Dickerman Ancestry, Additum for Thomas[1] Dickerman

Dickerman Ancestry, Additum for Thomas (___-1657)

 by David Allen Lower  (issue December 2013)



 The “Dickerman Ancestry“, an excellent genealogical work published in 1897, chronicled many of the descendents of Thomas Dickerman (___-1657), emigrant to Dorchester, Massachusetts from England about 1635. Recently discovered archives add substantially to the birth, marriage and family record of Thomas.

This additum to the Dickerman Ancestry indicates two wives taken by Thomas in England prior to his known wife and emigrant companion Ellen (1601-1676) variously Elenor (Whittington). We find his first child,  daughter Hannah (1622-1665), born of his first wife Elizabeth Sims (abt 1597-bef1623). We confirm his first son, Thomas Jr. (1623-1685), was born of his second wife, Marie Eustaire (abt 1600-bef 1631). The last three sons, Abraham (abt 1634-1711), Isaac (1637-____) and John (1644-d.young), are then seen to be born of Elenor (1601-1711).  Hannah, not mentioned in the Dickerman Ancestry, is found first at New Haven, CT, married 1st to Captain William Ives and 2nd to Dr. William Bassett. These revelations begin to untangle a multitude of improper notations in the greater genealogical database with respect to Thomas Dickerman and his family.

Further evidence is put forward that while Thomas Dickerman was “of St. Georges Parish, Southwark, Surrey” (stated by Banks), he was married 1st (1613) at St. Georges, married 2nd (1622) and son Thomas christened (1623) at Saint Clement Danes, London (across London Bridge from St. Georges), and married 3rd at Little Missendon (1631), Buckinghamshire. He is likely the son of George Dickerman (____-abt 1615) “of Marston Morteyne, Bedfordshire”, and may have had a younger “brother” Abraham living in St. Georges, Southwark about 1620. Also, Thomas Dickerman may have been christened at the Mears Shelby School, Norwich, Norfolkshire, in 1605.

Insert- Little Missendon Marriages - pg 1 Insert- Little Missendon Marriages - pg 2


The full text of this Additum is available in PDF format here:




Origins of Thomas[1] Dickerman – Part II

Following up on my last post, I came across the Ives Family History Blog and an article written by David Allen Lower dated August 8, 2007. Blog owner and administrator Bill Ives has spent countless hours and many years tracing the family history of Williams Ives and his descendants.  A classic internet “rumor” is that Hannah Dickerman, the eldest daughter of Thomas1 Dickerman, was the wife of William Ives.  Bill takes issue with this supposition in this post:


Interestingly, Hannah was never listed in the Dickerman Genealogy by E.D. Dickerman.   It is likely that Edward was simply unaware of any records relating to Hannah, as she was older than Thomas2 and the younger brothers.  Several current researchers agree with Bill Ives that the wife of Williams Ives, referred to in the original source documents as “Goodwife Ives”, was not in fact the daughter of Thomas and Ellen Dickerman.  He leaves the possibility open, however, with a reference to the research and report of David Allen Lower.

After reading David’s two-part report with excellent source references, this author agrees that it seems Thomas1 Dickerman had actually married twice prior to his marriage to Elenor Whittington.  The full text can be reviewed here:


and Part 2 here:


To summarize, David states that Thomas Dickerman married Elizabeth Simms in the St. George the Martyr’s parish in Southwark,  England on 14 Jun 1613.   Later, in the Saint Clement Danes parish of London there was an entry of marriage on 2 Nov 1622 between Thomas Dickerman and Marie Eustaire or Eustice.  Finally the marriage to Elenor Whittington on 20 Oct 1631 in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England as originally reported by Col. Charles E. Banks is also mentioned.

David suggests that because the surname Dickerman was unique at the time and because of the proximity to London, these three marriages are all of the same Thomas Dickerman – the Thomas Dickerman born about 1597 and our original immigrant ancestor referred in the Dickerman Genealogy as Thomas1.

In the interest of adding some clarity to this mystery, I spoke to David Allen Lower today by telephone.  He revealed that he personally inspected the parchment at Aylesbury for the marriage of Thomas and Elenor and confirms, without question, its authenticity.  David has a photocopy of the original document in his personal library.

Working on the assumption that David is correct regarding the first two marriages, we find that the Dickerman descendants in America may have two or possibly even three maternal lines.  Descendants of Thomas2 , who was born about 1623, would likely be descended from Marie Eustaire while the living descendants of Abraham2 and Isaac2 , both born after 1631, would be descended from Hannah Whittington.  Abraham was born in 1634 in England and Isaac in 1636/1637 in Dorchester.  Another son, John2 Dickerman was born in 1644 in Dorchester but died young without having children.

