Thomas Davis

Thomas DAVIS (1602 – 1683) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Thomas Davis Coat of Arms

Thomas Davis was born in 1602 in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. He was the son of John DAVYS and Agnes SAMON. He married Christian COFFIN on 14 Nov 1622 in Chipping, Gloucester, England.  He emigrated with his wife and daughter on 5 Ar 1635 on the ship James arriving in Boston on 3 Jun 1635.  Thomas died 27 Jul 1683 in Haverhill, Mass.

Christian Coffin (Coffer was born about 1607 in Butlers, Devon, England.  She was NOT the daughter of  Peter COFFIN and  Joan THEMBER, but I made a page for them because so many genealogies say they are. She died on 17 Apr 1688 in Essex County, Mass.

Children of  Thomas and Christina:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Davis 1623
Marlborough, England
Elinor Milford
17 Dec 1641 Newbury
12 Nov 1675
2. Joanna DAVIS ca. 1624
Marlborough, Wiltshire, England.
26 Oct 1645 Haverhill, Mass
James Ordway
4 Oct 1687 in Newbury, Mass
12 Jan 1692/93 Haverhill, Mass
3. Joseph Davis 1626 Marlborough, England Mary
15 SEP 1671 Haverhill

Thomas and Christina can trace their  family origins from Wales.

As a young man, Thomas Davis 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.

3 Jun 1635 – Arrived in Boston

2 Jun 1641 – Became a Freeman

1642 – Removed to Haverhill, where he became a prominent citizen.

1646 – One of the first selectmen of the town of Haverwill

1648  – Was again selectman in Haverhill

1648 –  Thomas and two others were appointed to try “small causes under forty shillings.”

1651 – Our ancestor Stephen DOW  was apprenticed at age 9. He was bound out to  Thomas DAVIS  and wife  Christian COFFIN , who agreed to teach him the stone mason’s trade, to read and write. The testimony of his mother showed that this was a verbal agreement and that finding a home for Stephen was a great relief to herself and her husband. The boy was weak, undersized and sickly, sure to become a burden. In a lawsuit at age 15, Stephen testified he had run away a number of times but for no definite reason, except possibly once to see his mother, and always intended to come back. He admitted that his master and mistress were good and kind, but he did ‘acknowledge that it was a good while before he could eat his master’s food viz. Meate and milk or drink beer, saying he did not know it was good, because he was not used to eat such victual, but to eate bread and water porridge and to drink water.’ Stephen’s apprenticeship was to last until he was 18, and it probably did. Nothing more appears about him until he was 22, a healthy, vigorous man

1655 – Repairs to the meeting house were needed and Thomas, given his masonic prowess, was granted “ground-pins and dawb” providing stones and clay for the underpinning.

1655 – He was also appointed Constable. Thomas remained active in town affairs until his death in 1683 at the age of 80 years. ”

1671 – Thomas signed the deed from the Pennacook Indians to purchase the village of Pentuckett, which was “Entered and recorded in ye County Records for Norfolk ye 29th day of April 1671 as attested, Tho Bradbury Recorder.”

Christian’s surname has been in doubt. In various secondary sources (IGI, LDS Ancestral files, web-based genealogical records, publications) it has been reported as Coffin, Coffer, Bellsire or unknown. Douglas Richardson provides the following basis for Bellsire, as reported in Sanborn’s Second Supplement to Torrey’s work: ” …I got the information from the Bishop’s Transcripts for Chipping Sodbury, co. Gloucester. This appears to be the couple who immigrated to New England, as Thomas Davis himself originated from nearby Acton Turville, co. Gloucester. The name Bellsire (an alternative form of Belcher) is a common name in the area. I ordered several Bellsire wills but found nothing to connect them to Christian (Bellsire) Davis.


1. John Davis

John’s wife Elinor Milford was born 1620 in England. Elinor died 1685 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

John  grew up in Newbury or Haverhill, the entire area being known as Salem at that time in history. Salem records show that he married Mary, possibly of the family Milford, and had seven children. Of this brood, the sixth child, Cornelius, was a man who was called to fight for England and his King, and the fact that he did so had a profound effect on where subsequent generations of the Davis Family would live.

John’s son John Jr. (15 Jan 1645, Newbury, Mass – 1727, Amesbury, Mass.) married Sarah Davis on 8 Apr 1681 in Newbury, Mass. Sarah was the daughter of our ancestor Thomas CARTER.

John’s son Zachary Davis (22 Feb 1645/46 in Newbury, Mass –  25 Jun 1692 in Newbury) married our  ancestor Judith BROWN on 4 Feb 1680/81 in Amesbury/Salisbury, Mass.  After Zachary died, Judith married Henry BRADLEY on 7 Jan 1695/96 in Newbury, Mass.

John’s son Cornelius Davis (1653-1730) lived in Haverhill and married Sarah Elizabeth Hilton in 1688. He was called to fight in the Narragansett Wars and for that service, he received from the General Court a grant of a tract of land located in what is now known as West Stafford, Connecticut.

Its northern boundary was what is now the Massachusetts state line and its western boundary was that part of Enfield which later became known as Somers, Connecticut. Although Cornelius never removed to his granted lands, he deeded them to his son Cornelius, the second of his three sons. In his later years, he lived in Rowley, Massachusetts, and died there in 1730.

2. Joanna DAVIS (See George CORLISS page)

3. Joseph Davis

Joseph’ wife Mary Spring was born 1623 in England. Mary died 1656 in Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.


This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller, Public Office and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Thomas Davis

  1. Pingback: George Corliss | Miner Descent

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  5. Pingback: Stephen Dow | Miner Descent

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