How do you find out which Thomas Cornish is my 10 times great grandfather

+2 votes
I have bought research books. Im looking to see if a Thomas Cornish came to Mass. in 1620 and on what ship. I found one going to Virginia colony. Was there one that went to Mass with him abord. He lived later in the Moody Colony in Gravesend NY. I have a lot of records from after he was married in 1641 to Mary Stone. I see people with incorrect info. I want to post my finds. Books Etc. Facts....Need to make sure of Fathers Name and Date of Birth and Area in England. I have christening records saying Thomas Cornish at Gussage-all-Saints in Dorset England in 1597. Father is Thomas Cornish. Is this the same man that got on a boat to America in 1599 the Duty bound for Virginia . I have a lot of records. Can you see , is this the same man or how many more were named Thomas Cornish. I really need someone to help me.Thanks so much....
WikiTree profile: Arlene Riebe
in Genealogy Help by Arlene Riebe G2G Crew (610 points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway

4 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

From your ancestry tree it looks like the line has been traced back to the 5th great Cornish grandfather, Timothy Cornish. You could trace back one generation at a time until you get to your Thomas Cornish, 10th g grandfather.

Timothy Cornish

mentioned in the record of Timothy Cornish and Mary Wickes

Name Timothy Cornish
Spouse's Name Mary Wickes
Event Date 17 Jun 1764
Event Place First Church,Huntington,Suffolk,New York

Citing this Record

"New York Marriages, 1686-1980," database, FamilySearch( : 12 December 2014), Timothy Cornish and Mary Wickes, 17 Jun 1764; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1,036,338.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
selected by Arlene Riebe
+3 votes
I agree about establishing each step. I have serious doubts as to this being your man.

Thomas Cornish married Jhon(e) Smith in 1596 at Gussage All Saints. Thomas, son of Thomas Cornish baptised in 1597. Jone,  wife of  Thomas Cornish was buried  there in 1630 and a Thomas Cornish was  buried there in 1638. We don't know which Thomas was buried .

Would a 2 year old have travelled in 1599 without father?He certainly wasn't a man.

Would Thomas senior  be likely to leave wife and child behind in 1599  to disappear off to the New World?

There doesn't seem to be a burial for a second Thomas but he could have died young but the entry no longer exists (some of the pages are damaged so there are missing entries) He could have moved to a nearby parish which doesn't have registers from this early date

Are there any strong reasons to link Thomas Cornish the emigrant  with Gussage All Saints?
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (270k points)
edited by Helen Ford
Thomas Cornish came to America and was married in Gloucester, MA.. marriage is clear. to Mary Stone. I found a book that says Thomas cornish came to Virginia on the Duty in 1620.  It also says he was 25. So he would have been born in 1595. That's how I got that. His Father is Thomas Cornish also. That is why The father Thomas Cornish is buried in 1630. I keep looking for any other records of a Thomas Cornish. living during 1590 to 1600 in England.
Originally you said the ship sailed in 1599. However I still think that looking for a man born at about the right date is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. You also have to take into account that parishes for which registers date back to this period are the exception, not the rule.
+3 votes

His ancestry and origins is unknown.  This is true of the vast majority Great Migration immigrants.

The early immigration patterns of Virginia and Massachusetts make extremely unlikely that a person headed for Virginia would end up in Salem Massachusetts and later in Long Island.  The chance that they are the same guy is essentially zero.

As a word of caution, it takes much more than finding a baptism record with the same name to prove an English origin.  There is no reason think that a Thomas Cornish baptized at Gussage-all-Saints in Dorset England is the same as the immigrant.  We would need to find wills, or other records which show some connection of the English family to the immigrant in order to make such a claim.


by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
Thank you and I understand the need for finding the connection. I have been collecting information from research books. In Wiki Thomas Cornish sailed on the Duty in says he was 25 and Muster Eastern Shore , servant to Capt. Wm. Epes. I've have read that ships sailed up the coast every few months.He had to work off his passage expense.Then Capt. Left to the West Indies . I'll Post what I found.
0 votes
by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (390k points)
I have researched and only found one Thomas Cornish that came to Virginia in 1620 on the Duty. The books said he was 25 so that would make his date of birth be 1595. His son Benjamin died in 1637which is on "find a grave" records. I would like to collaborate my resources with  what you have recorded. In the complete book of Emigrants 1607-1660 by Peter Wilson Coldham pages 15,46, 68, said<:" Keep to go for Virginia, Thomas Cornish> <1619.>". Bridewell. Thomas was detained there. Bridewell prison would also train men that were going to America, That's probably where he learned pipe stave and the cooper trade. Then page 46<on the Eastern Shore of Virginia> Living:Captain William Epps; Thomas Cornish and 50 others. (PRO:CO1/3/2.) then : "Eastern Shore over the Bay" Captain William Epes by George, 1621 servants (and it lists) <Thomas Cornish 25 by Duty 1620> along with 12 other men. I have other books about his time in Virginia. Captain Eppes was a wanted man for killing someone so he takes his family and leaves for the West Indies, Thomas Cornish is recorded in 1637 still in Virginia. then in 1641 he is in Glouchester MA. to wed Mary Stone. I do not see ,in the ships records, anyother Thomas Cornish. I think it is one and the same. I also want to see where you found Richard and Katherine as his parents. Please tell me how we can correct the information. Thanks Arlene Cornish Riebe

If you think you can improve upon Alicia Crane William's work on Thomas Cornish then I would reach out to her with your thoughts and see what she has to say.

Otherwise, you can just revise his profile in accordance with her work.

Also, I did not find his parents, in fact, I pointed out that his parents were questionable on his profile.  Really, all I have done is add her work as a source to be consulted when updating this profile and ammened his birth and death info in accordance to her work.
Thank you.
Arlene, we share the same Cornish ancestry.  Mine eventually derived from his ggggrandson, Benjamin who was from Newtown, NY where Thomas Cornish ultimately moved.  Wondering if you have the source for his being present in Virginia in 1637.  That information I could not find, but I agree that there appears to be only one Thomas Cornish who came to the colonies in the correct time frame.  I'm still looking for Thomas' parents and more information on his passage to the colonies, so any source information you can share would be appreciated.  Thanks! Cory

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