Thomas Dow, of Haverhill

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Thomas Dow, of Haverhill

Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: England
Death: May 21, 1654 (49-57)
Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of Unknown Father of Thomas Dow and Unknown Mother of Thomas Dow
Husband of Phebe Eaton
Father of (Probably) Henry Dow; John Dow; Thomas Dow; Stephen Dow; Mary Clark and 1 other

Managed by: Andrew Jonathan Smith
Last Updated:

About Thomas Dow, of Haverhill

Thomas Dow

  • Birth: about 1601 - England
  • Death: May 21 1654 - Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts
  • Wife: Phebe

Thomas Dow’s origins are not known. The information that he was born in 1613 at Runham, Yarmouth, Norfolk, England and was the son of  Henry Dow and Elizabeth March is wishful thinking based on a possible connection with a Henry Dow that emigrated in 1637 and lived near Newberry. That Henry Dow had a brother Thomas, but that Thomas was 14 years too old and died in Runham.

Thomas Dow first appears in a list of the original grantees of Newbury, Massachusetts in 1639 with his wife, Phebe LATLY, and at least one child. The name Latly comes from Thomas’ will. Most genealogies say Latly was her surname, but it is much more likely that it was 'Phebe lately wife of Thomas'. Thomas died 31 May 1654 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Thomas was poorer than most of his neighbors for his whole estate was appraised at less than £96.  He lived 14 years in Newbury, during which time his children did not have sufficient nourishment.

His house was in what is now called Newburyport, on the southerly side of Greenleaf’s Lane (now State Street) leading to Watt’s Cellar .

After 1648 Thomas Dow lived at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. The town was founded in 1640 by settlers from Newbury, and was originally known as Pentucket. The Dow family lived in the North Parish area of Haverhill, now called Plaistow. They may have been buried in the North Parish cemetery that lies partly in Haverhill and partly in Plaistow…sometimes called State Line Cemetery.


The last will and testament of Thomas Dowe as it was delevered or expressed by him on the 29th day of May being in ye yeare 1654.

I, Thomas Dow, although weake in body yet of perfect memory i doe desire to submit my will, to God's will and to dispose of my estate to my wife and children as followeth, leaving my wife to be the sole executor as present of all my vesable and personall estate.

First I do give unto my loving wiffe Pheby my tow oxen that are now hers and mine and three young beastes beinge now one yeare and upwards ould and on cow and two swine and al my houseold goods to be at her disposinge for ever.

Also my will is that my oldest son John Dowe at the age of twenty and one yeare ould shall ingioy as his inheritance al the land and housinge that I have bought in Haverhill and to pay in to his other brothers thomas and Stephen and to his 2 sisters mary and martha as I shall apoynt the house and land being thought to be worth three score pounds; my second son Thomas shal reseave at his age of 21 ten pounds or 5 pounds at his age and 5 pounds when he is 22 yeares and for my son Steven he shall reseave at his age of 21: or 5 pounds at 21 and 5 pounds at 22; as to my will is that John my son shal pay to his sister Mary and his sister Martha at theyre age of 21 ten pounds or 5 pounds apeace at 21 and 5 pounds apece at their age of 22; as there brothers reseave theres.

Also I Pheby latly wife to Thomas Dow doe joyne my consent to this will of my husband in each perticular and for my son John Dow I doe fully and freely resigne up al my wright in the house and land when my son shall come to the age of 21 yeares ould. witness my hand prouided he shall pay to his brothers and sisters as his fathers will is. [Ref: DowRP DOW p549]


  • 1639: one of original grantees of Newbury, MA [Ref: DowRP DOW p545]
  • an early settler of Newbury, moved to Haverhill [Ref: Hoyt S&A p136]
  • probably a relative of Henry DOW, may have been born earlier than 1615, perhaps as early as 1601 [Ref: Hoyt S&A p744]
  • antecedents of Henry DOW, being known, searchers began by assuming the two were brothers or near relatives. Nothing found. Henry had a brother Thomas 14 years too old; this Thomas had a family and died on his inherited property in Runham, England. Henry DOW had more than average education; Thomas the emigrant could not read. For five years Henry and Thomas lived in adjoining towns and for ten years thereafter they were but 15 miles apart; without the slightest evidence that one knew of the existence of the other [Ref: DowRP DOW p545]
  • 22 June 1642: freeman of Newbury [Ref: Savage DOW Thomas, DowRP DOW p545]
  • 1653: of Newbury, bought a dwelling house of Richard Ormsby of Haverhill [Ref: Hoyt S&A p744]
  • 10 November 1653: Richard Ormsby of Haverhill, to Thomas Dow of Newbury, house and house lot containing 4 acres more or less, with all appurtenances and accomodations, for 250 pounds, ten shillings, to be paid as appears by a bill of sale which Thomas Dow have under his hand. [Ref: DowRP DOW p548]
  • will dated 29 May 1654, probated 8 April 1656 [Ref: Hoyt S&A p136]
  • died 31 May 1654, age about 39; first white adult to die in Haverhill [Ref: DowRP DOW p548]
  • estate appraised at less than 96 pounds, poorer than most of his neighbors [Ref: DowRP DOW p548]
  • 29 May 1660 (belated recording?): Newbury house was conveyed to John Bartlett [Ref: DowRP DOW p548]

Sources and Further Reading

  1. Dow, Robert Piercy, The Book of Dow: Genealogical Memoirs of the Descendants of Henry Dow of 1637, Thomas Dow 1639, and others. Claremont, NH: Robert P Dow, 1929. UMI #G1279.
  2. Hoyt, David W, The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts. Baltimore: Gen Pub Co, 1982.
  3. Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before May 1692, on the basis of Farmer's Register, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, MD, 1965.
  4. Torrey, Clarence Almon, New England Marriages prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1987. M-LH 974Tor


An early settler in Newbury MA from England

Admitted a freeman 6/22/1642

See: New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 1"(1913)

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Thomas Dow, of Haverhill's Timeline

April 1, 1599
Runham Parish, Co. Norfolk, England
January 16, 1602
Age 1
Runham Parish, Co. Norfolk, England
January 16, 1602
Age 1
Runham, Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
January 16, 1602
Age 1
Runham, Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
Age 35
Probably Newbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 37
Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 39
Haverhill, Massachusetts
March 29, 1642
Age 41
Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts