Thomas Rix, of Salem

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Thomas Rix

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Brancaster, Norfolk, England
Death: 1684 (61-62)
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Rix, of Brancaster and Margaret Rix
Husband of Margaret Rix; Bridgett Fiske and Susanna Rix
Father of Esther "Hester" Rix; Sarah Prince; Thomas Rix; Remember Rix; James Rix, Sr. and 2 others
Brother of William Rix, of Boston

Occupation: Barber Surgeon
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Rix, of Salem

Thomas Rix of Salem

  • Birth: Thomas Rix was born in 1622 probably at Canninghall, England.11,12 
  • Parents: Robert Rix (b c 1592), Margaret
  • Marriage: He married first, Margaret Uggs in 1650 .13,5,4,14,15,16 
  • Widowed: Thomas Rix was widowed by the death of his wife, Margaret on 24 May 1660 or 24 July 1660.17,18 
  • Marriage: Thomas Rix married second, Bridget Musket on 3 September 1661 at Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.9,13,19,20,21 
  • Marriage: Another source says Thomas Rix married Bridget Musket on 3 November 1661 at Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.22,23 
  • Marriage: Thomas Rix married third, Susanna Skelton, daughter of Reverend Samuel Skelton and Susanna Travis.2,23,24 
  • Death: Thomas Rix died in 1684.23 

Brief Biography

Thomas Rix, brother of William, was probably born in Canninghall, England. He was in Salem before 1649. The date of his coming here is unknown. His brother, William, speaks of Theophilus, son of my brother William.

He married, first, Margaret, widow of Miles Ward. She died May 24, 1660, and he married, second, Sept. 3, 1661, Bridget Musket, born in Pelham, England. She was the widow of Hon. William Fisk, born in England about 1613. She had by him five children, and Sarah Rix of Salem was called mother to them.

Mr. Rix was a barber surgeon, and lived in Salem, Mass. "Thomas Rix being indebted to the town, sold his house and shop to meet the debt." He afterwards lived near the lower end of Elm St. He bought lands in Rockingham County, N. H., in 1670, but sold them the next year.

Family

Family 1

Margaret Uggs b. 1616, d. 24 May 1660

Children

  1. Remember Rix9,25,23 b. circa 1650
  2. Sarah Rix9,25,23 b. 1651
  3. Esther Rix9,25,23 b. circa 1653
  4. Thomas Rix9,25,23 b. circa 1655, d. 31 Oct 1718
  5. James Rix+9,25,23,21 b. 1657, d. 26 Sep 1724

Family 2

Bridget Musket b. circa 1618, d. 1703

Child

  1. Theophilus Rix26,23,8 b. circa 1665, d. 5 Jul 1726

Family 3 Susanna Skelton b. circa 1625

Citations

Sources

  1. History and Genealogy of the Rix Family of America: Containing Biographical Sketches and Genealogies of Both Males and Females (Google eBook) Grafton Press, 1906 - 240 pages

notes

From http://kristinhall.org/fambly/Marsh/JohnMarsh.html

In her will of 3 November 1685 "Susannah, the relict of Thomas Rix late of Salem deceased, and formerly the relict of John Marsh deceased of Salem," bequeathed land given to her "by the last will and testament of the said John Marsh my first husband"[16,19].

Brother of William of Boston, MA

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Here is the information about the family of Thomas Rix of Brancaster, England. I hope it will be of interest to you. If there is anything else you would like to know, please contact me and I will be glad to try to supply it.

Sincerely,

Susan M. Grady ~ Alexandria, Virginia U.S.A.

The Family of Thomas Rix of Brancaster, Norfolk County, England ~ By Susan M. Rix Sinclair Green Grady Alexandria, Virginia ~ May 20, 2001

On September 29, 2000 my husband, Dr. A. Dane Bowen, and I visited the small village of Brancaster, Norfolk County, England where the Rix family originates. Northeast of London, it faces a western arm of the North Sea called "The Wash" or "The German Sea" in memory of the Saxon invasions of England in the 5th Century A.D. Directly across from Brancaster on the western side of "The Wash" is Boston, England. Just southwest of Brancaster is King's Lynn or Lynn, England. On the eastern side of Norfolk County, facing the North Sea, is Great Yarmouth. These place names were brought to Massachusetts. The towns with these names in Massachusetts were settled between 1630 and 1640 during "The Great Migration" by Puritans from Norfolk County and Suffolk County, England. Approximately twenty thousand persons came from England to Massachusetts during "The Great Migration."

