Thomas Blisse, farmer, of Hartford,Conn., was born most probably in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England in the approximate year of 1590. Numerous Bliss records are traced to the Painswick area which has been termed"Bliss Country" by other researchers. New research, however, tends to indicate that Gloucester was his place of birth. He married, first, Margaret _?_. They had three children, Thomas Jr., Ann and Sarah, before Margaret _?_Bliss died and was burien from St. Nicholas Church, Gloucester, 4 Jun 1621. Thomas married, second, four months later, 18 Oct 1621, at St Nicholas Church, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Margaret Hulins of Rodborough. Their first son Nathaniel was born there (in Rodborough) and baptized 28 December 1622 at Rodborough. It should be noted that women often returned to their mother's house for the birth of their first child.
It seems likely that Thomas and his older children embarked for America in the spring of 1638, leaving behind in England his wife Margaret with the baby Samuel and her other children. They would join him later when he had claimed some land and built a house. Margaret was probably intending to sail for America in March 1639 when her father was taken ill early in that year. He made his will bequeathing his daughter Margaret L5 to be handed to her by her eldest brother on 4 Margh (presumably just before she and her children were to due to board the ship taking them to America.
In February 1640 Thomas had his land entered into the Hartford records and on one parcel "his dwelling house now standeth." This would indicate that he had been a resident at Hartford for some time, and for lack of any earlier evidence of his presence in America, we set his arrival in New England at 1638, being early enough for the construction of a dwelling house. As evidence of Mr. Blisse's presence at Hartford prior to 1640, the Hartford Book of Distributions , February 1639, records several parcels of land in Hartford upon ther River"Conecticott" belonging to Thomas Blisse sen & his heirs forever. It goes on to describe the land.
Thomas died either very late in 1650 or early in 1651 at Hartford. He was possessed of 58 acres of land and the house lot was on a highway west of the present Lafayette Street in Hartford. His estate was inventoried at a meagre 86 pounds, 12 shillings and 8 pence on 14 February 1650 (1651 N.S.),but since four older children were already married, it is likely that their portions of the estate had already been distributed. Thomas had not written a will , but instead recited it orally to his wife, with his daughter Parsons, as a witness, witnessed by John Pynchon and Henry Smith.
On 20 February 1650/51, the Particular Court gave Margaret full power to administer the estate if she so long continue a widow.
Some of the children had already settled at Springfield at the time ot Thomas' death and Margaret wasted no time taking over the management of her husband's estate, and removing with her younger children to Springfield. Under the date of 22 January 1651 she appeared as a grantee of three acres on Pacowick beginning at the lower end, in Springfield Town Votes. She also acquired seven acres on the west side of the Great River opposide her home lot, nineteen and one half acres in Long Meadow, four acres in the same general area, five acres in the second division over Agsesm River and three acres on Pacowsick Brook. This estate is bounded today by Main Street on the east, the Connecticut River on the west, Margaret Street on the north and Fremont Street on the south. Margaret died 28 August 1684. On 30 September 1684, her son Samuel, of Springfield, presented her last will and an inventory of her estate to the Hampshire County Court.
Margaret proved to be an able manager of her husband's estate. The estate was inventoried at 278 pounds, more than three times the amount left to her by her husband.
Children of Thomas and Margaret (1st Wife)
1. Thomas, b. c1618; d. 15 Apr 1688; m.30 Oct 1644, Elizabeth
2. Ann, b. c1620; d.20 Nov 1685; m. 29 Apr 1642, Robert Chapman
3. Sarah, bapt 23 Apr 1620, St. Nicholas Church, Gloucester; died young.
Children of Thomas and Margaret (Hulins) Bliss
4. Nathaniel, bapt. 28 Dec 1622; d. 18 Nov 1654; m. 18 Nov 1654, Catherine Chapin
5. Mary, b. c1625; d. 29 Jan 1712;; m. 2 Nov 1646, Joseph Parsons
6. Lawrence, b. c1627; d. 1676; m. 25 Oct 1654, Lydia Wright
7. William, bapt 25 Apr 1628, St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester; died young
8. Hannah, b. c1633; d. 25 Jan 1660/1--unmarried
9. John, b. c1635; d. 10 Sep 1702; m.7 Oct 1667, Patience Burt
10. Sarah, b. c1638; d. 27 Sep 1705; m. (1) 20 Jul 1659, John Scott (2) Samuel Terry
11. Samuel, bapt. 4 Feb 1637/8. St Mary de Crypt, Gloucester; d. 23 Mar 1720; m. 10 Nov 1665,
12. Hester, (twin) b. 1640, Hartford; d. 12 Jun 1683;m. 26 Dec 1661, Edward Foster
13. Elizabeth (twin) b. 1640, Hartford; d. bef 1684; m. 15 Feb 1669, Miles Morgen
NOTE: The account here is somewhat different then in the "Bliss Family in America" due to further research primarily by Tom Bliss, editor of the Bliss Magazine.
Genealogy of the Bliss Family--Aaron Tyler Bliss 1982
Article by Tom Bliss, Bliss Magazine, Vol 2,No 20 Dec. 2007
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