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Thomas Dewey

Thomas Dewey was born In Windsor, Connecticut on 16 February 1640. Thomas was about 8 years old when his father Thomas died. Thomas inherited from his father "five acres and a quarter in the Great Meadow (accompanied by the marginal notation that this was sold to Samuel Marshall), one acre and fifty-three rods of meadow (accompanied by the marginal notation that this was sold to John Strong), and "a quarter part or four acres and half in a parcel of swamp land." Like his father before him Thomas was a freeman. He was a Cornet in the military which is a commissioned officer post. In 1662 Thomas was granted a home lot of 4 acres in Northampton, Massachusetts on the condition that he make improvement of the land within one year after the date it was granted, and he must possess the property for three years. He was also given 12 acres “in some place where it may not hinder home lots”. In 1663 he married Constant Hawes of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Springfield, Massachusetts

Thomas left Northampton with several other families and settled in Springfield. Among the other families who moved from Northampton were Rowland Stebbins and his sons. Thomas Dewey had a lot of property in Springfield. Transcriptions of his land records there will be coming here soon.

Settling Westfield, Massachusetts

The Deweys moved to Waranoak, (which became Westfield on May 28, 1669) as part of a settling committee. The first evidence of Thomas there was on July 6, 1666, as third on a list of twenty grantees of land. He was granted 30 acres “on condition that they come there to dwell in their own persons by the last of May next (1667); to continue there for five years and endeavor to settle an able Minister”. The first settlers on Main Street were George Phelps, Isaac Phelps, Aaron Cook, James Cornish, Moses Cook, Thomas Dewey, Thomas Noble, David Ashley, John Holyoke, John Osborn, John Ponder, John Ingersol and Hugh Dudley. In Westfield Thomas became very influential and held many important positions there. It was Thomas, James Cornish, George Phelps, and Thomas Noble who actually drew up the original boundaries between Springfield and Westfield. Then additional land was granted for the town (6 square miles). Thomas Dewey, James Cornish, John Root, and John Sacket all had a key role in the final incorporation of the town of Westfield. Two of Thomas Dewey's daughters married the sons of Thomas Noble, thus they became related through these marriages. John Root's grand daughter Sarah married Thomas Dewey's youngest son Israel.

Life In Westfield

There is much evidence through town records of Thomas Dewey's life there. His profession there was that of a miller and farmer in the Little River district (although his home was on Main Street). He was a juror in the court, he was a freeman, he was a member of the Church who was sent to obtain several Pastors for the church, committees he was on laid all the infrastructure of the town from location of roads to town boundaries. He was chosen as the reprentative of Westfield in Boston from 1677-1679. He was on the Committee of Militia and Selectmen and helped to protect the town during the Indian War (1675-1677), and was chosen “warden for the town ways”. Thomas Dewey was appointed Cornet of Hampshire Troop by the court on July 8, 1685. He was an appraiser of land in Westfield and was chosen to become a Constable. He must have been well respected to be chosen to serve the town so many different ways. He owned mills and much land and on September 26, 1676, Thomas Dewey received a license from the Court “to keep a Publique house of Entertainment” where he was licensed to sell liquor. He led a very full life in his short 50 years of living. Thomas Dewey died on April 27, 1690 but left a legacy that lives on in Westfield forever. He is buried in the Mechanic Street Cemetery along with many of his family, friends and neighbors.

Land Owned

He, along with his brothers Josiah and Jedidiah and Joseph Whiting owned the second mill built in Westfield in 1672. There were 2 mills on this property located upon "Two Mile Brook", a saw mill and a corn mill.

The will of Thomas Dewey provides us with the amount of land he owned in Westfield. Listed below is the land from his will in 1690. It is worded as it was in his will.

Below are links to images of documents pertaining to Thomas Dewey and his property.

Land Document 1
Land Document 2
Land Document 3

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