Especial interest attaches to this person, as a Trapp is one of the four legendary settlers before the coming of the Mayhews. The only Trapp positively known to have come to the Vineyard was Thomas Trapp, a late arrival (1659), who was born in 1634-5, according to his gravestone, and hence but a child at the time when alleged landing occurred. His choice of this place for a home was a natural one, probably because of the Burchards who were kinsmen of his and among the first settlers.1 The English home of Trapp is not known, although diligent search has located many of his name in various parishes of Essex, the county whence came the Brownings and Peases.2 A Thomas Trapp lived, married and had children in Great Baddow, 1639-1659, the home of John Pease,3 and our Thomas Trapp emigrated to New England in company with a husbandman of Purleigh, Essex, a parish only seven miles distant from Great Baddow.4 After his arrival in this country, in 1659, he evidently came directly to Great Harbor and established a residence in this town, for he was granted a ten-acre "lot on the line" in December of that year.5 This was north of Main street and west of Planting Field way, and he gradually increased his holdings in that vicinity northward to the pond which still bears his name. He also acquired land in the Great Swamp by purchase, and after 1670 shared in the division of the common land.6
He held numerous and important minor offices
in the town and county. He was marshal, water bailiff and crier in 1667;
juryman, 1679; deputy sheriff, 1694-1700; and town clerk, 1700 till his
death. This event occurred Oct. 15, 1719, in his 86th year, and he lies
buried in the old cemetery. The maiden name of his wife Mary is not known,
but by her he had at least nine children who grew to adult life, five sons
and four daughters.7 They
left a numerous prosperity, who lived on the paternal acres until about
1800, when the last of the name had migrated, mostly to Norwich and other
towns in Connecticut. The name is now extinct on the Vineyard, but is represented
in the Norton and Pease families through marriage of his daughter.
Are you descended from this family? Do you have additional information
that should be added to this page?
Comments? Questions? Corrections? Suggestions? Let us know: C. Baer and Jim.
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