Thomas Coleman, Wiltshire, England to Massachusetts, 1635

This is part of a series about my New England colonial ancestors who arrived by during the Great Migration. If you have early Massachusetts ancestry, be sure to check out AmericanAncestors, as the Great Migration Study Project can be viewed there with a membership to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

It took me many years to find the connection and documentation linking my grandmother, Hazel Ethel Coleman Adams, to her immigrant ancestor, Thomas Coleman, who settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636.

Unfortunately, she passed away in 1995 and didn’t live to experience the same joy that I felt when I was finally satisfied with the documentation.

Here is the family sketch of Thomas Coleman and wife, Susannah (“Raulines”) Rawlings of Wiltshire, England.

Thomas Coleman was born c1602, possibly in Wiltshire, England. It was there, in Wootten Rivers, Marlborough, England, that he married Susannah “Raulines” or Rawlings on 24 November 1623.

For the next decade or so, the young family lived in Marlborough. However, by 5 April 1635, they had traveled to Southampton, England and appear on a passenger list of the ship James.

The Coleman family first settled in Newbury, where they lived until Susannah died in 1650. Thomas Coleman then removed to Hampton, New Hampshire, where he married Mary (MNU), widow of Edmund Johnson, 16 July 1651. Mary died at Hampton on 30 January 1662/63. Shortly afterwards, Thomas removed to Nantucket, where he lived the rest of his life.

Thomas married for a third time to Margery (Fowler) (Osgood) Rowell, the widow first of Christopher Osgood and then Thomas Rowell. Although no marriage record has been found for them, Margery survived Thomas and then married Thomas Osborne of Nantucket.

Thomas died before 1 August 1682, when his estate administration began. He buried two wives and six of his children, as only Tobias, Joseph and John survived him.


  1. Dorothy, baptized 19 December 1624, St. Mary Marlborough, Wiltshire, England; buried 17 May 1625, St. Peter & St. Paul Marlborough, England.
  2. Dorcas, baptized 23 July 1626, St. Peter & St. Paul Marlborough, Wiltshire, England; died 1 January 1654, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts; married John Tillotson, 4 July 1648, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.
  3. Hannah or Susannah, born c1630, probably Wiltshire, England; died January 1642, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.
  4. Thomas, born c1632, probably Wiltshire, England; presented at court for striking William Richardson of Newbury on 26 March 1651; no further record.
  5. Tobias, born c1638, probably Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts; died after 1 August 1682, when his father’s estate was probated; married Lydia Jackson, 16 April 1668, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts.
  6. Benjamin, born 1 May 1640, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts; drowned 21 October 1650, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.
  7. Joseph, born 2 December 1642, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts; died before 12 August 1690, when his estate administration began; married Ann Bunker, by 1675.
  8. John, born c1644, probably Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts; died December 1715, Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts; married Joanna Folger (Great Migration says all sources give this name, but no proof has been found.)
  9. Isaac, born 20 February 1646/47, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts; died 6 June 1669, drowning between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard; apparently unmarried.

My line of descent:

  1. Thomas Coleman & Susannah Rawlings
  2. John Coleman & Joanna Folger?
  3. Thomas Coleman & Jane (MNU)
  4. Joseph Coleman & Rachel Norton
  5. Joseph Coleman & Eunice Coffin
  6. Joseph Coleman & Ruth Spur
  7. Thomas Coleman & Mary Elizabeth Astle
  8. William Coleman & Sarah Moriah Crouse
  9. Hartwell Thomas Coleman & Anna Elisabeth Jensen
  10. Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
  11. George Michael Sabo & Doris Priscilla Adams
  12. Linda Anne (Sabo) Stufflebean – Me!



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