Thomas Flindell I (circa 1735-1797)


The first records of Thomas, Alice and their family come from the Anglican Church at Manaccan, Cornwall and record their name as “Flindal”. Later records, and the Last Will and Testament of Thomas use “Flindell”. Flindell has been adopted for this genealogy.


I have not found any official record of the parents or siblings of either Thomas Flindal or Flindell, or Alice Williams.  Family lore has it that the parents of Thomas were Thomas and Mary and there was mention of a brother James, but not of any other siblings. Again, I have not been able to validate this. Their son, Thomas Flindell II, wrote that his paternal grandfather died in defence of Bonnie Prince Charlie (see The Flindell Name), but I have not been able to substantiate that. A small amount of credence was added to these tales with the following message posted on the Flindell Message Board at

“You indicated you have Joanna’s Will that mentions her brothers. Would one of them be a Thomas Flindell married to a Mary?? Our family tree starts at Thomas and Mary in Northaw, England with two sons Thomas (1734) and James (1739). We have nothing for Thomas or Mary and have searched church records in Hertfordshire in vain.”

Northaw is in northeast London. The grand children of Thomas and Alice (my great-great-grandfather and his siblings) and his siblings appeared to have a strong connection with this area, which leads me to believe there could be a connection. However, for the purpose of this study the first confirmed generation of our family began with Thomas Flindal who in the latter part of his recorded life adopted the spelling “Flindell”.

In the Beginning

I found Thomas Flindal in the parish records of a small Anglican Church at Manaccan, Cornwall where on December 10th, 1757 he was married to Alice Williams by the vicar, Rev Francis Carthew. The marriage entry described him as a sojourner; a tag that implies a temporary resident, which also seemingly absolved the parish of the expense of a burial in the event the person, died a pauper. The Banns of the marriage were published on November 13th, 20th and 27th.

Spelling variations were common at this time, possibly attributable to illiteracy. Indeed it was common to include reference to a person’s literacy in official records. The baptism records at the Manaccan parish church provide examples of spelling variations and refer to Alice, daughter of Thomas and Allice Frendeal and Phillip, son of Thomas and Aallis Frendal.

The Last Will and Testament of Thomas (below) uses “Flindell”.

The only other facts known about Thomas and Alice are that:

  • Thomas was a victualler
  • Thomas and Alice had seven children, one of whom was to become famous (or infamous) in his own right and appeared to inherit his father’s principles of privacy
  • Thomas died in October 1797 and
  • Alice on June 12th, 1817.

The children of Thomas and Alice were[1]:

  • John baptised February 11th, 1759. John appears in his father’s will, otherwise nothing else is known of him.
  • Alice baptised August 3rd, 1760. Married Patrick Reilly, a mariner, at Manaccan on July 23rd, 1781.
  • Elizabeth baptised March 23rd, 1762; married Henry Carter at Manaccan on April 3rd, 1786.
  • Sarah baptised October 16th, 1764 and subsequently married “beneath” her to Charles Smyth (Smith), also a mariner.
  • Thomas II born about 1767 at Helford, married Mary Brunton and died in Exeter on November 11th , 1824.
  • Phillip baptised January 14th, 1770, married Mary Plomer at Falmouth on August 11th, 1795. He was a shipwright in Flushing near Helston.
  • Jane baptised April 18th, 1773 and was buried at Manaccan on February 27th, 1780.

The Last Will and Testament of Thomas

In the name of God, Amen. I Thomas Flindell of the Parish of Manaccan in the County of Cornwall, being in perfect health and body, and of a sound mind and memory, Resigning my soul into the hands of Almighty God, in hopes of his mercy and forgiveness of all my sins thro’ the merits and intercessions of my most blessed Saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ, do by this my last Will and Testament give and dispose of my worldly Effects as follows:

First I give and bequeath to my son John Flindell one shilling to be paid at the end of one week after my death.

Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Alice one shilling to be paid at the end of one week after my death.

Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah one shilling to be paid at the end of one week after my death.

Lastly, all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estates, Goods and Chattels, and Effects, of whatsoever nature or kind, I give and bequeath to my Wife Alice Flindell, to my two sons Thomas and Phillip, and to my daughter Elizabeth and I do hereby make and constitute my said Wife Alice, and my said three children Thomas, Phillip and Elizabeth, joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament. And I do nominate and appoint Philip Elliot of the town of Falmouth Stationer and Printer a Trustee or Overseer, together with my Wife of this my last Will, and to have the administration of my goods, chattels, and effects, to the use of my said three children until they shall severally attain the age of twenty one years, at the same time my will and meaning is that, if the share of my effects which will belong to my Wife should not be sufficient to support her decently, she be maintained in a decent manner out of the rest of my effects during her natural life. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty first day of May one thousand seven hundred and eighty one

George Moore, Clerk Master, Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall proved the will on 17th October 1797. The estate was estimated at £150, a tidy sum for the time.

[1] From the Parish Register of Manaccan, Cornwall provided in March 1974 by the Reverend G. Frances Dow, Vicar, excluding Thomas II, and from IGI British Isles records.