Thomas Skinner III

Thomas SKINNER III (1668 – 1757) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather, one of 1,024 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Thomas Skinner was born 3 Nov 1668 in Malden, Mass.  His parents were Thomas SKINNER II and Mary PRATT.   He married Hannah CARPENTER No record has been found of Thomas Skinner and Hannah Carpenter’s marriage or intentions, at Malden or elsewhere. The 16 May 1694 marriage date appears occasionally online but is never accompanied by a source citation or any kind of support. The most responsible approximation is “by 1695,” based on the birth date, 30 May 1695, of their first child, Thomas.  Thomas died 9 Jun 1757 in Norton, Mass.

Thomas Skinner III – Signature written in 1722

Hannah Carpenter was born 21 Mar (1st mo.) 1671 in Rehoboth (or Swansea), Mass.  Her parents were Joseph CARPENTER and Margaret SUTTON.  Hannah died in 1750 in Norton, Mass

Children of Thomas and Hannah:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas SKINNER IV 30 May 1695 in Wrentham, Mass Abigail DAY5 Jan 1719/20 Wrentham, Mass 17 Feb 1748/49 in Mansfield, Bristol, Mass.
2. Solomon Skinner 4 APR 1697 Wrentham Mary Grover10 Jan 1722/23

Norton, Mass

27 May 1787Mansfield
3. Joseph Skinner 27 OCT 1699 Wrentham Phebe Grover10 Mar 1736/37

Lyme, CT

20 Apr 1794
4. Hannah Skinner 9 or 19 MAY 1702 Wrentham John Grover20 Dec 1722


17 Jun 1757
5. Esther Skinner Baptized19 Feb 1704/05, Wrentham Ebenezer Brintnall16 Dec 1728


9 Jun 1757
6. Mary Skinner 10 OCT 1706Wrentham Benjamin Hall23 Apr 1744


7. Samuel Skinner 17 APR 1709 Norton, Mass. Elizabeth Grover10 Mar 1736/37 Norton, Mass Before 1757
8. Benjamin Skinner 14 MAY 1710 Norton Abigail Wild24 AUG 1731 Norton 31 JUL 1784 Mansfield(Gravestone says 1782)

Some genealogists think that Thomas first settled at Wrentham because the births of his first children were recorded there, but others think that he just attended meetings at Wrentham because it was closer than Taunton to his homestead in Norton, later Mansfield.  Today there is a Premium Outlet in Wrentham.

1719 – Thomas was a  teacher in Norton, Massachusetts and was first schoolmaster there.  In elementary school, students were told the story of the “Devil’s Foot Print,” where James Wetherall sold his soul to the devil. The devil’s foot print can be seen at the JCS elementary school. Every 26 years, the JCS unburies a time capsule, the last of which was buried in 1999. The Sun Chronicle describes:

So it was in December 1997, when a traffic light was installed at the intersection of routes 123 and 140 in Norton. It was the town’s first full traffic light and, in a manner of speaking, it declared “Norton isn’t Mayberry anymore.”

Norton, Bristol, Mass

Norton was first settled in 1669. Then called North Taunton for its location on the northern border of Taunton, Massachusetts, the town’s name was shortened to Norton upon its official establishment on March 17, 1710. Parts of Norton were originally established as Easton on December 21, 1725, and as Mansfield on April 26, 1770.

Metacomet, the Wampanoag Indian sachem also known as “King Phillip”, is said to have hidden in a cave in Norton near the end of King Philip’s War before meeting his death in Hockomock Swamp. According to one source, “Every Norton school child has been entertained with the legend of King Phillip’s Cave.”

The part of Norton Thomas settled in is now Mansfield.  The first settlers came in to Mansfield, Mass in 1685; Thomas Brintnell to the northeast corner, near the Foxboro line, and John Caswell to the east part.   A history of Norton singles out Thomas Skinner “Were that a longer treatise each settler might well have at least a paragraph devoted to him. As it is we will mention especially, only three, Nicholas White, the local statesman, Thomas Skinner, the first schoolmaster, and Ephraim Leonard, the capitalist.”

1 Jun 1719 – According to the History of Norton, Mass., “The town made choise of Thomas Skinner, sen, to Be thare Scoolmaster, and to beginn at ye first day of June, 1719, and to continue one quarter, and his salary not to Excead two pounds for said quarter. He settled in the westerly part of the North Purchase, now Mansfield, as early as 1695, for his name appears as one of the proprietors of the North Purchase on a deed of land to Thomas and James Leonard. He is believed by some to have settled first in Wrentham, because some of his children’s births are recorded there. He doubtless attended meeting at Wrentham, because it was much nearer than Taunton. He was one of the original members of our church, and the first schoolmaster of Norton.

28 Apr 1719, ” The town [of Norton] made chois of Thomas Skinner, Sen., to Be thare Scoolmaster, and to beginn at ye first day of June, 1719, and to continu one quarter; and his salary not to Excead two pounds for said quarter. [first lesson – Spelling!]

6 Oct 1725 — Town of Norton “Voted to Raise five shillings more in said Rate to Pay to Thomas Skinner, Sen., for a wild-cat’s head which he ciled.” [killed]

28 Mar 1726. — Norton” Voted, that they would not Pay for Killing of wild-cats the year ensueing, nor for the wild-cats which have been Killed sence ye act about said cats was out.”

On the other hand, a law was enacted as early as 1698, forbidding any person to kill wild deer between the last day of December and the first day of August following, under a penalty of two pounds for the first offence, three pounds for the second, five pounds for the third ; and so on in that ratio for every succeeding offence. A similar law was probably re-enacted about

1738 ; for, on the 25th of October of that year, ” The Inhabitance made Choice of Eleazer Eddy, the first, and Thomas Skinner, the Second, according to the Late act Relating [to] the Preservation of the Deare : ” and for several years thereafter, at the annual March meeting, two persons were chosen for that purpose.

The story of the founding of the church at Norton Mass from George Faber Clark, A History of the Town of Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, from 1669 to 1859 – 1859

On the 16th of August, 1731, George Leonard, justice of the peace, issued a warrant, directed to Josiah Pratt, one of the inhabitants of the North Precinct of Norton, authorizing him to notify the inhabitants of the precinct to meet at the house of Isaac Wellman, “on Tuesday, the 31st of August,” to choose precinct officers. At this meeting, Nicholas White was chosen moderator; Benjamin Williams, clerk; John Skinner [Thomas’ brother]., Josiah Pratt, and Ephraim Leonard, assessors; Joseph Elliot, treasurer; Thomas Skinner, Nicholas White, and Ephrain Grover, prudential committee.

At this time, the North Precinct “contained 30 or 35 families. They soon made preparations for a place of public worship. A small frame was put up, a little south of the present central Congregational meetinghouse, on the common.” Efforts were then made for establishing public worship. Sept. 4, 1731, the precinct “vote to cover and enclose the meeting-house already put up,” —” to put in window-frames, lay the floor,” &c., and appropriate forty pounds (old tenor) to defray the expense. Sept. 28, Thomas Skinner, Samuel Bailey, and Ephraim Grover, were chosen “a committee to inspect the work done on the meetinghouse.”

Ephraim Leonard and Josiah Pratt are empowered “to obtain a minister to preach 3 months,” and twenty pounds were raised ” to support the minister.” Dec. 13, “voted to hire a minister to preach the gospel in the precinct until the first of March.”

During the winter of 1831-2, it is supposed, the precinct had stated preaching, in accordance with the vote passed Dec. 13. March 27, 1732, at a legal meeting of the precinct, it was “voted to give Rev. Mr. Ephraim Little, of Scituate, a call to settle with them in the work of the Gospel ministry;” aud they agreed to give him a yearly salary of a hundred pounds, old tenor, during his ministry in the precinct, and offer him, as a settlement, two hundred pounds, to be paid in annual instalments of fifty pounds.

These proceedings were “without a negative vote.” Mr. Little, however, gave a “negative” auswer; no doubt, much to the disappointment of the precinct.

We had prepared a full ecclesiastical history of the North Frecinct; but our crowded pages and other good reasons oblige us to omit most of it.

Oct. 7, 1734, Abiel Howard, of Bridgewater, was unanimously chosen pastor. “He could not see his way clear to accept the call;” and hence the precinct try again. May 20, 1735, they unanimously gave a call to Atherton Wales, of Braintree; but he declined it. With commendable perseverance, the precinct, Dec. 20, 1735, unanimously invited Samuel Toby, of Sandwich, to settle. His answer was “No.” Again they look about for a candidate. One is procured. He is acceptable to the people, who, Sept. 7, 1736, ask Ebenczer White, of Brookline, to be their “gospel minister;” and, after about four weeks’ deliberation, he accepted the invitation.

The ordination took place, Feb. 23, 1737; but who took part in the interesting services of consecrating him to tlie work of the gospel ministry is unknown, as no records are to be found. It is uncertain on what particular day tlie church was embodied. No record of the organization of the church, or the names of those who composed it, are extant among the church or parish papers; but Rev. Mr. Avery fortunately made in his church-records the following entry, which throws some light upon the matter. We therefore transcribe it.

“Jan. 2nd, 1736-7. — Dismissed (at yr request), in order to ye gathering a Chh., Nicholas White,* John Hall,” Thomas Skinner,* Sen., John Skinner, Sen.,* Ephraim Grover, Sen.,* Benja. Williams, Seth Dorman,* Josiah Pratt, Thomas Fillebrown, Joshua Atherton, Stephen Blancher, Wm. Pain, Benj. Lane, Willm. Dean, Jonathan Pratt, Joshua Williams, Andrew Grover, Thomas Grover, Sen.,* Ezra Skinner, — members of ye Chh. in Norton, Living in ye North precinct.”

Those marked with a star were original members of the church from which they were dismissed; so that just half— reckoning the pastor among the number — of those who were embodied, Oct. 28, 1714, as the first church of Norton, were among the original members of the North-Precinct Church. They parted from their old associates and pastor in the goodly fellowship of the gospel and in the spirit of Jesus. They parted because they thought the interests of religion demanded a settled ministry in the northerly part of the town. One proof of the fraternal feeling existing between the parent and the child is the following vote, copied from Mr. Avery’s records : —

“July 1st, 1737.—Att a chh.-meeting before ye sacrament, ye chh., by vote, gave two bacars they bought with yr own money, and also ye bacar given by Mrs. Hannah Briggs, ye wife of Benj. Briggs, Sen., of Taunton, with her Consent, to ye 2nd Chh. in Norton, for yr. use and improvement.”

Mr. White’s ministry was not of the most peaceful character. He was probably too liberal in his views to satisfy many of the “stricter sort” of his parish. He was of a feeble constitution, and hence frequently was unable to attend to the duties of his office. Just as negotiations for his withdrawal from the ministry were completed, and a successor had been chosen, or on the 18th of January, 1761, he left the troubles of earth for the peaceful realms of the spirit-world.

Thomas’ will was made June 9, 1757, in his 89th year and was probated May 19, 1758, so that he was in the 90th year of his age when he died.” From Bristol County, Massachusetts Wills:

“Thomas Skinner, of Norton: To my well beloved wife, Hannah Skinner, a comfortable maintenance and support in every respect both in sickness and in health during her natural life, as by this will I shall order my son Benjamin to do and perform, and what I do by this will and testament give to my said wife & I do give it to her in Lieu of her dower or third of my estate.

2nd. Son Solomon Skinner and to his heirs and assigns for ever the land where he hath built a dwelling house and barn upon in said Norton where he now dwelleth, and all the land that I have adjoining together at that Place, and two other tracts of Land in said Norton, one of the tracts of Land lyeth adjoining southwardly easterly and westerly to the Land of Seth Briggs and northwardly by the Common or undivided Land, it being all the Land that I own at that place, and the other said tract of land lyeth adjoining on the southwardly part of Seth Briggs Land and adjoining the land of John Pratt and to the Land that was formerly owned by Capt. Morgan, both being all the Land that I own at that Place. I also give to him one half of my cider that now is harding and Lying in my cider swamp that is adjoining to my homestead place, I also give to him one quarter of a Right in the Taunton North Purchase called and all the Land that is Due upon it which is not yet laid out and it is my will that my said son Solomon pay to my grandchildren, viz. Samuel Skinner, Amos Skinner, and Elizabeth Skinner, the children of my son Samuel Skinner deceased ten shillings lawful money to each of them as they shall arrive at the age of 21 years.

3rdly I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Skinner twenty shillings lawful money to be paid to him by my son Benjamin Skinner within two years after my decease, and the reason that I do not give my son Joseph any more by this will is because I have heretofore gave to him with what I do now give to him by this will full as much as I think he ought to have of my estate.

4th, I give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin Skinner and to his heirs and assigns forever my dwelling House and Barn and all my Land in said Norton where I am living, and all the Land that I have adjoining to it, and two acres of Meadow in said Norton be it more or Less adjoining southwardly upon Wading River and southerly upon land that is owned by the Heirs of John Brintnall, Deceased, and westwardly on the Common and undivided Land, and Northwardly on the Land that does belong to the heirs of John Watson Esq., Deceased, and about nine or ten acres of land in said Norton be the same more or less adjoining Northwardly in the Old Colony line, so called, and bounded westerly on the Land of Nathaniel Brintnall, and southwardly by the Land of David Hardon, and easterly partly on the land of said Hardon and partly on the Land of Deacon William Dean. I also give to my son Benjamin one quarter right in Taunton North Purchase, so called, and all the Land that is Due upon it that has not been laid out, my son Solomon to have one half of the cider that is now Harding and lying in my Cider Swamp adjoining to my place, as I have above mentioned, and I do give my son Benjamin all my cattle, and sheep, and live stock, and one feather Bed, and my meal troff, and my cider mill tubb, and it is my will and I do hereby order my said son Benjamin and his heirs to provide patent maintenance and support for my said wife in every Respect both in time of sickness and in health during her natural life, and it is my will and I do hereby order my son Benjamin to pay to my son Joseph twenty shillings in Lawful money within two years after my decease as I have above mentioned.

5thly, I give and bequeath to my three grandchildren above named, viz. Samuel, Amos, and Elizabeth the children of my son Samuel Skinner, deceased, 10 shillings each, why I don’t give more is because I gave to their father in life time all he ought to have.

6th. I give and bequeath to my two daughters, one Hannah Grover the wife of John Grover of said Norton, and Esther Brintnall, the widow of Ebenezer Brintnall late of Norton, deceased, all my household goods except what by this will I have already mentioned. Reason I do not give anything to children and heirs of my son Thomas, deceased, is because I gave to my son Thomas in his lifetime by a deed of gift the Land where he built and settled on, which I think is the full of what he ought to have of my estate, and I do give to my son Benjamin all that justly due to me from any person or persons, and I do order him to pay all my just debts, and I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Benjamin Skinner to be my sole executor to this my last will and testament, ordering him and empowering him to ask receive and recover all that is due me and to pay all my just debts and funeral charges. 9th June 1757, Signed with his Mark; probated May 20,1758. Witnesses: Joseph Shepherd; Samuel Titus; Nathaniel Britnall.

From the Bristol County, Massachusetts Deeds: “Thomas Skinner, John Skinner, Andrew Grover and Ephraim Grover of Norton for a good and valuable consideration paid by John Pratt, deed to him six acres of land, Thomas and John Skinner each two acres, Andrew and Ephraim Grover each one acre, all in Norton, signed May 17,1714, recorded July 16, 1730.” (51)

“ Thomas Skinner, first of Norton, for and in consideration of ye sum of £225 by Andrew Starkey, of Attleborough, one messuage or tract of land in Norton in Tract called Taunton North Purchase, containing by Estimation 43 acres and 122 Rods be it more or less, together with ye building and fences and fruit trees that are upon ye land Reserving to myself my heirs Executors and Administrators and Assigns ye priviledge of a way across said land where it now is or where it shall be most convenient to said Starkey for me to go to my land with carts and creature through gates and barr; all other previleges are to him ye sd Andrew Starkey and his heirs and asigns etc. Signed April 9th. 1739, Thomas Skinner, Hannah F. Skinner, Her Mark. Witnesses: Samuel Titus, Samuel Skinner. Recorded Sept. 22, 1741.” (52)

“ Thomas Skinner Senr. of Town of Norton in the County of Bristol House Carpenter for the Love and good will which I have and do bare to Thomas Skinner my son of Norton House Carpenter 50 acres of Land being upland ground and swamp situate in said Town of Norton. Signed Jan. 4, 1721. In presence of Ebenezer Brintnall; John Grover. Thomas Skinner appeared and acknowledged same, Nov. 10, 1724, Recorded May 29, 1779.

George Faber Clark, A History of the Town of Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, from 1669 to 1859 –

Thomas Skinner, the son of Thomas and Mary (?) Skinner, and grandson of Thomas, who came from Chichester, England, about 1650, and settled in Maiden, was born November, 1668. He settled in the westerly part of the North Purchase, now Mansfield, as early as 1695; for his name appears as one of the proprietors of the North Purchase on a deed of land to Thomas and James Leonard, already mentioned. He is believed by some to have settled first in Wrentham, because some of his children’s births are recorded there. He doubtless attended meeting at Wrentham, because it was much nearer than Taunton? but I am confident that he did not reside there. He was one of the original members of our church, and the first schoolmaster of Norton. He married Hannah Carpenter (?) about 1694, and had eight children. His will was made June 9, 1757, in his eighty-ninth year; and was probated May 19, 1750: so that he was in the ninetieth year of his age when he died. We here give his autograph, written in 1722.

John Skinner was a brother, or perhaps only halfbrother, of Thomas: for Mary, the wife of Thomas Skinner, died at Malden, April 9,1671; and John was born April, 1673. He settled in the west part of the North Purchase about the time Thomas did; was a proprietor, and his name is attached to the deed of the proprietors to the Leonards. He was a member of our church at its organization. His wife’s name was Sarah , married about 1696; and they had seven children. He was living in 1738; but when he died is uncertain. There was a John Skinner who died at Wrentham, April 8, 1754; and he might have been the man. His autograph was written in 1695.


1. Thomas SKINNER IV (See his page)

2. Solomon Skinner

Solomon’s wife Mary Grover was born 26 Sep 1701 in Malden, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Andrew Grover and Mary Freety. Mary died 23 Aug 1784 in Mansfield, Bristol, Mass.

Andrew Grover, the brother of Thomas, was born October, 1673. His wife’s name was Mary , married about 1697 ; and they had three children born at Maiden, before removing to Norton, and seven afterwards. He is supposed to have died about 1751.

3. Joseph Skinner

Joseph’s wife Phebe Grover was born 10 Mar 1710 in Wrenthan, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Grover and Mary Cox. Phebe died 30 Dec 1807.

Thomas Grover was the son of Thomas and Sarah Chadwick of Maiden, and was born, according to records, March, 1668 (1669 ?). He settled near what is now West Mansfield. He and his brothers, Andrew and Ephraim, bought land in company, Nov. 14, 1702 ; and built their houses some forty or fifty rods apart, forming a sort of equilateral triangle. Thomas’s house was where John T. Tobit now lives, on the road leading to the Christian Chapel. Andrew’s house was where Rev. N. S. Chadwick now lives, on the road leading to Mansfield Centre ; and Ephraim’s house was on the road now leading to the Depot, at West Mansfield. Thomas married, July 29, 1697, Mary Cox ; and had three children born at Maiden, and three others at Norton.

4. Hannah Skinner

Hannah’s husband John Grover was born 12 Mar 1697 – Middlesex, Mass. His parents were Andrew Grover and Mary Freety. John died 27 Mar 1785 in Malden, Middlesex, Mass.

5. Esther Skinner

Esther’s husband Ebenezer Brintnall was born 1700 in Wrentham, Norfolk, Mass. His parents were Captain Samuel Brintnall and Esther Carpenter. Ebenezer died 9 Jun 1757.

6. Mary Skinner

Mary’s husband Benjamin Hall was born 1 Oct 1700 in Wrentham, Norfolk, Mass

7. Samuel Skinner

Samuel’s wife Elizabeth Grover was born 31 Oct 1708 in Wrenham, Norfork, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Grover and Mary Cox.

8. Benjamin Skinner

Benjamin’s wife Abigail Wild was born 21 Feb 1716 in Norton, Bristol, Mass. Her parents were John Wild and Abigail Bass. Abigail died 31 Jul 1780 in Mansfield, Bristol, Mass.


Skinner Kinsmen the descendants of Thomas Skinner of Malden, Mass by Natalie R. Fernald

George Faber Clark, A History of the Town of Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, from 1669 to 1859 –

The Skinner kinsmen, the descendants of Thomas Skinner of Malden, Mass By Natalie R. Fernald The Pioneer Press Washington, DC 1900

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, 90+, Line - Shaw and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Thomas Skinner III

  1. Pingback: Thomas Skinner IV | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Joseph Carpenter | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: William Carpenter | Miner Descent

  4. Pingback: Thomas Skinner II | Miner Descent

  5. Gene Zubrinsky says:

    The link above to is obsolete. The targeted article—important for providing circumstantial evidence that Thomas Skinner III’s wife, Hannah, was the daughter of Joseph3 and Margaret (Sutton) Carpenter—is now at

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