Our ancestor, Thomas Rix, a barber surgeon, was born in Brancaster in 1622. He went from Brancaster to London, England and from there he went to Salem Seaport, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1649. It is possible that he sailed from Yarmouth, on the eastern side of Norfolk County, facing the North Sea. He was a member of the First Church [Congregational Church] of Salem. According to the town records of Salem, he participated actively in the civic life of Salem, but then something happened to him. He became indebted to the town of Salem (I have been unable to discover how or why this occurred.) and had to sell his house and shop.

Thomas Rix moved with his son James Rix, who was a shipwright, to Preston, Connecticut. Preston is in eastern Connecticut just east of Norwich (Norwich, England is the county seat of Norfolk County, England). Norwich was founded by Sergeant-Major General John Mason of King's Lynn, a town southwest of Brancaster, in 1658. Arriving in Dorchester, Massachusetts (now a part of Boston) in 1632, Sergeant-Major Mason defeated the Pequot Indians at Mystic River, Connecticut in 1637 and was made commander-in-chief of all the Connecticut forces and responsible for training the militia. Simon Huntington and his wife, from Norwich, England, also helped to found Norwich, Connecticut. Samuel Huntington, one of their descendants, signed the Declaration of Independence as a representative from Connecticut. Thomas Rix died October 31, 1718, in Preston. The Rix family is buried in the Rixtown Cemetery in Griswold, which is near Preston. The Rixtown Cemetery is named for James Rix who settled where the cemetery is located in 1703. In September 1998 my parents, husband, and I visited the cemetery. There are three graves together of Thomas, James and James' son, Thomas. The only legible tombstone is that of James' son Thomas, who died in 1771. Much of the information we have about the Rix family comes from a book History and Genealogy of the Rix Family of America by Guy S. Rix of Concord, New Hampshire. It was published in New York City by the Grafton Press in 1906. This book is available in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In 1868 a Mrs. H.L.M. Fry of Washington, D.C. visited Brancaster. She gave Mr. Rix much false information about the Rix family in Brancaster. As a result of our visit, I have proven the following information she gave to be false:

1) She states that there was a Rix family castle in Brancaster. There never was one. A Roman fort, Branodunum, was built there around 250 A.D. Its soldiers came from Dalmatia in Yugoslavia. The stones were carried away in the 19th century to build a malthouse in the nearby town of Brancaster-Staithe. This large structure existed from 1797 to 1878. Barley was wetted with water and put on the floor of the malthouse. The water softened the barley which caused it to germinate. This germinated barley was called malt. It was used to brew beer and distill whiskey. The site of the fort is on the eastern edge of Brancaster near the sea on public land. You can walk in to look at the fields where it stood. There is a historical marker telling about the fort.

2) She states that in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Brancaster there are panels, on the walls and on the floor, that show the Rix family name and coat of arms. There are no such panels in that church. The present church was built in the 14th century A.D. Its tower was built in the 15th century A.D.

3) The Rix family was supposed to have lived on two estates: Canninghall (Kenninghall) and Offord (Orford). These two places are not near Brancaster and have nothing to do with the Rix family. Kenninghall is in the southeastern part of Norfolk County between Bury St. Edmunds and Norwich. Orford is in Suffolk County. It faces the North Sea and is just north of Ipswich. There is no old castle or estate in Kenninghall, but there is a castle in Orford. Today there is a massive castle keep and three towers that form a polygon of eighteen sides. The keep was built by King Henry II in 1165 to 1166. He was the father of King Richard I (Richard Lionheart) and King John.

4) There was an Earl of Orford who lived at Houghton Hall northwest of Fakenham, which is just southwest of Brancaster. The Earldom of Orford was not created until the 17th century (the 1600's A.D.) according to officials at Westminster Abbey in London, England. The first Earl of Orford was Sir Robert Walpole, a famous British politician who was born in 1676 and died in 1745. He was Prime Minister of England from 1721 to 1742. His son, Horace Walpole, was the fourth Earl of Orford. A writer, he invented the Gothic novel. He was born in 1717 and died in 1797. He never married.

Mrs. Fry also states that our ancestor, Sir John Rix, Earl of Offord, was beheaded on the orders of King Henry VIII in 1536 because he was a friend of the parents of Anne Boleyn, King Henry's second wife. King Henry had Anne executed because she did not give him a son who lived. Her son died shortly after being born. Her daughter, Elizabeth, became Queen Elizabeth I of England. In those days there was the law of primogeniture saying that the eldest son inherited everything from his parents. It was felt that only the son of a king could succeed him on the throne so a king had to have a male heir to succeed him so there would be no civil unrest in the country.

I wrote to Westminster Abbey in London, England concerning the Rix family and King Henry VIII. They consulted books about King Henry VIII and there was no mention in them about the Rix family. I looked in the book Anne Boleyn by Eric W. Ives published in 1986 by Basil Blackwell, N.Y., N.Y. It is a biography. On a genealogy chart in the front of the book it is shown that the father of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Ormonde and Wiltshire, died a natural death in 1539. Therefore, he was not executed. A member of the Rix family wrote to the College of Arms in London, England. They keep track of and issue coats of arms for noble families. Their representative said that the Rix family was never a member of the English nobility. Another member of the Rix family telephoned the Tower of London in London and asked if a person named Rix had been executed there. He was told that no one named Rix was executed there. I believe that the story stating that our ancestor, Sir John Rix, and Thomas Boleyn were executed is false.

The persons who work at Westminster Abbey also informed me that they consulted the standard register of the Knights of England and there is no Sir John Rix listed. I consulted the book Armorial Families by Charles Fox-Davies, Vol. 2 published in 1970 by Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont. It states that there was a Henry William Rix of The Grove, Thorpe Hamlet, Norwich, England. Norwich is the county seat of Norfolk County. Brancaster is located in Norfolk County, England. He had a son, Reginald George Bertram Rix, Gentleman, born 1883 who lived at Pembroke Crescent, Hove, Sussex County, England. The rank of gentleman was one rank below the rank of nobility in the English class system. This Rix family is extinct. I believe that John Rix could be the great-great grandfather of Thomas Rix as it is shown in Mr. Guy S. Rix's book, even though John Rix was not a member of the nobility.

Brancaster is a very small, picturesque village of old stone houses. A Romano-British Cemetery in the area has graves of Christians from the 4th to 5th centuries A.D. It is near the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Its population in 1999 was 935. There is an inn, a small grocery store and a post office, but no public library. During the time of King Henry VIII (King of England 1509-1547) Frenchmen and Scotsmen came in boats and raided Brancaster. In the 17th century Spanish marauders came by sea from the Netherlands (It was then part of Spain.) and raided Brancaster.

In order to avoid paying the English government taxes (customs duties) on imported items, people smuggled these items (brought them in by sea illegally). This smuggling continued in the Brancaster area up until the 1860s. Brancaster is mostly a farming community. Wheat, barley, oats, and root crops like potatoes and turnips are grown. Some fishing is done. Large boats used to go in the summer and fish off the coast of Iceland. The village of Brancaster exported wheat, barley, malt, wool from sheep and salted fish. The village imported fir, pine and oak planks, iron, pottery, wine, figs, raisins, spices, olive oil, soap, leather, and furs.

Source: http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.rix/162.9.1/mb.ashx

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Thomas Rix, brother of William, was probably born in Canninghall, England. He was in Salem before 1649. The date of his coming here is unknown. His brother, William, speaks of Theophilus, son of my brother William.

He married, first, Margaret, widow of Miles Ward. She died May 24, 1660, and he married, second, Sept. 3, 1661, Bridget Musket, born in Pelham, England. She was the widow of Hon. William Fisk, born in England about 1613. She had by him five children, and Sarah Rix of Salem was called mother to them.

Mr. Rix was a barber surgeon, and lived in Salem, Mass. "Thomas Rix being indebted to the town, sold his house and shop to meet the debt." He afterwards lived near the lower end of Elm St. He bought lands in Rockingham County, N. H., in 1670, but sold them the next year.

He probably went to Old Preston, Conn., where his son James went in 1703. In the New London County (Conn.), Historical Society's publication, Vol. I, can be found the most remarkable diary extant by Joshua Hempstead, of New London, Conn. For forty-seven years nothing hardly escaped this man's observation, and which he recorded. This remarkable man was at once a farmer, surveyor, house and ship carpenter, attorney, stone cutter, sailor and trader. Being in want of a shipwright, he goes to Preston and engages Goodman Rix. In his diary he says: "Nov. 1st, 1718, I went to the funeral of Old Ricks who died last night." This must have been Thomas, the emigrant, and being called "Old Ricks" indicates he was the oldest Rix in Preston. In a deposition he says he was born in 1622.

CHILDREN ALL BAPTIZED IN SALEM.

  • i. Remember, bapt. Oct. 13, 1650.
  • ii. Sarah, bapt. June 29, 1651.
  • iii. Esther, bapt. June 5, 1653. This name on the records is Hester.
  • iv. Thomas, bapt. Aug. 26, 1655.
  • v. James, bapt. Oct. 18, 1657.

Source: Source: History and genealogy of the Rix family of America. The Grafton Press, NY. by Guy Scoby Rix

view all 12

Thomas Rix, of Salem's Timeline

1622
1622
Brancaster, Norfolk, England
1650
October 13, 1650
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
1651
June 29, 1651
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
1652
1652
Salem, Esex, Massachusetts, United States
1653
June 5, 1653
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1655
August 26, 1655
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
1657
October 18, 1657
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
1665
August 20, 1665
Salem, Essex, MA, United States