Thomas (Byrcharde) Birchard

Thomas (Byrcharde) Birchard (1595 - abt. 1683)

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Thomas Birchard formerly Byrcharde aka Bircher, Burchard, Byrcharde, Birchwood
Born in Fairsted, Essex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Fairsted, Essex, Englandmap
Husband of — married in Edgartown, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Norwich, New London, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Apr 2010
This page has been accessed 452 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas (Byrcharde) Birchard migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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HEIS vnder-written names are to be transported to New-England imbarqued in the Truelove Jo: GIBBS Mr. the Men have taken the oaths of Alleg: & Suprem. xix Sept: 1635

Labouring man. Thomas Burchard .... 40; Mary Burchard 38; Elizabeth Burchard 13; Marie Burchard 12 ; Sara Burchard 9; Suzan Burchard 8; Jo: Burchard 7; Ann Burchard 18 mo. “ [1]


Thomas Byrcharde, son of William, was baptized at Fairsted, Essex, England, 12 Aug 1595,[2] or 12 Oct 1595.[3][4]. The IGI Index has Oct., the Birchard piece by Glazier has written Aug. Speculation: Does the original say "12 8th month 1595", which is October, but can easily be misinterpreted as Aug.


1) Thomas married at Fairsted on 23 Oct 1620, Mary Robinson the daughter of Rev Henry and Elizabeth (Orvice) Robinson[2].
2) By 21 July 1659 he married widow Katherine Andrews[2]. Probate records for Lewis Martin imply that Thomas Birchard had married the mother of John Andrews, Katherine. Katherine Birchard signed a deed with Thomas in 1663.[5]
3) Deborah ________.[2] "On page 154 of Wyman's Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, Massachusetts, appears this entry: "Deborah Burcham. Wife of Thomas of Martha's Vineyard; died May 10, 1680." If this refers to Thomas Birchard of Edgartown, it shows that he was married three times."[5] Does it?


There are several compiled genealogies erroneously stating that Thomas died 3 Oct 1657, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, citing the vital records. The 1657 death record is for a Thomas Birch.[6]

Thomas Birchard died between May 9, 1683, when he sold land, and Sept. 16, 1684, when the court records that a codicil to his will was presented.[5] He left a will, but it has since been lost.[2]

Roxbury, Massachusetts

John Eliot's notes on the Roxbury Church contain a list of persons that belong to the church. Many of the names have dates and information with them. However, Thomas and his wife are merely listed as Thomas Bircharde and several names later ______ Birchard, the wife of Thomas Birchard[7]

It is presumed that Mary was the Goodwife Birchard who died 1m 24 d 1654/5, March 24, 1654/5.[7] Would John Eliot have made a note of her death some 15 years after the couple left Roxbury, or is there another Goodwife Birchard?

Hartford, Connecticut

Thomas' name, as Thomas Birchwood, is on the Founders Monument in Hartford CT as an original proprietor.

In Hartford as early as 1639, he was on a jury in that year.[8] He was granted lands and was mentioned concerning maintaining gates along the highway.[9]

According to the Hartford Land Records Thomas bought a house lot in Oct. 1650 but prior to that, May 1650, he had been chosen as deputy to the General Court from Saybrook.[5] Perhaps the house lot was a gift for one of his children.

Saybrook, Connecticut

Thomas Birchard was Deputy to the General Court from Saybrook, a couple of times, 1650 and 1651.[8] Saybrook records no longer exist, so we don't know if he held office there.[5]

Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Thomas appears first in the records of Edgartown in 1653, when he served on a committee and then became the town clerk. He acted as part of the town court, and owned land. He continues at least until May 1682, when Thomas Birchard of Edgartown sold land.[5]

Politically, Martha's Vineyard was patented and ruled by one individual, Thomas Mayhew. In 1673, a movement was started to oust Mayhew. Thomas Birchard was the first to sign the petition to the General Court at Massachusett's Bay. After a while the movement was crushed.[5]

Norwich, Connecticut

Thomas joined his son John in Norwich, for in Mar. 1682/3 Thomas, a resident of Norwich and in May 1683, late inhabitant of Martha's Vineyard, sold land.[5]


Of Thomas & Mary (Robinson) Birchard all christened at Terling, Essex, England.[2]

  1. Elizabeth Byrchard bapt. 1 Nov 1621[2][4]; age 13 in 1635.[1] Suggestions have been made in secondary sources listing the marriages of Elizabeth & Susanna Birchard, but no evidence supports these suggestions.[10]
  2. Mary Byrchard bapt. 2 Apr 1623[2][4]; age 12 in 1635[1]. The claim has been made for some years in various secondary sources that daughter Mary Birchard was the famous, unnamed "Bride of Bride's Book." Unfortunately without some evidence that she actually married the groom, Jonathan Rudd, or that only Thomas Birchard was prominent & influential enough to cause Gov. Winthrop to travel out in the snow to perform this marriage, no identification can be made.[10]
  3. Sara Byrchard bapt. 22 Aug 1624[2][4]; age 9 in 1635[1]; m. at Hartford, Conn., 25 Oct 1647 Bartholomew Barnard.
  4. Susanna Birchard bapt. 26 June 1626[2][4]; age 8 in 1635[1]; Perhaps wife of Robert Wade but there is no evidence for this claim made in many secondary sources.[10]
  5. John Birchard bapt. 31 Jan 1627/8[2][4]; age 7 in 1635[1]; m 1) Christian Andrews; 2) Jane (Lee) Hyde.
  6. Thomas Birchard bapt. 24 Sep 1629; bur. 19 feb 1631/2[2][4]
  7. Deborah Birchard, bapt. 18 April 1632; bur. 6 April 1633.[2][4]
  8. Hannah Birchard, bapt. 17 Oct 1633[2][4]; called Ann age 18 mos in 1635[1]; m 12 April 1653 John Baldwin.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Hotten, John Camden (editor). The Original Lists of Persons of Quality: Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years, Apprentices, Children Stolen, Maidens Pressed, and Others, who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700. London: John Camden Hotten, 1874
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Glazier, Prentiss. “Thomas and Mary (Robinson) Birchard Their Origin, Ancestry and Family” The American Genealogist 51:17. 1975.
  3. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Thos Byrcharde, 12 Oct 1595); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 0962701 IT 4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 These dates are confirmed by the Indexed IGI (not the community contributed ones)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Starr,Frank Farnsworth (Compiler). Various Ancestral Lines Of James Goodwin And Lucy (Morgan) Goodwin Of Hartford, Connecticut. Volume I. Goodwin Lines. pp 55-62. Hartford, Conn.: 1915. NOTE: Starr is very good about referencing his facts to original records.
  6. A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, containing Dorchester Births, Marriages, and Deaths to the End of 1825. Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1890. p. 25 at AmericanAncestors (pay site)
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Report of the Record Commissioners, containing the Roxbury Land and Church Records. p 81, p 176 Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1884.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Trumbull, J. Hammond. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut. Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony, May, 1665. pp 29,207,218,221. Hartford: Brown & Parsons, 1850.
  9. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Volume VI. “Hartford Town Votes” p 6, 17, 23. Hartford, 1897
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Anderson, Robert Charles et. al. The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume 1, A-BBoston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999.
  • Anderson, Robert Charles et. al. The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume 1, A-BBoston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999. This source contains more detail on the lands that Thomas owned in the various towns.subscription site$
  • Thomas' memorial on Find A Grave
  • Mary's memorial on Find A Grave

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No known carriers of Thomas's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 2
Hartford in 1640 prepared from the original records by vote of the town and drawn by William S. Porter Image by The Connecticut Historical Society
Hartford in 1640 prepared from the original records by vote of the town and drawn by William S. Porter  Image by The Connecticut Historical Society

East Face: Founders of Hartford Monumnent
East Face: Founders of Hartford Monumnent


On 21 Nov 2018 at 02:16 GMT Cheryl (Aldrich) Skordahl wrote:

On 5 Jul 2018 at 21:25 GMT Anne B wrote:

Burchard-44 and Byrcharde-3 appear to represent the same person because: Byrcharde is correct spelling on bpt.

On 4 May 2016 at 10:37 GMT Anne B wrote:

Birchard-122 and Birchard-3 appear to represent the same person because: Same person. 1657 is an incorrect death. see bio at -3

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Thomas is 16 degrees from Deb Durham, 19 degrees from Lou Gehrig and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Founders of Hartford | Truelove, sailed September, 1635