French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

The French-Andrews-Carothers House, 1675, Topsfield, MA

Chart #1, Thomas French, 1584,
Assington, Suffolk, England
Ipswich, Essex Co., MA

Last Updated by Mara French on 11/26/23. Numbers in brackets [  ] show the source material and refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send any corrections or additions to this chart to Jim Conant French. Revisions: 1984, 2007, 2008, 2019.

The following charts now connect to Chart #1:
Charts 54, 60, 65, 92, 96, 114, 118, 150, 152, and 180 (see Chart List for links).


Chart #1 by Jim Conant French, 5,963 French entries beginning with Jacob, Thomas’ father
Refer to Jim’s website.

Index of Chart #1 (non-linkable list of 4,000+ French ancestors)

Early Ancestry of Thomas French in England

DNA for Thomas French, see Group 6

Cross-Reference French Chart / DNA Groups, see Group 6

In Appreciation

History and Research (towns, intermarriages, books)

Will of Thomas French, Sr. of Ipswich 1680 (currently unavailable)

1872 Map of Ipswich, MA

Topsfield MA Historical Collections

The Great Migration Begins

The Winthrop Fleet

The French-Andrews House of 1675

Darwin French of Death Valley, CA

David Moulton French of Porter, Maine


In Appreciation

The FFA would like to thank Jim Conant French for compiling Chart #1, our largest chart so far, with over 4,000 ancestors with the surname French. This chart was originally researched by Harry Dana French of Concord, NH. Then Harry's very helpful handwritten notes were compiled in a database by Art Westneat. Both these copies were given to Jim Conant French in his compilation. Jim was a professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ in Biology teaching such classes as Plants and People. He moved over to Cook College from Busch Campus. Jim retired in the summer of 2008 and returned to his hometown in San Luis Obispo, CA (SLO) where he had not lived for 40 years. Jim also taught in MN, FL, and MS.

History and Research

Thomas French was born in 1584 in Bures St. Mary next to Assington, County Suffolk, England. Thomas m. Susan Riddlesdale 5 Sep 1608 in Assington. Susan was b. 20 Apr 1584 at Boxford, Suffolk Co., England, dau. of John and Dorcas Riddlesdale, d. Aug 1658. Thomas d. 5 Nov 1639 in Ipswich. Both Thomas and Susan emigrated in 1635 to Ipswich, five years after their son, Thomas French Jr., born ca. 1608, d. 8 Aug 1680 in Ipswich, Essex, MA, who emigrated from Assington, County Suffolk, England, to Ipswich, MA in 1630. Thomas French Jr, m. Mary Scudamore born approx 1612 in Gloucester, England and d. 6 May 1681 Ipswich, Essex, MA. Thomas lived on Bridge St. near Mill St. in Ipswich, MA. He also owned land on Plum Island which is now a State Park.


The presumed path from the Caspian Sea/Black Sea area, and links Charts 1, 2 and 3 is based on where the Chart 1 Y chromosome frequency is relatively high, and that seems to be in mountainous areas extending all the way across the Mediterranean region; perhaps the proto-Frenches were fleeing invaders from the East.

1.   Towns

Assington, Bures St. Mary, Boxford, County Suffolk, England; Ipswich, Topsfield, Roxbury, Rehoboth, Boston, Waterford, Boxford, Dunstable, Northampton, MA; Canaan, VT; Franklin, Colebrook, Stewartstown, Laconia, Stratham, Canterbury, Dover, Pittsfield, Alton, Manchester, Pembroke, NH; Enfield, Norwich, Windsor, Windham, Coventry, Canterbury, Hanover, CT.


The Hammatt Papers, Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1633-1700.




2.   Intermarriages

Since the French family emigrated soon after the Pilgrims landed and there were not many families nor marriage choices in America, intermarriages in the French family were common. Here is an intermarriage between Chart #1 and Chart #2. Note that this does not change the male French DNA test results.

(1) Thomas French, Ch #1 m. Susan Riddlesdale

(1) William French, Ch #2 m. Elizabeth Symmes

(2) Dorcas French, b 1614, m. Christopher Peake 1636 in Roxbury, MA

¢ (2) Sarah French b 1638 in Cambridge (1st Sarah born) m. Jonathan Peake, b. 1637, m. 15 Aug 1660 in Roxbury, MA

¢ (3) Jonathan Peake m. Sarah French


Here's another intermarriage between Charts #1 and #6.

(1) Thomas French, Ch #1

(1) Richard French, Ch #6

(2) Alice French m. Thomas Howlett

¢ (2) Samuel French m. Sarah Cummings

(3) Sarah Howlett m. John Cummings


¢ (4) Sarah Cummings m. Samuel French


3.   Books

Email Mara French if you’re interested in any of these books or manuscripts.

