“Curiosity is what distinguishes us from the cabbages:”

110th Anniversary of Preserving and Sharing Scudder Family History

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By Margery Boyden, Scudder Association Foundation Historian, © Scudder Association Foundation, 2022

A group of Scudders, who with a sense for family history and a desire to celebrate Scudder traditions and values with camaraderie, started the original Scudder Association in 1912. Not only has this organization carried on our family ties and the Scudder family tradition of service, and expanded its philanthropic efforts, for 110 years Scudder Association members have been visionary in collecting and preserving Scudder family history and sharing family stories. As Rev. Henry Scudder said, “This writing and printing the lives of worthy men, is like the engravings with the point of a diamond, raising up for them an everlasting monument upon which the light of their Faith and good works, is made to shine before men…”[1]

Recently America lost its beloved historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning David McCullough, when he died on August 7, 2022, at the age of 89.[2] While educating us, McCullough did so much to bring America’s history to life. Many of McCullough’s words resonate with the same spirit with which Scudder historians and publications have preserved and shared Scudder history for 110 years.

[3]

McCullough’s voice will be familiar to most of you. Here are a few of David McCullough’s motivating gems for us to consider. This first one, a favorite, comes from a 2010 Family History conference held jointly by NGS, the National Genealogical Society and FamilySearch:

I feel that each book is a journey, an adventure, a hunt, a detective case, an experience, like setting afoot in another continent in which you’ve never traveled. That’s the joy of it. That’s the compulsion of it. And you’re fired by what we human beings are blessed with, called curiosity. It’s what, among other things, distinguishes us from the cabbages….

We are all shaped by other people, as was everyone who preceded us. And they were all influenced as we are by people we never knew because they lived long before we appeared on the scene…Nobody ever lived in the past. They lived in the present, but it was their present and if you really want to understand them, you have to understand their present, their time, their culture….

And we must never lose sight of them. We must not let a kind of creeping amnesia take over our country where we simply have no interest in who we are and where we came from.[4]

McCullough practiced what he preached about curiosity when he persuaded his audience:

Personality is often the determining factor in why things turn out the way they do…. If we love our country, it we love the blessings of a society that welcomes free speech, freedom of religion, and most important of all, freedom to think for ourselves—then surely, we ought to know how it came to be. Who was responsible? What did they do? How much did they contribute? How much did they suffer?[5] (Italics added.)

McCullough warns that knowing history is vital to avoid repeating history’s grim consequences that can flow from apathy or forgetfulness or propaganda. This admonition of McCullough to us is another way of saying that we do not have to be cabbages or to fall for others’ old mistakes:

We have to do several things. First. we have to know who we are and where we’re headed. This is essential. We have to value what our forebearers—and not just in the 18th century, but our own parents and grandparents—did for us, or we’re not going to take it very seriously, and it can slip away. If you don’t care about it—you’re going to lose it.[6]

The Scudder Association Foundation is making great effort to share our history and biographies with our readers while we work to overcome significant Scudder family history errors found on the Internet, especially about relationships in some of the earliest Scudder foundational generations in America. Scudder Association publications corrected some of these decades ago and we now add newer research discoveries. With McCullough’s thought-provoking words in mind, we invite you to be curious enough to check out our new format for our online journal. We hope you will enjoy this new format and utilize related documents and resources for members as we add them.

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Volume 4, no. 1 Spring 2022

Table of Contents

Scudder Research Led to New Perspectives about Samuel and Lydia Stewart:
Long Island Roots and Relationships for Stewart, Scudder, and Harrison, in New York,
Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina; and add Potter et al. in Delaware

Isaiah1 Harrison, Sr., the Enigmatic Blacksmith, and His Long Island Roots:
Why Was He at Smithtown in 1684, with Scudders from Huntington, Long Island,
Three Years before His Supposed Arrival in America?

Dr. John1 Stewart ‘s First Record in America at Oyster Bay, 1686, Finds Him with
Isaiah1Harrison, Sr.’s Future In-laws from the Wright and Townsend Families

The Cooper Joseph2 Ludlam, and the Blacksmith Isaiah1 Harrison, Engines of Commerce at Early Oyster
Bay, Had Early Ties to Scudders and to Dr. John1 Stewart, the Cooper

Elizabeth2 (Townsend) (Wright) Ludlam, the Cooper’s wife and Isaiah1 Harrison Sr.’s
Mother-in-law: Her Wide-ranging Long Island Extended Family Network, Scudders Included

Scudders of Ten Farms, Huntington in Disputed Territory on West Side of Nissequogue River,
and a Summary of Huntington’s Land Dispute with Richard1 Smith, Patentee of Smithtown

Like a Few Other “Traditions” about Isaiah1 Harrison’s Family Relationships, Speculation that Abigail,
2nd Wife of Isaiah1 Harrison, Sr. Was a “Smith” Is Contradicted by Long Island Sources

Why Did Isaiah and Abigail ___? Harrison Move from Oyster Bay to Smithtown in 1702?
The Hunt for Abigail among Isaiah, Sr.’s In-laws, including Scudder and Townsend Connections

The William1 Lawrence Family of Flushing. Did Isaiah1 Harrison’s In-laws Know Lawrences?
Isaiah1’s Contemporary, John1 Harrison of Flushing and Jamaica, L.I. and Oyster Bay

Samuel2 & Lydia Stewart of New York, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina:
A Sample of 100 Years of Collaborative and New Research Reviewed. Includes Y DNA Data

The First Record for Samuel2 Stewart Is the Will of His Father Dr. John1 Stewart/Stuart,
and His Will Confirms Samuel2 Stewart’s Long Island Roots

If you wish to submit an article to the Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal, please prepare in Microsoft Word and follow our new format and then contact historian@scudder.org

Cover image from a Painting by James Long Scudder, “The Homestead,” 1865, courtesy of the Huntington Historical Society.


  • [1] Henry Scudder, The Life and Death of Mr. William Whateley, Late Minister of the Word at Banbury in the County of Oxford, in William Whateley, Edward Leigh, Henry Scudder, Prototypes, or, The primarie precedent presidents out of the booke of Genesis shewing, the good and bad things they did and had practically applied to our information and reformation, (London, 1640), sig a. Scudder and Whateley were brothers-in-law since they married sisters. See their story in Margery Boyden, From Conscience to Liberty: Diverse Long Island Families in a Crucible that Gave Rise to Religious Freedom, 1526-1664, v. 1, Part A, (By the author, 2020), 54–94, https://scudder.org/product/from-conscience-to-liberty/. Electronic version coming soon in the Scudder Family Story 2022, https://scudder.org/product-category/books/.
  • [2] Daniel Lewis, “David McCullough, Best-Selling Explorer of America’s Past, Dies at 89,” The New York Times, August 8, 2022, ww.nytimes.com/2022/08/08/books/david-mccullough-dead.html.
    Neely Tucker, “Remembering Our Friend David McCullough,” Library of Congress Blog, August 8, 2022,
    https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2022/08/remembering-our-friend-david-mccullough/.
  • [3] Simon & Schuster, https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/David-McCullough/938
  • [4] David McCullough, “A Celebration of Family History, DVD,” UpFront with NGS, Blog for the National Genealogical Society, speech at the National Genealogical Society and FamilySearch Conference, 27 Oct 2010.
  • [5] David McCullough, “The Glorious Cause of America,” at Brigham Young University, Sept. 27, 2005, Provo, UT.
  • [6] David McCullough, “Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are,” at Hillsdale College, February 15, 2005, Phoenix, AZ. (Italics added.)


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