Thomas Bourne

Thomas BOURNE (1581 – 1664) was Alex’s 11th great grandfather, one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miner line.

Immigrant Ancestor

Thomas Bourne was born in 1581 in Matlock, Derbyshire, England.  His parents were Bartholomew BOURNE and [__?__]. He first married Martha Holmes about 1598.  After Martha died, he married Elizabeth [ROUSE?] about 1610.  He emigrated from Tenderden, Kent, England and was at Plymouth MA with his family in 1637. Thomas died on 11 May 1664 in Marshfield, Mass.

Martha Holmes was born in 1581 in Berkampsted, Suffolk, England. She died in 1613 in England.

Elizabeth Rouse was born about 1590 in Kent, England.  Her parents were John ROUSE (1558 – 1590) and Anice PEABODY. Elizabeth died 18 Jul 1660 in Marshfield, Mass.

Children of Thomas and Martha:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Richard Bourne? baptized
13 Jan 1609/10.
Kempsey, Worcestershire England
Hannah [__?__]
Marshfield, Mass.
2. Martha Bourne Bapt
8 Dec 1611 Gloucestershire, England
John Bradford
(Son of Governor William Bradford)
1640 Plymouth, Mass.
Thomas Tracey
Norwich, CT
1678 Norwich, New London, CT.

Children of Thomas and Elizabeth

Name Born Married Departed
3. Sarah Ann BOURNE 18 Jan 1615 Tenterden, Kent, England Rev. Nehemiah SMITH
21 Jan 1639/40
Marchfield, Mass
12 Jan 1683/84 Norwich, CT
4. Margaret Bourne c. 1616 Kempsey, Worcestershire, England Josiah Winslow (Brother of Governor Edward Winslow)
1636 Marshfield, Mass.
28 Sep 1683
Marshfield, Mass
5. Elizabeth Bourne c. 1618
Tenderdon, Kent, England
Robert Waterman
11 Dec 1638 Marshfield, Mass
Thomas Tilden
12 Dec 1663 Scituate or Marshfield, Mass.
6. John Bourne c. 1619 Kempsey, England Alice Bisbee
18 JUL 1645 Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass
DEC 1684 Marshfield, Mass
7. Lydia Bourne 1624 Nathaniel Tilden
1644 Norwich, CT

Bourne is a place name from Bourne, Lincolnshire, England. It is derived from old English meaning a small river or Springwell.

Thomas Bourne of Tenderten, Kent, was from the same family as Rear-Admiral Nehemiah Bourne, who commanded the Parliamentary forces.

4 Dec 1637 – Granted 100 acres at Green Harbor, with the understanding that the farms
were to be part of the town of Plymouth. However, by 1640, the area was organized as a separate town, first by the name of Rexham, and finally by the name of Marshfield.

2 Jan 1637/38 – Made freeman of Plymouth Colony.

Jun 1641, Jun 1642, and Oct 1645 – Deputy for Marshfield to the Plymouth General Court

1642 – Co-executor with Robert Waterman of a will; as being entrusted to distribute ten pounds willed by Edward Winslow to the poor of the town

Aug 1645, Thomas Bourne was one of a dozen men of Marshfield, to offer to pay ten shillings a year toward the schoolteacher’s salary, over and above the regular charges for their children

1643 – On guard duty at his garrison home. Bourne’s garrison in Swansea, Mass is not related.  It was built by Jared Bourne prior to King Philip’s War

1642 to 1646 –  Assistant to Governor Winslow,

Jun 1647 – Supervisor of Highways at Marshfield

1648 – On the Grand Jury in 1648.

