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  • ID: I1247
  • Name: Thomas Tracy
  • Prefix: Lt.
  • Given Name: Thomas
  • Surname: Tracy
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1610
  • Death: 7 NOV 1685 in Norwich, CT
  • Note: 1 2 3 4 5
    There is a lot of controversy over the origins of Lt. Thomas Tracy.

    Dr. Dwight Tracy in his 1908 pamphlet, "The Tracys in America -- Recently Discovered English Ancestry of Governor William Tracy of Virginia, 1620, and of his only son, Lieutenant Thomas Tracy of Salem, Massachusetts and Norwich Connecticut" tried to show that he was the son of Gov. Wm. Tarcy. John G. Hunt in his "Fiction Versus Possibility in the Tracy Genealogy" did a fairly decent job of debunking that claim. Gov Tracy's son William seems fairly clearly to have died by May 29, 1633.

    Lt. Charles Stedman Ripley in 1895 tried to show that Thomas was the son of Paul Tracy, Bart., and the grandson of Richard Tracy of Stanway. He bases much of this claim on family tradition, which holds that Thomas himself claimed to be the grandson of Richard Tracy. Ripley does a pretty decent job of eliminating Richard's sons Nathaniel and Samuel as Thomas's father and concludes that Thomas must be Paul's son.

    Ripley, however, shows very little real evidence of Thomas's descent and accepts some questionable assertions rather uncritically. Both Donald Lines Jacobus in "The Waterman Family" (vol 1, 1939, pp. 691-694) and John G. Hunt did a fairly good job of arguing against Paul and all of the Tracys of Stanway.

    Hunt himself put forth the notion that Thomas was from the Tracys of Norwich, England. This claim was evaluated in "The Origins of Thomas Tracy of Connecticut", research for Mrs. Edward A Williams done in February 1986 by the genealogists of Debrett Ancestry Research in England. They came to no final conclusion, but hold out substantial hope.

    To date there is no reliable evidence of Thomas's ancestry. All of the connections except the possibility that he is from the Norwich Tracys have been discreditted.
  • Date: 19 Feb 2005
  • Note:
    "Ancient Houses of Norwich":

    Lt. Thomas Tracy 2nd m. Martha (Bourne) Bradford, widow of John Bradford and daughter of Dea. Thomas & Martha Bourne of Marshfield, MA.

    3rd m. ~1683 Mary (Foote) Goodrich. (She was from Whethersfield, CT)
  • Date: 16 Dec 2001
  • Note:
    The deed for the town of Norwich (originally "Mohegan") reads as follows:

    "Know all men that Onkos, Owaneco, Attawanhood, Sachems of Mohegan have Bargained, sold, and passed over, and doe by these presents sell and pass over unto the towne and Inhabitants of Norwich nine miles square of land lying and being at Mohegan and the parts thereunto adjoyneing, with all ponds, rivers. woods, quarries, mines, with all royalties, privileges, and appurtenaces thereunto belonging, to them the said inhabitiants of Norwich, theire heirs and successors forever--from thence the line run nor north east nine miles, and on the East side the afores?d river to the southward the line is to joyne with New London bounds as it is now laid out and soe to run east two miles from the foresd river, nor norwest nine miles to meet with the western line.

    In consideration whereof the sd Onbkos, Owanexo and Attawanhood doe acknowledge to have received of the parties aforesd the full and juste sum of seventy pounds and doe promise and engage ourselves, heirs and successors, to warrant the sd bargain and sale to the aforesd parties, their heirs and successors, and them to defend from all claimes and molestations from any whatsoever.

    In witness whereof we have hereunto set out to our hands this 6th of June, Anno 1659.

    Unkos
    Owaneco
    Attawanhood

    Witness hereunto, John Mason, Thomas Tracy"
  • Date: 26 Dec 2001
  • Note:
    The Patent of the Town of Norwich, A.D. 1685

    Whereas the General Court of Connecticut have forever granted unto the proprietors and Inhabitants of the Towne of Norwich all those lands, both meadows and uplands within these abuttments (viz.) from the mouth of Tradeingcove Brooke the line to run as the Brooke to the head of the Brooke to a white oake marked N: and from thence west nortwesterly to a great pond to a black oake marked N: wich stands neere the mouth of the great Brooke that runs out of the pond to Norwich river, which is about seven miles from the said Tradeing Cove; and from thence the line runns North noreast nine miles to a Black oake standing by the river side on the south of it, a little above maumeagway, and from thence the line runs south southeasterly nine miles to a white oake standing by a brooke marked N: and then the line runs south southwesterly nine miles to a white oake neere Robert ALLYN & Thomas ROSE's Dwelling houses, which tree is marked N: and from thence westerly as New London Bounds runs to Mohegen river, the whole being nine miles square, the said land haveing been by purchase or otherwise lawfully obtayned of the Indian natives proprietors. -- And whereas, the said Inhabitants and proprietors of the sd Norwich in the Colony of Connecticutt have made application to the Governor and Company of the sd Colony of Conecticutt assembled in Court May 2th, 1685, that they may have a patent for the confirmation of the aforesd land, so purchased and granted to them as aforesaid, and which they have stood seized, and quietly possesd of for many years late past without interuption. Now for a more full confirmation of the aforesd unto the present proprietors of the sd Towneship of Norwich in their possession and injoyment of the premises, know yea that the sd Governour and Company assembled in Generall Court according to the Commission Granted to them by his magestie's charter, have given and granted and by therse presents doe give, grant Rattifie and confirme unto Mr. James FITCH senr, Capt. James FITCH, Mr. Benjamine BREWSTER, Lieut. Thomas TRACY, Lieut. Tho. LEFFINGWELL, Mr. Christopher HUNTINGTON, Mr. Simon HUNTINGTON, Ensign Wm. BACKUS, Mr. Thomas WATERMAN, Mr. John BURCHARD and Mr. John POST, and the rest of the said present proprietors of the township of Norwich, their heirs, suckcessors and assigns forever; the aforesaid parcell of land as it is Butted and Bounded toghether will all the woods, meadows, pastures, ponds, waters, rivers, islands, fishings, huntings, fowleings, mines, mineralls, quarries, and precious stones, upon or within the said tract of land, and all other proffitts and comodities therunto belonging, or in any wayes appertaining; and Doe also grant unto the aforesaid Mr. James FITCH senr, Capt. James FITCH, Mr. Benjamine BREWSTER, Lieut. Thomas TRACY, Lieut. Tho. LEFFINGWELL, Mr. Christopher HUNTINGTON, Mr. Simon HUNTINGTON, Ensign Wm. BACKUS, Mr. Thomas WATERMAN, Mr. John BURCHARD and Mr. John POST, and the rest of the proprietors, Inhabitants of Norwich, their heirs, successors and assigns forever, that the foresd tract of land shall be forever hereafter deemed, reputed and be an intire towneship of itself -- to have and to hold the said tract of land and premises with all and singuler their appurtenances, together with the priviledges and immunities and franchises herein given and granted unto the sayd Mr. James FITCH senr, Capt. James FITCH, Mr. Benjamine BREWSTER, Lieut. Thomas TRACY, Lieut. Tho. LEFFINGWELL, Mr. Christopher HUNTINGTON, Mr. Simon HUNTINGTON, Ensign Wm. BACKUS, Mr. Thomas WATERMAN, Mr. John BURCHARD and Mr. John POST, and other the present proprietors, Inhabitants of Norwich, theire heirs successors, and assignes for ever, and to the only proper use and behoofe of the sayd Mr. James FITCH senr, Capt. James FITCH, Mr. Benjamine BREWSTER, Lieut. Thomas TRACY, Lieut. Tho. LEFFINGWELL, Mr. Christopher HUNTINGTON, Mr. Simon HUNTINGTON, Ensign Wm. BACKUS, Mr. Thomas WATERMAN, Mr. John BURCHARD and Mr. John POST, and other proprietors, inhabitants of Norwich, their heirs, successors, and assigns for ever according to the Tenor of East Greenwich in Kent, in free and common soccage and not in capitto, nor are they capable according to the custom of the country, yielding, rendering and paieing therefore our sovereign Lord the king, his heires and successors, his dues according to Charter. In witness whereof, we have caused the Seale of the Colony to be hereunto affixed this twenty-first of May, 1685, in the year of the reigne of our sovereign lord James the Second, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the faith.

    ROBERT TREAT, Governor.

    {SEAL} March 30th, 1687, pr order of the Govr & Compony of the Colony of Connecticut.

    Signed pr JOHN ALLYN, Secrety.

