1282. Documentation for Thomas Macy
(Bef 1639 to 19 Apr 1682)
father of Sarah Macy
(01 Aug 1646 to 1701)
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Thomas Macy was born in 1608 in Wiltshire County, England in the town of Chilmark.(1) He came to America and settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, where he was made a freeman on September 6, 1639.(2) In a very short while, he moved with a few others and was one of the original settlers of Salisbury, Massachusetts a few miles north of Newbury. In 1643, he was appointed one of the first seven selectmen of the new town.
Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott were married 09 June 1639 in Chilmark, Wiltshire, England.(3) Sarah also was born in Chilmark, Wiltshire, England, about 1612.(4)
While living in Salisbury, he and more of our kinfolk got together and agreed to buy Nantucket Island. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard were then owned by Thomas Mayhew. In an old letter, Thomas Macy refers to Mayhew as his 'cousin.' Whether that was a literal statement or not is unknown. At any rate Thomas Mayhew was interested in selling the island and had never lived there. The ten original men were called `The First Purchasers' and took title in 1659.(5)
Thomas Macy and Edward Starbuck seem to have made an inspection trip in the spring of 1659 and Thomas returned to be the first English settler in 1660 or early 1661.(6) For some period, his was the only family other than Indians on the island.
Thomas and Sarah had seven children that were all born in Salisbury before leaving for Nantucket. Once on Nantucket, Thomas and Sarah remained there all their lives. Thomas Macy died on Nantucket on 19 April 1682.(7) Sarah Hopcott Macy died there in 1706.(8)
Children of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott:
i. Sarah Macy was born 09 July 1644, in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.(9) She died 1645 at Salisbury.(10)
ii. Sarah Macy was born 01 August 1646, at Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.(11) She died at Nantucket in 1701.(12) She married William Worth, son of John and Barbara Worth, on 11 April 1665 at Nantucket.(13) William Worth died in 1724 in Nantucket.(14)
iii. Mary Macy was born in 1648.(15) She married William Bunker, son of George Bunker and Jane Godfrey, at Nantucket on 11 April 1669.(16) She died at Nantucket on 10th, 3 mo. 1729.(17)
iv. Bethiah Macy was born about 1650.(18) She married Joseph Gardner, son of Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck, at Nantucket on 30 March 1670.(19) Joseph Gardner died in 1701.(20) Bethiah (Macy) Gardner died at Nantucket in 1732.(21)
v. Thomas Macy was born at Salisbury, Massachusetts, on 22 September 1653.(22) He died at Nantucket on 03 December 1675.(23) He was never married.
vi. John Macy was born at Salisbury, Massachusetts, on 14 July 1655.(24) He died at Nantucket on 14 October 1691.(25) He married Deborah Gardner.(26)
vii. Francis Macy was born at Salisbury, Massachusetts, about 1657.(27) He died at Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1658.(28)
Thomas Mayhew, of Martha’s Vineyard, deeded nineteen-twentieths of the island of Nantucket, in July, 1659, to Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Barnard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swayne, and William Pile, Mayhew reserving a share for himself, thus making the ten proprietors. At a meeting of the proprietors held at Salisbury, Sep. 2, 1659, the ten owners were authorized to admit ten partners. Thomas Mayhew took John Smith, Tristram Coffin took Nathaniel Starbuck, Thomas Macy took Edward Starbuck, Christopher Hussey took Robert Pike, Thomas Barnard took Robert Barnard, Peter Coffin took James Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf took Tristram Coffin, Jr., Richard Swain took Thomas Look, John Swain took Thomas Coleman, and William Pile sold his whole tenth to Richard Swain in 1663. The Indian deed of 1671 was to “Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Richard Swayne, Thomas Bernard, John Swayne, Mr. Thomas Mayhew, Edward Starbuck, Peter Coffin, James Coffin, Stephen Greenleafe, Tristram Coffin, Jr., Thomas Coleman, Robert Bernard, Christopher Hussey, Robert Pyke, John Symth, and John Bishop.” In 1663-4 we find “ristram Coffin for William Pile.: From Mass, Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. 3, p. 155, and the “Macy Family.” The accounts differ in several particulars. The date Sep., 1659, is Feb., 1659, in the latter. The former states that Edward Starbuck and James Coffin came to Nantucket from Martha’s Vineyard.
Following - http://www.boydhouse.com/michelle/bird/thomasmacy.html:
Thomas Macy was born about 1608 and is believed to have originated from Chilmark, Wiltshire, England. Acccording to Hoyt, he was a planter, clothier, and merchant. Thomas married Sarah Hopcot 9th 6 month 1639 in Chilmark, Wiltshire, England. Sarah was born about 1612. Thomas was one of the first settlers in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts and was admitted freeman 6 September 1639. The Macys settled in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts by the end of 1640. The Macy-Colby house in nearby Amesbury, which Thomas built, still stands. Here, he was a representative in 1664, according to Savage. Austin states that he was one of those given “full powers to order all the affairs of the town” in 1643, 1647, and 1653 and served as a juryman in 1648 and deputy in 1654. According to Silvanus J. Macy, Thomas was a merchant, planter, selectman, juryman, and a Baptist. That he was a Baptist, however, has been questioned by Hoyt.
Thomas was brought before court for “entertaining Quakers”. Four men had stopped at the Macy home to ask directions on rainy morning, staying about three-quarters of an hour. Because Thomas was ill and unable to get a horse on the day of the trial, he wrote a letter to the court to explain the circumstances. Thomas was fined.
Thomas Macy was one of the original purchasers of Nantucket in 1659. Tradition states that he fled to Nantucket from persecution as a result of the case against him concerning the Quakers. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a romanticized version of the legend in his poem “The Exiles”. The voyage by ship with his family and several others to the island was said to have been stormy. On 10 May 1661, Thomas was one the men chosen to lay out and measure the land on Nantucket.
Thomas was again at Salisbury in 1664 but then sold his house and moved to Nantucket permanently. Thomas was Nantucket’s second chief magistrate in 1676. There seems to have been a controversy a year later when his commission was up. The governor did not appoint a new chief magistrate, so Thomas continued to serve. Peter Folger rebelled, witholding records as the clerk. Macy won a vote in his favor and Folger was later arrested for refusing to comply. He died 19 April 1682 on Nantucket, Massachusetts. Administration on his estate was granted 1 August 1682 to his son, John. Sarah died in 1706 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
The following is from Whipple, A.B.C., Vintage Nantucket, Chester, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1978:
The first family of Nantucket—or the first family of off-islanders, depending on your point of view—was not named Coffin but Macy…It was one Thomas Macy who was first to settle on Nantucket Island. Thomas Macy lived in Salisbury, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Salisbury was populated by people who had fled religious persecution in coming to Massachusetts from Europe. Now they had launched their own brand of persecution. Their chief target was Quakerism. Not only did Massachusetts Puritans abhor the Quakers, they also outlawed them. It was more than a sin to be a Quaker; it was a crime. Quakers were legally banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony on pain of death. They were hounded from town to town and often were mutilated and hanged. So it was also a crime for Thomas Macy to take pity on the four Quakers who knocked on his door on a rainy April morning in 1659. In his answer to the charges against him, Macy explained that he had been out, that he had returned to find his wife ill and in bed. While he was trying to tend to her, there was a knock on his door. He opened it to find four men, one of whom was an acquaintance and a man suspected of being a Quaker. Standing in the rain outside his door, they asked Macy for directions. The rain was severe at the moment and Macy asked them in. He later pleaded that he told them he could not shelter them if they were Quakers; but he could not be callous enough to drive them out into the pouring rain. They stayed by his fire for a little over an hour. The rain let up; they thanked him kindly and went on their way. Word of Macy’s unchristian act reached the authorities in Salisbury, and he was threatened with a fine and possible imprisonment. Meanwhile, during the summer of 1659, friends of Thomas Macy, including one Tristram Coffin, invited him to join in the purchase of some land on an island called Nantucket, 30 miles off Massachusetts’ southern coast. There were ten families in the group, and their plan was to escape the harassment of the Puritan town fathers of Salisbury by starting yet another new life on Nantucket. They were not Quakers themselves; they had no particular views pro or con Quakerism. They simply were fed up with the arbitrary and sanctimonious rule of their Puritan neighbors. And Thomas Macy had more reason than the rest of them to join the group of refugees…
…A poem entitled The Exiles, by John Greenleaf Whittier, depicts Thomas Macy and his family fleeing from his house in Salisbury a few steps ahead of the authorities, rushing to the riverbank and embarking in a 'light sherry' for Nantucket. Whittier's description has a charming commentary of Salisbury's pastor, who dashes to the riverbank.
“Come back,—come back,” the parson cried,
“The church’s curse beware.”
“Curse, an’ thou wilt!” said Macy,
“Thy blessing prithee spare.”
Actually Macy's voyage was a somewhat more leisurely process, though it was a flight from the avenging authorities nonetheless. Thomas and his wife Sarah took along their five children and three adventurous young friends: Edward Starbuck, Isaac Coleman (a twelve-year-old orphan), and eighteen-year-old James Coffin. Crowded into an open boat, the exiles sailed first to Martha's Vineyard, where they put into Great Harbor (now Edgartown) for “comfort and further direction,” as Macy succinctly phrased it. On they shortly went to the island just below the horizon to the south. They ran into a squall, with rain, strong winds and mounting seas, but Macy held his course for Nantucket—a wise decision, considering the size of his boat; to have turned back would have meant running with the squall and spending many more hours in it. They made their landfall at the western end of the island, in what is now known as Madaket Harbor, where Mayhew had built a dock for his visits to Nantucket…
…The Macy family built a hut on the shore of the harbor. Their first tentative meetings with the Indians were friendly…Nantucket's new family had scarcely settled in by wintertime. It was a typically long, cold and dreary Nantucket winter, and Macy and his family used up the provisions they had brought with them. They would perhaps have been wiser to come to the island in spring, thereby allowing themselves time for planting, harvesting and preserving food for the winter. But had Thomas Macy stayed in Salisbury that winter, he might have wound up in jail…
…So bitter had the two factions become that a simple misunderstanding, one that might normally have called only for a judicial ruling in New York, erupted into recrimination, defiance and repression. Thomas Macy was Nantucket’s chief magistrate, under a one-year commission from the governor. On October 1, 1676, Macy’s commission expired. Preoccupied with other matters, Governor Andros did not immediately renew the commission or appoint another chief magistrate. Accordingly, Macy called a town meeting, in which it was voted that he would continue to serve until his successor was named by New York. Thomas Macy was one of the Coffin faction. The clerk of the court was Peter Folger, who had joined forces with John Gardner…Folger now decided that Thomas Macy was serving illegally; therefore he would not turn over his court records, nor would he serve any longer as clerk. The town met again, in raucous confrontation. The vote—corn kernels for yea, beans for nay—supported Macy. Folger was requested again to hand over the court records. He refused. He was sentenced to jail.
The following is from “Thomas Macy, Before Nantucket,” Footprints Through Time: A Macy Family Newsletter, 8th issue, Jun 1988:
In 1656 Richard Currier and Thomas Macy were given permission to build a sawmill on the West side of the Powow. Since it was found that more than one sawmill was needed. The town gave Currier and Macy the privilege of using all the wood on the common lot that had not been granted to the first mill, William Osgood’s, with the exception of the oak trees which were needed by the settlers to make canoes. After Macy went to live at Nantucket in 1659 Currier continued the sawmill for many years…
…Like Richard Currier, Thomas Macy is listed on Amesbury records as one of the first settlers and was its first Town Clerk, 1655 through the first week or so of November 1659. He too signed the 1654 “Articles of Agreement”. Merrill says that he was a good penman and kept fine records and was probably well educated. It is through his copying of the “Articles of Agreement”, which laid down conditions with which the settlers West of the Powow had to comply before they could become a distinct town separate from Salisbury, that we have such information today. The voters of the new town agreed to these at their town meeting on 18 March 1655
…In 1654 Macy sold his home at Bartlett's Corner to Anthony Colby and evidently built or bought a house at what was later to be called the Mills District. In 1656 he and Richard Currier built their sawmill on the Powow and on 20 August 1658 he mortgaged the place in which he was living in to Radah Gove of Roxbury, “1/3 of all his part of sawmill at ye New Town and all utensils and priviledges and his dwelling house with 3 acres of upland thereto adjoining with the barn out house more or less bounded by Powow’s river East, the street West and the land of Richard Currier South.” These boundaries fix his home after he sold the “Macy-Colby” house in 1654 near the Powow, probably behind the present Post Office in the vicinity of Currier Street. It was from this house at the Mills that Macy and his family fled, supposedly in an open boat, to Nantucket in 1659. There is doubt in the minds of many that his departure was a dire result of his harboring Quakers during a severe rainstorm. He had purchased Nantucket Island, at the time under New York's jurisdiction, in July of the same year with Christopher Hussey, Tristram Coffin and others for 30 lbs plus two beaver hats, “one for myself and one for my wife”, from John Mayhew. This would seem to indicate that Goodman Macy was contemplating a change of scenery several months before the incident occurred which later inspired Whittier to express his thought in “The Exiles”. Macy had enemies in town and the information passed on by a “good neighbor”, to local authorities, of the presence of Quakers in the Macy home at the Mills might be construed as an act of vengeance…
…The Macy-Colby house lot was bounded, in 1654, on the West by the land of Edmund Elliott and the burying ground, called Union Cemetery since 1663, and on the East by what is now Main Street. This early home of Macy's is about one quarter of a mile below the lights at the junction of Route 10 and Main Street. Although Macy was buried on the island of Nantucket, as were some of his descendants, his name appears on the Golgotha Stone near the Powow river. Undoubtedly this man is the best known of all the early settlers because of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, “The Exiles.”
The following is from Macy, Silvanus J., Genealogy of the Macy Family, Albany: Joel Munsell, 1868:
We find Thomas Macy frequently held positions of honor and trust in the new settlement (of Salisbury); he was a merchant, a planter, one of the select men of the town, a juryman, and withal a preacher. He was of the Baptist persuasion and would frequently on the Sabbath exhort the people…
…Thomas Macy died on the island of Nantucket, the 19th day of April, 1682, aged 74 years. No tomb stone marks the final resting place of his earthly remains, but a monument has been reared in the hearts of his descendants in commemoration of him, which the ruthless hand of time neither obliterated nor crumbles. . . He appears to have died without a will, as letters of administration were issued to his son John Macy, as we find from the records of deeds of the island, book No. 2, page 33, the action of the court, as well as the copy of inventory then filed…
…John Macy was a house carpenter, and there are probably several houses yet in existence on the island, some parts of which were made by him.
The following is from Banks, Charles E., “The English Family of Mayhew”, The History of Martha's Vineyard, vol. I, 1911:
It will be remembered that Thomas Macy of Nantucket, who is said to have been of Chilmark, referred to Thomas Mayhew of Martha’s Vineyard as “my honored cousin” (N. Y. Col. MSS., Vol. XXV), and while searching for Mayhew wills, I accidentally found the will of Thomas Maycie of Chilmark, dated 1575, which may serve as the basis of some future investigations concerning that well-known family, whose emigrant ancestor first settled in Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Children (Macy), all born at Salisbury, Massachusetts:
i. Sarah, born 4th, 9 mo. 1644
ii. Sarah, born 6th, 1 mo. 1646
iii. Mary, born 10th, 4 mo.1648
iv. Bethia, born about 1650
v. Thomas, born 22d, 9 mo. 1653
vi. John, born 14th, 7 mo. 1655
vii. Francis, born 1657
1. Starbuck, Alexander, The History of Nantucket, County, Island, and Town including Genealogies of First Settlers. Charles E. Tuttle Company: Rutland, Vermont, page 787; Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Vols. 2-4, Baltimore, MD: Genelogical Publishing Co., 1990 (originally published Boston, 1860-1862); Philbrick, Nathaniel, Away Off Shore, Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890, Mill Hill Press: Nantucket, Massachusetts, page 21; Nantucket, Mass., Vital Records to 1850, 5 vols. Boston, 1925-28, 5:188, (Hereafter NVR to 1850), Nantucket Births, page 306, “Macy, Thomas, h. Sarah Hopcot, _____, 1608, in England, P.R. 38; Hoyt, David W., The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982; Macy, Silvanus J., Genealogy of the Macy Family, Albany: Joel Munsell, 1868; Worth, Henry Barnard, Nantucket Lands and Land Owners, Nantucket: Nantucket Historical Association, 1901, Vol. 2, Bulletin No. 1; Database of the Eliza Starbuck Barney Genealogical Record, Nantucket Historical Association (created from records collected by Eliza Starbuck Barney (1802-1889)); Macy, Obed, The History of Nantucket, Boston, MA: Hilliard Gray, 1835; Whittier, John Greenleaf, The Complete Poetical Works of Whittier, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1892); “Thomas Macy, Before Nantucket,” Footprints Through Time: A Macy Family Newsletter, 8th issue, Jun 1988; Folger, William C., “A Record of Births, Deaths, and Marriages on Nantucket, Beginning in 1662”, New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. 7, Apr 1853.
3. NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 177, Macy, Thomas, “in the early part of . . . 1659 . . . came . . . from Salisbury . . . with his wife & family accompanied by Edward Starbuck, James Coffin & Isaac Coleman . . . to Nantucket,” and Sarah Hopcot, 9th, 6 mo. 1639, in Chilmark, Wiltshire, Eng., Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.
4. Ibid; Starbuck, History of Nantucket, page 787.
5. Philbrick, Away Off Shore, Chapters III and IV.
7. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 434, “Macy, Thomas [dup. Macey], Mr., Apr. 19, 1682. [Macy, h. Sarah Hopcot, 19th 4 mo., a. 74, P.R.38. Macy, 19th, 3 mo, P.R.63.]; Starbuck, History of Nantucket, page 787.
8. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 432, Macy, Sarah Hopcot, wid. Thomas, _____, 1706, a. 94, P.R. 38.
9. NVR to 1850, Births, page 301, Macy, Sarah, d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 4th, 9 mo. 1644, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
10. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 431, Macy, Sarah, d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, _____, “1645 or 1646,” in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
11. NVR to 1850, Births, page 301, Macy, Sarah, w. William Worth (s. John of England), d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 6th [dup. 8th], 1 mo. 1646, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
12. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 618, Worth, Sarah, forst w. William (s. John), d. Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot, _____, 1701, P.R. 38.
13. NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 174, Macy, Sarah and William Worth, Apr. 11, 1665. Intention not recorded. [Sarah, d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, and William Worth, s. John of Devonshire, Eng., “m’d. . . . among Friends,” P.R. 38.]; NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 532, Worth, William and Sarah Macy, Apr. 11, 1665. Intention not recorded. [William, s. John of Devonshire, Eng., and Sarah Macy, d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, “m’d . . . . among Friends,” P.R. 38.].
14. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 620, Worth, William, h. Sarah (d. Thomas Macy and Sarah), h. Damaris Sibley of Salem (“no chn.”), brother of Francis (“went to Portugal”), Lionel (“to the eastward of Boston”) and Richard (“to New Jersey”), s. John of Devonshire, Eng., _____, 12 mon. 1724. P.R. 38.
15. NVR to 1850, Births, page 290, Macy, Mary, w. William Bunker (s. George and Jane), d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 10th, 4 mo. 1648, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
16. NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 166, Macy, Mary and Will[ia]m Bunker, Apr. 11, 1669. Intention not recorded. [Mary, d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, and William Bunker, s. George and Jane Godfrey [dup. 11th, 4 mo.], P.R. 38.].
17. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 89, Bunker, Mary, w. William (s. George and Jane), d. Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot, 10th, 3 mo. 1729, P.R. 38.
18. NVR to 1850, Births, page 265, Macy, Bethiah, w. Joseph Gardner (s. Richard 1st and Sarah), d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, abt. 1650, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
19. NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 510, Gardner, Joseph and Bethiah Macy, Mar. 30, 1670. Intention not recorded. [Joseph, s. Richard 1st and Sarah (Shattuck), and Bethiah Macy, d. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, P.R. 38.].
20. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 307, Gardner, Joseph, h. Bethiah (d. Thomas Macy and Sarah), s. Richard 1st and Sarah (Shattuck), _____, 1701, P.R. 38.
21. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 293, Gardner, Bethiah, w. Joseph (s. Richard 1st and Sarah), d. Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot, 19th, 8 mo. 1732, P.R. 38.
22. NVR to 1850, Births, page 306, Macy, Thomas Jr., s. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 22d, 9 mo. 1653 [in Salisbury], P.R. 38.
23. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 434, Macy, Thomas Jr., Dec. 3, 1675. [s. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, “young,” P.R. 38.].
24. NVR to 1850, Births, page 282, Macy, John 1st, h. Deborah (d. Richard Gardner 1st and Sarah), s. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 14th, 7 mo. 1655, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
25. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 422, Macy, John, Oct. 14, 1691. [John 1st, h. Deborah (d. Richard Gardner 1st and Sarah), s. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 14th, 10 mo., a. 36, P.R 38. John 1st, 14th, 10 mo., a. 35, P.R. 63.].
27. NVR to 1850, Births, page 276, Macy, Francis, s. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, _____, 1657, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.
28. NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 419, Macy, Francis, s. Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, _____, 1658, “young,” in Salisbury, P.R. 38.