Thomas Caswell of Taunton

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Thomas Caswell, Sr.

Birthplace: England (United Kingdom)
Death: November 09, 1697 (72-81)
Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Husband of Mary Caswell
Father of Stephen Caswell; Thomas Caswell; Peter Caswell; Mary Thrasher; John Caswell and 7 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Caswell of Taunton

Evidence needed to support as child of Richard Caswell & Mary Caswell


Thomas Caswell was born say 1620. (Best guess is between 1615 and 1625.) His origins, parents and birth are not proven. He died Oct 1697 in Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts.


Married: Mary Unknown about 1647. Note that there are a number of LNABs for Mary on the internet. They are all wrong or not proven. Estimate based on their first child being born February 1648.p

Children of Thomas and Mary Caswell: [1] [2] [3]

Baptisms of only the first five children are known to exist. Remaining children known from other records, and their birth order is presumed.

  1. Stephen Caswell. Born 15 February 1648 in Taunton. Died 25 September 1714 in Taunton.
  2. Thomas Caswell Born on 22 February 1650/1 in Taunton. Died: Between 17 August 1725, and 7 February 1725/6.
  3. Peter Caswell Born on 31 October 1652 in Taunton. Died between 1727 and 1736.
  4. Mary Caswell Born on 31 August 1654 in Taunton. Married Israel Thrasher. Died after 10 July 1722.
  5. John Caswell Born on 31 July 1656 in Taunton. Married Elizabeth Hall. Died between 27 May 1713 and 20 March 1713/4.
  6. Sarah Caswell Born on 31 November 1658 in Taunton. Married William Hoskins. Died between 10 July 1722 and 26 March 1730.
  7. William Caswell Born on 15 September 1660 in Taunton. Married Mercy Lincoln. Died before June 1647.
  8. Hannah Caswell Born on 15 September 1660 in Taunton. Married Daniel Ramsdell. Died after 12 March 1721/2.
  9. Samuel Caswell Born on 26 Jan. 1662/3 in Taunton. Married Ruth Bobbitt. Died between 22 July 1728 and 21 December 1741.
  10. Elizabeth Caswell. Born on 10 Jan. 1664/5 in Taunton. Married Uriah Leonard. Died after 12 March 1721/2.
  11. Abigail Caswell. Born on 27 Oct. 1666 in Taunton. Married Joseph Jones. Died after 10 July 1722.
  12. Esther Caswell Born on 4 June 1669 in Taunton. Married Samuel Smith. Died after after 26 Sep 1728.


Added by Elwin Nickerson II -My Great Grandfathers Last will&Testament:

Some researchers have suggested that Thomas Caswell was a native of Wales (or that the name Caswell, at least, is Welsh), and some would like to claim that he had a distinguished background in London. Still others allude to a family tradition that he came from Somersetshire in England. The last appears to be the most plausible origin. The name Caswell is uncommon in Wales, but is common in Somersetshire. A large number of families from Somersetshire did settle in Taunton and, in fact, the principal community in Somersetshire is called Taunton, for which the colonial town was obviously named.

Thomas Caswell first appears in New England in Taunton in the Colony of New Plymouth where the name "Thos Cassell" is found on a list of those males aged 16 to 60 able to bear arms in August 1643, just four years after the incorporation of the town. He apparently came to the New World as an unmarried man and married, probably in Taunton, ca 1648, Mary (____). The identity of his wife is unknown.

Thomas Caswell joined with eleven other of his townsmen in 1651 on a panel of inquest into the drowning death of ten-year-old William England, servant to Joseph Wildbore of Taunton, who accidentally fell out of a canoe on the Great River (now Taunton River) on September 6 of that year, and he signed his name "Thos Caswell" to the verdict. In 1657 he took the Oath of Fidelity in Taunton; in 1662 he served on the "Grand Enquest" for the Colony of New Plymouth; and in 1667 he once again was called upon to serve with eleven of his townsmen on a panel of inquest into the accidental drowning of Timothy Poole, November 15, 1667, to which he signed his named "Thomas Caswell".

In 1675 he and his son, Thomas, were listed as heads of families in Taunton when King Philip's War began. Thomas Caswell's name appears on a rate list dated October 16, 1683 to defray the expenses of plastering the meeting house, his comparatively large assessment being one shilling eleven pence.

Though not an Original Proprietor, he did became a proprietor of the Town of Taunton and as such took part in both the South and the North Purchases, the South Purchase being now within the bounds of Berkley. On March 23, 1682/3 Thomas Caswell and Mary, his wife, sold four acres of land east of the meeting house on the east side of the Great River to Shadrach Wilbore; in 1695 they sold a tract of land in the North Purchase to their son-in-law, William Hoskins. An examination of the language of surviving deeds, and a close look at the property boundaries, as well as the details of his will, show that he lived near the Common and the meeting house in Taunton. While he owned property in both the North and South Purchase, he seems to have always resided in the town of Taunton.

A literate man himself, all of Thomas Caswell's sons (but Samuel) appear to have been literate as well, while Thomas Caswell's wife and daughters were typically unable to write even their names, except Esther.

On September 28, 1691 he made his will, to which he attached a codicil on 15 March 15, 1696/7, by which time he could only print his initials. He died, undoubtedly in Taunton, that same year, for on September 14, 1697 one of the witnesses swore that he was present when Thomas Caswell signed his original will. The original papers have not been preserved, and only the probate copy book versions survive, while the original executor's bond is on file, as well as the copy thereof. Thomas Caswell's will and inventory reveal that he was a farmer of substance with a respectable estate consisting of considerable land holdings sufficient to set up his sons on farms of their own, a valuable farm that was his homestead, and many useful articles. But the inventory also shows that the family was able to enjoy certain luxuries, such as books, bedding with linen, and considerable wearing apparel. The burial place of Thomas, and that of his wife, Mary, are unknown.

The will of Thomas Caswell reads:

In the Name of god amen

I Thomas Casewell Senr of Taunton in the County of Bristoll and in the Colony of Plimouth in New England being of sound Memory thanks be to the lord, Do make this my last will & Testament, first I bequeath my spirit to god that gave it me, and my Body to be Decently Buried, by my Executor hereafter named, and for my worldly goods that god hath given me I Dispose of as followeth --

Imprs I give & bequeath unto my Edest Son Stephen Casswell the Land where on his house now Standeth & my land yt lyeth at Skunk hill, to be to him & to heires and Assignes for Ever

Item I give & Bequeath unto my Second Son Thomas Casswell my Six accers of land in the great plaine and other lands of mine that are now in his Possession to be to him & to his heires and assignes for Ever, and allso one halfe quarter part of my Share in ye North purchass (so Called) to be to him & to his heires & Assignes for Ever --

Item I give & bequeath unto my third Son Peter Casswell Sixteen accres of land on the Southerly side of the High way opposite where his house now standeth to be to him and to his heires & Assignes for Ever --

Item I give and bequeath unto my fourth son John Caswell a pond Called the stage pound and allso one half quarter part of my Share in the North purchase (so called) to be to him & to his heires and assignes--

Item I give & Bequeath unto my fifth Son William Casswell the land whereon his hous now Standeth, & the land Called the Neck and allso ten accres of land lyeing at a place called the Thinn Swamp to be to him & to his heires and assignes for Ever, and allso three acres of Swamp lyeing at the old Beaver Dam, to be to him and to his heires & assignes for Ever

Item I give & bequeath unto my Sixth son Samuel Caswell my house wherein I now Dwel with my orchard & Meadow and other land, all my land on the North side of the High way as far as to james Bells land from the aid High way to the great River so Called to be to him & to his heires & assignes for Ever, only Excepteing a little peice of land where my son Peter Caswells house Now standeth, which I formerly gave to my said Son Peter allso I give & bequeath unto my son Samuel Caswell Six & forty acres of my fifty acres Divission Lyeing in Cotly between the land of Isacce Dean & Shadrach wilbors land to be to him & to heires & assigns for Ever

Item I give & bequeath unto my loveing wife Mary one quarter of my Share in the North purchass (so Called) to be to her & to her Assignes for Ever and allso the use of all my Moveables within my house, and the use of the westerly lower Room in my house wherein I now Dwel, Continueing the time of her widowhood and allso my will is that my said son Samuel Caswell shall be my sole Executor to this last will and Testament to whom I commit & leave in Charge to take Care of and provide for his Mother and Maintaine her all the time of her widowhood, and Likewise my will is that my Executor shall Receive all Debts that are Oweing to me payeing all the Debts that I doe owe--

Item I give & Bequeath unto my Executor all that my Purchase Right in the town so Called & my two Oxen & my Horse & two Cows & Cart and Trucles, & plow and plow Tacklin--

Item I give & bequeath unto my Daughters Mary, Sarah Hannah Elizabeth Abigale and Hester, the one halfe of my Share in the North Purchass (so Called) to be Equally Divided amonst my said Daughters to be to them & to their heires and Assignes for Ever--

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my Daughter Hannah the wife of Daniel Ramsdell on heyfer of one year old & the vantage--

And to this as to my last will & Testament I have put to my hand & seale this Eight & Twentyeth day of September in the year of our lord one thousand Six hundred Ninety one

Signed & sealed in ye presence of us Shadrach Wilbore Joseph Wilbore Samuel Wilbore Thomas Casswell (seale)

Postscript Whereas my share or Right in the North Purchase is Given among Diverse of my Children in my will above written - which share in the North purchase is Since that time sold for the sum of twelve pounds the which money my son Samuel made use of My will is that my son Samuel Do pay the Sum of twelve pounds to those of my Children to whom my Share in the North purchass is above Mentioned to be Given that is to say to Each of my said Children such a part or proportion of the sd Sum of twelve pounds which is Equivalent or proportionable to such a part of the North purchass which is Given to them in my above written will--

Witness my hand and seale the fifteenth Day of March 1696/7 Signed sealed & Declared before us witnessess Isaak i Leonard his marke ElizabethBriant Samuel Danforth I Decalre ye whole will to be my last will and Testament Thomas Caswell Senr T C (Seale) his marke

Bristoll Septber 14th 1697 then the within Named Joseph wilbore apeared before John Saffin Esqr. Judge of probate of wills &c within the County of Bristoll and made oath that he was present & Did see ye within Named Thomas Caswell late of Taunton Decd. Signe seale & Declare the within written Instrument as his Last will & Testament & that he was of a Disposeing mind when he so Did to the best of his understanding.

Taunton October 9th 1697 then Did Shadrach wilbore make oath to the Tenr: and Effect of Joseph Wilbore his oath: and that Samuel Wilbore was prsent and Did Signe as a witness at the same time: Since Deceased:

Taunton the Ninth Day of October 1697 Mr: Samuel Danforth & Eliza: Briant the within Subscribeing witnesses Made oath to the truth of ye last to the & yt according to their apprehensions he was of a well Desposeing Mind and that they sett their hands as witnesses thereunto

Memorandum That all the above Named witnesses at the Severall times and placces there Mentioned Did personally appeare before me John Saffin Esqr. Judge of probate of wills &c: and made Oath to the truth of what is above Exprest Touching & Concerning the within written will: John Cary Registr as attests John Saffin

Thus Entered Octobr 30th: 1697 By John Cary Registr:

A true Inventory of the Estat of Thomas Caswell Senr. lately Deceased on this 30th Day of March in ye year 1696/7

for wareing apparel for Books for Beding with other lining for Brass for Iron pots for Tramels & spitts & other such brik things for Pueter & other smale things for Chests for Lumber for tools with old Iron for Neat Cattle for Horsses & furnitures for Cart & Cart tire for plow & plow Geare for a Sider Mill & what is belonging to it for that Tract of land yt Stephen Caswells house Stand on and the land at Skunk hill Six acres in the great plain and other lands in his possession Sixteen acres of land lying opposit agst petr Caswell house A pond Cald the Stage pond the land where william Caswell house Standeth and ten acres of land at the Thinn Swamp and three acres at the old Beaver Dam the farm with the Buildings thereon forty & Six acrees of land lyeing in Cotly one Purchass Right for Debts Due from the Estate for Swine


5-00-00 1-10-00 14-12-00 1-07-00 1-10-00 1-02-00 1-00-00 1-04-00 5-00-00 3-17-00 7-00-00 5-14-00 1-15-00 2-13-00 1-00-00 6-00-00 5-00-00 5-10-00 4-00-00 2-00-00 7-00-00 2-10-00 1-10-00 200-00-00 11-10-00 5-00-00 12-00-00 2-4-00


Witnessed by us Israel Thrasher Josep Richmond Henry Andrews

John Cary Registr:

Memorandum that on the Ninth day of october in Taunton Samuel Caswell Executor of the last will & Testamt of the above Named Thomas Caswell personally appeared before me John Saffin Esqr Judge of probate of wills &c: within the County of Bristoll & made Oath to the truth of the above written Inventory to the best of his Knowledge & that when he Knows More he will Rebort it that it may be Recorded in the Registry

as Attests Jno Saffin

Entered & Engrossed Octobr 30th: 1697 by John Cary Registr:

They had the following children:

  • 1. M i Stephen CASWELL was born 15 Feb 1648 and died Sep 1714.
  • 2. M ii Thomas CASWELL was born 22 Feb 1650 and died Feb 1726.
  • 3. M iii Peter CASWELL was born 31 Oct 1652 and died Mar 1737.
  • 4. F iv Mary CASWELL was born 31 Aug 1654 and died after 10 Jul 1722.
  • 5. M v John CASWELL was born 31 Jul 1656 and died Mar 1714.
  • 6. F vi Sarah CASWELL was born 30 Nov 1658 and died after 26 Mar 1730.
  • 7. M vii William CASWELL was born 15 Sep 1660 and died Jun 1747.
  • 8. F viii Hannah CASWELL was born 14 Jul 1661 and died after 10 Jul 1722.
  • 9. M ix Samuel CASWELL was born 26 Jan 1663 and died Dec 1741.
  • 10. F x Elizabeth CASWELL was born 10 Jan 1665 and died after 12 Mar 1722.
  • 11. F xi Abigail CASWELL was born 27 Oct 1666 and died after 10 Jul 1722.
  • 12. F xii Esther CASWELL was born 11 Jun 1669 and died after 26 Sep 1728.

Thomas Caswell is documented here:

Thomas CASWELL [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10] was born 1618 in , , England. He died [11] Mar 1697 in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts. Thomas married [12] Mary on 1647 in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts.



1. Haler, Noreen Ellen Smith, A Caswell Encyclopedia (United States of America: Caswell Surname Organization, 1998.), 1:703, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.2 C3546.

2. Sanborn, George Freeman, "Thomas Caswell of Taunton and His Descendants," The Mayflower Descendant, 35:2 (Jul 1985), Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1899-, pp. 111-119, Allen County Public Library.

3. Guilford, Joan Sheridan, The Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford (Orange, California: Sheridan Psychological Services, 1990.), 1:135, Family History Library, 929.273 G944g.

4. Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before 1692 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1860-62.), 1:348, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.274 S264.

5. Browne, William Bradford, The Babbitt Family History (Taunton, Massachusetts: C. A. Hack, 1912.), p. 35, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.2 B1121 1987.

6. Roman, Michael Joseph, The Ancestry of Hattie E. J. Bruce (Northboro, Massachusetts: M. Roman, 1992.), p. 32, Family History Library, 929.273 B83rm.

7. van Antwerp, Lee Douglas, Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Family of Francis Eaton (Volume Nine) (Plymouth, Massachusetts: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1978- (ed. Robert M. Sherman)), p. 12, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.3614 S678-3 v. 9.

8. Anderson, Robert Charles, George F. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2007.), 3:417, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 A549-1.

9. Deane, William Reed, "Genealogical Memoir of the Leonard Family," NEHGR 5:4 (Oct 1851) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 414 [3], Los Angeles Public Library.

10. Underhill, Lora Altine Woodbury, Descendants of Edward Small of New England and the Allied Families, with Tracings of English Ancestry (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934.), 2:693, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.2 S635a.

11. Roman, M., Ancestry of Hattie Bruce, p. 33.

12. Torrey, Clarence Almon, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985.), p. 140, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 T694.

view all 24

Thomas Caswell of Taunton's Timeline

England (United Kingdom)
February 15, 1648
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts
February 22, 1650
Taunton, Plymouth Colony
October 31, 1652
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
August 31, 1654
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony, (Present USA)
July 31, 1656
Taunton, Plymouth Colony
November 30, 1658
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
September 15, 1660
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony, (Present USA)
July 14, 1661
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)