    Entered in the pub. records, Lib. D: fo. 138, 139, Novr 27th, 1685 pr JOHN ALLYN, Secrety.
  • Date: 26 Dec 2001
  • 6 7
  • RELA: Some have alleged Thomas to be the son of Paul Tracy, bart.
  • RELA: Some have alleged Thomas to be the son of Nathaniel
  • RELA: Not the same man -- see Hunt
  • Change Date: 10 Apr 2005 at 12:53:43



    Marriage 1 Mary
    • Married: 1641 in Wethersfield,, CT 8
    • Change Date: 28 Dec 2001
    Children
    1. Has No Children John Tracy b: 1642 in Wethersfield, CT
    2. Has No Children Thomas Tracy b: 1644 in Wethersfield, CT
    3. Has Children Jonathan Tracy b: 1646 in Saybrook, CT
    4. Has No Children Miriam Tracy b: 1648 in Wethersfield, CT
    5. Has No Children Solomon Tracy b: 1651 in Wethersfield, CT
    6. Has No Children Daniel Tracy b: 1652 in Wethersfield, CT
    7. Has No Children Samuel Tracy b: 1654 in Wethersfield, CT

    Marriage 2 Martha Bourne
    • Married: BEF 1679 in Norwich,, CT
    • Note:
      From AHD:
      Thomas 2nd m. before 1679 (Norwich) Martha Browne
      (dau. of Thomas Browne of Marshfield)
      widow of John Bradford (son of Gov. Bradford)
    • Date: 28 Dec 2001
    • 7 6
    • Note:
      "Ancient Houses of Norwich":

      Lt. Thomas Tracy 2nd m. Martha (Bourne) Bradford, widow of John Bradford and daughter of Dea. Thomas & Martha Bourne of Marshfield, MA.
    • Date: 28 Dec 2001
    • Change Date: 28 Dec 2001

    Marriage 3 Mary Foote?
    • Married: ABT 1683
    • Note:
      "Ancient Houses of Norwich":

      3rd m. ~1683 Mary (Foote) Goodrich. (She was from Whethersfield, CT)
    • Date: 28 Dec 2001
    • 7
    • Change Date: 28 Dec 2001

    Sources:
    1. Title: The ancestors of Lieutenant Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Connecticut
      Abbrev: Ripley
      Author: Charles Stedman Ripley
      Publication: A. Mudge & Son, Printers
      Boston,
      1895.
      Date: 3 May 2003
    2. Title: The Waterman Family, 3 vols.
      Abbrev: Jacobus
      Author: Donald Lines Jacobus
      Publication: E.F. Waterman
      New Haven,
      1939-54
      Date: 3 May 2003
    3. Title: Fiction Versus Possibility in the Tracy Genealogy
      Abbrev: Hunt
      Author: John G. Hunt
      Publication: American Genealogist;
      vol.41, no. 4, pp. 250-25;
      1965
      Text: Fiction Versus Possibility in the Tracy Genealogy

      By John G. Hunt, B.S.C., of Arlington, Va.

      Several persistent efforts have been made over the last hundred years to connect Thomas Tracy, ship carpenter in 1637 of Salem, Mass., and in 1659 a proprietor of Norwich, Conn., with the noble family of the same surname long seated in Gloucestershire. The identifications claimed for him were criticized and in part disproved by Donald Lines Jacobus in The Waterman Family (vol. 1, 1939, pp. 691-94). As he has noted, It would have been unusual for a member of the gentry to be styled "goodman" in early New England, as was our Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Conn.

      Unfortunately, Dr. Dwight Tracy did not view the problem of Tracy's origin so dispassionately. In 1908 he published a pamphlet entitled "The Tracys in America--Recently Discovered English Ancestry of Governor William Tracy of Virginia, 1620, and of his only son, Lieutenant Thomas Tracy of Salem, Massachusetts, and Norwich, Connecticut."

      From a mass of documentation Dr. Tracy showed that William Tracy, formerly of Toddington and Hayles, in Gloucestershire, by his wife Mary Conway, had children Joyce and Thomas, and that the latter about 1621 returned to England, an orphaned lad of slender fortune. On page 24 of his pamphlet, Dr. Tracy asserts: "exhaustive searches in the ancient records of England, in parish books, courts of chancery, English graveyards, and fugitive papers and letters in antiquarian archives, have failed to give one word that even mentions his [Thomas Tracy's] return to England."

      While such records may not have mentioned young Tracy's return, it must be recalled that young Tracy was nephew to lord Conway, president of his majesty's privy council, a powerful nobleman. Further, the Conway papers are extant in the Public Records Office in London, and as might have been guessed they include holograph letters from young Thomas Tracy to his uncle, lord Conway. One, dated in 1625, shows the youth serving as ensign in the Netherlands and hoping for a lieutenancy. The other missive, dated in July 1630 at London, is from Lieutenant Thomas Tracy to lord Conway, asking him "not to forget a poor kinsman & servant of your honours to Sr. James Coote for a compani this voiage."

      Before Conway's death in 1631, he would seem to have obtained for young Lieut. Thomas Tracy some overseas duty, for under date 23 Oct. 1631 Tracy drew up his will, now preserved at Somerset House, London, ref. 41 Russell. Styling himself Thomas Tracy, gent., of London, he left 50 pds. to Margaret Hudson, widow, of St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London, the residue to go to the testator's sister, "Mary, wife of George Savidge of Walton of the Ole, Leicestershire." This sister proved the will 29 May 1633, when it was recorded that the testator had died overseas.

      Turning to George Francis Armstrong, The Ancient and Noble Family of the Savages of the Ards (London, 1888), we note on page 77 that George Savage, archdeacon of Gloucestershire [who died ca. 1600: see TAG, supra, 39:86] had a son, "George Savage of Walton on the Wold, Leicestershire, who married Mary, daughter of William Tracy, Esq., of Toddington House, Gloucestershire.

      In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that Thomas Tracy, erstwhile of Virginia, did return to England, but leaving London around 1631, he went overseas and died before 29 May 1633. So it is not possible for him to have been our New England settler of the same name. It seems hardly necessary to add that the handwriting of Lieut. Thomas Tracy of London in 1630 is dissimilar to that of Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Conn. Doubt on that score was resolved by looking at the facsimile of the New England proprietor?s handwriting in Dr. Tracy's pamphlet, at page 31, and then studying the totally different handwriting of Lieut. Thomas Tracy of London in 1630; ref. State Papers, 16/171-46, in the Public Record Office.

      In the Rare Book Room, Library of Congress, are preserved some of the MSS of the late Col. Charles Edward Banks. In them is found mention of one Thomas Tracy of Norwich in England who in 1631 was presented for not attending church, as of St. Clements in that year. The following year, he was likewise cited for failure to attend St. Peter Hungate, also in Norwich. The fact [Frances M. Caulkins, History of Norwich] that Thomas Tracy of New England was the sole English witness, aside from the great John Mason, to the deed in 1659 whereby the sachem Uncas granted land to the Norwich proprietors, leads one to believe that both Tracy and Mason may have been natives of Norwich in England. Mason is a Norfolk name, and Norwich is the county seat of Norfolk. See Sims' index of the Heralds' Visitations in the British Museum, which reveals that there were Masons in Norfolk whose pedigrees were recorded in the visitations. Tracy was often found in company with Mason. In 1669 he served as Mason's "ensigne" in carrying a letter to Gov. Winthrop of Connecticut [Winthrop Papers quoted in Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 4th Series, 7:426-27]. Search of church records in the area of Norwich, England, seems indicated for both Tracy and Mason.
      Date: 10 Apr 2005
    4. Title: The Origins of Thomas Tracy of Connecticut
      Abbrev: Debrett
      Author: Debrett Ancestry Research Ltd
      for Mrs. Edward A Williams
      Publication: February 1986
      Date: 3 May 2003
    5. Title: The Tracys in America
      Abbrev: Dwight Tracy
      Author: Dwight Tracy
      Publication: Journal of American History,
      1908
      Date: 3 May 2003
    6. Title: History and Genealogy of Davison, Davisson, Davidson Families
      Abbrev: A.H. Davison
      Author: Davison, Arthur Henry
      Publication: Torch Press
      Date: 13 APR 2009
      Repository:
        Name: New England Historic Genealogical Society
        Date: 17 Dec 2002
    7. Title: Ancient Houses of Norwich
      Date: 28 Dec 2001
    8. Title: Ancestors and Descendants of Lieut. Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Conn.
      Abbrev: E.E. Tracy
      Author: Evert E. Tracy
      Publication: Joel Munson's Sons, Albany, NY, 1898
      Date: 28 Dec 2001
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