Thomas Bliss Jr
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Thomas Bliss Jr (bef. 1618 - 1688)

Thomas Bliss Jr
Born before in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Englandmap
Husband of — married Oct 1644 in Saybrook, Connecticutmap
Descendants descendants
Died after age 70 in Norwich, New London, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 5 Aug 2009
This page has been accessed 5,901 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Bliss Jr migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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NOTE: The several Thomas Bliss' of New England have had their vital records, family relationships and biographical facts mixed and matched in a Gordian knot. In brief, we are dealing with three or possibly four individuals of the name Thomas Bliss:
  1. Thomas Bliss (called Sr) b. before 1595 a founder of Hartford; wives Margaret Snowe and Margaret Hullings
  2. Thomas Bliss of Saybrook and Norwich, b. 1618 son of #1, wife Elizabeth Birchard who may or may not be the Thomas Bliss, called Jr. in early Hartford records and counted as a founder. (and the subject of this profile)
  3. Thomas Bliss of Rehoboth, Mass. Wife Dorothy Wheatlie, father: John
In editing the biographies of the several Thomas Bliss' I, (djt) have elected to treat Thomas Jr. of Hartford as the same person as Thomas Bliss of Saybrook and Norwich.


Thomas Bliss was baptized 23 Jan 1617/8 at St. John the Baptist, Gloucester,[1] where his parents Thomas Blisse and Margaret Snowe were married.[2]


A Founder of Hartford, the name of Thomas Bliss Jr. is inscribed on the East face of the Founder's Monument.

  • Thomas Blisse Senr and Jnr were granted lots "at The Townes Courtesie wth liberty to fetch wood & keepe swine or cowes By proportion on the common" His original grant having been 4 acres.[3]
  • The February 1639 Registration of Hartford Lands: Several parcels on the Connecticut River belonging to Thomas Blisse junr.[4]
    • House Lot about 2 roods , lot #129 on the map in the northwest corner.
    • Upland two acres in the vicinity of the Rocky hill.
      • This lot he sold to his father.
    • Thomas owned several other lots, part of a five acre lot, 6 acres, 25 acres, all of which are recorded as belonging to Thomas Bliss sr who bought them of Thomas Bliss jr.


Thomas Bliss married Elizabeth _______ the latter end of October, 1644, at Saybrook, Connecticut.[5] The bride may have been Elizabeth [?Birchard] [6][7], b. [say 1622], d. at Norwich, 28 Feb. 1699/1700.


Saybrook was a colony on its own until 1644, about the time that Thomas Bliss married there and had most of his children.[8] He had a house lot of thirty acres in what is now Lyme. He sold this 23 July 1662 to John Comstock.[9] He was on the 1650 Division of Land list and present at a town meeting 7 Jan 1655.[10]


He removed with Rev. James Fitch to Norwich in 1659/60,[10] where Thomas was one of the original thirty five purchasers of the land that became Norwich, Connecticut. Thomas Bliss had a land allotment of five and a quarter acres with a lane on the south leading to the river.[9]

Freeman: Thomas Bilsse and several other men from Norwich were made freeman of Connecticut at a General Assembly meeting at Hartford 8 Oct 1663.[11]


15 Apr. 1688 at Norwich, Connecticut.[7][9]


Thomas Bliss' will is dated April 13th, 1688, two days before his death and in it provision was made for his wife Elizabeth and six daughters, and his only living son, Samuel, who was at that time thirty-one years of age. His estate was estimated at £182, 17s. 7d. He had land, besides his home lot, " over the river — on the Little Plain — at the Great Plain — at the Falls — in the Yantic meadow — in meadow at Beaver Brook — in pasture east of the town — and on Westward hill."

Children of Thomas & Elizabeth

  1. Elizabeth, b. November 20, 1645, at Saybrook, Connecticut, m. June 7, 1663, Edward Smith of New London, Conn. This couple, with their son John, ae. 15, died of an epidemic disease in 1689 -- John on July 8th, Elizabeth on July 10th, and Edward on July 14th. A son (Capt. Obidiah, b. 1677) and six daughters went to reside at Norwich with relatives.
  2. Sarah, b. at Saybrook, Aug.26,1647, (or perhaps 26 Aug 1656; m. Dec. 1668, Thomas Sluman, Norwich, and had six children. He died in 1683, and she afterwards m. April 8, 1686, Dr. Solomon Tracy, of Norwich, by whom she had one son. She d. Aug. 29, 1730. Dr. T. died July 9, 1732.
  3. Mary, b. at Saybrook, Conn., Feb. 7, 1649, m..about 1672-3,David son of Dea. Hugh and Ann Caulkins, of New London, Conn., (a Welchman who came to this country about 1640, stopped at Marshfield for a short season, then removed to Lynn, Mass., thence to New London about 1652, and finally to Norwich, Conn., about 1659.) He had the estate of his father in that part of New London now known as Waterford, near Niantic. From this union has descended the modest and diligent historian of Norwich and New London,--Miss Frances M. Caulkins, who was widely known as one of the leading antiquarian writers of her day. David Caulkins d. Nov. 25, 1717.
  4. Thomas, b. at Saybrook, Conn., March 3, 1652. d. Jan. 29, 1682, probably unmarried.
  5. Deliverance b. at Saybrook, Conn., Aug. 19,1655, m. June 8, 1682, David Perkins, of Norwich, Conn.
  6. Samuel, b. at S. Dec. 9, 1657, d. Dec. 30, 1731.
  7. Anne b. at Norwich, Sept.15, 1660, m.April 8, 1688, Josiah Rockwell of N., and d. Feb. 19, 1714-15. He d. March 18, 1728. Josiah Rockwell was a son of Josiah Rockwell and Rebecca Loomis. Of Windsor? Conn. A son Daniel, b. Oct. 24, 1689, m. Nov. 23, 1715. Tabitha Hartsborn, and d. in 1749, leaving several children, among whom was Daniel. jr., b. June 28, 1724, who m. Dec 29, 1746, Mindwell Bliss, daughter of Samuel Bliss and Sarah Packer. Of Norwich, Conn.
  8. Rebeckah, born at Norwich, March 18, 1663, m. April 8, 1686, Israel Lathrop, of N., and d. Aug. 22, 1737. He d. March 28, 1733.

Children births verified:[12][13]


  1. Gloucestershire Archives Reference Number P154/9 IN 1/1 image 50 of 134
  2. Bennett, Anne Selene. "The First Wife and Older Children of Thomas Bliss of Gloucester, England and Hartford, Connecticut. The American Genealogist Vol 91, No1 January 2019. p. 43-45
  3. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society. Vol. 6 Hartford Town Votes Vol. 1 1635-1716 p. 20, 24, 47, 50
  4. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society. Vol. 14 Original Distribution of The Lands in Hartford Among the Settlers 1639. p. 276p. 257
  5. Connecticut Vital Records to 1850 (Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) (From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928.) ]. 8 Link at AmericanAncestors ($)
  6. New England Marriages Prior to 1700, pg. 78
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jacobus, Donald Lines, 1887-1970, and Edgar Francis Waterman. Hale, House, And Related Families: Mainly of the Connecticut River Valley. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1952. Hale, House and Related Families
  8. The Founders of Saybrook Colony 1635-1660 Saybrook Colony Founders Association
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Caulkins, Frances Manwaring, History of Norwich, Connecticut: from its possession by the Indians, to the year 1866 [Hartford] The author , 1866 pp 167, 168 main bio; , 65
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Founders of Saybrook Colony and Their Descendants. Compiled by the Founders Committee (1985)
  11. Trumbull, J. Hammond. (transcriber). The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony May 1665. (Hartford: Brown and Parsons, 1850.) AKA Colonial Records of Connecticut. Volume I. 1636-1665 Google Books p 408
  12. Vital Records of Saybrook, 1647-1834 (Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, 1952) Page 6
  13. Vital records of Norwich, 1659-1848 (Hartford, Society of colonial wars in the state of Connecticut, 1913) children p. 12; death of Thomas p. 2

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Comments: 5

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I'm going to do some updating/rearrangement of this profile.
posted by Anne B
Yay, I just got a bunch of records, sources and books that are detailed factual proof of Thomas's family before they emigrated to the colonies. Whoo hoo. Got his grandparents names and grt grand-parents, too. I'll get around to reading them and high-lighting facts and citations in the next month or two. I can't wait until I can fix this mess of multiple confusing Thomas Blisses.
posted by [Living Hudnall]

This person has a lot of sources listed for the Family of Bliss/Ide. It's worth it to buy all the books they are using for reference

posted by [Living Hudnall]
Bliss-2 and Bliss-3157 are not ready to be merged because: There are several Thomas Blisses of similar dates. These are probably intended to be the same man, but I believe the parents in Bliss-3157 are incorrect. And some of the siblings are different. Until the parents and the dates are resolved, I would recommend keeping this as an unmerged match.
posted by A Fabry
Bliss-2 and Bliss-3157 appear to represent the same person because: same death dates, Bliss-3157 may have wrong parents
posted by Barbara (Edlund) Healy