Baptized: 07 JUL 1597  Leighton Buzzard, Bedford, England

Married:  ABT 1625  England

Occupation:  There was a family tradition that Thomas Sayre was employed by the English mint prior to his emigrating, but there are no records extant to that tradition.

Birth of Daughter:  ABT 1625
Name:  Damaris Sayre
Place:  Leighton Buzzard, Bedford, England

Birth of Child:  1628
Name:  Francis Sayre
Place:  Leighton Buzzard, Bedford, England

Birth of Son:  1633
Name:  Daniel Sayre
Place:  Leighton Buzzard, Bedford, England

Birth of Son:  1635
Name:  Joseph Sayre

Immigration:  BEF 1638
Details:  He immigrated to Lynn, Massachusetts, sometime before 1638, at which point he first appears on the town records as proprietor of 60 acres, his brother Job Sayre also with 60 acres. Lynn was founded in 1629, so it is possible he may have been there earlier than 1638.

Birth of Son:  1637
Name:  Job Sayre
Place:  Lynn, Massachusett

Land Rec:  1639
Details:   Lynn, Massachusetts – listed as proprietor of 60 acres.

Birth of Daughter:  1640
Name:  Mary Sayre

Birth of Daughter:  1642
Name:  ? Sayre

Birth of Daughter:  1653
Name:  Hannah Sayre

Will:  16 SEP 1669
Details:  Will, with original autograph, Office of the Surrogate, Liber I, folio 63.

Death: 23 APR 1670  Southampton, Suffolk, New York

Estate Inventory:  10 JUN 1670
Details:  Liber I, folios 64 and 65 New York Surrogate’s office: “An Inventory of ye Estate of Thomas Sayre, deceased, apprized by us who are hereunto subscribed, and were hereunto appointed as followeth, this 10th day of June, 1670.”

Click here to see parents:  Francis Sayre and Elizabeth Atkins

In 1639, he, along with his brother and six others, undertook to form a new colony on Long Island. Up to that time, six other colonies had been formed by people leaving Lynn to strike out as pioneers. The small group, which intended to form a colony with eventually twenty families, bought a sloop for £80, with the Sayre brothers contributing £5 each. They signed the boat over to one of their number, David Howe, a sailor, in exchange for his agreeing to use the sloop to convey belongings and people three times a year over the next two years. By May of 1640, they had sailed down Long Island Sound and landed at present day Manhasset, at the head of Cow Bay, or Schout’s Bay, as the Dutch called it.

    What transpired at this point is recorded by Banta in The Sayre Family, drawing on Howell’s History of Southampton and New York Colonial Documents, vol. II, pp. 144–150. It seems that the pioneer Puritans had little regard for the Dutch rule at New York, and by landing at Schout’s Bay, they sought to challenge it. The land they first set foot on had been sold by the local Indian Sachem to the Dutch, but the intrepid little group paid little heed to the arms of the Prince of Orange that the Dutch had erected on a tree there. Indeed, they tore it down and replaced it with “an unhandsome face…being a criminal offense against his Majesty”, to quote the Commissary, Van Curler, who had been sent out to investigate the report of the Sachem that “some foreign strollers” were building houses on the Dutch land.

    So on the 13th of May the Council of New Amsterdam ordered Cornelius Van Teinhoven to arrest and bring before them the “strollers and vagabonds” of Schout’s Bay who had insulted them. By the 15th, Van Teinhoven, along with two officers and twenty men, arrived at the scene, finding one small house built and another in progress. Being told by the “vagabonds” that they intended to settle there, and that the arms of the Prince of Orange had been torn down by one who was not then present, six of the men were arrested and taken to Fort Amsterdam. Two men, a woman and a child were left behind to watch over the belongings, and it is most likely that one of these was Thomas Sayre, for the six men were named in the records of the Dutch interrogation at Fort Amsterdam. Job Sayre was one of them, but his brother Thomas was not. The six were discharged the next day, “on condition that they promise to deport forthwith from our territory, and never to return without the Director’s express consent.”

  The small band of Puritan colony founders complied with the Dutch, sailing back out Long Island Sound, around the eastern end, landing at a place about three miles from present day Southampton. They settled and remained for about eight years at a place about three-quarters of a mile from the center of the present day Southampton. In 1648 Thomas Sayre built a house on the town lot apportioned to him, and that house stayed in the family until 1892. When Banta wrote his history of the Sayre family in 1901 the house was still inhabited and believed to be the oldest English house on Long Island.

    Thomas Sayre went on to be a prominent man in the early history of Southampton. He is named in the first record of the General Court in 1649 as one of three chosen to “agitate town business”. Throughout the 1650’s he is repeatedly named as one of the townsmen to manage the affairs of the town. He was ordered by the general court on October 23, 1650, to raise a militia. Banta concludes that Thomas may have had a quick temper, as he was censured and ordered to pay a fine on two occasions for challenging the authority of the Magistrate. Banta also considers that he was generous. “The town records publish only one occasion where contributions were made for those in distress, and on that occasion it relates: ‘At a town meeting, February 4, 1656, a contribution was made for Goodman Gouldsmith, because of his loss by fire’ (house burned by Indians); of the contributors (of wheat) one only gave more than Thomas.”

    From Trustees Records of the Town of Southampton comes:

        The settlers purchased land from the Indians through several deeds, the first of these was the “Indian Deed of December 13, 1640”. This deed was made between 13 leaders of the settlement: John Gosmer, Edward Howell, Danial How[sic], Edward Needham, Thomas Halsey, John Cooper, Thomas Sayre, Edward Harington, Job Sayre, George Welbe, Allen Bread, William Harker, and Henry Walton; also, 9 Indians: Pomatuck, Mandusk, Mocomanto, Pathemanto, Wylennett, Wainmenowog, Heden, Watemexoted, and Chchepuchat. The Indians turned over the land from Canoe Place east:

            “from the place commonly known by the name of the place where the Indians hayle over their canoes out of the North Bay to the south side of the Island, from thence to possess all the lands lying eastward between the foresaid bounds by water.”

        In return, the Indians received sixteen coats, three score bushels of Indian corn and the protection from raiding Indian tribes.

        In 1659, the “Quogue Purchase” added land from Canoe Place to Beaverdam (Accobanke) Creek in Westhampton:

            “beginning at the west end of Southampton bounds … Northward to the water of the bay and to the creeke of Accobaucks … Westward to the place called pekeconnache (Peconic), and Southerly to potunk …”


        Banta, Theodore, The Sayre Family, 1901
        Howell, History of Southampton
        New York Colonial Documents, vol. II
        Sleight, Harry D., Ed., Trustees Records of the Town of Southampton, Volume II, Addendum p. 33, p. 33, and p. 35 (via Hampton Bay Online)
        LDS Family Search web site under “Thomas Sayre” (unconfirmed information)

Margaret Aldrich   

Birth:  ABT 1600  England

Death: Lynn, Southampton, Long Island, New York

parents are unknown

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