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Thomas Shannon of the Shoals

HUSBAND:
Thomas Shannon. [Ancestors].

Family tradition says Thomas Shannon, the immigrant, was born near Dublin, Ireland.

Family tradition also says he emigrated to America about 1722. If so, he would have probably been born at least by 1700.

The work by Hodgdon (S1) tells of a tradition, as related in a letter by Mrs. Libbey in November 1883 to R. C. Shannon (who wrote the prefact to Hodgdon book. R. C. Shannon says Mrs Libbey wrote:

Aunt Mary said to me the Summer she died in twenty-seven [1827] that Thomas Shannon was the one that come over from Dublin. After her death her Bible was in Uncle Nat's possession. One of their neighbors called to Uncle's and took the Bible for sport and carried it to his house. In the Bible was a letter from Seaborn Shannon from the West Indies, where he died. The letter was lost. Father and Uncle regretted it much. I think Aunt Mary was correct. (S1).

It appears that this family tradition is mixing the family history of Nathaniel Shannon, who had the son named Seaborn Shannon (in reality Nathaniel Shannon who married Abigail Vaughan), and Thomas Shannon. Though these two families may have been related in Ireland, in New England they are two separate and distinct families.

It is said that Thomas Shannon came from the Shoals (S5), a series of island about six to ten miles off the coast of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire dates its first European settlement from 1623. But explorers visited at least two decades before. Fisherman from Europe apparently inhabited the Isles of Shoals as early as 1600. (S8).

The earliest actual record found of Thomas is in 1726, when he is on the record signing a petition in New Castle, New Hampshire. (S1).

The next record of him that is found is that Thomas Shannon was taxed in New Castle, New Hampshire in 1728. (S1).

New Castle is the smallest town in New Hampshire, and is the only one located entirely on islands. The town covers approximately 500 acres and occupies an archipelago, consisting of one main island, called Great Island, and several smaller islands at the mouth of the Piscataqua River and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It was first settled in 1623, and was originally called Great Island. It was chartered in 1679 as a parish of Portsmouth. It was incorporated in 1693 and named New Castle after the fort. Until 1719 it included Rye, then called Sandy Beach. (S4). Rye was incorporated in 1726.

He is probably the Thomas Shannon who came from the Shoals, a series of islands about 10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. (S2,S3).

The first settlement in New Hampshire, originally named Pannaway, was established in 1623 at Odiorne's Point, which lies opposite from New Castle. Rye, New Hampshire lies further along the shore from Odiorne's Point. Prior to Rye's incorporation in 1726, it was as part of the parish of New Castle. Prior to this, Rye was called Sandy Beach and included land in New Castle, Portsmouth, Greenland and Hampton. The town of Rye includes four of the nine islands known as the Isles of Shoals, which lie approximately 10 miles (16 km) out from the mainland. (S4).

So here we have the area now known as Rye previously including areas of the New Castle islands as well as The Isle of Shoals.

It has been said (S6,S7) that Thomas Shannon married Mary Rand. This is said in reference to Thomas Shannon (junior) who married Anne Rand, and so it has been thought that this was an error giving the name Mary in stead of Anne. However, we raise here another possibility, that Thomas Shannon (senior) was the one who married Mary Rand, and the son Thomas Shannon (junior) did correctly marry Anne Rand.

Thomas Shannon appears as a resident of Rye beginning in 1747. (S1).

Thomas Shannon died on 31 May 1752 in Rye, Rockingham, New Hampshire. (S3).

Thus we believe this Thomas Shannon, the immigrant ancestor, is the father of Thomas Shannon who married Ann Rand in Rye, Rockingham County, New Hampshire on 31 MAY 1753. (S3).

WIFE:
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POSSIBLE CHILDREN of Thomas Shannon:
  1. Thomas Shannon. [Ancestors]. Born about 1725. He married Ann Rand on 31 MAY 1753 in Rye, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.


SOURCES:

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