John Thacher was married November 6, 1661, to Rebecca Winslow, of Marshfield, daughter of the first Josiah Winslow.
Family tradition furnishes a singular anecdote. On his return to Yarmouth with his bride and company, they stopped at the house of Colonel John Gorham, at Barnstable. [Note: Col. Gorham's wife was Desire Howland, daughter of John Howland of the Mayflower.] In a merry conversation with the newly married couple, an infant was introduced, about three weeks old, and it was observed to Mr. Thacher that she was born on such a night, he replied that it was the very night he was married; and, taking the child in his arms, presented to his bride, saying, "Here, my dear, is a little lady born on the same night that we were married. I wish you would kiss it, as I intend to have her for my second wife."
"I will, my dear," she replied, "to please you, but I hope it will be a long time before you have that pleasure!" so taking the babe she pressed it to her lips and gave it a kiss. This jesting prediction was eventually verified. Mr. Thacher's wife died, and the child, Lydia Gorham, arriving at mature age, actually because his wife, January 1, 1684, O. S. (January 11, 1685, N. S.)
Tradition also furnished the following anecdote concerning the manner of obtaining the second wife. After the death of his first wife, John, while riding in Barnstable, saw a horse belonging to his son Peter, tied to a tree in front of Colonel Gorham's residence, and as a thoughtful parent is inclined, he went in to see what his son was doing, and found that he had advanced considerably in a suit with Miss Lydia, whom the father had prophetically declared would be his second wife; and whether it was on account of that prophecy, or that he had had his attention called to the girl before, he took Peter aside and offered him ten pounds, old tenor, and a yoke of black steers, if he would resign his claims.
Tradition does not say whether Peter was an obedient son and accepted he offer, or whether the father succeeded in spite of his rival.
Source: Allen, D. W. Genealogy, and Biographical Sketches, of the Descendants of Thomas and Anthony Thacher, From Their Settlement in New England, June 4th, 1635. Vineland, NJ: Independent Printing House, 1872.