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Male Bef 1589 - 1638  (> 48 years)

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  • Name Nicholas DANFORTH 
    Born Bef 1 May 1589  Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died Apr 1638  Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 1 May 1859  St. Michael's, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    AFN 577H-MP 

    • (1) May, John Joseph, Danforth Genealogy, Boston, MA: Charles H. Pope, 1902, pp. 1-6, 9, 11-12:

      NICHOLAS DANFORTH, the pioneer, is thus described by Rev. Cotton Mather, the famous scholar and writer, in his account of Rev. Samuel Danforth, as one of the celebrated ministers of the early days of Massachusetts:

      "Mr. N. Danforth; a gentleman of such estate and repute in the world that it cost him a considerable sum to escape the knighthood which K. Charles I. imposed on all of so much per annum; and of such figure and esteem in the church that he procured that famous lecture at Framlingham in Suffolk, where he had a fine mannour; which lecture was kept by Mr. Burroughs and many other noted ministers in their turn; to whom, especially to Mr. Shepard, he prov'd a Gaius, and especially when the Laudian fury scorched them. This person had three sons, whereof the second was our Samuel, born in September in the year 1626, and by the desire of his mother, who died three years after his birth, earnestly dedicated unto the 'schools of the prophets.' His father brought him to New England in the year 1634, and at his death, about four years after his arrival here, he committed this hopeful son of many prayers unto the paternal oversight of Mr. Shepherd, who proved a kind patron unto him." [Magnalia, II, 59].

      Investigations in the town and county to which the foregoing account points have been made at various times for a quarter of a century, and lately completed by the very accurate searcher, Miss Emma M. Walford, of London. The result is exceedingly gratifying. We discover the ancestry of our pioneer to the fourth generation in Framlingham, with notes of the good standing of the family. While his father and maternal grandfather are each styled "yeoman", the possession of wealth and exhibition of qualities that made the officer in town and church may well be supposed to have led the king to make the offer to Nicholas Danforth, which Mather describes. Although a sympathizer with the Puritan party at the time of his coming hither, we see that he had been in harmony with the "standing order" before. His help extended to ministers of the new movement would naturally lead to his being less acceptable at home and more inclined to migrate as they had done. We give here the chain of wills which show the descent of the immigrant. . . .


      Book 5, folio 280.

      On the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, 1512, I, William Dernford of Framlingham at the Castle make will, etc. To be buried in Churchyard of St. Michaels, Framlingham. Legacies for repairs of churches of Babyngham [Ravyngham] and Cranesford. Isabell my wife to have my tenement called Gerveys for life and 40 s. yearly out of my close or tenement called Lyncolnes. Powle [Paul] my son at age of 24 to have my said tenement called Lyncolnes. James my son at age of 24 to take profits of my land in Badyngham [Ravyngham] called Senglers; to him and his heirs. Reynold my son after death of my wife to have tenement called Gerveys; to him and heirs of his body; for default same to go to my daurs. Isabell & Eliz.

      Legacies to Johan Smyth, Margaret Walle & Isabell Ederych. Wife & John Ederych to be exors., & Sir Thomas Greveson supervisor.

      Witness: Sir Thomas Greveson.

      Proved 23 Oct. 1512.

      * * *

      Book 13, folio 259.

      13 Nov. 1538. I Paul Derneford of Framlingham. To be buried in ch. of Framlingham. Katheryne my wife to have tenement called Lyncolnes in F. until Nicholas my son be 21, & then he shall pay her 40 s. yearly & hold it to him according to will of William Derneford, my father; if he die Thomas my son to have the said tenement. My close called Beetis to be in occupation of my said wife until said Thomas be 21; if he die the same to go to Robert my son & his heirs; if he die, to Richard my son & his heirs. Mentions land called Battoftes, meadow called Brodewater & Metpetmedowe. Daurs. Isabell, Margaret, Agnes & Olive. Exors: Wife Katherine & brother James Derneford.

      Witnesses: John Lewoode, Wm. Nuttell, John Hoberd.

      Proved 18 Nov. 1538.

      * * *

      Book 30, folio 606.

      12 Nov. 1585. I Nicholas Derneford of Framlingham. To Alice my wife the half profits of my houses & grounds at Castell, except Baldinges Close & the house there; also 1 piece of free ground in Ufford. Son Thomas to have lease of Baldinges Close. Daurs. Anne, Margaret, Eliz., Olive Smalledge. Son in law William Smalledge. To Anne Derneford, dau. of my brother Robert 6s. 8d. To Anne Derneford dau. of my brother Richard 5s. Son Thomas to be exor. Brother Robert & bro. in law Wm. Jordon, supervisors.

      Witnesses: Thomas Riches, Anne Williams.

      Proved 17 Feby. 1585[-6].

      * * *

      Book 40, folio 69 b.

      17 July, 1603. I Allice Dranforth of Framlingham at the Castle, widow. Grandchildren: Roger & Wm. Smallhead, Robert Dranforth. Sons in law Thos. Bacon, Edmund Durrant, John Tokelove. To Mary & Jane my son's daurs. Daurs. Anne, Margery & Elizabeth. Son: Thomas. To Eliz. & Grace my son's maids, 2/

      Witnesses. Toby Sudbury, Edm. Durrant, John Ireland, Senr.

      * * *

      Arch. Suff. Original Wills, No. 67.

      Thomas Danforth of Framlingham at castrum, yeoman, 20 April, 1621; proved 7 Sep 1621. To my son Robert my best Bible & the desk that it lyeth on. Daughter Mary, daughter Jane. Land & 2 little houses called Bugles I bought of uncle Robert Danforth, deceased. Son Nicholas to be executor. John Powesse of Framlingham & Roger Smalett of Ike to be supervisors.

      * * *

      Consistory Court of Norwich, B. Borne, Book 28.

      Thomas Sudbury of Kelleshall, Suff. yeoman. 18 Feb. 1606. Proved 10 March, 1606. Wife Alice; nephew Tobie Sudbury. Lands & tenements in Bliborowe. Thomas son of Wm. Sudbury & John, brother of said Thomas. Lands &c. in Middleton. John & Wm. S., sons of brother John. Niece Amye, wife of Robert Appleyarde. Children of niece Susan, wife of Mr. Tofts, clerk, viz. Susan, John, Roger & Amye. Mary, Jane, Nicholas & Robert Danforth, children of Jane Danforth, deceased. Anthony Sudbury; Frances S. my niece; Robert Gooch. . . .

      * * *

      The parish registers of Framlingham (where the name is spelled Danforth, Danforthe, Danford, Danforde, Daneford, Darnford, Darneforde, Dampford, Dampforde, Dernford and Derneforth) show that Nicholas was one of the leading men, being a "church warden" in 1622 at least. We learn further from the History of the town (p. 176) that he was a member of the "Court Baron" or "Borough Leet Jury" in 1629. He was the son of Thomas and Jane (Sudbury) Danforth, baptized in F. "1 Mar. 1589." The marriage registers are wanting from 1615 to 1620, the period which included his wedding; the Baptismal registers give us merely the Christian name of his wife, "Elizabeth"; nor do any other documents yet discovered show her family name. The baptisms of the children are given below in due order. As the burial of "Elizabeth Darnford," "22 Feb. 1628 " corresponds to Mather's statement that she "died three years after his [Samuel's] birth," the list of children may be presumed to be complete. Thomas Danforth, father of Nicholas, married "24 Jany, 1585," Jane, daughter of Thomas Sudbury, of Kellshall, county Suffolk, and perhaps of his wife Alice who survived him; his will . . . made 18 Feb., proved 10 March, 1606, made bequests to the children of Jane, "deceased," she having died five years before. Thomas Danforth made his will 20 April, 1620; proved 7 Sept., 1621; making such mention of his children as to show conclusively the relationships in both families; Nicholas was executor.

      Mr. Nicholas Danforth is mentioned in the town records of Cambridge as a proprietor in 1635. He bought lands and houses of John White, John Taylcott, William Spencer, and Edward Stebbinge, and of Rev. Thomas Hooker, in October, 1635, and May, 1636, these gentlemen all having removed to Connecticut.

      One of the houses he thus purchased was described in the Proprietors' Records as follows:

      "One Dwelling house with outhouses gardens and backside and plantings ground aboute Three Ackers and halfe the land late of Antho: Couldbey southwest late of John Pratt southeast the highway to Wattertown northwest the highway to the windmill hill on the northeast."

      The historian of Cambridge states that he resided on what is now called Bow street, near Mount Auburn street.

      He was chosen a deputy or representative to the General Court in 1635. March 3, 1635-6, he was - with others - "deputed to sett out the bounds of the newe plantacon above Charles Ryver" [Concord]. The committee reported 13 April, 1636. In September following he was appointed to a similar duty, "to measure and sett the bounds of Roxberry"; and to "sett those between Dedham and Dorchester" 15 Nov. 1637. When the important committee to "take order for a colledge at Newetowne" was selected, 20 Nov. 1637, Mr. Danforth was one of those selected. Another land boundary was submitted to him with associates 6(1)1637-8. He was also one of the eleven men (one in a town), whom the Court by its vote 12 March, 1637-8, allowed "to sell wine & strong water," - "no man else to sell by retaile wthout license from the counsell." So great was the pressure upon the government to provide places where these articles could be bought, and so many the abuses of the retail traffic, that they sought to place the traffic in the hands of their first citizens.

      The records of the Court show that 2 May, 1638, another man was appointed to attend to the Dedham and Dorchester business "insteed of Mr. Damford who is dead"; a subsequent reference to the matter giving his name in better spelling - " Mr. Danforth."

      Soon after the beginning of the new year, 1638, namely in the second month, April, this brief, yet highly honorable career closed; the day of the month is not known; the record reads: "Nicholas Danford dyed (2??) 1638." No minute of the disposition of his estate remains in any other form than the statement in the Proprietors' Records, among the notes respecting lands purchased by Nathaniel Sparrowhauke of various persons that a certain parcel was "bought of the ffeoffees of Nicholas Danforth deceased." The entry is not dated. The son Thomas sold land in 1654, which he stated he "had inherited from his father, Nicholas Danforth." Cambridge documents do not supply a list of the pioneer's children. The wills of the sons Thomas and Samuel connect them, and Samuel mentions brothers Thomas and Jonathan; the latter, unfortunately, left no will. But of other children we have scant tokens, and cannot avoid a feeling of regret that the brothers failed to refer to their sisters in their wills or other documents. "Friend Capt. Andrew Belcher," says Thomas, with no hint of relationship; and Dea. Trowbridge is also called "friend."

      But the Rev. Jonathan Mitchell, in his church record, makes note that Andrew Belcher and Elizabeth, daughter of the late Nicholas Danforth, were married Oct. 1, 1639; and says that Anna, wife of Matthew Bridge, was also a daughter.

      "Lydia Damforth " is asserted by Hinman in his work on the founders of Connecticut, to have been the wife of William Beaman or Beamont of Saybrook, Conn.; but he gives no note of her family. Dr. Savage states squarely that she was a daughter of Nicholas of Cambridge; but gives no authority for the statement. The fact that "Lydia " is one of the children of "Nicholas and Elizabeth Danforthe" baptized at Framlingham, May 24,1625, is taken by some as evidence that she was the Connecticut bride. . . .

      The wife of our pioneer died, as we have seen, in the year 1628-9. The writer has no means of knowing from whence the supposition sprang that she was "Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. William Symmes, of Canterbury, England, and a sister of Rev. Zachariah Symmes, second minister of the church at Charlestown."

      The entire absence of allusions to relationship between men so prominent as the Danforths and Mr. Symmes in their own writings and the sketches of them written near their own time is strong ground for suspecting the error of the guess; and the distance of Kent from Suffolk also throws discredit upon the theory. But it is enough that we have her character so well indicated by Mather, who must have been in close relations to the grandsons of the lady; and her personality needs no name to support it; she lives in her children and children's children. Future explorations of wills and parish registers in old England may reveal, however, what we so much desire to know, her family history. In the will of Rev. John, grandson of Nicholas, we shall see a reference to an entailed estate in England.

      Children of Nicholas Danforth, the Immigrant, and his wife Elizabeth:

      i. ELIZABETH, baptized at Framlingham, Eng., 3 Aug. 1619, married in Cambridge 1 Oct. 1639, Andrew Belcher, "mariner," "trader," "vintner," "painter," who was at that time a proprietor at Sudbury. He gave his age 7 (2) 1658, as 44 years. He removed in 1645 (at least he then sold his house in Sudbury) and made his home in Cambridge. Here he kept the "Blue Anchor" tavern, which stood at the N.E. corner of Brighton and Mount Auburn streets; it was afterwards kept by his widow, and from her death by their son Andrew. He was a member of the church, a member of the artillery company. He was licensed by the Court in June, 1654, to keep a house of publique entertainment in Cambridge. He died in 1673; the inventory of his estate being taken Dec. 25 of that year, and adminstration granted to the widow Elizabeth. She died June 26,1680, aged about 61. Her will, dated 10 June, probated 8 July, 1680, bequeathed to daughters Elizabeth Blower, Martha Remington, and Hannah Ballard; to the daughters of deceased daughter Jemimah Scull; and gave the remainder to her son Andrew Belcher. . . .

      ii. MARY ("Marie"), bapt. at Framlingham, Eng., 3 May, 1621.

      iii. ANNA, bapt. at Framlingham, Eng., 3 Sept., 1622; m about 1644, Matthew Bridge, of Cambridge; b. in Eng. about 1615 [Mi.] d. 28 Dec., 1700. He was a son of Dea. John Bridge, one of the founders of Cambridge; was a resident of Cambridge till about 1668, when he removed to what is now Lexington, where he became a leading citizen. Memb. Artillery Co. 1643. His wife survived him and d. 2 Dec., 1704. . . .

      iv. THOMAS, bapt. at Framlingham, Eng., 20 Nov., 1623.

      v. LYDIA, bapt. at Framlingham, Eng., 24 May, 1625.

      On the records of Saybrook, Conn., there is a page devoted to each of the early settlers, containing a list of his lands and also his family record. One of these, which seems to have been written by the proprietor, excepting its last item, relates to "William Beamon." We are not concerned particularly about his lands, of which he had a good share. But there is much interest in "the marig of will beamon" which is thus stated: "maried to [illegible handwriting] the 9th of desember in the yere 164" [the edge of the page has worn off so that the last figure is gone].

      Comparing the name of this bride with the other writing on the page one would naturally read it, Lidea dorford or dorsord. No one would think it danford, as it has been copied, were it not for two facts: first, that there is no name among the early settlers of New England which can be twisted into either of the forms I have stated; second, on a page a little earlier in the book one finds an entry respecting the name "Danforth Clark." whose cattle-marks are among the interpolated entries of a frugal clerk a century later, 1760-1770. Perhaps this entry led Hinman and others to interpret the bride's name "Danford." Lydia, eldest daughter of William and Lydia Beamon, m. (1) 3 Feb., 1667, Samuel Boyes; she m. (2) 15 April, 1684, Alexander Pygam, "from Norwich in old England" [Norwich Conn. record], as his second wife (his first wife was Judith, daughter of William Redfin. of N., formerly of Cambridge, Mass.). July 2, 1698, Andrew Belcher, of Boston (son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Danforth) Belcher, of Cambridge, who had married Sarah Gilbert, of Hartford, Conti.) gave a receipt to Mr. Pygam, calling him "cozen," which commonly meant nephew at that day. Lydia (Beamon) (Boyes) Pygam died July 20, 1734; and the N. E. Weekly Journal, of Boston, in recording the event, said, " she was the first female child born in Saybrook; her mother was a Danforth." [Adams Notes in Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 4th series, Vol. I.]

      Whence William Beamon came the records do not tell. He may be the person of that name who came from England to Boston in the Elizabeth, 15 April, 1627; resided in Salem in 1637; testified In court 25 (5) 1644 to an account of R. Saltonstall; but is no more found in Massachusetts records. We read in the Saybrook record: "Lydia Beamont, the wife of William Beamont, departed this life the 16th day of August, 1686." "William Beamont dyed the 4th of ffebruary, 1698-9." . . .

      vi. SAMUEL, bapt. at Framlingham, Eng., 17 Oct., 1626. . . .

      vii. JONATHAN, bapt. at Framlingham, Eng., 2 March, 1627-8.
    Person ID I21234  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 

    Father Thomas DANFORTH,   d. Bef 7 Sep 1621, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Jane SUDBURY,   d. Bef 21 Mar 1601, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 24 Jan 1585  Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F9382  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth (DANFORTH),   d. Bef 22 Feb 1629, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Lydia DANFORTH,   b. Bef 24 May 1625, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     2. Samuel DANFORTH,   b. Bef 17 Oct 1626, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Nov 1674  (Age > 48 years)  [natural]
     3. Jonathan DANFORTH,   b. Bef 2 Mar 1628, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 27 Oct 1712, Billerica, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 84 years)  [natural]
     4. Thomas DANFORTH,   b. Bef 20 Nov 1623, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Nov 1699, Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 75 years)  [natural]
     5. Elizabeth DANFORTH,   b. Bef 3 Aug 1619, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     6. Mary DANFORTH,   b. Bef 3 May 1621, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     7. Anna DANFORTH,   b. Bef 3 Sep 1622, Framlingham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 11:25:31 
    Family ID F9383  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart