Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Capt. John Goodenow

Male Abt 1635 - 1721  (~ 86 years)


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  • Name Capt. John Goodenow 
    Alternate birth Abt 1634  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Born Abt 1635  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Died 6 Aug 1721  Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I3907  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2018 

    Father Capt. Edmund Goodenow,   b. Abt 1611, Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Apr 1688, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 77 years) 
    Mother Anne,   b. Abt 1609,   d. 9 Mar 1676, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years) 
    Married Abt 1635  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    Family ID F5924  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Axtell,   b. Bef 25 Sep 1639, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Apr 1704, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 64 years) 
    Married 19 Sep 1656  Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Children 
    +1. Mary Goodenow,   b. 19 Oct 1659, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Aug 1687, Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
    Last Modified 3 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F564  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Emigrated as an infant, with his family. Town clerk of Sudbury. "It was probably he who was engaged by the town in 1652 to beat the drum every Sabbath twice, also also for service on lecture day." [James Cox Brady and His Ancestry, citation details below.]

      Former Sudbury town historian George Don Max, quoted on the Goodenow Family Association site:

      Some years ago I was reading the diaries of the Rev. Mr. Israel Loring. His entry for Aug. 6, 1721 reads; "Dyed Capt. John Goodenow. I was with him on Saturday, the day before he Dyed. Told me then, that he was like a Pelecan in the Wilderness, and an Owl in the Desert. And pray'd that God would humble him down to Hell, but not throw him in there." The reference is Psalms 102:6, which is a "prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord."

      John Goodenow's plaintive plea calls out for the reason for its utterance. I sought the answer in the Sudbury town tecords wherein I traced his career of service to the town. Finally the records revealed a set of circumstances, which still did not resolve the question. In 1699 John Goodenow was elected to the offices of Selectman, Town Clerk, and Assessor; he had filled these positions several times earlier. In 1701 his name does not appear as a holder of a Town Office. In 1702 and 1703 he served as Highway Surveyor and was appointed to a committee to survey and locate a new road; likewise in 1704 he was a committee member to "seat the meeting house." At a town meeting held Feb. 4, 1704, the Town proceeded to elect him Selectman, Town Clerk, and Assessor; a resumption to those positions of power so suddenly interrupted in 1699.

      Immediately following his reelection the Town held a Special Meeting on the 31st of March, 1704. The Warrant reads in part: "...Then & There to chuse a Town Clerk & an assessor and a selectman by reason of Capt. John Goodenow Modestly Refuesing in the time of it and dos still continue his Reselution in the Matter for Reasons best known to himself; And allsoe from the advise of our own Respective Justive Brown...and the Town being met chuse John Brigham Selectman, Richard Moore Town Clerk, and Noah Clap Assesser."

      From the record and upon reflection it appeared to me that while John Goodenow's public life was seemingly irreproachable, his private condition had to be examined. Subsequently while in Cambridge at the Middlesex County Probate Court searching out Sudbury Wills and Deeds, I decided to look for John Goodenow in the files of the Middlesex Courts. Here was the answer to the mystery of his fall. What I discovered was substantially what Roger Thompson also found and later reported in his fascinating study, Sex in Middlesex; Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699, published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 1986.

      In short, John Goodenow was accused of misuse of power by means of his offices; he was slick at horse trading, drank too much and was brought up before the Church to answer to it; was infrequent at church and when not there enjoyed the company of Hannah Brooks, the wife of John Brooks, with whom he had carried on an adulterous affair for some years. His offences, both moral and civil, had become a public outrage and an embarrassment to the town. Accordingly, Mr. Joseph Noyes, and others in town and some outside of it took Capt. Goodenow to Court in May 1699. Here was a situation that even they could not brook! He escaped prosecution by paying court costs and resigning from his town offices. His misdeeds and years were heavy upon him for the remaining days of his life. This is why in 1721 at the very door of death he beseeched God to "to humble him down to hell, but not to throw him in there."

      John Goodenow (1635-1721) = Mary Axtell (1639-1704)
      Elizabeth Goodenow (1672-1736) = Josiah Hayden (1669-1730)
      John Hayden (1702-1763) = Lucy Maynard (1709-1774)
      Elizabeth Hayden (1728-1810) = Joseph Young (1729-1769)
      John Young (1763-1839) = Abigail Howe (1765-1815)
      Brigham Young (1801-1877)

      Brigham Young (1801-1877) = Zina Diantha Huntington (1821-1901)
      Zina Presendia Young (1850-1931) = Charles Ora Card (1839-1906)
      Orson Rega Card (1891-1984) = Lucena Richards (b. 1893)
      Willard Richards Card = Peggy Jane Park
      Orson Scott Card (b. 1951)

  • Sources 
    1. [S708] James Cox Brady and His Ancestry, by Louis Effingham De Forest. New York: 1933.

    2. [S594] The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton 1878-1908, Part III: The Ancestry of Henry Clay Bartlett 1832-1892, by Dean Crawford Smith; edited by Melinde Lutz Sanborn. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.

    3. [S228] Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850. Boston: New-England Historic Genealogical Society, 1903.

    4. [S708] James Cox Brady and His Ancestry, by Louis Effingham De Forest. New York: 1933., says "in or about 1634".