Thomas Davenport, 1681–1745


Occupation

joiner; carpenter; house carpenter; chairmaker

Location

Newport, Rhode Island, Little Compton, Massachusetts

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Biography

Thomas Davenport was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1681. His father was John Davenport (1659–1729) 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)

Benjamin W. Colman and Patricia E. Kane

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

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

Thomas Davenport will, August 6, 1745,Newport Town Council and Probate, vol. 9, 1743-1750, pp. 95-96, microfilm no. 0944999, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.

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