Sergeant Samuel "The Immigrant" Kent

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Samuel Kent

Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: February 2, 1691 (53-61)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Kent, Jr. and Anna Kent
Husband of Frances Kent
Father of Sarah Crowfoot; Mary Kent; Samuel "Son of the Immigrant" Kent; John Kent "Son of Samuel the Immigrant" and Rev. Elisha Kent
Brother of Thomas J . Kent and Josiah KENT

Occupation: moved to Brookfield (1667) and Suffield (1678)
Managed by: Hatte Blejer
Last Updated:

About Sergeant Samuel "The Immigrant" Kent

(Sergeant) Samuel Kent b ca 1634 Gloucester, Essex, MA d 02 Feb 1690/91 Springfield, Hampden, MA m 1) Frances WOODALL; 2) Mary Ann (-?-)

Vital Statistics

  • Sergeant Samuel Kent -- b. circa1634, England; d. 2 Feb 1690/91, Springfield, MA; son of Thomas Kent; m. 17 Jan 1753/54, Gloucester, MA, to Frances Woodall; daughter of Edward Woodall & Mary (last name unknown), b. England; d. 10 Aug 1683, Suffield, CT.
  • Children of Samuel Kent and Frances Woodall
  1. Sarah Kent, b. 14 Aug 1657, Gloucester, MA; m. Richard Coy.
  2. Mary Kent, b. 19 Dec 1658, Gloucester, MA.
  3. Samuel Kent, b. 26 Oct 1661, Gloucester, MA; m. (1) Priscilla Hunter; m. (2) Martha Allen; m. (3) Hester Hosford.
  4. John Kent, b. 28 Apr 1664, Gloucester, MA; m. (1) Abigail Dudley; m. (2) Abigail Winchell.
  • Samuel was from Gloucester, MA then at Brookfield, MA 1673‑5 and was at Suffield 1678.

Sources and Notes


Sergeant Samuel Kent, the father of John Kent was settled at Suffield in 1678. He was one of the first board of Selectmen in Suffield elected in 1681 and was reappointed for many years. 1682, 83,85, 86, His home lot in Suffield and his son Samuel's are now in 1907 the Institute Grounds. In 1686 he was brought before the court charged with "raising or abetting a mutinous and riotous behaviors". It seems that Samuel objected to the fact that the Pynchon Committee had specified flatly that only the proprietors of the town, the holders of the original grants, could vote at a town meeting. His position was that all town residents should have a voice.

In Gloucester, Samuel and his brother, Thomas, bought of Thomas Prince in 1667 eighteen acres of land. There was a house situated on west side of Little river. This land is known as "Kent's Cove Landing". (Cedric and I were there --VDS)

There is some evidence that after Brookfield was destroyed in 1675 and Samuel's removal to Suffield in 1678, that he & family spent the intervening 3 years in Northampton, MA.

On the main street of Suffield -- High Street -- were the KENTS, KINGS, HANCHETTS, REMINGTON, GRANGER, NORTONS, SPENCERS and SIKES. Thir cabins were of the crudest architecture until about 1750-1800, containing for the most part a single room, one or two small windows, crude stools, tables & shelves. The Indians never molested them in Suffield although the settlers organized against them.

When Samuel attended the first town meeting in 1682, he was one of 5 chosen to be Selectmen. ( a legal voter was required to be a "free" man; a "free" man was required to be a member of the church and to pledge allegiance to the crown of England. He owned slaves in Suffield.

The brothers Thomas and Samuel Kent were part of the community at Quaboag for several years before its demise. Their biographies have been traced with some difficulty, but their common ancestry seems to go back to Thomas Kent, Sr., probably son or brother of Richard Kent who left Southampton, England for America on March 24, 1633/4 on the ship " Mary and John". Robert Sayres, master. Richard brought with him his wife Jane and children Mary and Richard. There is no mention of Thomas, who could have been an older married son or a brother who followed to America later with his family.

Richard Kent had a grant of land of four acres near the Chebacco River in Ipswich in 1634. When an administrator was appointed to his estate on November 5, 1705, he was referred to as a laborer. A Thomas Kent Sr., died in Gloucester on May 1, 1658, and widow Kent on October 6, 1671, leaving two sons, Thomas and Samuel. They probably were both born in England. These brothers bought of Thomas Prince in 1657, 18 acres of land on the west side of Little River in Gloucester, where a house and land were situated. Thomas sold his property to Richard Dike in 1667.

Samuel Kent, younger brother of Thomas, was more active in the affairs of Quaboag Plantation. First mention of him is found in the Gloucester records when he married Frances Woodall on January 17, 1653/4. He had four children born at Gloucester between 1657 and 1664.

The beginning date of his account with John Pynchon is January 22, 1672/3, but reference is made to a credit to him for killing a wolf at Quaboag in 1672. Most likely, he came to Quaboag in 1671 with his brother Thomas, bought a double house lot, and settled down to the life of a planter, he contributed 6-1/2 days of labor toward the construction of the mill trench in 1672, for which he was paid by John Pynchon.

He was interested in the welfare of the Plantation, and signed the petition of 1673. He took the oath of fidelity to the government on December 18, 1673.

In March 1675,we find him at court at Northampton when Thomas Wilson was presented for having violated the curfew, and having spoken obscene and embarrassing words about Samuel Kent and his wife. He was in court again on June 18, 1675. when, as selectman of Brookfield, he was accused by John Ayres of having unlawfully ordered the constable to seize pewter dishes of his because of his refusal to pay certain assessments. Ayres lost the case, and was ordered to pay the expenses of the witnesses. We find nothing further of Samuel at Brookfield, but after the destruction of the town he settled at Suffield, where there is much evidence of his presence.

His first grant of land at Suffield was made in 1676 at which time he was allowed 60 acres, presumably for a house lot and meadowlands. On February 21, 1676/7, he was granted another 60 acres, which was "allowed to go down to the Great River". Turning to his account with John Pynchon, the lord and master of Suffield as well as Quaboag, we find an entry on April 29, 1678: "To the purchase of Suffield 01 00 00". This probably was the price paid for his first grant. On May 19, 1679, Samuel was allowed an additional grant of land".

Samuel was a member of the first Board of Selectmen of Suffield, and was re-elected for many years. On November 17, 1679, he was appointed to a committee to raise a house for Reverend John Younglove at Suffield. On September 27, 1681, at the County Court held at Springfield, Samuel Sr. took his oath as a freeman of the colony. A list of inhabitants with privileges of voting in town affairs issued on March 9, 1681/2, contains the name of Sergeant Samuel Kent. At a town meeting held on April 6, 1685, he was allowed a special privilege:

"Granted: by a full and clear vote unto Serj. Samuel Kent, liberty to dig a well, about a rod and a halfe, or town rod without his front fence, in ye street, provided: he shall secure it at all times, from all damages, that may come thereby".

In 1686, Samuel sold his rights in Brookfield to John Scott Sr. of Suffield, whose sons Ebenezer and William in 1703, sold the same to Thomas Barnes of Brookfield.

An incident which seems to confirm the impression that Samuel Kent, like the other Quaboag planters, was a man of strong conviction, occurred in 1686. In the records of the county court session held at Northampton on March 30, 1686, the following:

"Samuel Kent of Suffield having been bound over to this Court for raising or abetting a mutiny and riotous behavior at Suffield, and himself very much active in such carriages, besides several unworthy speeches, as in a high and violent manner, saying, that all persons might vote at the town meeting, in choice of townsmen, and constable, etc., That the laws of the government some of them were not worth a chip, and being present when there was a tumult and disorder in the town meeting, abetting said non-voters saying they might vote, with offense and evil carriages and speeches. This Court judge high abusive carriages, tending to breaking of order, and in reality a breach of order, in reality a breach of law and grievous violation of his religious tye, which is upon him, have adjudged the said Kent to pay as a fine to the county treasurer, the full sum of 5 pounds and charges of witnesses and other wise, and the money to pay forthwith, or to give good security".

This passage is self-explanatory and requires no further comment except to note that here was a pioneer suffragist, with ideas way ahead of his time.

Frances Kent, wife of Samuel, died at Suffield on August 10, 1683. He died at Springfield on February 2, 1690/1, and soon after, on February 28, 1690/1, his son Samuel Kent Jr. settled his father's account with John Pynchon. There is no court record of an estate settlement.

The four children of Samuel Sr. were young at the time of their removal to Quaboag in 1671, the eldest, Sarah, being only 14. Presumably, they were all present in the Ayres Tavern during the siege, and probably all survived to remove to Suffield with their parents.

Notes on his brother Thomas:

Thomas Kent, Jr., had a house and land near the burying ground in Gloucester, recorded in the year 1649. He also bought several lots of William Meade's which he conveyed to his brother Samuel in 1675.

Thomas married Jane Peney, daughter of Thomas, in Gloucester on March 28, 1658. Jane bore him at least 10 children, eight of whom were twins. Twin boys were born at Brookfield between August 2nd and 5th, 1675. Nothing further is known of them, except that they escaped the massacre. There may have been other children born at Brookfield, but no record has been found to confirm this.

Thomas came to Quaboag sometime in 1671, as nearly as can be ascertained. His account with John Pynchon shows two entries only, dated November 23, 1671, and December 6, 1671. That he did purchase a lot is confirmed by his payments of 01 05 00, to John Pynchon, for such a purpose. Since he was not a signer of the Petition for Incorporating Brookfield in 1673, one wonders whether he was temporarily absent from the plantation, had removed to Gloucester again, or whether he objected to the petition. We can never be sure, but he does not appear again on the records of Gloucester until April 11, 1676, when his last child, John was born there. It is probable that he continued in residence at Brookfield until August 1675.

Savage (the historian), says that Thomas was a freeman in Gloucester in 1690. He died at Gloucester on August 14, 1691.

SAMUEL,2 son of Thomas,1 was mar. by Rev. Sam'l Simouds, Jan. 17, 1654, to Frances Woodall, who d. Aug. 10, 1683. One Samuel Kent of Gloucester was " made free at ye Court 11 May 1681,"but the above Samuel was in Brookfield, Mass., soon after 1667, and Savage says "his bro. Thos. was of Brookfield in 1671."

The Town Plot (Brookneld). The order in which the house-lotsVere laid oat is as follows : Beginning at Coy's brook, the 4th Samuel Kent's.

Cohn Mill, About 1675.

Mr. P. [John Pynchon] had granted to him at Quabaug 60 acres of upland, laid oat and measured to him together on the westerly side of the Brooke which runs through Matchuck meddow; and 25 acres of meddow, laid oat in two parcels, one at the small falls in the brook, 20 acres on both sides at Matchuck, Joining Samuel Kenti meddow.

To the Highly ffonn"1 y* 0en'a Co"* of ike Massachusetts: The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of Quanbaugs, Sheweth, That whereas wee being not yet allowed a Township wee are disabled as to comfortably carrying on y*. affaires of the place as is requisite for the publicke & our own conveniences in divers respects, as for the Ordering the Prudential! affairs of the Town proper to Select Men, makeing & collecting of Kates &c Wee have indeed a Committee to helpe in these matters, but in regard we cannot rationally desire or expect the prsence & assistance of One of the Comittee (Vizt the Honnort Major Pynchon) Soe often as we need by reason of his remoteness, And yett w""out his prsence or concurrence the Comittee cannot make a valid act; The prmises considered Our Humble request is, that this much lloimu"' Cort" would be please to grant us the Priviledge & libertyes of a Township whereby we may be the better inabled to carry on our owne matters wthont too much distraction,

And yr PetitionTM shall ever pray for yor. prosperity. If Yor. Honnors please let y«. Name of y« Place be Brookfeild. Oct' yc 10. 1673

Samuel Kent and 26 other names.

"It is probable, judging from the names in this petition and from the allotments of lands, that most, if not all, of the old Ipswich grantees had taken advantage of the privilege accorded to them in the regrant. . . . were all from Ipswich, while . . . , Samuel Kent .... were Essex county men and probably associated with the Ipswich men in the original grant."

On the destruction of the town of Brookfield Samuel moved to Suffield, Conn., in 1678. On Sept. 8, 1686, he sold his house lot and rights in Brookfield to John Scott, Sen., of Suffield, whose sons Ebenezer and William, in 1703, sold the same to Thos. Barnes of Brookfield. His will, recorded on p. 10 of reverse end, vol. A., Hampshire Co. Land Records, is dated Aug. 17, 1689, with a codicil of Jan. 3, 1690-1. In it he mentions wife and sons Sam'l and John, and a small legacy to Jonathan Downing. The Springfield records say he was "taken sick and died Feby. 2, 1690-1." He evidently mar. twice, as his wife Frances d. Aug. 10, 1683, and the inventory of his estate, amounting to £96 10s., was sworn to by his widow Mary soon after his death.

Samuel 2 and his wife Frances had children :

I. Sarah, b. Aug. 14, 1657. H. Mary, b. Dec. 19, 1658. HI. Samuel,' b. Oct. 26, 1661. IV. JOHN,3 b. Apl. 28, 1664.

JOSIAH,2 son of Thomas,1 was in Gloucester in 1657, also in 1691.

JOSIAH,3 son of Thomas,2 was mar. Apl. 17, 1689, by Rev. Mr. Emerson, at Gloucester, to Mary Lufkin, and d. May 19, 1725.

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Sergeant Samuel "The Immigrant" Kent's Timeline

Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
August 14, 1657
Age 23
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
December 19, 1658
Age 24
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
October 26, 1661
Age 27
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
April 28, 1664
Age 30
Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
February 2, 1691
Age 57
Springfield, Massachusetts
Age 57
July 9, 1704
Age 57
Suffield, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts