Tilden Documentation


This page updated: 8/3/2005

Tilden (Eng): One who came from Tillingdown (Tilmund’s Hill), in Surrey; or from Tilden (Tila’s Valley), in Kent. (New Dictionary of American Family Names, by Elsdon C. Smith, published by Harper & Row, 1973)

Nathaniel Tilden was baptized in Tenterden, County Kent, 28 July 1583, the son of Thomas and Alice (Biggs) Tilden. Background on his family is given in NEHGR 65:322, 75:226, and 114:153. Tilden came to New England in the Hercules 1634-35 accompanied by his wife Lydia (Huckstep), seven children, and seven servants. He settled in Scituate and he probably died there between may and July 1641. All the children of Nathaniel and Lydia Tilden were born in England, five dying there prior to the family’s departure. The children were Thomas, who died young; Mary, who married Thomas Lapham; Joseph, who died young; Sarah who married George Sutton; Joseph, who married Alice or Elizabeth Twisden; Stephen, who died young; Thomas, who married Elizabeth (Bourne) Waterman; Judith, who married Abraham Preble; Winifred, who died young; Lydia, who died young; Lydia who married Richard Garrett; and Stephen, who married Hannah Little. Mary and Sarah were married on the same day, 13 March 1636-37 (NEHGR 9:286), and their husbands were Tilden’s servants. After his death, his widow Lydia married Timothy Hatherly. Elizabeth French shows in NEHGR 70:256 that Lydia (Huckstep) (Tilden) Hatherly was a cousin of Thomas Hatch, q.v., who also came to New England in the Hercules and settled at Scituate. Tilden was of the gentry and addressed as “Mr.”, and he was one of the wealthier Scituate residents. He dated his will 25 May 1641, inventory 31 July 1641, and he names his wife Lydia and his children Stephen; Lydia; Joseph; Thomas; Judith; Mary, the wife of Thomas Lapham; and Sarah, the wife of George Sutton; and he also mentioned two indentured servants, Edward Jenkins and Edward Tarte. (MD 3:220) (Plymouth Colony Biographical Sketches)

THOMAS COUCHMAN of Rolvenden, husbandman, the testator of 1585/6, who was born about 1538 and was buried at Rolvenden 14 Feb. 1585/6. He married there, 18 July,1568, ELINOR HUBBARD, whose ancestry has not been found. She married secondly, 17 Oct. 1587, Emanuell Evernden of Rolvenden, the testator of 1589, who was buried at Rolvenden 3 Dec. 1589; and thirdly, 13 Nov.1593, as his second wife, THOMAS TILDEN of Tenterden, yeoman (Plymouth First Church Records, in The Mayflower Descendant, vol 13 pp157-158) the licence being dated 6 Nov. 1593. By his first wife THOMAS TILDEN was the father of NATHANIEL TILDEN of Tenterden and of Scituate, Mass. If THOMAS TILDEN's son FREEGIFT was his son by his third wife, Alice........, then his second wife must have died before 1604, but the record of her burial has not been found, nor is any will or administration on her estate known to exist. Thomas Couchman deposed in 1578 that he had lived at Rolvenden for twelve years and before that at Hawkhurst; but no Cushmans are found in the early Hawkhurst registers or in the lists of Hawkhurst testators. (English Origins of New England Families pg 330)

TILDEN, NATHANIEL, of Tenterden, Co. Kent, and of Scituate in the Plymouth colony, passenger in the HERCULES. For his family and ancestry ct. REGISTER, VOL 65 PP322-333. His wife was Lydia Huckstep, baptised at Tenterden 11 Feb. 1587/8, daughter of Steven and Winifred [Hatch] [Wills] [cf. REGISTER, VOL 67, PP 47, 48] Nathaniel and Lydia [Huckstep] Tilden had twelve children baptized at Tenterden. Five of these children were buried at Tenterden, and seven accompanied their parents to New England. Their daughter Mary married 13 Mar. 1636/7 Thomas Lapham, and their daughter Sarah married on the same day GEORGE SUTTON, both of these men appeearing in the passenger list as servants of NATHANIEL TILDEN. (English Origins of New England Families Vol 3. pg 755)

John Tylden Jurat had one or two children buried unbaptized 1 December 1587 (English Origins of New England Families, p.149)

In addition to Hatherly; Lothrop; Cudworth, who would become one of the colony's leading military figures, . . . some of the other leading men in Scituate in the early years were Nathaniel Tilden; Edward Foster, who married Hatherly's niece. Many of the newcomers were from county Kent in England (with a fair number from the town of Tenterden), and they became known as the "men of Kent" or "Kentish men." (Plymouth Colony by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

Thomas Tilden acquired lands in Sussex (possibly through his third wife, Alice.) It is not clear that he ever resided there. He was named eleventh Jurat in Queen Elizabeth’s Charter for Tenterden, dated 1600. He removed to Wye where he held lands. His son Thomas lived in Wye also. The date of, and reasons for, his removal is not clear. His oldest son (third child) Nathaniel, our first American Ancestor, remained in Tenterden, became Jurat, then Mayor in 1622, an emigrated with his family to America, in 1634-5. (Tilden Family Our English Ancestors)

Between 1604 and 1614, Thomas Tilden moved from Tenterden and went, perhaps, to East Guilford, County Sussex, which is ot much beyond the border from Tenterden, as he possessed considerable real estate there according to his will. (Tilden Family Our English Ancestors)

George Sutton b. 12 Apr 1613 in Sandwich, County Kent, England, d. 12 Apr 1669 in what is now Perquimans County, NC; m. 13 Mar 1636 in Scituate, Mass. to Sarah Tilden b. 1613 at Tenterden, County Kent, England and baptized 13 Jan 1613 in St. Mildred’s Church, Tenterdon, England, the daughter of nathaniel and Lydia (Huckstep) Tilden; d. 20 Mar 1677 in Perquimans County, NC, aged 64 years. (Sutton Sutton and More Suttons, Doris Ellen (Witter) Bland, 1992, Bland Books, r5, Box 412, Fairfield, Ill 62837, p.8)

In 1628 it appears by the colony records that Elder Nathaniel Tilden, of Tenterden, purchased lands in Scituate. He is spoken of as being at that time in this country. He was a man of wealth, and before removing his family probably came over, as many did, to examine the country and fix on a place for his future residence. In the spring of 1635 Mr. Tilden, Samuel Hinckley, John Lewis, and James Austin, of Tenterden, in the County of Kent, in England, and several other families from that County, making a company of 102, counting men, women, children and servants, resolved to emigrate to New England. In the latter part of march they sailed from Sandwich in the ship Hercules, 200 tons, Capt. John Witherly. Circumstances make it probable that they intended to join the Rev. John Lothrop, who, with several members of his church, had taken passage in the Griffin for Boston the preceding summer. More than half of the passengers who came over in the Hercules were afterwards inhabitants of Scituate. (Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families - Hinckley)

Samuel Deane in his 1831 history of Scituate, Massachusetts notes: “It is certain that William Gillson . . . Nathaniel Tilden . .. ., and others were here before 1628. The above named gentlemen and others, were called ‘men of Kent’, having come from that County in England. The earliest notice of settlement at Scituate, with records to verify it, bears the date 1628. Henry Merritt sells to Nathaniel Tilden ‘all that land which I had of Goodman Byrd, lying within the fence of North end of the third cliffe, unto the land of Nathaniel Tilden.’ Col. Rec.” (History of Scituate, MA, Samuel Deane, p.8) After acquiring land, perhaps Nathaniel returned to England for his family. It has also plausible that the land was purchased for him by his brother Thomas who was in Plymouth by 1623. Thomas was there as late as 1627, but he may have returned to England. (The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers, Charles Edward Banks, p.163) In any event, Nathaniel, his family and servant George Sutton were residents of Scituate, Massachusetts by mid 1634. (Thomas Phillips of Pitt Co., NC and Affiliated Families, g. Howard Phillips, Ph.D and Sirley Brague Phillips, OH, 1992, p.87-88)

Tilden, Nathaniel, Scituate, came in the Hercules 1635 from Sandwich, in Co. Kent, being one of an old fam. at Tenterden, near Cranbrook, in that shire, bring. w. Lydia, seven ch. and seven serv. He may have visit. our country bef. and went home to bring his household; but it does not appear by any facts. In May 1637, with his friend Hatherly, he was appoint. by Plymouth Col. to sett. the bounds betw. it and Mass. He was rul. elder in the ch. and d. 1641, the inv. being of 31 July, and his will of 25 May preced. in that yr. It names his w. Lydia, perhaps d. of Thomas Bourne of Marshfield, yet m. in Eng. to wh. he gives his ho. at Tenterden, all the seven ch. Joseph; Thomas, b. a. 1621; Mary, the w. of Thomas Lapham, m. 13 Mar. 1637; Sarah, the w. of George Sutton; Judith; Lydia; and Stephen; also two serv. wh. should serve his eldest s. Judith m. Abraham Preble, and Lydia m. Richard Garrett. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.301)

Tilden, Joseph, Scituate, eldest s. of Nathaniel, b. in Eng. came in the Hercules 1635, from Sandwich, with his f. wh. was of Tenterden in Co. Kent, m. 20 Nov. 1649, Alice or Eliz. d. of John Twisden, had Nathaniel, b. Sept. 1650; John, Dec. 1652; Rebecca, Feb. 1655; Joseph, 12 Feb. 1657, prob. d. young, as he is not ment. in the will of his f.; Stephen, 14 May 1659; Samuel, 1660; Eliz. 1665; Lydia, 1666; and Benjamin 1668, wh. d. unm. at 25 yrs. He was deac. and d. in May 1670, leav. good est. by will of 12 of that mo. to wid. Eliz. and the eight ch. by name, and br. Stephen, and sis. Eliz. Garrett. But of this last some doubt is felt, whether it mean more than Christian relationship, or perhaps the sec. w. of Richard G. wh. for his first, had Lydia, sis. of this testat (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.301)

Lapham, Thomas, Scituate 1635, join. Lothrop's ch. 24 Apr. 1636, m. 13 Mar. 1637, Mary, d. of Nathaniel Tilden, had Eliz. bapt. 6 May 1638; Mary; Thomas, b. 1643; Lydia; Rebecca, 1645; Joseph, 1648; in wh. yr. the f. d. hav. made his will 15 June 1644, in wh. the four elder ch. are nam. and w. made extrix. Lydia m. 1666, Samuel Bates of Hingham. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.56)

Ship name Hercules of Sandwich, from the town of Sandwich to the plantacon called New england in america
Nathanel Tilden, of Tenterden in Kent; Occupation: Yeoman; Wife: Lidia; Children: Joseph, Thomas, Stephen, Marie, Sara, Judeth, Lidia; Servants names: Thos Lapham, Geo Sutton, Edwd fford, Sara Couchman, Marie Perien, James Bennet (Passengers to America, by Tepper, ISBN# 0-8061-0767-6, 1988, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD 1-800-296-6687, pp. 111-113)

April 1635 on the “Hercules of Sandwich to New England, Nathaniell Tilden of Tenterden, Kent, and Lidia his wife; children Joseph, Thomas, Stephen, Marie, Sara, Judith and Lidia Tilden; servants, Thomas Lapham, George Sutton (The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776, by. Peter Coldham)

Garrett, Richard, Scituate, first town clk. 1636, m. Lydia, d. of Elder Nathaniel Tilden. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.233-234)

Preble, Abraham, Scituate 1637, m. Judith, d. of Nathaniel Tilden, tho. some yrs. bef. he had rem. to York; was magistr. 1650, submit. soon to Mass. and freem. 1652, treasr. of the Co. 1659, and d. 1663, leav. wid. Judith and sev. ch. of wh. one d. was m. Willis I. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.477)

THOMAS, Plymouth, 1630, m., 1633, Ann, d. of Richard Warren, and had Isaac, 1646; Thomas; Ephraim, 1650; Samuel, .1656; Hannah, m. Stephen Tilden; Mercy, m. John Sawyer; Ruth, and Patience. (GENEALOGICAL REGISTER of PLYMOUTH FAMILIES page 173)

John Tilden “Administration on the estate of John Tilden of Sandwich in the County of Kent was granted 16 February 1637-8 to Hoepstill Tilden, father and creditor of the deceased, during the minority of Elizabeth, daughter of the deceased. (P.C.C. Act Book 1638, fo.149) 29 May 1638 the former grant lapsed owing to the death of said Elizabeth (P.C.C. Act Book 149, fo. 179) (English Origins of New England Families, publised by NEGHS)

Nathaniel Tilden died between the 25th day of May and the 31st day of July, 1641 at Scituate and was buried in the old cemetery known as the Cemetery of the Men of Kent, then the First Parish Burial Ground, on Meeting House Lane, Scituate Harbor, Mass. (Tilden Family Our English Ancestors)

Nathaniel Tilden was a leading citizen of Scituate. In his book, Charles Henry Pope described Nathaniel as a town officer and the ruling elder in the first church. (“The Pioneers of MA”, Charles Henry Pope, p.454) He did not survive long in his new home. His will was probated 25 May 1641. Mentioned in his will was his wife Lydia and their children: Joseph; Thomas; Judath; Mary , the wife of Thomas Lapham; Sarah, the wife of George Sutton; and his two youngest children, Lydia and Stephen. Symon Sutton was one of the witnesses to the will. Symon was likely a brother of George Sutton, but no relationship was noted. (The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Abstract of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth, Vol. 4, p.173) In a list of those able to bear arms in New Plymouth in 1643, both George and Symon Sutton were named. (The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, p.257) Lydia, Nathaniel’s widow, married Timothy Hatherly in 1642. Timothy Hatherly was a man of wealth and influence. He was treasurer of the Colony and a commissioner of the United Colonies for three years. Quoting Dean, ... “but for the children of Nathaniel Tilden, he made bountiful provision before his decease, by deeds of gift. He lost his influence near the end of his life as he resisted the persecution of the Quakers.” (Thomas Phillips of Pitt Co., NC and Affiliated Families, g. Howard Phillips, Ph.D and Sirley Brague Phillips, OH, 1992, p.87-88)

HATHERLY, TIMOTHY, came in the Ann, 1623; went back to England, returned, and settled in Scituate. He m. a 2d wife, Lydia, wid. of Nathaniel Tilden, 1642, and had no children. He may have had by 1st wife, a son, Arthur, who was in Plymouth, 1660, and a son, Thomas, of Boston. (GENEALOGICAL REGISTER of PLYMOUTH FAMILIES page 131)

Timothy Hatherly will dated 12/20/1664, proved 10/30/1666, Timothy Hatherly bequeathed to “my wife Lydia Hatherly my house I now dwell in with the rest of the housing . . . with all the land I die possessed of during her natural life,” also “my silver plate with all my pewter and brass that I do not otherwise dispose of by will,” also “what moveables soever are in my parlor and parlor chamber . . . , also all my linen . . ., [also] my gray mare 2 cows and 2 oxen and my cart with all my wearing clothes”; . . . to Lydia Garrett my wife’s daughter 3 acres of land part of which her house stand on . . . and 5 pounds . . . and likewise acquit all former accounts and reckonings between she and I from the beginning of the world to this day”; “to the 4 children of the said Lydia Garrett” 40s at age 21; to Gorge Sutton his wife & children 5 pounds”; to “the wife of Will[I]am Bassett my wife’s daughter 5 pounds”; to “the widow Preble my wife’s daughter 50s”; to Lydia Lapham an heifer worth 50s or 50s in goods”; to “Thomas Lapham 30s.”; to “Stephen Tilden 5 pounds to be paid when his service is expired”; to “Lydia Hatch the daughter of William Hatch” 8 pounds at age 21 or marriage; residue to “my trusty and well-beloved friend Joseph Tilden” executor.
Joseph Tilden, refusing to be executor of the estate of Timothy Hatherly, was on 10/31/1666 appointed to be administrator of the estate, and letters of administration were granted on 6/5/1667. (The Great Migration Begins, p879)

Tilden, Thomas, Marshfield, prob. s. of the elder Nathaniel, b. at Tenterden, Co. Kent, was old eno. in 1643 to bear arms, when he liv. at Scituate; at M. his w. Eliz. whose f. is not ascert. d. or was bur. 12 Dec. 1663; and his d. Susanna was bur. 9 Sept. 1684; and s. John d. 20 Apr. 1685; but one or both may have been ch. of that Mary Holmes, maid or wid. is unkn. m. 24 Jan. 1665. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.302)

In a deed of 1 December 1646, Timothy Hatherly noted that he had acquired the shares of Andrews and Beauchamp, while Sherley's part of the tract had been divided into thirty equal shares. Hatherly divided his three quarters of the tract into thirty parts, retaining three himself, and selling for £108 the other twenty-seven parts to Charles Chauncy, Thomas Chambers, John Williams, James Cudworth, Joseph Tilden, Henry Merritt, Thomas Rawlins, Thomas Tarte, John Hoar, Richard Sillis, Thomas Ensign, Thomas Chittenden, John Stockbridge, John Allin, Thomas Hiland, John Whitcomb, John Woodfield, Edward Jenkins, John Hollet, Ann Vinall, William Holmes, John Weston, Gowen White, John Daman, Rodolphus Elmes, and Richard Mann; Joseph Tilden received two shares, and the rest one share each. . (Plymouth Colony by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

Twisden, Twisdale, or Twisdall, John, York 1648, had been of Scituate in 1639, and came from Co. Kent, was of gr. jury. His d. Alice or Eliz. m. 20 Nov. 1649, Joseph [p.354] Tilden of Scituate (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.353)

A document of June 1650 has Mary Lapham, widow (see under Nathaniel Tilden), acknowledging that her husband Thomas Lapham had sold during his lifetime to Thomas Hiland a house and one-half acre of land in Tenterden, County Kent (PCR 12:194). (Plymouth Colony, by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

