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Thomas Barnes

Also Known As: "Barrance"
Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Marlboro, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Death: April 23, 1734 (72)
North Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts (Gored by a bull)
Place of Burial: East Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Barnes, of Marlboro and Abigail Barnes
Husband of Mary Barnes
Father of Deacon Comfort Barnes; Martha Gilbert; Samuel D. Barnes; Prudence Warner; Lydia Gilbert and 2 others
Brother of Dorothy Barnes; John Barnes; William James Barnes, Sr; Abigail Jones (Barnes); Theophilus Barnes and 2 others

Managed by: Gordon Dale Gudmundson
Last Updated:

About Thomas Barnes

On 14 Apr 1685 when Mary was 20, she married Thomas Barnes, son of Thomas Barnes & Abigail Goodenow, in Marlboro, MA. Born on 23 Mar 1661/2 in Marlboro, MA. Thomas died in Brookfield, MA, on 23 Apr 1734; he was 72.

Thomas BARNES was born in 1662/63 in Concord, MA or Marlboro, MA. He died in 1734 in Brookfield, MA. Nellie Palmer George Genealogy: Thomas's Marlboro house and goods were destroyed by the Indians in Philip's war, and because of same he was awarded a home lot of 40 acres in Brookfield for the second settlement effort in 1691.. Prior Brookfield had also been destroyed by the Indians at great loss of life. He ultimately attained eleven hundred acres of land and was a strong community leader. In July 1710, six men were murdered by the Indians and apparently enough damage was sustained that Thomas and others petitioned the general court for relief.

His wife predeceased him, and he was fatally gored by a bull in 1734.

Elizabeth the Daughter of Thomas Barnes was borne was borne* the 14 of february 1674 Parents: Thomas BARNES and Abigail GOODENOW.

He was married to Mary HOWE on 14 Apr 1685 in Marlborough, MA.(179) She married first George Farrar of Lincoln, according to Temple's History of Framingham. Children were: Samuel BARNES, Martha BARNES.

THOMAS2 BARNES (THOMAS1)39,40,41,42,43,44,45 was born 23 Mar 1662 in Marlborough, Middlesex, MA46,47,48,49,50, and died 23 Apr 1734 in Brookfield, Worcester, MA51,52,53,54. He married MARY HOW55,56,57,58,59,60,60,61 14 Apr 1685 in Marlborough, Middlesex, MA62,63,64,65,66, daughter of SAMUEL HOW and MARTHA BENT. She was born 02 Mar 1665 in Sudbury, Middlesex, MA67,68,69,69, and died 04 Feb 1719 in Brookfield, Worcester, MA70,71,72.


Thomas was married in Marlborough, but later moved to Brookfield, Massachusetts during its second settlement, circa 1695. He inherited part of the Indian Plantation lands of Marlborough from his father in 1697 and was involved in a title dispute to his land (as were his neighbors) until 1719 when the courts finally recognized the validity of the deed of purchase of these Indian lands obtained by the residents of the plantation area. Like his father, he was active in community affairs and he was a leading resident of Brookfield. Thomas and his son, Samuel, were chosen town assessors in 1718. Thomas acquired considerable land through grants and later, purchases, and ultimately owned 1100 acres in all. Assessed property valuation, circa 1717, was second only to that of the famed Col. John Pynchon. Thomas Barnes' tax rate was 4 pounds 8 pence, and John Pynchon's tax rate was 5 pounds, 5 shillings. The next highest assessment, just below that of Thomas Barnes, was that of John Hamilton, Sr., who had an assessment of 3 pounds, 17 shillings, and 8 pence. Thomas was one of eight men commissioned to build a sawmill in the town of Brookfield--the first in the town. For this, each of the eight men received a grant of 40 acres of land. House and goods destroyed in King Philip's War by the Indians March 20, 1676. In 1691 received a grant of 40 acres in Brookfield, Mass. where he built. Bought other lands and held in all 1100 acres. He was a leading citizen of Brookfield. His house was the stopping point of the Committee when on duty at Brookfield and expenses were granted to his wife. Late in life he lived with his son Comfort north of Ditch Meadow Swamp. Gored to death by a bull.

More About THOMAS BARNES and MARY HOW: Marriage: 14 Apr 1685, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA73,74,75,76,77


Children of THOMAS BARNES and MARY HOW are:

  • 8. i. MARTHA3 BARNES, b. 24 Nov 1686, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA; d. 18 Nov 1746, Brookfield, Worcester, MA.
  • 9. ii. SAMUEL BARNES, b. 1687, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA; d. 07 Oct 1773, Brookfield, Worcester, MA.
  • 10. iii. PRUDENCE BARNES, b. 1689, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA; d. 25 Feb 1770, New Braintree, Worcester, MA.
  • 11. iv. LIDIAH BARNES, b. 09 Oct 1692, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA; d. 23 Apr 1778.
  • 12. v. THANKFUL BARNES, b. 01 May 1695, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA; d. 20 Mar 1745, Brookfield, Worcester, MA.
  • 13. vi. NOAH BARNES, b. Oct 1700, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA; d. 03 Sep 1783, Brookfield, Worcester, MA.
  • 14. vii. DEACON COMFORT BARNES, b. Oct 1706, Brookfield, Worcester, MA; d. 17 Jan 1747, Brookfield, Worcester, MA.

Thomas, was married on April 14, 1685, to Mary, the daughter of Samuel and Martha (BENT) HOWE, of Sudbury. Mary was born on March 2, 1665, and died February 4, 1718/19.

Thomas and Mary had five children born in Marlborough: Martha, born about 1685; Samuel, born about 1686; Prudence, date of birth not recorded; Lydia, born October 9, 1692; and Thankful, born May 1, 1695. Two sons were born in Brookfield; Noah, about 1697; and Comfort, about 1706.

Thomas and Mary, with Thomas's brother William, moved to Brookfield in 1691, where Thomas became a leading citizen, and was granted considerable land. His first recorded grant was on August 27, 1691, for eleven acres at the junction of Five and Seven Mile Rivers, in what is now East Brookfield. He later sold this to John HAMILTON, great grandfather of Nathan HAMILTON, husband of Abagail OLMSTED, daughter of Capt. Jabez.

In 1692, he was one of the signers of a petition to the Great and General Court (the Massachusetts Colonial Legislature) requesting that the Committee for Brookfield (governing body of the as-yet-non-incorporated town) be granted authority to confirm or deny present or former grants so that those who owned land could be made to bear their share of the tax burden and the cost of supporting or acquiring a minister. This was granted.

In 1695, William BARNES, the uncle of Thankful, became the father of the first child born in Brookfield after the town was resettled. (The town was originally settled in 1665, but was destroyed by the Indians in 1675 during King Phillips's War.) He was judged by the court to be the father of Captivity JENNING's child, Stephen. The settlement was 2s 3p a week child support.

In 1699, Thomas BARNES purchased the land of Richard COY, west of Foot's Hill. He received a land grant in 1701. In 1703, he and Samuel OWENS purchased the land of Thomas PARSONS, from the first settlement of Brookfield, on the Hill. Also, in that year, he purchased the rights of John SCOTT of Suffield to the land of John AYRES.

He was one of eight men commissioned to build the first sawmill in Brookfield in 1709, on Sucker Brook, at what was later called the Malt Mill Bridge. The nine men received a grant of 40 acres, to be divided among them, for their encouragement to build a new mill, and they had liberty to cut all sorts of lumber in any part of the town for the use of the mill.

In 1710, BARNES and four others petitioned the Great and General Court for a grant to repair the gristmill dam, stating that Indian troubles made it impossible to travel 30 miles to the nearest gristmill, and furthermore, winter was coming. In 1713, BARNES and two others reported to the town that the owner of the gristmill was not living up to the terms of his contract, and had forfeited his grant of land and mill rights.

On September 18, 1714, the Committee for Brookfield appointed Thomas BARNES and two others as members of a special commission to settle a dispute between the minister and his neighbors over a plot of land. There was some controversy over the report of the commission. Finally, the minister left town.

In 1715, Thomas BARNES and eight others were appointed to a commission to oversee the construction of a Meeting House.

In 1717, another mill grant, on Mill Brook, was made to Thomas BARNES, and one to his son Samuel (no location specified).

In 1717, he was the largest resident landowner in Brookfield, owning over 1100 acres. The property tax on his land that year was 4£, 8p, (the second highest in the town, out of 121 tax payers) out of the total tax raised of 200 £. (In the same year, Capt. Jabez's tax was 1£ 5s 4 p, the 18th highest.)

His house was the meeting place of the Committee when they met in Brookfield.

In 1718, he was elected an assessor of the town, and in 1719, after the incorporation of the Town, he and his son Samuel were both elected to the first Board of Selectmen and also to the first Board of Assessors. (The five members of both Boards were the same!) In December of that year, he and the other selectman petitioned the Great and General Court for confirmation of a plot of eight square miles denoting the boundary of the town and granting of township privileges, which was granted.

He also owned land in Hardwick, as well as a sawmill in New Braintree, for which he received a grant of 40 acres.

Later in his life, he lived with his youngest son, Comfort. Thomas died in Brookfield on April 23, 1734, after been gored by a bull!

Descendants of Thomas and Mary still live in Brookfield.


From a distant cousin: Thomas Barnes came to Boston from England on the "Speedwell" in May, 1636.

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Thomas Barnes's Timeline

March 23, 1662
Marlboro, Middlesex, Massachusetts
November 24, 1686
Age 24
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 24
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 28
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
October 9, 1692
Age 30
Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
May 1, 1695
Age 33
Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
October 1700
Age 38
Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
October 1702
Age 40
Brookfield, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts
April 23, 1734
Age 72
North Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts