THE THOMAS HARDY FAMILY GENERATIONS
Thomas Hardy, born in England, 1605; died at Bradford Mass., 4 Jan. 1677; married first Lydia ____; married second, Ann (or Annah), who died 1 May 1689.
Practically all writers of Hardy history are agreed that Thomas Hardy came to America with Governor Winthrop in 1630. This is the common tradition held by different branches of the family. By a process of elimination the proof seems conclusive. It is known positively that on 12 March 1632-3 Thomas Hardy and his wife were members of the company of thirteen families who joined in the settlement of Agawam, later called Ipswich, in Massachusetts. It is further known that the members of the party were carefully chosen some time previous to 17 Jan. 1632-3 by the Board of Assistants of the Bay State. It is, therefore, clear that he could not have come to this country in 1633 or late in 1632, as immigrants did not attempt to cross the ocean during the winter months. During the years 1631 and 1632 only about 340 persons came over from England. There were 90 in 1632, and 250 in 1632, nearly all of whom are accounted for. Unfortunately, the list of those who come with Winthrop was lost. At the same time there are other evidences which lead to the same conclusion—that Thomas Hardy came to America in 1630 with Governor Winthrop’s expedition, which numbered 17 ships and more than 1500 passengers. It is known that some of his most intimate friends, such as John Gage, came over at that time, and the families of Gage and Hardy frequently intermarried.
Again practically all of the historians of the Hardy family are agreed that there were at least two brothers, Thomas and John; the former settling at Ipswich, Mass., and the latter at Salem, Mass., while those who have made the most careful study of the family history are convinced that there was a third brother (a Richard, a James or a Samuel). Moreover, there is a tradition among certain members of the Hardy Family that a third brother “went South.” This suggests a possible relationship to the Hardys of Isle of Wight County, Va., although no proof an any relationship between the two families has yet been established. However, it is known that John Hardy of Isle of Wight County, Va., belonged to the landed gentry of England, or the Yeomen class, sometimes referred to as “statesmen”, a term which formerly meant persons living upon small “states” (or estates) that were cultivated by the same family from generation to generation, and were held by the peculiar tenure known as Border Tenant-right. It is believed that Thomas Hardy, subject of this sketch, belonged to the yeomen class. The suggestion has been made by certain investigators that Thomas Hardy came from Westmorland County in England, and this is plausible, since it is a fact that at least nine contemporary Hardys, heads of families, were living in that county between 1538 and 1600. Their names were Peter, Leonard, Stephen, Roland, John, Edmund, Thomas, Richard and James. Then, too, the suggestion has been made that Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset County, England, since there were Hardys, presumably of the yeomen class, residing in that county prior to 1600. Among those Hardys were: Thomas, John, James, and Robert. The John Hardy of Isle of Wight County, Va., could not have been a brother of Thomas Hardy of Ipswich Mass., but might have been a cousin.
There can be no reasonable doubt that Thomas Hardy was married when he arrived here. The early settlers of Agawam were married men in 1633, and there is rapidly accumulating evidence that his wife’s name was Lydia and that she was the mother of all of his children. Reference to this is made in the New Hampshire Genealogical and Family History as follows:
His first wife Lydia who probably accompanied him from England was the mother of all his children. His second wife Ann or Annah survived him more than eleven years.
There is evidence that Lydia, the first wife of Thomas, died and was buried at Haverhill, Mass. That Lydia was his first wife and the mother of his children is now generally accepted by the best research students of genealogy.
Milton C. Hardy, deceased, one of the best of the early authorities on Hardy history, was convinced that he had found evidence that Thomas Hardy, as well as his brother John, lived in Salem. In the New England Family History it is stated that he lived in Boston. Some students of the Hardy Family believe that he lived in Dorchester, Mass., and support their positions with suggestive evidence. That there are these various traditions strengthens the conclusion that Thomas Hardy came to this country in Governor Winthrop’s party.
Reference has already been made to the fact that Thomas Hardy was one of twelve men chosen to join the settlement of Agawam, Mass. The Rev. T. Frank Waters in Ipswich, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, has given such an excellent account of the purpose and character of the settlement of Agawam, now Ipswich, Mass., that we quote:
John Winthrop, Jr., was selected (1633) as the leader of the expedition—the settlement of Agawam. There was a great fear that the French who were more and more encroaching on the settlements of the Bay Colony might take possession of this most desirable district, consequently the Governor and Council (Court of Assistants) determined to get in ahead of the French and the Indians. He (John Winthrop, Jr.) was but 27 years of age, yet a man of large practical sagacity and undoubted gifts of leadership. Twelve were assigned with him (by choice of the Court of 17 Assistants) with the promise of more when the ships arrived, but of these twelve the names of only nine have been preserved, Mr. Clerk, Robert Coles, Thomas Howlett, John Briggs, John Gage, Thomas Hardy, Mr. Thorndike and William Sargeant. The settlement was begun in March 1633. There were no roads, and the journey was undoubtedly in a shallop skirting the coast. They probably did not take their wives until later. All the twelve were picked or chosen men. They were all young men and married, moreover they were friends not only one with another but evidently friends of the Governor’s son. The establishment of a settlement at Agawam was of the utmost importance and it is obvious that only young men prominent in the affairs of the colony, of courage and high standing, would be selected to accompany John Winthrop, Jr. in an undertaking so difficult and dangerous.
Agawam was not a wilderness settlement. The Indians had cleared the forests, burned the brush and tilled the fields; the river and the bay provided excellent fishing. For many years the Indians because of the attractive location, the fertile soil and the fishing, had established there a permanent encampment. Because of its strategic position the Indians, the Fench and the English were each eager to control the settlement. It appears that the Indians had been driven out by the incoming of nondescript French and English adventurers. Late in 1630 (Sept. 7) the Court of Assistants voted: “A warrant shall be presently sent to Agawam for those planted there to come away.” The Court of Assistants orders, 17 Jan. 1633, “that a plantation be commenced at Agawam (being the best place in the land for tillage and cattle) lest an enemy finding it should possess and take it from us. Governor Winthrop’s son John is to undertake this settlement and to have no more out of the colony than twelve men, the rest to be supplied at the coming of the next ships.” Action of the Court of Assistants 1 April 1633: “It is ordered that no person whatsoever shall go to plant or inhabit at Agawam without leave of the Court, except those who have already gone.” (Then follows the nine names.) We note that the expedition had already gone before 1 April 1633, and that the members had been selected in January. It is safe to presume that when the party reached Agawam the latter part of March they found there huts or log cabins which would shelter them temporarily until they could build for themselves.
Almost immediately on the arrival of the settlers there was an allotment of “house lots.” Thomas Hardy’s house lot is now well known, and its boundaries defined. The well, which he dug, was in constant use until recently, and is now easily recognized by the efforts of the artist Mr. Carl H. Nordstrom of Ipswich, who lives near by. The foundation outlines of the original house are clearly distinguished. The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder states:
The first frame house in Ispwich was erected by Thomas Hardee, one of the twelve who came with John Winthrop, Jr. It was near the shipyard of Mr. Edward Choate. The trace of the cellar was discernable within the recollection of people now living (1898) and the old well is still used.
This must have been in 1634, as there are records of a house being built in 1634-5. Records have been recently found which show that there were saw-pits, and probably a sawmill was built the second year of the settlement, viz, 1634. Thomas Hardy and his wife were charter members of the village church. Unfortunately, all the records of the town and church were destroyed by fire many years ago.
The house was built substantially on a solid foundation with a stone doorstep. The house was, of course, very small. An ample fireplace provided means for heating and cooking. Around the house was probably at first a stockade of poles driven into the ground. Within the stockade were beds of old-time flowers and herbs which would be dear to both as a reminder of old England. The Agawam settlers carried with them garden seed and sapling fruit trees, for they were enjoying apples, pears and plums within a few years. For the first year they had no church. In 1634, a year and a few months after their arrival, a large body of immigrants arrived, and on 4 August 1634, by order of the Court of Assistants, the name of Agawam was changed to Ipswich in honor of the newcomers.
The authors of this book, with a somewhat wide acquaintance with the character of the early New England settlements, have no hesitation in asserting that the settlers of Ipswich in mentality and character were unexcelled. The pastors of the church were always listed as among the most eminent scholars and distinguished preachers of the Bay Colony, and we may hazard the guess that in proportion to the population more of the distinguished families of America trace their ancestry back to Essex east coast of the old Bay State than to any other part of our country.
A quotation from D. Waters, the Ipswich historian is of interest:
The little colony of a town of a dozen souls became at once a conspicuous center of light and influence. The leader, John Winthrop, Jr., eldest son of Governor John Winthrop gave great prestige. He had been a student of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and after a course of legal study had been admitted a barrister by the Inner Court 28 Feb 1624-5. A few years later he enlisted in the navy with the fleet under the Duke of Buckingham for the relief of French Protestants at La Rochelle. He spent more than a year in foreign travel. Cultured and companionable, he drew about him by the force of his personality that group of eminent men, which made Ipswich a town of rare quality. An air of dignity attached to the new settlement. Three of the little company were gentlemen as the title “Mister” prefixed to their names proclaimed.
Cotton Mather, writing of the ordination of Mr. Rogers at the Ipswich Church, 1638, has this to say:
Here was a renowned church consisting mostly of such illuminated Christians that their pastors in the exercise of their ministry might in the language of Jerome perceive that they had not disciples as much as judges.
Numerous similar quotations might be cited did space permit. It is sufficient to note that Thomas Hardy was a prominent citizen in such a settlement. The meager town records of that period indicate that he was honored by positions of trust and responsibility. On 21 June 1637 he was one of the signers of the Petition of Remonstrance against the departure of John Winthrop, Jr., from Ipswich. The petition was sent to the Governor and to the Court of Assistants. John Winthrop withdrew, however, and later became the governor of Connecticut. This action on his part was, not doubt, due to the death of his wife at Ipswich and the breaking up of his home.
In 1653 Thomas Hardy removed to Rowley, Mass., and then years later to Bradford, where he became the owner of one thousand acres of land in the most beautiful section of that district. Here he built a house and dug a deep well. The house has long since disappeared, but the well has been located on a tract of land now owned by Dr. J. Hazen Hardy of New York City who plans to have it restored for use. Bancroft, the historian, in his History of the United States of America, has written of the men who came over with Governor Winthrop. Most of those who came to this country with Governor Winthrop in 1630 were personas of high standing, of substantial means, and of good education, according to Bancroft, as indicted in his own words as follows;
Many of them men of high endowment and large fortune; scholars, well versed in the learning of the times; clergymen, who ranked among the best educated and most pious in the realm.
In an address at the unveiling of the Memorial Tablets on South Common 29 Jul. 1896, the Rev. T. Frank Waters, the Ipswich Historian, said:
Here some of the finest men of this age or of any age, built their homes, thought and wrought, trained their children, entertained their friends, and their names and the work they did are known and felt and honored of all who knew the story of New England in the first eventful century.
In the old records we read: “There was great distress when it was learned in 1637 that John Winthrop, Jr., was likely to withdraw from the Ipswich Colony. A Petition of Remonstrance was sent to the Governor and the Councilors. It was drawn and signed by the pastors and fifty of the leading citizens, and Thomas Hardy was one of the signers. It should be noted that the settlement had made rapid growth since 1634.
One of the references in the Remonstrance is especially interesting and is as follows:
It was for his sake that many of us came to this place and without him we should not have come. His abode with us hath made our abode here much more comfortable than otherwise it could have been. . . . Some of us that were members of the Church in Boston are bold to claim this promise from Mr. Winthrop for whom we write, that if we would come hither with him he would not forsake us but live and die with us. Upon these promises we came with him to begin this plantation.
This old manuscript was found among the Winthrop papers, and first published in 1887. Special reference is called to the signature of Thomas Hardy, shown on this page, because a few writers have drawn the hasty conclusion that he could not write, since due to an infirmity, he failed to sign his name to his will in his old age.
In the Memorial History of Bradford, page 94, we read that in 1676 Thomas Hardy, Sr., and his two sons, Thomas and John, gave two acres of land for the village church, which was soon to organize. The church was incorporated in 1682. Annah, widow of Thomas Hardy, was a charter member, joining on confession.
The village names of the district where the Hardys early settled are a bit confusing. As we have already stated, very soon after the settlement of Agawam, later Ipswich, in fact the very next year, there was a large accession to the population. In 1638 Reverent Ezekiel Rogers and about sixty industrious families made a new settlement near Ipswich which for a brief time was called Rogers Plantation, but in 1639 was incorporated under the name of Rowley, so named because the pastor and many of the families came from Rowley, England. Rowley then included the whole district now divided into Georgetown, Groveland, Bradford, Rowley and Boxford. Until 1672 the district including Bradford and Groveland was first called Rowley village and later Merrimack, and became incorporated in 1673, under the name Bradford. In 1726 a portion was set off as East Bradford. References are often made to Thomas Hardy of Bradford or Merrimack or Groveland.
Thomas Hardy made his will 4 March 1671-2 and added a codicil 12 December 1677, at which time he declared that he was about 72 years of age. He was therefore, born in 1605. He died 4 Jan 1677-8. His will reads as follows: His wife to have sole use of the house and buildings, etc., during her life; Thomas Hardy, his eldest son to have 200 acres of land that had been laid out to him lately. John, Joseph and Jacob each to have 100 acres with meadow; Mary and her children and her husband, Samuel Currier; Sarah whose husband was William Hutchins; William Hardy to have the residue when he came of age. The will was proved 26 May 1678. In it he mentioned his wife, but not by name. However, we know that her name was Ann or Annah, and that she was his second wife. She survived him eleven years, and died 1 May 1689. His residence in his will is described as Merrimack, near Haverhill, but as indicated already, that section has been incorporated as Bradford in 1637. His will was witnessed by Jona Danforth and James Riggs. The codicil was witnessed by John Neromarck, Sr., Samuel Worcester and Jonathan Danforth, Sr.
Children, all probably born at Ipswich:
Thomas b. abt. 1635; m. at Rowley, Mass., 22 Sept or 22 Nov 1664 Mercy Tenny.
Sarah b. _______ m. at Haverhill, Mass., 1 July 1661, William Hutchins of Bradford, Mass. Several children on Haverhill and Bradford records between 1662 and 1681. She d. 19 Sept 1664 at Bradford, Mass.
Mary b. _______ m. abt. 1665, Samuel Currier of Haverhill, Mass., son of Richard Currier, an early settle of Salisbury, Mass.
Joseph b. abt. 1642. He was called “Corporal”; d. 11 Jan 1726-27. There is no record of his wife or children. He willed his property in 1723 to the children of his brother Jacob, especially mentioning his nephew Joseph, but he reserved the use of it for himself until his death. He probably was the Joseph Hardy admitted to the Bradford Church 26 June 1721.
William b. abt. 1644. m. 1st at Bradford 3 May 1678 Ruth Tenny; m. 2nd Sarah Savony.
John b. abt 1645. m. 1st at Bradford 2 April 1667 Mary Jackman; m. 2nd at Bradford, 3 July 1695 Martha Burbank.
Jacob b about 1649; m. Lydia Eaton (pgs. 363-373)
John Hardy (son of Thomas Hardy), born probably at Ipswich, Mass., about 1646. He married, first at Rowley, Mass., 2 April 1667, Mary Jackman, who died at Bradford 2 December 1689, and second, a widow, Martha Burbank, née Smith, at Bradford, 3 July 1695. The latter was daughter of Hugh Smith. She died at Bradford in 1716.
John Hardy and wife Mary were original members of the Bradford Church as recorded in 1682. His second wife, Martha, was a member of the Bradford Church 21 August 1698. After 1695 he was known as John, Sr. He died at Bradford 4 February 1714-15. He made a will 1 February 1714-15, which was witnessed by Francis Wooster, Jns. Hutchins and Samuel Tenny and which was proved 17 February 1714-15.
Children, all born at Bradford:
John, Jr. b. 11 February 1668; d. young
Mary b. 2 April 1671; m. at Haverhill, Mass., 22 may 1695, Daniel, Tenny, son of Thomas Tenny. She evidently died before 1715 since she was not mentioned in her father’s will.
Sarah b. 25 March 1672-3; m. at Bradford, 20 June 1693, Francis Jewett of Bradford. She d. at Bradford, 3 February 1744. Ten children born at Bradford.
Joseph (twin), b. 3 February 1674; m. at Bradford, 6 April 1698, Mary Burbank.
John, Jr. (twin) b. 3 February 1674; m. 8 July 1701, Anne Savony.
Hannah b. 20 June 1677; m. 5 July 1700 at Bradford, Samuel Hardy.(cousin)
Richard b 24 April 1679; m. 25 January 1723, Sarah Hardy (cousin).
Esther b. 17 February 1680; d. at Bradford, 6 Dec 1689.
Nathaniel b. 10 March 1683; m. Prudence__________
Zechariah b. 20 February 1685; m 1st 23 February 1715-6, Hephzibah Wallingford; m. 2nd Prudence Stevens, Tewksbury, 21 February 1751.
Thomas b. 17 Mar. 1689; m 1st Rose _______; m. 2nd 14 May 1719, Deborah Wallingford. (pg. 374)
Joseph Hardy (son of John Hardy –grandson of Thomas Hardy) born at Bradford, Mass, 3 February 1674, twin borth of John. He married at Bradford, 6 April 1689, Mary Burbank, daughter of Cabel and Martha (Smith) Burbank. She was born 26 November 1675. He died “very suddenly being abroad the greater part of the day.” At Bradford, 24 January 1747.
Joseph Hardy was called “Joseph, Jr.” until after the death of Joseph (his uncle), 11 January 1726-7, when he was known as Joseph, Sr. A widow, Mary Hardy, “ancient”, died 3 September 1762. He was a soldier in 1710-11.
Mary Hardy, wife of Joseph, was received by the same church 24 April 1720. He was also one of the first 101 members of the new church organized at Groveland, Mass., 7 June 1727.
Joseph has been referred to by some authorities as “Corp” and by others as “Cooper.” The latter is probably more correct, indicating his occupation. He owned the oldest house now standing in Groveland, on King St., built in 1676.
Children all born at Bradford, Mass.
James b. 14 April 1699; m. at Bradford, 4 July 1727, Hannah Bailey.
Martha b. 17 February 1700-1; m. at Bradford, 4 January 1721-2, Thomas Hardy (cousin).
Mary b. 21 January 1702-3.
Timothy b. 24 August or 26 August 1705; m. 1st at Rye, N. H., 27 September 1733, Mary Marden; 2nd 22 May 1775, widow Mary Ames.
Ebenezer b. 14 November 1707; m. at Bradford, 8 November 1731 Martha Palmer.
David b. 3 October 1709; m. at Bradford, 6 December 1732 Dorcas Gage.
Jemima b. 13 May 1711; m. at Bradford, 6 December 1732, Andrew Palmer, Their daughter Jemima m. James Hardy, son of the brother, James Hardy.
Stephen b 29 August 1731; m. at Rowley, Mass., 20 August 1740, Mary or Sarah Holmes.
Amos b 30 December 1715; baptized at Bradford, 15 July 1716; d. at Bradford, 30 December 1717.
Mehitable b. 20 March 1718; m. at Bradford, 6 September 1739, Seth Jewett (“Jwet”); d. 29 September 1759. (pg. 384)
Stephen Hardy (son of Joseph, grandson of John, Thomas), born at Bradford, Mass., 29 August 1713. He married at Rowley, Mass., 20 August 1740, to Mary Holmes of Rowley, Mass. He died at Bradford, Mass., 22 December 1793, “age 81 years”. He probably was the Stephen Hardy referred to by David W. Hoyt, genealogist, as living in Rowley, Mass., 1772-87. She probably died 22 May 1767.
Children, born at Rowley, Mass.
Stephen, Jr. b. 10 October 1743, m. 12 July 1769 Hannah Thurston.
Simon b. _______ ; m. at Bradford 27 November 1792, Rhoda Hardy (cousin). [dates on this might indicate misplaced generation—could be a grandson—the son of the Stephen born in 1743 above]
David b. 1746; m. 1st at Rowley, Mass., 6 August 1772 Joanna Palmer; m. 2nd at Bradford, Mass., 2 December 1785, “Betsey” Hardy.
David Hardy (son of Stephen, grandson of Joseph, John, Thomas), born at Rowley, Mass., probably in 1746. He married, first at Rowley, Mass., 6 August 1772 Joanna Palmer. She died at Bradford Mass., 3 May 1784. He married, second, at Bradford, Mass., 2 December 1785, Betsey Hardy, daughter of _______.
He was known as David Hardy, “Yeoman”. He died at Bradford, Mass., 2 October 1842. His second wife died 7 December 1827.
Children, all born at Bradford, Mass.:
Sally b. 19 Decebmer 1775; d. ________.
Jemima (by first wife) b. 28 February 1779; d. _______.
Benjamin b 17 June 1773; m. Hannah Brocklebank, 4 March 17955. at Rowley, Mass.
Irene (by second wife) b. 19 May 1789; m. 29 July 1834 Benjamin Nelson.
Lucy b. 11 July 1797; d. _______. (pg 498)
Benjamin Hardy (son of David, grandson of Stephen, Joseph, John, Thomas) born at Bradford, Mass., 17 June 1773; died at Georgetown, Mass., married at Rowley, Mass., 4 March 1795, Hannah Brocklebank, daughter of John and Sarah (Fowler) Brocklebank. She died 20 March 1868. Hannah was born at Rowley, Mass., 18 February 1772.
David born at Bradford, Essex Co., Mass., 29 August 1795; m. Hannah.
John Brocklebank b. at Bradford, Mass., 11 may 1797; m. Lavina Harriman; d. 28 September 1887.
Stephen b. at Bradford, Mass., 11 September 1799; d. young.
Joana Palmer b. at Bradford, 10 December 1801; d. young.
Samuel Brocklebank b. at Bradford, Mass., 21 September 1804; m. at Bradford, 19 June 1826 Caroline Bacon Rogers.
Eliza b 21 September 1804; m. Aron W. Nelson
Ebenezer Jewett (twin) b. 10 July 1809; m. Hannah Pecker; d. 16 September 1901
Gilbert P. (twin) b. 10 July 1809; m. Mary A. Knap.
Sarah b. _______; m. Darius Hull. (pg. 594)