French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

Saint Edmund’s Church in Assington, County Suffolk, England,
where most Frenches of this line were baptized. Photo by Mara French, 1994

Chart #E1, Thomas French, 1520
Bures St. Mary and Assington,
Suffolk Co., England
and Twinstead, Essex, England
Ipswich, Massachusetts

This chart updated by Mara French on 11/17/10. Numbers in brackets [ ] show sources 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 Revisions: 2009, 2010.


Home Page

DNA Group 6 Test Results

Descendants of Thomas French in America

DNA for Thomas French (same DNA for Charts #1, #2 and #3)

England History and Research

Possible Siblings of Jacob French

First Generation

Second Generation

Third Generation

Fourth Generation

Further DNA Discussion


Riddlesdale Family in England

Loker Family in England

Essex Record Office

Assington Village

St. Edmunds Church, Assington

Bures St. Mary

Photos of French Family Homesteads in England (coming soon)

Winthrop Fleet of 1630 and the Winthrop Fleet Passenger List

Further Records in England


England History and Research

This map shows the closeness of the villages of Assington (in the center) and Groton (where Governer Winthrop of Boston resided), Boxford (where Thomas French’s wife resided), Bures (where the French family lived before Assington), Twinstead (where William French’s 2 sons were born), and other outlining villages (Lamarsh, Pebmarsh, and Polstead) where other Frenches lived.

Thomas French, Sr., christened 11 Oct 1584 at Bures St. Mary, Suffolk County, a son of Jacob, moved to Assington ca. 1585/86, 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, MA. Both Thomas and Susan immigrated in 1635 to Ipswich, five years after their son, Thomas Jr., immigrated.

All Frenches were baptized either at St. Edmunds Church in Assington, or at St. Marys Church in Bures St. Mary.

The Frenches came to America during the Puritan Great Migration (1620–1643). Most of them emigrating from the southeast of England and settling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The busiest years of the Great Migration were those of “The Eleven Year Tyranny” (1629–1640) during which Charles I tried to rule without calling the Puritan-dominated parliament. Once the King was forced to call Parliament in 1640 and the Puritan revolution began, immigration to New England came to a near-complete halt.

Very few passenger lists exist from the time of the Great Migration and only in a few cases are the names of ancestors’ ships and their actual departure or arrival dates known. See New England Immigrant Ancestors.

The Stour River divides the counties of Essex and Suffolk, but one can see that Bures existed on both sides of the Stour River. The parish must have been on the Suffolk side because no records were found on the Essex side for the family French, unless they are from Mount Bures.

Possible Siblings of Jacob French

These are the Charts involved for DNA Group 6 Ancestry:

Š      Thomas French, b. ca. 1520, FFA Chart #E1 (line immigrated to New England – DNA Gp 6).

Š      William French, b. 1606, FFA Chart #E2 (line immigrated to New England – DNA Gp 6).

Š      John French, b. ca. 1599, FFA Chart #E3 (line immigrated to New England – DNA Gp 6).

Š      William French, b. ca. 1554, FFA Chart #EA.

Š      Thomas French, b. ca. 1504, FFA Chart #EB.

Š      Christopher French, b. ca. 1560, FFA Chart #EC.

Š      Robert French, b. ca. 1555, FFA Chart #ED.


(See Analysis)

1.1 Thomas French, b. ca. 1520.

      2.1 Thomas French, b. ca. 1551.

      2.2 Jacob French, b. ca. 1553 in Assington, Suffolk, m. Susan Warren 1578, d. 1615 in Assington, FFA Chart #E1, DNA Group 6.

            3.1 William French, chr. 25 Jul 1580 in Bures St. Mary, Suffolk. 

                  4.1 John French, chr. 24 Jun 1599 in Halstead. FFA Chart #E3

                        5.1 John French, chr. 5 Sep 1633 in England

                        5.2 Mary French, chr. between 1634 and 1636 in England

                  4.2 Ellen French, chr. 24 Jul 1603 in Halstead.

                  4.3 William French, chr. 6 Apr 1606 in Halstead (born earlier). FFA Chart #E2

                        5.1 Elizabeth French, chr. 1629

                        5.2 Maria (Mary) French, chr. 1633

                        5.3 John French, chr. 1635

                  4.4 Thomas French, chr. 10 Nov 1606 in Twinstead (5 miles NE of Halstead).

                  4.5 Jacob French, chr. 17 Jan 1607/8 in Twinstead (5 miles NE of Halstead).

3.2 Jacob French, chr. 1582 in Bures St. Mary, d. 1582.

3.3 Thomas French Sr., chr. 1584 in Bures St. Mary, as the son of Jacob, m. Susan Riddlesdale 1608, d. 1639 USA. All children immigrated to New England except Margaret who died young.

                  4.1 Thomas French Jr. chr. 1608 in Assington, m. Mary Scudamore and had 7 children. To New England before his father. May have married Mary Morton who appears on the list of original members of the First Church of Boston, as was Thomas French, and then is heard of no more.

                  4.2 Alice French, chr. 1610 in Assington, m. Thomas Howlett.

                  4.3 Dorcas French, chr. 1614 in Assington, m. Christopher Peake.

                  4.4 Susan French, chr. 1616 in Assington.

                  4.5 Anne French, chr. 1617/18 in Assington.

                  4.6 Margaret French, chr. 1619/20, d. 1635 in Assington.

                  4.7 John French, chr. 1622 in Assington, m. Freedom Kingsley.

                  4.8 Mary French, chr. 1624/5 in Assington, m. George Smith.

3.4 Elizabeth French, chr. 1586/7 in Assington

3.5 Susan French, chr. 1589 in Assington, d. 1613 in Assington

3.6 John French, chr. 1596 in Assington.

      4.1 Sarah French, buried 22 Jan 1620/21 in Assington.

3.7 Robert French, chr. 1600 in Assington

First Generation

1.1* Thomas French, b. ca. 1520 most likely in Essex or Suffolk County, England. Not much is known about this Thomas, other than we can suspect that the name Jacob, an uncommon name for any French family in England, could tell us that any Jacob French in this part of England was from this line. At this point, we are unsure if the name Jacob came from Thomas’ family or that of his wife’s family.

Second Generation

Children of Thomas French, 1.1

2.1 Thomas French [23], b. ca. 1551 but not in Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, as those records have been checked. Nothing is noted for this Thomas. He would have married ca. 1570-1580.

2.2* Jacob French [1] [23], b. ca. 1553 but not in Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, as those records have been checked. Jacob m. Susann Warren [1] 27 Sep 1578 at Bures St. Mary in Suffolk Co., which is right on the border along the Stour River which runs between Suffolk and Essex Counties. Assington is adjacent to Bures in the north. Jacob moved to Assington ca. 1585/86 or transferred church affiliation there [4]. At this time, Bury St. Mary was part of Assington, owned mostly by the Gurdon family [12]. Thomas Sr. occupied a farm located in Assington called Garlands. See Ref. [31]. It was owned by John Gurdon.

Jacob d. 11 Nov 1615 in Assington [26]. No probate records for Jacob have been found in the indexes for the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Archdeaconry Courts of Sudbury, of Essex, or the Consistory Court of Norwich. Only 20 years after Jacob’s death, almost all of his family immigrated to New England.

Susan Warren was probably either the dau. or grand-daughter of William and Katherine Warren of Bures St. Mary. Two generations in a row had the names William and Katherine Warren [25]. Katherine Warren married John Ansell 1 Feb 1558/59 but not in Bures St. Mary.

Elizabeth Warren died young and her husband, William Siday, may have m3. Elizabeth French. The name Susan Warren is not mentioned as a child of William and Katherine Warren, this being the Susan Warren who came from the exact same village, was born about 1553, and who m. Jacob French 27 Sep 1578 in Bures St. Mary.

The administration of William Warren’s estate was granted to Katherine, his wife, on Sep. 26, 1554 in Essex. He died intestate. Katherine's will, dated July 31, 1567 but not in Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, as those records have been checked. This will was proved Jan. 1570/1 in Essex [5]. Katherine, in her will of 1567, bequeathed to and specifically named four grandchildren, yet failed to give the names of her four young children. Thus, Susan might have been one of these four young ones. See Ref. [33].

No more Frenches christened in Bures St. Mary.

Third Generation

Children of Jacob and Susann (Warren) French, 2.2

Because Jacob and Susann were married in Bures St. Mary on 27 Sep 1578, it would seem logical that William, who was christened on 25 Jul 1580 also in Bures St. Mary, would be their first child.

3.1 William French, chr. 25 Jul 1580 in Bures St. Mary, Suffolk. He was named after his grandfather on his mother’s side, William Warren. See Ref. [33]. William m1. ca. 1606 but not in Bures St. Mary nor in Twinstead. He possibly had two children, both born in Twinstead, Essex, and whose names match the names of this family: Jacob and Thomas.

In reviewing Ref. [32], one can see that possibly by 1 Apr 1627 there was still a William French living in Twinstead. No further record has been found for him. This could mean that the William French who had children Jacob and Thomas in Twinstead in 1606-1607 was still living there in 1627 and never moved to Halstead at all. 

Further research needs to be taken regarding the possibility that this William French could have been the father of the William French who immigrated to Billerica, MA, in 1635 on the ship Defence. It is most probable that this William had son William chr. 6 Apr 1606 in Halstead, who was the immigrant to Billerica, MA, on the basis that this William named his second son “Jacob” (after first son John) which is definitely a name only specific to this line. The name Jacob has not been recorded in any other known French family in Essex between 1580-1640. See FFA Chart #E2 for the continuation.

3.2 Jacob French [1], bp. 12 Aug 1582 at Bures St. Mary in Suffolk, according to the Bures St. Mary vital records which began in 1538, at St. Mary’s Church (parents not named). Might have died young because he is not mentioned in ref. [17]. Named after his father. This son is unaccounted for as yet, but may also have moved, married, but not immigrated.

3.3* Thomas French [1]., bp. 11 Oct 1584 at Bures St. Mary in Suffolk, according to the Bures St. Mary vital records which began in 1538, at St. Mary’s Church, son of Jacob, moved to Assington ca. 1585/86, m. Susan Riddlesdale 5 Sep 1608 in Assington. Thomas was named after his grandfather, Thomas French [23]. This entire family immigrated to New England.

Susan Riddlesdale was bp. 20 Apr 1584 at Boxford, Suffolk Co, England, dau. of John and Dorcas Riddlesdale, d. Aug 1658, immigrated 1635 [13] to Ipswich, Massachusetts, a few years after their son, Thomas Jr. and 3 older daughters immigrated. Thomas Sr. d. before 5 Nov 1639 in Ipswich, MA [16]. Thomas Sr. occupied a farm located in Assington called Garlands. See Ref. [31]. It was owned by John Gurdon. The will of John Gurdon, Esq., of Assington, made Dec. 6, 1621, left to his grandson "the messuage or farm house wherein one Thomas French doth now inhabit, called Garland's." Brampdon Gurdon, Sheriff of Norfolk 1625-29, was b. in Assington Hall and had at least one dau., Muriel Gurdon, b. 1613 [26]. Thomas immigrated to Ipswich, MA before Jul. 25, 1638 when a lot of his is mentioned as a boundary to land at the Reedy Marsh. Four of his children had preceeded him to America.

Susan d. Aug. 1658, Ipswich, MA. On Mar. 10, 1658/9, inventory of her estate was made, totaling £12.11.6. Daughter of John Riddlesdale and Dorcas. Susan was probably the aunt of Dorcas Riddlesdell, a witness in a case in Ipswich, MA court in Mar. 1647. Thomas’ children: All Children baptized at Saint Edmund’s in Assington. All children immigrated to MA except Margaret who died young.

Thomas French lived but a couple of years in New England, for on 5 Nov 1639, administration of his estate was granted to his wife and 'the land which he left is to be disposed of by sale or otherwise by advice of the Magistrates of Ipswich, for the maintenance of his wife and education of his children which are not yet able to provide for themselves, nor were disposed of in their father's life.'

"A widow French was a Commoner in Ipswich in 1641. There is no further mention of her (Susan Riddlesdale French) until her death in August 1658. Administration of her estate was granted to her son John."

3.4 Elizabeth French, bp. 27 Feb 1586/7 in Assington, dau. of Jacob [2]. Elizabeth m. William Siday; however, another source says Elizabeth Warren m. William Siday. Note: This is not the Elizabeth who m. Henry Loker, bp. 1576/7 in Bures St. Mary. Researcher John Threlfall says that there were 2 distinct Riddlesdales families and that the French family is not descended from the Loker branch. There is no evidence that Elizabeth, wife of Henry Loker, was nee French [15]. Elizabeth d. Mar 1648 in Sudbury, Middlesex Co., MA [26].

3.5 Susan French, bp. 1589, d. 1 Aug 1613 Assington, dau. of Jacob. This record clearly states that this burial record is Jacob’s daughter and not his wife.

3.6 John French, bp. 27 Mar 1596, Assington (parents not named) [2]. John m1. Sarah probably about 1620, unknown location. Their dau. Sarah, was buried at Assington 22 Jan 1620/21. This John may have been the John French who immigrated to New England ca. 1635 – more research is needed. If this John is not the one who immigrated, then it was the John French of FFA Chart #2, who was the son of William French, b. 24 Jun 1599. The John who immigrated to New England did not name any of his children Jacob or William; but he named them John, Marie, Sarah, Joseph, and Nathaniel. These names do not correlate to this family; however, the Thomas of this line, and “a” John French and “a” William French all have the same DNA test results.

3.7 Robert French, bp. 25 Jun 1600, Assington, the son of Jacob and Susan. Mentions mother Susan in his baptismal record [4]. It is strange that nothing has been heard about Robert, and he is not listed as among the early immigrants to Massachusetts unless he was the “Robert” without a surname listed on the ship Defence in 1635 to New England. Does anyone know what happened to this Robert? Could Robert have been the one who lived with his brother, William of The Leete, married Elizabeth and had son Francis on 5 Apr 1625 and died in childbirth in Halstead? This same scenario could have happened for Robert’s brother, John.

