Thomas Richardson of Standon is my 12th great-grandfather.
This is a person that I was struggling to verify information about. Luckily the UK is big on record keeping and thanks to the fact that Hertfordshire in England has their very own records database I was able to confirm the identity of Thomas Richardson who from now we will refer to as Thomas Richardson of Standon.
- Birth: Aug 24, 1560 (1565??) – Standon, Hertfordshire, England
- Death: Jan 7, 1633 – Westmill, Hertfordshire, England
The International Genealogical Index says that he was born on August 24, 1560, and died on January 8, 1633. It also states that he was married on August 24, 1590.
Here is an image, although not a clear one — proving his marriage in 1590 – August 24, 1590, to be exact.
|Marriage date||24 Aug 1590|
|Groom’s first name(s)||Thoms|
|Groom’s last name||Richardson|
|Bride’s first name(s)||Kathren|
|Bride’s last name||Duxforde|
|Record set||Hertfordshire Marriages|
|Category||Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records|
|Collections from||England, Great Britain|
Notice the typos in the name. It’s not really as much a typo as a variation of the spelling. Look at this clearer image of his grandmother’s marriage registry (Thomas Richardson I of Westmill)
We spell May as May and they spell it, Maye. We spell July they spell it, Julie. February to them was Februarie. Obviously, in context, we know what they meant, but it’s just a perfect example of why it’s so hard sometimes to find certain information.
So while we know they are talking about Thomas Richardson of Standon, it can complicate things when we are trying to find out the details Thoms Richardson of Stondon’s life.
We know he married Katherine Duxford of Westmill, but they call her Kathren Duxforde of West.
Thomas Richardson married Kathern Duxford (Katherine Duxford) on August 24, 1590, in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England. Their marriage took place at the St. Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Westmill. This is also where he would later be buried.
We know for a fact this is his wife because a copy of his will still exists in the Hertfordshire, England archives to this day.
For clarification purposes, this Thomas Richardson’s mother is not Agnes. So if you find a record that says something else, then it is not a record that belongs to this Thomas Richardson who we are now referring to as Thomas Richardson of Standon. Thomas Richardson of Standon’s mother was Mary “Margaret” Champney and his father, who married his father, almost named Thomas Richardson.
This Thomas Richardson is not Sir Thomas Richardson. Sir Thomas has some association with Alphamstone, while our Thomas does not. If you come across a Thomas Richardson record that references Alphamstone, then that isn’t Thomas Richardson of Standon.
Westmill is a very tiny village in England. Today less than 300 people live there. It’s just north of London.
Together he and his wife had 7 children.
- Elizabeth (1593)
- John (1596)
- James (1600)
- Samuel (1602)
- Ezekiel (1604 ???)
- Margaret (1607)
- Thomas (1608)
We know the names of his children from his will. His will lists the name of each child as well as the exact date of their baptism.
Elizabeth y^ daughter to Thomas Richardson baptized 13 Jan. 1593.
John son to Thomas Richardson baptized 7 Nov. 1596.
James, y” sonne of Thomas Richardson baptized 6 Apr. 1600.
Samuel y® sonne of Thomas Richardson baptized 22 Dec. 1602 [or 1604],
Margaret ye daughter of Thomas Richardson baptized 19 April 1607.
Thomas ye sonne of Thomas Richardson baptized 3 July 1608.
Notice that their son Ezekiel who had gone off to America in 1630, wasn’t event acknowledged in the will.
Thomas’ will indicates he was a farmer of moderate means. He was a Husbandman when his will was created on March 4 in 1630 (31?).
A husbandman in England at that time period was a free tenant farmer or small landowner. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman. The meaning of “husband” in this term is “master of the house” rather than “married man” like we know it today.
Back then yeomen were farmers who owned land. Their wealth and the size of their landholding varied. Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, Garter Principal King of Arms, wrote that “a Yeoman would not normally have less than 100 acres and in social status is one step down from the Landed Gentry, but above, say, a husbandman.”
Often it was hard to distinguish minor landed gentry from the wealthier yeomen, and wealthier husbandmen from the poorer yeomen.
Landed gentry basically meant the lesser nobility in England. They basically consisted of Baronets, Knights, Esquires, and Gentlemen.
So it went Landed gentry, then yeoman and then husbandmen — which is what Thomas Richardson of Standon was.
When he passed he left Katherine “my littell close of pasture called little hunnymease, containing half an acre”.
*** half an acre in Westmill today will cost you upwards of a million bucks.
After her death, he wishes it all to go to his son Samuel and his heirs.
John is to be paid 40 shillings for 3 years, after both his mother and father die.
James is to be paid 12 pence and his son Thomas will get 3 pounds, to be paid within 5 years of his and Katherine’s death.
In other words, after Thomas and Katherine are both dead, he wants Thomas to be paid 3 pounds within 5 years.
To his beloved with Katherine, he gives her all his movable goods for her life and thereafter they should go to his son Samuel who was named his executor. The will was witnessed by Richard Baker and Philip Baker.
You’ll also notice that in his will he leaves everything to Samuel and not John. Back then in England, they left everything to their eldest son. That means that John and James would have probably died prior to the creation of the will, sometime prior to March 4, 1630.
Thomas Richardson of Standon and Katherine Duxford of West mill were married 24 Aug. 1590. Elizabeth y^ daughter to Thomas Richardson baptized 13 Jan. 1593. John son to Thomas Richardson baptized 7 Nov. 1596. James, y'' sonne of Thomas Richardson baptized 6 Apr. 1600. Samuel y® sonne of Thomas Richardson baptized 22 Dec. 1602 [or 1604], Margaret ye daughter of Thomas Richardson baptized 19 April 1607. Thomas ye sonne of Thomas Richardson baptized 3 July 1608. Catherine the wife of Thomas Richardson buryed the x*** of March 1631. Thomas Richardson was bui*yed the viii daye of January 1633. It would naturally be supposed that the will of Thomas Richardson would be found in the Commissary Court of Essex and Hertfordshire, but the Archdeaconry Court of Huntingdon, or that portion in the Hitchin Reg- istry, had jurisdiction over part of Hertfordshire, and included 77 parishes. The original will of Thomas Richardson of West Mill, Herts, found at Hitchin, reads : . March the 4'^'^ Ano domini 1630. In the name of God Amen I Thomas ) Richardson of Westmill in the County of Herts, husbandman, being sick / in bodye but of good an perfect memory thanks be to God doe make and ordeyne this my laste will in manner and forme following, firste. I bequeath my soull unto the hands of God my maker and Redeemer by whose merits I only truste to be saved, and my body to be buryed in the i^lace of Chris- tian buryall and Touchinge my temporall goods I doe dispose of them as followeth. First. I gyve unto Katherine my wife duringe the tearme of her natu- rall life my littell close of pastm-e called little hunnymeade cont half an acre and after her decease I give the same to my sonn Samuell and his heyers for ever. Item. I give to my sonn John forty^ shillings to be payed to him within the space of three yeares next ensueing the decease of me and Katherine my now wife by my executor. Item. I give to my sonn James Twelve pence. Item. I give to my sonn Thomas three pounds to be payed to him with- in the space of fyve yeares next ensueing the decease of me and Kathy- rine my now wife. Item. I gyve unto Katherine my wife all my movable goods to use for and during the terme of her life and after her decease I gyve the same unto my sonn Samuel whom I doe ordeyne and make my sole executor. In Witness whereof I have sett my hand and Seal the daye and yeare above sayd. Sealed and declared vSig™ Thomas in the presence of us [mark] Richardson Richard Baker. Philip Baker, proved 31 July 1634 at Hitchin presented by son Samuel Richardson."
The three brothers, Ezekiel, Samuel and Thomas Richardson, are known as such by the will of Ezekiel, who names the other two as his brothers. Ezekiel, evidently the oldest, was the first to come to New England, and was a planter in Charlestown in 1630. His departure previous to the making of the will, perhaps against his father's wishes, or possibly having received his share of his father's small estate, maj' account for the name of Ezekiel not appearing in the will. His baptism is not found at "West Mill, as are the baptisms of Samuel and Thomas. Ezekiel probably came with Winthrop, he and his wife becoming mem- bers of the Charlestown church, 27 Aug., 1630. Thomas Richardson, baptized at West mill, 3 July, 1608, had wife Mary, who joined the Charlestown church, 21 Feb., 1635-6, and he joined, 18 Feb., 1637-8. Samuel presented the will of his father for probate ^t Ilitchin, England, 31 July, 1634. He had previously married ; and had baptized, at West Mill, a son Samuel, 3 July, 1633, and a daughter Elizabeth, 22 May, 1635. Samuel Richardson's name does not appear in the Tithe Book of West Mill after 1635. Against Over Green, where he (and also his father, Thomas) lived, is written " none." It was, therefore, after that date he and his brother Thomas sailed for New England, with their families ; and we find, on 1 July, 1636, the brothers were on a committee to lay out lots of land in Charlestown, for hay. There is no record of the birth or bap- tism of a daughter Elizabeth to Samuel in Woburn, but the will of his wife Joanna, in 1666, mentions a daughter Elizabeth, who was probably the one baptized at West Mill, 22 May, 1635. Doubtless the register of the parish of Standon, which is but a few miles south of West Mill, would, if it existed, give further particulars of the Richardsons, or at least of Thomas who married in 1590 ; but the ear- liest entry to be found is 1671. Braughing, just east of West Mill, has a register which begins in 1563, but it gives no items of the Richardson name. Great and Little Hormead, north-east of West Mill, was the home of some of the Wymans in the past, but there are no traces of the Richardsons there. Just east of this locality is the border of Essex, and there are many of the name in that county, though the name is com- mon in aU the counties of England. From Nazing, Essex, about ten miles from West Mill, came John Eliot, the apostle, and many of the settlers of Roxbury, Mass.
St. Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Westmill, where Thomas was married and buried has been around for a thousand years. The church still stands to this day.
It has the oldest bell in Hertfordshire, it’s 600 years old and still rings. Below you’ll find a video about the effort to rebuild the roof.
He made a will on 4 Mar 1630/31 at Westmill, Hertfordshire, England.1
Thomas RICHARDSON357, 9G Grandfather. Born abt 1565-70. Buried on 7 Jan
1633/4 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England. Will dated on 4 Mar 1630/1 at Westmill,
Hertfordshire, England. Will proved on 31 Jul 1634.
According to Threlfall’s GMC50358, “THOMAS RICHARDSON was born about 1565-70. On
24 August 1590 [Threlfall gives this date as 25 August on p. 536] at West Mill, Hertfordshire,
he married Katherine Duxford of that parish. The marriage record states that he was of Standon,
which is the next parish to the south. She was the daughter of Richard and Joan Duxford, and
was born about 1565-70. They settled down in West Mill.
“Katherine was buried 10 March 1630/31 [Threlfall gives this date as 1631/32 on p. 536] at
West Mill. Thomas was buried there 7 January 1633/4. An abstract of his will follows.”
Thomas Richardson’s son Ezekiel had been comprehensively documented in Anderson’s
GMB359 where it is noted that “Samuel Richardson and Thomas Richardson, brothers of
Ezekiel, arrived in New England by 1635; Francis Wyman and John Wyman, sons of Ezekiel
Richardson’s sister Elizabeth, also came to New England [Sarah Hildreth Anc 25-27].”
Thomas Richardson and Katherine Duxford are ancestors to U.S. Presidents Bush, Coolidge,
Hoover (probably), and Pierce,360 and to suffragist Susan B. Anthony.281
Gary Boyd Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents: First Authoritative Edition, Santa
Clarita, CA: Carl Boyer, 1995 (published in cooperation with the New England Historic
It would naturally be supposed that the will of Thomas Richardson would be found in the Commissary Court of Essex and
Ilertfordshire, but the Archdeaconry Court of lluntingdon. or that portion in the Hitchin Registry, had jurisdiction over part of
Tlertfordshire, and included 77 parishes.
The original will of Thomas Richardson of West Mill, Herts, found at Hitchin, reads:
March the 4th Ano domini 1630. In the name of God Amen I Thomas Richardson of Westmill in the County of Herts,
husbandman, being sick in hodye but of good an perfect memory thanks be to God doe make and ordeyne this my laste will in
manner and forme following, llrste. I bequeath my soul1 auto the hands of God my maker and Redeemer by whose merits I
only truste to be saved. and my body to be buryed in t.he place of Christian buryall and Touchinge my teniporall goods I doe
dispose of them as followeth.
First. I gyve unto Katherine my wife (luringe the tearme of her naturall life my littelI close of pasture called little
hunnymeade cont half an acre and after her decease I give the same to my sonn Samuel] aud his heyers for ever.
Item. I give to my sonn John forty shillings to be payed to him within
the space of three yeares next ensueing the decease of me and Katherine
my now wife by my executor.
Item. I give to my sonn James Twelve pence.
Item. I give to my sonn Thomas three pounds to be payed to him within the space of fyve yeares next ensueing the decease of
me and Kathy-
rifle my now wife.
Item. I gyve unto Katherine my wife all my movable goods to use for and during the terme of her life and after her decease I
gyve the same unto my sonu Samuel whom I doe ordeyne and make my sole executor. In Witness whereof I have sett my hand
and Seal the daye and yeare above sayd.
Sealed and declared Sigm THOMAS
in the presence of us [mark] . RICHARDSON
proved 81 July 1634 at I-Iitchin presented by son Samuel Richardson.” He was married to Katherine DUXFORD on 13 Jan
1593 in , West Mill, Herts, England. (1288)