Samuel Edson was born 5 September 1613 in Fillongley, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom to Thomas Edson, Jr. (1572-) and Elizabeth Copson (1574-) and died 19 July 1692 Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Susannah Bickley (c1617-1699) March 1637 in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom.

Samuel Edson was well educated, and learned the skill of agriculture from his father. Throughout his teens and early twenties, people had became interested in migrating to America. In 1638, one of the settlers arrived in Fillongley to report the opportunities in the new land. Seeing this opportunity, he married Susanna Bickley or Orcutt on March 1, 1639 in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England.

While historically Samuel Edson's wife has been identified as one Susannah Orcutt (the supposed sister of immigrant William Orcutt), recent evidence suggests that Samuel Edson's wife was one Susannah Bickley, sister of William Orcutt's mother (Margaret Bickley) and hence his aunt. There are no marriages between Samuel Edson and Susanna Orcutt listed in parish registers; however there is a marriage listed between Samuel Edson and Susanna Bickley.

Samuel and Susanna left England in May or June and arrived in Salem in the middle of July. They were greeted by their friends and acquaintances upon arrival. On July 25, 1639, Samuel was granted a parcel of land he applied for, which was recorded in the Town Book "Samuel Edson is intertayned to be an inhabitant within this towne, and halfe an acre is graunted him neere Catt Cove & 5 acres more for plantinge ground." Samuel may have engaged in the fishing business at Catt Cove. Samuel and Susanna's first three children were born in the house Samuel built on his land. The houses of this time were very simple one room log cabins with a fireplace on one side and the sleeping quarters on a raised level that requires a ladder to get to.

In August 1642, the townsmen granted to Samuel "25 acres of land joyning to Humprey Woodbury's farme in Mackerell Cove & 2 acres of medow where he can fynd there about, to be laid out by the towne." In December 1643, Samuel's land was referred to in the Salem Town records: "the two acres of medow that were formerlie granted to Samuell Edson are ordered to be layed out in the pine medow neere Mr .Kenniston's farme." On this land, Samuel built a new home, overlooking Mackerel Cove. Samuel and Susanna had three children born in this home. In Salem, Samuel was very successful. By the time he left Salem in 1651, he owned 63 acres of land. On September 24, 1655, he sold his land, house, and barn to William Browne for 38 pounds sterling, which is about $190.

It is unknown why Samuel chose to leave Salem, but possible reasons include the strictness of the Puritans and that he had better opportunities to demonstrate his good character and leadership. Regardless of his reasons, he was living at the Dixbury Plantation in 1651.

In 1666, Samuel was appointed by the Court to the Council of War and remained in that office until the end of King Philips' War in 1676. In the same year, Samuel, along with Elder William Brett and Deacon John Willis, were appointed to distribute Bridgewater's shares for the Irish contributions for the distress fo the Indian wars. In 1672, Samuel, Nicholas Byram, and Elder Brett received a deed of conveyance from Chief Pomonoho of the Titicut purchase, "in and for the use of the townsmen of Bridgewater joint purchasers with them." In December 1686, Samuel, Ensign John Hayward, and Deacon John Willis received a confirmatory deed from the Indian Chief Wampatuck of the lands of the town and all the lands previously conveyed by Ousamequin on March 3, 1649. Samuel was a foreman of a jury to lay out roads in 1667 and 1672. Samuel was also appointed to settle boundary lines. In 1680, he, Dea. Willis and Ensign Hayward settled the boundary line between Bridgewater and Middleboro and also with his son Samuel, Edward Fobes, and Josiah Edson to settle the boundary between Bridgewater and Taunton. Samuel also served as Deacon in Bridgewater from 1664 until his death.

Edson was one of the fifty-four proprietors of Bridgewater. Edson built the first corn mill in 1662. In the year 1657 he was made a Freeman. He represented the town of Bridgewater in the General Court at Plymouth.

Samuel Edson was no ordinary man; he was an active, laborious, and influential. He was said to be of a large, athletic frame, of ordinary weight, and of a robust constitution. He had moral character, and was well-respected in the community. He would listen, rather than debate.

Samuel Edson wrote his will on January 15, 1688/9 and he died on July 19, 1692 in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He was buried on July 20, 1692 in the Old Church Yard in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. His estate was probated on September 20, 1692. His wife, Susannah died on February 20, 1699 at West Bridgewater.


Offspring of Samuel Edson and Susannah Bickley (c1617-1699)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Susannah Edson (1640-1705)
Sarah Edson (1642-c1716) 1642 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 18 February 1716 Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States John Dean (c1639-1717)
Elizabeth Edson (1643-c1690)
Samuel Edson (1645-1717) 1645 10 April 1717 Susanna Byram (1651-1742)
Mary Edson (c1647-1727)
Joseph Edson (1649-)
Josiah Edson (1651-1734)
Bethiah Edson (1654-)


Footnotes (including sources)

AMK152, PhloxBot, SteveD55, Robin Patterson, MainTour