RESOLVED: Who were the wives of Thomas Mayhew? [closed]

+8 votes

In Anderson's Great Migration series, he offers no name (first or maiden) for the first wife of PGM immigrant Thomas Mayhew (who became governor of Martha's Vineyard). But others claim she was Abigail (or other first name) Park or Parkhurst. His second wife is documented to be Jane Gallion and widow of Thomas Paine.

After merging of duplicates of Thomas we now have several "first wives" of various names-- first and last. If we were to follow Anderson's 1995 work, she'd be ____ ____. Before we do that, has there been research since 1995 that sheds any further light on this first wife of Thomas?

Your help is appreciated. Thanks!

WikiTree profile: Thomas Mayhew
closed with the note: Request resolved
asked in Requests for Project Volunteers by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (654k points)
closed by Chris Whitten

4 Answers

+3 votes

To my knowledge, no, nothing is known of Thomas' 1st wife.  However, see Leslie Mahler, "The English Origin of Jane (Galland) (Paine), Wife of Thomas1 Mayhew of Martha's Vineyard", The American Genealogist, 76 (2001): 94–98, for new information about Thomas' 2nd wife.

answered by
+2 votes
It has been over a month since this was posted, and no one has come along with better evidence than Anderson for the name of the first wife of Thomas Mayhew. Following wikitree style guidelines, then, her name will be changed to the oh-so-lovely Unknown Unknown.
answered by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (654k points)
+2 votes

I know the door already closed on this issue, and my addition would certainly not qualify as 'new research since 1995', but Charles Edward Banks speaks to the question with some persuasion.

From Dr. Charles Edward Banks, The History of Martha's Vinyard, Vol I, pub. 1911, p 115:

"During that period he had married, about 1619, and family traditions and a record of some antiquity brings down to us the name of the bride of his youth as Abigail Parkus. [This is from a memorandum, genealogical in its character, prepared by Deacon William Mayhew, of Edgartown, who was born in 1748, and was thus within the sphere of close personal knowledge of his immediate ancestors. He was ten years old when Experience Mayhew, the great family exponent, died (1758), and Experience was about the same age when the old governor died, thus but one life spanned the gap between Thomas Senior and Deacon William. The memorandum was preserved by the Deacon's son, Thomas, and was in existence in 1854.] Further particularization has been given to this tradition by making her a daughter of that Parkhurst family, of which George Parkhurst of Watertown, Mass., 1643, was the first New England representative. George was the son of John Parkhurst of Ipswich, England, a clothier, and his sisters, Deborah and Elizabeth, came to this country with him, and were later residents of the Vineyard, the former as wife of John Smith and the latter of Joseph Merry. So far no documentary or recorded confirmation of his marriage has come to light, and some considerable search has been made to find the probable place where the marriage took place, but without avail. The tradition is given for what it is worth."


answered by Bryan McCullagh G2G4 (4k points)
edited by Jillaine Smith
Thanks, Bryan. Let me go check what if anything Anderson says about Banks. I know he references him frequently, so I'm thinking he must have on this one.
Fascinating, Anderson does not reference Bank's 1911 History of the Vineyard, but he does reference Bank's 1901 genealogy of the Mayhew family.

You know what, I think this is the second time I've found a discrepancy on the part of Anderson that involved Martha's Vineyard, and I'm now thinking that he/his team did not review Bank's history of MV...

I wonder if the Parkus tradition is talked about in the 1901 genealogy. Bryan, could you check? I'm swamped with work these days without as much time to do research.

Mm... i take it back; Anderson does reference the history of Martha's Vineyard, but he does not reference what Banks said about Thomas' wife...

Yes, I agree.

Anderson's reference is to Bank's 1901 article in the Genealogical Advertiser, Vol IV, ppg. 1-8, and is entitled "The English Ancestry of Governor Thomas Mayhew".

I can find no references to either of Thomas' wives in this article; but most of the article speaks to the results and conclusions Dr. Banks came to during a trip to England investigating Thomas' ancestry.

Thanks, Bryan.

I added the info you provided above to Unknown Unknown's profile. It's very interesting. I wish Anderson had addressed this. Sigh.
We already know that Mr. Robert Charles Anderson is meticulous, cautious, and conservative in the facts and conclusions he provides.

The Banks passage only references a genealogical memo which apparently no longer exists, and the circumstantial evidence that Abigail's possible aunts later lived and married in Martha's Vineyard.

It seems to me not-so-surprising that this thin body of evidence wouldn't rise to the level of a mention in GMB.
+1 vote

Oh it gets better (or worse)... There is also a long-standing tradition that Thomas Dewey Jr, his son, married his step-sister, Jane Paine, daughter of Thomas Sr's second wife by her first husband.

BUT Anderson disputes this... Great Migration Begins, p 1246: 

"Lechford records several documents in which Thomas Mayhew and his wife Jane Mayhew, formerly the wife of Thomas Paine of London, act as guardians for Thomas Paine, Jane's son with her first husband [Lechford 184-86, 240]. Savage introduced confusion by stating that the widow Paine bore the Christian name "Grace" rather than Jane [Savage 3:185]. It may be this confusion that led him to state that the wife of the younger Thomas Mayhew was Jane Paine, allegdly daughter of this non-existent Grace, and therefore his stepsister. Edward Everett Hale Jr., Lechford's editors, showed that Grace did ont exist, and also that, based on the documents in Lechford, there is no evidence that the younger Thomas married a stepsister named Jane Paine [Lechford 184]."


answered by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (654k points)
This requires a new topic. I'll start one. Sigh.

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