Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Harvard and Governor Thomas Dudley

Photos by Salt Water New England
My husband's 9th Great Grandfather, Governor Thomas Dudley (Governor of Massachusetts), was an Associate of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts that founded Harvard in 1636, and he was the signer of the Charter of 1650 that created the Harvard Corporation.

John Harvard


  1. So very wonderful. Thank you so much!

  2. Harvard University possesses the title of America's oldest learning institution, founded in 1636. At its inception, this university's name was "New College," and its purpose was mainly to educate clergy. In 1639, the school's name became Harvard University, so named for the Rev. John Harvard.

  3. what a treat this was. thank you Muffy!

  4. Ah, Lampy's Castle!

  5. Muffy, I'm you're husband's cousin! Thomas Dudley is also my 9th great-grandfather. Henry Dunster b.1609, the first president of Harvard and America's first CEO is my 8th great-grandfather. Thomas Dudley is the 25th great grandson of Charlemagne and much has been written about his Plantagenet ancestry.

    Henry Dunster married (2) Elizabeth Glover ( widow) who brought the first printing press to the colony from England and Dunster was able to supplement his income with publishing. Henry Dunster's son, Jonathan Dunster (1653) married Deborah Wade (1667), the grand-daughter of Gov. Thomas Dudley.

    Several men in my family attended Harvard and two of them became publishers in New England without ever knowing their Dunster heritage.

    1. I am also a descendant of Gov. Thomas Dudley. Also, Eliot, Adams, Winthrop, Downing, and most other Mass Bay Families. Please email me as I would like to correspond privately.

  6. Quite a bit of history to be justifiably proud.
    I'm just happy to be attending The University of Pennsylvania, a local Ivy League school, founded in 1740 as a charity school and considered to be the oldest university in the country, in 1765 the first medical school in colonial America it became in fact a University but not so called until 1779, one of the first to admit women students.

  7. Before honoring a handful of my British Colonial ancestors; would like to mention I became a member of D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) January 5, 2020. Of course all respect goes to my 4x Great-Grandfather Solomon Wixson for his participation in this historical aspect of our American history.

    After recently concluding five years of genealogical research, can honestly suggest that several of my generational great-ancestors most likely ran in the same circles as your husband's 9x GGF Gov. Thomas Dudley. John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony was my 11th great-uncle. Gov. John Underhill of Massachusetts Bay Colony was my 9x great-grandfather. And Gov. Thomas Prence of Plymouth Colony (9x great-grandfather).

    Knowing none of my British Colonial history until five years; it's been a priceless journey to meet my ancestors on the pages of American history. Some were Mayflower passenger Puritans, others fought in the Pequot and King Philip's wars. Dozens were founding fathers of various cities. Some were Dutch Reformers, and others French Huguenots. There's a genealogy saying - If you don't know where you came from, how do you know where you are going?

  8. Dudley House at Harvard has an interesting, varied history. My brother made a point of eating meals there, far from his Eliot House dining hall on the Charles. Dudley's was the first dining hall to serve Harvard and Radcliffe students together at the same tables, likely one of the more significant draws for him than the location.

  9. And you may have noticed that Comfort Starr was one of the five Fellows named in the document. :-)


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