Newbury MA will celebrate its 375th anniversary in May 2010. In 1635 the Revd Thomas Parker and others applied for permission to settle Newbury. The first settlers included people from Newbury in Berkshire, hence the name of the new settlement. Some work has been done on the first settlers by members of the Historical Society of Old Newbury in Newburyport MA, but not much about their lives/families in England. The main people are: Thomas Parker, John Woodbridge, Nicholas Noyes, John Godfrey, Henry Lunt, John Spencer. It would be appropriate for Newbury (Berkshire) to commemorate Parker and Woodbridge in particular, but also to know more about the families of these trail blazers.
Thomas Parker was master of the grammar school in Newbury before leaving for Massachussetts, probably also acting as curate to Newbury's most eminent churchman, William Twisse (later Prolocutor of the Assembly of Westminster Divines). John Woodbridge's brother Benjamin also went out to Massachussetts and went to the new Harvard University - becoming the first graduate of that great institution. He returned to England and became Rector of Newbury c1648. He was ejected from the living after the restoration and is now viewed as the founder of both the Prebysterian and Independent churches in Newbury (not sure how he could subscribe to both sets of beliefs?).