Gibbs #5136

Thomas Gibbs (1615-1693)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts before 1643 and

Unknown spouse.

Gibbs 5136

Much of the information available on Thomas Gibbs was obtained from the following article: Brownson, Lydia B. and MacLean W. McLean, “Thomas Gibbs of Sandwich, Massachusetts,” NEHGR 123:1, January 1969 (New England Historic Genealogical Society).  His English origins, details of his early life and circumstances of his arrival in Massachusetts are unclear.

Map of Plymouth Colony showing town locations

Thomas Gibbs was born about 1615 in England.  His name first appears upon the List of those able to Beare Arms in the Colony of Plymouth in 1643 (i.e., men of Sandwich between the ages of 16-60).  In 1654 the name of Thomas Gibbs appears on a list of Sandwich men who pledged money to build a mill, and the next year he is listed among those pledged for the building of a place for publick meetings[1].  In 1658 a survey of Sandwich land holders was made which includes the property of Thomas Gibbs[2].  He served on the grand jury 18 May 1659 and was one of the “musqueteres” to whom shot was supplied as a member of the military company 25 Jun 1660.  In addition, he was Surveyor of Highways for Sandwich (1 Jun 1669 and again 1 Jun 1675), Town Constable (12 Mar 1673/4).  His name appears on a list of freemen entitled to the privileges of the town dated 23 Apr 1675.

No record has been located, even of the given name, of his wife, but Brownson and McLean are inclined to believe that she was the mother of all his children and that their marriage took place about 1642.  It is possible, however, that his oldest sons were by a previous marriage.

Thomas probably died shortly before 27 Mar 1692/3, the date of the inventory of his estate, which was taken by Thomas Tupper and Jacob Burge and presented 14 Apr 1693 by John Gibbs, who swore to it at Barnstable.  The only real estate mentioned was Land both upland and meddow, £30.  On the same day, the probate judge ordered letters of administration be given

 …unto John Gibbs of Sandwich…ye eldest son of Thomas Gibbs deceased… by virtue of an agreement under the hands of John Gibbs, Thomas Gibbs and Samuel Gibbs, all of Sandwich… yeomen, have made a division of ye Estate Left by our Deare ffather, Thomas Gibbs, aforesd deceased: and wee have to that end ordered all ye moveables to be improved for her comfort & if God Lengthen her days so long as to spend the same, wee Jointly Agree to maintain her out of our own Estates and also that parcel of land that was given in upon the Inventory lately exhibited to ye Court. Wee jointly agree that said land according to our Father’s desire be and Remain to be ye only proper use and behoof of ye said John Gibbs, his heirs… for ever and that Thomas Gibbs and Samuell Gibbs… do by these presents… Quitt claim to… (this) land.  And desire that (it) be settled upon (said John Gibbs)… And because wee all desire peace and union amongst us, wee have so don and do all Intreate that what we have don may be accepted, this 11th Day of April 1693. [Signed]: John Gibbs, Thomas Gibbs, Samuell Gibbs. [Witnessed]: Matthias Ellis, Thomas Tupper[3].

Thus, the widow of Thomas Gibbs was still living as of April 1693.  However, there seems to be no record of her death nor of the settlement of her estate.

The children of Thomas Gibbs and his unknown wife (or wives) are listed as follows: (1) John Gibbs, see below; (2) Thomas, born 23 Mar 1646/7; (3) Samuel, born 23 Jun 1649 and died 19 Nov 1732; (4) Sarah, born 11 Apr 1652; (5) Job, born 15 Apr 1655 and died 26 Mar 1676; (6) Bethia, born 15 Apr 1655 and (7) Mary, born 12 Aug 1657.

The eldest son of Thomas Gibbs is John Gibbs, born 12 Sep 1644 and died 30 Apr 1725, both at Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.  About 1669 at Sandwich, John Gibbs married Jane Blackwell, daughter of Michael Blackwell and his unknown wife.

The children of John Gibbs and Jane Blackwell are listed as follows: (1) John Gibbs (Jr.), born 28 Jul 1670; (2) Benjamin, born December 1673; (3) Job, born 27 Apr 1676 died 22 Aug 1716; (4) Joshua, born April 1679; (5) Caleb, born August 1681 and (6) Barnabas, born 24 Jun 1684.

John Gibbs (Jr.) born on 28 Jul 1670 at Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts and died before 16 Jun 1734 at Plymouth, Massachusetts.  On 9 Nov 1716 at Sandwich, he married Hester Swift (Esther, Ester), the daughter of William Swift and Ruth Tobey.  Since John Gibbs (Jr.) had not yet reached the age of twenty-one when his first child was born, we suspect that he may at first have been working for his grandfather Blackwell or his father-in-law William Swift in Sandwich for the first years of his married life, even though his children’s births are all recorded at Plymouth, because the first Plymouth County deed we find for him, dated 5 Mar 1696/7, calls him John Gibbs junf… of Sandwich, yeoman.  It was witnessed by his grandfather Michael Blackwell and shows that John Gibbs and his wife’s brother, Jireh Swift, bought from Jonathan Morey for £16, the latter’s land in Plymouth.  Over the next 30 years or so, John bought and sold many parcels, and the transactions were recorded in the land records of Plymouth.  In 1725, John acted as co-administrator with his stepmother Elizabeth Gibbs[4], in the settlement of his father’s intestate estate.  He died before 16 Jun 1734 when The widw Ester Gibbs was baptized and admitted to full communion in the First Church[5].  At the time of her death she was staying in the home of her daughter Mercy, as we learn from her nuncupative will dated 15 Oct 1736 and later recorded and presented for probate on 3 Mar 1736/7.  In this document she mentions:

John Gibbs[6] deceased of Plymouth… Samuell Ellis of Plymouth[7]… my eldest son Joshua Gibbs… my son John Gibbs… my granddaughter Esther Ellis… my granddaughter Hannah Ellis… my four daughters[8].

Joshua Gibbs, the eldest son of John Gibbs (Jr.) and Jane Blackwell, was born 20 Dec 1690 in Plymouth, Massachusetts and died 8 Oct 1765 at Wareham, Massachusetts.  The inscription on his grave marker in the Agawam Cemetery of Wareham, Massachusetts reads: Memento Mori in memory of Deacn Joshua Gibbs who died Octo ye 8th 1765 in ye 76th year of his Age.  On 27 Dec 1711 he married Mercy Hallet, was born about 1689 at Sandwich, Massachusetts and died 8 Nov 1773 at Wareham, Massachusetts.  The inscription on her grave marker in the Agawam Cemetery of Wareham, Massachusetts reads: In memory of Mr Mercy widow of Deacon Joshua Gibbs die Nov 8 1773 in ye 85th year of her Age.  She is the daughter of John Hallet (1650-1726) and Mary (or Mercy) Howes (1663-1733).

In the Sandwich Town Records, Joshua Gibbs is described as Deacon.  He evidently acquired land in the section of Plymouth called Agawam plantation, as we find that Joshua Gibbs of Agawam, yeo­man (his wife Mercy signing by mark the release of her dower rights), sold for £120 paid by John Hammond of Rochester, several lots of land there, by deed dated 31 Jul 1721 and recorded 14 Sep 1730[9].  By a deed of 15 Jul 1731/2, recorded 12 Jul 1732, Joshua Gibbs of Agawam, for £150 paid by Nathan Landers of Rochester, sold certain parcels of land lying near the sd Joshua Gibbs his dwelling house containing upland and meadow land which he and Jirah Swift had bought from the Bartetts, situated on the northwesterly side of Agawam River, on the Southerly side of the country road leading from Agawarn to Sandwich.  His property was in that section of Plymouth which in 1739 was established as the town of Wareham, and as Joshua Gibbs of Wareham, yeoman, he and his wife Mercy deeded their home farm there, with their dwelling house, etc., 16 Jun 1742 for £850 paid by Stephen Dexter of Barnstable[10] (ibid., 35:154). According to the records of the First Congregational Church of Wareham, Joshua served as Deacon from 18 Feb 1739 (O.S.) to 8 Oct 1765.  He served with Ebenezer Hamlin (1674-1755) (my 7th g-grandfather), who was a Deacon from 18 Feb 1739 (O.S.) to 30 May 1742.  The church records from 1739 also indicate a member Mercy Gibbs (Mercy Hallett), Joshua’s wife, and Ruth Hamlin (Ruth Gibbs, their daughter).  No probates of their estates have come to light[11] and it seems likely that they subsequently lived in the household of one of their children.

The daughter of Joshua Gibbs and Mercy Hallet is Ruth Gibbs, born 9 May 1715 at Sandwich, Massachusetts and died about 1754 at Sharon, Connecticut.  On 10 Dec 1734 at Agawam, Massachusetts, she married Thomas Hamlin, who was born 8 May 1710 in Barnstable, Massachusetts and died about 1765 in Richmond, Massachusetts.  Their lineage is continued under the heading of James Hamlin (Hamblen) (1606 – 1690).

[1] Sandwich Proprietors’ Records

[2] It is curious that a John Gibbs also held land in Sandwich at this time, because his name does not appear on any of the lists – nor anywhere else as a resident of Sandwich.

[3] Barnstable County Probates, 1:76

[4] John Gibbs (Sr.)’s second wife.  According to several sources, this is Elizabeth Swift, but I am unable to determine the relationship between her and William Swift of Sandwich (the name of both my 9th and 10th great grandfathers).

[5] Plymouth Church Records (1920), p. 435, 522.

[6] Hester’s husband

[7] Son-in-law; husband of Hester’s daughter Mercy

[8] Only Elizabeth Cornish is mentioned by name.

[9] Plymouth County Deeds 25:201

[10] Plymouth County Deeds 35:154

[11] Lydia B. Brownson and Maclean W. McLean (NEHGR 123:1, January 1969) make the following observation: “There is an unusual fact worth noting here. We have found fifteen males in the fourth generation of this Gibbs family who matured and had issue. Not one of them left a will of which we have been able to find record. Of the 27 males in the fifth generation that we have traced only four died testate. This is quite remarkable for the period and region.”





  • Linda Alcott Maples

    Mr. Hylbom,
    What a wonderful tribute to your family. I have the Gibbs line that I believe goes back to Thomas and his son John. I am a 5 th greatgranddau. of Calvin Bills and Lois Gibbs. Right now trying to put all the primary together to prove Lois Gibbs (Mrs. Calvin Bills) was the daughter of John Gibbs of Cape Cod who married Sarah Cushman who was a lst or 2nd great-granddaughter of Isaac Allerton through Isaac’s daughter Mary. Some have Lois Gibbs’ birth on Cape Cod and others Lebanon, CT.
    If you know of any genie’s for hire, would you please forward names/emails to me. Thanks for all you have on your site! I especially like the Mayflower info.
    I am descended from Edward Fuller and am a member of the National Mayflower Society and participate in the AL Mayflower Society functions.
    Thx for any info you can pass on to me.
    Linda Alcott Maples

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