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THE STORY AS I KNOW IT
Thomas Bedient was born July 22,1654, in Staines England and probably a twin. His parents were Mordecai Bedient and Mary Barnard. This information is from a web cousin, Frederick Baird. However, there is a large body of original documents that lay out his relationships, activities and locations.
The original Bedent story known to our family is of the widow, Mary Bedent. She sailed from Staines, England to Massachusetts with her sons; Morgan, Thomas, John and Mordecai. They came to the colony to claim an estate left her by her brother, John Barnard. He died in Hadley, Mass in 1664.
This story comes from Baird, Bard Beard Families by Fermire Catchings, in the chapter on Scotch Bairds. Stains England is a port on the upper Thames. It is a town just south of present day Heathrow Airport. Where specific documentation is not included for a fact, it came from a web friend. All needs to be confirmed and source documentation will be added as it is found.
There were many reasons to leave England at this time, particularly if you were protestant. The Plague was epidemic in London until the Great Fire of 1666, which finally stopped it's spread. The government had exchanged leaders and therefore religions. Cromwell and Protestantism ruled until 1660 and then Charles II took the throne returning the country to Catholicism.
Thomas and Morgan would have been 11 or 12 years old when they sailed. Most likely their brothers were younger. Their mother remarried after arriving in Mass. She married second Roger Townsend very possibly in Westchester County NY.. When he died in 1674, the three younger sons, but not Morgan Bedient, were mentioned in the will. It is in Westchester County NY Court Records.
After Roger Townsend died, Mary wed a third time to Richard Osborne. Mr. Osborne also had children. One of them was Mary. Thomas wed Mary Osborne about 1675 and settled in Fairfield Ct, Conn. It is on the Long Island Sound just west of Bridgeport.
There were two court documents by Richard Osburne in Westchester Co NY noted in Wills of Early Residents of Westchester Co. NY 1664-1784. On Dec. 4, 1684 numbered as 717, "Richard Osburne makes over all his lands, etc., to Thomas Bedient of Woodbury, Conn and Mordecay Bedient of Westchester. 'All said lands being formerly held and possessed by Mordecay Bedient, deceased, and Mary his wife, (afterwards called Mary Townsend) and Roger Townsend.' Excepting a certain piece of land and meadow on Dormonds Island. And he is 'to have a home and maintenance according to his Quality.' And they are to keep for him a good horse, saddle and bridle, and he is to have two barrels of cider, yearly, and the use of one acre of land. They are to pay 50 pounds to Abigail Bedient daughter of Thomas Bedient and furnish 2 good cows to Elizabeth Osburne, daughter of said Richard Osburne."
Before 1680 his brothers Mordecai and John relinquished their rights to the estate of their parents. "On April 22 1685, Mordecai Bedient conveyed to brother Thomas Bedient all rights to estate of Richard Osborn late deceased or Mary his wife. Thomas agreed to pay to his own daughter Abigail, 50 pounds and give cows to Osborn's daughter Elizabeth." On July 26, 1686, "John Bedient of Westchester conveyed to Thomas Bedient lands formerly possessed by Mordecai Bedient dec'd and by Mary his wife and Roger Townsend, lately in the tenure of Richard Osborn." From History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield Vol I, compiled by Donald Lines Jacobus.
From Wills of Early Residents of Westchester County New York 1664-1784 #726 we learn that Thomas Bedient sold land situated on Betts Neck in 1686 to Jasper Smith. Was this the land noted above? Betts Beck could not be located on the available Westchester maps.
Thomas and his family lived for some unknown period of time in Woodbury Conn, but by 1697 he had moved to Fairfield Conn on Long Island Sound. His life in Woodbury needs research.
On Sept. 27, 1697 the town of Fairfield granted Thomas Bedient the liberty to erect a grist mill on the Mill river. Page 355 of the Town Minutes, 1689-1734 found at the Fairfield Historical Society. The mill was erected on Herdsmans Island, a small island in the river where sheep were herded there each night to protect them from roaming wolves and dogs. It is of historical significance because it is the last remaining tidal mill which worked with the movement of the tides. The orginial mill burned in 1702. It was rebuilt with a new owner and the history of the mill continues with burnings, rebuilding, becoming a Tavern and currently hosting office and apartments. It is an attractive site and a number of news articles have been written about the site. They are found at the Fairfield Historical Society.
Thomas died intestate in Fairfield county, CN in 1698. Mary
was his administratrix. Mary Osborne Bedient, the
widow, reported back to the Court in Fairfield Ct on July
21, 1699 that distribution had been ordered to one son and six
daughters, all under age. The children we can name are:
Mary Bedent born about 1682
Grace Bedent born about 1690 wed John Segar in 1713
John Bedent born May 28, 1695 wed Abigail Walling
Dorothy Bedent born about 1698, baptized in 1701 in Fairfield
2 unknown daughters
Thomas' twin brother Morgan was living in Monmouth County NJ. At least the Catchings' book states Morgan died there, though no date is given. If we assume he is living there in 1698, it could have been understandable for his niece Mary Bedient to move or visit there. That would put young Mary in Monmouth County to meet John Baird and marry him about 1699.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS - lots
If you know the answer please CONTACT US
1. Check for land records of John Barnard in Mass.
2. Look at Land and court records in Woodbury Conn
3. When did he marry Mary Osborne?
4. What are the names and birth dates of all their children?
5. Where is he buried?
6. Trace Morgan in New Jersey.
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Maier_Associates: © Copyright 2016
Date created 9/5/2001
Date edited 7/6/2016