Cliff McCarthy, 2016
Thomas Wetmore [sometimes Whitmore] was born about 1615 in England, but the specific date and location remain unknown. Several theories have been proposed about his parentage, but so far all remain genealogically inconclusive. Frequently offered is the theory that Thomas was the son of John Wetmore of Hartford and Stamford. This is possible, but nothing but circumstantial evidence connects the two — they lived in Hartford for a short time together.
Also frequently heard are scenarios that Thomas was the brother of Francis Whitmore of Cambridge or a close relative of Thomas Whittemore of Malden, Massachusetts. These have been disproved conclusively by DNA evidence in 2009.
Thomas Wetmore emigrated to Watertown, Massachusetts by 1635. He was a land-owner in Wethersfield, Connecticut by 1640 and in Hartford in 1646. He settled in Middletown, Connecticut by March 1652, when he sworn in as a Constable for Mattabeseck, the early name for Middletown. He was sworn as Constable again ten years later. He also held other town offices and represented the Middletown at the General Court in 1654 and 1655.
In October 1654, he was appointed to a committee of eleven members by the General Court “to press men and necessaryes” for an expedition against the Narragansett Indians. In 1668, the General Court abated “Thomas Whitmore his rate [tax] that was payable this yeare to the county, for his service in ferrying Assistts and Deputies over the River.”
Thomas and his wife are considered among the 23 founding families of Middletown. Thomas’ name appears on the Founders Rock in Riverside Cemetery. He was admitted a freeman on 20 May 1652, which meant he must have been a church member and worth at least 200 pounds.
Thomas married three times during his life. He first wed Sarah Hall, daughter of John & Esther (possibly Willocke) Hall, on 11 December 1645 at Hartford. She was born 9 August 9 1622 at Kent England and died 7 December 1665 at Middletown, Conn. They had 13 children together.
Thomas married secondly Mary (Platt) Atkinson, 3 February 1666 at Middletown. She was born in 1629 at Royden, Essex, England, the daughter of Richard & Mary (Wood) Platt. They had one child before Mary died in childbirth on 17 June 1669 at Middletown.
For his third wife, Thomas took Catherine (Leete) Robards. They were married 8 October 1673 at Middletown. She was born about 1642, location unknown and died 13 October 1693 at Middletown, Conn. They had three children together.
The Wetmore home lot was a five-acre parcel, east side of Main Street, bounded by Green and Ferry Streets. Today, it is in the heart of the commercial district of Middletown. (see Middletown Map, 1654)
Thomas Wetmore died on 11 December 1681 at Middletown at age 66. It is likely that he was buried in Riverside Cemetery, where most of the early settlers were buried, yet no marker survives.
Children of Thomas WETMORE & Wives
THOMAS WETMORE was born 1615 in England, and died 11 December 1681 in Middletown, CT. He married (1) SARAH HALL 11 December 1645 in Hartford, Hartford Co., CT, daughter of JOHN HALL and ESTHER WILLICKE). She was born 9 August 1622 in Kent, England, and died 7 December 1665 in Middletown, CT. He married (2) MARY (PLATT) ATKINSON 3 February 1666/67 in Middletown, CT, daughter of RICHARD PLATT and MARY WOOD, and widow of Luke ATKINSON. She was born 1629 in Royden, Essex, England, and died 17 June 1669 in Middletown, CT. He married (3) KATHERINE (LEETE) ROBARDS 8 October 1673 in Middletown, CT.
Children of THOMAS WETMORE and SARAH HALL are:
i. JOHN WETMORE, b. Bef. 6 September 1646; d. 31 August 1696, Middletown, CT; m. (1) ABIGAIL WARNER, 30 December 1680, Middletown, CT; b. 3 December 1660; m. (2) MARY SAVAGE, 1 April 1686, Middletown, CT; b. 25 June 1663.
ii. ELIZABETH WETMORE, b. Bef. 1648; d. Abt. 1700, Middletown, CT; m. JOSIAH ADKINS, 8 October 1673, Middletown, CT.
iii. MARY WETMORE, b. 1649, Hartford, CT; d. Aft. 1728, Middletown, CT; m. JOHN STOW, 13 November 1668, Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT; b. 3 February 1640/41, Braintree, MA; d. 18 October 1688, Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT.
iv. SARAH WETMORE, b. Bef. 20 April 1650; d. 14 July 1655, Middletown, CT.
