« PreviousContinue »
Isaiah Thomas, the son of Moses and Fidelity Grant Thomas, was born in Boston, 19 January, 1749, old style. It is the family tradition that he was descended from Evan Thomas, of whom Governor Winthrop says: “On_the 5th of June, 1632, arrived in Boston the ship William and Francis, Mr. Thomas master, with about fifty passengerswhereof Mr. Welde and old Mr. Batchelor (being aged 71) were with their families and many other honest men.' Evan Thomas settled in the colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1639 or 1640, the earliest notice of him on the colony records being under the date of 1 September, 1640, when he "having a wife and four children, is allowed twenty bushels of corne at harvest." He was a successful vintner, paying a yearly license, or his proportion of the “rents of wine" of from twenty to forty pounds a year. He also seems to have dabbled in speculation.
His grandson, Peter, the eldest son of George and Rebecca Thomas, was born in Boston, 1 February, 1682. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. George Burroughs, who was hung at Salem for witchcraft, for no other reason apparently, than that he was of small size and great strength. As a merchant in Boston he was prosperous, owning a store on the town dock. Moses, the fourth son of Peter, a shiftless adventurer, succeeded in nothing he attempted and was finally disinherited by his father after many attempts to reform him and set him up in business. He died in 1752, before his father, but the latter's will was not changed, and his widow was left in destitute circumstances, with the care of her three youngest children. She had business ability, and, with