Thomas Farr Sr. and Hannah
Thomas Farr Jr. and Hannah
By Tim Farr
Updated 20 January, 2017
Thomas Farr Sr. was born abt. 1688 to 1692 of Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts to Stephen Farr and Mary Taylor. Thomas Farr Sr. had seven children between the years of 1715 and 1730. All of the children’s birth records indicate that the mother’s name was Elizabeth.
Thomas Farr Jr. was born on 4 Nov 1719 in Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts to Thomas Farr Sr. and Elizabeth Powers. Thomas Farr Jr. had six children between the the years of 1742 and 1755. All of the children’s birth records indicate that the mother’s name was Hannah.
The only marriage records found to date are of Thomas Farr and Hannah Powers on 5 Aug 1758 and Thomas Farr to an Elizabeth Powers 16 Mar 1713/14. All publications attribute the children of Thomas Farr Jr. to Hannah Powers. Some indicate, including my own publications,that the marriage date must have been mis-transcribed and should read 5 Aug 1738.
Hannah Powers birth and death were never found and so the idea of the marriage date really being 1738 was fine at the time but I have uncovered new evidence to the contrary. I first discovered the headstone of a Hannah, widow of Mr Thomas Farr, located in the Congregational Church Burial Yard of Hollis, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
This sparked my curiosity because Dr. Arlene Eakle and I have done so much research on Thomas Farrs that I knew it had to be the wife of Thomas Farr Jr. or the wife of Thomas Farr Sr. the grandson and son of our Stephen Farr the immigrant of Concord, Middlesex,Massachusetts and Lidlington, Bedfordshire, England.
I first searched the cemetery records to see if any Farrs were buried there other than Hannah and I found none. I then found a number of Powers buried in the same cemetery so I looked in the “Hollis Family Album, The Folk Tales and Family Trees of the First Settlers of Hollis, New Hampshire” and found that Peter Powers was one of the first settlers in that town. Peter Powers is a son of Daniel Powers and Elizabeth Whitcomb making him a first cousin to Elisabeth Powers Farr the wife of Thomas Farr Sr.
At this point I needed to know if Hannah on the headstone was a Powers or not so I looked for a probate record of a Hannah Farr in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. To my surprise Hannah did leave a will dated 8 Jul 1783 and probated on 16 Aug 1785 found on FHL US/CAN Film #16070, p. 358. In the will Hannah states that she is the widow of Thomas Farr late of Hollis deceased. She then makes a bequeath to her son named “Thomas Powers” and also makes him executor of her will.
This find caused me to go back to the marriage bann shown previously and I then noticed that it listed Hannah as“Mrs. Hannah Powers” and Thomas as “Mr. Thomas Farr” which means that they had both previously been married. This now tells us that the marriage date in the records of 5 Aug 1758 is correct and that Hannah Powers is not the mother of Thomas Farr Jr’s. children! Hannah Powers maiden name is now not known and the maiden name of Thomas’ first wife Hannah is also not known.
Given the fact that the headstone of Hannah states that she was 92 years and 7 months old when she died on the 6 Jul 1785, puts her birth at abt. 6 Dec 1692. This makes her too old to be the one that married Thomas Farr Jr. Hannah’s will also states that she is the widow of Thomas Farr late of Hollis deceased. We know that Thomas Jr. died in Chesterfield, Cheshire, New Hampshire so this would indicate that Thomas Sr. is her husband.
The headstone of Hannah ____ Powers Farr would never have been found if it were not for someone taking the time to photograph the headstones in that cemetery and posting them to the Internet. Until now, we’ve had no reason to look for Hannah in Hollis, New Hampshire. But it now makes sense why she was not found in Chesterfield, Cheshire, New Hampshire because she was not the mother of the Farr children.
We now need to find which Powers Hannah was married to before she married Thomas Farr Sr. so we can find her maiden name. We also need to re think who Hannah, the mother of Thomas Farr Jr’s children, really is!
After doing a search for Powers marrying a Hannah, I found Joseph Powers married Hannah Whitcomb in Groton, Massachusetts on the 16 Mar 1713 and they had their children in Littleton. Joseph died on 18 Dec 1744 in Littleton. The widow Hannah Powers then married Thomas Farr Sr. in Hardwick on the 5 Aug 1758 and was listed as being from Littleton. Her son Thomas Powers listed in her will was the son of Joseph Powers and Hannah Whitcomb/Powers/Farr.
Joseph Powers is the brother of Thomas Farr's first wife Elizabeth Powers, so he married his sister in law Hannah Whitcomb Powers! We now know that Thomas Farr Sr. died in Hollis, NH.
I also found in The Hollis records a "warning out" for Thomas and Hannah Farr and it said that they were previously of Littleton.
Since publishing the above findings, I received an email from a Thomas Stanley Farr of Crystal Lake, Illinois to add more of his Farr line to the Stephen Farr descendants book and also make some corrections. Stan asked me if I was familiar with the 1915 Lawrence Brainerd genealogical chart of the descendants of Stephen Farr Sr. I had never seen the chart and figured that it would have all the usual mistakes found in the earlier published charts. I looked for the chart on FamilySearch and found a digitized film with Brainerd's hand written charts on it. After going through over 200 pages of film, I couldn't find the Farr chart that Stan had mentioned. I emailed Stan for a copy and was surprised to find it on my doorstep just three days later.
