Thomas Bayes & Anne Baker of Martha’s Vineyard 1652

Thomas Bayes, my 9X great grandfather,  was an early settler in Massachusetts, although he moved around several times before settling on Martha’s Vineyard in 1652. Thomas Bayes was born about 1615, likely in Norfolk, England.

In 1646, Thomas Bayes, carpenter of Dedham appointed Isaac Martin of Hingham to demand of the executors of _____ Wiseman, his deceased grandfather, Thomas’s share of the estate. His grandfather lived in Barrow (Bergh) Apton, Norfolk, which is slightly southeast and not far from Norwich.

Thomas Bayes first appears in the Dedham records in 1636 and married Anna Baker there on 26 December 1639.

By 1648, he had removed to Boston and, in 1652, he was a proprietor of “the Vineyard.” Thomas Bayes must have been well respected and trusted, as he was appointed constable in 1655 and from 1656-1663, he provided military leadership in the community. He also served as selectman in 1676.

There are no male Bayes descendants carrying his surname, as Thomas and Anna had six children, but only one son who died without issue.


  1. Ruth, born and baptized 16d. 5m. 1643, Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts; married Isaac Norton
  2. Thomas, born 1d. 1m. 1645; Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts: died 17 November 1669
  3. Abigail, born c1650; married Timothy Batt, by 1672, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, but predeceased her father. He mentioned but didn’t name her children in his will. It appears the family lived in Boston, Massachusetts.
  4. Hannah, born c1652; married Samuel Bridges, by 1672, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
  5. Mary, born c1653; married Joseph Norton, c1673.
  6. Anna, born c1655; married Andrew Newcomb, c1676.

Thomas Bayes was able to sign his name:

He died between 14 February, when he wrote his will and 31 May 1680 when it was entered into the court records.

I Thomas Bayes finding myself weake in boddie but sound in memorie and understanding doe make this my last will and testament as followeth; And first my will is that my wife Anne Bayes, shall have and improve all my Estate of land and moveables, whatsoever for her comfortable subsistence, during her Naturel life provided that she continue a widdow:
Secondly, I will and bequeath to Hannah Bridges, my Daughter twenty pounds after the decease of my Said wife or changing her condition of widdowhood:
Nextly, I will and bequeath to my two Daughters, Mary the now wife of Joseph Norton, and Anna the wife of Andrew Newcomb, to each of them fifty pounds, so to be understood, with what they have alreddy received of mee, with what was also received of the estate of their brother deceased; to be payed after the decease of my wife as aforesaid.
Nextly, I will and give to my daughter, Ruth, wife of Isaack Norton five pounds to be payed within a year after my own decease, in Bibles and bringing up the children to reading and Education.
Nextly, when all these legacies shall be payed, according to this my will, if any estate be left, it shall be equally Devided among all my Daughters, and children of my daughter Abigall Deceased, and my will is that if any my said Daughters shall decease before they receive their portion herein willed, then it shall go to their children, and in defect of their issue, or the issue of any my beforesaid Daughter Abigall’s children then such portion shall be equally devided among the surviveing.
Lastly my will is, and I do order and Request that my wife aforesaid, and Thomas Mayhew Junior, be whole executors and administrators to this my last will and testament: And in witness of this to be my last will and testament I the said Thomas Bayes, have hereunto Subscribed with my hand and put to my Sea., this fourteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred seaventy and nine or eighty.

Matthew Mayhew
William Weekes

Thomas Bayes (seal)

My line of descent:

  1. Thomas Bayes & Anne Baker
  2. Mary Bayes & Joseph Norton
  3. John Norton & Mary Torrey
  4. Rachel Norton & Joseph Coleman
  5. Joseph Coleman & Ruth Spur
  6. Thomas Coleman & Mary Elizabeth Astle
  7. William Coleman & Sarah Moriah Crouse
  8. Hartwell Thomas Coleman & Anna Elisabeth Jensen
  9. Hazel Ethel Coleman & Vernon Tarbox Adams
  10. Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
  11. Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – me!


One thought on “Thomas Bayes & Anne Baker of Martha’s Vineyard 1652”

  1. Linda, many thanks for the Bayes information. We are connected via your Mary Bayes as my ancestor, Andrew Newcomb married her sister Anna Bayes after his wife Sarah had died. I am wondering if you are aware of how many of the Bayes girls stayed on MV with their families? Many of the children and grandchildren of Anna Bayes Newcomb left MV for Cape Cod, Connecticut and New Jersey. My line is via Thomas Newcomb, son of Andrew and Sarah Newcomb. thanks Bill

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