Thomas Carter the Blacksmith and Mary

My 11x Great Grandparents, Thomas Carter and Mary emigrated from England sometime in the 1630’s during the Great Migration in which the Puritans left England. It is unknown what part of England they came from and what ship brought them to Massachusetts. They brought the children-mostly grown already also.
Before I dive into what I know, it is important to recognize that there were 3 Thomas Carter’s married to Mary’s living in Massachusetts during the same time period. There was 1. Thomas Carter the Blacksmith of Charlestown 2. Reverend Thomas Carter of Woburn, and 3. Thomas Carter the Planter of Salisbury. It has proven to be tricky to sort this out. The surname of the wife of the Reverend is known and is sometimes attributed to my ancestor in family researchers trees.
Thomas Carter born around 1588 and Mary born around 1590 were married in England estimated at before 1607. They had 6 children all of the birth years are estimates: Thomas 1607, Samuel 1612, Joseph 1614, Mary 1618 (10x gg), John 1620, and Hannah 1625. Most were adults by the 1630s.

Thomas was admitted to the First Church of Charlestown on 8 Nov 1636 and Mary was admitted 4 Nov 1643. Thomas became a freeman 2 May 1638 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  There is a detailed list of property he owned in the Charlestown area. Below is the inventory from 1638.

As in the last post I wrote about John Brinsmead who will become Thomas Carter’s son in law, I will try to figure out where some of this land is since I can’t find any maps of the area from that time period. There are a lot of references to the east field which upon researching this, the east field is frequently documented. The east field is within the peninsula of Charlestown and is bounded to the north by the neck, the east by the mystic river, the south by the marsh of the Charles river and the west by the country road. The townspeople had parts of this field and used a common field for the milk cows. In number 6 above, it mentions Moulton’s Point. Moulton was a ship builder and the point named after him is marked on some maps. The map on this page shows it as Morton’s point but in accounts I have read this is the location of Moulten’s Point.  Number 7 above names the neck and mystic river so he had about 3 acres in that area of Charlestown.  The neck and Mystic river are clearly labeled on the map. Since Thomas was a blacksmith, he had a shop somewhere and might be on one of these properties.

In September 1639, Thomas Carter and Isaac Morrell both blacksmiths petitioned the court about the price of coal. There hasn’t been anything found as to a judgement of this matter. Thomas Lechford was the attorney.

Thomas was a constable in 1640/41 and ran into a bit of trouble. September 7, 1641, he was fined six shillings eight pence “for warning the jury men too late & for a rong day, wch was two dayes too late”.

Thomas Carter died in 1652 and left his wife Mary the house, garden, and barn. Also the household goods, 5 cows, and land. He divided up the rest of his estate between his 6 children.

Of interest, in his will, he named a servant, Scotsman, Matthew who was to be sold to Mr Russell with 3/4 of a year time served. It turns out that in 1650 after the English defeated the Scots, about 10,000 men were captured.  In November 150 Scots were sent to New England to be sold. The ship’s master was from Charlestown and sold each man for between 20-30 pounds. Twenty were sold to a man that had a sawmill in Maine, 62 went to an Iron mill in Saugus, MA, and the rest sold to local residents. The term of service was to be for 7 years. A lot of them were put to work on the farms or taking care of the milk cows and the ones that went to blacksmiths generally learned the trade and because charcoal was expensive, they learned to make charcoal. Matthew most likely helped with the blacksmithing business. I need to see if I can find out more about Matthew and who Mr Russell is. Below is the very clearly written inventory:


Mary can be found in the Town Records March 1658. An inventory of how many acres of wooded land and common land they own in Charlestown for tax purposes.

Mary Carter died 6 March 1665 and was called the “mother of the Carters in town”. It is unknown were they are buried.

My genealogy line:

Thomas Carter married Mary (last name unknown)their daughter,

John Brinsmead married Mary Carter their daughter,

Mary Brinsmead married John Bostwick their son,

John Bostwick married Abigail Walker their son,

Joseph Bostwick married Rebekah Wheeler their son,

Joseph Bostwick married Bette Hurd their son,

David Bostwick married Currence Hard their son,

Jabez Bostwick married Freelove Frisbee their son,

Jabez Bostwick married Sarah Jane Chase their son,

John Day Bostwick married Ida Shelby their son,

Charles Bostwick married Alpha Wilkins their daughter,

Florence Bostwick -my grandmother


Records of the First church in Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1632-1788 Charlestown (Mass.). First Church 1880

Andrews, H. Franklin List of freemen, Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1630 to 1691 : with freeman’s oath, the first paper printed in New England 1906

Charlestown Land Records, 1638-1802 Charlestown (Boston , Mass.) 1883

Map from Wikipedia Battle of Bunker Hill

Hale, Edward EverettNote-book Kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq., Lawyer: In Boston, Massachusetts Bay From June 27, 1638 to July 29, 1641 p 183-184. published 1885.

Frothingham, RichardThe history of Charlestown, Massachusetts 1845 Thomas Carter Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 Death: Abt 1652 – Massachusetts, USA

Joslyn, Roger D. Vital records of Charlestown, Massachusetts to the year 1850



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