Thomas Coleman

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Thomas Coleman, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at England, say 1590.1 He died at Hadley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts, before 1 October 1674,1 when he was buried at Hadley.1

Thomas married, as her 2nd husband, Frances Albright, daughter of Richard Albright, at England before 6 March 1637/38.1

Thomas Coleman is not the man shown on the 6 April 1635 list of passengers for the James out of London, bound for New England, William Cooper, master. That Thomas Coleman went to Newbury, Hampton, and Nantucket where he died by 1 August 1682 when administration was granted on his estate.2,3

On 3 October 1646, Thomas Coleman gave a power of attorney:
. . . unto Captain Robert Harding of Boston "to aske &c ail writeinges touching his house in Esstum [sic; surely Evesham] in the County of Worcester wch are in the hands of John Albright or any other, & to said house do lett or sell & make seale & Deliver deeds or writeings of the same, & to receive the rent for the time past due; also to receive the Reminder of a Legacie in the hands of John Norton of Cotherstock Esq granted by the will of John Coleman of Cotherstock.

He settled first in Wethersfield, Connecticut from which place he served as a representative to the General Court in 1652 and 1656. In 1660 the family removed to Hadley, Massachusetts where they were among the first settlers, and Thomas became a freeman there in 1661.1

Thomas Coleman left a will dated 29 September 1674, which named his wife Frances, his own children including £60 to daughter Deborah, and an important provision for his stepson, Thomas, and his son John:
To my son in law Thomas wells I give all my part of that which is in England due to me for the Rent of the House at Evesham & two his son John Wells now dwelling with me £10 Provided that both these last are given with this Proviso that all writeings Respecting the house in England & any Exchange for it here be quietely Delivered in & all Pleas Concerning those matters to cease according to the last agremt novem: 2d 1670." witnessed by Rebecca Russell and Mary Wattson, the Inventory was taken by Richard Godman, Petter Tilton, and John Smith.

Interestingly, Thomas Coleman was leaving to his stepson Thomas, the house in England that the elder Thomas Wells had left to young Thomas, but only after the death of Frances. The agreement Thomas Coleman referred to probably somehow took care of that complication.

As Jacobus and Wood sumarized it:
Evidently there had been negotiations looking to the disposal of the English realty, culminating in an agreement made 2 Nov. 1670. The "Exchange for it here" suggests that a purchaser in England was to send goods of a more movable type, and the rents which Thomas Wells was to receive, as well as the £10 given to Thomas's son John, were made contingent on this agreement being carried out. Also any litigation ("Pleas") would have to cease.

Jacobus and Wood went on to suggest this was a "clue which should be followed in English records by those interested in the orign of either the Coleman or the Wells family." It would be 40 years before Richardson followed up and published his own findings.4,1

Family

Frances Albright b. say 1600, d. bef. 26 Mar 1678
Child
  • Deborah Coleman1 b. say 1640

Citations

  1. [S679] Douglas Richardson, "The Widow Frances (Albright) Wells, Wife of Thomas Coleman of Wethersfield and Hadley," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 146 (Jan 1992): 28-34, further cited as Richardson, "Frances (Albright) (Wells) Coleman."
  2. [S1492] Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 133, further cited as Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants.
  3. [S2053] Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants To New England, 1634-1635, 7 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2011), 2:157, further cited as Anderson, et al., The Great Migration.
  4. [S715] Donald Lines Jacobus and W. Herbert Wood, "Widow Frances Wells and Hugh Wells of Wethersfield," The American Genealogist 28 (Oct 1952): 227-235, further cited as Jacobus and Wood, "Widow Frances Wells."