Deacon Thomas SANFORD

Deacon Thomas SANFORD

Male 1673 - 1764  (91 years)

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  • Name Thomas SANFORD 
    Title Deacon 
    Born 1673  Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Biography/Personal History Bellingham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    The thirty men who signed the petition to the legislature were typical of the stock upon which Bellingham was to be built. Some remained for a few years and departed for other lands. Others stayed, had families, and eventually died here. Many of their tombstones can still be seen in the various cemetaries in the town.

    George Partridge, in his 1919 History of Bellingham presented a brief sketch of each of the petitioners. Of some, he revealed much, of others, little. His sketches are presented here verbatim.

    ...

    XVI. DEACON THOMAS SANFORD

    He had sold his land here when the town was formed, and probably lived in Mendon then, and yet no one had more to do with than he. He was the son of Robert Sanford who was in the First Church of Boston in 1651, and sold land on Court Street there in 1678, but went to Swansea. He married Elizabeth Skelton, the daughter of the first minister of Salem, and the great aunt of John Marsh, who bought his Bellingham estate of Thomas Sanford in 1712. Thomas was born at Swansea in 1763, and was a town officer there at 20 years old, and later, town clerk. He was at Mendon in 1700, and bought Rawson's Farm with Hayward and Burch as has been told in 1700 and 1701. He sold a part of his share of the farm in 1702 to John Marsh and Samuel Rich, and the rest later for 300£ to Pelatiah Smith, including about 200 acres near Stall Brook "now laid to Mendon", his share of a sawmill there, and his "mansion house", which must have been something grand to need such a description. He went to live in Mendon, and was chairman of a committee ther in 1735, to oppose the formation of the East Precinct, which became the town of Milford, 45 years later.

    His wife's first name was Christian, and that rare name was given to one of her daughters, who was my great great great grandmother. Her sister Bathsheba or Bathshua, as they called her, married David Holmes of Woodstock, Connecticut. She was a remarkable woman and lived to a great age. She did much of the work of a country doctor, and in the great snowstorm of 1717 she left her house by a window and traveled on snow shoes with the help of a long pole carried by two men, to care for a sick woman in the next town. She was the great great grandmother of Oliver Wendell Holmes.

    Thomas Sanford's second wife, Tabitha, was murdered by a negro named Jeffs in Mendon about 1745 or 1750, who struck her with an axe as she stepped up from the kitchen into the main house with a basket of cheeses. He hid in a great pine tree and watched the funeral from there, the story says, but was caught when he came down. He was the first criminal executed in Worcester County, and the Mendon doctor kept his skeleton.

    In his old age Thomas Sanford lived with his daughters in Medway, where he died in 1764, 91 years old. The Bellingham records contain the following statement: "I Thomas Sanford resident in Medway being now in the 87th year of age testifie that in the year 1700 I purchesed one quarter and Wm Hayward one half and Thomas Burch the other quarter of 800 acres of land of Wm Rawson his wife and two sons being the N E part of 1840 acres of land lying between Sherborn, Mendon and Dedham land and in the year 1701 I with Said Wm Hayward and Thomas Burch purchased of said Wm Rawson 740 acres of land in the aforesd 1840 acres being westerly of the sd first purchase, the two purchases containing all the notheast part of the 1840 acres next to Sharborn as by Sd deed may more fully appear. That I removed on the Sd first purchase of 800 acres in the 1701, lived there 14 years. 
    Died 15 Mar 1764  Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Evergreen Cemetery, Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    SANFORD, Deacon Thomas Gravestone
    SANFORD, Deacon Thomas Gravestone
    Person ID I00229  Schuler
    Last Modified 20 Apr 2016 

    Father Robert SANFORD,   b. 1626, High Ongar, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1675/76, Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth SKELTON,   b. Abt 1630, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1670, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 40 years) 
    Married Feb 1651  Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F00807  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Christian () SANFORD,   b. 1670 
    Married 1694 
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth SANFORD,   b. 21 Oct 1693, Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    +2. Sarah SANFORD,   b. 13 Oct 1694, Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Nov 1772, Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    +3. Christian SANFORD,   b. Abt 1697, Mendon, Worchester, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jul 1777, Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years)
     4. Bathsheba SANFORD,   b. 1699,   bur. 1720  (Age ~ 21 years)
     5. John SANFORD,   b. 1703
     6. Abigail SANFORD,   b. 1705
    Family ID F00131  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Tabitha CLARK 
    Married 1710 
    Family ID F00132  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Dorothy WATSON 
    Married 1745 
    Family ID F00133  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1673 - Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBiography/Personal History - The thirty men who signed the petition to the legislature were typical of the stock upon which Bellingham was to be built. Some remained for a few years and departed for other lands. Others stayed, had families, and eventually died here. Many of their tombstones can still be seen in the various cemetaries in the town. George Partridge, in his 1919 History of Bellingham presented a brief sketch of each of the petitioners. Of some, he revealed much, of others, little. His sketches are presented here verbatim. ... XVI. DEACON THOMAS SANFORD He had sold his land here when the town was formed, and probably lived in Mendon then, and yet no one had more to do with than he. He was the son of Robert Sanford who was in the First Church of Boston in 1651, and sold land on Court Street there in 1678, but went to Swansea. He married Elizabeth Skelton, the daughter of the first minister of Salem, and the great aunt of John Marsh, who bought his Bellingham estate of Thomas Sanford in 1712. Thomas was born at Swansea in 1763, and was a town officer there at 20 years old, and later, town clerk. He was at Mendon in 1700, and bought Rawson's Farm with Hayward and Burch as has been told in 1700 and 1701. He sold a part of his share of the farm in 1702 to John Marsh and Samuel Rich, and the rest later for 300£ to Pelatiah Smith, including about 200 acres near Stall Brook "now laid to Mendon", his share of a sawmill there, and his "mansion house", which must have been something grand to need such a description. He went to live in Mendon, and was chairman of a committee ther in 1735, to oppose the formation of the East Precinct, which became the town of Milford, 45 years later. His wife's first name was Christian, and that rare name was given to one of her daughters, who was my great great great grandmother. Her sister Bathsheba or Bathshua, as they called her, married David Holmes of Woodstock, Connecticut. She was a remarkable woman and lived to a great age. She did much of the work of a country doctor, and in the great snowstorm of 1717 she left her house by a window and traveled on snow shoes with the help of a long pole carried by two men, to care for a sick woman in the next town. She was the great great grandmother of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Thomas Sanford's second wife, Tabitha, was murdered by a negro named Jeffs in Mendon about 1745 or 1750, who struck her with an axe as she stepped up from the kitchen into the main house with a basket of cheeses. He hid in a great pine tree and watched the funeral from there, the story says, but was caught when he came down. He was the first criminal executed in Worcester County, and the Mendon doctor kept his skeleton. In his old age Thomas Sanford lived with his daughters in Medway, where he died in 1764, 91 years old. The Bellingham records contain the following statement: "I Thomas Sanford resident in Medway being now in the 87th year of age testifie that in the year 1700 I purchesed one quarter and Wm Hayward one half and Thomas Burch the other quarter of 800 acres of land of Wm Rawson his wife and two sons being the N E part of 1840 acres of land lying between Sherborn, Mendon and Dedham land and in the year 1701 I with Said Wm Hayward and Thomas Burch purchased of said Wm Rawson 740 acres of land in the aforesd 1840 acres being westerly of the sd first purchase, the two purchases containing all the notheast part of the 1840 acres next to Sharborn as by Sd deed may more fully appear. That I removed on the Sd first purchase of 800 acres in the 1701, lived there 14 years. - - Bellingham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 15 Mar 1764 - Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Evergreen Cemetery, Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Text from Sanford Family Home page: Internet---Thomas married three times, first to Christian, second to Tabitha Clark in 1710 (recorded at Medway), and third to Dorothy Watson in 1745. Thomas is buried next to Obadiah and Christian Adams. His gravestone says "In Memory of Deacon Thomas Sandford who died March Ye 6th, 1764 in Ye 91 Year of his Age."

      Still later Thomas moved to Mendon and became a deacon there. He was also Town Clerk 8 years from 1715-1737, Town Treasurer in 1716-1717, Representative 1721-1722, Arbitrator February 14, 1724, Leather Sealer 1720, and Selectman for eleven years.

      His father moved the family from Boston to either Swansea (village) or Swanzey (township) both being in MA in 1678. Elected Fence Viewer in 1693.

      One of the thirty men who signed the petition to the legislature to form the town of Bellingham

      Thomas Sanford's second wife, Tabitha, was murdered by a negro named Jeffs in Mendon about 1745. He killed her with an axe as she entered the main house. He was caught and was the first criminal executed in Worcester County and a Mendon doctor kept his skeleton.

      In his old age Thomas lived with his daughters in Medway.

      Source: History of the Town of Bellingham.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3922814029] FindAGrave.com, (Find A Grave, Inc.), http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13419447.

    2. [S48] INTERNET Source, http://www.bellinghamma.org/pages/bellinghamma_historical/bellhistory/ch3, 20 Apr 2015.
      Town of Bellingham - Chapter 3 The Signers