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Perhaps the earliest mention of Thomas in New England is when he was referred to as Thomas "Gillins," a "stranger" from "Killingsworth" who was warned out of Boston on 11 December 1722.1 This most likely refers to Killingworth, Connecticut. This name, including its phonetic variations, was unique to Thomas in New England at this time. Being "warned out" generally means that someone was in a town longer than just a visit without the selectmen knowing of it. New England towns didn't want poor or sickly transients to end up having to be supported by the town's taxes. The person or families in question would have to declare their intentions and show evidence of self sufficiency if they wanted to stay.
     Thomas did leave Boston and settled to the north in Newbury, Massachusetts, by 21 April 1725. On that day he bought an eighth of an acre of land. He and the seller, John Norton, are called cordwainers of Newbury.2 He is given this occupation in other deeds, but also shipwright and carpenter. He may have gone to Boston for its opportunities to practice all those trades. Killingworth, Connecticut, is land-locked, but there were active shipbuilding towns not far away such as Middletown, so the reason for this migration isn't obvious.
     Thomas probably went directly to Newbury, where, in the part of town that became Newburyport, shipbuilding was one of the primary activities. He married Hannah Mirrick in 1725. She was admitted "to full communion" to the Third Church of Newbury, now the Congregational church at Newburyport, on 20 October 1726,3 followed by Thomas on 7 Jan 1727.4 He was given a psalm book out of the church stock when he was admitted.5
     The property Thomas bought in 1725 was on what is now the south side of Middle street between State and Federal Streets. In 1770 Thomas and his second wife Tabitha sold this to his daughter Hannah and Tabitha's son Daniel Glover, who married after becoming step-siblings.6 The Glovers sold it back to Thomas in 1774.7 There is no recorded Jillings deed selling this property. There also is no probate for Thomas, which should mean he sold it before he died. There is also nothing to show that his heirs sold it. There don't seem to be recorded deeds of his adjacent neighbors selling their lots, which would help place the property on Middle Street.
Thomas bought and sold other peices of real estate in Newbury, but also two lots of land granted to the heirs of Caleb Richardson for his service in the "French & Indian" War. Two of his daughters sold it to Thomas: Ann in 1735 and Ruth in 1737.8 This area was a township called "Narragansett No. 1." The Caleb Richardson lot designations were Range D, Lot 7 and Range B, Lot 9.9 The deed says it was adjacent to the "truckhouse" on the Saco River. The was a small blockhouse used for trading and was slightly downstream of Union Falls in what is now Dayton, Maine. Since Narragansett Township No. 1 was later incorporated as Buxton, the property may have been directly across the Saco River from the blockhouse, which is within the town bounds of Buxton.
     Thomas and Tabitha sold land elsewhere in Newburyport, the deed for which was acknowledged by them on 24 October 1774.10 This is the last record I've found for him. Tabitha's gravestone calls her the "relict" of Thomas, and she died on 7 March 1785.

children of Thomas Jillings and Hannah Mirrick:11

i. Mary, b. 8 February 1726/27
ii. Thomas, b. 28 or 29 January 1728/29
iii. Isaac, b. 9 February 1730/31
iv. Edward, b. 11 January 1732/33
v. Joseph, b. 3 March 1734/35
vi. Hannah, b. 25 November 1737
vii. Elizabeth, b. 1 January 1739/40

vital records sources: His first marriage is in Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, vol. 2 (Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1911), 262. His second marriage is in Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts, to the year 1849, vol. 2 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1918), 548, taken from the records of Rev. Dudley Leavitt.

1. Records Relating to the Early History of Boston (), 122.
2. Essex Co., MA, deed 69:168.
3. Congregational Library & Archives collection, database at, Newburyport, Mass. First Religious Society records, p. 79, image 81.
4. Ibid, p. 84, image 86
5. Ibid, 134:50.
6. Essex Co., MA, deed 122:115.
7. Essex Co., MA, deed 133:52.
8. Essex Co., MA, deeds 73:261 and 69:268.
9. Records of the proprietors of Narraganset township, no. 1, (Concord, NH: 1871), 117.
10. Essex Co., MA, deed 134:50.
11. Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, vol. 1 ( Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1911), 181, 252.

all text and photographs © 1998-2023 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted