An American Family History

Thomas Kimball

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
New Hampshire was first settled by Europeans in 1623. It was separated from Massachusetts in 1679.

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

Thomas Kimball was born in 1633 in Rattlesden, Suffolk County, England. His parents were Richard Kimball and Ursula Scott. He came to America with his family in 1634 and settled in Wenham at first. He was a mechanic and a farmer.

He married Mary Smith. Mary was born in 1637 in Ipswich. Her parents were Thomas and Joanna Smith.

In 1653, he became the owner of a mill on Oyster river in Hampton, New Hampshire. 

Thomas and Mary's children were:
Elizabeth Kimball (born and died in 1658),
Richard Kimball (1659, married Sarah Spofford),
Joanna Kimball Morse (1660/61, married Joshua Morse),
Joseph Kimball (1662),
Mary Kimball Redington (1663, married Thomas Redington),
Hannah Kimball (1664),
Thomas Kimball (1665-1732),
Ebenezer Kimball (1668),  and
John Kimball (1675).

They moved to Bradford, Massachusetts and on February 20, 1669, he was chosen constable. His house was one of the legal places for posting and was on the Boxford Road.

When his father died in 1675 he received:

Twenty five pounds to bee payd two years and a halfe after my decease, and to his children I give seaven pounds to be divided equally among them and paid as they come of age or at day of marriage provided if any dye before then their share to be distributed equally amongst the rest.

On May 2, 1676, in a night attack on the settlement by indigenous warriors, Thomas Kimball was killed, and part of his family (his wife and  Joanna, Thomas, Joseph, Priscilla and John) were taken prisoners. After forty-one days of captivity in the wilderness, they were released.

Rattlesden is a village in Suffolk in eastern England. St. Nicholas church dates from the 13th century. The village was a center of Puritanism in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
was captured by Native Americans
during King Philip's War (1675-1676).
Children of Richard Kimball, Sr.
and Ursula Scott
  • Henry Kimball
  • Abigail Kimball Severens
  • Elizabeth Kimball
  • Richard Kimball, Jr.
  • Mary Kimball Dutch
  • Martha Kimball Fowler
  • John Kimball
  • Thomas Kimball
  • Sarah Kimball Allen
  • Cornet Benjamin Kimball
  • Caleb Kimball
  • Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    The ship Elizabeth sailed from Ipswich, England in April, 1634 with William Andrews, Master. On board were Richard and Ursula Kimball and their children, Ursula’s mother Martha Whatlock Scott and her brothers Roger and Thomas Scott. Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet sailed on the same ship. They arrived in July at Boston.

    Various spellings of Kimball:
    Kemball, Kembolde, Kembold
    The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.



    European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

    Goodman was a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble and Goodwife or Goody was the courtesy title for a married woman not of noble birth.

    Deacons played a respected and important role in early New England churches. They sat in a raised pew near the pulpit and had special duties during communion.

    Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.

    Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
    Unweaned cattle are calves.
    Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
    Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
    are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
    A bed warmer or warming pan is a metal container with a handle which was filled with hot coals and placed under the bedcovers to warm the bed.

    Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.

    Thomas2 [Kimball] (Richard1) was born in Rattlesden, Suffolk county, England, in 1633, and was one year old when he came to New  England with his parents

    He later went to Ipswich, Mass., and was living in Hampton, N. H., October 20, 1653, and was an owner of mill property there on Oyster river. He made his home at that place as late as 1660.

    He afterwards removed to that portion of Rowley which is included in the present town of Bradford, Mass. Previous to 1675 the section where Thomas and his brother Benjamin lived was within the limits of Rowley, but the locality was called Merrimack when Thomas was elected a constable on Feb. 20,  1668-9.

    His house was one of the legal places for posting and "publishing any orders or other business of public concernment to the whole  town." His house was situated on the Boxford Road, and its situation can still be located. At that place he lived and prospered for about ten years. He was a mechanic and a thrifty farmer, owning over four hundred  acres of land and a large amount of personal property, as is shown by the  inventory of his estate.

    At that time the Skelking Indians continually annoyed the white inhabitants. The Merrimack river was a pathway; the Indians could make rapid sallies upon the settlements and make their escape without penetrating the forests. Haverhill had been attacked with all the cruelty of the savages.

    On the night of May 2, 1676, three well known "converted" (half-civilized) Indians, Peter, Andrew, and Symon, were intending  to kill some parties in Rowley, but the night being far advanced, they wreaked their vengeance upon the Kimballs. Thomas Kimball was killed by Symon, and  his wife and five children, namely Joanna, Thomas, Joseph, Priscilla,  and John were taken captive and carried forty miles into the wilderness, where they remained forty-one days, and were freed without ransom by the friendly offices of the chief Wanalancet, of the Pennacook Indians. Her own life and that of her infant were threatened, and twice were the fires lighted to burn them. They reached their home June 13, 1676.

    Great was the anguish of their friends during their captivity, and on May 3, 1676, her pious parents in Ipswich asked prayers on the Sabbath that they might be delivered.

    Subsequently she addressed a petition to the Governor and Council that she might be protected from Symon, the Indian, who had  threatened to kill her and her children if she returned to her own house. The three Indians were seized and confined in jail, but escaped and pursued their course of blood most mercilessly thereafter, and their subsequent fate is unknown. They were semi-civilized and had worked for and lived a great deal with the white people.

    The following note from the records at Salem reads

    Nov. 18, 1686 Richard and Benjamin Kimball of Bradford did covenant to and with the Selectmen of Ipswich that they would take Thomas Smith and his wife to Bradford to the house of Mary Kimball the widow of Thomas Kimball and provide their Meate, drink, washing, lodging, clothes and attendance with all things necessary for persons in such a condition for the space of one year beginning at the date hereof, the price for a year to be  £25. 

    "Dec. 8 1681 Agreed with Richard Kimball of Bradford to allow unto him further keeping and providing for his grandfather, Thomas Smith for the year ensuing £13.According to this Joanna Smith had probably died during the year.

    The name Thomas Kimball occurs very frequently on  the early records of the town of Merrimack. Until the time of his death he always held some town office, being frequently selectman.

    Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Kimball of  Ipswich

    Administration on the estate of Thomas Kimboll, who was slain by the Indians, was granted 27:4:1676, to Mary, the relict, and she  was ordered to bring in an inventory to the next Ipswich court.
    Salem Quarterly Court Records, Vol 5, leaf 94.
    Inventory of the estate of Thom. Kimall, taken May 18, 1676, by Shu. Walker and Samuell Gage:
    wearing  apparill, all ye Indians left, £1. 10s
    Tabel lining, 1 sheete, 3  pillowberes [pillowcase], £1. 15s
    vallence and Curtaine and 4 Cushins, 10s
    2 Rugs, 2 Blankets, and a parcill of old beading, £3 5s
    peatar, £3 3s
    1 Iron pot, 1 warming pan, 2 tubs, 2 barills [barrels], £1 10s
    saddle and pillion and a parcill of sheeps wool, £1 5s
    Tools for his traid and utensils for husbandry, £5
    six oxen, five Cowes, two heifers  of 3 yere old, 3 steres of 2 yere old, 2 yerlings, 5 Calves, £66 15s
    a  horse and a mare and a coult, £6
    12 swine, £7
    7 shepe, £2
    housing and  about 422 acres land and medow, £450
    glass, £1 10s
    Corne and  provisions, £3
    5 yards of Cloath, £1
    total £556 3s.

    Wearing cloaths of Goody kimballs, £3 16s
    cloaths of Joanna Kimball, £2 10s.

    Debts due from estate:
    Gilbort Wilford's estate, £1
    Daniell Boreman, 1£
    John  Wicom, £1.
    Joseph Bond, £1 2s
    Ensigne Chandler, £1 10s
    by John Kimball,  £12
    total, £17 li 12s

    Debts due from estate:
    Mr. wainwright, £9 18s
    Capt. Gerish, £9 9s. 1d.
    Sergent Wait, £6 18s
    John Pickard, £1 10s
    Stephen Webster, £1 10s
    Will. Barker, £2 16 s
    Deacon Jewit, 18s
    David Haseltine, £1 1s
    Hunt of Ipswich, £1 2s
    Decon Goodhue, £1
    Mr Cobbit, 10 s
    Shu. Walker, 12 s
    Joseph Hardy, £1 10 s
    Nath. Gage, 15 s
    Samuel  Haseltine, £2 2s
    Francis Jordon 2s 6d
    Josiah Gage, 18s
    John  Stickne, £3
    Mr. Buship, at present not known;
    Anthony Somersby, £. 5s
    Phillip Fouler, 6s
    total £50 8s 1d

    Attested in Ipswich court Sept 26, 1676 by Mary relict of Thomas Kimball.
    Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol 25, leaf  124.

    An inventory brought in, amounting to £520 clear estate was ordered Sept 26, 1676, to the eight children and widow as follows;
    to Richard the eldest son, £80, and
    to the rest of the children, £40 each, and
    the  remainder of the estate to the widow,
    the land to stand bound for the payment of the children’s portions

    In early New England towns policy was set by a board of 3 to 5 selectmen. They oversaw public responsibilities such as the policing, roads, and fences.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
    During the Indian wars, some colonists were taken captive. They were killed, ransomed, or adopted into the tribe.
    Tools were an important legacy because they were essential part of daily life.
    It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

    A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ⅓ of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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