The Descendants of Thomas White of Marblehead

This book, titled “The Descendants of Thomas White, of Marblehead and Mark Haskell of Beverly, Mass: With a Brief Notice of the Coombs Family,” authored by Perley Derby and published by the Press of David Clapp & Son in 1872, aims to provide a genealogical account of these interconnected families. The compilation presents a straightforward pedigree of each family branch, supplemented with collateral information. Despite being limited in scope, the intent is to offer a foundational understanding of the lineage, preserving this knowledge for both current and future generations.

The genealogical exploration of the White, Haskell, and Coombs families reveals a rich tapestry of early New England history, marked by intermarriages and longstanding affinities. This connection among the families adds a layer of depth and interest, making the arrangement of their histories particularly engaging for readers.

The investigation into Thomas White’s ancestry, though thorough, was unable to definitively trace his origins beyond Marblehead, leaving some aspects of his early history speculative. Similarly, the identification of Mark Haskell’s connections to the Haskells of Beverly involved extensive research, ultimately resolved through a fortuitous insight.

The hope is that this work will serve as a catalyst for further research, encouraging others to delve deeper into the histories of these families, thereby contributing to a more comprehensive genealogical record.

Families in the Book

The White Family

Thomas White, considered the patriarch of the White family in Marblehead, is first recorded in the area in 1668. His origins are believed to be Welsh, though this remains unverified. Other contemporaneous White families lived in nearby towns, including Salem and Wenham. Notable among them is Elias White, who may have been Thomas’s brother but left no descendants. Thomas White’s first documented land purchase in Marblehead occurred in 1661. His homestead, located near the “Ferry” on the harbor side, remained in the family’s possession for nearly two centuries. His estate was divided among his children in 1718 following his widow’s death.

The Haskell Family

Roger, William, and Mark Haskell, three brothers, are recognized as the founding figures of the Haskell family in New England, having settled early in Beverly. In 1636, Roger Haskell was granted twenty acres of land by the town of Salem, likely near Essex Bridge. Over the years, Roger engaged in various civic duties, including jury service in 1655 and serving as constable for Cape Ann in 1657. He was born in England in 1613 and passed away in Beverly in 1667. Roger married twice and had several children who continued the family lineage in the region, engaging in trades such as fishing and carpentry, and integrating into the local community through land transactions and familial ties.

The Coombs Family

Henry Coombs, an early settler of Marblehead, is noted for his significant connections with the White and Haskell families. First recorded in Marblehead in December 1648, Coombs was involved in local land transactions and civic duties, such as serving as “way warden” in 1656 and temporarily managing the Ferry in 1661. His outspoken nature led to a complaint in 1667 for making slanderous remarks about a local minister. Coombs passed away in 1669, leaving behind his wife Elizabeth and seven children. His descendants intermarried with the White and Haskell families, illustrating the intertwined histories of these early New England families.

Marblehead Massachusetts History and Records


Derby, Perley. The descendants of Thomas White of Marblehead, and Mark Haskell of Beverly, Mass. With a brief notice of the Coombs Family. Salem, Massachusetts. 1872.



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