Friday, August 16, 2013


1635.IMMIGRANT JUDITH PHIPPEN.Indentured Servant

From 1630 through 1640 approximately 20,000 English colonists came to New England.  Among these immigrants were all sixteen of Lucy Whitney [Jonathan] Dart’s great-great grandparents who settled in Middlesex, Massachusetts including the Whitney’s, Perham’s, Shipley’s, Blodgett’s, Simonds’, Hall’s, Davis’ and the Tarbell’s (who arrived in 1644). 

This Great Migration generation included my 10th great grandmother, sixteen-year old Judith Phippen who gained passage on The Winthrop Fleet’s ship The Planter, sailing out of London in April, 1635 as one of four servants (including future husband, James Haieward, 22) indentured to Nicholas Davies.  Upon the completion of their seven years of indentured service to Davies*, Judith and James were married for only about a year before James’ death in 1642.  [*Other accounts note them as married on board the ship or a year after arrival, both less likely due to the typical restrictions of indentureship at that time.]

Unlike colonial Virginia where indentured servants filled the needs of a large, expanding workforce to develop the tobacco industry, early Massachusetts was the destination for many Puritans and other religious dissenters who wished to escape English persecution and freely practice their beliefs.  It was not uncommon in the 1630’s for whole families to transplant their English roots in colonial soil.  Those of financial means were able to contract, or indenture, young men and women who were willing to ‘work off’ their expensive travel costs through unpaid service of typically four to seven years, after which they were free to begin a new life in New England. 

It should be noted that, as indentured servants, Judith and James were considered the ‘personal property’ of  Master Davies.  As such, they ran the risk of extended servitude by marrying or having children before their contract expired.  Since they sailed in the spring of 1635 and their only child was born at the end of 1642, it can be assumed that they were indentured for seven years.  Sadly, James would not live to see the birth of his baby, Rebecca, who was born only two weeks following his untimely death.

Fortuitously, the twenty-one year old widow and new mother soon married another immigrant, widower William Simonds, on January 18, 1643 in Woburn, Massachusetts.  William also arrived in 1635 and gained his freeman status four years later (although one source suggests that he only gained that status in 1670 after some years of discord with the town government regarding voter rights and the Woburn church regarding his Baptist views).  Nevertheless, he served as town officer, paid taxes, and together with Judith raised a large family of twelve including my 9th ggmother, Huldah.  According to one source:
Caption reads: "The Cutler House, Woburn
This house must be at least 200 years old, but the exact date
cannot be ascertained with certainty.  In 1759 it was owned by
Benj. Simmands [Simonds], and here the Episcopal Society held
their services.  It is now owned by Jesse Cutler, and is the
only old house in which a genuine old fashioned diamond-
paned window is still to be seen." (c) 1880 E. Whitefield
 He settled on Upstreet at a place called Dry Brook, located about a mile and a half north west from the center of town. He built a house on his property about 1670 which was one of the longest standing in Woburn after the Baldwin mansion. It was “a good specimen of the second period of architecture in New England. It had a large brick chimney in the center, was of two stories, and had a gable roof…That the house was new when William Simonds died [in 1672], seems apparent, that from his indebtedness to Sergeant John Wyman for seven windows at four schillings a piece”(Cutter 1908). The house of "Widdo Simons" was used as a garrison house during King Philip's War, and eventually passed, it appears, to his son James. The family homestead remained in the family for almost two hundred years, passing at the death of Luther5 Simonds (Caleb4, James3-2, William1) to his widow, Bathsheba (Hayward) Simonds, in 1792 and from her to her second husband Nathan5 Simonds (Benjamin4-3-2, William1) and finally to their only daughter, Lucy (Simonds) Barnard, in 1827. (Johnson [1889], 5-6; Cutter 1908).

Huldah’s sister Judith was an ancestor of the poet Emily Dickinson, rocket scientist Robert Goddard, and a founder of the ACLU, Roger Baldwin.  Their brother James was the great grandfather of “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman.

Judith Phippen 1635 indentured servant (1618 - 1689)
is your 10th great grandmother-as widow of James Hayward, married (2) William Simonds
Huldah Simonds (1660 - 1745)
daughter of Judith Phippen (Hayward) 1635 indentured servant
William Blodgett Dr. (1686 - 1751)
son of Huldah Simonds
Anne Blodgett (1714 - 1819) [or Amy Blodgett]
daughter of William Blodgett Dr.
Lucy Whitney (1739 - 1844)
daughter of Anne Blodgett
Timothy Dort/Dart (1756 - 1814)
son of Lucy Whitney
Titus DORT (1777 - 1844)
son of Timothy Dort/Dart
Titus Dort . (1806 - 1879)
son of Titus DORT
Andrew Jackson Dort (1837 - 1905)
son of Titus Dort & my great-great grandfather


  1. Thank you for this article. I am working on a genealogy for somebody that Judith Phippen is the eighth great grandmother of. I was immediately interested Judith Phippen's story when I found out that as a 16 year old she came to America as an indentured servant. What an adventure for such a young girl, but I thought that was all I would know about her until I found your blog. It was very helpful that you listed the name of her first husband. Some of the entries didn't make sense until I read your blog. But the best part of the story in your blog was to get know a little more about how her life went. It sounds like she must have experienced some prosperity if her second husband could have built such a nice house.

    1. Dave- I appreciate your comments and hope my work helps you. (One of the sources used came from "Book of the Lockes: a genealogical and historical record of the descendants of William Locke, of Woburn." p.9.) Judith was the first 'indentured servant' I discovered in my family's history -but, as my research continued, I learned that it was a type of 'business agreement' that allowed many immigrants to experience "The American Dream."

  2. Hey, I'm Hailie and is also my 10th Great-Grandmother of Judith (Phippen) Simmons. I though am descendant of Mary (Simmons) Chandler. I was very curious about Judith and came across your post. I would love to know more about Your side of our grand family as it seems if you'd like to know about mine. I hope we can talk since it seems this is my only way of asking. If you don't I understand, weird kid saying they're family but I can give you more information if you wish. Thank you, Hailie.