Samuel Scudder, b. 1643, Grandson of Thomas Scudder (T) by His Son John

by Clive K. Connor, Member of the Scudder Association Foundation

© Scudder Association Foundation,

 

Not much is known about Samuel3 Scudder, (known hereafter as Samuel I), oldest son of John2 and grandson of Thomas1 (T).  He does not appear in the baptismal records of the Salem Church so he must have been born about 1643 in Salem, Massachusetts because his younger brother John3 was born in 1645 according to his marriage record, and his parents joined the church in 1647. His three sisters baptismal records are after that date. (See article on John2 in this issue)

 As a child, Samuel I would have moved to Southold, Long Island, New York, with his family by 1652. He later moved with them to Huntington, NY in 1657 and then to Newtown, NY (now known as Maspeth) in 1659. His parents motivations for these moves were explored in another article in this issue.

 While at Newtown, Samuel I seems to have taken on the Quaker faith. We first learn of his Quaker faith when in 1673, at the age of about 30, he is one of four men who are identified as Quakers and he refuses to sign a loyalty oath after the Dutch take over from the English for a brief period.  Quakers, as part of their belief system, do not sign oaths or pledges. However, he did promise fealty. The other three included his younger brother, John Scudder Jun.[1]

 

[2]

By 1675, he had become an adherent of Thomas Case, an outspoken and almost cult-like leader of a group of Quakers in Newtown. According to Riker in his Annals of Newtown, Thomas Case set up a new sort of Quakerism.” Case supposedly said that he was God, later changing his statement to that he was of God.” Case would denounce those who differed in their beliefs from him; he condemned marriage; he led his followers in singing, in making odd noises and in a dancing quaking manner.[3] Case and his followers exhibited conduct which was meant to be a disturbance of the peace, a public scandal. Samuel Scudder I, along with Samuel Furman, were taken to court along with Thomas Case in June 1675 to answer for their public behavior.[4]

The court having taken into consideration the miscarriages of Samuel Scudder and Thomas Case, Quakers, by disturbing and seducing the people and inhabitants of this government, contrary to the peace of our sovereign lord, the king, do therefore order that they forthwith give security to the value of forty pounds each, before Mr. Justice Betts, for their good behaviour and appearance at the assizes.[5]

Samuel Scudder I, ironically, had to pay his fine to his sister-in-laws father, Justice Captain Richard Betts. In October 1675, Samuel is on trial again for writing a scandalous letter to the Reverend Leverich, in support of a protest by Mary Case. This time he had to pay 6 pounds or suffer 2 months imprisonment plus he needed to put up a bond of 20 pounds to ensure his future good behavior.[6] It is assumed that he paid the fines, rather than serve any time in jail. Although Thomas Case continued to be brought to trial in both Connecticut and New York, Samuel I seems to have broken ties with him.

 This second court appearance seems to be his last one, as he does not appear in any future court records, according to Riker. He need not have given up his Quaker faith, however, as Riker notes that a Quaker was appointed a town overseer in 1676 and that the staid and sober portion of that sect enjoyed equally with other men, the confidence and respect of the community.”[7]

 We next see Samuel Scudder I in town records when, on December13, 1680, his father, John2 Scudder Sen, turns over his whole estate to his son Samuel in exchange for Samuel agreeing to maintain his parents until the end of their lives.[8]

Transcription of estate transfer from John2 Scudder, Sr. to son Samuel3 Scudder I

from Town Minutes of Newtown[9]

 Samuel I is a member of the community by 1686 when he is mentioned in and signs various town documents and charters. Other names which appear in these documents include his brother John3, his second wife’s future second husband Robert Field, Jr., Justice Richard1 Betts, and even Thomas Case.[10]

 As for his family life, it seems that Samuel I was first married sometime before 1675 and had 2 sons. His oldest sons name is unknown, though Riker suggests that it is John, there is no other evidence.[11] The English naming tradition would support this since John is Samuel Is fathers name but without any other supporting evidence, we will continue to call this first son Unknown as designated by the Scudder Searches document. Unknown Scudder4 was born sometime between 1669 and 1674 and seems to have died shortly after marrying and producing two daughters. Samuel Is second son was named Samuel4 (henceforth called Samuel II) and was born about 1675, a date noted in his later marriage record. Samuel II went on to marry twice and had 4 children with his first wife.[12]

Riker mentions that in 1672, after the visit of “the distinguished George Fox,” Thomas Case “assumed the office of a preacher, and at his house at the Kills the faithful were wont to convene for worship. He ‘set up a new sort of Quakerism,’ and labored with great zeal to promulgate his views, not unfrequently continuing his meetings for many days in succession.”[13]

 We do not know the name of Samuel Is first wife and the mother of his two sons.[14] No marriage records remain, if they ever existed, from this time period. In addition, Quakers do not keep marriage records, per se, and marriages are not officiated. Marriage intentions are usually recorded in minutes, which do not exist or at least cannot be found for this time period.

Samuel I’s sons, especially if born after 1672 as we know Samuel II was, would not have been baptized because Quakers both then and now do not practice the rite of baptism.

 Samuel Is first wife died sometime before 1680. He then married Phebe Titus, the daughter of Edmond and Martha (Washburn) Titus. Her family was a well-respected Quaker family. Their marriage was mentioned in the Quaker records.[15] This marriage was childless.  Phebe seems to not have a close relationship with her stepsons as they are not mentioned in her will.[16]

 Samuel died in January 1689 (11 month 1688) which is actually Jan 1689 according to the calendar used at that time when the new year started in March).[17] His widow, Phebe, married again in 1690. She married Robert Field, Jr., another well-respected Quaker. They too had no children and he had no children from an earlier marriage. In his will, Robert Field left everything to his nephew.[18]

As mentioned above, Unknown Scudder4 had two daughters, whom we get to know only through their will or death record. Neither married so this line ends with them. Mary5 died in 1756. Her will, signed on 13 May 1756 and probated on 9 August 1756, names her Scudder cousins Samuel III, Sarah5 and Deborah5. She also mentions a cousin Sarah Smith of the Jerseys,” whom researchers have determined to be a daughter of a cousin, Richard Scudder. Unknowns other daughter Sarah5 died 7 October 1771. Her death record says that she is a niece of Samuel II Scudder.[19] There is no other evidence for these two daughters – no birth records exist.

Will of Mary Scudder of Newtown, 1756[20]

Samuel II also had an unknown wife who was the mother of his 4 children. According to Scudder Searches, his will names the children (Samuel III, Mary5, Deborah5 and Sarah5) but no wife so it is assumed that she had died by that time. Not much else is known about Samuel II – he does not show up in any records which still exist. He may have simply led a quiet existence, living until 31 August 1764. His will mentioned above has not been found. and so, we rely on the Scudder Searches for the names of his children that are documented by the wills of Mary5 Scudder, w.d. 1756, and of Samuel Scudder III, w. d. 1771.[21]

 The name Scudder dies out in this line as Samuel III was married multiple times, had at least 2 wives who are named in church marriage records, but had no surviving children.”[22] This description indicates that he may have had some children who died young. One record exists for an unnamed Scudder child who died 21 April 1767,[23] two days after his wife Abigail died. He married Abigail Woodward on 23 Feb 1766.[24] She died on 19 April 1767,[25] presumably from birthing the child who died 2 days later. Another church record shows that he married Nelly Alburtus on 5 Oct 1768.[26] In his will, signed 23 Aug 1771 and probated 11 Nov 1771, he names a wife Helena.[27] Nelly or Nellie is and was a common nickname for Helen, Helena or Eleanor. So perhaps Helena is the Nelly Alburtus of the marriage record.

 

[28]

 

Samuel IIIs will also names his sisters Sarah5 and Deborah5. Sarah Scudder seems to have been unmarried and died between 28 March 1781 and 2 April 1783. Deborahs children, Sarah6 and Samuel6 Denman, are mentioned in Samuel IIIs will but not Deborah herself, leading to the assumption that she had died before 23 Aug 1771.[29] Her married name was Denman, according to the will, and there is a marriage record at the Presbyterian church in Newtown, Queens, New York which indicates that a Deborah Scudder married a Daniel Denman of Elizabethtown, [New Jersey] on 22 Mar 1761.[30] This Daniel Denman is not Daniel Wright Denman who later moves south to Georgia. There were other Denman families living in Elizabethtown at this time as evidenced by children of a Christopher Denman who were baptized at St John’s Church.[31] There is also a John Denman and a Joseph Denman in the marriage records of Elizabeth, NJ.[32] Some family trees and a Find A Grave compiled biography confuses Daniel Denman who died at Newtown, 1804, whose administrator was his son Samuel Scudder Denman, with a supposed “Daniel Wright Denman” who allegedly went to Georgia where he died in 1808. There may be another Daniel Denman who died in New Jersey in 1808, but he cannot be the same as the one who died 1804 as documented by his New York probate record.

[33]

 A boy named Samuel6 Scudder Denman, son of Daniel, was baptized in St Johns Episcopal Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey on 3 Apr 1770.[34] This is presumed to be the son of Deborah5 Scudder and Daniel Denman, given that he has a middle name of Scudder and that Daniel Denman was of Elizabethtown on their marriage record. No record can be found for a girl named Sarah6 Denman at that church between 1761 and 1775 when the records stop due to the War.[35] She does not appear in the Newtown records either and only appears in her uncles will. Nothing further is known of Samuel Scudder Denman except that he is named in the probate record of his father in 1804.[36] Nothing further is known about his sister Sarah. The marriage records of St. Johns Church between 1751 to 1787 list two other Denman males but neither Samuel Denman nor his sister appear.[37] Perhaps they were still too young to be married.

Samuel IIIs will does not name his sister Mary5 nor any of her children. The church records shows that a Mary Scudder married Peter Renne on 10 Jan 1734.[38] She was born say 1712, due to her marriage date. She had at least five children, perhaps seven. Five children were baptized in Newtown and are found in church records,[39] including Renne twins who died a week after birth.[40] Her husbands will, written in November 1773, names a wife Mary, a son John6 Renne and a daughter Mary6 Renne who are not in the baptismal records and leaves out one daughter, Deborah6 Renne, who is in the baptismal records as his daughter. There is no record of a marriage or of her death but she may have died prior to 1773. The will also names 2 other daughters, Elizabeth6 Renne and Sarah6 Renne for whom baptismal records exist.[41] Though the name Mary5 as wife and the names of 2 daughters, Sarah6 Renne and Elizabeth6 Renne, match the family, the rest doesnt so we must ask whether this is the will of the correct Peter Renne?  If so, we can conclude that Mary5 (Scudder) Renne must have died after 1774, though there is no record of her death. If not, then we do not know whether Mary and Peter had the children named John and Mary. More research needs to occur on this topic.

 Perhaps Samuel III did not name his sister Mary5 (Scudder) Renne in his will because a) Samuel believed that she was already well taken care of or b) she was already deceased and her children were grown, unlike Deborah5s, and needed no assistance. He may have been most concerned about his unmarried sister Sarah5s welfare and the very young Denman children.

 The sons of Samuel Scudder I seemed to lead a very quiet existence as they do not appear to have held any town offices nor appear in any records other than some church records. Many of Samuel Is great grandchildren seem to have been baptized in the Presbyterian or Episcopalian Church, leading one to surmise that this Scudder line had left the Quaker faith behind. Without more records, it is hard to know just what led to this change.

 


[1] James Riker, Jr., Annals of Newtown in Queens County, New York, (1852 D. Fanshaw, NY), 89.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Riker, 93.

[4] Riker, 94.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Riker, 97.

[8] Town Minutes of Newtown, v. 2, Part 1, (New York: Historical Records Survey, 1940–1941), 230.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Riker, 110-113

[11] Riker, 95

[12] David B. Scudder, “Thomas Scudder (T) of Salem,” Scudder Searches, Scudder Association, v. 1, no. 2, (Summer 1989): 10.

[13] Riker, 93.

[14] Scudder Searches, (Summer 1989): 10.

[15] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. III, 281, found in Ancestry.com. U.S., Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol I–VI, 1607-1943 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/13033:3753?ssrc=pt&tid=14892211&pid=172263993834.

[16] Scudder Searches, (Summer 1989): 10.

[17] “Records of the Society of Friends in the City of New York and Vicinity – Deaths,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYGBR), (New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society), volume 7, no. 1, (January 1876): 40.

[18] Riker, 145.

[19] Scudder Searches, (Summer 1989): 10.

[20] “Abstracts of Wills on file in the Surrogate’s Office of City of New York, 1771–1776,” Collections of the New York Historical Society, v. VIII, (1896), 5–6.

[21] Scudder Searches, (Summer 1989): 10–11.

[22] Scudder Searches, (Summer 1989): 11.

[23] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 56, no. 4, (October 1925): 358.

[24] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 56, no. 2, (April 1925): 176. 

[25] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” NYGBR, (October 1925): 358.

[26] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” NYGBR, 56(April 1925): 176.

[27] Abstracts of Wills on file in the Surrogate’s Office of City of New York.,17711776,” v. VIII, (New York: Printed for the New York Historical Society, for the year 1899, 1900), 5, 6.

[28] Record of Wills, 1665-1916; Index to Wills, 1662-1923 (New York County); Author: New York. Surrogate’s Court (New York County); Probate Place: New York, New York Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/2400858:8800?ssrc=pt&tid=14892211&pid=172286977097.

[29] Scudder Searches, (Summer 1989): 11.

[30] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” NYGBR, 56(April 1925): 175.

[31] Baptismal Register of St. John’s Church, Elizabeth, The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, (GMNJ), volume 3, (Jan 1928): 122, found at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSSM-19B6-Z?i=359.

[32] Marriage Register of St John’s Church, Elizabeth,” The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volume 5, no 2, (Oct 1929): 36, found at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSSM-19TF-M?i=555.

[33] New York. Surrogate’s Court (Queens County), online. See endnote 36.

[34]Baptismal Register of St. John’s Church, Elizabeth, GMNJ 3(Jan. 1928): 122.

[35] Baptismal Register of St. John’s Church, Elizabeth, The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey (1767-1775), volume 3, (April 1928): 154, found at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSSM-19Y2-T?i=379.

[36] New York, Surrogate’s Court (Queens County), Letters of Administration, 1792-1916; Index to Letters of Administration, 1791-1900; Probate Place: Queens, New York found on Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections /8800/images/005526560_00334.

[37] “Marriage Register of St John’s Church, Elizabeth,” GMNJ 5(Oct 1929): 36.

[38] Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y., The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume, 56, no. 1, (January 1925): 81.

[39] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 55, no. 3, (July 1924): 282–283.

[40] “Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, Long Island, N.Y.,” NYGBR 56(Oct 1925): 354.

[41] New York. Surrogate’s Court (New York County) Wills and Administrations (New York County, New York), 1680-1804; Probate Place: New York, New York Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections /8800/images/005512806_00059.

 

 


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