Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Capt. Thomas Leonard

Male 1641 - 1713  (72 years)


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  • Name Thomas Leonard  [1
    Prefix Capt. 
    Born 3 Aug 1641  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 8 Aug 1641  St. Peter's, Kinver, Staffordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Alternate death Between 29 Jan 1712 and 5 Feb 1714  Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Alternate death 24 Nov 1713  Raynham, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8, 9
    Died 24 Nov 1713  Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried Neck o'Land Cemetery, Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Person ID I22716  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of GFS
    Last Modified 14 Aug 2021 

    Father James Leonard,   b. Abt 1616,   d. Bef 5 Nov 1691  (Age ~ 75 years) 
    Mother Jane Martin,   d. 25 Feb 1664, Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F13694  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Watson,   b. Abt 1642, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Dec 1723, Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married 21 Aug 1662  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 8, 10, 11, 12
    Children 
    +1. Mary Leonard,   b. 2 Aug 1663, Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Nov 1727  (Age 64 years)
    Last Modified 14 Aug 2021 
    Family ID F13693  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Beginning in 1683 he was for thirty years manager of the Ancient Iron Works of Taunton. He was also deputy from Taunton to the General Court of Plymouth Colony, 1680-86, 1689, 1690; to the General Court of Massachusetts, 1692-96, 1698, 1699; Judge of the Superior Court of Common Pleas of Bristol County, 1692-1713; and captain of the second company of Taunton militia, 1690.

      His birth is recorded in the 1928 printed Vital Records of Taunton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, as "Leonard, Thomas, h. Mary Watson, Aug. 3, 1641," which is presumably why many online sites show him as having been born in Taunton. But we have no indication that his parents were in New England that early. And the abbreviation next to his listing in the published vital records reads "P. R. 37", which the volume's frontmatter tells us means that this date was taken from a "private record," which is to say, "the Thomas Leonard Bible as published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 32." That article, "Record from the Leonard Family Bible" (NEHGR 32:269, 1878), transcribes the line from the family Bible as merely "Thomas Leonard borne ye 3 of August 1641", with no indication of where he was born.

      A record exists for the baptism of "Thomas the sonne of James Leonard & Jane his wife" at St. Peter's, Kinver, Staffordshire on 8 Aug 1641. This is very plausibly our Thomas Leonard. Kinver was the site of multiple forges and water mills, and It's entirely plausible that Thomas's father James and his uncle Henry, both skilled ironworkers, were there in 1641, a time when royalists were attempting to destroy ironworks that might provide the parliamentarians with arms. Indeed, a book by W. D. John and Anne Simox, Pontypool & Usk Japanned Ware with the Early History of the Iron & Tinplate Industries at Pontypool (published 1953, rev. ed. 1966), quoted in the fourth edition of Ancestral Lines (citation details below), says that James and Henry Leonard left Staffordshire for New England in 1646, which dovetails nicely with the fact that our first firm record of James in New England is at Lynn in 1651.

      As a final piece of circumstantial but striking evidence, Kinver sits just across the River Stour from the small settlement of Whittington, which derived its name from the local Manor of Whittington. (Which, despite many local claims, had nothing to do with Dick Whittington.) In Taunton, James Leonard named his forge on the Mill River...the Whittington Iron Works.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1647] The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New York Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.

    2. [S2892] William Reade Deane, "Genealogical Memoir of the Leonard Family." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 5:403, Oct 1851.

    3. [S5881] Ancestral Lines, Fourth Edition: 232 Families in England, Wales, the Netherlands, Germany, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania by Carl Boyer III. Santa Clarita, California, 2015.

    4. [S5887] "Record from the Leonard Family Bible." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 32:269, 1878.

    5. [S5888] Staffordshire baptisms, on findmypast.co.uk.

    6. [S486] Vital Record of Rehoboth, 1642-1896 by James N. Arnold. Providence, Rhode Island: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1897.

    7. [S2891] Find a Grave page for Maj Thomas Leonard.

    8. [S2892] William Reade Deane, "Genealogical Memoir of the Leonard Family." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 5:403, Oct 1851., date only.

    9. [S3989] Ancestors of Henry Rogers Winthrop and His Wife Alice Woodward Babcock by Josephine C. Frost. 1927.

    10. [S2893] William Reed Deane, "Watson Genealogy." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 18:363, Oct 1864.

    11. [S3989] Ancestors of Henry Rogers Winthrop and His Wife Alice Woodward Babcock by Josephine C. Frost. 1927., date only.

    12. [S5887] "Record from the Leonard Family Bible." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 32:269, 1878., date only.