- Born: 1601, Alford, Lincolnshire, England 162
- Christened: 13 Jun 1612, Rigsby-With-Ailby, Lincolnshire, England 145
- Marriage (1): Eleanor Paine in 1643 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Mass. 159
- Died: 13 Sep 1667, Portsmouth, RI at age 66 163
Noted events in his life were:
• Ancestors: England. 164 Tradition holds that the Waytes were musicians to the King and his Knights. It is said that all the Waytes trace their lineage to Ralf de Wayte who in AD 1075 was given the Earldom and the Castle of Norwich by William the Conqueror.
The Wait (Wayte) Coat of Arms was used down to the middle of the seventeenth century but when Charles the Second ascended to the throne in 1660, those instrumental in his father's death were brought to the scaffold except the few who fled to America. Thomas Wait was among that number. The family was deprived of the insignia either by an Act of Parliament or an edict from the throne.
• Occupation. 165 He was a husbandman.
• Emigration History: Cause of the Puritan Migration, 1629-1640. 98 It was no accident that during an 11 year period 21,000 immigrants left England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This period was called the "Eleven years Tyranny" of England when King Charles I disbanded Parliament to rule England by himself and Archbishop William Laud purged the Anglican Church of its Puritan members. It was also an era of economic depression, epidemic disease and many sufferings.
During these 11 years, some 80,000 oppressed Puritans felt compelled to leave England. About one-quarter came to America and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first Puritans arrived in New England in 1629. The following year, there were 17 shiploads of Puritans to American lead by John Winthrop, oftne called the "Winthrop Fleet" with about 2,000 immigrants.
The Great Migration ended as suddenly as it began. A Civil War in England commenced as a period of great unrest during which Charles I and Archbishop Laud were executed and Puritan Oliver Cromwell became England's "Lord Protector".
The descendants of this 11 year migration doubled every generation so that they are estimated to be 16,000,000 by 1988.
• Emigration Record, 1634, Wethersfield Parish to Ipswich, MA. 166,167 A Thomas Waite (with an e) is listed to have emigrated from Wethersfield parish in county Essex, England to Ipswich, MA. There's a reference to the New England Genealogical Record 32/188 in this book.
"A Partial History" by Stuart G. Waite states that Thomas came to New England in 1634 with his brothers Richard and Gabriel. Tradition says that there were three farmers or herdsmen who, as they were driving their cattle to market, were beset by a press gang. Escaping, they sold their cattle and went onboard a vessel sailing for America. It is also tradition that these three brothers were cousins of another Thomas Waite who, as a member of Parliament, was one of the judges who signed the death warrant of Charles I of England.
A John Waite is listed as also traveling from Wethersfield Parish to Malden, MA (NEGR 28/62).
A Thomas Wait is listed as arriving in Rhode Island in 1637 in The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy, by Frederick A. Virkus.
• Move, 1638, Boston to Portsmouth RI. 121,167,168,169 According to "A Partial Genealogy", Thomas left Boston for Portsmouth in the colony of Rhode Island. It is only an assumption but a good possibility that he was a follower of Ann Hutchinson who was driven from Boston in 1638 for "Heresies".
Thomas is recorded as having been granted a house lot next to Mr. Wickes' on July 1, 1639. He is a freeman on March 16, 1641 and again in 1655. He bought land in Acushnet and Cohasset on April 30, 1661.
The Holmes Dictionary of the Ancestral heads of New England Families states that Thomas was at Portsmouth, RI by 1639.
• Freeman and Offices, 1641, Portsmouth, RI. 170,171,172 The Family Records of the Descendants of Thomas Wait book states that Thomas was made a freeman in Newport, RI on 16 March 1641.
He was chosen Constable 7 June 1658 and in 1663.
• Land, 1644, Portsmouth, RI. 156 Thomas was granted land in Portsmouth in 1644 and 1646. He was one of the purchasers of Conanicut Island in 1656. Owned land at Naragansett and Misquamicut (Westerly). Estate divided by Portsmouth Town Council 4 Dec 1669. Division of estate between widow Eleanor and children Samuel, Thomas, Benjamin, Reuben, Jeremiah, and Mary. Son Joseph had died 25 Aug 1665 and sons Thomas and Jeremiah were under age. (Note that Jeremiah is listed twice here.)
• Reference. http://www.waitegenealogy.org/FGS/waitecarter.pdf
Thomas married Eleanor Paine in 1643 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Mass..159 (Eleanor Paine was born in 1618 in Calbourne, Hampshire, England 145,173 and died on 21 Jan 1675 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island 167,173.)