[Note: This theory on the origin of the Thurber name is presented here as part of Thurber Genealogy by Adolph Edward
Thurber, Jr. It is one of a number of theories on the origin of the name, and
should not be accepted as fact. F. T. Gargaro]
The name is of Icelandic origin and was established in England by the Norsemen. William Thoreben resided in Oxfordshire in the sixteenth century. Other spellings were: Thoreban, Thorbern, Thorbjorn, Thorbear, Thorburn. Names compounded with Thor were very common among the Norsemen as: bar, bear. The name came from the sacred bear by which Thor was accompanied....
Thor (Norse Myth) the Scandinavian god of war, thunder, and agriculture, son of Odin and Jord, champion of the Aesir and benefactor of men. He was the implacable foe of the giants, whom he destroyed with his magic hammer. In Iceland and some other countries, he was the most popular deity. He closely corresponds to the Lithuanian god Perkunas and the Varangian god Perun, and has some affinity with Jupiter. The rolling of his chariot 1 supposed to cause the thunder "Out of the Ancient Chronicles of England, touching the names of other Normans which seemed to remain alive after the battell [sic] and to be advanced in signiories of the land." Among many other names is that of the name H. deTurberville. (John Fox's copy of the Roll of Battle Abbey.) Holinsheds' copy gives the name of Tubvile.
The BLISS family originated in the village of Belstone, Devonshire, England. The Coat of Arms: Gules, a bend vaire, between two fleurs-de-lis, or. Motto: "Semper Sursum."
Thomas BLISS of Belstone, the first of the name to be traced, was born 1550-60 and died 1635-40. He was a wealthy land owner, a Puritan and with others, was persecuted for his beliefs by civil and religious authorities. He became impoverished, imprisoned, and ruined in health. His wife's name is not known. He had five children: Jonathan, Thomas, George and two daughters. Thomas and George settled in New England.
2. Jonathan BLISS was born in Belstone 1575-80, was persecuted for non-conformity, fined and imprisoned. While in prison he contracted a fever which resulted in his death about 1635-6. The name of his wife has not been found.
3. Thomas BLISS, first child of Jonathan (2) was born in Belstone, came to Boston about 1636, lived in Braintree, Hartford, Conn., Weymouth, and was a first settler of Rehoboth in 1643. He was made freeman of Cambridge in 1642 and of Plymouth Colony in 1645. He was a fence viewer in 1646 and surveyor of highways in 1647. He died in Rehoboth June 1649. His wife was known as "Mistress Ide."
4. Jonathan BLISS, first child of Thomas (3), was born in England in 1625 and came to New England with his father in 1635. He was made freeman of Plymouth Colony in 1655, "way warden" of Rehoboth in 1652, grand juryman in 1655 and freeman of Rehoboth in 1658. He was one of 80 men who made the Rehoboth North Purchase in 1666. His wife was Miriam HARMON, born in England.
[Note: Eugene Cole Zubrinsky has posted the following information on Bliss message boards and it should be seriously considered before accepting the claim that Jonathan was married to Miriam Harmon. JONATHAN BLISS (1626-1687) was the son of Thomas and Dorothy (Wheatlie) Bliss of Braintree and Rehoboth, Mass. The oft-repeated claim that his wife was MIRIAM HARMON is false. She was, in fact, neither a Miriam nor a Harmon; there is no record of a Miriam Harmon in New England during this period. Jonathan Bliss's wife was almost certainly a daughter of George PUFFER of Braintree, Mass., probably named RACHEL. For a complete discussion of the factors that led to this misidentification and the evidence supporting its correction, see NEHGR 151(1997):32-37.]
Jonathan died in 1687. His fifth child, Elizabeth, married James (2) THURBER.
1. William BUCKLIN was born in England, settled first in Hingham, Mass., removed to Rehoboth in 1652 and was buried there 1 September 1683. He married in England Mary BOSWORTH (daughter of Edward and Mary BOSWORTH) who was buried in Rehoboth 29 July 1687.
2. Joseph BUCKLIN married at Rehoboth 5 November 1659 Deborah ALLEN who died there 1 April 1720. Joseph died 28 March 1718. He was among the purchasers of land in Rehoboth in 1666 and was on the list of those who advanced money to defray the costs of King Phillips War in 1676. His daughter, Deborah, born 16 September 1660, married Hugo (3) COLE.
