Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet

Bapt Date20 Apr 1584
Bapt PlaceBoxford, Suffolk, England
Death DateAug 1658
Death PlaceIpswich, Massachusetts
Immigr Date?
FatherJohn RIDDLESDALE (bp. 1557-)
Bapt Date11 Oct 1584
Bapt PlaceBures St. Mary, Essex, England
Death Datebef 5 Nov 1639
Death PlaceMassachusetts
Immigr Date?
Misc. Notes
According to Threlfall’s GMC50365, Thomas French “was baptized 11 October 1584 at Bures Saint Mary, the son of Jacob and Susan (Warren) French. On 5 September 1608 at Assington, the next parish, he and Susan Riddlesdale were married. She was baptized on 20 April 1584 at Boxford, the daughter of John and Dorcas. Thomas French occupied a farm located in Assington called Garlands. It was owned by John Gurton.

“In 1630, his eldest son, then 21, sailed for New England in the Winthrop Fleet of eleven ships about about 700 colonists [see further below]. In the next few years, three of his sisters, Alice, Dorcas and Susan, also went to New England. In late 1636, Reverend Nathaniel Rogers, the Vicar of Assington, also went to New England, where he became the pastor at Ipswich until his death in 1665. Four other Assington families also came with Rogers. Probably over the next year, Thomas French, his wife and remaining children, also crossed the Atlantic to settle in Ipswich, where he first appears on record in New England in 1638 with a grant of land [which Threlfall transcribes here.]

“Thomas French lived but a couple of years in New England, for on 5 Novemebr 1639, administration of his estate was granted to his wife and ‘the land wheich he left is to be disposed of by sale or otherwise by advice of the Magistrates of Ipswich, for the maintenance of his wife and education of his children which are not yet able to provide for themselves, nor were disposed of in their father’s life.’

“A widow French was a Commoner in Ipswich in 1641. There is no further mention of her until her death in August 1658. Administration of her estate was granted to her son John.” A transcript of Susan (Riddlesdale) French’s estate inventory follows.

Threlfall’s claim that Thomas French, Jr., was a member of the Winthrop Fleet probably derives from Banks366, who says that Thomas French of Boston, Massachusetts, was originally from Assington, Suffolk, and later settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Winthrop Fleet and died before 5 Nov 1639. He came to New England with his wife, Susan (Riddlesdale) French, and seven children: Thomas, Jr. (b. 1608; “mentioned in letter of John Bluette of Groton as ‘my scholar’ (L. & L.W.)”, Alice (b. 1610), Dorcas (b. 1614, a maidservant to Gov. Winthrop), Susan (b. 1616), Anne (b. 1618), John (b. 1622), and Mary (b. 1625).

The more recent and authoritative work of Anderson in his GMB367 puts Thomas, Jr.’s, migration at 1632 (the earliest date at which he and his sister Alice appear in New England records), with Thomas, Jr.’s, sisters Dorcas and Susan arriving in 1633, and the parents Thomas and Susan (Riddlesdale) French arriving after 1633.
Marr Date5 Sep 1608
Marr PlaceAssington, Suffolk, England
ChildrenThomas (bp. 1608-1680)
 Alice (1610-1666)
 Dorcas (bp. 1614-1694)
 Susan (bp. 1616-)
 Anne (bp. 1618-)
 Margaret (bp. 1620-)
 John (bp. 1622-1697)
 Mary (bp. 1625-)
Last Modified 2 Jan 1999Created 1 Dec 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh
New England genealogy files of Robert J. O’Hara, automatically output by Reunion for Macintosh. For additional genealogical data in other formats, including specialized lists of immigrant ancestors and notable kin, please visit my main genealogy page: For information about many of the localities mentioned here please visit