Glenn, Here are some more follow-up data about Hingham, Mass.I reviewed another book, History of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1893, in 3 volumes.The last two are genealogies of Hingham families from day one.There is only one paragraph on Thomas Chaffee (sic) because he moved from that town about 1642.In part, it says, “Thomas ...came to Hingham among the early settlers, and in 1637 drew a house-lot of two acres on Bachelor, now Main street...”It does not say where he came from.The “and” in the sentence is intriguing.It suggests to me that Thomas could have been in Hingham before 1637.Of course, I may just be reading something into it that is not there. There is a section in this book describing what a “Freeman” is.In the early history of the Colony (1630s), a freeman was a member of the church and only freemen could vote.He also took an oath of allegiance.This definition is different from what I have previously read; viz., a freeman was one who had paid off his passage debt and was eligible to own property. I looked up the genealogies for many of the names in the 1635-39 lists given in Lincoln’s 1827 book.Where stated, most of the families were clearly from Hingham, England.However, I found the following:
1. Thomas and Joseph Andrews came from Devonshire, England in 1635 or earlier. 2. Joseph Phippeny arrived 1635 from Weymouth or Melcombe Regis in Dorset County. 3. Thomas Loring arrived 1634 from Axminster County, in Devon. 4. John Otis was b. Devonshire in 1581 and emigrated to Hingham in 1635.
Conclusion: There were settlers in Hingham from the Devonshire area, perhaps friends or relatives of “our” Thomas.These data confirm that not everyone in Hingham Mass. was from Hingham, England, as we already suspected. Also, there were Clapps mentioned but no Thomas Clapp.Definitely a different family, I think.It may be significant that no Claffs were mentioned in this genealogy, perhaps reinforcing the theory that Claff and Chaffe were one and the same.
I also noted that several of the 1635-39 arrivals were made freemen within one year of arrival. Any comments appreciated.I will try to add to this dialogue as time permits. Maurice