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Thomas was a colonel in the local militia, engaged in conflicts with Native Americans at Lancaster, Massachusetts. He is among the Marlborough, Massachusetts men listed on the 18 April 1690 list of freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony. He petitioned the Town of Lancaster for himself and his company to be paid for their services about 1704 after a severe attack on the town in July of that year (ancestor Nathaniel Wilder was killed in that attack). At Marlborough he was a selectmen, town treasurer, town clerk and a justice of the peace. In 1700 and he represented the town at the General Court (colonial legislature) in Boston. As his father had, Thomas had an inn. In his license agreement of 1696, are the rules and regulations of the colony expected at the time. For example,

...he shall not suffer or have any playing at cards, dice, tally, bowls, nine pins, billiards or any other unlawful game...nor any overnight guests other than family on Saturday night after dark, or on the Sabbath days nor have as lodgers any strangers more than 48 hours...nor wine to Indians, negroes or drinking or tippling after 9:00 at night nor entertain persons of jolly conversation or given to tippling...

     Researchers using only the published Marlborough vital records repeat the mistake that her name might have been Barnes. Circumstantial evidence makes it beyond doubt that she was born a Bunker, married first Ezekiel Richardson, then Moses Barron, all of Chelmsford. It isn't apparent how Thomas and Mary met.

Thomas' gravestone in Spring Hill Cemetery, Marlborough, attributed to carver Nathaniel Lamson

children of Thomas How and Sarah Hosmer:

i. Tabitha b. 29 May 1684
ii. James b. 22 June 1685
iii. Jonathan b. 23 July 1687
iv. Prudence b. 27 August 1689
v. Thomas b. 16 June 1692
vi. Sarah b. 16 August 1697

vital records sources: His birth is included in Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston:1903), 75 (taken from a Middlesex County court record). Howe Genealogies is apparently incorrect in giving the date as 22 July. His first and second marriages are in Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1850 (Worcester:1908), 271 (Sarah Osmer, taken from a Middlesex County court record). In the second marriage reference the compiler appended a reference to her as "Barnes" from a court record, which is certainly incorrect. See also Vital Records of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Salem:1914), 255 for their intentions (7 November 1724). His death is in the Marlborough vital records, 369 (age at death appended, taken from his gravestone).


all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted