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Robert and Mary Reynolds of Boston, MA

New Research About Robert and Mary Reynolds of Boston, MA
James R. Reynolds, Seventh GGS of Robert Reynolds,
Reynolds Family Association Member, and
Member of the Robert and Mary Reynolds Genealogical Interest Group

As many of you know, finding the English origins of Robert and Mary Reynolds of Boston, MA, which meet the standards of genealogical proof, has been one of the brick walls for many researchers for years. However, recent work by Mr. Randy A. West was published by American in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. The article is titled, "The English Origin of Robert Reynolds of Boston, Massachusets" 177:2 (Spring 2023): 179-181,1 and provides the evidence required to fill in important information about this family. Mr. West describes himself as a genealogical hobbyist interested in locating the English origins of 17th Century immigrants to New England. This arrtcle is available with an American Ancestors/NEHGS membership. Please consult the article for the details needed to update your genealogical records on the Robert and Mary Reynolds family.

Briefly, the article contains information and sources of Robert's marriage to Mare (Mary) Curver (possibly Curner) on 9 Nov 1617 in Kingston-upon Thames, Surrey, England, and the baptismal or christening dates for six of their seven children (Ruth, Tabitha, Mary #1, Nathaniel, Sara, and Phillip) born to Robert and Mary from 1620 to 1633. Ruth was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, and the remaining children in nearby Isleworth, Middlesex, England. Mary #1 and Phillip both died young (about 3 years old). The birth of the seventh child (Mary #2) is inferred from the records documenting Mary #2 in Boston along with descriptions of all five surviving children discussed in M.H. Reynolds The History and Some of the Descendants of Robert and Mary Reynolds (1630?-1931) of Boston, Mass., (San Francisco: Sunset Press, 1931, 42). Digitized records may be viewed at an affiliated FamilySearch Library near you (FSL film number 8041035), and indexed information about the children of Robert and Mary is available through a membership in the West Middlesex Family History Society ( in England.

These research findings are a major step forward documenting the Robert and Mary Reynolds family in England, and providing clues to the origin (i.e., birthplace and birth family) of Robert. It is possible, for example, since Robert was married in Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey County and spent thirteen years living and raising a family in Isleworth, Middlesex County (about five miles away), that his birth location and family may be from somewhere in these two counties. My research efforts in numerous records thus far have not yet confirmed this speculation. Research will continue, however. Tentative plans are being considered to, among other things, hire a U.K based genealogist to search the taxation records in the National Archives in Kew, England, and the manorial records for the two manors within Isleworth parish, specifically, Isleworth manor and Isleworth Rectory manor. These later records are held in the London Metropolitan Archives.

Since only some of these records have been digitized for online viewing, and are, in any case I've been told, difficult to search, I have been strongly advised to use the services of an experienced, professional genealogist based in the U.K. The goals are to search these records in person for any information about Robert and Mary in Isleworth, Middlesex, and look for clues about Robert's birth location and birth family who may have resided in the same area. There are no guarantees, of course, that useful information will be found, but this is the risk whenever genealogical research is undertaken. If anyone reading this is interested in participating by pooling funds with me and others to support this effort, please contact me ( to discuss the possibilities. There are at least two other ways which readers can also help discover the origins of Robert Reynolds in England. First, please communicate with me about your independent and verifiable research on Robert's English origins, especially in Surrey, Middlesex, or other nearby counties, with a focus on finding his place of birth and birth family. We may, as a result, be more efficient researching more records, geographic areas, and lines of inquiry.

Second, Tommy Reynolds, President of the Reynolds Family Association, makes the following suggestion, which I am happy to include here. "A complimentary aspect of our research on Robert--including his origins and his potential connections to other Reynolds family lines--is our effort to reveal his YDNA "signature". As of early 2024, six direct male-line Reynolds descendants (i.e. people who inherited Robert's YDNA) have tested as part of the Reynolds Surname YDNA Project. Current testing technology and saturation indicate Robert's haplogroup as R1b > M269 > U106 > FT70755. This designation is solid but may refine and become more granular over time with additional tested individuals and testing technology. This YDNA signature can be used to i) verify paper/traditional genealogies of living Reynolds males in the US back to Robert and to ii) validate any forthcoming paper genealogies that may trace down from Reynoldses in Robert's locations in England in the early 1600s." If you are or know of a direct, male line descendant of Robert in the U.S. or England and are or may be interested in participating in YDNA testing (scholarships are available through the RFA) to help refine Robert's YDNA signature please contact Tommy Reynolds ( Lastly, if you have questions or comments about anything presented here, please email me. Let's keep researching Robert and Mary's origins until we overcome this brick wall and find their birth locations and families in England!

1. Article copyright © 2023 by New England Historic Genealogical Society.

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