8 Jun 1649 –  “Mr. Edmund HAWES of Yarmouth” sold to “Mr. Thomas Burne [probably our ancestor Thomas BOURNE] of Marshfield a certain parcel of upland being in Marshfeild aforesaid lying on the north side of the South River estimated at about thirty acres”

Thomas Bourne – Marshfield Settlers Monument

[Wells3 42-46]

TB was an early settler at Plymouth and then one of the original grantees at Marshfield. TB was listed as a freeman on 7 March 1636-7, tho not sworn in as one until 2 January 1637-8. Consistently referred to as “Mr.” and in one record is referred to as “gentleman”. TB was in his 50s when he came to NE. Of his wife, little is known. She died at the age of 70 and was buried on 18 July 1660 in Marshfield.  TB granted 100 acres on 4 December 1637 and a garden place in Plymouth. He served as juror several times: once indicting Edward Shaw for stealing and having him whipped and branded and once for indicting Alice Bishop for murdering her child. By 1640, the Greens Harbor group had established themselves as a separate group and organised a town under the name of Rexham, later Marshfield. TB served as deputy for Rexham at the General Court.  TB’s made his will on 2 May 1664 at the age of 83 and describe himself as a draper. To his daughter Bradford he left 20 pounds and his wife’s gold ring; to his daughter Smith 9 pounds; to his daughter Winslow, two cows; to his son Tilden, 5 schillings; …. The inventory of his estate amounted to 138:14:02 and was exhibited on 9 June 1664.

Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Vol I page 219

THOMAS, early at Marshfield, may prob. have come from Co. Kent, bring. fam. hav. been at Plymouth 1637, freem. of that colony. 2 Jan. 1638, had w. Eliz. bur. 18 July 1660, aged 70, was a man of substance and repute, d. a. 1664, aged 83, leav. wid. Martha, ch. prob. all by w. Eliz. John, above ment.; Martha, wh. m. 1. John Bradford, s. of the Gov. 2. Thomas Tracey, d. at Norwich 1689; Eliz. m. 9 Dec. 1638, Robert Waterman; Ann, m. 21 June 1640, Nehemiah Smith; Margaret m. Josiah Winslow, br. of Gov. Edward; and Lydia m. Nathaniel Tilden. His will of 2 May 1664, made s. John excor. names ea. d. and Lydia, d. of Lydia, beside John, Thomas, Joseph, and Robert Waterman, and Mr. Arnold, his min. THOMAS, Marshfield, prob. s. of John, m. 18 Apr. 1681, Eliz. d. of John Rouse, had Eliz. wh. d. 14 Apr. 168

The New England Ancestry of Dana Converse Backus page 57

THOMAS BOURNE was a man in his fifties when with his wife and family he arrived at Plymouth in New England, not later than 1636 since his daughter Margaret married there and her first child was born in September 1637. He became a freeman of the Colony January 2, 1636/7 according to one authority, or a year later according to another, and he was an early proprietor of the region adjoining the town of Plymouth. This was known first as Greens Harbor, then as Rexham, and was finally incorporated under the name Marshfield. He was one of the deputies who first represented the town in the Colonial government. Savage calls him “a man of substance and repute.”TB and E had John, Martha, Elizabeth, Ann, Margaret and Lydia.

Pope’s “Pioneers of Massachusetts” Page 60

“Mr. Thomas, Plymouth, land gr. to his son Richard for him Jan. 2, 1636; frm. 7 Feb. 1636 -7. He rem. to Marshfield. Propr. 1643. Wife Elizabeth was bur. July 18, 1660, ae. 70.  He was bur. May 11, 1664, ae. 83. Will dated May 2, prob. June 9, 1664, made son John right heir and exec., and beq. to him, to daus. [Martha] Bradford, [Anne] Smith, [Margaret] Winslow, [Lydia] Tilden; to son [Nathaniel] Tilden; to John, Thomas, Joseph and Robert Waterman ; and to Mr. Arnold.”


1. Martha Bourne

Martha’s husband John Bradford was born 1617 in Leiden, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands. His parents were William Bradford (wiki) (1590 – 1657) the 2nd, 5th, 7th, 9th & 11th Governor of Plymouth Colony and Dorothy May (1597 – 1620).  The Mayflower’s departure was emotional.  Many families were split as some Separatists stayed behind in the Netherlands, planning to make the voyage to the New World after the colony had been established. William and Dorothy Bradford left their three year old son John with Dorothy’s parents in Amsterdam, possibly because he was too frail to make the voyage.

