Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot

Thomas Macy was born about 1608 and is believed to have originated from Chilmark, Wiltshire, England. Acccording to Hoyt, he was a planter, clothier, and merchant. Thomas married Sarah Hopcot 9th 6 month 1639 in Chilmark, Wiltshire, England. Sarah was born about 1612. Thomas was one of the first settlers in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts and was admitted freeman 6 September 1639. The Macys settled in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts by the end of 1640. The Macy-Colby house in nearby Amesbury, which Thomas built, still stands. Here, he was a representative in 1664, according to Savage. Austin states that he was one of those given “full powers to order all the affairs of the town” in 1643, 1647, and 1653 and served as a juryman in 1648 and deputy in 1654. According to Silvanus J. Macy, Thomas was a merchant, planter, selectman, juryman, and a Baptist. That he was a Baptist, however, has been questioned by Hoyt.

Thomas was brought before court for “entertaining Quakers”. Four men had stopped at the Macy home to ask directions on rainy morning, staying about three-quarters of an hour. Because Thomas was ill and unable to get a horse on the day of the trial, he wrote a letter to the court to explain the circumstances. Thomas was fined.

Thomas Macy was one of the original purchasers of Nantucket in 1659. Tradition states that he fled to Nantucket from persecution as a result of the case against him concerning the Quakers. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a romanticized version of the legend in his poem “The Exiles”. The voyage by ship with his family and several others to the island was said to have been stormy. On 10 May 1661, Thomas was one the men chosen to lay out and measure the land on Nantucket.

Thomas was again at Salisbury in 1664 but then sold his house and moved to Nantucket permanently. Thomas was Nantucket’s second chief magistrate in 1676. There seems to have been a controversy a year later when his commission was up. The governor did not appoint a new chief magistrate, so Thomas continued to serve. Peter Folger rebelled, witholding records as the clerk. Macy won a vote in his favor and Folger was later arrested for refusing to comply. He died 19 April 1682 on Nantucket, Massachusetts. Administration on his estate was granted 1 August 1682 to his son, John. Sarah died in 1706 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Thomas and Sarah's children:

1. Sarah Macy, born 4th 9 mo (9 Jul) 1644 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, died in 1645 or 1646 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts.
2. Sarah Macy, born 6th or 8th 1 mo (1 Aug) 1646 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, married William Worth 11 Apr 1665 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, died in 1701 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
3. Mary Macy, born 10th 4 mo (4 Dec) 1648 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts[1], married William Bunker 11 Apr 1669 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, died 10th 3 mo 1729 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
4. Bethiah Macy, born in 1650, married Joseph Gardner 30 Mar 1670 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, died 19th 8 mo 1732 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
5. Thomas Macy, Jr., born 22nd 9 mo (22 Sep) 1653 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, died 3 Dec 1675 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, not married.
6. John Macy, born 14th 7 mo (14 Jul) 1655 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, married Deborah Gardner in 1676, a house carpenter, appointed a trustee of the freeholders of Sherburne 27 Jun 1687, died 14 Oct 1691 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
7. Francis Macy, born in 1657 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, died in 1658 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts.

1. Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Vol. II—Births (G-Z), Boston:  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1926.
2. Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Vol. IV—Marriages (H-Z), Boston:  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1927.
3. Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Vol. V—Deaths, Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1928.
4. Folger, William C., “A Record of Births, Deaths, and Marriages on Nantucket, Beginning in 1662”, New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. 7, Apr 1853.
5. Hoyt, David W., The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982.
6. Worth, Henry Barnard, Nantucket Lands and Land Owners, Nantucket:  Nantucket Historical Association, 1901, Vol. 2, Bulletin No. 1.
7. Foote, Nancy, “The Swain Sage”, Historic Nantucket, Vol. 32, No. 1, 1984.
8. Whipple, A.B.C., Vintage Nantucket, Chester, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1978.
9. Whittier, John Greenleaf, The Complete Poetical Works of Whittier, (Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1892).
10. “Thomas Macy, Before Nantucket,” Footprints Through Time: A Macy Family Newsletter, 8th issue, Jun 1988.
11. Macy, Silvanus J., Genealogy of the Macy Family, Albany:  Joel Munsell, 1868.
12. Banks, Charles E., “The English Family of Mayhew”, The History of Martha's Vineyard, vol. I, 1911.
13. International Genealogical Index (records extracted from original source by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Birth records:  (Batch # C500411, Dates: 1849, Source Call #0845110, Type: Film, Printout Call #6905859, Type: Film).
14. Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Vols. 2-4, Baltimore, MD: Genelogical Publishing Co., 1990 (originally published Boston, 1860-1862).
15. Database of the Eliza Starbuck Barney Genealogical Record, Nantucket Historical Association (created from records collected by Eliza Starbuck Barney (1802-1889)).
16. Albany Deeds- Vol.III, p.57.
17. Old Norfolk County Records, (see
18. Austin, John Osborne, One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families, Salem, MA, 1893, pgs. 169-171.
19. Christoph, Peter R. and Florence A. (eds.), New York Historical Manuscripts:  English, Book of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1674-1688, Baltimore, MD:  Benealogical Publishing Co., 1982.
20. Macy, Obed, The History of Nantucket, Boston, MA:  Hilliard Gray, 1835.

For pictures of the Macy-Colby House, see:
For a picture of the First Settlers Memorial at the Golgotha Burying Ground in Amesbury, MA (includes Thomas Macy), see:

Nantucket Births
Page 265
Bethiah, wife of Joseph Gardner (son of Richard 1st and Sarah), daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, about 1650, in Salisbury, P. R. 38.[2]

Page 276
Francis, son of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, — 1657, in Salisbury, P. R. 38.

Page 282
John 1st, husband of Deborah (son of Richard Gardner 1st and Sarah), son of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 14th 7 mo. 1655, in Salisbury, P. R. 38.

Page 290
Mary, wife of William Bunker (son of George and Jane), daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 10th, 4 mo. 1648, in Salisbury, P.R. 38.

Page 301
Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 4th, 9 mo. 1644, in Salisbury, P. R. 38.
Sarah, wife of William Worth (son of John of England), daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 6th [duplicate entry, 8th], 1 mo. 1646, in Salisbury, P. R. 38.

Page 306
Thomas, husband of Sarah Hopcot, —, 1608, in England, P. R. 38.
Thomas Jr., son of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 22d, 9 mo. 1653, [in Salisbury], P. R. 38.

Source:  Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Vol. II—Births (G-Z), Boston:  New England Historical & Genealogical Society, 1926.

Nantucket Marriages

Page 153
Bethia and Joseph Gardner, March 30, 1670.[3] [Bethiah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, and Joseph Gardner, son of Richard 1st and Sarah (Shattuck), P. R. 38.]

Page 166
Mary and Will[ia]m Bunker, April 11, 1669.[3] [Mary, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, and William Bunker, son of George and Jane Godfrey [duplicate entry, 11th, 4 mo.], P. R. 38.]

Page 174
Sarah and William Worth, April 11, 1665.[3] [Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, and William Worth, son of John of Devonshire, England, “m’d…among Friends,” P. R. 38.]

Page 177
Thomas, “in the early part of…1659…came…from Salisbury…with his wife & family accompanied by Edward Starbuck, James Coffin & Isaac Coleman…to Nantucket,” and Sarah Hopcot, 9th, 6 mo. 1639, in Chilmark, Wiltshire, England,[3] P. R. 38.

Source:  Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Vol. IV—Marriages (H-Z), Boston:  New England Historical & Genealogical Society, 1927.

