Thomas Farr Sr. and Hannah
Thomas Farr Jr. and Hannah
By Tim Farr
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 Powers” which means that 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 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: http://www.geocities.com/dustyhills/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.
DEATH: "Thomas Farr late of Holles deceased".