Thomas Cushman

Male - 1691


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  • Name  Thomas Cushman 
    Gender  Male 
    Baptism  08 Feb 1607/8  St. Andrew, Canterbury, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    • Thomas Cushman sonne of Robart baptized 8 February [1607/8).
    Emigration  1621 
    • Passenger List, ship Fortune, 1621

      The ship Fortune arrived at Plymouth on November 9, 1621, just a few weeks after the First Thanksgiving. This passenger list is based on the 1623 Division of Land, the passenger list compiled by Charles Edward Banks in Planters of the Commonwealth, by material published occasionally by Robert S. Wakefield in the Mayflower Quarterly, and by the information found in Eugene Aubrey Stratton's Plymouth Colony: Its History and Its People, 1620-1691. The author is descended from Fortune passengers John Adams, William Bassett, and Moses Simmons.

      Adams, John
      Bassett, William
      Elizabeth Bassett, wife
      Beale, William
      Brewster, Jonathan
      Briggs, Clement
      Bumpas, Edward
      Cannon, John
      Connor, William
      Cushman, Robert
      Thomas Cushman, son
      Deane, Stephen
      Delano, Phillip
      Flavel, Thomas
      son Flavel
      Ford, Mr.
      Martha Ford, wife
      Martha Ford, daughter
      John Ford (born day after arrival)
      Hicks, Robert
      Hilton, William
      Morgan, Benedict
      Morton, Thomas
      Nicholas, Austin
      Palmer, William
      William Palmer, son
      Pitt, William
      Prence, Thomas
      Simmons, Moses
      Statie, Hugh
      Steward, James
      Tench, William
      Winslow, John
      Wright, William
    Will  22 Oct 1690  Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Copy of Probate Records for the County of Plymouth -- Book 1, Commencing with page 129.
      "To all People to whom these presents shall come, etc. -- Know ye that I Thomas Cushman, Sen'r, of the town of Plimouth in New England, being through God's mercy and goodness unto me at this present in some measure of good health of body and of sound understanding and strength of memory, yet considering my frailty and uncertainty of my abiding in this vale of tears, do make this to be my last Will and Testament. And by these presents I do make this to be my last will and testament to remain firm and invincible forever as followeth: Imprimis -- I give and bequeath my soul to God that gave it, and my body to ye dust and to be decently buried in hopes of ye grace of God through Jesus Christ to enter into a joyful resurrection. And for my outward estate I dispose of as followeth, viz: I will and bequeath unto my dear and loving wife Mary Cushman all my house and housing, together with all my uplands and meadow lands I am now possessed of in the township of New Plimouth, to be for her use and support during ye time of her natural life, excepting such parcels as I do in this my will give to my children.
      "Item, -- I give unto my son Thomas Cushman two twenty acre lots lying upon ye southerly side of Mr. Joseph Bradford's land, as also ye enlargements of ye head of these lots; and also twenty acres of upland, more or less, lying upon ye easterly side of Jones River by the bridge, with a skirt of meadow lying by said river; and also one third of my meadow at Winnatuxet [Footnote: Now in Plympton.], and also a parcel of salt marsh meadow from our spring unto a cross westerly of a salt hole and so down to ye river, which said parcel of meadow is to be his after our decease. All ye above said parcels of upland and meadow I do by these presents give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Cushman, to him and his heirs forever.
      "Item, -- I do give unto my son Isaac Cushman one twenty acre lot, with ye addition of ye head lying on the northerly side of Samuel Flanders land in ye Township of Plimouth, and also the one half of my land lying at Nemasket Pond in ye Township of Middleborough as also ye one half of my right in the sixteen shilling purchase, so called, in Township above sa'd, and also one third part of my meadow at Winnatuxet in Plimouth, all which parcels of upland and meadow last above expressed, I do by these presents give and bequeath unto my son Isaac Cushman, and to him and his heirs for ever, together with all the prileges thereunto belonging.
      "Item, -- I do give unto my son Elkanah Cushman one twenty acre lot with the addition of the head lying on the northerly side of ye land I now improve, but in case my son Thomas's new dwelling house be upon part of this lot, my will is my son Thomas enjoy ye land his house now standeth on without molestation. As also I give to my son Elkanah Cushman the one half of my land lying at Nemasket Pond, as also ye one half of the sixteen shilling purchase above expressed, as also one third of my meadow at Winnatuxet. All the above said parcels of lands and meadows last above expressed, with all the privileges thereunto belonging I do by these presents give unto my son Elkanah Cushman, and to his heirs forever.
      "Item, -- I do give unto my son Eleazer Cushman the rest of my lands both upland and meadow lands not above deposed of in Plimouth and Duxborough, as also my new dwelling house and out housing, which house and lands I do by these presents give and bequeath unto my son Eleazer Cushman, to him and his heirs forever to enjoy after I and my wife are deceased.
      "And my will is that my four sons Thomas, Isaac, Elkanah and Eleazer shall each of them allow twenty to their sisters, that is to say Sarah Hauks and Lidiah Harlow. As also my will is that if any of my sons see cause to make sale of their land I have given them in Plimouth, that they do let their brothers that do reside in Plimouth have the said lands as they shall be valued by five different men as also my will is, and I do by these presents give and bequeath unto my three grand children in Line the children of my daughter Mary Hutchinson deceased, to each of them twenty shillings to be paid unto them out of my estate soon after my decease.
      "And I do constitute and appoint my dear and loving wife Mary Cushman to be the sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament, my debts, legacies and funeral charges being first paid my will is that whatever other estate is found of mine in goods, chattels or debts either in Plimouth or elsewhere shall be for ye support of my wife during her natural life; and my will is that what remains of my estate at my wife's decease the one half I do give to my son Eleazur Cushman and the other half unto my two daughters, to Sarah Hauks and Lidiah Harlow to be equally divided between them. And my will is, and I do by these presents appoint my two sons Thomas Cushman and Isaac Cushman and Thomas Faunce to be ye supervisors of this my last will and testament, much confiding in their love and faithfulness to be helpful to my s'd executrix in the acting and disposing of particulars according to the tenore thereof, thus hoping that this my last will and testament will be performed and kept, revoking all other wills, written or verball. I have in witness thereof set to my hand and seal on the 22d of October, 1690.
      "Signed, sealed and declared to be his last will and testament in presence of us witnesses."
      James Warner THOMAS CUSHMAN
      Thomas Faunce And a [LS]
      "James Warner and Thomas Faunce, the witnesses here named, made oath before the County Court of Plymouth, March 6 16th, 1691, --that they were present and saw the above named Mr. Thomas Cushman sign and seal, and heard him declare the above written to be his last Will and Testament, and that to ye best of their judgment he was of sound mind and memory when he so did."
      Attest, SAMUEL SPRAGUE, Clerk.

      An addition to ye last Will of Thomas Cushman, Sen'r, which is as followeth:
      "Whereas in my last Will, which was in sixteen hundred and ninety that I then left out a certain piece of land undisposed of which was one hundred acres of land lying in the Township of Plimouth upon a brook commonly called Colchester Brook [Footnote: In Plympton.], on both sides of ye said brook, which I reserved to sell for my support, or my wife's after my decease. My Will is therefore that my son Thomas Cushman and my son Isaac Cushman shall have the above hundred acres of land to be divided equally between them to them and their heirs and assigns forever, provided that they equally shall pay or cause to be paid ten pounds in current silver money to me above said Thomas Cushman, Sen'r, or my wife after my decease, or after decease to be paid equally to my two daughters, Sarah Hauks and Lidia Harlow. Also I the above said Thomas Cushman do will and bequeath to my four sons, Thomas Cushman and Isaac Cushman and Elkanah Cushman and Eleazer Cushman, all my books, equally to be divided among them, only two small books to my daughter Lidia Harlow, and my best bible to my loving wife Mary Cushman, likewise also I do give and bequeath unto my son Elkanah Cushman one acre of meadow which was granted unto me, lying at Doties meadows. This addition is to the last will of me Elder Thomas Cushman of Plimouth being now in perfect understanding, April 1, 1691.
      THOMAS CUSHMAN, Sen. [LS.]
      "Signed, sealed and declared in presence of us witnesses."
      Jonathan Shaw, Sen.,
      Persis Shaw, Her P mark."

