Sunday, 12 February 2017

Immigrant Ancestors -- Thomas Bliss (abt 1588-1651)

From Immigrant Ancestors
Continuing to look at my 9th grandfathers, we come to Thomas Bliss (abt 1588-1651), who arrived from England and settled first in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635 with his wife, Margaret Hulins (1595-1684), whom he had married in Gloucester in 1621, and their family. They were fleeing religious persecution.

Founders' Monument, Hartford
By 1639, they were was in Hartford, where he is memorialized as another of my ancestors who were original founders there. I've noted in other blog posts that Hartford was settled by Puritans.

from Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America 
Thomas Bliss was a farmer, and came from a family of farmers in Devon. The always incredibly informative FamilySearch.org has a good overview of Thomas Bliss' origins and life here.

I've also found a book on archive.org, The Genealogy of the Bliss Family that was written in the 19th century by J. Homer Bliss. It is this source that states that my Bliss ancestors  came from Devon.

I can't wait to looking at this more thoroughly. It appears to have an excellent history the family in England, where my Bliss ancestors, Thomas Bliss (my 10th great grandfather) and his oldest son, Jonathan, ran afoul of Charles I in about 1628 and were imprisoned. The family's Devon lands, some of which had been in the family for over 200 years at that time, had to be sold to raise money to free them. But they could only raise enough money to free Thomas. Jonathan, it is said, received 35 lashes and was in poor health the rest of his life as a result. I should say so.

The Bliss Family History Society has an explanation of the origin of the Bliss name. Mark us down as Normans after reading that! There are many other resources about the Bliss family history that I have yet to explore, and sort out fact from not so fact.

I have to think that my ancestors in Hartford and elsewhere knew each other in these early days. After all, the population was small. My Bliss ancestors married into the Webster family

The never ending story continues.....


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