Thomas Prather 1
- Born: 26 Dec 1604, Eaton Water House, Wiltshire, England
- Marriage (1): Mary Kay Powell in 1627 in Virginia, (United States)
- Died: 1666, Elizabeth Citties (Elizabeth City), Norfolk, Virginia, (United States) at age 62
Another name for Thomas was Prater Thomas.
From http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:3143362&id=I631844412 :
Thomas Prater was born in Eaton Water, Wiltshire, England. When he was a young man, England was expanding its control and development of the Colonies in America. The King of England knew he could not hold control of his distant domain without the allegiance of his subjects that went there. So keeping with the fuedal system, he offered property to those "born of Gentry" that would go there to claim it. By doing this he knew that the younger children born to those who held power and/or property by the grace of the King in England would go to the Colonies to claim land for themselves. The younger children of "the gentry" of England generally had very little inheritance, due to the practice of giving the bulk of a father's property to the first born son in the family (along with any titles). Thus, the only way a younger son could gain title, position, or property was by marriage or by the grace of the King. This new offering of the King to give property to anyone born of gentry was well accepted by the young men of England who were looking to improve their chances for success and prosperity.
Thomas Prater, being born of Gentry, was one of those inticed to come to America. He had relatives who had already made the long trip to America. John Powell was such a person. Thomas Prater, being under age, indentured himself to his cousin, John Powell, and gained passage to America where he worked with John Powell for five years before getting married to Mary at which time he received his property (Virginia).
Thomas Prater was only 18 years old when he came to the Colonies. It must have been quite an adventure for such a young man born and raised on a manorial estate in Northern Wiltshire to board a ship to a new land. He must have experienced many hardships. It could be compared today with boarding a rocket ship to fly to a new settlement on the Moon.
He came on board the ship 'Marie Providence' which landed at Elizabeth Citties, VA (near what is now Newport News). His name is recorded in various spellings (Prater, Prether, Prator, Prather), but Prather is used more often in the Colonies, while Prater was used in England. He came to the Colonies in 1622 from the Latton / Eaton Water Estates, on the Cricklade, Wiltshire, England. Thomas was one of three brothers who came to the Colonies between 1620 and 1623.
Noted events in his life were:
• Immigration, 1622, Elizabeth Citties (Elizabeth City), Norfolk, Virginia, (United States).
Thomas married Mary Kay Powell in 1627 in Virginia, (United States). (Mary Kay Powell was born in 1608.)