Judd #4020

Thomas Judd (1608-1688)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts in 1633-34 and later settled in Connecticut and

Unknown Spouse

Judd #4020

Thomas Judd traveled from England to the Massachusetts colony in about 1633-34[1] with his wife and possibly one or two children born in England.  The name of his wife is not known to us, although he was probably not married to “Sarah Freeman”, as some sources indicate.  It is not known from what part of England they came, but the name of Judd has long existed in County Essex, England, from which many of the settlers of Cambridge, Massachusetts came.  According to some sources, Thomas Judd was born in Langley, Kent, England.

Thomas immigrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was granted a home lot of 4 acres in August 1634, on which he built a house.  He was admitted a freeman at Cambridge on 25 May 1636.  Later in 1636, a company of about one hundred, including Judd, his wife, son, and daughter, went with Rev. Thomas Hooker, minister and leader, through the wilderness to the new settlement of Hartford on the Connecticut River[2].  As such, the name of Thomas Judd appears on the “Founders Monument” in Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground of the First Congregational Church of that city, presently known as “Center Church”.

Thomas Judd was one of the original proprietors of Hartford.  His house lot at Hartford is thus described in the records:

…one parcel of land on which his dwelling house now standeth, with other out houses, yards and gardens thereon being, containing by estimation two acres, more or less. Abutting on the highway leading from William Gibbon’s to the ox pasture on the east, on James dole’s land on the south, on the highway landing  from Moody’s towards Wethersfield on the west, and on Mr. Wylly’s land on the north…

The Charter Oak was important long before it served as a hiding place for Connecticut’s Royal Charter. The tree was revered by Indians because of its great size, and was used by them as a Council Tree. Seedlings from the large oak tree were planted in many places throughout Connecticut. Many have a small inconspicuous marker to identify them – oil painting by Charles De Wolf Brownell, 1857 (Wadsworth Atheneum).

This property therefore adjoined on the south the Wyllys property on which stood the historic Charter Oak[3].

Later, Thomas Judd, along with five of his six sons, was among the 84 original proprietors of Farmington, Connecticut, to which place he removed about 1644, and where he also was a substantial farmer and influential citizen.

Thomas Judd was one of the two deputies to the General Court at Hartford in 1647, serving 17 sessions until 1679 when he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts.  He was a member of the church under the care of Rev. Thomas Hooker and Rev. Samuel Stone both at Cambridge and Hartford, and his connection with the Hartford church continued until a church was gathered at Farmington on 13 Oct 1652, of which he was a charter member (i.e., one of the “Seven Pillars”).  Some of his children were carried from Farmington to Hartford to be baptized.  The first pastor of the Farmington church was Rev. Roger Newton (1652), and the second was Rev. Samuel Hooker (1661).  Stephen Hart[4] was the first deacon, and Thomas Judd was the second.  He is therefore styled “Deacon” in the Connecticut Colony records in 1668 and following, and he bore the same title in Northampton.

Thomas Judd was one of the 84 proprietors of Farmington among whom the lands of that extensive township, now embracing five or six townships, were to be divided, according to an agreement made 8 Jan 1673.  Many divisions were made after his decease, and administrators of his estate were appointed once or twice after 1708.  Large tracts of his lands were distributed to his children and grandchildren on several occassions between 1708-30.  Five of Thomas’ sons[5] were also among the 84 proprietors.  In March, 1662, the General Court granted to Thomas Judd, probably for some public services, 200 acres of land, which were located and called Judd’s Farm, but some years after, the land was found to be within the bounds of Wallingford, and was given up, and an equivalent taken elsewhere.

Farmington, Connecticut – Colonial map by Jean Johnson, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, Connecticut 06034

Northampton, Massachusetts

Thomas’ wife died about 1678 at Farmington.  In 1679, he then married Clemence, the childless widow of Thomas Mason of Northampton, Massachusetts, who had died the year before.  She had a good estate and he removed to her homestead on the east side of Pleasant Street in Northampton where he spent the remainder of his life.  At Northampton Thomas was one of the selectmen in 1682, and he owned 40 acres of meadow land there.  Thomas’ death in 1688 at age 80 was registered by County Clerk at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Thomas Judd grave marker

Thomas Judd and his unknown spouse had nine children (six sons and three daughters).  No records of their births have been found, but from records at Hartford and Farmington, the order of the births is as indicated below, except for the two oldest (it is not known which is the elder).  Some knowledge is obtained in regard to the years in which they were born, though not so exact as is desirable.  The children of Thomas Judd and his unknown spouse are listed as follows: (1) Elizabeth, born 1633-36, married Samuel Loomis; (2) William, born 1633-36; (3) Thomas, born about 1638, married Sarah Steele; (4) John Judd, born about 1640 (36 years of age in 1676) and died about 1715.  He married Mary Hawkins; (5) Benjamin, born about 1642, married Mary Lewis; (6) Mary, born about 1644, married Thomas Loomis on 1 Jan 1663; (7) Ruth, born about 1647 (baptized 7 Feb 1647) , married John Steele; (8) Philip, born 1649 (baptized 2 Sep 1649), married Hannah Loomis and (9) Samuel, born about 1651-53.

The daughter of John Judd and Mary Hawkins is Ruth Judd, born about 1676 and died about 1751, both in Farmington, Connecticut.  In about 1704 she married Matthew Clark, born about 1674 and died 24 Sep 1751, both in Farmington, Connecticut.  Their lineage is continued under the heading of John Clark (1637-1712).

[1] Although there is no documentation to prove it, it is not unlikely that the Judd family arrived on the Griffin voyage of 1633, which also carried Rev. Thomas Hooker and members of his congregation.

[2] Several of our ancestors were part of Thomas Hooker’s congregation and joined in the migration to the Connecticut Valley.  Additional background on Rev. Thomas Hooker and this movement is discussed under the heading of William Kelsey (1600-1676).

[3] The Charter Oak was an unusually large white oak tree which grew from around the 12th or 13th century until 1856 on what the English colonists named Wyllys Hyll, in Hartford, Connecticut. The name “Charter Oak” stems from the local legend in which a cavity within the tree was used in late 1687 as a hiding place for the Constitution charter. King Charles II, in 1662, granted the Connecticut Colony an unusual degree of autonomy. His successor, James II, consolidated several colonies into the Dominion of New England, in part to take firmer control of them. He appointed as governor-general over it Sir Edmund Andros who stated his appointment had invalidated the charters of the various constituent colonies, and presumably seeing symbolic value in physically reclaiming the documents, went to each colony to collect them. Andros demanded the document and it was produced, but during ensuing discussion, the lights were doused, concealing the spiriting of the parchment out a window and thence to the Oak by Captain Joseph Wadsworth. The oak thus became a symbol of American independence. The oak was blown down in a violent storm about 150 years later.

[4] My 9th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

[5] Samuel was not of age in 1673 and not a proprietor.


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