GENERATION 13

GENERATION 12

THOMAS DEXTER
born:about-1592England
marr:                                       
died:         -1677                        
buried:Kings Chapel Burying Ground, Boston
father: 
mother: 
 
MARY HARPER
born:                                          
marr:                                       
died:    
buried: 
father: 
mother: 



Biography

The following article appeared in the July 2003 edition of "The American Genealogist," written by Leslie Mahler.

THOMAS DEXTER was first of note in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1631. The available records show that he brought with him to New England sons Thomas and William, and daughters MARY and Frances. This family group has now been located in Great Bowden, Leicestershire, and, as will be seen hereafter, there were other New England colonists with connections to the same locality.

For the most part, no probate records are available for this parish, since as early as 1564, Great Bowden "was returned as a peculiar, exempt from the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon ; and as an appropriation belonging to Christ Church, Oxford, having annexed to it the vicarage of St. Mary in the township of Little Bowden, and the chapelry of Harborough." The Family History Library Catalog does not show any probate records for Christ Church College, Oxford. Mr. Chris Gilliam, Archivist at the Oxfordshire Record Office, was contacted, but no Great Bowden wills were found in the available indexes for the peculiar jurisdictions in the area.

THOMAS DEXTER was born about 1588. He married Mary "Marie" Harper at Great Bowden on Jan. 30, 1613/14. It is not known whether MARY HARPER died before the family emigrated; she is not found in any record in England, nor is her burial record found in Great Bowden. The baptism for THOMAS is not found at Great Bowden. His family probably moved there in the 1590's, when the earliest Dexter of record is MARY, daughter of THOMAS DEXTER, baptized on Aug. 18, 1594. She was probably the same MARY DEXTER who married Richard Harper at Great Bowden by license on Aug. 19, 1613.

There was only one MARY HARPER baptized at Great Bowden between 1570 and 1600. She was baptized on Dec. 25, 1590, daughter of Richard Harp . The registers show a total of sixteen other children baptized there in those three decades whose fathers were named Richard Harp . This could have been one man who was married several times, or two or even three men with the same name. There were a few Harpers of Great Bowden who had wills proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Leicester, namely Thomas Harper (1623), Elizabeth Harper (1623), and Thomas Harper (1649). None of them mentions any Dexters, and neither does the 1660 will of Thomas Harper of London, who had land in Great Bowden. So for now, nothing further can be said of the ancestry of MARY HARPER.

THOMAS DEXTER was in court frequently for various misdemeanors, almost immediately after his arrival in Massachusetts. In May 1631, he accused John Endicott of battery. In July 1632, THOMAS was "fined 5 for his misdemeanor & insolent carriage & speeches to S: Bradstreet." In October 1633, THOMAS DEXTER was fined 20s. for being drunk.

Two bonds between THOMAS DEXTER and John Fish of Wraxall, Warwickshire, England, are recorded in Aspinwall's notarial records, both from 1640, one of 80, another of 60. This John Fish was reportedly an uncle of Jonathan, John, and Nathaniel Fish, who had family connections with Great Bowden, and who arrived in Sandwich, MA, by 1637. Another Fish who crossed the Atlantic was their cousin William Fish, who was living in Windsor, CT. from 1642 to 1662, but apparently left no issue. THOMAS DEXTER had a servant named Thomas Fish, who might have been a member of this same family. THOMAS DEXTER was later involved in disputes with William and Richard Harper in 1641 and 1642. These are, perhaps coincidentally, the names of his wife's relatives, but nothing further is seen of them in New England. THOMAS DEXTER died before Feb. 9, 1676/77, when the administration of his estate was taken.
 


Children

  born marr died
Thomas
  wife Elizabeth
11-06-1614     
                 
                 
 
                 
 
MARY DEXTER
  husband JOHN FRIEND
  husband James Oliver
10-16-1616     
         -1614     
 
 
10-    -1639
 
 
01-27-1655/56
 
William
  wife Sarah Vincent
02-21-1618/19
 
 
07-    -1653
 
 
Frances
  husband Richard Woody
08-05-1621     
 
 
12-29-1646
 
 
Elizabeth
  husband Richard Carr
08-21-1623     
 
 
 
 
 


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