Thomas Bliss

Male 1581 - Bef 1651


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  • Name  Thomas Bliss 
    Born  1581  Painswick, Perh, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  Bef 14 Feb 1651  Hartford, Hartford Co, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate  14 Feb 1651  [1
    Notes 
    • Thomas BLISS, farmer of Hartford, Connecticut, was born most probably in County Gloucester, England in the approximate year of 1590. The particular location of his birth within Gloucestershire is not known, however numerous Bliss records are traced to the Painswick area which has been termed "Bliss Country" by other researchers. He resided in Rodborough, Gloucestershire at one time, and a son, Nathaniel, was born there and baptized December 28, 1622. It should be noted that there were very few Blisses resident at Rodborough at that time and in fact no Bliss testators lived there during Thomas' stay. It was not the place of his birth nor the place of his ancestors. The reason for his presence was one Margaret Hulins (or Hulings) of Rodborough. She was born in about 1595, and they were married in about 1617.

      The grandfather of Margaret was Henry Hulins, a yeoman farmer of Rodborough, who was born about 1540. He married Joane and eight children are known: Francis, John, Thomas, William, Henry, Alice, Elizabeth and Agnes (Anne). His will was dated November 9, 1608 and proved May 12, 1609. His wife's will was dated March 11, 1612/13 and proved October 2, 1613. The father of Margaret, John Hulins, was born about 1565 and was also a yeoman in Rodborough. His wife was Margaret, and seven children are known: Henry, Lawrence, John, Margaret (who married Thomas Blisse), Joane, Alice and Mary. Mr. Hulins made his will January 24, 1638 [1639 N.S.] which recited the following: ". . . Item. I give to Margaret Blisse my daughter to be payde to her by my sonne Henry the sume of five pounds upon the fourth day of Mrch next ensuing the date heereof . . . ." The will was proved September 28, 1639.

      There is some improbability to John Hulins' naming his daughter in his will if she had at that time removed to New England, or it would have at least been typical to have mentioned her new residence. But there is evidence that Thomas Blisse was in America at the time of his father-in-law's death. In February of 1640 he had his land entered into the Hartford records and on one parcel "his dwelling house now standeth." This would indicate that he had been a resident at Hartford for some time, and for lack of any earlier evidence of his presence in America, we shall set his arrival in New England at 1638, being early enough for the construction of a dwelling house and late enough to not tempt the reality of John Hulins' will, which makes no reference to his daughter residing anywhere but Rodborough. There is, of course, the possibility that Margaret Bliss joined her husband after her father's will had been written.

      As evidence of Mr. Bliss' presence at Hartford prior to 1640, the following excerpt from the Hartford Book of Distributions is offered [the date being in Old Style]:

      Febr: Anno dom: 1639

      Severall Parcells of land in Hertford vpon the River of Conecticott belonging to Thomas Blisse sen & to his heires forever.
      One parcell on which his dwellinge house now standeth with yards or gardens therein being Contayninge by Estimation two roods (more or lesse) Abuttinge on the highway leading from John Barnards land toward the North on the west & on Thom Richards land on the North & on Thom Blisse jun: land on the South & on Paul Pecks land on the East.

      Thomas and his son, Thomas, Jr., were mentioned in a few other land records. At the division of the lands on the east side of the Great River in 1641, "Thomas Blysse Senior" was given six acres and "Thomas Blysse Junior" was given four acres. In 1647 [N.S.] we find the elder man fined for being absent from military training: "March the 4th, 1646. Tho: Blisse for not trayneing, is fyned 2s. 6d." From this account we note that he was probably then under 60 years old, but from the apparent ages of his older children, we must assume that he was over 50. Thomas died either very late in 1650 or early in 1651 at Hartford. He was possessed of 58 acres of land and the house lot was on a highway west of the present Lafayette Street in Hartford. His estate was inventoried at a meagre 86 pounds, 12 shillings and 8 pence on February 14, 1650 [1651 N.S.], but since four older children were already married, it is likely that their portions of the estate had already been distributed. Thomas had not written a will, but instead recited it orally to his wife, with his daughter, Mary Parsons, as a witness. As recorded and witnessed by John Pynchon and Henry Smith at the time of his estate's inventory, his will was as follows:

      feb: 14th 1650 [1651 N.S.] mary parsons of Springfeild the daughter of Thomas Bliss late of Hartford deceased, doth testifie, that when her father lay on his death bed Shee heard her mother Aske him, how hee would dispose of his estate, hee Answered hee would giue it to her, who should haue it elce, her mother asked him if hee would not dispose of it to his Children, her father Answered againe no, her mother Should haue it, this Shee Shall bee ready to testifie if Called thereinto wittness John Pincheon Hen: Smith [Vol. 11, p. 28, Probate Records of Hartford Co., Conn.)

      The following is the inventory of the estate of Mr. Bliss, as found in the records of the Particular Court of Connecticut:

      The Inventory of the goods Chattells and Cattles of Thomas Bliss of Hartford deceased taken by Joseph mygatt and Nathaniell warde this 14th febr. 1650 [1651]

      It: his wearing Apparrell 02:00:00
      It; one bedstead with 2 featherbeds vppon it
      with sheets and Blankitts 08:00:00
      It: a trundle bed, a flock bed vppon it with
      sheets and Blankitts I pr of each 03:00:00
      It: for sheets and table Cloths & yarne in ye howse 03:00:00
      It: 2 brass potts, 1 Iron pott, 2 kettles,
      1 skillet & a morter 03:10:00
      It: in milk vessells & other small dishes 00:10:00
      It: in pewter as much as Comes to 01:15:00
      It: 1 Spitt, 1 frying pann, 1 tramell, I fier pan & tongs 00:08:00
      It: one beetle, foure wedges 00:06:00
      It: one ould trunck, 2 chests, & one boxe, old ones 00:10:00
      It: 2 paire of scales & weights to ym 00:06:08
      It: 2 old bibles 00:05:00
      It: one powdering tubb & a Cowle 00:07:00
      It: one beare vessell and old tubbs 00:12:00
      It: 2 wheeles & 2 old seiues 00:08:00
      It: I Chaire and 2 old stooles 00:02:00
      It: I Charne, I buckett & 2 payles 00:06:00
      It: one Loome with barrs & Slayes, & I wheele 02:16:00
      It: 2 Axes & 4 old howes 00:09:00
      It: 2 Sawes & one Spade 00:12:00
      It: 2 Cowes & 2 yeare old Calues 16:00:00
      It: due to him in a debt 02:00:00
      It: his howse and Lott belonging to it 02:00:00
      It: of meadow and vpland 35:00:00
      It: another howse Lott 02:10:00
      86:12:08

      On February 20, 1650 [1651 N.S.], the Particular Court gave Margaret full power to administer the estate "if Shee So long Continue a widdow."

      Some of the children had already settled at Springfield at the time of Thomas' death and Margaret wasted no time taking over the management of her husband's estate, and removing with her younger children to Springfield. At the Particular Court of Connecticut "Goody Bliss of Hartford" (this was Margaret, called "Goody" because she was the wife of a "Goodman," which was roughly one step below the class of "Gentleman"), having received her administration powers, commenced suit against William Ayers for the unlawful detaining and wrongful selling of her cow on March 7, 1650 [1651 N.S.]. She no doubt relocated shortly after that time for under the date of "Jan ye 22th 1651" [ 1652 N.S.] she appeared as a grantee of three acres "on Pacowsick beginning at ye lower end" in the Springfield Town Votes. She also acquired seven acres on the west side of the Great River opposite her house lot, nineteen and one half acres in Long Meadow, four acres in the same general area, five acres in the second division over Agawam River and three acres on Pacowsick Brook. This estate is bounded today by Main Street on the east, the Connecticut River on the west, Margaret Street on the north and Fremont Street on the south.
    Person ID  I22002  Bryant
    Last Modified  30 Nov 2002 

    Father  Thomas Bliss,   b. Abt 1554 
    Family ID  F1533  Group Sheet

    Family  Margaret Hulins,   b. 15 Jul 1595, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Aug 1684, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  18 Oct 1621  Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    • ||St. Nicholas Church||
    Children 
     1. Thomas Bliss,   b. Abt 1621, probably, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Apr 1688, Norwich, New London Co, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Nathaniel Bliss,   b. Bef 28 Dec 1622, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Nov 1654, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Ann Bliss,   b. Abt 1623, probably, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Nov 1685, Saybrook, Middlesex Co, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Mary Bliss,   b. Abt 1625, probably, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jan 1712, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Lawrence Bliss,   b. Abt 1628, probably, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1676, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. John Bliss,   b. Abt 1633, probably, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Sep 1702, Longmeadow, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Sarah Bliss,   b. Abt 1635, Boston, Suffolk Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Sep 1705, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Elizabeth Bliss,   b. 1637, Boston, Suffolk Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 Oct 1683, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. Hannah Bliss,   b. 1639, Hartford, Hartford Co, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1661, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Hester Bliss,   b. 1640, probably, Hartford, Hartford Co, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jun 1683, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     11. Samuel Bliss,   b. Abt 1642, probably, Hartford, Hartford Co, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1720, Springfield, Hampden Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F1514  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1581 - Painswick, Perh, Gloucestershire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 18 Oct 1621 - Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Bef 14 Feb 1651 - Hartford, Hartford Co, Connecticut Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S177] Saunders, Chapman-Thomson, Dorothy Chapman Saunders, Ph.D., (Author, Stuart, FL, 1983), p.31.

    2. [S32] TAG, The American Genealogist, 60:202.

    3. [S32] TAG, The American Genealogist, 52:193.


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