Ancestors of Alexander Holmes of Kingston, MA

Last Updated on May 1, 2021 by Dennis

The family of Alexander Holmes of Kingston, MA is one of long and honorable standing in New England, and there the branch is represented by the family of the late Alexander Holmes, who for years was president of the Old Colony and Fall River Railroad. Across the water in old England the Holmes family history reaches back to the year 1066, when one John Holmes, the founder of the Holmes family, is credited with being a volunteer in the army of William, Duke of Normandy.

“Being of ancient family and of handsome conduct, he was noticed by William himself, and made a captain in his army; and, having performed his part to the satisfaction of the Conqueror, he was rewarded by him with an estate in Yorkshire. He and his descendants continued in possession of this estate until the reign of King John, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, at which time Hugh Holmes was the head of the family. Incurring the displeasure of King John in the controversies of that turbulent period, Hugh fled to the northward, and found safety at Mardale, having for refuge a cave still known as ‘Hugh’s Cave.’ He subsequently purchased the Dalesmans estate, which is still in possession of his descendants.”

In time, in the early days of the peopling of New England, there came a number of the Holmes name to our shores, and from two of them, John Holmes of Plymouth, and William Holmes, of Marshfield, the most of the families bearing the name of Holmes in the Old Colony were descended, and of them said the genealogist Vinton, “So far as the present writer (Vinton) is aware, they have always sustained a high character for intelligence, thrift and all the moral virtues.” The early Holmes or Holme genealogy, as compiled by Gustav Anjou, is substantially as follows:

John Holmes, of whom nothing further is known except that he was the father of

Robert, of Paul Holme, who with wife Annas had two sons

  1. Sir Oliver Holme
  2. Ralph Holme, the latter of whom married Frances, and had descendants who resided at Huntingdon, County of York, England.

Sir Oliver, of Paul Holme, controller to Empress Maud, and knighted 18th Stephen (1152), was the father of

Robert, of Paul Holme, Esquire, living temp. Henry II. (22d, 1175). He married Ursula, daughter of Sir John Frismarsh, Knight, and had

  1. Oliver Holme (who married a daughter of Sir John Rison, Knight, of Ravenser)
  2. John Holme
  3. Robert Holme
  4. Thomas Holme
  5. Henry Holme

John, of Paul Holme, Esq., temp. Henry II. (22d Henry, 1176). He married Sebastian or Keterine, daughter of Sir John de Lascello, Baron of Sayer, and had issue:

  1. Stephen Holme
  2. John Holme
  3. Thomas Holme
  4. Anthony Holme

Stephen, knighted at Barhamstead 22d Henry III. (1237), married Millicent, daughter of Sir Richard Sutton, Knight, and died Jan. 22, 1254. He left

John, his son and heir, Esq., 1286. He married Ancoretta, daughter of Peter de la Twyer, Esq., and had:

  1. Sir Richard Holme
  2. Elen Holme married Sir Stephen Burstwick
  3. Ann Holme married Sir William Acton
  4. Margaret Holme married Rob Thorpe
  5. Elizabeth Holme married Sir Peter Frothingham
  6. Ursula Holme married Roger Welnick. (William of Orange grants to Master John Holme all his rights in loft and 8 butts in Holme, with marsh called Salem Marsh; tested by William Vavasour of Thorn, Robert Boothby, etc. – Holderness Records.)

Sir Richard, son of John Holme and Ancoretta de la Twyer, was knighted 1st Edw. II., and was alive 18th Edw. II. (1324). He married Joan, daughter of Sir William St. Quintine, Lord of Brandsburton, and had:

  1. Bryan Holme
  2. William “de Howom” (Holme-on-the-wolds) Holme, who married Isabell, was a freeman in 1353, bailiff in 1366-67, mayor 1374, M. P. 1387, and had a son Thomas de Howom.

Sir Bryan, knighted by Edward III. and master of his buckhounds in 1328, had for ensign a hound’s header, or. He married Dame Ellen of Blois, and had: Robert. He died 22d Edw. III., the same year he had armorial bearings for taking the King of Scots prisoner.

