Saturday, January 26, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Richardson of Woburn, Massachusetts


Samuel Richardson was executor of his father’s estate in 1634 in Hutchins, England and then came to America with his brother Thomas, to follow his brother Ezekiel who was already in Massachusetts.  He was granted a lot in Charlestown and became a member of the church there.  All three brothers were granted lots in 1638 in what is now Malden, Massachusetts.   In 1640 all three brothers, and others, were on a committee of seven to draw up the boundaries for a new settlement to be called “Charlestown Village”.  They all had new house lots next to each other on a road that became known as Richardson’s Row in what is now Woburn, Massachusetts.

Samuel was the richest man in Woburn in 1645, and became a selectman.   He left no will, but had deeded some land earlier in 1657 to his sister “Susanna  Richardson, now Brooks, during her lifetime and ten to my cousin [sic nephew] Theophilus Richardson”. 

Samuel’s son, Joseph Richardson (my 8x great grandfather), was in the Great Swamp Fight on 19 December 1675.  This was one of the great battles of the King Philip’s War against the Narragansett tribe.   It took place in a frozen swamp near the present day Kingston, Rhode Island, when the frozen water made an assault possible on a large native fortification.  It is thought that 300 native people died, and many families fled into the harsh environment to only die later of exposure.  It was a battle that changed the war in favor of the colonists and the Narragansett were eventually defeated when their sachem Canonchet was captured the next spring.  King Philip (also known as Metacomet) was killed in August 1676, ending the conflict.

Sources for researching the Richardsons of Woburn:

The Richardson Memorial by John Vinton, Brown Thurston & Co., Portland, Maine, 1876 and Samuel Richardson and Josiah Ellsworth. By Ruth Richardson Privately Published. 1974.   There are several sketches and articles about Samuel, Ezekiel and Thomas Richardson, and the English origins of Joanna (Thake) Richardson,  in the New England Historic Genealogical Society Register and in The Great Migration Begins, Volume III by Anderson.  For a complete list of these articles and sketches see pages 197 and 198 of New Englanders in the 1600s by Martin Hollick, NEHGS, 2012 expanded edition.

My Richardson genealogy:

Generation 1:  Samuel Richardson, baptized on 22 December  1602 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England, died 23 March 1658 in Woburn (the part now known as Winchester), Massachusetts; married on 18 October 1632 in Great Hormstead, England to Joanna Thake, daughter of William Thake and Joan Wood.  She was baptized on 2 February 1606 in Barkway, England and died 20 June 1666 in Woburn, Massachusetts.   Nine children.

Generation 2: Joseph Richardson, born on 27 July 1643 in Woburn, Massachusetts, died on 5 March 1717/18 in Woburn; married on 5 November 1666 in Woburn to Hannah Green, daughter of Thomas Greene and Elizabeth Lynde.  She was born on 7 February 1647 in Woburn, and died on 20 May 1721 in Norwich, Connecticut.

Generation 3: Mary Richardson, born 22 March 1669 in Woburn, died 23 October 1748 in Woburn; married first on 2 October 1688 in Woburn to James Fowle, son of James Fowle and Abigail Carter.  He was born 4 March 1667 in Woburn and died 19 March 1714 in Woburn. Then had twelve children.  Mary married second to Samuel Walker. 

Generation 4: Mary Fowle married James Simonds, Jr.
Generation 5: Caleb Simonds married Susanna Converse
Generation 6:  Ruth Simonds married Andrew Munroe
Generation 7: Luther Simonds Munroe married Olive Flint
Generation 8: Phebe Cross Munroe married Robert Wilson Wlkinson
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

My second Richardson lineage:

Generation 1: Thomas Richardson, born 14 May 1543 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England, died 7 January 1634 in Westmill; married on 24 August 1590 in Westmill to Katherine Duxford, daughter of Richard Duxford and Katherine Unknown.  Seven children:

1.       Elizabeth Richardson (my 9x great grandmother) born 12 January 1593,  in Westmill and died 22 June 1630 in Westmill, married on 1 May 1617 in Westmill to Francis Wyman as his first of three wives.  I descend from their first son, Francis Wyman (1617 – 1699) who married Abigail Reed and settled in Woburn, Massachusetts
2.       John Richardson, born about 1596
3.       James Richardson, born about 1600
4.       Samuel Richardson (see above) my 9x great grandfather
5.       Ezekiel Richardson, born about 1602, died 21 Oct 1647 in Woburn, Massachusetts
6.       Margaret Richardson, born about 1607
7.       Thomas Richardson, born 3 July 1608 in Westmill, died 28 August 1651 in Woburn

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Thanks, Heather. Once again, we are cousins - Thomas Jr had an oldest daughter, Mary, who married John Baldwin. They are my eighth-great-grandparents. Thanks for the reminder about using New Englanders in the 1600s. I have the new edition, and it's a good example of an affordable reference book that's very convenient to have at home.

    1. Lee Marlin SchneiderJanuary 27, 2013 at 7:46 AM

      Hello cousin!

  2. I have read your blog faithfully --imagine my surprise when you explored the Richardson family --I too link to the Richardson--Samuel is my 9th great grandfather--his son Stephen is my line--and the one that eventually settled in Eastern Townships in English Quebec after the Revolution. Thank you so much for your continued excellence and guiding light for me!


  3. Lee Marlin SchneiderJanuary 27, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    Thomas, Thomas, Nathaniel, Thomas(married into our shared Greene lines)Esther married Zebediah Johnson

  4. I never knew about this piece of history. Wow. The Great Swamp Fight in Dec 1675, a battle in King Philip's war against the Narragansett tribe. Looked it up on Wikipedia. Wonder why they named Metacomet "King Philip" -- an anti-Spain reference? The colonists were lucky that they had Native American allies. I remember you blogging earlier, about Indian raids.

  5. Glad I found your blog :)

    It seems we have some common family history :) I'm through Samuel's son Stephen. Strangely enough, I also have Francis Wyman in my family tree - his daughter with Abigail Reed married Stephen Richardson.

    I think you have two Thomas' mixed together here: "Generation 1: Thomas Richardson, born 14 May 1543 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England, died 7 January 1634 in Westmill; married on 24 August 1590 in Westmill to Katherine Duxford, daughter of Richard Duxford and Katherine Unknown."

    There are a bunch of Thomas Richardsons in this line, so it gets confusing. From what I can tell, (in my line) There is Samuel Richardson (1603 - 1658)that helped found Woburn, Mass. and was the first immigrant for my line on that side. His father was Thomas Richardson IV (1568 - 1633), who I believe was also a judge in England (still looking into that). His mother was Katherine Duxford (1569 - 1631). Sir Thomas' parents were Thomas Richardson III (1543 - 1600) and Margaret Silverside (1545 - 1615). Then Thomas Richardson II (1523 - ??) and Mary Champney (1523 - ??). Then Thomas Richardson I (1503 - 1563) and Mary de Bunbury de Beeston (1503 - 1584). And then Ralph Richardson and Jeanne Mychiell were his parents. That's as far back as I've been able to find.

  6. I am researching my ancestry and know that Samuel is my 10th? Great-Grandfather. Still working on all of the puzzle, but my father (Eugene D. Richardson) died last year and had met a man from Arkansas (where my Father's family was from) that had the tree back to the 1100's. I find genealogy fascinating as it opens the windows to yesterdays stories...Paul Richardson, Northeastern Pennsylvania

  7. I have just been researching this as well. This is great information. Michael E. Richardson, Richmond, VA

  8. You mention no will for Samuel Richardson. I have found one in the NEHGS database. It is dated 1658, and is signed by Joanna and Theophilus. Probate # 19115.

  9. Actually - now that I look at it, it appears to be an inventory taken at time of death (Samuel Richardson).