The Danforths



Sophia Danforth was born April 7, 1799 in Argyle, Maine

Rev. Samuel Danforth

Hugo’s 11th Great Grandfather

Rev. Samuel Danforth was born October 17, 1626 in Framingham, Suffolk, England

He was born October 17, 1626, in Framlingham, Suffolk, England, the sixth of seven children of Nicholas Danforth (1589–1639) and Elizabeth Symmes Danforth (c.1596–1629). Six surviving children— Elizabeth (1619–1673), Anna (1622–1704), Thomas (1623–1699), Lydia (1625–1686), Samuel, and Jonathan (1628–1712) —emigrated with their father to Massachusetts in 1634. After their father died in 1639, Samuel lived with Thomas Shepard, pastor of the church in Cambridge, and later attended Harvard College, where he graduated in 1643 and remained as a tutor until 1650, whereupon he became one of the five founding Fellows of Harvard. 

Danforth's studies included astronomy, and during this time he published three almanacs (for 1647, 1648, and 1649), which are the earliest surviving American examples of the form. A fourth (for the year 1646) is also attributed to him, although the single surviving copy is missing the first several pages and any attribution. These almanacs included his own original poetry (some in the form of enigmas or word puzzles), and are among the earliest examples of secular verse published in New England. They also contained—in addition to celestial tables, tide tables, calendars, and dates of court sessions—brief chronologies of significant events in New England's history. In 1650 he became pastor at The First Church in Roxbury, where Rev. John Eliot was Teaching Elder, and was ordained on September 24, 1650. In 1651, he married Mary Wilson (1633–1713), daughter of the Rev. John Wilson of Boston, with whom he had twelve children in 24 years. He died November 19, 1674. Samuels older brother Thomas:

Thomas Danforth was born October 20, 1623 in Framingham, Suffolk, England

Thomas Danforth (baptized November 20, 1623 – November 5, 1699) was a politician, magistrate, and landowner in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A conservative Puritan, he served for many years as one of the colony's councilors and magistrates, generally leading opposition to attempts by the English kings to assert control over the colony. He accumulated land in the central part of the colony that eventually became a portion of Framingham, Massachusetts. His government roles included administration of territory in present-day Maine that was purchased by the colony.

Danforth was a magistrate and leading figure in the colony at the time of the Salem witch trials, but did not sit on the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Despite this, he is inaccurately depicted in Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible and its movie adaptations as doing so. He is presented as a harsh and domineering governor, apparently conflated with William Stoughton, who does not appear in Miller's play (although he and Samuel Sewall are mentioned briefly by Danforth in Act 3, Scene 1). In reality, Danforth is recorded as being critical of the conduct of the trials, and played a role in bringing them to an end.