Descendants of Thomas Bourne

The earliest documented history of our Bourne family starts with Thomas Bourne who was bourn in 1581, probably in Frittenden, County Kent, England. There was an earlier Thomas Bourne whose will, dated 06 May 1608, was proved 06 June 1608 at Monchelsea, Kent which is about nine miles north of Frittenden. While our Thomas, born 1581, is not directly spoken of in this will, the other family persons noted reflect a relationship with the Tilden and Bigge familes. All three of these families were from the County Kent area with the Bourne and Tilden families have a close relationship in New England. The chronology is right, but lacking specific evidence, we note Thomas Bourne, born 1581, as the start of our Bourne ancestry in New England. Thomas Bourne died on 11 May 1664 at Marshfield, Ma. He married, in 1614 at Biddenden, Kent, Elizabeth Bassenden; she was born in 1590 at Biddenden, Kent and died 18 July 1660 at Marshfield, Ma. Her parentage and ancestry is not known.

Thomas Bourne, a draper by trade, came with his family to Plymouth, Ma. sometime near 1630. He was a resident of Plymouth long enough to be well known there; he was “so desirable” a citizen that, in 1637, the Court of Plymouth Colony granted him a “special person” status. In 1637 a grant of 100 acres was given to Thomas Bourne; this grant was the second grant of land recorded in Marshfield, Ma. which is located about nine miles norh of Plymouh Rock. He and his family settled in Green Harbor. He was made a freeman of the county on 2 Jan 1638.

 Marshfield,Ma was incorporated in 1640, and Thomas Bourne settled in the new town, where he was a man of substance and repute, serving in various capacities. He was quite active in establishing a public school system. Thomas was addressed as Mr.Bourne, which indicated a person of high social rank. One writer noted of our Thomas as “the eldest of the Marshfied settlers and a patriarch of its Eden”. He was a large landholder in the south part of the colony. William Launders of Marshfield was a servant to Mr. John Combs; on 5 Apr 1642 he was transferred to Mr. William Thomas and subsequently on 9 Nov 1643 he was transferred to Mr. Thomas Bourne. William Launders’s will dtd 19 Dec 1648 designated our Thomas Bourne as executor. At a Town Meeting held in Marshfield on 3 Nov 1656, Mr. Thomas Bourne and Joseph Beedell were to receive the L10 which Mr. Edward Winslow, in his will, gave to the poor and were to be “betrusted” with its expenditure.

Mr. Thomas Bourne was Deputy from Marshfield to the Plymouth General Court in 1641,1642, and in 1645 and Thomas was “Assistant” to Gov. Winslow from 1642 to1646. Thomas Bourne’s will, prepared 2 May 1664, was presented to the General Court on 2 June 1664. He died 11 May 1664 at age 83. The bequests were noted in pounds and shillings but noted to be paid in “corne, cattle or goods”. Exception was “I doe heeby Declare my son John to be my heire and I doe give unto him all my land and housing that are on my lands that is neare hand or further remote layed out or to bee layed out to mee”. “My son John Bourne” was appointed executor. The real estate was “his house and land and orchyard and meddowes” and “a lott of land lying neare Taunton”. Debts were due from “serjeant Cotton”, John Branch, “mr Josias Winslow,senir”, Captain Thomas, John Thomas, and “Mr John Bardford”.

All of Thomas and Elizabeth Bassenden Bourne’s children were born in England and came with them to New Enland. where they settled and married. into prominent families. Daughter Martha married John Bradford, daughter Margaret married Josiah Winslow, daughter Elizabeth m Robert Waterman, and daughter Ann married Nehemiah Smith.

References:PH7:86; PH17:V1:219; PH76:7; PH88:177-179; PH97:60; PH141:1290; PH152:229; FH31:615; FH32:2,23,348,387; FH207:393; NEHGR:V8:192; V14:82; V114:153.

John Bourne, the fifth child and the only son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bourne ,was borne about 1622 in Biddenden, Kent and died on 06 Dec. 1684 at Marshfield. He came to America with his parents. John married on 18 July 1645 at Marshfield, Alice Besbege who was born on 29 June 1624 at Frittenden, Kent and died on 07 May 1686 at Marshfield. She was the daughter of Thomas and Anne (Baseden) Besbege of Frittenden,Kent. Their marriage was the second marriage in the town records. They succeeded to the homestead at Green Harbor which was considered part of Marshfield, Ma during their times. Their neighbors were Josiah and Margaret Bourne Winslow and Robert and Elizabeth Bourne Waterman. This homestead stayed in the family thru his descendent, one John Bourne, a Revolutionary hero who died there in 1859 at the age of one hundred and one years. Our John Bourne was noted as a proprietor in 1645, was chosen Clerk of the Writs for Gloucester in 1650, was a Constable of Marshfield in 1651 , and was admitted as a freeman of Plymouth Colony in June of 1651. He was nominated to take up the excise for Marshfield in June 1664 and served the town as Deputy in June 1666 and June 1667. He was Selectman in 1679,1680,1682 thru 1684. He was Magistrate at Marshfield in 1682 and authorized to solemnize marriages. From the Salem Quarterly Court Records of Nov.1652 we find an item of interest, i.e., “John Bourne and his wife were presented for concealing some pieces of cloth, stuff, and thread committed to them and then converting them to their own use. To make treble restitution and public acknowledgment at a public meeting in Salem within one month or pay a fine”.We learn in late 1686 that John Bourne left th greatest part of his estate to his wife Alice, who is since deceased, i.e.09 May 1686, and the administration was granted to his only son, Thomas Bourne.

References:PH7:85; PH17:V1:218; PH88:179; PH97:60; PH141:1290; PH152:229; PH222:V1: 205,214; FH31:624-625; FH32: 23,375,388-389; FH207:393; NEHGR:V6:347; V14:82.

Thomas Bourne, the second child and only son of John and Alisce (Besbege) Bourne was born on 22 Oct 1647 and died 1702+, both in Marshfirld. He married first, on 18 April 1681, Elizabeth Rowse (Rouse) who was born in 164x and died 07 April 1701, both at Marshfield. She was the daughter of John and Annis(Agnes) Peabody Rowse. Annis was the grand-daughter of John and Isabel Peabody who where pioneers of Duxbury, Ma. It is assumed that Thomas and Elizabeth succeeded to the homestead at Green Harbor. Thomas married second, on 23 Nov. 1702, Elizabeth Holmes who died 02 April 1707. Our Thomas Bourne had land in Duxbury probably acquired thru his wife’s parents. Bourne’s Wharf, now almost out of sight in the creek mire,marks a spot in this property. Though the records are slim, one can assume that Thomas, following in the precedence of his parents, was an active man in the community and in his church activities.

References: PH7:86; PH17:V1:218; PH88:179; PH97:60; PH141:1290; PH152:229; FH32:23, 375,388-389; FH207:393; NEHGR:V14:82.

Jedediah Bourne ,with his twin brother Josiah, was born 29 Oct 1692 and died 18 October 1765, both in Marshfield, probably at Green Harbor. Jedediah ,like Josiah, was a man of small stature, a man of good practical sense, determination and perseverance. He married, on 15 Jan 1720, Mary Croade who was born on 18 March 1700 and died 28 June 1743, both in Marshfield. She was the daughter of John and Deborah (Thomas) Croade. We can only assume that, following family tradition. Jedediah was a man active in the community.

References: PH88:92; PH141:290; FH32:348,375; FH50:171; FH207:394; NEHGR:V4:315.

Sarah Bourne, the fourth child and third daughter , was born 30 Aug. 1730 and died 28 October 1822, age 92, both at Marshfield, Ma. She married, on 21 Dec.1756 at Marshfield , Nathan Thomas , who was born on 30 August 1730 and died on 12 August 1803, both at Marshfield, Ma. He was the son of Nathan and Sarah Foster Thomas.

References: PH16:Ma.:79314; PH88:92; PH142:7-11; FH32:375; FH50:171.