      "Jonathan Shaw one of ye witnesses here named made oath before ye County Court of Plimouth March 16th 1691, that he was present and saw Elder Thomas Cushman above named sign, seal and heard him declare the above written codicil to be his will, an addition to his former will, and that 'he ye said Shaw subscribed to it as a witness, and that he saw Persis, his wife subscribe with him as a witness also.
      Attest, SAM'L SPRAGUE, Clerk."

      "March 16th, 1691. Mrs. Mary Cushman relict widow of Elder Thomas Cushman, late of Plimouth deceased coming personally before ye County Court then held at Plimouth, did freely acknowledge she had received fifty-two shillings and six pence of Isaac Cushman her son in part of ye five pounds which ye said Isaac is to pay for his part of ye hundred acres of land at Colchester above said.
      Attest, SAM'L SPRAGUE, Clerk."

      "Memorandum that Persis Shaw ye other witness made oath before Wm. Bradford, Esq., Judge of Probate, that she also was present and saw and heard ye within named Elder Cushman sign, seal and declare this within written codicill as an addition to his will, and that he was of sound mind and memory when he did ye same to ye best of her judgment.
      Attest, SAM'L SPRAGUE, Register.
      Sept. 25th, 1701"

      "An Inventory of the estate of Mr. Thomas Cushman, Sen'r, of Plymouth, deceased, taken and appraised by us, whose names are herunto subscribed, on ye 17th day of December, 1691:
      sh. d.
      Imprimis, his wearing apparel, both linen and woolen, 04 02 00
      Item--his books, 04 00 00
      Item--in cash, 01 02 00
      Item--in 2 beds and bedding to them 10 00 00
      Item--in pewter and brass, 02 15 00
      Item--in iron pots and kettles and other iron vessels* 01 12 00
      Item--in tables and chests and chairs, 01 16 00
      Item--in cotton and sheep's wool and linen yarn and flax 01 03 00
      Item--in saddle, bridle and pillion, 01 05 00
      Item--in linnen wheel and old lumber, 00 15 00
      Item--in iron wedges and glass bottles, 00 05 00
      Item--in cart tacklin, 00 10 00
      Item--in Indian and English corn, 04 01 00
      Item--in neat cattle, 13 10 00
      Item--in sheep 01 00 00
      Item--in swine, 00 18 00
      Item--in a Loom, 01 05 00

      Item--in debts due from ye estate, 00 08 00
      Thomas Cushman,
      Isaac Cushman,
      Thomas Faunce.
      [*Footnote: A spoon is now in the Museum of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth, which belonged to Elder Cushman, and is kept as a memento of him.]

      "Mrs. Mary Cushman relict widdow of Elder Thomas Cushman late of Plimouth deceased made oath before ye County Court at Plimouth March 16, 1691, that ye above written is a true inventory of the goods and chattels of her said late husband, so far as she yet knoweth, and that if more shall be discovered to her she will make it known.
      Attest, SAM'L SPRAGUE, Clericus."
    Died  11 Dec 1691  Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • "1691. It pleased God to seize upon our good Elder, Mr. Thomas Cushman, by sickness, and in this year to take him from us. He was chosen and ordained Elder of this Church, April 6, 1649; he was neere 48 yeares in his office, his sicknesse lasted about eleven weeks ; he had bin a rich blessing to this church and to prevent and heale all breaches : He dyed, December 11, neare the end of the 84th yeare of his life; December 16 : was kept as a day of humiliation for his death, - the Pastor prayed and preached. Mr. Arnold and the Pastor's 2 sons asisted in prayer ; much of God's presence went away from this church when this blessed Pillar was removed.""neere the end of the 84th yeare of his life." Reverend John Cotton
    Notes 
    • A PETITION TO THE GENERAL COURT OF NEW-PLYMOUTH
      BY THOMAS CUSHMAN, SENIOR

      To the much Honoured Corte now assembled in Plimmoth your humbile petitionnor desireth all happiness both here and hereafter.

      May it please your Honors to take into your serious consideration the humbile petition of your poore suppliant, with the groundes of the same: It is well knowne to sundry of this Honored Corte that my father was an instrumente in the layinge the foundacion of this Colony, in reference both to Religious and civill interest, and expended both his estate and liffe in that service and came over in the second shipe, and returned againe the Colonizer agent, leaving my selfe behind amonst yourselves, who have shared together with your Honour in weell and woo, as our Gracious God hath bine plesed to order in his most wisse providence towards us.

      And the lord hat bine plesed, of his goodness, to give me many children, and loth I am that they should laffe [leave] this colony for want of land to live upon; but that, if it may bee, they may reape some frute of my father1s and their grandfather's labour, whose end, with yours, was the settling of posterity in this wilderness. My humbile petition, therefore, is unto this much Honored Corte that: If there be any landes yet to be purchased, or purchased not yet disposed of -- neare to any society ayther begune or upon beginning, that your honours would be pleased to further me in granting some proportion as your wissdome shall see meete: and I shalbe responsible to bear the charge for the purchase acording to what may be my proportion.

      Thus craving your favor and favorabil construction of my poor petition, I leave it with you, waiting for direction and answer herein when your honors shall see moste meete: Thus rests your humbile suppliant.

      Signed: Thomas Cushman, senyor

      Notes on Date and Grounds of the Petition:
      This holograph, bearing the signature of Thomas Cushman, senior, derives from the archives of The Massachusetts Historical Society, and is here used by permission with the hearty thanks of the editor. Recently discovered in the researches of Franklin P. Cole, it has until now not been published nor, apparently, known to historians. The script has been transcribed by chirographer, Mrs. Ella Budd of Waybridge, Surrey, England, whose expertise has been employed in connection with other documents of these sudies (sic). The signature is not only clear but is, without question, that of Thomas Cushman, the surviving son of Robert, as may be seen by comparing it with that supplied in Wm. S. Russell's engravings of early Colony signatures (Pilgrim Memorials & Guide, Boston, 1855, p. 42). An interesting similarity to that of his father, Robert, is manifest by attention to the latter's written signature preserved in the Deposition of 1624 [Carla's note: Which may be found in a later section entitled More About Robert Cushman, etc.].

      Unfortunately, the date of Thomas Cushman's petition to the Court of Plymouth is not supplied with the document. A clue to its date, however, is its stated reason for being, namely, that, as Thomas declares, the Lord has given him "many children" and that he is loath to contemplate their eventual departure from Plymouth Colony for want of land.

