The son of Evan Thomas of Swansea Wales, Philip lineally descends from Sir Rhys ap Thomas of Carew Castle, Knight of the Garter. He and his wife, the former Sarah Harrison, daughter of Godfrey Harrison Jr, were Quakers. In 1651, they immigrated to America along with three children.
On 19 Feb 1651, Philip received a patent of five hundred acres of land called "Beckely", situated on the west side of Chesapeake Bay, in consideration of which "he hath in the year 1651 transplanted himself, Sarah, his wife, Philip, Sarah and Elizabeth, his children, into our province."
Settling in Anne Arundel Co MD, Philip and Sarah had two more children and attended West River Friends Meeting House.
Children with Sarah:
1) Philip Thomas Jr, died without issue.
2) Sarah Thomas (d. 1675), m: John Mears.
3) Elizabeth Thomas (1651-1725), m1: Rev William Coale, m2: Edward Talbot.
4) Martha Thomas (b. 1653), m: Richard Arnold.
5) Rev Samuel Thomas (b. 1655), m: Mary Elizabeth Hutchins.
Later land purchases and grants included: "Thomas Towne" 1665, 100 acres; "Fullers Poynt" 1668, 300 acres; "The Planes" 1672, 200 aces; "Philip's Addition", and others. Fullers Poynt, located between the Severn and South rivers, is now known as Thomas Point, on which stands a lighthouse.
"Pedigrees of Thomas, Chew & Lawrance" had this to say about Philip: "A man of character and position, he acquired considerable influence in the affairs of the Colony, and became one of the leaders of the Puritan Party."
Philip made his Last Will 9 Sep 1674. It was probated on 10 Jul 1675. Philip had converted to the Quaker religion shortly before his death and his wife Sarah became a prominent member and possibly minister, of the Society of Friends. She died early in 1687.
After the death of Philip's wife Sarah, the estate was claimed by their son Samuel. However, Philip's son-in-law Edward Talbot, second husband of daughter Elizabeth, contested the will and Samuel's right to the entire estate. The West River Meeting of Friends was appealed to settle the dispute and they decided that although Samuel's mother had expressed a wish that Samuel should be her sole heir, she had not given legal effect to it. Eventually, the estate was equally divided amongst her several heirs.
Two houses in Bristol England were sold sometime before 13 Sep 1690, when John Talbot claimed an interest in the proceeds of the sale in the right of his wife, Sarah Mears, granddaughter of Philip Thomas, to the extent of £10 and £5, as her share of the whole landed estate."
"WILL OF PHILIP THOMAS, THE EMIGRANT.
Addressed 'For Mother Thomas at heer hous on ye Poynt.'
In ye name of God Amen, I Phillip Thomas of ye County of Annarundell In ye provence of Maryland being weake in body but of sound & perfect memory & being made sensible of ye uncertainty of this mortall Life & ye certainty of Death have Thought covenant to will & bequeath of my worldly Istate as folloeth in this my last will & testament.
I Bequeath my soull to my Redeemer & my Body to the dust from whence it came.
I will & bequeath unto my two Sonns Philip Thomas And Samll Thomas five hundred acrs of land lying att ye Clefts in Calvert County in ye foresaid Province of Maryland caled Beakely & ye same to bee equallie divided betwene them or to bee sold by them as my said suns shall think fitt.
I will & bequeath unto my beloved & faithful wife Sarah Thomas all ye poynt of Land called fullers-poynt being one hundred & twenty acars & lying in The County of Annarundell aforesaid to be disposed of or Imployed or sold for ye only use of & behoofe of my wife as shee shall think good.
I give & bequeath unto my said wife five hundred acars of Land called ye playns lying in puttapsco River in ye County of Baltemore in ye province of Maryland to be disposed Imployed for ye only (profit): (or) yous of my sd wife ass shee shall think good during her naturall life & after to bee delivered to my sun Samll as his posesion.
I give & bequeath unto my said wife, all my personall Estate, both moveable & immoveable, viz: goods marchandise plate money sarvants chattles Eaither In this province or Else whear except what before two my two suns & what after shall bee mentioned or disposed of by me.
I give & bequeath unto my sun Samll Thomas four Cowes or heaifers to bee delivered to him forth withafter my decese & one feather Bead.
I give and bequeath unto my Dafter Martha Thomas four Cows or heaifers to be delivered unto heer forth with after my descease & one feather bead.
I give & bequeath unto my grand Child Mary the Dafter of John Mears five Eues to be delivered to the Sd John Mears forth with after my desease to be kept by him for ye yous of ye said Mary.
I give & bequeath unto my two grandchildren Phillip and Elizabeth ye sun & Dafter of Wm Coale nine eues & one Rame to be delivered unto ye sd Wm Coale forth with after my Deseas for ye yous of ye sd Phillip & Elizabeth.
I give & bequeath unto my wife afore sd ye Rent Rents & Revenues of two houses yt I have in Bristol During her naturall Life and after to bee sould and the produce thear of to bee equally divided between my five Children viz Phillip Samll Sarah Elizabeth and Martha.
I give & bequeath unto ye Coman stock for the Relefe of pore frends Caled quakers four hundred pounds of tobacco to bee payd forth with after my deseas.
I will & declare my trew & loveing wife Sarah Thomas afore sd to bee my whle & sole Executrix of this my Last will & testament.
I will & desieir yt if itt shuld soe hapen yt aney difference or contravarsey shuld arise after my desease betwene aney of my children and my wife concarning ye primises aforesd yt then itt bee broght Before & a Judged of by ye body of frends Comonly Called quakers & what theay shall agree upon in that behalfe is by mee Rattefied & a Lowed of to stand in Law to all Intents & porposes.
I will & declare this to bee my last will & testement hereby Disanuling & making voyd all other wills or Testements by me formerly made In witness whearof I have here unto sett my hand & seal Dated this ninth day of ye seventh month Called September Anno 1674.
Signed Sealed & Delivered
in ye prst of us
John Ricke, Marmueduke Noble
Probated July 10th 1675"
"The Thomas Book", by Lawrence Buckley Thomas, 1896, Pg 27.
"Founders of Anne Arundel & Howard Counties, Maryland", by Joshua Dorsey Warfield, 1905, beginning Pg 46.
"Visitation" of London, Volume I, Pg 353.
Passenger & Immigration Lists Index 1500's-1900's, Pg 234.
"Genealogical & Memorial Encyclopedia, Maryland", by Richard Henry Spencer, Editor, 1919, Pg 95.
"Pedigrees of Thomas, Chew & Lawrance" and "The Thomas Book", both by Rev William Buckley Thomas, Wisconsin Historical Society, 1883.
Quaker Meeting Records 1681-1994
"Colonial Families of the United States of America", George Norbury Mackenzie, Editor, originally published 1912, Volume VII, beginning Pg 519.
Many kind thanks to Bonnie Jeanne, 9th Gr-Granddaughter of Philip and Sarah.