A Little History

The Scudder Association mission is to promote a bond of kinship, furnish support to specific medical hospitals and schools in India; support other charitable religious and educational activities, and research and publish our family history.

The Inspiration
s1The Association began in support of the missionary work of Reverend John Scudder, MD. (September 3, 1793 – January 13, 1855) who founded the first Western Medical Mission in Asia in Ceylon and later became the first American medical missionary to be commissioned. In 1836 John Scudder and Reverend Myron Winslow started a mission at Madras expressly to publish the Christian bible in the Tamil language.

Scudder Association Beginnings
notes (1)1912, on Washington’s Birthday, a group of descendants of Thomas and John Scudder of Salem, Massachusetts, organized the Scudder Association. Their objective was “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.”

The Family Historians
Over the years, a dedicated group of family historians increased the knowledge about the Scudder descendants. These researchers include and are not limited to Ed Soper, Nita Baugh, Roberta Kloos, Georgia Whitson, Dorothy Vaughn Scudder, and Dick Scudder. They created an extensive Scudder genealogy. This Scudder family association later joined with the Scudder Memorial Association, formed in 1911 “to erect, equip and maintain a hospital … to honor and perpetuate the missionary work begun in 1819 by the Reverend John Scudder, MD, and carried on by his descendants.”

Scudder Genaology of Westfield NJ Branch-39 copyToday that effort is  expertly carried on by Margery Boyden, our Historian. If you have any Scudder related history questions Margery can be contacted at  Contact The Historian.

Scudder Association Grants
Isabelle Scudder Farrington (1888-1989) was responsible for the Scudder Association grants to education as a result of the sale of the Chevy Chase School for girls, the source of grant funding. Theodore (Ted) Townsend Scudder was the founder of the investment firm known for the Scudder family of funds. Scudder Investments, was acquired by Deutsche Bank from Zurich Financial Services in December 2001. Ted, a past president of The Scudder Association, joined the two Scudder organizations and incorporated the current Scudder Association in 1938 in New York State, as a non-profit corporation.

Scudder Lineage from Kent, England

Rev Henry ScudderThe Rev. Henry Scudder, listed in the Dictionary of National Biography, was a brother of Thomas Scudder who emigrated to New England with his Family in 1630’s.  Henry was granted an M.A. at Christ’s College, Cambridge. In 1633 he was presented by the King to the living of Collingbourne Ducis, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.  He held Presbyterian views and in June 1643 was summoned to the Westminster Assembly of Divines.

Our association includes persons who can trace their lineage to three Scudders who came from Kent, England in the 1600s.

Thomas Scudder who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts by 1632
John Scudder, nephew of Thomas, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1635
Elizabeth Scudder, niece of Thomas Scudder, who arrived prior to November 28, 1644, the date of her marriage to Samuel Lathrop in Barnstable, Massachusetts
Notable Scudders
The Scudders have a rich and honorable history.

Colonel Nathaniel Scudder MD, of Monmouth County, New Jersey, was the only delegate to the Continental Congress to die in battle in the American Revolution.
Reverend Dr. John Scudder, was one of the first American missionaries to India. He founded the Scudder Memorial Hospital and Nursing School in Ranipet, Vellore, India.
Reverend Dr. John and Harriet Scudder’s eight children who survived to adulthood all returned to India as missionaries. In fact, they are buried in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, India at the Scudder Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Ida Scudder, born in India and granddaughter of Dr. John Scudder. In 1899, she was one of the first female graduates of Cornell Medical and  female doctors to be licensed in the United States.  She returned to Vellore, India, where she started a hospital and medical school, in 1902.  Today the Vellore CMC Medical Center is the second largest medical facility in India, treating over 8,000 patient a day.

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