Category Archives: Giddings

The Ancestry of George Giddings of Ipswich, MA – 1635

In a post a couple of months ago, I wrote about some of the ancestors from whom I have at least a double descent. One of the comments left on the post about George Giddings was from Susan, whose husband is also descended from George Giddings, who left England about April in 1635 for Massachusetts. Susan mentioned that she had information about George’s wife’s family, who has been well documented and published, but requested that I write about George’s origins.

First, although I had read accounts published long, long ago about George Giddings, I have had the fortune of having several of my early colonial lines treated in the New England Historical and  Genealogical Register. David L. Greene published a thorough account about George’s origins in an article titled, appropriately enough, “The English Origin of George Giddings of Ipswich, Massachusetts.” (NEHGR 135: 274-286.)

This post will only contain the bare bones data about George’s parents and grandparents. For an in-depth look at the family, I refer you to Mr. Greene’s article.

George Gidding (found without the “s” in earlier generations) was baptized on 24 September 1609 in Clapham, Bedfordshire, England. Mention is made in the NEHGR article about another George Giddings born in 1607 (cousin to this George), but evidence indicates that it was George of Ipswich who married Jane Lawrence and emigrated to the colonies. Jane was baptized on 18 December 1614 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. If George and Jane had a child or children born in England between their 20 February 1633 marriage at St. Albans and their departure in April 1635, he/she/they did not survive long enough to make the voyage. All of their eight known children were born in Massachusetts, probably in Ipswich.

Their children were:

1. Thomas, born about 1638; died 19 June 1681
2. Lt. John, born bout 1639; died before 3 March 1690; married Sarah Alcock
3. James, born about 1641; married Elizabeth Andrews
4. Samuel, born about 1645; married Hannah Martin
5. Joseph, born about 1647; married Susannah Rindge
6. Rebecca, born about 1648;
7. Abigail, born about 1650; married Samuel Dutch
8. Mary, born about 1652; married Samuel Pierce

Much information about George, Jane and their children has been published through the years. Not until the 1981 NEHGR article, though, were George’s parents and paternal grandparents identified.

George Giddings’ parents were John Gidding and Joan Purrier, daughter of Thomas and Isabel (MNU) Purrier, also of Clapham. Thomas Purrier died there before 28 April 1629, the date his will was proved. Isabel was the widow of John Tilbrooke when she married Thomas Purrier on 16 January 1586 at Oakley; she was buried at Clapham on 13 December 1621.

John and Joan married on 20 January 1607/08, also in the Clapham village church. Mr. Greene noted in his article that nothing has been proven on Joan Purrier Gidding’s ancestry beyond the names of her parents.

George’s father, John, was born about 1584 and was buried at Clapham on 19 February 1619/20, dying at the young age, even for that time, of roughly 35 years. George’s mother married (2) Robert Phage on 3 September 1620, again at Clapham. She had two more children with Robert: Thomas, baptized on 18 October 1621 and William, baptized on 30 October 1625, but buried only one day later. Thomas Phage was mentioned in the 1630 will of his aunt, Elizabeth Gidding.

Four children are recorded at Clapham for John and Joan (Purrier) Gidding:

1. George, the Ipswich settler, baptized 24 September 1609
2. Mary, baptized 2 February 1611/12; buried 19 October 1625, both recorded at Clapham
3. Martha, baptized 14 August 1614
4. Rebecca, baptized 10 October 1619

Both Martha and Rebecca are mentioned in the will of their Aunt Elizabeth, whose estate was probated on 30 December 1630.

George Gidding’s grandfather was Michael Gidding, born about 1550-1560. He was buried at Oakley Church on 2 April 1615, although the record was recorded at Clapham. Oakley is nearby to Clapham and Clapham had no burying ground of its own. Michael’s wife was Catherine, who was buried on 14 February 1625/26. Like her husband, her burial was recorded in Clapham, but she was actually buried in Oakley.

Michael and Catherine Gidding had the following children:

1. Henry, born about 1580. He was buried on 18 March 1616/17 at Oakley. He married Elizabeth Russell on 15 October 1604 in Oakley, Bedfordshire.
2. Joan, who married who married William Savage on 21 May 1604 at Clapham.
2. John, born about 1584 and father of immigrant George Giddings.
3. Robert, dates unknown, but his father left two pence to the two children of his son Robert.
4. William, mentioned in his father’s will and William’s daughter was mentioned in the 1630 will of his sister, Elizabeth.
5. James, mentioned in his father’s will, but not that of sister Elizabeth.
6. Elizabeth, who was buried on 30 December 1630. She was unmarried.
7. Richard, born about 1595. He married Mary Whitman on 22 June 1620. He might be the Richard Gidding buried on 29 April 1657, recorded in Clapham records. A Widow Gidding is found in the same records buried on 21 April 1660.

Michael Gidding and wife Catherine and their son, John Gidding, plus Isabel’s first husband, John Tilbrooke and Thomas Purrier all left wills. All of these documents have been transcribed and are included in the NEHGR article, which goes into great detail about this family.

If you have New England ancestors,, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, is a subscription site well worth considering.