I'm attaching a few notes regarding the parents of our mutual ancestor, John Hayden of Braintree.
The majority of Haydens/Haydons in America appear to be descended from the so called "three brothers" John, William and James, who arrived in "about 1630"; and for over 100 years it has been assumed that these three were sons of Gideon Haydon, (Sr.) & Margaret Davy of Devon, England. Remember many religious groups have used the term "brother" to mean a "man of their congregation" for very many years, especially by the Puritans.
Recently the above statement has been challenged, mainly due to the "detective work" of William Hayden Marsh in the U.S.A., and whilst the origin of these three men has not yet been established, I wish to layout some theories to all those interested in these Haydons. (January 2003 note from Tom Keys: I finally in October 2002 after years of digging, have received Photostats of the Devon church record documents showing all of the Devon Line Haydons from their listed 2nd son in line on up through all of the Haydons of Cadhay Manor, ie; pages 458 and 459 entitled The Visitations of the Haydons of Devon and Cadhay. Gideon Haydon, Senior did have 15 children. William Hayden of Connecticut is NOT one of them. A John Haydon/Haydon of the proper age to have been the Massachusetts settler is indeed listed as one of his children, however, this John Haydon/Hayden stayed in England, married and raised a family. So we still know that William and John are of the Devon Line of Haydens/Haydons but are cousins of the blood. Of course, they had a father (who?) but you can also spend your money on that quest as countless others before you have already made that valiant pilgrimage without success.
Firstly, in order to try to unravel any genealogy problem, one must realize the further one goes back in time, the less chance you have of obtaining full documentary proof of your ancestors. However, please also remember that it is only now at the end of the 20th Century that we are able to be sure of our ancestors by the study of DNA. Church records usually give the name of the mother in addition to the father, but it is more likely that the mother is correct than the father is. It was common practice until recent times for couples not to get married until the first child was "on the way", however, small village groups and common "codes of behavior" usually ensured that the "correct" father was found and got married. In the larger towns and cities, the situation was often very different, especially those who could barely make enough for food and shelter.
Until the mid 1500's, the Haydon surviving line was fairly thin, with few branches that lasted more than a generation or two. The population of England in 1100 was likely to have been about 1,500,000 and due to various plagues in most of the following centuries, had only increased to about 2,500,000 by 1540. However, by 1630 it was more likely 3,500,000 lived in England, but to be drastically cut in the 1660's perhaps by up to 30%, (-due to the Bubonic Plague, Smallpox, Chicken Pox, Measles, Cholera, Dysentery, Diphtheria, etc.)
Having completed a lengthy preamble in order to "set the scene", I will now try to point you in a different direction from the one which you have taken as "gospel", and I am sorry to have to "spoil" some ancestor charts. However, when looking back over almost 400 years, we must try to think as logically as possible and go with the most probable solution.
If your name is HAYDON/HAYDEN, and spelt that way, then you are most probably from the Devon line, a line, which started way back in about 1185 or earlier. (The
H E Y D O N spelling remained with the Norfolk Line, Watford Line and a few others.)
There is good "old" evidence detailing the children of Gideon and Margaret, which states 9 sons and 6 daughters. (Since revised to 10 sons and 5 daughters.) We have now found all of these, including their post 1630 history.
"Haydons to America.
"As previously believed, "they were all sons of Gideon", this is disproved as follows:
"As originally assumed incorrectly, John Haydon, son of Gideon, baptized 2 November 1606, followed his father and became a seaman, and possibly captain of the vessel "The Pheonix", and is believed to have died at sea in about 1630. The headquarters of the Massachusetts Bay Company was in Exeter. (Actually this John stayed, married and raised a family in England)
Gideon Junior had a son named William, not Gideon Senior and the birth date for William will not fit at all with our Connecticut ancestor.)
"James Haydon, son of Gideon and Margaret, baptized 17 May 1619, but was buried a few weeks later.
"Therefore, we have to look for two more Haydon's.
"It was believed that they were three brothers, but others think two brothers and one cousin.
What do we know about the three Haydon's in America.
"That William and John Hayden or Haydon came over in the ship Mary and John is certain. (Maybe yes, maybe no on John as he was Captain of his own ship, the Phoenix at that time.) William Hayden appears in Dorchester in 1630, the year Messrs. Warham and Maverick and their people arrive, and must have been a member of their church to qualify him to be made a freeman in 1634. John Hayden had land in Dorchester with the first settlers, and he too was made a freeman in 1634. James Hayden first appears on record in 1635 at Charlestown. He was made a freeman in 1637 and died 1675. He had a family of eight children, the eldest born Feb. 13,1638-39. The Haydens of Saybrook, Conn., now Essex, are said to belong to this, James line."
"There is speculation that the young Hayden men left England with practically "just the clothes on their backs" and so came here as "redemptioners." The records all do clearly state that they later became "freemen." William Hayden and John Hayden came to America probably as redemptioners with the Rev. Warham church group, William was later made a "freeman" after the Pequot (peekwat) Indian War and for his military services he was awarded free land and was later allowed to buy more land.
"I have read in British records the statement that in most cases; "redemptioners" and "indentured servants" were NEVER listed on ship's passenger lists. (I DON'T KNOW WHY!
"The Heydons in England and America"
by Rev. William B. Hayden
Chapter V. The Devon Line Page 41-
"I assume that John, William, and James Haydon, three brothers, the immigrant ancestors of the American lines, and who appeared in Boston, Dorchester, and Charlestown in 1630, were sons of Gideon Haydon of Cadhay, No. 15 in the Devon line, for the following reasons: (1) The family tradition is that we are descended from the Devonshire branch. (2) The immigrants, when they landed, had the Devonshire spelling of the name. (3) They evidently came over in close connection with the Massachusetts Bay Company, whose headquarters were at Exeter, and whose officers and members were near neighbors of the Haydons. (4) The Haydons were few in number. All accounts agree that the Lymston branch, for a time distinct, probably in a line of younger sons, became at length re absorbed in the Ebford-Cadhay branch; and all the places mentioned in connection with them are in a little radius of ten or twelve miles. Hence the question arises, Where else could they have come from? (5) We know that the said Gideon had several younger sons grown to manhood in 1630, but who thereafter suddenly disappeared from the scene, there being, so far as I have been able to learn, no record of their marriages, settlement, decease or descendants in England. (6) I find from the State Papers that the family were engaged in the shipping business at that time..."
"The final proof on the question whether John Hayden, of Dorchester and Braintree, Massachusetts, is the same man as John Haydon, son of Gideon and Margaret Haydon of Cadhay, is to be found in the parish registers for Woodbury parish, Devon. According to the Woodbury parish registers, John Haydon, son of Gideon and Margaret Haydon of Cadhay, did not go to Massachusetts, but was married and buried in England.
"...There seems to me to be a strong possibility that the John and the William from close to Plymouth, knew each other in England, and likely were closely related. James may not have known them until arriving in America; the common surname may have caused them to meet.
"An alternative solution is from the Watford line, but there are doubts because all three (William, James, John listed also in the Watford Line) would have been just over 40 when arriving in America, whereas you would expect them to be mid 20's. (Correct)
James and his brother William, both baptized 5 October 1589 (may not have been twins?), they had a cousin John, born Watford in 1588. All three had a common grandfather Thomas born 1519, who married Margaret Ponder, the Watford line goes back to John de Heydon, born about 1320, father Sir Richard, and whose grandfather was Simon de Heydon of Norfolk.