Finding Francis (and Thomas)

Qualifications (What should we be looking for?)

As noted in a previous post, for a birth/baptism of Francis Mylls alias Kendall or Thomas Kendall to be accepted as ancestral, it must meet certain criteria. Those qualifications are:

  • Use of the alias surname within the immediate family
  • The birth of Francis in about 1620 and Thomas a bit before that

In addition, the next two qualifications must also be met, and the third is icing on the cake:

  • No death record before 1640
  • No marriage and children’s births/baptisms in England at the same time Francis and Thomas were married and having children in New England
  • Coming from an area recognized for religious dissent (since the majority of immigrants to the Massachusetts Bay colony were puritans/dissenters)

For many years, family historians have investigated Norfolk and Cambridgeshire records in accordance with the “standard wisdom” mentioned in several Kendall histories that Francis and Thomas came from Norfolk, but no family was found in either county which met the criteria. The search needed to expand.

Who was found

A general search using the alias surname located a family in the parish of Sherrington, Buckinghamshire which met the necessary criteria. The family, headed by a father Ralf, used the alias surname. He had a son named Thomas, with a younger brother, Francis. The baptisms for the children in that family (in order) from the Sherrington bishop’s transcripts are[1]:

Thomas Mylles the sonne of Raphe Mylles baptized the xxiiii th of November 1616 (24 Nov 1616)

Elizabeth Mylles alias Kendale the daughter ofRaphe baptized the xx th of December 1618) 20 Dec 1618)

Franncis Mylles alias Kendall the sonne of Raph MYLLES baptized the 19th of November 1620 

John Kendall the sonne of Raphe baptized the ?xi (possibly xv) th of June 1623 

Richard Milles the sonne of Raphe Milles baptized the 6 day of July (1628) 

It must be noted there are gaps in the bishop’s transcripts, the only source of baptisms in this parish at that time. All the years before 1600, with the exception of 1576, are missing plus 1615, 1617, 1625-1628, and 1635. One or more of Raphe Mylles alias Kendall’s children could have been baptized within those gaps, in which case, no original baptism record will be found because the parish register, the only other possible source for information on children’s births/baptisms, does not start until 1698.  

Meeting other criteria

Furthermore, the third and fourth criteria were also met within the Sherrington area. No burial record was found in Sherrington or Newport Pagnell for either Thomas or Francis between their baptism years and 1640. Newport Pagnell was also searched since the family may have moved there.[2] An index search of Buckinghamshire and even nearby counties found no pre-1640 burial entry for either brother. While it is not impossible a burial happened in a gap year, without any proof of burial, we can reasonably assume none occurred.

There is also no evidence either brother married or had children in their parish of birth nor any other parish nearby. For that matter, no children of a Francis or Thomas using the Kendall alias Mylles surname were found in England. Going back a generation, the same can be said of the children of Raphe Mylles alias Kendall. There is no record anywhere else in England of a family using that specific alias surname, let alone one with children named Francis and Thomas.


The fifth criterion, which was not necessary for identification but matches up nicely with what is known of the adult Francis and Thomas, is that they came from an area of dissent. Sherrington was very small (total population of only 856 in 1841), but by the 1630s there were obvious signs of dissent.[3] Those signs included individuals attending congregations in Newport Pagnell and Olney instead of attending the Church of England in their home parish, excommunications for dissent, and congregants leaving for New England, including the family of Philip Kirtland plus Anthony Newall who left for Lynn in 1637. That is the town Thomas Kendall may have lived in prior to departing Lynn Village which later became Reading, Massachusetts. A Quaker congregation had also started in Sherington by 1645.

Newport Pagnell also has a documented history of dissent.[4] Samuel Austin, the Church of England vicar for Newport Pagnell was “thrust out” by Cromwell in 1646, after having served there from the early 1630s. The next vicar, John Gibbs was an admitted Congregationalist, and the area was embroiled before that in controversy concerning infant baptism.[5] John Gibbs himself was an anabaptist. By the middle of the 1600s the Society of Friends had a significant foothold in Newport Pagnell.[6] In fact, it was one of the places George Fox stayed as a young man while sorting out his own beliefs. Well before the Civil War (1642-1646) several people in the town were called Puritans, and within a few years the Independents had a congregation there. The Baptists and other congregations followed.


The only logical conclusion based on the current evidence is that the baptism records of Francis Mylles alias Kendall and Thomas Kendall have been found in Sherrington, Buckinghamshire. Nor burial for either man was found in England. No possible families with wives and children were found in England while Thomas and Francis were living in New England. They came from an area of dissent in Buckinghamshire. All signs point to having found the right birth family for Francis and Thomas in the Sherrington bishop’s transcripts.  

[1] England, Buckinghamshire, Sherington, Bishop’s Transcripts for Sherrington, 1576-1839, children of Raphe Kendall als. Miles, 1613-1638, FHL microfilm 1,999,452 items 4-6; digitized images, Family Search ( : accessed 13 April 2023).

[2] In 1629, Ralph Kendall alias Mylles “of Sherrington” purchased land in Newport Pagnell. In 1654, Ralph gifted the land to his son, John Kendall alias Mills (likely in place of leaving it in his will since he was about to marry Ann Mullender, who might have made a claim), at which point neither is referenced as “of Sherrington” and additional documentation shows John was living in Newport Pagnell when his will was written in 1666. Presumably the Kendall alias Mylles family moved to Newport Pagnell when at least some of the children were still young, as later family events occur there.

[3] Sherrington Historical Society, Sherrington Historical Society ( : accessed 20 June 2023), 1841 census for Sherrington, link:

A. C. Chibnall, Sherington-Fiefs and Fields of a Buckinghamshire Village (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1965), Chapter 26; detailed list on Milton Keynes Heritage Association website ( : accessed 20 June 2023).

[4] Frederick William Bull, A History of Newport Pagnell (Kettering, England: W. E. & J. Goss, printers and publishers, 1900), 119-120.

[5] Maurice F. Hewitt, “John Gibbs 1627-1699,” The Baptist Quarterly 3 (1927 issue 7): 315-322; image copy, Taylor and Francis Online ( : accessed 20 June 2023).

[6] Frederick William Bull, A History of Newport Pagnell, 133-140.

Author: ancestorquests

I'm Keri-Lynn, an "amateur professional" genealogist. I have a degree in Family History and have been researching my family lines for many years.

2 thoughts on “Finding Francis (and Thomas)”

    1. Thank you so much, Donna, I hope to add a lot more to it in the future. I just received four more land records from England and now all I need is time to get them all analyzed and uploaded.

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