Nantucket Deaths

Page 89
Mary, wife of William (son of George and Jane), daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot, 10th, 3 mo. 1729, P. R. 38.


Page 293
Bethiah, wife of Joseph (son of Richard 1st and Sarah), daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot, 19th, 8 mo. 1732, P. R. 38.


Page 419
Francis, son of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, —, 1658, “young,” in Salisbury, P. R. 38.

Page 422
John, Oct. 14, 1691. [John 1st, husband of Deborah (daughter of Richard Gardner 1st and Sarah), son of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, 14th, 10 mo., age 36, P. R. 38. John 1st, 14th, 10 mo., age 36, P. R. 63.[4]]

Page 431
Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, —, “1645 or 1646,” in Salisbury, P. R. 38.

Page 432
Sarah Hopcot, widow of Thomas, —, 1706, age 94, P. R. 38.

Page 434
Thomas Jr., Dec. 3, 1675. [son of Thomas and Sarah Hopcot, “young,” P. R. 38.]
Thomas [duplicate entry, Macey], Mr., Apr. 19, 1682. [Macy, husband of Sarah Hopcot, 19th, 4 mo. age 74, P. R. 38. Macy, 19th, 3 mo., P. R. 63.]


Page 618
Sarah, first wife of William (son of John), daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcot, —, 1701, P. R. 38.

Source:  Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Vol. V—Deaths, Boston:  New England Historical & Genealogical Society, 1928.

William Bunker and Mary Macy were married ye 11th of April 1669.

Source:  Folger, William C., “A Record of Births, Deaths, and Marriages on Nantucket, Beginning in 1662”, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 7, April, 1853.

Pages 8-9
 The following is a copy of a paper found in the Massachusetts archives, Boston, without date, but indexed under 1639. The use of the name “Colchester” places the date of the original record between September, 1639, and October, 1640, unless the new settlement used the name before it was authorized by the General Court. The Salisbury records have the name “Merrimack” in May, 1639. The Boston copy must have been made after October, 1640, as it uses the name “Salisbury”:
“The names of those yt have lotts & proportions granted pr the Toune of Colchester in the first division…
…Tho Macy…
“this is A true copie of the originall list taken out of the old book of Reccords for Salisbury as Attests.
                                                                                                         Tho. Bradbury rec.
“Vera copia Atest                                                                              Edward Rawson Secrety”

 It is difficult to reconcile the above list with the following [p. 10], taken from the Salisbury records. On the Salisbury records, Carr, Morrill, Macy, Fitts, wid. Christian Brown, and perhaps Rowell, are not mentioned as participating in the “first division,”[5] though they all received land in 1640, and Macy in 1639…
 …It seems probable that the first lots laid out were all on the “circular road,” except, perhaps, those of Fuller and Macy, and they either located away from others, or afterwards exchanged lots for those represented on the map…

Page 10

First Settlers of Salisbury.
 The following is an exact copy of the original entries on the first leaf of one of the town’s books of ancient records. It is evidently designed for an index to the records of land grants, the numbers referring to the pages where such grants are recorded, one page being originally assigned to each person…
“…Tho: Macie  67…”

Page 11

Salisbury Commoners, 1650.
 The following extract is also copied from the Salisbury records:
 “3d: (12th) mo              Also att ye same meeting it was ordered yt all whose
       1650                      names are here vnder written, shalbe accompted townsmen & Comoners, & none butt them, to this prsent, that is to say:
…Tho: Macy…”

Pages 11-12

Salisbury Rate, 1650.
“Mr Wosters rate for 30ls: the 25: of December 1650
                                 s         d
…Tho: Macy            15       8…

Page 13

First Settlers of Amesbury.
 On the Amesbury records we find, dated March 19, 1654-5, the following list of the “present inhabitanc and comenors heare in the new towne.”
“…Thomas Macy…”

Pages 13-14

Signatures to Articles of Agreement
Between the Inhabitants of the Old Town and those of the New Town, May 1, 1654.[6]
…Tho: Macy,…

Page 14

Division of Land, Salisbury, 1654.
…Tho: Macy…
 Sixty names, the same as the above, omitting Abraham Fitts and John French, are found when the town divided the mowing of beach lots, March, 1653-4. The above spelling is mainly that of the beach lot list.

Salisbury Petitions of 1658.

 In the Massachusetts archives are found two petitions about church matters, both dated May 19, 1658, on which appear the following names of inhabitants of Salisbury:
…Tho: Macy…

Page 236-7
1 Thomas1 Macy [or Macie], b. ab. 1608, “a planter”, “clothier,” or “merchant,” came from Chilmark, Eng., to Newbury, Mass., but rem. to Salisbury, where he recd. land in 1639, ‘40, and ‘42; commoner and taxed 1650; rep. 1654; etc. He was one of the original commoners and clerk of Amesbury, 1654-9, the subject of Whittier’s poem, “The Exiles”.[7] He m. Sarah Hopcott, who d. in 1706, aged 94. He d. April 19, 1682. [See pp. 103, 118.]
He was prosecuted and fined for allowing four Friends on a journey to take shelter in his house about three quarters of an hour one rainy day, in 1659, as his own letter to the court informs us. It is worth of note that his grandson and many others of his descendants became Friends. Like Roger Williams, he fled from persecution in Massachusetts. His family were the first white settlers in Nantucket, then under the jurisdiction of New York. Edward Starbuck and Isaac Coleman, a lad 12 years old, accompanied them.[8]  Children:
I. Sarah,2 b. July 9, 1644[S]; d. 1645 or ‘6[S].
II. Sarah,2 b. Aug. 1, 1646[S]; m. April 11, 1665, William Worth (John), d. 1701, at Nantucket.
III. Mary,2 b. Dec. 4, 1648[S]; m. April 11, 1669, Wm. Bunker (George), d. 1729, at Nant.
IV. Bethia,2 b. ab. 1650; m. March 30, 1670, Joseph Gardner (Richard); d. 1732, at Nant.
V. Thomas,2 b. Sep. 22, 1653[S]; d. unm., Dec. 3, 1675, at Nant.
VI. John,2 b. July 14, 1655; m. Deborah Gardner.
VII. Francis,2 b. ab. 1657; d. 1658, at Salis.

1 John2 Macy (Thomas1), “house carpenter”, of Nantucket, b. 1655; m. Deborah Gardner (Richard and Sarah). He d. at Nant. Oct. 14, 1691. She d. 1712. Savage states that Wid. Deborah m. Stephen Pease…

Source:  Hoyt, David W., The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982.

The first election for Magistrates was held April 15, 1672, and the names of Edward Starbuck and Richard Gardner were submitted to the Gov. at New York, and Richard Gardner was chosen by the Governor. Thomas Macy was the next Chief Magistrate. Tristram Coffin the third…
…August 1, 1682. Administration on estate of Thomas Macy granted to his son John. The estate was valued at 71, of which about one-half was land and the rest cattle…
…On account of the inconvenience of obtaining a confirmation of purchases made from the Indians, it was concluded best to obtain a general grant of the entire island, which was the Dongan patent, dated June 27, 1687. This patent is very elaborate and lengthy, and…it can be found at the Registry of Deeds at Nantucket and in the Genealogy of the Macy family…It established John Gardner, James Coffin, William Gayer, Peter Cofin, Nathaniel Barnard, Stephen Hussey and John Macy a body corporate called the Trustees of the Freeholders of the Town of Sherburne.

Source:  Worth, Henry Barnard, Nantucket Lands and Land Owners, Nantucket:  Nantucket Historical Association, 1901, Vol. 2, Bulletin No. 1.

The record of the General Court on the case against Thomas Macy and others is—
“Nov. 12, 1659. . .
 7. That Thomas Macy pay as a fine the some of thirty shillings, and be admonished by the Governo'r.”

Source:  Foote, Nancy, “The Swain Sage”, Historic Nantucket, Vol. 32, No. 1, 1984.

    The first family of Nantucket—or the first family of off-islanders, depending on your point of view—was not named Coffin but Macy…It was one Thomas Macy who was first to settle on Nantucket Island. Thomas Macy lived in Salisbury, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Salisbury was populated by people who had fled religious persecution in coming to Massachusetts from Europe. Now they had launched their own brand of persecution. Their chief target was Quakerism. Not only did Massachusetts Puritans abhor the Quakers, they also outlawed them. It was more than a sin to be a Quaker; it was a crime. Quakers were legally banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony on pain of death. They were hounded from town to town and often were mutilated and hanged. So it was also a crime for Thomas Macy to take pity on the four Quakers who knocked on his door on a rainy April morning in 1659. In his answer to the charges against him, Macy explained that he had been out, that he had returned to find his wife ill and in bed. While he was trying to tend to her, there was a knock on his door. He opened it to find four men, one of whom was an acquaintance and a man suspected of being a Quaker. Standing in the rain outside his door, they asked Macy for directions. The rain was severe at the moment and Macy asked them in. He later pleaded that he told them he could not shelter them if they were Quakers; but he could not be callous enough to drive them out into the pouring rain. They stayed by his fire for a little over an hour. The rain let up; they thanked him kindly and went on their way. Word of Macy’s unchristian act reached the authorities in Salisbury, and he was threatened with a fine and possible imprisonment. Meanwhile, during the summer of 1659, friends of Thomas Macy, including one Tristram Coffin, invited him to join in the purchase of some land on an island called Nantucket, 30 miles off Massachusetts’ southern coast. There were ten families in the group, and their plan was to escape the harassment of the Puritan town fathers of Salisbury by starting yet another new life on Nantucket. They were not Quakers themselves; they had no particular views pro or con Quakerism. They simply were fed up with the arbitrary and sanctimonious rule of their Puritan neighbors. And Thomas Macy had more reason than the rest of them to join the group of refugees…
…A poem entitled The Exiles, by John Greenleaf Whittier, depicts Thomas Macy and his family fleeing from his house in Salisbury a few steps ahead of the authorities, rushing to the riverbank and embarking in a 'light sherry' for Nantucket. Whittier's description has a charming commentary of Salisbury's pastor, who dashes to the riverbank.
“Come back,—come back,” the parson cried,
“The church’s curse beware.”
“Curse, an’ thou wilt!” said Macy,
 “Thy blessing prithee spare.”
Actually Macy's voyage was a somewhat more leisurely process, though it was a flight from the avenging authorities nonetheless. Thomas and his wife Sarah took along their five children and three adventurous young friends: Edward Starbuck, Isaac Coleman (a twelve-year-old orphan), and eighteen-year-old James Coffin. Crowded into an open boat, the exiles sailed first to Martha's Vineyard, where they put into Great Harbor (now Edgartown) for “comfort and further direction,” as Macy succinctly phrased it. On they shortly went to the island just below the horizon to the south. They ran into a squall, with rain, strong winds and mounting seas, but Macy held his course for Nantucket—a wise decision, considering the size of his boat; to have turned back would have meant running with the squall and spending many more hours in it. They made their landfall at the western end of the island, in what is now known as Madaket Harbor, where Mayhew had built a dock for his visits to Nantucket…
…The Macy family built a hut on the shore of the harbor. Their first tentative meetings with the Indians were friendly…Nantucket's new family had scarcely settled in by wintertime. It was a typically long, cold and dreary Nantucket winter, and Macy and his family used up the provisions they had brought with them. They would perhaps have been wiser to come to the island in spring, thereby allowing themselves time for planting, harvesting and preserving food for the winter. But had Thomas Macy stayed in Salisbury that winter, he might have wound up in jail…
…So bitter had the two factions become that a simple misunderstanding, one that might normally have called only for a judicial ruling in New York, erupted into recrimination, defiance and repression. Thomas Macy was Nantucket’s chief magistrate, under a one-year commission from the governor. On October 1, 1676, Macy’s commission expired. Preoccupied with other matters, Governor Andros did not immediately renew the commission or appoint another chief magistrate. Accordingly, Macy called a town meeting, in which it was voted that he would continue to serve until his successor was named by New York. Thomas Macy was one of the Coffin faction. The clerk of the court was Peter Folger, who had joined forces with John Gardner…Folger now decided that Thomas Macy was serving illegally; therefore he would not turn over his court records, nor would he serve any longer as clerk. The town met again, in raucous confrontation. The vote—corn kernels for yea, beans for nay—supported Macy. Folger was requested again to hand over the court records. He refused. He was sentenced to jail.

Source:  Whipple, A.B.C., Vintage Nantucket, Chester, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1978.

The Exiles

The incidents upon which the following ballad has its foundation occurred about the year 1660. Thomas Macy was one of the first, if not the first white settler of Nantucket. The career of Macy is briefly but carefully outlined in James S. Pike’s The New Puritan.
The goodman sat beside his door,
One sultry afternoon, 
With his young wife singing at his side
An old and goodly tune.

A glimmer of heat was in the air,—
The dark green woods were still;
And the skirts of a heavy thunder-cloud
Hung over the western hill.

Black, thick, and vast arose that cloud
Above the wilderness,
As some dark world from upper air
Were stooping over this.

At times the solemn thunder pealed,
And all was still again,
Save a low murmur in the air
Of coming wind and rain.

Just as the first big rain-drop fell,
A weary stranger came,
And stood before the farmer’s door,
With travel soiled and lame.

Sad seemed he, yet sustaining hope
Was in his quiet glance,
And peace, like autumn’s moonlight, clothed
His tranquil countenance,—

A look like that his Master wore
In Pilate’s council-hall:
It told of wrongs, but of a love
Meekly forgiving all.

“Friend! wilt thou give me shelter here?”
The stranger meekly said;
And, leaning on his oaken staff,
The goodman’s features read.

“My life is haunted,—evil men
Are following in my track;
The traces of the torturer’s whip
Are on my aged back;

“And much, I fear, ‘t will peril thee
Within thy doors to take
A hunted seeker of the Truth,
Oppressed for conscience’ sake.”

Oh, kindly spoke the goodman’s wife,
“Come in, old man!” quoth she,
“We will not leave thee to the storm,
Whoever thou mayst be.”

Then came the aged wanderer in,
And silent sat him down;
While all within grew dark as night
Beneath the storm-cloud’s frown.

But while the sudden lightning’s blaze
Filled every cottage nook,
And with the jarring thunder-roll
The loosened casements shook,

Aheavy tramp of horses’ feet
Came sounding up the lane,
And half a score of horse or more,
Came plunging through the rain.

“Now Goodman Macy, ope thy door,—
We would not be house-breakers;
A rueful deed thou’st done this day,
In harboring banished Quakers.”

Out looked the cautious goodman then,
With much of fear and awe,
For there, with broad wig drenched with rain
The parish priest he saw.

“Open thy door, thou wicked man,
And let thy pastor in,
And give God thanks, if forty stripes
Repay thy deadly sin.”

“What seek ye?” quoth the goodman;
“The stranger is my guest;
He is worn with toil and grievous wrong,
Pray let the old man rest.”

