Biography of Thomas Sawyer

Thomas Sawyer, immigrant ancestor, was one of the nine persons in 1653 who organized the town of Lancaster. He was a blacksmith and farmer, and was one of the prominent citizens. His farm was on the present ground of the Seventh Day Adventists, between North Lancaster and Clinton. His house was in the most central part of the Indian raid, but he seems to have escaped with all his family, except his son Ephraim who was killed at or near the house of his grandfather, John Prescott. Thomas Sawyer’s garrison was a safe defence against the French and Indians, and there was said to be with the garrison a high French officer who was mortally wounded in the fight. Lancaster was deserted for three years, when the Sawyer family helped to build up the town again, and was prominent in its affairs for the next thirty years. Thomas Sawyer took the oath of allegiance in 1647, and was on the list of proprietors in Lancaster in 1648. He was admitted a freeman in 1654, when there were only five men who were freemen. He died September 12, 1706, aged about ninety years. His will was dated March 6, 1705-o6, proved April 12. 1720. He mentioned wife Mary, sons Thomas, Joshua, James, Caleb and Nathaniel, and daughter Mary Wilder, whose name was usually spelled Marie.

Thomas Sawyer married Marie, daughter of John Prescott, a blacksmith from Sowerby in the parish of Halifax, England, West Riding of Yorkshire, where he married Mary Blatts, of Yorkshire. He was born in Lancashire, England, and came to Lancaster, Massachusetts, in 164546, for the purpose of building up the town, and he took the oath of allegiance in 1652. His family escaped the massacre and returned_ to the town in 1682. Children: Thomas, born July 2, 1649, mentioned elsewhere; Ephraim, January 16, 1650-51, died February 10, 1676, killed by Indians at Prescott garrison; Mary. November 4. 1652-53, married, 1673, Nathaniel Wilder; Elizabeth, January, 1654, died young; Joshua, March 13, 1655, died July 14, 1738, married, January 2, 1677-78, Sarah Potter; James, January 22, 1697, married (first) February 4, 1677, Mary Marble, and (second) Mary Prescott, of Pomfret. Connecticut; Caleb, February 20, 1659; John, April, 1661, married, January 16, 1686, Mary Bull, of Worcester; Elizabeth, baptized January 5. 1663-64, married James Hosmer, of Marlborough; Deborah, 1666, died young; Nathaniel, October 24, 1670, married (first) Mary and (second) 1695, Elizabeth.

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