Why am I writing about a man who lived 400 years ago when there are many more recent ancestors I haven't touched upon yet? My answer would be that he's got a very interesting story, even though his history may or may not be proven. The problem is that some of the initial research done on the Paddock family may or may not be bogus, and may or may not have been produced by Gustave Anjou, who was famous for manufacturing false genealogies. So we will have to take the information about the French ancestry of Robert Paddock with a grain or two of salt, until more definitive research is undertaken. Still, it's fun to think that this line back to medieval France and minor nobility might be correct.
Robert Paddock was born in 1584 in Stephenstown, Balrothery Parish, County Dublin, Ireland. His parents are believed to have been John Paddock, who was born July 19, 1550 in La Cateau, Cambrai, Nord France, and Jane Jennings or Jenin, also born in France. Now, one could ask why a French couple were in Ireland, and why an Irishman was in Plymouth Colony, and we can only offer conjectures. John Paddock probably left France due to religious or/and political reasons, as the 1580's were a time of great religious upheaval and persecution in France. There were likely economic reasons that he left France, also. However, if he was a Protestant, why did he end up in County Dublin, Ireland? John Paddock was probably known as Jean Paddoc in France, and if you believe the undocumented records, he came from "lesser nobility" and his ancestors can be traced back to the early 1300's. So, we may or may not be a little bit French.
Robert Paddock is documented a bit better, but there is still much we don't know, including when he arrived in America, and why he came to America. He was a blacksmith, having inherited his father's blacksmith shop in Ireland. The Pilgrims are known to have recruited blacksmiths as that was a trade that apparently did not come over on the Mayflower, or perhaps the practitioner(s) died in those very early years of the Colony. It is believed that he and his second wife, Mary Holmes (probably) were here by 1632. Robert's first wife had been Mary Ball, but she died in 1627. He is supposed to have married Mary Holmes in October of 1630, and they had 6 children together, Robert, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Mary, Alice, and John. Robert had another daughter, Susanna, but she was by his third wife, Mary Trine.
I haven't found reference to Robert's religion, but he was given land with other settlers and was given civic responsibilities, so he may have been a "saint". He met up with the law on at least one occasion, when he and William Clarke had too much to drink and had to pay a fine. He was constable of Plymouth Colony, and he was a member of the Plymouth Company militia, which included all men able to bear arms, as Indians were a constant threat. His commander was Captain Miles Standish.
Apparently his death came rather suddenly, because there was no written will. His death bed statement asked Mary to give John Paddock, his son of about 5 years of age, to Thomas Willet for upbringing. Thomas Willet was later Mayor of New York. It is not clear why special arrangements were made for this child and not for the others.
Most of this information was obtained from The Paddock Genealogy by Robert Curfman, with some corrections made due to information found later. Mr. Curfman himself was somewhat suspicious about the French pedigree, but to date I know of no one has been able to provide documentation of any other ancestry for Robert and John/Jean. Regardless, it's fascinating to know that this ancestor of ours would have known William Brewster, Miles Standish, and Edward Doty, our Mayflower ancestors, and would likely have performed services for them.
Our line of descent is:
Robert Paddock-Mary Holmes
Alice Paddock-Zechariah Eddy
Zechariah Eddy-Amphillis Smith
Elisha Eddy-Sarah Phettiplace
Enos Eddy-Sarah Brown
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Holbrook children, grand children, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren