Thomas Low

Thomas LOW (c. 1605 – 1677) was Alex’s 11th Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Immigrant Ancestor

Thomas Low was born about 1605  in Boxford, Suffolk, England.  His parents may have been  Giles LOW and Cicely FIRMAN. Thomas married Margaret TODD 22 Jun 1630 in Polstead, Suffolk England.

He and his family came to New England with Rev. Nathaniel Rogers’ party. The Rogers party sailed from Gravesend, England, on 1 Jun 1636, and arrived in Massachusetts Bay (probably Charlestown) 17 Nov  1636. The ship was probably the Rebecca.  The  Rebecca was 16 weeks at sea. A month before she sighted land, beer (the liquid staple of the 1600’s) ran out and the crew and passengers were forced to drink stale water mixed with vinegar to purify it. On November 16th Rebecca encountered heavy fog which cleared the next day to reveal “Cape Anne fair on their starboard bow.”

Thomas Low and his family probably arrived at Chebacco, now part of Ipswich in 1637.  He was certainly living in Ipswich, Mass. in 1643.   After Margaret died, he married Susannah Stone in 1648.  Susannah is the wife mentioned in his will.  Perhaps Margaret’s date of death is incorrect and Susannah was Thomas’s second wife.  Thomas died in 8 Sep 1677 in Ipswich, Mass.

Different sources cite Thomas as being the son of Capt. John Lowe and Ellen Revett or Susan Serles, Giles Lowe and Cicely Firmin/Firman, or John Low and Margaret Firman. Capt. John Lowe was master of the ship Ambrose and Rear Admiral of John Winthrop’s Great Migration fleet of twelve ships in 1630. I have seen no solid information backing these assertions.  It appears that Capt John’s Thomas was born 18 Jun 1620 in Southampton, Hampshire, England which makes him far too young to have children by 1631.

Margaret Todd was born in 1597 in Boxford or in Polstead Hall, Cosford, Suffolk England. Her parents were Ananias TODD and Bridget THOMPSON.  If Margaret accompanied Thomas to New England, she completely escaped the records.

Susannah Stone was born in 1598 in England.  She was possibly a widow from Watertown as she returned there after Thomas’ death. Susannah died 19 Aug 1684 in Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.

Note: There is much confusion about whether Sarah Lowe was married to Joseph Safford or John Safford. All Low family genealogy research says she was married to Joseph, but Safford research says Joseph was married to Mary Baker.

Children of Thomas and Margaret:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Deacon Thomas Low 08 May 1631
Groton, Suffolk, England
Martha Boreman
4 Jul 1660
Ipswich, Mass.
12 Apr 1712
Ipswich, Mass.
2. Margaret Low 17 Jun 1632 Daniel Davison
8 Apr 1657
8 Jul 1668
Wenham, Mass.
3. John Low 2 Mar 1633 Boxford, Suffolk, England Sarah Thorndike
10 Dec 1661  Ipswich, Mass
Dorcas [__?__]
Ipswich, Mass.
29 Nov 1695 – Ipswich
4. Sarah LOW c. 1637
Boxford, Suffolk, England or Ipswich Mass
Ipswich, Mass
after 1708

6 Apr 1641 – Thomas Low was first mentioned in the records of Ipswich Mass. when he was granted 10 acres at Chebacco next to his previous 10 acres in exchange for 10 acres “due him from a grant from Mr. Rogers’ company.” near the brook by Mr. Appleton’s farm.

For at least a short time after Thomas Low married Margaret Todd, they resided in or around Groon, England and attended the Groton Church. Slightly less than one year after they had been married, in 1631, their first son Thomas Low Jr., later to become Deacon Thomas Low of Ipswich, was baptized at the Groton church.

Settled in Chebacco Parish, Essex Co., Mass, 1641, before which time two at least of his 5 children were born.

“He was a maltster, and died September 8, 1677, when his son John succeeded to the business and continued it until 1696.”

The Low family of Essex must be considered the second oldest family of the town. On April 6, 1641, Thomas Low had 10 acres of land assigned to him in Chebacco, “next to his ten acres there.”

He and other prominent men of Ipswich, Chebacco Parish, signed a letter declaring the innocence of Witchcraft charges against their neighbors, John Proctor (son of John PROCTOR Sr.) and his wife, Elizabeth. (note John Proctor was hanged as a witch. His wife, Elizabeth, was also convicted. Sir William Phipps prevented her execution by pardon.

Toward the end of his life, he appears to have been residing at “Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood” in Ipswich, known as “The South Eighth”. The homestead was located on the east side of Heartbreak Road, which went north from the Essex Road (now Route 133). The Candlewood section north of the Essex Road included the residences of John Brown, Humphrey GRIFFIN, Nathaniel Rogers, Edward Bragg,  Elisha and Benjamin Brown, John Choate, Deacon Mathew Whipple, and Agrilla Farm, owned originally by John Winthrop, Jr. and later by Samuel Symonds, whose daughter Sarah Symonds married Thomas Low. (see publications of the Ipswich Historical Society, 1909, Vol. XVI)

He appears to have died at his homestead in Candlewood, South Ipswich where his son John resided, and was most likely buried at the Old North Churchyard at Ipswich, MA, although there is no record of his burial.

Thomas’ will (Probate Records of Essex County, Vol III, Pp. 175-177, PB-17242) was written April 30, 1677 and was probated November 6th of that year, in which he left most of his estate to his son John, who married Sarah, daughter of John Thorndike of Beverly. To his son Thomas, who married Martha Boreman, (daughter of Thomas of Ipswich), he gave £40, and to his grandchild, Thomas Low, who moved to  Gloucester and married Sarah Symonds, daughter of Harlakenden, granddaughter of Governor Samuel Symonds, and became the ancestor of almost all the Low families there since

Will of Thomas Low, Sr. of Ipswich

“In the Name of God Amen. The Twentith day of Aprill in the yeare of grace one Thowsand Six hundred Seauenty & Seauen, I Thomas Low Senr. of Ipswich in America in the Shire of Essex, being weake in body; but of good & perfect memory, thanks be vnto God, Doeordaine & make this my last will & Testament in manner & forme following, first I bequeath my Soule into the hands of the Almighty God my Creator & redeemer, by whom, through whom, & inwhom I trust to haue remission of all my Sinnes & to be an Inheritor of the Kingdome of Heauen, & my body to be buried at the discression of my Executor.
Item I giue & bequath vnto Susannah my loueing wife, what goods she brought with hir, And also I give hir the vse of that roome which I lye in & the free vse of those things that are in it, And also the vse of one Cow which she liketh best, & will is that my sonne John shall mainteine it winter & sumer & also my will is, that if the Cow Come to any Casualty hee shall find her another Cow & maintaine it likewise as beforesaid, Also I giue vnto my wife one fourth part of her labor that she hath Spunn both Lening & woollen, & Also she shall haue hir beere as shee hath now, & also free vse of the fire: & Also John shall reare hur vp a shoate yearely for Sum meate for hir, &also shee shall haue the free vse of a Garden plott, & also alitle ground to sow half a peck of flax seede yeerely. And also I giue vnto hir Thirty shillings yeerely to be payd by my Executorin Such things as shee shall stand in neede of, during her naturall life: moreouer I giue vnto my loueing wife five pownds to dispose of as shee shall thinke good. An my will is That in Case my wife shall thinke meete to remoue from my Sonne John, Then my will is, that John Low shall pay or ca[use] to by payd vnto hir forty Shillings yearely & euery yeare during hir natu[ral] life inSuch pay as shee needeth. And Also I giue hir the cowe to be hir[own] & John to send hir the pay to Boston or Charls Towne.

“Item I Giue & bequeathe vnto my Sonne John Low all my Howsing &all my lands in Ipswich both meadow & vpland, to him & his heires for euer. Item I giue & bequeath vnto my Sonne Thomas Low Thirty pownds, to bee payd him by my Executor in tooe yeares after my decease.

Item I giue vnto my Daughter Margaret forty pownds, to bepayd by my Executor in tooe yeares after my decease.

Item I Giuevn to my daughter Sarah forty pownds to be payd by my Executor within tooe yeare after my Decease.

Item I giue vnto my Grandchild Thomas Low five pownds, when hee is Twenty yeares of age, or a this day of marriage. Item I give vnto my Grandaughter Margaret Dauison five pownds, when she shall be Twenty yeare old, or at hirday of marriage. Item I give vnto my Grandaughter Sarah Safford, five pownds, when she shall be Twenty yeare old, or at hir day of marriage. Item I giue vnto my Grandaughter, Sarah Low, five pownds, when she shall be Twenty yeare old, or at hir day ofmarriage. All the rest of my goods & Chattells vnbequeathed, I giue unto my Sonne John Low, whom I doe ordaine & make my Sole Executor of this my last will and Testament. In witness whereof I haue herevnto sett my hand & Seale the Thirtith day of April inthe yeare of Grace Sixteene hundred Seuenty & Seauen. 1677″
Thomas Low. (seal)

Witness: [our ancestors ] James CHUTE [Jr.], Mary (her + mark) Chute

Proved in Ipswich court November 6, 1677 by Ja. Chute
Date: 3 Mar 2003


1. Deacon Thomas Low

Thomas’ wife Martha Boreman was born 1641 in Ispwich, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Boreman and Margaret Offing. Martha died 22 Jan 1720 in Essex, Mass.

Deacon Thomas Low founded the congregational church in lpswich.

Thomas had at least 26 acres of land in Chebacco beginning 1641-1643. He had an extensive farm and a manufactory of malt. He was a Deacon of the Chebacco Church from it’s beginning in 1679 until his death in 1712. He was also the Parish Clerk from 1690-1696 under John Wise.

During the Salem Witchcraft trials Thomas Low, a few others along with their pastor Rev. John Wise testified in writing that they could see nothing wrong in an accused person. .

Thomas signed the petition in support of John Proctor oldest son of our ancestor John PROCTOR  and his wife Elizabeth Proctor at the Salem Witch trials.

In his will he wished for “a glorious resurrection through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, my only Redeemer.” He left his widow well provided with “two hundred weight of pork yearly, with ten barrels of Winter apples, and all the Summer fruit she needed, two barrels of cider, six bushels of malt, three of Indian corn, and one of wheat, besides two shillings in money, fourteen pounds of wool and twelve of flax, wood for one fire, the milk of two cows, and a horse to ride at her pleasure and convenience, together with the garden at the end of the house. ” [2] She lived in the back of the house, her son and his family in the front. Her son, of course, administered the provision of the Deacon’s will.

2. Margaret Low

Margaret’s husband Daniel Davison was born 1630 in Scotland. His parents were Nicholas Davison and Joan Hodges. Daniel died 1693 in Wenham, Essex, Mass.

3. John Low

John’s wife Sarah Thorndike was born in 1638 in Beverly, Essex, Mass. Her parents were John Thorndike and Elizabeth Stratton. Sarah died 1684 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

John’s second wife Dorcas [__?__] was born 1644 in England

John was a farmer and a malster.

4. Sarah LOW (See John SAFFORD Sr.‘s page)


From Phoebe Tilton, 1947 by Walter Goodwin Davis

A genealogical quest (for the parents of Thomas Low) – 1906

This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Witch Trials and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Thomas Low

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  9. This Lowe 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

  10. Walter T Crean says:

    Thomas Lowe Sr. is my ancestor through his eldest son Deacon Thomas Lowe Jr.

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