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Cornell University Library
CS71 .T54

... Thurston genealogies. Comp. by Brown


3 1924 029 773 417

Cornell University

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Thurston Genealogies



. " Si quid novisti rectius istis,






^~''' ^ ' V 1 K 1- I 1 '^




To the Reader 9

Arms of Thurstons in England 15

History of the name 17

The name in England 18

Archbishop Thurstan of York, England, history 18

Early settlers in New England 20

Daniel Thurston of Newbury, Mass 21

Edward Thurston of Newport, R. 1 261

John Thurston of Dedham, Mass 356

Moses Thurston of HolUs 434

Joseph and Thomas Thurston of Fishkill, N. Y 476, 593

Peter Thurston of London, England 481

William Thurston of Kent, England 483

Robert Thurston of Bristol, England 484

Thurstons of Virginia 484. 486

James Thurston, M.D., of Chester, Vt 49°

John Thurston of Chester, Vt 491

Corrections and additions 493

Baptisms of Thurstons from Rowley ch. rec 413

City and town records, etc 4^3

Thurston of Boylston, Mass 51Z

Index to descendants of Daniel Thurston of Newbury, Mass 517

Index to descendants of Edward Thurston of Newport, R. 1 543

Index to descendants of John Thurston of Dedham, Mass 557

Index to descendants of Moses Thurston of Hollis, N. H., and others ... 569

Index to persons incidentally mentioned 577

Index to miscellaneous items of interest 585

Index to graduates from college, etc 5^^

Index to military services of Thurstons and others 590





David Thurston, d.d 89

Stephen Thurston, d.d 109

Hon. Ariel Standish Thurston 168

Brown Thurston 171

Hon. Edward Southworth 176

Rev. Richard Bowers Thurston 177

Timothy Appleton Chapman 233

Daniel Holt Thurston 253

Robert Lawton Thurston 304

Prof. Robert Henry Thurston, 337

Prof. Robert Henry Thurston, military 338

James Hamilton Thurston 428

Elihu Thurston 458


Genealogical researches are comparatively recent in this country.
It doubtless seems to many that questions of birth and lineage are of
little consequence under republican institutions, where all men are
free and equal, and where laws of primogeniture and hereditary
distinctions have no place. The attempt to trace out the lines of
family descent and history is too often frustrated by the indifference
of those who might impart the desired information ; and the compiler
is met at the threshold of his inquiries with the question Cui bono? —
of what use will it be ?

Many are unable to give their ancestry back of their parents, and
one writes, " Socrates was once reproached for want of knowledge of
his ancestry, and he replied ' So much the better, for my race begins
with myself.' " This is not good doctrine ; for I think experience has
proved that the influence of genealogy has been elevating and refining,
imparting a desire to be useful in society, and to hold a respectable
place in history. Socrates himself, probably, would have been glad to
be remembered.

It would be difficult for the compiler to enumerate the obstacles he
has had to encounter in getting the annals of the Thurstons in this
country into their present shape ; and he must crave the indulgence of
his readers for many errors and omissions, by far the larger part of
which are fairly chargeable to imperfect reports received. At the
same time, it should be stated, there are those who have taken a
hearty interest, and worked right royally, to have their families placed
with proper fullness and accuracy upon these pages. Several of them


are persons who have come into the family by marriage, and by their
faithful and painstaking endeavors, have proved their appreciation of
the name and their desire to perpetuate its history.

If the most distinguished genealogist this country has ever produced,
the late James Savage of Boston, found it necessary to add to his four
volumes one hundred and fifty pages of "additions and corrections,"
the author of these pages ought to be accorded the privilege of fifty.
Having already detected many errors, he expects to' find more j and
what he fails to find he hopes will be pointed out to him by corre-
spondents, so that he may leave behind him a corrected copy for some
future gleaner in the field.

