What’s in a name?

Our surname, Paulding, actually started out as Pollard and morphed several times over two centuries. Below is a timeline of the changes.


A little primer. (b. stands for birth date – ch stands for children – m for married – w for wife – d for died) etc.
Genealogy book shorthand. b 4 (4) 1644 means born 4 April 1644 or in modern format, April 4th, 1644.

The below information is from books published by various Historical Societies in New England.


William Pollard

The first of the P surname was William Pollard who married Anne Dison. We don't know exactly when William arrived but Anne came on the Winthrop fleet in 1630 and was the first white female to step foot on what is now Boston. She lived to be 105. Her portrait was painted at age 100 and is on display at the Massachusetts Historical Society. William and Anne had several children including John Pollard born June 04, 1644.


John Pollard

John Pollard b. 1644 married twice. First to Deliverance Willis and they had three children. Second to Mary Leonard of Taunton who's family had moved there from Duxbury. They had three more children including another John Pollard born Mar 20, 1675


John Pollard

John Pollard b. 1675 in Taunton married Lydia Tilson and they move to Plymouth and then Duxbury. It's here that the first name games begin. When married they are referred to as John Pouldand and Lidiah Tilson and later in a record with their children it says John Polland and his wife Lidia Poland with the children all listed as Polden. There's also a court record with a the charge of fornication "she being with child" that has them as John Polden and Lydiah in 1703. Regardless of the reason for the name change, it sticks for the next 150 years. John and Lydia had several children including Thomas born Apr12, 1712    


Thomas Polden

Thomas Polden, son of John and Lydia Pollard/Polden, married Deborah Spooner in Plymouth and they had several children including James Polden Sr born Jun 28, 1742 Oddly enough, this Church record has Polland, Poland and Polden as the surnames for one family.


James Polden Sr

James Sr married Elizabeth Beale in 1761 and they had four children, including of course, James Jr born Aug 20, 1764


James Polden Jr

James Polden Jr married Bethia Donham in 1784 and they also had four children including John Polden born 1792


John Polden

This John Polden moved to Duxbury and married Rebecca Weston, a Mayflower Descendant. Married in 1813 they had two boys including Joshua Thomas Polden Sr later in 1813 though he would not remain a Polden. Can't find my image on this but it's sourced to the books, Duxbury Vital Records & Duxbury Church Records, courtesy of Jan in the tree software at this bottom of this page, https://pauldingtree.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I2783&tree=tree1.


Joshua Thomas Polden Sr


Joshua Thomas Paulding Sr

My Great Great Grandfather Joshua Thomas Polden Sr married Betsey Atwell in 1839 and they only had a son born Jun 26, 1850 as Joshua Thomas Polden Jr and shows as such in the 1850 census but for the 1855 census Joshua Sr, wife Betsey and Joshua Jr, now 5 years old, are listed as Paulding, as are the rest of the children. I see there's a note on his tree page stating;
Signed his name Joshua Polden on February 19, 1844 Administrator's Bond for Probate of Russell Atwell but document had his name as Joshua Paulding."
So here you are on the Paulding Family Tree rather than the Pollard, Polland, Poland, Pouldand, Poldin or Polden Family Tree.