Which Is Your Courageous Immigrant Ancestor?

John Scudder, b. 1618 or his sister Elizabeth Scudder, b. 1625 or

Their Uncle Thomas Scudder, 1587?

by Margery Boyden, Scudder Association Foundation Historian, v. 2.1, Spring 2020
© Scudder Association Foundation, All rights reserved

Travelers arrive in America [1] 


From the beginning of the history of the American Scudder family, one family trait stands out strong. Scudders are willing and able to do hard things to better their circumstances. The engine of this characteristic appears to be faith and hope and not being afraid of hardship, hard work, obstacles or serving needs of others—or else they would not have ventured. Early immigrants featured in this Spring 2020 issue of our journal are highlighted in yellow in this family diagram.

For more details, see previous journal articles for the common ancestor HenryA Scudder of Horton Kirby, Kent;[2]  also for Thomas Scudder1 (T) of Horton Kirby and Salem, MA;[3] also for Rev. Henry1 Scudder[4] who remained in England; and Thomas’s nephew and niece from Strood, Kent, England, John Scudder (J) and Elizabeth Scudder (E) who married Samuel Lathrop.[5]


One goal of this diagram is to emphasize that Thomas1 Scudder also had children named John2 and Elizabeth2, in addition to his having a nephew John2 (J) and a niece Elizabeth2 (E). These same named cousins were of near age so unfortunately some printed and online sources have mixed their data and identities. It is the Foundation’s hope that as we continue to memorialize the history of the Scudder family in America in our journal  that our efforts to replace errors in print and online with primary source record facts, will enable American Scudder descendants to more accurately compose their own histories. We will note within articles published to which of these 3 Scudder immigrant ancestor lines the subject of our article belongs. This should assist present-day Scudders to track where these courageous cousins, whose biographies we share, fit into the overall American family structure. A later issue will feature the family of Rev. Henry1 Scudder who remained in England. See his will. For now we concentrate on the family’s early presence in America.

Historical Perspective

The first Scudder to arrive in New England was 17-year-old[6] John2 Scudder, or John Scudder (J), as the Scudder Association Foundation refers to him because he is the immigrant ancestor of the Scudder (J) line. As documented by his appearance on the passenger list of the James, he arrived at Boston in late September of 1635. The list shows that young John2 traveled with the Thomas Ewer family, also of Strood, Kent, England. He was apparently a resilient lad, for by age 17, John2 had lost his father at about age 8, had left behind his native land and mother, Elizabeth1 (Stoughton) (Scudder) Chamberlayne (and Chamberlain), his sister Elizabeth2 Scudder (E), stepfather Rev. Robert Chamberlayne and his Chamberlayne/ Chamberlain half-siblings, Joanna2 and Samuel2.


Horton Kirby to Strood, Kent, Google Maps

Horton Kirby to Strood, Kent, Google Maps


As John2’s biography will suggest, he had Puritan beliefs with a moderate approach. John2 briefly settled at Charlestown, apparently with the Ewers. By 1640 he moved to Barnstable, Plymouth Colony. 


The diagram shows that in addition to the 3 who are considered to be the immigrant ancestors of the (J), (T) and (E) Scudder lines in America, there were 6 other Scudder family immigrants in early Massachusetts by 1637: Thomas1’s wife Elizabeth ___?, (not Lowers, not Somers), Thomas1’s 5 children William2, John2, Elizabeth2, Thomas2 and Henry2 Scudder. In the early 1640s Thomas’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth1 (Stoughton) (Scudder) Chamberlayne, who was the mother of Thomas1’s nephew John2 (J) and niece Elizabeth2 (E) is of record in New England, as is her daughter Elizabeth2 Scudder (E). It appears that after the death of Rev. Robert Chamberlayne, pastor of Strood, was buried at Strood on July 1, 1639, his widow immigrated with her daughter Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) and her two Chamberlain children, Joanna2 and Samuel2 Chamberlain, arriving in the early 1640s.[7] Elizabeth Scudder (E)’s Chamberlain half-siblings will be treated in more detail in future Journal articles. 

To support our opening claim that these were courageous and faith-filled people, David Cressy in his article, “The Vast and Furious Ocean: The Passage to Puritan New England,” suggests: “The journey tried their endurance and challenged their health. It also made manifest God’s power and mercy, which confirmed or expanded the Puritan providential view of the world.”[8]

Historian David Hackett Fischer in Albion’s Seed states, “When most of these emigrants explained their motive for coming to the New World, religion was mentioned not merely as their leading purpose. It was their only purpose.”[9] From these statements we can postulate about motives for immigration of the immigrant ancestors of the three American Scudder lines.


The Puritan Migration began in 1630 under the leadership of John1 Winthrop, funded by the Massachusetts Bay Company to provide a safe haven for Puritans in New England. The Winthrop Society claims, “These first settlers, numbering scarcely one thousand…were spurred on by a compelling need to pursue their religion free from the persecution of the Crown-Church of England. About one-third perished during or soon after their voyages, and may be considered peace-loving Christian martyrs for their faith.[10] Reports of 1630 arrivals range from 700 – 1000.


Arrival of the Winthrop Colony, by William F. Halsall

Arrival of the Winthrop Colony, by William F. Halsall[10]


Puritan immigrant passengers to New England in the 1630s–1640s dealt with inconveniences and hardships difficult for 21st century persons to appreciate—that is, until maybe 2020 with its trials from COVID-19 that remind how it feels to be constantly faced with many hazards, economic uncertainty, long periods of confinement, lack of supplies or favorite foods or scant food—and worries about catching a debilitating illness during long ocean crossings. If it wasn’t a small pox[12] or other epidemics onboard, it might at least entail dysentery or scurvy or hunger. Charles Edward  Banks states about the experience of Winthrop’s fleet of 11 ships to Boston in 1630: “What of the human beings tossed on the bosom of the ocean toward the unknown shores of New England and how did they fare? That they suffered hardships needs no recital. Death continually hovered in the wake of the flotilla and we are told that many of the passengers of the Success were nearly starved when they reached their destination….Death occurred as a not unexpected event in such a large party living under unfavorable conditions.”[13]


The Arbella-Gov. Winthrop’s Flagship, The Pioneers’ Village, Salem, Mass.

The Arbella-Gov. Winthrop’s Flagship, The Pioneers’ Village, Salem, Mass.[14]


Their ships were primarily freighters, not commodious passenger vessels. Passengers were packed together in the hold below deck and the ship also carried livestock and provisions for their new lives  in a wilderness. Banks reports the foodstuffs carried aboard John Winthrop’s Arbella in 1630 included salted beef, pork and fish, biscuits, some flour, oat-meal and butter. Their only vegetable was dried peas, spiced by mustard seed. This might be supplemented at times by deep-sea fishing, weather permitting, or small items the travelers brought to prepare for themselves. The Arbella carried 14 tons of drinking water, 42 tons of beer, some cider and vinegar for their twelve-week voyage.[15] Even with these provisions some nearly starved.


The Atlantic crossing was only the beginning of challenges. These passengers arrived at infant communities, only recently engaged in establishing infrastructure and producing essential crops. They arrived at a wilderness with land to clear, homes to build and crops to plant upon which their survival depended. There were ever-present wolves to threaten them, their children and their livestock and plenty of other hazards. Supply chains and medical care were primitive and institutions were in early stages of formation. These were not conditions for the faint-hearted.


When the youthful John2 Scudder (John1) first set foot in America in 1635, it is likely that Atlantic crossing conditions hadn’t improved much, if any, in the five years since John1 Winthrop brought his fleet to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. John2 Scudder had taken passage on the James on its second voyage of 1635 that left London in July with Master John May in command.[16] John2’s ship arrived about a month after the colonists were recovering from great devastation due to their first hurricane that remains to this day reported as one of the most destructive to ever hit New England.[17]


As the diagram shows, John2 Scudder (J) was grandson of HenryA Scudder, yeoman of Horton Kirby, Kent and son of John1 Scudder, who deceased by 1626 at Strood. His mother had remarried on April 30, 1627 to Rev. Robert Chamberlayne.[18] At that time his younger sister Elizabeth2 Scudder, christened on July 31, 1625,[19] was less than two years old.

Their uncle Thomas1 Scudder (T), arrived in Salem, Massachusetts two years later by December 1637. Thomas1 (T) was the middle son of HenryA Scudder of Horton Kirby, Kent and elder brother John2 (J)’s father John1 Scudder who died at Strood. Thomas1 Scudder brought his wife Elizabeth ___? whose surname is not known but she had been the victim of genealogy error for more than 100 years. They brought five children.

Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) arrived in America, probably near the end of the Puritan migration sometime after her stepfather Rev. Robert Chamberlayne was buried at Strood in 1639 and Elizabeth2 (E) and her Chamberlayne family is found on New England records in the early. 1640s. 

Articles in the 2020 issues of Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal focus on the immediate families of John (J), Thomas (T) and Elizabeth (E). Other courageous descendants discussed in this issue, who share the traits cited in the introductory paragraph of this article, are from the (T) Scudder line. Scudder family members, already introduced in our 2019 issues, from the (E) line and the (T) line are considered in the same favorable light. We hope these biographies of our ancestors will inspire within us similar hope, faith and resilience to meet the challenges that are occurring in these unprecedented times in which we now live.             

Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal, Spring 2020, volume 2, no. 1:

If Harriet’s Faith Could Tame Wild Tigers

Dr. John’s First Hospital in Ceylon—Hospital Island

The Early Life and Times of John Scudder (J), of Strood, Kent, England 1635 Immigrant to New England, Later Know as John Scudder of Barnstable”

The Trail of Clues to John Scudder of Barnstable’s English Identity: The 1635 Immigrant to New England Came from Strood, Kent, England”

Thomas Scudder (T), Immigrant Ancestor of the Scudder (T) line, Arrived Salem, 1637

Coming soon:

“Elizabeth Scudder (E), Immigrant Ancestress of the Scudder (E) line, Arrived Boston, 1640s”

“Miron Winslow’s Second Wife”

[1]   Image from James Otis, Ruth of Boston, a story of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, (New York: American Book Company, 1910), 139. New York Public Library, contributing library. Illustration commemorates Henry Vane’s arrival in 1636. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ruth_of_Boston;_a_story_of_the_Massachusetts_Bay_colony_(1910)_(14566301968).jpg.

[2] All pertinent background articles listed in this endnote 1 are from Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal, Scudder Association Foundation, 2019 issues:

Scudder Association Foundation Announces New Online Journal,” v. 1, no. 1, (April 2019), This article shows why there is a need to continue to refute with the facts many errors online and in print for the American Scudder family. This article repeats the history of corrections that have been published by the Scudder Association in the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s that unfortunately are still ignored by those who do not verify their work with primary source documents. See other pertinent articles that correct old mistakes:

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Time Again to Separate Scudder Facts from Fiction,v. 1, no. 1, (April 2019). This article contains “Correction #1” that documents the American Scudder family’s correct ancestral home in England Along with other articles in this issues, it gives the primary source evidence that the ancestral roots of the 3 original Scudder immigrant ancestors to America, 1635–1641, were from Horton Kirby, Kent, England from the late 1400s and not from Groton, Suffolk, England as some undocumented sources claim without any justification. As cited, no Scudders can be found of record in Suffolk, England until decades into the 1600s—too late to be of ancestral concern to American Scudders.

Our Story Begins with Henry Skudder (Scudder), Yeoman, of Horton Kirby, Kent,” v. 1, no. 1, (April 2019), 

The Three Sons of Henry Scudder, Yeoman of Horton Kirby, Kent: A Season of Political Upheaval with Effects on Life Circumstances of Each Son,” v. 1, no. 2, (June 2019).

Will of Rev. Henry Scudder of Collingbourne Ducis 1651,” v. 1, no. 2, (June 2019).

[3]Thomas Scudder Did Not Marry Elizabeth Lowers! She Was Another Man’s Wife! Correction #2,” Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal, Scudder Association Foundation, v. 1, no. 3, (December 2019). 

See also several Scudder Searches from v. I, no. 2, (Spring 1989) to v. V, no. 3, (Summer 1993).  These Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal articles are summarizing much of this material including sources, as well as adding previously unpublished data from its Scudder Association Archives Collection. 

[4] Rev. Henry Scudder’s family data will be given in a future issue of Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal but his will is at “Will of Rev. Henry Scudder of Collingbourne Ducis, 1651,” v. 1, no. 2, (June 2019) and the first article about Rev. Henry’s birth family, “The Three Sons of Henry Scudder Yeoman of Horton Kirby, Kent: A Season of Political Upheaval with Effects on Life Circumstances of Each Son,” v. 1, no. 2, (June 2019) .

[5] Previous articles in Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal, Scudder Association Foundation, that specifically mention Samuel2 and Elizabeth2 (Scudder) Lathrop (E) of the (E) line include:

Our Story Begins with Henry Skudder (Scudder), Yeoman, of Horton Kirby, Kent,” v. 1, no. 2, (April 2019), 

“Three Sons of Henry Scudder, Yeoman of Horton Kirby, Kent continued,” v. 1, no. 3, (December 2019)

Samuel Lathrop and Elizabeth (Scudder) Lathrop of Barnstable, New London and Norwich,” v. 1, no. 3, (December 2019);

Three Sons of Henry Scudder, Yeoman of Horton Kirby, Kent continued,v. 1, no. 3, (December 2019;

The American Lathrop Story Begins, v. 1, no. 3, (December 2019);

Who Was Joanna (Leffingwell) Lathrop, ‘Missionary Mother’ of the Other ‘Scudder’ Missionary Family to Ceylon? Who Was Deacon Charles Lathop?” v. 1, no. 3.

