Thomas Applegate

Male Abt 1600 -

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  • Name Thomas Applegate 
    Born Abt 1600  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • His birthdate is almost completely guesswork based on the also estimated birthrates of his children. The best documented age is that John 4, who died in 1712 at about age 80 according to transcriptions of his now missing stone.
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1635  Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • In contrast to Clement, Edward, George and James, there are many records of Thomas. Our earliest authentic record is the granting of a license to run a ferry between present day Weymouth (nee Wassaguscus) and Braintree (nee Wolliston) on 02 September, 1635 (Mary—“‘for which he was to have 1d. for every person, & ld. A horse’”—ED) (Shurtleff, 1:156; Map 1 3.) However, six months later (03 March, 1636) the same record (p. 165) tells us that Thomas was discharged from keeping the ferry and was replaced by Henry Kingman. An early map of Wassagscus (Map 1 4) makes one wonder the need for a ferry.
      The earliest reference to Thomas being in the New World, but on an ill defined date, is in Nash b, p. 91:
      “In March of the next year (1636) Thomas Applegate also a prior settler (prior to the Hull Company of 1635,) was re¬moved from his position as ferry keeper and Henry Kingman, one of the new comers appointed to succeed him. (Material in brackets added).”
      Anderson, et al. (p. 72, 1999) put Thomas' entry to the New World in 1635. This is based, I believe, on that is the year in which he obtained a ferry license. I believe that is wrong. First, he was here prior to the Hull company who arrived in 1635. (The Hull company arrived in the spring of 1635, indicating the fact that they left England about as soon as they could for that year. Thomas could have arrived earlier in the year, but certainly not by very much, certainly not early enough to learn about big coastal canoes, coastal currents, and whether or not a ferry of this type was a decent investment. He almost certainly had to be here in 1634.—ED) True, he could have come one day earlier than they did and still come in 1635. It seems to me, however, that Thomas had to be here earlier to get a ferry license in 1635. Later activities of Thomas show him to be canny in business. Surely, he took time to assess the local situation and find the best business to give a good return. Secondly, granting a license was up to the courts in which then, as now, a little political pressure helped which took time and the cultivation of connections. Finally, he had to get the money to start up. Unless he secreted money in his luggage, this too would take time.
      There is evidence that although Thomas had his license withdrawn, he retained control of the ferry. On 04 December, 1638, William Blanton was enjoined to appear to the next court at Newe Towne (now Cambridge, Massachusetts) with all the men that were in a canoe with him and with Aplegate, who owned the canoe out of which the three persons were drowned. It was ordered that no canoe should be used as a ferry upon paine of 5s nor no canoe to be made in our jurisdiction before the next Generall Court upon pain of 10s (paraphrased) (Shurtleff, 1:246.)At the next court, 05 March, 1639, Willi Blanton, Willi Potter, Rob't Thorpe, Henry Neal, John Fitch, and Thomas Aplegate, appearing, were discharged, with an admonition not to adventure too many into any boat (Shurtleff, 1:249.)Thomas, besides being admonished, also lost his canoe. It was staved by court order i.e., bottom knocked out (Shurtleff, 1:246.)
      John Stillwell Applegate, a judge from Red Bank, New Jersey, in a letter to his father dated 06 December, 1896 said:
      “It was an ancient law that the instrument which caused the death of a person should be forfeited to the king, to be applied to pius uses. Blackstone says that in the blind days of popery such forfeitures de¬signed as an expiation for the souls of of those snatched away by sudden death. Hence the name "Deoland," given to God. But the true reason for such forfeitures in the latter days seems to have been, that the owner of the instrument should be deprived of it as a punishment for their negligence (MEA, film 973).”
      The same court, that ordered the canoe staved, also ordered Thomas to be given 29 shillings for his canoe, provided he returned in good condition arms he had borrowed (Shurtleff, 1:249.) The reason for borrowing the arms is not given.
      The canoe was a necessity to transport people and goods, via water, between the two settlements of Weymouth and Braintree. An account written in 1634 says "three miles to the north of this (Wessagyscus) is Mount Walleston ... A second inconvenience is, that boats cannot come in at low water, nor ships near the shore" (Young, p. 395.)
      In 1641, testimony by George Allen, son of the George Allen who later purchased the land of Thomas, also connects Thomas with a boat:
      “Thomas Rawlins of Weymouth in New England fisherman aged about 33. yeares sworne upon his oath that in or about Oct last he heard John King of Weymouth seaman undertake unto Thomas Applegate of Weymouth planter to goe in his boate as Master thereof if an other man could be gotten by either of them to goe with him the said John King to help manage the said boate and they agreed together that the said John King should have his owne parte of the fishe taken by himself in the sd boat freight free & that the said Thomas Apple¬gate should have the 4th penny of freight of goods carryed in the said boate and that if the boate or any goods therein should be miscarryed cast away or hurt by ill ordering or laying of the said boate the said John King should beare the dam¬mage thereof and their words & agreement were to this purpose.
      George Allen of Weymouth in New England planter aged about twenty one yeares sworne saith upon his oath that about the begining of November last one day late wthnnight he was present in the house of John King of Weymouth seaman Master of Thomas Applegates boate & there heard the said John King say to William Newland that he would not stand to the adventure of the goods of the said William Newland laden in the said boate if that one hogshead of salt more of his were put into the same boate, whereto the said Newland answered that not withstanding he would have the said hogshead put into the said boate that night & if the boate were overladen in the morning some of the said goods might be again taken taken out therof or words to that purpose and hereupon this deponent wth others did help put in the said hogshead that night in¬to the said boate & in the next morning the boate did not rise but sunke to that side where the said hogshead lay and this deponent knoweth that the said boate did rise well enough one tyde when the rest of the said goods besides the said hogshead were in it (Hale, pp. 392, 393.)”
      In a footnote to the above, it is observed that in 1636 Thomas was discharged from keeping the ferry but from later entries, it appeared that Thomas continued until 1638 as owner of the ferry although William Blanten may have actually managed the ferry.
      Just one day after the sinking, Newland filed suit against Thomas for eight pounds and won. George Allen testified it was Newland's salt that had been in Thomas' boat and therefore Newland was entitled to damages (Chamberlain, 4:443.)
      The ferry and the Allen family were connected later. George Allen, the purchaser of Thomas' land, came to Weymouth with the Hulls in April 1635. One of his sons, John, was granted land "in the plaine" prior to 1643. This land had originally been given to Thomas (Chamberlain, 3:11.) George Jr., another son, complained to the general court "about the ferry at Weymouth" on 10 March, 1640.
      According to Chamberlain (3:14) Thomas' first land was "in the plaine" and was then given to John Allen. Later, Thomas was given land "on the east side of Great Pond." Chamberlain goes on to say, without documentation, that Thomas was in Weymouth prior to 1635. He then gives another version of the famous/infamous canoe. According to him, John King was the captain when the drowning took place. Besides the passengers, the canoe carried a load of salt that caused the capsizing (ibid., pp. 349, 350.)
      The last land record for Thomas in Weymouth is 02 Feb¬ruary, 1651 when he was given lot 28 on "the east side of Fresh Pond" (Howard 1:199, see Chamberlain; also Nash a, p. 281.)
      The final item on the land of Thomas is given by Nash a, p. 255:
      The land of John Allin
      “five acres on the plaine first granted to Thomas Applegate bounded on the East by a lot of Joseph Shawes on the East & south with on the West by Ralph Allins lot the sea on the north two acres at the same bounded with the sea Eyght a¬cres on the necke the land of Henry Kingman on the East Thomas Holbrooke on the west the common on the north first granted to George Allin Two acres and a quarter twelve rod of meddow in the wes¬ter neck first giuen to George Allin bounded on the East with the marsh of Richard Siluester on the west with the marsh of William ffrie the sea on the north the land of Henry Kingman on the south ...”
      In 1641, Joshua Coffin noted that he saw Thomas in Weymouth (Farmer, p. 18.)

      Apparently, the Applegates were of independent spirit and free speech that did not endear them to the Puritans. This may have been a factor in inducing them to move to Rhode Island. Characteristically our first data from Rhode Island are of Thomas in court (Chapin, 2:133.) He filed suit against John Room(e) of Newport for use of a house (Map 1 5) on 01 December, 1641. In a complicated set of suits, Thomas, Room(e), Nicolas Cotteral and William Heavens sued and countersued each other up to 03 December, 1643 (ibid., 135, 138, 142, 150, 152.)
      (Unk-Mary F—“On 1 June 1641, ‘Will[ia]m Newland complains against Thomas Applegate, in an action of trespass upon the case, to the damage of £20. The jury find for the plaintiff, and assesses him £8 damages, and the charges of the suit’ [PCR 7:19]. On 1 June 1641, ‘Richard Burne undertook & promised to make good & pay all such damages as might happen if Thomas Applegate should by bringing the suit about again recover anything against W[illia]m Newland, who this court hath recovered against the said Applegate £8 damages, and the charge of the suit’ [PCR 2:18]. On 6 September 1641, ‘Thomas Applegate complains against Will[ia]m Newland in an action of trespass for detaining certain swine. The jury find for the defendant & give him the charges of the suit’ [PCR 7:23]. On 7 September 1641, George Allen & Mr. Edward Dillingham are nominated, by consent of both parties, to apprize the swine Will[ia]m Newland hath in execution of Thom[as] Applegate, and what the want in value of eight pounds & charges the said Applegate is to give his bill to the said Newland for payment thereof’ [PCR 2:24]. {All of the participants in this dispute except for Applegate resided in Sandwich. Allpegate may have resided there briefly between his years in Weymouth and Newport, but there is no direct evidence for this.}
      “On 1 december 1641, ‘[Thomas] Applegate of Nuport’ sued John Roome of the same town [Chapin 2:133, 135]. On 7 June 1643, William Dyer of Newport sued ‘Thomas Applegate, weaver, of the same town,’ and at the same court session Henry Bull sued Applegate [Chapin 2:141]. On 5 September 1643, ‘Thomas Applegate of Nuport’ sued Edward Andrews, and on the same day he sued ‘W[illia]m Heavens of Portsmo[uth] upon a mortgage of house & land consigned by Sam[uel] Willbore to the said Thomas’ [Chapin 2:147]. On 3 december 1643, a dispute between Nicholas Cotterell and Thjomas Applegate was sent to arbitration [Chapin 2:149]; this dispute, or another between the same two men, was still alive in 1646 [Chapin 2:161].”
      According to Rhode Island Colony Records (1:7,) the land had been granted to William Heavens by the town council. Hea¬vens, identified as a carpenter, mortgaged the property to Nicholas Cotteral and, with the money, built a house on the lot. Later, Cotteral foreclosed and sold the property and house to Thomas. He, in turn, attempted to sell it to George Cozzens. The property apparently is on what is now Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown (then part of Newport.)
      Our next record of Thomas is also a court case (ibid., 1:135.) A Jermey Gould filed against Thomas. Both are ident¬ified as being from Newport. Mr. Coggesdall was appointed as referee and both Thomas and Jermey were ordered to abide by his decision no later than the last day of April, 1642. Nei¬ther the cause of the dispute nor the resolution were listed.
      Edward Browce sold Thomas, identified as a weaver, a four acre house lot between the lots of George Cleer and Thomas Roberts on 21 January, 1643 (Rhode Island Colony Rec¬ords, 2:3.) The same records show that George Gardiner switched lots with Thomas Applegate. The lots are in the region of Newport's main post office Thames Street at Memorial Boulevard. In the 1650s, all these home lots were purchased by Benedict Arnold, the great grandfather of the traitor. Their separate identities were lost at that time.
      On 20/21 March, 1643, James Rogers sold three parcels of land to Thomas Applegate, weaver (ibid., 2:1:) First, Roger's house and lot; second, a four acre lot between the lots of Edward Andrews and Michael Spence and third. the western half of Roger's "30 acre great lot" (Map 1 5.)
      On 06 May, 1643, Edward Andrews sold to Robert Jefferies two four acre lots (ibid., 2:4.) The land north of the lots was described as being owned by Thomas Applegate, weaver. However, Thomas had sold that land to Jefferies nine months earlier.
      Thomas took time out from his real estate dealings (but not for long) to engage in another court case. On 07 June, 1643, William Dyer of Newport filed suit against Thomas Apple¬gate, weaver, of the same town for "detayning of goods to the damage of 40s the D:ackdnowledged wrong & was injoyned to aske forgiveness of the pl and his wife for wronging of them & so carry back the goods to the Pl. house" (ibid., 2:141.)
      On the same page (and probably on or near the same date) Henry Bull filed suit against Thomas for tresspass. Applegate was to "Satisfie" the claim by order of the court.
      A few months later, 20 August, 1643, Thomas sold to Robert Jefferies two home lots of four acres each (ibid., 2:3.) One lot was that sold Thomas on 21 January, 1643 by Edward Browce. The other lot, location unknown, was given Thomas by the town.
      Thomas also held land to the south. It is now known as Price's Neck (Map 1 5.) By the original deed, William Dyre bought the neck from Thomas Applegate who obtained it by a town grant. On 20 December, 1644, Dyre sold it to George Gardiner (ibid., 2:5.) On 14 December, 1652, Gardiner sold it to John Price (hence today's name.) on 04 December, 1652, Price sold it to Thomas Clarke. He bought it for his broth¬er, John, who was in England on state business.
      Austin (pp. 47, 48) lists a Thomas Clarke having a will dated 28 July, 1674 and proved 18 December, 1678. In the will, he leaves to "brother Joseph Clarke's children, equally all that is due from brother John Clarke, for service and tendence when he was gone to England for twelve years ... I purchased 10 acres at Applegate's neck upon this island;" i.e., Aquidneck.
      On page 46, the will of John Clarke says "at the decease of wife, the trustees to distribute and dispose of profits of the farm and marsh for relief of the poor and bringing up of children unto learning." This trust, one of the oldest in the nation, is still in effect and is based on Thomas' land.
      After his father's death, Bartholomew empowered Henry Timberlake to occupy some of the land in Rhode Island (O'Cal-laghan b, p. 155.) A Henry Timberlake is listed by Austin (p. 204.) Henry, son of William, lived in Newport. In 1678, he was listed as a freeman, and, in 1680, paid a tax of L4/8. The various holdings of Thomas are shown in Map 1 6.
      Appelgat's Plaine is mentioned in Rhode Island Land Evi¬dence (1:71.) William Dyre was colony secretary and he was one of the men who originally laid out the roads, farms and lots. In 1654, he wrote:
      “An other high way from the Entrance of mr. Coggesdalls farme to goe to castle hill and soe leadinge to all the Lands and Comons upon the neck wch way was layd out by us to the Brooke that came down by Apelgates Plaine the rest is not detirmined as yett where to runn A highway from the Towne layd out of 2 poles wide to wi. Dyres farme and soe to lead to the lands on the north side of the Towne girt the meadows, mr. Coggingtons Cow¬pasture the Artillery Garden mr. Clarkes land and Willia Dyres Land soe by mr. Dyres meadow a way into the land that the said Dyre bought of Apelgate to fetch off the wood of that land for the townes use which land was layd forth by Captn Clarke and mr. Robert Jeffer¬ays as alsoe byn them was the wood reserved and the way appointed only for that use.”

      (Mary F—“Teunis G. Bergen stated that Thomas Applegate was ‘in N[ew] A[msterdam] as early as 1641’ [Kings County Settlers 14], but no record has been found to support this claim.”—ED)
      Sometime after Thomas sold his 15 acre farm on 05 May, 1644, he must have left Rhode Island. He is not listed in Rhode Island Land Evidences of 1648 1696 (Klyberg, 1921.) On 10 October, 1645, he was one of the original patentees of Flushing, Long Island (Thompson, 3:6.)
      Apparently, Thomas did not stay long in Flushing. John Ruckman, one of the original patentees of Gravesend, sold Thomas land in Gravesend on 12 November, 1646 (Gravesend, 1:4.) On 17 December, 1646, the town council of Gravesend included Tho. Aplegate in the list of those required to keep twenty poles for a fence to be erected between the various lots (ibid., 1:9.) Thomas failed to keep up his part of the fence. On 13 April, 1647, the town council decided to "hyer a man to doe it" and have Thomas charged with the costs (ibid., 1:10.) Later, in February, 1648, Thomas agreed to help fence the common pasture (ibid., 1:19.)
      Thomas was remembered in Flushing long after he moved away. Robert Field bought his property in the town and on 12 February, 1653, gave the land to Anthony Field, his son. Some controversy developed for, on 06 February, 1673, Charity Field, the widow of Robert, reported "that the home lott that lies between the old Applegates and the Lott that was formerly Doughty's is my sone Anthony Field's lott" (Field, 6:194.)
      As usual, while in Gravesend, Thomas and Elizabeth were caught up in court cases. On 12 September, 1648, Ambrose Lon¬don brought suit against Elizabeth for saying that his wife milked the cows of Elizabeth. Elizabeth admitted she had said it but that she was merely repeating what Penelope Prince had told her. Upon questioning, Penelope acknowledged her fault and apologized. There is no record of Elizabeth being fined (Gravesend, 1:24.) (Furman-Voress-“Pennellope prince being questioned acknowledged her faulte in soe speaking and being sorrie for her words shee gave satisfaction one both sides.”—ED)
      The Londons and Applegates tangled in court at least one more time. Elizabeth and son John testified on 04 January, 1649 that the wife of Ambrose London said that "Tho. Carnwell (Furman-Voress-“Cornwell”—ED) stole a rinlett and sacke" (ibid., 2:28.)
      Thomas did not have a good year in 1650. Driggs (70:8) identifies him as owning a farm and "seem(ing) to have spend most of his leisure in the public stocks on the common outside Lady Moody's door." Furman (1983) has analyzed the court cases of Thomas while in Gravesend. He concludes there is some evidence that Driggs and Stockwell (p. 106) overstated both Thomas' offenses and his penalties. (From an unk source, possibly Stilwell, through the hands of Furman and then Voress-“Every town has its bad apple and Gravesend was without exception for it had the notorious Thomas Aplegate.” Hooray for our team!—ED)
      Lady Moody is a most interesting character. I can find no biography of her although extracts of her activities are in several places. The best account, but no means the most exhaustive account, is in Merlis, Rosenzweig and Miller.
      In one of the 1650 cases, Nicholas Stillwell brought action for slander against Thomas for saying "if plaintiffs debts were paid he would have little left." Apparently, Thomas stood mute; he was admonished and fined 12 guilders plus court costs (Gravesend, 1:58.)
      On 14 February, 1650, Lieutenant Bulgar testified that he and Thomas went to Flushing. On the trip, Thomas took out several warrants that said Ensign George Baxter had received 40 guilders from Thomas. The very next line says that on 12 April, 1650, Tho. Aplegate made such a disturbance in court that business had to be suspended. The relationship between the 40 guilders and the disturbance is not clear to me (ibid., 1:42, 43.)
      George Baxter, due to the large influx of English¬ speaking settlers on Long Island, was appointed official interpreter by the Dutch officials in New Amsterdam in 1642 (Janvier, p. 95.) He was characterized as "a fuming sort of person" and as a leader in the rebellion that broke out among the English on Long Island in 1655 (ibid., p. 97.)
      On 08 January, 1651, Sergeant Hubbard, on behalf of his wife, brought suit against Thomas. Thomas was charged with slander in saying that Hubbard had but half a wife:
      “Robert Clarke being disposed saith that Thomas Aplegate Sr. being some time att Manhattan, there waiting three days to have ye company of the said Robert Clarke to ye plantation of Gravesend, on ye way hee, his wife and said deponent come a¬long, ye said defendent said: "I heare" said hee, 'ye Governor Stuyvesant hath layed out your daughter for Ensign Baxter but I hope you will be wiser. 'Why?" said ye deponent. Ye defendent replyed saying: "Hee is a beggerly scabb and most of his maintainance hee hath in the place we are going to; and when hee is there ye Serjant Hubbard hath but halfe a wife." Ye wife of Mr. Clarke of ye age 48 being disposed witnesses the same. Thomas said "hee never spoke ye words."”
      The court found him guilty. He was sentenced to "stand att ye public post during ye pleasure of ye court with a Paper upon his breast mentioning the fact the hee is a notorious scandalous person." Later, Thomas admitted he said the remark and asked Mrs. Hubbard for forgiveness which she gave. Thomas had to post a bond, on 11 January, 1651, of 500 guil¬ders to speak no more scandal. The bond was voided on 01 July, 1652 at the request of Thomas (ibid., 1:59, 60, 66.)
      According to Stillwell (3:29,) trivial suits such as these became so common, the courts in self defense ruled that if the charges were not sustained, the plaintiff was fined. He attributes the suits to the isolated and dull lives of the colonists. Their "mental development on wholesome and broad lines" was not encouraged by their lifestyles. "Talk degener¬ated into gossip of a dangerous, personal line, readily em¬bellished and circulated over the convivial cup at the tav¬ern." Usually, in a court suit, the defendant, if found guilty, was let off if they confessed their guilt and expres¬sed remorse. Thomas, however, as a result of a loose tongue, stood in danger of losing it altogether:
      “Thomas Applegate, so often in trouble, was charged with slandering Governor Stuyvesant, by saying he took bribes. He was brought before the town court in 1650, found guilty, the following is the sentence: "The court convinced by the evidence, that he has spo¬ken the said words, which are so contrary to all rules and laws devine and human, to scandalize and speak evil, especially of the governor, do adjudge that the said Applegate do deserve to have his tongue bored through with a red hot iron, and to make public ac¬knowledge of his great transgression therein, and never to have credit or belief in any testimony or relation he shall make either in court or country, and the execution of the said sentence do refer him to the mercy of the governor."”
      Thomas escaped sentence by confessing his guilt (Stockwell, p. 106; Gravesend, 1:56 58).) (The entire case is interesting reading, and I don’t know the source, but it passed through Furman and Voress, and then thetre are two short lines-“But Thomas Aplegate did not learn his lesson for in a short time he began his devious actions again.”—ED)
      We have yet another record of Thomas in court. His daughter, Helena, married Thomas Farrington. Upon his death, she married twice more and died shortly after the third mar¬riage. Hannah and her first husband had a son, Thomas. The boy's grandfather (our Thomas) posted a one thousand guilder bond upon being appointed guardian of the boy's estate. Also appointed were William Wilkins and John Tilton. The bond was dated 28 June, 1649 (ibid., 1:33.)
      On 31 August, 1654, the following appeared in court records:
      “Thomas Appellgat, pltf. v/s William Harack, deft. requests as grandfather of the surviv¬ing child of Thomas Farrington, that deft. shall deliver up to him the goods and cattle, which he as curator of the said child has in his possession according to the judgement of the Honble Director General and Council. Deft. states that three more were chosen as Guard¬ians and must be summed conjointly and offers to give over to pltf. what he has in his pos¬sion belong to the child, provided that Apple¬gat shall give sufficient security for the faithful administration of the property. Par¬ties being heard, it is ordered by the court that Apellgat may cite Harack and the other guardians to appear on the next court day and if they are willing to deliver up to Apel¬gat or have no valid reason, then shall Appel¬gat be held to give other and sufficient se¬curity for his proper administration thereof (Fernow, 1:235)”.
      Hannah's last marriage was on 09 February, 1648 to Charles (Carl) Morgan. Three years later, "Scharles Morgen" on 14 September, 1651 gave his right to "100 guilders, sixteen stears and 4 pence" to Tomas Jones (Jonasen.) "Thomas Apel¬gat" signed as witness (Appendix.)
      Morgan, identified as a sheriff, was originally from Nieuport, England and reached Raritan Bay in 1663. About 1644, he served as a cadet in the West India Company, Ja¬maica. On the proprietors map of land patented to Philip Carteret in 1681 there is land first transferred to Townley, then to Everison and finally to Morgan. It ran along Cheesequake Creek on the westerly side to the bay at Morgan and is one of the largest tracts of land on the map. Another parcel near a cedar swamp on the east side of the creek is also credited as Morgans (Martin, p. 32.)
      I have one more record of Hannah's children:
      “A warrant to the Constable and Overseers of Gravesend to make inquiry into the matter in difference between the children of Charles Morgen late of Gravesend and their mother in law.
      For as much as I am given to understand that the children of Charles Morgen late of Gravesend deceased at present living with Katherine their mother in law do not behave themselves so dutifully towards her as they ought. These are to authorize and appoint you the present Constable and Overseers of the towne to make inquiry into the matter and with the advise of the Justice of the Peace there to take the best course wherein you can, and if you cause a devident to be made of the Estate betweene them the mother to have as neare as may be her parte and the children theirs according to the tenor of the will of the deceased, and for you acting and proceedings herein there will be unto you a sufficient warrent.
      Given under my hand at Fort James in Newe Yorke this 2d day of November 1668. Chris¬toph and Christoph, p. 198, 199).”
      Christoph and Christoph go on to say (p. 547) the term "mother in law" meant stepmother in seventeenth century usage. Charles Morgan from Newport, Wales appears in several records as marrying Helena Appelgat 09 February, 1648 and Catalyntie Huyberts from Haarlem on 18 December, 1652. Two children were baptized: Thomas on 17 July, 1650 and Jan on 23 August, 1654.
      On 06 October, 1651, Richard Gibbons filed suit against Thomas for "violateing ye gates belongeing to ye common field" (Gravesend, 1:90.) On 09 November, 1651, Thom. Aplegat Senior sued William Auldridge for a debt of 09 guilders 07 stivers. William Bowne said he would try to pay the debt in a weeks time "if he can pcure ye money to see it pd." The court or¬dered Auldridge to pay it in 14 days if Bowne did not pay (ibid., 1:92.) On the same day, Thomas brought suit against William Goulder for a debt of 35 guilders 10 stivers. Thomas was in trouble again for his fence on 08 January, 1651. He failed to maintain it so the town repaired it and charged him for the costs (ibid, 1:61.) On the same day, son John was at Thomas' house. The court sent for John to pay his fine for breaking of the peace. John refused and told the court to "doe theyer worste" (ibid, 1:61.)
      The last reference I have for Thomas is 15 January, 1656 when he appraised the estate of John Morris (ibid 3:445.) Thomas' wife, Elizabeth, and sons, Bartholomew, John and Thomas appear as freeholders of land in Gravesend in 1657 (Thompson, 3: 117.) Thomas Sr. died sometime in the years 1656 1657 (Cecily—in “Gravesend, Queens Co., NY”—ED). Those listing his death in 1652 are mistaken. (Cecily—Regarding Elizabeth, she says she was born in The “Netherlands or Norfolkshire, ENG”—ED) (As far as I can ascertain, any conclusions regarding Elizabeth’s date and place of birth is based entirely upon traditional family lore, without any basis in fact.—ED)
      Thomas sired two daughters and four sons according to some historians: Margaret, Hannah (Helena), Ares, John, Bar¬tholomew and Thomas. Virkus b (p. 69) mentions Bartholomew, Ares, John and Thomas and says there were "three more not listed by name but mentioned." He does not say where they are mentioned, however. (Prior to coming to the New World, if our conclusions are correct that he came from Wilts [and they probably are], he sired at least one daughter. We mentioned this daughter’s marriage, in England, in our introduction. He may also have sired sons who were old enough to decide, on their own, to remain in England.—ED) The sons will be covered in Generation II. Hannah and her marriages have been referred to earlier. A good discussion of her is found in Reichner (p. 216.) There is but a single reference to Margaret (Evans, p. 29.) She witnessed a baptism of Pieter Simonszen. Furman (personal communication) believes this Margaret may have been a daugh¬ter in law of Thomas (first wife of son John) and not his daughter.
      Ares, like George mentioned earlier, is an error. A 1679 signature on a land transaction has been translated "Ares Appellgate." (I don’t think we should discount this “Ares” so quickly. Howard is probably correct, but let’s keep an open mind for further research.—ED) It is most probable the signature is "Avis Appellgate" wife of John 4. See John 4 for a discussion.
      Stillwell (3:13) equates an Arien Appell who took an oath of allegiance to the English in 1644 with Ares of the land transaction. Appell was Dutch and his genealogy is well known. Both O'Callaghan a and Bergen list many Appels. The name was common but none of the bearers were related to Thomas.
      What has been given above are the only authentic records I have found of Thomas. Family traditions and legends abound. Most agree he was born in Norfolkshire, England (Virkus b, p. 69; Reichner, p. 216; Wolf, p. 52; Hardeman, p. 2.) (It is easy to say that the earliest dated reference is the one from which the later historians copied. This may be true; however, due to the lack of documentation, it is possible some of the later historians uncovered evidence to support their state¬ments.) His birth date is given as between 1600 and 1610. From data we can trust, it seems the earlier date is nearer correct. If the later date is correct, then Thomas was not only precocious but his sons were juvenile delinquents!
      We can calculate his probable birth date from a few dates of his sons. Bartholomew, the eldest son, was born c. 1620. John, the middle son's tombstone says he died 1712, aged 82. This would put his birth 1630. The date of the two sons agree. If we assume Thomas was at least 21 when Bartholomew was born, then Thomas was born c. 1599.
      Bowen (p. 1) states, without any documentation, that about 1560, a John Applegate was born in York, England. He was a tenant farmer on the estate of a nobleman of unknown name. That John had six issue: Ann, Clare, Ursula, Elizabeth, Nicholas and Thomas. The youngest, Thomas, was born 1600. Thomas remained on his father's farm and married an Elizabeth. Sometime between 1631 and 1635, they came to Massachusetts Bay Colony. No mention is made of any stay in Holland.
      The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research of the University of York has deposited within its library most of the surviving parish records of York County. In 1987 and again in 1999, I requested them to search for the Applegate (and other spellings) family from 1600 to 1630 in the records. They reported that no such name could be found. This suggests to me that Bowen and Uncle Gilbert are not to be taken seriously.
      I engaged the services of Mr. Patrick T. R. Palgrave¬ Moore, a professional genealogist from Norwich, England to hunt through the Norfolk Parish records for Thomas. A Thomas Applegate had daughter Amye baptized on 01 December, 1601/2, daughter Frances baptized on 28 September, 1603 and son Joseph baptized on 18 May, 1605. Thomas and his family disappear from the records of Little Walsingham after 1605. A John Applegate lived in Binham (next to Little Walsingham) and was a son of Thomas. John died in 1671. The Norfolk records con¬tain at least eight different families of Applegates dating from the late 1500s to early 1600s. There are no data linking any of them to our Thomas.
      The famous "Doomsday Book" does not list any name close to Applegate or any that could be construed to mean Applegate. Hitching (1999) lists the parish records of 778 parishes of 1601 and 1602. Again, no Applegate or anything close is listed.
      Thomas appears in the first record in the New World with money, influence, and knowledge of both English and Dutch laws. No record of Thomas prior to this has been found in spite of both personal and mail efforts in England. I have written to over 25 different repositories in England only to find no link to Thomas Applegate can be found in the late 1500s and early 1600s. There is a mystery here.
      All traditions say Thomas moved to Holland to escape political or religious persecution. There is no factual evi¬dence for this that I have found. His stay in Holland (if he did go) is said to have been short (Salter, p. v.) Hardeman (p. 2) quoting Harvey L. Applegate says Thomas left England for Holland about 1625. This date, if true, supports the earlier birth date. It also means he was in Holland no more than 10 years since the ferry license is dated 1635. The New¬port Mercury (15 July, 1911) says Thomas landed in Weymouth in 1630 thus making his stay in Holland of five years duration. Unfortunately, no documentation is cited by the paper.
      Moving to escape religious and/or political persecution is possible. His documented outspokenness makes either probable. (And we now know, almost for a certainty, that there really was an escape, for religious reasons.—ED) However, the sole reference to his religious be¬liefs that I have found says he was an adherent of the Church of England (Lewis, 3:12.) Of his issue, only the religious preference of Bartholomew is known Church of England (Weeks, 1:230.) This does not prove he did not suffer religious per¬secution; it does make it unlikely that he did.
      In spite of intensive and extensive research of both the written records and the internet, no record of Thomas arriving here can be documented. Most of the searches have been of English records. If Thomas was indeed in Holland, it would have been easier and cheaper to go from Holland to the new World rather than returning to England as his exit point. Passage from England was expensive, time consuming and it was not at all certain permission would be given. To the con¬trary, exit from Holland was easy. The Dutch were glad to get rid of foreigners and did not require complicated exit pro¬cedures.
      Ships would leave England with wool, go to Holland to trade for finished goods such as cloth and glass, go to the colonies and trade for raw materials that were taken to Eng¬land. Thus there were ample sailings from Holland to the New World.
      Thurston, in a series of four articles in the Newark Evening News, reprinted a paper given before the Monmouth County Historical Association on 30 June, 1910. The paper "Early New England Emigrants to Monmouth County" by James Le Barron, says Thomas came to Weymouth in 1630. He does not document the statement. Moreover, he marries Thomas to the wife of his son, Thomas 5. Some caution must be used before the date can be accepted.
      The several citations, without documentation, putting Thomas' arrival in Weymouth c. 1630 do not imply he came di-rectly from England/Holland to Weymouth/Plymouth or to any place in New England. Kevitt (1981) points out that in 1630 Weymouth had about 300 settlers. These came to the settlement in "a trickle" starting in 1623. They had no legal claim to the land. Several persons have suggested to me these were misfits who were not welcome in the more established set¬tlements. (It was believed they engaged in illegal trade with the Indians. I don’t know if there was such a thing as a “legal” or an “illegal” trade.—ED)
      The early history of Weymouth is more convoluted and obscure that that of most other Massachusetts Bay Settlements (Great Migration Newsletter, p. 27, 1994.) From 1622 until 1635, the location was inhabited more or less continuously, but Weymouth (then called Wessagusset or Wessaguscus) was not a settled plantation i.e., did not have legal status. Weston was apparently the first to make a large scale settlement in 1622. No Applegate is listed amongst his settlers. The ear¬liest records date from 1644 and by that time the Applegates were long gone. When the Hull group arrived in 1635 with title to the land, these misfits were "second class citizens." Thomas may have been one of these and chose to move on to Rhode Island.
      Thomas' movements may have been to escape political per-secution. I have found no data for or against this sug¬gestion. It will be recalled that Thomas showed financial re¬sources when he came to Massachusetts Bay Colony and an eye for business. This suggests another possible reason for the sojourn in Holland other than to escape political or religious prosecution. (I believe his resources came not from a stay in England prior to his arrival, but from his success in the weaving business, selling out prior to shipping out, a possible but questionable previous stay in the Netherlands, or any combination of same. I don’t think he was in the Netherlands just prior to coming here, unless it was a quick stop.—ED)
      In the early 1600's, Holland and England were tied closely together in trade. Citizens of both countries freely entered into business with each other. There was free inter¬change of people and monies. Treaties of 1578 and 1617 al¬lowed Englishmen to settle in Holland for purposes of trade. Perhaps Thomas was engaged in trade. He is identified as a weaver in several sources. "The term 'weaver' apparently had a more general meaning than we would give it, embracing all engaged in cloth manufacture including the merchant of cloth and sometimes the ship owner. It implied more moveable wealth and more active intelligence than belonging to the laboring farmer (few farmers owned the land they tilled) and from it was generally presumed certain religious opinions" (Woodford, personal communication.)
      Notestein (1954,) in a most readable book, discusses England from 1603 to 1630 and conditions there which may have led to colonization. He discusses at length (pp. 5, 76, 180, 181, 206, 221) the great depression in the weaving and fulling industry. The subject is covered in more detail in an earlier book by Clutterbuck (1885.) It may be that Thomas left England due to this depression.
      Cressy (Chapter 3) covers in detail why persons moved to New England. In several places, he mentions the dismal rec¬ord of the clothing industry and says that hundreds of Eng¬lishmen employed in the clothing industry moved to Holland in the early 1600s. Perhaps Thomas was one of those.
      It must be noted there is no evidence Thomas ever practiced the trade of weaving. The term "weaver" has been also applied to his son and grandsons. There is some indication they did not "weave" but were processors of cloth. See Thomas 5 for a discussion of this point. Although Thomas owned several farms, and was identified once as a planter, his frequent selling and trading of land suggests a real estate agent rather than a farmer.
      The term "planter" had connotations in those days we do not impute to it today:
      “From Maine on the extreme north to Virginia on the south the men who came to settle in the newly acquired territory adopted the name 'planters' to distinguish themselves as men who had come to fulfill a national obligation. They were not planters in the agricultural sense, but in its spiritual significance. They came not to plant crops for subsistence, but to plant on this vir¬gin soil a new nation to perpetuate under other skies the cultural development of Anglo Saxon civilization (Banks, p. 1).”
      Thomas could at least sign his own name. This suggests (but does not prove) he could write and perhaps read. if so, then he was educated above most Englishman of his gener¬ation. This suggests that in England he was a person of some repute.
      Tradition says that Thomas married in Holland but whom and how many times (supposing he did go to that country?) Some say his first wife was Mary Wall (Wolf, p. 52) or Eliza¬beth Wall (Hardeman, p 2.) Virkus a (p. 19, 73) and Reichner (p. 216) say his wife's name was Elizabeth but do not give her last name. In the New World, there was a close connection be¬tween the Walls and Applegates. They intermarried and moved together to the West. We have no reason to preferentially accept any one of the traditions at this time. (As shown in the introduction, we believe, because the facts sustain that belief over any other concept of Thomas’ origin [no other concepts having a shred of proof to uphold them] that our Thomas is the Thomas Apelgat who married Elizabeth Smith in 1612, in Westbury, Wiltshire, England. True, in those days in England, there were many men by the name of Thomas who married a woman by the name of Elizabeth. But this Thomas had the right variation of the name, was a weaver, in the right time span, who left England for the right reasons [a personality type we later found over here in our Thomas]. It is also true that the name Smith is not only difficult for my genealogist, and myself, to read, but was difficult for somebody in those days as well, since it is followed by [?]. But the written name sure isn’t Wall!—ED)
      Two of Thomas' children are supposed to have been born in Holland (Wolf, p. 52.) They were Bartholomew I and John 4. Bartholomew is traditionally the eldest son, born c. 1632. John, however, according to his gravestone, was born c. 1630. Thomas 5 is the youngest. In 1653, according to Gravesend Records, he was an adult. This suggests Bartholomew was born in 1631 a year after John. Furman (1983) puts the birth of all the children in England.
      There is a Captain Applegate connected with Holland. Ac-cording to one tradition, the captain was Thomas (McLean, in MEA.) Another tradition makes the captain the father of Thomas (Hardeman, p. 21.) It is highly probable both tradi¬tions are wrong.
      The above is all our traditions tell us of Thomas in Holland. When and where did he leave the country? No one knows. The standard books on listing immigrants to the new world contain not a single reference to any Applegate except Clement and Edward. Thomas simply appeared circa 1635.
      Some have suggested he went first to Barbados and then New England as many did. A search of English settlers in Barbados revealed no Applegates of any spelling (CD 22.)
      Levermore (pp. 20 24) lists 33 voyages to New England be-tween 1602 and 1630. Twenty one were before 1620 hardly likely Thomas would have been aboard. Of the remaining twelve, Livermore presents the original records. It does not appear likely Thomas was connected with any of them. None of the twelve originated from Holland.
      Bolton (1929) discusses pre Mayflower New England. He puts the first settlement there in 1602 (p. 10) and says, on the same page, that 250 vessels visited New England in 1615. Moreover, the land rights of these squatters (they had no legal rights to the land) were recognized by later settlers who had rights from the king. Bolton lists the various set¬tlements (pp. 166 l67) together with information on the set¬tlers. No Applegate (under any spelling) is listed. Oddly, although French, Spanish, Swedish and English settlers/set¬tlements/ships are listed, no Dutch settlement/ settler/ ship is listed.
      Many persons spanning at least three generations of Applegates and, in some cases, using trained genealogists have sought Thomas in both England and Holland to no avail. As mentioned in my opening page, Thomas simply appears in the New World. Yet the settlers in the New World were not totally cut off from England:
      “The early colonists were never as severely cut off as some have feared, nor did they fully turn their backs on old England. Migration, return migration, trade, kinship inheritance, money and messages tied London to Boston, and sustained a community of interest between provincial Massachusetts and provincial England. (Cressy, p. viii)”
      Thomas had money, was literate and had connections in high places in the new world. It seems he must also had been a man substance in the old world. In spite of intensive searching, not a single trace of him has been found.
      Cressy points out (p. 9) that knowledge of New England was wide spread in England in the 1600 1630 period. The gen¬eral consensus was ". . . New England promised wholesome air and brimming larders for the settlers and enormous profits for the merchants and investors." Thomas was an investor in the new world. Presumably, he came upon these favorable reports and, the weaving industry being in deep depression, decided to try his fortunes in New England.
      John Smith, usually thought of in connection with Vir¬ginia, was one of New England most ardent backers. He wrote a monumental history of the area (some of it factual) and said that eighty ships from England landed in New England during 1616 and 1622. Thomas may have been on one of them.

      The eighty ships were a result of:
      “Competing groups of promoters and investors were interested in New England, and their political lobbying, fund raising and propaganda heightened awareness about the region. The principals understood that political su¬port. financial backing and the crucial com¬mitment of prospective settlers depended on the continued circulation of favorble news ... (Cressy, p. 12. )”
      We have now covered the factual and traditional information on Edward, Clement, George, James and Thomas. It cer¬tainly appears that Thomas is the progenitor of the Applegate family in America. His issue were: Bartholomew 1; Helena 2; Margaret 3; John 4; and Thomas 5. (Based upon the story we are at this time accepting as the reason Thomas came to the New World, and from where, we know he had a daughter Mary who was left in England with her husband, and, I am betting there were at least two sons, named Daniel and Samuel. This bet, which I might lose, is based upon those names being used so often, immediately by his sons.—ED)
      (Howard spent considerable time and money trying to locate Grandfather Thomas. But his genealogists didn’t look everywhere. That’s not possible. Very often, tough genealogy is not just a matter of skill, but also a matter of luck. If the reader has read the introduction, he will remember what this ED is now accepting as the probable origin of Thomas, and his reason for coming to the New World, until it is disproved with documentary facts. Unfortunately, one of Howard’s genealogists did locate Thomas, but nobody, myself included, when Howard informed me of the latest expense and results, realized the data for what it was. My own genealogist, after Howard’s death, found the same material, with a lot of added information. And that is what led us to the story we are presently accepting.
      Before leaving off on this editorial note, I would like to mention one other thing. I have run across a mention that Thomas had two wives, both named Elizabeth; one named “Wall” and the other named “Morgan”. While there is no proof whatsoever of a wife named Morgan, there is also no proof of a wife named Wall either. I could easily accept the two wife theory. I could even easily accept one wife in England, and one wife over here. I could even easily accept two wives in England, and one or two wives over here. But, there is no proof for more than one wife anywhere. So, until we obtain such proof, let’s forego the speculation, and accept the proof we have: there is one wife, and we have no idea what her maiden name was, yet. It is now some years since I wrote that last ED comment, and as you know, if you read my introduction, we may have a maiden name. Our genealogist in England found a marriage, and the maiden name is pretty badly garbled, but she and I both agreed that it looked more like Smith than anything else.—ED)
    Person ID I3851  Applegate Main
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2018 

    Family Elizabeth ?,   b. England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Margaret Applegate,   b. Abt 1625
     2. Thomas Applegate,   b. Bef 1629,   d. 1699, Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 70 years)
     3. Hannah Applegate,   b. Abt 1629,   d. Bef 1652  (Age ~ 22 years)
     4. Bartholomew Applegate,   b. Bef 07 Feb 1629, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft Apr 1689  (Age > 60 years)
     5. John Applegate,   b. Abt 1630,   d. 1712, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 82 years)
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2018 
    Family ID F803  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S4] Mercer County, Francis Bazley Lee, (The Lewis Publishing Company 1907), 698.

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