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:

He married 5 Nov . 1651, Mary, daughter of Rev. John Wilson, pastor of the First church of Boston , and of his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Mansfield ; she was born in Boston , 12th and baptised 13th of Sept. 1633 ; received to the church by her father 19 ( 9) 1648. The last Will and Testament of Samuel Danforth, Pastor of the church of Christ, of Roxbury, aged about 48 years, ” is on file in Boston, clearly written by the good man. He bequeaths his whole estate to his wife for her maintenance and the support and education of his children during their minority 

; b ooks to sons John and Samuel, except such as wife owns or may select ; to maid H annah D earingand to Sarah Parker ; conditional bequest to brother Mr.

John Wilson and kinsman Samuel D anforth, son ofbrother T homas wife executrix ; Joseph D udley and T homas Weld with his two brothers, overseers. 7 probated upon the testimony of the witnesses, T homas D anforth and J ohn Wilson , although not signed “Kher . 24, e. , December 24, 1674. The widow married second (date not found) Mr. Joseph R ock, of Boston. In a deed of land which had belonged to her father, Rev. J ohn Wilson , dated 3 O ct., 1693 to her son, Rev. John

Danforth, of Dorchester, she refers to a Quadripartite Indenture,”between herself, her husband, Mr. Rock, and her sons and daughters, on the subject of lands, etc. , the date of which was 20 Nov. 1689. [Surf Deeds, XVI ., She died 13 Sept . 1731 .


i. SAMUE L, 3 “Borne Moneth 1 1, day 14, 1652, about 9 o’clock at night and baptised at Boston upon ye Sabbath following, which was y 6 16 day of January died moneth 5, day 

2. MARY, borne ye 24 day of May, 1 654; baptised moneth 39,


3 ELIZABETH,“was borne moneth 5,day 13, 1656, being ye Sabbath day, about 6 at night was baptized ye Lords day following, viz. , ye 20th of July.

iv. SAR AH

, borne y

e 3oth

of 8m

. 1658, about 4in y

6 morning; bap

tized mon eth 9, day

T hese three children died in the tenth month [D ec.J of the

year 1 659


“in y

8 faith

, says the recorder.

5. v. JO H N

, borne

“8th day moneth about 5 at night ; baptized


vi. MAR Y,

“borne y

6 13 daymoneth 1




about 5 at night

baptized day 15. She married 4June,

1 683


E dward Brom

fi eld

, ofBoston ; b. 1 0 Jan. 1 649 ; died 7 June,

1 734.

F rom this couple an honorable posterity sprang, both in the

Bromfi eld name and through

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.