French Family Association

Mara French, P.O. Box 1109, Sutter Creek, CA 95685-1109. 209-267-0649

St. John The Baptist, Saxmundham, Suffolk, England. More

Chart #11, Samuel French, the Joiner
Saxmundham, Kelsdale, Knodishall, and Lowestoft, to
Suffolk County, England, and
South Perrott and Bradford Abbas, Dorset County, England, to
Stratford, Connecticut

This chart updated by Mara French on 4/10/08


Key and Contact Information

Chart #11 compiled by Bill French (over 1,000 Frenches)

DNA Test for Chart #11

History and Research




Jeremiah French Jr.Õs House in Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada

Jeremiah French JrÕs House in Manchester, VT

Jeremiah French JrÕs Tombstone, United Empire LoyalistsÕ Association of Canada

Joshua FrenchÕs House in Dorset, VT

Gravestones and Cemeteries

Vital Records and Land Grants

Chart Index

Key and Contact Information

Key: Numbers in brackets [  ] refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Revisions of this page: 1984, 2008 by Mara French.

Contact Information: Please send Bill French any corrections or additions to this chart. He has a published genealogy citing my oldest ancestor is William French b. 1450, d. ca. 1520. His genealogy was published by his great uncle, Mansfield Joseph French in 1940 and is entitled, "Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel French The Joiner of Stratford, Connecticut", Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Michigan). Bill French's line is as follows: William (Bill) French > Alexander Winchell French > Arthur Huntley French > Mansfield Joshua French > Rev. Mansfield French > Joshua French > Samuel4 > Samuel3  > Samuel2 (The Joiner) > Samuel1 > Rev Jeremiah > Thomas > Robert (Robard) > Thomas > William > William of Lowestoft (1450-1520).

History and Research

Chart #11 is named after the first immigrant of this line to come to America, Samuel French, the Joiner. A joiner was a profession in the 1600's, and according to Webster, it is a person who constructs the wooden components of a building, such as stairs, doors, and door and window frames.

Chart #11 goes back to 1450, the oldest research we have on the surname French. William French was born about 1450 in Lowestoft, died about 1520, and was buried 7 Feb 1560 in Kelsale, Suffolk County, England. William French was a Lowestoft merchant. Mansfield French states* that William had two younger brothers (or one brother and a nephew), one of who was Churchwarden of St. Mary's, Kelsale but church records clearly show that the Churchwarden was Robert French, born 1545 to Thomas, William's brother or nephew. Mansfield further states that William's father was born c.1450 and died c.1520, and that his will is filed in Somerset House, London. A researcher' 1993 visit to Somerset House revealed that no wills are stored there, nor did a close search of the Public Records Office, where such records are indeed kept, produce any such document (although I did locate the will of another William French d.1535, apparently a collateral relative). For William's father to have lived 1450-1520, he would have to have been at least 50 when he married and to have survived her son, William's mother would have to have been in her 90's in 1593 and therefore young enough to be her husband's granddaughter [3].

It seems more likely that, as both William's wife Christian and his sister Margaret had grandchildren (and were thus probably at least 40), his godson William Wright was married, and his mother was still living when he died, William was probably born between 1520-1540. If this is so, William's father would probably have been born between 1480-1520 and thus is clearly not the William French, Mansfield suggests and the John (d.1561) and Thomas (d. 1567) whom Mansfield lists as William's brothers could instead have been his uncles. Mansfield lists a Margaret, bapt. 1548, as one of Thomas's children. William's will names his sister, Margaret, who would have been born about this time. Could Thomas be William's father? [3]

In any case, William and Christian apparently had no living issue. He thus left much of his estate, a good portion of which he owned outright (rather than leasehold) to his sister Margaret's son Thomas Goddard and to his wife's son by her first marriage, Matthew Fullwood who himself had a young daughter at the time of William's death. William's mother Agnes, who had been widowed for a second time just previously, survived her son [3].

He was clearly interested in education, as he also directed that Christian "bring up or cause to be brought up" Richard Mighael [sic], a fatherless minor, and send him to school so that he might learn his grammar "and other things necessary," and like his late stepfather provided an income for a schoolmaster. He also provided for housing "for two poor people to dwell in so long as the world standeth" and extended his late stepfather's bequest to the poor [3].

* Mansfield states that his records were "furnished by Richard Grosvenor Barteiot FSA, Editor Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries." This would have been before 1940 [3].

Samuel French, the Joiner, was born 15 May 1687 in Bradford Abbas, Dorsetshire, England, died 3 Sep 1763 in Stratford, Fairfield Co., CT, and married Mary Price in Dorset. They had 11 children: Samuel, Jeremiah, Mary, Susanna, John, Jonathan, Anne, Elizabeth, Thomas, Hannah, and Joseph, all of which are documented in Chart #11.

East Broad Street, Stratford, CT

Jeremiah French was born ca.1712, the son of Samuel and Mary (Price) French of Stratford, Ct. He came to Dover by 1756 and leased two large farms totaling over 400 acres. He lived near Old Dover's Tavern in South Dover. He was an original purchaser of some of the New Hampshire Grants and before the Revolution owned much of what is today Manchester Center, VT. He had 4 sons who were loyalists; Jeremiah Jr., Benjamin, Charity and Gershom [9].

Considering the very detailed "Settlers of the Beekman Patents", in Dover, Dutchess County, NY it's confusing because there were two Jeremiah Frenches. Jeremiah French Sr was the 2nd son of Samuel French The Joiner. He moved from CT to Dutchess County, NY. He was often accused of being a Loyalist, and after some skirmishes with some of the locals, and having to escape for awhile to Long Island, he finally prevailed in Court and retained all his lands in Dutchess County, NY.

About 1760, his son and others formed a group called the Nine Partners - a land developing company. They purchased the original patents the King gave about 61 of his buddies, and subdivided and sold them. Jeremiah Jr. surveyed much of the town of Manchester, Bennington County, VT, and was the first Town Clerk. He eventually moved to Manchester.

Jeremiah French Jr, was a Loyalist and a Captain in the Queens Loyal Rangers, then later a Lt. in the Royal Regiment of New York, (called the "Yorkers"). He forfeited much of his lands in VT. He moved to Cornwall in Ontario where he became a very prominent citizen and was the area's first representative to Parliament in Ottawa. His house was actually moved from land now submerged to make way for the 1950's St. Lawrence Seaway Project enabling freighters to travel into Lake Ontario from the Atlantic Ocean. He sold his original house to a son-in-law, George Robertson. That house is still standing at Upper Canada Villages, near Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. The house is called the "Robertson HouseÓ. Prior to this house, Jeremiah lived at the 1811 House in Manchester Village, Vermont.

Also see Chart #131, a branch of this line, Phillip French of NYC.

Towns in the U.S. and Canada

This French line lived all over the U.S. and Canada, but mostly in Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Jew York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. In Canada they lived in Ontario, Oxford, Stormont, Cornwall, and Saskatchewan.


Onondaga Historical Association

Museum and Research Center, 321 Montgomery St., Syracuse, NY 13202. (See MJ French Collection #6762).

As written by Bill French: The OHA is online, but their collections are still being digitized and they have yet to acquire a server adequate to permit online access to the information and documents. I am in the process of publishing my family's third edition. The previous 2nd edition, a copy of which I have, was last published in Dec 1940 by my grand uncle, Mansfield Joseph French. Mansfield left all his genealogical papers and materials archived at the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, NY. I have been indexing and scanning the totality of the collection for the last 5 years. I still have some to do, but believe the end is finally in sight. The original index consisted of a single line very briefly describing the contents of the 6 boxes of documents and materials. I presently have more then 100 pages of a detailed index and several thousand scans of the images of the materials.

We also found my grand uncle's original Book #1 with many notes he made to update his publication, on eBay. Fortunately, that is back in the family, purchased on eBay by a cousin in Athens, Greece. I have no idea how it ended up on eBay, since everyone who knew him, knew how deeply he cared about the family history and knew he archived his papers and notes.

I digitized my grand uncle's entire book and retyped every page of it into a master database. The original publication contained about 3,000 descendants. Presently I have more than 16,000. There are many who would like to merge into our family, but I haven't seen sufficient support documentation to permit some of them to become a part of the master file. I truly wish I had the advantageous my grand uncle had where I could devote full time to compiling the family history. I do spent most days doing something toward preparing the 3rd edition which I hope to publish and have available for purchase at the "Big One", in the summer of 2009, the first ever full French and allied families reunion where the majority of my family resided originally - in Manchester, VT,

As my note enclosed in my previous email stated, I hope to slightly modify our genealogy to resemble more of a family history than a straight genealogical record. I hope to have the bulk of the actual genealogical record attached to the book, on a DVD which will be sold with the book and will contain as much of the source documentation as possible, along with the images of the many documents my grand uncle kept and that I have accumulated for the last several years. (Emailed from Bill French)

Stratford Historical Society

Churches in England

Bradford Abbas (St. Mary) Church

South Perrott (St. Mary) Church

St. John the Baptist, Saxmundham, Suffolk Co, England

St. Thomas Church, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK


[1] Al Dawson, (from 1998 – no longer valid). The maternal grandmother of my ancestor (wife of Milton Arthur Mason) of Jane (Jennie) SPRINGER Mason (1844-1895) d. Akron, OH. Anthy French b. 1780, Manchester VT. Parents: Joseph French (1748-1813);  married 1777 Mary BEARDSLEE, in Stratford, Fairfield County, CT. Mary's date are (1758-1839) b. Stratford, CT, died Manchester VT. She too has a French (surname) background, as her father was Israel Beardslee and her mother was Elizabeth French. Joseph was the son of Samuel French b. 1710 in England and Elizabeth Loring. From Ref [2], p 46 (according to notes from my Springer cousin Jane Ellen Jackson, of Houston, Texas.

[2] "Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel French, The Joiner of Stratford, Connecticut" by Mansfield Joseph French.

[3] Bill French,, continuing research by his great uncle, Mansfield Joseph French Ref [2].


[5] Janice Lund, (old email address)

[6] Brian,

[7] Richard Day,

[8] Ernest Thompson, Moss Beach, CA, Robert French, probably born about 1550 and died in 1611 in the U.K. He lived in Carlton on the north edge of Saxmundham. (Suffolk). Wife was Alice Wilton. Their son was Thomas French,  born 1574. The descendents ended up in New York and Vermont in pre revolutionary time.

[9] Marian Reeves,

[10] Tommy French,

[11] Rechcigl, (old email address)

[12] Historical Narratives of Early Canada

[13] Volume 1, Frank Doherty book "Settlers of the Beekman Patent , Dutchess County, NY. Frank In the books he puts together all the information he found in his research on the families that settled in the Beekman Patent. The French family would be Volume 5 and The Brown Family in Volume 2 you might want to try to look at these books for the complete rundown on both of these families.

The information on Jeremiah French is from page 491 The War-II. Benjamin Birdsall was a Colonel who served on Long Island but removed to Dover in the Beakman Patent in March 1777

Birdsall requested permission from the committee of Dutchess County to settle on some farm that had been vacated by a Tory. the committee suggested that he settle on the farms formerly in possession of Archibald Campbell and Moses Northrup in Pawling. He seems to have settled instead on the farm of Jeremiah French in Dover. As the letter below indicates, he was rather upset that French could claim his land back and he took on Egbert Benson, Chairman of the County committee in his Pique.

Birdsall placed the following notice in the New York Journal and the General Advertiser issue of 15 March 1779.

Mr. Holt,

As I think it of importance that the good Whigs of this State be well informed of the political character of the public officers in government, insert the following narrative in your New-York Journal, and will oblige your humble servant, Benjamin Birdsall.

Jeremiah French, of Dutchess County, being suspected to be disaffected to the liberties of America, and having encouraged his sons to join the enemy, was as I am credibly informed, put on his parole, broke it, departed out of this State, was absent about maybe two years, has lately returned, and pretends that he has not been with the enemy, but has resided in some part of Connecticut, during the aforesaid time. --- Since his return, the Commissioners for conspiracies, before whom he was convened, had upon an opinion, that he had not gone over to the enemy, dismissed him---During the Interval of his absence, the commissioner of Sequestration seized and sold his personal estate, and leased his lands to me as a refugee from Long-Island; he now claims the possession of his farms, which he held on a least for life, from Robert Gilbert Livingston; on the 12th inst. in conversation with Egbert Benson, Est.; Attorney-General of this State, one of the Commissioners for conspiracies, and a member of the Assembly concerning the political character of the said Jeremiah French, and his claim to the aforesaid lands, he advised me to  hire the said lands of French, which advice occasioned some debate between him and me, in the course of which he told me, That for two years past, the Whigs had done the State more damage than the Tories. Conceiving that the aforesaid expression might have unguardedly escaped from him, I determined to put it in his power to recall them; I therefore this morning publicly asked him whether he had not made use of those expressions, and demanded of him to recall them. -- I therefore think it my duty thus to publish the transaction between him and me, determine how fit he is to serve them to public office. Benjamin Birdsall, Marc 14 1779

589  Chapter 10, The Revolutionary War-III. Jeremiah French was born ca. 1712, the son of Samuel and Mary (Price) French of Stratford, Ct. He came to Dover by 1756 and leased two large farms totaling over 400 acres. He lived near Old Dover's Tavern in South Dover, He was an original purchaser of some of the New Hampshire Grants and before the Revolution owned much of what is today Manchester Center, VT. He had 4 sons who were loyalists; Jeremiah Jr., Benjamin, Charity and Gershom, the book "Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel French the Joiner" 1940, has good information Jeremiah and his family but we have found a considerable amount of local information about his Loyalists activities, some of which follow.

On 23 November 1776 Benjamin Birdsall presented an account of confiscated goods found on the farm, late Jeremiah French, by Zebulon Seaman and John Conklin. The goods were mostly joiners tools and were found hidden in the cellar, inside walls, etc. A letter dated Red Hook 13 Feb. 1781 to Coz Gilbert Livingston states" I am informed that J French has sold his farm or farms & himself got in his old trouble again. Therefore I think it behooves me to look out for myself for the back rents, I make it to about 300 bushels wheat back rent due in May 1781." on 27 Nov. 1782 Robert G Livingston in a letter, proposed Jeremiah French's farm for "my son-in-law Mr. John Reade to go on it in the spring."

French, in a letter dated Woodbury (CT) Feb. 16th day 1781, addressed to "The Gentlemen Commissioners and authority of Dutchess County" explained his actions:The reason of my leaving my habitation as I did was because I was threatened of my life in highest degree and likewise I was ordered by the authority after taken to Return home and be peaceable which I should  have been exceeding glad of but my house was soon beset with a guard and I thought my life in danger. So I left my habitation the last day of January and came to New Milford the next day to Woodbury and there remained to the first day of this instant Feb/ and then I went to New Milford and returned the six day of the month, the seventh day I went to Wilton, the 8th day I went to Middlesex the 9th day I returned to Redden and there remained to the 12th day).) the 13th day to North Stratford the 14th day to Ripon and the 15 day to Woodbury to my son again where I now be, as witness my hand and seal." (signed) Jeremiah French (N-YHS Colls). As we note elsewhere, Lt Col. Benjamin Birdsall took over French's farm after he left, but did not enjoy peaceable possession.

Jeremiah French was an overseer of the poor for a number of years and was Pawling Precinct Supervisor in 1776. He is supposed to have died on his farm in Dover in 1793.

Bottom of page 492 and top of 493 Settlers of the Beekman patent, Chapter 9 The Revolutionary War II.

Benson replied in the paper of 22 March 1770

To the printer

"Sir You will through the channel of your paper,, inform Ben Birdsall, that he is so infamous and contemptible, as scarcely to merit my notice. -- He has maliciously misrepresented a conversation between us. --- that I made us of the words contained  in his advertisement, or others similar to them is true; but it is equally true that they were spoken with certain restrictions, and in connections with other words, which would give them a sense and meaning very different from what was intended by his publication, --- I forbear to enter into a further vindication of myself, and recapitulate all that passed between us on Saturday last, or to mention the cause of his resentment against me, least I should seem to hold up an idea, that I conceived it possible for him to injure my reputation, However, I do not consider Birdsall in this instance, more culpable than the person (whoever  he may be) whom he employed to draw up his advertisement; the former it not only a mere wretch devo! id of principle or sentiment, the latter from the stile and manner of the piece appears to have understanding, and, I do assert, has most shamefully prostituted his talents, to the vile purposes of defamation; I am , your humble servant Egbert Benson.

Poughkeepsie, march 19, 1779

On 12 March 1779 Birdsall submitted a very lengthy letter to the paper, somewhat toned down, and that was the end of the :paper war"

Ancient Document 10002 contains a "Den V Fen" ejectment proceeding against Birdsall brought by Samuel Ward and Jeremiah French in October 1779, Gilbert Livingston was attorney for French and the lands were awarded to French on 12 October 1789. Birdsall was indicted 19 May 1789 for an assault and batter, probably connected with this matter. (Minutes of Court of common Pleas, MF 127, DC Clerk's Office).

Birdsall was very active in the war but he didn't seem to find the peace in Dover that he removed there for.

All the above information under [13] is from Marion Reeves [9].

Gravestones and Cemeteries

Connecticut Cemetery Transcriptions, Fairfield to Litchfield

A History of the Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, CT, by Samuel Orcutt

Old Burial Place at Nichol's Farms, est. 1806, Stratford, Fairfield County

In memory of Martha French, relict of Jeremiah French, who died Aug. 10, 1816, aged 88 years.

The Stratfield Pequonnock Burying Grounds, Stratfield, CT

In memory of:
MIHITABLE, wife of Benoni French, who died August 12, 1814, age 71.

In Memory of:
ANNA, wife of James R French, Died March 18, 1841, age 70 years.

JULIA ANN, daughter of James R & Ann French, died April 20, 1825, in her 17 year.
In bloom of life death laid me down
Till the last joyful trump shall sounds,
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise
And in my Saviour's image rise.

In Memory of:
MRS. MARY FRENCH, Wife of Mr. James French, who died Feb 10th, 1803, aged 45 years & 10 months.

Here lyes ye Body of:
MABEL, Relict of Samuel French, who died May 2, 1837, Aged 76 years.

Vital Records and Land Grants

Stratford, CT Vital Records 1639-1854, from the Barbour Collection


Andrew, son Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b Mar 24, 1755

Benjamin, son Jeremiah & Hannah, b Oct 22, 1745

Benjamin, son Benoni & Mehetable, b June 2, 1772; died June 23, 1772

Benoni, m Mehetable BOOTH, Jan 11, 1763

Bette, dau Jon & Bette, b Sept 13, 1744

Bette, dau Jon & Bette, b June 8, 1752

Bettee, dau Samuell & Hannah, b Apr 16, 1770

Bette, dau Gameliel & Susan, b Aug 24, 1784

Charity, dau Jeremiah & Hannah, b Aug 15, 1747

Elijah, son Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b Sept 12, 1751

Elisha, son Jon & Bette, b Dec 19, 1750

Elizabeth, dau Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b Apr 8, 1741

Frederick, of Monore (sic), m Carline WELLS of Stratford, Nov 29, 1843, by Rev W B Weed

Gamaliel, m Susana ______.

Gameliel, b Apr 13, 1755

Hulda, dau John & Bette, b Sept 28, 1743

Ichabod, son James & Mary, b Jan 13, 1777

James, m Mary BRINSMADE, Jan 19, 1774

Jeremiah, son Jeremiah & Hannah, b July 8, 1743

John, son John & Bette, b Dec 23, 1746

John, son James & Mary, b Aug 28, 1775

Joseph, son Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b July 26, 1748

Joseph Brinsmade, son James & Mary, b Jan 12, 1786

Joshuah, son Samuell & Hannah, b Feb 20, 1767

Josiah, son Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b Dec 18, 1745

Mary, dau Jeremiah & Hannah, b Feb 28, 1739

Mary, m Daniel SHELTON, Mar 13, 1758

Mare, dau Benoni & Mehetable, b Dec 7, 1766

Nathan, son Jon & Bette, b Dec 26, 1748

Nehemiah Loring, son Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b May 1, 1737

Polly, dau James & Mary, b Dec 6, 1778

Rebecca, m David SHERMAN, Jan 18, 1775

Ruth, dau Gamaliel & Susan, b Aug 21, 1786

Samuell Jr, m wid. Elizabeth CLARK, June 2, 1736

Samuel, son Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b Mar 9, 1738/39

Samuel Jr, m Hannah NICHOLS, May 29, 1766

Sarah, dau Jeremiah & Hannah, b May 22, 1741

Sarah, dau Samuell Jr & Elizabeth, b June 22, 1743

Sarah, dau John, sadler, & Hannah, b Sept 24, 1753

Sarah Redfield, dau James & Mary, b Aug 13, 1783

Susana, wife Gamaliel, b Sept 18, 1760

Timothy, son Gamaliel & Susan, b Sept 12, 1788

William, son Jeremiah & Hannah, b Mar 23, 1737

William, son Gamaliel & Susan, b Dec 18, 1782