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THE HISTORY AND SOME OF THE
Robert and Mary Reynolds
of BOSTON, MASS.
Editor of various
THE REYNOLDS FAMILY ASSOCIATION
1 9 3 1
JUN 1, 1931
The publication of this book marks the three-hundredth anniversary of the arrival in America of Robert and Mary. It covers in some detail the biographies of all male members of the first five generations, and a record of such later descendants as the interested cooperation of loyal, living members of the family has made it possible to publish.
Four previous partial histories of this family are worthy of mention: Runnels and Reynolds Families, 1873, by the Rev. Moses T. Runnels; Reynolds Family Annuals of 1907 and 1915; and Robert and Mary Reynolds (Hyatt Descent), 1928, the first edition of this work. Numerous other sketches, authentic and otherwise, are printed in various commercial collections of small-town and county biographies.
How did this book come about? Since 1800 various descendants have gathered manuscript notes of our family history. The most complete is the two-volume manuscript of John Post Reynolds; the oldest, that of Freegrace Raynolds; the most scholarly, that of Isaac Newton Reynolds; the most interesting for intimate biographical detail, that of Mrs. Alpheus Hyatt; the most concise, that of Dr. John Phillips Reynolds, etc. In the first days of August, 1914, the editor, a student at Harvard, disappointed in a projected trip to the Rhine country by the outbreak of the War, went to visit relatives in Maine. His Aunt Esther related many anecdotes of the earlier Maine Reynoldses; his Uncle Emerson showed him a military cockade and sword used by one of the family in the War of 1812. He spent the remainder of the summer in research among the splendid resources of the Widener Library of Harvard University and the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, and so the task was begun. As the by-products of his principal search for the history of his own family, he has published several genealogies of other Reynolds families.
The editor has gathered in amplified biographical detail the records of possibly ten times as many descendants of this family as limited subscriptions permit to be published. The unpublished portions may some day be permanently deposited in Boston and New York genealogical libraries. Corrections, amplifications and amendments to the book will be printed from time to time in the Annuals of the Reynolds Family Association.
In this book, an asterisk before the name of a person indicates that his own history is expanded more fully in a later chapter under the same identifying number. For instance, *94 recorded as a child on p. 75 is written-up as the head of his own family on p. 97.
The rounding out of the written record of our family has been an interesting avocation for sixteen years. The growing requirements of a vocation, however, oblige the editor to say, through this little book, farewell to an interest that has long been dear to his heart.
Marion H. REYNOLDS 225 Bush Street, San Francisco, California
3. Their GRANDCHILDREN . . . . . . 1660-1750 59–69
ROBERT AND MARY REYNOLDS
The Historical Background This book concerns the family of ROBERT and MARY REYNOLDS who about 1630-32, with their five young children, changed their home from the sunny countryside of Old England to the unknown wilderness of New England.
The reasons that impelled the exodus in which they came were religious, economic and social. The causes were so weighty to Governor John Winthrop's Puritans that they were willing to risk severe hardships and dangers in the new land, though, as Winthrop wrote, “it was some pinch to them at first.”
The Non-Conformist Puritans—and Robert and Mary were of their number—remained within the English Church, yet refused to conform to certain ceremonial practices, such as wearing the surplice, the use of the ring in marriage, sign of the cross in baptism, etc. They clamored for a preaching, not a mechanical ministry, and for the scrapping of the symbolic paraphernalia still held over by the Church of England from its Roman days. When the Puritans first exerted influence about 1563, their violence and intolerant stubbornness aroused the opposition of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603). Under James I (1603-1625) and Charles I (1625-1649) the Conformists were decidedly the “outs" in the English Government. The English Kings, still fighting the Pope to establish the independence of the English Church, regarded the Non-Conformists much as the American Tory Loyalists a hundred and fifty years later looked upon the revolting Colonists. To the English Government absolute conformity in religious matters was an imperative necessity. The petty tyranny of those charged with enforcing conformity drove out many of the Puritans, as it had the Pilgrims a decade or two previously. At about this time the Huguenots in France were fighting to establish their right to Protestantism, and in another century the descendants of both these English and French radicals met and intermingled in the new American colonies.
Economic pressure was then more severe in England than is now easily imagined. In some respects it is strikingly similar to the distress in Europe during the years of readjustment and “deflation" following the World War. Prices had risen about three-fold; intemperant luxury and a considerable demoralization of the middle and upper classes had reached a wanton stage. While the wealthy became rich and profiteers