I have not limited these researches to the descendants of a single
branch of the Thurston family, but have included all of the name in
the United States. The leading feature of the work, however, com-
prises those who sprung from the first three of the name who came to
New England, Daniel, John, and Edward. I have no knowledge that
these were kindred to each other, though there seems to be some
probability that such was the fact. In pursuit of the required infor-
mation for this volume, I have sent out over 5000 circulars and let-
ters, and received about 1500 letters and postals in reply. Nearly a
hundred city, town, and church records have been consulted ; old
Bibles containing family records sought out, and their treasures of
genealogy rescued from oblivion ; the memories of aged people have
been brought into requisition, and valuable information has been put
upon the printed page to be handed down to posterity, which, but for
this effort, would have perished with the lives of those from whom it
was obtained.

Some of the communications received should rightly have a place in
the book as addenda, as epistolary curiosities worthy of preservation.
I have admitted a few which some, it is true, may think puerile • but
which others will probably read with interest and pleasure.

The extended search for our ancestors in England has utterly failed


of satisfactory results. I have the record of nearly a hundred Thurstons
of Challock, county of Kent, England, coming down to 1638, after
which date the name became extinct in that locality. The scribe im-
agines he has in this list the name of Daniel Thurston, who settled in
Newbury, Mass., and married Anne Pell, a name which he says is very
common in Kent; but it is evident to me that it is mere conjecture.
I have the outline of thirty-eight wills, recorded in the Kent registry,
but no trace of our English ancestors can be derived from them. The
result of a search in the College of Arms in London, where the pedi-
grees or arms of sixty-one Thurstons are recorded, reveals nothing
more tangible than the fact that the arms of Thurstons of Kent have
been perpetuated by three families recorded in these pages.

Genealogy is defined by an encyclopedist to be " an account or his-
tory of the origin, lineage and relationships of a distinguished family."
So far as relates to the twelve or thirteen thousand names that fill these
pages, the word " distinguished " may as well be omitted, as it is appro-
priate to but very few of them ; yet without high or wide distinction,
it is an amiable and fruitful sentiment which cherishes the family life,
characteristically pure, patriotic, and beneficial to the world. Riches,
honor, and attainments in literature and the arts have not, as a rule,
been the heritage of the descendants of the name in this country.
There are, however, exceptions. The great majority have had a
competency, and have been seemingly happy to adopt the language
of Queen Anne in the play.

. . . " 'Tis better to be lowly born.
And range with humble livers in content,

Than to be perked up in a glistering grief.
And wear a golden sorrow."

Nearly all the Thurstons have moved in the middle walks of life— ~
not so elevated as to be dazed by splendor, nor so poor as to be
pinched by want. Very many it will be seen have been christian
ministers, and a very large proportion connected otherwise with church-


es as members or church officers. An unusual majority were pious,
God-fearing men and women.

Upon the whole, the writer is quite satisfied with the character of
his ancestors, and the book is as perfect as he could make it under
the circumstances. Time and again he has been surprised by receiv-
ing important corrections and additions a day or two after the pages
were printed. All these, however, will be found in the appendix, un-
der "corrections and additions," and at the end of the index. ^ He
gives it to the public as it is, and hopes those who have the curiosity
to peruse its pages will do so in a spirit of candor, and an apprecia-
tive sense of the impossibility of putting in a form entirely correct
the statistics of any family running back through a period of two
hundred and fifty years.

The statistics of names in the volume are as follows :

Names of Thurstons 5,39°

Descendants having other names 4,008

Persons who have married Thurstons or their descendants . 4,115

Persons incidentally mentioned 1,846

The pedigrees of 23 families who have married Thurstons are given.



The names of Thurstons arid their descendants are numbered consecutively from
the beginning to the end of the book; so that there can be no difficulty in finding
the person looked for, by following the numbers in the index.

The indexes at the end of the volume are full and complete, giving every name
and the number attached to it. They are given in four distinct families; so that
any person in either family may be more readily found. Let every one examine the
arrangement of these indexes carefully when you first get the volume, and when
you have learned their order and scope, you will be able readily to ascertain where
any name wanted is to be found.

The generation of every Thurston is given in the first lines of every name intro-
duced ; the small figures after the name denoting the generation. For example,
take my own name on page 171. Brown,^ i.e., the sixth generation, son of David,^
the fifth generation, son of David,* the fourth generation, son of Richard,' the third
generation, son of Daniel,^ the second generation, son of Daniel,^ the first genera-
tion, who came to this country about 1635, and settled in Newbury, Mass.

This + character placed before any name, denotes that further on in the book
the same number will be found, in larger figures, and placed in the middle of the
line, so as to strike the eye at a glance. Under these figures the history and chil-
dren of the person named are given.

The grand-children, when introduced after the first appearance of the name, are
set a little further in from the margin than the children, and printed in italic letters ;
so also the great-grand-children, are placed still further in from the margin. By
taking heed to these suggestions, you need have no confusion in tracing out the fam-

ARMS. 1 5


Thurston of Hoxne Abbey, Suffolk, where monuments exist trac-
ing the family back to the reign of James I. (1603), sa. three bugle-
horns stringed, or, garnished az. Crest : A stork, ar. Motto : Esse
quam videri.

ThurstoNj Lancashire, sa. three bugle-horns stringed, ar. two and

Thurston, Cranbrook, Kent, sa. a chev. betw. three bugle-horns
stringed, or. Crest : Out of a plume of five ostrich feathers, a demi-
griffin, segreant. Motto : Thrust- on.

Thurston, sa. three bugle-horns ar. stringed or. Crest : A wood-
pecker proper.

Thurston. Crest : A thrush ppr.

Thurston, ar. three bars, sa. ; on the first, a lion pass, guard,
betw. two martlets, or ; on the second, three cinquefoils of the last ;
on the third, three escallops of the third ; on a canton gu. a bird, with
wings expanded, of the first.

Thurstone, Elston, Co. Huntingdon. Or, on a canton, az. a falcon
volant, with jesses and bells of the first. Crest : a wolf 's head or,
pierced through the neck with an arrow gu. headed and feathered ar.,
vulned of the second.

,^_ — _, — ^"&7j •*"" iTMcxij.aui.ii.ui ucnvacions or woras are not unfrequently

suggested^'you may be excused .if you trace Back the name Thurston to the times
of heathen mythology, and find, even in paganism, a religious idea in the combina-
tion of the two words by which the name is formed.

You will naturally find in "Thurs" the god Thor, and in "ton" you might at
first be disposed to find "town," and thus judge that "Thurston" was at first the
name of a town in which worship was paid to the god " Thor." But we find the

* Son oi Mrs. Mary (Thurston) Blodget,. Buoksport, Me.


It has been my aim from the start, to make a full and perfect rec-
ord. I have never expected to gain anything pecuniarily by my la-
bor upon this work.

Therefore, let any one who discovers an omission or an error,
immediately communicate the same to me, and I will leave a corrected
copy of the book for some one to enlarge upon, as the generations to
follow shall have come upon the stage of life. Direct to



Let every one who wishes to get the full benefit of the contents of
this book, turn to page 493, and note the corrections and additions,
which came to the compiler after the pages alluded to were printed.
They are so numerous and so important that he wishes he could af-
ford to print the book over again.

Take the first case, mentioned on page 493 : p. 30, no. 27, 3d line.
Turn to page 30, and after the word Seaver, make a -f- with a pen,
and note on the margin, see p. 493.

Go through with all the corrections and additions, found all along
to the very end of the index, in the same way, and the book will be
prepared to give you all the information it contains.

Without this labor, you may miss some very important facts.



The name of Thurston is said to be derived from the Saxon,
Danisli, and Runic troest, meaning trusty or faithful.

Lower's Patronymica says, " in some cases, perhaps, from the Teu-
tonic name Turstin, which is found in Domesday as the designation
of persons of both Norman and Saxon. One Turstanus is there de-
scribed as machinator, probably a military engineer. Ton, a common
termination for names of places, and consequently for those 'of

Ferguson says, " Thurston and others from the god Thor, son of
Odin." ^

Arthur, in his work on the derivation of family names, says,
" Thurston — ^local — the hill or town where the Saxon god Thor was

In Horstred's work on the Danes in England, Scotland, and Ire-
land, Thurston is found as a Scandinavian name.

F. H. Thurston of Oconto, Wis., says, " I have no question that
the name Thurston is of Scandinavian origin, and was originally
Thor-sten — Thor's stone— freely, 'God's Rock.' In the Swedish
poem of Fridthof's Saga, by Bishop Tegn^r, Thorsten, although the
friend of the king, and the father of the mighty Fridthof, was still a

Prof. Longfellow, in a letter dated Cambridge, May ii, 1877, says,
" I have no doubt that you are of Scandinavian descent. Thorston,
Thorsten, and Thurston must be one and the same. The Stone of
Thor — the god of thunder. That is rather portentous, but you can-
not escape this divine genealogy. Yours, very truly, Henry W. Long-

Extract from a letter received from Rev. Henry Blodget,* mission-
ary in China, under the auspices of the American Board :

Peking, Aug. 4, 1877.

My Dear Cousin: — I am interested to know that you are preparing an account of
the genealogy of the Thurston family. In these days when so much is made of the
science of etymology, and when fanciful derivations of words are not unfrequently
suggested, you may be excused if you trace back the name Thurston to the times
of heathen mythology, and find, even in paganism, a religious idea in the combina-
tion of the two words by which the name is formed.

You will naturally find in "Thurs" the god Thor, and in "ton" you might at
first be disposed to find " town," and thus judge that " Thurston " was at first the
name of a town in which worship was paid to the god "Thor." But we find the

* Son of Mrs. Mary (Thurston) Blodget,. Buckapoi't, Me.



name Thurs^fl», which can hardly be other than Thurs/<7», as early as the twelfth
century. Sir Walter Scott, in his "History of Scotland," vol. i, chap. 3, P-.2S,
writes, " Thurstan, archbishop of York, a prelate of equal prudence and spirit,
summoned a convention of the English northern barons, and exhorted them to a
determined resistance." This form of the name, ending in "/(^«," suggests thane,
a "minister, servant, soldier, oiBcer, master," lord of manor, baron, as the original
of "ton." In that case the Thurstons were originally the servants or ministers of
Thor, and, when converted, we may hope they became the no less zealous servants
of the living and true God. At all events it is pleasing to find that one of the fam-
ily in the early part of the twelfth century had attained to the dignity of being
archbishop of York. And it may be excusable in a son, if in reading of the " bless-
ing of the aged Thurstan," spoken of by Sir Walter Scott, he is reminded of the
benedictions which but a few years since in the state of Maine so often fell upon
waiting congregations from the lips of his own sire, " the venerable Father Thurs-

Thorstein (son of Erik the Red) in 1005 made an unsuccessful
visit to Vineland (New England, called Vineland from its • abundance
of vines) and died on the expedition, showing that America was sure-
ly discovered by the Northmen long before Columbus.


Thurston, a parish in Suffolk county.

Thurstonland, a town in York county.

Thurston, a Danish monk, lived in the Abbey of Croyland a.d 800

Thurston, a Dane, rebuilt Ely.

Thurston, another Danish monk, is mentioned in history a d 870

Thurston, a Thane, lived in 1 014, under King Canute.

Thurston was a coiner under King Edward in 870.

Thurston at York was coiner under King Ethelred in 017 and to

Thurston, a knight in King Edward's suite in 1048.

Thurston of Thetford, Norfolk county, and his son Ralph were
mmt-masters at the time of the conquest under William the conqueror
m 1066, and had the same arms as borne at the present day by their

THUPtSTON in Norwich, 1066.

Thurston under King Henry II., 1109.

Thurstan, the Abbot of Glastonbury, retired in 1084 to Caen
Normandy, from \yhence he came. He was afterward restored in the
time of King William Rufus. '

Thurstan was elected the twenty-eighth archbishop of York
chaplain and secretary to Henry II. in iioo. In 1132 he founded
Fountam Abbey, and upon its ruins still remains his device "a thrush
upon a tun." He is described as a "man of lofty stomach but vet
of notable learnmg." As an interesting scrap of ancient historv and
practice we copy from "The Early. English Church," bv Edward
Churton, m.a., rector of Crayke, Durham, England : ^ -c-award

In this reign of confusion and blood, there is yet one name which ran„„f 1
membered by Englishmen without respect,— the name of Thurstan T ?> ■ J^^ ^^'
York. He was elected by the clergy, as it appears by the wish of Ki'n^ « "''°P °^
whose chaplain he was. He went abroad a few years after, to be invefted^'b''''' P

* Eev. David Thurston, D.D., of 'Winthrop, Me.


Calixtus, who in A.D. iiig was holding a council or synod at Rheims. This act
gave great offense to Henry, who banished him tor a year or more ; but he was
afterward restored, and gained from the pope the privilege that his See should be
independent of and equal to that of Canterbury. This was one of many points of
contention in those times, and changes were often made. York was sometimes
subject to Canterbury and sometimes independent, the popes favoring either, as
they liked them best; but at length Canterbury prevailed. These contests of Nor-
man pride helped on the popes' usurpations. Thurstan himself was a compound
of the Norman baron with the christian bishop, and his character may serve as a
specimen of many of the great churchmen of his day; but there were in him great
and good (jualities mixed with the darkness and superstition of his time. When he
was fixed in his exalted station, he was remarkable for the strictness of his Kfe and
the firm uprightness of his conduct., His mode of living was frugal, and yet as
generous as became a bishop, who ought to be "given to hospitality." He was
abundant in alms-deeds and instant in prayer. In the celebration of the holy com-
munion he was often moved to tears. He promoted men of good life and learning;
was gentle to the obedient and unbending, though without harshness, to the oppo-
nents of good discipline. He was as severe to himself as he was to others, and
was remarked for the severity of his penances, going on fast days attired in sack-
cloth and, what was then a common practice, afflicting his body with a scourge.

He was at an advanced age when, in the third year of Stephen's reign, A.D. 1138,
David, king of Scotland, having declared in favor of his niece, the empress Matil-
da, collected his forces and made a dreadful inroad into the northern counties, turn-
ing his pretext of opposing a usurper into a plea for plundering and massacring the
inhabitants of a country at peace with him. There was neither counsel nor con-
duct among the barons of the north ! Some who dwelt nearest the border had
joined the invading army that they might partake the spoils, when Thurstan invited
them to a conference for the defense of the country. He represented to them the
disgrace that was brought upon the realm of the Norman conquerors if they, who
had overcome a people often victorious over the Scots, were now to quail before
such less worthy antagonists. He showed them that the nature of the inroad made
it no longer a question whether the Scots came as allie^of the empress or enemies
of England, and that whoever might be the rightful sovereign, it was their duty to
protect the soil and the people against such wanton injury and destruction. The
barons, Walter I'Espec of Cleveland, Roger Mowbray, William Percy, and other
large landed proprietors in Yorkshire, assembled an army, with which they en-
camped at North Allerton. To impress on the people the conviction that they
were to fight, not for a doubtful title, but for the cause of religion, their churches
and their homes, there was no royal banner carried to the field; but a tall ship-
mast, erected on a wagon, bore a sacred ensign, such as was used in the processions
of the church, representing our Saviour on the cross, pierced with his five wounds.
Round this the Norman barons, with their retainers, vowed to stand or fall. Ralph,
bishop of Orkney, a suffragan of Thurstan (Thurstan being too infirm to come in
person), mounted the wagon, and encouraged the soldiers to fight with the confi-
dence that it was a holy war. The Scots, after a stubborn conflict, were completely
routed and fled in disorder; and thus an end was put to the most successful attempt
they ever made on the borders, and one which, but for Thurstan's devout energy,
would in all probability have given them possession of the whole country north of
the Humber.

Within two years after the battle of the standard, as it was called, the aged
Thurstan felt his vital vigor to decay, and prepared for a more solemn hour of conflict.
He set his house in order, and assembling the priests of the cathedral of York in
his own chapel, made his last confession before them ; and lying with bared body
on the ground before the altar of St. Andrew, received from some of their hands
the discipline of the scourge, with tgars bursting from his contrite heart. And re-
membering a vow made in his youth at Clugny, the famous monastery in Burgundy,
he went to Pontefract, to a newly founded house of Cluniac monks, followed by an
honorable procession of the priests of the church of York and a great number of
laymen. There, on the festival of the conversion of St. Paul, he took the habit of
a monk in the regular way, received the abbot's blessing, and for the remainder of
his life gave himself entirely to the care of the salvation of his soul.

On the 6th of February, A.D. 1140, twenty-six years and a half after his accession

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