Robert, his son, married Julia, daughter of Sir William Rookley, and died 22d Richard II., leaving

  1. Robert Holme
  2. Brian Holme
  3. Richard Holme (who married a daughter of William Harwich 22d Richard II.)
  4. William  Holme

William, son of Robert Holme, alias Holmes, Esq., lived 6th Henry IV. (1405), and married Joan, daughter of Sir William Martlet of Ripley. Issue

  1. John Holme

John was of Paul Holme, was seized of Thorngumbald in right of his wife 8th Henry VI. (1429). He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adam Wastneys, and she died before her husband, probably in 1429, when he had the estate of Thorngumbald. Issue, John. (18th Henry VI. Thomas – gheler of Paulflete grants to John Holme and Elizabeth his wife and male issue, all his lands in Paul Holme, to hold as a love in special tail remainder to the right heirs of John; tested by Sir Robert Hilton, Sir Jno. Routh and John Constable.)

John, of Thorngumbald, married Jane, daughter of Jno. Ellerher of Risty, Sarg.-at-law about 20th Henry VI. He had Thorngumbald “jure matris.” Issue:

  1. Richard Holme
  2. John Holme
  3. Robert Holme
  4. Jane Holme (who married Constable of Frismarsh)
  5. Anne Holme (who married William Hodgskin).

Robert, of Paul Holme, 1485-86, married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Constable, of Halsham, and Laura, daughter of Henry Fitz Hugh, Lord of Ravensworth. Issue:

  1. Robert Holme
  2. John Holme, who married Elland and had
    1. John (died young)
    2. Joan (married Ralph Rokeby)
    3. Anne (married William Cheney)
  3. William Holme
  4. Stephen Holme, who died s. p. 2d Henry VIII.

William, third son of Robert Holme, entails his estate and honors at Paul Holme. He married Catherine, daughter of Sir Xr. Hildyard, of Winstead, Kt., and had son,

William, of Paul Holme, Esq., married Catherine. Issue:

  1. Agnes Holme, who married Paul Alkirk
  2. William Holme
  3. Johan Holme, who married John Kelsby
  4. John Holme, of Paul Holme, who married Anne, daughter of Ralph or John Aiseley, of S. Darston. With other children John and Anne had Edward and William. Edward married twice and had by second wife, Ann Strickland, son Henry, born 1570, who with other children had son Christopher, born 1591. One son of this Christopher, Henry, had son Rev. Henry, who was the father of Stephen, who left an only daughter, Betty. Betty married Rev. James Torre, whose son Henry assumed the name of Holme. The other son of Christopher, Christopher of Skefling, had with other children a son John, who left two sons, Henry, who died unmarried, and Rev. John, who also died unmarried in 1775.

William, born about 1528, married June 8, 1556, Margaret, daughter of Stephen Warick, and had issue:

  1. Stephen Holmes
  2. William Holmes, born Sept. 2, 1559 (who married May 8, 1591, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Hills, and had two sons: William, born June 3, 1592, emigrated to Plymouth before 1632, served in the Pequot war, was lieutenant in Scituate, returned to England, and later to Boston, where he died Nov. 12, 1649. He willed to daughters of his brother Thomas farm in Scituate, provided they came to New England. They were then living in London. No issue. 6 Thomas, born May 12, 1593, married Henriette, daughter of William Martin, and had Rachel, born Jan. 3, 1615, and Bathsheba, born July 23, 1617); and Margarett, born July 16, 1560.

Stephen, born March 22, 1557, married Aug. 4, 1590, Elizabeth, daughter of Israel Richardson, and had issue:

  1. William Holmes, born Jan. 3, 1592
  2. Israel Holmes, born March 19, 1593, who married June 7, 1616, Annie Warrick
  3. Elizabeth Holmes, born Jan. 8, 1595

Genealogy of Edward Holmes of Kingston, MA

Edward Holmes, son of Joseph and Lucy (Holmes), was born in the town of Kingston Sept. 15; 1806. He was educated in the schools there, and from early boyhood assisted his father in shipbuilding, becoming an expert in that line. He could go into the woods, select the timber, cut it and fit it for ship timber, and then build the ship. During bis father’s lifetime the firm owned eighty-two vessels of different classes, which were built at their own shipyard, and which had a value o£ a quarter of a million dollars. The vessels were used in the Grand Bank fishing trade and in the mercantile trade. After the death of his father in 1863 Mr. Holmes ‘continued the business, building eight other vessels, viz.: “Annie Eldridge,” “Lucy Holmes,” “Mary Baker,” “Fisher,” bark “Solomon,” bark “Hornet” and brig “Helen A. Holmes” and sloop “Rosewood.” He continued in active business up to his death. He was a land owner in Plymouth county, having bought large tracts of timber land for shipbuilding purposes. He could tell by a glance at a timber tract how many feet of ship timber he could get out of it. He was a thorough business man, and was square in his dealings. He died at his home April 13, 1888, and was buried in Evergreen cemetery. He was a Whig and Republican in politics.

Mr. Holmes married (first) Eliza Bryant, daughter of Lewis and Clarissa (Holmes) Bryant, of Plympton, Mass. Their children were:

  1. Anna Eliza Holmes, who married Sewall A. Faunce, of Boston, Mass., and has had two children
    1. Sewall E. (deceased) Faunce
    2. Eliza H. Faunce
  2. Edward Kent Holmes
  3. Lemuel Holmes, who died in early manhood

Mrs. Holmes died and Mr. Holmes married (second) Abigail Inglee Bosworth, daughter of Bela and Joanna (Harlow) Bosworth, of Plympton. To this union were born:

  1. Abbie Bosworth Holmes, who married Henry M. Jones
  2. Paraclete Webster Holmes
  3. Lucy Holmes, who married C. Fred Howe, of Kingston, and has three children
    1. Harold Holmes Howe
    2. Edward Somerset Howe
    3. Natalie Frederique Howe

Mrs. Holmes died July 28, 1896, and was buried in Evergreen cemetery. She was a faithful member of the Congregational Church, and had many warm friends.

Edward Kent Holmes, son of Edward, was born at Kingston, where he attended school. He also studied at West Newton, Mass. As a young man he followed the sea, and then was associated with his father in ship building. Later, however, he became engaged in farming, settling on the farm known as “Holmcrest,” where he spent the remainder of his life, and where he died in 1898. In politics he was a Democrat. Mr. Holmes married (first) Frances Dawers, of Kingston, and their only child was Samuel, who resides at Rochester, N. Y. After the death of his wife Mr. Holmes married (second) Helen E. Bosworth, who was born at Plympton, daughter of Henry E. Bosworth. To this union were born three children:

  1. Horace Holmes, born Dec. 6, 1873, and now engaged in dairy farming at “Holmcrest,” married Carrie W. Dunbar, and has one child
    1. Edward Henry Holmes
  2. Belle Holmes died young
  3. Josephine Holmes married Parker F. Perkins, and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

Paraclete Webster Holmes, son of Edward and Abigail (Bosworth) Holmes, was born in the town of Kingston and now makes his home at Foxboro, Mass. He married Alice Bradford, daughter of Gershom and Emily (Burt) Bradford. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes have had two children:

  1. Emily B. Holmes married Nelson H. Marvin
  2. Joseph Holmes, who is connected with the financial department of the American Express Company at Boston, married Bertha Cook, and has one child
    1. Bradford Holmes, born April 16, 1909

Ancestry of Nelson H. Marvin of Cambridge, MA

The Marvin family to which Nelson H. Marvin belongs, is an old English family dating back in direct line to the twelfth century, and has long been settled in Nova Scotia. The family came from England and located at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where Nelson Marvin, grandfather of Nelson H., was born. He grew to manhood in his native home and learned the trade of ship carpenter, following that occupation in Halifax, where he settled. He and his brother were early engaged in building ships for Samuel and Edward Cunard, founders of the Cunard Steamship Company. He died in Halifax, where he had a prosperous career and became well known. He married Margaret Mills, a native of Sydney, Cape Breton, whose father, Dr. Mills, was a surgeon in the British army, and to them was born a family of seven children, as follows:

  1. Thomas Marvin, now deceased
  2. Nelson Marvin, deceased
  3. Douglas Marvin, who was for many years connected with the firm of J. B. Elliott & Co., of Halifax, where he was also quite prominent in Masonic circles (he died in Halifax)
  4. Mary Marvin, who resides in Halifax
  5. Arthur Marvin, a well-known marine captain, who makes his home in Halifax
  6. Charles M. Marvin, also a sea captain, who died on board his ship, and is buried at Portsmouth, England
  7. Annie Marvin, who married John Brown, of Halifax

Thomas Marvin, son of Nelson and Margaret (Mills) Marvin, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and there educated in private schools. He learned the trade of carpenter and later was engaged in the contracting and building business, as well as being an architect, in Halifax, whence in time he removed to Massachusetts, locating at Cambridge. There he spent the remainder of his life, and there he died April 11, 1880. He married Eliza H. Marvin.

Nelson H. Marvin, son of Thomas and Eliza H. (Marvin) Marvin, was born Dec. 30, 1866, at Cambridge, Mass., where he grew to manhood and received his education. His business connection has been with the Continental Clothing Company of Boston, he being a stock-holder, secretary and treasurer of the corporation, of which he was manager until June 6, 1910, when he became manager of the Talbot Company’s store in Boston, Nos. 395-403 Washington street, of which company he is also a director. He married Emily Burt Holmes, a native of Kingston, daughter of Paraclete Webster and Alice (Bradford) Holmes, and they make their home at Newton, Massachusetts.

Henry Jones Family of Kingston, MA

Henry M. Jones was born at Kingston Nov. 13, 1859, son of the late Dr. Henry Newell and Sophia H. (Martin) Jones, the former a well-known practicing physician in Kingston, where he had made his home for sixty years and where he died Dec. 18, 1902.

Henry M. Jones was educated in the public and high schools of Kingston, and the Norwich University, graduating from the latter in 1881. After returning from school he embarked in the manufacturing business, forming a partnership with F. E. Woodward, in the manufacture of tacks, under the firm name of Woodward & Jones. They later took in as a partner K. W. Stetson, and the business was conducted under the firm name of Stetson, Woodward & Jones, and so it continued for some time. Later Mr. Jones continued the tack manufacturing-alone, finding a market for his product in New England. After many years in the manufacturing business, he sold out and has since led a retired life, making his home in Kingston. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow, and politically a Republican.

On July 3, 1887, Mr. Jones married Abbie B. Holmes, daughter of Edward Holmes. They have no children.

Genealogy of William Holmes of Marshfield, MA

William Holmes, born Jan. 3, 1592, near Holme, East Biding, Yorkshire, emigrated before 1636 to New England. Pope has him in Scituate in 1636. At any rate he was living there as early as 1641, was on the list of those in Scituate who were “able to bear arms” in 1643, and was a householder before 1647. He was one of the Conihassett planters in 1646 (company of twenty-six individuals who in 1646 purchased a tract of land in Scituate). He was a freeman of Plymouth county in 1658. In 1661 he removed across the North river into Marshfield, where he died 9th of 9th month, 1678, aged eighty-six years, and where Elizabeth, his wife, was buried Feb. 17, 1689, in her eighty-sixth year. It is conjectured that Mr. Holmes was a kinsman of Lieut. William Holmes, who was at Plymouth in 1632; appointed to instruct the people of Plymouth and Duxbury in arms in 1635; commander in the Pequot war, 1637, and afterward major in Massachusetts. The children of William of Marshfield were:

  1. John Holmes is mentioned below
  2. Josiah Holmes married Hannah Sampson
  3. Abraham Holmes married (first) Elizabeth Arnold, and (second) Abigail Nichols, of Hingham
  4. Israel Holmes, baptized in 1642, married Desire Doty Sherman
  5. Isaac Holmes, baptized in 1644, married Anna Rouse
  6. Sarah Holmes was baptized in 1646
  7. Rebecca Holmes was baptized in 1648
  8. Mary Holmes, baptized in 1655, married a Cheney, of Newbury
  9. Elizabeth Holmes, baptized in 1661, married Thomas Bourne

Rev. John Holmes, born in England, was ordained in 1659, as pastor of the church in Duxbury, being the second minister of the second Plymouth Colony, succeeding Rev. Ralph Partridge. He married Dec. 11, 1661, Mary Wood, daughter of John Wood, of Plymouth. He died Dec. 24, 1675, and his widow Mary became the third wife of Maj. William Bradford, who was deputy governor and son of Gov. William Bradford. She died Jan. 6, 1714-15. The children of John and Mary Holmes were:

  1. Joseph Holmes, born July or Jan. 9, 1665
  2. Isaac Holmes, born in 1674, who married Mary Allerton
  3. Mary Holmes, twin to Isaac

Joseph Holmes, born Jan. or July 9, 1665, in Duxbury, lived in Kingston for many years, and later moved near the Plympton line, where he owned a tract of land and followed farming. He died June 26, 1753. He married Sarah Sprague, daughter of Samuel Sprague, who was secretary of the Colony, and (second) Mary Brewster, born in Kingston, Feb. 10, 1678-79, daughter of Wrestling Brewster, and granddaughter of Elder William Brewster. She died April 17, 1761. One child was born to the first marriage

  1. John Holmes

Those of the second marriage were:

  1. Joseph Holmes, born Oct. 4, 1696
  2. Wrestling Holmes, Feb. 8, 1698
  3. Ephraim Holmes, March 4, 1699
  4. Mary Holmes, June 4, 1701
  5. Sarah Holmes, April 11, 1703
  6. Abigail Holmes, July 18, 1704
  7. Jonathan Holmes, July 5, 1709
  8. Micah Holmes, April 8, 1714
  9. Lydia Holmes, June 5, 1717
  10. Kezia Holmes, March 23, 1719

Joseph Holmes, born Oct. 4, 1696, in Kingston, resided there and lived on the homestead, following farming. He died April 26, 1756. He was married May 20, 1731, to Rebecca, born Oct. 9, 1710, daughter of Robert and Mary Waterman. Their children were

  1. Mary Holmes, born Feb. 21, 1732
  2. Joseph Holmes, born Oct. 20, 1733
  3. Lydia Holmes, born Nov. 9, 1736
  4. Rebecca Holmes, born Jan. 17, 1738
  5. Laurana Holmes, born April 7, 1740
  6. Lemuel Holmes, born Feb. 11, 1742
  7. Jedidiah Holmes, born Jan. 1, 1744
  8. Melatiah Holmes, born March 30, 1745
  9. Anna Holmes, born July 16, 1748
  10. John Holmes, born Jan. 14, 1751
  11. Thomas Holmes, born Jan. 28, 1755

Joseph Holmes, born Oct. 20, 1733, resided on the homestead in Kingston, where he followed farming, his death occurring Feb. 8, 1822 (age, however, is given as ninety-two years). He married Nov. 29, 1770, Jemima Adams, born Oct. 6, 1746, in Kingston, daughter of John and Thankful (Washburn) Adams. Their children were:

  1. Lemuel Holmes, born Oct. 15, 1771
  2. Joseph Holmes, Dec. 1, 1772
  3. Pelham Holmes, Nov. 10, 1774
  4. Clarissa Holmes, Jan. 31, 1779
  5. Pamela Holmes, March 8, 1781
  6. Pollie Holmes, Sept. 24, 1783

Joseph Holmes, born Dec. 1, 1772, in Kingston, received a good educational training, graduating from Brown University in 1796. He was a shipbuilder and also engaged in mercantile business. He became one of the large stockholders in the Old Colony & Fall River Railroad, and was considered one of the county’s wealthiest men. Throughout his long business career there was hardly a year that vessels of some kind were not being built by him, making an average of more than one a year for over sixty years. A short time before his death a list of the different vessels that he had built, with their names, tonnage, etc., was published and by that we ascertain that thirteen ships, nine barks, seventeen barges, thirty-four schooners and two sloops were constructed, making in the aggregate thirteen thousand, four hundred, eleven tons. Mr. Holmes died at his home in Kingston April 8, 1863, at the age of ninety years. On Nov. 11, 1799, he married Lucy Holmes, born Oct. 9, 1776, daughter of Jedediah and Sarah (Adams) Holmes. She died Feb. 7, 1862, aged eighty-five years. Their children were:

  1. Alexander Holmes, born March 31, 1803
  2. Paraclete Holmes, born Oct. 3, 1804, who was a sea captain, but later was engaged in the insurance business in Boston
  3. Edward Holmes, born Sept. 15, 1806
  4. Horace Holmes, born Jan. 4, 1809
  5. Lucy Eveline Holmes, born Dec. 18, 1812, who married Capt. William S. Adams
  6. Cornelius Holmes, born Oct. 29, 1814
  7. Pamela Holmes, born Sept. 7, 1816, who married Joseph Sampson Beal, of Kingston, Massachusetts.

Alexander Holmes, born March 31, 1803, was in the shipping business, being himself a ship builder and owner. His home was in Kingston. A few years before his death he bought the estate once owned by Commodore Sever, a tract of fifty acres known as “Elmholm,” Kingston, now owned by his son Joseph A. Mr. Holmes was largely interested in the Old Colony & Fall River Railroad Company and filled the office of president for a number of years. He died at his home March (or May) 19, 1869, and was buried in Evergreen cemetery.

Mr. Holmes married Eliza Ann, born Jan. 31, 1805, daughter of Jedediah and Priscilla (Wilder) Holmes. She died at her home in Kingston Aug. 19, 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes attended the Unitarian Church at Kingston. Their children were:

  1. Joseph Alexander Holmes, born June 20, 1832, a graduate of Harvard, class of 1855, who resides on the estate “Elmholm,” in Kingston, unmarried
  2. Frank Henry Holmes, born May 7, 1837

Frank Henry Holmes, son of Alexander and Eliza Ann, was born on the homestead in Kingston May 7, 1837. and was educated in the public and high schools of that town, and the Allen Select School at West Newton, Mass. He was for a time engaged in the manufacturing of anchors in the forges established by his grandfather, Jedediah Holmes. Later he was farming at the homestead of his grandfather Jedediah, “Hillholm,” on the Wapping road, where his mother was born. Here he made his home for the remainder of his life. He was a stanch Republican and was quite active in public life, taking a deep interest in town affairs, especially the schools. He was quite active in church work. He died at his home in May, 1890, and is buried in Evergreen cemetery.

Mr. Holmes married Clynthia Drew, daughter of Spencer and Hannah (Simmons) Brewster, and a descendant of one of the oldest families of Plymouth Colony, being in direct line from Elder William Brewster. To Mr. and Mrs. Holmes have been born children as follows:

  1. Helen Holmes, born Sept. 9, 1865, was educated in the public and high schools, and Smith College, Northampton, Mass., and is engaged in farming, the florist business and dairying at “Hillholm,” making practical farming her specialty.
  2. Alexander Holmes, born July 28, 1867, was educated in the public schools. He was first selectman of the town of Kingston, overseer of the poor and assessor, and representative in the State Legislature. He married July 14, 1892, Mary Russell Adams, daughter of Horatio Adams, and has five children
    1. Dorothy Holmes
    2. Arthur Adams Holmes
    3. Margaret Holmes
    4. Alexander Holmes, Jr.
    5. Elizabeth Holmes
  3. Arthur Brewster Holmes, born on the homestead Aug. 20, 1873, was educated in the public and high schools of Kingston, and Exeter Academy, graduating from the latter in 1896, and later from Harvard University, after which he took up the study of medicine in Harvard Medical College, graduating in 1902. He is now practicing his profession in Kingston. In 1902 he married Edith Mabbett, of Kingston, and has children, Frank Henry, George Mabbett and Joseph Alexander 2d. Dr. Holmes is a Republican.


Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families. 3 Volumes. Beers & Chicago. 1912.

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