Happy Birthday Thomas Holmes



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Thomas Holmes (1744-1776)

This birthday post was originally published in April 2016. Later, while working on a similar post for his father, more information was found. This post has been updated, in January 2017, with red text to highlight the new information.

Oh Thomas! This 272nd birthday greeting is difficult…

There isn’t much known about Thomas and the sources are sparse. What has been written raises a lot of questions. I tried to find someone else celebrating a birthday on this day so I could skip Thomas, but had no luck. I wish I was famous and on one of those genealogy shows like Finding Your Roots or Who Do You Think You Are? so that I could be whisked away to a dusty library somewhere and a friendly historian would hand me the answers. But that isn’t to be. So, bear with me as we roll up our sleeves and deal with Thomas.

We do know that Thomas Holmes was born on 28 Apr 1744 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut as the second child of Thomas Holmes and Margaret Frink. You may remember the Frink name from last week. Thomas’ mother was Margaret Frink. She was the granddaughter of Hannah Miner and Samuel Frink. We celebrated Hannah’s birthday last week (see Happy Birthday Hannah Miner!).

Thomas had ten siblings, namely: Margaret, Jeremiah, Bethiah, Samuel, Joshua, Nathan, Molly, Lucy, Abigail, and Marvin.

Here is where it gets weird. When he was 19, Thomas married Mary Frink, daughter of Samuel Frink and Margaret Wheeler. They married on 15 Mar 1764 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. This first wife, Mary Frink, was also a granddaughter of Hannah Miner whose birthday we celebrated last week. It gets worse. Mary was a sister to Margaret. Yes, that means that Thomas married his mother’s younger sister… his aunt! If this is true, and again, the sources are weak, there could have been some explanations. For example, maybe Mary Frink, who was ten years older than Thomas, had been widowed, and there was a family obligation to take care of her. Thus far, I’ve found nothing to validate that, but it is plausible. Or, it could be that someone recorded the genealogy wrong a long time ago. Birth and marriage records show these connections, but maybe there was another Frink family out there that supplied some of these Frink women so that Mary and Margaret weren’t really sisters. But in any case, that first marriage did not last long and did not result in any children. Thomas was widowed.

When he was 23, he married for a second time. This time Thomas married Temperance on 24 Nov 1767 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. Temperance was a widow at the time of their marriage. We don’t know her maiden name, but her first husband had been a Smith, so her first married name was Temperance Smith.

Thomas Holmes and Temperance had the following children:

  1. Thomas Holmes was born on 06 Aug 1768 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. He married Elizabeth Baldwin on 19 Nov 1789 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. He died on 18 Jun 1835 in North Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
  2. Shubael Holmes was born on 02 Aug 1769 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. He married Lois Brown on 22 Jan 1792 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. He died in 1827 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
  3. Nathan Holmes was born on 22 Nov 1771 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut, USA. He married Mary Holmes on 28 Sep 1791 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.

Thomas Holmes lived in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. His dad was named Thomas and he had a son named Thomas, so he is somethings called Thomas Jr. and sometimes Thomas II. Nothing else has been found about his life. Or his death. We don’t know when he died or what became of him.

Oh Thomas! We wish we knew more about you, and someday maybe we will, but for now, happy birthday!

Update: Thomas Holmes served in the Revolutionary War. According to the war pension application of his brother, Joshua, Thomas died as a result of the war. Captain Thomas Holmes, came home from the war in the fall of 1776 because he was sick. He died at home and was buried on Christmas 1776.

Joshua Holmes, Revolutionary War Pension file.

Where is he in the tree?


Albert Gallatin, Jr. Wheeler, The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America (1914), p. 294.

Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data – White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.Original data: White, Lorr).

Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online.

Ancestry.com, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1847-2011 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Ancestry.com, Record for Mrs Temperance Smith. Name: Mrs Temperance Smith; Event Type: Marriage; Marriage Date: 24 Nov 1767; Marriage Place: USA; Spouse Name: Thomas Holmes; Spouse Father Name: Thomas Holmes; Page Number: 173; Volume Number: 142.

Richard Anson Wheeler, History of the town of Stonington, county of New London, Connecticut: from its first settlement in 1649 to 1900 (1900), p. 377. (This book can be found at: https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=tvILAAAAYAAJ)

Revolutionary War Pensions at Fold3, www.fold3.com, Joshua Holmes, https://www.fold3.com/image/1/23284015, accessed 18 Dec 2017. http://www.fold3.com/image/15355804?xid=1945.

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2 responses to “Happy Birthday Thomas Holmes”
  1. Neal Mobley Avatar
    Neal Mobley

    According to our family history, Thomas Holmes (1768-1835) married a second (possibly third) time to Nancy Coates. Their 7 children have living descendents (including me).

    1. spirits Avatar

      I just located the probate file for Thomas b. 1768 and see Nancy and children, Henry, Frederick, Franklin, John, Charles and Mary Esther. I found their births in the Connecticut Town Birth Records (Barbour Collection) too. Do you descend from one of these folks? This adds new names to the tree! Thanks for alerting me. I had not done enough research on that family to know that Thomas had a second wife and more kids.

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