What about Hannah2 Dickerman, purported to have been born in 1622?  As noted above, there is some controversy about Hannah possibly being the wife of William Ives and after his death, the wife of William Bassett.  If the 1622 date of birth is to be believed, she may have been the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Simms, prior to the marriage of Thomas and Marie Eustaire.  Certainly more research needs to be done.  This author offers no opinion as to the Dickerman and Ives/Bassett controversy, but will refer the reader to the sites referenced below.


The author is descended from the elder Thomas2 and his mother Marie (Eustaire) Dickerman, while David Allen Lower is descended from Abraham2 and his mother Hannah (Whittington) Dickerman.

David’s pedigree from Thomas1 is shown here:

David Allen Lower11, Mary Nell10 Dickerman (Javens), Emma9 Dickerman, Elford8 Dickerman, Edward7, Jonathan6, Johnathan5, Jonathan4, Isaac3, Abraham2, Thomas1.

And, due to the marriage of Edward7 Dickerman to Laura Hotchkiss7, daughter of Elias Hotchkiss and Esther6 Dickerman, also here:

David Allen Lower11, Mary Nell10 Dickerman (Javens), Emma9 Dickerman, Elford8 Dickerman, Laura Hotchkiss7, Esther6 (Dickerman) Hotchkiss, James5 Dickerman, Samuel4, Isaac3, Abraham2, Thomas1.

Many thanks to David for his efforts and exceptional documentation.  Thanks also to the tireless efforts of Bill Ives and his excellent weblog.  As additional source documentation is discovered and digitized, it will be made available on this site.



  1. Dickerman, Edward Dwight, & Dickerman, George Sherwood, Families of Dickerman Ancestry: Descendents of Thomas Dickerman. (Tuttle, Morehouse, & Taylor Press, 1897, updated 1922), Chapter 1, p. 385, 440.
  2. Ives Family History Blog – http://billives.typepad.com
  3. Report of David Allen Lower – http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/2007/08/dickerman-ances.html and http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/2007/08/dickerman-anc-1.html
  4. Ancestry.com website – http://boards.ancestrylibrary.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=40&p=surnames.dickerman
  5. Genealogy.com Forum – http://genforum.genealogy.com/dickerman/messages/17.html

Origins of Thomas[1] Dickerman

So who exactly was Thomas1 Dickerman and where did he come from?  Being the original immigrant ancestor for most living Dickerman’s in America, this is certainly a valid question.  There has been much speculation regarding the ancestry of both Thomas1 and his wife, Ellen, in writing and on the internet. DickermanBook

The Descendants of Thomas Dickerman, an Early Settler of Dorchester, Massachusetts (later renamed the Dickerman Genealogy) describes his life and migration to New England in as much detail as was known to author Edward Dwight7 Dickerman back in 1897 when he wrote the first edition.   Prior to E.D. Dickerman’s excellent work, Albert Dickerman provided a brief description in the History of the Guilford Branch of the Dickerman Family, dedicated on the last day of 1869.  Perhaps it was Donald L. Jacobus who first revealed the origins of Thomas1 and Ellen in The American Genealogist in July 1950.   However, even Jacobus admitted that the source of his information, the late Horace Dickerman, may have revealed his research as much as twenty years earlier.  Undoubtedly, the original records upon which all this research was based sat quietly in the court records and parish register in England for centuries.   It is likely, too, that there are writings of which this author has no knowledge whatsoever.

Albert8 Dickerman published a small pamphlet in 1869 entitled the History of the Guilford Branch of the Dickerman Family which was perhaps one of the earliest published genealogies of the Dickerman Family.  Born in 1840 and raised in Masonville, N.Y., Albert 8 attended school until he was 16 and moved with his family to Ohio a year later.  During the Civil War, Albert  served with the Ohio Infantry achieving the rank of First Lieutenant, twice declining promotions to Captain.  After the war, he moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, where he became a lawyer and judge.  It was during this time that  he published the Guilford pamphlet.  Later, he moved to Muskegon, Michigan and finally to Watsonville, California.  Whether he knew or corresponded with his cousin, Edward Henry9 Dickerman, who was born the same year and also lived in Michigan after the war, remains a mystery.   In the pamphlet is this brief paragraph,

“Thomas Dickerman – Came from England in 1635, and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  The time and place of his birth are not known.  He was married after his arrival at Dorchester, to a woman whose Christian name was Ellen, but whose maiden name in full is not known.  He died at Dorchester in 1657, leaving two children, and after his death his widow married John Ballard, of Medfield, Massachusetts.  This is all that is known of the man from whom all the people of that name, in this country, are probably descended.”

Albert undoubtedly corresponded with E.D. Dickerman.   Edward7 gives credit for Albert’s early work in the Dickerman Genealogy book.  However, by the time of publication in 1897, Edward had much more to say about the origins of Thomas 1.   The entire Chapter I – Colonial Beginnings was devoted to the early New England origins and is an excellent read.  Edward describes the origins of Dorchester and the company of Rev. Richard Mather arriving from Bristol aboard the ship “James” in 1635.  Less than a year later, the newly organized church with an “especially prepared covenant” dated 23 June 1636 appears.  Among the earliest subscribers of that covenant was Thomas Dickerman.


  E.D. Dickerman concludes :

“It seems likely that he was of Mr. Mather’s company and came with him from England.  This is not proved, however; nor do we find any traces of his previous history.  The records of that period have been diligently searched, both in this country and in England, but without success.”

Edward Dwight Dickerman goes on to speculate as to the origins of the name itself, and suggests that it

“seems to indicate a German origin, being compounded of the two words bid or bider and mann, meaning stout man.  It belongs, also, to many German families at the present time; and several representatives of these families have been among the recent immigrants from that country to America.”

The 1922 edition of the Dickerman Genealogy, renamed and published by Edward Dwight’s brother George Sherwood7 Dickerman provides no additional information regarding the origins of Thomas 1 Dickerman.


The mystery remained.  This author first learned the name of George Dickerman, suspected  father of Thomas1 as a teenager while reading a typewritten manuscript authored by H.R. Carson.  Dr. Carson prepared his manuscript in 1950 and sent copies to family members throughout the country.  Somehow a copy landed in my childhood home, and I was fascinated immediately.  Dr. Carson writes:

“George Dickerman, of England, is the first name we have.  We do not know the name of his wife, the size of his family, or the place of his abode.  All we know is that he had a son, Thomas, who married in England, and came to America with Ellen, his wife, and his sons, Thomas 1623-1690 and Abram, 1634-1711.  Two sons were born in America, Isaac, 1637-1726 and John, 1744-?, who died young.”

Dr. Carson discusses his many meetings with Dickermans throughout the country. The names and addresses he obtained during his time may be helpful for researchers looking for additional information regarding their own lines.  The full manuscript is available for download here.

With the advent of the internet and especially the World Wide Web in the early 1990’s, online sources such as Ancestry.com became the most commonly referenced source for new information.   One researcher might reference a second, who then references a third, who referenced the first researcher in a round–robin fashion making much the published information dubious at best.   Indeed, for genealogy purposes, the World Wide Web can become very tangled.

I have hesitated putting too much stock in undocumented claims from the internet. For example, the wife of Thomas1 was claimed to be Elinor Whitington in various spellings by many researchers.  Those researchers providing source information generally referred to “Jacobus” as the original source of Ellen’s maiden name.  About a month ago, I finally decided to locate the source material and, after a trip to the Muskegon, Michigan genealogy library, we now happily provide the full reference in PDF format for all to read and understand.

Donald L. Jacobus

According to Wikipedia, Donald Lines Jacobus was “widely regarding among genealogists as the dean of American genealogy during his lifetime.”   Jacobus established the New Haven Genealogical Magazine in 1922, which became The American Genealogist ten years later.   In the July 1950 edition he published a brief entitled, “Dickerman Origin in England”.   In the two page brief, Jacobus describes how the late Horace Dickerman left with him a file, “to be kept in a private file and not divulged during his lifetime.”  The file provided information “obtained from the late Col. Charles E. Banks some clues to the original of the Dickerman family in England.”  Evidently, by 1950, Jacobus felt enough time had passed that he could publish the information. In the brief, Jacobus outlines several English Court records dated 1619 and 1620, describing the

“Pleading of Alice Dickerman, widow of George Dickerman, of Marston Morteyne, co. Bedford, deceased, cook, and Thomas Dickerman, their ‘Natural son’ (eldest). [‘Natural’ here means by nature or blood.] Thomas was an apprentice in London.  Sent £40 up to London to his brother Abraham, then and yet inhabiting in London, in trust for Thomas.”

Further, Jacobus provides from the Parish Register, Little Missenden, Bucks., this entry:

“Thomas Dickerman and Elinor Whittington married Oct. 20, 1631.”

And from the Parish Register, Amersham, Bucks:

“John Whittington and Margaret Hill married Oct. 12, 1601.”

Jacobus concludes:

“Interested descendants should not find it too difficult or costly, by having these clues followed in other English records, to obtain confirmatory data and to trace the line further back.”


Never having traveled to England, I have not had the opportunity to search the original documents.  However, cousin Jeffrey Frank12 Dickerman currently lives in London.  A message from Jeff received just a couple of days ago indicates he’s living ” less than a mile from Southwark Cathedral where some milestone events took place for Thomas and his family.  Looks like things have come full circle now.”