Thomas Gilbert, Jr.

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Thomas Gilbert, Jr.

Birthdate: (42)
Birthplace: Berry, Pomeroy, Devonshire, England
Death: June 5, 1662 (38-46)
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Gilbert and Elizabeth Gilbert
Husband of Mary Gilbert; Lydia Gilbert and Catherine Marshfield Gilbert Bliss
Father of Henry Gilbert, Sr.; Mary Gilbert; Sarah Field; Thomas Gilbert and John Gilbert
Brother of Captain John Gilbert; Ezekiel Gilbert; Sarah Jenkins; Josiah Gilbert; Obadiah Gilbert and 2 others
Half brother of Jonathan Gilbert, Sr.

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Gilbert, Jr.

Place of birth has also been (erroneously?) reported to be Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts.

Place of death has also been (erroneously?) reported to be Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts.


  • Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal ..., Volume 4 By Ellery Bicknell Crane
  • Pg.200
  • Thomas Gilbert (I), the immigrant ancestor of Charles Warren Gilbert, of Worcester, Massachusetts, was born in England probably before 1600."
  • "He was in Windsor from 1649 to 1651, and probably until witchcraft horrors broke up his home."
  • "Henry Stiles was killed October 3, 1651, by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of Thomas Allyn on Training Day."
  • "Nevertheless, an attempt was made over a year after the death of Stiles to fasten the blame on Lydia Gilbert. She was indicted, under the charge of witchcraft, alleging: "Thou hast of late years and still dost give entertainment to Sathan (Satan)--& by his help has killed the body of Henry Stiles, besides other witchcraft." She was convicted, sentenced to be hanged and undoubtedly suffered the penalty, though the record of death has not been found. The trial was in March, 1653-54."
  • "What relation she bore to Thomas Gilbert we do not know, for he seems to have had no children born to him in Windsor, nor mention of any wife. She may have been his sister. The writer believes that Lydia was most likely the wife of Thomas, for the home was broken up in Windsor directly afterward and Thomas Gilbert went to New Haven or Hartford, where he had brothers, and died in 1659. At that time his three sons had already gone from Windsor to Sprinfield, Massachusetts. "
  • "S. O. Griswold, of Cleveland, is authority for the statement that the probate records at New Haven show the names of his heirs, but that he left no widow. The fact that no Lydia is mentioned in the probate papers is one indication that the death sentence had been executed. Children: 1 Thomas, see forward. 2 Jonathan received grant of land at Woronoco (Westfield), Massachusetts, August 9, 1656; forfeited because they did not settle there and granted 1661 to Benjamin Coolidge."
  • "(II) Thomas Gilbert, son of Thomas Gilbert (I), was born probably about 1625 in England; settled with his father at Windsor, whence after the witchcraft trial he removed to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1655."
  • "He died at Springfield, June 5, 1662, leaving a family of young children. He married Catherine (Chapin) Bliss, June 30 1655, widow of Nathaniel Bliss and daughter of Samuel and Cisely Chapin. He (MUST BE TYPO for She) married (third), December 8, 1664, Samuel Marshfield. She was born about 1630; married (first), November 20, 1646, and died February 4, 1712. Children of Thomas, born in Springfield; 1. Sarah, born February 9, 1655-56, married Samuel Field. 2. John, born October 18, 1657. 3. Thomas, born March 15, 1658-59 (the record of him in North Brookfield history is of his son chiefly, though he was doubtless in Brookfield from 1688 to1690, and doubtless gave his property to his son Thomas), married, August 4, 1680, Abilene Marshfield; she died November 26, 1689; married (second), April 9, 1690, Anna Bancroft; had five children by each wife, all at Springfield; died there May 14, 1698, and widow married James Sexton, of Westfield, son of Thomas Sexton, of Brookfield, born November 3, 1681. 4. Henry, see forward.
  • (III) Deacon Henry Gilbert, son of Thomas Gilbert (2), was born March 1, 1661, at Springfield, Massachusetts. He settled there and his three eldest children were born there. He was a hayward for the Longmeadow district several years. He furnished and set the glass in the meeting house, 1672. He was a soldier and was sent in command of a squad of men, among whom was his brother Thomas, who seems to have been a carpenter or builder, to build the fort at Brookfield, starting September 16, 1688, It was called Gilbert's Fort, perhaps because he took a house lot and lived adjoining it on the west on the south side of the road. The fort was on the school house lot in Brookfield, at the intersection of North Main and Maple streets, of convenient size, having barracks for soldiers and their families, and was surrounded by a stockade. He acquired some six hundred and eighty-one acres before he died. He married Elizabeth ___, who died April 27, 1735; married (second) Mary Wheat, widow. Children of Deacon Henry Gilbert: 1. Henry, born 1684, had one hundred and eleven acres in northwest part of Brookfield. 2. John. 3. Samuel, born 1688. 4. Mercy, born 1691, married, 1716 Samuel Barnes; married (second) her cousin, Thomas Gilbert; married (third) Josiah Converse. 5. Ebenezer, born 1693. 6. Thomas, see forward. 7. Nathaniel, born 1700. 8. Elizabeth, born February 20, 1722, married Enoch Hinds.




