Col. Thomas Gilbert

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Col. Thomas Gilbert

Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Death: July 1, 1797 (82)
Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick, British North America (Present Canada)
Place of Burial: Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Nathaniel Gilbert and Hannah Gilbert (Bradford)
Husband of Mary Gilbert
Father of Maj. Thomas Nathaniel Gilbert; Perez Gilbert; Bathsheba Crane; Bradford Gilbert; Hannah Winslow and 2 others
Brother of Hannah Smith; Mary Godfrey; Nathaniel Gilbert; Samuel Gilbert; Welthia Hathaway (Gilbert) and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Thomas Gilbert

From the Find A Grave page on Thomas Gilbert:

Birth: Nov. 25, 1714 - Massachusetts, USA

Death: Jul. 1, 1797 - New Brunswick, Canada

He was born in the County of Bristol, Boston Government, New England.

Thomas and Mary lived as man and wife for more than 61 years and he was known for his Loyalist to his King in the year 1775.

Family links:


  • Thomas Gilbert (1738 - 1810)*
  • Peres Gilbert (1739 - 1816)*


  • Mary Gilbert (1718 - 1804)

Burial: Saint John's Anglican Church Cemetery, Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada

Created by: Richard Weston

  • Record added: Jul 20, 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 39673274

From First Families within the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick:

NOTE: First Families is a collection of genealogical information taken from various sources that were periodically submitted to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. The information has not been verified against any official records. Since the information in First Families is contributed, it is the responsibility of those who use the information to verify its accuracy.

GILBERT: Thomas Gilbert

  • b. 1713 in Berkley, Bristol County, MA,
  • d. 2 Jul 1797,
  • s/o Nathaniel Gilbert and Hannah Bradford:
  • m. 1736 Mary Godfrey born c1718, d. 17 Jan 1804:
  • settled in Freetown, MA before the war:
  • came to NB in 1783 as Loyalists and settled at Gagetown, Queens County:


  • 1) Perez Gilbert born 1739, d. 18 Dec 1816: settled at Gagetown: married (1st) Mary Lester, a native of Staten Island, NY, m. (2nd) Lucretia Bates, native of Stamford, CT, born c1750, died 22 Oct 1835: had children:
  • 2) Bradford Gilbert b. 27 Apr 1746, d. 16 Jan 1814, married Anne Watters:
  • 3) Thomas Nathaniel Gilbert born 9 Aug 1738 at Taunton, MA, died 31 Aug 1810: settled at Mauger’s Island in Burton Parish, Sunbury County: m. 14 Nov 1765 Elizabeth Tisdale of Freetown, MA, b. 8 Jan 1741, died 1780 in NY, d/o Ephraim Tisdale: had at least six children:


  • 4) Hannah Gilbert m. 15 Nov 1768 Ephraim Winslow b. 7 Jul 1741, d. 24 Jan 1833: remained in the USA: had issue who settled in NB:
  • 5) Bathsheba Gilbert m. 13 Dec 1759 in Berkley, MA, Lemuel Crane b. - , d. 1814 at Oxford, MA:
  • 6) Mary/Molly Gilbert m. Thomas Hatheway:
  • 7) Deborah Gilbert b. 1759, died 13 Nov 1839, m. 13 Mar 1803 at Saint John, Samuel Scovil of Connecticut: settled at Meadowlands near Gagetown.


  • MC1156 Graves Papers Thomas Gilbert, 2 pages:
  • see MC1/Gilbert #2, 1 page:
  • see also MC80/20 W.C. Milner’s Early history of Dorchester and the surrounding area, page 8:
  • see also MC80/364 E. Stone Wiggins, History of Queens County 1876, pages 30 to 31: Mary Lester was sister of the wife of Judge James Peters:
  • see also MC80/338 I. Allen Jack’s Biographical Review, pages 345-349:
  • see MC80/1251 Helen M. Petchey’s The Dorchester Gilberts:
  • see also MC2657 NBGS Generations Issue #31, March 1987: Leroy P. Hall’s Thomas Gilbert of Mauger’s Island, Sunbury County, New Brunswick, pages 70-71:
  • see also MC735 Gilbert family fonds:
  • see also RS184 New Brunswick Museum Vertical files, Gilbert family:
  • microfilm F11083, 2 pages: see Saint John Regional Library: David Russell Jack Bequest: Genealogy, microfilm reel F109, page 10:
  • see also MC2852 Purdy-Carter genealogical collection, MS2:
  • on microfilm F20987: see sheets for Thomas Gilbert and for his sons:
  • see also MC80/2902 Sharon Dubeau’s New Brunswick Loyalists: a bicentennial tribute, 1 paragraph.


From the Ancestry message board on the Gilberts:

Gilbert, Thomas

Deed 1/22: Thomas Gilbert Esq. obtained Lot #81 - 200 acres - (present day Ashmore) from John Hegeman, of Granville.

"Bounded on northerly side by Lot #80 draughted by Malcolm Morrison Esq. Southerly by Lot #82 draughted by Dow Ditmars, westerly by St. Mary's Bay and easterly by lands unappropriated".

New Loyalist Index Vol. 1: Thomas' estate was settled on October 24th, 1797. His Executors were: Peires, and Bradford Gilbert. Thomas was a Colonel. He settled in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Wilson: "Gilbert's Cove which is derived from Colonel Thomas Gilbert, a celebrated Loyalist pioneer".

(It may be difficult to keep the Thomas Gilbert's straight)

"Thomas Gilbert, 3rd, second son of Major Thomas Gilbert erected a store at Gilbert's Cove about 1788, which he maintained while health permitted. This was premier effort on St. Mary's Bay east of Sissiboo River".


Thomas Gilbert, was born at Freetown, Bristol County, Massachusetts, in 1715. His father Thomas Gilbert, was a son of Thomas Gilbert, senior, whose father, John Gilbert, emigrated previous to 1636, from Devonshire, England, to Dorchester, now Taunton, shire town of Bristol County Mass; and with Henry Andrews were elected members for that Town or Township in 1639, to first Assembly in that Province. His companion was Mary Godfrey, a lineal descendant of John Rogers, Prebendary of St. Paul's Church, London, England, and afterward Bishop of London, known as the Christian or protoMartyr under Mary I, Queen of England from 1553 to 1558.

(Ben M. Angel notes: This is probably inaccurate. Certainly the lineage above Thomas Gilbert is off.)

The subject of this memoir was styled "Leader of New England Tories." Entering a company of Volunteer Militia, Mr. Gilbert soon became Captain, and served in that capacity under Sir William Pepperell at siege of Louisbourg, Cape Breton, in 1745, also as Lieutenant- Colonel under Brigadier-General Thomas Ruggles afterwards of Upper Granville, Nova Scotia, at Crown Point in 1755; and when Colonel Ephraim Williams was killed in same year at Lake George, the command of his force devolved on Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert, senior officer. In this way the latter earned his highest military title.

After the Peace of 1763, our hero returned to his home at Freetown, Mass. Having valuable real and personal property, he soon became prominent in public affairs. Being elected a member of the General Assembly, his ardent loyalty and entire devotion to British institutions were speedily noted. When hostilities against the memorable Stamp Act commenced, he was specially conspicuous against the popular malcontents.

In autumn of 1774, Gen. Thomas Gage, then Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province, appointed him to direct a body of 300 loyalists stationed around Freetown and Taunton, to maintain Royal authority. Consequently at commencement of the impending war, he was compelled to seek protection in Boston, being soon joined by his three sons, - Thomas afterwards Major, previously High Sheriff of Bristol County; Bradford and Perez. The four continued with Royal Army throughout the memorable contest, being often employed and constantly assisting the Imperial cause far as possible. Their families remained on the estates in Bristol.

Such unwavering and invaluable services existed utmost hatred among the republicans. At acknowledgement of Independence, their lands were peremptorily confiscated to the Federal Government. Like many others similarly situated the Colonel and his sons with their families, emigrated to Nova Scotia.

After a stormy voyage on board his Majesty's ship-of-war Spencer in May, 1783, they reached Annapolis, with negro slaves, a few pure bred horses, some cows, a pack of hounds, and several valuable household effects.

Repairing shortly to St. Mary's Bay, they selected the Plantation on its south-eastern side, around Gilbert's Creek, an arm of the Bay about 14 miles west of Digby, and nearly six east of Weymouth Bridge, as their abode. In a letter from Major Gilbert, dated November 2nd, 1784, to "Patty," in Massachusetts, a former female slave of his father, we are informed that they found sufficent salt marsh and upland previously cleared, probably by Acadians, to supply fodder for their herds; also, that ample lumber to build a vessel of two hundred tons laid on shore of the bay and in the creek when they landed. It is therefore probable some merchantman had been recently wrecked on the coast, and the cargo washed ashore by tides.

Col. Gilbert then almost 69 years of age, immediatly petitioned Governor Parr for a Grant of the land he had chosen, elaborately reviewing his eminent services to the Crown, and reciting perilous adventures with heavy losses sustained inferentially.

A favourable response, accompanied by abundant testimony from personal knowledge, rewarded this memorial. He had already erected a dwelling on northern side of present Post road from Digby to Weymouth, a little south of the creek and nearly opposite present residence of Remi Amirault, occupied many years by Lieut. William Robinson. Major Thomas Gilbert and his brother Perez soon built their seperate residences on the respective cellars still visible north of the creek and southerly from the newer house now occupied by Frederick and Frank W. Sabean.

Besides this splendid location, the Colonel and Major received a large tract in rear of front lots 69 on which their dwellings stood, to 84 inclusive, extending from a line running southwardly from St. Mary's Bay along eastern side of Gilbert's Crossing southern angle of Gilbert's Point, crossing southern angle of Gilbert's Creek east of the marsh, and thence in a straight line to the Post road at a distance of about ten rods westerly from present residence of Robert Donahue, Postmaster, being the original boundary between the Gilbert lot, No. 69 and the adjoining lot 68, granted to Phineas Milledge; thence following latter line to rear of Second Division; thence following line of lots now known as Lewis Settlement or Lewiston, to western limit of lot 84 and following last mentioned line to rear of front Lot 84, covering 1,000 arpents. The western boundery of lot 69 is just easterly from where Post Road crosses western angle of Gilbert's Creek, subsequently called McConnell's Brook. The front Lot comprises three subdivisions, containing 261 acres. The entire block consequently comprised 1,261 arpents.

November 16, 1784, found Colonel Gilbert and his associates enjoying their delightful habitation. Verily, this happy achievement was immensely gratifying, removing a load of suspence and anxiety, while evoking unbounded thankfulness for the blissful termination of prolonged suffering, both mental and physical.

In the letter to Patty already quoted, the Major also wrote that Perez' lot joined his own; that his parents lived on the other side,"comfortably seated and in good health." His maiden sister Deborah resided with them.

Perez and himself had built a saw-mill during last two months on the creek. His grant comprised 600 acres, lying most advantageously. Furthermore his mother in a communication to friends recently emigrated to New Brunswick, dated November 1st, 1784, assured them that they had been on the Point one year; owned eight cows, four oxen, six horses, besides some neat cattle.

The farm yielded provender sufficient to keep this stock. Hence, they manufactured large quantities of butter and cheese.

Everything grew luxuriantly. Unfortunately no highways had yet been constructed. Jacob Christ, (pronounced Chriss) Joseph McConnell, senior, George Black and Jacob Jerroleman, were only heads of families living within three miles. Being previously unacquainted their society was not so inviting as that of relatives and former friends.

Ephraim Tisdale father of Mrs. Elizabeth wife of the Major, and other old neighbors from Bristol had meanwhile emigrated to Township of Gagetown, Queen's County, New Brunswick, and to that named Burton in adjoining County of Sunbury. Those regions were likewise fruitful and very prosperous.

Highways had been opened, Churches built, while everything betokened increased enterprise, abundant returns and superior comforts. This was due chiefly to greater activity by Hon. Thomas Carleton, Provincial Governor, and members of the Colonial Parliament, all loyalists, while those of Nova Scotia, were principally Army Officers and other Englishmen, who were more slow in their dispensaries, especially among remote districts, preferring high salaries and personal ease, to liberal Grants for benefit of those not of social equality.

Viewed in this true light the reader will not be suprised to learn that Colonel Gilbert and his sons with their respective families except one, removed to New Brunswick at close of 1784, joining their friends in Valley of St. John river. They settle in Gagetown and Burton Townships. Bradford afterwards became a merchant in City of St. John.

Thomas Gilbert, 3rd, eldest son of the Major, remained on St. Mary's Bay, and inaugurated commercial enterprises. He built vessels at eastern mouth of the Creek, carried lumber and other commodities to various markets, and imported general merchandise for sale. He supplied the entire settlements along shores of the Bay.

Captain David Watkins commanded one of his ships. After a brief but successful career, Mr. Gilbert sickened and expired, leaving the community to mourn the loss of an enterprising citizen. He was buried in Trinity Episcopal Cemetery, Digby, and a handsome slab marking his grave is inscribed thus: "Here lieth the body of Thomas Gilbert, third son of Major Thomas Gilbert, he was born in Birkley, in the County of Bristol in Massachusetts. He departed this life on the 25th day of August, 1793, in the 27th year of his age."

His grandfather, Col. Thomas Gilbert, Died at Gagetown, New Brunswick, July 2, 1797, aged 84 years, leaving a very numerous posterity, some of whom have since worthily filled various stations of trust in that Province.

The property in Digby Township left by the colonel's will to Nathaniel and Humphrey Gilbert, fourth and fifth sons of the Major, was unoccupied by tenants for some years. After a lengthened period, John Northrup, son of Joseph the loyalist, leased the Point and lived in the old dwelling some years previous to 1824. William Northrup, son of Joshua, brother to Joseph, and hence cousin of John, lived at the same time on site of Thomas Walsh's present (1890) dwelling. The heirs sold the lands at Gilbert's Cove to William George Robinson, Luke Leblanc, Joseph H. Barr, Jesse Barr, Alpheus Jones, Joseph Thibaudeau, and Edward A. Jones, in different lots.

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Col. Thomas Gilbert's Timeline

November 25, 1714
Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
August 9, 1738
Age 23
Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Age 24
Freetown, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
August 17, 1741
Age 26
Berkley, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Age 31
Freetown, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
December 13, 1751
Age 37
Freetown, Bristol County, Massachusetts
Age 44
July 1, 1797
Age 82
Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick, British North America (Present Canada)