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Notes for Thomas Dimmock

1635 On May 8, "Thomas Demick, wife and family" were on the passenger list of the Hopewell, preparing to depart from Weymouth for New England [1]. [There is no other evidence that Thomas Dimmock had children this early]

Research Notes:

Thomas Dimmock
Origin: Unknown.
Migration: 1635 on the Hopewell of Weymouth.
First Residence: Dorchester.
Removes: Barnstable 1639.
Church membership: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 25 May 1636 implied by freemanship.
Admitted to Barnstable church in 1639, during a period when admission records were not kept. On 7 August 1650, a day of humiliation was declared in Barnstable church "for the investing of my brother Dimmicke into the office of an Elder" [NEHGR 10:38].

Freeman: 25 May 1636 [MBCR 1:372]. Admitted Plymouth Colony freeman, 3 December 1639 [PCR 1:137]. In the Barnstable section of the 1639 (as "Mr. Thomas Dimmack") and 1658 (as "Mr. Tho[mas] Dimacke," with name crossed out) Plymouth Colony lists of freemen [PCR 8:176, 200].

Education: Sufficient to serve as magistrate and on council of war.

Offices: Dorchester selectman (as "Mr. Democke," for terms of six months), 2 November 1635, 27 June 1636 [DTR 13, 16]. Committee to lay out land, 2 November 1635 [DTR 12].

Deputy from Barnstable to Plymouth General Court, December 1639, June 1640, June 1641, June 1642, October 1643, June 1648, June 1649 and June 1650 [PCR 1:126, 137, 155, 2:16, 40, 63, 123, 144, 154]. Commissioner to end small causes, June 1640, June 1644 [PCR 1:155, 2:73]. Petit jury, 1 March 1641/2 [PCR 7:28]. Plymouth Colony committee to negotiate with Massachusetts Bay over disputed territory, 1 June 1650 [PCR 2:158-60; MBCR 3:198-99, 4:1:17].

Plymouth Colony Council of War, 27 September 1642 [PCR 2:47]. In Barnstable section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:193]. Lieutenant for Barnstable, 10 October 1643, 7 July 1646 [PCR 2:63, 105]. Barnstable committee to "appoint a place or places for their defense" (as "Mr. Thomas Dimmack") [PCR 2:65]. On 3 March 1645/6, "Lieutenant Dimmack, of Barnestable," was presented "for neglecting to exercise their men in arms," and was discharged [PCR 2:97].

Estate: Granted one of the "great lots at the bounds betwixt Roxbury and Dorchester at the great hill," twenty acres, 4 January 1635/6 [DTR 14]. Granted two acres of marsh, 18 February 1635/6 [DTR 15]. Granted "2 acres in the marsh next to Goodman Grenwayes," 27 June 1636 [DTR 17]. Granted "all the ground between his pale and Goodman Denslow and Bartholomew," 5 July 1636 [DTR 18]. Permitted to "have their portions in satisfaction of the Calve's Pasture in the marsh beyond the trees over against the Fox Point," two acres, 2 January 1637/8 [DTR 28]. In the division of 18 March 1637/8, received three acres, three-quarters and four rods, and four acres and twenty-four rods [DTR 31]. (In the 8 March 1663/4 accounting of the New Grant, at that date held entirely by William Stoughton, "Dimmock" was credited with having held at one time lot #13 [DTR 120].)

In his undated nuncupative will, deposed to on 4 June 1658, "Mr. Thomas Dimacke of Barnstable" told "Anthony Annable and John Smith being with him the last summer some small space of time after he ... was taken sick they advised him to set his house in order to which he answered that little that God had given him he would leave to his wife for they were her children as well as his" [MD 14:230, citing PCPR 2:1:75].

Birth: By about 1610 based on estimated date of marriage.
Death: Before 4 June 1658 (probate of will).
Marriage: By 1635 Ann ______ (assuming she was the wife who came to New England with him). (On 7 August 1650, Rev. John Lothrop referred to this immigrant as "my brother Dimmicke" [NEHGR 10:38]. Jacobus argued that the "likeliest solution is that Lothrop's second wife was a sister of Thomas Dimmock" [Granberry 209-10]. According to Otis, "the widow Ann Dimmock was living in October 1683.... She probably died before 1686" [Otis 339]. The evidentiary basis for these statements by Otis has not been found.)

1. Timothy, bp. Barnstable 12 January 1639/40 [NEHGR 9:282]; bur. Barnstable 17 June 1640 "in the lower side of the Calve's Pasture" [NEHGR 9:285].
2. Son (twin), bur. Barnstable 18 March 1640/1 ("Mr. Dimmick his 2 children twins a son and a daughter unbaptized") [NEHGR 9:285].
3. Daughter (twin), bur. Barnstable 18 March 1640/1 [NEHGR 9:285].
4. Mehitable, bp. Barnstable [18] April 1642 [NEHGR 9:282]; m. Watertown 17 April 1662 Richard Child [WaVR 24]. (Bond gives the date of marriage as 30 March 1662 [Bond 153], and he is followed in this by other writers. This is not the date given in the published Watertown vital records. Bond may have been influenced by the date of birth of the eldest child, 30 March 1663 [WaVR 25].)
5. Shubael, bp. Barnstable 15 September 1644 [NEHGR 9:283]; m. Barnstable [blank] April 1653 [sic] Joanna Bursley [MD 4:221], daughter of John Bursley [1623, Weymouth] [GMB 1:282]. (The records for the family of Shubael Dimmock were entered along with those of his sons' families, probably in the 1690s. An annotation in the original says "These records perhaps 10 year too old" [MD 4:221], an error probably made by the Dimmock family member who supplied the data to the town clerk. The marriage evidently took place in 1663.)
6. Susanna, born say 1646; m. by 1668 Robert Shelley (eldest known child born Barnstable 21 January 1668[/9] [MD 12:153]), son of Robert Shelley [1632, Boston] [GMB 3:1662-63]. (The existence of this child was convincingly argued by Edith Bartlett Sumner, on the basis of the names of the children of this couple, and the service of Shubael Dimmock as one of the appraisers of the inventory of Robert Shelley [Hall-Baldwin 169]. We differ with her only in placing Susanna as the youngest child rather than the oldest, based on the dates of birth of her children.)


Savage suggested that the immigrant had sons Thomas and John [Savage 2:51], but this seems to be a confusion with his son Shubael's sons by those names.

Savage believed that Thomas Dimmock moved from Dorchester to Hingham in 1638, then to Scituate, and finally to Barnstable in 1640 [Savage 2:51]. Dimmock was in Dorchester as late as January 1637/8, and in Barnstable as early as December 1639; no evidence has been found that he resided anywhere in between.

Otis claimed that, "in March 1639, Mr. Dimmock was appointed by the Colony Court to exercise the Barnstable men in arms" [Otis 328], and was followed in this by other writers, but this item does not appear in the published Plymouth Colony records. Perhaps there is confusion with a similar record of 3 March 1645/6 [PCR 2:97].

Banks derived this immigrant from Chesterblade, Somersetshire [Topo Dict 140], but this suggestion, and another made more recently [M&JCH 22:117], were disposed of in 1999 [M&JCH 27:22-23].

Edith Bartlett Sumner included in her list of children of Thomas Dimmock, without comment or evidence, a supposed daughter Elizabeth who supposedly married Knyvet Sears [Hall-Baldwin 59]. Guilford also included this daughter, but with a lengthy presentation of the persuasive arguments of Samuel Pearce May that Knyvet Sears and wife Elizabeth Dimmock never existed [Guilford Anc 250].

Bibliographic Note: In 1888 Amos Otis prepared a detailed account of this immigrant and some of his descendants [Otis 328-40]. Embedded in this account is a detailed analysis of the chronology of the settlement of Barnstable, and of the New England origin of the early settlers.

In 1945 Donald Lines Jacobus compiled a brief account of this immigrant; he felt that Thomas Dimmock's wife was most likely a sister of the second wife of Rev. John Lothrop [1635, Scituate] [Granberry 209-10]. In 1954 Edith Bartlett Sumner published a summary of the life and family of Thomas Dimmock, in which she included her arguments for a daughter Susanna [Hall-Baldwin 58-59, 168-70].

The 1990 treatment by Joan S. Guilford adds nothing to our knowledge of this family [Guilford Anc 247-52].


[1] Peter Wilson Coldham, "Genealogical Gleanings in England Passengers and Ships to America, 1618-1668," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 71 (1983), 163-192, at 174.