Thomas Wallen/Walling

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought that I would share this interesting post about one of my first ancestors in the United States.

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Name Thomas Walling[1,2,3,4]
Born 1625-1630  [5]
Died 19 Jul 1674 Providence Plantations, Rhode Island, America Find all individuals with events at this location  [6]
Father Ralph Wallen, b. Abt 1590, England,,
Mother Joyce, b. Abt 1595, England,,
Spouse 1 Mary Abbott, b. 13 Dec 1629, Providence Plantations, Rhode Island, America
Married 1651 Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location
> 1. Thomas Walling, b. 8 Feb 1667, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island
2. Gershom Walling
3. Abigail Walling, b. 1677
> 4. James Walling, b. 8 Feb 1669, Providence Plantations, Rhode Island, America
Spouse 2 Margaret White
Married 19 Jun 1669 Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [1]
1. William Walling, b. 20 May 1670
2. John Walling, b. 20 May 1670
3. Cornelius Walling, b. 25 Oct 1672

  • Notes
    • All of the information in the following account is from Saxbe (see source below). Saxbe provides many additional details and quotations.
      That Thomas Wallen/Walling was the son of Ralph and Joyce Wallen is somewhat speculative. Saxbe says this is the most likely parentage because Joyce Wallen lived in Barnstable when she remarried after Ralph died, Ralph and Joyce’s daughter Mary lived in Barnstable with her husbands (1) John Ewer and (2) John Jenkins, and no contradictory evidence has been found.
      Thomas Walling appears in the court records of Plymouth colony in 1650 because he and a few other men stole a boat in Winter Harbor (in present-day Maine) and sailed to Barnstable, Plymouth Colony, along with two women leaving their husbands. Saxbe quotes this record, but I copied it from Neuzil (see source). “The fourth of Aprell, 1650. Tho Wallen, Richard Carle, Gorg Way, Katheren Warner, and Mary Mills were apprehended at Barnstable, in the jurisdiction of New Plym; and on the eight day of Aprell, aforsaid, they being examined before William Bradford, gent, Gouer, Willam Collyar, and Willam Thomas, gent, Assistants, confessed yt they, the said Tho Wallen, Richard Carle, & Gorge Way did healpe away Katheren Warner & Mary Mills, who were run away from theire husbands; and for yt purpose yt Richard Carle aforsaid did steale his fathers boat, which they came away in; it was therefore ordered by the Gouer & Assistants aboue mensioned, taht the aforsaid Gorg Way, Katheren Warner, & Mary Mills should bee sent from constabel to constable to the place from whence they came, wh is a place called Winter Harbor, near Richmans Iland to the eastward; and yt Tho Wallen & Richard Carle aforsaid bee comitted to ward; all which accordingly was forthwith pformed.”
      Thomas received land August 24, 1650 in Providence Plantations. Then, a letter dated February 22, 1650/51 from Roger Williams to “the town fathers” expresses reservations about Thomas’ character and concern about his imminent marriage to Mary Abbot “one of the Orphanes of our dead friend Dan”.
      Thomas proved to be a solid citizen in Providence in the 1650s, holding various significant positions (which Saxbe enumerates). However, in 1662 Thomas had left Providence, Mary, and a child, and his land and property were seized for Mary’s sustenance. Thomas returned to Providence by October 1663, and he bought land in 1663, 1664, 1665, and 1666.
      In October 1664, Thomas was fined 40 shillings for fornication with a woman named Ann Smith.
      In October 1666, Thomas was found guilty of assault on Robert Colwell and paid a bond of 20 pounds, but he failed to appear in court and forfeited his bond. It turned out that he had run away with Colwell’s wife Margaret White, whom Colwell subsequently divorced.
      In April 1668, Thomas was a partner in Edward Inman’s purchase of 2000 acres of land from “the Indians” in the area that is now North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
      In May 1668, George Way (Gorg Way in the Plymouth court record above), and Thomas’ brother in law Daniel Abbott presented Thomas to the court of Providence for fornication with Margaret Colwell. He was sentenced to be “whipt with fifteene stripes in Newport, and a weeke after, the licke punishment in the Towne of providence and to pay Court Fees.”
      Mary Abbott died in early 1669, and Thomas married Margaret on June 19, 1669. Saxbe appends a short but juicy account of Margaret and her marriage to Daniel Abbott in 1678, four years after Thomas died on July 19 1674.
      Thomas’ will mentions Margaret, his four children with Mary Abbott, and his three children with Margaret.
      From Crane: “Thomas Walling (i), the immigrant ancestor of Nelson Walling, late of Millbury, Massachusetts, was born in England about 1630. He came to New England and made his home in the colony of Roger Williams at Providence. He was formally accepted as a townsman, July 28, 1651. He had been there for some months surely, because we find him mentioned in a letter dated January 22, 1651, as the lover of the girl he subsequently married. This letter was written by Roger Williams himself at Narragansett in the town of Providence. “I understand” he wrote ” that one of the orphans of our dead friend, Daniel Abbott, is likely (as she herself told me) to be disposed of in marriage. Tis true that she has now come to some years, but who knows not what need the poor maid hath of your fatherly care, counsel and direction. I would not disparage the young man (for I hear that he hath been laborious)” etc. He desires the town, however, to have some assurance that the young man “will forsake his former courses.” Whatever Williams meant by his courses is not told— probably some religious differences, from the fact that Walling evidently conformed later and was admitted a freeman in 1655. He became a man of prominence. As early as 1657 he was a commissioner and magistrate. In 1660 he was surveyor of highways in Providence. He sold a home share of land January 25, 1657, to Richard Pray, and he drew lot No. 72 in a division of land among the proprietors of Providence, February 19, 1665. He had a law suit with Thomas Olney, Jr., July 27, 1670. He died at Providence, Rhode Island, July 19, 1674. His will was dated July 19, 1674, and proved November 22, 1674, his wife Margaret being executor. He bequeathed his farm to his sons Thomas, John and William Walling; his house to William; other lands to sons James and Cornelius and remembered his daughter Abigail with a trifle. His widow, December 13, 1675, confirmed a deed of fifty acres of land sold by her late husband to Daniel Abbott. Mr. Walling married Mary Abbott, daughter of Daniel and Mary Abbott. Daniel was a friend of Roger Williams and Mary was the orphan mentioned in the letter quoted. Mr. Walling married (second), June 19, 1669, a few months after the death of his first wife, Margaret Colwell, daughter of Robert Colwell [This is apparently and error, as Robert is shown to be her husband in court documents, and she is named “Margaret White”], and . She married (second), December 25, 1678, Daniel Abbott. She died 1717. Children of Thomas and Mary Walling were : Thomas, married, 1695, Sarah Elwell and they had ten children; removed to Cohansey, New Jersey, but some of the family remained and descendants lived at Providence. Gershom, settled in Providence ; apprenticed very young to Nathaniel Mowry January 27, 1667. Abigail, died unmarried 1677. James, see forward. Children of Thomas and Margaret Walling were : William, born May 20, 1670. John, born May 20, 1670, died November II, 1694, unmarried : estate administered by his brother Thomas. Cornelius, born October 25, 1672.”

  • Sources
    1. [S151] Thomas Walling and His Way with Women, William B. Saxbe Jr., (The American Genealogist, April, 1998, pp.91 – 100.)
    2. [S152] Women in Plymouth Colony, 1633-1668, Anna Neuzil, Go to the Web Page
    3. [S270] Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts, Prepared under the Editorial Supervision of Ellery Bicknell Crane, (Vol. II New York, Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company 1907)
    4. [S269] Cookie Crumbs, Gregory Cooke, (Go to the Web Page“>Go to the website)
    5. [S63] U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2004.
    6. [S24] Rhode Island Deaths, 1630-1930 Rhode Island Vital Records. [database online] Orem, UT: Ancestry, Inc., 2000.


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3 Responses to “Thomas Wallen/Walling”

  1. Fran Wallen says:

    Amazing to read about these long ago possible relation.

  2. Richard Sears Walling says:

    Good day. I have been researching our line for many years, especially service in the American Revolution. If you would like more information, please feel free to email me. Best wishes.

  3. Brian says:

    I would like to know more, my grandfather was killed 1951 Korean War, great uncle killed in submarine near hoen song…
    Howard Keith Walling

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