Thomas Emerson

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Thomas Emerson, son of Robert Emerson and Susan Crabbe, was born probably shortly before his baptism at Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, 26 July 1584.1,2 He died at Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts, before 3 May 1666, when his estate was inventoried.1

Thomas married Elizabeth Brewster, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, 1 July 1611.1,3,4

Thomas was collector for the poor in 1630 according to the record in the church warden's book at St. Michael's in England.

Tradition says he and his family came to America on the Elizabeth Ann in 1635, but he is not shown among the passengers who enrolled on that ship between 13 April through 14 May of that year. He was at Ipswich as early as 1638 when he was granted 80 acres. On 4 Jun 1650 he called himself a baker and sold the land to Joseph Jewett. (Ipswich deeds i:71). In 1638 Thomas Emerson of Ipswich, Massachusetts received a deed for 120 acres from Samuel Greenfield, weaver, and this was the "Turkey Shore Farm" which was in the family for generations. He was a commoner in 1641. In 1646 he was one of the "seven men" or selectmen who conducted the fiscal affairs of the settlement. He built at least a part of the Emerson house at Ipswich in 1650.

His will was dated 31 May 1653, with one codicil dated 4 Jan 1660, and another undated. It was proved 10 May 1666. The inventory totaled £251 03s 00d, taken 3 May 1666. The will mentions wife Elizabeth, sons Joseph, John, Nathaniel, James; daughter Elizabeth Fuller, her daughter Susana; wife Elizabeth. The last codicil required son James to send a certificate that he is still alive, and that daughter Elizabeth had two daughters, Susana and Elizabeth.5

Thomas Emerson left a will dated and proved 10 May 1666
I Thomas Emerson of Ipswich in the county of Essex being at present, I praise god, of good health and perfect memory, And well knowing that all men are borne to dye & depart this life, and that the time & place of their departure is to them unknown & uncertain and sometimes sudden, I do therefore declare & make known this my last will and Testament in manor following

Inprimus I bequeath my soul into the hands of my blessed Creator & Redeemer my body to the earth to be decently buried In assured hope of a Joyful resurrection at the last day And for my outward Estate I do dispose of as follows :

I Give and bequeath unto my son Joseph the some eighty pound of current pay of new england viz forty pound of it which I reserved out of my farm Given unto my son John to be payed unto the said Joseph my son according to the covenant & agreement expressed in a paper of Indentors bearing date the 3ix and twentieth of the ninth month 1648 the other forty pound to be payed unto him by my son Nathaniel (out of my house & land given unto him) within six months after the decease of me & my wife

Item I give & bequeath unto Nathaniel Emerson my son my house wherein I now dwell with all my upland & meadow and the marsh I bought of my son Joseph which was sometimes Mr Woodinansys with all the appurtenances & privileges thereunto belonging paying forty pound out of it as above expressed also a little parcel of meadow lying within the marsh before mentioned after the decease of me & my wife

Item I Give unto my daughter Elisabeth Fullor The best feather bed & boulster with a pair of blankets and the best coverlet and the bedsted to Enjoy for her use until her daughter Susana attain the age of Twenty years or day of her marriage if shall happen sooner and then she to Enjoy them also. I give unto my said daughter the great earned chest & the carved box with a little Trunk with all that is in it and a small carved chest with what is in it

Item I give unto my son James Emerson the sum of forty pounds out of my stock of cattel to be paid unto him if he shall come over into this country (or send by a certain certificate of his being living) within two years after the decease of me & my wife. In case my said son dye before, then my will is that my son Joseph his son Joseph shall have ten pound of it and my son Nathaniel ten pound & my daughter Miller her four sons the other Twenty pound or if any of them dye the survivors to enjoy the same

Item my will is that Elisabeth Emerson my wife shall enjoy the yearely rent of the farme with the six head of cattell wintering at the sayd farme & if they doe not winter so many to make it up as is agreed as alsoe the house wherein I dwell with the upland & meddow & marsh bought of my sonne Joseph with all the aptenances belonging therunto and alsoe all my houshould goods and all my cattell I shall leave both oxen & cowes & all other young cattell whatsoever to enjoy them freely without let or disturbance of any pson or psons whatsoever dureing the tyme that she doth continue my widdow provided allwayes and it is my will & meaneing that if the sayd Elisabeth my wife doth marry that then she shall haue only the yearly Rent of the aforesayd farme dureing the tyme of hir naturall Life and the wintering of the aforesayd Six head of cattell alsoe to have the little featherbed & one boulster & two payre of sheetes and two cowes Tho rest of the cattell and househould stufe to be disposed of as In this my will expreast

And further my will is that my sonne Nathaniell in case he doe enjoye the house & Land by the mariage of my wife that then he shall paye the some of six pound by the yeare to his mother duering the terme of her natural life for the rest of my houshould goods I leave to my wife to dispose of what shee shall thinke fitt to my sonne Joseph and the rest to be devided betweene my son Nathaniell and my daughter fuller. further I make my Loueing wife Elisabeth Emerson sole executrix to this my last will and Testament And doe desire my much honcred & faithfull frends Mr. Samuel Symonds and Maior Genl Daniell Denison to be ouerseers to see y' this my will be fullfilled.