[6] John Scudder was christened May 24, 1618 at Strood, Kent, England, Strood, Kent Parish Register, Family History Library British film #004989818, at https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NRCF-RH4.

[7] See sources as cited in each biographical article.

[8] David Cressy, “The Vast and Furious Ocean: The Passage to Puritan New England,” The New England Quarterly, volume 57, no. 4 (December 1984): 511.

[9] David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed, Four British Folkways in America, (New York: Oxford University Press, (1989), 18.

[10] The Winthrop Society, https://www.winthropsociety.com.

[11] W. F. Halsall, Arrival of the Winthrop Fleet in Boston, from Eva March Tappan, An Elementary History of Our Country, (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1914), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Winthrop_Fleet.jpg. Public domain.

[12] Noble David Cook, Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492–1650, (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 196.

[13] Charles Edward Banks, The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, (Boston: 1930), 42–44, reproduced at Massachusetts Genealogy Trails, http://genealogytrails.com/mass/winthropfleet.html#5.

[14] “The Arbella-Gov. Winthrop’s Flagship, The Pioneers’ Village, Salem, Mass..jpg,”  Tichnor Brothers Inc., Boston, Mass., 1930, Boston Public Library, Print Department, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Arbella_–_Gov._Winthrop%27s_Flagship,_The_Pioneers%27_Village,_Salem,_Mass..jpg.

[15] Banks, 29–30.

[16] The James, second voyage of 1635, Master John May (July 1635),” WikiTree, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:James%2C_second_voyage_of_1635.

[17] “Remembering the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635,” New England Historical Society,” https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/remembering-the-great-colonial-hurricane-1635/.

[18] “Elizabeth Scudder in entry for Robert Chamberlayne, “England Marriages, 1538–1973,” FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NLHR-J68. This is Elizabeth (Stoughton) (Scudder).

Another entry in FamilySearch from a record found at Findmypast, https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/99141482?p=27096894&returnLabel=Elizabeth%20Stoughton%20(9C66-53J)&returnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.familysearch.org%2Ftree%2Fperson%2Fmemories%2F9C66-53J.

[19]Christening for Elizabeth Scudder, Strood, Kent Parish Register, British Film #004989818, Family History Library, at FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J74Y-9MW.


© Scudder Association Foundation, All rights reserved



  1. James Scott DeHaven

    My mother was the daughter of Wilbur Carl Scudder.

  2. Carol (Scudder) Girardin

    I am a Scudder; This was my maiden name. My father was Merrill Fredrick Scudder. His sister was Margery and younger brother was Stanley. At the turn of the century, about 1799 a young Scudder came with his 3 young children and wife to Palermo, New York. The buriel grounds for many are here. An early one was Leander Scudder to Maria Tinker. Most were dairy farmers which may have supported cheese factories thru the years. I would like to know which original Scudder this family came from, Thomas or John. Old story was Rhode Isle with wagon and oxen. Early marriage of I think Chappel in the 1799 or back 20-25 years came from Ostego county. Johns relatives in my searches seemed to hang in Cape Cod area or Conn. Thomas’ seemed more adventurous. My great grandfather, Frederick stayed in Palermo. His son, Leon went to Fulton NY, later to Mexico, NY and then Rochester, NY where the following generations all went. I was from Irondequoit in Rochester.

    scudder and younger brother was Samuel

    • Richard Scudder

      Hello Carol,
      You can check out this family line in Scudder ancestors in America website. Just register and start searching. I did find a Leander Scudder, born 27 June 1854, but not married to a Maria Tinker. You can also send an inquiry to the Genealogist, who may have more information for you. at Contact Genealogist
      Best regards,
      Rich Scudder
      Board Member

  3. Judy Morrison Tittle

    My mother was E Shirley Scudder. Her father was William C Scudder.

    • Richard Scudder

      Thank you, Judy for commenting on your family. We are glad you are reading our wonderful articles. Do you have your father’s middle name? I was looking in our database for him; however, we have quite a few William C’s.
      Best regards
      Rich Scudder
      Board Member


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