Descendants of Thomas Carter

Our Carter Family lineage of Salisbury, Ma. relates to one Thomas Carter of Salisbury, Ma. who was born 1610 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. Thomas date and place of birth comes from the ship’s manifest for the ship “Planter”, Nicholas Trerice, Master which departed from London 10 April 1635 and arrived in Boston on 07 June 1635. Thomas Carter died shortly after writing his will on 30 October 1676 which was probated 14 November 1676. Thomas married, ca 1639 at Salisbury, Ma., Mary (–)/ or Parkhurst. The surname of Thomas’s wife has been a bit of an enigma. Most records and sources reflect only her first name, Mary, without a surname. However, if we consult Clarence A. Torrey’s “New England Marriages Prior to 1700", 1985, we find some confusion. We know relative to the ship Planter’s manifest that our Thomas Carter was 25 in 1635 and as such, being age 25, was born ca 1610. We find this entry in Torrey’s, page 138, i.e., “Thomas Carter (1610-1684) & Mary Parkhurst (?1614-1687) “b” (date of birth of the first chid) 1638? 1640". Lacking a specific date of marriage, we assume that date to be ca 1638 for the first child to be born ca 1640. For Thomas, the noted birth date of 1610 concurs with date noted above. However, the death date of 1684 does not concur with our date based upon the writing and probate of his will, i.e., 1676 versus Torrey’s date of 1684. Two reliable sources, i.e., Charles Pope’s “Pioneers of Massachusetts” 1900 Pg 90 and D. Hoyt’s “Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Ma.” 1879 Pg 88 reflect Thomas Carter’s death as being 1676. Torrey’s year of the first child, i.e., 1638?/1640 is acceptable in the Thomas Carter’s first child, Mary, was born 06 October 1641. Torrey shows the birth date of Mary Parkhurst as being “1614?” which is feasible and her death date being 1687 which is acceptable as there is no known date of her death except it is after Thomas’s in that she is mentioned in the will of 1676. For this document, Thomas Carter’s wife is shown as “Mary (–)?/ Mary Parkhurst”.

Thomas Carter came from England in 1635, on the ship Planter, as a servant of George Giddings who settled in Ipswich, Ma. It would seem that the “master/servant” relationship” ended prior to 1638. Our Thomas is noted as a “planter” who received land in the first division of land in Salisbury. Another entry notes “he settled in Salisbury and was called a planter and proprietor” in 1639. In March of 1639, the General Court “granted a house lot to Thomas Carter”. He is noted as a townsman in 1640 and was taxed in 1650 and 1652. In summary, it would seem that our Thomas Carter was one of those “hardy souls” who chose to, not withstanding the potential hardships and hazards, leave England in 1635 leave England and come to New England. It is not known what his circumstances were in England. He could have had financial or marital or political problems; chances are, being but 25 years of age, he came for the adventure and opportunity to establish a new life. In New England, he married, raised a substantial family and with no evidence to the contrary, we can assume that he was a responsible citizen, a righteous member of the church, and a dedicated father and husband.

Thomas and Mary (–)?/ Parkhurst Carter had nine children, i.e., three sons and six daughters all born in Salisbury, Ma. All of the children, except for Martha (1) and Thomas are mentioned in their father’s will of 1676. In order of birth, the first child was Mary who was born on 06 October 1641 and died after 1676. She married, prior to 1666, Joseph Lankester/Lancaster. Son Thomas was born in 1643 and died 14 August 1669 with no further information. Daughter Martha (1) was born in February 1645 and died in her infancy. Daughter Martha (2) was born in March 1647 and was living, unmarried, in 1676. Daughter Elizabeth was born in April 1649; she was living in 1676 and left children in1718; the name of her husband is unknown as well as her marriage date and place. Son John was born 18 May 1650 and married Martha Brown in 1681 who died 10 March 1718. Daughter Abigail was born 11 February 1653 to come. Son Samuel was born 25 October 1656 and , coincidentally, died on 25 October 1718. His will was dated 13 October 1718 and probated 01 December 1718. He married, on 03 April 1703, Widow Sarah (–) Brown who married, as her third husband on 05 October 1719, Benjamin Eastman. Finally, there was daughter Sarah who was born ca 1658/59 and was living in 1718. She married, on 09 April 1681 at Newbury, John Davis.

References:PH7:138; PH19:87-88,159; PH48:93; PH87:918; PH07:90; PH217:141; FH105:24-26; NEHGR:V3:95.

Abigail Carter, the seventh child and fifth daughter of Thomas and Mary (–)?/Mary Parkhurst? Carter was born 11 February 1653 at Salisbury, Ma. and was living in 1747 at Salisbury, Ma. Abigail married, on 28 December 1670 at Salisbury, Stephen Flanders, Jr. who was born on 08 March 1647 prior to 29 May 1689, both at Salisbury, Ma. Stephen, Jr. was the son of Stephen Sr. and Jane Sandusky Flanders of Salisbury, Ma..

References:PH7:271; PH19:88,159; PH48:93; PH87:918; PH97:90; FH105:24-26.