About The Scudder Association Foundation

About The Scudder Association


If your name is Scudder, or if your parents, grandparents or ancestors were Scudders, or if you married into the family, you are a Scudder. As a Scudder, you are of an ancient and honorable lineage; a family originating in England, 3 of whose members emigrated to America early in the 17th century. Their descendants have lived, worked and died in this country over the past 380 years.

Down through the years, the outstanding characteristics of the Scudders have been their devotion to the public good, their religious dedication and their love of country.

Scudder Name

Scudder Stone copyThe origin of the name Scudder is unknown. But Scudders like to believe that their name comes from the nautical term “Scud” – to sail full speed before the wind”.

Therefore one who scuds is a Scudder.

Other possibilities include:

  • Scudder being a derivation from the Dutch, “Schutter”, shooter or marksman. Which may explain the 3 cannon balls on the crest.
  • Old English “Scutt”, which was an occupational name for a scout or spy. Also nickname for a swift runner.

Another less-likely definition is that the name derives from the Latin Scutari — shield bearer.

Patch_Edit origAccording to Burke’s General Armory, the coat-of-arms belonging to the Scudder Family is described as follows:

Gules on Fess or Three Pellets, in Chief as many Cinquefoils Argent.

Gules – or red denotes military fortitude and magnanimity. It is also the “Martry’s Color”.

Fess – A band, borne in the center of the shield; a military belt or girdle of honor.

Pellet – A Black Roundel, representing a cannon ball.

Chief – That which occupies the whole of the top and one-third of the total surface of the shield of arms. It, signifies dominion and authority. It has often been awarded for prudence and wisdom,as well as successful command in war.

The Scudder motto is “Nunquam Non Paratus” –  “Never Unprepared”.


The Scudder Association Foundation, one of America’s oldest philanthropic organizations, was founded in 1912 and incorporated in New York State, in 1938 as the Scudder Association, a non-profit corporation.

“Organized on Washington’s Birthday,1912, by descendants of the American pioneers, Thomas Scudder (Salem, Massachusetts, 1637) and John Scudder (Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1635).

It was founded “in the belief that the bond of kinship would prove strong enough to weld us into a powerful society, membership in which should be an inspiration to generation after generation of American Scudders and their descendants, wherever they may be found, the world over.

Over the years the Scudder Association’s mission has gone on to include financial support and assistance to the Scudder medical missions in Ranipet, India, and Vellore, India. Encouraging the spirit of service, the Scudder Association has long supported scholarships for those seeking careers in medicine, social services and spiritual guidance. The Association also promotes the research of our family history and the preservation of the family records.

The Foundation

” Supporting those in service to others”

The Scudder Association Foundation is an active and dedicated organization whose officers and directors are constantly working to broaden the scope of its activities, increase membership and supply members with information and data on their ancestry, in addition to supporting medical activities in India and the education of youth in America.

Crest edit.001

1913 Membership Card

The Scudder Association Foundation has a general membership in two categories, Regular Membership and Associate Membership. An elected board of 15 members with 1/3 elected each year for 3 year terms, and a number of officers and committees. The officers are the President, First and Second Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Family Historian, General Counsel, Vice President – Communications, and Vice President – Technology. The officers are elected for terms of 3 years. The standing committees are the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Education Grants Committee, the India and other Grants Committee, Family History Committee, Membership Committee, Technology Committee, Communications Committee, Nominating Committee, and Audit Committee.

Our association is open to all those who have an interest in the Scudder Family. We have a unique category of membership for those that can trace their lineage to three Scudders, Thomas, John and Elizabeth who came over from England in the 1600s. We not only welcome new members, we are actively seeking to expand our membership.

Annual Meeting

We have an annual meeting when officers and governors are elected. Our goal is to have in-person meetings every 2 years. The last meeting was held in Hull, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), on Oct 12 – 14,  2018. Read about the weekend events. Currently our reunion plans are on hold pending further development of Covid-19 public protocols.  We, as the rest of the world, look forward to the time when we may all gather together, again.




Who Are We?

We are people of all walks of life with different views and perspectives.

As might be expected of such a far-flung family, Scudders are found in every walk of life, although the professions predominate: farmers, fishermen ,soldiers, lawyers, ministers, social workers, doctors, sailors, engineers, writers, business men, scientists, educators, artists, storekeepers. Back in the 17th century there was even a Scudder suspected of piracy!

What we all share is a common history of extraordinary people. We are here to celebrate their accomplishments, as they inspire us to pursue our own good works.

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