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Thomas Burgess Jr. (abt. 1627 - 1717)

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Thomas Burgess Jr.
Born about in Englandmap
Husband of — married 8 Nov 1648 (to 10 Jun 1661) in Sandwich, Plymouth Colony, British Colonial Americamap
Husband of — married 1667 in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, British Colonial Americamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantationsmap
Profile last modified 29 Dec 2019 | Created 1 Jun 2010
This page has been accessed 2,127 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Burgess Jr. migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Thomas was born about 1627. He was the eldest son of Thomas Burges and Dorothy Waynes.

He was enrolled to bear arms in 1643, when probably 16 years old. He served the town as Constable in 1654. He subscribed to repair the meeting-house, and to support the minister, in 1657.

In 1661, he left the Plymouth Colony, and removed to Newport. He was admitted a freeman in the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and served as grand juror, in 1667.

His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of William Bassett, whom he married November 8, 1648. They had no children. Elizabeth (Basset) Burgess asked for and was granted a divorce from Thomas Burgess on June 10, 1661,[1][2] Adultery was the only grounds for divorce at the time, and Thomas was found guilty of the act with Lydia Gaunt (who became his second wife). He was punished by being whipped and forced to give up one-third of his net worth.[3]

"The Court has ordered and appointed Mr. Thomas Hinckley to see the courts order executed on Thomas Burge, Jr., of Sandwich, to be publicly whipped, at the discretion of the said Mr. Hinckley, for the fact of uncleanes the said Burge committed with Lydia Gaunt, of Sandwich; this to be executed at Sandwich with all convenient speed, according to the law in that case provided. July 23, 1661, Governor Prence."

He subsequently married Lydia, daughter of Peter Gaunt, by 1665; they removed to Newport, Rhode Island, where their only known child, a son, Thomas III, was born in 1668.

Robert Barlett of Plymouth, sold, for 50 pounds silver, to Thomas Burges Jr of Newport, Rhode Island 17 or 27 Feb 1670/1, a share of land in Dartmouth, MA.[4]

Thomas Burgess Jr. lived a long and productive life, and passed away at Rhode Island in 1717."[5]


  1. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Records of the colony of New Plymouth in New England, (New York: Press of William White, 1855) Court Orders, Vol. 3:221-222.
  2. Plymouth Colony records, Court Orders, Vol. 3:236, 238.
  3. The Plymouth Colony Archive Project, Sexual Misconduct in Plymouth Colony © 1998. Copyright and All Rights Reserved. By Lisa M. Lauria, University of Virginia, citing Court of Orders, Page 223 and here
  4. "Mayflower Families," in The Mayflower Descendant, 3(1901):112, citing "Colony [Plymouth?] Deeds" Vol. V, p 118
  5. Burgess, Ebenezer. Burgess Genealogy, Memorial of the Family of Thomas and Dorothy Burgess (T.R. Marvin & Son, Boston, 1865) Page 12

See also:

  • Richard E. Weber, Dev./A.A. Sprague IV, Webmaster, The Sprague Project, 16 Dec 2006 : Website dedicated to Sprague genealogy; very detailed and authentic.
  • The Plymouth Colony Archive Project, Women in Plymouth Colony, 1633-1668 © 1998-2000 Copyright and All Rights Reserved by Anna Neuzil, Anth. 496, Independent Study, Fall 1998, University of Virginia;
  • Find A Grave: Memorial #38451573

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Thomas:

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Comments: 8

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After further researching this, I stand corrected that Elizabeth was, in fact, very much alive at the time her divorce from Thomas Burgess, Jr. was granted in June, 1661. In the transcript of the court's decision she was twice referred to as the “late” wife of Thomas, rather than “former” wife; therefore, I misconstrued that to mean Elizabeth was deceased as did Anna Neuzil, my original source, and author of “Women in Plymouth Colony, 1633-1668”, The Plymouth Colony Project.

Please accept my apology, and I have edited the profile of Burgess-547.

posted by Eunice (Wilbur) Pender
10 June 1661, divorce granted and Elizabeth was definitely alive as she was the one petitioning for divorce, see Shurtleff p. 221. The only thing unclear, in my view, is how much later she died and if she remarried to William Hatch.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
There seems to be conflicting data about when the divorce was granted and when Elizabeth died.
posted by Jillaine Smith
The divorce was granted in 1661. Elizabeth didn't die until at least 1670.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Per Research Notes and Sources, Elizabeth Burgess' petition for divorce was granted posthumously; therefore, it would appear that Thomas and Lydia Gaunt could not have married before 1670.
posted by Eunice (Wilbur) Pender
Done Jillaine.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Can we find sources for the divorce info described in the narrative? It's not mentioned in the Burgess genealogy.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Burgess-7347 and Burgess-547 appear to represent the same person because: Death date, parents appear to match.
posted by Bob Nichol

Thomas is 18 degrees from Greg Clarke, 13 degrees from George Hull and 11 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Puritan Great Migration