      Of the "many children," the first child of Thomas and Mary Allerton Cushman, according to record, was a son, Thomas junior, born the 16th of September 1637. This obviously accounts for the signature of Thomas Cushman as "senyor." The date of the birth of Thomas Jr. indicates the probable latest date, otherwise unknown, for the marriage of Thomas Cushman and Mary Allerton as some time in December of the year 1636. On this premise, Thomas, at the time of his marriage, would have been thirtyu-one, and Mary, his wife, about twenty-six years of age. If seemingly belated, then to be noted is the fact that Thomas's grandfather, Thomas Couchman of Rolvende, Kent, likewise was at least thirty at the time of his marriage to Eleanor Hubbarde of that parish, 18 July 1568. Likewise, was his father not married until 1606 in his twenty-ninth year. The first child, Thomas Jr., was followed by two daughters in succession, Sarah and Lydia, neither of whose birth dates are supplied in the Cushman Genealogy; and so far as the records show, the fourth child and second son, Isaac, was born February 8, 1647/48. From these things, including the absence of birth dates for the female children of Thomas Cushman's family, it is evident that separatist congregationalism of the Plymouth Church rejected that Canon of the Church of England which, since 1538, had prescribed a recording in parish registers of the date infant baptisms, or others, together with those of all marriages and burials of either parishioners or strangers. Instead, it appears, record keeping of births was transferred at Plymouth to some office of the Magistracy -- as in Leyden, Holland -- and that church records of baptisms had not become operative by mid-seventeenth century in Plymouth Colony or that female birth dates were not recorded, or that records were carelessly handled. Thomas Cushman's petition was grounded in his claim to a gift of "many children" who would need farming land for continuing life in the colony. Likewise, it was implied that the grandchildren of Robert Cushman deserved fair consideration. It is barely possible that four living children might have sufficed for Cushman to speak publicly of "many children" with the birth of the fourth child, Isaac, in 1648. It would be better justified with the birth of the third son, Elkannah, born 1st of June 1651 and, more so, with the birth of Feare, a sixth child and son, born 10th February 1653. But it would indeed be a claim to "many children" to which an exception could hardly be taken with the birth of Eleazer, the seventh child and a son, born 20th February 1656/57. The eighth child was Mary, a daughter, the date of whose birth is not preserved to us. On this ground, we may reasonably surmise that Thomas Cushman's petition to the General Court for farming land for his "many children" was hardly justifiable prior to the birth of Elkannah in 1651, or better, that of Feare in 1653. In the interest of arriving at a probable date for Thomas Cushman's petition to the "Honourable Court" of Plymouth Colony, assembled, two possible dates are about equally plausible. The first is the annual meeting of the Assembly in the year 1651, the second, in the year 1657. They were years when, not Wm. Bradford, but Mr. Thomas Prince was elected to the office of Governor, indeed, by the 5th of June 1657 Wm. Bradford had died. Both years were late enough to justify Cushman's claim of "many children," which would have been hardly a secret. Furthermore, the nature of Cushman's claim for appropriate recognition of his father, Robert Cushman's, central role in the founding of the colony, beginning in 1617, and, thus, the just desert of his grandchildren for land to dwell upon, was on its face reasonable. Yet, had Wm. Bradford been in the chair presiding over the meeting, the appeal of Thomas Cushman to history would have been rather superfluous. Moreover, it might have appeared a bit jarring because, as a public statement, it might, for some, have implied willful neglect. Yet such a supposition of either ignorance or neglect would hardly have been entertained by Thomas Cushman who, from his fourteenth year in December 1621, had been received into the home of Bradford and, as a ward, had been reared in the Governor's household. If, however, we alter the presiding officer and dramatis personnae and envision Thomas Prince as in the chair for meeting of the Assembly in either 1651 or 1657, what is the altered dynamics? While much older than Thomas Cushman, Thomas Prince too had come to New Plymouth on the ship Fortune in 1621 along with Thomas and his father, Robert. Prince, moreover, had not come without interview and agreement with Robert Cushman in London, hence Prince had some experience of Cushman's agency in the migration. But more than thirty years had passed by either 1651 or 1657, and the membership of the Assembly was composed mainly, perhaps entirely, of second generation settlers. By 1657, "the Pilgrim fathers" were all gone. Though some younger contemporaries survived to be sure, none of the "first Beginners" -- to recall the word of Nathaniel Morton -- now remained. This Thomas Cushman knew quite well as he formulated his petition for land to the Assembly. He certainly could not count upon such vivid recollections as would be the case either with Gov. Bradford or Thomas Prince regarding the person and role of his father in the few but immensely important years of the founding process between 1617 and 1625. And finally, if, as Nathaniel Morton tells us, Wm. Bradford had died shortly before the June Assembly of Plymouth freemen, that fact alone could have easily cleared the way, as it also justified, Thomas Cushman's appeal to history before time's passage should further dim the community of recollection and of obligation to a principal founder, long departed, and on behalf of his grandchildren. If, as may well be the case, Thomas Cushman's petition went before the Colony Court in the year 1657 for deliberate consideration, he had already, by action of the Plymouth Church congregation, been Ruling Elder since 1649, or for eight years. Albeit, with proper decorum he adopts in Court the appropriate role of a humble suppliant in his petitioning. This manner and posture, suited to his political status as "freeman," is a clear indication of an acknowledged disjunction between church and state, functionally conceived, on the part of the chief ecclesiastical officer of New Plymouth. With a little reflection, it discloses to the discerning one of the manifest differences between the Plymouth and the Bay and Connecticut colonies from the early seventeenth century onward. Plymouth never drifted in the direction of theocracy unlike its sister colonies. It was fundamentally and from the start the American exemplum of the "free churches" and/or the separation of church and state.

      2Thomas arrived at Plymouth in good health, in Nov., 1621. In a few days his father returned to England, leaving his only son in the family of his particular friend, Gov. Bradford. ... If it is true that, "As the twig is bent the tree's inclined," then we have the very best evidence that Gov. Bradford was faithful to the trust imposed in him by his absent friend. In a letter from Gov. B. to Robert Cushman, dated June, 1625, he says, "Your son is in good health (blessed be God). ... I hope God will make him a good man". And such proved to be the case as his history will show.

      3-16-27.
      At a public Court held on the 22d of May, it is considered by the whole company, that the cattle which were the company's, to wit--the cows and the goats--should be equally divided by lot to all persons of the same company. The cattle and goats were, therefore, divided into twelve lots, and thirteen persons appointed to each lot.

      The eleventh lot fell to Gov. Bradford and those with him, among whom was Thomas Cushman, then in the 20th year of his age."To this lot fell an heifer of the last year, which was of the great white back cow that was brought over in the Ann, and two she goats." [Footnote: The first cattle imported from England were "a bull and three heifers," by Edward Winslow, in 1624] Jan. 1, 1633. These following were admitted into the freedom of the society, viz: Mr. William Collins, Thomas Willett, John Cooke and Thomas Cushman. He was then twenty-five or twenty-six years of age.

      July 1, 1634. "At a generall Court holden before the Governor and Councill, Thomas Cushman plantife agaynst John Combe, Gent. defendant, being cast and adjudged to pay the sayd summe of ten pounds to the plaintife or his Assigns at or before the first of Aug. or else to deliver to him a sufficient cow cafe weaned or weanable." [Footnote: Plymouth Colony Records; Court Order 3, vol. 1]

      1635. Thomas Cushman first served as a Juryman.

      1635 or 36 (about). He m. Mary Allerton, the third child of Isaac Allerton, who came over in the Mayflower in 1620. ... In that matrimonial relation they lived together the long period of fifty-five years: she surviving him nearly ten years.

      1637. There was granted "to Thomas Cushman the remaynder of the marsh before the house he liveth in wch Mrs. Fuller doth not use and the little pcell at the wading place on the other side Joanes River." It is supposed that he removed to Jones River (now Kingston, Plymouth Co MA, Plymouth Co MA) about this time, which was not long after he was married, and that there he lived and died.

      1645. He purchased "Prence's farm" at Jones River (now "Rocky Nook" in Kingston, Plymouth Co MA, Plymouth Co MA) by exchanging land at Sowams [Footnote: On Naragansett Bay in Rhode Island] for it, for 75. It was first owned by his father-in-law, Isaac Allerton. The exact locality of his house is now pointed out, and a spring of water near it has for many years received the cognomen of "the Elder's Spring," from Elder Thomas Cushman, whose house stood near it. It is located in that part of Kingston, Plymouth Co MA, Plymouth Co MA now called "Rocky Nook," about fifty rods northerly from the present traveled highway, on the border of the marsh. A description and the boundaries of the land as given in the early Colony Records, show, beyond a doubt, that the tradition respecting that spring and the location of the Elder's house, must be correct. Men and things have changed in the course of two hundred years: yet the topography of that vicinity remains the same. The "Elder's Spring" is often visited by antiquarians, and by those who have sprung from the stock of the Pilgrims, and who venerate their deeds. The writer of this has drank from that pure spring, where his venerable ancestor allayed his thirst in days of yore; and he hopes he has thus become inspired with something of the Pilgrim's faith, and a fearless determination, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience and judgment; and in the strong and emphatic language of another [Footnote: Thomas Jefferson's letter to Dr. Rush, dated at Monticello, Virginia, Sept. 23, 1800], "has sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

      1649. The office of Ruling Elder of the Church at Plymouth, having become vacant by the death of the venerable Elder Brewster, Thomas Cushman was appointed to that office and continued in it to his death, a period of over 43 years. He was ordained to that office by appropriate ceremonies and religious services, on Friday the 6th of April, 1649. In order to show the importance of the office of Ruling Elder, that was held for so long a period by our worthy ancestor, we give, from Prince's Chronology, the following summary of the religious tenets of the Plymothean Fathers, so far as they relate to Church government: "They maintained that every Christian congregation ought to be governed by its own laws, without depending on the jurisdiction of Bishops, or being subject to the authority of Synods, Presbyteries, or any ecclesiastical assembly whatever. They maintained that the inspired scriptures only contain the true religion, and that every man has the right of judging for himself and worshipping according to his apprehension of the meaning of them. Their officers were Pastors or teaching Elders who have the power of overseeing and teaching, and of administering the sacraments, etc. 32d, Ruling Elders who are to help the Pastor in ruling and overseeing. 33d, Deacons who are to take care of the treasury of the Church; distribute to the needy and minister at the Lord's Table." We thus see that Thomas Cushman held a highly responsible and important office in the hierarchy of the Plymouth Colony.

      April 4, 1654. Mrs. Sarah Jenny [Footnote: The wife of John Jenny, who came over in the ship Ann, in 1623. He was a member of Rev. Mr. Robinson's Church at Leyden], by her Will, gave "To Elder Cushman the Bible which was my daughter Susannah's."

      21We take the following statement of the duties and character of Elder Thomas Cushman: "About four or five years after Mr. Brewster's death, (he d. Tuesday, 16 April, 1644), the Church chose Mr. Thomas Cushman as his successor in the office of Ruling Elder, son of that servant of Christ, Mr. Robert Cushman, who had been their chief agent in transacting all their affairs in England, both before and after their leaving of Holland, till the year 1625. And this his son, inheriting the same spirit and being completely qualified, with gifts and graces, proved a great blessing to the Church; assisting Mr. Rayner [Footnote: Pastor of the Church at Plymouth] not only in ruling, catechising and visiting, but also in public teaching, as Mr. Brewster had done before him: it being the professed principle of this Church in their first formation to choose none for governing Elders but such as are able to teach; which abilities (as Mr. Robinson observes in one of his letters) other reformed churches did not require of their Ruling Elders."

      Extract from a Deed of land:
      "Two acres of marsh meadow bee it more or lesse lying before the house and land of the Elder Cushman at Joaneses Riever next unto a pcell of meadow which was Phineas Prats." (Footnote: Plymouth Records.]

      March 29, 1653. Ousamequin (Massasoit) and his oldest son Wamsitto convey by deed a tract of land in Rehoboth to Thomas Prence, Thomas Cushman and others, for which they pay the sum of thirty-five pounds sterling. This is another evidence of the justice of our fathers. They showed their faith by their works. "About the year 1650 to 1660, the Quakers proved very troublesome to the Church and subverted many. The Lord was pleased to bless the endeavors of their faithful Elder, Mr. Cushman, in concurrence with several of the abler brethren, to prevent the efficacy of error and delusion; and (though destitute of a Pastor) the body of the Church were upheld in their integrity and in a constant opposition to their pernicious tenets. And we desire, say the records, that the good providence of God herein may never be forgotten, but that the Lord may have all the praise and glory thereof; for how easily might these wolves in sheep1s clothing have ruined this poor flock of Christ, if the Lord had not interposed by his almighty power and goodness; improving this our good elder as a special instrument in this worthy work, both by teaching the will of God every Lord's day, for a considerable time, plainly, powerfully and profitably; and seconding the same by a blameless life and conversation."

      "After Rev. Mr. Rayner left, the worship of God was carried on by their Elder, Mr. Cushman, assisted by some of the brethren: insomuch that not one Sabbath passed without two public meetings." [Footnote: Cotton's account of Plymouth Church.]

      22The bounds of Elder Thomas Cushmans--12 Acres Meadow The Bounds of the twelve acrees of meaddow belonging to the Elder Thomas Cushman at Wenatuxet is as followeth bounded with a white oake tree at the Northerly Corner sd tree is marked on 4 sides and thence Rainging across the Meaddow westward to a Red oake tree marked on 4 sides which is the bounds betwen the sd Elder Cushmans Meadow and Mr John Howlands meaddow and from sd Red oake Rainging up the Moaddow southward to a pine tree marked on 4 sides and from thence Rainging aCross the meaddow to a bunch of maples standing by the meadow which is the bounds betwen John Dunhams lot and the above sd Elder Cushmans

      [167.] New Plimouth

      Att A meting held att plimouth the 22th of february 1650 by Mr Howland Mr Willett John Dunham John Cook William Paddy & Thomas Clarke

      Wee grant to mr howland Elder Cushman John Cook John Dunham senior Twelve Acrees Apece of meddow ground att Wennituxett To take it on both sides of the River so as others that shall have more grants theare be not prejudiced.

      Will: About a year before his death, Elder Cushman made his Will. As a part of his history, we give it entire.
      From the quantity of real estate devised to his children, and the amount of the inventory of his personal property, --a copy of which is subjoined, --we must infer that the Elder was prosperous in temporal things, as well as in spiritual. His personal estate amounted to 50, of which 4 was in books. Considering the value of the money at that time, --much greater than now, --he must have been quite wealthy.
    Person ID  I41407  Bryant
    Last Modified  2 Jan 2006 

    Father  Robert Cushman,   d. Jun 1625, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Sara Reder,   b. Est 1586, probably, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1616, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  31 Jul 1606  St. Alphege, Canterbury, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    • 1607 "Robert Cushman unto Sara Reder dwelling with in Pr'cinct's of Christghurch" [the Cathedral] married 31 Jul"
    Family ID  F2895  Group Sheet

    Family  Mary Allerton,   d. 28 Nov 1699, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Abt 1636  Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 4
    Children 
     1. Thomas Cushman,   b. 16 Sep 1637, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Aug 1726, Plympton, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Sarah Cushman,   b. Abt 1639, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 03 Dec 1695, Lynn, Essex Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Martha (Mary) Cushman,   b. 1641, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1684 and 1690, Lynn, Essex Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Isaac Cushman,   b. 08 Feb 1647/48, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Oct 1732, Plympton, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Elkanah Cushman,   b. 01 Jun 1651, Plympton, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Sep 1727, Plympton, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Feare Cushman,   b. 20 Jun 1653, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1690, Plympton, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Eleazer Cushman,   b. 20 Feb 1655/56, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft Nov 1733, Plympton, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Lydia Cushman,   b. Abt 1662, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Feb 1718/19, Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F2893  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 08 Feb 1607/8 - St. Andrew, Canterbury, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 1636 - Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - 22 Oct 1690 - Plymouth Co, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 11 Dec 1691 - Plymouth, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts 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. [S260] GMB, Anderson, Robert Charles, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 1995), p. 503.

    2. [S13] NEHGR, NEHGR, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 68:181-185.

    3. [S13] NEHGR, NEHGR, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 68:181-5.

    4. [S329] Gen. & Bio. Directory of New Netherlands, Compiler: Riker, David M., (Author, 442 Woodcrest Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, December 1999), 30.


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