Thomas Macy

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Thomas Macy, son of Thomas Macy, was born at Chilmark Parish, Wiltshire, England, in 1608.1 He died at Nantucket, Nantucket Co., Massachusetts, 19 April 1682.1

Thomas married Sarah Hopcott, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Essex Co., Massachusetts, say 1643.2,3,4

Thomas Macy is given credit as being the first permanent English settler. He came from the Parish of Chilmark, Co Witshire, England to Newbury. The name of the vessel upon which he came to America is not recorded, but he arrived not later than 1639.

He was made a freeman 6 September 1639. He and Robert Pike were two of the seven selectmen "to order all the affairs of the town of Salisbury," Mass., elected on the 4th of the 3d mo. 1643, for six months. He was again chosen one of the Select-or Prudential men on the 7th 12 mo. 1652. He was Deputy to the General Court in 1654. The General Court prior to 1658 had enacted a law forbiding preaching by any save regularly licensed and ordained ministers. A division of the town of Salisbury in May 1658, seemed to make it more convenient that those in the new town should worship by themselves and Joseph Peasely officiated for them. Evidently Mr. Macy was instrumental in this breach of discipline which took away material support for the old meeting and the Court issued a summons for them to appear 26 October to answer for "disorderly practices." Peasely and Macy were fined because Peasely was not duly licensed and Macy actively encouraged him.

Not only did he seem to be a forceful man, frequently called on for public service in Salisbury, but he was also a well to-do citizen. Thomas was the owner of 1000 acres of land, a good house and considerable stock. His house lot was on the eastern side of Reed Pond, then a creek extending from the north shore south of the road. He was a merchant, farmer, and juryman.

Thomas was also prosecuted for entertaining Quakers. This violated the law of 1657. He was fined thirty shillings and was ordered to be admonished by the governor. He could not appear in court on the said date as he was ill but he sent a letter with his explanation, hoping to appease the court. In it he explains that he unwillingly allowed them the use of his house for about three quarters of an hour as it was raining very hard. He didn't hold much conversation with the men as his wife was ill and he didn't wish to break the law. He paid his fine and satisfied the requirements of the law.

Shortly after this, in 1659, he embarked at Salisbury in a small boat with his wife and children and such household goods as he cound conveniently carry, and in company with Isaac Coleman and Edward Starbuck set sail for Nantucket. He did so because he could not in justice to the dictates of his own conscience longer submit to the tyranny of the clergy and those in authority. He felt he could lead a more peaceful and independent life at Nantucket.

In 1675, he was commissioned chief magistrate of Nantucket. He was the first recorder appointed on the island, and a portion at least of the first book of Records in the office at Nantucket was written by him.5,6

Family

Sarah Hopcott b. 1612, d. 1706
Children
  • Sarah Macy1 b. 9 Jul 1644, d. 1645
  • Sarah Macy+1 b. 1 Aug 1646, d. 1701
  • Mary Macy+1 b. 4 Dec 1648, d. 1729
  • Bethiah Macy1 b. abt. 1650, d. 19 Oct 1732
  • Thomas Macy1 b. 22 Sep 1653, d. 3 Dec 1675
  • John Macy+7,1 b. 14 Sep 1655, d. 14 Dec 1691
  • Francis Macy1 b. abt. 1657, d. 1658

Citations

  1. [S7] David W. Hoyt, Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts (1897; reprint, Somersworth, New Hampshire: New England History Press, 1981), 236-237, further cited as Hoyt, Families of Salisbury and Amesbury.
  2. [S1264] G. Andrews Moriarty Jr., "Hannah, First Wife of Thomas Gardner Jr. of Salem, Mass.," The American Genealogist 26 (April 1950): 108, further cited as Moriarty, "Hannah Gardner."
  3. [S1163] Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, five vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1925-28), 4:177, further cited as Vital Records of Nantucket. Nantucket vital records, citing Folger, show 9 Aug 1639 in Chilmark, Wiltshire, England.
  4. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 987, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  5. [S35] Alexander Starbuck, The History of Nantucket (Boston, Massachusetts: C.E. Goodspeed, 1924), 653, 787, further cited as Starbuck, History of Nantucket.
  6. [S60] Lydia S. Hinchman, Early Settlers of Nantucket (1934; reprint, Rutland, Vermont: C. E. Tuttle, 1980), 14, further cited as Hinchman, Early Settlers of Nantucket.
  7. [S1163] Vital Records of Nantucket, 2:282.