The Tentative Ancestry of Richard Edgerton
The parentage of Richard Edgerton remains uncertain. The tentative ancestry presented here is provided by Brian G. Edgerton, of Idaho Falls, ID, as compiled from the joint research of himself, L. Welch Pogue, Robert C. Edgerton, Duncan W. Harrington, Michael J. Edgerton, and Sally Edgerton Adam (among others).
The documented roots of the Egerden family of Wye, County Kent, England go back to the early part of the sixteenth century. Rychard Egerden was born there in the hamlet of Brook, Ashford Parish say 1519. He is said to have had two siblings, a brother William, and a sister Godlyffe. The former may have been the “Willyam Egerdon”, whose son Willyam was christened at the Wye Parish Church on February 28, 1540/1 [see Church of England: Wye Parish Registers; FHL #1836327, item #13 – hereafter cited as WPR]. The sister, Godlyffe Egerden, was married to John Allin at the Wye Parish Church on September 23, 1548 [WPR]. A number of other Egerdens were mentioned in the subsequent parish records of Wye and Brook, however their connection to the direct line presented here has not been determined. It would appear that members of the family resided throughout the parish of Wye, as well as in the neighboring villages of Brook, Brabourne and Faversham.
There are indications, though unconfirmed, that the Egerden family may have resided in Wye for three or four generations at this time. Records obtained by Duncan Harrington of Harrington Research Services (Folkestone, County Kent, England) noted the name of “Richard Egerden” in reference to a rental of the Manor of Wye circa 1452-54. This Richard may have been a grandfather or other paternal relation of Rychard Egerden.
There is no record of Rychard Egerden’s wife, and only one son has currently been traced:
Rychard Egerden died three months prior to his son’s birth. He was buried at the Wye Parish Church on March 7, 1538/9, the parish record reading: “Rychard Egerton was buryed ye vii day of marche 1538” [WPR]. (Note: Surrounding entries on this page, together with the posthumous birth of Rychard’s son in May or June of 1539, make it certain that the year recorded as “1538” represented old-style dating.) There is no further mention in the Wye Parish Registers of Rychard’s widow. It is very probable that she was remarried sometime shortly after Rychard’s death. Unfortunately, marriage records for the Wye Parish Church did not commence until the year 1545, thus post-dating any probable remarriage.
Richard2 Egerden was the only known son of Rychard1 Egerden. He was christened at the Parish Church in Wye on June 5, 1539, the parish record reading: “Richard Egerden the Son of Rychard was baptized on the fyth day of June Ano ” [WPR]. Richard was a tanner by trade and resided in the village of Brook throughout his life. The parish of Brook was formed from the larger parish of Wye in the 1560’s. Thus, while Richard was christened at the Wye Parish Church, all subsequent records of his family are found in the registers of the Brook Parish Church [see Brook Parish Registers; Bishops Transcripts, Volume 30; FHL #1751592, item #5 – hereafter cited as BPR]. Richard was listed as a “Sideman” in the Brook Parish Register under the year 1581 [BPR, pg. 16].
Richard Egerden was married twice. By his first wife, Tamson (Thomasine), he is known to have had at least four children (possibly others who died young):
The burial of Richard’s first wife was recorded in the Brook Parish Registers as follows: “Tamson Egerdon the wiffe of Richard Egerdon was buried the 6th day of September 1604” [BPR, pg. 38]. On the same page of the parish register was entered Richard’s remarriage, that is: “Richard Egerden and Elizabeth Wiggent were married the 9th day of April 1605” [BPR, pg. 38]. Richard and his second wife had two children – twins:
Richard Egerden died in the village of Brook in December 1609, and was buried at the Brook Parish Church on December 31st of that year [BPR, pg. 43]. He left a Last Will and Testament, dated October 28, 1609, which was proved on January 18th of the following year [see Canterbury Probate Records. Archdeaconry Court: Register of Wills. Vol. 56, 1605 – 1618; pp. 354 – 358, FHL #0188954]. A subsequent codicil to the will was dated December 25, 1609, thus placing Richard’s death sometime between then and December 31st when he was buried, as aforementioned. Richard’s will mentioned his wife, “Elizabeth Egerden”, and five surviving children, “Michaell Egerden my soone”, “my daughter Joane nowe William Higgensons wyfe”, “Ffrancis Egerden my youngest daughter”, “Gregorye Egerden my eldest soone”, and “William Egerden my youngest soone”, as well as two grandsons, “Richard Egerden soone of the saide Gregorye” and “John Egerden my soone Gregoryes second soone”. Also mentioned in the will was a “Thomasine Beers”, but her relationship (if any) to the Egerden family is not known. According to Duncan Harrington, there was “quite a family squabble” over Richard’s will.
Gregory3 Egerden, son of Richard Egerden and his first wife, Tamson, was born in Brook, County Kent probably in September or October 1571. He was christened at the Brook Parish Church on October 8, 1571 [BPR, pg. 6]. Gregory lived in the village of Brook his entire life, and like his father, followed the tanner’s trade. Gregory was active in the Brook Parish Church and served both as a “Sideman” (1598) and a churchwarden (1600, 1602) [BPR, pp. 31, 34, 35]. Gregory’s marriage was recorded in the Brook Parish Registers as follows: “Gregorie Egerdon and Elisabeth [---]don were married the third day of februarye 1596” [BPR, pg. 28]. Unfortunately, a blot obliterates much of Elizabeth’s surname. (The first letter appears to be an “E” or a “C” and the last three letters are clearly “don”; three or four letters in between are entirely illegible.)
Gregory and Elizabeth Egerden had five known children:
Gregory Egerden died in the village of Brook, County Kent in August of 1618, and was buried there on August 16th of that year [BPR, pg. 51]. He left a Last Will and Testament, dated August 15, 1618, which was proved on September 5, 1618 [see Canterbury Probate Records. Archdeaconry Court: Register of Wills. Vol. 56, 1605 – 1618; pp. 73 – 74, FHL #0188954]. Gregory’s will mentioned the following heirs: “Elizabeth my wyfe”, “my soone Richard Egerden”, “my soone John Egerden”, “Elizabeth Egerden my daughter”, and “Jane my daughter”. No record has been found of the burial of Gregory’s wife, Elizabeth.
Richard4 Egerden, son of Gregory and Elizabeth Egerden, was born in the village of Brook, and was christened at the Brook Parish Church on August 21, 1597 [BPR, pg. 29]. Richard resided in Brook, and was married on January 11, 1618/9, to Ellen Strood [see Bishop’s Transcripts; Saint Mary Northgate, Canterbury, England]. Ellen’s parentage has not been ascertained. She may have been related to James Stroode, who had a number of children christened at the Brook Parish Church in the 1580’s and 1590’s [BPR, pp. 17, 21, 26].
Richard and Ellen Egerden had two children:
“Ellen, wife of Richard Egerden” was buried at Brook, Ashford Parish on February 20, 1625/6. Richard was remarried on September 23, 1627 at Ashford Parish to Mrs. Joan Harlocke (aka. “Hearlock”), a widow. Richard Egerden died sometime prior to January 14, 1640/1, when his widow, “Joan Egerden”, was remarried at Ashford parish to Nicholas Edgoare (or “Edgererr”), of Orleston parish.
Richard5 Egerden, son of Richard and Ellen (Strood) Egerden, was born in the village of Brook, County Kent and was christened at the Brook Parish Church on November 22, 1622 [BPR, pg. 56]. Richard’s mother died when he was very young (three years old), and his father died prior to January 1640/1. There is no further record of this Richard Egerden in the Brook parish registers, and it is suspected that he was the Richard Edgerton “of Ashford Parish, Kent” who later emigrated to America and became the progenitor of the Connecticut Edgerton family. There is a growing amount of circumstantial evidence to support this theory; however, to date no direct documention of such has been found. For further details on this possible connection, see the biography of Richard Edgerton of Norwich, Connecticut.