An American Family History

Bridget Muskett Fiske Rix

Surgeons in colonial America were often barbers who used their cutting tools to perform surgery.
Physicians were university trained.
Midwives assisted women in childbirth.

Bridget Muskett (Matchet) was from Pelham, England.

She married William Fiske in 1643 in Salem. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on William and Bridget Fiske. After William's death in 1653, she married Thomas Rix, of Salem, on November 3, 1661. Thomas was the son or Robert Rix. He was a barber and a surgeon.

Thomas and Bridget's son was Theophelus Rix (1665). Their life together is also described in the section on William and Bridget Fiske.

Children of William Fiske (Fisk)
and Bridget Muskett
  • Deacon William Fiske
  • Samuel Fiske
  • Joseph Fiske
  • Benjamin Fiske
  • Martha Fiske
  • Bridget Muskett
    and Thomas Rix
  • Theophilus Rix
  • Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.



    from Historic Homes and Institutions by Ellery Bicknell Crane

    William Fiske. . .married 1643, at Salem, Massachusetts, Bridget -Muskett, of Pelham, England. After his death she married, November 3, 1661, Thomas Rix, of Salem, surgeon.


    .from Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago

    Thomas [Rix], son of Robert Rix, was born 1622, at Canninghall, and was in Salem, Massachusetts, as early as 1649. He was a barber surgeon, and spent his last days with his son James in Old Preston, Connecticut, where he died October 30, 1718. He was buried in the "Rixtown Cemetery" in Old Preston.

    He was married (first) to Margaret, widow of Miles Ward, who died May 24, 1660. He was married (second) September 3, 1661, to Bridget (Musket), a native of Pelham, England, then the widow of William Fiske. She was the mother of his youngest child. His children included: Remember, Sarah, Esther, Thomas, James and Theophelus.

    Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.

    New London County, Connecticut was one of four original Connecticut counties and was established on May 10, 1666, by an act of the Connecticut General Court.

    Thomas Rix, brother of William, was probably born in Canninghall, England. He was in Salem before 1649. The date of his coming here is unknown. His brother, William, speaks of Theophilus, son of my brother William.

    He married, first, Margaret, widow of Miles Ward. She died May 24, 1660, and he married, second, Sept. 3, 1661, Bridget Musket, born in Pelham, England. She was the widow of Hon. William Fisk, born in England about 1613.

    She had by him five children, and Sarah Rix of Salem was called mother to them. Mr. Rix was a barber surgeon, and lived in Salem, Mass. "Thomas Rix being indebted to the town, sold his house and shop to meet the debt."

    He afterwards lived near the lower end of Elm St. He bought lands in Rockingham County, N. H., in 1670, but sold them the next year. He probably went to Old Preston, Conn., where his son James went in 1703.

    In the New London County (Conn.), Historical Society's publication, Volume I, can be found the most remarkable diary extant by Joshua Hempstead, of New London, Conn. For forty-seven years nothing hardly escaped this man's observation, and which he recorded. This remarkable man was at once a farmer, surveyor, house and ship carpenter, attorney, stone cutter, sailor and trader. Being in want of a shipwright, he goes to Preston and engages Goodman Rix. In his diary he says: "Nov. 1st, 1718, I went to the funeral of Old Ricks who died last night." This must have been Thomas, the emigrant, and being called "Old Ricks" indicates he was the oldest Rix in Preston. In a deposition he says he was born in 1622.

    Children all Baptized in Salem
    i. Remember, bapt. Oct. 13, 1650.
    ii. Sarah bapt. June 29, 1651.
    iii. Ester, bapt. June 5, 1653. This name on the records is Hester.
    iv. Thomas, bapt. Aug. 26, 1655.
    v. James, bapt. Oct. 18, 1657.

    Child by second wife
    vi. Theophilus, bapt. Aug. 20, 1665.

    Goodman was a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble and Goodwife or Goody was the courtesy title for a married woman not of noble birth.