Thomas Slayton, II

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Thomas Slayton, II

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Braintree, Weston, Massachusetts
Death: September 1778 (69)
Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Brookfield, Worcester Co., Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Slayton, I and Hannah Slayton
Husband of Abigail "Abiel" Slayton
Father of Thomas Slaton; Abiel Slayton; Phineas Edwin Slayton; David Slayton; Joshua Slayton and 5 others
Brother of Phineoes Slayton and Hannah Slaton

Occupation: Yeoman/Husbandman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Slayton, II

THOMAS, 2, born Jane 15, 1709. The Joshua record said 1714, in Braintree; but, see his will for correction of date, and what follows for names. From Boston go west through its suburb Cambridge then through Watertown and Waltham into Weston, ten or eleven miles from the State house. Years ago this whole tract was called Watertown, from its lying along the north side of the estuary called Charles river, and having much meadow land. Weston had a separate organization early in 1700. All are in Middlesex County, the shire town of the southern district being Cambridge. From the town records of Weston and Watertown, we obtain the first authentic information of the Slaytons. The name will hereafter be spelled as found in the hooks.

The Weston records read: "Thomas Slatin of Weston and Abigail Harrington of Watertown were married in Watertown, September 21, 1732, by the Reverend Wareham Williams." "Thomas Slaten of Weston and Abiel Herrington of Watertown had their intentions of marriage published in Weston, October 14, 1732.

How long he had lived in Weston, I have not learned. Three children were born there. The Worcester County records say he bought a fortieth part of a tract of three hundred acres in Worcester, "said tract including a mine or mineral, — with all the mines, minerals, precious stones, pearls, waters and water courses rights, etc., for thirty pounds current money truly paid by Thomas Slaton of Westown, County of Middlesex, Yeoman; hand and seal set this seventh day of July Annoque Domini, 1735, and in the ninth year of his Majesty's Reign." Seven years afterward, he sold the same for twenty-three pounds; so the "precious stones and pearls" probably did not pan out well. I think he tried other ventures. The records of Middlesex County say: "Know ye that I, Thomas Slaton of Weston in the County of Middlesex, husbandman, for three hundred and fifty pounds current money, paid by Jacob Peirce, of the Town, County and Province aforesaid, blacksmith, sell the one half of a mansion house and barn and land, about one hundred and twenty acres, — hand and seal set this seventh day of April, 1738.

"Thomas Slaton and seal Abiel Slaton, her mark. X."

Another: "I, Thomas Slaton of Weston, for fifty pounds in payable bills of credit to hand paid — do sell seven acres butted and bounded, — done this eighth day of April, 1738; signed Thomas Slaton and seal, Abiel Slaton, her mark X and seal."

He must have gone at once to western Massachusetts to what is now Berkshire County, for Barber's Historical Collections, Massachusetts, edition 1839, says of the town of Tyringham: "The settlement of this town began in 1739. In April of that year Lieutenant Isaac Garfield, Thomas Slaton and John Chadwick, moved into the place."

I think he had bought the land there previously, for the records of Hampden County, of which Berkshire was once a part, say: "Thomas Slaton of a new township No. 1, near Housatonnock, Mass., bought land May 24, 1737." He had twelve purchases recorded between 1737 and 1745, the last date noting him as of Brookfield; and his sales joined in by Abiel seem to have been from 1742, January 19, to November 27, 1749.

The last sale I found in Middlesex County said: "I, Thomas Slaton of Weston, for sixty pounds in bills of credit, sell tract of meadow lying and being in Weston — immediate possession given. I, the said Thomas Slaton, and Abiel my wife, have set hand and seal sixteenth day of April, 1739, the twelfth year of his Majesty's Reign, King George the Second. Thomas Slaton and seal, Abiel Slaton, her mark X and seal."

There are many doubts whether his family ever lived in the "New Township" any great length of time. Notice that he first bought land "near Housatonnock" in 1737; he sold his last land in Weston, April 16, 1739; and he settled in Tyringham, April, 1739. Three children are recorded born in Weston — Thomas, 1732-3, Abiel, 1735, Phinihas, 1737; and the other six, beginning with David, born June 2, 1740, are all recorded in the Brookfield records as born there. The history of Watertown says of Thomas and Abiel "both adm. f. c., Dec. 1738," — (admitted to full communion), also says the second child "Abiel, died June 26, 1740, of scarlet fever, in Watertown, I suppose. So if the family went from Weston to Tyringham in April, 1739, they must have gone back to Watertown within a year. Some of the Harringtons located in Brookfield about that time, and the inference is that Abiel made her home with, or near them, while Thomas was back and forth speculating in his "western lands," away out in Berkshire. Next we give a part of the deed to the first land bought in Brookfield by a Slaton, and forming the old homestead. John Converse of Brookfield sold to Thomas Slaton of same place "for two hundred and fifty pounds lawful money, a certain tract lying in Brookfield, with a house and barn thereon and Country Road Running Said land, containing by estimation one hundred and twenty acres more or less, bounded as follows, viz: that part on the north side of said Country Road is bounded easterly on five mile river, northerly on Roger Stevens land from said river to a black oak tree, from thence a straight line to a heap of stones and a stake at the northwest corner. Westerly partly on swamps and partly on two ponds, turning round one of said ponds to a dead pine near the Country Road — Southerly on said Country Road, the other part on the south side of the road, bounded northerly on said Country road, Westerly on laud laid out to Alexander Stevens to a heap of stones, southerly partly on laud left for a highway to five-mile river meadow to a pine Staddle marked, from thence to a oak tree at ye river bank Easterly on five mile River. Together, etc. — Signed and sealed this 12 day of June in the 23d Year of His Majestys Reign, Annoque Dom's 1749." How is that for accuracy in description and for wording in a legal document?

The oldest son, Thomas, married in 1758 and I suppose he remained on the homestead with his parents; the other children "marrying off" in due time. The house as shown in the frontispiece was built about 1770. Thomas, 2, died in August or September, 1778, and was buried in the highest part of the lot which he had given for a cemetery. His wife Abiel was buried by his side; she was living with Phineas in 1783, January 27, but we have not learned the date of her death. The History of Watertown says they were dismissed from Weston church to Brookfield July 27, 1755; the same book says "Abigail Harrington was born March 21, 1712-13," also, "Abiel Harrington, b. 1716;" this must mean baptised. Her parents were George Harrington, of Watertown, married Abiel Parker, daughter of James Parker of Groton, November 15, 1711. To show the character of the founder of the Slayton family, and as an example worthy to be followed; and, because every Slayton since then has received an inheritance thereby, I invite you to read his will, as it is given in full, word for word. "In the name of God, Amen.

"I, Thos. Slayton of Brookfield in the County of Worcester — yeoman, in the sixty-third year of my age, being of sound mind and memory; but calling to mind my own mortality, do in the fear of God, make, ordain and declare the following my last will and testament: In the faith of a Christian I comit my Body to the Dust, in the firm belief of a resurrection, and my soul I comit to god, in hopes of a blessed imortality. And as touching my worldly substance with which it has pleased god to bless me, I dispose of in manner following: Imprimis, It is my will and pleasure that first of all my just due shall be called in, and my lawfull debts paid by him whom I shall hereafter name my Executor, and then that the remainder shall be divided into nine equal parts, one of which to be disposed of for pious uses, as hereafter expressed; — Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Abiel the free and uninterrupted improvment of one third part of the remaining eight parts — during her natural life, and at her decease the same third part to be equally divided among my surviving children or their heirs. — Item. I give the remainder of all my estate of which I die lawfully seized whether personal or real, to my children viz: Thos., Phinehas, David, Joshua, Ruth, Reuben, Samuel, and Patience — to be equally divided between them all; in which equal division it is carefully to be observed, that as most of my children have received some part of their respective portions of my estate, the same is to be deducted by my Executor from their equal shares — as such sums as they have received and as are expressed below, are to be reckoned and accounted part of their equal shares — as that from Thomas's part is to be deducted or subtracted fifty pounds; from Phinebas's thirty-four pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence — from David, thirtyfour pound, thirteen shillings and four pence — from Joshua's twenty-one pounds, six shillings and eight pence — from Reuben's twenty pound, and from Samuel's eight pounds. — Item. As touching the ninth part for pious uses as above mentioned, It is my will and direction that the same be paid into the hands of the Revd Mess'rs Eaton of Spencer, Forbes & Fisk of Brookfield aforesaid, or there sucessors in the ministry by my Executor hereafter named, within twelve months after my decease, or that the said Executor give them security for the paiment of the same within a reasonable time — and I appoint the said Mess'rs Eaton-Forbes and Fisk and their successors forever trustees of this ninth part of my estate and direct them to improve the same for the purposes of Godliness viz. that they expend the annual income of the said ninth part in purchasing Books, to be by them given away to the poor of their respective charges equally that said Books shall be just as they think best calculated to teach and improve in Family religion early piety and true godliness. — Item. I appoint ordain and constitute Ruben my fifth son the Sole Executor of this my last will and testament requiring him to give me a decent and christian burial and charge the same to the estate before the division of the eight parts be made as above mentioned, and I do by these presents disclaim disown and disavow all other will testaments powers in any way contrary to this, of what name nature or Date soever, declaring this and this only to be my last will and Testament; in witness whereof I have set my hand and seal on the fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-two.

Thomas Slayton. [seal ]

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us.

Eli Forbes, 1. Thomas Gilbert, 2. Polly Forbes, 3.

"The last will and testament of Thomas Slayton, filed Sept. 22, 1778/'

The writing indicates that the will was not written by Thomas, and probably not by either witness; some lawyer perhaps, for pastors should spell better. The "ninth part for pious uses," instead of the tenth part as required by Moses, was probably sacred to the memory of his little girl Abiel who died when five years old. Who has made a better will? Does the reader keep one ready made, so that in case of sudden death his estate will go as he would wish it and not be lost in litigation?

If the family of Thomas did not move around some, the names of towns and districts must have changed, for in 1771 he bought one hundred and seventy-five and one-half acres in Rutland district for one hundred and sixteen pounds; and a deed of 1777 says: "Thomas Slayton of Barre, lately called New Rutland," sold the same for three hundred pounds. The Joshua record says Joshua was b. in Berry (Barre) 1748, but Barre was not organized until 1774, and records of the district are preserved back to 1756, and no Slayton is there. Like some of his descendants, and other folks too, Thomas was inclined to buy land. They had nine ch.

Source: History of the Slayton family: Biographical and genealogical, by Asa W. Slayton, printed by Dean Printing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1898, 332 pages, pages 28-33. Downloaded May 2011 from

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Thomas Slayton, II's Timeline

June 15, 1709
Braintree, Weston, Massachusetts
February 20, 1733
Age 23
Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
June 24, 1735
Age 26
Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
September 4, 1737
Age 28
Weston, Middlesex County, MA, USA
January 2, 1740
Age 30
Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
December 16, 1744
Age 35
Brookfield, Worcester County, MA, USA
February 10, 1746
Age 36
Brookfield, Worcester County, MA, USA
May 30, 1748
Age 38
Brookfield, Worcester County, MA, USA
September 26, 1751
Age 42
Brookfield, Worcester County, MA, USA