Rev. Samuel Danforth

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Rev. Samuel Danforth

Also Known As: "Son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Symmes and the Harvard graduate"
Birthplace: Framlingham, Suffolk, England
Death: Died in Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Governor Dudley's Tomb, Roxbury, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Nicholas Danforth and Elizabeth Danforth
Husband of Mary Rock
Father of William Danforth; Sarah Danford; Mary Bromfield; Rev. Samuel Danforth, Jr.; Thomas Danforth and 3 others
Brother of Elizabeth Belcher; Mary Parrish / Parker; Anna Bridge; Judge Thomas Danforth; Lydia Beaumont and 1 other
Half brother of Lydia Danforth

Occupation: Minister
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Samuel Danforth

Reverend Samuel DANFORTH, son of Nicholas DANFORTH and Elizabeth BARBER, was christened 17 Oct 1626 in St. Michael, Framlingham, Suffolk, England. He died 19 Nov 1674 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Samuel married 12 Mary WILSON on 5 Nov 1651 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, daughter of Reverend John WILSON & Elizabeth MANSFIELD. She married Joseph Rock 2nd and died 13 Sep 1713 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Samuel “was brought to New England in 1632 by his parents, who settled in Cambridge, Mass, where he was graduated at Harvard college in 1643. On Sept. 24, 1650, he was ordained assistant to Rev. John Eliot of Roxbury, and continued in that office until his death, Nov. 19, 1674. Mr. Danforth was skilled in mathematics and astronomy, and published several almanacs; and also kept in the church records a ajournal of notable public events. He was particularly distinguished for the fervor of his piety and the purity of his life.”115

Samuel Danforth and Mary Wilson had 12 children:

  • 16475 i. Samuel Danforth (Died soon) (14 Jan 1652/3-22 Jul 1653)
  • 16476 ii. Mary Danforth (Died young) (24 May 1654-Dec 1659)
  • 16477 iii. Elizabeth Danforth (Died young) (13 Jul 1656-Dec 1659)
  • 16478 iv. Sarah Danforth (Died soon) (30 Oct 1658-Dec 1659)
  • 16479 v. John Danforth (8 Nov 1660-26 May 1730)
  • 16480 vi. Mary Danforth (13 Mar 1662/3-7 Oct 1734)
  • 16481 vii. Elizabeth Danforth (Died young) (9 Feb 1664/5-Oct 1672)
  • 16482 viii. Samuel Danforth (18 Dec 1666-14 Nov 1727)
  • 16483 ix. Sarah Danforth (Died soon) (21 Feb 1669/70-26 Oct 1672)
  • 16484 x. Thomas Danforth (Died soon) (3 Apr 1672-13 Apr 1672)
  • 16485 xi. Elizabeth Danforth (Died soon) (16 Oct 1673-30 Oct 1673)
  • 16486 xii. Abiel Danforth (31 Jan 1674/5-)

ORDN: 24 SEP 1650

American Biographical Library - (9). Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1996.

Danforth, Samuel, clergyman, was born in Framlingham, Suffolk, England, in September,

1626; son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Danforth. He was brought to America in 1634, was

graduated from Harvard in 1643 and remained there as tutor until 1649, and as fellow of the

college until 1654. On Sept. 24, 1650, he was ordained colleague of John Eliot, "The Apostle

to the Indians," at the First church in Roxbury and remained there until his death. He was

married Nov. 5, 1651, to Mary, daughter of the Rev. John Wilson of Boston. Many of his

sermons were published, several almanacs, and An Astronomical Description of the Late

Comet or Blazing Star, as it appeared in New England in the 9th, 10th, 11th and in the

beginning of the 12th month, 1664, together with a brief Theological Application thereof

(1665). He died in Roxbury, Mass., Nov. 19, 1674.

American Biographical Library

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans

Volume 3


Title: Harvard College 1643

1647, Freeman

Sep 24, 1650, Ordained as colleague with Rev. John Elliot

of Roxbury

Burial: Governor Dudley's Tomb, Roxbury, Massachusetts

Samuel, Rev., bapt. October 17, 1626, came with his father in 1634 to Cambridge and graduated with the second class from Harvard in 1643; on the first Board of Fellows in 1650. He married Mary Wilson, November 5, 1651, daughter of Rev. John Wilson, Boston's first pastor, and was the progenitor of illustrious descendants. From 1650 to 1674, Rev. Danforth was the ordained pastor of Roxbury Church where the Rev. John Eliot was the teacher. In 1651, the town record states, the inhabitants of Roxbury raised œ50 for a house for their pastor. The homes of the apostle Eliot and the venerable Danforth were situated on either side of the Greyhound Tavern. Mr. Danforth's sermons were usually "enriched with 40 to 50 passages of scriptures and his emotional sermons are said to have brought frequent tears to the eyes of listeners." In addition to his fame as a preacher, he was a noted scholar, poet, astronomer, and skilled mathematician and theologian. He purchased the estate of Samuel Hagborne and in 1657 purchased Captain Joseph Weld's house where he lived until his death in Roxbury, November 19, 1674. His widow married Joseph Roche of Boston and died September 13, 1713, at 80.

A Letter Out of Grief

by Samuel Danforth

[In 1659 an unknown disease, perhaps pertussis, swept through several towns in New England. Samuel Danforth, minister at Roxbury, lost all three of his children to the epidemic. Some time later he was asked by friends to put on paper some of the words he spoke at their funeral. This is the letter he wrote in reply.]

My Friends: If any that see my grief should say to me, as the Danites to Micah, 'What is wrong with you?' I thank God I cannot answer as he did, 'They have taken away my gods.' My heart was indeed somewhat set upon my children, especially the eldest; but they were not my gods and not my portion; my portion is whole and untouched to this day. It has been my design and work to understand for myself, and to communicate to my hearers the spiritual meaning, extent and nature of gospel obedience. I have employed much reading and study to expound what faith, hope, love, patience, etc., the glorious wisdom, power and mercy of God oblige us to render to him. What I have endeavoured to set forth before you, God will now test. Both God and you will see whether they were mere notions and speculations, or whether I believed as I spoke, and whether there is any divine spark in my heart. I remember him that said to Abraham, 'By this I know that you fear me, that you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.' It is the pleasure of God that (besides all that may be gained by reading, and studying, and preaching) I should learn and teach obedience by the things that I suffer. The holy fire is not to be fetched for you, out of such a flint as I am, without smiting. Not long before these strokes descended upon us, it pleased God marvellously to quicken our hearts (both mine and my wife's) and to stir up in us most earnest desires after himself. Now that he has taken our children, we pray that he will he draw us into freer and fuller communion with himself, blessed be his holy name! I trust the Lord has done what he has done in wisdom, and faithfulness, and dear love. I trust that in taking these pleasant things from me, he exercises and expresses the same tender affection to me, as I now express towards my children in mourning for the loss of them. I desire, with Ephraim,'to bemoan myself,' etc. Jer. 31:18, 19. O that I might hear the Lord answering me as he did ver. 20! ['I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.'] It is right to say to God, 'We have endured chastisement, we will not offend; what we see not, teach us; and if we have done iniquity, we will do so no more.' Though we cannot reproach ourselves with any known way of disobedience, we know there is enough in us to justify his repeated strokes. God knows much more. My desire is that no one may be overly dismayed at what has happened to us; and let no man by any means be offended. Who may say to the Lord, 'What are you doing?' I can say from my heart, though what is come upon us is very dreadful and amazing, nevertheless I consent unto the will of God that it is good. Does not the goldsmith cast his metal into the furnace? And you husbandmen, do you not cause the flail to pass over your grain, not that you hate your wheat, but because you desire pure bread? Had our children been insolent when we corrected them, we could not have borne it; but, poor hearts, they honoured us; how much rather should we be subject to the Father of spirits, and live! You know that, nine years ago, I was in a desolate condition -without father, without mother, without wife, without children: but what a father, and mother, and wife have been bestowed upon me, and are still continued, though my children are taken away. And, above all, although I cannot deny but that it pierces my very heart to call to remembrance the voice of my dear children, calling 'father, father!' a voice now not heard: yet I bless God it does far more abundantly refresh me and cause me to rejoice to hear the Lord continually calling to me, 'My son, my son! My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.' And blessed be God that does not ignore the anguish of the afflicted, nor hide his face from him. It was the consideration that God had sanctified and glorified himself, by striking an holy awe and dread of his majesty into the hearts of his people, that made Aaron hold his peace: and if the Lord will glorify himself by my family, by these awful strokes upon me, quickening parents unto their duty, and awakening their children to seek after the Lord, I shall desire to be content, though my name be cut off. I beseech you be earnest with the Lord for us, that he would keep us from sinning against him; and that he would teach us to sanctify his name. Although our dear branches have left us, yet that he that has promised to be with his children in six troubles and in seven will not forsake us. My heart truly would be consumed, and would even die within me, except that the good will of him that dwelt in the burning bush, and his good word of promise, are my trust and stay.

