Mayhew Family of Massachusetts

Simon Mayhew, b. ca. 1450 (of Dinton, Wilts)


Robert Mayhew, b. 1480 --- m. --- Joan Bridmore


Thomas Mayhew, b. ca. 1509 (to Tisbury, Wilts) --- m. --- Alice Waterman (7 children)


Matthew Mayhew, b. ca. 1550 --- m. --- Alice Barter (7 children)


Thomas Mayhew, Sr., b. 1593 (Gov. of Martha's Vineyard) --- m. --- Jane Gallyon (4 children)


Thomas Tupper, b. 1638 --- m. --- Martha Mayhew (11 children)


Eliakim Tupper, b. 1681 --- m. --- Joanna Fish (14 children)

Last update of page: 20 April 2003.

I have here information on six generations of the Mayhew family. See a long text in (3) on the origins of the name Mayhew which is a form of Matthew (showing Norman French influence), and is first recorded in England in about 1245. There are many Mayhew families in England; the one here is that of the Mayhew family of Dinton, Wiltshire, "a county family of considerable distinction". It is also frequently written Dynton.The justification for the link between the first four generations of Dinton Mayhews and the Governor Thomas Mayhew of Martha's Vineyard is explained in some detail in (3). He concludes: "All the evidence adduced, by inference and exclusion, seems to favor the Tisbury family as the one to which Governor Mayhew belongs, and that the Tisbury branch belongs to the Dinton stock seems equally presumptive. The line of Matthew's parentage probably sprung off before the Dinton stock had their pedigree registered in 1565".

It is also noted that "The Mayhews of Dinton were Roman Catholics, and according to a recent authority, had in those days suffered for their attachment to that faith. [...]. In those days of religious ostracism and persecution, when the Puritan movement wa growing in strength, it is possible that the branch to which Governor Mayhew belonged became Protestant, and thus lost association with and recognition by the parent stock".

On Martha's Vineyard, the Mayhews played a dominant role through much of its history, starting with the owner and first governor, Thomas Mayhew. Banks in 1925 (3) notes that certain families of the Vineyard are almost unknown elsewhere in New England, such as Mayhew. On the Island, they were then "found in plenty in Chilmark and Edgartown, but almost never in Tisbury". In the 1850 census, there were 38 Mayhew families on the Island, the third most common surname.

Simon Mayhew, b. ca. 1450

Simon Mayhew was born about 1450. He is described as "Simon Mayow, Gent., of Dynton, com. Wilts."

Robert Mayhew

The only known child of Simon Mayhew is:

1) Robert Mayhew, b. 1480 in Lexington, England. He died 1520, Tisbury, Wilts., England. Robert was eldest son and heir of Dynton. Robert married Joan Bridmore, born about 1480, Tisbury, Wilts., England, daughter of John Bridmore.

Thomas Mayhew, b. ca. 1509, and Siblings

The children of Robert Mayhew and Joan Bridmore (1) were the following (the order is uncertain):

1) John Mayhew, b. ca. 1505 Dynton, Wilts, buried 25 February 1563. His will is dated 20 September 1562. In the quote below from (1) under son Thomas it is noted that "it is probable that [...] the eldest son and heir retained possession of the Mayhew property in Dinton." According to the pedigree chart in (3), Johnfirst married Joan Hamon, daughter of Ralph of Everash in Co. Somerset. He then married Joan Prest. She married a second time to Robert Bownde on 4 September 1564. The children of John (the first seven by Joan Hamon and the last eight by Joan Prest) were:
1. Henry.
2. Ralph.
3. Richard, buried 1561.
4. William, buried 1558.
5. Maud.
6. Alice.
7. Jane.
8. Cuthbert.
9. Robert.
10. John.
11. Dennis.
12. Four daughters.

2) Edward, b, ca. 1507, Fonthill, Wilts., England. He married Agnes King and had two daughters. According to (12), one of the daughters was Thomasin, b. 1532 or 1552 at Fonthill. In 1563 she m. William Grove Esq. of Ferne Co., Wiltshire, b. abt 1532.

3) Daughter. I interpose a daughter here only because (1) states that Thomas was the third son and fourth child. The pedigree chart in (3) only shows two daughters at the end of the list of children.

4) Thomas Mayhew, born about 1509, Tisbury, Wilts., England. Died 1 June1590, Tisbury, Wilts., England. Married 1549, Tisbury, Wilts., England, Alice Waterman, born 1522, Tisbury, Wilts., England, died 14 July 1586, Tisbury, Wilts., England (3). They had at least two children (see following section). Apparently it is Thomas who moves from the earlier family possesion in Dinton to Tisbury as he would have perhaps inherited the estate of his mother, Joan Bridmore of Tisbury. Specifically, Dr. Banks (3) notes that during recent visits to England he found:
"evidence of the residence of Mayhews in Tisbury as early as 1520 indicating settlement there at a probable earlier date. Thomas Mayhew, who is considered the grandfather of Gov. Thomas, was taxed for 'goods', as of the Tithing of Tisbury, in 1540. (Sub. Roll 197/184.) In a deposition dated 30-31 Elizabeth (1589) this Thomas Mayhew deposed at the age of 80 years to events and persons known to him in that parish for the past 63 years and more. This places his birth in 1509, his knowledge of events back to 1517 and it is probable that he was born in Tisbury. He was the third son of a Robert Mayhew of Dinton, is the putative father of Matthew of Tisbury and doubtless came to be a resident of the latter named parish through the marriage of his father Robert with Joan Bridmore of Tisbury. It is probable that he inherited her estate there while the eldest son and heir retained possession of the Mayhew property in Dinton. He was buried in 1590 at Tisbury. His wife Alice predeceased him in 1586."

5) Henry, born Dinton, Wilts, England. He m. Elizabeth _____, buried 6 April 1577. Three children are recorded:
1. Edward Mayhew, b. 1571.
2. Jane, b. 1574.
3. Elizabeth, b. 1577.

6) Walter, b. Chilmark, Wilts., England (3: Vol. I, p. 106). He married Alice Code of Chilmark. They had five children:
1. Joan Mayhew.
2. Cicely.
3. Anne.
4. Alice.
5. William.

7) Daughter.

Matthew Mayhew, b. ca. 1550

The only known children of Thomas Mayhew are:

1) Matthew (often written as Mathew), b. ca. 1550. He is considered by (3) as the son of Thomas Mayhew based on "reasonable conjecture". Note that the parish registers of Tisbury are extant only from the year 1558 (3). He is described in his will as a yeoman of Tisbury. He m. 2 October 1587, Tisbury, Wiltshire, to Alice Barter. The inscription in the Parish Register reads "Mathew Maow and Ales Barter" (3). They had seven children. Mathew was buried 26 February 1614. A full copy of his will, dated 1612, can be read in (3), stated as the will of "Mathew Maihew". At his death, "he was a man of substance and left to his heirs an estate valued at about seven thousand dollars in cash, beside his real property, as estimated by our present [1911] standards" (3).

2) Agnes. The will of Agnes Mayhew of Tisbury, dated 12 January 1606, mentions Thomas, son of her brother Matthew.


The Barter Family

The ascendence of Alice is established, rather speculatively, by (3). Some of the dates here are from (4). Alice Barter was born 2 October 1540 and baptized at Tisbury (4). She died by 1614.

Her father was Edward Barter, b. 1526 at Fovent, Wiltshire and died 6 October 1574 at Fovent. The names of the children of Edward include: William, Joan, Alice, Christian, Edward, Ellyn, Harry, and John. Edward "of Fydleton, Wiltshire" was the eldest son. He m. Edith _____, b. 1530 and died August 9 1576 at Fovent. Roger, Thomas, and Christian were brothers of Edward (3). In Edith's will, dated 1576, she leaves her daughter Alice "halfe an aker of wheat and half an aker of barley my best cowlett, my white pety coat, my kercher, my canvas apron a platter and porringer".

Edward's father and Alice's grandfather was James Barter "of Fovent, Fydleton, Wiltshire" and he married Margaret _____. James was b. 1500 at Foven and died 1 September 1565.


Thomas Mayhew, b. 1593

Mathew Mayhew and Alice Barter had seven children. In Mathew's will of 1612, he mentions all the children except Elizabeth (although she married that year). They are:

1) Elizabeth, bapt. 1 May 1589. She m. John Gilbert of Denny Sutton 18 March 1612.

2) John, bapt. 17 January 1591.

3) Thomas Mayhew, bapt. 1 April 1593 in Tisbury, as "Thomas, son of Mathew Maho" (3). Some information on Thomas is provided by (1), citing a variety of sources ((3), (5), (6), (7), and (8)). His father died when he was about 21 and he apparently became a merchant apprentice of Richard Macey (or Masey) of Southampton before emigrating in 1631. It is also stated that he came to Medford, MA in 1635; he seems to have lived at both Watertown and Medford. He was a prominent member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co.

He was first married (in England) to Abigail Parkus (or Parkhurst) in about 1619. His second marriage in about 1634 (presumably in MA?) was to Jane Gallyon, b. 1612, died after 1666. "The name Gallyon (Gallion) was very uncommon in England and may be Scotch. Jane married first to Thomas Payne, probably a London merchant, who predeceased her. She is said to have returned to England to fight a court case for a large sum of money for her children by him" (3). One of her children by this first marriage to Payne would later marry the son of Thomas by his first marriage. Thomas had one son by his first marriage and four daughters by his second marriage (see following section).

Then a settler at Watertown, MA (near Boston), Thomas must have been by then a very successful merchant as he purchased in October 1641, from Lord Stirling and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the islands of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands. Thomas would have been about 48 at that time. The now Governor Mayhew sent his son Thomas that same year to settle with a few families and to be a missionary to the Indians.The following year in 1642, the Governor himself came to the island with other settlers and new supplies. Among the ten or so families that were there in 1650, we find the name Folger (a link with my possible Mayflower line?).

After his son's untimely loss at sea at age 37, the Governor, succeeded him as missionary pastor and "preached to them one day every week as long as he lived. Sparing no pains or fatigue, sometimes walking twenty miles through the woods to Gay Head, to carry on the noble work commenced by his son" (9). Thomas was settled at Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard by 1658-81 (or permanently alone from 1674?). There is a deed in the Edgartown records (9) wherein the Governor attests: "I do sell the island of Nantucket for thitty pounds Stirling and two beaver hats, one for my wife, and one for myself".

He lived to be about 90, dying 25 March 1681 at Edgartown, MA. His wife was living 15 May 1666 but predeceased her husband.

4) Joan, bapt. 8 February 1595/96.

5) Alice, bapt. 16 December 1598. She m. Thomas Palmer 17 June 1622.

6) Katherine, bapt. 15 March 1599/00.

7) Edward, bapt. 24 April 1602.

Martha Mayhew, b. 1638, and Half-brother and Siblings

Thomas Mayhew had a son Thomas by his first marriage to Abigail Parkus (Parkhurst). The source (11) also indicates as a son of Thomas, Robert Parkhurst Mayhew, b. 1623 in Tisdale, which if reliable, could be a second son of this marriage (but not mentioned elsewhere).

1) Thomas, b. 1620-1621. He was a graduate of Oxford, a good Latin and Greek scholar and knew Hebrew. As mentioned above under his father, he went to Martha's Vineyard in 1641 to help settle his father's new acquisition and to be a missionary to the Indians. The son Thomas compelled all of his company to purchase their lands from the Indians and many of the early deeds are written in the Indian as well as the English language. See more details on his life in (9). Thomas learned the Indian language, established a school for the Indians in 1651. Peter Folger was hired as the first teacher (the grandfather of Benjamin Franklin).

In 1657, Thomas decided to go to England to purchase books and to bring back ministers and teachers. At the "Place on the Wayside", half-way between Edgartown and West Tisbury (marked by a monument built in 1901; still in existence?), some 1500 Indian converts met to bid him farewell. He sailed with his wife's brother but never returned; the ship was lost at sea.

He married Jane Paine, daughter of Thomas and Jane Gallion, b. about 1625. Jane was thus his step-sister (but they were not blood relatives of any kind). After his death, she remarried to Richard Sarson. Thomas and Jane had at least the following seven children (from (3) except for the first two children from (10):

1. Ariah Mayhew, died young ((3) mentions a child that died young, possibly Abiah).
2. Mary, died young.
3. Matthew, b. 1648. He m. Mary Skiffe who was b. 24 March 1650 and died 1 May 1690. He died 19 may 1710. They had at least 5 children (see (3) for details).
4. Thomas, b. 1650. He m. Sarah Skiffe, elder sister of the wife of his brother Matthew. She was b. 12 October 1646 and died 30 December 1740, nearly 95. He died 21 July 1715. They had at least six children (see (3)).
5. John, b. 1652. Rev. John Mayhew continued the missionary work with the Indians of Martha's Vineyard as did his son Experience and grandson Zachariah Mayhew. He m. Elizabeth, daughter of Emanuel and Elizabeth (Parkhurst) Hilliard of Hampton, NH. She was b. 22 january 16564/55 and died 1746. He died young at the age of 37 on 2 February 1688/89. They had 8 children (see (3)).
6. Jerusha, b. 1654 . She m. Joseph Wing on 12 April 1682 and then Thomas Eaton (or Eatton) of Shrewsbury, NJ. JosephWing was born on 12 September 1650, probably at Sandwich, MA, son of William Wing. He died on 28 May 1679 at Yarmouth, MA, at age 28; killed by lightning.Thomas Eatton was born at Kent, England. He was a member of the NJ Assembly. He died in1688 at Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., NJ (10).
7. Jedidah, b. 1656. She m. Benjamin Smith and is buried at Tower Hill Cemetery.
8. Child, died young, possibly Abiah.

By his second marriage to Jane Gallyon, Thomas had the following children (8: p. 153):

2) Hannah, b. 15 June 1635 (14 June 1635 at Medford in (11)). She m. Thomas Daggett, son of John Daggett in about 1657. They had one son John, b. 1662, Edgartown, MA and died 7 September 1724 at Attleboro, MA. She remarried to Samuel Smith.

3) Bethiah, b. 6 December 1636 at Medford. She m. Thomas Harlock and they had at least one son (11): Thomas who m. Sarah Marchant (for their child see (11)). Bethia married secondly, in 1675, to Richard Way. She died in 1678 (11).

4) Martha, b. 1638 at Watertown, MA (2). Her birth date in (3) is given as 1642. She married on 27 December 1661 to Capt. Thomas Error! Hyperlink reference not valid., Jr. See his family for the details of their children. Martha died 15 November 1717 at Sandwich.

5) Mary, b. 14 January 1639/40 at Medford (or 14 January 1638/39 in (11)), probably died young.


An absolutely remarkable amount of information is available on the Web at the Dukes County Site on the history and genealogy of Martha Vineyard. This site most notably includes the entire three volumes of the history of Martha's Vineyard by Charles Banks (3). Unless otherwise stated, my information on the Mayhews comes from the book by Banks.


(1) Web site of Al Myers of Lower Paxton, PA.
(2) Web site of Harry Hadaway of Bow, NH: "My Family Tree: Plymouth and Cape Cod MA Genealogy". This is an extensive Gendex site with 16,000 (August 1999) individuals, mostly from Massachusetts.
(3) "The History of Martha's Vineyard, Duke County, Massachusetts", Three Volumes, by Charles Edward Banks, M.D. (Assistant Surgeon General). Originally published in 1911, the entire book, or most of it, is online at the Dukes County Site.
(4) Source for some of the information in (1) is: "Ricardo E. Rain, Rua Dr. Ferreira Lopes 690 - Apto. 34, San Paolo - SP, Brazil 04671-011 - via Internet 2/96."
(5) "Thomas Mayhew, 1592-1682" published by Duke's County Historical Society, Edgartown, MA, 1936 for his seal, will, etc." source cited in (1).
(6) "The Genealogical Advertizer," Vol. 4 (1901), p. 1.", source cited in (1).
(7) "Old Nantucket the Faraway Island," William O. Stevens", source cited in (1).
(8) "History of Tilton Family in America," F.T.Tilton, pp. 152-3", source cited in (1).
(9) "History fo Martha's Vineyard", by Henry Franlin Norton (1923. Available on line at the Dukes County Site.
(10) "Mayhew Family Genealogy" by John Marshall, consulted in September 1999. His sources not given.
(11) Gedcom site of Greg Smith. Checked in September 1999.
(12) Phil Dawson, pers. comm., April 2003 [ID-96], citing will of Thomas Bennett, Sr. (reprinted in "A Memoir of the Bennett Family [JFB], Appendix 2; Tisbury Reg.").

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