- Born: 1589, Framlingham, Suffolk, England 154
- Baptized: 1 Mar 1589, Framlingham, Suffolk, England 154
- Marriage: Elizabeth Barber 605
- Died: 8 Apr 1638, Cambridge, Massachusetts at age 49 154
- Buried: 1638, Cambridge, Massachusetts 154
Noted events in his life were:
• Emigration: Emmigrated February, 1635/36 on the Griffin. 154
Nicholas Danforth emigrated to Boston, arriving on September 18, 1634/6. He was accompanied by Reverend Zechariah Symmes and his six children, three of them boys and three girls ranging from the age of six to sixteen. His wife, Elizabeth, died five years earlier in England.
The Danforth Genealogy claims there is no proof that Rev. Zechariah Symmes was the brother-in-law of Nicholas Danforth, and his wife Elizabeth was not Zechariah's sister.
• Dates & Events. 154,446
On 2 May 1636 "Thomas Hooker of the New Towne" sold to Nicholas Danforth "about one acre of land being the lot of Edward Hopkins"
The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the "New Towne" and the Town of Cambridge... (Cambridge 1896)
• Background Information. 605
Nicholas Danforth was the son of Thomas Danforth and Jane Sudbury, and he was baptized 1 Mar 1589 in Framlingham, Suffolk County, England. His ancestors had lived in the area for generations.
Nicholas was a beneficiary by the will of his maternal grandfather Thomas Sudbury in 1601. He married a woman named Elizabeth who died before his journey to the colonies. Nicholas did not marry again after his first wife's death. He was executor of his father's will, 29 Apr 1621. An acquaintance of one of his sons, Cotton Mather, wrote of Nicolas that he was "a gentleman of such estate and repute in the world, that it cost him a considerable sum to escape the knighthood, which King Charles I imposed on all of so much [income] per annum; and such figure and esteem in the Church, . . ."
~Dawes-Gates ancestral lines, Vol. I, pp. 251 -254
In 1622, Nicholas was churchwarden of St. Michael's at Framlingham, although he seemly carried fairly liberal views since he began to be sympathetic with the Puritans. He decided to join them in their efforts to settle in New England.
He and his children arrived in New England around 1634. He is mentioned as a proprietor in the records of Cambridge Massachusetts in 1635 when he bought land there, Oct 1635, and was chosen selectman on 23 Nov. In the same year, he joined the church, in Feb, & was made a freeman 3 Mar.
He served as a Representative to the General Court in September and December, 1636, being called "Serj." (sergeant) on the roll. He served again in April and May 1637, but with the title of "Capt." He last served in September 1637, this time listed as "Mr." He acted as a surveyor to set the bounds between Dedham and Dorchester, 15 Nov 1637.
Nicholas Danforth's wife most likely died before her family emigrated to the colonies. She was buried at Framlingham, England 22 Feb 1628. Nicholas died ten years later in Apr, at Cambridge Massachusetts.
Their children, who were all born in Framlingham, England, were:
Elizabeth, bap. 3 Aug 1619; d. 26 Jun 1680, Cambridge; m. 1 Oct 1639, Cambridge, to Andrew Belcher of Sudbury
Mary, bap. 3 May 1621
Anna, bap, 3 Sep 1622; d. 9 Dec 1704, Lexington; m. Matthew Bridge, of Cambridge
Thomas, bap. 20 Nov 1623; d. 5 Nov 1699, Cambridge; m. 23 Feb 1643, Mary, daughter of Henry Withington, of Dorchester. Thomas was Deputy governor of Massachusetts from 1679-1687, president of the district of Maine from 1680-1686 and Judge of the Supreme Court, 1692.
Lydia, bap. 24 May 1625; d. 16 Aug 1686, Saybrook, Connecticut; m. 9 Dec 1643, William Beamount, Saybrook, Connecticut
Samuel, bap. 17 Oct 1626; d. 19 Nov 1674, Roxbury; m. 5 Nov 1651, Mary, daughter of Rev. John Wilson of Boston. Samuel was assistant minister to John Eliot, of Roxbury, and was made the second Fellow of Harvard College from which he graduated in 1643
Jonathan, b. 29 Feb 1628; d. 7 Sep 1712, Billerica, Massachusetts; m. first, 22 Nov 1654, Boston, Elizabeth Poulter; m. second, 7 Nov 1690, Billerica, Esther Champney Converse.
~Dawes-Gates ancestral lines, Vol. II, pp. 279 - 281
• Background Information. 154
Nicholas Danforth was chosen deputy or representative to the General Court in 1635. On 3 Mar 1635/6, he with others, "deputed to sett out the bounds of newe plantacon above Charles Ryver." The committee reported 13 Apr 1636. In Sep following, he was appointed a similar duty, "to measure and sett the bounds of Roxberry," and to set those between Dedham and Dorchester, 15 Nov 1637. When the important committee to "take order for a colledge at Newtowne" was selected on 20 Nov 1637, Mr. Danforth was one of those selected.
Nicolas Danforth was also one of the eleven men, whom the Court by its vote 12 Mar 1638, allowed "to see wine & strong water," - "no man else to sell by retaile without license from the sounsell." The records of the Court show that 2 May 1638, another man was appointed to attend to the
Dedham & Dorchester business "insteed of Mr. Damford who is dead" a subsequent reference to the matter giving his name in better spelling, "Mr. Danforth."
Nicholas's will can not be found, but of his children, Thomas sold land in 1654, which he stated he "had inherited from his father Nicholas Danforth deceased." The wills of sons Thomas and Samuel connect them, and Samuel mentions brothers Thomas and Jonathan. Rev. Jonathan Mitchell, in his records, makes not of the marriage of Andrew Belcher and Elizabeth, the daugher of the late Nicholas Danforth on 1 Oct 1639, and says that Anna, wife of Matthew Bridge, was also a daughter. Daughter "Lydia" is one of the children of "Nicholas and Elizabeth Danforthe" baptized at Framlingham, 24 May 1625.
~Danforth Genealogy, pp. 4-5
Nicholas married Elizabeth Barber.605 (Elizabeth died in 1628 in Framlingham, Suffolk, England and was buried on 22 Feb 1628 in Framlingham, Suffolk, England 605.)