ORIGIN: Henlow, Bedfordshire

MIGRATION: 1620 on the Mayflower


REMOVES: Duxbury

FREEMAN: In the "1633" Plymouth list of freemen Henry Samson ap­pears immediately after two men admitted on 5 January 1635/6, and before a man admitted on 2 March 1635/6 [PCR 1 :4]. In the 7 March 1636/7 list of freemen [PCR 1 :53]. In the Duxbury section of the Plymouth Colony lists of 1639, 1658 and 29 May 1670 [PCR 5:275, 8:175, 198].

EDUCATION: He signed his will and his deeds by mark. His inventory included "arms, wearing clothes and library" valued at £4 10s [MD 2:143].

OFFICES: Plymouth grand jury, 1 June 1641, 6 June 1649, 4 June 1650, 2 October 1650, 7 June 1659, 1 June 1663 [PCR 2:16, 140, 155, 162, 3:162, 4:37]. Petit jury, 5 November 1644, 4 June 1645, 7 July 1646, 7 June 1649, 7 October 1651, 2 March 1651/2, 5 October 1652, 7 March 1653/4, 4 Octo­ber 1655, 3 March 1662/3, 25 October 1668, 29 October 1670 [PCR 7:38, 41, 42, 46, 56, 58, 62, 70, 75, 108, 150, 163]. Coroner's jury, 8 December 1669 on the body of John Paybody [PCR 5:29].

Duxbury constable, 4 June 1661 [PCR 3:215]. Tax collector, 5 June 1667, 3 June 1668 [PCR 4:150, 183]. Arbitor, 2 May 1648, 4 October 1648 [PCR 2:122, 135]. Surveyor, 29 October 1649, 10 June 1650 [PCR 2:147, 160]. 

On 7 June 1637, he volunteerd for the Pequot War [PCR 1:61].  In the Duxbury section of the 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:189]. His inventory included "arms, wearing clothes and library" valued at £4 10s [MD 2:143].


ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth division of land "Henerie Samson" received one acre as a passenger on the Mayflower [PCR 12:4]. In the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle "Henri Samson" is the fifth person in the fifth company [PCR 12: 10].

On 1 January 1637/8 Henry Samson received a grant of the "overplus on the south side of the lands besides Henry Rowland's three shares" [PCR 1 :72]. On 6 April 1640 he was granted the common lying at the head of his lot [PCR 1:144]. On 2 November 1640, Henry Samson received fifty acres with some meadow at the North River [PCR 1:165)

Prior to 26 October 1647, Kenelm Winslow had sold some land to "Henry Sampson" [PCR 2:119]. On 27 October 1647, Ephraim Tinkham and Mary his wife sold to "Henry Sampson of Duxborough" one-third part of a lot that had belonged to Peter Browne in Duxbury [PCR 12:146).

Henry Samson was one of the fifty-eight purchasers [PCR 2:177]. On 3 October 1662 and 8 June 1664 he was one of the men allowed to look for lands [PCR 4:27, 67). On 7 June 1665 he was on the list of those with lands granted to them on the westerly side of Namasskett River "for his children" [PCR 4:94, 5:5]. On 2 July 1667, Henry Samson was granted liberty to "look out land to accommodate his children" [PCR 4:160).

On 24 December l668, "Henery Samson" of Duxbury sold to Edward Gray of Plymouth Lot #19 at Namassakett [PCLR 3:237). On 17 April 1682 Henry Samson of Duxbury, yeoman, sold to Seth Pope of Dartmouth, cooper, "all that my seven acres of meadowland which was my interest in the undivided meadows at Cokesett" in Dartmouth [PCLR 5:207). On 18 December 1684 Henry Samson of Duxbury, yeoman, sold to Joseph Russell of Dartmouth, husbandman, "all that my fifty acres of upland" in Dartmouth, with four acres and a half of meadow adjoining, with "one-eighth part of one whole share of undivided land excepting 25 acres and one-thirtieth part of undivided land already sold out of the said eighth part of undivided lands" [PCLR 5:292].

In his will, dated 24 December 1684 and proved 5 March 1684/5, "Henery Sampson of Duxburrow" bequeathed to "my son Stephen one-third part of my whole purchase of land lying and being in the township of Dartmouth"; to "my son John one-thirds of my whole purchase of lands lying and being within the township of Dartmouth"; to "my son James the remaining part of the other third of my land lying within the township of Dartmouth" (part of this third having been sold to Joseph Russell, the proceeds of which went to James); to "my son James one shilling"; to "my son Caleb one shilling"; to "my daughter now the wife of Roberd Sprout one shilling"; to "my daughter Hannah now the wife of Josias Holmes one shilling"; to "my daughter now the wife of John Hanmore ten shillings"; to "Mary my daughter now the wife of John Summers one shilling"; to "my daughter Dorcas now the wife of Thomas Bony one shilling"; son Stephen to be executor; "my trusty and honored friend Mr. Wiswall" to be overseer [MD 2:142-43, citing PCPR 4:2:94-95].

The inventory of the "estate of the late deceased Henery Sampson of Duxberrow" was taken 24 February 1684/5 and totalled £106 14s., including "land in Dartmouth" valued at £70 [MD 2: 143-44, citing PCPR 4:2:95].

BIRTH: Baptized Henlow, Bedfordshire, 15 January 1603/4, son of James and Martha (Cooper) Samson [TAG 52:207].

DEATH: Duxbury between 24 December 1684 (date of will) and 5 March 1684/5 (probate of will).

MARRIAGE: Plymouth 6 February 1635/6 ANNE PLUMMER [PCR 1:36]. She died after 24 December 1668 [PCLR 3:237] and before 24 December 1684 (date of husband's will).


  1. STEPHEN SAMSON, b. say 1638; m. by 1686 Elizabeth __ (eldest child, son Benjamin, d. Kingston 19 April 1758 in 72nd year) [MFIP Samson 10-11, 27].
  2. JOHN SAMSON, b. say 1640; d. between 1702 and 1718, unmarried [TAG 28:5].
  3. ELIZABETH SAMSON, b. say 1642; m. by 1662 Robert Sprout (eldest child b. Scituate 15 July 1662).
  4. JAMES SAMSON, b. say 1644; m. by 1679 Hannah (_) Wait, widow of Samuel Wait [MF 20:1:7-8].
  5. HANNAH SAMSON, b. say 1646; m. Duxbury 20 March 1665[/6?] Josiah Holmes.
  6. Daughter SAMSON, b. say 1648; m. by 1682 (but probably some years earlier) John Hanmore [MF 20:1:5].
  7. MARY SAMSON, b. say 1650; m. by 1684 (but probably some years earlier) John Summers [MF 20:1:5-6].
  8. DORCAS SAMSON, b. say 1652; m. by 1684 (but probably some years earlier) Thomas Bonney [MF 20:1:6-7], son of THOMAS BONNEY [GM 2:1:340-43].
  9. CALEB SAMSON, b. say 1654; m. (1) by about 1686 Mercy Standish, daughter of Alexander Standish (eldest child b. about 1686 [MFIP Samson 27]; in his will of 21 February 1701/2 Alexander Standish made a bequest to "Mercy Samson the wife of Caleb Samson" [MD 12:101, citing PPR 1:362]); m. (2) Duxbury 30 January 1728/9 Rebecca (Bartlett) (Bradford) Stanford, daughter of Benjamin Bartlett and widow of William Bradford and Robert Stanford [MF 20:1:9-10].

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Leigh Ward's article outlines the connections among EDWARD TILLEY [PM 461], JOHN TILLEY [PM 462], HUMILITY COOPER [PM 156] and Henry Samson [TAG 52: 198-208].

COMMENTS: Bradford says the passengers on the Mayflower included "Edward Tilley and Ann, his wife, and two children that were their cousins, Henery Samson and Humility Cooper" [Bradford 442], and in his accounting of 1651 he tells us that "the youth Henry Sampson is still living and is married and hath seven children" [Bradford 446].

There are very few chronological clues to help us in arranging the children of Henry Samson. There were nine children and we know from Bradford that seven of them were born by 1651. The daughter known to be married was Elizabeth, who had a child born in 1662, and Hannah was married just a few years later. As Elizabeth and Hannah are listed first and second among the daughters in their father's will, it may be that he named them in birth order. In the absence of other guideposts, we will make the same assumption about the sons. Thus, the birth order of the children presented above derives from these assumptions, placing the children at approximately two-year intervals after the marriage of Henry Samson. This is certainly not the only possible arrangement, but it is consistent with the available evidence. On 5 January 1640/1 Henry Samson was assigned the remainder of Phillip Davis's indenture from John Cooke. Davis was to serve Samson for the remainder of the eleven years and two months since Davis's arrival in New England [PCR 2:6].

BIBUOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1952 Florence Barclay studied the family of Henry Samson, and arrived at some useful conclusions, with special emphasis on his son Caleb [TAG 28:5-8].

In 1976 Robert Leigh Ward published records which demonstrated the parentage of Henry Samson, and his likely connection with EDWARD and JOHN TILLEY, through the wife of the former [TAG 52:198-208]. In 1980 Ward added to Samson's ancestry by identifying his grandfather [TAG 56:141-43], and in 1985 he further extended the ancestry of this group of immigrants [TG 6:166-86].

In 2000 the Five Generations Project of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants published its account of the first four generations of descendants of Henry Samson, compiled by Robert Moody Sherman and Ruth Wilder Sherman and edited by Robert S. Wakefield [MF 20:1].

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