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Thomas FISH  

Born: JAN 1618 in Great Bowden, England
Died: DEC 1687 in Dartsmouth, RI(or Portsmouth)
Age: 69 years
Buried: in "Old Portsmouth Cemetery"
   Born    Married and Died
Children with Mary Sherman SOULE
Alice FISH Born: ABT 1655
Portsmouth, RI
Died: 1734
Daniel FISH Born: ABT 1662
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 16 SEP 1723
John FISH Born: 1657
Portsmouth, RI
Died: 4 APR 1742
Dartsmouth, MA
Mary FISH Born: ABT 1652
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 4 APR 1747
Mehitable FISH Born: ABT 1650
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Lt. Robert FISH Born: ABT 1665
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 1730
Thomas FISH Born: 1649
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 1684
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Notes: (many of these notes are from Gordon ? of Sun City West, AZ)

Came to Portsmouth, RI from Great Bowden, England in 1643, with a brother, John. He settled on the island of Aquidneck in Narraganset Bay, one of the towns included in the "Providence Plantations" founded by Roger Williams a few years earlier. In 1643 Roger Williams received a charter from Charles I granting religious tolerance in the colony.

Thomas was the progenitor of the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont branches of the family. His brother John settled in Connecticut. A younger brother Joseph may have been the Joseph FISH of the Great Swamp Fight, of Kingston, R.I. in 1676.Nothing further is known concerning the other sons and daughters of Robert and Alice FISH.
When he arrived in the new country, the shores of New England were sparsely settled. Dense forests filled the valleys and crowned the hilltops, and the wild beasts and the wilder savages were the inhabitants of this widely extended country.
His name is found in the "Record of Towne Meetinges of Portsmouth",
(History of Portsmouth). It is believed that Thomas and John were in Portsmouth as late as 1655.

Some idea of what was required of one desiring to become an inhabitant or freeman is indicated in the proceedings of one of the earliest meetings held on March 13, 1638:

Voted, "It is ordered that none shall be received as inhabitants or freemen, to build or plant upon the island but as such as be received in by the consent of the Bodye and do submit to the Government that is or shall be established according to the Word of God.

(It is also ordered that) "every inhabitant of this Island shall be always provided of one musket, one pound of powder, 20 bulletts, and two faceme of match with sword and rest and Bandeliers, all completely furnished".

General Meetings held 21st December 1638 Ordered "that the swine that are upon the Island shall be sent away from the plantation six miles up the Island or into some Islands adjacent, by the 10th of February, 1639, or else be shutt up so that they may be inoffensive to the towne". (After that any one who wished to shutt up one must pay two pence for each hogg.)

On Oct 5, 1643, "Land was ordered layd out to Thomas Fish at the first Brooke."

Ordered that every man shall have foure pounds shott lying bny him and two pounds powder --- and every man be in readieness by 24th March next. Further ordered, that every man be in readiness at the beate of the drum. Further ordered, that there shall be a towne watch kept every night --- and that those who keep it shall be paid out of the Treasurie.

Meeting held Nov. 28, 1643, it was voted that Francis Brayton (whose son later married a daughter of Thomas Fish) be received as an inhabitant and was given engagement into the Government. It was also ordered that the Wolfe catcher be payed out of the Treasurie. Also ordered that there shall be noe shooting of deere from May 1st to 1st of Nov. Forfeit to be 5 pounds.

At a Towne meeting held Dec. 28, 1648, it is granted to Jeames Babcock to have 4 acres added to his house and lott out of the Thos. fish his lott and is granted to Thos fish to have 4 acres out of the Common southward thereof insteade.

Meetinge 21st Nov. 1649, Thomas fish was apoynted to Jury for the present Court.

Townes meetinge March 4, 1650 ordered: that "the Towne Clerke shall rite the liscences for selling beere, vituals and wine, and that William Balston be liscenced to sell breade and beare and do acknowledge himself according to the tenor of the law to be bounde in the sume of 10s a piece for (every defect) that Thomas Stafford shall keepe goode order in his house.

Meeting Jan 19, 1651, 2 acres of lande adjoining to Thomas fish were ordered layd out to Henry eves in leiu of land of land given to said Henry by the towne formerly.

In 1655 Thomas fish was made a freeman which also indicates that he was a memeber of the church, probably the Quaker Church, or possibly the new-formed Baptist Church of Providence, or of Newport.

Meetinge March 20, 1660, Thomas fish received a deed of house and land from Henry ayres in consideration of fencing two acres said Henry and Ann to enjoy said land for their lives without paying rent.

Dec. 3, 1662, Thomas fish and William Hall were appointed to lay out one acre of towne lande.

Towne meetinge Feb. 17, 1663, Thomas fish chosen Petty Jurry man to meete in Newport.

5 June 1665 Meetinge: Thomas fish chosen Constable for this yeare. (the office of Constable was one of the most important positions in the town in those days.) In this year, Thomas bought of James Babcock two parcels of land and a dwelling house, barn and orchard for 50 pounds. He later sold four acres to Thomas Lawton.

April 1667 meeting: Thomas fish chosen Petty Jury man ... Thomas fish elected delegate to General Assembly.

16 Oct meeting: Thomas fish, Captain Thomas Cooke and Thomas Lawton chosen Grand Jury Men.

3 Dec. 1670 Meetinge: Thomas fish Jr. admitted as an inhabitant.

10 October 1673 Thomas fish chosen Grand Jury Man to sitt and act in next General Assembly to be held in Newport.

1 June 1674: Thomas fish chosen to Towne Council.

10 October 1674 Meetinge: Thomas fish chosen Deputy for the next General Assembly to be held at Newport, the last Wednesday this instant.

7 June Meetinge: Thomas fish chosen to be of the Towne Council and engaged.

12 July Meeting: a rate of 400 pounds was ordered levied in this towne and island. Thomas fish (with nine others) chosen to make the Said Rate and with all convenient speed return it under their hands into the Treasurie of the towne.

1 March 1679 Meetinge: chosen to be on the Grand Jury the next Court of trials.

12 Sept 1680: voted: John Biggs is appointed to speke to Thomas fish that he lay out that acre of this townes commons which was lent to Henry Eves.

18 Sept 1685 meeting: Thomas Fish appointed to Coronery Jury for an inquest into the hanging of a Scotsman named John Crage, by Coroner, Major John Albro.

In examining these records it is noted that many of the early land-owning colonists were unable to write their names, and used only their mark, while the name "Thomas Fish" appears in bold, legible hand-writing. Thomas Fish held many towne offices and prominent in the early affairs of the Portsmouth Colony, a part of the "Incorporation of Providence Plantations on Narragansett Bay in New England"

Deed made for house and land on 20 Mar. 1660. His will was dated 13 Dec, 1687 and proved 2 May, 1684(?)
Some text says he died in Portsmouth RI.

Had a son a Thomas, (Father of Preserved and Mehitable), son Daniel (father of Comfort, Ruth and Thomas), daughters Mehitable (TRIPP), Mary (BRAYTON) and Alice (KNOWLES).
Family survived King Philip`s War of 1676.

Much of the above was taken from: "The Fish Family in England and America" by Lester Warren Fish, 1948.

Concerning his marriage to Mary, no record of date or name is found, whether in England or America. Her name may have been Mary Soule or Shearman.
His will was recorded Feb. 9, 1687, and proved Dec. 13, 1687, as his death no doubt occurred in Dec. 1687. It named his wife Mary as executrix and mentions four sons, three daughters and seven grandchildren. It bequeathed to son John land bought of James Babcock.

On Sept. 9, 1697, a coddicil to her will was recorded by the widow Mary. It was proved on July 12, 1699. Son Daniel was named executor: to son John, 5 pounds, to son Robert, 5 pounds and a cow; to daughter Mehetible Tripp, 5 pounds, brass chaffing dish, pewter platter, three porringers, chest and pewter plate; to daughter Alice Knowles, 5 pounds, two feather pillows, basin, pewter platters, pewter candlestick and plate; to daughters Mehetible, Mary and Alice, all wearing apparel both linen and wollen. To daughter Mehetible Tripp, whatever is due her for wool. To son Daniel, all the outward moveables. The codicil makes buy slight changes. Inventory, 130 pounds, 2 s.

Thomas lies buried in the old Portsmouth Cemetery. His wife died in 1699 at about the age of 75. All their children were born in Portsmouth Rhode Island.

Thomas FISH
JAN 1618 - DEC 1687
Robert FISH
12 AUG 1593 - 20 DEC 1639
6 NOV 1597 -

Thomas FISH
15 AUG 1570 -

1555 - 19 FEB 1622
1555 - 28 APR 1630

Thomas FISH
ABT 1535 - 4 JAN 1570
1535 -

Augustine FYSHE
1525 - 26 AUG 1579
Henrietta FARMER
ABT 1529 - 1603


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