Thomas Farr Sr. and Hannah and 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. 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 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 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. But who was Mrs. Hannah Powers married to, Thomas Jr. or Thomas Sr.?
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 more likely 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!
Hannah Farr's last will:
In the Name of God Amen
The Eighth Day of July 1783
I Hannah Farr of Holles in the County of Hillsborough, and State of Newhampshire Widow and Relict of Thomas Farr late of Holles deceased being aged and Infirm in Body but of sound mind and memory, thanks begiven unto God therefor and Calling to mind the mortality of my Body knowing that is it Appointed to all men once to die do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament. (Viz)
Imprimis, I will, and ordain that all my just Debts should be paid. Item, I give and Bequeath to my beloved Son Thomas Powers of Holles aforesaid all my household Furniture of all sorts and kinds to his use and dispose, and all my Cloathing, and I do Constitute and Appoint my said Son Thomas Powers to be sole executor of this my last will and Testament—In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the day and year abovesaid.
Hannah Farr her mark
Signed, sealed, Published, pronounced and declared by the said Hannah Farr as her last Will and Testament in Presence of us the Subscribers
DEATH: Headstone says 6 Jul 1785.