Savage, Vols. I and II. Arno Press, a New York Times Co., NY, 1872.


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