b.abt 1610 Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
d.aft. Jun 1681 Dover Neck, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire, United States
m. BET 1629 AND 1658
Facts and Events
Great Migration Newsletter 11:2 notes that there is no evidence of Thomas Canney in New England before 1640 when he signed the Dover Combination. The “Mason list” which leads to earlier claims (i.e. Savage’s entry) is a forgery. Principe agrees that the Mason list is a fake, but still thinks Thomas was in New Hampshire extremely early, before 1635.
Thomas could not write (he signed with a mark), but he was an active member of the community. He was a freeman in 1653 and appears as a selectman, constable, grand jury member and partner of a sawmill (in 1652). He also appears frequently between 1643 and 1670 suing and being sued over debts.
His home life was not happy. He was married to his second wife Jane by 1652, when she appears in court for beating him. In 1655, she was charged with beating his daughter Mary and her husband Jeremiah Tibbetts. In 1660, Thomas was in court for "Temapting Ane Jinkines wife of Ranald Jenckings to unchastity." The charge was not proven and he was let off with a fine. Between 1666 and 1681, he was indicted five times for public drunkeness. His son paid a fine for him in June 1681, which is the last record of him.
Thomas had a 3 acre grant in Kittery in 1643, 16 acres at Thompson's Point in 1656 and 120 acres at Dover in 1656. In 1661, he conveyed land to his daughter Hannah and her husband Henry Hobbs. In 1673, he conveyed land to his sons Thomas and Joseph; he seems to have gotten rid of most of his land before his death.
Principe, researching in 2002, found no records of Thomas's parents and did not identify his first wife.