It is commonly found on the internet for Thomas Richardson of Standon and Westmill to be attached to parents and have precise baptism dates and places, none of which can be shown to be correct. The common connections appear to be attaching random people with name Richardson together without evidence. The dates are impossible as they are supposedly from parish records which do not exist.
The most recent scholarly write ups on this family all conclude that his parents, birth date and birth place are all unknown.
Born: About 1565, possibly in Standon, Hertfordshire, England.
The date is a rough estimate based on his marriage in 1590. In his marriage record he is stated to be "of Standon," so this is a possible birth place. The surviving parish records of Standon do not begin until 1671 so it may not be possible to know his exact date of birth or names of parents.
Marriage and Children
Married:Katherine (Duxford) on 24 August 1590 at the parish of Westmill, Hertfordshire. The marriage record states that he was from Stanton and she was from Westmill. She was buried at Westmill on 10 March 1631/2.
Children of Thomas Richardson and Katherine Duxford:
Thomas Richardson, bpt 3 Jul 1608, d Woburn 28 Aug 1651; m Mary (Unknown)
Death and Legacy
Buried: 8 January 1633/4 at Westmill, Hertfordshire, England. His wife, Katherine, had preceded him on 10 March 1631/2.
Three of his sons, Samuel, Ezekiel, and Thomas emigrated to Massachusetts, as did two grandsons (sons of his eldest daughter, Elizabeth), Francis and John Wyman.
Last Will & Testament
The original will dated 4 March 1630/1 of Thomas Richardson of Westmill, Herts, found at Hitchin, reads:
March the 4th Ano domini 1630. In the name of God Amen I Thomas Richardson of Westmill in the County of Herts, husbandman, being sick in body but of good an perfect memory thanks be to God doe make and ordeyne this my last will in manner and forme following, firste. I bequeath my soull unto the hands of God my maker and Redeemer by whose merits I only truste to be saved. and my body to be buryed in the place of Christian buryall and Touchinge my temporall goods I doe dispose of them as followeth.
First. I gyve unto Katherine my wife duringe the tearme of her naturall life my littell close of pasture called little hunnymeade cont' half an acre and after her decease I give the same to my sonn Samuell and his heyers for ever.
Item. I give to my sonn John forty shillings to be payed to him within the space of three yeares next ensueing the decease of me and Katherine my now wife by my executor.
Item. I give to my sonn James twelve pence.
Item. I give to my sonn Thomas three pounds to be payed to him within the space of fyve yeares next ensueing the decease of me and Kathyrine my now wife.
Item. I gyve unto Katherine my wife all my movable goods to use for and during the terme of her life and after her decease I gyve the same unto my sonn Samuel whom I doe ordeyne and make my sole executor. In Witness whereof I have sett my hand and Seal the daye and yeare above sayd.
Sealed and declared in the presence of us Richard Baker, Philip Baker. Signed—THOMAS [mark] RICHARDSON proved 31 July 1634 at Hitchin presented by son Samuel Richardson.
NOTE: This is the same will as found in Steele & Related Lines Bk2 (2000) page 50 which also does not include Ezekiel in the will, however Steele & Related lines shows Ezekiel's birth as ca1592 which would be consistent with him being the eldest child. However, sources cited by Steele have not shown support for the birth year, or shown Ezekiel to be the eldest.
Name confusion:With a name so common as Richardson, the records of others have been confounded. These (and associated citations) have been removed, as many point to places such as London (without known association). One example is the specific baptism date, 23 Mar 1543 at St Mary, Stratford Bow, Middlesex. Another is a marriage in 1595 at Upwood, Huntingdonshire. "Alphamstone, Hertfordshire, England" was also removed as death place (no such location exists).
Parish records: Research into this family is hampered by the fact that many of the relevant parish records no longer exist. Thomas Richardson was "of Standon" at the time of his marriage, but the Standon parish records do not begin until 1671. He married in Westmill and then settled there. There are no baptisms for Westmill prior to 1580 at the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, who hold baptisms, 1580-1730; marriages, 1562-1730; burials, 1562-1726. The catalogue entry mentions that a page fragment indicates baptisms originally began before 1568 and that entries up to 1610 appear to have been copied from an earlier register.
Common Errors to Avoid
Incorrect parents: This profile previously had as his parents Thomas Richardson and Margaret Silverside. This comes from the IGI and is completely without foundation or evidence. It should also be noted that the line jumps from county to county, and includes baptism dates from before the commencement of parish records in this area.
Incorrect birth date: It can be found on the internet that Thomas Richardson was born "24 Aug 1565 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England. This is incorrect. The major problem with this is, no baptism records for Westmill exist before the year 1580. It can also be told from the original parish records that they first started in the year 1568, so 1565 is an impossible baptism date in Westmill.
Incorrect children: Previously attached as children include Judith Richardson, Susanna Richardson, Edward Richardson (merged away) and George Richardson. These children are incorrect and do not occur in any Westmill baptism records, in Thomas Richardson's will or in the will of his children which name siblings.
Footnotes and citations:
↑ 1.01.1 Anderson, Robert Charles. Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to N.E. 1620-1633, (Boston: NEHGS, 1995) AmericanAncestors.org p 1582, citing Sarah Hildreth And 25-28
↑ Threlfall, John Brooks. Fifty Great Migration Colonists to New England and their Origins. (1990): 535-538.
↑ 4.04.14.24.34.4 Watkins, Walter Kendall. "Some Early Emigrants from Herts, England." in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 57 no. 3 (July 1903): pages 297-300.Archive.org Link
↑ In spite of the fact that Ezekiel was not baptized at Westmill, and neither was he mentioned in his father's will, there is not doubt he was a son of Thomas Richardson. Ezekiel called Samuel and Thomas his brothers in his will, and they all lived near each other in Charlestown and then in Woburn.
↑ “Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.” 1 vol, 1730 1562. DP120/1/1. Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies: Westmill Parish Records. The National Archives
Anderson, Robert Charles . The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, vol. III: P-W. (Boston: NEHGS, 1995): pages 1580-1583, biography of Ezekiel Richardson. AmericanAncestor.org Link
Davis, Walter Goodwin. The Ancestry of Sarah Hildreth, 1773-1857 : wife of Annis Spear of Litchfield, Maine. (Portland, ME: Anthoensen Press, 1958): page 25. HathiTrust.org Link
New England Historical and Genealogical Register vol. 139 no. 2 (April 1985):147-148. The Duxford Ancestry of the Richardsons and Wymans, by John B. Threlfall.
Threlfall, John Brooks. Fifty Great Migration Colonists to New England and their Origins. (1990): 535-538.
Watkins, Walter Kendall. "Some Early Emigrants from Herts, England." in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 57 no. 3 (July 1903): pages 297-300.Archive.org Link
Watkins, Walter Kendall. Richardsons of West Mill, Herts, England, and Woburn in New England. (Boston: reprint of NEHGR article, 1903). Archive.org Link
Vinton, John Adams. The Richardson memorial, comprising a full history and genealogy of the posterity of the three brothers, Ezekiel, Samuel, and Thomas Richardson. (Portland, Maine, 1876). Archive.org Link.