1. The COLE families of England were granted thirty Coats of Arms. All had the same motto: "Deum Cole, Regum Serva" (Honor God, serve the King). One authority states that the name COLE was derived from COEL, the founder of Colchester, one of the kings of Brittain.
James COLE was a resident of Highgate, London in 1616. In 1624 he married Mary LOBEL (See LOBEL Notes). In 1633 was in Plymouth, Mass. He was made freeman that year and was first granted land in 1636/7. He was the first settler of "Coles Hill" which became the first burial place of the Pilgrims. This land included the ground on which now rests Plymouth Rock. James COLE was a surveyor of highways in 1641, 1642, 1645, and 1652; constable in 1641, and 1644. In 1637 he was among the volunteers against the Pequot Indians.
2. Hugo COLE, second child of James, was born in London in 1627 and came to Plymouth with his father in 1633. On 8 January 1654 he married Mary FOXWELL (See FOXWELL Notes) born in Scituate, Mass. 17 August 1635 and died in Swansea before 1689. Hugo had trio subsequent marriages. His children were by his first wife. In the Plymouth records we read "It was agreed with James COLE that his son Hugo should keep the cowes from Apr 15 to November" He was surveyor of highways at Barnstable, shipwright, and civil engineer; was selectman at Swansea, Representative and deputy 1673-89. Hugo was a friend of the Indian chief, King Philip and was sent by the Plymouth Colony to confer with him. But in the war, Hugo was warned that the King could not control his warriors, and that Hugo should remove to Rhode Island. This Hugo did and was Sergeant of troops during the conflict. He returned to Swansea in 1677 and died there in 1699.
3. Hugo COLE, second child of Hugo (2), was born in Plymouth, Mass. 8 March 1658; married 6 May 1681 Deborah BUCKLIN (See BUCKLIN Notes) born 16 September 1660, died 7 December 1724 at Swansea. Hugo COLE was freeman of Swansea 12 November 1680. He died in that town 7 December 1724 and is buried with his wife in Kickemuit cemetery. His ninth child, Christian (no birth date given) married Nathaniel (3) KINGSLEY.
1. Capt. John FONES of Newport, Jamestown and Kingston, RI. died in Kingston 20 December 1703. His wife, Margaret (_____), died 1709. He was a member of the Board of Court Marshall, Newport, was deputy and Conservator of Peace. His fourth child Mary, married James (3) GREENE.
FOWELL FAMILY 1. Richard FOXWELL came from England with Gov. Winthrop in 1631, located in Scituate, Mass. and became a Freeman in that year. He married Ann SHELLY, daughter of Robert SHELLY of Boston 1632, Barnstable 1640 and Scituate 1638. Richard FOXWELL was a member of the Barnstable Militia in 1634. He was called "a man of Kent." He died in Barnstable in 1668. His daughter Mary, born in Scituate in 1638, married Hugo (2) COLE.
1. The ancestry of the GREENE family traces back to Robert GREEN of Gillingham, England (1545). The family has two crests; A. a dove holding a sprig of olive. B. a buck's head, erased, or (The family generally uses B.) L Motto: "Nec timeo nec Spenzo." John GREENE was born in the Parish of Gillingham, County Dorset, England abt. 1590 and came from Salisbury, County Wilts, to Boston in 1635 in the "James." He married (1) at St. Thomas Church, Salisbury 4 November 1619 Joanne TATTERSHALL. All his children were baptized in that church. He associated with Roger Williams in Providence where his wife soon died. He had two subsequent marriages. He was the first medical and professional man in Providence Plantation and held many important civil positions in Warwick where he removed in 1642/3.
2. James GREENE "of Potowomut," fourth child of John and Joanne, was baptized in Salisbury, England 21 June 1626 and came with his parents to New England in 1635; was Freeman of Warwick 1647 and held many civil posts; was great grandfather of Gen. Nathaniel GREENE of the Revolution. He died at Potowomut near Warwick 27 April 1698. He married (1) ca. 1658 Deliverance POTTER (See POTTER Notes) born 1637, died 1664; he married (2) August 1665 Elizabeth ANTHONY (daughter of John and Susanna ANTHONY).
3. James GREENE "of Nassauket" first child of James (2) GREENE, was born 1 June 1659 in Warwick, died in Warwick 12 March 1712; married 29 January 1688/9 Mary FONES (See FONES Notes) born ca. 1671, died in Warwick 20 March 1721. James (3) GREENE was designated "Captain" and held many important positions. 4. Fones GREENE, first child of James (3) and Mary GREENE, was born in Warwick 23 March 1689/90, died 29 July 1758 in Warwick; married (1) 15 March 1710/11 Dinah BEATTY (daughter of Sampson and Dinah BEATTY of Jamestown, RI) She was drowned six days after the marriage and Fones married (2) Rebecca TIBBITS (See TIBBITS Notes) of North Kingston who died 18 February 1765 in her seventy-first year. Fones GREENE was deputy from Warwick 1724. His second child, Dinah married Randall RICE.
1. Randall HOLDEN was born 1612 in Salisbury, England, died in Warwick 23 August 1692; married 1648 Frances DUNGAN (daughter of William DUNGAN and Frances LATHAM) born 1630, died 1697. In 1638 Randall HOLDEN was a signer of the "Compact of Portsmouth." Up to 1688 he held many public offices. His second child, Elizabeth, born August 1652, married John (1) RICE.
1. The name KINGSLEY is from the Gaelic word "ceaunsallach," "commanding;" John KINGSLEY came from Hampshire, England in 1635 and received a grant of land in Dorchester in that year. He was one of the original signers of the Covenant in 1646 and was freeman in 1648 in which year he removed to Rehoboth.
2. Eldad KINGSLEY, son of John (I) was in Rehoboth by 1663 and was one of the founders of the Baptist Church in Rehoboth. In 1667/8 he signed the agreement to become a settler of Swansea. (See footnotes on John Thurber and Swansea.) In 1662 Eldad married Mehitable MOWREY (See MOWREY Notes). He died 28 August 1679. 3. Nathaniel KINGSLEY, fifth child of Eldad (2), was born 5 February 1679 and married 25 April 1705 Christian COLE (See COLE Notes). Their daughter, Hannah, born 31 January 1718 married Edward (3) THURBER.
1. Mathieu LOBEL was born in Lille, France, in 1538 son of Jean de LOBEL, a distinguished lawyer. Mathieu became a famous botanist and physician, practicing in Montpielier, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. In Antwerp he was physician to William of Orange and in London was attendant to King James I. He was author of books on medicinal plants and was the first to discover the curative properties of lobelia, to which plant he gave his name adding "ia." Dr. LOBEL died in Highgate, London 2 March 1616. His daughter, Mary, married James (1) COLE.
There is no record of the antecedents of Jane McCRAE who married Dr. William THURBER (29). However, an interesting tradition has been handed down in the family as told by Mrs. Thomas MITCHELL (Bella THURBER) a granddaughter of Dr. William. Mrs. MITCHELL was quite elderly at the time she related the tale, but was mentally alert. In substance this is the story as transcribed by Mrs. MITCHELL's niece:
"My knowledge of the family's origin begins with hearing of my grandfather arriving in Quebec from Plymouth, U.S.A. on the same day as a boatload arrived in Quebec bringing immigrants from parts of Scotland as well as England. As he stood watching the people disembarks he also noticed Indians stunting around and, after a while, saw them with a young girl who seemed very much distressed by being separated from her party, so he stepped up and questioned her and returned her to her people who were much alarmed at her disappearance. "Grandpa married Janet McCRAE, the young girl he rescued from the Indians, and affrays enjoyed telling the story. She must have been a lovely little lady and was beloved by all with whom she came in contact. The marriage took place in 1805 or 1807 and was the first in the little Church of England in Sorel, Quebec."
THE CLAN McCRAE
WAR CRY: "Sgur Urain" (A Mountain in Kintail).
BADGE: Garbhagan t-sleibhe (Fir Club Moss).
It is generally understood that the name MACRAE means "Son of Grace" and had probably an ecclesiastical origin. It occurs as a personal name in Ireland and Scotland from the fifth to the thirteenth centuries. It was common as a surname in Galloway, Ayrshire and the southern part of Perthshire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and is still common with various forms of spelling: M'CRAE, M'CREA, M'CREATH, etc. In Ireland it is MAGRATH. The home of the Highland Clan MACRAE, sometimes called the "Wild Macraes" was Kintail in Ross-shire, where they are said to have migrated from the Lovat country about the middle of the fourteenth century; according to well founded tradition they were originally a Moray-shire clan which migrated westward. Their tartan is probably an allusion to this origin and the stars in the MACRAE arms corroborate it.
