French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

Thomas Paycocke's House

This 16th century timber-framed house, situated on West Street in Coggeshall, is one of the most interesting buildings in Coggeshall. It was built around 1500 by John Paycocke, a prosperous wool merchant, as a wedding present for his youngest son. The interior is wonderfully paneled and the ceiling beams are richly carved. The garden is planted in keeping with the age of the house and the house and garden are open to visitors. This house was surely present when Richard French lived in Coggeshall, as both men worked in the wool industry. In June 2010, I took about 10 photos of this house from the inside and backyard. Email me if you’d like to see them. Coggeshall was one of the principal centers of cloth making in East Anglia in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Paycocke family had moved to Coggeshall from Clare in Suffolk by the middle of the 15th century. They did not first live in Colchester as the French family did.

Chart #E6, Richard French, 1626
Colchester and Coggeshall,
County Essex, England
Cambridge, Massachusetts

This chart updated by Mara French on 7/31/10. 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

Genealogy of Richard French in the America

DNA Connections, Group 3

DNA Test Results for Richard French, Group 3

Background and History

Pedigree Outline

First Generation

Second Generation

Š      Richard French Sr.’s First Wife, Elizabeth Fuller

Š      Richard French Sr.’s Second Wife Mary

Š      Richard French Sr.’s Death

Third Generation, the Emigrant

Š      Marriages

Š      The Danforth Family

Š      The Beare Family

Š      Could Richard Beare’s Wife Been Grace Granger?

Š      Richard Beare Court Records

Š      Other Unknown Beare Records

Immigration of Richard French

Court Records of Richard French in the U.S.

Connection Between Richard and Edward French

Records, Richard and Edward French

Wool Trade in Essex

Ffuller and Ffrench Families

Š      Coggeshall Parish Register transcripts, 1584

Š      Robert Fuller Ye Elder

Š      Robert Fuller Ye Younger

Š      Robert Fuller Jr.

Š      Will of Robert Fuller, Probatim 3 Jun 1607

Š      Will of Robert Fuller, 8 June 1550

Š      Will of William Fuller, 3 February 1609

Š      Fuller Family Ancestral Chart

Š      Will of Edward Scott of Glemsford, County Suffolk


Essex Parish Records

Essex Record Office

England Index to the Surname French

Maps of Essex


Background and History

It's very difficult deciphering the Frenches of NE Essex England. Sometimes children were christened in their mother's hometown, not their fathers. Some villages didn't have a parish and the children were christened elsewhere. Other children were christened long after they were born, sometimes 2 or 3 siblings together, and not in the parish where they were born. No one had middle names back in the 1600s. In this area, there were many Frenches with the names Thomas, William, John, and Richard, and not so common was Jacob.

For about 45 years now, I've been putting together a schematic of all these French families in NE Essex. I usually do research about 20 years beyond 1640, when most of the Puritans immigrated. I've found that a lot of these French families never left England. They were educated in England, had more children, and died there. Therefore, one cannot hypothesize that they are the ones who immigrated to America.

This line is a special line to me, because it is my own line. I continue to hope more will be found, given enough persistence and resources.

Coggeshall was a medieval wool town on the route of the old Roman Stane Street. Its history really develops from 1140 when a large Cistercian abbey was founded here. The monks were extensively sheep farmers so this promoted the wool trade from the 15th to the 18th century and Coggeshall's prosperity was based on this. There are some pretty amazing ancient buildings in this small town and the BBC television series 'Lovejoy' was filmed here. Coggeshall is about 45 miles east of London.

I have the records for Coggeshall, Terling, Birdbrook, Halstead, Assington, Greenstreet, Gosfield, Weatherfield, Great Bardfield, Arkesden, Great Maplestead, Sible Hedingham, Bures St. Mary and others for the surname French. See England Charts. Hiring researchers in England who can read the old English script and who have special permission to view the original records with a blue light, is expensive and time-consuming, but worth it to me. I have the knowledge of all these families in my head, but these researchers provide invaluable clues, especially court cases and land records. Many of these records prove at least that the person involved is an adult and not a child.

The name "Richard" was nowhere near as popular a name among the French family as were Thomas, John, and William. I hoped to find a Richard French born ca. 1605 who married Elizabeth Fuller who was christened in 1607 in Coggeshall. Knowing that marriages in those times took place in the bride's home town, this could have been the incentive for them to marry and have their first child in Coggeshall. The only other Richard French in the area lived in Terling, but he died at a young age on 29 Dec 1597 and could therefore not have been the one we are looking for. I suppose there could have been other men named Richard French in areas I haven't checked. I did find a Richard French christened in nearby Colchester on 16 Feb 1605/6. See the parish records in various Essex cities.

Possible French Connections

According to the DNA tests, Group 3 shows a family connection between Richard French of this chart FFA Chart #6 of Coggeshall, England, and Edward French of FFA Chart #4 and FFA Chart #E4 who was from Warwickshire, England. However, Richard was from Coggeshall, Essex, England, and Edward was from Rugby, Warwickshire, England, quite a distance apart.

All the information below is from parish registers; however, since there were no middle names, it is difficult to fully identify these people. For example, the first William French is mentioned at the birth of his son Richard. Then in 1638 there is a record of “a” William French dying in the same town. I "assume" the one who died is the same as the father of Richard, but who knows? This William could have also been his brother's son William who would have been 30 years old at his death in 1638, which might sound more logical than the first William who would have been 60 years old, but as he was identified as a "peddler" when he died, which one would that have been? Men died younger then, but would William have been a peddler at age 60? I would like more records, but there are none. These are the only two men named William French in the parish records of Colchester between 1560-1640, one born ca. 1580, and one born ca. 1608.

Pedigree Outline

1.1 William French, b. ca. 1580, d. 4 Sep 1638 in Colchester

      2.1 Richard French, chr. 16 Feb 1605/6 in Colchester, m1. Elizabeth Fuller on 28 Oct 1622 in Coggeshall.

            She was b. 19 Jan 1607/8 in Coggeshall, the dau. of Robert Fuller and Elizabeth Scott, she d.

            18 Oct 1631 in East Hanningfield. Richard m2. Mary. 

                  3.1 Richard French, chr. 6 May 1629 in Coggeshall

                        4.1 Joseph French, chr. 1649 in America

                        4.2 Samuel French, chr. 1653 in America

                        4.3 Elizabeth French, chr. 1660 in America

                        4.4 John French, chr. 1661 in America

                  3.2 Thomas French, chr. 21 Sep 1630 in Coggeshall

                  3.3 Mary French, chr. 26 Apr 1636 in Coggeshall

      2.2 Jane French (perhaps daughter of William?), m. John Hull on 13 May 1622 (see below)

      2.3 Elizabeth French (perhaps daughter of William?), m. Bartholomew Burgess on 28 Dec 1624 (see below)


1.2 John French, b. ca. 1583, m. Catherine Welham on 22 Jul 1605 in Colchester, she d. 7 Sep 1613 in Colchester

      2.1 William French, chr. 11 Dec 1608 in Colchester

      2.2 Jane French (perhaps daughter of John?), m. John Hull on 13 May 1622 (see above)

      2.3 Elizabeth French (perhaps daughter of John?), m. Bartholomew Burgess on 28 Dec 1624 (see above)

First Generation

1.1* William French, b. ca. 1580 perhaps in Suffolk County, but not at St. Botolph’s Parish in Colchester; that parish register starts in 1560 and he is not listed. There is a record of a William French who d. 4 Sep 1638 in Colchester, a peddler (going from place to place selling small goods), Ref. ESO (SEAX) D/P 203/1/1, image 56 (see image below). No verification exists showing that he is one and the same; there are no others listed, but that doesn’t mean there were none. William’s brother, John, had a son named William, also of Colchester who could have been the one who died in 1638, age 30.

William French was the earliest recorded French in Colchester at the christening of his son Richard on 16 Feb 1605/6. There was a William French born in 1580 in Bures St. Mary, of FFA Chart #1. He could not have been of this line because the DNA results for Charts #1 and #6 are different. We need to look for a marriage of William French ca. 1604 or earlier. Did he marry a Jane or Elizabeth – this is only a small probability in that he could have had daughters Jane and Elizabeth (see below). No William French moved to Coggeshall per parish records.

The way the counties lay out, Colchester is very close to Suffolk County. One needs to always search that area also.

1.2* John French, b. ca. 1583 perhaps in Suffolk, but not at St. Botolph’s Parish in Colchester; the parish register starts in 1560 and he is not listed. He m. Catherine Welam (might be Welham as that name existed in Essex at that time – in fact in Halstead) on 22 Jul 1605. D/P 203/1/1, Image 26.

Catherine Welham French d. 7 Sep 1613 in Colchester, D/P 203/1/1, Image 46, as the wife of John French, only 8 years after their marriage (see image below). Their son William was chr. 11 Dec 1608 in Colchester and was only 5 at his mother’s death.

The parish records of Colchester do not show any other children born to this couple. However, either John or his brother William could have had two daughters, Jane French and Elizabeth French, who had moved to nearby Stoke by Nayland in Suffolk County only about 15 minutes driving distance away. These two women got married in the St. Botolph’s Church in Colchester, and it was the custom for women to marry in their hometown or the town in which their parents’ lived. Jane French married John Null on 13 May 1622. Elizabeth French married Bartholomew Burgess on 28 Dec 1624. They both would have been the right age to be the daughters of either John or William.

No John French moved to Coggeshall per parish records.

St. Botolph’s Priory Ruins in Colchester. St. Botolph’s Priory is one of the oldest Augustinian priories in England dating back to the late 11th century when it was built out of flint and bricks from the Roman houses of Colchester. The church itself was severely damaged during the Siege of Colchester in 1648 and has never been repaired. The west front of the church with its Norman ornamentation is still intact and also still existing are several of the very large circular pillars and arches that used to support the building. See map of St. Botolph’s Priory below at lower right.

Second Generation

Children of William French, 1.1

2.1* Richard French Sr., christened 16 Feb 1605/6 in St. Botolph’s Church, Colchester, Essex, the son of William French, D/P 203/1/1, Image 15. According to researcher Peter C. Nutt in Essex County, England, this image below reads:

Rechard Frenche the sone of Welyam Frenche the 16 of Februarye 1605, which is 1606 in the Old Calendar.

Don’t be confused with the Richard French, son of William, christened in Coggeshall on 8 Apr 1606, Image 17, D/P 36/1/1. My researcher in Suffolk, Joanna Martin [31], says it reads “Richard Trewe” (image not shown). Richard French Sr. is not listed in the Coggeshall parish register as being baptized there.

There are many parish registers from Colchester. Since we know the French family belonged to St. Botolph’s Church, I am not researching Berechurch, Bradfield, Brightlingsea, Holy Trinity, St. Mary Magdalen, Chignal St. James, Chignal Smealey, Chickney, Chigwell, St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary-at-the-Walls, Liston, Littlebury, Loughton, Maldon, Hadleigh, Hadstock, Gt. Hallingbury, or others.

The Register of St. Botolph’s Church was in the care of All Saints Parish for nearly 300 years before it was returned by the Rector in 1936. Christenings start in 1560. From ca. 1650 to 1836, the church was in ruins and most baptisms and marriages were recorded at All Saints Church during this period (I am not researching this period).

The register D/P 203/1/1 has 84 images, 1560-1664, and only the last 2 images are of burials; no marriages that I could find. Marriages are on Image 26. The results of that check are below. Register D/P 203/1/2, 1667-1685 is too late, and D/P 203/1/3, 1680-1799 is too late.


Baptisms 1560-1640

1605/6 Feb 16 Rechard Frenche the sone of Welyam Frenche the 16 of Februarye 1605

1608 Dec 11    Welyam Frenche the sone of John Frenche the 11th of Desembre 1608

Burials 1560-1640

1613 Sep 7      The wife of John French buried 7 September

1638 Sep 4      Willyam Ffrench pedler

Marriages 1560-1640

1605 Jul 22     John French & Cath Welam were married 22 July

1622 May 13   John Hull de Stoke upon Nailand in Com Suff et Jane French de Ipswich in predicto single married 13 May 1622

1624 Dec 28    Bartholmew Burgess singleman de Nayland et Elizabeth French vido de St Nicholas in Colchester per licence

Colchester is very close to Coggeshall. It seems quite likely that we could have found our Richard in Colchester, but there is no solid proof yet.

Richard French Sr. could have also been the Richard French bp. 28 Jun 1607 in Halstead of FFA Chart #EA. He would have been 19 years old when son Richard was born in 1626. Richard French Jr. was actually baptized on 6 May 1629, 3 years later. He would have been only 15 when he married 15-year old Elizabeth Fuller. I suppose this is a possibility, but so far no proof.

Grange Barn in Coggeshall

The Grange Barn is the oldest surviving timber-framed barn in Europe dates from around 1140 and measures 120 feet long by 45 feet wide and 35 feet high at the apex of the roof. The roof would have originally been thatched but was replaced with tiles around the 14th century. This barn was originally part of the Cistercian Abbey of Coggeshall and was definitely a building that stood during the time Richard French resided in Coggeshall. The barn is open to the public and has its own parking area.

Richard French Sr.’s First Wife, Elizabeth Fuller

Richard French Sr. m1. Elizabeth Fuller on 28 Oct 1622 in Coggeshall at the Parish Church of St. Peter ad Vincula per the Coggeshall Parish Register [13]. See record below.

Elizabeth Fuller was christened 19 Jan 1607/8 at St. Peter ad Vincula Church in Coggeshall, the daughter of Robert Fuller and Elizabeth Scott. See her birth record below, D/P 36/1/1, Image 18.

Elizabeth Fuller was christened on January 19, 1607/8. She was born after the death of her father, Robert. That’s why she wasn’t named in his will.

If Richard French Sr. were the one born in Colchester on 16 Feb 1605/6, he would have been only 16 years old when he married Elizabeth Fuller, and she would have been only 15. Marriages at a very young age were common in England at that time. Even though they married on 28 Oct 1622, they did not have a child until later, or at least their son and only child, Richard French Jr., was christened on 6 May 1629, but probably born about 1626 according to his given age as 27 on 25 May 1652 on a deposition in Cambridge, Massachusetts [36]. The Colchester marriage and burial records until 1640 do not mention Richard French Sr., but they do show the death of his father, William French on 4 Sep 1638 in Colchester. Because Richard French Sr. is no longer mentioned in Colchester, it is very likely that he moved to a nearby town such as Coggeshall. When his father, William, died in 1638, Richard French Sr. was 32 years old and his son Richard French Jr. was only 12 years old. It is assumed that one or both of them were living in Coggeshall in 1638. It might be best to find the will of William French of 1638, but there was none. At his death, he was listed as a peddler.

Elizabeth Scott who m. Robert Fuller (Elizabeth’s father) in Jan 1601/2 in Glemsford, Suffolk [15], died before 1627 when she was mentioned in her father’s will, Edward Scott, of Glemsford, County Suffolk. Elizabeth Scott was christened 11 May 1578 in Glemsford, Suffolk, the dau. of Edri. (Edward) Scott and Eliza [15]. Robert and Elizabeth Fuller had a daughter, Elizabeth, who died in infancy on 4 Feb 1603, see image below. They named their next daughter Elizabeth who was chr. 19 Jan 1607/8. It doesn’t appear as though any Frenches lived in Glemsford.

1. Edward Scott of Glemsford, Suffolk, m. Eliza

    2. Elizabeth Scott, chr. 11 May 1578 in Glemsford, m. Robert Fuller in Jan 1601/2 in Glemsford, Suffolk

        3. Elizabeth Fuller, d. 4 Feb 1603

        3. Elizabeth Fuller, chr. 19 Jan 1607/8 in Coggeshall, m. Richard French on 28 Oct 1622

            4. Richard French, chr. 6 May 1629


Elizabeth Fuller was only about 15 when she married Richard French on 28 Oct 1622. Richard was probably only 16. Elizabeth died either in childbirth with her son, Richard French Jr., ca. 1626 in Coggeshall, or shortly thereafter, because Richard Sr. married for a second time in 1630. No known record found of Elizabeth’s death. For more Coggeshall Parish Records, see

However, we did find an Elizabeth French, wife of “a” Richard French, who died in East Hanningfield, Essex, on 18 Oct 1631, D/P 250/1/2, Image 29, recorded at the All Saints Church in East Hanningfield, Essex [16].

The timing of this death is almost precisely when Richard French, Sr., married his second wife, Mary, probably in Coggeshall. This Elizabeth who died could have been Elizabeth (Fuller) French. There were also several Fullers in East Hanningfield.

Note: The families Ffuller, Walker, Weaver, and Tucker all worked close to each other on the looms for weaving cloth. The Fullers made the cloth fuller after being stretched. The Tuckers tucked the cloth in, and the Walkers walked it to the next station. They were all named after the work that they did.

Coggeshall is at the top-right hand corner.

Elizabeth dies in 1631 as the wife of Richard French in East Hanningfield which is about 15 minutes drive from Coggeshall. There are several Frenches mentioned in East Hanningfield at this time, but the name Richard appears only this once. Then, back in his hometown of Coggeshall, he is listed as marrying Mary in 1630, a year before his first wife dies, and having children in 1630 and 1636. As the population was quite low back then in those small villages, I can only assume that these people are of the same family. There was also a Fuller family in East Hanningfield. One could suppose that when Elizabeth had son Richard French (the immigrant) ca. 1626, she was not in good health as she died 5 years later and she had no other children born to her. She may have taken son Richard to a family member or wet nurse in East Hanningfield to be raised by them. Perhaps look for a Fuller born about 1626 who could have been the wet nurse. If Elizabeth didn't go to East Hanningfield, where was she and where was son Richard until he appears in Massachusetts in 1647? It is very difficult to find any records (court case, marriage) of a child under 20 in England in the mid-1600s.

Many online records indicate that Richard was born about 1626, but baptized on 6 May 1629. The 1626 date was determined by counting back his age from records when he was in Massachusetts.


All Saints Church in East Hanningfield, Essex, built in 1884 as their new church, as the old church was destroyed by fire. The wooden steeple may indicate that the old steeple crumbled and fell down as I’ve seen on other old churches. Photo on right and photos below taken by Mara French in Jun 2010.



The All Saints Church in East Hanningfield in earlier times (above), photo taken from a picture inside the church.


All gravestones are dated after 1850.

Peter Nutt, researcher at the ERO, states that another East Hanningfield record D/P 250/1/2, 1632 Jun 26 marriage says Francis, not French. In other words, it says John Francis son of William of Maldon and Elizabeth Goodeve daughter of William of this parish.

There is a transcript of East Hanningfield for the period shown in the parish register of D/P 250/1/3, which is very badly soiled. It is in T/R 8/1 but you can only see it in the ERO, not on line. See other East Hanningfield parish records for the surname French.


What happened to baby Richard French Jr. when his mother died early on? When a mother dies giving birth to a child back in the 1600s, and the child lives, with whom does that child usually live? I would imagine it would need to be with a woman, and since grandmothers didn't live that long back then, I'd assume it would be with a married sister or sister-in-law.

Joanna Martin [31], a researcher in Suffolk, emailed me that if a mother died giving birth to a child, and the child lived, it would have been necessary to find a wet-nurse for the infant, since there was no other satisfactory way of feeding an infant at that time - and not, I think, before the 19th century. The wet-nurse might come and live in the baby's home, or the infant might be put out to nurse. The wet-nurse might be a woman whose own infant had died - alternatively, she might, in turn, have found a wet nurse for her own infant. Clean and healthy wet-nurses were at a premium. Many infants of poor mothers who were put out to nurse (usually so that the mother could keep working) and some died. “Baby-farming” was a notorious practice in the 18th and 19th centuries - women took on several babies at a time, and it was often simply a way of getting rid of them. This practice has virtually died out in Essex. See or

Perhaps another possibility of where baby Richard lived early on could have been in Glemsford, Suffolk, with the Fuller family.

Richard French Sr.’s Second Wife Mary

Richard French m2. Mary ___________ ca. 1630 shortly after his first son, Richard, was baptized, and his first wife presumedly died. Richard and Mary had 2 children christened in 1631 and 1636 in Coggeshall (see next generation below). No record of this marriage exists in the Coggeshall parish register D/P 36/1/1, 1626-1636, Images 73-75.

Richard French Sr.’s Death

Need to look for this record. I checked D/P 250/1/3, East Hanningfield, All Saints Church, 1654-1670, but it has been badly soiled and I cannot read it. There is a transcript of these records that can only be viewed at the ERO, T/R 8/1. When I visited East Hanningfield, a historian mentioned that the people in that area were mostly farmers, not weavers. The weavers lived directly in Coggeshall, Colchester, or Bocking (near Braintree).

This burial record is not in D/P 36/1/2, burials in Coggeshall of that time. No other burial records for that time exist from Coggeshall.

Children of John and Catherine (Welham/Welam) French, 1.2

2.2 William French, christened 11 Dec 1608 at St. Botolph’s Church in Colchester, Essex County, England, the son of John French. Another unrelated person was christened at the same time, that being Ellsebete Tele the daughter of Thurston Telye. From ERO D/P 203/1/1, Image 16 (see below). This William may have died 4 Sep 1638 in Colchester, a peddler (going from place to place selling small goods), Ref. ESO (SEAX) D/P 203/1/1, image 56. This could have also been 1.1 William French listed above. We need to search the Colchester records beyond 1638 to see if any other French survives. You would imagine that he might have married by the age of 25 or by 1633 or had children by 1640, but those records were checked and no French is listed beyond 1608 for births and 1624 for marriages.

There may have also been two daughters, Jane and Elizabeth, in the family of Richard, 1.1, or John, 1.2, per these marriage records in Colchester (marriages usually took place in the bride’s hometown):

Š      John Hull de Stoke upon Nailand in Com Suff et Jane French de Ipswich in predicto single married 13 May 1622. Does this mean that Jane French, who currently was living in Ipswich, Suffolk, married John Hull, who currently was living in Stoke by Nayland in Suffolk married on 13 May 1622 in Colchester? Record below found at St. Botolph’s Church in Colchester, D/P 203/1/1, Image 28. This mean that Jane French, who currently was living in Ipswich, Suffolk, married John Hull, who currently was living in Stoke by Nayland in Suffolk married on 13 May 1622 in Colchester, as verified by researcher Peter Nutt.

Š      Bartholmew Burgess singleman de Nayland et Elizabeth French vido de St Nicholas in Colchester per licence. Does this mean that Elizabeth French who currently was living in Colchester married Bartholomew Burgess of Nayland on 28 Dec 1624? This mean that Elizabeth French who currently was living in Colchester married Bartholomew Burgess of Nayland on 28 Dec 1624, as verified by researcher Peter Nutt. St. Nicholas was a parish church; however, this record was found at St. Botolph’s Church in Colchester, D/P 203/1/1, Image 29.

Catherine Welham/Welam, William French’s mother, died on 7 Sep 1613. No known other children. I’m doing some more research on Jane and Elizabeth French mentioned above and report my findings later on.

Third Generation, the Emigrant

Child of Richard French Sr. and Elizabeth (Fuller) French, 2.1

3.1* Richard French, b. ca. 1626, christened about 3 years later on 6 May 1629 in Coggeshall as the son of Richard and Elizabeth his wife, according to the Coggeshall Parish Registers Transcripts at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, England (see below) [12].

