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  • #22 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: Notable Descendants of the Immigrant Stoughton Siblings of Massachusetts

    Gary Boyd Roberts

    Today and for another week I shall regale you with some new discoveries about ancestors and kinsmen of my own that are shared probably by more than 20 million Americans. I have known since college that I was doubly descended from Samuel Lathrop/Lothrop of Norwich, Conn., whose father, Reverend John Lothrop, 1584-1653, was a graduate of Queen’s College, Cambridge, a founder of Barnstable, Mass., and a noted early New England minister (and my only ancestor treated in both the Dictionary of American Biography and the Dictionary of National Biography).Samuel’s first wife, the mother of his children, was Elizabeth Scudder, a sister of John Scudder of Barnstable, and known through the will of an English divine to be related somehow to the Scudders of Long Island. The new discoveries and immigrant kinsmen that vastly expand this clan are through Elizabeth Scudder, and the initial report of these discoveries appeared in the 75th anniversary issue of The American Genealogist (October 1997) in an article by Register editor Jane Fletcher Fiske.

    Before moving to these new discoveries I wish to list briefly some descendants of Samuel and Elizabeth and suggest the extent to which they follow many of the patterns common to Connecticut families and migrants from the Nutmeg State. Samuel and Elizabeth’s descendants include two presidents--Grant and FDR; Benedict Arnold and the wives of two other noted Revolutionary figures --"signer" Samuel Huntington and General Israel Putnam; various modern political figures --Thomas Edmund Dewey, the Dulleses, the last two Adlai Ewing Stevensons (via Bordens), and the wife of Charles Joseph Bonaparte, "Teddy" Roosevelt’s cabinet minister and Napoleon’s great-nephew; and various "tycoon" families -- the Scribners, publishers, of New York, the Marshall Fields and the chewing-gum Wrigleys of Chicago, the King-Klebergs of the King Ranch in Texas, Charles William Post of Post Toasties, and the wives of Levi Z. Leiter of Chicago and Leland Stanford of California. Boston "Brahmins" among Samuel’s and Elizabeth’s descendants include the two Oliver Wendell Holmeses and John Lothrop Motley, whose daughter married British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir William G.V. Harcourt. Other British connections include the 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, Foreign Secretary and Indian Viceroy, son-in-law of Leiter and father-in-law of Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley: European descendants include the wife of Czeckoslovakian President Thomas Jan (later Garrigue) Masaryk and mother of Jan Garrigue Masaryk, Czech Foreign Minister (Charlotte Garrigue, whose mother was a New England Whiting).

    Hollywood figures among Lathrop/Scudder descendants include Dina Merrill, Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld and a wife of director Preston Sturges. Mormon descendants include Mary Anne Van Cott, one of the 16 wives of Brigham Young by whom he left children, 4th president Wilford Woodruff, and leaders Orson and Parley Parker Pratt, plus Parley’s great-grandson, political figure George Romney. Later intellectual figures of Lathrop/Scudder descent include college presidents Daniel Coit Gilman of Johns Hopkins, Frederick A.P. Barnard of Columbia and Charles Seymour of Yale, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead of Central Park, poet Hart Crane, critic William Lyon Phelps, composer Charles Ives, novelist Louis Auchincloss, Soviet expert George Frost Kennan, and the wives of architect Richard Morris Hunt, composer Edward Alexander MacDowell, and novelist Robert Penn Warren, and the husband of anthropologist Ruth Benedict. Lastly among these Lathrop/Scudder descendants, I wish to mention Serena Alleyne Stanhope Armstrong-Jones, Viscountess Linley, Princess Margaret’s daughter-in-law and a "minor royal", whose matrilineal great-grandmother was a Sumner of Boston. Presidents, some Revolutionary and later political figures, tycoons (in New York City and the midwest especially), some Boston Brahmin intellectuals, several British or European figures (including some prime ministers, presidents, or "royals") and Hollywood and Mormon figures from the West are all expected descendants of Connecticut or Connecticut Valley pioneers.

