Thomas French, II

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Thomas French, II

Birthplace: Arkesden, Essex, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Wethersfield, Essex, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas French, of Arkesden and Elizabeth French
Husband of Alice French and Bridget French (Brooke)
Father of Jacob French, Sr.; Mary French; Elizabeth French; Thomas French of Halstead; Alice French and 4 others
Brother of Robert French; Francis French; Elizabeth Meade; Mary Collin; Agnes French and 4 others
Half brother of Dorothy French

Managed by: Private User
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About Thomas French, II

Thomas French II, of Wethersfield, Essex, England was born ca. 1530 in Arkesden. (note: No parish registers for Arkesden survive before 1690.) He died on 23 Jul 1599 in Wethersfield, Essex, England and his will was probated 31 Oct 1599 [1].

Parents: Thomas French (b. ca. 1504-July 1551) and Elizabeth (d. 21 Sep 1556).


  1. ca. 1557 Elizabeth and had at least 3 children
  2. on 2 Dec 1597 to Bridget Burrough, the widow of Thomas Burrough of Wickhambrook, Suffolk, as his second wife. Bridget was b. ca. 1542 in Higham, Suffolk, England , the dau. of Thomas Higham and Phyllis Waldergrave; she died on 19 Jun 1597.

It was through this very short second marriage of 6 months that the French family inherited quite a large wealth from the Burrough family. [2]

3 children of Thomas French of Wethersfield and Elizabeth, mentioned in his will, include:

  1. Mary chr. ca. 1558 most likely in Wethersfield, m. ca. 1578 John Collyn (Collin)
  2. Elizabeth chr. ca. 1560 most likely in Wethersfield, mentioned in father’s will of 1599, m. John Meade
  3. Thomas French III, of Halstead, born ca. 1565 in Wethersfield, Essex, England and christened 13 Aug 1598, m. Anne (Agnes) Olmstead, buried 20 Nov 1613 in Halstead, Essex, England.


  1. See his will on the National Archives website:, will of Thomas French or Frenche, Gentleman of Wethersfield, Essex, 31 Oct 1599 PROB 11/94. This will includes the 3 children of Thomas plus his wife Elizabeth, and no other children.
  2. Bridget Burrough m2. Thomas French of Wethersfield, Essex, England on 2 Dec 1597 in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, England, just 6 months after her first husband died. Bridget inherited Manor of Pitley from her father [16]. She also inherited Shepecoote [1]. See Note [17]. Bridget was from Wickhambrook, Suffolk County [3]. Purchased land in Great Parndon, Essex County [17] (near London) with brother-in-law Henre Gryffen [42] [44]. May have had a brother Richard of Saffron Walden [40]. (see FFA site in the link for citations)



  • Genealogy of the French family Published 1903
  • Pg.3
  • of Wetheisfield, Essex Co., England, died 1599. In his will mentions wife, three children and grandson John, son of son Thomas, and gives to poor of Halsted, of West Wratting, Snetisham, Little Birdsfield and Arkesden.
  • Children.
  • Thomas* m. Anne ; Mary m. John Collins ; Elizabeth m. John Meade
  • of Halstead, Essex Co., England, died Jan. 27, 1613. Left wife Anne, six sons and several daughters.
  • Children
  • Thomas* m. Miss Wood ; John ; Edward ; Robert ; William ; Francis
  • of Halstead, Essex Co. Married a daughter of Wood.
  • Children
  • William* born Mch 15, 1603 m. Elizabeth
    ; Francis Bapt June 29, 1606 ; Jerrymya Bapt Nov. 21, 1607
  • Lieut. WILLIAM FRENCH (or Frenche)
  • who was was our earliest ancestor in the direct line in America, was born in Halsted, Essex Co., England, March 15, 1603. He married Elizabeth
    , and had four children born in England. He came to America with Rev. Thomas Shepard and his brother Samuel, Roger Harlaksuden, and George and Joseph Cook, in the ship "Defence" in the summer of 1635. He settled first in Cambridge, Mass , and in 1652 was one of the original proprietors and earliest settlers of Billerica, Mass. He was a Lieutenant of the militia and afterwards Captain. Was chosen "to sit in the Deacons seat" 1659. "Comitioner to establish the county rates" the same year ; one of the first selectmen, 1660, and served nine years. Committee to examine children and servants in "reading, religion and the catechism," 1651 ; the first Deputy or Representative of Billerica in the General Court at Boston, 1660, taking his seat in 1663. Evidence of his activity in the cause of Indian instruction is found in a letter wiitten by him to "a godly friend in England," published in London in the famous tract, "Strength Out of Weakness," and afterwards republished in the Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll. 3d S. vol. 4, pp. 149, 196, in which he gives a detailed account of the testimony of an Indian convert. His wife died March 31, 1668, and he married 2d, Mary, daughter of Thomas Lathrop of Barnstable and widow of
    • ( ) Numbers in parenthesis indicate the generation.
    • * Names marked with the star show the direct line of descent of the family in Camden.
  • John Stearns of Billerica. He died Nov. 20, 1681, and his widow afterwards married Isaac Mixter of Watertown as his third wife.
  • By wife Ehzabeth he had ten children :
    • 1 Francis, b. England, 1624 ; m. Lydia Bunnille of Milford
    • 2 Elizabeth, b. England, 1629 ; m. Richard Ellis of Dedham
    • 3 Mary, b. England, 1633 ; m. Jonathan Hides
    • 4 John, b. England, 1635 ; m. Abigail Coggan
    • 5 Sarah, b. Cambridge, March, 1638 ; m. Jonathan Cheak
    • 6 JACOB,* b. Cambridge, March 16, 1640 ; m. Mary Champney
    • 7 Hannah, b. Cambridge, Apr. 12, 1641 ; d. June 20, 1642
    • 8 Hannah, b. Cambridge, Feb. 16, 1644 ; m. John Brackett, Sept. 6, 1661, had 9 children
    • 9 Samuel, b. Cambridge, Dec. 3, 1645 ; d. July 15, 1646
    • 10 Samuel, b. Cambridge, abt. 1648 ; m. Sarah Cummings
  • By wife Mary he had :
    • 11 Mary, b. Billerica, Apr. 3, 1670 ; m. 1st Robert Sharp: 2d Nathl. Duncklee
    • 12 Sarah, b. Billerica, Oct. 29, 1671 ; m. Joseph Crosby of B., May 6, 1691
    • 13 Abigail b. Billerica, Apr. 14, 1673 ; d. Apr. 13, 1674
    • 14 Hannah, b.Billerica, Jan. 25, 1676 ; John Child of Watertown
  • Francis French (2) (Lieut. William) (1)
  • Born in England, 1624, came with his father in the "Defence"; removed to Milford, Conn., about 1650, and four years later was one of the first settlers in Derby, Conn. He married, Apr. 10, 1661, Lydia Bonnelle of Milford and died Feb. 14, 1681. His widow died Apr. 1, 1708.
  • They had :
    • .... etc.


view all 36

Thomas French, II's Timeline

Wethersfield, Essex, UK
Arkesden, Essex, England, (Present UK)
Wethersfield, Essex, UK
Age 25
Assington, Suffolk, England, (Present UK)
Age 25
Assington, Suffolk, England, (Present UK)
Age 38
Wethersfield, Essex, England
July 23, 1599
Age 69
Wethersfield, Essex, England, United Kingdom
Age 69
January 8, 1938
Age 69
January 8, 1938
Age 69