Thomas Sawyer

Thomas Sawyer

      Sex: M

Individual Information
          Birth: August 1616 Lincolnshire, England 1
          Death: September 12, 1706 Lancaster, Massachusetts 1
         Burial: September 12, 1706 Lancaster, Massachusetts 2
 Cause of Death: 
          AFN #: 

1. Occupation

         Father: John Sawyer
         Mother: Agnes Sharpe

Spouses and Children
1. *Mary (Marie) Prescott
       Marriage: July 2, 1648 Rowley, Essex Co., Massachusetts 1
                1. Thomas Sawyer
                2. Ephraim Sawyer
                3. Mary (Marie) Sawyer
                4. Elizabeth Sawyer
                5. Joshua Sawyer
                6. James Cornet Sawyer
                7. Caleb Sawyer
                8. John Sawyer
                9. Elizabeth Sawyer
                10. Deborah Sawyer
                11. Nathaniel Sawyer
                12. Hannah Sawyer
                13. Martha Sawyer

Tradition says that three emigrant brothers came over from Lincolnshire, England together as passengers in a ship commanded by Capt. Parker in 1636. They were Edward, William & Thomas. Rowley records show that a piece of land was set off to Thomas Sawyer, and another to Edward Sawyer in 1643, one of the boundries of each lot being upon the Ocean. Thomas soon removed to Lancaster, Mass. where he is on the list of proprietors of Lancaster in 1648. He took the Oath of Allegiance in 1647. He was one of the first six settlers and was one of the Prudential managers of the town in 1647. In 1654 he was admitted a freeman. His house was on the East Side of what is now the Main Street at South Lancaster, and next South of the home of his father-in-law, John Prescott. He was one of the leading men of the town all his life. There were only five full-fledged freeman in Lancaster in 1654 -- Edward Breck, Richard Smith, William Kerley, John Whitcomb and Thomas Sawyer. He was a prominent member of the church, and held many town offices. The settlement increased and they lived in peace with the Indians for about twenty years, the Indians being useful in preparing and establishing homes. There appeared a war-cloud in the distance. The Indians became unfriendly. The old Indian Chief, Massasoit had died and his mantle rightfully fell upon Wamsutta, his eldest grandson. The government had made a treaty with Massasoit which was faithfully maintained for fifty years. The government, before the death of Massasoit, sought to obligate Wamsutta and Mettecomet, his grandsons, to become citizens of that government, and had wrought upon their pride by giving them great names. Wamsutta was given the name of the Macedonian Emperor, Alexander, and Mettacomet was called Phillip, or King Phillip. These names were intended to work upon their vanity, thus inducing them to become citizens, they not knowing what a trap they were being caught in. After the death of Massasoit, Alexander was required to submit to the government as a citizen. He knew he was the rightfull ruler of the land which his grandfather ruled. He did not obey the government, but went to visit the Narragansett Indians. He afterwards retuned to his home. The government sent a posse to bring him before the magistrates. He was taken prisoner and brought before the magistrates which put him under such obligations as they choose. Wamsutta, alas Alexander, being now a prisoner, his feelings were much wrought upon, and he fell sick, and they sent him home to his own house, but kept him under guard until he died. The rightfull authority of Massasoit now fell upon his second grandson, Mettacomet. He considered that his brother's death was caused by the ill-treatment of the whites. The government now summoned Mettecomet, alias King Phillip, to appear before the magistrates. He refused and instead fled to the interior where the white men could not catch him. King Philip enlisted the help of other Indian tribes and on February 10, 1675 he entered Lancanster with a band of 1500 warriors. Thomas Sawyer, whose house was in the most central part of the Indian raid, seems to have escaped with all his numerous family, with the exception of his son Ephraim, who was killed at the house of his grandfather, John Prescot. Lancaster was abandoned for some three years. After the re-building of Lancaster Thomas Sawyer took a conspicuous part in the growth and prosperity of the town during the next 30 years. In 1705 a war broke out between England and France. The French enlisted a band of 700 French half-breeds to raid the Brithish colonies. The Colonists had anticipated trouble and procured a company of Government troops called the "Flower of Essex" for their protection, and were building a stockade for their defense, intending to winter there. They had grain in Deerfield which they wished to procure, and sent teams for the purpose, and also sent the company of soldiers to protect the teams. The grain was loaded and started for home, with the soldiers protecting them. Going through a swamp near a brook they fell into an ambush by the Indians. The soldiers and teamsters were all killed, except one soldier and one teamster, who escaped to Hadley and carried the news. The brook where the massacre took place has always been known since as "Bloody Brook." After the massacre at Bloody Brook, 500 French & Indians went to Lancaster and after their arrival, Lancaster again became the scene of a bloody massacre. Thomas Sawyer's house again proved a safe defense against the Indians. Many of the French and Indians died in Lancaster, including a high ranking officer. Thomas Sawyer died in 1706 at the age of 90 years.


1 George Ernest Sawyer.

2 LDS CD-ROM Ancestral File.

I have not personally verified most of this information. Almost everything here has been supplied by relatives and I don't know how reliable it is. For this reason, please do not cite this web site as a source for your research. Abide by the Genealocial Proof Standard and use this information only as clues.

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