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John Spofford

Also Known As: "Spafford", "John ^ Spafford Sr"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Toddington, Bedfordshire, England
Death: October 06, 1678
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Place of Burial: Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Spufford and Ellen Spufford
Husband of Elizabeth Spofford
Father of Elizabeth Sessions; John Spofford, of Spofford's Hill; Thomas Spofford; Hannah Mitchell; Mary Hunnerwell and 4 others
Brother of Thomas Spufford; George Spufford; Francis Spufford and Elizabeth Spufford
Half brother of Sarah Spufford and Ann Agnes Spufford

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Spofford

See also John Spofford, probably a different person, but only one of them was the 1638 immgrant to Rowley, MA and married to Elizabeth Spofford.

Who Was the Father of John Spofford, the 1638 Immigrant to Massachusetts?

https://spaf.cerias.purdue.edu/pers/Robert1056/curstat.html
There are conflicting opinions regarding the ancestral roots of John Spofford, the 1638 immigrant, who was one of the original settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts, and is the common ancestor of most persons with the name Spofford or Spafford currently living in the United States.

For those of you who may not care to read through the remainder of this rather lengthy document, here is a quick synopsis — Based on what I have found to date, there is good reason to be suspect of the traditional lineage of John's ancestors. However, at this point in time, I am definitely leaning in the direction that, if John, the immigrant, was not the son of John Spofford, the Vicar of Silkstone, he was at least closely related. Further, I suspect very strongly that John, the immigrant, was from somewhere in Yorkshire, and NOT, as John Threlfall claims, descended from Thomas Spufford of Toddington, Bedfordshire. And just to clarify at the outset — I have NOT yet found any primary evidence (birth/baptismal records, wills, etc.) that definitively links John, the 1638 immigrant, with any of his ancestors and, therefore, must conclude at this time that his immediate ancestry remains obscure.

John Spofford

  • Birth: baptized 21 April 1611 at Toddington, Bedfordshire son of Thomas
  • Death: Bef Nov. 6, 1678 (will proved) Rowley Essex County Massachusetts, USA
  • Married Elizabeth SCOTT
  • Most of the information found on the Internet regarding his English origins is incorrect. The correct information was published in 1990:
  • John Brooks Threlfall, The ancestry of Margaret (Brooks) Threlfall (Madison, Wis.: the author, 2002), #418.
  • John Spofford, in Threlfall, John B. Fifty Great Migration Colonists to New England & their Origins. (Madison, Wisconsin: J.B. Threlfall, 1990), 97-424.
  • JOHN SPOFFORD (Thomas, Thomas, John) was baptized 21 April 1611 at Toddington, Bedfordshire. (He deposed as being about 50 in March 1661/2). He came to New England and settled in Rowley, Massachusetts where he had a 1 1/2 acre house lot on Bradford Street in 1643...
  • John Spofford married Elizabeth Scott of Ipswich. She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Strutt) Scott and was baptized at Rattlesden, Suffolk, England, on 18 November 1623, and was 23 at the time of the marriage.

Biography

JOHN SPOFFORD (Thomas, Thomas, John) was baptized 21 April 1611 at Toddington, Bedfordshire. (He deposed as being about 50 in March 1661/2). He came to New England and settled in Rowley, Massachusetts where he had a 1 1/2 acre house lot on Bradford Street in 1643. His name appears on the first division of home lots when he received this lot. He also was granted land in the fresh meadows, salt meadows, the tillage lands, the Merimac lands, and shares in the ox pasture, cow pasture and calf pasture. He lived for 30 years in Rowley and in 1669 moved to Spofford Hill in the west part of town where he was without doubt the first settler in that part now called Georgetown. He took this farm on a lease. For the first five years he was to pay as rent 300 feet of white oak plank, after that £10 each year - one half in English corn or Indian corn, and the other half in "fat cattel or leane". This lease was assigned over to his sons, John and Samuel, on 16 March 1676, and the rent was reduced to £8, and to be wholly remitted "during the time of the Indian Wars. The lease was extended for 60 years; then the land reverted back to the town.

John Spofford married Elizabeth Scott of Ipswich. She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth ( Strutt) Scott and was baptized at Rattlesden, Suffolk, England, on 18 November 1623, and was 23 at the time of the marriage.

He signed his will by mark on 7 October 1678 and it was proved 6 November following. His wife survived him and died 10 February 1691/2 at Bradford.

The name Spofford or Spofforth comes from the village of that name which lies 15 miles west of York.

John Spofford was about 35 when he married. This is about 10 years beyond the usual age. It suggests that he might have been married earlier, but there is no evidence of such a marriage. Also, he seems to have arrived in Massachusetts when he was about 30 or so. What was he doing from age 25 to 30 and where?

family tradition stories

According to family tradition, John came from a long line of Spofforths who were religious and sometimes rebellious, in that their beliefs differed from those of the English Church. He came to America from Yorkshire in 1638 with approximately 60 other families who had the same religious convictions, under the leadership of The Rev. Ezekiel Rogers. The group apparently sailed from Hull in the ship "John of London" in the summer of 1638. He was one of the Pilgrim fathers who settled in Massachusetts. The group acquired many holdings in the area of Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts that have been passed down through the years to numerous descendants. [For the Historical and Genealogical Register.] MR. DRAKE, - The following anecdote, honorable to our Puritan ancestry, has been handed down by tradition. The writer received it more than fifty years ago from a descendant of Samuel Spofford, son of the hero of my story, and whose great age, ninety years, extending from 1653 to 1743, made him a living link between the first and the last generation, through whom persons well known to the writer might, and doubtless did, receive many interesting narratives of the acts and doings of the first settlers of Rowley. He was contemporary with his father, who came over from England more than thirty years before, and with his nephew, my grandfather, who I well remember, twenty-two years. During a time of great scarcity of corn, probably from the great drought of 1662, John Spofford, then living with his family at Rowley, and being with his neighbors much pinched by the famine, went all the way to Salem to buy corn. A ship-load of corn had lately arrived there, but the owner, foreseeing greater scarcity and higher prices, refused to open his store and commence dealing it out. Spofford plead the necessity of himself and his neighbors, but his arguments were unheeded, and he had only the prospect of returning without being able to carry bread to his suffering family. After every plea was exhausted to no effect on the heartless merchant, he sternly cursed him to his face! The merchant astonished to hear such language, had him arrested instantly, and arraigned before a magistrate, for profane cursing and swearing. The accused, nothing daunted, informed the magistrate that he had not cursed the merchant profanely but religiously, and producing a Bible, he read Proverbs xi. 26, He that withholdeth corn the people shall curse him, but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. The authority was deemed decisive, the accused was discharged, and, in accordance with the summary process of those days, the magistrate ordered that the merchant should open his store, and sell him as much corn as he desired at the current price. This man was afterwards the first settler of Georgetown, in this State, in 1668, and died in 1678 ; and every one of the name in this country may reckon themselves among his descendants.

See also John Spofford, probably a different person, but only one of them was the 1638 immgrant to Rowley, MA and married to Elizabeth Spofford.

Who Was the Father of John Spofford, the 1638 Immigrant to Massachusetts?

https://spaf.cerias.purdue.edu/pers/Robert1056/curstat.html
There are conflicting opinions regarding the ancestral roots of John Spofford, the 1638 immigrant, who was one of the original settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts, and is the common ancestor of most persons with the name Spofford or Spafford currently living in the United States.

For those of you who may not care to read through the remainder of this rather lengthy document, here is a quick synopsis — Based on what I have found to date, there is good reason to be suspect of the traditional lineage of John's ancestors. However, at this point in time, I am definitely leaning in the direction that, if John, the immigrant, was not the son of John Spofford, the Vicar of Silkstone, he was at least closely related. Further, I suspect very strongly that John, the immigrant, was from somewhere in Yorkshire, and NOT, as John Threlfall claims, descended from Thomas Spufford of Toddington, Bedfordshire. And just to clarify at the outset — I have NOT yet found any primary evidence (birth/baptismal records, wills, etc.) that definitively links John, the 1638 immigrant, with any of his ancestors and, therefore, must conclude at this time that his immediate ancestry remains obscure.


http://thetaggarts.net/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I1715&tree=...

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Spofford-16
Children:

  • Elizabeth, born 14: 12m:1646, i.e. February 14, 1647 new-style, perhaps bp. Feb. 16
  • John, born 24: 10m: 1648, i.e. December 24, 1648, died 22 Apr 1696, married Sarah Wheeler
  • Thomas, born 4:11m:1650, i.e. January 4, 1651, married Abigail Hagget 22 Sept 1668
  • Samuel, born 31 Jan 1652-3, married Sarah Birkbee 5 Dec 1676
  • Hannah, born 1654 or 1655
  • Mary, born 1:9m:1656, i.e. November 1, 1656
  • Sarah, born 15 Jan 1658-9, 15 Feb 1660-1
  • Sarah (again), born 24 March 1661-2, married Richard Kimball
  • Francis, born 24 Sept 1665, married Mary Leighton
  • Reference: FamilySearch Genealogy - SmartCopy: May 29 2021, 15:32:03 UTC
view all 27

John Spofford's Timeline

1611
April 21, 1611
Toddington, Bedfordshire, England
April 21, 1611
Toddington, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom
1646
December 14, 1646
Rowland, Essex County, Massachusetts
1648
October 24, 1648
Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts
1650
January 4, 1650
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1653
January 31, 1653
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1654
April 1, 1654
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts
1656
November 1, 1656
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, Colonial America
1658
January 15, 1658
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America