During the third exploration from the Mayflower, which departed on December 6, 1620, a group of men including Bradford located present day Plymouth Bay, explored the bay and found a suitable place for settlement, now the site of downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The exploring party made their way back to the Mayflower to share the good news that a place for settlement had been found. When Bradford arrived back onboard, he learned of the death of his wife, Dorothy. The day after he had embarked with the exploring party, Dorothy slipped over the side of the Mayflower and drowned.

“Dorothy Bradford comes to America”  Japanese woodblock (moku hanga)By Annie Bissett

Many historians, including Nathaniel Philbrick and Gary Schmidt, suggest that Dorothy may have committed suicide due to despair over her separation from her only son John and fear of settling in a dangerous wilderness.  Bradford did not write about her death in his journal, and there are no evidence that Bradford ever spoke of her again.   Some, including historian Kieran Doherty, suggest that Bradford’s silence on the subject is an indication of his purported shame over her suicide.  There are no contemporary accounts to indicate whether her death was an accident or a suicide.

In 1627 John came to Plymouth and found his father’s household full. He moved to Duxbury sometime before 1645. He finally settled among the earliest proprietors of Norwich CT in about 1652. He served as Lt. Deputy to the General Court in Norwich CT in that year, and was married in Marshfield in 1653.  John and Martha had no children.  He gave house and home lot to nephew, Thomas.  John died 1678 in Norwich, New London, CT.

Martha’s second husband Lt. Thomas Tracy was born 7 Nov 1610 in Lessington, Norfolk, England. He was christened on 13 Jan 1613 in Lessington, England. His parents were Paul Tracy and Anne Shakerly. He first married Mary Mason in 1641. After Martha died, he married Mary Foote in 1683.  Thomas died 7 Nov 1685 in Norwich,New London, CT. He was employed in ship building.  His estate was prized at 560 pounds; he had about 5000 acres of land.

Thomas was John and Martha’s closest neighbor.  Thomas Tracy’s home-lot lay east of Simon Huntington’s on the south side of the street, which here runs nearly east and west. It consisted of nine acres, measuring thirty-four rods on the street. John Bradford, four acres, opposite Tracy, with the street and highways on all sides. “Mr. John Bradford’s corner,” was quoted as a landmark. This was at the east end of his lot, where what was then called “the road to Shetucket” began.

Bradford Huntington House – 16 Huntington Ln, Norwich, New London, Connecticut 06360

The Bradford-Huntington House is a home built during 1691-1719 in the Norwichtown section of Norwich, Connecticut. Its 3-acre (1.2 ha) property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and it is also a contributing property in the Norwichtown Historic District (which was listed on the National Register in 1973).

The house is a timber house on a stone foundation, with a large brick fireplace and chimney in the middle of each of two gambrel-roofed wings

Bradford Huntington House Interior

2. Richard Bourne

I’m thinking Richard died soon after his marriage to Hannah in 1638.  A different Richard Bourne was an early resident of Massachusetts.  He was the son of William Bourne and Ursula Day. Rev. Richard married Bathsheba Hallett in 1637 in New England.  Richard came to Scituate, Mass. via the Barbados in 1630 and soon moved to Lynn, MA. In 1637 he was one of about 50 persons who left Lynn to settle Sandwich. A Richard Bourne was the first instructor of the Indians at Mashpee, beginning in 1658, ordained in 1670 by Eliot and Cotton.

3. Sarah Ann BOURNE (See Rev. Nehemiah SMITH‘s page)

4. Margaret Bourne

Margaret’s husband Josiah Winslow was born 11 Feb 1606 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England. His parents were Edward Winslow and Magdalen Olyver. He was one of five brothers (Edward, John, Gilbert, Kenelm, and Josiah) who came to New England. His brother Edward Winslow (1595 – 1655) served as the governor of Plymouth Colony in 1633, 1636, and finally in 1644. Edward’s testimony in Mourt’s Relation is one of only two primary sources of the “first thanksgiving” in existence.  Josiah settled in Marshfield, MA., and was a deputy to the General Court at Plymouth in 1643.  Josiah died Nov 1674 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass.

Josiah and Margaret (Bourne) Winslow are listed on the Marshfield founder’s monument.

Josiah Winslow came to New England with his brother Kenelm, on the ship “White Angel“.   Jan 18, 1628/29 The White Angel, of Bristol, departed Barnstaple, England, for Plymouth, Massachusetts. Passengers to Plymouth: (per Bradford, II, 33) Christopher Burkett, Master, Isaac ALLERTON, Rev John Rogers, Cargo consisted of goods being shipped by Isaac Allerton.

Allerton was sent to England several times to negotiate with investors, and would return to England.  Unfortunately for the others, Allerton began to use his “free” trips to England to engage in some private gains, purchasing goods and selling them in the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth.  He also used his capacity as Plymouth’s designated negotiator to engage the Colony in a number of unapproved money-making schemes: he went so far as to purchase ships (which he partially used for his own private trading), and to attempt to negotiate grants and patents for trade–all at great cost to the company and none of it approved by the others back at Plymouth.  When his trading schemes failed, the Company found itself in far greater debt than it ever started out with.

Josiah Winslow arrived in Plymouth, sent by the colony’s investors to keep accounts. The investors accepted him initially for the sake of his brother, Edward Winslow, Mayflower passenger and Assistant Governor.

William Bradford, wrote about 1631,

 “Mr. Sherley would needs send them…. He had made mention of such a thing the year before, but they write him word, that their charge was great already…. Yet he now sent one, which they did not refuse, being a younger brother of Mr. Winslows, whom they had been at charge to instruct at London before he came. He came over in the White Angell with Mr. Allerton, and there began his first employment.” Bradford continued that the arrangements by Mr. Sherley and Mr. Allerton to send goods were much more costly than need be, “And if Josias Winslow had not been there, it had been worse, for he had the invoyce, and order to send them to the trading houses” (Ford 2:135-36).

Unfortunately, Josiah proved to be incompetent. William Bradford wrote

the new accountant, which they in England would needs press upon them, did wholly fail them, and could never give them any account; but trusting to his memorie, and lose papers, let things rune into shuch confusion, that neither he, nor any with him, could bring things to rights” (Ford 2:230),

And still later, in a document of 1641 between Mr. Atwood, in Mr. Sherley’s behalf, and the colony, it was stated that

“the accounts of the said partnership are found to be confused, and cannot orderley appeare (through the defaulte of Josias Winslow, the booke keeper)” (Ford 2:297).

He was admitted a freeman of Plymouth on 1 Jan 1633/4, but moved to Marshfield by 1643.

He later moved to Marshfield, where he was a constable on March 2, 1640/41 (PCR 2:9). He served in other public positions, such as juror, deputy, and highway surveyor, and on committees to regulate land, to decide the Kennebec trade, and to set tax revenues. On June 4, 1645, he was chosen as a member of a committee to revise the colony’s laws (PCR 2:85). On 5 Jun 1671 Mr. Josias Winslow, Sr. was a member of the Council of War (PCR 5:64).

Josiah was buried 1 Dec 1674 in his sixty-ninth year (he had been baptized at Droitwich, Worcestershire, on 16 Feb 1605/06). He dated his will 12 Apr 1673, inventory 17 Dec 1674, and he named his wife Margaret, his son Jonathan, his four daughters, his granddaughter Hannah Miller, his grandchildren, and his loving friend Mr. Samuel Arnold, and he appointed Captain William Bradford and his loving nephew  Maj. Josiah Winslow as overseers. (MD 34:33).  Maj. Josiah,  son of his brother Edward, served as governor of Plymouth Colony from 1673 to 1680.

