Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thomas Cushman (1637-1726) and Ruth Howland (about 1646-before 1675), Plymouth and Plympton, MA

Thomas Cushman was born about September 1637 in Plymouth, Mass., the son of Thomas Cushman and Mary Allerton. His mother Mary and grandfather Isaac came to Plymouth on the Mayflower. His birth was not recorded, but his father Thomas named him in his 22 October 1690 will. I wrote about Thomas and Mary Cushman here.

On 7 March 1664/5 Thomas Cushman was fined by the Plymouth Court for committing "carnal coppulation" with his now wife before marriage, but after contract.

Thomas married Ruth Howland on 17 November 1664 in Plymouth. Ruth was born circa1646 in Rocky Nook, now Kingston, Mass., the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland. Both of Ruth’s parents came to Plymouth on the Mayflower.

Recently I toured the Jabez Howland house at Plymouth. Jabez was Ruth’s brother and she certainly would have visited him there. The historic house has a collection of items excavated from the Rocky Nook, Kingston, home of Ruth’s parents. Does anyone else get chills to see items that your ancestors used hundreds of years ago? Thankfully there are organizations like the Pilgrim John Howland Society that do so much work to preserve the memory of our ancestors.
Jabez Howland house in Plymouth

Thomas and Ruth had three children:
Robert born 4 October 1664; m. 1st Persis Lewis and 2nd Prudence Sherman; lived Kingston, MA
Desire born about 1668; m. Samuel Kent; lived Barrington, RI (Desire Cushman was named in her     grandmother Elizabeth Howland’s 17 December 1686 will)
Thomas born about 1670; m. Sarah Strong; lived Lebanon, CT

I descend through Robert and his first wife Persis.

Ruth died before 16 October 1675 when Thomas remarried.  I would guess she is buried at Old Burial Ground (aka Hillcrest Cemetery), Plympton, but her stone has not survived. There is a stone erected to the memory of Ruth and the rest of her siblings at Burial Hill in Plymouth, which I also visited recently.
Memorial marker in memory of Ruth and her siblings, Burial Hill, Plymouth

Thomas married, second, Abigail (Titus) Fuller on 16 October 1675 at Rehoboth, Mass.  They had four children: Job, Bartholomew, Samuel, and Benjamin.

On 16 April 1679 Elder Mr. Fuller and Brother Thomas Cushman were chosen to attend the ordination of Mr. Samuel Angier at the Rehoboth Church. On 24 October 1694 Thomas again went with the pastor to the ordination of Mr. Thomas Greenwood at the Rehoboth Church. On 11 September 1692 the church met to consider names of men who could read the psalms during Deacon Faunce’s illness, and Thomas Cushman was one of the men chosen. It seems that Thomas's earlier misstep did not hurt his standing in the church, although he did not reach the level of his father as Ruling Elder of the Church or his brother Isaac who was a minister.

Thomas Cushman was on the list of members of the Plymouth Church on 10 March 1703 with a notation he was dismissed, but does not say to what church.

On 1 March 1714/15 Thomas Cushman of Plympton sold land to his son Robert Cushman. On 22 June 1715 Thomas Cushman of Plympton, yeoman, sold land to son Job Cushman.
On 21 May 1721 Thomas Cushman of Plimpton, yeoman, deeded to son Benjamin the house and land where Benjamin was living. On the same day he deeded to son Samuel the land where Samuel was living. On 25 Dec 1721 he deeded the land where he himself was living to sons Benjamin and Samuel.

 Thomas died 23 August 1726 at Plympton, Mass. He was age 80 “wanting a month.”  He is buried at the Old Burial Ground in Plympton, but his gravestone is worn and difficult to read. 
Here Lies ye Body of Mr. Thomas Cushman
Dec Augst ye 23rd ______________________

No Plymouth County probate has been found for Thomas.

Sources Not Listed Above:
Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, It's History and People, 1986
Robert S. Wakefield and Margaret Harris Stover, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Isaac Allerton, Volume 17, compiled by, Published by GSMD, 1998
Ann Smith Lainart and Robert Wakefield, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, John Howland, Vol 23, Part 1, GSMD, 2006


  1. I'm an Allerton and Howland descendant, too, but on different lines. I had never been to the Howland House, until the last Mayflower Congress when I put it on the top of my list and visited on Day 1 before any of the other activities were under way. I loved the items on display from the Rocky Nook dig, too, and ordered spoons from the original mold just like the one in the dig. I gave the spoons to several people on my Christmas list from the Howland side of the family. They loved them!

  2. Heather: I bought one of the spoons too! Great idea to give them to people as gifts. Chris

  3. Hello,
    I wonder if any books survive that belonged to John & Elizabeth Howland.

    1. I haven't heard of any, but that would be a neat discovery! Chris


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