LEIGHTON Thomas[1]

Male Abt 1604 - 1672  (~ 68 years)

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  • Name LEIGHTON Thomas 
    Born Abt 1604  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Birth Abt 1604  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • (Deposed aged 60 in Dec. 1665.)
    Will 21 Sep 1671  [4
    • (This will was unusual in that the widow was left a life interest in the whole estate rather than the usual one-third dower right, and that his children were not to receive their shares until her re-marriage or death. An inventory of his estate was made 15 Feb, 1671-2 (New Hampshire Province Probate Records [NHPP], 1: 145-6; 2:186).

      In the name and fear of God Amen, I Thomas Layton senior of Dover in New England, aged sixty-seven years or thereabouts, being exercised with great infirmity of body, but through the goodness of God of sound mind and memory, not knowing how soon my dissolution may be, do therefore make and conclude this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as followeth.

      First, I recommend my soul into the hands of my blessed God and Father and in our Lord Jesus Christ, and my body to the Dust to be buried in a Christian manner at the discretion of my executor and executrix hereafter mentioned.

      As to my outward estate, my will is that my present wife Joanna do enjoy (during her natural life if she continue in the estate of widowhood, or during her widowhood if she marry) my whole estate both personal and real, to be improved for her comfortable maintenance; and at her marriage one-third part of the whole, after that--her marriage--to be improved by or for her until her decease.

      That my only son and heir Thomas Layton shall have (besides what he hath or shall receive before my decease) all my housing, lands, orchard, marshes, flats, with their privileges or appurtances, either within or out of this town, to be had and held by him, his heirs or assigns forever, after they fall from his mother by marriage or her decease as abovesaid. To him I also give one-quarter part of the movables [furniture and other personal property] which shall be left undisposed of by my wife for her comfortable supply as abovesaid.

      He, the said Thomas Layton my son, paying to my daughter Mary, the wife of Thomas Roberts junior, to the value of ten pounds, to my daughter Elizabeth, wife of Philip Cromwell, to the value of forty pounds, to my daughter Sarah (unmarried at present) to the value of forty pounds, which he is to pay to them or to their heirs or assigns within the space or term of two years after the decease of his mother Joanna if they shall demand it, which I by these presents assign to them out of the said estate, together with a quarter part of the movables /to each of them/ which shall be left by my wife Joanna. He, the said Thomas my son, also setting John my Indian servant free, and paying to him the value of five pounds at the decease of the said Joanna. Moreover I do hereby constitute and appoint my son and heir Thomas abovesaid Executor and my wife Joanna Executrix jointly whilst they are both living, and severally after the decease of either of them.

      In witness of the premises [statements] I do hereby set my hand and seal this one and twentieth day of September Anno Domini 1671.
      John Reynor Thomas Layton senior
      X his mark
      Thomas Roberts junior
      his mark
    Died 22 Jan 1671/2  Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Will (proved) 25 Jun 1672  [5
    _UID 4588040BE0A5064D8D8CB6EE05E6B60D1FFC 
    • Although no record of his arrival exists, Thomas Layton (as the name was spelled in early records) was undoubtedly among the planters of Dover (then called Northam) who settled at Cocheco or Dover Point in 1633 under the leadership of Capt. Thomas Wiggin. His home lot of ten acres was on the present border of Dover and Madbury, later bisected by the Post Road which bridged the Piscataquis River; for generations this area was called "Leighton's Hill" (Mary P. Thompson, Landmarks in Ancient Dover, N.H. [Durham, 1892], 118-9.) About two and a half centuries after, in 1885, Mary Ann (Leighton) Rollins had a monument erected "In Memory of the Leighton Household" in the field on the west side of the Back River Road.

      Thomas soon acquired extensive land holdings (John Scales, History of Dover, N.H.: Colonial Era [Manchester, 1923, reprinted in 1977], 202, 235-248); in 1639 he was taxed on property valued at 155 pounds -- the highest assessment in the town. In 1640 he was granted ten acres of marshland on Great Bay; in 1642 he received #18 of the 20-acre lots laid out on the west side of the Back River; on 15 Apr. 1646 he was allotted ten acres on Great Bay near Laighton's Cove (on Bloody Point, which later became the town of Newington).

      On the tax list of 19 10mo [Dec.] 1646 he had the second-highest assessment (scales, Dover, 234; for tax lists of 1649 through 1666 see Alonza Quint, Historical Memoranda concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, N.H. [Dover, 1900, reprinted in 1983], 140, 349-364). He, William Pomfret and John Dam were granted mill priviledges at Bellamy's Bank in 1649 (Quint, Old Dover, 35); he sold his quarter-share in the sawmill there 8 Apr. 1653 (New England Historical and Genealogical Register [NEHGReg], 47[1893]:469. On 10 Jan. 1655 he was granted 100 acres on the west shore of Great Bay, and in 1656 another 30 acres of upland adjoining Laighton's Cove (Thompson, Landmarks, 118-9) and 100 acres on the south side adjoining his Back Bay property from Ambrose Gibbons. On 11 Jan. 1658-9 he deeded 20 acres to his apprentice John Wingate (New Hampshire Province Deeds [NHPD], 3:43) and on 16 Feb. 1670 he deeded to Thomas, Jr., the house and 160-acre farm north of Royall's Cove which his son was already occupying (NHPD 3:58).

      Land was usually laid out to settlers according to their ability to develop it. Thomas Layton's land aquisitions suggest that he immigrated bringing the money and tools he would need to establish himself in the new world. Settlers had to cut down trees to clear ground for crops, although the salt marshes might provide hay for their stock. Besides farming, they engaged in fur-trading, fishing, making pipestaves and clapboards, and rendering potash from wood ashes. Dover settlers developed a lively trade with the West Indies, especially the Barbados, in dried salt fish and barrel staves; it is probable that Thomas Leighton invested cargo in such ventures.

      He was influential in shaping the pioneer community. His name and mark "T" are on all the early political documents: the petition against control by Massachusetts Bay 4 Mar. 1640 (N.H. Provincial and State Papers [NHSP], 1:128; the Dover Combination of 22 Oct. 1640 (10:701); the petition on 9 Oct. 1641 for union with the Bay Colony; a petition against the Patentees in 1654 (1:212); and on 10 Oct. 1665 a declaration of continued allegiance to Massachusetts (1:284-5). He was repeatedly selected as selectman, grand juror and constable ("Extracts from Dover Town Records," New Hampshire Genealogical Record [NHGR], 4[1907]: 247; Quint, Old Dover, 1-10). He was made a freeman (having full voting rights) in 1653 and was released from the obligation for military training 26 June 1661 (NHSP, 40:157).
    Person ID I24516  Old North Yarmouth, Maine
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2019 

    Family [LEIGHTON] Joanna,   b. Abt 1617,   d. 15 Jan 1703/4, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 87 years) 
    Married Bef 1642  [2, 3
    +1. LEIGHTON Thomas,   b. 1642, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1677, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
     2. LEIGHTON Mary,   b. 1644, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. LEIGHTON Elizabeth,   b. 1646, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. LEIGHTON Sarah,   b. 1648, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1671  (Age 23 years)
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2020 
    Family ID F6565  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S2894] Book-A Leighton Genealogy, pp.17-18.

    2. [S92] Book-Leighton-A Leighton Genealogy, 1:17.

    3. [S2894] Book-A Leighton Genealogy, p.17.

    4. [S2894] Book-A Leighton Genealogy, p.19.

    5. [S2894] Book-A Leighton Genealogy, p.18.