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Mary French (Scudamore)

Also Known As: "Mary Scudmore"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Gloucestershire, England
Death: May 6, 1681 (69)
Ipswich, Essex, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Skydmore, of Ballingham and Upton Bishop and Margery Skydmore
Wife of Thomas French
Mother of Sarah French; Thomas French, III; Mary Smith; Samuel French of Ipswich; John French and 4 others
Sister of John Skidmore; Richard Skidmore; Mary/Majorie Whitehead; Thomas Skidmore and Elizabeth Skidmore

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary French

Mary Scudamore

b. circa 1595, d. 6 May 1681

  • Father William Scudamore1 b. c 1564, d. 2 Dec 1598
  • Mother Frances Lechmere1 b. 10 Jul 1568

Mary Scudamore was born circa 1595 at of Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.1 She married Thomas French, son of Thomas French and Susan Riddlesdale, circa 1630.1 Mary Scudamore died on 6 May 1681 at Ipswich, Essex, MA.1

Family Thomas French b. 27 Nov 1608, d. 8 Aug 1680


  • *Ephraim French+1 b. 2 Mar 1633, d. Sep 1716
    • Thomas French+2 b. c 1635, d. 14 Dec 1661
    • John French+3 b. Feb 1635, d. 15 Mar 1706 or 25 Jan 1707
    • Mary French+1 b. c 1643, d. 2 Sep 1676
  • Citations
  • [S61] Unknown author, Family Group Sheets, Family History Archives, SLC.
  • [S11597], Submitted by iankate2.
  • [S11597], Submitted by JoanGardner1948.


  • b. ABT 1612 England
  • d. 6 MAY 1681 Ipswich, Essex, Mass.
  • Family:
  • Marriage: ABT 1630
  • Spouse: FRENCH, Thomas
  • b. 27 NOV 1608 Assington, Suffolk, England
  • d. 8 AUG 1680 Ipswich, Essex, Mass.
  • Parents:
  • Father: FRENCH, Thomas
  • Mother: RIDDLESDALE, Susan
  • Children:
    • FRENCH, Thomas
    • FRENCH, John
    • FRENCH, Samuel b. ABT 1639 Ipswich, Essex, Mass. d. 1688 Ipswich, Essex, Mass.
    • FRENCH, Ephraim b. ABT 1643 Ipswich, Essex, Mass. d. SEP 1716 Enfield, Hartford, CT.
  • From:


  • Specific Ancestral Lines of the Boaz, Paul, Welty & Fishel Families By Adrienne Boaz
  • Pg.402 is not part of this book preview.
  • .... The ships departed on March 29, 1630, and arrived at the New World in a staggered fashion, as the first ships landed on June 12, and the last to arrive, the Success, anchored at Salem Harbor on July 6, 1630 BA11. Of the seven hundred passengers, only seventy names were recorded by John Winthrop, and Thomas French was not among the list BA11.
  • Nevertheless, Thomas was a freeman in the colony on November 6, 1632 AN3, LI3, BE6, and became the 128th member AN3 of the First Church of Boston .... etc.
  • He was a tailor BE7, AN3, LI3 but he was also a sergeant .... etc.
  • He moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts after living in Boston for approximately six or seven years; .... etc.
  • .... Thomas created his will on August 3, 1680 TH28, AN3, and he died five days later on August 8, 1680 in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts MA26, AN3, LI3, DA12. A copy of his will stated TH28:
    • .... etc.
  • Pg.405 is not part of this book preview.
  • Pg.406
  • Mary Scudamore (William, Margery) was born at Tedgewood, Upton Bishop, Hereford, England SK1 by the year 1598 or 1599, because her father died in December 1598 BE6. This indicates that she was at least ten years older than her husband, if the assumption that Thomas was baptized shortly after his birth is correct.
  • She was the mother of a daughter named Mary, born September 1632 in Boston, but this child did not live very long AN3, BE6. She was also the mother of another daughter named Mary, sons, John, Thomas, Samuel, and Ephraim, and of Sarah French, who in September 1656 accused Hackaliah Bridges of impregnating her (AN3, AN6, BE6, DO13. Hackaliah Bridges was the son of Edmund Bridges (see page 495). In a deposition given by Thomas French on December 23, 1658, Thomas stated that he was twenty-two years old, and in another deposition dated December 30, 1658, Ephraim was said to have been about fifteen years old DO13. Her son, Thomas, may have been the Thomas French who served in King Philip's War under Captain Samuel Appleton; this Thomas was mentioned in lists of men, one of which was dated June 24, 1676, which included Jonathan Emery (see page 283) and Mosses Pengrie BO2.
  • Brian J.L. Berry, in his work "Was Mary French a Scudamore?" and Warren Skidmore, in his work, "Mary Scudamore (ca 1598-1681), Wife of Thomas French of Ipswich, Massachusetts; An Old Debate Newly Resolved" present evidence for their argument that Mary French was the daughter of William Scudamore. A brief synopsis of these two articles follows, which together entail three key points, but a great portion of Brian Berry's rationale involves the interrelationship of individuals of several families, specifically with regard to property in Upton Bishop; a summation of his article is insufficient and for this reason should be read independently.
  • Firstly the pedigree of William Scudamore V was documented by Thomas May in The Visitation of the County of Gloucester, 1682-1683, and this pedigree stated that the daughter of William Scudamore was "Mary wife of ____ French of Boston in New England" MA36.
  • Secondly, Mary's brother, William Scudamore IV of Gloucester (who was the father of the aforementioned William V), created his will on November 14, 1636 BE6, SK1, and in this will he mentioned his sister BE6:
    • I William Scudamore of The Citty of Gloucester... I doe give unto all the nowe children of Mary French my sister, to each of them five pounds apeace to be paid att their severall ages of one and twenty yeares.
  • There were three men named Thomas French in the Boston area in the 1600s: two of them were the subjects of biographies in this book, and
  • Pg.407
  • another married a woman named Mary Button and relocated to Guilford, Connecticut BE6. Another man, Stephen French of Weymouth, Massachusetts, was married to a woman named Mary, but they had just begun to have children circa 1635 (their first child was said to have been born about that year) AN3. In his will, William Scudamore IV used the word "children", as opposed to "child", and so it is doubtful that Mary, the wife of Stephen French, was William's sister. This essentially leaves just Mary, the wife of Thomas French, who must have been the sister of William Scudamore IV BE6, SK1.
  • Lastly, property transactions in Upton Bishop, England link William Scudamore III with Isabel Redverne in Ipswich, then to the Pengry brothers in both Ipswich and Gloucester, then later still to William Scudamore V, who owned the Manor of Bishop's Upton and purchased "Tedswood" in 1679/80 BE6. William Scudamore III purchased two farms in Upton Bishop, Herefordshire, England; one was called Tedgewood (also known as Testwood or Tedswood) and the other was called Thornes BE6. Later, at least part of Tedgewood was owned by Isabell Redverne of Ispwich, Massachusetts, and in her will created in 1650, she bestowed shares of the farms to Moses and Aaron Pengry BE6 (Pingry TH31), also of Ipswich BE6, TH31. These two Pengry brothers requested that their brother, Thomas (who lived in Gloucester, England), control the farm operations AS1:
    • .... etc.
  • The argument that Mary French was the daughter of William Scudamore III, then, can be concluded in this fashion: the daughter of William Scudamore III was referred to as Mary French of Boston, and the sister of William Scudamore IV of Gloucester was referred to as Mary French, who had more than one child in 1636. Thomas and Mary French were acquainted with the Pengry brothers because the Pengry brothers and the French family resided in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Moses and Aaron Pengry had ties back to
  • Pg.408
  • Upton Bishop and Gloucester in England, and the Scudamore family had already been associated with those areas. Finally, Giles Lye was the cousin of William Scudamore V and the brother-in-law of Thomas Pengry, which firmly links those two families.
  • Pg.489
  • Thomas French (Jacob, Susan) was born in 1584 TH31 or 1585 TH34 in Assington, Suffolk, England BA11, TH34, TH31 and was baptized on October 11, 1584 in Bures St. Mary, on the border of Suffolk and Essex in England TH34. Thomas married Susan Riddlesdale BA11, BE7, L13, TH31 on September 5, 1608 L13, CA12, BE7 in St. Edmund Parish BE7, Assington, Suffolk L13. He was probably the man named Thomas French who was mentioned in the will of John Gurdon, Esquire, of Assington, Suffolk, which was written on December 6, 1621 and proven on October 10, 1623 WA19. John Gurdon bequeathed several parcels of land to his grandson, also named John Gurdon, and one of these parcels was described as "the messuage or farm house wherein on Thomas French doth now inhabit, called Garland's, and lands belonging &c., which I did lately purchase of Sir William Waldgrave, knight, the elder, situate in Assington...." WA19.
  • He, and the remaining members of his family who had not already left for the New World, sailed from England to Boston after 1633 AN3 or circa 1637 TH35, L13, BE6, TH31. The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 did not state the name of the ship which transported the French family, nor did it indicate in which year they traveled, but simply listed their names in "Appendix A; Alphabetical List of Passengers" BA11. He settled in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts BE7, and owned land at Reedy Marsh in 1638 and 1639 BE6, SC4, which was a planting lot that he owned on or before July 25, 1638 DA12.
  • He died in Ipswich in 1639 TH35, L13, BA11, and the administration of his estate was granted to his widow on November 5, 1639 SH17, TH35, DA12. The court record stated that, by the advice of the Ipswich magistrates, his land was to be sold "for the maintenance of his wife & education of his children, wch are not yet able to p[ro]vide for themselues" SH17.
  • Susan Riddlesdale (John, Dorcas) was said to have been born in about 1587 TH31 or 1588 in England, but she was allegedly baptized on April 20, 1584 in Boxford, Suffolk TH34. Another baptismal record for a child named Susan Riddlesdale, whose father was John, ocurred in Lindsey, Suffolk, less than four miles northeast of Boxford, on September 6, 1584 EN4.
  • Susan was mother of Thomas, Alice, Dorcas, Susan, Anne, Margaret, John, and Mary BE7, L13, DA12, although she may have had nine children TH34. Four of her children, Thomas, Alice, Dorcas, and Susan, sailed for the colonies prior to her own immigration AN3, DA12. All of her children baptized in Assington, Suffolk: Thomas on November 27, 1608, Alice on April 9, 1610, Dorcas on July 31, 1614, Susan on April 22, 1616, Anne on March 15, 1617, Margaret on March 12, 1619, John on May 26, 1622, and Mary on January 6, 1624 DA12.
  • She was enumerated as "Widdow French" in a list of commoners in Ipswich on "the last day of the last month" in 1641 SC4, which would have been in February 1641. A Dorcas "Ridelsdell" was listed as a witness in a defamation case between Richard Smith and Joseph Fowlar in the Ipswich Court on March 30, 1647 CO12; this Dorcas may have been her niece, the daughter of her brother, Edward TH34. While Edward did not immigrate to
  • Pg.490
  • New England, his wife, Mary, died in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, in 1683 TH34.
  • Susan died in August 1658 in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts BE7, L13, and her son, John, was granted the administration of her estate on September 28, 1658 DO13. The Ipswich record of her death simply stated, "Susan French, widdow dyed in August, 1658" MA26. A complete list of the items of her estate, which had a value of a mere twelve pounds, was inventoried on March 10, 1658/9 by Robert Lord and Phillip Fowler, and they have been transcribed below TH26:
    • .... etc.


view all 18

Mary French's Timeline

Gloucestershire, England
Age 18
Ipswich, Essex, MA, USA
September 23, 1632
Age 20
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
March 2, 1635
Age 23
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Age 23
Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 27
Abt. 1639 Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts
Age 30
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts
March 2, 1643
Age 31
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
January 26, 1656
Age 44
Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, UK