I’ve been doing so much work on my genealogy – it’s time to share a bit more of that information. I plan to do a series of blog posts about my ancestors who immigrated to North America. These people are specifically and mostly my 7th, 8th, and 9th great grandparents and they haled from England and came to New England. The list totals over 300 men and women. .I really should start with those who came on the Mayflower but just to be perverse I’m starting more randomly and I’ve chosen Thomas Dexter, my 9th Great Grandfather.
There are 4 Thomas Dexters in my genealogy and it has taken a while to sort them out.
Thomas Dexter 1 1520-1574 my 12th GGF (Great Grandfather)
Thomas Dexter 2 1548-1606 my 11th GGF
Thomas Dexter 3 1575-1676 my 10th GGF
Thomas Dexter 4 1594-1676 my 9th GGF
It is Thomas Dexter 4 above who is the immigrant ancestor I am going to profile here. He was a man of staunch character. He came to America either with Mr. Endicott in 1629 or in the fleet with Governor Winthrop in 1630 Accompanying him were at least 3 of his children and several servants. It is presumed that his wife died before they sailed from England.It is assumed that he formerly lived in Bristol England, as he had a number of dealings with people who lived in that part of England.
In 1630 he settled on a 800 acre farm in Lynn Massachusetts. The farmhouse was located on the west side of the Saugus River, about where the iron works were later erected.
In 1633 he built a bridge over the Saugus River and stretched a weir across. A little later he built a mill nearby.
He had a good education and had a lot of energy but rather a bellicose nature.
He was very interested in starting an iron works which were the first to be built in North America. The iron ore was to be brought from Cape Cod. He got capital from England to invest in the project. He became the General Manager of the project but some years later he withdrew feeling that the project could not succeed.
In 1631 he became a Freeman but was disenfranchised in 1933. He was a man who had many quarrels and vexatious lawsuits.
In 1637 Thomas Dexter and nine others obtained from the Plymouth Colony Court a grant of the township of Sandwich It was there that he built the first Grist Mill. However, he remained in Lynn until 1646.
In 1657 Thomas Dexter took the oath of fidelity. He was admitted Freeman of Plymouth Colony in 1658. He retired to live a quiet life looking after his farms and his mill. He spent his final years in Boston with his daughter. He is buried in King’s Chapel burying-ground.