Stan had pointed out to me that the Brainerd chart had the answer to who Thomas Farr Jr.'s wife's maiden name was. Stan had read the above article on my website and knew that I was looking for Hannah's Maiden name. The chart shows that Thomas Farr Jr. married his first cousin Hannah Farr the daughter of Samuel Farr and Hannah Whitney.
At first I couldn't swallow this assertion but the more I studied it the more it looked possible. In looking at Samuel Farr's will, we find the following: Item: I give to my three married daughters what I gave them viz. Hannah Farr, Elizabeth Whitney, & Hepsibah Thomas......... He names his daughters by their married names and this includes Hannah!
Next I looked at the vitals that I had on Hannah Farr daughter of Samuel Farr and all the information I could find online. Everyone has her being born about 1732 and married to Samuel Hildreth on the 27th of November 1759. I also have her marriage documented with an original source. The problem I saw with the marriage year of 1759 was the fact that Samuel Farr's will was dated 1754 thus putting Hannah's marriage well before 1759 and obviously not to Samuel Hildreth. The parentage of the Hannah Farr that married Samuel Hildreth is now not known. This now puts the birthdate of Hannah Farr the daughter of Samuel Farr much earlier than 1732 and at least in the neighborhood of 1720 in order to be named as a married daughter in a will dated 1754.
This makes it extremely possible that Hannah Farr daughter of Samuel Farr is the Hannah that was married to Thomas Farr Jr. the son of our direct ancestor Thomas Farr Sr. The Samuel Farr we have been talking about here is the brother of our Thomas Farr Sr. thus Brainherd's chart labeling Hannah Farr as a 1st cousin and wife of Thomas Farr Jr. The chart also points out that Dr. William Farr married his 1st cousin Jemima Farr. Dr. William Farr was a son of Jonathan Farr brother of our Thomas Farr Sr. and Jemima Farr was a daughter of Stephen Farr Jr. also a brother to our Thomas Farr Sr. This information we already had correct.
Whether or not this is correct about Hannah Farr being the wife of Thomas Farr Jr., it is correct that Hannah Farr daughter of Samuel Farr is not the one that married Samuel Hildreth, her birth was much earlier and her married name was "Hannah Farr"!
I found a listing on FindAGrave.com for both Thomas and Elizabeth being buried in the Hardwick Central Cemetery. I called the cemetery sextant and he told me there was no record of them being buried there.
The best proof we have that ²Thomas was a son of ¹Stephen is the DNA results between participants #14704 (Ben W. Farr Sr.), #20588 (Kendall Clark Farr), #20589 (Keith Lyle Farr), #23559 (Robert Farr) and #14723 (David Jackson Farr) whom descend from ²Thomas Farr, and participants #15338 (Donald Eugene Farr) and #46956 (Rupert Andrew Farr) whom descend from ²Stephen Farr Jr. (proven son of Stephen Farr). The DNA results are as follows:
#14704----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30
#20588----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30
#20589----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30
#23559----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30
#46956----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30 (Rupert Andrew Farr)
#14723(David Jackson Farr)----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30 18 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 16 17 17 11 10 19 23 17 15 17 17 36 38 12 12
#153389(Donald Eugene Farr)----13 23 14 10 11 12 12 12 12 14 13 30 18 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 16 17 17 11 10 19 23 17 15 17 17 36 38 12 12
All seven have an exact match. Thomas Farr is a brother of Stephen Farr Jr. and we know that Stephen Jr. is a son of Stephen Farr and Mary Taylor from the Concord vitals. Full results of the Farr DNA Project with FamilyTreeDNA, can be viewed at: www.dustyhills.net/FarrDNATestResults.htm. If you read the Melinde Sanborn article under Stephen Farr, you can see why most of his children are not found in the vital records.
Thomas buys land from Stephen Farr Jr Mar 10, 1741:
Thomas Farr of Acton, Mass., 500 pounds to Stephen Farr Jr. of Stow, Mass., land in Acton, Mass., 120, or 170 acres. film #0015506 p. 50.
Mention of Thomas Farr, M. at Groton, Mass., March 16th, 1713 to Eliza (Elizabeth) Powers.in the Rev. Charles N. Sinnett's book "The Farr Genealogy" FHL film #0015506 p. 11. Marriage also mentioned in Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Middlesex, Hamshire, Bershire and Bristol, Middlesex County, Groton, page 58.
FHL film #1321409, item 13, page 37: John and Thomas Farr as land owners in Littleton.
The following is from Hollis Town Records 1733-1887 vol. 2 and was provided to me by Susannah Zemke: "Thos Farr and his wife Hannah was warnd out of Town July 1, 1773 who last came from Littleton in the County of Middlesex & Province of the Massachusetts Bay."
DEATH: "Thomas Farr late of Holles deceased".