Richard Sears (pilgrim)

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Richard Sears
Richard Sears
Born 1590
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died September 26, 1676(1676-09-26)
Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony
Nationality English
Other names Richard Sares
Citizenship Yes
Religion Puritan

Richard Sears was an early settler who lived in both the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony.


Richard Sears was born in 1590 to John Bourchier Sayer (or Sears) and Marie Van Egmond. Both of his parents were born in England but had moved to Holland during the Protestant Reformation and were married in Holland in 1585. They returned to England on or before 1590 when Richard Sears was born.

After coming to North America about 1630, Richard Sears married Dorothy Thatcher in 1632.[1]

The above entry is entirely erroneous and was categorically disproven by Samuel Pearce May in his definitive 1890 genealogical work, The Descendants of Richard Sares (Sears) of Yarmouth, Mass., 1638-1888. Richard first appears in the tax records of Plymouth Colony in 1633; nothing is known about him prior to that date, not his parents, and not his date or place of birth.

The connection to the Bourchiers and Egmonds was created in a 19th-century genealogy commissioned by a wealthy descendant of Boston, David Sears, and was widely copied in genealogical writings of the time. But there is no evidence whatever to support it, and much to discredit it (see the above-mentioned work by May, as well as "Some Doubts concerning the Sears Pedigree." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 40: 261-268).

Further, Richard married Dorothy Jones of Dinder, England date unknown—not Dorothy Thacher/Thatcher.


Today, over 20,000 people, including Sir Evan Fritzenkotter, can trace their lineage to Richard Sears. These people have had an impact on not only the British Colonies but the United States and the world. Today, many thousands of those descendants live in the United States alone.


  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. 3 vols. Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1995.
  • Banks, Charles Edward. Planters of the Commonwealth. [Banks PC]
  • Brainerd, Dwight.The Ancestry of Thomas Brainerd. [NOT CONSULTED YET]
  • Browning, Charles Henry. Americans of Royal Descent.. 3rd Ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1894. 708. [Spurious pedigree connecting Richard Sears to Edward III through a completely invented Bourchier line.]
  • Burke, John Bernard. Visitation of Arms. Vol. III. 5-7. [Yet another official printing of the fantasy Sears genealogy.]
  • Burkes American Families with British Ancestry. 1939. 2905. [Sears formerly of Colchester].
  • Conover, George S. & Lewis Cass Aldrich. History of Ontario Co., N.Y. NY, 1893.
  • Curfman, Robert Joseph. The Paddock Genealogy: Descendants of Robert Paddock of Plymouth Colony, Blacksmith and Constable, 1646. Fort Collins, Colorado, 1977.
  • Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts. NY, 1910. [Cutter M]
  • Dictionary of American Biography.
  • Early Settlers of Western New York.
  • Emmison, F.G. Wills of the County of Essex (England) 1571-1577. Boston: NEHG Soc., 1986.
  • Freeman, Frederick. The History of Cape Cod: The Annals of Barnstable Co. and of its Several Towns. 2 vols. Boston, 1860.
  • “Harwich, Mass. Vital Records.” Transcribed by George Ernest Bowman. The Mayflower Descendant 3 (1901): 175; 13 (Jan 1911), No. 1, p. 58; 13 (July 1911) No. 3, p. 148.
  • History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and Schuyler Counties, Mo. Goodspeed 1880.
  • An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Sullivan Co., Mo. by Edwards Brothers of Mo. Philadelphia, 1877.
  • Mass. Soldiers & Sailors of the Revolutionary War. Vol. 13, p. 947. Boston, 1905.
  • May, Samuel Pearce.The Descendants of Richard Sares (Sears) of Yarmouth, Mass.: 1638-1888. Albany, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1890.
  • "Some Doubts concerning the Sears Pedigree." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 40: 261-268.
  • National Cyclopedia of American Biography.
  • Pope, Charles Henry. The Pioneers of Massachusetts: A Descriptive Note. Boston, 1900. Rochester, Mass. VR.
  • Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing Three Generations of those who came before May, 1692, on the basis of Farmer’s Register. 4 vols. Reprint. Baltimore, 1965.
  • Sears, Rev. Edward Hamilton. Pictures of the Olden Time. 1857. Includes the spurious pedigree derived from the fraudulent research of Horatio G. Somerby.
  • Sears Family History. Ms. in possession of Mrs. G.B Galyon, Rt. 1, Box 33, Berryville, Va.
  • "Spurious Pedigree," NEHGR 40: 261 foll.
  • Taunton, Mass. Vital Records to 1850. Boston: NEHG Soc., 1928.
  • Totten, John R.Thacher-Thatcher Genealogy. Publ. in NYGR.
  • The Visitations of Essex. Part 1. Ed. by Walter C. Metcalfe. London, 1878. 286-87.(Sayer, Sayre)
  • "Will of Captain Paul Sears"
  • Woodworth-Barnes, Esther Littleford. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 1620. Volume 16, Part 1, FAMILY OF JOHN ALDEN. Edited by Alice Crane Williams. Published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1999.


  1. ^ Geneaological Register of Plymouth Families. 

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