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Parish register entries in Yorkshire, England, found online have caught the interest of Place family researchers in the United States. With this type of discovery, some claims to relations are stabs in the dark and conflict with facts elsewhere. Others show the names and dates are at least plausible, but can't be supported by further evidence. In this case, there's enough circumstantial evidence to take the connection seriously.
     In New England, the appearance of Thomas, Dinah and Enoch Place in Dorchester, Peter Place nearby in Boston, a marriage connection between Enoch and Peter's families in what is now South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and Enoch having sons named Thomas and Peter and a granddaughter named Dinah are the primary pieces of evidence connecting these people. In and near Hull, Yorkshire, there are parish records for the name Place that include Thomas, son of Peter, in the same generation as Thomas of Dorchester, Thomas marrying a woman called "Dionis" and Thomas having a son named Peter, both in the same parish, and Thomas having Enoch in a nearby parish.1 The surname Place combined with the forenames Dinah, Peter and Enoch aren't common in late 16th and early 17th century England.
     The English evidence begins with the parish register at Kirk Ella, near what is now Kingston-on-Hull. Recorded in imperfect Latin, there's an entry for the 1585 baptism of "Thoma filius Petri Place duodecimo Aprilis," followed by the 1587 "Sepult." of "Petrus Place decimo octavo Septembris." This undoubtedly was the Peter who married Isabella Thornton there on 1 December 1683. Unfortunately, the medieval church at Kirk Ella at which these events took place no longer stands. In the heart of what is now Kingston-upon-Hull was the medieval parish of Drypool. Here there was a Thomas Place who married "Emmit," and had three children baptized there between 1608 and 1614. Emmit apparently died of complications of childbirth and was buried about a week after their daughter Frances was baptized, and she followed her mother to the grave seven days later. "Emmit," "Emet," "Emmat," etc., is found occassionally in parish records in this area. It must have been a colloquial and/or obsolete variation of Emma. Although he did so only a month later, it was surely this Thomas who married "Dionis Lyllewhite" in the same parish. The name "Dionis," "Dyones," "Dionisia," "Dynas," "Dynes," "Dynis" "Dinas" "Dianis" "Denis" and "Denys" are spellings also found in Yorkshire. It must have also been a colloquial or an attempt to Latinize Diana and Dinah. There is a lot of what could be described as "pigeon" Latin in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. There are also spellings closer to "Emma" and "Dinah" in these local registers (Dynah, etc.; Em, Eme, etc.), but spellings are obviously quite fluid, and it's not a stretch to say Dionis Lyllewhite of Yorkshire was Mrs. Dinah Place in New England, aside from the other evidence that supports it.
     Eleven months after Thomas and Dionis married, Peter, son of Thomas Place, was baptized at Drypool. As I said earlier, Peter Place wasn't a common name in England, nor New England in the early 17th century. The one who lived in Boston, Massachusetts Bay (and whose granddaughter Joanna married Thomas of Dorchester's grandson Joseph) undoubtedly came to New England on the ship Truelove in 1635, and being 20, this leaves little doubt he was Thomas' son. "Ales" (Alice), followed Peter, baptized in Drypool in 1616. There's a parish register index that erroneously calls her "Alex."
     At Holy Trinity Church in Hull, also known as Hull Minster and about a half mile from the center of what was the Drypool parish, Enoch Place, son of Thomas, was baptized in 1629. Again at Drypool there was an Anna Place buried on 19 March 1630. I can't prove from this and adjacent records if this is the Julian or Gregorian year, but it was very likely 1630/31. She may have been the child of Thomas baptized at Sculcoates, another medieval parish absorbed by Kingston-on-Hull, on 19 March 1630/31, whose name is unreadable in the poor microfilm image. However, what faint letters can be made out probably negate that this was Anna. So we have the very strange scenario of Thomas baptizing a child in one parish and then burying them or a different child the same day in a different parish. Otherwise we have, alternatively, a case of a child being baptized and then the same or another child being buried exactly a year later - also odd. Sarah Playce, daughter of Thomas, was buried in Sculcoates in 1634. She may have been the Sarah, daughter of Thomas, baptized in Beverley, Yorkshire, in 1620. This town isn't very close to Kingston-on-Hull, but close enough to plausibly consider her (and Thomas) the same person. Also in Beverley, Anne, daughter of Thomas, was baptized in 1625. She may have been the Anna buried in 1630/31, leaving the unnamed child baptized in 1630/31 as yet another child.
     Someone made the claim that Enoch immigrated under the guardianship of Maj. Humphrey Atherton. I haven't found the original source for this, only a reference to it being in a book at the Boston Public Library. No evidence has been found to support the idea, and can't be taken seriously without it. The ship on which Atherton came to New England isn't known. He performed Enoch's marriage, but he performed others as well in the same year. It's most likely that Thomas, Dinah, Enoch and maybe several other children sailed on one of the Great Migration ships for which there are no passenger records.
     Thomas sold land to George Willis in Cambridge according to a compiled list of transactions made in 1639. The date of the deed isn't given, although many have assumed it was in 1639, It was by 1639. "Jt: Boughte of Thomas Place ; 2 Acars of Land, bounded one the Northeast. Side, Edward Hall : one the Southwest end to ye west End feild pale: the other side one the Comon Northwest : the End being North East ; Joineing to ye greate Swampe."2
Another mention of real estate was at the "[town meeting] 24th day fo the 12th moneth, Feb. 1639 [Julian Calendar; 24 February 1640, Gregorian or modern calendar]. And at the same Meeting there was granted to Thomas Place of Mount Woollystone, for 5 heads, 20 acres there, upon the covenant of 3s. p. acre."3 He took the freeman's oath at the Massachusetts Bay Colony General Court on 13 May 1640.4 Town of residence isn't given but it's assumed to have been Dorchester. There's no record of Thomas in that town before Dinah's death in 1657 to support the claim. His son Enoch was there in 1657 when he married, but extant records are too spotty to trace their movements in the Boston area more specifically than this. There's no record known of Thomas' death, but "Dina Place deceased this life the 28. 5. 1657" (28 July 1657, the 5th month being July on the Julian calendar used at this time)5

children of Thomas Place and likely "Emmit" (Emma) (bur. 22 April 1614):

(1606 and 1607 are missing from the bishop's transcripts of the Drypool register, which may be when Thomas and Emma were married. The original parish register pages are badly damaged. All baptisms give the father's name only)
Susanna bap. 18 August 1608 (findmypast index is incorrect, says 28 August)
Elizabeth bap. 3 February 1609/10
Frances bap. 13 April 1614, bur. 29 April 1614

children of Thomas Place and likely "Dionis" (prob. Dinah) Lyllewhite:

Peter bap. 1 March 1614/15, Drypool
Alice ("Ales") bap. "secondo dice onensis [sic - 2nd of the 12th month] February" 1616, Kirk Ella
?Sarah bap. 23 July 1620, Beverley St. Mary, maybe the one bur. 1 November 1634, Sculcoates
?Anne bap. 18 January 1625/26, Beverley St. Mary
Enoch bap. 4 September 1629, Holy Trinity, Hull
female child, name unreadable, bap. 19 March 1630/31, Sculcoates, maybe the same as Anna bur. 19 March 1630 (prob. 1630/31), Drypool, although what's visible in the baptism record doesn't look like Anne/Anna and it seems very odd she would be baptized and buried the same day in different parishes. The burial may be 1629/30, but it's unlikely, and it may be that the burial is for Anna, b. 1626, and it's a coincidence that her sister was baptized the same day.

vital records sources: see notes 1 and 5.

1. The Register of Kirk Ella, Co. York (London:1897), 13, 15, 26. See also images of the registers of Kirk Ella, Sculcoates, Drypool and Beverley at
2.The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the "New Towne" and the Town of Cambridge (also known as "Cambridge Proprietor's Records, 1634-1829") (Cambridge, MA:1896), 65.
3."Boston Town Records, 1640" in Second Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, 1877 (Boston:1877), 49.
4.John Winthrop, The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, vol. 2 (Boston:1853), 451.
5.comp. Jay Mack Holbrook, Massachusetts Vital Records, Dorchester 1631-1868 (Oxford, MA:1985), 91 (taken from an1843 transcript).

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted

Emet Tailor bap. 3 Aug 1578, Drypool, female Thomas Place bp. 12 April 1585, Kirk Ella, Hull, son of Peter Peter Place bur. 1587, Kirk Ella Theophilus Place, son of Richard, bap. Kirk Ella 1604 Alex [sic] bap. 1616, findmypast, which, as transcribed in the book, was Ales filia Thomae Plane Barbara bap. Cottingham, 1580 (children of Christopher) Isabella 1581 Richard 1586 John 1579 Francis 1575 Henry 1575 no name 1577 Christopher m. 1574, Cottingham Anne bap 1625, Beverley Peter Place (interpreted as Plate and Platt) m. Isabella Thornton 1 Dec 1583, Kirk Ella Christopher Place m. 1574, Cottingham, children bap there Richard and Thomas may have been brothers or cousins. They both had children baptized at Kirk Ella. Christopher, the next older generation along with Peter, had a son named Richard. Another Place family lived across the Humber River from Hull.

Alice, wife of William Thornton bur KE 7 July 1565 Joanna, dau of William bur KE 11 July 1563 Katherine, wife of John, 27 June 1590 Thomas bur. 8 Nov 1597