“Now, out upon thee, canting knave!”
And strong hands shook the door.
“Believe me, Macy,” quoth the priest,
“Thou’lt rue thy conduct sore.”

Then kindled Macy’s eye of fire:
“No priest who walks the earth,
Shall pluck away the stranger-guest
Made welcome to my hearth.”

Down from his cottage wall he caught
The matchlock, hotly tried
At Preston-pans and Marston-moor,
By fiery Ireton’s side;

Where Puritan and Cavalier,
With shout and psalm contended;
And Rupert’s oath, and Cromwell’s prayer,
With battle-thunder blended.

Up rose the ancient stranger then:
“My spirit is not free
To bring the wrath and violence
Of evil men on thee;

“And for thyself, I pray forbear,
Bethink thee of thy Lord,
Who healed again the smitten ear,
And sheathed his follower’s sword.

“I go, as to the slaghter led.
Friends of the poor, farewell!”
Beneath his hand the oaken door
Back on its hinges fell.

“Come forth, old graybeard, yea and nay,”
The reckless scoffers cried,
As to a horseman’s saddle-bow
The old man’s arms were tied.

And of his bondage hard and long
In Boston’s crowded jail,
Where suffering woman’s prayer was heard,
With sickening childhood’s wail,

It suits not with our tale to tell;
Those scenes have passed away;
Let the dim shadows of the past
Brood o’er that evil day.

“Ho, sheriff!” quoth the ardent priest,
“Take Goodman Macy too;
The sin of this day’s heresy
His back or purse will rue.”

“Now, goodwife, haste thee!” Macy cried.
She caught his manly arm;
Behind, the parson urged pursuit,
With outcry and alarm.

Ho! speed the Macys, neck or naught,—
The river-course was near;
The plashing on its pebbled shore
Was music to their ear.

A gray rock, tasselled o’er with birch,
Above the waters hung,
And at its base, with every wave,
A small light wherry swung.

A leap—they gain the boat—and there
The goodman wields his oar;
“Ill luck betide them all,” he cried,
“The laggards on the shore.”

Down through the crashing underwood,
The burly sherrif came:—
“Stand, Goodman Macy, yield thyself;
Yield in the King’s own name.”

“Now out upon thy hangman’s face!”
Bold Macy answered then,—
“Whip women, on the village green,
But meddle not with men.”

The priest came panting to the shore,
His grave cocked hat was gone;
Behind him, like some owl’s nest, hung
His wig upon a thorn.

“Come back! come back!” the parson cried,
“The church’s curse beware.”
“Curse, an thou wilt,” said Macy, “but
Thy belsseing prithee spare.”

“Vile scoffer!” cried the baffled priest,
“Thou’lt yet the gallows see.”
“Who’s born to be hanged willnot be drowned,”
Quoth Macy merrily;

“And so, sir sherriff and priest, good-by!”
He bent him to his oar,
And the small boat glided quietly
From the twain upon the shore.

Now in the west, the heavy clouds
Scattered and fell asunder,
While feebler came the rush of rain,
And fainter growled the thunder.

And throught broken clouds, the sun
Looked out serene and warm,
Painting its holy symbol-light
Upon the passing storm.

Oh, beautiful! that rainbow span,
O’er dim Crane-neck was bended;
One bright foot touched the eastern hills,
And one with ocean blended.

By green Pentucket’s southern slope
The small boat glided fast;
The watchers of the Block-house saw
The strangers as they passed.

That night a stalwart garrison
Sat shaking in their shoes,
To hear the dip of Indian oars
The glide of birch canoes.

The fisher-wives of Salisbury—
The men were all away—
Looked out to see the stranger oar
Upon their waters play.

Deer Island’s rocks and fir-trees threw
Their sunset-shadows o’er them,
And Newbury’s spire and weathercock
Peered o’er the pines before them.

Around the black rocks, on their left,
The marsh lay broad andgreen;
And on their right with dwarf shrubs crowned,
Plum Island’s hills were seen.

With skilful hand and wary eye
The harbor-bar was crossed;
A plaything of the restless wave,
the boat on ocean tossed.

The glory of the sunset heaven
On land and water lay;
On the steep hills of Agawam,
On cape, and bluff, and bay.

They passed the gray rocks of Cape Ann,
And Gloucester’s harbor-bar;
The watch-fire of the garrison
Shone like a setting star.

How brightly broke the morning
On Massachusetts Bay!
Blue wave, and bright green island,
Rejoicing in the day.

On passed the bark in safety
Round isle and headland steep;
No tespest broke above them,
No fog-cloud veiled the deep.

Far round the bleak and stormy Cape
The venturous Macy passed,
And on Nantucket’s naked isle
Drew up his boat at last.

And how, in log-built cabin,
They braved the rough sea-weather;
And there, in peace and quietness,
Went down life’s vale together;

How others drew around them,
And how their fishing sped,
Until to every wind of heaven
Nantucket’s sails were spread

How pale Want alternated
With Plenty’s golden smile;
Behold, is it not written
In the annals of the isle?

And yet that isle remaineth
A refuge of the free,
As when true-hearted Macy
Beheld it from the sea.

Free as the winds that winnow
Her shrubless hills of sand,
Free as the waves that batter
Along her yielding land.

than hers, at duty’s summons,
No loftier spirit stirs,
Nor falls o’er human suffering
A readier tear than hers.

God bless the sea-beat island!
And grant forevermore,
That charity and freedom dwell
As now upon her shore! 

Source:  Whittier, John Greenleaf, The Complete Poetical Works of Whittier, (Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1892).

    In 1656 Richard Currier and Thomas Macy were given permission to build a sawmill on the West side of the Powow. Since it was found that more than one sawmill was needed. The town gave Currier and Macy the privilege of using all the wood on the common lot that had not been granted to the first mill, William Osgood’s, with the exception of the oak trees which were needed by the settlers to make canoes. After Macy went to live at Nantucket in 1659 Currier continued the sawmill for many years…
    …Like Richard Currier, Thomas Macy is listed on Amesbury records as one of the first settlers and was its first Town Clerk, 1655 through the first week or so of November 1659. He too signed the 1654 “Articles of Agreement”. Merrill says that he was a good penman and kept fine records and was probably well educated. It is through his copying of the “Articles of Agreement”, which laid down conditions with which the settlers West of the Powow had to comply before they could become a distinct town separate from Salisbury, that we have such information today. The voters of the new town agreed to these at their town meeting on 18 March 1655
    …In 1654 Macy sold his home at Bartlett's Corner to Anthony Colby and evidently built or bought a house at what was later to be called the Mills District. In 1656 he and Richard Currier built their sawmill on the Powow and on 20 August 1658 he mortgaged the place in which he was living in to Radah Gove of Roxbury, “1/3 of all his part of sawmill at ye New Town and all utensils and priviledges and his dwelling house with 3 acres of upland thereto adjoining with the barn out house more or less bounded by Powow’s river East, the street West and the land of Richard Currier South.” These boundaries fix his home after he sold the “Macy-Colby” house in 1654 near the Powow, probably behind the present Post Office in the vicinity of Currier Street. It was from this house at the Mills that Macy and his family fled, supposedly in an open boat, to Nantucket in 1659. There is doubt in the minds of many that his departure was a dire result of his harboring Quakers during a severe rainstorm. He had purchased Nantucket Island, at the time under New York's jurisdiction, in July of the same year with Christopher Hussey, Tristram Coffin and others for 30 lbs plus two beaver hats, “one for myself and one for my wife”, from John Mayhew. This would seem to indicate that Goodman Macy was contemplating a change of scenery several months before the incident occurred which later inspired Whittier to express his thought in “The Exiles”. Macy had enemies in town and the information passed on by a “good neighbor”, to local authorities, of the presence of Quakers in the Macy home at the Mills might be construed as an act of vengeance…
    …The Macy-Colby house lot was bounded, in 1654, on the West by the land of Edmund Elliott and the burying ground, called Union Cemetery since 1663, and on the East by what is now Main Street. This early home of Macy's is about one quarter of a mile below the lights at the junction of Route 10 and Main Street. Although Macy was buried on the island of Nantucket, as were some of his descendants, his name appears on the Golgotha Stone near the Powow river. Undoubtedly this man is the best known of all the early settlers because of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, “The Exiles.”

Source:  “Thomas Macy, Before Nantucket,” Footprints Through Time: A Macy Family Newsletter, 8th issue, Jun 1988.

    We find Thomas Macy frequently held positions of honor and trust in the new settlement (of Salisbury); he was a merchant, a planter, one of the select men of the town, a juryman, and withal a preacher. He was of the Baptist persuasion and would frequently on the Sabbath exhort the people…
    …Thomas Macy died on the island of Nantucket, the 19th day of April, 1682, aged 74 years. No tomb stone marks the final resting place of his earthly remains, but a monument has been reared in the hearts of his descendants in commemoration of him, which the ruthless hand of time neither obliterated nor crumbles. . . He appears to have died without a will, as letters of administration were issued to his son John Macy, as we find from the records of deeds of the island, book No. 2, page 33, the action of the court, as well as the copy of inventory then filed…
    …John Macy was a house carpenter, and there are probably several houses yet in existence on the island, some parts of which were made by him.

Source:  Macy, Silvanus J., Genealogy of the Macy Family, Albany:  Joel Munsell, 1868.

It will be remembered that Thomas Macy of Nantucket, who is said to have been of Chilmark, referred to Thomas Mayhew of Martha’s Vineyard as “my honored cousin” (N. Y. Col. MSS., Vol. XXV), and while searching for Mayhew wills, I accidentally found the will of Thomas Maycie of Chilmark, dated 1575[9], which may serve as the basis of some future investigations concerning that well-known family, whose emigrant ancestor first settled in Salisbury, Massachusetts.

Source:  Banks, Charles E., “The English Family of Mayhew”, The History of Martha's Vineyard, vol. I, 1911.

Extracted Birth Records

Birth:   01 AUG 1646
Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts
Father:  THOMAS MACY  Mother:  SARAH

Birth:   09 JUL 1644
Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts
Father:  THOMAS MACY  Mother:  SARAH

Birth:   22 SEP 1653
Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts
Father:  THOMAS MACY  Mother:  SARAH

Birth:   04 DEC 1648
Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts
Father:  THOMAS MACY  Mother:  SARAH

Source:  International Genealogical Index (records above extracted from original source by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Birth records:  (Batch # C500411, Dates: 1849, Source Call #0845110, Type: Film, Printout Call #6905859, Type: Film).

Volume 2

    Joseph, Nantucket, brother of Richard, jr., married 30 March 1670, Bethia Macy, daughter of Thomas, had Sarah, born 23 October 1672; Damaris, 16 February 1675; Bethia, 13 August 1676; Deborah, 30 March 1681; and Hope, 7 January 1684; beside Mary, who married 1706, Matthew Jenkins.

Volume 3

    John, Nantucket, son of Thomas, married Deborah, daughter of the first Richard Gardner, had Sarah, born 3 April 1677; Deborah, 3 March 1679; and Bethia, 8 April 1681; beside Thomas, John, Richard, Jabez, and Mary; and he died 14 Oct. 1693; and his widow married Stephen Pease.
    Thomas, Newbury, came, it is said, from Chilmark, County Wiltshire, freeman 6 September 1639, married Sarah Hopcot, who died 1706, aged 94, removed to Salisbury, had Sarah, born 9 July 1644, died young; Sarah, again, 1 August 1646; Mary, 4 December 1648; and Thomas, 22 September 1653; was representative 1664, removed to Nantucket about 1659, being there one of the first settlers, had six children and died 19 June 1672, or April 1682, by other accounts in 74th yr. Coffin's Newbury; Holmes's Ann.; Macy's Nantucket, 13-18. His widow died 1706, aged 94; daughter Sarah married 11 April 1665, William Worth; Mary married 11 April 1669, William Bunker; and Bethia married 30 March 1670, Joseph Gardner, Thomas jr. died 3 December 1675.

Volume 4

    William, Nantucket, blacksmith and mariner, from Devonshire, was brother of the two preceding (Lionel Worth of Salisbury and Richard Worth of Newbury), married 11 April 1665, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Macy, had John, born 19 May 1666, and probably no other children, was highly esteemed clerk of the Court July 1678, and Justice. His wife died 1701, and he took, 3 September 1703, second wife Damaris Sibley, died December 1724. His widow died 2 June 1745, if such be the true translation of 2d of 4 mo.

Source:  Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Baltimore, MD: Genelogical Publishing Co., 1990 (originally published Boston, 1860-1862).

Records from the Eliza Starbuck Barney Genealogical Record

Thomas Macy (M)
b. 1598, d. 19 Apr 1682, #7705
Thomas Macy married Sarah Hopcott. Thomas Macy was born in 1598; the 1st of Nantucket. He died on 19 April 1682; Written: Ap. 19, 1682.
Children of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott:
Thomas Macy   ( - 03 Dec 1675)
Sarah Macy   (01 Aug 1646 - 1701)
Mary Macy   (04 Dec 1648 - 10 Mar 1729)
Bethiah Macy   (1650 - 19 Aug 1732)
John Macy   (1655 - 1691)
Francis Macy   (1657 - 1658)

Sarah Hopcott (F)
d. 1706, #7709
Sarah Hopcott married Thomas Macy. Sarah Hopcott died in 1706; A. 92. Her married name was Macy.

Thomas Macy (M)
d. 03 Dec 1675, #27848
Thomas Macy was the son of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott. Thomas Macy died on 3 December 1675; d. single.

Sarah Macy (F)
b. 01 Aug 1646, d. 1701, #27849
Sarah Macy was born on 1 August 1646. She was the daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott. Sarah Macy married William Worth in 1665. Sarah Macy died in 1701.
Her married name was Worth.
Child of Sarah Macy and William Worth:
John Worth   (1666 - 1732)
William Worth (M)
d. 1724, #27850
William Worth was the 1st of Nantucket. He married Sarah Macy, daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott, in 1665. William Worth married Damaris Sibley after 1701; His 2nd wife. William Worth died in 1724; (d. 10-1724 with 1723 written above).

Mary Macy (F)
b. 04 Dec 1648, d. 10 Mar 1729, #7704
Mary Macy was born on 4 December 1648; Date of "1649" given at Vol. I, p. 163. She was the daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott. Mary Macy married William Bunker, son of George Bunker and Jane Godfrey, in 1669. Mary Macy died on 10 March 1729 at age 80. Her married name was Bunker.
Children of William Bunker and Mary Macy:
Mary Bunker
Daniel Bunker
Abigail Bunker   ( - 13 Sep 1776)
Jane Bunker   ( - 07 Jun 1754)
Christian Bunker
George Bunker   (1671 - 24 Oct 1744)
John Bunker   (1673)
Jonathan Bunker   (1674 - 1721)
Peleg Bunker   (1676 - 01 Apr 1730)
Jabez Bunker   (1678 - 5-1750)
Thomas Bunker   (1680 - 1722)
Benjamin Bunker   (1683 - 10 May 1721)
Ann Bunker   (1686 - 18 Jan 1767)
William Bunker (M)
b. 1648, d. 06 Jun 1712, #7703
William Bunker was born in 1648. He was the son of George Bunker and Jane Godfrey. William Bunker married Mary Macy, daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott, in 1669. William Bunker died on 6 June 1712.