Above reads for 1626:  May  6   Richard son of Richard French and Elizabeth his wife

Charles E. Banks in his book of English Emigrants lists Richard from Coggeshall, Essex County, England to Cambridge, MA, according to the Middlesex Court Records during the English Civil War (1642-1646). According to the Records of the Mass Bay Colony, Richard was 27 years of age on a deposition in Cambridge, 25 May 1653, just a month before his son Samuel was born. This establishes his birth year at 1626, although he was baptized 3 years later on 6 May 1629. Only a year later after this baptism, in 1630 and also in 1636, two more children appear in the parish register as children of Richard and Mary in Coggeshall, Essex, England.

Richard French Jr. immigrated to Cambridge, MA, ca. 1647 or earlier (age 22), but no known immigration records have been found. He was married and had his first child in 1649 in MA. Richard was one of the participants in the first division of land in Concord of "Shawshyne," which later became Billerica, when he was granted twenty acres in 1652.   This land he later deeded to the town of Billerica in the "Great Deed." Richard served as a trooper under Major Simon Willard of Dedham, 11 Nov., 1654.  Richard French d. 14 Dec 1688 in Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA, and was buried 21 Dec 1688 in Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA. He was supposedly a fisherman. This line continues in the U.S., with FFA Chart #6.


Richard French m1. Martha (perhaps Beare) ca. 1648/9 (last name was not Danforth nor Hildreth) in Massachusetts. Richard’s first children were Joseph French, 1649-1732, and Samuel French, 1653-1727. These two children lived elsewhere with other families from 1654 onward. Joseph lived in Bedford, MA, and Samuel lived with William French of FFA Chart #2 in Billerica, MA. William was probably related to Richard thru a female line, because their DNA tests do not match each other. Joseph and Samuel, born 4 years apart, may have had different mothers. We would like to find the christening date for Joseph.

The Supplement and Index to “A History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877” mentions “Richard, m. Martha, he resided, N. side Bow St., on the estate of Nicholas Danforth which he bought on 26 Jan 1652, and sold to Edmund Angier, 8 Oct 1654.”

Richard French was in jail (or perhaps put to torture in those days) between 1654-1657. He was charged on 3 Oct 1654 for uncivil carriage and abuse charges to his neighbor’s maid, Jane Evans, in Cambridge, MA. Richard was forced to sell his land on 8 Oct 1654 only about three years after he bought it to pay for charges against him. He sold his land for half what he paid for it to Edmund Angier, an immigrant from Dedham, Essex, England, who immigrated in 1635 to Cambridge, MA, on the ship Defence with William French, FFA Chart #2. As a side issue, there was a court order on 8 Oct 1628 in Foxearth, Essex, recognizances of John Ellingham, William French, and Henry Ellingham, weaver; john to keep the peace to Elizabeth Evans, all of Foxearth, Q/SR 264/61. This court case is listed here only in case these two Evans families are shown to be one and the same.

After remaining 3 years in torture, and on 7 Jun 1659, Richard again committed bodily uncleanes with Heptsibah (or Hepzibah) Andrews in Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA, when she was only 14 years old. Hepzibah was b. ca. 1645 in Hingham, Plymouth Co., MA, and d. 26 Jan 1691 in Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ. She m. Jeffery Manning in 1662 in Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ. She had children: Mary Manning ca. 1663, Elizabeth Manning ca. 1666, John Manning ca. 1668, Joseph Manning ca. 1675, James Manning ca. 1675, and Benjamin Manning on 8 Sep 1676 all in Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ. Who knows if her child with Richard French could have been Elizabeth French who was born as the daughter of Richard French on 2 Feb 1660, just about 9 months after the incident with Hepzibah Andrews took place.

Not much is known about Richard French’s daughter Elizabeth French after she was born, except she is listed in the will of Richard Beare in 1673, Richard French’s father-in-law, when she was 13 years old. No word of her marrying or dying. Neither Hepzibah Andrews nor her father, Joseph Andrews (he was town clerk in Hingham, MA, from 1637) appeared at the second hearing, and Richard French was released from bond and from having to pay a considerable sum towards the keeping of the child. So, what happened to either child who have Richard French’s DNA, or are they one and the same?

Just a year later, Richard’s wife had her last child, John, chr. 1661 in Marshfield, MA, and died in 1711 in Nova Scotia, Canada. If we knew the exact dates of Elizabeth and John’s births in 1660 and 1661, we might be able to tell whose child Elizabeth was. In son John’s will, he mentions his brother Samuel, which ties this entire family together. I would thereafter assume he had some dealings with Samuel who then lived in Dunstable, MA. I also assume his sister Elizabeth was no longer living or she would have been mentioned in his will. I also assume that Richard’s first son, Joseph, was removed or distant from John, as his name is not mentioned in John’s will, and he was still living.

Richard French was appointed administrator of Richard Beare's estate in Plymouth Colony in which Mr. Beare left a cow each to John and Elizabeth French, children of Richard and Martha French.  In 1673 Elizabeth and John would have been 12 and 13 years old, respectively. This proves that those two children were living with Richard and Martha French in 1673.

The Danforth Family

Richard Did Not Marry Martha Danforth because there was no such person. Nicholas Danforth escaped England and its persecutors in 1634, coming to what was then called “New Towne” or later, Cambridge, on 18 Sep 1634 on the ship Griffin, arriving from London with 200 passengers, among them Nicholas Danforth’s brother-in-law Rev. Zechariah Symmes who later became minister of Charlestown, MA. Nicholas Danforth’s wife, Elizabeth Symmes, had perished in 1628 in Aspall, Suffolk, England. At least 8 members of the Symmes family were aboard: Zachariah Symmes, his second wife Sarah, and most likely their children William, Mary, Elizabeth, Huldah, Hannah, and Rebecca Symmes.

The ship Griffin list does not list the Danforth family; however, they are listed in the Wikipedia free encyclopedia where Nicholas Danforth is listed, sons Thomas, Samuel, Jonathan, and daughters Anna, Elizabeth, and Lydia and no Martha.

Nicholas Danforth took his 6 children to the new world. They ranged in age in 1634 from 6 to 16. Nicholas d. in Apr 1638, only 3 ½ years after his arrival. See Danforth genealogy. Now this all sounds good, but. . . . Nicholas Danforth never had a daughter named Martha according to the Danforth genealogy which seems quite accurate. But . . . many other genealogies state that he did have a daughter named Martha. Was there a Martha Hildreth? Or was Martha Danforth a niece of Nicholas?

What was Martha’s surname? It could NOT have been Hildreth or Danforth. Delpha Triptow, my researcher in Salt Lake City, checked six Hildreth family books and saw no mention of a daughter, Martha. There was also no woman named Martha Danforth.

Martha Danforth was supposedly b. ca. 1629 in Framlington, Plomesgate, Suffolk, England. Personally, I don’t find a Martha Danforth among Nicholas Danforth’s and Elizabeth Symmes’ children, nor do I find a Martha Danforth immigrating to Cambridge with Nicholas Danforth, her father. It is noted in some online genealogy that Martha Danforth was b. ca. 1629, d. ca. 1659 in Billerica, Middlesex Co., MA [3]. Nicholas Danforth was christened 1 Mar 1589 in Framlingham and d. 8 Apr 1638 in Cambridge, MA. Furthermore, research by John Joseph May in his book entitled “Danforth Genealogy: Nicholas Danforth of Framlingham, England and Cambridge, New England, 1589-1638 and William Danforth of Newbury, Massachusetts, 1640-1721” does not show any birth of a Martha Danforth other than Martha Danforth Robbins and Martha Danforth Boardman. Nicholas Danforth is mentioned as having children Elizabeth (1619), Mary (1621), Anna (1622), Thomas (1623), Lydia (1625), Samuel (1626), Jonathan (1627/8), and no others. This book was written in 1902 and can be searched on Google. The book does mention Richard French as receiving land and a house from Nicholas Danforth’s son Thomas Danforth in 1654 which was conveyed to Richard French, that land originally inherited from Thomas’ father, Nicholas Danforth. In later years, several of the Danforth family married into the French family.

Here is the explanation: Jonathan, the youngest son of Nicholas Danforth, m. Elizabeth Poulter in Boston on 22 Nov 1654. Their daughter, Sarah Danforth was christened 13 Dec 1676. She married William French II of FFA Chart #2 on 22 May 1695.

Children of
Nicholas & Elizabeth Danforth  ----- NO MARTHA, as researched by Joanna Martin of Suffolk [31]

Elizabeth - baptized 3 Aug 1619 in Framlingham, England; married Andrew Belcher, Sr. of Cambridge on 1 Oct 1639. They were the grandparents of Governor Jonathan Belcher and owners of the Blue Anchor Tavern in Cambridge.

Mary - baptized 3 May 1621 in Framlingham, England and married Thomas Parrish of Cambridge in 1639.

Anne - baptized 3 Sep 1622 in Framlingham, England; married Matthew Bridge of Cambridge on 19 Jan 1642/43 and was great-grandmother of the second pastor of the church in Framingham, Rev. Matthew Bridge.

Thomas - baptized 20 Nov 1623 in Framlingham, England; married Mary Withington of Dorchester on 23 Feb 1643/44. They were the parents of Sarah - born 16 Apr 1645; died 29 Oct same year; Sarah - born 11 Nov 1646; married Rev. Joseph Whiting; Mary - born 28 Jul 1650 married (1) Solomon Phipps of Charlestown; md (2) Thomas Brown of Sudbury; Samuel - born 5 Oct 1652; graduated at Harvard University in 1671 and died of small-pox in London on 22 Dec 1676; Thomas - born 16 Dec 1654; probably killed in the great Narraganset Swamp fight on 19 Dec 1675; Jonathan - born 27 Feb 1657; died within a few weeks; Jonathan - born 10 Feb 1659; graduated from Harvard University in 1679 and died unmarried at Cambridge on 13 Nov 1682; Joseph - born 18 Sep 1661 ; died 2 Oct 1663; Benjamin - born 20 May 1663; died 23 Aug 1663; Elizabeth - born 11 Jan 1665; married Francis Foxcroft of Cambridge on 3 Oct 1682; and Bethia - baptized 16 June 1667; died the following year.

Lydia - baptized 24 May 1625 in Framlingham, England and married William Beaman on 9 Dec 1643 in Sabybrook, CT and died there on 16 Aug 1686.

Samuel - baptized in 17 Oct 1626 in Framlingham, England, graduated at Harvard University in 1643. He became pastor of the church in Roxbury from 1650-1674 and was a colleague with the apostle Eliot. He married Mary Wilson on 5 Nov 1651 and died in Roxbury on 19 Nov 1674. His wife Mary died on 13 Sep 1713.

Jonathan - baptized 2 Mar 1627/28 in Framlingham and settled in Billerica where he died on 7 Sep 1712.

Basically, my researcher in Suffolk, Joanna Martin [31], researched the Framlingham registers. Unfortunately the microfiche for the 1620s is mostly illegible, but there is a modern, typed transcript. This shows no sign of Martha Danforth's baptism 1626-29. See and Also see N.E.G.R. 7/315 and N.E.G.R. 57/193, emigrant from Framlingham to Cambridge, MA (Nicholas and Thomas Danforth). I don't find a baptism record for Martha Danforth, nor she didn't immigrate on the ship Griffin with the rest of the family in 1634 -- in fact I can't find any Danforth on the ship records. See

The Beare Family

Richard French was married to Martha Beare by 1659 in Marshfield, MA, or perhaps even by 1648. If there is no marriage record of these two individuals in 1659, it could mean that Martha Beare was the one and only wife of Richard, having married him ca. 1648. We don’t have that record either. According to the Marshfield Marriage Records [26], no marriage for these two individuals exists.

Where was Martha Beare born? In Massachusetts or in England? Richard and Martha had children Elizabeth b. 2 Feb 1660, and John French, b. 1661, d. 1710. The name Beare does not appear at all in Cambridge. The Beare family immigrated to Plymouth at least by 1636 when Richard was appointed to have 5 acres of land on 6 Oct 1636. Evidence is quite clear that he did not arrive much earlier, if at all. Therefore, his daughter Martha, if she was a similar age as Richard christened in 1629, she would have been born in England.

Richard Beare was b. ca. 1600 in England. He d. 5 Mar 1674 in Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA. He was married to Grace. They had daughter Martha Beare b. ca. 1627 in either Marshfield or England. If Richard and Martha met each other in England, they bought would have been only about 10 years old; therefore, it is more likely that they met in Massachusetts. We need to find the location where this family lived in England.

5 Aug 1638 when Richard Beare was acknowledged in court in Plymouth County, Marshfield, written in “Pioneers of Massachusetts” by Pope. Records prove that Martha in Marshfield was the daughter of Richard Beare.

Richard Beare wrote his will on 6 Jan 1673 in Marshfield [30]. The inventory of the estate of Richard Beare deceased was exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the fift of March 1673 on the oath of Richard French, Plymouth Colony Wills, vol. III, p. 100.

6 January 1673

Plymouth Colony Wills 3:100


The Inventory of Richard Beare

A true and Iust Inventory of the estate of Richard Beare deceased taken by vs Ensigne Marke Eanes and Iohn Bourne this sixth of Ianuary 1673

li s d

Impr: his wearing apparrel [..] 09 00

Item in cash 12 10 00

Item beding, and Rugg, and Couerlids, and blanketts, and sheets & pillows [0. 0.] 00

Item 2 oxen and 4 Cowes 14 10 00

Item 3 potts & a skillett and pothookes 01 10 00

Item 1 gun and poweder and lead 00 18 00

Item pewter dishes and one basse dish and 1 porringer & Cupp 00 12 06

Item 1 remnant of serge and a parsell of kersey a parsell of teicking and a remnant of kersey 07 11 00

Item 2 chests 00 2: 00

Item 1 hatt and a tramell 00 04 00

Item a barrell with beife 08 00 00

Item a husselments 00 06 06

Item Cattle in partenorship 00 00 00

Item a Rugg 00 16 00

Item a Chist and a paire of stockens 00 07 00

Item a trough a Cherne and two other smale things 00 05 00

Item a frying pan a bottle and 2 smale vessells [0.] 04 00

debts due to Richard Beare

Item From William Foard senir: 02 12 00

Item from Benjamine Church 01 10 00

Item from William Sherman senir: 01 00 00

Item from Walter Woodworth 01 010 00

debts duw from Richard Beare

To Mr Arnold

To Charges of sicknes and funarall

Witnessed by vs Iohn Bourne

Mark Eames

This Inventory of the estate of Richard Beare deceased was exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the fift of March 1673 on the oath of Richard French

Plymouth Colony Wills, vol. III, p. 100

Another record of “a” Richard Beare:


  _April_ 1, 1656:--A complaint in behalf of Thomas Bussel,

  Richard Beare, and other English merchants. A ship of theirs,

  called _The Edmund and John_, on her voyage from Brazil to

  Lisbon, was seized long ago by a privateer of Flushing, commanded

  by a Lambert Bartelson. The ship itself and the personal property

  of the sailors had been restored; but not the goods of the

  merchants. The Judges in Holland had not done justice in their

  case; and now, after long litigation, an appeal is made to the

  chief authority.

Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England: a listing of the life of Richard Beare of Plymouth, Massachusetts is at this website: researched by Dale H. Cook,, revised 22 Jun 2010. See Ref. [38] to see how to access these volumes.

BEARE / BEAR Richard, 2:155; 13:67, 166, 169, 295, 512
admitted a freeman,
executor of, vs. Benjamin Church,
his lands,
1:45, 78
land granted to,
4:18, 128
presented for swearing,
3:91, 96, 98
propounded as freeman,
2:167; 3:8
punished for contempt,
recognized to answer, etc.,
3:154, 167, 176

Richard Beare was appointed to have 5 acres of land on 6 Oct 1636, next to the glade on Powder Point with other gentlemen (Maurice Truant, George Partridge, John Vobes, and William Merick) who also had 5 acres each. At the same time, Richard Beare was allowed to erect a dwelling house to have a misted appointed in place convenient, provided that said Beare secure sufficient security with him to be bound in fifty pounds bond for his good behavior in the said house or family. On 5 Mar 1637/8, twenty acres of land was granted to Richard Beare, lying on Duxborrow side, ranging in length north and south, and in breadth east and west, and lying on the west side of Greenes Harbor path, adjoining to the cedar swamp [38].

Powder Point is in Duxbury, MA. See Marshfield in upper left-hand corner. Green Harbor is up the coast from Power Point.

Richard Beare stood propounded to take up his freedom on 3 Jun 1652 in Marshfield. Richard Beare was admitted to the General Court and sworne a freeman on 7 Jun 1653. He was a constable of Marshfield on 7 Jun 1653. On 4 Oct 1655, Richard Beare was sworn by the wounds of God. On 6 Mar 1655 Richard Beare, being presented for swearing by the wounds of God, not appearing by reason of sickness or lameness, it is referred until the next court, which took place on 6 May 1656 in which Richard Beare was formerly presented for swearing by the wounds of God, being reproved and paying the fine, was released of this resentment. On 3 Dec 1658 the Court have ordered that Major Winslow shall take sufficient securities for the appearance of Richard Beare to appear at the court to be holden the first Tuesday in March next, and to release him of his present imprisonment until then. On 7 Jun 1659 the court taking notice of Richard Beare of Marshfield to be such in the said order saith shall be disfranchised, the Court have ordered his appearance at the Court of Assistants, to be holden in August next ensueing, to be then and there convict and censured according to the said order. On 6 Oct 1659 Richard Beare of Marshfield appeared in court for being a grossly scandalouse person, debaughed, having been formerly convicted of filthy, obscene practices, and for the same by the court sentenced, as also falling under the breach of the aforesaid law, was summoned by the court personally to appear to receive the said sentence of being disfranchised as aforesaid, but he appeared not, Not withstanding his facts and course of life being pepecuouse and manifest, he was likewise sentence to be disfranchised of his freedom of his corporation [38].

Note that Richard French was also in court at this very same time in Marshfield, on 6 Oct 1659, when he appeared to answer to such particulars as should be objected against him against Hepsibath Andrew for committing bodily uncleanes with her, but she not appearing, he was for the present cleared, and his bond delivered, and he was left to his liberty to prosecute against the said Hepthsibath Andrews, if he pleased [38].

Could Richard Beare’s Wife Been Grace Granger?

No record shows Richard Beare to be married; however, he must have been married by about 1630 to have daughter Martha Beare about that time. Grace Granger not only wrote her will in 1648, but records show that Grace also died in 1648 per the History of Scituate, MA, by Samuel Deane. We are not sure what the connection was between Richard Beare and Grace Granger, but Richard Beare’s wife’s name was Grace, last name unknown.

The following will is from a book found on Google called “The Mayflower Descendant 1907” edited by George E. Bowman. This will states that Grace Granger is a widow, but in good health. Richard Beare’s name is listed in her will. Grace’s husband, Thomas Granger, died in Scituate, MA, in 1642/3, six years before she died. Grace’s minor children at her death, John and Elizabeth, have the same names as the children of Richard French and Martha Beare. Grace was of Scituate, MA, just north of Marshfield. Richard Beare signed her will with his mark.

Richard Beare Court Records

7 June 1659 Records 3:167. William Newland is set to be disenfranchised by the Court, along with Henery Howland, of Duxburrow, John Barnes, of Plymouth, and Richard Beare, of Marshfeild [30].

Records 3:175-76. At the same Court, Newland was disenfranchised of his freedom, along with John Barnes, Henery Howland, and Richard Beare (who did not appear at this Court). Newland and Howland were disenfranchised "for their being abettors and entertainers of Quakers, contrary to the aforsaid order" [30].

Other Unknown Beare Records

The surname Beare has been seen in both Essex and Suffolk early on.

A will of “a” Richard Beare appears in Woodford on 3 Nov 1579. Also, an indenture, mortgage for Richard Beare of Swanton Abbott, worsteadweaver, appears on 13 Jul 1663.

In Great Saling, Essex Co., England, a will appears for a Richard Beare, husbandman, dated 1623/24, D/ABW 45/153. In his will he names Elizabeth his wife, his daughter Elizabeth, his daughter Mary, his daughter Sara, and his daughter Judith. I read this will and do not see any son who could have been named Richard Beare who had a daughter named Martha. Richard requested that his body be buried in the graveyard of Old Saling. It appears that all daughters were underage, but my reading of the will is not perfect. You can see the will online at the ERO website. Great Saling is close to Coggeshall.

“A” Richard Beare appears in the National Archives at the Kew in London vs. Robert beare and Henry Harwood. Claim by Feoffment. A farm called Beare in the parish of Rose Ash, Devon, between 1558 and 1603. C 2/Eliz/B20/43

“A” Richard Beare appears in the National Archives at the Kew in London vs. Robert Paperell and Thomas Fynche. Claim as heir. A meadow in the borough of St. Germans, Cornwall, between 1558 and 1603. C 2/Eliz/B26/11

“A” Richard Beare appears in the National Archives at the Kew in London showing his wife as Thomasine in St. Germans, Cornwall, 1650. This entry disproves this Richard Beare and all 3 entries Cornwall entries above found at the Kew because Richard Beare was in Marshfield by 1636.

In Warwickshire County, Edward French of FFA Chart #E4 has the same DNA results as Richard French of FFA Chart #6 in Coggeshall, Essex County, about 2 1/2 hours driving distance apart. Quite a distance; I know because I drove this distance in Jun 2010. Through a researcher in Warwickshire, I was able to determine that the Frenches left that county early on, so I picked the county in between Warwickshire and Essex (Suffolk) to do more research. Somehow, goodness knows how, I was able to find Edward's parents in Bildeston, Suffolk. A Suffolk researcher found all Frenches for me in that village. When I went to the Bildeston church, on the wall I saw several plaques in the 1600-1700s of the Beare family, the family who married into the family of Richard French, my family, who has the same DNA. I never thought of looking for the Beare family in England because I thought the Beare family only met the French family in Massachusetts. Now perhaps Chart #4 and Chart #6 started out in Bildeston. Photos below taken by Mara French in Jun 2010.


Note that Henry Beare, B.A. appears on this plaque in 1723 as the Rector of St. Mary Magdaline parish church in Bildeston, Suffolk. The Rev. Henry Beare, M.A. Rector, died on 30 Oct 1733 at age 34; and his wife Mary died on 5 Feb 1749, aged 60, both in Bildeston.

Martha Beare’s father was Richard Beare. More research needs to be done on Henry Beare. The plaque below is also hanging in the parish church of Bildeston, Suffolk. This plaque indicates that Henry Beare was the only son of Henry Beare of Bearfold, Derbyshire, and his wife, Mary Brand, daughter of Jacob Brand of Polstead, Suffolk.



Here I am (Mara French) at the entrance to the St. Mary Magdaline parish church in Bildeston, Suffolk, June 2010, at 67 years old. For more on this church, see FFA Chart #E4 on Edward French.

Children of Richard French Sr. and Mary, 2.1

3.2 Thomas French, christened 21 Sep 1630 in Coggeshall as the son of Richard French and Mary his wife [1] [12]. D/P 36/1/1, Image 39. Whether or not Thomas immigrated to America is not known.

3.3 Mary French, christened 26 Apr 1636 in Coggeshall as the daughter of Richard French and Mary his wife [1], D/P 36/1/1, Image 45. Whether or not Mary immigrated to America is not known.

This English chart on Richard French continues in America with FFA Chart #6.

Immigration of Richard French

Richard French immigrated from Coggeshall as an adult during the English Civil War, probably in 1647. His first child, Joseph, was born in 1649 in MA. The port of London is only 40 miles west of Coggeshall.