In witness to this my last will I have heervnto sett my hand and seal the day and yeare first exprest
signed sealed &c
in the p'sents of us signed [Thomas Emmerson]

He also wrote two codicils:
Jan vary the 4th 1660.
memorandum, thes ar to testifie vnto any home it may consern that I have given unto my son John Emerson his portion Ful in Consideration of the agreement betwixt vs about my farme he dully performing the Couenant of the said indenters betwixt vs during the terme of my life & his mothers as also thos engagments there in specified afterwords according to our mutuall agreement according to the sixtenth lin of this wil memorandum in Consideration of the ten Lins Canseld on the other sid

Conserning my son James my will is that he shal have the sum of fiv pound payed to him by my Son Nathaniel w'in tow yers after the diseas of the longest liver of my wife or myself in Case he shall Come or send by a certain sertifficat that he is then Living. Alsoe in refrans to ye eigtenth lin of this my will for six months ther exprest is thus to be understood that my son Nathaniel should pay that forty pounds to my son Joseph the sume of ten pounds a year til it he fully dischardgd unles he the said Nathaniel shall sell my hous & land I now dwel in, & that it is to be payd to my son Joseph presently. Also in refrens to the twenty fifth lin of this my wil it is to be understod that what ther is mentoned as to my daughter Fulor is my intent that it shall be holy and fuly devided betwen her tow daughter at the age of twerty yers or at the day of mariadg Susanna and Elisabeth, alsoe my will is that my loving wif Elisabeth Emerson shall enjoy for hur use also the fruit of the orchard during her natural lif to the particulers abov mention I witm 3 to be my own act
In the presents of signed [Thomas Emmerson]
P'ved by the oaths of George Gidding Daniell Hovey & Robert Lord respectively before mr Symon Bradstreet & maior Genl Denison the clerke being prsent the 10th of May 1666 to be the last will of Thomas Emerson with the additions
As attest ROBERT LORD clerk

The inventory of the estate also noted his date of death:
Ann'1 Invintorey of the lands cattell and Goods of Goodman Emersonn Sener deceased 3 May 1666
I primis the housing and land belongin toe it 150-00-00
" too steares 6£ three cows and a heyfer 16£ 22-00-00
" tu weanings calfs 1£ Six sheep and too lamb 3£10 04-10-00
" half a mare and half a colt 05-00-00
" his wearing cote & linen and woolen 09-00-00
" in the pallor a feather beed flock heed a quilt 3
bolsters and too pilows a coverlitt and too blencketts
curttains valantts bedsted 18-00-00
" a lettell trunk a doosin £ napkines and a tabel cloth
a short and a long towel 03-00-00
" the greatt carved chest with nine payre of sheet
3 tabel cloths 4 pilow bears peace cloth 16-10-00
" a carved bote 00-06-00
" 3 chest and a trunk 01-00-00
" a carpet too coushings a remnantt cootten 01-15-00
" a remnant of cloth att 01-02-00
" books and labels 02-00-00
" a tabel and chayers stoals glass cast and whattis 03-00-00
" brass and pewter and tin ware 01-10-00
" Iron ware and tools 02-00-00
" a feather bed in the chamber and blanks 04-10-00
" in the other chamber corn and steel mill 03-10-00
" for severall single partieulares 01-00-00
" for too peaces and bandeleares 01-00-00_
the Sume 251 3 0
by us
Att thr Court held at Ipswich the 25 of Sept: 1666
The widdow Elizabeth Emerson upon oath d'd this Inventory to be a true inventory to the best of her knowledge & if more come to her knowledge she will ad it
as attest ROBERT LORD


Elizabeth Brewster d. aft. 25 Sep 1666
  • Robert Emerson1,7 b. 24 May 1612, d. 25 Jun 1694
  • Benjamin Emerson1 b. 2 Oct 1614, d. bef. 27 Oct 1614
  • Ralfe Emerson1,7 b. 19 Oct 1615, d. bef. 8 Jun 1626
  • James Emerson1,7 b. 16 Feb 1617, d. 1664
  • Joseph Emerson1,7 b. 25 Jun 1620, d. 3 Jan 1680
  • Elizabeth Emerson1 b. 14 Jun 1623
  • John Emerson+1,7 b. 26 Feb 1625, d. 2 Dec 1700
  • Thomas Emerson1 b. abt. 1628, d. 1653
  • Nathaniel Emerson1 b. 18 Jul 1630, d. 29 Dec 1712
  • Susan Emerson1 b. 17 Mar 1632
  • Sarah Emerson1 b. bef. 1640, d. 12 Aug 1640
This person was last edited on14 Apr 2017


  1. [S762] Joan S. Guilford, The Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford: Volume I: Seventeenth Century–New England Colonials (Orange, California: Sheridan Psychological Services, 1990), 269-283, further cited as Guilford, Guilford: Vol I.
  2. [S766] Alicia Crane Williams, Stone-Gregg Genealogy: The Ancestors and Descendants of Galen Luther Stone and his wife Carrie Morton Gregg (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 1987), 106, 107, further cited as Williams, Stone & Gregg.
  3. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 514, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  4. [S766] Williams, Stone & Gregg, 107.
  5. [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), 135-6, further cited as Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants.
  6. [S691] Benjamin Kendall Emerson and Capt. Geo. A. Gordon, Ipswich Emersons A.D. 1636--1900 (Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1900), 28-30, further cited as Emerson and Gordon, Emersons.
  7. [S766] Williams, Stone & Gregg, 108.