Thomas Sanders & Abigail Corney, Gloucester, MA, 1700s

Today’s family sketch of Thomas Sanders and Abigail Corney (sometimes Curney) is another example of the somewhat lacking Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts town records.

The first issue is with Thomas Sanders himself.  He was born c1675 with the location up in the air. He is said to be the son of John Sanders of Falmouth, York, Maine, but that is open to interpretation. John Sanders is a hot mess and will be featured in his own post.

For now, I am only comfortable stating that no proof has been found as to Thomas’s parentage.

Abigail Corney was born 8 February 1675/76 in Gloucester, the daughter of John Corney and Abigail Skillings.

No marriage record has been found for Thomas and Abigail, although they married about 1703, based on the birth date of their first child.

Interestingly, Abigail’s marriage is the only one not recorded in Gloucester even though the marriages of her four siblings are.

After John Corney died in 1725, his heirs made a deed (Essex County, MA Deed Book 61-149-150) selling their portions of John’s land ownership to their brother, John. Thomas Sanders and Abigail, called daughter of John Corney, deceased, are named several times in the deed and they signed with their mark.

Children: (All events in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts)

  1. Thomas, born 20 March 1703/04; died 24 October 1774; married Judith Robinson, 18 July 1728
  2. Abigail, born 29 June 1705; death date uncertain, as Gloucester records say [after 20 February 1766?]; married Peter Dolliver, 25 January 1721/22
  3. Joseph, born 21 February 1706/07; died February 1736 on a schooner “run down while starting a fishing trip”; married Mary Stevens, 1 January 1734/35
  4. Mary, born 10 March 178/09; died 27 January 1769; married Daniel Gibbs, 30 November 1727
  5. John, born 14 June 1711; died 17 January 1742/43; married Hannah Sayward, 23 January 1734/35
  6. Lydia, born 20 March 1713/14; died after 22 December 1772; married Daniel Witham, 7 January 1734/35
  7. Elizabeth, born 10 April 1717; died 27 November 1767; married Zebulon Witham, 17 December 1736

Captain Thomas Sanders was well-to-do, given the size of the estate he left [Essex County, MA Probate File 24778]. He died in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts on 17 July 1742.

He died intestate, but the probate file is quite complete. Widow Abigail received £496.12.2 plus an additional £40. Each child, or grandchildren of the deceased Thomas Jr. and Joseph, received £124.3.1 plus an additional £29.8.1 1/2.

Abigail, widow of Captain Thomas Sanders, died 11 February 1767, in her 90th year.


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