Thomas Stanley
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Thomas Stanley (1601 - 1663)

Thomas Stanley aka Standley
Born in Tenterden, Kent, Englandmap
Husband of — married 31 Aug 1630 in Ashford, Kent, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 4,175 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Stanley migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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This profile is part of the Stanley Name Study.
Cross of St George
Thomas Stanley was born in England.

An early 1926 genealogy, Ernest Flagg's Genealogical Notes On the Founding of New England. My Ancestors Part in that Undertaking, stated that Thomas, baptized 20 Oct 1597, and his brothers, John and Timothy Stanley, were sons of John and Susan (Lancock) Stanley. New information in a 2005 Leslie Mahler article disproves this, by locating the true records for these brothers.[1]

Thomas Stanley, son of Robert and Ruth (Unknown) Stan(d)ley was baptized 12 April 1601 at Tenterden, county Kent, England.[1]

He married at Ashford, Kent, 3 Aug 1630, Bennett Tritton, daughter of Daniel Tritton.[1] She remarried after Thomas death to Gregory Wolterton[2]

The three brothers Thomas, Timothy and John Stanley sailed for New England. Unfortunately, John died on the journey, leaving two orphan children. The Massachusetts courts assigned one each to John's brothers. Thomas raised his nephew John Stanley. The next day, 4 Mar 1634/5, Thomas and Timothy were made freeman in Massachusetts.[3] While still in Lynn, 2 Sep 1635, he served as Deputy to General Court. "Thoms Standley, constable of Saugus, fined 10s. for absence from court," on 27 Jun 1636. Saugus was the original Native American name for the area that became Lynn.

Thomas was on the early (1639/40) property inventory and held quite a bit of land in Hartford.[4] He served on several Hartford Colony Courts.[5]

Thomas was the constable for Hartford 1643, 1648 and 1653.[6] In 1650, he broke his arm and was unable to "doe his postures in millitary discipline, vppon training days;" and so was excused from training until the court saw cause to alter the same.[7]

Founding Family of Hadley Massachusetts

Evidence indicates that a difference in some religious matters caused a group of people in Hartford to withdraw and subsequently they founded Hadley in Massachusetts. Thomas Stanley went to Hadley, Massachusetts, with the first settlers, in 1659.[8] He served on the Hampshire petit jury 25 March 1662.[2] He was buried there 30 Jan 1662/3[8]

In the 1886 genealogical tome, History and Genealogy of the Montague Family of America [9] a listing and mapping of the year 1663 residents actually living in Hadley, Massachusetts from the original 59 families that had signed the 18 April 1659 agreement (page 45) to split from the church at Hartford / Wethersfield Connecticut and form Hadley Massachusetts is provided:

  1. ) Page 57. 1663 residents of Hadley, Massachusetts: Thomas Stanley is a next door neighbor to Nathaniel Stanley and John White on a 5 acre lot located bounded by the Middle Highway to the Woods on the North; the South Highway to the Woods on the South; the Street to the River on the East and and the Woods on the West.

Death and Will

Thomas will, dated 19 Jan 1659, was considered by the courts to be irregular. It had no witnesses signatures, but his widow said that it was Thomas' mind and his children agreed so it was allowed. He gave his servant James Bebe £5 when his time of service was up, when Bebe should be 22, and left it to the discretion of his wife to give him another £5 at the same time, if he gives good service. He left £5 to his cousin John Standly of Farmington. He gave his son Nathaniel all his lands in Hartford and to his wife Bennett he left his land in the "New Plantation" (Hadley). His three daughter were to receive £5 each.[10]


  1. Thomas Stanley bp. Ashford, Kent 18 Sep 1631; bur 29 Mar 1632
  2. Mary Stanley bp Ashford 2 Feb 1633; m. John Porter
  3. Nathaniel Stanley b. say 1636; m. Hartford 2 June 1659 Sarah Boosey
  4. Sarah Stanley b. say 1638; m. John Wadsworth
  5. Hannah Stanley b. say 1640 m. Samuel Porter.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Re-examining the English Origin of the Stanley Brothers of Hartford, Connecticut: A Case of Invented Records, by Leslie Mahler, The American Genealogist Vol 80 (July 2005), page 217 - 223
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VI, R-S. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009. Accessed as Great Migration 1634-1635, R-S. Online database.
  3. Shurtleff, Nathaniel. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England (William White, Boston, 1853-) guardian to John Stanley p. 134, p. 370 freeman; p. 156 Deputy
  4. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society (The Connecticut Historical Society and the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, Hartford 1860-1928) Vol. 14 Original Distribution of The Lands in Hartford Among the Settlers 1639 p. 134-140
  5. Anderson citing Connecticut Colony Records 1:187 and Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut 20, 64, 99, 173, 183, 115
  6. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society (The Connecticut Historical Society and the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, Hartford 1860-1928) Vol. 6 Hartford Town Votes Vol. 1 1635-1716 pp67,84,101
  7. 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 p. 212
  8. 8.0 8.1 Boltwood, Lucius M and Judd, Sylvester. History of Hadley : including the early history of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts.mSpringfield, Mass. : H.R. Huntting & Company, 1905. p. 140
  9. Montague, George. History and Genealogy of the Montague Family of America (J.E. Williams, Amherst, Mass., 1886). Online book here
  10. Anderson citing Hampshire County probate records

See also:

  • Barbour, Lucius Barnes, 1982, Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut, Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, Maryland and Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc., Glastonbury, Connecticut pp.566

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Comments: 4

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I'm giving Thomas a facelift / update /cleanup etc.
posted by Anne B
Baptism date 20 Oct 1597 is incorrect, it belongs to the previous incorrect pedigree with parents John and Susan (Lancock) Stanley. bpt date is 12 April 1601 Tenterdon as listed in 2005 TAG 80:219. I am correcting this.
posted by Anne B
Stanley-2686 and Stanley-140 appear to represent the same person because: as per new evidence, see source.
Stanley-2686 and Stanley-140 appear to represent the same person because: they have the same parents and the same death date. Note that the parents of Stantley-140 have been disproved and should be disconnected, so that the merge will bring in the correct parents. See the note on Stanley-140 and the accompanying source (TAG article of 2005) for further information.

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Categories: Founders of Hartford | Puritan Great Migration | Stanley Name Study