Josiah’s confusion over financial matters apparently held to the last, and the court made void his conditional bequest of house and land to his son Jonathan, as he had already given the property to him at his marriage.   On 1 Mar 1674/75 the court ruled that because he had during his life already given his lands in Marshfield without restriction to his son Jonathan on the latter’s marriage to Ruth, the daughter of Mr. William Sergeant, but in his will left the same lands to Jonathan in fee tail (which basically meant that he could not sell them), that part of the will was void, but the rest would stand (PCR 5:159-60).

Children of Josiah and Martha

i. Elizabeth Bradford b. 24 Sep 1637, in Marshfield. She

was apparently accidentally shot and killed by her eight-yearold brother, Jonathan, in 1646.

ii. Jonathan Bradford b. 8 Aug 1639, in Marshfield; m. Ruth Sargent by 1664 and had six children.

iii. Margaret Bradford b. 15 or 16 Jul 1640, in Marshfield. m. John Miller 24 Dec 1659, in Marshfield and had eight children.

iv. Rebecca Bradford b. 15 Jul 1643, in Marshfield. m. John Thatcher by 1665 and had eight children.

v. Hannah Bradford b. 30 Nov 1644, in Marshfield. m1. William Crow 4 Apr 1664, in Plymouth; m2. John Sturtevant by 1687 and had two children.

vi. Mary Bradford b. ca. 1646; m. John Tracy 10 Jun 1670, in Marshfield and had one daughter

5. Elizabeth Bourne

Elizabeth’s husband Robert Waterman was born about 1608, in Norwich, Norfolk, England. His father was Thomas Waterman.

He arrived in New England from Norwich, England in 1636. He located a pleasant place near Green’s Harbor in what in now Marshfield. Here he resided until his death in Dec 12, 1652, and served efficiently in numerous town offices.

He bought land in Plymouth 7 May  1639, but he removed to Marshfield, and was a freeman 7 Mar 1642.  He was fifth and last of the original settlers on Marshfield Neck at Rexhame and settled north of his brother-in-law Josiah Winslow and east of his father-in-law, Thomas Bourne. His house was located opposite today’s Old Colony Lane, but is no longer standing. He served the town as a deputy to the Plymouth Colony Court. When he died 10 Dec 1652 in Marshfield, age 44, his four sons were put under the guardianship of his neighbors Josiah Winslow and Anthony Snow. His son Joseph, born in 1639 or 1640, inherited the home and, not unexpectedly, married Sarah Snow, daughter of his guardian. Perhaps the isolation of the Neck contributed to the closeness and mutual support of the families there. The farm remained in the Waterman family for six generations and was sold eventually to Captain Otis Baker, whose widow, Mary, died there in 1900 at the age of 102.

Elizabeth’s second husband Thomas Tilden was baptized 19 Jan 1618/19 Tenterden, Kent, England.

Children of Robert and Elizabeth:

i. Joseph Waterman b. 1639/40 died young

ii. Deacon John Waterman b. 19 Apr 1642 Marshfield, Plymouth, MA d. 14 Sept 1718 age 77 yrs Plympton, Plymouth, MA m. 7 Dec 1665 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA to Anna Sturtevant Both buried in the Ye Olde Burial Grounds, Plympton, MA.

iii. Thomas Waterman b. 30 Nov 1644 Marshfield, Plymouth, MA; d. 19 Jun 1708 Norwich, New London, CT buried Norwich Town Burying Ground; m. Nov 1668 at Norwich, New London, CT to Miriam Tracy

iv. Joseph Waterman b. ca 1649/50 Marshfield, Plymouth, MA (at Neck End); d. 3 Jan 1712 Marshfield, Plymouth, MA age 62 and buried in the Winslow Cemetery at Marshfield, MA; m. 1673 to Sarah Snow

v. Robert Waterman b. 1652 Marshfield, Plymouth, MA; d. 18 May 1741 Marshfield, Plymouth, MA age 89; m. Oct 1675 at Hingham, Plymouth, MA to Susanna Lincoln; m2. 20 Feb 1699 to Sarah Lewis Lincoln

vi. Elizabeth Waterman

6. John Bourne

John’s wife Alice Bisbee was born ABT 1624 in Biddenden, Kent, England.  Her parents were Thomas “Bisbee” Besbeche and Ann Basenden.  Alice died 07 May 1686 in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA.

Child of John and Alice:

i.  Elizabeth Bourne May 31 1646 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass.; m. Joseph Bent.

ii. Thomas Bourne b. 22 Oct 1647 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass.’ m. Elizabeth Rowse on Apr 18 1681 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass.

iii. Martha Bourne b. 4 Apr 1653 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass.; d. 25 Aug 1724 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass. m. Valentine Decro on Feb 26 1678 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass.

iv. Alice Bourne

v. Ann Bourne

vi. Mary Bourne,

vii. Sarah Bourne .

7. Lydia Bourne

Lydia’s husband Nathaniel Tilden was born 28 Jul 1583 in Tenterden, Kent, England. His parents were Thomas Tilden and Alice Bigge/Biggs. He was first married to Lydia Hatche Huckstepe. They had at least 12 children. He married Lydia in 1641 and died the same year. In his will dated May 20, 1641, Nathaniel Tilden of Scituate mentions his wife, Lydia; sons, Joseph, Thomas, Steven; daughters, Sara, Mary, Judith. Nathaniel died 31 Jul 1641 in Scituate, Plymouth, Mass.


  1. Author: Torrey, Clarence Almon
    Title: New England Marriages Prior to 1700
    Publication: Name: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, MD 1995;
    Source Medium: Book
    (Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, MD 1995). Cited by Patrick McDonald at, accessed 10 Aug 2005.
  2. Author: Torrey, Clarence Almon
    Title: New England Marriages Prior to 1700
    Publication: Name: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, MD 1995;
    Source Medium: Book
    (Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, MD 1995). Cited by Patrick McDonald at, accessed 10 Aug 2005.
  3. Author: Compiled by Robert M. Sherman
    Title: Vital Records of Marshfield, Plymouth, MA – to about the year 1850
    Publication: Name: Picton Press, Camden, Me. (1969;
    Source Medium: BookPage: P. 10MA – to about the year 1850, (Picton Press, Camden, Me. (1969), P. 10. Cited by Craig Bryant at, accessed 10 Aug 2005.
  4. Author: Torrey, Clarence Almon
    Title: New England Marriages Prior to 1700
    Publication: Name: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, MD 1995;
    Page: p. 86

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16 Responses to Thomas Bourne

  1. Pingback: Rev. Nehemiah Smith | Miner Descent

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  3. Marion Buntin says:

    Another batch of sources show Richard Bourne & Judith Cowper as the parents of Sarah Ann Bourne who m. Nehemiah Smith. Can you clarify which it is via the will of Thomas or otherwise?

  4. markeminer says:

    Hi Marion,

    I check various sources and think it’s very likely that Thomas Bourne is indeed Sarah’s father based on his will, 19thC sources and the fact they all lived in Marshfield. I’m not quite so certain Thomas’ wife Elizabeth’s maiden name was Rouse.

    Cheers, Mark

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  12. This Bourne coat of arms is copyright of Please remove it, or at least add a link to our website and remove any advertising to outside companies, such as…. This amounts to you using my images to collect ad dollars for yourself. Please cease and desist. You have quite a huge number of my graphics on your site at

    Mike Kennaugh

  13. Marcia says:

    Love your website! I have learned so much from it. I did note a mistake with the listing of Josiah and Martha’s children, you have them as Bradford rather than Winslow. Also, Martha should be Margaret.

  14. Tamara Lynn Allen says:

    Thomas was my 10th Great-grandfather. Very cool learning all I have today. My husband’s family (2 members) were friends, colleagues, and enemies with a member of our family! It makes you think our marriage was surely written in the stars!

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