Wife of Person:Thomas Scudder (6)


The identity of the wife of Person:Thomas Scudder (6) is problematical.


Summary Table

There are four wills that have been cited by various parties in connection to her identity. The pertinent information contained in these will is summarized in the following table. (Table base don the sources and information detailed below).

ItemHenry ScudderJohn LowersRev. Henry ScudderThomas Scudder
PlaceNorth Cray, Kent, EnglDarneth, Kent, Engl.Colingbourne-Ducis, Wiltshire, Engl, Salem, Mass
PersonsWife Elizabeth Scudder LowersSister scudderBrother Thomas in NEWife Elizabeth
Personsson Thomasher son ThomasWife ElizabethSon John
PersonsSon Henryher son Henryall of his sonsSonThomas
PersonsSon Williamher son Williamdaughter ElizabethSon Henry
PersonsSon Johnher son John dau Elizabeth
PersonsDau Elizabeth Fugither dau Elizabeth
PersonsDau Marthaher dau Martha
PersonsWitness John Lowers


1. Note that in the foregoing table the persons indicated in the will of Henry Scudder in 1641, match those cited by John Lowers in his will of 1645. The exception being that John Lowers identifies his married sister only as "Sister Scudder", whereas Henry identifies his wife as "Elizabeth Scudder Lowers". (I think we can safely ignore the apparent inversion of maiden and married surname in Henry's will. This was a period when women sometimes continued to be known by the maiden name; clearly, though, Henry Scudder's wife Elizabeth would have been known today as Elizabeth Lowers Scudder.)

2. The will of Rev. Henry Scudder clearly identifies his brother as Thomas married to Elizabeth and living in New England. Unless there are two Thomas Scudder's and wife Elizabeth in New England, this is the couple who settled in Salem around 1638. Given the relatively small population in New England in 1651 it is unlikely that there were two such couples.

3. Rev. Henry's will identifies the children of Thomas and Elizabeth as "sons of Thomas, and daughter Elizabeth". He does not include a daughter Martha mentioned in the will of John Lowers, and in the will of Henry Scudder. Its conceivable that Martha has died by 1651.

4. The will of Thomas Scudder of Salem identifes his children as being much the same as those listed by John Lowers for his "sister Scudder", except that Thomas does not include a daughter Martha. Again, its possible that Martha has previously died.

5. The fact that the Will of Thomas does not include a child listed by both John Lowers (1645), and Henry Scudder (1641) makes it likely that John Lower was in fact referrng to his sister Elizabeth wife of Henry Scudder, not Elizbeth wife of Thomas Scudder. The similarities in names is presumed to be simply coincidental. The fact that a John Lower is a witness on Henry Scudder's will make it more likely that Henry is his brotherinlaw, rather than Thomas.

6. The surname of Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Scudder of Salem is not likely to be either "Lower" or as some interpret the original MS writing, "Somers".

7. In all probability, the surname of Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Scudder of Salem, remains unknown.

A1. Will of Thomas Scudder of Salem

From :Scudder Genforum

In Thomas' will, dated 30 September 30, 1657 and proved 29 June 1658:"Thomas Scudder inhabitant of Salem in New England, sick and weak in body," named his wife Elizabeth. and children John, Thomas, and Henry Scudder, and Elizabeth Bartholomew, and grandson Thomas Scudder, son of son William, deceased."

In any case, we need a full transcription of this will in order to fully evaluate the questions. Based on the partial extract given in item E, the will is probably obtainable in Essex Antiquarian, vol. 7, page 125. Google Books has some volumes of this work, but not, apparently, Vol 7, dating to 1903. At least some volumes are available in the Univ. Of TN library.

A. Will of John Lowers

From: New England Historic Genealogical Society. 1874. The New England historical and genealogical register. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society.

JOHN LOWERS of Darnth, Kent, husbandman, 8 June 1645 proved 5 February 1650. I give and bequeath unto Thomas Lowers half my part of Roxly Wood, which I hold, and my sister Scudder and Henry Scudder her son, of Mr Bugings in lease, paying yearly for that part the sum of four pounds ten shillings during the full term thereof. To my sister Scudder's sons, Thomas, Henry, William and John Scudder', twenty shillings apiece and to her two daughters, Elizabeth and Martha Scudder, ten shillings apiece, to be paid within one year after my decease by my executor. To my cousin Thomas Lowers twenty shillings within one year &c. Wife Mary to be full executor and John Umphrey of Darnth yeoman and Thomas Lowers of Dartford husbandman to be overseers. Grey, 27.
[Since our Thomas Scudder of Salem (1648) had children named John, Thomas, Henry, William and Elizabeth, I can not but think I have found traces of his family in the above will. If that should turn out to be correct, the following will should also be saved. H. F. W.]

The above will does not provide the given name of John Lower's sister, noting only that her last name was Scudder. The names of the children match those of Thomas Scudder and Elizabeth, as given in Thomas will of 1656, except for "Martha" who is included in the will of John Lowers. (See Item A1). Also, while the transcription given here spells the name "Lowers" other's (apparently Waters Genealogical Gleanings, vol 3, have given it as Somers. This is probably a difference in reading of the handwriting; possibly in the original the surname is written with an ornate, elongated capitol, that could be taken for either an "S" or an "L". Need to see the primary record (sensu strictu) to be sure.

The children "of sister Scudder" in this list, also match the list given in Henry Scudder's will of 1641, AND include a Martha. That will was witnessed by a John Lower. It seems much more likely that "sister Scudder" of John Lower's will is the Elizabeth Scudder Lowers, wife of Henry Scudder in 1641, as opposed to being the wife Elizabeth of Thomas Scudder.

B.Waters, Genealogical Gleanings

Waters Genealogical Gleanings (Vol 3) is said to have identified the wife of Thomas Scudder ( - 1657) of Salem Mass as Elizabeth Somers; Volume 1 of Genealogical Gleanings has been captured by Google Books, and us available online for review, but Volume 3 has not. At the moment I'm relying on Scudder Genforum for information related to this.

From C.S. Wilson's email

Back many years ago, a genealogical researcher named H.F. Waters published an item entitled, "Genealogical Gleanings in England." In it he wrote about a will from 1645 for John Lowers of Darenth, Kent, England. In the will, John spoke of his daughter, Elizabeth, and her children, all surnamed Scudder. Since Thomas Scudder of Salem was from the same area in Kent, and the childrens' names in the will were similar to Thomas', Waters assumed that Thomas' wife was Elizabeth Lowers. Some other researchers in reading this old will, read the name to be Somers.
Later, a will of Henry Scudder of North Cray, Kent, dated 1641, was found. This will proved that Henry, not Thomas of Salem, was the husband of Elizabeth Lowers, daughter of John Lowers. The surname of Thomas' wife is still unknown.

C. Will of Rev. Henry Scudder 1651

From :Scudder Genforum

In the Rev. Henry Scudder's will dated 1651: "my brother Thomas Scudder, and to all his sonnes and his daughter Elizabeth now in New England twenty shillings a peece."

This makes it clear that Henry is the brother of Thomas of Salem. Will is consistent with Thomas multiple sons, and a single daughter Elizabeth, as well as with the fact that in 1651 they were all in New England.

D. Pope Manuscripts

From :Scudder Genforum

An item in the Pope Manuscripts, Dorsetshire Natural History and Archaeological Society, Dorchester, Dorset, England:

"Affidavit that Thomas Scudder, apparently of Horton Kirby, co. Kent, was generally reported to have gone to New England 1638. (Chanc. Aff.Reg. 11,Easter Term 1638, No. 82.)"

This affidavit may be related to a 1640 court case, noted in Scudder searches, in which Thomas and his brother Henry were among defendants who had a judgment levied against them in a matter concerning the lease of a house owned by Thomas at Horton Kirby.

E. Nebraska Midwest Genealogy Journal

From: Nebraska and Midwest genealogy:

The will of Thomas Scudder of Salem, proved June 29, 1658, leaves property to daughter Elizabeth Bartholmew. (Entire will given.) (Copy taken from original on file in the office of the clerk of the Courts at Salem, vol. IV, leaf 63. Reference: Essex Antiquarian, vol. 7, page 125. Henry Bartholmew, Salem, Nov. 7, 1635, born about 1607, died at Salem Nov. 22, 1692. Married Elizabeth Scudder of Salem, who died Sept. 1, 1682, aged about 60 years. Their son Henry, baptized 1657, in will mentions "sister (Abigail) Dudson, alias Lawthrop", also "brother Col. Elisha Hutchinson." Reference: Essex Antiquarian, vol. 7, page 45.

F. Court case

From :Scudder Genforum

There is tentative and highly ambiguous evidence that Thomas Scudder may have departed Kent after 26 March 1637 to avoid possible loss of a suit for heavy

damages against him, going first to Colingbourne-Ducis (the home of his brother, Reverend Henry Scudder), and then to America.

The evidence is contained in the report of a damage suit in Chancery Court in 1640 (several years after Thomas' departure) involving Sir Henry Neese and his wife, petitioners, against Mr. Chase, clergyman, and his father and brothers. Sir Henry asserted that while he and his wife were temporarily in London, Mr. Chase et al seized Sir Henry's dwelling in Stone, Kent, called Stone Castle (about four miles north of Horton-Kirby), for a fortnight, consuming or embezzling his possessions, and denying him access or possession.
During this period, Sir Henry leased a second house, in Horton-Kirby, apparently owned by Thomas Scudder, in which to live. Sir Henry further maintained that the Chases, in "pursuit of their malice against him," secretly conspired with Henry Scudder, clerke, and the said Thomas Scudder of Horton-Kirby, to deny Sir Henry access to the second house as well, in order to carry out their threat "to drive him out of that country."
By the time of the 1640 Chancery case, Sir Henry had regained possession of Stone Castle and had recovered 30 pounds in damages from the Chases through "five or six courts of law and equity." The apparent purpose of the 1640 action was chiefly to enable Sir Henry to recover additional damages to cover his costs, which he claimed in one statement to amount in excess of "treble the said 30 pounds," and others to total in excess of 300 pounds

This seems consistent with item D, Pope MSC, and again ties Thomas of Salem to Rev. Henry Scudder.

==G. Ancestors of Doris Baldwin

From Ancestors of Doris Baldwin

NOT Elizabeth Lowers (Source: American Genealogist, The," 72:285-300, 1997 - A New England Immigrant Kinship Network, This has been disproved. That Elizabeth was a wife of another Scudder, a Henry Scudder of North Cray, Kent, England - which I don't see identified in the article anywhere.)



Elizabeth has been incorrectly identified as a "Lowers" according to o ur "The American Genealogist" source as follows:

"Speculation that Elizabeth was the "sister Scudder" named in the will of John Lowers of Darenth, Kent, husbandman, dated 8 June 1645 and proved on 5 February 1650, is incorrect. Sister Scudder and her children named in the Lowers will match wife and children named in the will of Henry Scudder of North Cray, Kent, which also names brother John Lowers."

I. Will of Henry Scudder 1641

image:Will of Rev. Henry Scudder, 1641.jpg