Thomas Davenport, 1681–1745


Occupation

joiner; carpenter; house carpenter; chairmaker

Place of work

Newport, Rhode Island, Little Compton, Massachusetts

Place of birth

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Place of death

Newport, Rhode Island

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Biography

Thomas Davenport was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on December 10, 1681. His father was John Davenport (165–91729) and mother was Hannah (Warren) Davenport (1660–1729). His paternal grandparents were Thomas Davenport (died 1685) and Mary Davenport (died 1691). At a young age, Thomas removed to Little Compton, then in Massachusetts. His eight siblings were born in that town.

In 1704, Thomas Davenport married Catherine Woodworth (1673–1729). Their children were Eliphalet (1705–1786), Mary (born 1707), Ephraim (1708–1790), Deborah (born 1710), Hannah (born 1712), and Oliver (born 1714).

Thomas married his second wife, Mary Pitman of Newport, in 1737. Their children were Gideon (1738–1759) and Susanna (born 1740).(1) At the time of their marriage, Thomas moved to Newport where his wife came from a family of furniture makers.(2)

Thomas Davenport was dead by August, 1745 when his will was probated in Newport and Mary named executrix of his estate.(3) Though no furniture making tools are recorded in his inventory, he is identified as a Newport chairmaker in 1786 when his widow's heirs sold his land.(4)

BWC and PEK


1. Bennet F. Davenport, "The Davenport Family," The New-England Historical and Genealogical Register 33 no. 1 (1879): 26–27, 29.

2. Margaretta Lovell, " 'Such Furniture As Will be Most Profitable': The Business of Cabinetmaking in Eighteenth-Century Newport." Winterthur Portfolio 26 no. 1 (1991): 42.

3. Thomas Davenport will, August 6, 1745. Newport Town Council and Probate vol. 9, 95–96. City Hall, Newport, Rhode Island.

4. Susanna Davenport to Edward Murfey, deed, December 13, 1786, Newport Deeds vol. 4, 28–29. City Hall, Newport, Rhode Island.