Tilden, Stephen, Marshfield, youngest s. of Nathaniel first, m. 15 Jan. 1662, Hannah, d. of Thomas Little, had Hannah, b. 14 Oct. 1662; Stephen, 1664; Abigail, 1666; Mary, 1668; Judith, 1670; Joseph, 1672; Mercy, 1 May 1674; Ruth, 1676; Isaac, 1678; Ephraim, 1680; Ebenezer, 1681; and David, 1685. Thro. this br. descend. the late Hon. Joseph, of Boston. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.301)

Little, Thomas, Plymouth 1630, m. 19 Apr. 1633, Ann, d. of Richard Warren. rem. to Marshfield 1650, ds. certain. Hannah, m. 15 Jan. 1662, Stephen Tilden of M (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England., p.99)

William Basset, of the Leiden Separatists, arrived in 1621 on the Fortune. In Leiden records, he is shown as a master mason, from Sandwich, Kent. He was a widower of Cicely Bassett, and he was betrothed in Leiden in 1611 to Mary Butler, with William Brewster, Roger Wilson, Anna Fuller, and Rose Lisle as witnesses, but Mary died before the marriage. He was betrothed on 29 July 1611 to Margaret Oldham, with Edward Southworth, Roger Wilson, Elizabeth Neal, and Wybra Pontus as witnesses, and they married 13 August 1611. He married in Leiden a third time to Elizabeth _____ (Dexter, p. 165), and he brought her and their son William to Plymouth. Wife Elizabeth and children William and Elizabeth were in the 1627 division, but the wife died later. Basset married at Plymouth a fourth wife after 5 June 1651 Mary (Tilden) Lapham, for on that date Timothy Hatherly proved the will of Thomas Lapham, deceased. The widow Lapham, being weak, was not able to appear in court (PCR 2:169). Earlier, 22 June 1650, Mary Lapham, widow of Thomas Lapham of Scituate, confirmed the sale of land in Tenterden, Kent, to Thomas Hiland (MD 10:199; PCR 12:194). The will of Timothy Hatherly dated 12 December 1664 (MD 16:158-59), left £5 to the wife of William Basset, "my wifes Daughter," and thus Mary would have been the daughter of Nathaniel Tilden of Scituate. [p.243] ." (Plymouth Colony by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

18 January 1643/44 James Till of Scituate was found guilty by the court of having received from Mr. Hanbury two hides to be delivered to Humphrey Turner for tanning, but selling them to Joseph Tilden instead (PCR 2:68). (Plymouth Colony, by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

[Jonah Austin] married second, 12/14/1667, Frances Tilden, widow of John Hill of Dorchester, Mass who died 5/31/1664, will dated 4/11/1660, proved 6/30/1664, and daughter of Nathaniel & Lydia (Huckstep) Tilden of Scituate, Mass. She died 11/18/1676 (THE JONAH AUSTIN FAMILY OF TAUNTON, MASSACHUSETTS by William Wallace Austin, 1973, p4)

On 1 May 1666 Williams appeared at court again to answer the charges of his continuing to abuse his wife by his accusations and actions. Williams agreed to a jury trial and promised to supply his wife with money and necessities and to allow her to remain with friends until the trial. On 5 June 1666 a jury found Elizabeth Williams's complaint against her husband to be true. The court observed that it too was satisfied by the evidence, Williams also "declaring his insufficiency for converse with woemen," and the court, deciding that it was not safe for her to live with her husband, gave her the right to depart from him until he behaved better toward her. Williams was ordered to keep her in clothing and bedding and pay her £10 a year to maintain herself, and the court required him to put up [p.166] one-third of their estate as security for her livelihood and comfort. On 5 June 1667 Capt. James Cudworth and Mr. Joseph Tilden were appointed by the court to demand Elizabeth Williams's allowance from her husband. (Plymouth Colony by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

Elizabeth Doxey, a servant to the recently deceased Joseph Tilden in Scituate, in 1670 accused Nathaniel Tilden of fathering her child; he denied it, and he could not be found guilty, but the court required him to post security for the child's support "untill another father appeereth." (Plymouth Colony by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

In 1686 Capt. John Williams sued Capt. John Briggs and Nathaniel Tilden, and the action was nonsuited, with Williams being ordered to pay the defendants forty-two shillings. . (Plymouth Colony by Eugene Aubrey Stratton)

Tilden, Nathaniel, Scituate, eldest s. of Joseph, d. 17 Dec. 1731.


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