The "Records" arrive in America

I just love researching this stuff! I don't always know what I'm looking for, but almost everyday I dig up something interesting (to me). Today's puzzle piece was a long time coming - I finally found the origins of the Record family name in America.... 

Giles Rickards (original spelling) and his wife Judith Cogan came from Somerset, England and were part of the Great Migration of Puritans to New England, circa 1620-1640. 

Immigration from England

During this time period, immigrants who settled in New England were quite different than those who immigrated to Virginia. Here some interesting facts taken from About the Great Migration by Lynn Betlock:

Religious, prosperous families

"Unlike colonists to other areas, those who migrated to New England had known relatively prosperous lives in England. In fact, it was a greater economic risk to leave than to stay... [They desired] the opportunity to live more pious and worthy lives in a Puritan commonwealth.

Motivated primarily by religious concerns, most Great Migration colonists traveled to Massachusetts in family groups..." [as opposed to typical colonists in Virginia who were young, single males].

Educated and highly skilled 

"New Englanders had a high level of literacy, perhaps nearly twice that of England as a whole. New Englanders were highly skilled; more than half of the settlers had been artisans or craftsmen. Only about seventeen percent came as servants, mostly as members of a household. In contrast, seventy-five percent of Virginia’s population arrived as servants. And in much greater proportion than the English population as a whole, New England settlers came from urban areas."

Settled in towns and became proprietors

"Once in New England, the settlers usually spent a minimum of several weeks — frequently the entire first winter — in the port town at which they arrived or another established town. After gathering information about possible places to settle, they dispersed to towns throughout the colony, sometimes moving several times before finding permanent residences. Most chose to move to a new town, generally one less than two years old. The key to success was arriving early enough after a town’s founding to become a proprietor and share in the original land distribution, administered and controlled by the town. Proprietors received the best and largest land grants, as well as rights to share in future divisions. This share in future land divisions was extremely important to the settlers because it ensured viable economic futures for their children.

In order to best secure these rights, towns limited the number of possible proprietors. Once the limit was reached, the town was considered closed."

A Puritan Family

Additional resources

About the Great Migration

Plymouth Colony

Also from this time period: Anne Bradstreet



p style="text-align: justify;">