Thanks for making contact.
I have seen this claim numerous times on RootsWeb and other Genealogical sites. Unfortunately, it appears to have been given a high rating for accuracy - a claim I wish someone would get changed!
I have posted various messages about this line, and perhaps the best I can do for you is to quote an updated version of what I have said.
Numerous people on Ancestry Com and RootsWeb record the marriage of Thomas More, b.1538, to a Martha Brooks in their ‘Trees’.
Thomas More is said to have been the son of John More and Anne Cresacre and therefore one of the grandsons of Sir/Saint Thomas More.
Martha Brooks is usually said to have been born abt 1540, the daughter of Robert Brooke and Dorothy Gatacre.
During the ten years of my research into the descendants of Sir Thomas More (my book on the subject was published in April 2008) I have tried my best to find out when and where the story of this marriage started, but not one of the many people I have contacted have been able to offer any documentary evidence to back up the claim.
Most people who record it seem to have copied it from someone else (a practice that seems to go on endlessly) or from Ancestry.com or from the Mormon Family Search/IGI site which is not, without background documentation, an authoritative source, and which I have found to be seriously flawed in regard to the More family.
The only established/documented facts are:
Thomas More was born 2 July 1538. He was the second son with that first name in the family of John More and Anne Cresacre. Faced with the persecution of Catholics he conformed to the Church of England in which he became a Minister (Priest). However, there is no record of where he was ordained, where he lived, or where he ministered.
We know from his older brother's will that he married, but in spite of five hundred years of research by family genealogists, no one has been able to discover the name of his wife.
We also know from his brother's will that he had three children: Cyprian, Constantine and Thomas.
The information about Thomas' children was not recorded by anyone until I posted in on the Internet a few years ago, but since then it has been copied onto many pages and, in most, the name ‘William’ has conveniently been added to Thomas (the son) to make him ‘Thomas William’. A birth year has also been invented for him, based on a misreading of a message I sent to someone some years ago. There is no documentary evidence for this and, circumstantially, the first names Thomas William are unlikely as children in those days were baptized with only one first name.
Apart from being named in their uncle’s will there is no record of the children’s dates of birth. There is also no record of where they lived, who they married, or when they died.
Most people have, also conveniently, altered the second name of Thomas William from ‘More’ to ‘Moore’.
We know that Thomas (b.1538) was already dead when his brother made his will in 1606 because in it he is referred to as 'Decd.' but we don't know in which year he actually died. In spite of this some people still say he died in 1606.
Thomas William Moore is said to have married a Margaret Whale, and to have given rise to various lines. There are, however, no sources given for any of this information and I have not been able to discover any documentary evidence for it.
There also seems to be some confusion between the line from Thomas More (b.1538) and a More or Moore family from Southwold, Suffolk, England, some of whom emigrated to Massachusetts in the 1600s. There is, however, no known connection between the two lines.
Re: Martha Brooks:
She is said to have been the daughter of Robert Brooke (actually Sir Robert Brooke) and Dorothy Gatacre, and most seem to guess her date of birth as being abt. 1540.
Most people say Robert Brooke was born at Madley (or other variant spellings), Shropshire, when, in fact he was from Claverley, Shropshire, where he lies buried. He did not purchase Madeley Court(not 'Madley'or 'Medley'), Shropshire, until 1544.
Sir Robert and Dorothy did have a daughter, Martha Brooke (not Brooks), and anyone with documentary information about the family would know her date of baptism (in 1545) because in addition to the family pedigree, it is recorded on her father's tomb.
I have copies of a Pedigree and other information on the Brooke family from Shropshire Archives. I also have a copy of the Visitation of Shropshire, 1626, with a Pedigree based on information given by the family itself to Heralds of the College of Arms sent out to collect this information in that year. These pedigrees clearly record the marriage of Martha Brooke (daughter of Sir Robert Brooke and Margaret Gatacre) to Christopher Digon. No earlier or later marriage to a Thomas More is recorded.
I note some people have, after contact from me, changed Martha’s second name from to ‘Brooks’ to ‘Brooke’ and kept her ancestry. This, however is, as they say, ‘trying to have their cake and eat it’. More bluntly it is tinkering with facts to make them fit a pet theory!
As I have always said, there may, of course, have been a Thomas More of unknown date of birth (not 1538 as this comes from the Sir Thomas More connection) and of unknown origin, who married a Martha Brooks born c.1540, of unknown origin, who had a son Thomas William (and some also say a daughter Mary Jane) who adopted the second name ‘Moore’, and who gave rise to the various lines that are claimed. However, on the evidence available, there is no reason for anyone interested in genuine genealogy, to connect them with the family of Sir/Saint Thomas More or the family of Sir Robert Brooke.
I would welcome contact from anyone who knows better!
I am sorry I cannot be more positive, Tammy.
If I can help any more please feel free to contact me directly at my hotmail address.
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