The French home of Thomas French and later belonging to his son John in Topsfield, Massachusetts, was built in 1675, and probably the second to the oldest standing French home in the country. The oldest French house in the United States is that of Richard French in Marshfield, Massachusetts. John was a tailor and moved to Topsfield, Massachusetts, about 1664. The house is located on Howlett Street.
Thomas FRENCH and Susan RIDDLESDALE
Thomas was born before 1584 in Bures St. Mary's, Suffolk, England and married 5 September 1608 in Assington, Suffolk, England, Susan RIDDLESDALE the daughter of John RIDDLESDALE and Dorcas ________. She was born about 1584, in Assington, Suffolk, England, and died 1658 in, Essex, Massachusetts. Thomas died 5 November 1639 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. My ancestors in the Winthrop Fleet Passenger Lists The Great Migration Begins Sketches PRESERVED PURITAN THOMAS FRENCH[Note: For my purposes I would call this Thomas Jr his father Sr. and his son Thomas 3rd or III RF]
ORIGIN: Assington, Suffolk
EDUCATION: He signed his will.
DEATH: Ipswich 8 August 1680.
MARRIAGE: By 1632 Mary _______; she died at Ipswich 6 May 1681.
ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas French and his sister Alice had arrived in New England by 1632, and their two next younger sisters, Dorcas and Susan, came in 1633. Their parents and younger siblings sailed for New England after 1633, and are not included in this phase of the study. [See Parker-Ruggles 412-29, Dudley Wildes Anc 63-64 and NEHGR 142:250-52, 143:213-20, 363-64 for the ancestry of this group of French siblings.] Alice married THOMAS HOWLETT and Dorcas married first CHRISTOPHER PEAKE and then GRIFFIN CRAFTS (sketches for these families will be found elsewhere in this work). Susan may have been a servant in the household of John Winthrop Jr. for a time, but otherwise left no record in New England.
Administration of the estate of Susan French, deceased, granted 28: 7: 1658, to her son John French. Ipswich Quarterly Court Records vol 1, page 71.
1. THOMAS Jr baptized 27 November 1608; Assington, Suffolk, England. married: About 1631; Massachusetts. Mary SCUDAMORE died: 8 August 1680; Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts.
Thomas French - Immigration
The Winthrop Fleet of 1630:
From "the Winthrop Fleet of 1630", By Charles Banks.
found on ancestry.com
Letter of Thomas Gostlin to John Winthrop Jr. Loving Cosen . . . but for carpenters I could get none, nor husbandmen, such as weare fit for you, but as for maydes and a girle I could haue sent you enoug yf my brother Downing would haue payed for the passage, and therefore I haue sent you but one, because at this time I am shortned for mony, and Mr. Peerse would be payed downe, and would haue no lesse than fiue pound a passenger besydes 2s 6d for the surgion, wch I left wth yr vncle Downinge for him. She is one of the goodman Frenches daughters of Assington. I haue sent 2 of them, one for yr father, and the other for you. Yr father must take his choyse. The eldest must serve for 3 yeeres, and the youngest 4 . . . I praye let them be delt as well wth all as any of the same quallity. Groton this 11 June 1633.
According to the FFA (French Family Association) Thomas and Susan immigrated in 1635 to Ipswich, just 5 years after their son Thomas, Jr. immigrated. All of the Frenches were baptized at St. Edmunds Church in Assington or at St. Mary's Church in Bures St. Mary. They came to America during the PURITAN GREAT MIGRATION 1620 to 1643. Most of them emigrating from the southeast of England and settling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the busiest years of the Great Migration were during "The Eleven Year Tyranny" 1629 to 1640 during which time Charles the first tried to rule without calling the Puritan dominated parliment. When the King was forced to call the parliment in 1640 the Puritan Revolution began and the immigration to New England came almost to a complete stop. Since there are very few passenger lists that exist of the Great Migration; the names of ancestor's ships and their actual arrival and departure dates are unknown.
Thomas French Sr., Notes
The following notes are taken from Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis. Vol. III. Neal-Wright. and from The Whitin Family: Historical Notes; Swift, Katherine Whitin, 1955. Also notes from http://www.frenchfamilyassoc.com/
He came to America before 25 July 1638 when a lot of his is mentioned as a boundary to land at the Reedy Marsh.
There is some conflicting information on when Thomas came to America. Some sources cite him coming over in 1630 with his entire family on the "Mary and John," one of 11 ships in the Winthrop Fleet that carried Puritans sailing from Yarmouth, Isle of Wright to Salem, Massachusetts. Motivated by politics, a wealthy group of leaders obtained a royal charter in March of 1629 for a colony at Massachusetts Bay. Thus forming the Winthrop Fleet, led by John Winthrop and financed by the Massachusetts Bay Company. These 11 ships carried 700 passengers, plus livestock and provisions, and sailed in two groups for America. The first group sailed 8 April 1630, arriving in June, and the other group sailed in May, arriving in July. Almost all passengers survived the journey aboard ship, however within six months over 200 of them had died after coming ashore. The Winthrop Fleet website and several passenger lists state that passengers Thomas French Sr., wife Susan Riddlesdale, children Anne, Mary, John, Susan, Thomas Jr., Dorcas and Alice all made this journey together. However, further research shows that the "Mary and John" was not one of those 11 original ships, instead making a separate journey earlier that year. Another source, www.frenchfamilyassoc.com states that Thomas Jr. came over by himself on the Winthrop Fleet, probably aboard the "Lion." and in the next few years three of his sisters (Alice, Dorcas Susan) also immigrated and then about 1637/38 his parents, Thomas Sr. and Susan Riddlesdale, and remaining siblings came.
found on ancestry.com
Last Will and Testament of Thomas French
Estate of Thomas French, Sr. of Ipswich Essex Probate Docket # 10190
Death: November, 1639, Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Find A Grave Memorial# 54658130
found on findagrave.com