Thomas BESSON was born in England about 1611 to 1616. In a depostion on
10 Mar. 1674 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland he gave his age as 58.1 He is
probably the Thomas BESON, age 24, who was on the Ship Assurance in 1635 from
London.2 It is interesting to note that on that same ship was John GATER
[GAITHER] who was also an early settler in Anne Arundel County.
Thomas BESSON immigrated to Anne Arundel Co., MD where he demanded 600 acres
"for transporting himself and family" in 1649 into the province and since
that time 3 servants Thomas JONES, Robert SAWLY, Alecia CROWDER.3 He received
a patent on the 450 acre tract Bessenden that was stated as transportation
of "himself, Ann his wife Thomas and Ann his Children and Edwd COX his Servant."4
That his daughter Ann was born before 1649 would dispute Harry Wright Newman's
belief that Ann was not born before 1658, or the mother of her husband Nicholas
GASSAWAY's eldest children born about 1668 and 1670.10 Newman apparently
believed that Hester, was the only wife of Thomas BESSON, and since they were not
married before 1658, concluded that BESSON's daughter Ann was not born before
then. If that were true, she would have been too young to have been the mother of
Nicholas GASSAWAY's eldest children. Newman had apparently not seen the patent
for Bessenten, which in combination with his demand for that land, showed
that Thomas BESSON had a first wife Ann, and his daughter Ann was born by 1649
when he transported her into MD.
J. D. Warfield stated that as shown by Thomas BESSON's will, that Nicholas
GASSAWAY married his daughter Hester.11 While BESSON's will did show that a
daughter married Nicholas GASSAWAY, her first name was not given in the will.
While Thomas BESSON's second wife was named Hester, there is no evidence of his
having a daughter of that name.
Thomas BESSON secondly married after 1658 to Hester, widow of Henry CAPLIN.12
That a widow did not normally wait too long to remarry, and it was stated that
the lands of CAPLIN were in the occupation of BESSON until CAPLIN's daughter
Elizabeth married Thomas WATKINS, the marriage of Thomas BESSON to Hester
was probably about 1658.
Thomas BESSON died in Anne Arundel County between 15 Oct. 1677 and
29 Apr. 1679.5 After his death, his widow Hester married to Thomas SUTTON.7
Thomas BESSON and first wife Ann had children:
1. Thomas BESSON4 (the elder)5 b. say 1646;13 m. Margaret SAUGHIER
5 Mar.8 [year blank, ca. 1667]
2. Ann BESSON4 b. say 1648;13 m. Nicholas GASSAWAY5,6; d. before 16929
Thomas BESSON and second wife Hester5 had children:
3. John BESSON5
4. Martha BESSON5 b. say 1662;14 m.1 Nicholas15 ALDRIDGE7 by 1680;7
m.2 John ROBERTS 5 Nov. 1709;15 bur. 21 Apr. 1722 All Hallow's
Parish, Anne Arundel Co., MD15
5. William BESSON5
6. Thomas BESSON (the younger)5
1. Archives of Maryland 51:155.
2. Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660,
(Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1987), 156-157.
3. Maryland Patents Q:69, FHL microfilm 0,013,064.
4. Maryland Patents Q:404-406, FHL microfilm 0,013,064.
5. Thomas Besson will, MD wills 10:42-45, FHL microfilm 0,012,843.
6. Anne Arundel Co., MD land records WH4:295-299, FHL microfilm 0,013,208.
Thomas Besson "with the consent and approbacon of hester my wife" gave
a gift of 160 acres of Bessenden to "my beloved sonne in law Nicholas
Gassaway and Anne his now wife" on 19 Oct. 1672.
7. Thomas Besson account, MD Inventories and Accounts 7a:125-127, FHL
Thomas Sutton had married the executrix Hester. In the 1680 account she asked
for an allowance for a heiffer given as per will to Martha Aldridge and a mare
[See #5 where these were willed to Thomas Besson's daughter Martha Besson].
8. "Jones Bible Records," Maryland Historical Magazine 14 (1919): 75-79.
From the birth of the first child of Thomas and Margaret in December 1667,
the marriage was probably in either 1667 or 1666.
9. Nicholas Gassaway will, MD wills 2:228-231, FHL microfim 0,012,841.
10. Harry Wright Newman, Anne Arundel Gentry, Volume 1, 2nd Ed.,
(Annapolis: Newman, 1970), 149.
11. J. D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundell and Howard Counties, Maryland,
(Baltimore: Kohn & Pollock, 1905).
12. Archives of Maryland 51:261-262.
13. Estimate from emigration in 1649, and Thomas having a first child born in 1667.
14. Estimate from marriage between 1677 (in #5) and 1680 (in #7), and Nicholas and
Martha having a child born as late as 1706 (#15).
15. F. Edward Wright, Anne Arundel County Church Records of the 17th and
18th Century, (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 199-).
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