Thursday, October 2, 2014


Beatrice Scofield Syska (my grandmother) is a direct descendant of over 50 New England colonists, with a decidedly English heritage although we do have three early american ancestors, with French*, Scottish** and, possibly, Danish*** roots. 

 In fact, Beatrice's entire pedigree contains the descendants of and the early american settlers that came to the coast of New England circa 1620-1660.  

Beatrice's was the first generation to marry outside that relatively small group for 300 years and she chose to marry the son of polish and german immigrants.  Wonder how that happened, but we'll have to explore that later.  For now we are talking about Pilgrims.   

Our colonial ancestors were, predominately, puritans who came to america seeking a new way of life allowing them freedom to practice their religion outside the bounds of the Church of England.  Sailing ships carried them on journeys that took months with sparse provisions, cramped quarters and, what we would consider, deplorable sanitary conditions finally landing on the coast of Massachusetts, which was little more than untamed wilderness.   Most of our ancestors moved into Connecticut within a few years, settling the towns we know today as Stamford, Fairfield, Wethersfield and Greenwich and New Haven. Some from subsequent generations then moved to Westchester County, NY, and were among the first inhabitants of Bedford, Rye, Mamaroneck and Pound Ridge and a few even ventured down to Queens and Long Island, but most of them returned to Connecticut. And..... that's where their journey ended, which is not to say they didn't have other adventures in their neck of the woods.  Still unlike many other colonists that moved north to New England, south to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, or to western NY, Ohio, Illinois and out to the great wild west, our ancestors basically stayed put in Southern CT and Southeast NY area for over 300 years - and of course some of us are still here! 

Our relatives began arriving in approximately 1621, a year after the Mayflower landed and just days after the first thanksgiving celebration.  They have been here since the literal genesis of our country, and thus, as settlers endured unbelievably harsh winters, starvation and disease, were right in the thick of those skirmishes with the Indians that progressed to all out wars and even the annihilation of one tribe, in particular, and of course were part of the witch trials both as accused and accusers.  And that only covers the first 80 years or so.  Our fore bearers became farmers, large land owners, soldiers and officers, statesmen and leaders, businessmen and entrepreneurs and, as time went by, were instrumental participants in the fight for independence, the revolutionary war and the construction of the United States of America. 

Below I have listed our colonist ancestors in order of their arrival in the new world, although in some cases their arrival is an estimate.  It's not a complete list as there are still some ancestors I have been unable to identify or trace with any degree of certainty.   

A great many Americans can trace their ancestry to the pilgrims leading to a treasure trove of sources and books tracing colonial family heritage that are fabulous tools, but not always entirely reliable.  To the best of my ability, I have confirmed these pedigrees through primary sources such as baptismal and birth records, property documents such as deeds, and citations from court and probate records.  In the absence of primary sources, I have confirmed the details with multiple secondary sources. 

I will share all the pedigrees for each line with you later. There are a few pedigrees I have either been unable to confirm at all or am still uncertain about.  If there is too much conflicting information or just no information about a person's ancestry, I have left their pedigree out all together.  In cases of minor discrepancies or some conflicting information I have included that information in the notes.  As it happens, the connection for which I have the most trepidation is the first, that of Thomas Prence and I will explain that later.  Amazingly, though, the vast majority of these pedigrees are quite reliable, even conclusive, in my estimation. I believe the colonists knew they were making history and, thus, understood the significance of keeping records, plus, they were deeply rooted to their community and church aiding in the process of maintaining records for future generations.  

Finally, I am not happy about publishing a list so dominated by males when, in fact, the female heritage is just as relevant.  Unfortunately, identifying one's male ancestors is much simpler than female ancestors, as wives have traditionally assumed their husband's surname and cultural restrictions severely limited references to women in records in the past. Ironically, those colonial witch trials created some of the best records of women in the community.  Rest assured, that I am searching just as hard for all of our female forebearers.

I have so much to tell you about all of these colonists that I'm afraid I have to do this in multiple parts.  Check back for subsequent entries  explaining the arrivals, significant details about their lives here in America and their pedigrees.

Beatrice (Scofield) Syska's Ancestors First Generation Arriving in 1621-1684


  • Thomas Prence (1600-1673) and Apphia Quickie
  • Richard Norman (abt. 1580-1682) and Margaret (Alford) Norman (1594-1645)
  • Simon Hoyt (1590-1657) and Susannah (Smith) Hoyt Bates (1615-1674)
  • John Strickland (1584-1672) & Jane (Fenwick) Strickland (1590-1663)
  • John Pettit (1608-1662) & Debrow (unk) Pettit
  • Richard Webb (1611-1675) and Margery (Moyer) Webb (1610-1676)


  • Jonas Weed (1597-1676)
  • John Finch (1613- 1657 ) and Martha (Brett) Finch (1618-1681)
  • Robert Lockwood (1600-1658)
  • John Waterbury (abt. 1620-1658)
  • Jeremiah Jagger (1600-1658)


  • David Selleck (1614-1654) & Susanna (Kibby) Selleck (1616-1713)
  • William Newman (1610-1676) & Elizabeth Bowstreet (1611-1676)
  • DAVID PHIPPEN (1585-1650) and Sarah (Pinckney) Phippen
  • John Brundish (1593-1639) and Rachel (Hubbard) Brundish (1611-1656
  • Robert Rose (1594-1665) and Margery (Evered) Rose (1594-1664)
  • Jeffrey Ferris (1610-1667) & Mary (unk) Ferris ( - 1658)
  • Thomas Stevens (1623-1658)
  • Richard Scofield (1613-1671)
  • Daniel Scofield (1620-1669) and Sarah Youngs (1624-1697)
  • Robert Pennoyer (1614-1678) & Ealse (Marshall) Pennoyer (1618-1671)
  • John Bassett (1589-1652) & Margery (Holland) Bassett (1590-1656)
  • William Mead (1600-1663) 
  • William Hunt (1604-1667) & Elizabeth (Best) Hunt (1607-1667)
  • Jonathan Gilbert (1617-1682)
  • William Potter (1608-1662)  & Frances (Child) Potter (1610-1662)
  • SAMUEL HOLLY (1593-1643) &  ELIZABETH (COGAN) HOLLY (1599-1647)
  • George Slawson (1616-1695)
  • John Youngs (1598-1672) and Joan (Herrington) Youngs (1600- abt. 1638)
  • Richard Law (1607-1687) and Margaret (Kilbourne) law (1607-1689)
  • Thomas Jones (1602-1681)  & Mary North ( -1650)
  • David Provost (1608-1657) & Margaret Ten Waert (1608-1703)  
  • Gerrit jansen Roos (1632-1698) & Altje Lamberts (1631-1659) 


  • Miles Merwin (1623-1697) & Elizabeth (Powell) Merwin (1630-1664)
  • Obadiah Seeley (1614-1657)
  • Nathan Gold (1623-1694) 
  • Richard Smith (1595-1690) and Rebecca (Buswell) Smith (1593-1667)
  • Clement Buxton (1615-1657) & Unica (unknown) Buxton (1612-1670)
  • Francis Holmes (1608-1675)  & Ann Greenwood (1605-1675)


  • Stephen Clasen/McClay (1633-1692) and Elizabeth Perement (1631-1714)
  • Richard Lounsbury (1634-1691)
  • James Sands (1622-1695)
  • Frances Dann (1659 -1723/24) 
  • William Sutherland (1650-1724)

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