The MACRAES were Chamberlains of Kintail for many generations, and frequently Vicars of the Parish, and Constables of Ellandonan Castle.
1. Roger MOWREY of Plymouth and Salem was in Providence by 1643. He was Commissioner of Providence 1658. Died there 5 January 1666. His wife, Mary, died January 1679. Their eighth child, Mehitable, married Eldad KINGSLEY.
1. Thomas OLNEY was born in Hertfordshire, England in 1600, came to Salem, Mass. 2 April 1635 on the "Planter," died in 1682. In 1631 he married Mary SMALL born in England. He was one of the thirteen original proprietors of Providence, 1638, was a founder of the Baptist Church there, and at one time as acting minister. He held many civil offices. Thomas' third child, Mary, born 164- married John WHIPPLE, Jr.
1. Robert POTTER of Lynn and Roxbury, Mass. and Warwick, RI died in Warwick 1655. His first wife, Isabel (_____), died in 1643, his second wife, Sarah, died in 1686. He was commissioner of Warwick 1651. His will was proved 9 March 1692. The second child of Robert and Isabel, Deliverance, married James (2) GREENE.
1. John RICE was born in England in 1646; was in Warwick, RI 6 January 1661; married 16 July 1674 Elizabeth HOLDEN (See HOLDEN Notes). born August 1652. John RICE was freeman of Warwick in 1675, grand juryman in 1687 and deputy in 1710.
2. John RICE Jr. was born in Warwick in 1675, died 9 January 1755 married 25 July 1695 Elnathan WHIPPLE (See WHIPPLE Notes) born 2 January 1675, died ca. 1753.
3. Randall RICE, son of John Jr., was born 22 May 1714 in Warwick; married 16 March 1753 Dinah GREENE (See GREENE Notes) born 4 December 1715 in Warwick. Randall RICE was Lieutenant of Warwick Company 1730-1735, was called "Captain." His daughter Mary, born 28 September 1744, married James (4) THURBER.
1. Robert STANTON of Newport, RI was born in England 1599, came to America before 1638, first lived in Plymouth, then by 1643 in Newport where he died 29 August 1672. His wife was Avis (_____). He was Freeman in 1655 and held public offices. His second child, Sarah, married Henry TIBBBETS.
1. Henry TIBBETTS of Kingston, RI died 1713; married December 1661 Sarah STANTON (See STANTON Notes) who was born in Massachusetts in 1640, died in Kingston after 1708. Henry TIBBETTS owned land in Kingston, took the Oath of Allegiance to Rhode Island in 1671; was deputy and held other offices.
2. Henry TIBBETTS Jr. was born in Kingston, died there 10 June 1752; his wife was Margaret (_____). He was Freeman August 1696. His will was proved August 1752. His fourth child, Rebecca, married Fones GREENE.
1. Pierre TOUSILLON (TOUSIGNANT) dit LA POINT was born about 1641 in France, son of Hugues TOUSILLON and Marie VALLEE of St. Romain, town of Bloys, bishopsy of Bordeaux. He came to Canada before 17 October 1668 as on that date he married in Quebec City parish Marie Madeleine PHILIPPE, (daughter of Nicholas PHILIPPE and Marie CIRIER of the parish of St. Etienne-du-Mony, Paris) baptized about 1651. Pierre settled in Lotbiniere parish in 1680 or earlier, receiving a grant of land 13 November 1686. Pierre and his wife had five children. He died in Lotbiniere in 1714. The sur-name La Point, was retained by some members of the family until at least 1749.
2. Jean-Baptiste-Noel TOUSIGNAN was born in 1676 and died in Lotbiniere before 1755. He married 30 October 1714 at Cap Sante parish, Portneuy Co., Marie-Charlotte MET(H)OT (daughter of Abraham METOT and Madeleine MEZERAY).
3. Antoine TOUSIGNAN was baptized in Lotbiniere parish 26 November 1716; married 24 January 1745 in Lotbiniere Marie Therese BEAUDET (daughter of Michel BEAUDET and Therese PERUS). Antoine died before 1756.
4. Antoine TOUSIGNAN married 15 February 1768 Marie Catherine GAURON (daughter of Joseph GAURON and Marie Anne ROY dit PORTELANCE) baptized at St. Jean-Deschaullons parish, Lotbiniere Co. 24 December 1751. The surname, VAUDREUIL, first appears in the baptisms of two children of this Antoine.
5. Joseph TOUSIGNANT (of age) married 5 August 1806 at Lotbiniere parish Angele HOUDE dit DESRUISSEAU (daughter, under age, of the late Francois HOUDE dit DESRUISSEAU and Marie Francois BOUCHER, remarried with Louis Marie BOSSE).
6. Placide TOUSIGNANT was born at Lotbiniere parish 24 October 1808 and baptized the same day. He married in Lotbiniere 9 January 1838 Marie Louise LECLERC of the same parish (daughter of Joseph LECLERC and the late Marguerite TOUSIGNANT), dispensation being granted of the third to the fourth degree of consanguinity. Joseph, father of Placide, is surnamed TOUSIGNANT dit VAUDREUIL in the marriage contract.
7. Marie Hermine TOUSIGNANT dit VAUDREUIL, daughter of Placide above, born 1840 and died 1908, was married 1 February 1864 at Lotbiniere parish to William Poleman THURBER, born 1835 and died 1901, farmer, son of James (6) THURBER and Heloise LEGENDRE.
1. John WHIPPLE of Dorchester was born in England ca. 1617, died in Providence 16 May 1685; married ca. 1639 at Dorchester Sarah (_____) born ca. 1624, died 1666 in Providence. John WHIPPLE took the Oath of Allegiance in Providence in 1666 and held public offices until 1683. He was one of those who "stayed and went not away" in King Phillips War; was called "Captain."
2. John WHIPPLE Jr. was born 1640 in Dorchester, died 15 December 1700 in Providence; married (1) 4 December 1663 Mary OLNEY (See OLNEY Notes) who died ca. 1676 in Providence. John married (2) 15 April 1678 Mrs. Mary SCOTT, widow of John SCOTT. John WHIPPLE held public offices from 1668 to 1680. Elnathan, third child of John and Mary OLNEY, born 2 January 1675, married John RICE Jr.
Several Rootsweb sites list Jennet (Jane) Genevieve McCraw as one of the 10 children of Duncan McCraw and Barbara Fraser who married 11 May 1784. Jane's birth date is given as 23 Aug 1789 in Sorel, Richelieu, Quebec. Her marriage to William Thurber M.D. was 14 May 1806 in Angelican Christ Church, Sorel, Richelieu, Quebec, Canada. Source cited was Church Records Sorel, Richelieu Co., Quebec, Canada. Her younger sister Elisabeth McCraw, is reported to have gone to live with Jane and William after the death of parents Duncan McCraw and Barbara Fraser.
A list of marriages in Ste-Croix de Lotbiniere, Canada which includes marriages of the children of William Thurber, M. D., shows various versions of his wife's name, including Genevieve McRay, Jane McRae, Genevieve McRae and Joanne McRay.
A website with a series of Articles by Marie Fraser of Canada, included this paragraph with additional information on Duncan McCraw and Barbara Fraser:
"One of the soldiers who served with the Fraser Highlanders in Canada during the Seven Years War between Britain and France (1757-63) was Duncan McCraw (1739-1803). Barbara Fraser (c1757-1824) was the widow of Hector Morrison, a British loyalist believed to have lived at Kortright's Patent, Tryon County, New York prior to the American Revolution (1775-83). In 1779 the widow Morrison, with her children, fled to the refugee camp at Yamachiche, married McCraw and raised a second family. As part of the introduction to the genealogy of his ancestor, Yvan Goulet has written about Scotland, and he wanted some advice about how to describe the various articles of Highland dress. He noted that during the occupation of Paris in 1816 [after the Napoleonic Wars], the Highlanders proved to be very popular, especially to the women, whose curiosity knew no bounds."
JANE MCCRAWAlthough legend has Jane McCrea, wife of William Thurber M.D., as being a young lass born in Scotland ca. 1787, and being rescued from indians by William upon her arrival in Canada, the Canadian records appear to show otherwise.