Stephen Richardson's Ancestors

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Note: Before 1752 the year began on March 25th. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year, not the beginning.

Amos Richardson was born about 1623 in England, possibly in Worcestershire. Some researchers say he was the son of Eleazer and Eleanor Richardson of Field House in Worcestershire. The year of his birth is based on an affidavit, dated June 11, 1663, from the Boston Court Archives. It states that he was “aged forty years or there abouts.” Thus he was born about 1623.

The earliest record of Amos is in Boston on May 22, 1639, when he witnessed a deed for Governor Winthrop. During the early history of Massachusetts there were no practicing lawyers and a number of businessmen acted as attorneys. It is stated that Amos Richardson was one of the three most active attorneys in the law courts during the life of the Massachusetts colony. He owned several pieces of property in Boston, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. In Rosell L. Richardson’s book Amos Richardson of Boston and Stonington he states “On July 6, 1642, he bought a house and lot, being an acre, more or less, from George Bromer, . . . for seventeen pounds. Stephen Winthrop and John Tinker were witnesses of the deed. The land was situated on what is now the north side of Summer Street, where Hawley Street has been cut through. It was then a rear lot with no street connection, Summer Street not being laid out until 1645.” Amos’ family lived on what is now Washington Street in Boston. “In 1683 Hawley Street was called Richardson Lane. This was his home for more than twenty years, and probably until he moved to Stonington (about 1663). Here all of his children were born. During the next fifty years Summer Street became one of the finest residential streets in Boston; adjoining the site of the Amos Richardson's home The First Trinity Church was erected.

On March 22, 1647, he purchased two acres from Francis Smith, fronting on the Common at what is now the southeast corner of Tremont and Winter Streets. He owned other property in Boston, some of it near the Winthrop dock. Capt. James Johnson and Peter Oliver were partners with him in some of this wharf property. . . . He also obtained a number of grants of land, very early in the settlement at Pequot. The New London town records show the following: ‘Memorandum for town meting Sept. 20, 1651, Amos Richardson is to havea lot.’

In addition to carrying on the business of merchant tailor, he soon became a general trader throughout the colonies, building his own vessels, and shipping to the West Indies. He acquired large tracts of land, probably as many as five thousand acres, at Stonington, New London, and in the Narragansett country.

According to Geraldine A. Coon in an article in the November 1999 issue of Historical Footnotes, “In 1652 New London granted 200 acres to each of several other inhabitants: . . . Stonington was now settled, albeit somewhat sparsely. . . Amos Richardson at Quanaduck, . . . The inhabitants now faced difficulties: being accepted as a town by either Connecticut or Massachusetts, settling the old boundary disputes, deciding how to treat the remnants of the defeated Indian tribes, and providing for their own religious needs.

In Caulkin's History of New London it states that on August 9, 1653 he purchased what is now called Lord's Point from Isaac Willey: “House lot to Amos Richardson brother, the millwright (afterwards called brother-in-law)". . . He had subsequently a grant of a large farm east of the river under the same vague denomination. 'He' has not been identified. . . Two necks of land extending into the Sound, one called 'a pye neck,' with a broad cove between them, was granted to Isaac Willey and by him sold to Amos Richardson. . . Still another containing several hundred acres of land and separated from Hugh Caulkin's land by a brook called Mistuxet, was laid out to Amos Richardson and his brother in 1653. Part of this division was known by the Indian name 'Quonaduck.'

R. L. Richardson continues with “The deed of the Indian sachem Nealewort for a part of this land was dated August 26, 1658, and is recorded at Stonington. It is described as: ‘a tract of land called Quinaboque lying and being near to the country of the late Pequed Indians for and in consideration of the great Love and affection I beare unto Amos Richardson of Boston in the Massachusetts Colony, Englishman. --- contain by measure one English mile and half square on each side of that river called Quinabogue River next adjoining to ye land or farme granted to John Winthrop Esq, Governor of the English Colony on Connecticut River northward of said farme and is called by the name of Nayumscut and Quaduecatuck.’ Wheeler's ‘History of Stonington’ locates this property as: ‘the land lying between Stonington Harbor, Lambert's Cove and Stony Brook on the east, Fisher's Island Sound on the South, and Quiambaug Cove on the west up to a point, from which a direct line easterly passing about thirty yards south of the residence of Mr. Henry M. Palmer to Stony Brook, constituted the north boundary line of said tract of land’. . . .On June 20, 1661, Col. Stephen Winthrop deeded to him the northeast corner of Governor Winthrop's home lot. It does not appear in the deed what the consideration was. Emanuel Downing was one of the witnesses. This lot was about 24 feet, on Washington Street, by 54 feet on Spring Lane, and adjoined the Colonel's house and land. The remainder of the Winthrop estate subsequently became the property of Old South Church, on the southwest corner of which the present historic "Old South" was erected in 1729. In 1679 he gave this lot to his daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Timothy Clark. It was then described as: ‘All my Messauge or Tenement late in the tenure & occupation of Sarah Pickering widdow deed.’ . . . In October, 1661, Antipas Newman of Wenham, sold him a large tract of land, called Caulkin's Neck, bounded by the above Quonaduck farm on the east, Caulkin's Brook on the west, Capt. George Denison's land on the north, and the sea on the south. . . On March 8, 1662, Edward Hutchinson, William Hudson and Amos Richardson were sent to Rhode Island with a letter from Massachusetts to settle troubles in the Pequot country. They could not have been well received, for two years later the Rhode Island General Assembly denounced them as intruders.

In about 1663 he moved his family to the Quandocke farm near Stonington, Connecticut as one of the earliest settlers of the town. He did however retain a residence in Boston for a number of years, but he and his wife, Mary, spent their later years on the Quandocke farm. He became the Attorney for the Town of Stonington and was known as a trusted Colleague of Gov. John Winthrop and a man of strong conviction and great respectability. R. L. Richardson says “He was a deputy from Stonington to the Connecticut General Court from 1676 to 1681 and was honored with other public offices. It is clear that he was held in great esteem by the Winthrop family. . . He was closely connected with the Winthrop family for many years, acting under a power of attorney for Stephen while the latter was in England, being associated with Dean as one of the proprietors of Groton, and looking after many business matters for Mr. Downing. He was the agent for Governor John Winthrop, the younger, and with him gave credit to Samuel Winthrop, of St. Christopher's, in the West Indies. He also acted for Capt. Wait Winthrop, of St. Christopher's, in the West Indies. And he acted for Capt. Wait Winthrop as umpire in a mill dispute.” Although he was one of the original grantees in Groton, Connecticut, he never lived there.

In February of 1676, Amos and his son Stephen, pledged $35 each to help James Dean of Taunton set up as a blacksmith shop at Quiambaug. Thomas Fanning offered to cut thatch for his roof while Amos agreed to cart it.

Amos, through his involvement in the Atherton Company, was in the middle of the controversy about the ownership of the Narragansett territory which was claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The disputed claims to ownership were not settled for more than fifty years. According to R. L. Richardson “Between the colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island a bitter controversy was carried on which at times nearly resulted in open warfare. Mr. Richardson had other large land interests in the disputed territory, and was very active, in pressing the claims of Connecticut, probably more so than any other man in the colony. . . . In 1677, Amos Richardson sold 180 acres of land situated on the east side of the Pawtucket River, to Thomas Wells, who agreed in payment, to build a vessel of fifty tons. This land was located in the disputed territory, and in 1679 Wells refused to fulfill his contracts until Mr. Richardson could make good the title to the land. In March, 1680, suit was brought against Wells for 300 pounds damages and he was arrested at Westerly by Stephen Richardson, the plaintiff's son, a constable from Stonington. Early in July following Stephen Richardson was seized at his home by warrant of Governor Sanford of Rhode Island for making this arrest, and carried to Newport. A sharp letter from the Connecticut Council followed, demanding his release, and for peace sake agreeing not to meddle on the east side of Pawtucket River until the matter was decided in England. The Governor replied, giving the reason for the arrest and retaining the prisoner for trial. The Council issued a formal protest against the conduct of Rhode Island and in retaliation caused the arrest of Joseph Clarke, of Westerly, on July 21. Stephen Richardson was held by the Rhode Island authorities for about three months and in October released. A full account of this affair is given in Connecticut Colonial Records, for 1687, pages 286-291.

Amos Richardson was not a member of the church, either in Boston or Stonington, and that is probably the reason for his not being made freeman until May, 1665. . . Amos Richardson appears to have been a religious man; he educated his eldest son for the ministry at Harvard College. When this son was married he was so pleased that he gave him a farm of a thousand acres at Stonington. In both of the published letters from him to Governor Winthrop at Hartford he sends his regards to the Rev. Samuel Stone. For a number of years they had no way of heating the church at Stonington, and during the winter months the Sunday services and other church meetings were often held at the residence of Amos Richardson, situated a little east of the meeting house and probably a large house. . . . Amos Richardson was a man of great force of character and of untiring energy. He had a number of controversies, but there is nothing to show that be was unreasonable in enforcing his rights.

Amos Richardson died August 5, 1683, at his residence, "Quiambog Farm," Stonington. Thomas Minor notes in his Diary: ‘mr. Richardson sent ffor mee sabath day the ffift about one a clok in that mr. Richardson departed this life.’ His wife was appointed by his will as sole executrix but she died early in the following month, and their sons, Stephen and Samuel, were appointed executors. Both wills were probated by the General Court in 1683.” (Mouse over and click on their death image record on left to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) He is buried in the Wequetequock Burial Ground in Stonington, pictured in Mary's bio. In recent years, a new memorial was placed right next to the original two gravestones. (Mouse over their gravestone image below on right to view another photo which better shows the placement of the new stone next to the old ones.)

R.L. Richardson wrote in 1906 about Amos’ home: “Amos Richardson's residence was located two miles northwest of the railroad station at Stonington, on what is now called Palmer's Hill. The exact location of his house cannot be determined, but it was probably five or six hundred feet south ofthe residence of Henry M. Palmer and it was the opinion ofJudge Wheeler that part of the framework was used in building thePalmer house. This is the highest elevation for some miles aroundandfrom it a beautiful landscape is presented to every point of view. Lantern Hill is fifteen miles north, and Pequot Hill, where the state erected a monument to commemorate the overthrow in 1637 of the Pequot Indians, is about three miles west. To the south is Fisher's Island, and beyond it, twenty miles away, stands the far-famed lighthouse at Montauk Point. To the southeast, overlooking Stonington may be seen Watch Hill and Point Judith, and still further away, almost lost to view, lies the storm-beaten coast of Block Island. The Quiambog farm of Amos Richardson is now the site of many beautiful homes, notably those of Mr. Charles Phelps Williams and Judge Collins, which are adorned with marked evidence of wealth and culture. After this farm became the property of his son-in-law, Capt. John Hallam, a new house which is still standing was erected on it about a mile nearer the harbor. This old Hallam house has been remodeled by Judge Gilbert Collins, of Jersey City, and is now his summer home.

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Mary Smith’s ancestry is uncertain. It is not known for sure if her last name was Smith. Most researchers believe she was the daughter of a John Smith, but which one is unclear. In Doreen Potter Hanna’s book, A Potter-Richardson Memorial, she states that Mary was born in England about 1617, the daughter of John and Alice Smith of Lancashire, England. In the records of the England Marriages, 1538-1973, a John Smith married Allice Winstanly on September 10, 1615. They could be her parents.

In the records of the ship The Planter, which left London on April 2, 1635, and arrived in Boston on June 7, 1635, five Smiths were on board: twins, cousins, or unrelated, Hannah and Mary, both 18; Richard 14, a servant; John 13 and Alice age 40. Records show several Mary Smith’s born to John Smith’s in Lancashire in 1617. Other researchers say she was born in 1623 in Boston, Massachusetts, so this lineage is truly uncertain. In Charles Henry Pope’s book The Pioneers of Massachusetts there is an interesting story about a James Smith who may be related somehow to Mary, a father or brother. He was a Boston shipmaster who, in late 1644 and early 1645, sold his house and land, sold his ship Rainbowe, and traveled to Guinea to trade for negros. He and his shipmate “were tried for kidnapping two negros and causing the death of others.” It is thought that he was the James who died in 1653, and granted administration of his estate to Amos Richardson of Boston, who was Mary’s husband. There are about ten Mary Smith’s born in England to a James Smith that could be our Mary. This researcher thinks it makes sense that her father’s name was John because she named her first born son John. See John Smith and Alice Winstanly’s bios for more about Mary’s parentage.

Mary married Amos Richardson about 1642, in Boston and they lived on what is now Washington Street in Boston. They had eight children together, all born in Boston and baptized in the First Church by the “celebrated John Cotton” – Mary baptized on December 26, 1647, was probably born several years before this date, married first in 1663 Jonathan Gatliffe, then Jehosophat Starr, then died in her 30’s in 1681; John also baptized on December 26, 1647, at the age of 28 days, making him born on November 29, 1647, was a fellow of Harvard College, became a minister, and married Mary Hallam; Amos, who was six days old at his baptism on January 20, 1650, which means he was born on the 14th, is believed to have died young; ancestor Stephen; Katharine, born on January 6, 1655, married Captain David Anderson in 1671, then married secondly Captain Richard Sprague, grandson of ancestor Edward and Christiana Sprague, and died in her 40’s; Sarah, baptized on July 19, 1657, married Timothy Clark; Samuel born on February 18, 1659/60, married Anna Cheseborough, and died at age 52 in Connecticut; and Prudence born on January 31, 1661, married first John Hallam in 1683, and second, Elnathan Minor in 1703.

Mary united with the First Church in Boston, the same day her children John and Mary were baptized.She was an original member of the church and attended the first communion service on September 10, 1674. About five years after the last child was born the family moved to Stonington, New London County, Connecticut.

Mary Richardson wrote her will shortly after her husband’s death as recorded in Thomas Minor’s diary for August 17: “mistris Richardson made her will.” She was appointed sole executrix by her husband’s will, but did not probate it, as she died early in the following month. Mary died at the Quiambog Farm in September of 1683, and is buried with her husband in the Wequetequock Burial Ground in Stonington. (Mouse over cememtery photo left to read more about it.) Her will was probated in the General Court in 1683 by her sons, Stephen and Samuel, who were appointed the executors.


Eleazor Richardson may be the father of Amos Richardson according to Doreen Potter Hana’s book A Potter-Richardson Memorial written in 1957. Hana says he was “of Field House, Worcestershire, England.” Robert M. Shoemaker in his book on the Family Genealogical History for the Draper and Shoemaker families written in 2009 places Eleazor’s birth at about 1600 in Fieldhouse and gives his wife’s name as Eleanor, also born in Fieldhouse. They are supposed to have been married before 1617, which is when he says Amos was born. Other researchers say that Eleazor came with Amos to New England before May of 1639 into Boston and died there. Unfortunately, after many hours of research, documentation isn’t found to support any of the above. Furthermore, Field House or Fieldhouse is not a town in Worcestershire. However, there is a Grade II historic mid-1700’s building, which is now a nursing home, called Field House located in Clent, Worcestershire which is in the middle of the countryside. This could be the area Hana was referring to.

In John Farmer’s book A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England he lists an Ezekiel Richardson of Charlestown who came to New England in 1630. He and his unnamed wife were admitted to the church in Boston and then dismissed in 1632. They moved to Woburn and died there in 1647. They had a son John and a daughter Ruth, who both died in 1643 before their father. Amos could have been from this family.

In conclusion, this lineage is really uncertain.


John Smith, is said by some to be a possible ancestor, the father of Mary who married Amos Richardson. John’s parentage is unknown. Most researchers agree that he was born about 1595 in either Lancastershire or Worcestershire, England. There is a record in the England Marriages, 1538-1973 collection of a John Smith, marrying an Allice Winstanly on September 10, 1615, in Winwick, Lancashire, England. Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure if he is an ancestor.

At least fifteen John Smith’s came to America during the Great Migration, so pinning down which one he was is almost impossible. None came with a wife named Alice, so he may have come alone before his family. Unfortunately most of the John Smith’s came alone and are in the same age group.

A death record exists in the Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910 for a John Smith who died on July 16, 1669 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. Some researchers believe that this is the John Smith who was married to a woman named Mary, who died in 1659, and that they are the ancestors. Unfortunately this John doesn’t mention a daughter named Mary in his will, just sons John and Richard, then daughters Ann and Alice. (Mouse over and click on his will image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) In conclusion, this lineage is really uncertain.


Alice Winstanly is a possible ancestor, the mother of Mary who married Amos Richardson. Her birth is estimated at about 1595 in England. She married John Smith on September 10, 1615, in Winwick, Lancashire, England. Immigration records, researched and compiled by Anne Stevens of, show a 40 year-old Alice Smith who left London in April and arrived in Boston on June 7, 1635, on the ship The Planter. There were also four Smith children on this voyage, who may or may not be related to Alice — Hannah and Mary both 18; John age 13; and Richard age 14, a servant. Both John and Alice were listed with the Hasfell family, with a certificate from Sudbury, Suffolk County. Richard, Hannah and Mary were listed with a certificate from an unknown parish, and Richard was listed after the Saunders family, implying he was their servant. Some researchers say this Alice was married to Abraham Smith.

Lancashire baptism records can be found for Mary, John, and Alice with a father named John Smith, without a mother’s name. Both Mary and Alice were baptized at St Mary’s Church in Blackburn. This researcher believes that the Mary Smith who came to America on The Planter, may be our Mary, even though her relationship to Alice is unknown. Unfortunately there is no way to be absolutely sure of this parentage.

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