Samuel is listed in the Roxbury town records:

  • * page 35: "Nov in the yeare 1663 in a publike Town meeting it being voted it was unanimously agreed by all Inhabitants that they would allow to Mr. John Eliot and Mr.Samuel Danforth for thare labour in the miniesty for the halfe yeare last past the sume of sixty pwnds" [quoted as is ]
    • January 19,1662: " the same day it was voted that twenty accers of the comon land should be given for euer for the use of the minestry that is to say the use of wood and timber for thare one priuat use not for the ministers to sell or give any The landto remaine to the townes use this twenty accres tenn of it to be meshured for Mr. John Eliots during his life time also the other tennaccres to be meshured for Mr. Samuell Danforth his use after eaither of thare deseasethe land wood timber that the party deseased did inioy is now left for the futer that may succed his place" [quoted as is]
    • Page 47 : The Highways : 17 March 1663

--"18th A highway from Mr. Adams and so downe to the mill & from thence to the meadow that was John Johnsons, as allso out of the way to Thomas Bakers with a highway leading betwenne the land of the heires of Samuel Hagborne and Mr Samuell Danfoorth to the Grauity poynt & all those marshes there abouts be at least twenty foote wide through out."..

[note: "grauity poynt"could be Gravelly Point]

  • *209: 4 March 1694/5 Highway

"the same day it was by a vote signified to be the mindes of the inhabitants that the lane which goeth out of the highway to the tide mill and leadth down towards Gravelly Poynt between the land of the heires of Mr. Samuel Danforth and the heires and assignes of Mr. Hacburn commonly called Mr. Hacburn's neck should be layedopen from the s-d high way to the tide mill to the further or northermost end of the land belonging to the heires of s-d Samuel Danforth; as also from Mr.Adamshis corner to the s-d lane as it is enered in the town booke"

  • Updated from WikiTree Genealogy via brother Capt. Jonathan Danforth by SmartCopy: Jan 4 2015, 0:28:20 UTC
    • 1 Harris, William Thaddeus, "Notes on the Danforth Family," NEHGR 25:4 (Oct 1853) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 317, Los Angeles Public Library.
    • 2 Bartlett, Joseph Gardner, "Ancestry and Descendants of Rev. John Wilson," NEHGR 61:1 (Jan 1907) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 41, Los Angeles Public Library.
    • 3 McCracken, George E., "Early Cogans, English and American," NEHGR 111:1 (Jan 1957) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 18, Los Angeles Public Library.
    • 4 Quincy, Josiah, "Memoir of John Bromfield," NEHGR 5:1 (Jan 1851) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 100, Los Angeles Public Library.
    • 5 Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before 1692 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1860-62.), 2:8, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.274 S264.
    • 6 Stearns, Ezra S., "The Descendants of Dea. Zachary Fitch of Reading," NEHGR 55:3 (Jul 1901) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 291, Los Angeles Public Library.
    • 7 Anderson, Robert Charles, George F. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2007.), 2:283, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 A549-1.
    • 8 Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995-), 3:2015, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 A549.
    • 9 Anderson, Robert Charles, John C. Brandon and Paul C. Reed, "The Ancestry of the Royally-Descended Mansfields of the Massachusetts Bay," NEHGR 155:1 (Jan 2001) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 28, Los Angeles Public Library.
    • 10 Richardson, Douglas, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004.), p. 298, Family History Library, 942 D5rd.
    • 11 Ferris, Mary Walton, Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines (Milwaukee: Cuneo Press, Inc., 1943.), 1:254, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.2 D269.
    • 12 Torrey, Clarence Almon, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985.), p. 203, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 T694.
view all 16

Rev. Samuel Danforth's Timeline

October 17, 1626
Framlingham, Suffolk, England
October 17, 1626
Framlingham, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Age 14
Age 16
Harvard College
September 24, 1650
Age 23
September 24, 1650
Age 23
October 30, 1658
Age 32
November 8, 1660
Age 34
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
March 13, 1661
Age 34
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States