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Thomas Miner

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Lieutenant Thomas Miner aka Minor, Myner
Born in Chew Magna, Summersetshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married in Charlestown, Massachusettsmap
Died in Stonington, Connecticutmap
Last profile change on 6 November 2014
16:52: April Dauenhauer edited the Biography for Thomas Miner. (minor edits, format and organization) [Thank April for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Categories: Stonington, Connecticut | Chew Magna, Somerset | Puritan Great Migration | Old Taugwonk Cemetery, Stonington, Connecticut.

The Puritan Great Migration.
This person was part of the Puritan Great Migration.
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Thomas (1608 - 1690) was baptised 29 Apr 1608 Chew Magna, Somersetshire, England.[1]
He emigrated from Chew Magna, England to New England where he became the progenitor of many descendants. His name was variously speled Minor, Miner and Myner. Many of those surnamed Minor or Miner living in the United States are descendants of this Thomas of Chew Magna, England. [2]


In about 1683, Thomas received "An Herauldic Essay on the Surname of Miner," by Alexander Cunningham. The essay purports to trace Thomas's ancestry back to the 14th Century. It also states that Thomas had 12 children: John, Thomas, Clement, Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah Miner and two daughters Marie and Elizabeth. (The two additional children are Judah and Elizabeth.) You can read the "Essay" HERE.
The 17th century "Essay" traces Thomas' ancestry to Henry Miner (d. 1359), who lived in the Mendippe Hills, Somerset, England, at a coal mine. In 1342 when King Edward III, preparing for war against the French, came through Somerset, he found that Henry had equipped his household and menial servants with battle-axes, making up a "completed hundred." The King accordingly awarded Henry with a coat of arms. The king's secretary complimented Henry's loyalty with a statement (in Latin): "The Ocean, though great rivers with many currents pay him tribute, disdains not also to receive the Lesser, if Loyal, Brooks which by one only Urne pour themselves into its bosome."
Although the "Essay" was accepted as fact for 300 years, recent research has called its veracity into question. In a 1984 article, John A. Miner and Robert F. Miner disputed the ancestry claimed in the "Essay."[3] The authors found that the earliest provable relative of Thomas was his great-grandfather William Mynard, who, in 1554 took a grant of a house and land in Chew Magna for the lives of himself, his son Thomas, and Thomas's wife Joan. The descent from William Mynard goes through son Thomas, a tailor who died between the date he made his will on October 20, 1573 and the date his will was proved, September 15, 1574. Clement Miner was the eldest son of Thomas. He had eight children, the last being Thomas, the subject of this profile. The name of Thomas's mother is unknown.


It is claimed that Thomas Miner sailed on the ship "Lyon's Whelp," part of the Higginson Fleet, which landed at Salem in 1629. Neither the Winthrop Society nor Robert Charles Anderson, in "The Great Migration Begins," show Thomas as a passenger. Banks shows "Thomas Miner, 22 of Chew Magna county Somerset Charlestown" on the list of the "Lyon's Whelp's" passenger,.[4] and he cites the Higginson Journals and the Massachusetts Colonial Records, I, 395. The Higginson Journals contain no reference to Thomas Minor.[5] I have been unable to locate the Massachusetts Colonial Records. The authors of an article about the early political climate in Charlestown show, in a chart, that Goodman Thomas Minor was in Salem in 1629 and that he became a church member in 1630. They included no sources for this information. [6]
Thomas was admitted to the church in Charlestown as a founding member in November 1632, and there is no record of him in America earlier. Coupling that with the fact that there does not appear to be any solid evidence that he was aboard the "Lyon's Whelp" leads to the conclusion that he did not arrive until 1632, as shown by Anderson. That something is oft repeated does not make it true.(Entered by Vic Watt 14 Dec 2013.)


He was in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts by November 1632 and for the birth of his son John in 1635. He relocated to Hingham, MA in 1636, where his son Clement was baptised in March 1637/38.[7] Thomas is listed as a Founder of New London, CT in 1645 and also of Stonington in 1652.


He was appointed chief military officer of the Mystic Train band in July 1665. During King Philip's war he served as a Lieut. He was referred to by that title in Feb and Apr 1676. In August 1676 he was called Captain, but is usually mentioned in later years as Lieutenant.[8]


Thomas kept a diary for the years 1653-1684. Although some of it is in cypher and contains many cryptic records of the lives of the Minor family members, you can read a transcript of the diary.


Thomas died on October 23, 1690, and is buried in Wequetequock Burial Ground, Stonington, New London, Connecticut, under a large wolf stone from his house, on which is cut:
"Here lyes the body of Lieutenant Thomas Minor aged 83 -- departed 1690" [9] You can see pictures of Thomas's gravestone (the oldest gravestone in Stonington), and the Minor monument at Find a Grave.
General and President Ulysses S. Grant is a lineal descendant through Thomas' son, John Miner.


Chew Magna view from Knowle Hill
Chew Magna location
Thomas Minor Family History
PILGRIM: Thomas Miner 1608-1690 Lieutenant & Captain PAGE 558
Biography of Walter Palmer
John Bennett of Stonington, Massachusetts
Lt. Thomas Minor Gravestone
Thomas Minor Monument
An Herauldical Essay Upon the Surname of Miner


Immigrant Thomas (1608-90) settled at Salem[citation needed] and later at Charlestown, Mass., 1632; a founder of the church at Charlestown; founder of Pequot (New London) CT., 1645, and of Stonington CT, 1653-54; Lt. and Capt., King Philip's War; dep. Gen. Ct. for New London, 1650-51, for Stonington bet 1665 and 1689; Chief Mil. officer at Mystic, 1665; m. 1634, Grace, dau of Walter Palmer, Lt. in Col. Indian Wars. Founders & Patriots: Miner, Minor, Thomas.Deputy Lieut. town Clerk. See: Descendants of Thomas Miner 1970, new 13:161 (anc). Coat of arms enrolled 24. Memb. # 946, 1384, 1750, 1967, 1982, 3335.
Note N175pg 216 Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England
-resided in Charleston, 1632
-one of the founders of the church in Frothingham, 70, as well as Budington, 184
-freeman 4 Mar 1634
-removed to New London soon after 1645
-he was a very valuable man, representative 1650-1, perhaps 1665, 1670, and 1673, for Stonington
-oldest grave stone at Stonington showing died 1690, aged 83
-a diary kept by him for several years furnish some good information
-sometimes in Conn. His name was Myner.
Note: 1. Thomas was baptized "Thomas Mynor".
2. The ancestry of Thomas Minor, or Myner (1608) presents a major problem for some. The "Herauldical Essay Upon the Surname of Miner" was accepted as authentic for over 300 years. This manuscript is held by the Connecticut Historical Society. It is a work of art, but probably is a work of creativity. Research in 1979 failed to substantiate it. Therefore, all claimed ancestors of Thomas prior to those listed below are at best questionable:
Clement Myner -- father
Thomas Myner -- grandfather
William Myner -- great-grandfather
3. Thomas, the immigrant, spelled his name "Minor" when he arrived in the colonies in the "Lyon's Whelp" June 14, 1630. When he later received the "Essay", for some time he changed the spelling to "Miner" to conform to the spelling in the "Essay". Some of the descendants changed the spelling, some didn't. Spelling frequently changed back and forth. He apparently finally settled for "Minor" as his gravestone, mentioned below, indicates.
4. Thomas was of Charlestown, Massachusetts 1632. He was one of the church founders in Frothingham and Budington, freeman March 4, 1634, removed to Pequot, New London in 1643 and then to Stonington soon after1645 where he was Deputy to the General Court 1650. William Chesebrough induced him to join William in 1652 and Thomas removed to Mystic in 1653, where he spent the rest of his days.
5. Thomas was successively Magistrate, Deputy, Selectman, Chief Military Officer and Town Clerk. As Captain of Militia he did good service in the Indian Wars.

Condensation of data from GED import.

Birth 23 APR 1608 Chew Magna, Somerset, England[10][11][12]
Christening 23 April 1608 St Andrew's Anglican Church, Chew Magna, Somerset, England
Immigration Jul 1629 Salem, Massachusetts in the Lyon's Whelp, John Gibbs, Master
Wife Grace Palmer
Marriage 23 APR 1634 Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts[13][14][15][16]
Residence AFT 1645 New London, New London, Connecticut, New England[17]

This profile is a collaborative work-in-progress. Can you contribute information or sources?


  1. #S-276 at 183-184
  2. Source: #S1353890020 Page:
  3. #S-276 Vol. 138, Pages 182-185
  4. #S-268 Page 61
  5. #S-269
  6. #S-277 at page 130
  7. #S-267 Page 1262
  8. #S-267 Page 1262
  9. #S-206 "Created by: Ken Childers, Record added: Feb 07, 2003, Find A Grave Memorial# 7158439
  10. Source: #S336 Page: pg 466-478
  11. Source: #S269
  12. Source: #S429 Page: pg 466-468
  13. Source: #S336 Page: pg 466-478
  14. Source: #S334 Page: Vol III, pg 216
  15. Source: #S190 Page: pg 511
  16. Source: #S429 Page: pg 466-468
  17. Source: #S334 Page: Vol III, pg 216
See also:
  • Source: S-276 Authors: Miner, John A., and Robert F. Miner Title: "The Curious Pedigree of Lt. Thomas Minor" Publication: Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013. Originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. Vol. 138, Pages 182-185
  • Source: S-27 Authors: Crandall, Ralph J., Ralph J. Coffman Title: "From Emigrants to Rulers: The Charlestown Oligarchy in the Great Migration Publication: Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013. Originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. Vol. 131, 1977, Pages 1-32, 121-132, 207-213
  • Source: S-267 The Great Migration Begins: immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 Vol. II, G-O, Robert Charles Anderson, Publication: Great Migration Study Project, The New England Historic Genealogical Society, (Boston, Massachusetts, 1995). Pages 1262-1267
  • Source: S-268 The Planters of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts, 1620-1640, Charles Edward Banks, Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co., Boston 1930
  • Source: S-269 Title: Francis Higginson's Journal of his Voyage to New England. 45 Days - Summer OF 1629. Publication: Online at Massachusetts. The Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1623-1636 - Now first collected from original records and Contemporaneous Manuscripts and Illustrated With Notes. By Alexander Young. URL:
  • Ancestors of American Presidents, Author: Roberts, Gary Boyd, Published in Cooperation with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Preliminary Edition by Carl Boyer, 3rd, Santa Clarita, California 1989. Also the 2009 edition. Footnote abbreviation: Roberts
  • Source: S-2067412026 Repository: #R-2139939163 Ancestry Family Trees, Publication: Online publication - Provo, Utah, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.
  • Source: S-206 Find A Grave Publication: Online database URL:
  • Repository: R-2139939163,

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On December 2, 2012 at 14:05GMT Karen Leigh Grady wrote:

Children of Thomas and Grace: John, Thomas, Clement, Manasseh, Ephraim, Judah, Marie, and Elizabeth

On September 7, 2012 at 22:27GMT Alan Butchino wrote:

Thomas was baptised 29 Apr 1608 Chew Magna, Somersetshire, England

From the Pigrims Ships List. Thomas sailed, with the Higginson Fleet of 6 six ships, from Gravesend, England on 5 Apr 1629 bound for the Massachusetts Bay/Charles River. He is on the passenger list for the ship Lyon's Welp arriving in Salem Harbor June 1639. Thomas was baptised 29 Apr 1608 Chew Magna, Somersetshire, England.

Thomas is listed as a Founder of New London and also Stonington.

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