Family:Thomas Hazard and Martha Unknown (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage? abt 1628


S1. Thomas Hazard - Sketch from The Great Migration. THOMAS HAZARD

ORIGIN: Unknown.

MIGRATION: 1635 (based on admission to church on 22 May 1636).

FIRST RESIDENCE: Boston (based on admission to Boston church).

REMOVES: Newport 1639, Portsmouth by 1651 [PoTR 57].

OCCUPATION: Ship carpenter [BChR 21].

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: On 22 May 1636, "Thomas Hasard ship carpenter" was admitted to Boston church [BChR 21].

FREEMAN: 25 May 1636 (as "Thomas Hassord," fourth in a sequence of twenty Boston men) [MBCR 1:372]. On 28 April 1639, "Thomas Hazard" was one of the founders of Newport, and was made a freeman there on 2 September 1639 [RICR 1:87, 89, 91, 100, 111]. "Thomas Hazard" is included in the Portsmouth section of the 1655 Rhode Island list of freemen [RICR 1:300].

OFFICES: Rhode Island petit jury, 3 November 1658 (fined 5s. for not serving) [PoTR 87; RICT 1:50]. Newport committee to grant lands, 5 June 1639 [RICR 1:88]. Portsmouth committee to grant lands, 2 February 1651/2 [PoTR 57].

EDUCATION: Signed his deeds by mark.

ESTATE: On 20 June 1644, "Thomas Hazard" sold to "Henrie Bull of Newport" "certain parcels of land as upland & marsh" granted to him by the freemen of Newport [RICR (MS) 68]. On 30 January 1658[/9?], "Thomas Hazard of Portsmouth ... hath by these presents given and bequeathed in dowry with his daughter Hannah Hazard unto Stephen Wilcoke of Portsmouth thirty-four acres of land" in Portsmouth "lying in the farm of the aforesaid Thomas Hazard" [PoTR 383-84]. On 10 December 1666, "Thomas Hasard of Portsmouth," in exchange for "a quarter share of [land] with the appurtenances at Mishcamacuk in the King's Province" and £20, deeded to "Thomas Shreife of Portsm[o]uth ... a certain parcel of land lying & being within the bounds of the town of Portsmouth aforesaid containing by estimation thirty acres," with provision that the land remain in the possession of the said Thomas Hazard during his life, then to "Thomas Sheriffe and Martha his wife, ... John Sherif second son of the said Thomas Sheriffe, ... [and] Caleb Sherife third son of the said Thomas Sheriffe" for their lives [PoLE 1:120]. In his will, dated 30 November 1669 (but superseded by a later will), Thomas Hazard made bequests to wife Martha, daughter Elizabeth, wife of George Lawton, daughter Hannah, wife of Stephen Wilcox of Misquamicut, daughter Martha, wife of Ichabod Potter, son Robert Hazard, and grandson Thomas Hazard, and named son Robert executor [Austin 320, citing an unidentified source]. On 29 May 1675, "whereas there is promise of matrimony betwixt Thomas Hassard and Martha Shreife, yet I, the aforesaid Thomas Hassard, do take the same Martha Shrief her own person, without having anything to do with her estate or with anything that is hers for matters of goods but only to join in marriage to enjoy her body and she mine to be a comfort to each other in our old age" [PoLE 1:109]. In his will, dated 13 November 1676 and proved on an unknown date, "Thomas Hassard of Portsmouth" ordered that "my land in the town of Portsmouth aforesaid containing by estimation thirty acres more or less and now in my tenure and possession shall forever be and remain and continue according to the true intent, purport and meaning of a certain deed of bargain and sale made by me unto Thomas Shreife of Portsmouth aforesaid which said deed bears date the tenth of December in ... 1666, and by which deed the said land with all and singular the appurtenances is declared to be mine during my natural life, and after my decease unto my beloved yoakfellow Martha Hassard now living," she to receive entire estate and to be sole executrix; to "my son Robert Hassard," 1s.; to "my loving daughter Hannah Wilcocks," 1s.; to "my loving daughter Martha Potter wife of Icobod Potter," 1s. [RILE (original) 154]. On 6 August 1677, "Thomas Hassard ... of Portsmouth" repudiated a claim against his estate made by "my son Robert Hassard ... of Portsmouth ... only in a will drawn by Mr. John Porter at George Lawton's about thirty years past wherein if I had then deceased (being sick & weak) my said son was to have had my lands and my other children my moveables, neither have I made any writing to my said son anywise to entail or empower him in or unto any part of my estate save only in my will made the 30th of September 1669, wherein I appointed him my executor, since which time I have seen just cause to make void and null, and do absolutely abolish the two wills above mentioned by me formerly made, and have made another will bearing date the thirteenth of November 1676 which said last will I declare to be authentic notwithstanding my said two former wills, and do fully revoke & abolish the power of heirship and executorship in either of my said former wills given to my son Robert Hasard" [RILE (original) 153].

