The History of Martha's Vineyard by Dr. Charles E. Banks:
Volume II Annals of Edgartown: pp. 72 - 74

Sketches of the Early Settlers:


In the passenger list of the ship Assurance, sailing for Virginia in July, 1635, may be found the name of Thomas Harlock, aged 40 years, and whether this be the person of the same name who subsequently appeared at Martha's Vineyard twenty­five years later cannot be stated with certainty, but the name is sufficiently rare to regard it as entirely probable.[ The name occurs in English records generally as Horlock, and it may be identical with Halleck and Hallock. A Thomas Harlock was of Trowbridge Co., Wilts, temp. 9 Elizabeth and a Richard Harlocke of the same county died about 1644. Widow Joan of Trowbridge, Parish of Studley, made her will in 1645, which was proved same year by Samuel Ghy. This county is apparently the home of the family.] Where he resided after his arrival in Virginia, for the next twenty years, is undetermined. Thomas Harlock is first known at the Vineyard certainly in 1658, as a witness to the sale of the Chickemmo region to Thomas Mayhew, and if the identity is to be accepted, he was then about sixty­three years of age, a few years the junior of the governor, whose daughter he married. [Deeds, I, 355. Dated Aug. 10, 1658.] This was Bethia Mayhew, b. Dec. 6, 1636, and therefore forty years younger than her husband. This is not altogether an improbability, and as he died many years before his wife the circumstances all seem to favor the theory of this union of May and December. While 1658 is the first positive record of his appearance here, yet it is fairly inferential that he had been a resident of Great Harbor for a number of years previous. He acquired the house lot "formerly (John) Wakefields," who had left about 1652, and it may be supposed that he purchased it when the latter removed to Boston.

When he married the governor's daughter can only be conjectured. She was twenty years old in 1657, and as their son Thomas, Jr., was born about 1658 we may assume that this was the probable date of the nuptials. Harlock's home was on one of the harbor lots, number seven from Pease's Point, in the "five and twenty," proximately located between Cottage and Morse streets as shown on the map. Here were born to him "Thomas and John Harlock and their sister," as named in the will of their grandfather Mayhew, and referred to in the same document as "the three Harlocks." [Probate, III 108. It is probable that Thomas and John and the unknown sister were the only issue of the Harlock­Mayhew marriage.]

Thomas Harlock participated in the divisions of the common lands in 1660, 1663, and 1664, and received a grant in 1663 of one­half commonage. [Edgartown Records, 108, 109, 127, 156. There has been doubt expressed as to whether Thomas Harlock, Sr., ever lived in Edgartown, but this seems to be clear from the fact that his house is mentioned in 1663 (Ibid., 99), and he was a juryman in same year. (Ibid., 145.)] His name appears on the town records continuously from 1660 to 1664 in various connections, the last time occurring on April 26, 1664, when he drew lots in the Felix Neck and Meachemys Field. After that date the name of Harlock does not reappear for twelve years (Feb. 14, 1676), when it undoubtedly refers to his son Thomas, Jr., who succeeded to the properties of the father. We may therefore place the death of Thomas, Sr., at some time not long after April 26, 1664, at which time he would have been about seventy years old.

His widow Bethia, left with two boys and possibly a girl, the oldest of whom was six or seven, probably remained on the Vineyard. Sometime before September, 1676, when Thomas was eighteen or nineteen years old, she married a second husband, himself a widower a dozen years her senior, Lieut. Richard Way of Dorchester. [In 1671 the first wife of Way, named Esther, was living, and it would appear that Mayhew had had business dealings with him, which explains the subsequent family connection. (Middlesex Co. Court Files, XXI, 5.)] He was a man of substance, had been an officer at the castle, and in 1674 was farmer general of the imposts. At her second marriage Bethia (Mayhew) Harlock was forty years old, and on July 13, 1677, a daughter named Hannah was born, who may be the "sister" referred to by Governor Mayhew, of whom we hear nothing further. [In his will Richard Way states that he had "no reason to believe any of my own children are surviving." (Suffolk Prob. Rec.) Will dated Jan. 2, 1697; prob. Oct. 28, 1697.] Bethia Way died four years before her father's decease (which occurred in 1682), and her Harlock children are given many special bequests in the Governor's will. It is further known that Richard Way took unto himself a third wife, Hannah (Townsend) Hall, who survived him. [Savage Gen. Dict., IV, 440.]

Of the children, the "three Harlocks," the oldest Thomas, Jr., will be the subject of a separate sketch, because of his prominence in town affairs during his lifetime. The sister, who is nameless, is only known through her grandfather's will, probably died in youth, as her interests do not subsequently appear in any property dealings. John Harlock seems to have been a favorite grandchild, if we may judge from the bequests in the old governor's will. Besides sharing contingently with his brother and sister in certain joint gifts of land at Chickemmoo, Kataymuch (Elizabeth Isles), and in Chilmark, he is given personally a lot on Chappaquiddick, five acres at Nashamoiess, "and all the small allotments everywhere," and as if this were not enough he was to have half of "all lots not mentioned" in his will. What became of him finally is not known, and but one record exists showing that he was here in person to make disposition of his inheritances. On May 9, 1690, he sold one half­share in common lands to John Welch, a mariner of Boston, the acknowledgment being made before Matthew Mayhew, and thenceforth disappears from view. [Deeds II, 46. Welch later sold this to Nathaniel Starbuck, but the date is not known (Ibid. II, 48). John Harlock's name appears as owner of one common share in the town in 1695, but this does not indicate that he resided here. Thomas also is credited with one share. (Town Records, 84.) It is probable that all of John's property went to Thomas by some blanket deed not recorded.] Shortly after the above date a John Harlock of Ratcliff in Stepney, Co. Middlesex, England, gentleman, was made the attorney for William Read of New England, mariner, on Oct. 2, 1691, and it is left to the reader to judge whether the Stepney John Harlock was the grandson of the old governor. [P. C. C. Fane, 173.] On May 24, 1707­8 Thomas (2d) Harlock sold property as "heir to his brother John," and this undoubtedly shows the previous decease of John. [Dukes Deeds, VI, 115.]

The real estate holdings of Thomas Harlock, Senior, besides the harbor or home lot, consisted of a ten­acre lot on the "line" and what was probably his "Dividend Lot" on the plain situated just south of Jones Hill.

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