ancestral chart father mother (see father's bio page) index home




vital records sources
go to Elizabeth Patch's page


Richard was born on the County Dorset coast of England. He was baptized in Abbotsbury, where his family had been for at least three generations. Like his father Jeffrey, he became a fisherman, likely sailing out of the port of nearby Weymouth and part of the cod industry.
     Richard makes his debut in extant New England records on 11 September 1664.1 He deposed in a court case - a dispute involving Richard Ober, whom Thistle likely knew since they were boys about the same age growing up in Abbotsbury. He said had knowledge of happenings in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Given that he was certainly living there in 1669, this may have been his home since his sea voyages brought him to New England, at least periodically. The deposition says he was about 22, corresponding to Richard's baptism date.
     A petition complaining of imposts that date from about late 1668 includes the signatures or marks of Jeffrey Thissell and Richard Thistle among men of Marblehead.2 Richard Ober signed as a resident of Salem, the part of which that became Beverly. Richard bought a homestead in Marblehead from Edmund Gale on 28 June 1669.3 The deed describes him as a fisherman of Marblehead.
     Within the next few years, about 1670 or 1671, he married Elizabeth Patch of Beverly, Massachusetts, and had their first child baptized there in 1672. No record has been found of his selling his Marblehead property, but he and his father bought land on the shore of Plumb Cove in Beverly in 1674.4 Among the abutting land owners was Richard himself, although when he bought that land hasn't been found. Another abutter was Richard Ober, further suggesting they had a personal connection before they immigrated.
     Over the next 40 years, Richard established himself at this site in Beverly, with property extending from what is now Hale Street to the shoreline. Foregoing a will, he disposed of part of his estate before he died. He in part gave and sold three lots of land to Richard, Jr., in 1707 "for his encouragement and advancement being towards his portion I intend for him."5 One was about six acres in Beverly with a dwelling house and barn...lately the homestead of Robert Bradford. Another was about ten acres of "rocky pasture." Lastly, about seven acres of meadow in Wenham with Longham Bridge.
     On 18 December 1714 Richard, considering his "natural affection" and "good will" he had for his son Ebenezer and an obligation Ebenezer had to pay his sisters 20 lbs a piece, gave him the 15 acres of land he bought from "widow Lemmon," about 20 rods of land he bought from Samuel Morgan, about 81 poles or rods of land he bought from Richard Ober, another piece he bought from the Town of Beverly, also "my dwelling house & out housing, fences, trees..." that is to say ye upright part of ye house after mine & my wives decease & the leantow & the land forthwith...also...all my looms & utensils belonging to a weaver as alsoe ye cooper boards about ye house."6 On the same day Ebenezer formalized his obligation to his sisters, to pay them 10 lbs a piece at the death of either of their parents and another 10 lbs at the death of the other7. That obligation was to be void if Ebenezer "shall suffer ye sd Richard Thistle & Elizabeth his wife to dwell in ye upright part of ye house so long as they shall live & to use, occupy & improve ye said lands given & granted as aforesd during their natural lives together and after ye decease of either of them do quietly permit ye longest liver of them...his father and mother, to enjoy ye one halfe thereof according to ye true intent of ye sd donation." This bond is open to some interpretation. It seems that Richard was giving Ebenezer the land, buildings and goods either way. If he agreed to let his parents live with him and use the land as they had been, he didn't have to pay his sisters anything. The upright and lean-to descriptions of the house surely indicate it was in the "salt box" style with a main, two-story part (in which Richard and Elizabeth lived) and a section behind it with a sloping roof to the first story. It seems like an odd arrangement, given that they allowed Ebenezer the option to not let them live there, but he surely agreed to beforehand, understanding "ye true intent of ye sd donation." The reference to "ye one halfe thereof" is a mystery.
     For 5 pounds, his son Ebenezer gave up any right to the property his father sold to his brother Richard, Jr.: "his homestead and pasture near adjoyning to it and his meadow at Longham, so called, as it is now fenced and in ye common right yt belongeth unto ye said homestead out of ye commone land of said Beverly." 1 March 1715/16.8 Their mother Elizabeth gave a similar deed to Richard, Jr., giving up her dower right to that property.9 In February 1716, Ebenezer's other siblings sold their rights to him and in March, Richard sold his right to lands given to Ebenezer by their father.10
      Elizabeth (Patch) Thissel's will, dated 21 February 1730/1731, mentions sons Jeffrey, Richard and Ebenezer, daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and grandchildren surnamed Corning, Sallows, Pride, Cole and Standley.11 From vital records, the following list of children and marriages can be constructed:

children of Richard Thistle and Elizabeth Patch:

Jeffrey b. 21 September 1672 (Beverly town records)
Mary b. abt 1673/74, m. Robert Sallows, d. 6 July 1714, Beverly aged abt. 40
Hannah b. abt 1678, m. Peter Pride, int. 22 December 1700, d. 1750 aged abt. 72
William b. 20 February 1684/85 ((the original town record says William, but this is likely Richard, if not, no further record)
Richard b. abt 1684/85, see above, m. Martha Thorndike, d. 17 March 1752, Beverly, age 67
Sarah b. abt 1686/87 m. Benjamin Cole, int. 16 November 1710
Elizabeth b. abt 1688/89, alive on 21 February 1730/31 (mother's will), no further record
Ebenezer, b. 8 November 1690 (Beverly town records)

From the records of the First Church of Beverly: "7th May 1710 Hannah Elisabeth & Sarah daughters of Richard Thistle, Sr., "made a publick professn of yr faith & repentd & were baptized, being each grown to an adult age"12



vital records sources: His death is in Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts, to the year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield:1907), 573.

1. Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex County, Massachusetts, 3:209.
2. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 9:82.
3. Essex County deeds (hereafter ECD), 3:73.
4. ECD, 4:81.
5. Ibid, 20:42.
6. Ibid, 27:89.
7. Ibid, 27:90.
8. Ibid, 27:240
9. Ibid, 27:253.
10. 31:67.
10. Essex County Probate Records, Old Series 322:156
12. Records of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772 (Beverly:Essex Institute, 1905), 48.

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