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Thomas Webster (1616 - 1686)

"Thomas Webster of Northampton, Hampshire Co., Mass., a son of Gov. John and Agnes Webster, m. Jun 16, 1663, Abigail Alexander, dau. of George Alexander of Northampton. Thomas Webster, like his brother, William, settled early in Mass., but evidently remained at or near Hartford for a time.  October 28, 1651, Thomas Webster of Farmington [CT] sells land there to Capt. John Standley, and again sells land there in 1655 and 1656.  In the year 1670 he was of Northampton as shown by the following:

Hampshire County Court records, Book I, p. 127: At a county court holden[sic] at Northampton, in and for said county, Mary. 28, 1670, "Thomas Webster and Edward Scott presented at the last Court at Springfield for the defaming the Sabbath, and warned here to appear; and they were both admonished of their offence and ordered to pay each of them two and six pence to the Recorder as his fees and so were dismissed." The indictment at Springfield adds some interesting particulars, as follows: "The jury presents Thomas Webster of Northampton, and Edw. Scott, servt to Serjant Kellogg of Hadley, for defaming the Sabbath by travelling with their carts the night before first the Sabbath of this month of Sep., coming to Westfield from Hartford, it being about midnight before they ended their travels."

Soon after this period, Thomas Webster settled in Northfield.  Noah Webster, LL. D., gives the following history:

In 1675 Northfield was attached by Indians, and the settlement broken up, and from 1676 to 1682 Thomas Webster resided in Hadley where he had three daughters born.  He afterwards returned to Northfield where he died in 1686.  Northfield was again destroyed by the Indians and the settlers driven from the place, but the children of Thomas probably remained in that neighborhood, for I have known one person of that name, Ezekiel Webster of Northfield who was in the House of Representatives of Massachusetts with me in 1814, and I knew another in Bernardston."

Dr. Webster was in error about the children of Thomas remaining in Northfield.  The Hon. Ezekiel Webster mentioned, and the other Bernardston were, like himself, descendants of Lieut. Robert, and not of Thomas Webster.  The two sons of Thomas, George and John, and the one daughter, Thankful, of whom we have record, settled in Lebanon, Conn.

Driven back by the Indians, Thomas Webster made Hadley his refuge for a time as shown by the following items: March 27, 1677, Thomas Webster of Hadley, "by reason of an infirmitie [sic] in his eye is freed from milatarie trayneings [sic]."  February 8, 1679, Thomas Webster swore allegiance at Hadley.  When however the Indian disturbances of the King Philip war subsided he returned to Northfield where he died.  In the Northampton probate records there is an inventory of the estate of Thomas Webster of Northfield, field Oct. 20, 1686.  Abigail was then his widow.  A second Indian devastation in 1690 rendered his Northfield property valueless for more than twenty years, and his large family of children were brought up among the Alexanders and other relatives, locating in the next few years in Lebanon, Conn., where they became "first settlers."  His widow died prior to 1690.

Children: (First four born at Northampton and the other three at Hadley.)  Abigail, b. Jan. 9, 1667, died in infancy; Abigail, again, b. Jan. 20, 1668; George, b. Nov. 7, 1670; John, b. Sep. 11, 1672; Elizabeth, b. Nov 26, 1676; Thankful, b. Jan. 12, 1679; Mary, May 25, 1681."

Source: William Holcomb Webster and Melville Reuben Webster, D.D., "History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut" (Rochester, NY: E.R. Andrews Printing Company, 1915) Chapter 2
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