About Thomas Skidmore, Sr.
At the age of 35 Thomas Skidmore was married and living in Westerlleigh, Gloucester County, England. In 1635, he was an Agent of Governor Winthrop in planning Saybrook. In Apr 1635 he sent cattle over for Governor John Winthrop. In 1639, he set sail for New England, aboard the same ship as Governor Winthrop, Jr. They arrived at what is now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1636 until 1639, he assisted Governor Winthrop in the settlement of Saybrook, Connecticut. He assisted in the preparing a plantation at Saybrook, Connecticut for Governor Winthrop, Jr.
Thomas Skidmore’s homestead in Cambridge, Massachusetts was located on the westerly side of Brighton Street, North of Mount Auburn. This location is now Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts and a post office stands on a portion of his lands. He was living in Boston, Massachusetts in 1639. In the spring of 1640, he sent back to England for his wife and family to join him. At the time he sent for his family, he also gave power of attorney to Henry Hazzard of Bristol England to sell his property at Westerly, county of Gloucester, England. On 1 Jan 1646, Thomas Skidmore sold his property in Cambridge and moved with his wife and six (6) children to Connecticut Colony, New York.
In 1647-48, Thomas Skidmore owned a home lot and ear marks for cattle in New London (at that time known as Pequot Harbor), Connecticut. In 1649, he received a large land grant in Fairfield, Connecticut. He was instrumental in founding the settlement of Huntington, Long Island. Thomas Skidmore was a Smithy (blacksmith) by trade. He located his shop on land near the Harbor - it appears that he had a great affection for the water. In 1663 he is shown as a smithy of Huntington Harbor, Long Island. In 1673: He was one of the Patentees of Huntington.
Also in 1673, Thomas Skidmore became the town Clerk in Huntington and a representative to the General Assembly. On 4 Mar 1669, he appears as the first attorney for Suffolk County. In 1676, he served in King Philip's War. He is listed in 1693 as One of Associates of Lancaster, Massachusetts.
Thomas & Ellen (Whitehead) Skidmore had (5) five children:
1. Thomas, b. England.
2. Dorothy, b. ca. 1631, England; m. 20 Jul 1652, Stafford to Hugh Griffen
3. Jedidah (female), b. England; m. Edward Highby
4. John, b. 11 Apr 1643; m. Susannah Davis.
5. Grace m. John Goulding of Huntington.
From:Sheila Jessop <email@example.com>
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Subject:Re: Thomas Skidmore??
Date:Wednesday, November 21, 2007 10:55:57 AM
I am happy to let you know and will send this history along too just in case I only gave a sketch in the notes you were reading.
Thomas Skidmore's daughter married Jedidah married Edward Higby (ch 1815) who was one of our gggggrandfathers who was the first Higby to come to America. Therfore he is in our line of ancestors!
Look in th Higbee book there is a little information along with the Edward
Higbee that came from England at the same time as Thomas:
Chapter 2 page 31...
Thomas Skidmore, who is believed to be one of the Skidmores of this section (by
Ivinghoe co., Bucks, Eng.), came to assist John Winthrop th Younger in getting
Englishmen to settle at Pequot Harbor, it was only natural that he should get
psople from his home section; and later when they came to give the place a name
of their own choosing, instead of continuing the Indian name Naumeag, it
was likewise natural that they should call it New London.
Thomas Skidmore, whose daughter Edward Higby married, came to New England
before Edward Higby did, he sailed from England in Apr. 1635, with John
Winthrop the Younger and his company, and the following autumn assisted
Winthrop the Younger in building a fort at Saybrook, Conn., prepretory to
making a settlement there for Lord Say, Lord Brooke and others. Winthrop the
Younger made no other settlement for them; but he made one for himself ten
years later ot the mouth of the Thames River, and Thomas Skidmore assisted in
making this settlement.
When Skidmore first came over he settled at Newtowne, (the name of this
place was changed to Cambridge in 1638), and bought "one dwelling house with
about half a rood of land in the town." It was situated on the west side of
Brighton Street, north of Mt. Auburn Street (Paige's "History of Cambridge,"
page 655) The land is now part of Harvard Square. The Skidmore Genealogy says
he was living in the parish of Westerleigh, co., Gloucester. There were
Skidmores there at the time Thomas Skidmore came to New England; and I (author
of Edward Higby and his Descendants) also found Skidmoresin the section from
which Edward Higby came. (which was Ivinghoe, co., Bucks, Eng.) I searched for
Thomas Skidmore in the parish of Westerleigh, but did not find him. I would
except to find him near the home of the men he associated with, or that he
formerly lived there.
Thomas Skidmore's wife and children came to New England in 1640.
All I found of him (Edward Higby) has been in association with Thomas Skidmore,
whose daughter Jedidiah he married soon after his arival.
Thomas Skidmore and his family dwelt in Cambridge until 1646, when he sold his
home there to Henry Deemster, and removed to the new settlement at Pequot
Thirty two lots were granted, lot 13 to Thomas Skidmore, and lot 23 to Edward
Higby, ("History of New London" by F.M. Caulkins,p.60.)
Edward Higby and Thomas Skidmore left the Pequot settlement, probably in 1648,
as the "History of Stratford, Conn.," says of Thomas Skidmore: "He was early in
Stratford with his son-in-law Edward Higby, probably before 1649, when he had a
suit in law tried before the court at Hartford." Stratford was in the
jurisdiction of New Haven. This lawsuit must have begun while Skidmore and
Higby were living at New London, as New London was in the jurisdiction of
Hartford. They were both named as defendants. ......The second suit was against
both Higby and Skidmore for slander, a cause of action rather common in those
days. It seems that, if there was bad feelings between persons and either of
them was imprudent enough to condemn the other liberally, he was immediately
taken to court.
Both Higby and Skidmore were active in trading along the coast. Skidmore had
been along the coast, as he was one of the men sent in November 1635, to
prepare for the settlement of Saybrooke, and was acquainted with the coast even
In the list of the first inhabitants of Straford and their house-lots, given in
Orcutt's "History of Stanford," Edward Higby is named as owner of lot 23, on
Main Street; and by record made before 1651 Thomas Skidmore is mentioned as
having to build "in the old feild 12 rds. 3ft. of fence."
page 36 reads:
Thomas Skidmore removed to this section of Long Island about the time Edward
Higby did. He was clerk of the town of Huntington, and represented this town
and other towns along the north shore of Long Island in the General Assembly of
Connecticut. This was before 1664. He acted as attorney for Jonas Wood,
"Halifax Jonas," in a law suit at Southampton, Long Island, in 1669. It is the
first law suit recorded there, and is in book, "Sessions No.1," the first
entry in the book, now kept at Riverhead, Long Island. Skidmore and this Wood
were among the corporators of the town of Huntington under jurisdiction of New
York in 1660 and Skidmore remained in the town until 1682. Then he returned to
Connecticut, dwelling at Fairfield where he died two years later, leaving
property there to his grandson Jhon Higby. Skidmore was married three times.
Ellen his first wife, bore all his children-Thomas Dorthy, Jedidah, John, Grace
and Joseph; his second wife was Joanna, widow of Daniel Baldwin his third wife,
Sarah, widow or Edward Treadwell who died at Huntington, Long Island, in 1660.
-------------------- Timeline for Thomas Skidmore, Esqire: 4 Sep 1604 - Richard and Annes [Agnes] Lawrence, his parents, were married at Holy Trinity Church in Westbury-on-Trym.
1605 - Thomas Skidmore was probably born at Mayshill in Westerleigh, Gloucestershire, in the spring. The christening of Thomas Skidmore is not found in the printed register of Holy Trinity, but his parents are known to have returned for a time to Westerleigh. It is likely that the young Thomas was baptized there in the church of St. James the Great in 1605 but the parish register and the Bishop’s Transcript for that year are both lost. He was taken back to Westbury-on-Trym as an infant where his father died soon after. 25 Nov 1606 - His father, Richard Skydmore was buried in the churchyard at Holy Trinity. Such evidence as we have suggests that he did not live with his mother and stepfather, but that his youth was spent largely back at Westerleigh with his grandfather and (in particular) with his bachelor uncle Thomas Skidmore.
1626 - He met and married his first wife Ellen but the marriage is not found in the register at Westbury-on-Trym, and the Bishop’s Transcript for Westerleigh for this year is also missing. Nothing certain has been learned of her family.
1627 - Their eldest son was born according to our estimation based on a subsequent deposition in Connecticut. Sometime after the birth of his son Thomas Skidmore acquired a leasehold from Thomas Roberts. Roberts was lord of the manor of Westerleigh and he leased a messuage with an orchard and a garden on Westerleigh Street in Westerleigh to run for 99 years if Thomas Skidmore, his wife Ellen, or their son Thomas Skidmore should live so long. 22 Mar 1630/1 - Thomas Skidmore, Senior, and Thomas Skidmore, Junior, uncle and nephew beyond any doubt, are among the men of Westerleigh who were present at a sitting of the manorial court.
1635 - He helped Governor Winthrop in planning Saybrook, CT.
1635 - He set sail for New England, aboard the same ship as Governor Winthrop, Jr. They arrived at what is now known as Cambridge, MA. (One source says, "He embarked onboard the ship Planter, Nicolas Trarice, Master, Arpil 2nd 1635 with John Winthrop, Jr., Governor of Connectticut, son of John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts, and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts.")
10 Jun 1636 - Governor John Winthrop wrote to his son John Winthrop, Junior, who was then engaged in settling what is now Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut. Part of the letter deals with supplies sent out to the new plantation from Massachusetts on May 30th. Along with a cargo of dry provisions the elder Winthrop had sent six cows, four steers, and a bull and he writes to his son John that “I left it to James and Thomas Skidmore to send such as might be fittest both for travel and for your use.”
Thomas Skidmore's homestead in Cambridge, MA was located on the westerly side of Brighton Street, north of Mount Auburn. This location is now Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA and a post office stands on a portion of his lands.
11 March 1637/8 – His son Richard was christened at St. James the Great in Westerleigh. This is the only child of Thomas and Ellen found in the surviving Bishop’s Transcripts of Westerleigh.
1639 - He was living in Boston, MA.
1640 - In the spring he sent back to England for his wife and family to join him. At the time he sent for his family, he also gave power of attorney to Henry Hazzard of Bristol England to sell his property at Westerly, Gloucester, England.
11 Apr 1643 - A son, John, was born to them at Cambridge MA.
12 June 1645 - He and seven others (Stephen Daye, John Prescott, Herman Garrett, John Hill, Isaac Walker, John Cowdall, and Joseph Jenks) petitioned Governor Thomas Dudley and the General Court for a bridge across the Sudbury River.
1 Jan 1646 - Thomas Skidmore sold his property in Cambridge, MA and moved with his wife and six children to Connecticut Colony, NY.
1647 - Thomas Skidmore was held accountable for a debt owed by Daniel Whitehead Sr.
16 May 1647 - Susannah Hudson of Boston wrote to John Winthrop at New London asking him to "stop [collect] 14 shillings for mee for Daniel Whithed, which is in Thoms Chidnor's handes." Daniel Whitehead Sr. had gone to Long Island before this date.
1647- 1648 - Thomas Skidmore owned a home lot and ear marks for cattle in New London (at that time known as Pequot Harbor), CT.
1649 - He received a large land grant in Fairfield, CT. He was instrumental in founding the settlement of Huntington, Long Island.
He was a blacksmith by trade. He located his shop on land near the Harbor. It appears that he had a great affection for the water.
1652 - His first wife Ellen died, probably at Stratford but there is no record.
6 May 1659 - Thomas Skidmore gave receipt for something over £15 paid in full satisfaction of a sentence awarded him as attorney in a case tried at Hempstead. He appeared there in behalf of Edward Higby, who had acquired a cow which Joseph Scott of Hempstead had sold under “several false premises” to Daniel Whitehead. The verdict was a severe one. Scott was ordered to pay the value of the cow with interest for eight years, for one summer's milk, the court costs, and the charges for Skidmore's trip from Huntington to the Hempstead court.
1663 - He is shown as a smithy of Huntington Harbor, Long Island, NY.
12 Feb 1668/1669 - Thomas received a grant of land at East Hampton, Long Island: a house and lot on the north side of the parsonage lot, on the condition that he work as a blacksmith in the town for six years. The grant called him an inhabitant of Huntington but he appears not to have left East Hampton until 6 Mar 1670/1671, when he was called "of Huntington" in a suit brought by Thomas Barker of East Hampton.
4 Mar 1669 - He appears as the first attorney for Suffolk County.
22 Jan 1672 - Thomas Skidmore Sr., blacksmith, sold all his accommodation at Huntington - his six acre home lot, house and shop, and eight acres of meadow on Santepauq Neck to Epenetus Platt.
1673 - He was one of the Patentees of Huntington. Also in 1673, Thomas Skidmore became the town Clerk in Huntington and a representative to the General Assembly.
1676 - He served in King Philip's War.
1693 - He is listed as One of Associates of Lancaster, MA.
20 Apr 1684 - His will is entered.
13 Nov 1684 - Inventory was taken, and totaled £64-0s-2d; he had disposed of all his real property before his death.
15 Nov 1684 - His widow swore to the Inventory.
8 Dec 1684 - His will is proved. It gave wife Sarah all estate for life; at her decease, the estate to go equally to "grandchild John Higby that married my wife's daughter, and to my grandchild John Skidmore." The widow was also to pay 12d to each of his grandchildren (not named).
8 Dec 1684 - “Sara is alsoe within a fortnight after her husband’s deceas alsoe taken away by death.” Note: Thomas and his last two wives are probably buried in "Burial Hill" on the south side of Concord Street in Fairfield, but the early gravestones there have all crumbled away.
-------------------- The Skidmore family came from England, where the name was
originally spelled "Scudamore" or "Scudimore". The early members
probab:ly descendred from a robert Scyddamore who lived in
Westerleigh, England in 1463. The first known American member of
the line was Thomas who came to Massachussets. The family lived
in New York and Delaware before dispersing all over the United
Thomas Skidmore AKA "Thomas Scudmore"'s Timeline
Mayshill, Westerleigh, Gloustershire, England
St. James Church, Westerleigh
Westerleigh, Gloucester, England, England
Westerleigh, Gloucestershire, England, (Present UK)
Westerly, Gloucester, England, (Present UK)
Mayshill, Westerleigh, Gloucestershire, England
March 11, 1638
Mayshill, Westerleigh, Gloucestershire, England
April 11, 1643
Cambridge, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
Huntington, Jamaica, Queens, New York