Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal
Volume 5, no. 1 Winter 2023
This issue of the Journal focuses on Notable Ancestors and Descendants of Richard4 “Betts” Scudder that Pertain to All Three American Scudder Lines so there is something here for all Scudder descendants to discover. This issue has Puritan history about Richard4’s ancestors and American Revolutionary War history that features three of Richard “Betts” Scudder’s grandchildren, including his grandson-in-law John4 Hart, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The 250-year story of the Scudder family, from 1526 to 1776, can represent many colonial American families and progressively document the common peoples’ responses to sovereign oppression against rights of conscience, that, in due time, contributed to the rise of American Independence.
THEIR HERITAGE EXTENDS FROM ENGLAND TO MASSACHUSETTS TO NEW NETHERLAND–NEW YORK TO NEW JERSEY
John3 Scudder’s parents and Joanna2 Bett’s mother were teenagers when they immigrated to Massachusetts with their families and 20,000 Puritans who had left the tumult of their homeland. Their family’s story deserves preserving within its historical, family, social and religious contexts.
The Puritan movement in England, and its related Puritan migration to Massachusetts Bay Colony, were the impetus that brought Richard4 Scudder’s great-grandparents to Boston Harbor. Richard4’s parents, John3 Scudder and Joanna2 (Betts) Scudder, were the first generation in their families born in America.
The Rev. Henry1 Scudder was a highly renowned Puritan voice in his era, known for his widely read how-to-book about the rewards of living a Christian life every day and for his impeccable Christian character. Therefore, it is not surprising that he was among the first group called by Parliament to be in the Westminster Assembly of Divines who were tasked with reconciling differences between the religious factions during the English Civil Wars.
Two New England Immigrant Cousins Named John2 Scudder: Richard4 Betts Scudder’s Grandfather Was John2 Scudder of Salem, MA and Newtown, L.I., John2 Scudder (J) of Barnstable Was the Half-uncle of Richard4’s Mother, Joanna2 Betts
John3 Scudder II was born at Salem, Massachusetts in 1645. His parents were John2 Scudder (Thomas1 (T) and Mary2 King (William1), both of whom were teenagers when they arrived at Boston Harbor with their parents and siblings.
John3 Scudder II was in the first generation of both sides of his family to be born in America. John3 Scudder’s father, John2 Scudder I was a teenager when he immigrated with his father, Thomas1 Scudder (T), the immigrant ancestor of the Scudder (T) Line in America, and his wife Elizabeth ___? whose maiden name is not known. (Thomas (T)’s wife’s name is not Lowers or Somers as corrected by Scudder Association publications for over fifty years). John3 Scudder,
Richard4 Scudder was born 1670/71 in Maspeth Kills, one of several villages in the town of Newtown, Long Island, the son of John3 Scudder and Joanna2 Betts (Richard1). In 1691, he married Hannah Reeder, daughter of John Reeder and Joanna Burroughs of Newtown. Rev. Eli F. Cooley nicknamed him Richard “Betts” Scudder in Genealogy of Early Settlers of Trenton and Ewing, “Old Hunterdon County,” New Jersey.
Transcribed from a copy of the original obtained from the NJ State Archives: Probate File 354J.
This copy has Richard Scudder’s mark, witness and executor signatures, the Judge’s signature, and indications of seals. There is another hand copied version labeled Probate Recorded Vol 7 p. 443. Transcribed by Clive Connor on March 11, 2023. Original capitalization and spellings were used with corrections in brackets as needed for clarification.
There were at least eighteen grandchildren of Richard4 (Betts) Scudder and Hannah Reeder—9 girls and 9 boys. Most of the boys took active roles in the Revolutionary War and their service will be the subject of another article. Richard4 (Betts) Scudder’s oldest granddaughter was Deborah6, daughter of Richard5 II Scudder, and was born in 1721 in Hunterdon, NJ.
A Christmas Gift to You from Amos and Jedediah Scudder, et al. and the Miracle of The Battle of Trenton with No ‘Summer American Soldiers or Sunshine Patriots There!’
The American army was in precarious condition in Pennsylvania, just across the Delaware River from New Jersey. Its numbers were estimated to have dwindled from 30,000 in the summer to 3,000. Washington’s soldiers were not well furnished, having had to leave supplies as they fled New York
Deborah6 Scudder was born in 1721, Hunterdon Co., N.J. She is the only known child of Richard5 Scudder II, who died in 1731 when Deborah6 was age ten. (The name of Deborah6’s mother is unknown.) After her father’s death, Deborah6 apparently was raised by her grandfather, Richard4 (Betts) Scudder, in his home at Scudder’s Falls, Hopewell Twp, Hunterdon.
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I, JOHN HART of ——-Hopewell, in the County of Hunterdon, and in the State of New Jersey, being old and stricken in age, and labouring under infirmities of body, but of sound and perfect Mind and Memory,
Memorabilia for Scudder Falls, New Jersey from the Scudder Association Archives