Bethiah Macy (F)
b. 1650, d. 19 Aug 1732, #1427
Bethiah Macy was born in 1650. She was the daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott. Bethiah Macy married Joseph Gardner, son of Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck, in 1670. Bethiah Macy died on 19 August 1732. Her married name was Gardner.
Children of Bethiah Macy and Joseph Gardner:
Sarah Gardner   (1672 - 15 May 1750)
Damaris Gardner   (1674)
Bethiah Gardner   (13 Aug 1676 - 20 Jun 1716)
Hope Gardner   (1683 - 21 Mar 1750)
Mary Gardner   (26 Dec 1686 or 1687 - 14 Apr 1761)
Abial Gardner   (1691 - 20 Sep 1756)
Joseph Gardner (M)
d. 1701, #1426
Joseph Gardner was the son of Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck. Joseph Gardner married Bethiah Macy, daughter of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott, in 1670. Joseph Gardner died in 1701.

John Macy (M)
b. 1655, d. 1691, #1421
John Macy was born in 1655. He was the son of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott. John Macy married Deborah Gardner, daughter of Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck, in 1676. John Macy died in 1691; A. 36.
Children of John Macy and Deborah Gardner:
John Macy   (c 1675 - 1751 or 1752)
Sarah Macy   (03 Jan 1677 - 18 Mar 1748)
Deborah Macy   (03 Mar 1679 - 16 Aug 1742)
Bethiah Macy   (08 Apr 1681 - 26 Jun 1738)
Jabez Macy   (c 1683 - 07 Aug 1776)
Mary Macy   (c 1685 - 27 Jun 1715 or 1717)
Thomas Macy   (c 1687 - 16 Mar 1759)
Richard Macy   (1689 - 25 Dec 1779)
Deborah Gardner (F)
b. 12 Feb 1658, d. 02 Feb 1712, #1422
Deborah Gardner married Stephen Pease; His 1st wife, wid. of John Macy. Deborah Gardner was born on 12 February 1658. She was the daughter of Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck. Deborah Gardner married John Macy, son of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott, in 1676. Deborah Gardner died on 2 February 1712 at age 53.
Her married name was Pease. Her married name was Macy.

Francis Macy (M)
b. 1657, d. 1658, #27847
Francis Macy was born in 1657. He was the son of Thomas Macy and Sarah Hopcott. Francis Macy died in 1658; d. young.

Source:  Database of the Eliza Starbuck Barney Genealogical Record, Nantucket Historical Association (created from records collected by Eliza Starbuck Barney (1802-1889)).

Deed, July 2, 1659
Recorded for Mr Coffin and Mr Macy aforsd ye day and Year aforsd.
Be it known unto all Men by these Presents that I Thomas Mayhew of Martha's Vineyard Merchant doe hereby acknowledge that I have sold unto Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Barnard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swayne and William Pike that Right and Interest I have in ye land of Nantuckett by Patent; ye wch Right I bought of James Fforrett, Gent. and Steward to ye Lord Sterling and of Richard Vines, sometimes of Sacho, Gent., Steward-Genrll unto Sir Georges Knight as by Conveyances under their Hands and Seales doe appeare, ffor them ye aforesaid to Injoy, and their Heyres and Assignes forever wth all the Privileges thereunto belonging for in consideration of ye sume of Thirty Pounds of Currant Pay unto whomsoever I ye said Thomas Mayhew, mine Heyres or Assigns shall appoint.
And also two Beaver Hats for myself and one for my wife.
And further this is to declare that I the said Thomas Mayehew have received to myself that Neck upon Nantucket called Masquetuck or that Neck of Land called Nashayte the neck (but one) northerly of Masquetuck ye afoesaid Sayle in anywise notwithstanding. And further I ye said Thomas Mayhew am to beare my Part of the Charge of ye said Purchase above named, and to hold one twentieth Part of all Lands purchased already, or shall be hereafter purchased, upon ye said Island by ye aforesd Purchasrs or Heyres and Assigns forever.
Briefly: It is thus: That I really sold all my Patent to ye aforesaid nine Men and they are to pay mee or whomsoever I shall appoint them, ye sum of Thirty Pounds in good Marchantable Pay in ye Massachusetts, under wch Governmt they now Inhabit, and 2 Beaver Hatts, and I am to beare a 20th Part of ye Charge of ye Purchase, and to have a 20th Part of all Lands and Priviledges; and to have wch of ye Necks aforsd that I will myselfe, paying for it; only ye Purchasers are to pay what ye Sachem is to have for Masquetuck, although I have ye other Neck.
And in witness hereof I have hereunto sett my Hand and Seal this second Day of July sixteen hundred and fifity-nine.
Per me
Tho. Mayhew.
Witnesss John Smith
Edward Searle

This witnesseth that I, Wanochmamack, chife sachem of Nantucket, hath sold unto Mr. Tristram Coffin and Thomas Macy, their heirs and assigns, that whole nack of land called by the Indians, Pacummohquah, being at the east end of Nantucket, for and in consideration of five pounds to be paid to me in English goods or otherwise to my content by the said Tristram Coffin aforesaid at convenient time as shall be demanded. Witness my hand or mark this 22 of June, 1662.

Source:  Albany Deeds- Vol.III, p.57.

    Thomas Macy sold to Anthony Colby the house in which Macy dwelleth and the barn and garden near barn of Rodger Eastman, and the well and bucket and rope belonging to it, and Colby agreed to convey to Macy a mare foal, boards, corn and pipe or hogshead staves or cattle, 23:11:1654.
    John Colby deposed that Tho: Macy sold to his father Anthony Colby the house in which his mother now liveth, with a barn and orchard and an English pasture of an acre at ye Newtown on west side of Pawwaus river, in Salisbury for 38. Sworn to in court at Salisbury, 12:2 mo:1664.
    Tho: Barnat testified that he heard Tho: Macy acknowledge that he had sold to the above to Anthony Colby, and that he was paid for it. Sworn to in court, 12:2 mo:1664.

Source:  Old Norfolk County Records, (see


1. Thomas,           {b. 1608,
                              {d. 1682, 4, 19.
                              {b. 1612,
 Sarah Hopcot.    {d. 1706.

I. Sarah.                {b. 1644, 7,9,
                              {d. 1645.

II. Sarah,               {b. 1646,  7, 9,                                 {1666, 5, 19,
                              {m. 1665, 4, 11,  d. 1701.                 {John.
William Worth.   {b
                              {d. 1724, 12, son of John Worth.

III. Mary,               {b. 1648, 12,4,
                                {m. 1669, 4, 11,  d. 1729, 3, 10.        {—, 1671, 4, 22, 73, 7, 23, 75, 2, 25, 76, 12, 1,  78, 11,7,
                                                                                           {Daniel, George, John, Jonathan, Peleg, Jabez,
                                                                                           {80, 4,8, 83, 5, 28, 86,9, 3, 1689, —, —
William Bunker.    {b. 1648,                                            {Thomas, Benjamin, Ann, Abigail, Mary, Jane.
                                {d. 1712, 6, 26, son of George and Jane (Godfrey) Bunker.

IV. Bethiah,            {b. 1650
                                 {m. 1670, 3, 30,  d. 1732.                  {1672, 10, 23, 75, 2, 16, 76, 8, 13, 81, 3, 30, 84, 1, 7,
                                                                                            {Sarah, Damaris, Bethiah, Deborah, Hope,
                                                                                            {92, 12, 4, —
Joseph Gardner.     {b.                                                     {Abial, Mary.
                                  {d. 1701, son of Richard and Sarah (Shattuck) Gardner.

V. Thomas,              {b. 1653, 9, 22,
                                  {d. 1675, 12, 3.

VI. John,                   {b. 1655, 7, 14,
                                   {m.   d. 1691, 19, 14.                        {1675, 77, 4, 3, 79, 3, 3, 81, 4, 8,
                                                                                             {John, Sarah, Deborah, Bethiah,
                                                                                             {1683, 1685, 1687, 89, 9, 22,
Deborah Gardner.    {b. 1658, 2, 12,                                 {Jabez, Mary, Thomas, Richard.
                                   {d. 1712, daughter of Richard and Sarah (Shattuck) Gardner.

VII. Francis,              {b. 1657,
                                   {d. 1658.

Chilmark, Wiltshire, Eng., Newbury, Salisbury, Nantucket, Mass.
1673. Newbury. Freeman there this year.
1640, 12, 14. Salisbury. He was here this year, where he was granted a house lot, and remained many years.
1642, 3, 26. He was granted 4 acres of upland.
1643, 2, 26. He was to have 1, 10s. for services of his bull for the town, during the year ensuing.
1643, 5, 4. With six others was to have full powersto order all the affairs of the town (except giving out of lands) until 1st of August. This authority to be vested in all or any 5 of them.
1644, 3. He sold Wm Hooke a 6 acre meadow lot.
1645, 1, 2. Fined 15 for felling trees against the town’s order, but he was to have the trees.
1647, 1, 27. He and six others were given authority to dispose of all town affairs (except giving out land and timber) for one year.
1648, 12, 18. Chosen Juryman for year ensuing.
1650, 12, 3. His name was in the original list of townsmen, there being 68 in all. This same year he was taxed 15s. 8d. in a rate for the salary of Rev. Wm. Worster, the first minister at Salisbury.
1652, 2, 23. He was granted meadow lands.
1653, 2,7. He was again chosen with others to order the prudential affairs of the town for one year.
1654. Deputy from Salisbury this year.
1659, 7, 2. He and eight others received a deed of Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew, the price being paid 30, “and also two Beaver Hatts, one for myself and one for my wife,” as Mr. Mayhew declares in his deed. Mr. Mayhew also retained a share in the island. The island was not settled till some months later. During the summer of this year Thomas Macy gave shelter to four Quakers, and being complained of, he was summoned to appear before the General Court and answer the charges preferred.
1659, 10, 27. “This is to entreat the honored court not to be offended because of my non-appearance. It is not from any slighting the authority of the honored court, nor from fear to answer the case, but I have been for some weeks past very ill, and am so at present; and not withstanding my illness, yet I, desirous to appear, have done my utmost endeavour to hire a horse, but cannot procure one at present. I, being at present destitute, have endeavoured to purchase, but at present cannot attain it, but I shall relate the truth of the case, as my answer be to the honored court, and more cannot be proved, nor so much. On a rainy morning, there came to my house, Edward Wharton and three men more; the said Wharton spoke to me, saying that they were traveling eastward, and desired me to direct them in the way to Hampton, and asked how far it was to Casco Bay. I never saw any of the men before except Wharton, neither did I require their names or what they were; but by their carriage I thought they might be Quakers and told them so, and therefore desired them to pass on their way, saying to them I might possibly give offence in entertaining them, and as soon as the volume of the rain ceased (for it rained very hard), they went away and I never saw them since. The time that they stayed in the house was about three quarters of an hour; but I can safely affirm that it was not an hour. They spake not many words in the time, neither was I at leisure to talk with them, for I came home wet to the skin immediately afore they came to the house, and I found my wife sick in bed. If this satisfy not the honored court, I shall subject to their sentence. I havenot willingly offended, I am ready to serve and oblige you in the Lord.” The penalty for enteraining Quakers was 5 for every hour, but in this instance he was fined 30s. and ordered to be admonished by the Governor. Two of the men who accompanied Edward Wharton were hung in Boston on the same day that Thomas Macy dated his letter. Their names were Wm. Robinson, a London merchant, and Marmaduke Stephenson of Yorkshire, England, and their crime was simply that of being Quakers. Very soon after the payment of his fine Thomas Macy and his family, and Edward Starbuck, Isaac Coleman and James Coffin, embarked in a small sail boat for Nantucket, where they safely arrived, after a tempestuous trip in part. They thus became the first settlers of the island, which had been purchased, as has been seen, in the July previous. It is stated that there were about 3000 Indians found there on the arrival of the party of settlers, and this would be a dense population for savages if they had to draw their sustenance entirely from the land, as the whole island comprises hardly 30,000 acres. The abundant fish about the island however, were of as much value to the natives as what crops they raised from the soil.
1661, 5, 10. He and others were chosen to lay out and measure lands on the island.
1664. He was this year again living at Salisbury, but sold his house to Anthony Colby, where he (Macy) “dwelleth at the present.” He then removed permanently to Nantucket.
1667, 6, 8. He and Edward Starbuck, as guardians of the minor children of Geo. Bunker deceased, received a deed from Richard Swain (step-father of the children).
1671, 6, 29. A deed from this date from Wanackmamack, Head Sachem of Nantucket, was made to Thomas Macy and others, conveying lands and privileges on the island for the sum of 40.
1676. Chief Magistrate of the island. He wrote a letter dated May 9th, to Governor Lovlace of New York (under whose jurisdiction Nantucket then was), complaining of sales of liquor to Indians. He further wrote:  “Sir, concerning the peace we hitherto enjoy, I cannot imagine it could have been, if strong liquor had been among the Indians, as formerly; for my own, that I have been to the utmost an opposed of the trade these 38 years, and I verily believe (respecting the Indians) ‘tis the only ground of the miserable present ruin to both nations; for ‘tis that hath kept them from civility; they have been the drunken trade kept all the while like wild bears and wolves in the wilderness.” A few days later complaint was made by John Gardner to Gov. Lovelace, that a half barrel of rum had been taken from him by Thomas Macy, Chief Magistrate. Mr. Gardner further said that the Indian Sachems declared that they would fight, if the laws against them were so enforced.
1682, 3, 16. He sold to his son John, for a valuable consideration, “all my part of the house lot, and all my divident land, with all houses, barns, outhouses, all fences, with all meadows, marches, Creek-stuff, timber-wood brush. All sort of pasturing, with all manner of privileges that doth or hereafter may belong unto three quarters of one whole share of land on the island of Nantucket, of what value, kind or quality it may be.” An old custom is shown by the following words of the deed:  “The said Thomas Macy, have put the said John Macy into possession by Turf and twig, a part for the whole.”
1682, 8, 1. Administration on his estate was given to his son John, the latter giving bond of 60. Inventory was appraised by Peter Folger, Eleazer Folger, Nathaniel Barnard and Stephen Coffin. Two steers, 5, 10s. Seven cows, 14. Two steers, 4. Two young cattle, 2, 10s. Three yearlings, 2, 5s. Three calves, 15s. Sixty sheep, 6. Five lambs, 10s. Forty-five pounds wool, 1, 2s. 6d. Land sold at 40.

Source:  Austin, John Osborne, One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families, Salem, MA, 1893, pgs. 169-171.

Page 73
A Commission granted to Mr. Thomas Macy to be Magistrate at the Island Nantuckett.
By vertue of the Authority derived unto mee, I do hereby Constitute and appoint you Thomas Macy, to be Magistrate for the Island Nantuckett, giving you full Power and Authority (together with the Assistants) to keep Courts, ans Administer Justice to his Majesties Subjects there, according to Law, and former practice, of which all Persons are to take notice, and conforme themselves thereunto accordingly; Given under my hand and Seale, in New Yorke, thi[ ] 1st day of October, 1675. This Commission to bee of force, for one whole yeare.
                                                                                                    E. Andros. s.

Page 175
Commission of Tristram Coffin, Senior, to be Chief Magistrate of Nantucket
[…] illegal returne of the Chiefe Magistr[
                                            ] successively from thence, the one being
[                                                       ]fore by advice of my Councell,
by vertue of [                                               ]uthority from his
Royall Highnesse, I do hereby [                                         ]te, consti-
tute and authorize Mr. Tristram Coffin [                                        ] of
the said Island of Nantuckett and dependences [                                    ]
further order, in the place stead of Mr. Thomas M[             ] late
chief [                         ] sworne by him or next in place, to act as
Chief Magistrat[                  ] Law, and lawfull custome and practice,
requiring all persons [who] [                       ] concerne to conforme them-
selves thereunto accordingly:  Given under [            ] and and Seale of
the Province in New Yorke this 16th day of September 16[ ]
                                                                                                    E. Andros. s.

Source:  Christoph, Peter R. and Florence A. (eds.), New York Historical Manuscripts:  English, Book of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1674-1688, Baltimore, MD:  Benealogical Publishing Co., 1982.

The Escape of Thomas Macy

The first emigration of the whites, or English, to the island of Nantucket, was Thomas Macy and his family. In the year 1640, being then a young man, he moved with his family from Amesbury, county of Essex, in Massachusetts. He lived here in good repute twenty years, where he acquired a good interest, consisting of a tract of land of 1,000 acres, a good house, and considerable stock. But when this part of the country became more thickly settled by the English, dissensions arose among the people in regard to religion and religious denominations notwithstanding the purpose of their emigration from the mother country was that they might enjoy liberty of conscience in religious matters, they themselves commenced the work of persecution, and enacted laws to restrain people from worshipping God according to the dictates of their consciences. Among other restraints, a law was made, that any person, who should entertain one of the people called Quakers, should pay a fine of five pounds for every hour during which he so entertained them. Thomas Macy subjected himself to the rigor of this law by giving shelter to four Quakers[10], who stopped at his house in a rainstorm. This act was soon sounded abroad, for, being influenced by a sense of duty; he had used no means to conceal it.
He could now live no Longer in peace, and in the enjoyment of religious freedom, among his own nation; he chose therefore to remove his family to a place unsettled by the whites, to take up his abode among savages, where he could safely imitate the example and obey the precepts of our Saviour, and where religious zeal had not yet discovered a crime in hospitality, nor the refinements of civil law, a punishment for its practice. In the fall of 1659, he embarked in an open boat, with his family and such effects as he could conveniently take with him, and, with the assistance of Edward Starbuck, proceeded along the shore to the westward. When they came to Boston bay, they crossed it, passed round Cape Cod, and extended their course by the shore until they were abreast of the island to the northward; thence they crossed the sound, and landed on Nantucket without accident. Thus we see, that the same persecuting spirit, that drove our forefathers from England, drove Thomas Macy from our forefathers; that the same undaunted courage, which enabled them to breast the storm, and dare the wave, in search of a free altar and a safe home, prompted him, in search of the same blessings, to meet the same dangers. He sacrificed his property and his home to his religion; he found both in a remote region hitherto hardily known. His religion, we mean not its name, but its spirit, has been transmitted to the present generation, unsullied by the crime of persecution or by the disgrace of Inhospitality.

Source:  Macy, Obed, The History of Nantucket, Boston, MA:  Hilliard Gray, 1835.


[1] Vital Records of Nantucket Massachusetts to the Year 1850 gives the date as 10th, 4 mo. 1648. IGI extraction records, Hoyt, Barney, and Savage all give it as 4 Dec 1648. This may be an error in transcription. December in the Julian calendar was the tenth month. The day 10 and the month 4 may have been switched in the IGI records, or vice versa.
[2] Note in Vital Records:  “P. R. 38—private record, from the William C. Folger genealogical records in possession of the Nantucket Historical Association (This compilation has been used because of the valuable clues it affords, but its statements should be received with caution, as it is not free from errors. It should also be understood that in many instances the events recorded did not take place in Nantucket, and in a few cases attention has been called to the question of residence.)”
[3] Note in Vital Records:  “Intention not recorded.”
[4] Note in Vital Records:  “P. R. 63—private record, from a copy of a manuscript kept by Hon. Isaac Coffin, Judge of Probate, in the possession of the Nantucket Atheneum.”
[5] They all, doubtless, received land in the “first division,” but may have failed to pay for recording their grants in the “new book.”
[6] The date, March 14, 1654, is also given.
[7] For full particulars respecting the Macy family, see “Genealogy of the Macy Family,” 1868, pp. 457. The author states that Thomas Macy “was of the Baptist persuasion, and would frequently on the Sabbath exhort the people,” in Amesbury. Pike’s “New Puritan” also states that “both he and Peasley were at that time members of a Baptist sect in Salis.” We have failed to find on the Ames. records any proof that they were Baptists. Joseph Peasley and Thomas Macy were leaders in the determination of the Ames. people not to attend meeting in Salis., but to hold one of their own in the new town.
[8] Thomas Mayhew, of Martha’s Vineyard, deeded nineteen-twentieths of the island of Nantucket, inJuly, 1659, to Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Barnard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swayne, and William Pile, Mayhew reserving a share for himself, thus making the ten proprietors. At a meeting of the proprietors held at Salisbury, Sep. 2, 1659, the ten owners wereauthorized to admit ten partners. Thomas Mayhew took John Smith, Tristram Coffin took Nathaniel Starbuck, Thomas Macy took Edward Starbuck, Christopher Hussey took Robert Pike,  Thomas Barnard took Robert Barnard, Peter Coffin took James Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf took Tristram Coffin, Jr., Richard Swain took Thomas Look, John Swain took Thomas Coleman, and William Pile sold his whole tenth to Richard Swain in 1663. The Indian deed of 1671 was to “Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Richard Swayne, Thomas Bernard, John Swayne, Mr. Thomas Mayhew, Edward Starbuck, Peter Coffin, James Coffin, Stephen Greenleafe, Tristram Coffin, Jr., Thomas Coleman, Robert Bernard, Christopher Hussey, Robert Pyke, John Symth, and John Bishop.” In 1663-4 we find “ristram Coffin for William Pile.: From Mass, Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. 3, p. 155, and the “Macy Family.” The accounts differ in several particulars. The date Sep., 1659, is Feb., 1659, in the latter. The former states that Edward Starbuck and James Coffin came to Nantucket from Martha’s Vineyard.
[9] Would not have been our Thomas Macy of Nantucket but may offer clues to the early family of Macy. MB
[10] Two of these men were William Robinson, merchant, of London, and Marmaduke Stephenson. of Yorkshire, England. They were hanged in Boston, on the 27th of the 10th month, 1659, for supporting the Christian principle, as believed by the people called Quakers.

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