Tag Archives: Windsor

How Many Thomas Burnhams Are There?

Awhile ago I had written about the question of where Thomas Burnham of Windsor, CT was originally from. You can read that post here: The Confusing Origins of Thomas Burnham. The question of his origins are still not answered, and we have other ongoing mysteries surrounding Thomas Burnham, one of those being whether or not he was in Barbados before arriving in Connecticut.

Last year I was contacted by Burnham researcher, Jim Burnham, of Massachusetts. He is descended from Thomas of Windsor. He has been interested in the Barbados connection for many years and had visited there in 1980s where he had seen a marriage and burial record for a Thomas Burnham. He found records that indicated that Thomas was a sugar cane farmer on the island. Jim didn’t have copies of those original records and so has been searching more recently for information on this “Thomas of Barbados”. Jim contacted me yesterday with a new find. The LDS Family Search website has images of the original records. Jim was able to find the burial record that he had located in the 80’s. This shows that “Mr. Thomas Burnham” was buried from St. Michael’s, Barbados on 1 Aug 1674.

Thomas Burnham burial
Thomas Burnham Burial in Barbados. ( Click to see full page)

This burial record proves that the Thomas Burnham in Barbados was not the same individual who settled in Windsor, CT in the 1640’s. That Thomas died 28 Jun 1688 in Windsor, Hartford, CT. There are enough mentions of Thomas in Windsor over the years to prove that he was in Connecticut continuously between his arrival there and his death.

Now, there may have been another Thomas Burnham (We know that there was a Thomas Burnham in Ipswich, Mass that was a contemporary of Thomas in Windsor, but that’s a whole other confusing issue) that remained in Barbados, and the Windsor Thomas was there prior to arriving in Connecticut, however, I have the feeling that these records found by Jim Burnham, are the source of the “Barbados rumor” we have read over the years.

Jim is going to try to locate the marriage record in the LDS Barbados records and promises to share his findings. In the meantime we welcome any other documents that Burnham researchers may have to either prove or disprove the “Barbados Rumor”.

The Complicated Burnham Clan

The signature of Thomas Burnham from a deed of land to his son John dated 1688. Found in the "Genealogical Records of Thomas Burnham, the Emigrant ..." by Rodrick H. Burnham, 1884

I had not worked on the Burnham Family of Connecticut line in quite a few years. Recently I was contacted by a Burnham descendant with some questions..and that led me to delve in again to this complicated family. In doing so, I found some errors in my previous research.. as well as some new additions.

When originally working on this family I relied on both “History of East Hartford Families”, “The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut”, “Families of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut” and Roderick Burnham’s “Genealogical Records of Thomas Burnham the Emigrant”. I knew right off that all of these works had some minor errors, such as saying that in the family of my husband’s ancestor, Esther Burnham, daughter of Richard and Sarah, “all but Esther of Richard’s children died young”, when in fact at least 5 of the 10 children in this family went on to marry and have children themselves. So, I did check as much of the info garnered from those publications as I could. With new info available, I’ve been able to fix a few newly found errors.

In beginning this new search, I stumbled on a few posts referring to the following article:
January 2012 NEHGS Register Vol. 166, page 5. The article is written by Cathy Stoughton
Titled “Thomas Burnham of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, and Hartford, Connecticut”.

Ms Stoughton has supposedly found Thomas, his brother, sisters, parents, and two receding generations. I am very interesting in reading this article, however I am not a member of NEHGS. If anyone can share a transcription of this article, I’d be very pleased! Email me at mpitkin (at) live.com.

I’m in the process of updating my database and when I’ve got most of the new data entered, I’ll update the info that is posted on this site!