Place:Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States


Alt namesNew Plantation by Concordsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25004358
Sudbury Centresource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25004358
Coordinates42.383°N 71.417°W
Located inMiddlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Revolutionary War Cemetery




First described by Englishman William Wood, in New England Prospects, when he visited in 1633. Later described by Johnson in Wonder-Working Providence, (1654). Much of the following is drawn from History of Sudbury, Massachusetts. 1638-1889, by Alfred Sereno Hudson (Town of Sudbury, 1889).

Given the propensity of early regulations concerning its use, the area was likely heavily timbered.

The "Old Connecticut Path" -- first made known to the colonists by the Nipnet Indians -- passed through this area, and was the major way used by the English to travel to the Connecticut river valley, including those groups who settled in Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut. Some believe that it was due to this path that the plantation at Sudbury was started.

First petitioned for settlement in 1637, which was approved by the General Court, who ordered that land be marked out sufficient for 50-60 families (about 5 miles square), later extended a mile. (Colony Records, Vol. I, p. 210)

Land was purchased from the Indian, Karte in 1638, by George Munnings and "the rest of the planters of Sudbury." Mentioned in the deeds related to Sudbury (which were finalized as late as the 1680s) include the names:

  • Walter Haynes
  • Hugh Griffin
  • George Mannings
  • Emmanuel Downing
  • Ephraim Child
  • Capt. Edmond Goodenow
  • Lieut. Joseph Haynes
  • John Goodenow
  • John Brigham
  • Joseph Freeman

Early Colonial (1638-1670)

Settled in 1638 out of Watertown by Englishmen seeking more meadow, and relief from increasing population -- although many initial inhabitants were not themselves of Watertown. (Bond: "Only a small proportion of the names of the early grantees of Sudbury are on the Watertown records; and some who went there returned.")

  • Those below marked with (*) originated in Watertown.
  • Those below marked with (c) came over directly from England on the ship "Confidence" which departed Southampton, England 24 Apr 1638.

Received its name in 1639, supposedly after the Sudbury situated near the parish of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England. It was the 19th town in the MBC, and second situated beyond the flow of the tide.

First group of commissioners included (Peter?) Noyes, (Brian?) Pendleton, (Edmund?) Rice, Walter Haynes, John Parmenter [Sr.?] and George Munnings. Their task included assigning social and economic status to every one of Sudbury's adult male inhabitants. (Puritan Village, p. 83.) See below for their numbering.

Earliest Settlers

These were Puritans in theory and practice, many educated. From early town record, the following 56 heads of household have been determined to have settled in Sudbury by 1638 or 1639. [Source: NEHGR 13:261 (1859) “Original Proprietors of Sudbury, MA” The Names of the original Proprietors of Sudbury to whom lands were assigned in 1640..."

  • Robert Beast, Best or Betts(*); owned land in Watertown. From will appears not to have had a family.
  • Andrew Belcher, tavern-keeper in Sudbury
  • John Bent] (c), of Penton, Southampton, husbandman, 35 in 1638; came with wife Martha, and children under 12: Robert, William, Peter, John, Ann. Returned to England same year and brought back more family on the "Jonathan" in 1640, including his sister Agnes Blanchard, mother Agnes (died on journey?).
  • Richard Bildcome (c)
  • John Blandford (c)
  • #1 Mr. Edmund Brown, 1st minister
  • Thomas Browne; at Concord 1638; possible brother to Rev. Edmund and William Browne; may have removed to Cambridge.
  • William Browne; eventually settled near Nobscot; one time captain of the militia; first deacon of the Sudbury church
  • Widow Buffumthyte (or Buffumthrope); received early alotment of land; no other information.
  • Henry Curtis(*)
  • Robert Darnill or Daniel(*)
  • Robert Davis (c)
  • Thomas Flyn, possible mistaken spelling for Thomas Joslyn. No other record.
  • Robert Fordum or Fordham, supposedly from Southampton, Long Island; short time at Cambridge.
  • John Freeman
  • #6 Edmund Goodnowe; rep. town at General Court; capt. of town militia; dwelt west of the river.
  • John Goodnowe (c), of Wilsheire, husbandman, 27; with wife Ann, two sons under 4: John and Thomas; Richard Sanger, servant. Brother of Edmund. Supposedly also accompanied by daughters Lydia and Jane.
  • Thomas Goodnow (c), of Shasbury, age 30 in 1638; with wife Jane, Thomas his son, and Ursula, his single sister; brother of John and Edmund; petitioner for the Marlboro Plantation to which he moved.
  • Hugh Griffyn or Griffin
  • John Haine or Haynes, son of Walter; later possessed lands in Worcester.
  • Walter Haine or Haynes (c) of Sutton, Mandifield, Wiltshire; linen weaver; age 55 in 1638; came with wife Elizabeth and sons Thomas, John and Josias (all under 16 in 1638) and daughters Sufferance (later married Josiah Treadway) and Mary (later m. Thomas Noyes); listed with them on the "Confidence" were servants John Blandford, 27; John Riddett, 26; Richard Bildcome, 16. Selectman for 10 years.
  • John Howe; town selectman; petitioner for Marlboro to which he moved about 1657; first tavern keeper there, said to be the originator of the Wayside Inn, now a historic landmark.
  • Thomas Hoyte
  • Robert Hunt, came from Charlestown.
  • Widow Hunt, might have been the mother or sister-in-law of Robert
  • Solomon Johnson(*); assisted in the formation of Marlboro.
  • Thomas Joslyn or Jslen; arr 1635 on the "Increase", husbandman; was for a time at Hingham and by 1654 in Lancaster.
  • William Kerly (or Carsley or Carlsly) (c) 22 in 1638, husbandman of Ashmore; came with Edmond Kerley also 22. Assigned land at Pedock's Island, Nantasket 1642; Marlboro proprietor 1657; selectman many years. Had brother, Henry, named in his will.
  • #7 John Knight(*), maulster
  • Henry Loker
  • John Loker (brother to above?)
  • John Maynard
  • #9 George Munnings or Mullings(*), came on "Elizabeth" in 1634 from Ipswich, Suffolk, England; lost an eye serving in the Pequot war; removed to Boston where he died 1658.
  • Richard Newton, petitioner for Malboro Plantation; settled in what is now Southboro
  • # 6Mr. Peter Noyes (c), of Penton, Southampton, yeoman, 47 in 1638, with Thomas (15) his son and Eliz. his daughter (who later married Josiah Haynes). Servants who came with them: Robert Davis, 30; John Rutter, 22; Margaret Davis, 26. Apparently returned briefly to England and returned with additional children, including Nicholas, Dorothy (later wife of John Haynes), Abigail (later wife of Thomas Plympton) and Peter; and servants John Waterman, Richard Barnes, William Street.
  • Thomas Noyse (c), son of Peter, above
  • William Parker(*)
  • John Parmenter, Sr; removed to Roxbury after the 1660 death of this wife.
  • John Parmenter, Jr; kept a tavern, "Old Parmenter Tavern" that continued through the 1800s.
  • #4 Mr. William Pelham, apparently returned to England by 1652.
  • #2 Bryan (Brian) Pendleton(*), petitioner for Sudbury plantation; prominent businessman; returned to Watertown; moved 1642 to Portsmouth, ME.
  • Henry Prentiss
  • John Reddock (c), (aka Riddett?); active involved in forming Marlboro plantation, of which he was the first town clerk
  • #8 Edmond (Edmund) Rice, prominent landowner; appointed by Colonial Court to apportion land (1639); selectman; deputy to General Court; prominent in the settlement of Marlboro.
  • Henry Rice, son of Edmund.
  • John Rutter (c) carpenter; built the first meeting house; selectman 1675.
  • Richard Sanger(*) (c) carpenter; removed to Watertown 1640.
  • John Stone(*), came from Cambridge, son of Dea. Gregory Stone; one time elder of Sudbury church; town clerk 1655; early settler of Framingham; supposed to have moved back to Cambridge at outbreak of King Philip's war.
  • Joseph Taintor(*) (c), in Sudbury only a short time.
  • John Toll; possible the origin of the name "Toll's Island" in the river; male issue died young
  • Nathaniel Treadaway(*), weaver, removed to Watertown after death of his father-in-law; where he was selectman.
  • #10 William Ward; deputy to the General Court; prominent in helping establish Marlboro where he moved in 1660.
  • Anthony Whyte(*), came over on the "Francis" in 1634; returned to Watertown
  • Thomas Whyte
  • John Wood or Woods; petitioner for Marlboro; selectman there; early member of M. church
  • Widow (Dorothy) Wright, possible mother of Edward Wright; married later widower John Blandford about 1642.

Second Wave of Settlers

The following arrived soon after Sudbury was settled.

  • Thomas Axdell or Axtell; arrived from Burkhamstead, England abt 1642; brother of Col. Daniel Axtell who served under Cromwell. Son was killed by Indians in 1676; descendants were early settlers of Grafton.
  • Thomas Bisbig, Besbedge or Bessbeck; came on "Hercules," 1635; joined church in Sudbury, removed to Duxbury, but returned to Sudbury
  • Thomas Buckmaster or Buckminster; one time in Scituate; later at Boston.
  • #3 Thomas Cakebread(*); was in Dedham for awhile, but in S. by 1642; erected the first mill in S. Served as Ensign.
  • Hugh Drury in S. by 1641; carpenter; removed to Boston by 1689 when he died.
  • John George in S. by 1644.
  • John Grout(*) to S. by 1648; came into possession of Cakebread mill; whose widow he married
  • Shadrach or Sydrach Hapgood, came 1656, age 14, on "Speedwell"; settled in S. by 1664; killed in Nipnet country near Brookfield in expedition against Indians in King Philip's War.
  • William Howe
  • Thomas King in S. by 1650; one of the Marlboro petitioners where he served as one of the first selectmen.
  • Peter King in S. abt 1650; deacon of the church; rep to Colonial Court 1689-90.
  • John Moore, in Sudbury by 1643
  • Jonas or James Pendleton(*); son of Brian; came from Watertown; one of the founders of the first church at Portsmouth 1671; served as captain in King Philip's war.
  • Thomas Plympton, in S. by 1643, once servant to Peter Noyes (and married the latter's daughter, Abigail; probably brother to Elizabeth Plympton who married John Rutter. Killed by Indians 20 Apr 1676.
  • Thomas Read or Reed, at Sudbury by 1654; nephew of Rev. Edmund Brown; tythingman; built sawmill in 1677; his land became the Lanham district.
  • John Redit or Rediat; lived in S. before becoming one of first proprietors of Marlboro.
  • John Smith; in S. by 1647; might have been early settler of Watertown by the same name.
  • John Waterman; came on ship "Jonathan" in 1639; passage paid by Peter Noyes.
  • Philemon Whale; in S. by 1646.
  • Goodman (John) Witherell(*)
  • John Woodward; came, at 13, on "Elizabeth" in 1634 with his father; lived in Watertown for awhile; in Sudbury by 1654; later to Charlestown; returned to S.; died in Watertown 1696.
  • Edward Wright, possibly son of Widow Dorothy Wright (and may have come with her).

King Philip's War (1675-1677)

(The bulk of the following is extracted from History of Sudbury (1889).)

Supposedly, Sudbury contributed the most militia during King Philip's War, including the efforts of one Ephraim Curtis.

23 Feb 1675: Hugh Clark reported to the Council that he'd witnessed abandoned homes in Lancaster, Concord and Sudbury. Rev. Edmund Brown fortified his home and sent word to the Council that the enemy was near (listing many stories of dangerous encounters with them). A few months later (late in 1675) he wrote again complaining about the dismissal of the militia from Sudbury.

19 Dec 1675: Sudbury was represented in the famous Swamp Fight (in what is now Kingston, RI), under the command of Capt. Mosele, including Richard Adams, who was wounded.

Early 1676: The first approach of Indians to the town of Sudbury itself was in small bands. Sudbury residents sent requests for support, but the authorities felt that the Swamp Fight had crippled the enemy; Capt. Brocklebank requested dismissal from Marlboro because he had little to do.

10 Mar 1676 Indians attacked at or near Sudbury and many died.

27 Mar 1676: Netmus, a Nipmuc chief sought to capture anyone found outside the Sudbury garrisons. Intellegince of their presence had reached Sudbury. A "score" from Sudbury were joined by 20 from Marlboro in search of the Indians, taking them by surprise in the middle of the night.

21 April 1676: King Philip himself attacked Sudbury from the then-abandoned Marlboro with an army of anywhere from 1000 to 1500. Their numbers were this large apparently due to the presence of women Indians disguised as warriors. The English were warned of their presence early because the day before some Indians made small attacks and killed several inhabitants, including Mr. Boone, his son, and Mr. Thomas Plympton.' Sudbury families gathered at the many garrisons. On the morning of April 21, the Indians set fire to the abandoned homes west of the river and then began their attack on the garrisons. Haynes Garrison successfully routed the Indians, losing two to considerable loss on the part of the Indians. No garrisons were lost despite the lack of outside assistance and likely no more than 80 fighting men.

The east side of town was a bit more protected by the river, high at this season. Women and children were likely at the home stockade of Rev. Edmund Brown, at Timber Neck-- the junction of Mill Brook and the river. A petition sent a month later by the town of Sudbury indicated that their own forces routed the enemy, regained the town, including much of the property stolen from the homes to the west.

Meanwhile, men from Concord and Watertown were sent by the authorities in Boston. The Concord company, which included 12 "resolute young men," were ambushed and all but two slain, including:

  1. James Hosmer (eldest son of James; m Sarah White 1658 who went on to marry Samuel Rice)
  2. Samuel Potter (son of Luke Potter, deacon of Concord church; m Sarah Wright 1675)
  3. John Barnes (lived in Concord in 1661; m Elizabeth Hunt 1664)
  4. Daniel Comy
  1. Joseph Buttrick (son of William)
  2. David Curry
  3. Josiah Wheeler


  1. William Haywood of Sudbury
  2. John How, son of John, a Marlboro petitioner; killed 20 Apr on road between Marlboro and Sudbury
  3. Henry Axtel, proprietor of Marlboro; similarly slain as How above
  4. Eleazar Ward, married Hannah Rice, lived in Sudbury; slain as above

The Watertown company was under command of Capt. Hugh Mason, then 75-years-old. They approached Sudbury from the east about noon and pushed about 200 Indians beyond the bridge and river. They then headed west to assist Wadsworth but were overwhelmed by the enemy and retreated to the Goodenow Garrison til evening when they went forth again but by this time the conflict was over. While no list exists of the specific men who fought from Watertown in Sudbury, the following were impressed from Waterbury the previous November:

  1. Daniel Warrin, Sr
  2. John Bigulah, Sr
  3. Nathaniel Hely
  4. Joseph Tayntor
  5. John Whitney, Sr
  1. George Harrington
  2. William Hagar, Jr
  3. John Parkhurst
  4. Michael Flagg
  5. Jacob Bullard
  1. Isaac Learned
  2. Joseph Waight
  3. George Dill
  4. William Pierce
  5. Nathaniel Sangar
  1. Moses Whitney
  2. John Windam
  3. Joseph Smith
  4. Nathaniel Barsham
  5. John Barnard

In the meantime, Capt. Wadsworth had arrived with about 70 men at Marlborough the night before. Hearing that the the Indians had moved on to Sudbury, he did not stop for long, left about 40 young soldiers who were too exhausted to go further at the Marlboro garrison, but took about the same number with him from Marlboro, accompanied by Capt. Brocklebank (who had something to do now). The company took chase of a small group of Indians within the bounds of Sudbury, but was then ambushed by the main body of King Philip's army-- as many as 1,000 men. Wadsworth retreated his men up Green Hill from which they fought for several hours, losing five men. Philip set fire to the surrounding trees, forcing the English to relinquish their position and run for Hop Book Mill; only a few made it.

Roxbury men who died with Wadsworth:

  1. Thomas Baker, Jr.
  2. John Roberts, Jr.
  3. Nathaniel Seaver (or Leaver)
  1. Thomas Hawley (or Romley), Sr.
  2. William Cleaves
  3. Joseph Pepper
  1. John Sharpe
  2. Thomas Hopkins
  3. Samuel Gardner

Despite this victory, Philip retreated, and it has been assumed that his losses were great despite any real number of deaths. The Sudbury fight was his last major victory; afterwards, his company dispersed and he was killed by a fellow Indian the following August at Mt. Hope.

In October 1676, the town of Sudbury petitioned the Court for relief, including an account of losses by those affected. This list included:

  1. Mary Bacon, former relict of Ensign Noyes
  2. Thomas Plimpton
  3. Deacon John Haines
  4. Seg. Josiah Haines
  5. Capt James Pendleton
  6. John Goodenow
  7. William Moores
  8. Edward Wright
  1. Elias Keyes
  2. John Smith
  3. Samuell How
  4. Mr. Pelham
  5. Mr. Stevens
  6. Corp. Henry Rice
  7. John Allen
  8. James Roose
  1. John Grout, Jr
  2. Thomas Rice
  3. Widd Whale
  4. Henry Curtice
  5. John Brewer
  6. Jacob Moores
  7. Henry Loker
  8. Joseph Freeman
  1. Joseph Graves
  2. Peter King
  3. Wid. Habgood
  4. Benjamin Crane
  5. Thomas Wedge
  6. John Blanford
  7. Thomas Brewer
  8. Richard Burk
  9. Thomas Reade

US Revolutionary War

Sudbury militia participated in the Battle of Lexington and Concord, in 1775, where Sudbury members sniped on British Red Coats returning to Boston.(wp)

19th Century

20th Century

[From wikipedia] In August 1925, a Sudbury farm was the scene of a riot between local members of the Ku Klux Klan and Irish-American youths from the area. Five people were wounded by gunshots, and the State Police arrested over 100 Klansmen. Massachusetts officials cracked down on the group's meetings theafter, and the area Klan died out.

Sudbury was considered to become the part of the site for the headquarters of the United Nations, along with parts of Lincoln, Concord and Marlborough. Protests by townspeople and the Knights of Columbus caused the United Nations to choose a different location.

Research Tips


  1. Sereno Hudson, Alfred The history of Sudbury, Massachusetts. 1638-1889
  2. Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  3. LDS Family History Library Catalog
  4. Wikipedia on Sudbury, Mass
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