Thomas Dexter Sr.

Thomas DEXTER Sr. (1594 – 1676) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Dexter Coat of Arms

Dexter Coat of Arms

Thomas Dexter Sr. was born between 1594 and 1606 in Great Bowden, Leicestershire, England. Alternatively, he was born 24 Jan 1594 in Bristol, Somerset, England. His parents were Thomas DEXTER and Mary TOPLEY. He may have married 30 Jan 1612/13 Great Bowden, Leicestershire, England to Mary HARPER. Thomas died between 26 Oct 1676 and 9 Feb 1677 in Boston, Middlesex, Mass. and is buried in Kings Chapel Cemetery, Boston.

The identify of his wife(s) is not known.

Mary Fuller may have been born in 1597 in Bristol, Somerset, England. Mary died about 1629.

Mary Harper  may have been born 25 Dec 1590 in Great Bowden, Leicestershire, England.

Children of Thomas and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary Dexter b. 1617
John Frend
Oct 1639 Barnstable, Mass.
Captain James Oliver
 1680 Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass.
2. Thomas DEXTER Jr. ~1623
Great Bowden, Leicestershire, England.
Elizabeth VINCENT
8 Nov 1648 Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass
30 Dec 1686 Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass.
3. Frances Dexter 1626
Bristol, England
Richard Woode or Woodee 21 Apr 1718 Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass
4. William Dexter 1630, Alton, Wilts, England Sarah Vincent
8 May 1694 Rochester, Plymouth, Mass.

Thomas’ father Thomas Dexter was born in 1568 in Bristol, Somerset, England. Thomas most likely died in Somerset, England.

Thomas’ mother Mary Topley was born 1572 in England. Mary died in 1639 in Boston, Middlesex, Mass.

Genealogy of the Dexter Family in America, – “Of the early life of Thomas Dexter, the first ancestor of this line of Dexters to arrive in this country, but little is known. He came either with Mr. Endicott in 1629 or in the fleet with Governor Winthrop in 1630. He brought with him three of his children at least, and several servants. hut as there is no record of his wife, it is presumed that she died before they sailed from England. There is some reason to believe that they belonged in the neighborhood of Bristol, England. “for in the years that followed he had considerable dealing with people who lived there. In 1640 he gave a mortgage of his 500-acre farm at Lynn to Humphrey Hooke, alderman of Bristol, England.

He had received a good education, and wrote a beautiful hand, as papers now in existence will show: was a man of great energy of character, public-spirited, and ever ready to contribute to the support of any enterprise he thought to be of interest to the colony ; always independent, and fearless in the expression of his opinions. Such were the leading traits; but it must be admitted, says one writer, “that his energy of character bordered on stubbornness and his independence of thought on indiscretion and self-will.”

In 1630, in the prime of life and with ample means, he settled on a farm of 800 acres in the town of Lynn. Mass. He had many servants, and was called “Farmer Dexter.” The house was on the west side of the Saugus River, about where the iron works were afterward erected.

In 1633 he built a bridge over the Saugus River and stretched a weir across it, and a little later built a mill nearby.

He was greatly interested in starting the iron works, which were the first to be built in this section of the country, getting the iron ore from the Cape. He interested English capital in the enterprise and became the general manager. Some years later, becoming convinced that the enterprise could not prove satisfactory, he withdrew.

He became a freeman 18 May 1631, but soon lost the honor, for he was disfranchised on the 4th of March, 1633.

4 Mar 1632/33 – The court ordered that “Thomas Dexter shall be set in the bilbowes, disfranchised & fined £40 for speaking reproachful & seditious words against the government here established, & finding fault to diverse with the acts of the Court, saying this captious government will bring all to naught, adding that the best of them was but an attorney, &c.”

6 Sep 1638 – In the general amnesty, £30 of this fine was remitted

He had many quarrels and many vexatious lawsuits. In 1631 he had a quarrel with Captain Endicott (afterward Governor), in which the Salem magistrate struck Mr. Dexter, who had him complained of in court at Boston. Mr. Endicott said in his defense:

“I hear I am much complained of by Goodman Dexter for striking him. Understanding since it is not lawful for a ‘justice of the peace to strike, but if you had seen the manner of his carriage with such daring of me, with arms akimbo, it would have provoked a very patient man. He has given out that if I had a purse he would make me empty it, and if he cannot have justice here, he will do wonders in England, and if he cannot prevail there, he will try it out with me here at blows. If it were lawful for me to try it out at blows and he a fit man for me to deal with, you would not hear me complain.”

The jury gave Mr. Dexter a verdict of £10.

In 1633 the court ordered Mr. Dexter to be set in the bilboes, disfranchised and fined £10 for speaking reproachful and seditious words against the government here established.

Mr. Dexter, having been insulted by Samuel Hutchinson, met him one day on the road, “and jumping from his horse bestowed about twenty blows on the head and shoulders of Hutchinson, to the no small danger or deray of his senses as well as sensibilities.” These facts would indicate that Mr. Dexter was not a meek man.

In 1637 he and nine others obtained from the Plymouth Colony court a grant of the township of Sandwich. He went there and built the first grist mill.

Dexter's Mill

Dexter’s Mill

Dexter's Grist Mill

He did not remain there long, however, for in 1638, he had 350 acres assigned to him as one of the inhabitants of Lynn. He remained in Lynn until 1646. About this time he purchased two farms in Barnstable, one adjoining to the mill-stream and afterwards occupied by his son William, and the other farm on the northeastern declivity of ”Scorton Hill.” His dwelling’ was situated on the north side of the old county road, and commanded an extensive prospect of the country for miles around. Here he lived a quieter life, yet could not keep entirely free from lawsuits, for in 1648 he had no less than six lawsuits in court. all decided in his favor.


His greatest lawsuit was with the inhabitants  of Lynn over the ownership of the land where Nahant now  is. This land Mr. Dexter bought of the Indian chief Pognannm, or “Black Will.” paying- for the same a suit of good clothes. This he fenced in and used it to pasture his cows. The title to this was disputed by the other inhabitants (1657) who, if his claim was denied, would share in the division of the land. The result was a defeat for him and his heirs. although they kept it in court over thirty-eight years.

4 Aug 1646 – Admonished for sleeping in church

In 1657 Mr. Dexter took the oath of fidelity. He was admitted freeman of Plymouth Colony on June 1. 1658. For the next eighteen years he lived a quiet, retired life on his farm. During the later years of his life he appears to have conveyed his mill and his large real estate in Sandwich to his son Thomas, Jr. and his West Barnstable farm to his son William. retaining his Scorton Hill farm and his personal estate for his own use. He sold this last mentioned farm in 1676.  to William Troope (Throope).

Dexter's Grist Mill

Dexter’s Grist Mill – Sandwich

He then removed to Boston  that he might spend the remainder of his days with his daughter, who was the wife of Captain Oliver. He died there in 1677, and was buried in the Oliver tomb in King’s Chapel burying-ground.

Taken all in all. he was one of the foremost men of his times. He had faults: and who has not?  No attempt has been made in this to veil them. He was not one to hide his light under a bushel, and in estimating his character we must inquire what he did, not what he might have done. Who did more thanThomas Dexter to promote the interest of the infant colony at Lynn, with the building of the weir, the bridge, the mill and the great iron works? Who did more at Sandwich and at Barnstable, where he built bridges, mills and roads improvements that the public  took interest in? For these acts he is  deserving- credit, and they will forever embalm his memory. As to religious matters he was a member of the Puritan Church, yet tolerant and liberal in his views.”


1630 – Migration, first residence: Lynn

3 May 1631 the Thomas Dexter’s accusation of battery against John Endicott was tried before a jury, which decided in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him 40s. damages

18 May 1631 – Freeman

3 Jul 1632 – The court ordered “that Thomas Dextor shall be bound to his good behavior till the next General Court, & fined £5 for his misdemeanor & insolent carriage & speeches to  Mr. Bradstreet, at his own house; also, at the General Court is bound to confess his fault”

7 Nov 1632 – £4 of the fine was forgiven

3 Sep 1633 – The differences between John Dillingham, Richard Wright and Thomas Dexter were referred to John Endicott and Increase Nowell for arbitration

4 Mar 1632/33 – The court ordered that “Thomas Dexter shall be set in the bilbowes, disfranchised & fined £40 for speaking reproachful & seditious words against the  government here established, & finding fault to diverse with the acts of the Court, saying this captious government will bring all to naught, adding that the best of them was but an attorney, &c.”

6 Sep 1638 – In the general amnesty, £30 of this fine was remitted

1 Oct 1633 – Thomas Dexter was fined 20s. for drunkenness

3 Apr 1637 – Thomas Dexter was one of the “ten men of Saugus” who were granted land to establish the town that would become Sandwich

Ten Men of Saugus

Thomas was the last named – Ten Men of Saugus

The record says: ”April 3, 1637, it is also agreed by the Court that these ten men of Saugus, viz., Edmund FREEMAN, Henry Feake, Thomas DEXTEREdward DILLINGHAM, William Wood, John Carman, Richard Chadwell, William Almy, Thomas Tupper, and George Knott, shall have liberty to view a place to sit down, and have sufficient lands for three-score families, upon the conditions propounded to them by the governor and Mr. Winslow.”

That year these men except Thomas Dexter, who came subsequently, settled with their families in and near that part of the town now occupied by the village of Sandwich.

Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement. However, the settlement was not well-received, as their beliefs clashed with those of the Puritans who founded the town. Many Quakers left the town, either for further settlements along the Cape, or elsewhere. Early industry revolved around agriculture, with fishing and trading also providing for the town. Later, the town grew a small industrial component along the Scusset River and Old Harbor Creek and its tributaries.

6 Sep 1638 – In the general amnesty £30 of this fine was remitted

1638 Lynn land division – Granted 350 acres

24 Oct 1638 – “Thomas Dexter of Lynne …, yeoman … for my natural love and good affection that I bear unto my son & heir apparent Thomas Dexter” granted him one mansion house and appurtenances, and one water mill, and six hundred acres of land, meadow and pasture to the said mansion house belonging “lying and being in Sandwich by the Indians heretofore called Shawme” in Plymouth Colony, and if “my said sone … shall not think good to accept of the premises hereby granted, that I will pay him the sum of five hundred pounds upon reasonable demands”

30 Oct 1638 – The previous deed was amended to include Thomas Dexter’s gift of oxen, plough and a horse and to commit to writing the agreement that young Thomas would “pay or cause to be paid unto Mary Dexter & Frances Dexter his [Thomas the elder’s] daughters, for and towards their portions the sum of one hundred pounds” each when the younger Thomas “shall enter into & upon the said lands … after his marriage, or at such time as he or his executors … shall demand & receive the said five hundred pounds, in case the said Thomas Dexter above bounden should marry a wife and die at sea before his return into these parts of New England, or not be well advanced in marriage according to the good liking of the said Thomas Dexter the father”

16 Jul 1639 – Samuel Maverick of Noddle’s Island, gentleman, and Thomas Dexter of Lynn, yeoman, bound themselves in the amount of £800 to pay William Hooke, merchant, £436 on 16 Jan 1639/40

20 Aug 1640, Thomas Dexter of Lynn, yeoman, mortgaged the eight hundred acre farm in Lynn and twenty head of cattle to Humphrey Hooke for payment of a £500 judgment against Dexter [ Lechford 285-86]. This debt was not easily paid, and Aspinwall recorded that “Alderman Hooke of Bristol, merchant” and “Tho: Dexter of Linn” in a difference over £440 due to Hooke agreed to have four men value “lands towards or in satisfaction of the said debt” 10 September 1643.

“John Frend” had Thomas Lechford record a list of “money due to me from my father-in-law Thomas Dexter” about spring 1641. It included over £100 borrowed from Friend prior to the marriage and “My wife’s portion was to be 100. to be paid at the day of marriage w[hi]ch was in October 1639….” Evidently not being able to pay the various sums, Thomas Dexter bound the mill to Friend 26 June 1640

16 Apr 1640 – In the division of meadow at Sandwich “Mr. Thom[as] Dexter” was granted twenty-six acres “if he come to live here”

29 Jun 1640 – “Tho: Dexter of Lynne” granted to Mathew Cradock of London, merchant, in security “for the payment of one hundred & fifty pounds unto the said Math: Cradock his farm at Linne w[i]th the appurtenances thereof”

7 Nov 1640 – Aspinwall recorded a bond of £80 from Thomas Dexter to John Fish of “Wroxall in the county of Warwicke”

22 Dec 1640 – Samuel “Peerse” received £32 2s. for the use of Mr. Thomas Santley
from “Mr. Thomas Dexter of Linne”

26 Dec 1640 – Aspinwall recorded another bond from Dexter to Fish for £60

29 Jun 1641 – Thomas Dexter Sr. was ordered to return the sack and its contents taken
from William Harper He was in court against William Harper and arbiters were
assigned to the case 25 Jan 1641/42

27 Jun 1643 – He was still having troubles with the Harpers, this time Richard

27 Dec 1643 – At court Thomas Dexter was presented for “evading justice in challenging cattle of Mr. Otley under execution, and putting others in their room”

9 Jul 1644 – At court “six acres of land lying by Farmer Dexter, given him by the town, challenged by Tho. Dexter by a former gift. It is agreed that he shall have the six acres near Mr. Holliock’s twenty acres. He said that he bought one hundred and fifty acres, house and wares, at twelve pence per acre”

4 Nov 1645 – Robert Nash agreed to pay a considerable debt due Mr. Simon “Broadstreet” in beaver on behalf of Dexter,

31 Mar 1646 – At court Samuel Hutchinson of Lynn sued Thomas Dexter, Sr., of Lynn, for assault and battery and won a 40s. judgement against Dexter he depositions of several neighbors who were going to work and passed “Goodman Dexters” said that Dexter struck Hutchinson “with the great end of his stick about twenty blows, that the man was a quiet man and that Goodman Dexter had no cause to complain”

6 Apr 1646 – The Dexters were hard masters. Thomas Jenner found it necessary to write from Saco to John Winthrop asking Winthrop to see to the matter of a child of Mrs. Allin of Casco whose only son had been placed “by Mr. Tuckar and Mr. Cleaves” with “one Goodman Dexter of Lyn.” “The truth is, the boy is used very hardly: I saw the youth at Dexter’s own house most miserable in clothing, never did I see any worse in New England …”

Dexter was heard to say over the dying body of young Thomas Fish, crushed in the collapse of a bank at the mill dam, that “It is too late to go to work today”
6 Mar 1648/49 – “Mr. Thomas Dexter, Senior,” brought eight debt suits to court with mixed results

4 Aug 1646 – Thomas Dexter Sr. was admonished for “sleeping in time of service,”

Thomas Dexter was an early investor in the Saugus Ironworks, the first ironworks in North America, a great technological achievement in that time and place. It was built about 1646, closed by 1675, and was built near some ore deposits, as well as the Saugus River, which provided power to the ironworks. The site included a dam that provided power for forging, a blast furnace with a bellows, a reverbatory furnace, a trip-hammer forge, and rolling and slitting mills. It produced both cast and wrought iron.  One item produced there was nails, which were especially vital because so many new settlements were being built in the wilderness. They milled thin strips of wrought iron, slit these strips, and sold them. The customers then cut the nails and shaped the heads and points. The ironworkers formed a community there known as Hammersmith.

Working Forge Hammer at Saugus Ironworks (cover your ears!)

Working Forge Hammer at Saugus Ironworks (cover your ears!)

25 Jan 1646/47 – Thomas Dexter of Lynn, yeoman, sold to “Richard Ledder” for the use of the Saugus ironworks, all that land which by reason of a dam now agreed to be made shall overflow and all sufficient ground for a watercourse from the dam to the works to be erected, and also all the land between the ancient watercourse and the next extended flume or watercourse together with five acres and an half of land lying in the cornfield most convenient for the ironworks and also two convenient cartways that is to say one on each side of the premises as by a deed indented bearing date the twenty-seventh of January 1645 more at large appeareth.

Jannetje LOZIER‘s father-in-law Alexander Ennis , came to America as a prisoner of war after the Battle of Dunbar.  . Sixty-two of the consigned men on the Unity, including Alexander Ennis, were sent to the Saugus Ironworks at Lynn, Massachusetts.  He was listed on an inventory of the iron works dated Nov 1653. The inventory was a result of lawsuits resulting from financial diffulties. The Scots were valued at £10 each, though Giffard protested that they were worth twice that amount and some of the Scots more than that.

The indentured Scots were employed in a variety of tasks, including acting as forge hands, assisting the colliers (who produced the charcoal for the iron works), and even keeping Hammersmith’s cattle. Giffard was directed to use most of the Scots as woodcutters to supply the colliers. Some were taught the trades of “smiths, colliers, carpenters, sawyers, finers, and hammerman” (according to Carlson). Giffard stated that these men “would neare have managed the Compa(ny’s) business themselves, and have saved them many hundreds of pounds in a yeare.” Carlson stated, “The Scots of Hammersmith were for the most part unskilled laborers. (See my post Scottish Prisoners)

Saugus Iron Works, Saugus, MA

Saugus Iron Works, Saugus, MA

1647 – “Farmer Thomas Dexter” caused copies of a 1638 agreement between him and Richard Chadwell of Sandwich to be entered in the court records at Plymouth as they began arbitration of a debt

By 1648 – Removed to Sandwich

7 Jun 1648 and 4 Jun 1650 – Highway surveyor, Sandwich,

30 Jun 1648 – Thomas Dexter was described as “late of Lin & now of Sandwich” when he confirmed that he had assigned one hundred acres of plowland and five hundred thirty acres of pasture near Charlestown line to Samuel Bennet as ordered by Mr. William Hooke. William Hooke wrote of the matter to John Winthrop, indicating that he would give Dexter as much time as he could, but that his father pressed for the money

7 Oct 1651 Petit jury

7 Jun 1652 – Plymouth Colony grand jury

3 May 1653 – He was ordered to record the bounds of his allotment at Conahassett

4 Oct 1653 – He asked that someone go and set the bounds of his property at Barnstable, Eventually Governor Prence went, but there was no settlement of the issue, even as late as 1680

20 Jun 1654 – Committee to lay out a highway,

6 Mar 1654/55 Petit jury,

5 Jun 1656 and 2 Oct 1660 Committee to set the bounds between Sandwich and Plymouth,

By 1657 – Removed to Barnstable

30 Jun 1657 – At court Thomas Dexter sued the town of Lynn for trespass, claiming that he owned Nahant. Among the many depositions brought in regarding this case, “Christopher Linse” succinctly stated that “Thomas Dexter bought Nahant of Black Will or Duke William, and employed him [Linse] to fence part of it when he lived with Thomas Dexter.” William Winter, aged seventy three years or thereabouts, remembered that “Black Will or Duke William …came to my house (which was two or three miles from Nahant) when Thomas Dexter had bought Nahant of him for a suit of clothes” and asked him what he would give for the land Winter’s house stood on [ EQC 2:43]. The court found for the defendants. Thomas Dexter and his son-in-law Richard Wooddy appealled.

1 Jun 1658 – Admitted freeman of Plymouth Colony . (Oath of fidelity, Barnstable list of 1657 (as “Mr. Thomas Dexter, Seni[o]r”) Barnstable section of Plymouth Colony list of freemen of about 1658

7 Jun 1659 – Plymouth Colony grand jury

29 May 1670 –  In Barnstable section of freeman’s list (as “Mr. Tho: Dexter, Seni[o]r”)

1 Jun 1675 – Committee to gather in the minister’s maintenance at Sandwich

By 1676 – Removed to Boston

9 Feb 1676/77 – Administration was taken on the estate of “Thomas Dexter Senior” by
“Capt. James Oliver his son-in-law and Thomas Dexter Jr., his grandson” The
grandson soon died and in court in November 1679 “Ensign Ri[chard] Woodde” was named in his place.

25 Apr 1677 – An inventory was sworn 25 April 1677 on the estate of “Thomas Dexter Senior late deceased in Boston and as far as is known” totalling £70 with no land, except “a claim of some lands” at Lynn, which were unvalued.

Capt. James Oliver and Thomas Dexter, Jr., administrators of the estate of selectman Thomas Dexter Sr., deceased, sued the town of Lynn and Thomas Laiton regarding the ownership of Nahant, appealing the Court of Assistants’ ruling of 1 Sep 1657

26 Nov 1678 – The judgment was in favor of Lynn. The most telling evidence against Dexter was probably the deposition of about 1677 made by “Clement Couldam aged about fifty-five years” who said that “about thirty-four years since he lived with old Thomas Dexter and the latter coming from the town meeting told Mr. Sharp of Salem, in his hearing, that he had given up his right in Nahant to Line and the town had given him a considerable tract of land on the back side of his farm which would be of more advantage to him”

1. Mary Dexter

Mary came to America with her father and settled in Lynn.

Mary’s first husband John Frend was born 1601 in Bristol, England. John died in 1656 in Salem, Essex, Mass

Mary’s second husband Captain James Oliver His parents were Thomas Oliver and Ann [__?__] who came from England in 1632. Thomas, the father was one of the ruling elders and of wide influence in the affairs of the new town. Capt. James was admitted freeman in 1640, was of the artillery company in 1651, was Lieutenant in 1653 and Captain in 1656 and 1666. He was selectman in 1663 and for several years inspector of the port.

He was Captain of the first military company of Boston in 1673 and was was appointed to command of the company in the Narragansett campaign, and was one of the few officers that passed safely through the Great Swamp Fight. Oliver’s 3rd company of Massachusetts had 83 troops with 5 killed, 8 wounded (See my post Great Swamp Fight – Regiments)

James was an eminent merchant of Boston. He and Mary had no family, but her father came to live with them, and’ was there in 1677 when he died, and Captain Oliver was one of the administrators of his estate.

2. Thomas DEXTER Jr. (See his page)

3. Frances Dexter 

It is not certainly known whether she came to America with her father or came later.

Frances’ husband Sergeant Richard Woodee was born 1620 in Guilford, Surrey, England. His parents were Richard Woodee and Annie [__?__] This name is sometimes spelled Woodde. Richard died 6 Dec 1658 in Massachusetts.

The records say that the father and Samuel, Richard, Mary, Martha and Elizabeth were dismissed to Third Church, Boston, in 1673.

Children of Frances and Richard:

i Thomas Woodee, b. 12 Dec 1648; d. 13 Oct 1650.

ii Mary Woodee, b. 21 Aug 1650; m. John Daffern ; three children.

iii Martha Woodee, b. 25 Feb 1651/52 or 25 Nov 1651 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass; d. 21 Apr 1713 in Boston, Mass. Martha was a widow in 1695.

iv Elizabeth Woodee, b. 19 Sep 1653.

v. Ann Woodee, b. 12 Jul 1655.

vi. Samuel Woodee, b. 11 Sep 1656.

vii. Richard Woodee, b. 3 Dec 1658.

viii. Sarah Woodee, b. 26 Mar 1661; d. 23 Aug 1661.

4. William Dexter

William’s wife Elizabeth Vincent was born 1634 in England. Her parents were John VINCENT and Hannah SMITH.  Elizabeth died 1694 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass.

William came to America with his father, and was in Barnstable in 1650. He lived on one of the two farms that his father bought. He took oath in Barnstable in 1657. He removed to Rochester, Mass. about 1679 and died there in 1694.

He was one of a party of thirty, which included such men as William Bradford, Kenelem Winslow, Thomas Hinckley and Rev. Samuel Arnold, who became the grantees of the town of Rochester.

When he died he owned considerable land both in Barnstable and in Rochester which he gave to his children, as follows : James Dexter, Thomas Dexter and John Dexter had the Rochester lands, while Stephen Dexter, Philip Dexter and Benjamin Dexter had the Barnstable land. The children all went to Rochester except Philip, who removed to Falmouth, Mass., and Stephen, who remained in Barnstable and who was the only one of the name in the town in 1703.

Children of William and Elizabeth

i Mary Dexter, b. 11 Aug 1649 or Jan 1654 in Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass.; d. 1729 Mass; m. Moses Barlow. Removed to Rochester.

ii Stephen Dexter. b. Jan 1654 or May 1657 Barnstable, Mass; d. 1729 Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass, probate 17 Mar 1729/30. m. 27 Apr 1696 to Ann Saunders. Stephen and Ann had ten children born between 1696 and 1714.

Stephen spent his whole life in Barnstable and made his home on the farm which was originally his grandfather Thomas’, at Dexter lane. West Barnstable. In 1703 he was the only one of the name left in Barnstable.

iii Philip Dexter, b. Sep 1659 Barstable, Barnstable, Mass; d. 10 Jun 1741 Falmouth, Barnstable, Mass. m. Alice Allen; d.1741 Philip and Alice had nine children.

At the time of their marriage, Philip and Alice moved to Falmouth, where they spent the remainder of their life. He was miller there many years. At one time he was complained of for’ charging’ too high. But as he was the only miller, the people were dependent upon him. A committee was sent to consult with him. but the record does not reveal the result, but at a later period he was paid by the town £30 for his part of the mill and the land that the pond covered, so it may be that the matter was settled in that way. In 1712 he and Thomas Bowerman were appointed to lay out land of the ”New Purchase” into lots, etc. He was selectman, and also town clerk.

iv James Dexter, b. May 1662 Barnstable, Mass,; d. 15 Jul 1694 or 15 Jul 1697 Rochester, Mass; m. Rochester, Mass to Mary Tobey. James and Mary had three children born in Rochester.

James went to Rochester with his father. In 1712, after the death of the father, Mary, the daughter, being- a minor over 14, chose Jabez Dexter (a kinsman) for guardian. and Deborah chose Samuel Hunt for her guardian.

v. Thomas Dexter, b. Jul 1665; d. 31 July, 1744.; m1. 17 Jul 1695 to Mary Miller and had by her one sone; m2. 1702 to Sarah C. March No issue.

The son must have died before his father, for he is not mentioned in his will, and he leaves most of his property to Constant Dexter, who had been brouuht up by him. He gave land to Mary Sherman, wife of William Sherman, who was a daughter of his brother John, lie also gave land to Rose, or Rest, Dexter daughter of his brother John. He gave £3 each to the four daughters of his brother John and to the two daughters of his brother Benjamin. He gave £5 to the church, and all the balance to Constant Dexter, son of his brother Benjamin.

vi John Dexter, b. Aug 1668 Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass; d. 31 Jul 1744 Rochester, Plymouth, Mass; m. 1702 to Sarah [__?__] ( – 21 Jan 1755). John and Sarah had seven children born between 1703 and 1724 all born at Rochester. John and Sarah had eleven children.

John was called yeoman in 1690. He sold land to Samuel Arnold and John Hammond, and in 1714 to James Winslow, and in 1716 to Thomas Dexter.

vii Benjamin Dexter, b. 16 Feb 1670 Barnstable, Mass; d. 18 May 1732 Rochester, Mass.; m. Sarah Arnold Sarah’s father was Rev. Samuel Arnold, who who was the second minister at Rochester, and also one of the grantees of the town. Her grandfather, Rev. Samuel Arnold, was third minister of Marshfield. Benjamin and Sarah had eleven children, all born in Rochester between 1697 and 1718.

Benjamin removed to Rochester with his father. He was a farmer and sold land in 1693 to Moses Barlow, in 1699 to John Hammond, in 1723 to Edward Winslow, in 1715 to John Corning. All of this land was inherited from his father.

Benjamin’s estate was valued at £1,047. At his death, his son James Dexter was made guardian of the two young children, Seth and Joanna.


“Genealogy of the Dexter Family in America, 1905″ by Warden and Dexter

The Great Migration Begins – Thomas Dexter

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