Fourth Generation

Children of Thomas and Susan (Riddlesdale) French, 3.3

The American side of this line continues on Jim Conant French’s website (over 6,000 Frenches). Following is just a brief summary of the descendants born in England. All children were baptized at Saint Edmund’s Church in Assington. All children except Margaret immigrated to Massachusetts, and she died as a minor.

4.1 Thomas French, bp 27 Nov 1608 in Assington, d. 8 Aug 1680 in Ipswich, MA, m. Mary Scudamore, ca. 1631 [9]. Immigrated in 1630 to New England [16]. Scudamore marriage has not been proven [21]. Mary d. 6 May 1681. Will.

In 1630, this eldest son, then 21, sailed for New England in the Winthrop Fleet of eleven ships with about 700 colonists. In the next few years, three of his sisters, Alice, Dorcas and Susan, also immigrated to New England. In late 1636, Reverend Nathaniel Rogers, the Vicar of Assington, also immigrated to New England, where he became the pastor at Ipswich, MA, until his death in 1665. Four other Assington families also came with Rogers. Over the next year, Thomas French (the father), his wife Susan and remaining children, also crossed the Atlantic to settle in Ipswich, where he first appears on record in New England in 1638 with a grant of land.

John Winthrop wrote to his wife just before they set sail that there were seven hundred passengers.  Six months after their arrival, Thomas Dudley wrote to Bridget Fiennes, Countess of Lincoln and mother of Lady Arbella and Charles Fiennes, that over two hundred passengers had died between their landing April 30 and the following December, 1630.  That letter traveled via the Lyon April 1, 1631 and reached England four week later. The French family who were on the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 were: Thomas and his wife Susan, and their children Thomas Jr., Alice, Dorcas, Susan, Anne, John, and Mary according to the Winthrop Fleet website.

4.2 Alice French, bp. 9 Apr 1610 in Assington, d. 26 Jun 1666 in Ipswich, MA. Immigrated 1630 with brother, Thomas [16], m. Thomas Howlett of Topsfield, MA, in 1634.

4.3 Dorcas French, bp. 9 Jul 1614 in Assington, d. 30 Dec 1697 or 14/15 Oct 1694 in Roxbury, MA. Servant to John Winthrop [15]. Immigrated 1633 [16], m1. Christopher Peake 3 Jan 1636/7 of Roxbury, MA, m2. Griffin Craft of Roxbury, MA. Served in the family of John Winthrop, Jr. in Ipswich, MA. A letter written by Thomas Gostlin to John Winthrop, Jr., from Groton on Jun. 11, 1633 refers to both Dorcas and Susan: "she is one of the goodman French's daughters of Assington. I have sent two of them, one for your father and the other for you. Your father must take his choice. The eldest must serve for 3 years, and the youngest 4...pray let them be delt as well with all as any of the same quality."

4.4 Susan French, bp. 2 Apr 1616 in Assington. Immigrated 1633 [16]. (see 4.5 above)

4.5 Ann French, bp. 15 Mar 1617/18 in Assington. Immigrated 1637 [16].

4.6 Margaret French, bp. 12 Mar 1619/20 in Assington, d. 25 Nov 1635 in Assington. She was the only child not listed on the immigration records.

4.7 John French, bp. 26 May 1622 or 10 Jun 1622 (according to the Assington parish register) in Assington. Immigrated 1635 [16], m. Freedom Kingsley in 1654, d. 1 Feb 1696/97 in Northampton, MA. He was a tailor.

4.8 Mary French, bp. 6 Jan 1624/5 in Assington, d. testate 15 or 28 Dec 1674 at Ipswich. Immigrated 1635 [16] perhaps with her brother John, m. George Smith in 1644 at Ipswich, MA.

Further DNA Discussion

I've been informed that this line's DNA, Group 6, shows a Haplogroup of G2, whereas other Frenches from nearby villages in either Essex Co or Suffolk Co show a Haplogroup of R1b which indicates that these families are unrelated by many thousands of years and originated in completely different areas. Therefore, the DNA from Richard French of Coggeshall, Essex, England (FFA Chart #E6), and Edward French of Rugby, Warwickshire, England (FFA Chart #E4) and William and Samuel French of Kelsdale and Saxmundham, Suffolk, England (FFA Chart #11) are unrelated to Thomas French (FFA Chart #1). There is, however, a matching DNA between Thomas French (FFA Chart #1) and William French (FFA Chart #2) which also includes John French, William's brother, (FFA Chart #3).


These superly-detailed historical Ordnance Survey maps date back to between 1860 and 1910, and are available for every town in England and Wales. I bought a copy of this map and I seem to remember it showing “The Garlands” where Thomas French lived. See Ref. [31].

Zoom in on this satellite map of England to visually see the approximation of these towns: Assington (where you can still see the Gurdon acreage), Boxford (2 miles away), Edwardstone, Bures (3 miles away), Lamarsh, Twinstead, Groton, and then about 7 miles west to Halstead and Coggeshall where large French families lived.

Riddlesdale Family in England

Jasper and Elizabeth Riddlesdale

Jasper RIDDLESDALE, b. about 1490; d. Sep. 1552, Boxford, Suffolk. His will was dated Aug. 29, 1552 and proved Sep. 15, 1552 at Boxford, Suffolk. Also known as Jasper RYDYSDALE, husbandman, he was a churchwarden at Boxford 1542-3 and 1547-8. He had sisters Agnes, Christine EGLE, and Margery SKOTT. Jasper was married about 1581, probably at Boxford, Suffolk, to Elizabeth. She d. ca. Apr. 1553, Boxford, Suffolk. Her will was dated Oct. 30, 1552 and proved Apr. 13, 1553, which names all her children, also includes “my sister Rose BENET” and “mother Agnes.”

Children of Jasper and Elizabeth Riddlesdale

1. Henry RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1518/20, Boxford, Suffolk; bur. Jun. 25, 1591, Boxford, Suffolk. Married Joan about 1554, probably at Boxford, Suffolk. Joan - d. after Jun. 1591. Named as “Joan RIDSDALE my wife” in Henry's will.

2. Thomas RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1522, Boxford, Suffolk; d. possibly by 1567. Possibly married Joan, who married marred Oct. 5, 1567, Boxford, Suffolk, Launcelott MAYOR, a widower.


4. Peter RIDDLESDALE - Paid rent in 1547 to the church at Boxford, Suffolk. Married and had son: Thomas.

5. Grace RIDDLESDALE - Probably married Richard KEBLE by Aug. 1552.

6. Elizabeth RIDDLESDALE - Possibly married Thomas RYVET about Sep. 1552.

7. Jane RIDDLESDALE - Possibly twin of Amy.

8. Amy RIDDLESDALE - Possibly twin of Jane.

9. Richard RIDDLESDALE - b. after 1532. Under age 21 in 1552.

10. John RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1536; bur. Dec. 5, 1614, Groton, Suffolk. Married Nov. 29, 1562, Boxford, Suffolk, Elizabeth PATTEN, and moved to Groton shortly thereafter. Children: Henry died as infant; Mary; Thomas; possibly Richard; and possibly Jasper.

11. William RIDDLESDALE - Probably youngest child of Jasper and Elizabeth. Married Joan JOHNSON on Nov. 2, 1561 at Polstead, Suffolk.

Children of Henry and Joan Riddlesdale

1. Robert RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1554/5, Boxford, Suffolk, England. Named in father's will.

2. John RIDDLESDALE - bap. Sep. 27, 1557, Boxford, Suffolk; bur. Jun. 4, 1629, Assington, Suffolk. John RIDDLESDALE - bap. Sep. 27, 1557, Boxford, Suffolk; bur. Jun. 4, 1629, Assington, Suffolk. Son of Henry RIDDLESDALE and Joan. Married Dorcas about 1583, probably at Assington, Suffolk. Dorcas - b. 1571, Assington, Suffolk, England; bur. Sep. 24, 1624, Assington, Suffolk. Dorcas is named as John's wife in the baptismal records of daughters Susan and Sarah, and on land records of Jan. 1613/14.

3. Thomas RIDDLESDALE - bap. Jun. 2, 1560, Boxford, Suffolk; bur. Feb. 7, 1588/9. Married Sep. 1, 1584, Boxford, Suffolk, Susan BRONDE (bap. Jan. 23, 1560/1), daughter of John BRONDE. Susan married second Jan. 30, 1593/4 Richard WENDALL. Son of Thomas and Susan: Richard.

4. Joan RIDDLESDALE - bap. Oct. 23, 1562, Boxford, Suffolk. Married Aug. 30, 1582 at Boxford, Suffolk to Richard WALTON (bap. Apr. 8, 1561), son of Richard WALTON. Children: Richard; Richard; William; and Joan.

5. Julyan RIDDLESDALE - bap. Dec. 10, 1564, Boxford, Suffolk. Married Jun. 13, 1587 at Boxford, Suffolk to John STANBYE. Son: John.

6. Henry RIDDLESDALE - bap. Mar. 6, 1566/7, Boxford, Suffolk Married Sep. 5, 1592 at Boxford, Suffolk to Bridget SMYTHE (bap. Apr. 20, 1572), daughter of Symond and Alice SMYTHE. Son: Henry.

7. Richard RIDDLESDALE - bap. Aug. 13, 1570, Boxford, Suffolk; d. early 1610. Married Rose BRAND on Sep. 17, 1593 at Groton. His widow was granted administration of his estate on Jun. 5, 1610. On Apr. 23, 1611, Rose (BRAND) RIDDLESDALE married John WARREN (b. about 1555; d. 1613), cardmaker of Nayland, Suffolk, as his third wife. Rose married third Nov. 20, 1617, Boxford, Suffolk, Richard GRYMES.

Children of John and Dorcas Riddlesdale

1. Susan RIDDLESDALE - bap. Apr. 20, 1584, Boxford, Suffolk, England; d. Aug. 1658, Ipswich, MA. Married Thomas French.

2. Richard RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1586; bur. Nov. 6, 1610, Assington, Suffolk. Probably unmarried, the administration of his estate was granted to his sisters Susan and Joan.

3. Thomas RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1588. Named in will of his grandfather Henry RIDDLESDALE.

4. Joan RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1590. Married Oct. 11, 1610 at Assington, Suffolk to Richard MATHER, in a double wedding with sister Dorcas. Joan and Dorcas may have been twins.

5. Dorcas RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1590; bur. Dec. 15, 1610, Assington, Suffolk. Married Oct. 11, 1610 at Assington, Suffolk to Thomas DYNES, yeoman, in a double wedding with sister Joan. Dorcas and Joan may have been twins. Administration of her estate was granted to her sisters Susan and Joan. No children.

6. Edward RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1592; bur. Feb. 9, 1630/1, Assington, Suffolk. Married Mary (d. Apr. 10, 1683, MA), who married second Jun. 27, 1632 at Assington, Suffolk, John WYATT (b. about 1594; d. Dec. 1665, Ipswich, MA), who had married first Martha SHELDRAKE, daughter of John and Joan SHELDRAKE. Mary and John settled at Ipswich, MA, probably with Mary's daughters Mary, Sarah, and Dorcas RIDDLESDALE. Mary married third May 22, 1666 at Rowley, MA, James BARKER (d. Sep. 7, 1678, Rowley, MA), whose first wife was Grace (d. Dec. 27, 1665). Children of Edward and Mary: Edward; Mary married Henry KIMBALL; Sarah married first Luke HEARD, and second Joseph BIXBY; Dorcas; and Rebecca.

7. John RIDDLESDALE - b. about 1594/8, Assington, Suffolk; bur. Dec. 10, 1602, Assington, Suffolk.

8. Sarah RIDDLESDALE - bap. Mar. 1, 1599, Assington, Suffolk. Married Marke GRYME on May 30, 1620 at Assington.

Later Riddlesdale Family of Assington

Sara Riddlesdale, christened dau. of John and Dorcas, 2 Mar 1599
Edward Riddlesdale, son of Edward and Mary, 23 Apr 1620
Marie Riddlesdale, dau. of Edward and Marie, 29 Jan 1621
Susan Riddlesdale married Thomas French 5 Sep 1608
Joane Riddlesdale married Rich Mather on 11 Oct 1610
Dorcas Riddlesdale married Thomas Dynes on 11 Oct 1610
John Riddlesdale of Bures St. Mary burial 4 Jun 1629
Edward Riddlesdale of Bures St. Mary burial 9 Feb 1630

Loker Family in England

Proof that Elizabeth French did not marry Henry Loker of Bures St. Mary, Essex, England. Article by Douglas Richardson published in the NEHGR, Vol. 43, Oct 1989. According to Douglas Richardson’s article in the NEHGR, December 1989, Henry Riddlesdale, alias Loker, married Elizabeth (not French). There is no evidence that Elizabeth, wife of Henry Loker, was born a French. - P15215

Henry Loker was baptized in Bures St Mary, Suffolk on 7 Feb 1576/7. Henry died in Feb 1630/1; he was 54. Buried on 25 Feb 1630/1 in Bures St Mary, Suffolk. Occupation: glover. Henry was a member of the Riddlesdale alias Loker family of Bures St. Mary, Suffolk in that his father was Robert Loker and his mother was Lucy Riddlesdale. For about four generations the family used either a version of the surname Riddlesdale, or a variation of Loker. Riddlesdale was favored in the early generations, but he prefered Lokar. Henry lived in the southern part of the parish of Bures St. Mary which is in Essex. Apparently in his lifetime, he dropped the surname Riddlesdale and began regularly using the alias Loker instead. "Loker" had variable spelling; he was baptized as "Locar", but buried as "Loquar". In by 1610 when Henry was 34, he married Elizabeth [Loker]. Elizabeth died on 18 May 1648 in Sudbury, MA. Richardson says, "a lucky guess is that Elizabeth was the sister of Bridget, wife of John Parmenter of Bures St. Mary and later New England." Elizabeth, after Henry died, went to New England in 1639 with her four children and settled in Sudbury (where they consistently used the surname Loker.) They had the following children:

1. Henry Loker. Born in prob. by 1610 in prob. Bures St. Mary, Eng. Henry died in Sudbury, MA on 14 Oct 1688; he was 78. In 1678 Henry deeded his whole estate for love to his son and daughter Jacob and Elizabeth Moore. On 24 Mar 1647 when Henry was 37, he married Hannah [Brewer], in Sudbury, MA.10 Hannah died on 14 Feb 1679. Hannah, widow of John Brewer of Cambridge, MA. Henry and Hannah had Elizabeth, who married Jacob Moore.

2. John Loker. Born in prob. Bures St. Mary, Eng. John died on 18 Jun 1653 in Sudbury, MA. ca 1650 John married Mary Draper. Children of John and Mary: John, and Mary b. at Sudbury 28 Sep 1653 (m. Jonas Prescott).

3. Bridget. Bridget died on 11 Mar 1685 in Marlboro, MA. Bridget was the elder daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Loker. Child of Robert and Bridget: Sarah, b. 10 Apr 1646 in Sudbury. In by 1646 Bridget first married Robert Davis. Born in 1606.10 Robert died in Sudbury, MA on 19 Jul 1655; he was 49. On 26 Dec 1655 Bridget second married Thomas King, in Sudbury, MA. Bridget was Thomas's second wife.

4. Anne (-1697)

5. Robert, perhaps died young because he is not mentioned in this mother’s will.

Research by John Threlfall of 5518 Barton Rd., Madison, Wisconsin 53711. Jasper Riddlesdale of Boxford, Henry Riddlesdale of Bosford, John Riddlesdale of Boxford, Edward Riddlesdale of Assington.

Proof that Elizabeth French did not marry Henry Loker of Bures St. Mary, Essex, England. Article by Douglas Richardson published in the NEHGR, Vol. 43, Oct 1989.

Research by John Threlfall of 5518 Barton Rd., Madison, Wisconsin 53711. Jasper Riddlesdale of Boxford, Henry Riddlesdale of Bosford, John Riddlesdale of Boxford, Edward Riddlesdale of Assington.

I really wonder what all the talk is about Riddlesdale and Loker. In this document:

it appears that John was born a Riddlesdale, but perhaps his father died when he was young and he was adopted by the Loker family and kept that name instead . . . . or the other way around.

Usually you see this situation with Elizabeth French who married Henry Loker -- do you know what's behind these names? The SEAX website at the ERO (Essex Record Office) sure is great. Way back when, Essex included part of Suffolk, so there's a lot of data to be found. There are more documents of Riddlesdale and Loker on that website. Seems like they were from Sible Hedingham and Finchingfield just where the French family lived. . . . from Mara French.

Essex Record Office

The Essex Record Office in England recently began posting high resolution images of the early parish registers (more extensive and better quality than the LDS filmings) on their website. All parish registers before 1700 are now available to view online. The main shortcoming is there is no plan as yet for any date indexes to these images that makes finding particular years and events a little awkward. This might interest French's with origins in Essex. There are also images of wills and other documents. Go to


Numbers in square brackets [ ] are bibliography notations. FFA stands for French Family Association Library Number. This information was researched by FFA member John B. Threlfall, who had his research published in the NEHGR Vol. 142, July 1988, p. 250-252.

[1] Bures St Mary Parish Register. This register has never been published, but as of 2010, my researcher in Suffolk says there is a surviving register for Bures St. Mary dating from 1558.

[2] Assington Bishop’s transcripts, covers 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. (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. Twinstead Parish Register of baptisms 1568-1718, marriages 1567-1721, and burials 1567-1716. They are now online at SEAX.

[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. See Ref. [31].

[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] Walkers website:, Email:, this website has many errors.

[25] Selvage and Person Families website.

[26] Robert J. O’Hara’s website,

[27] Stephen M. Lawson’s website,, email:

[28] D. Pane-Joyce’s website showing Thomas French Sr.’s will:

[29] Michael Roman, email: (good in 2000). Website:

[30] Manors of Suffolk, 1905, website:

There are two other small manors in Boxstead one known as Troketts or Truckets Manor the other as More's manor.


This was the lordship of William Felton, who died the 23 Dec. 9 Hen. VII. 6 In the Inquis. p.m. of this William Felton the manor is referred to as a manor called ' Trokettes ' with tenement called ' Bekkes ' in Boxsted worth 12s. held of the Abbot of Bury. On William Felton's death the manor passed to his heir Edmund Felton of Pentlow. He died the I3th May 1519,' and was succeeded by his son and heir Edmund Felton who died the 10 Dec. 1542 and was succeeded by his son and heir George Felton 8 who was succeeded by his son and heir Edmund Felton. 9 In 1553 a fine was levied of the manor by Edmund Felton and others against George Felton and others 10 and in 1570 by George Tyrrell and others against Margaret Felton widow and others." The manor passed to John Felton and fines were levied against him in 1572 by William Aylof and others 12 and in 1574 by Richard Elyott. 13 Amongst the Exchequer depositions are the particulars of a suit by Thomas Cronshaye clerk against Thomas French and others in 1587 as to parcel of land at Boxstead with wood, and the meets and bounds of this manor are involved. George Felton is referred to as late owner of the Manor of Trucketts in Boxstead.

[31] "Reg. Garland 69", associated with the probate of Elizabeth Frenche of Arkesden, was a system by which the probates were kept. Different scribes were responsible for different periods of time in the early years. It was particularly common, in regards to the General Court systems of England, namely, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which covered all of the southern 2/3 of England, and the Prerogative Court of York, which covered the upper 1/3. The court systems were the highest court system of England and governed according to how much property a man had and whether he owned land or property in more than one county. These cases were governed by the Prerogative Court System. If a person had land in just one county, the probate was administered within the county court system. The index to the Prerogative Courts was distinguished by the identity of the scribe’s code or name. Occasionally the lower courts used this system in very particular circumstances. As for Elizabeth Frenche’s probate, we have been unable to determine which court had jurisdiction over her probate, thus it is not found yet. We have checked the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, where there is only a Thomas Frenche, Esquire of Halstead, Essex listed and Thomas Frenche of Wethersfield, Essex of 1599. Since the entrees are all identified by a name of a court code or scribe, the one for Thomas is "1 Lawe". That means that, in the index of 1614, there is a special department labeled "Lawe". On the folio "1", is the probate.

Before 1858 the probate of wills were matters for the church courts. It was normal for the will to be proved in the court in which the testator died. If his possessions fell into two archdeaconries, however, it would be necessary for the will to be taken to the higher court which could have been an overriding court within that county or to the Prerogative Court.

Other court systems besides the Prerogative Court:

"Peculiar Court System" was exempt from the local authority, having their own court system within a single parish or group of parishes. If the Bishop died in this court, those court proceedings during the hiatus, could be placed in the established court of the county, usually designated as a "Consistory Court". In times of Civil War in England, during the commonwealth period and some time before when a Court of Civil Commission was set up, the authority of the "Peculiar Court System" was abolished.

There are 5 known major probate court systems within the County of Essex, not counting the higher court or the Prerogative Court:

Court of Colchester - Arkesden (no Frenche probates)

Commissary of London - Essex and Herts. Counties, Arkesden, Felstead

Peculiar Courts (has 8 separate courts) - Halstead

Archdeaconry of Middlesex – Wethersfield

[32] Q/SR 257/72, 1 Apr 1627, Certificate from the inhabitants of Twinstead that Henry Stamer of the same has behaved himself very honestly, industriously and peaceably among them.

Signatures and marke of: Isaac Wyncoll, Charles Spiller, Elias Boutel, Daniel Strutt, John Lee, Peter Andrewe, John Cole, Thomas Kemp, John Harroud, Henry Lasel junior, Robert Garlop, John Mickelfilde. Endorsed by the inhabitants of "Pedmarsh" near adjoining that they never heard to the contrary but that the said Henry was a very honest peaceable man in his carriage. Thomas Cook, Thomas Cross, Rector of the church there, Henry Meriton, Robert Thomson, William Leffingwell, John Mathewe, William Lorkin, William PRENCH, George Simsonn, William Barber.

Perhaps Prench should be French. I found no other surname Prench whatsoever in the SEAX.

[33] Vital records for any Warren or French entries from the Bures St. Mary Parish Register were checked on 1 Nov 2010 by researcher Ray Whitehand.

Bures St Mary 1538-1600 FL540/4/1

1542-10-13          bapt: item the christening of Jelyan Warren the xiij Oct in the yr of our lord ml xlii & in the xxxiiij year of Henry Viii (1542)

1549-10-12          bur: item the buryall of Wyllm Warren ye xijth day of October 3 Edw 6th. (1549)

1561-11-23          bapt: Christening Wyllum ye sone of Willm Waren was bapt ye xxiij day November 1561

1562-11-10          mar: John Warren = Johan Hasnale

1562-07-20          mar: George Warner = Rose Smith

1573-04-13          mar: John Dykes = Johan Warin

1574-05-06          mar: William Sidey = Elizabeth Warin (as his second wife, the first being Alice [25] )

1579-09-26          mar: Jacob French = Susanna Warin

1580-07-25          bapt: William ffrench was baptised xxvth July 1580

1582-08-12          bapt: Jacob ffrench was baptised xij August 1582

1584-10-11          bapt: Thomas ffrench son of Jacob was baptised same day (as previous entry in register being; 11 Oct 1584)

1625-04-28          mar: Thomas Warren = Rose Northam