Thomas Burgess

Thomas Burgess (abt. 1604 - 1685)

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Thomas Burgess aka Burge, Burges
Born about in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Sandwich, Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Jun 2010
This page has been accessed 5,829 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration.

Burial: Feb. 1685/6, age 82 • Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

@ Old Town Cemetery.[1]
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Burgess migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm


Disputed Origins

A christening of 16 Aug 1601[2] in Truro, Cornwall, England has been assigned to Thomas Burgess, the emigrant, but this infant seems to have died the following month.

Supposedly a will of Thomas Burgess, merchant of Cornwall, dated 20 Sep 1619, probated 12 Dec 1622 (PCC 127 Swann = Waters, Gleanings 992) mentions a son Thomas.[3]

But if the emigrant was he who married Dorothy Wayne way across England in York, it's not likely these were the same men.

Bottom line: The origins of Thomas Burgess remain unknown.

Distinguishing him from another Thomas Burgess

An examination of early New England colonists at sea identifies one Thomas Burgess who may have been a contemporary of Thomas of Sandwich:

"Borges R[iver] shows up for Thomas Burges (d. 1683) of Charlestown and later Concord. About 1645, Burges had been back to Northamptonshire as attorney in land matters for Thomas James (d. 1666) of Salem, whose own estate was finally settled in Salem although he had died in Albermarle, Carolina. Thomas Burges made a will on 9 August 1662 'being Now Bound A voiage to Sae," and five days later the exploratory expedition sailed southward. Just before the migratory expedition, on 20 January 1662/3, Buges sold 20 acres in Woburn, a git from Mr. George Bunker."[4]

Disputed Wives

That his wife's name was Dorothy is supported by a 1654 land deed:

This Bargane and sale acknowlidged by Thomas Burgis senir and Dorathy his wife this 5t of Aprill 1654 before mee Myles Standish The Marke of Tho T Burgis.[5]

Winifred Lovering Holman's "Burgess Lineage, 1957-1958," a typescript in the New England Historic-Genealogical Society library, gives Dorothy Phippen as being the wife of this Thomas Burgess.

It has been suggested that he was the Thomas Burgess who married a Dorothy Wayne in Tanfield, York, England, in 1628.[6]

A marriage license was found for Thomas Burgess and Dorothy Waynes for 1628 at Tanfield, England, parish of Chester-Le-Street, Durham County. The ancestry of Thomas Burgess is not certain. Research indicates several possible roots. On January 12, 1995, Paul F. Burgess, author of "The Burgess History Tree", wrote a letter to "The Burgess Bulletin" and stated that he had hired a researcher in England. The researcher indicated several possible connections but did state that he was not the Thomas born in 1601 in Truro, which is the one with the Pye/Phippen connections. Other possible connections include: Thomas Burgess baptized 2 Oct 1603, son of Thomas Burgess and Elizabeth Seddon of Lancashire; Another Thomas Burgess was baptized 4 Nov 1603 and his wife, Dorothy Goodman, baptized in 1613 at Coffinswell, Devonshire, England. This leads to speculation since Thomas was known as "The Goodman Burgess" in early New England records.

An additional name, Goodman, has also been suggested, evidence unknown. Note that "goodman" was a title frequently used in colonial times.

Disputed Children

  1. Ruth (who supposedly married Richard Taylor, of the Rock, of Yarmouth): "Various records exist about these family members, yet none refer to an additional daughter named Ruth nor a son-in-law Richard Taylor. No other Burgess of appropriate age to be father of a Ruth is found in the records. Further working against [the theory that Ruth (______) Taylor was daughter of Thomas Burgess] is that none of [her] children... had Burgess family given names."[7]
  2. Deborah (who supposedly married Nathan Fish), but subsequent research has associated her as likely daughter of this Thomas' son Jacob by the latter's wife Mary Nye.[8]

The will of Thomas Burgess named four sons -- Thomas, Jacob, John and Joseph -- and one son-in-law, Ezra Perry (who is also named in the above land deed).[9],[10] Ezra Perry married Elizabeth Burgess 12 Feb 1651/2.[11]


Thomas Burgess and his family immigrated to Salem, MA, about 1630 and settled in Lynn.[9]

That he is not included in Robert C. Anderson's Great Migration series (which covers immigrants from 1620-1635) suggests he did not emigrate this early (1630).

On July 3, 1637 a section of land was assigned to him in Duxbury. In 1638 he forfeited his land in Duxbury and moved to Sandwich in the section called Sagamore. In 1640 he served as Grand Juryman. In 1642, 1645, 1648, 1654, 1660, 1662, and 1668 he served as Deputy to Plymouth General Court. In August 1643 he was on the list of men "able to bear arms". In 1645, 1662, 1663, and 1678 he served as Surveyor of Highways. In 1667 and 1672 he served as Selectman. On August 18, 1645 Thomas and 4 other men from Sandwich began 13 days of service in hostilities with the Narrangansett Indians. On March 3, 1654 Thomas received a grant of land in Manomot as reward for his service.[citation needed]

He is mentioned in many of the early records of Sandwich.

Thomas Burgess died 13 February 1685 and is buried at Old Town Cemetery in Sandwich, Massachusetts.[12]


He was granted a tract of land purchased for him by Miles Standish of Indian Josiah Dwelling.[13]

THOMAS BURGE, SR., TO EZRA PERRY 1663 Prence Govr: The 10th of July 1663 Memorand: That Thomas Burge senr of the Towne of Sandwich in in the Jurisdiction of Plymouth in New England plantor Doth acknowlidg that for and in Consideration of a valluable sume; to him already payed by his son in law Named Esra Perrey of the Towne aforsaid in the Jurisdiction aforsaid plantor; hee hath bargained and sold enfeofed and Confeilmed and by these prsents Doth bargaine allianate sell enfeof and Confeirme unto the said Esra Perrey the one halfe of a Certaine tract of land lying and being att a place Called Mannomett in the Jurisdiction aforsaid; which said Tract of land was purchased by Captaine Standish by the appointment of the Court of Josias of Nausett an Indian Sachem; in the behalfe of the said Thomas Burge as appeers by a Deed bearing Date the third Day of march Anno Dom 1652 and is That Thomas Burgis of Sandwidge hath absolutly barganed and sold to ffrancis Allen of Sandwidge to him and heires for ever a pcell or tract of land being within a ffence which said upland I the said Thomas Burgis senr bought of Thomas Boardman. as also a pcell of meadow bought of the said Thomas Boardman as aforsaid this meadow bounded with 2 Creekes lying before or Joyning to the aforsaid upland to the said ffrancis Allen to have and to hold to him and his heires forever;
This Bargane and sale acknowlidged by Thomas Burgis senir and Dorathy his wife this 5t of Aprill 1654 before mee Myles Standish The Marke of Tho T Burgis.[14]


  1. Thomas Burgess Jr., the eldest, of Rhode Island
  2. John
  3. Jacob
  4. Joseph[15]
  5. Daughter who married Ezra Perry


Last Will & Testament

Will of Thomas Burgess "of Sandwich", dated 4 Apr 1684.[9] In his Will, he names:

  • Thomas the eldest, of Rhode Island
  • John
  • Jacob
  • Joseph
  • "my son" Ezra Perry
  • Thomas, son of Jacob
  • Thomas, son of John

The Executors were Ezra Perry and Jacob Burgess, and the witnesses were Thomas Tupper and Martha Tupper.


  1. per gravestone image at [1]
  2. LDS International Genealogical Index
  3. "Ancestry of President Ruther B. Hayes," in The American Genealogist, 56(1980):234
  4. "New Englanders at Sea," in NEHGR, 124(1970):93
  5. "Plymouth Colony Deeds," in The Mayflower Descendant, 8(1906):73, citing page 122
  6. "Paver's Marriage Licenses," in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 20 (1909):74
  7. Jillaine S. Smith, "Two Richard Taylor Families of Yarmouth," in NEHG Register, 165(2011):191
  8. "The Wife of Nathan Fish of Falmouth," in NEHGR 138(1984):132
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ebenezer Burgess. Burgess genealogy. Boston: Press of T. R. Marvin & son, 1865. Open Library Page 9-12
  10. Lydia B. (Phinney) Brownson and Maclean W. McLean, "Ezra Perry of Sandwich, Mass. (c. 1625-1689)," Register, 115(1961):86-99
  11. Kardell and Lovell, Vital Records of Sandwich, 1:12
  12. Thomas Burgess's memorial page at, with photos of his gravestone.
  13. "Plymouth Colony Deeds," in Mayflower Descendant, 2(1900):29, citing 37 (1652)
  14. "Plymouth Colony Deeds," in The Mayflower Descendant, 8(1906):73, citing page 122
  15. "Plymouth Colony Deeds," in The Mayflower Descendant, 18(1916):89, citing p. 125: a 1663 land deed made by Thomas Burgess Sr. to his son Joseph Burge.

See also:

  • Ebenezer Burgess, Ebenezer Geneaology (1865)
  • Immigrant England Pilgrims (accessed 17 Nov 2013)
  • Vital Records of Bellingham Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1904.
  • Source: S87 Title: Ancestor's of Fear Barlow Abbreviation: Ancestor's of Fear Barlow
  • Thank you to Al Adams for creating WikiTree profile Burges-75 through the import of ebenezer perry.ged on Dec 12, 2013.

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DNA Connections
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:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 1
Thomas Burgess gravestone
Thomas Burgess gravestone


On 28 Apr 2018 at 18:46 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

This is from a book form I believe this is the book it came from This is information from the Ebenezer Burgess book:


On 16 Feb 2018 at 22:16 GMT Joe Cochoit wrote:

Lorretta, please read the disputed wives section and the profile of his Unknown wife. There is no proof that she was Dorothy Waynes.

On 16 Feb 2018 at 22:06 GMT Joe Cochoit wrote:

Burges-75 and Burgess-548 appear to represent the same person because: Same person. Minor spelling variation.

On 16 Feb 2018 at 21:43 GMT Loretta (Leger) Corbin wrote:

Look at for spouse of Thomas.

On 1 Jan 2017 at 11:17 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Thanks Darell. Unless I'm missing something, the only mention of his wife is her first name and death date. And the list of children match other records (and exclude Ruth and Deborah, aligning with what's here.) Looks like there is good info about subsequent generations.

On 31 Dec 2016 at 23:44 GMT Darrell Parker wrote:

I think there is some clarifications with regard wife and his disputed wives, I wasn't referring to origins. It does give a list of the children.

On 31 Dec 2016 at 10:56 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Darrell, that 1865 book points out that his origins are not known. Was there something in particular you found that adds to what we have here already?

On 31 Dec 2016 at 05:04 GMT Darrell Parker wrote:

This might be a good source to help sort out the confusion

On 20 Sep 2015 at 15:30 GMT Bobbie (Madison) Hall wrote:

Yes, please, John! I have a lot of planned cleanup further down the tree. It would help if this family group is cleaned up.

On 13 Aug 2015 at 02:31 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

No objection from me; thanks, John.

more comments

Thomas is 16 degrees from Elinor Glyn, 17 degrees from Frances Weidman and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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