|Richard Le Gros Bisson (Bessom)||Sarah Gale|
|b. 1731 in Jersey Islands||b. 30 Mar 1735 in Marblehead|
|d. 4 Feb 1812 in Marblehead||d. 22 Jul 1812 in Marblehead|
|Thomas Lemaster||Jane Bessom|
|b. 1754 Jersey Islands, Great Britain||bp. 6 May 1756 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts|
|probate 28 Mar 1803 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts||d. 10 Feb 1828|
|Marriage||2 Jun 1778||Jane Bessom married Peter Sawins in Marblehead|
|Marriage||11 Dec 1781||Jane Bessom married Thomas Lenaster|
|Thomas bp. 6 Oct 1782 and d. bef. July 1784 in Marblehead|
|Thomas bp. 25 Jul 1784 m. 25 Dec 1821 Lydia Giles (bp. 5 Oct 1794 in Marblehead, d. 25 Apr 1881 in Salem); five children: 2 infants died young, Lydia G. Lemaster, Sarah E. Lemaster, and Unknown 3-yr-old; d. 6 Jan 1822 in Marblehead|
|Jane "Jenny " Lemaster b. 15 Jan 1786 m. in Marblehead 17 Oct 1819 in Marblehead William Hawkes (b. 17 Jul 1796 and d. 8 Nov 1860 in Marblehead); five children: Mary Jane, Elizabeth Sarah, Sarah Elizabeth, William, and Franklin Hawkes; d. 16 Nov 1856 in Marblehead|
|Mary Lemaster b. 11 Nov 1787 and died 1844-1845 in Marblehead|
|Polly Lemaster b. 13 Sep 1789 and died 25 Dec 1864 in Marblehead|
|Sarah Lemaster b. 4 Sep 1791 and died 3 Dec 1892 in Marblehead|
|George Lemaster b. 7 Jul 1793 in Marblehead; m. 1) 25 May 1823 in Marblehead Remember Bean (b. 20 Jan 1793 and d. 2 Oct 1823 in Marblehead), 2) 24 Aug 1825 in Marblehead Mary Oliver Martin (bp. 15 Dec 1799 and d. 17 Sep 1844 in Marblehead); six children: Unknown, Thomas, George, Mary Oliver, Sarah Jane, and Unknown Lemaster; d. 2 Nov 1878|
|Tabitha Lemaster b. 16 Feb 1800 and died 24 Oct 1827 in Marblehead; one child: Unknown Lemaster|
Thomas LeMaistre immigrated from the Jersey Isles and anglicized his name to "Lemaster."
Thomas LeMaster was an immigrant from Jersey. According to Jerseyheritage.org, "This surname is first recorded in Jersey in the Extentes of 1331 with the spelling Le Maestre, but the most widespread spelling is in recent times is Le Maistre. A large branch of this family is recorded in the mid-19th century in the parish of St Ouen, but other branches settled in other parishes including Grouville." One source places him as the son of George and Madeleine Hamon LeMaistre and born in St, Ouen in 1754. The same record shows he came to Marblehead and married Jane. A check of a list of LeMaistre baptisms in Jersey for George LeMaster and Madeleine Hamon yielded the following children:
Unfortunately, the dates do not match. The source above has him baptized 16 years before he was born according to the other source (shown in the Documents section) So either our Thomas' baptism is not listed or the date in the first record is incorrect.
As a further mystery, there is a marriage record for a Thomas LeMastyn (which is given as an alternate name for Lemaster, LeMastin, and Marston) to Tabitha Homan in Marblehead dated 19 Dec 1765. Her father was William Homan, and the administrators of his estate were Philip Ashton, son of the Philip kidnapped by Ed Lowe and great grandson of our direct ancestors John Ashton and his wife Susanah Foxwell, and Thomas Lemaster, spelled that way to begin with, then later as "Master." Our Thomas and Jane's youngest child was Tabitha. Is our Thomas related to the one who married Tabitha Homan or is that name a coincidence?
Jane Bessom, anglicized from Legros Bisson when her father Richard immigrated from Jersey, was married first to Peter Sawins. I can find no records for him other than their marriage. The Bessom (Besome) family is discussed on her grandfather's family group page. Peter Sawins died soon after their marriage because she married Thomas about 18 months later. Jane's mother was Sarah Gale, a member of the Gale and Dennis families, who were established very early in Marblehead.
Thomas Lemaster was a shoreman as stated in his probate administration. If the date of his birth is correct, he was a young man of 21 probably having recently arrived in Marblehead when he signed on to Capt. Francis Felton's company in 1775. Marbleheaders involved themselves early in the war, and its skilled mariners are recognized by military scholars as being the forerunners of the U.S. Navy. The schooner Hannah was the first armed vessel in the war, and is considered by many to be the vessel that made Marblehead the birthplace of the U.S. Navy. John Glover owned the little ship. He was, at the time, a long-time prominent Marblehead merchant and a colonel in Washington's army, garrisoned in Cambridge. He was also married to Hannah Gale, Jane's great aunt (her mother Sarah Gale Bessom's sister). Glover acted on direct orders from George Washington, who instructed the crew to seize "such Vessels as may be found on the High seas or elsewhere, bound inward and outward to or from Boston in the Service of the ministerial Army." Marblehead men ferried George Washington across the Delaware River for his attack on Trenton. Many who set out for war, however, did not return, leaving the town with 459 widows and 865 orphaned children in a population of less than 5,000.
Thomas Lemaster was released from service 31 Jul 1777, and he and Jane were married eleven months later. They started their married life in a somewhat changed Marblehead. Its economy had peaked just before the war as locally funded privateering vessels sought bounty from large European ships. After the war, a significant part of the economy and the population dwindled. Fishing was still the largest Marblehead industry, but Marblehead saw many new shops and ways of making a living increase as the community rebuilt. Over the next fourteen years,Thomas and Jane Bessom Lemaster had eight children. Their first son, Thomas, died as an infant, but the others grew to adulthood and were very much a part of this post-war Marblehead. Their two surviving sons, Thomas and George and their oldest sister, Jane "Jenny," all married and had children, But their four youngest daughters broke tradition and remained single. This may have been due to the short supply of eligible men after the war, or it may be a sign of an independent streak within the family. Thomas was short of 50 when he died only three years after his daughter Tabitha was born. At the age of 72, Jane Bessom Lemaster died when she fell down the steps and broke her neck.
The proof of relationship in this family is solidly circumstantial. The surname is unique, so the records found, the dates being logical, can be used to prove relationship. Various probate materials and the closeness of the siblings also adds proof. George's will specifically names his two surviving children (and even his daughter's husband).
The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.
The research on this family is complete. One question that remains is whether the other LeMaster Variations were related to our Thomas. The name "Tabitha" seems to be a clue.