·      Zachary Taylor French and Rachel Evelyn Duckworth, 1550-1990. Ninth Generation of the Thomas French line of Ipswich, MA. Zachary Taylor French Descendants. FFA Member Gene Jackson wrote a book on his line beginning with Zachary French: Thomas (1); Thomas (2); John (3), m. Phebe Keyes; John (4), m. Elizabeth; Abner (5), m. Sara Sluman; John (6), m. Elizabeth Robinson; Zephaniah (7), m. Deborah; Franklin Robinson French (8), m. Virginia Irwin; Zachary Taylor French (9), m. Rachel Duckworth. Write to him directly for ordering procedures. Gene Lawrence Jackson, 4001 Twilight Drive South, Forth Worth, TX 76116. Published by Gateway Press, Inc., 1991.

·      "Antecedents and Descendants of Abner French of Topsfield, MA and Norwich, CT", author unknown. 6 page typescript donated by Janette Klein. With additional data, 8 pp, FFA library #F562. 8 1/2 x 11.

·      Thomas French & Susan Riddlesdale, 1555-1995, and their New Hampshire and Maine descendants, by FFA member Eleanor M. Crouch, 170 pp, 1995. Order through Ms. Iris Watson, Higginson Book Company, 148 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970, Tel: 508-745-7170, FAX: 508-745-8025. Or, inquire by writing to Eleanor M. Crouch, HC 83 Box 374, Cardville, ME 04418.

·      Was Mary French a Scudamore? Proof that Thomas French married Mary Scudamore, by FFA member Dr. Brian Berry, Texas, May 1991. 43 pages with drawings, maps, and pedigree charts. Write to Brian Berry, P.O. Box 83-2130, Richardson, TX 75083.

·      Henry Loker: According to Douglas Richardson's article in the NEHGR, December 1989, Henry Riddlesdale, alias Loker, m. Elizabeth (not French).

·      Edwin Davis French (1851 - 1906) Biography. Born in 1851 in North Attleboro, MA, and died in 1906 in NYC, Edwin was a bookplate engraver of at least 284 bookplates. His book is available on Antiquarian Booksellers.

·      Thomas and Susan French of Ipswich, MA. Emigrated from Assington, Suffolk Co., England, 1555-1993. By Eleanor M. Crouch. 170 pages, includes photos and index. Inquire by writing to Eleanor M. Crouch, HC 83 Box 374, Cardville, ME 04418.


[1] Bury Saint Mary Parish Register. This register has never been published.

[2] Assington Bishop’s Transcripts cover a few years after 1564.

[3] IGI, Suffolk County, England. (not documented here)

[4] Assington Parish Register of St. Edmund’s Parish, which starts in 1598.

[5] Essex Record Office, Chelmsford R2/35/20.

[6] The Ancestry of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles by Linzee. (not documented here)

[7] Marriage Licenses at the Ipswich Probate Court, 1613-1674. Printed at the Private Press of Frederick Arthur Crisp, 1903, Suffolk Record Office, School Hall St., Bury St. Edmunds, England. Website: (not documented here)

[8] Diary of Adam Winthrop, the Winthrop Papers, Vol. I, II, III, 25 Martii 1603, the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1929. (not documented here)

[9] Debate on Mary Scudamore researched by FFA members Brian Berry and Paul Hokanson, June 1990.

[10] Nilda Evans, researcher at Suffolk Record Office, Bury St. Edmonds.

[11] Baptism, marriage, and burial records checked for Twinstead, Essex County, England, by Dr. Emmison of Chelmsford in May 1989. The Twinstead registers are available back to 1568.

[12] Map of Assington. Adjacent to the parish of Assington is the parish of Bures St. Mary, which straddles the River Stour and lies partly in Suffolk and partly in Essex. Boxford is the next parish NE of Assington. Halstead, Essex is about 7 miles SW of Assington.

[13] 1777 Map of Halstead. Thomas Sr. was a farmer in Assington living on John Gurdon’s land called Garlands. 8/9 children. Land called Garlands appears halfway between Assington and Halstead, just outside Pebmarsh.

[14] IGI, Essex County, England.

[15] FFA member John B. Threlfall, who had his research published in the NEHGR Vol. 142, July 1988, p. 250-252.

[16] The Planters of the Commonwealth by Charles Edward Banks, 1620-1640, published 1961. Immigrated on the Winthrop Fleet of 1630, with 11 vessels: the Arbella (flagship for masters), Ambrose, Talbot, Jewel, Charles, Mayflower, William and Francis, Hopewell, Whale, Success, Trial. The first five ships sailed 8 Apr 1630 from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight and arrived in Salem 13 Jun 1630 and following days. The other six sailed in May and arrived in July. Altogether there were 700 passengers.

[17] NEHGR, July 1988, pages 251-252.

[18] Topsfield Historical Collections, 13:153.

[19] Essex Quarterly Court Files.

[20] Pope’s Pioneers of Massachusetts.

[21] Visitations of the County of Gloucester, 1623, by Henry Chitty and John Phillipot, London, 1885, Sutro Library in San Francisco, CS 434 H35 V21.

[22] Boyd’s Marriage Index, Essex.

[23] Ron French, P. O. Box 70971, Shasta Lake, CA 96079-0971, (530) 275-4440.

[24] Jake French, who is from a town called Ipswich in the county of Suffolk, England. Email good in 2020: