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Thomas DAVIS

Thomas DAVIS
Born (in March 1601-1602-S1)(about 1603-S1,S2) in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England (S2); said to be the son of John DAVIS and (Agnes?) (S1), but this is disputed. (S2).

He married Christian COFFER on 14 November 1622 in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. (S1).

Robert Charles Anderson in Great Migration 1634-1635, C-F page 315 shows the wife of Thomas Davis as Christian Bellsire, the only mother of his three children, Joanna, Joseph and Mary. Christian Coffin was not the name of Thomas Davis wife and not the mother of his children. Thomas Davis, John Davis and Samuel Davis are not children of Thomas Davis and his wife Christian Bellsire. (S2).

As a young man, he looked for opportunities beyond his farming community in Marlborough. He acquired a trade, becoming a sawyer according to one history, or a mason, as stated in a deed of 1664. Thomas left his home and made the dangerous journey to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 aboard the ship James. He arrived in Boston on June 3rd and was made a freeman in 1641. In 1642, he removed to Haverhill, where he became a prominent citizen. He was one of the first selectmen of the town in 1646, and was again selectman in 1648. Thomas signed the deed from the Passaconaway indians to purchase the village of Pentuckett, which was 'Entered and recorded in ye Couny Records for Norfolk ye 29th day of April 1671 as attested, Tho Bradbury Recorder.' In 1648, Thomas and two others were appointed to try 'small causes under forty shillings.' In 1655, repairs to the meeting house were needed and Thomas was granted 'ground-pins and dawb' providing stones and clay for the underpinning. In 1655, he was also appointed Constable. Thomas remained active in town affairs until his death. (S1).

He died on 27 July 1683 (S1,S2), at Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts. (S2).

Born about 1604 in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. She died on 7 April 1688 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts; and was buried there on 14 April 1688.

The surname of Thomas Davis' wife Christian has variously been labeled Coffer, Coffin, and Bellsire with no documentation. Sanborn's 2nd Supplement to Torrey, reported the surname to be Bellsire. Douglas Richardson got the information from the Bishop's Transcripts for Chipping Sodbury, County Gloucester. This appears to be the couple who immigrated to New England, as Thomas Davis himself originated from nearby Acton Turville, County Gloucester. The name Bellsire (an alternative form of Belcher) is a common name in the area. (S2).

  1. John DAVIS. Born in (1633-S1)(1623-S1) in England. He grew up in Newbury or Haverhill, the entire area being known as Salem at that time in history. Salem records (and Savage, Gen.Dictionary) show that he married Mary, possibly of the family Milford, in 1641 and had seven children. His will shows his wife to be Elnor. He died in 1675 in Newbury, Massachusetts.
  2. Joanna DAVIS. Born about (1624-S1)(1625-S2) in (Wales)(England-S1). She married George CORLISS on 26 October 1645 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. She died on 17 April 1688.
  3. Joseph DAVIS. Born in 1626. From the History of Haverhill, p. 54: 'Joseph, son of Thomas, was doubtless a wild boy, if we may judge from one of his capers. Under the date of 1652, the Portsmouth Court records thus refer to him: 'Whereas it doth appear that Joseph Davis of Ha verhill was presented for putting on women's apparel and going from house to house in the night time with a female and whereas the said parties being removed from Haverhill into this jurisdiction, and being apprehended and brought into the Cour t of Strawberry Bank; the said Joseph Davis is judged to pay a fine of eight shillings and is also to make public acknowledgment of his fault on a lecture day, before the next Court, in default of which he shall forfeit forty shillings more. ' We may charitably presume that the unpleasant termination of his nocturnal adventure suspended his pursuit of pleasure in that direction, at least.' He died on 15 September 1671.