With a Note on Lydia Gilbert,

Executed for Witchcraft in 1654

By Douglas Richardson, M.A..

"The American Genealogist" #267, vol. 67, July 1992, pp. 161–166

This information was provide to me by Jim Gilbert as a Microsoft Word document; I formatted it as a web page. I have not verified any of the sources yet.

Walter Gilbert,Thomas-EnglishOrigins.htm



Although past researchers have not been positive about the name of Thomas¹ Gilbert's wife, some thought that he might have spent some time in Windsor, Conn., and that this wife was the Lydia Gilbert condemned for witchcraft in 1654 at Windsor. The case both for and against this identification is made in The Gilbert Family. As I shall show below, it was Thomas Gilbert Jr., not Sr., who lived at Windsor. And from the Yardley parish register, we now know that Thomas¹ Gilbert's wife was Elizabeth Bennett; if she was his unnamed wife who died at about the same time he did, he could not have married Lydia. Who then was Lydia Gilbert?

Recent research indicates that the immigrant's eldest son, Thomas Gilbert Jr., did not accompany the rest of the family to New England about 1640. Rather, it appears that he married first on 17 Sept. 1639 in All Saints parish, West Bromwich, co. Stafford, England, to Mary James (FHL film #873,647). West Bromwich is some eight miles from Yardley. Following their marriage, they had a daughter, Mary, baptized at Yardley in 1641. Shortly before 24 Jan. 1644/5, Thomas Gilbert Jr. immigrated to New England, for on that date, he bought a five-acre houselot in Windsor, Conn., from Francis Stiles (Gilbert Fam. p. 14). The Windsor man has been identified as Thomas Gilbert Sr., but since Thomas Sr. was still living in Braintree, Mass., as late as May 1646, he could not have been the Windsor resident.

Windsor records show that sometime prior to 1652, Thomas Gilbert [Jr.] conveyed his houselot in Windsor to John Drake Sr. and, in turn, acquired an 113/4 acre houselot from Josiah Hull (Gilbert Fam. p. 14). Afterwards, he sold this second Windsor houselot to Thomas Bissell and in 1655 left Windsor for Springfield, Mass. (Gilbert Fam. pp. 14, 50–52). While still "of Windsor," he entered into a marriage contract on 23 May 1655 with Katherine (Chapin) Bliss, the widow of Nathaniel Bliss of Springfield (Joseph H. Smith, ed., Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts (1639–1702): The Pynchon Court Record [Cambridge, Mass., 1961], hereafter Pynchon Court Rec., p. 233). He thereafter lived in Springfield where he died in 1662 (Gilbert Fam. pp. 50–52).

It is apparent that Thomas Gilbert Jr. was widowed before 23 May 1655, when he signed the marriage contract with widow Bliss. Lydia Gilbert of Windsor was condemned to death for witchcraft at a court session which began on 28 Nov. 1654 (Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639– [Hartford 1928] p. 131):

[Indictment] Lydea GiIburt thou art heere indited by that name of Lydea Gilburt that not hauing the feare of god before thy Eyes thou hast of late years or still dust giue Entertainement to Bather [sic] the greate Enemy of god and mankinde and by his helpe hast killed the Body of Henry Styles besides other witchcrafts for which according to the law of god and the Estableshed law of this Comon wealth thou deservest to Dye[.]

[Verdict] ye Party aboue mentioned is found guilty of witchcraft by ye Jury[.]

The court record does not identify Lydia Gilbert, but she almost certainly was Thomas Gilbert Jr.'s wife. We can be reasonably sure of this, for Lydia Gilbert was accused of using witchcraft to kill Henry Stiles of Windsor, who had been Thomas Gilbert Jr.'s former employer (Gilbert Fam. pp. 14–19). If this conclusion is correct, Thomas Gilbert Jr. had at least three wives: Mary James, whom he married in 1639 in England; Lydia _____, who was executed for witchcraft in 1654; and Katherine (Chapin) Bliss of Springfield, Mass., whom he married in 1655.

In addition to Thomas Gilbert Jr.'s known issue by his marriage to widow Bliss, he had surviving children by an earlier marriage who have never been identified, for in his will, dated 3 May 1662 and probated 20 Sept. 1662, be specifically left a sum of money to "my sons and daughters which are in the first family" (Gilbert Fam. p. 51). My own efforts to identify them have not gone beyond finding that Clarence Almon Torrey lists no stray Gilberts who married prior to 1700 in the Connecticut River Valley (New England Marriages Prior to 1700 [Baltimore 1985]).

"2 THOMAS¹ GILBERT was baptized in Yardley, co. Worcester, on 25 April 1589. He died in Wethersfield, Conn., before 5 Sept. 1659, when his inventory was taken. He married in Yardley on 29 Aug. 1610 ELIZABETH BENNETT, whose parentage is unknown. Her baptism was not recorded at Yardley, so presumably she came from a nearby parish. She may have been related to Edmond "Benettes" who married in 1552 Alice Pretty in the adjacent parish of King's Norton, co. Worcester. Elizabeth (Bennett) Gilbert may be Thomas Gilbert's unnamed wife who died in Wethersfield, Conn., at about the same time that he did.

Children (GILBERT) of Thomas¹ and Elizabeth (Bennett) (English recs. above; Gilbert Fam. pp. 9–71, and sources as cited).

i Thomas² bp. Yardley, co. Worcester, England, 16 Feb. 1611/2, d. Springfield, Mass., 5 June 1662; in. (1) All Saints, West Bromwich, co. Stafford, England, 17 Sept. 1639 MARY James, (2) LYDIA ________ , executed for witchcraft, Windsor, Conn., shortly aft. 28 Nov. 1654, (3) Springfield, Mass., 30 June/1 July 1655 (marriage contract 23 May 1655) Katherine² (CHAPIN) BLISS, bp. Berry Pomeroy, co. Devon, England, 1626, d. Springfield 4 Feb. 1712/3, dau. of Samuel and Cicely (Penny) Chapin (NEHGR 83[1929]:354–55) and widow of Nathaniel Bliss."

Mr. Richardson is a commercial real estate appraiser. His address is 4791 Red Wolf Dr., Tucson AZ 85741



Thomas Gilbert was born Feb 16 1611/2, Yardley, Worcester, England. He was married three times to:

  1. Mary Jame on Sep 17 1639, in West Bromwich, Stafford, England,
  2. Lydia _____, who died. after Nov 28 1654, Windsor, Hartford Co., CT,
  3. Catherine Chapin on Jun 30 1655, in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. She was born in 1626, Berry Pomeroy, Devon, England, (daughter of Deacon Samuel Chapin and Cicely Penny). She died on Feb 4 1712, Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. Thomas died Jun 05 1662, Springfield, Hampden Co., MA.

Thomas Gilbert, the immigrant's son, did not accompany the family when they came to New England around 1640. Instead he married and stayed in England. Sometime after the birth of a daughter in 1641, he made his way to New England where he purchased a five-acre houselot in Windsor, Conn. Afterwards, he migrated to Springfield, Mass. in 1655 and lived there until his death.

In addition to his known children by the widow Bliss, he mentions surviving children by an earlier marriage in his will dated May 03 1662 and probated Sep 20 1662. They are not named, but he left a sum of money to "my sons and daughters which are in the first family". (Ref: The American Genealogist, Vol. 67, No. 3, 1992)

Lydia Gilbert of Windsor was condemned to death for practicing witchcraft. At a court session which began Nov 28 1654 in Connecticut, she was accused of using witchraft to kill Henry Stiles. Stiles was the former employer of her husband Thomas Gilbert. The indictment reads as follows:

Lydea Gilburt thou art heere indited by that name of Lydea Gilburt that not hauing the feare of god before thy Eyes thou hast of late years or still dust giue Entertainment to Sathat [sic] the greate Enemy of god and mankinde and by his helpe hast killed the Body of Henry Styles besides other witchcrafts for which according to the law of god and the Estableshed law of this Comon wealth thou deservest to Dye.

The verdict reads: ye Party aboue mentioned is found guilty of witchcraft by ye Jury. (Ref: The American Genealogist, Vol. 67, No. 3, 1992) Catherine: See group sheets for Nathaniel Bliss, Thomas Gilbert, and Samuel Marshfield her three husbands. There was not much time lost in mourning or widowhood, but times were hard for a widow with little children and men at this time outnumbered the women in the colonies, and there was no lack of suitors for single women.

Children by Mary James: i Mary Gilbert Dec 12 1641, Yardley, Worcester, England.

Children by Catherine Chapin: ii Sarah Gilbert b. Feb 19 1655, d. Feb 04 1712. iii John Gilbert b. Oct 18 1657, d. Feb 04 1712. iv Thomas Gilbert b. Mar 15 1658, d. May 14 1698. v Henry Gilbert b. Mar 01 1661, d. Aug 17 1740.


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Thomas Gilbert, Jr.'s Timeline

February 16, 1612
Yardley, Worcestershire, England
February 16, 1612
Yardley, Worcestershire, England
February 16, 1612
Yardley, Worcestershire, England
February 16, 1612
Yardley, Worcestershire, England
Berry, Pomeroy, Devonshire, England
December 1641
Age 21
December 19, 1655
Age 35
Springfield, Hampshire County (Present Hampden County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
March 15, 1657
Age 37
Springfield, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony