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ROBERT REYNOLDS [#578], b. abt. 1580, d. Boston, MA 27 Apr 1659, m. abt. 1610 MARY ____, d. Boston, MA 18 Jan 1663.

It is believed that Robert Reynolds came to America from Nayland, Suffolk, England in the fleet with Governor Wintrop in 1630.[1] Evidence is not given but Rev. Moses T. Runnels in his Runnels-Reynolds Family writes, "from well authenticated 'private records of long ago', Robert is known to have been in Boston in 1632".[2/10] Speculation on these private records is that they were documents that had been taken from state records for someone's private collection and that Runnels was allowed to use them as long as he didn't reveal the source. Robert was certainly in Boston by 1634 as on August 10 of that year he was admitted to membership in the First Church of Boston and was made a freeman September 13, 1634.

On Dec. 14, 1635 a Robert Reynolds was allotted 25 acres of meadowland in Watertown near what is now the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. On May 29, 1635 he was dismissed from the church at Watertown to the new church at what became Wethersfield, CT. It is believed that this man was our ancestor Robert and that late in 1635 or early in 1636 he returned to Boston where he spent the remainder of his life. His daughter Mary joined the First Church of Boston on October 4, 1645.[1] There was also a John Reynolds who left Watertown to go to Wethersfield in 1635. He appears often in the records while there is only a minor mention of Robert at Wethersfield April 26, 1636. A Robert Reynolds died there in 1662.[2/17] It is possible he was the Robert from the 1636 record but more likely another man. He was certainly not the ancestor as our Robert's later life was clearly documented in Boston up to his death in 1659.

Robert was a cordwainer (or shoe maker). His homelot was on what is now the southeast corner of Milk and Washington Streets, He afterward divided this into several lots, on one of which Benjamin Franklin was born January 6, 1705, while the lot was still owned by the Reynolds family. In 1638 and 1641 Robert Reynolds was granted land at Muddy River (now Brookline), and in 1640 he was granted land on Hogg Island. His name is often found in records of land transfers, as witness to legal papers, appraiser of estates, etc. On Aug. 18, 1653 he sold his original grant of 25 acres of land in Watertown.[1]

Under the date of November 14, 1653, Captain Robert Keayne willed him 20 shillings for testifying for him for suits about a hog in 1636 and again in 1642, tried before the General Court. "This sow business" aroused such hot contention within the dignified General Court that the Magistrates forthwith split apart from the Assistants (Deputies) and sat seperately. The two legislative houses never again consolidated and the Magistrates in time became the State Senate and the others, the Lower House of the Massachusetts Legislature. Robert Reynolds was elected sealer of Leather in 1657 but did not serve. His will, dated April 20, 1658, was proved July 27, 1659. Inventory of the estate amounted to 336.19.10.[1]

REF: [1] The Warner-Harrington Ancestry - Frederick Warner, 1949
     [2] The History of Robert Reynolds - Marion H. Reynolds, 1928


1. Ruth, b. Eng. abt. 1622, d. Watertown, MA between 1692
   and 1706, m. Boston, MA 1642 John Whitney, b. Eng. abt.
   1620, d. Watertown 12 Oct 1692
2. Tabitha, b. Eng. abt. 1625, d. Boston, MA May 1661, m. 1646
   Matthew Abdey (or Abbey)
3. Nathaniel, b. Eng. abt. 1627, d. Bristol, RI 10 Jul 1708,
   m(1) 30 Dec 1657 Sarah Dwight, b. 1638, d. 1663, m(2) 1664-5
   Priscilla Bracket
4. Sarah, b. Eng. abt. 1629, d. 1684-1706, m. 1653 Robert Mason,
   d. abt. Jan 1679-80
5. Mary, b. abt. 1630, d. after 1711, m. 1649 Richard Sanger,
   b. abt. 1620, d. 1691

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