Friday, September 26, 2014

Allen line: Daniel Scofield, immigrant

Daniel Scofield, immigrant, apparently did not fit into the typical Puritan mold.  He arrived a little later than the "Great Migration", and it was at least 15 years after he arrived in America that he joined the church.  Records about him are scanty, so some of what I am relating here seems to be based on assumptions and not proof. 

He seems to have been born sometime between 1610 and 1620, and his birth location seems to be Rochdale, Lancashire, England.  I say "seems to" because as far as I can tell there is no documentation yet located to "prove" this statement.  However, generations of genealogist report it as fact, so I am reporting it, also.  It appears that his parents were Alexander Scofield and Mary Norton.  This would make his grandfather Cuthbert Scofield, who is an absolutely fascinating character. (If I ever start writing about our ancestors "across the pond", he will surely be subject of a blogpost!)

Given his "possible" parents, his "possible" birth location, and his "possible" birth year (given in a court deposition years later), is it any wonder that we don't know what Daniel was doing for the first 20-25 years of his life?  We don't know what his motives were for coming to America, but they appear to be economic or personal, rather than religious.  Perhaps there was a personal relationship gone bad, or perhaps he simply wanted to make his way in the world and had a much better chance of making good in America than he had in England. 

Some sources say he arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1638 and others are not willing to make that statement.  They simply say that he arrived in what is now Stamford, Connecticut but was then Rippowam, New Haven Colony, in 1641.  He is considered a "founder" of this town, and was given a houselot and two acres, to start his new home.  He married Sarah Youngs, daughter of John Youngs and Joan Harrington/Herrington in 1645.  John Youngs was a Puritan pastor so perhaps Sarah encouraged Daniel toward a Puritan faith.  We know that he was a member of the church by 1656, because he was appointed marshal in 1657 and only church members were eligible for that office.

Daniel owned the required land and belonged to the church, so it is a puzzle that we have no record of his being designated "freeman".  It is possible that the records are simply missing.

Daniel and Sarah (perhaps also known as Mary) had at least six children:  John, Mary, Richard, Daniel, Joseph, and Sarah.  Sarah and all of the children except Richard were mentioned in Daniel's
will, which was written September 4, 1669 and proved March 10, 1670 at Stamford.  Sarah married again, to Miles Merwin, moved to Milford, Connecticut, and died March 5, 1698.   

Daniel is another of those immigrants who amaze me, simply because he had the desire and the gumption to come to America when it was still basically wilderness, and make a home for himself and his future family.  We can be grateful to men like Daniel, who built this country without making much of a name for himself.

Our line of descent is: 

Daniel Scofield-Sarah Youngs
Daniel Scofield-Abigail Merwin
Daniel Scofield-Hannah Hoyt
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas J. Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward F. Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Allen descendents