Thomas Sanford, Emigrant (1632-4)

Thomas Sanford is the subject of a rather voluminous work by Carlton E. Sanford that was published in 1911. A large percentage of the Sanford information provided here is based on that work. I will not try to cover all of the information that he has provided regarding Thomas' ancestry, as it covers the first eighty-three pages of the first volume, and then a few more pages further in. I have not seen, but understand there are several, works by other authors who attempt to correct some of the errors that crept into this 1,600 page, 15,000 name compendium. I am aware of a few, and they are noted within the citations to the work elsewhere on these pages.

Thomas' ancestry is only known to his grandfather,Richard Sanford This is as far back as the research that Carlton commissioned in the early 1900s could properly document. The reasons for dismissing the lineage that has been touted by several sources (which goes back to the Domesday list) are presented with adequate documentation and discussion. The essence of the discussion is that (1) the Richard used therein is shown not to be this Richard, and (2) there are no records existing (at least in this vicinity) that will take you any further back than our Richard. (It is mentioned that many Church records were destroyed when the Anglican Church was formed.) Unless or until someone can show me documentation to the contrary, the arguments presented there are convincing enough for me to dismiss them as well. I am not the only one with an opinion on this, and the best documented lineage that I have seen regarding the 'royal connection' is to be found here.

Thomas was certainly not the only Sanford to emigrate to the colonies in the 1600s. He and his descendents may have been the most prolific, but they were certainly not alone. Also arriving on America's shores circa 1640 were several of Thomas' kinsmen. His uncle, Andrew Warner, and two of his brothers, Robert and Andrew, are known to have been in Hartford at an early date, possibly all four of them arriving in Connecticut together. There are two other possible kinsman who were also in the vicinity of Hartford at the same time: Zachary and Nathaniel

The first record of Thomas in America is in Dorchester, Massachusetts in the year 1634 (he may have arrived there as early as 1632.) In both 1634 and 1636 he was employed in the tending of the cows of that town; taking them out to the pasture each morning and returning them each evening (and I would assume watching them during the day, as I can't imagine that the pasture would have been fenced by then.)


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