BIRTH: About 1610 (deposed 16 October 1674 "aged sixty-four years" [Austin 320, citing unknown source]) (but see COMMENTS below).

DEATH: After 6 August 1677 [RILE (original) 153].

MARRIAGE: (1) By about 1628 Martha _____.(2) Soon after 29 May 1675 Martha (_____) Shreive, widow of Thomas Shreive [PoLE 109]. She married (3) Lewis Hues, who soon abandoned her (on 22 March 1691[/2?], "Martha Hues, wife of Lewis Hues, made agreement with her son John Sheriff, which she had by former husband, whereas said Lewis Hues was lawfully married to his abovenamed wife Martha, took an occasion privately to go away within six or seven weeks after he was married, taking away great part of her estate, that was hers in her former husband's time" [Shreve Gen 17-18, citing an unidentified source]).

CHILDREN: With first wife i ROBERT HAZARD, b. by 1628 (on 12 October 1649, "Robert Hazard of Portmouth" sold to "Robert Cowland of the same town one house and the ground belonging thereunto" [RICR (MS) 76, 78]); m. by about 1660 Mary Brownell (eldest known child "aged seventy-eight years and upwards" on 23 March 1738 [Austin 321, citing an unidentified source]), daughter of THOMAS BROWNELL {1640, Braintree} (in 1721 Robert Brownell deposed about "Thomas Brownell's land which afterwards was Robert Hazard's land" and referred to "his brother-in-law Robert Hazard," and, on 2 September 1721, "Mary Hassard of Kingstown, aged 80 years past," deposed about her "father's land which was afterwards her husband's Robert Hassard's land" [Newport Gleanings Item #175]). ii ELIZABETH HAZARD, b. say 1630; m. by about 1650 George Lawton (the children of this couple appear to have been born in the 1650s and 1660s [Austin 121-22]). iii HANNAH HAZARD, bp. Boston 10 September 1637 [BChR 281]; m. about 30 January 1658[/9?] Stephen Wilcox [PoTR 383-84; NEHGR 147:191]. iv MARTHA HAZARD, b. say 1642; m. (1) by about 1662 Ichabod Potter (eldest known child m. in 1687 [Austin 357]); m. (2) by an unknown date Benjamin Mowry (Ichabod Potter, son of Martha (Hazard) Potter, "deeded to brothers Roger, Joseph and Benjamin Mowry" [Austin 357]).

COMMENTS: A large number of secondary sources, the two most important of which are noticed in the BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE below, state that the immigrant portrayed in this sketch was identical to the man of the same name who appeared in Newtown on Long Island from 1652 to 1656 [Hazard Gen 1-2; Delafield Gen 2:491-93]. Aside from the identity of names, the only evidence in favor of this claim is the near absence of the Portsmouth man from Rhode Island records during these years. There is more than ample evidence, however, to determine that these were two distinct men. First, the Newtown man had sons named Nathaniel, Joshua, Jonathan and Gershom [Fernow 1:294, 298-99, 301; Col Hist NY 14:456]. These sons are never seen in Rhode Island, and the children of the Thomas Hazard of Portmouth are never seen on Long Island. Second, and even more important, in the will of 1676 and the declaration of 1677, we see Thomas Hazard of Portsmouth going to great lengths to disinherit his son Robert. Had there been any other sons in this family, they would certainly have rushed in to claim their share of the estate. Finally, and even though this last point is sufficient to distinguish the two men, there are other differences between the two men that separate them. The Thomas Hazard of Newtown was in his first appearance named a magistrate, and held that office more than once [NYHM:D Council Minutes, 1652-1654, 56; Council Minutes, 1655-1656, 198, 200, 202], whereas the Portsmouth man held no office higher than petit juryman. Thomas Hazard of Portsmouth signed all his documents with his distinctive mark, his initials "TH" in large block capitals, whereas the Newtown man, as best we can tell from published versions of documents, also signed by mark, but using only the single initial "H" [NYHM:D Council Minutes, 1652-1654, 93; Col Hist NY 1:552]. With these two men separated from one another, we suggest that Thomas Hazard of Newtown died soon after his last appearance in the records in 1656. Although the record itself has not been discovered, our only solid evidence for the age of this immigrant is the 1674 deposition reported by Austin, which places his birth about 1610. His son Robert sold land in 1649, which would indicate that he was born by 1628, when the immigrant would only have been about eighteen. The age for Robert receives some corroboration from our rough estimate of the age of his sister Elizabeth who was, we suggest, born about 1630. With the exception of daughter Hannah whose baptism is recorded in Boston, our estimates for the dates of births of the daughters are based on very crude approximations. Even so, we note the gap of about seven years between the first two children and the last two. This might indicate that the immigrant had an earlier wife who was the mother of the first two children, but the evidence in hand is insufficient to make this more than a suggestion.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: Caroline E. Robinson produced the most ambitious genealogical treatment of this family in 1895 [The Hazard Family of Rhode Island, 1635-1894 ...]. In 1945 John Ross Delafield published a brief account of the family in an appendix to his work on the Delafield family [Delafield: The Family History, 2 volumes, 2:491 S2. WILL: Invalid will dtd Nov. 30, 1669; wife Martha; daughters: Elizabeth wife of George Lawton, Hannah wife of Stephen Wilcox, Martha wife of Ichabod Potter; son Robert, Exor; grandson Thomas Hazard. [Austin] S3. Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island Oct. 16, 1674 testified to being age 64. [Austin]

I have completed an extensive review of available information on Thomas Hazard. Two sources that are well researched are:

Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island and Caroline E. Robinson in her 1895 genealogy, The Hazard Family of Rhode Island, 1635-1894 Austin includes extensive documentation of his sources. Neither of these sources list Thomas Hazard's first wife Martha's maiden surname. Those sources only recognize four children: Robert, Elizabeth, Hannah and Martha. However, the edition of Austin published by Genealogical Publishing Company in 1969 does add three sons: Thomas, Jonathan, and Nathaniel. These additions were done by G. Andrews Moriarty, a credible source and published in The American Genealogist, 20:187.

But later research has eliminated the Newtown, Long Island Hazards from this line. The Great MigrationStudy Project of New England Historic Genealogical Society says that these two Hazard families are not related. (The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, Volume III, G-H, March 2003). Also New England Historical Genealogical Register 157:183. There I have removed the duplicate names from the list of children, as well as, the Newtown, Long Island names (Thomas, Jonathan, and Nathaniel), and George whose name I could not find documented anywhere.

An experienced genealogist posted a detailed account of what is known about Thomas Hazard including a discussion of the evidence that he is not the same man as the Thomas Hazard of Newtown, Long Island at

As for the Potter surname of Thomas Hazard's first wife, again, I could not find any valid source, even though it is plastered all over the internet. There has been a considerable amount of discussion on internet bulletin boards for and against the Potter surname. But the end result was that no one could produce any documentation and finally one of the major proponents threw in the towel and agreed that there was no basis for believing that she was a Potter. Therefore I have eliminated her name. Here are a couple of the pertinent discussions",, Finally, the capitulation:


S1. John O. Austin, in Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, p 320, 1887, Primary quality

  1.   Calef, Frank T. Index to Austin's Genealogical dictionary of Rhode Island. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950), 320, Primary quality.