Reading is a town situated in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, some 10 miles (16km) north of central Boston. The first church was organized soon after the settlement, and the first parish, later known as South Reading, became the separate town of Wakefield in 1868. Thomas Parker was one of the founders of Reading. He also was a founder of the 12th Congregational Church (now the First Parish Congregational Church), and served as deacon there. He was a selectman of Reading and was appointed a judicial commissioner. There is evidence that Parker was "conspicuous in naming the town" and that he was related to the Parker family of Little Norton, England, who owned land by the name of Ryddinge. A special grant in 1651 added land north of the Ipswich River to the town of Reading. In 1853 this area became the separate town of North Reading. The area which currently comprises the town of Reading was originally known as Wood End, or Third Parish.