English Origins of Samuel Scripture (1650-1720+)???

Samuel Scripture, born about 1650 and died after 1720, probably in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, is the progenitor of all the Scriptures in the United States, as far as I can determine. I am one of those descendants:

Samuel Scripture & Elizabeth Knapp
Samuel Scripture & Elizabeth Lund
Samuel Scripture & Mary Green
James Scripture & Sibbel Shepley
Oliver Scripture & Mary Goddard Bucknam
Mary Elizabeth Scripture & George Rogers Tarbox
Nellie F. Tarbox & Calvin Segee Adams
Charles Edwin Adams & Annie Maude Stewart
Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – ME!

However, no one has been able to positively identify the English origins of Samuel Scripture. For many years, a question mark  was used as a place holder.

By the 1990’s, several researchers were beginning to look more closely at the few records that Samuel produced in his lifetime. I think there are definitely a few clues there.

Samuel Scripture deposed in April 1669 in Middlesex County, Massachusetts that he was 19 years old and was a servant to Samuel Davis.

Volume 2:87
Source: American Ancestors

Samuel Davis was an original proprietor of the town of Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, where Samuel Scripture eventually settled. Samuel Davis was the son of Barnaby Davis, baptized on 26 June 1629 in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.

Source: FamilySearch

I’ve seen another statement online that Samuel Scripture also stated (someplace?) that he also served John Swinerton in Nevis for four years. That would place him in the Caribbean as a young teen, if true.

There are also Swinertons to be found in the early 1600s in Tetbury.

Tetbury – Pinned
Source: Google Maps

How did he link up with Davis and Swinerton at such a young age? My guess would be that they lived in the same general area in England, but that church registers for the needed years are missing.

It has also been noted that the Scripture surname appears in Shropshire and Somersetshire.

English Counties
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In terms of miles, neither Shropshire nor Somerset are very far from Gloucestershire, which sits right in the middle between the two of them.

However, no sign of Samuel Scripture has been found in either of those counties.

Question for all the Scripture descendants out there – Are you aware of any further research that has been done in Gloucestershire that might support the theory that it was home to Samuel Scripture?

I know little about the availability of records in this time period in England. Are there resources which perhaps have never been checked?

The few clues that Samuel Scripture left, about his indentured servitude and his home in Massachusetts (Groton, home to Samuel Davis) seem to point towards an English origin near Tetbury.





3 thoughts on “English Origins of Samuel Scripture (1650-1720+)???”

  1. Hi Linda. We may well be (extremely distant) cousins, as I, too, am descended from the various Samuel Scriptures. I can fill in a few holes later on; the family settled in Mason, NH, quite early on (2 Samuels fought at Bunker Hill and listed their home as Mason) and although some doubtless moved on, some remained. My grandfather, Edward Wheeler Scripture, was born in Mason in 1864. He later came to England and was 70 when my father was born, in 1934. My father was an only child, as am I (born in 1961). I have only daughters, so we’re pretty much gone over here now. I live in London, so can easily go to Gloucestershire to look up records. However, every village had a church, towns would have several, and record-keeping wasn’t always great. Added to this, many records were stored at the National Registry Office at Somerset House in London, which was bombed during WWll, so it’s not always easy. If you have any way of narrowing the field, I’m happy to go to have a look. I believe that a Samuel Scripture married in NH in 1642 or 1649, so that would put him a few years older, and he was an indentured servant (so basically a slave for a fixed term) in the UK, which is how he ended up in the US. I’ll dig around a bit.

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