v. THOMAS WETMORE, b. 19 October 1652, Middletown, CT; d. 1 February 1688/89, Middletown, CT; m. ELIZABETH HUBBARD, 20 February 1684/85, Middletown, CT; b. 15 January 1658/59, Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT; d. 6 December 1725, Middletown, CT.
vi. HANNAH WETMORE, b. 13 February 1653/54, Middletown, CT; d. October 1704, Middletown, CT; m. NATHANIEL STOW, 4 April 1677, Middletown, CT; b. Abt. 1648, Concord, MA; d. 15 February 1704/05, Middletown, CT.
vii. SAMUEL WETMORE, b. 10 September 1655, Middletown, CT; d. 12 April 1746, Middletown (Middlefield), CT; m. MARY BACON, 13 December 1687, Middletown, CT; b. 7 April 1664.
viii. ISRAHIAH WETMORE, b. 8 March 1656/57, Middletown, CT; d. Abt. 1742; m. (1) HANNAH; m. (2) RACHEL STOW, 13 May 1692, Middletown, CT; b. 13 March 1666/67.
ix. BERIAH WETMORE, b. 2 November 1658, Hartford, Hartford Co., CT; d. 11 April 1756, Middletown, CT; m. (1) MARY ALLEN; m. (2) MARGARET STOW, 1 September 1691, Middletown, CT; b. 1669.
x. NATHANIEL WETMORE, b. 21 April 1661, Middletown, CT; d. 7 March 1708/09, Middletown, CT; m. DORCAS WRIGHT, 29 December 1703, Middletown, CT.
xi. JOSEPH WETMORE, b. 5 March 1662/63, Middletown, CT; d. 25 March 1717, Middletown, CT; m. LYDIA BACON, 18 February 1671/72, Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT; b. 18 February 1672/73.
xii. SARAH WETMORE, b. 27 November 1664, Middletown, CT; d. 14 February 1698/99, Middletown, CT; m. JOHN BACON, 26 November 1689, Middletown, CT; b. 14 March 1661/62.
Children of THOMAS WETMORE and MARY PLATT are:
xiii. JOSIAH BACON WETMORE, b. 29 May 1667, Middletown, CT; d. Aft. 1681.
xiv. MEHITABEL WETMORE, b. 17 June 1669, Middletown, CT; d. 19 January 1732/33; m. ANDREW BACON, 12 February 1691/92, Middletown, CT; b. 10 June 1666.
Children of THOMAS WETMORE and KATHERINE LEETE are:
xv. BENJAMIN WETMORE, b. 27 November 1674, Middletown, CT; d. 13 October 1699, Middletown, CT.
xvi. ABIGAIL WETMORE, b. 6 November 1678, Middletown, CT; d. 30 March 1762, Guilford, CT; m. SAMUEL BISHOP, 2 April 1697, Guilford, CT.
xvii. HANNAH WETMORE, b. 4 January 1680/81, Middletown, CT; d. 7 September 1722, Middletown, CT; m. NATHANIEL BACON, 5 February 1701/02, Middletown, CT; b. Abt. 1675.
- Bacon, Reginald W., Early Families of Middletown, Connecticut, Vol. 1, 1650-1654, (Newburyport, MA: Variety Arts Press, 2012).
- Barbour, Lucius Barnes, “Middletown [CT] Vital Records,” (Transcribed by Coralynn Brown, at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jdevlin/barbour/middletown_barbour_main.htm, 16 September 2005), “Electronic.”
- Cooper, Agnes Thomson and John Bradley Cooper, Beginnings: Thomas Cooper of Springfield & Some Allied Families, (Gateway Press, Inc.: Baltimore, MD, 1987).
- Hall, Rev. David B., Halls of New England, (Joel Munsell’s Sons; Albany, NY, 1883).
- Hartford, Connecticut Probate Records, 1639-1700, (as published at http://www.Ancestry.com), “Electronic.”
- “In-Depth First Settler Profile: Thomas Wetmore & Sarah (Hall) Wetmore,” (Society of Middletown First Settlers Descendants, 2013), “Electronic.”
- “Middletown Householders & Proprietors,” (Transcribed by Coralynn Brown, at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jdevlin/barbour/middletown_barbour_main.htm), “Electronic.”
- Whitmore, Harold B., “Y-DNA Tests of the Descendants of Three New England Patriarchs, Thomas Whittemore of Malden, Mass., Thomas Wetmore of Middletown, Conn., and Francis Whitmore of Cambridge, Mass.,” New England Ancestors Magazine, Vol. 10, Fall 2009, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, page 47.