Wednesday, February 01, 2012


In this date in 1632 Samuel Edson married a young lady named Susannah. Many
accounts give her last name as Orcutt but it seems to be in dispute so I've decided
to list her last name as "Unknown". The young couple emigrated to the Massachusetts
Bay Colony where, according to Felt's Annals of Salem (p631), Samuel became an
inhabitant of Salem on 25Jul 1639 but started selling them off and moved his wife
and eight children down to the newly established town of Bridgewater in Plymouth

William Richard Cutter(who wrote a LOT of genealogy and local history books)
had the following to say about Samuel:

Samuel Edson, when about twenty-five years of age, immediately after his
marriage to Susanna Orcutt, then aged twenty-one, embarked in England on
board of a ship with his young wife, for America. He arrived at Salem, Massachusetts,
in July, 1639, and had granted to him land near Catt Cove, where he first resided,
and later also at Mackerel Cove. He engaged, perhaps at first, in catching and curing
fish, as did many of the immigrants on first reaching America. He continued to reside
in Salem until not later than 1651, when he removed to Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
He was one of the fifty-six original proprietors of that town, and became one of the
earliest, if not its first settler. Besides his original share in the town he purchased
other lands and became a very large farmer. He owned two saw mills, and built the
first corn mill there, for which he was given an additional share of the proprietary
lands. The mill irons were brought from England. The mill was built upon Town river.
The site of his mills has been continually occupied by a mill ever since. The site 

of his residence was south of Town river, in what is now West Bridgewater. In 1676 
he represented the town in the general court or legislature of Plymouth. For nine 
years he was selectman of Bridgewater. He was an active member of the council 
of war from 1667 to the end of King Philip's war, and also of the committee to 
distribute contributions made by the Irish people for that war, and also to those 
entitled thereto in Bridgewater. He was on the committee with two others to 
negotiate for, and received from the Indian Chief Pomonoho a conveyance of 
the Titcut purchase, also from the Chief Wampatuck a confirmatory deed of 
lands of the town, previously conveyed by Massasoit. In 1680 he, with two 
others, was appointed to settle the boundary line between Bridgewater and 
Middleboro, and also the line between Bridgewater and Taunton. Samuel Edson 
had a large robust frame, and a strong countenance. Although he had not 
received the liberal education for his day, he had a keen intelligence, was 
enterprising and in every sense was a man of affairs. He had a strong individuality 
and an unblemished character. When he spoke at the town meetings he carried 
great influence, and was chosen to fill many offices in the town of Bridgewater. 
He was one of the first deacons of  the Bridgewater Church, elected in 1664, 
and so continued until his death. His wife, Susanna, had a happy disposition, 
modest deportment, dignified presence and graceful manners. Her education 
and natural abilities were said to be fully equal to his. He died July 19, 1692. 
She died February 20, 1699. In the old burying ground at Bridgewater, the 
oldest monument of the kind is that standing over their graves. They had 
three sons and five daughters. Susanna, their eldest daughter, married
Rev. James Keith, the first minister in Bridgewater. 

Genealogical and family history of western New York 
(Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1912)
pp 838-839

I am, as always, skeptical of personal descriptions written of a person two hundred
years after their death with no mention on what sources those descriptions are
based on. But Cutter's description of the rest of the facts in Deacon Samuel's life is

Samuel and Susannah Edson  were my 9x great grandparents( I am descended from
their daughter  Susannah) and today would have been their 380th  anniversary.

((689 words, Family History Writing Challenge))


Celia said...

Hmmm, seeing the surname Orcutt made me go check my Orcutt ancestors in MA, but they arrived in the 1660s, a bit late for your Susannah. Too bad. Or maybe my William Orcutt (from Warwickshire) is related to Susannah's parents. Maybe. More digging in the future, I see.

Wendy L. Callahan said...

Very nice post!

My ex-husband descends from them through their son, Joseph, down to the Gage family.

I descend from them through their daughter Susanna, through her 3 children: Mary Keith, Margaret Keith and Josiah Keith. (Yes, my family tree just sort of turns back in on itself... Often.)

Anonymous said...

I am related to a descendant of Samuel Edson, Eunice Alma Edson who married Ira Battles, he is my great great uncle

Anonymous said...

I'm also a descendant of Samuel Edson via his daughter Susannah and his daughter Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

I have become so interested in my family name. My name is Ronald Louis Edson. I am originally from Atlanta Ga. and raised in Bristol Tenn. My great grand father and great grand mother was William H. Edson and Edith J. Splaulding Edson. They lived in Addison Vermont. My father was Loyd c. Edson Jr,from Oxford Ga.My grandfather was from Elberton Ga. Please get in touch with me with any info you think might help with finding out my father's side of my family. He passed away Jan.2,2011 and I want to do this in his memory. Thanks so much.

Bill West said...

I'd like to help but I need more information. What was your grandfather's name?

Ashley_Bileau said...

It was so great to read this! I am a descendant of Joseph Edson, son of Samuel and Susanna Edson. My grandmother is Dorna Edson, now Dorna Bevis. I am grateful to be apart of this great family history :)

Bill West said...

Hi cousin Ashley!

Karen said...

Thank you for the post & the info. They are my 11x great grandparents via their daughter Sarah.

Bill West said...

Hi cousin Karen!

Karen said...

Hello :)

JBM said...

Big family! Based on what I've found, I'm descended from Samuel through Bethiah Edson and Ezra Dean.
Chris Murray

Bill West said...

Hello, cousin Chris!

Ellen Edson Quattrocchi said...

Hello Cousin Bill,

I am a descendant of Samuel and Susanna Edson. Samuel is my great, great grandfather x many. I am the daughter of Robert Elmer Edson Sr, son of Raymond I Edson, son of ...

I have most of my genealogy on my father's side completed. Members of my family were in Bridgewater at the mill a few weeks ago.

We are looking for information regarding the Edson Society. As I understand it they had a family reunion approximately 25 years ago in or near Bridgewater,
according to my late father Robert Edson.

It is always nice to read more information regarding your family and nice to have contact with another family member previously unknown.

Best wishes,
Ellen Edson

Bill West said...

Hi Cousin Ellen.
I wish I had some information about the Edson Society but other than their website I know nothing much about them.

And I'm always happy to make contact with new cousins through my blog! :)

SJR said...

Dear all,

I am posting A LOT of information on the earlier family in England which many may not have. I recently found the 1502-3 will of William Fox, grandfather of Juliana Bustard Edson who was ancestral to Deacon Samuel Edson of Massachusetts. She also has notable relationships in England which I will post below.

I am a descendant of Deacon Samuel Edson through daughters Susannah Edson Keith and Mary Edson Byram. I am a specialist in gentry and aristocratic ancestry in England and the Edson patriarchs Thomas Edson and Juliana Bustard of Adderbury, Oxfordshire, connect us with interesting families. While the Bustards were not of aristocratic or royal descent, they were considered prominent country gentry and there are some monuments to them in the church at Adderbury. Juliana Bustard Edson's parents were John Bustard, Esq. and his wife Elizabeth Fox. I found Elizabeth Fox's father, William Fox's will proved in 1503 and he mentions his family in the will. I had to have it translated from Tudor-era English and the writing deciphered, but the will was explicit in it's intent. William Fox was buried in the church at Barford, Oxfordshire. The Bustard family also appear in the Visitations of Oxford for year 1566. I might mention that Juliana Bustard Edson was the sister of Christian Bustard who married Edward Wilmot of Witney, Oxfordshire. The Wilmots produced the English Earls of Rochester who later would become ancestors of Princess Diana and quite a few other modern day aristocratic families in Great Britain. Here is the link for the Visitations and you will see Juliana Bustard Edson shown in the lineage as well as her sister Christian Bustard Wilmot:

Also, work has been done on Samuel Edson's wife, Susannah and it would seem she may have been a Bickley as noted here from a posting on back in 2001 to descendant Joel Orcutt: Recieved from Ms. Tessa Forbes, Certified Genealogist, London, England
Jan. 27, 2001

To Mr Joel Orcutt;

"Report on research into Susannah Bickley-
Married Samuel Edson, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, 17th century"

page 3
"I duly found the record of marriage of Susannah and Samuel in parish records of the Holy Trinity Church for Sutton Coldfield held in the Society of Genealogist. The original records are deposited at the county record office in Warwick."

"Christenings and Marriages 1603-1699"

"1638, 1st March."

"Samuel Edson and Susannah Bickley of the parish of Whittaker (Whitacre) were married in this church by virtue of a Licence."

Note; Whitacre is the parish located next to Fillongley, to the northeast, (about one mile from where Deacon Samuel Edson is known to have been born ca 1613, crst 1613), and Whitacre is also known to be the place where Deacon Samuel Edson's nephew, Thomas Snell, also of Bridgewater reknown, is known to have originated/ emmigrated from. Whitacre is also where Margaret Bickley (sister of Susannah?) married in June 1635 William Aucott, of Mancetter, Warwickshire, England, about 4 miles from Whitacre and Fillongley.
Joel Thomas Orcutt

I have more information regarding the lines of Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Princess Diana from our Edson line. I also have information on the Edson/Bustard/Fox lines, including a will back to 1503 for William Fox, grandfather of Juliana Bustard Edson.

If anyone should have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at I hope this information is of interest to other Edson descendants. Thanks

Steve Riggan

Lori Midgett said...

It appears we are all related! I think Susannah Bickley and Orcutt are the same person, I saw evidence showing the same birthday.

Susan said...

Thank you for this, cousin. Samuel & Susanna are also my 9x great-grandparents by their son Samuel. I don't understand why they don't know the ship Samuel & Susanna arrived on if they know they arrived in July 1639. I'm seeing a lot of research regarding Susanna proper maiden name. It has stated there never was a Susanna Orcutt and her surname was most likely Bickley, though that too is questionable.

Kent Winterrowd said...

I am related through his son and grandson Samuel. Is there still a mill build on the original site of Samuel's mill? I am visiting the area next week and I would love to see the locations related to his life.
Thank you,

Bill West said...

Hi Cousin!
Unfortunately, the mill is long gone. You can visit the site and see the mill stone though.

This link has some othsr family related sites in the Bridgewaters.

Kent Winterrowd said...

Hi Bill
Thank you for the information. I didn't see a link here. Can you please send it to me? I would like to see where the mill stone is.
Thank you

Bill West said...

Can you see this now?