About us

Who We Are

As might be expected of such a far-flung family, Scudders are found in every walk of life: business people, doctors, lawyers, educators, ministers, scientists, social workers, engineers, writers, store keepers, farmers, fishermen, and artists. Back in the 17th century there was even a Scudder suspected of piracy!
The descendants of the three Scudders who immigrated to Massachusetts in the 17th century have lived, served, worked and died in this country over the past 400 years. We share a proud common history, and the Scudder Association Foundation celebrates the accomplishments of Scudders past and present that inspire us to pursue our own good works.

About Us

Scudder Name

The 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.

According 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 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.

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.

Our Mission

The Scudder Association of America was organized and incorporated in New Jersey in 1911 “to erect, equip, maintain and extend a hospital or hospitals in India, to honor and perpetuate the missionary work begun in 1819 by Rev. John Scudder, M.D.” His descendants founded two hospitals and two high schools in south India which are still supported by the Scudder Association Foundation over 110 years later.

In 1912 The Scudder Association of America, was formed by the descendants of Thomas and John Scudder who immigrated from Kent, England in the 1630s to Massachusetts “in the belief that an Association founded on a bond of kinship would prove an inspiration to generation after generation of American Scudders and their descendants wherever living the world over.” In 1938 the two organizations were dissolved and incorporated as one organization: The Scudder Association, Inc.

Renamed in 2018, The Scudder Association Foundation, Inc. continues the original missions of supporting the medical and educational institutions founded in India by Scudders, providing Scudder Scholarships to institutions of higher learning in the United States and India and promoting kinship among Scudders worldwide.

Annual Meeting

Annual meetings when officers and directors are elected, are held either digitally or in person at family reunions. A family reunion and annual meeting is planned for October, 2024, near Scudder Falls, NJ. Keep posted for reunion events.

Nominate Your Alma Mater

Your Name (include maiden name)