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Thomas Carter (abt. 1590 - bef. 1652)

Thomas Carter
Born about in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died before in Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jan 2011
This page has been accessed 2,434 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Carter migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm
The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.



Thomas Carter, Blacksmith, of Charlestown, Massachsetts

Caution, Several Thomas Carters

As Robert Charles Anderson points out, there were three early Thomas Carters at the same time in Massachusetts, each with a wife named Mary.[1] This Thomas Carter (profiled here) was somewhat older than most of the Thomas Carters in the area, but a word of caution is still in order. He, too, had a wife named Mary.

  • Thomas Carter, born c. 1610, eldest son of this this profile, Thomas Carter, the blacksmith of Charlestown
  • Thomas Carter of the Planter arrived at Salisbury and Ipswich, freeman 9 Mar 1638 at Ipswich, d 1676.
  • Thomas Carter, Reverend, Puritan and first minister of Woburn, also Watertown and Dedham.


Thomas' origin is assumed to have been England, but the exact place is unknown. His parents are also unknown.

Thomas' birth date is said to be 8 May 1566,[2] at Branscombe, Devonshire, England. However the evidence for this is unclear. He was certainly born by 1586, which is 18 years before the estimated birth date of his oldest child in 1604-7,[3] though many believe this seems too early. Norris Taylor places his birth at about 1580[4] and because his children were marrying in the 1640s, Anderson places his birth by 1590.[1]

Because his parents are unknown, the profile for James Carter has been disconnected as his father. Branscombe, Devonshire, England was previously reported as his birth place, but evidence is lacking.


Thomas immigrated c. 1635[2] or 1636 and settled at Charlestown, Massachusetts.[1] However, he was certainly not the Thomas Carter aged 35, servant to George Giddings, who enrolled at London on 2 April 1635 as a passenger aboard the Planter.[1] The Thomas Carter profiled here had children who were marrying in the 1640s, so he was too old to have been the passenger aboard the Planter.

This Thomas Carter was admitted to the Charlestown church on 8 January 1636/7 and was very likely made Freeman on 9 March 1636/7.[1]

Marriage: Wife's Maiden Name Unknown

Thomas probably married before 1607 and certainly before about 1615[1] in England, to Mary Unknown.[5] She was admitted to the church 4 (9) 1643.[6]

Positions and Property

Thomas was a blacksmith and a surveyor.[7] [4]

Last Will and Testament

Thomas Carter's will was dated May 5, 1650. Inventory was taken June 25, 1652. (no date of probate given)

The last will and Testament of Thomas Cartar of Charlestown made the fifth day of the third month A thousand six hundred and fifty
I Thomas Cartar weak in body but whole in my understanding and memory do make here my last will and testament in menner and forme following imprimis I comitt ... my soule unto God ... I comitt my Body to be decently buried And for my outward estate I due dispose of it to be disposed of as followeth.
I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary Carter my now dwelling house with the garden ground the Barne, and the five acres of Land which lies in the feild behind and above my house, with all my househould stuffe; alsoe two Cowes and three Cows Commons and a quarter alsoe halfe the Evry of all my ground and she to have all this as long as she lives; she each year fynding and allowing halfe the ear corn for all the ground.
I give and bequeath unto my eldest son Thomas Cartar after my wives decease my now dwelling hous garden and barne with the five Akers I bought of my son Samuell, and the three cows commons and a quarter And a Cow hay Lott lying without the Noll (by Ralph Mousalls Land) wch was given me in the divident, Also the Dwelling hous that Thomas Cartar my son now dwells in; Only out of this house I will and bequeath to my son Samuell Cartar to bee payd him by my son Thomas Cartar ten pounds Also I give and bequeath unto my two sons Samuell and Joseph the twoo Akers of ground that lies on mistick Syde ... to be equally divided amonst them, and to be theirs wthin a month after my decease. I also give unto my son Samuell Cartar after my wives decease on of my hay Lotts without the Neck, wch I bought of goodman Potter.
I also give and bequeath after my wives decease unto my son Joseph Cartar three Akers of Land lying at moltons poynt bought of Mikel Bastoe Also a hay Lott bought of mr Lyn without the necke, alsoe one cows Coman.
I bequeath and give after my wives decease unto my son John Cartar A cow and three heifers.
I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Brinsmead, and unto my daughter Hanna Gre-- [Green] four akers of land lying nere in Bunkers within the Neck and my will is that to this foure Akers there shall be added as much out of my houshould goods as shall make them up to be worth twenty pounds but this to be theirs after my wives decease.
I alsoe give an dbequeath after my wives decease, unto my beloved grand-children Caleb Cartar, Joseph Cartar, John Green, and John Brinsmead, A hous and the Ground belonging to it wch is about an Aker, wch Land and the ould hous I bought of goodman Robinson, and a new hous to be sett upon the garden platt where the ould house stands which I give amongst the four children aforenamed to be theirs forever.
witneses the marke of William Dad Thomas Cartar. John Green John Fuller.
Alsoe for the scotchman my will is that he shal be sould to mr Russel upon resonable agreement and upon his good demeanor I do give him three quarters of a year of the time he is to serve.
And I ordain my eldest son to be my executor of this my Last Will and Testament
A true record
Attest W.E. Rogers Register.
(Middlesex Probate, 28:20)
[The original will is still extant but is partly illegible, so a copy was also used] (Holman)[8][6]

Death and Legacy

Thomas died in 1652 at Charlestown, Massachusetts.[3] We do not have an exact date of death. His will was dated May 5, 1650, and inventory was taken on June 25, 1652. His wife, Mary, died March 6, 1664/5.[6]


Children of Thomas and Mary Carter:[6][9]

  1. Thomas Carter, b c. 1607, d 30 Dec 1694; m Elizabeth Unknown (poss. Jefts or Story)
  2. Joseph Carter, b c. 1612, d 31 Jan 1676; m Susanna Chamberlain (Woburn)
  3. John Carter (Capt.), b c. 1618, d 14 Sep 1692; m Elizabeth Unknown
  4. Samuel Carter, b c. 1616 England, d 29 Aug 1681; m Winifred Harwood
  5. Mary Carter, b c. 1619; m John Brinsmade/Brimsmead
  6. Hannah Carter, b c. 1620 England (adm to church 2 (7) 1639), d c. 1658; m 1) William Greene, 2) Thomas Brown

Research Notes

Thomas' wife is sometimes reported as Mary Dalton. The source for this information appears to be user-contributed data bases and web sites such as Find a Grave. Primary evidence is lacking.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Anderson, Robert Charles, (1995) "Thomas Carter [of Salisbury and Ipswich]," Featured profile." Great Migration 1634-1635, C-F. NEHGS (Volume II, C-F, Pages 27-30, citing p 30).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Carter, Bob, [ Thomas Carter, accessed December 2, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Taylor, Norris, Thomas and Mary (_) Carter Blacksmith, of Charlestown, Mass 1998
  4. 4.0 4.1 Miller, Hugh Darrell, compiler, (1985) "Genealogy: Ethel Peters Miller/Hugh Darrell Miller" Manuscript, copy in possession of author
  5. Williams, Alicia Crane, (2013) Early New England Families, 1641-1700. NEHGS (John Carter (m. 1642) Vol 1, Pages 1-5).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Wyman, Thomas Bellows, and Henry Herbert Edes, 1879 The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown: in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1629-1818', Volume 1.' Boston: D. Clapp, , accessed 6 April 2016, (Volume 1, Pages 186, 187).
  7. Carter, Howard Williston, (1909) Carter, a Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Carter of Reading and Weston, Mass., ... Palmer, MA: H.W. Carter, C. B. Fiske & Co., (Pages 9-10).
  8. Carter, Bob, [ Will of Thomas Carter, accessed December 2, 2014
  9. Carter, Bob, Thomas Carter.

See also:

Research Sources, Notes and Questions, Thomas Carter, Blacksmith].

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Comments: 16

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This profile (born abt. 1590) says, near the top, the eldest son is Thomas Jr., blacksmith of Charlestown (born 1610). However, there is another son Joseph currently connected with birthdate set to abt. 1604. So, that's a contradiction. Later down in the bio, we explain the father of 1604 Joseph was born between 1566-1586; while this man is born after that window. Lastly, this man also has another younger son also called Joseph (born abt. 1612) connected as well-- both alive at the same time (and both emigrants).

Therefore somebody needs to be disconnected, right?

Do the profile manager(s) know who?


posted by Isaac Taylor
edited by Isaac Taylor
There were multiple Thomas Carters of early Massachusetts. Perhaps one of he sons is misattached. I drafted a disambiguation years ago. Let me see if I can find it.
posted by Jillaine Smith
From a comment on the profile of Sarah Hall

"His [Joseph Carter-927, b 1604] mother (though not certain) is thought to be Judith Richardson and his father James Cater. " [NOT Sarah Hall and Thomas Carter (who were not married) ]

I am therefore detaching Joseph from his current parents.

posted by Jillaine Smith
In looking into this, I find no obvious record for the Joseph Carter who supposedly died in Charlestown 31 Jan 1676. There is no such death recorded in the Ch. VR (but there is for the Joseph who died there 30 Dec 1676.)

I wonder if we should merge the first into the second?

posted by Jillaine Smith
all good thanks
posted by Debbs Anderson
Debbs,, there are multiple early Thomas Carters in New England. Or perhaps you are talking about an even different man who didn't emigrate?
posted by Jillaine Smith
just curious:

I am not trying to interfere here but if this carter was born in 1590-91 (as per my research ) ( Bedfordshire England) this changes the whole dynamics of the tree. A different wife also and kids. Died 1633. His kids immigrated to the US. if you are interested please email me and I will give you some info that I have or send you sites if that will I hope explain .

posted by Debbs Anderson
There were at least 7 Thomas Carters b. in England in 1566 (2 found at and 5 at Family Search, none on 8 May) Without further evidence there is no reason to believe that he was any one of the Thomases born that year. Changing the birthdate to about 1590 as suggested by Anderson
posted by Anne B
Birth date 8 May 1566 is based on a RootsWeb post (and other online data)? Propose we change it to Anderson's estimate of "by 1590."

Also, it seems the Dalton maiden name for wife Mary is actually confusion about Rev Thomas Carter's wife who was Mary Parkhurst (bus it sometimes called Dalton for unknown reasons). Thanks

posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
Carter-2310 and Carter-936 appear to represent the same person because: Thomas in this source: The genealogies and estates of CHARLESTON: in the county of Middlesex and commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1629-1818, by Wyman, Thomas Bellows; Edes, Henry Herbert, Published 1879, pp186-9 (on internet archive)

IS A BLACKSMITH, wrote will 1652, wife Mary survived him, dau Hannah not mentioned in will BUT grandson John Greene is AND earlier Thomas had deed of gift to "son-in-law" Wm Green 67+ acres in Woburn.

posted by Marj Adams
Agree with Vic,

This seems to be a profile for Thomas Carter, blacksmith of Charlestown (albeit with errors), but no upside to keeping it separate.

The source for the father is an Ancestral File - user-contributed, and same with the wife, Ancestral File, One World Tree and Ancestry Tree, all user-contributed.

Nothing is lost by merging with Carter-2310 (which has some sources).

posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
Carter-936 and Carter-2310 are not ready to be merged because: It appears that the original profile had Thomas mother as Sarah. Not sure why the relationship was changed, but not positive that it's not just the wrong death date attributed to this Thomas. I need to look more closely, since it would probably be hard to unmerge if it was wrong.
posted by Debi Lohne
Carter-936 and Carter-2310 appear to represent the same person because: There is no record of Thomas's birth or parents. There is no record of a wife Sarah. The death date is the correct death for Thomas the blacksmith. See;view=1up;seq=176 for information about Thomas.

Please merge, thanks, Vic.

posted by Vic Watt
Carter-936 and Carter-13608 appear to represent the same person because: Please merge. Thomas the blacksmith died in Charlestown. It was a different Thomas Carter who lived in Woburn.
posted by Vic Watt

Rejected matches › Thomas Carter (bef.1608-1684)