    Jane Fiske discovered from Strood, Kent parish registers, the will of Reverend Henry Scudder, a marriage record of John Scudder and Elizabeth Stoughton, and other sources, some already published in TAG or in publications of the Scudder Family Association, that Elizabeth Scudder, wife of Samuel Lathrop, was the daughter of the above John Scudder and Elizabeth Stoughton, a sister of Thomas and Israel Stoughton of Dorchester, Mass. John Scudder was a brother of Thomas Scudder of Salem and an uncle of Thomas Scudder of L.I. I shall cover the Scudders in my next column. Today, however, I wish to consider the Stoughtons, a Kentish minor gentry family whose descendants include over 100 major figures in American or Britsh history . Israel, a commander against the Pequot Indians in 1637, and later a lieutenant colonel in the English Parliamentary army, was a founder of Dorchester, is treated in the Dictionary of National Biography (British), and married Elizabeth Knight, an aunt of collegiate benefactor Elihu Yale. Israel’s eldest brother, Reverend John Stoughton, was a graduate of Emmanuel College, a London vicar, and a stepfather of noted divine Ralph Cudworth and of the immigrant James Cudworth of Scituate, Mass. Thomas Stoughton, younger than John but older than Israel, also came to Dorchester but moved to Windsor, Ct., and married the widow of Simon Huntington (from whom descends that noted Conn. family). Israel Stoughton was the father of Acting Governor William Stoughton, 1631-1701, a graduate of Harvard in 1650 and of New College, Oxford, in 1653, and chief justice "of oyer and terminer" during the Salem witchcraft trials, for the cruelty of which he is often held responsible. William died unmarried but his sister, Rebecca Stoughton, married William Tailer and was the mother of William Tailer, Jr., also a colonial governor of Massachusetts, and of Elizabeth Tailer, wife of fur trader John Nelson, an immigrant of royal descent and a nephew of Acadian governor Sir Thomas Temple, 1st Bt. Nelson figures in both the Dictionary of National Biography and the Dictionary of American Biography (as does William Stoughton) as the chief proponent of his generation for the expulsion of the French from North America. Elizabeth Stoughton, who died in Ipswich, Mass., in 1647, sister of Reverend John, Thomas and Israel, married not only John Scudder, but also Reverend Robert Chamberlain of Strood, and left by the latter a daughter Joanna, who migrated to Newtown, L.I., and married Richard Betts. Lastly among these Stoughton siblings was Judith,1599-1639, also of Dorchester, wife of John Denman and ___ Smead.

    Later notable descendants of the Stoughtons are derived through Mrs. Lathrop, as discussed above; Thomas Stoughton, Jr., of Windsor, son of Thomas of Dorchester and Windsor; Elizabeth Tailer and John Nelson, as above; three daughters of Joanna (Chamberlain) Betts--Joanna, Mary, and Elizabeth, wives, respectively, of another John Scudder (great nephew of Elizabeth Stoughton’s husband), Joseph Swazey and Joseph Sackett; and two granddaughters of Judith (Stoughton) Smead -- Judith Smead, wife of Eliezer Hawks, and Mehitabel Smead, wife of Jermiah Hull and Godfrey Nims. Before listing these descendants note that those of Thomas, Jr. are associated with Connecticut; of the Nelsons, with New York City and Brahmin Boston; of the Scudders, Swazeys, and Sacketts, mostly with Long Island; and of the Smead sisters, with Deerfield and western Massachusetts. Thomas Stoughton’s descendants include Walter Loomis Newberry, founder of the Newberry Library in Chicago; the sisters who married J.D. Rockefeller III and novelist John Phillips Marquand; and the wife of novelist Louis Bromfield. Elizabeth Stoughton, a great-great-granddaughter of Thomas, Jr., married Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 1760-1833, the secretary of the Treasury, governor of Connecticut, and son of "signer" Oliver Wolcott; among their descendants, via Gibbses, Tuckermans, and Sedgwicks, was the first wife of architect Eero Saarinen, who built the skating rink and new colleges at Yale.

    A daughter of John Nelson married Robert Temple and left three sons of interest to us, two of whom married respectively daughters of Revolutionary statesman James Bowdoin and Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts. Descendants of interest include Speaker of the House Robert Charles Winthrop; the 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Governor General of Canada and Viceroy to India; and the second wife of historian and presidential adviser Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Daughters of the 1st Marquess married a governor general of Australia and governor of New Zealand and a great-granddaughter of the 1st Marquess is author (Lady) Caroline Blackwood, whose husbands include the painter Lucian Freud, grandson of Sigmund, and the American poet Robert Lowell. A second daughter of John Nelson and Elizabeth Tailer married Henry Lloyd of the manor of Queens Village, L.I. Two of their children are ancestors of the wife of the late McGeorge Bundy of the Ford Foundation; a third, Margaret Lloyd, married William Henry Smith of St. George’s manor, Brookhaven, L.I. A daughter of these last married John Aspinwall and was both the great-grandmother of Mrs. James Renwick, Jr., wife of the architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Smithsonian, and a great-great grandmother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    Joanna Betts and John Scudder were great-grandparents of Sarah Scudder, wife of New Jersey "signer" John Hart, and Mary Betts and Joseph Swazey were great-great grandparents of William Henry Seward, Secretary of State under Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Elizabeth Betts and Joseph Sackett left a large notable progeny. Two children married Alsops and a daughter married a Moore of Newtown. Joseph Sackett, Jr., and Hannah Alsop were great-grandparents of Hamilton Fish, Seward’s successor as Secretary of State. Hamilton’s son was railroad executive Stuyvesant Fish, whose wife "Mamie" was a leader of Newport society. Hamilton’s sister, Susan Elizabeth Fish, married Daniel Le Roy, brother of Mrs. Daniel Webster, and left granddaughters who married George Washington Vanderbilt of Biltmore and John Nicholas Brown of Providence, head of the family for whom Brown University is named and grandfather of J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art. Anne Sackett and Benjamin Moore were the grandparents and great-grandparents of presidents of Columbia and great-grandparents also of Clement Clarke Moore, Hebrew scholar and author of "The Night Before Christmas." Abigail Sackett and John Alsop were ancestors of political columnist Joseph and Stewart Alsop, and grandparents of Mary Alsop, wife of Federalist statesman Rufus King, 1755-1827. King was the father of another president of Columbia and the grandfather-in-law of a prime minister of France. A great-great-granddaughter of King married a son of Comstock Lode mining tycoon John W. Mackay, and their daughter married the composer Irving Berlin.

    Judith Smead and Eliezur Hawkes are ancestors of film director Howard Hawkes--whose first wife was a sister of actress Norma Shearer--and his brother Kenneth, first husband of actress Mary Astor. Mehitable Smead and Jeremiah Hull had a daughter Elizabeth who married John Nims, her stepbrother; among their descendants are actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish. Mehitable Smead and Godfrey Nims, her second husband, left a daughter Abigail who was one of the Deerfield captives to Canada. She married fellow captive Josiah Rising and they left eight children who assumed the surname Raizenne. Two of these eight became nuns and one a priest. A large number of French Canadians may well descend from the remaining five, four of them daughters whose husbands bore the surnames Seguin, Sabourin, Castonguay, and Chenier.

    I hope this survey of some of my recent work -- a product of English origins research by Jane Fiske, which itself completed a family otherwise well covered in R.C. Anderson’s The Great Migration Begins--has been of interest to many readers, including descendants. Among NEHGS staff, Henry Hoff, Brenton Simons, and I are all Lathrop-Scudder descendants, and David Dearborn is descended from Thomas Scudder of Salem, an uncle of Mrs. Lathrop. Next week I shall treat the L.I. Scudder and Salem Very and Giles immigrant kin of Mrs. Lathrop, also studied by Jane Fiske, and after the holidays I shall return to general advice to readers and suggest ways to use Society services to best advantage in finding new ancestors.
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