Hypothesis of Richard’s Immigration

Š      One record shows that Richard French came to Colonial America on the ship, "Blessing," in July 1635 from London, England to Massachusetts Bay, although there is no proof of this whatsoever. He was a lad of nine or ten years old when he came over, and whether he was indentured, apprenticed or orphaned--is at this date, unknown.  He was settled at New Towne (later Cambridge) first recorded in 1647 at age 22; whereupon, he first married within a year or two and had son Joseph in 1649. His name does not appear on the list of ship “Blessing” passengers: nor do any of the surnames listed relate to the French family.

Š      Richard French immigrated ca. 1647 at age 21, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, whereupon he married Martha in 1648 and had son Joseph in 1649. We need verification on his immigration. So far no record appears.

Court Records of Richard French in the U.S.

3 Oct 1654 Court Record:

Court records of Middlesex Co. show charges against Richard with "uncivil carriage and abuse offered to the body of Jane Evans, a servant of Richard Hildreth and his wife Elizabeth," and the court found him guilty of the charge and fined him heavily, which at that time was three pounds to the court and two pounds damages to Jane. Richard French "pinned down with his knee" his neighbor's maid, Jane Evans. Apparently he chased her on horseback. It's all written up in a book called "Sex in Middlesex." Cambridge, MA, where he lived, was in Middlesex County. The story uses no profanity, but uses rather amusing old English. Nowhere could I find that he was actually put in "jail". I'm not sure what means of torture they used in those days - perhaps hard labor. Immediately after his sin, he sold his land in Cambridge for less than he bought it for, perhaps showing it was a forced sale. He was then unheard of for 3 years until he showed up in Marshfield, MA. However, there is a document that says he was "late, of Bedford" which doesn't mean he died in Bedford, but that he was from there before he moved to Marshfield. The town of Bedford was the home of his eldest son Joseph, b. 1649. Richard French’s next son, Samuel, was born on 13 Jul 1653, just about a year before the court case with Jane Evans. On this date, 3 Oct 1654, it states that Richard French was of Billerica. William French of FFA Chart #2 moved from Cambridge/Boston to Billerica in 1654 as did Richard French, as well as 4 of William French’s brother’s children (his brother John French and his wife had died of FFA Chart #3). Therefore, it was not until 1654 that William and Richard French (unrelated) lived in Billerica next to Richard Hildreth. Jane Evans was not a horse nor a negro. Richard Hildreth supported Jane Evans’s account of her assault by Richard French.

Ref. [10] below:

At least we have a court record saying that in 1654, Richard French was recently married, but the word “recently” could mean anything – could it mean 1648 to be in alignment with his son Joseph born in 1649? To me it sounds more like 1652 to be in alignment with his son Samuel born in 1653. In the “Tragedy” article below, Richard lived near or with William French (unrelated) in 1652-1653, the latter year in which his son was born. We need to do more research on his first son, Joseph, who was born in 1649 and was raised by a family in Bedford, MA (near Billerica).

“A” Jane Evans is listed on as being christened in 1630 or 1635 in MA. She may be listed with a child born in 1654 in Cambridge, MA. This listing shows she married John Tillotson in 1655 in Boston, and was probably not a servant of Richard Hildreth at that time. This record is the only one listed for a Jane Evans living in Boston at that time.

Reading “A Furious Master and His Blood-Sucking Servant: A Cambridge Tragedy, 1652-1653” by Roger Thompson, shown in The New England Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Jun 2005), pp. 289-297, we find all these names mentioned in this article: Goody Betts, Richard French, and Lt. William French. Hmmm, this is very interesting. It talks about the Betts family who were childless. The wife of John Betts was referred to as Goodwife Betts, hence the term Goody Betts or Goody French, as in the article above – a title prefixed to a surname. The Betts family came from the same area in Essex as the French family did. They could have used some children to help out on the farm, so they hired two servants: Robert Knight (who fell off a ladder and was disabled) and Thomas Abbot. The tragedy of 1652-53 began as mundane difficulties started. There were various attacks on Knight when he broke his back due to Betts striking him down. Abbot and his mistress, Sarah Symmes, looked on. Sarah Symmes was the wife of the minister of Charlestown and sister-in-law of another witness, Lt. William French of Cambridge. Knight grew much worse after Betts insisted that he keep working. Abbot confirmed that Knight was a liar. William French was the neighbor of John Betts in Boston. Betts told Richard French of scare tactics he used on Knight. The article states that William French and Richard French had apparently no relation to one another. Robert Knight died on 28 Oct 1652 of his injuries. On 28 May 1653, Betts was judged not legally guilty of murder. However, Betts was taken in a cart from prison with the hangman’s noose around his neck and made to stand on the gallows ladder one hour, and then he was severely whipped in jail before being released. On 1 Jun 1653, Abbot was seen with laundress Anne Williamson’s clothes up about her waist and with his body working and in motion towards her body with his arms encompassing her hips and her arms encompassing Abbot’s shoulders. This was not their first act of intimacy. Elizabeth “Goody” Betts died on 21 Jan 1664, ten months after her husband died. Read the complete article here. From this article, we know that William French is of FFA Chart #2. Richard’s son Samuel French was born 13 Jul 1653 while all this tragedy was taking place. No wonder Richard followed in those footsteps and wounded up also in jail. Who knows if any or all of Richard’s four children were by the same woman. Note that Sarah Symmes in this article immigrated to Cambridge, MA, on the Defence, the same ship on which William French immigrated in 1635. The article mentions that Sarah Symmes was the sister-in-law of William French, indicating that William French was married to Elizabeth Symmes, although we have not found this record yet. The Charlestown minister was undoubtedly Zachariah Symmes. However, in the Probate Office at East Cambridge is the will of Sarah Simes of Cambridge, MA, dated 4 Apr 1653, written the same time that this tragedy was going on. She makes bequests to her brother John Stedman, her dear paster Jr. Jonathan Mitchell, Elder Richard Champney, Elder Edmund Frost, her brother William French, Deacon Gregory Stone, and Deacon John Bridge. All these men were highly respectable Cambridge men, members of the church, and all were freemen of the colony as early as 1640. Was she perhaps the first wife of Capt. William Symmes? By the inventory, it appears that she died 11 Jun 1653.

7 June 1659 Court Records:

The Plymouth County court records evidence that Richard French " . . . is accused by Heptsibah Andrews to have comitted bodily uncleanes with her, and hath stood engaged to the court to answer for the same and appeered at this Court; and likewise the said Heptsibah Andrews was likewise sumoned to take bonds of him to pay a considerable sume towards the keept of the child....etc." However, it seems Ms. Andrews did not appear at the second hearing and Richard was released from bond.

Another version below [30]

June 7, 1659 (GC, PCR 3:165): Wheras Richard French is accused by Hepthsibah Andrews to haue committed bodily vncleanes with her, and hath stood engaged to the Court to answare for the same and appeered att this Court; and that like wise the said Hepthsibah Andrews was likewise summoned to appeer att this Court to make out her accusation, but soe it is that shee could not appeer by reason of weaknes or sicknes; the Court, therefore, hath seen reason to take bonds of him to pay a considerable summe towards the keeping of the child, wherwith shee goeth, if it shall appeer to bee his.

October 6, 1659 (GC, PCR 3:176): Att this Court, Richard French appeered to answare to such particulares as should bee objected against him X Hepthsibath Andrew, for committing bodily vncleanes with her; but shee not appeering, hee was for the present cleared, and his bond deliuered, and hee was left to his libertie to procecute against the said Hepthsibath Andrews, if hee pleased.

7 June 1659. General Court of Election. PCR 3:162. Jury member at the Grand Inquest. There were a great number of cases most of which were land grants. A case that stood out was Richard French who was accused of bodily uncleanness. He was ordered to pay for the child if it appeared to be his.

As an afterthought, could this child have been Richard French’s daughter Elizabeth who is mentioned as christened on 2 Feb 1660 in Marshfield? No word has ever been found about either child, that of Hepthsibah Andrews or of Richard French, although the timing is precisely correct.

Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 7- Judicial Acts: 1636-1692. From Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Vol. 7, ed. by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, M.D., 1857, Boston, MA. p. 196. Oct. 27, 1675. Case of Richard French of Marshfield, executor of the estate.

Connection Between Richard and Edward French

According to the DNA tests, Group 3 shows a family connection between Richard French of FFA Chart #6 (Coggeshall, County Essex) and Edward French of FFA Chart #4 (Rugby, Warwickshire). While Richard French was b. ca. 1625 in Coggeshall, County Essex, England, Edward French of the same DNA was christened 21 Sep 1595 in Allesley, Warwickshire, England, and married on 3 Nov 1626 in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. Both men immigrated to the Cambridge, MA area between 1635-1647. They were not brothers; therefore, the DNA connection is from further back.

Considering that Edward French and Richard French were from Warwickshire and Essex, England, the following maps show the distances from one county to the other.


The relationship between Edward French and Richard French is unknown at this point and time. Only their DNA match perfectly. Could John of Rugby and William of Colchester (Generation 2) been siblings?



Edward French Family, FFA Chart #4

Richard French Family, FFA Chart #6


Thomas French, b. ca. 1540



John French, chr. Feb 1575, of Rugby, Warwickshire, England

William French, b. ca. 1580 perhaps in Colchester


Edward French, chr. 21 Sep 1595 in Allesley, Warwickshire, m. Anne Worcester on 3 Nov 1626 in Rugby, Warwickshire, England, d. 28 Dec 1674 in Salisbury, Essex Co., MA.

Richard French Sr., chr. 16 Feb 1605/6 in Colchester, m1. 28 Oct 1622 in Coggeshall at St. Peter’s Church to Elizabeth Fuller, who perhaps died in childbirth with Richard French Jr. Richard French Sr. m2. Mary, he d. 15 Dec 1668.


Three children born in England: Joseph (ca. 1631), John (ca. 1632), Samuel (ca. 1633), and Hannah was born in Salisbury, MA (ca. 1640).

Richard French Jr., chr. 6 May 1629 in Coggeshall, Essex, England, d. 14 Dec 1688 in Marshfield, MA



Four children born in the U.S.: Joseph (1649), Samuel (1653), Elizabeth (1660), John (1661).

Records, Richard and Edward French

From the Essex Record Office. These records may or may not relate to this family. They are kept here for future research.

Š      28-29 January 1620 indictment at Rivenhall, stole two white ewes belonging to Peter French and John Fuller of Little Coggeshall, labourer, and Rose his wife, and John Armond of the same, laborer, received and comforted them. Plead not guilty; pease, guilty, hanged. Spencer, guilty, read, branded, the others acquitted. Witness: Peter French, T/A 418/95/56.

Š      John French of Rivenhall, yeoman, d. 16 Jan 1595/6, D/ABW 15/30.

Š      Richard French of the parish of Abchurch in the City of London handed in bail to Christopher Temple of Doddinghurst and William Bowlande of Little Warley, gentlemen; indicted. Q/SR 165/95-97, 12-14 January 1604. We can consider that this Richard is not part of the family who immigrated to America. He was of St. Mary, Abchurch, London, a merchant taylor, who married Emma Yernon of St. Botolph, Aldgate, London, a widow, at St. Botolph, Aldgate, 1 Feb 1615.

Š      Edward French, yet unknown French, d. 30 Jul 1666 of the plague. I cannot find this record. This appears not to be Edward French, Chart #4, of Salisbury, MA, because that Edward died in Salisbury, MA on 28 Dec 1674.

Š      Robert Ffuller christened 7 Dec 1600 in Coggeshall, D/P 36/1/1, Image 11.

He was the oldest brother of Elizabeth Ffuller which indicates that this Fuller family lived in Coggeshall and perhaps not in Colchester. Elizabeth married Richard French. Perhaps we need to go back one generation and find the father of Elizabeth and Robert Ffuller, Thomas Ffuller, to see if he was living in Colchester. We already found a Thomas Fuller, yeoman, of St. Botolph’s Church, Colchester, on 21 Aug 1606, Q/SR 177/124, but we need to go back to about 1580.

Š      Richard French of East Donyland near Colchester wrote his will on 16 Feb 1598, D/ACW 3/206.

Š      We know the immigrant Richard French was christened on 6 May 1629 in Coggeshall, his mother died in childbirth with him or shortly thereafter, but where was he until he appears in Cambridge, MA, in 1647? Was he not old enough to appear on any records? His father remarried ca. 1630 and had 2 children: Thomas and Mary. Did they all live together, or did Richard (the son) live with a member of the Fuller family, with a wet-nurse, or with the Scott family in Suffolk? Perhaps he immigrated to Cambridge with a member of the Fuller or Scott family. We need to do more research on the Fuller-French-Scott connection, if any, in Colchester.

On this map above, find Coggeshall in the lower left corner, where Richard French of FFA Chart #6 lived. Only a few miles north of Coggeshall in Greenstead Green is where William French of FFA Chart #2 lived who had different DNA results. Then, between those villages and to the right is Great Tey where John French of FFA Chart #3 lived, the brother of William.

Follow the small street out of Coggeshall on the right (yellow then the gray road) which goes under Colchester Rd. or A120 (A120 was, of course, not built yet when Richard lived there). But, follow the small street (Tey Road) further to where it zigzags after A120. This is where the French family supposedly lived according to one of the maps below. For details, see the red square below. The cross shows where the St. Peter-ad-Vincula Church stands on Church St.

Notice the detail below following Tey Road past Monk’s Down Farm on the right, and where the road straightens out, the French family lived on the left before the curve. Probably there are just fields out there today, but I’ll walk out there and investigate on my trip in Jun 2010. Tey Road leads to Great Tey where John French of FFA Chart #3 lived. This map is from a realtor’s office in 1998.

The following map is dated 1988 and redrawn from a 1853 map. You can spot Monk’s Down Farm, and the two squares of French Lands are also noted. I made a photo of this map with my camera, but it is actually quite a bit larger than shown here. Who actually knows if “French” stands for a surname or what?

French Lands, upper right-hand corner. I took a photo of this area in June 2010 shown below – nothing but wheat fields. The farmer at Monkdowns Farm invited me to his home nearby explaining that all that land where French Lands is indicated, and also Great Ley, was owned by the Honeywood (or Honywood) family for the past 400 years and it was never split up as shown on this map above. The map above was drawn in 1988 of an 1853 map – I do not know more about its history. Below that is the road to this field and the open area on the left of the road is where I took the photo in June 2010. Robert Honywood lived in Marks Hall in 1609. Robert Honywood was b. 1525, d. 1575 at Marks Hall; therefore, his ancestors lived there at the same time as Richard French. All the photos below were taken by Mara French in June 2010. Click here to see a history and photos of Marks Hall. The photos below are situated in what was part of Marks Hall, but are now considered basically part of Coggeshall. I know there is a village called Marks Tey in the area, but I think it is east of Marks Hall.

Wheat fields above cover the land indicated on the maps above. We are unsure if this land ever belonged to the French family.

Great Tey Rd., and on left where sunshine is coming thru is where I took the photo of the wheat fields.

Honywood property either near or the same as the French Lands property.

I copied these maps at the farmer’s house, dated 1782. Maps like this are invaluable and are not to be found in the Record Office. They are one of a kind.


Monk Downs Farm, June 2010, photo by Mara French

Wool Trade in Essex

Both Richard French Sr. and Robert Fuller were weavers in Coggeshall during the early 17th century. In the early 14th century, two considerations would be likely to influence the newcomers in their choice of a place in which to settle; its nearness to their own country, and the abundance of its supply of wool. Essex was favorable to their objects in both these respects, and consequently, it was one of the counties most affected by the settlement of the Flemings. Thus the county became one of the chief seats of the early manufacture of woolen goods in England. The foreign workmen set up their hand-looms and plied their useful trade in many Essex towns and villages at Colchester, Braintree, Halstead, Coggeshall, and Bocking. 

“Fullers” were the people who fluffed up the cotton before the  “walkers” took it to the “weavers”. From the weavers’ handlooms, the cloth was sent to be fulled at the mill near Feeringbury or at the Coggeshall West Mill. At Kelvedon too, there were several large businesses probably started by Coggeshall clothiers in the boom years of the 17th century, when both labor and workshop space must have been scarce in Coggeshall. By 1750 the trade was in decline. In 1700 the Coggeshall cloth trade was 400 years old. The trade was vigorous and extensive in Coggeshall, yielding place only to the cloth trade of Colchester and the Braintree-Bocking area.

Ffuller and Ffrench Families

Coggeshall Parish Register transcripts, 1584

Baptism records give an Elizabeth Fuller christened to Robert Fuller ye yonger on 27 Nov 1604. An earlier Elizabeth was christened to Robert Fuller on 4 Feb 1603, and another on 19 Jan 1607/08 which might indicate that an Elizabeth had died. There are also 3 Robert Fullers: Robert Fuller ye younger and Robert Fuller ye elder, contemporaries in the same generation, but they have different fathers. Then, there is another Robert Fuller, son of Robert Fuller, whom we will call Robert Fuller Jr., the son of Robert Fuller ye elder. By examining their wills, we can differentiate the children.

Robert Fuller Ye Elder’s Will

The Robert Fuller (ye elder) who wrote his will on 15 May 1605 in Coggeshall and it was proved 3 Jun 1607/08, a clothier, the son of Thomas Fuller, had the following ancestors listed in his will:

Alice Fuller, sister

Elizabeth Fuller, sister

Marie Fuller, sister

Sara Fuller, daughter

Anne Fuller, wife

Robert Fuller Jr., son (Jr.)

Thomas Fuller, son

William Fuller, brother

However, since Thomas Fuller, son of Robert Fuller ye elder was born on 30 Jul 1605 and Robert Fuller ye elder wrote his will on 15 May 1605, his name appears in the will. No daughter Elizabeth appears in his will; therefore, the Elizabeth Fuller christened 4 Feb 1603 and the one 27 Nov 1604 must not be his daughters or they died before he wrote his will. His daughter Elizabeth was christened 19 Jan 1607/8, only 5 months before her father died; her name was therefore not in her father’s will.

Robert Fuller Ye Elder

b. ca. 1570
m. ca. 1593
d. 3 Jun 1607 in Coggeshall

Robert Fuller’s daughter Elizabeth’s christening record states Robert as her father. Robert Fuller had several other children, including Sarah Fuller, christened 17 Nov 1594; Robert Fuller, christened 7 Dec 1600; Thomas Fuller, christened 30 Jul 1605. In 1607 Robert, Elizabeth’s father, was a clothier in Coggeshall living at 52 Huddlestone Rd. (there was a Huddlestone family in Coggeshall at that time), as stated in his will of that year. I found a mention of Huddlestone Road in 1906, but I need to see if I can find it on my trip there in 2010, and I did not. Robert Fuller’s will was proved 3 Jun 1607, only half a year before his daughter was born on 19 Jan 1607/8; therefore, her name is not mentioned in the will. Richard French and the Fuller family were in the weaving/wool industry in Coggeshall.

Their daughter, Elizabeth Ffuller, was christened 19 Jan 1606/7 in Coggeshall, after his will was written. Elizabeth died 20 years later in childbirth with their only child, Richard French, who lived a full life and immigrated to Massachusetts. It is unsure where son Richard French lived after his mother died; however, Richard Sr. m2. Mary [1]. Thomas Ffuller, grandfather of Elizabeth Ffuller, was still living in 1607 [1]. Thomas Ffuller married Alice Raynes whose name appears in an IGI record of William Fuller, christened 1568 in Great Coggeshall, Essex, England who was the brother of Thomas Ffuller. In William Ffuller’s will, he appoints Thomas Ffuller of Stebbing, Essex, as one of the overseers of his will, and whom he does not specify his relationship. Stebbing is about 12 miles from Coggeshall.

Robert Fuller Ye Younger

b. ca. 1680
m. ca. 1601
d.  31 Oct 1616

He was a contemporary to Robert Fuller Ye Elder. We don’t know who his parents were.

Robert Fuller Jr.

b. 28 Oct 1602
m. unk.
d. 29 Dec 1631

Son of Robert Fuller Ye Elder.

Will of Robert Fuller Ye Elder, Probatim 3 Jun 1607

(The Fuller family married into the French family, FFA Chart #6)

Will written 16 May 1605, Robert of Coggeshall, Essex County [8]

Robert was a clothier.

Robert’s father was Thomas Fuller, who was also a legatee.

Robert had a sister, Alice, a legatee who was married to William Clarke/Clark [spelled both ways in the will]. Alice and William were alive when the will was executed. William was one of Robert’s workmen.

Robert had a sister, Elizabeth, a legatee who was married to John Leswell. Elizabeth and John were alive when the will was executed. John was one of Robert’s workmen.

Robert had a sister, Marie, a legatee who was married to William. Marie and William were alive when the will was executed. Marie was described as William’s wife, not his widow.

“Mr. Stoughton” or “Thomas Stoughton” was a legatee and he also witnessed the will. He was a vicar of Coggeshall at the St. Peter and Vincula Church from 1600-1606, a year before the will was written [14].

The poor people of Coggeshall were legatees.

Robert’s workmen (except William Clarke/Clark and John Leswell) were legatees. The number of such workmen is not specified in the will.

Robert had a daughter, Sara, a legatee who was under 18 when the will was executed. (She was christened 17 Nov 1594)

Robert had an apprentice, Thomas Cox, who was also a legatee. Apparently Robert did not consider Thomas to be one of his workmen; otherwise, he would probably have accepted him from the previous bequest to his workmen.

Robert was married to Anne, a legatee and an executrix.

Robert had two sons, Robert [Jr.] and Thomas, legatees who were under 21 when the will was executed. Robert [Jr.] was older than Thomas.

Robert had a brother, William, who was nominated as an executor.

Robert signed the will with his mark.

One of the witnesses was Jo: Horner.

Robert’s daughter, Elizabeth, who married Richard French, was not named in the will because she was born after the will was executed. Elizabeth was christened 19 Jan 1607/8 about 7 months after her father died. His will appears below [32]:

Description: Will of Robert Fuller, Clothier of Coggeshall, Essex

Date [proved]: 03 June 1607

Catalogue reference: PROB 11/110

Dept: Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury

Series: Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers

Piece: Name of Register: Huddleston Quire Numbers: 48 - 99

Image contains            1 will of many for the catalogue reference

In the name of God Amen the sixtenth day of May in the ffiveth yere of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord James of England ffrance and Ireland, And of Scotland the ffortenth by the grace of god Kinge defender of the faithe &c Anno Domini 1607 I Roberte ffuller of Coggeshall in the Countie of Essex Clothier being sick and weake of body but of good memorie, thanks be unto god, doe make and ordaine this my present testament and last will in manner and forme following, That is to say ffirst and principally I commend my soule unto almightie god my creator and mercifull father Christ Jesus, by whose death and resurrection I doe hope and believe to be made partaker of everlastinge life, And I committ my bodie to the Earth whereof it is formed to be buried by the discretion of my Executors hereafter named, And as touching the disposinge of such worldly goods as it hath pleased god to bestowe uppon me in this life and to make me now the disposer thereof my will and mynde is to distribute and dispose of the same in manner and forme as followeth ffirst I give and bequeath unto my loving ffather Thomas ffuller the somme of Tenne pounds of Lawfull money of England, And unto Alice Clarke my sister the somme of three pounds of like English money, And to my sister Elizabeth wife of John Leswell, And to my sister Marie the wife of William Dyamonde each of them twenty shillings of like money,These Legacies to be paide within six monthes next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto mr Stoughton fourtie shillings of Lawfull money of England Item I give and bequeath unto the poore people of Coggeshall aforesaid the somme of fortie shillings to be distributed at the tyme of my buriall by the discretion of myne Executors Item I give and bequeath unto every one of my workmen, both _____ and weavers, which nowe doe work with me, each of them _____ A pece excepte William Clark and John Leswell, unto whose wives I have given porcons before in this will Item I give and bequeath unto Sara my daughter, the somme of one hundred pounds of lawfull money of England to be payed unto her at her age of eightene years or day of marriage, which shall first happen, Item I give unto Thomas Cox my apprentice 20 shillings of Lawfull money, Item I give and bequeath to Anne my lovinge wife All and singuler my houshould stuff and ymplemence of houshould within the house. The rest and residue of all and singuler my goods wares _____ wooll yarne debts readie money and other things appleyinge to my stock or being parcell thereof these my legacies beinge dedicated my ffunerall expence being discharged and all manner of charges in any manner touching or concerning this my will and Testament yt is my wyll minde and meaning And I doe hereby devise give and dispose all the said residue or ovrplus to be devided unto three even and equall parts whereof. I doe will give and bequeath one of the said Third parte unto my said wife, And one other third parte thereof unto Robt fuller my older sonne, And likewise the other third parte thereof unto Thomas my sonne, to be paide unto either of them my said sonnes at their severall ages of one and twentie yeres, And further it is my will mynde and meaninge that if either of my said sonnes Robert and Thomas or the aforesaid Sara my daughter shall die and departe this life before their porcons shall be due unto them, That then the parte or porcon of him her or them soe deceasing shall remaine to the residue of them surviving to be equally devided parte and pte like, and I ordaine and appointe the saide Anne my wief and my brother William ffuller Executors of this my will and testament, desiringe them and either of them that the same may be duelie pformed accordinge to the truste I repose in them and either of them. In witnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hande and seale the day and yere first above written. the marke of the said Robert ffuller. These being witnesses Thomas Stoughton Nicholas Richold et moi Jo: Horner

[Note by compiler: The testator's daughter, Elizabeth Fuller, was born 19 January 1606/7, after this will was executed.]

Will of Robert Fuller, 8 June 1550

Will written on 8 June 1550, Coggeshall, Butcher

Seax – Essex Archives Online, D/ABW 14/49


Will transcribed by J. Michael Frost, email:, go to website: See pdf file of this original will.

Will of William Fuller, 3 February 1609

Will written on 3 Feb 1609, clothier of Coggeshall

Seax – Essex Archives Online, PROB 11/113

See PDF File.

Fuller Family Ancestral Chart


NOTE: The chart above cannot be enlarged on this website or it will be cut off. Please use the guide of names below to learn about the ancestry.

Thomas Ffuller, still living in 1607 [1]. There was a Thomas Fuller, yeoman, of St. Botolph’s Church, Colchester, on 21 Aug 1606, Q/SR 177/124. 

Robert Ffuller Sr., b. ca. 1570, m. ca. 1593, d. 3 Jun 1607 [1]. In 1607 Robert was a clothier in Coggeshall. Robert m1. Elizabeth, m2. Anne [1].

Alice Ffuller, m. William Clarke, both living in 1607 when her brother Robert died [1].

Elizabeth Ffuller, m. John Leswell, both living in 1607 when her brother Robert died [1].

Marie Ffuller, m. William Dyamond, both living in 1607 when her brother Robert died [1].

William Ffuller, living but unmarried in 1607 [1].

Richard French, lived in Coggeshall, but was not born there [26]. Born ca. 1595-1602, m. 28 Oct 1622 at St. Peter’s Church in Coggeshall [30].

Elizabeth Ffuller, first wife of Richard French, christened 19 Jan 1607/08 in Coggeshall [31]. The Ffuller family ran a large clothing industry in Coggeshall [26]. This may have been how Richard met Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born after her father wrote his will in 1605. Elizabeth’s birth record states Robert as her father. She may have died during the birth of her son Richard in 1623. Robert m1. Elizabeth, m2. Anne who is listed in his will. We need to look for a death record of Elizabeth and a marriage record for Anne.

Sarah Ffuller, christened 17 Nov 1594.

Robert Ffuller, christened 7 Dec 1600, eldest son according to his father’s will of 1607 [1].

Elizabeth Ffuller, christened 27 Nov 1604, daughter of Robert Fuller ye younger, she died 3 days later on 30 Nov 1604.

Elizabeth Ffuller, dau. of Robert Ffuller (probably the elder), died 1 Feb 1603/4.

Thomas Ffuller, christened 30 Jul 1605, mentioned in father’s will of 1605.

Elizabeth Ffuller, christened 19 Jan 1607/8, the mother of Richard French, below.

Richard French, christened on 6 May 1629 in Coggeshall, Essex County, England [26] as the son of Richard and Elizabeth French, immigrated from Coggeshall, Essex Co., England about 1647 as an adult during the English Civil War to Cambridge, MA. First records of him in MA say that in 1652 he was 27 years old, which indicate he was b. in 1626. Richard had 4 children, all born in America. No record exists as to the ship he sailed on. Since Richard’s mother died shortly after his birth, we are unsure where he lived in England.

Martha Beane met and married Richard in MA [30].

Thomas French, son of Richard and Mary French, christened 21 Sep 1630, in Coggeshall.

Mary French, christened 25 Apr 1636 in Coggeshall, dau. of Richard and Mary French.

Will of Edward Scott of Glemsford, County Suffolk

From Fifth Great Migration Colonists to New England and Their Origins, by John Brooks Threlfell, 1992, p. 101-102. Find it in Google.

Edward Scott, b. ca. 1540 in Glemsford, m. Elizabeth. He was a clothier and d. 8 Sep 1627. Among many others, he gives to Thomas Fuller and Elizabeth Fuller, children of his daughter Elizabeth Scott who married Robert Fuller. At the time of Edward Scott’s will, his daughter Elizabeth (Scott) Fuller had already died. I find it strange that, if this was the Elizabeth Fuller who married Richard French, that her named wouldn’t have been listed as Elizabeth French instead of Elizabeth Fuller in this will.

1. Edward Scott, b. ca. 1540, d. 8 Sep 1627, m. Elizabeth

2. Elizabeth Scott, b. before 1627, m. Robert Fuller

3. Thomas Fuller

3. Elizabeth Fuller, m. Richard French ca. 1625, d. 1626?

4. Richard French, b. 1626.

Glemsford, Suffolk, is west of Bildeston (upper right-hand corner) where Edward French of FFA Chart #4 resided. Both Richard French of FFA Chart #6 and Edward French of FFA Chart #4 have the same DNA test results. Other members of the French family lived in Foxearth, just south of Glemsford. FFA Chart #1 ancestors lived near Groton and Boxford.


In Essex, England, there is a town named Great Coggeshall and a hamlet named Coggeshall. Those places are about 2 miles apart. The International Genealogical Index shows extracted parish records from Great Coggeshall, but no extracted parish records from Coggeshall. There is also a Little Coggeshall.


St. Peter-ad-Vincula Church in background, Coggeshall. See

Inside of the church. It was the first church of Coggeshall, built at some time between the Domesday Survey (1080/86) and 1105 and still stands today. Here Richard French was baptized in 1629. All of the following photos were taken by Mara French in Jun 2010. See the history of this church at

The Parish Church of St. Peter ad Vincula, Coggeshall, Essex, where Richard French was baptized in 1629. It was built not later than 1105 with material from a nearby Roman building. In the 15th century the church was completely rebuilt in the Cathdral style of the “Wool Towns” of the eastern counties. The church was bombed in 1940, restored in 1956. If you would like a new post card of this church, email



The old bridge in Coggeshall built before Richard French’s era. Photo taken by Mara French, June 2010.

Coggeshall in June 2010, photo taken by Mara French. Note the sign to nearby Earls Colne and Marks Hall. In the morning, the sky was really this blue.

After leaving the morning Farmer’s Market in Coggeshall. Photo taken by Mara French in June 2010.

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 and in the “Search Criteria” box, type a town, such as Terling or Coggeshall, and then the date range, such as 1550-1650. Nothing is yet indexed, so you need to look thru all the images.


[1] Peter Nutt research, 12 Nov 1996. Peter C. Nutt, 15 Westfield Close, Wickford, Essex SS11 8JR. All records from the Chelmsford Record Office in Chelmsford, Essex Co., England, and research done under the guidance of Peter Nutt. Further research done in Jun 2010.

[2] Jim Weber,, 2006

[3] Nancy McFarland,

[4] The Essex 1841 Census and site.

[5] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index ®, Copyright © 1980, 2002, data as of February 14, 2010, Batch No.: P015051, Dates: 1538 - 1840, Source Call No.: 0962530 IT 2, Type: Film, Printout Call No.: 1235415, Type: Film, Sheet: 00, emailed from J. Michael Frost, email: (email good in 2010). Website: J. Michael Frost’s website on French, Frost, Gilchrist, and Related Families with over 400 Frenches.

[6] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index ®, Copyright © 1980, 2002, data as of August 22, 2007, Batch No.: P015051, Dates: 1538 - 1840, Source Call No.: 0962530 IT 2, Type: Film, Printout Call No.: 1235415, Type: Film, Sheet: 00, emailed from J. Michael Frost, email: (email good in 2010). Website: J. Michael Frost’s website on French, Frost, Gilchrist, and Related Families with over 400 Frenches.

[7] Don French, email:



Will of Robert Fuller, Clothier of Coggeshall, Essex

Date [proved]

03 June 1607

Catalogue reference

PROB 11/110


Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury


Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers


Name of Register: Huddleston Quire Numbers: 48 - 99

Image contains

1 will of many for the catalogue reference

[9] “A History of Essex” by W. H. Weston, 1909, bought by Mara French.

[10] Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699, by Roger Thompson.

[11] Seax from the Essex Record Office, Essex Archives Online, website:, 1542-1579, deeds relating to crofts called Three Ashes and Campes in Terling held by members of the Ward, Clamptree, and French families. D/DU 267/1 and D/DU 267/2 and D/DU 267/3. Furthermore, deeds relating to a croft called Dignis in Terling, held by members of the French, Cannon, and Osband families, 1608-1707, D/DU 267/18 and 19 and 20 and 21.

[12] Handwritten Register of St. Peter’s, Coggeshall, 1584-1670, Parish Register Transcripts.

[13] Boyd’s Marriage Records do not show an Ellizabeth Godfrey to William French in England, and also no Symmes.

[14] According to Beaumont, Geo. Fred., “A History of Coggeshall, in Essex,” Coggeshall, England: Edwin Potter, 1890, p. 59, Thomas Stoughton, a vicar of Coggeshall, was "presented 12th Dec., 1600, on death of Lawrence Newman," and "was deprived in 1606." If you haven’t seen Mr. Beaumont’s book, it is available online at: There are no mentions of Frenches in that book. It does have a picture of the interior of St. Peter ad Vincula church, and there is a description of the clothing industry in Coggeshall. Thomas Stoughton was vicar of Coggeshall from 1600 to 1606, b. 1550, d. 1622.

[15] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index ®, Copyright © 1980, 2002, data as of March 31, 2010, Batch No.: C062223, Dates: 1550 - 1718, Source Call No.: 0950452, Type: Film, Printout Call No.: NONE, Sheet: 00:

Extracted christening record of Elizabeth Scott:

Christening: 11 MAY 1578 Glemsford, Suffolk, England
Mother:  ELIZA.

Extracted marriage record of Elizabeth Scott and Robert Fuller:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index ®, Copyright © 1980, 2002, data as of March 31, 2010, Batch No.: M062223, Dates: 1550 - 1741, Source Call No.: 0950452, Type: Film, Printout Call No.: NONE, Sheet: 00:

Marriage: JAN 1601  Glemsford, Suffolk, England
[This is probably Jan 1601/1602.]

[16] The Richard Ffrench listed below in 1631 is the only Richard Ffrench listed in East Hanningfield.


1. John French Sr., chr. ca. 1610, m. Elizabeth ca. 1631, d. 20 Jul 1649 in East Hanningfield,
    and his will of 1649 mentions these two daughters, his wife Elizabeth, and son John. This
    indicates that this family did not immigrate to Massachusetts.

    2. Mary French, dau. of John and Elizabeth French, chr. 20 Sep 1632

    2. Sarah French, dau. of John and Elizabeth French, chr. 3 Oct 1633


1. Robert French Sr., m. Elizabeth Bernard on 24 Sep 1629

    2. son of Robert and Elizabeth French, chr. Aug 1630 (perhaps died in childbirth)

    2. Robert French Jr., son of Robert and Elizabeth French, chr. 20 Mar 1631/32

    2. Elizabeth French, dau. of Robert and Elizabeth French, chr. 8 May 1634

    2. Ann French, dau. of Robert and Elizabeth French, chr. 5 Apr 1636


No Richard French in the line of either John or Robert French. Richard mentioned as his wife dying on 18 Oct 1631 was most likely the Richard French of nearby Coggeshall, FFA Chart #6.


[17] Thomas Paycocke, a large landholder and a clothier of Great Coggeshall, in his will of 20 Dec 1580, mentions the William Fuller family. The will of William Fuller, clothier of Coggeshall, Essex, 3 Feb 1609, was probably the brother of Robert Fuller. William Fuller died shortly after Robert Fuller.

[18] Research by Peter Nutt of Essex, England, 12 April 2010.

[19] Richard S. French, email:

[20] Richard Scott was the son of Richard Scott, Gent., of Glemsford, Suffolk. It is not certain just what month he came to America, but he joined the church in Boston, Aug. 28, 1634. About three years after, he married the younger sister of Mistress Ann Hutchinson, and Gov. Winthrop notes, June 16, 1639, how "the wife of one Scott, sister of Mrs. Hutchinson, became affected with Anabaptistry and went to Providence, R.I."

Richard Scott has acquired prominence as the first Quaker convert in New England. It would be interesting to know who converted him if he was the first. In 1658, Mary Scott's betrothed, Christopher Holder, was imprisoned in Boston and cruelly mutilated for being a Quaker. His mother-in-law was present, and because she raised her voice in prayer to God she was seized upon and mercilessly whipped. She is described as an "ancient woman" of pleasant appearance, and the mother of many children, but such claims on charity had no effect on those whose motto seems to have been, "Take especial care that ye do unto others exactly that which lias been done unto ye."

[21] Honywood family, email Donald Gradeless,, website: In 1605 Robert Honywood bought Marks Hall and owned much of the land in the NE corner of Coggeshall.

[22] After my trip to Coggeshall in June 2010, I need to print out this file and send it to Robert Alston, the historian in Coggeshall, who lives in a cottage at #89 Church St. behind Woolpack Restaurant which is next door to the church.

[23] Visitor’s Center, Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex CO6 1TG. You may become a member of Marks Hall to donate to the Thomas Philips Price Trust Account. Visitors may enjoy the Gardens and Arboretum. Please visit their website at, or email

[24] St. Peter ad Vincula Church, contacts: Father Philip Banks, email:

[25] Vital Records of Cambridge, MA, to 1850 transcribed by Coralynn Brown, website:


Abbie B. Hallett [-----], w. of John S., in Hyannis, Mar. 20, 1832. GR3

Abner, Apr. 14, 1815. GR3

Arthur, in Amherst, N.H., June 19, 1796. GR3

Charles C., June 28, 1828. GR3

Charles Edward, Sept. 1, 1837. GR3

Cyrus, s. of Cyrus and Deborah, bp. July 12, 1807. CR1

Elisabeth [-----], w. of Abner, Dec. 20, 1829. GR3

Elizabeth, d. of William and Elizabeth, bp. -----, 16 --. CR1

Ellen, d. of Arthur and Mary H. Goddard, Oct. 23, 1829. GR3

Emma E. [-----], w. of George E., May 16, 1840. GR3

Frances M. Stratton [-----], w. of John J., Oct. 12, 1842. GR3

Frederick William, Sept. 10, 1842. GR3

George P., Sept. 16, 1823. GR3

Grace Otis, d. of Arthur and Mary H. Goddard, Jan. 15, 1836. GR3

Hannah, d. of William and Elisabeth, Feb. 2, 1641
FFA Chart #2
Hannah, Jan. 29, 1798. GR3

Jacob, s. of William and Elisabeth, Jan. 16, 1639
FFA Chart #2
James, ----, 1812. GR3

John, s. of John and Sarah, bp. -----, 16--. CR1
FFA Chart #3
John, s. of William and Elizabeth, bp. ----, 16--. CR1
FFA Chart #2
John J., Jan. 16, 1834. GR3

Joseph, s. of John and Sarah, bp. -----, 16 --. CR1

Joseph, s. of John and Jone, Apr. 4, 1640
 FFA Chart #3
Lucina W., ----, 1824. GR3

Lucy W. A., ----, 1809. GR3

Mary, d. of William and Elizabeth, bp. in England. CR1
FFA Chart #2
Mary Elizabeth Fairbanks [-----], w. of Lyman P., June 17, 1846. GR3

Mary H. Goddard [-----], w. of Arthur, Oct. 12, 1798. GR3

Nathanael, s. of John and Jone, June 7, 1643
FFA Chart #3
Nathaniel, s. of John and Sarah, bp. -----, 16--. CR1
 FFA Chart #3
Samuel, s. of William and Elisabeth, Dec. 3, 1645
FFA Chart #2
Samuel, s. of Richard and Martha, July 13, 1653
FFA Chart #6
Sarah, d. of John and Sarah, bp. -----, 16--. CR1
Sarah, d. of John and Jone, Oct. --, 1637.
FFA Chart #3
Sarah, d. of William and Elisabeth, Mar. --, 1638.
FFA Chart #2
Sarah Augusta [-----], w. of William E., Dec. 22, 1823. GR3

Thomas Learned, s. of Cyrus and Deborah, bp. Sept. 24, 1809. CR1

Thomas N., ----, 1807. GR3

William, s. of Cyrus and Deborah, bp. Apr. 28, 1805. CR1

William E., Apr. 24, 1820. GR3

William H., July 12, 1846. GR3

French Marriages

Abner of Boston, and Harriet A. (Harriet Augusta, int.) Willis, dau of Stillman, May 9, 1844.

Cyrus and Deborah Learned, both of Watertown, Dec. 30, 1802.

David of Charlestown, and Abigail Hofmaster, Jan. 26, 1807.

Eleanor and Daniel McNeal, int. July 2, 1848.

Elizabeth of Charlestown, and Benjamin Rouse, in Charlestown, Apr. 13, 1769.

George and Mrs. Lydia Sawyer, both of Charlestown, Jan. 18, 1829.
Isaac P. of Malden, and Lucinda Brazer, int. Nov. 11, 1838.

Joanna of Holliston, and Samuel Baxter, int. Aug. 23, 1806.

John and Sarah ------, -----, 16--. CR1.
Mary B. of Chelmsford, and Joseph Sanderson, in North Chelmsford, Aug. 2, 1841.

Sarah M. of East Kingston, N.H., and William B. Follett, int Mar. 22, 1848.

William and Elizabeth ------, in England, -----, 16--. CR1.* FFA Chart #2

French Burials

-------, stranger from N. Marlboro, Oct. 12, 1799, a. 35 y. Nervous fever. CR1.

-------, Oct. 7, 1836. Dysentery. CR1.

Aaron, bur. Feb. 3, 1844, a. 19 y. Supposed murder.

Albert L., Sept. 14, 1832, a. 7 m. GR3.

Ann E., dau of -------, Feb. 10, 1832, a. 8 m. Lung fever. CR10.

Arthur, in Boston, Dec. 13, 1842. GR3.

Cyrus, Sept. 3, 1817. CR1.

Deborah, Apr. 17, 1824, a. 48 y. Consumption. CR1.

Ellen M., Aug. 11, 1825, a. 13 m. GR3.

Emily, dau of wid. Deborah, Mar. 10, 1824, a. 11 yh. Consumption. CR1.

Hannah, dau of William and Elisabeth, June 20, 1642.

Harriet, Oct. 21, 1841, a. 19 y. 10 m. GR3.

Joanna, w. of John, bur. Jan. 20, 1645.
FFA Chart #3
John, bur. Feb. 16, 1645.
FFA Chart #3
Lydia (w. of George, GR2), bur. Nov. 18, 1845, a. 57 y. 10 m. Died in Somerville. (d. Oct. 18, 1845, a. 46 y., GR2).

Samuel, s. of William and Elisabeth, bur. July 15, 1646.
FFA Chart #2
Thomas, Dec. 6, 1819, a. 51 y. 8 m. GR3.

Thomas N., -----, 1847. GR3.

[26] Marshfield, MA, Vital Records, Burial website: Marriage website:

[27] E. Lynch, 137 King Rd., Glemsford 01787-280987.

[28] Reverend Patrick Prigg, The Rectory Lion Road, Glemsford C010 7 RF, phone: 01787-282164.

[29] Website of a French family in Coggeshall and Great Tey in the mid-1700s. French names include Robert, Elizabeth, Hannah, Richard, Judith. Related names include Humphrey Williamson and William Blackwell. See

[30] William Newland of Sandwich, Massachusetts, A Short Biographical Profile, website:

[31] Dr Joanna Martin, Oak Tree Farm, Finborough Road, Hitcham, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 7LS, email:

[32] J. Michael Frost, email: Website: J. Michael Frost’s website on French, Frost, Gilchrist, and Related Families with over 400 Frenches.

[33] All Saints Church in East Hanningfield, email: Rev’d Pamela Pennell,

[34] After my trip in Jun 2010, I need to print out this document and send it to Richard Cornell in Mark’s Tey. He can be contacted at Monk’s Down Farm, Tey Road, Coggeshall CO6 1SZ where he works.

[35] Anna Kasper, email:

[36] The History of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, MA, and their Descendants, by John William Linzee, Jr., 1913.

[37],,, whose website is and who incorrectly identified Martha Danforth as the wife of Richard French. As you can see from this website, all Danforth children have exact christening dates except Martha.

[38] Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England.

You can download the volumes from the Internet Archive Text Archive:

Enter "records of the colony of new plymouth" (with quotes) in the Title field and click the Search button. Look for the entries with descriptions beginning "The metadata below describe" - each of those contains two of the original volumes as reprinted in 1968, but the volumes are not in order. You will have click on each one and use the "Read Online" link to see the title page of the first of two volumes. Use the list of volumes at:

to figure out which pair of volumes you are looking at. Under the "Read Online" link is a "PDF" link that you can use to download that pair of volumes. If you do much work with early families of southeastern MA I'd suggest downloading all six dual volumes.

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;

Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project

Administrator of

[39] S. Grant Richards, 22 Brook Street, Kingston, MA 02364, email:, research on Hepsibah Andrews.

[40] Linda M. Welch, email: Linda.M.Welch@Dartmouth.EDU. Linda M. Welch, Historian, Cavendish Historical Society, Cavendish, Vermont. Home address: Linda M. F. Welch, 179 Meriden Road, Lebanon, NH  03766, Home phone: (603) 646-3530. We also have around 500 family letters that span the years 1813-1913 on this family.  Calvin French, the family patriarch made sure that his children saved all their letters - back and forth - and in the process of contacting many members of the family throughout the years, I have transcribed about 75% of them thus far and have put them into a separate book that reads almost like a novel (Little House on the Prairie type of thing), because they chronologically tell a family story that is totally priceless. 

[41] Carolyn McGee, email: Carolyn’s maiden name is French, she is a descendant of Richard French, and she lived “coincidentally” in Richards 1677 house in Marshfield, MA. Carolyn’s husband Frank had owned the house long before they knew each other, and coincidentally, Carolyn moved into her ancestor’s home. In 2010, they have lived in this home for 38 years.

[42] Barbara Silveira, email: