Winsor Genealogy of Duxbury and Fairhaven Massachusetts

Winsor (Fairhaven family). While the family bearing this name at Fairhaven is not an ancient one there, it is one of long and honorable standing in the Old Colony, its early seat being at Duxbury. The head of the Fairhaven family, the late Capt. Alexander Winsor, a master mariner long in the merchant service, sprang from a seafaring father, and as well reared, a son who most worthily bore the family name and sustained its reputation. Reference is made to the late Capt. Alexander Winsor, Jr., who won distinction on the seas in the service of the Chinese government during the country’s war with Japan. And another son of the older Capt. Alexander Winsor was the late Walter P. Winsor, of Fairhaven, for years president of the First National Bank of New Bedford, one of the leading citizens of this section of the State.

Here follow in chronological order from the earliest definitely known American ancestor of the family the genealogy and history of the Duxbury-Fairhaven Winsor family here briefly considered.

Of William Winsor, the father of the first of the name in Duxbury, says Winsor in his History of Duxbury, Mass. (1849):

“I have been able – to learn nothing except from vague tradition, which says he bore this name – William – and that he came from Devonshire, England, to Boston, and soon after married a second wife, Betsey Smith, and that his children were Samuel, who went to Duxbury, and who was by his first wife, and William, who was a jeweler and remained in Boston, where he died without children, and Peter who was never married, but went to the West Indies where he died.”

Samuel Winsor, son of William, was the first of the name in Duxbury. He was born May 14, 1725, and settled on Clark’s island in Duxbury bay. The site of his house was a few rods northwest of the present building. Here he built several small vessels, and here several of his children were born. He next removed and built a house on the southern slope of Captain’s hill. On Feb. 18, 1746, he married Rhoda Delano, who died June 1, 1799. He died May 22, 1770, aged forty-five years. They had children:

  1. Nathaniel Winsor, born Jan. 15, 1747
  2. Joshua Winsor, May 1, 1749
  3. Samuel Winsor, Aug. 31, 1751
  4. William Winsor, Jan. 27, 1753
  5. John Winsor, Aug. 31, 1756
  6. James Winsor, July 19, 1759 (died Feb. 21, 1767)
  7. Peter Winsor, Aug. 21, 1761
  8. Rhoda Winsor, June 5, 1764 (married Amos Brown)
  9. Betsey Winsor, Feb. 3, 1768 (married Job Sampson)
  10. James Winsor, March 17, 1770

Peter Winsor, son of Samuel, removed to Kingston. He married Oct. 27, 1783, Deborah Delano, who died Jan. 11, 1785, aged twenty-one. He then married Charlotte Delano. He died April 19, 1845, aged eighty-three. His children were:

  1. Zenas Winsor
  2. Charlotte, who married Mr. Coney, of North Carolina, and settled in Medford
  3. William Winsor

Capt. Zenas Winsor, son of Peter, married in 1806 Lucinda Wadsworth. Mr. Winsor was a seafaring man, a master mariner. His children were:

  1. Deborah Winsor, born Jan. 26, 1808 (married a Waterman)
  2. Alexander Winsor, Aug. 11, 1810
  3. Lucinda Winsor, Nov. 7, 1813
  4. Zenas Winsor, Oct. 8, 1816
  5. Jerusha E. Winsor, Dec. 21, 1819 (married Henry Brooks)
  6. Helen C. Winsor, Feb. 6, 1823 (died Oct. 8, 1842)
  7. Laurelia Winsor, June 7, 1825
Capt Alexander Winsor
Capt Alexander Winsor

Capt. Alexander Winsor, son of Zenas and Lucinda, was born Aug. 11, 1810, in Duxbury, Mass., and at the early age of fourteen years, in 1824, he began a seafaring life, making his first voyage with his father. When twenty-five years old he was placed in command of the new ship “Molo” and sailed on a voyage to Stockholm, Sweden. While in charge of a pilot the ship struck on Gotland island, and became a total loss. This disaster he felt would end his career, and he returned in time to Boston, but to his surprise he was there met on the wharf by his employer, Thatcher Magoun, who at once tendered him another ship, which was then ready for sea and awaiting his return. His second ship was the “Timolean,” and subsequently he was master of the “Susan Drew,” “Audubon,” “Gertrude,” “Hussar,” “Sea Nymph,” “Flying Cloud,” “Sea Serpent,”‘ and “Herald of the Morning”; the last ship, which he left in 1872, was owned by Thatcher Magoun, in whose employ he made his first voyage as master.

Captain Winsor belonged to the old-school clipper ship masters, nearly all of whom have now passed away. They were for the most part accomplished gentlemen as well as thorough seamen, and of this class Captain Winsor was a most worthy representative.

Captain Winsor married Sarah Pellington Allen, a native of Fairhaven. Their children were:

  1. Alexander Winsor, born April 27, 1845
  2. Walter P. Winsor, Oct. 12, 1846
  3. Sarah Frances Winsor, June 1, 1851 (married Thomas B. Fuller)

Capt. Alexander Winsor (2), son of Capt. Alexander and Sarah P. (Allen), was born April 27, 1845, in Fairhaven, Mass. His father a seafaring man, and as well _ his grandfather, master mariners, and reared in a seaport town, it was, but natural that the son inherited or imbibed from his environment a taste for the sea. When but nineteen years of age he sailed with his father in the merchant service, rapidly rising to the position of master. After a brief trip and stay in China he returned to his native town, but soon again sailed to that country, and it was not long after his arrival there that he was given command of one of the largest steamers running between Hong Kong and Shanghai, holding the position some half dozen years. He was then transferred to the “Shantung,” a large freight and passenger steamship owned by Russell & Co., and later by the China Merchant Steam Navigation Company, in whose Employ he continued twenty-two years. On the breaking out of the war about the close of the period named, Captain Winsor’s steamer was transformed to the transport “Mee Foo” and remained in command until almost the close of the war. He then made his home in Shanghai until some three years prior to his death, when, returning to Fairhaven, he built a beautiful residence on Fort street, in which he ever afterward made his home.

Captain Winsor was a man of excellent character and was held in the highest respect and esteem by all who knew him. In recognition of his services to China during the war, of his courage and skill in extracting a fleet of Chinese steamers from a perilous position during the great naval battle in which the Japanese were victorious, he was made the possessor of the order of the Chinese Double Dragon, a magnificent emblem presented by Li Hung Chang, then the prime minister.

On Aug. 14, 1871, Captain Winsor was married to Carrie I. Bailey, daughter of Capt. Joseph and Abbie Howland (Ingraham) Bailey, of New Bedford. Mrs. Winsor and two children survived the husband and father, who died at his home in Fairhaven June 7, 1899, aged fifty-four years Of the children, Alice married Harry Maitland, and has a daughter, Alma Ingraham; Alexander Clifford died April 4, 1910, aged thirty-one years.

Walter Pellington Winsor, son of Capt. Alexander and Sarah Pellington (Allen) Winsor, was born in Fairhaven, Oct. 12, 1846. He was educated in the public schools of his native town, and in the private school of John Boadle, at New Bedford. At the age of seventeen years he left home and went to New York as bookkeeper for a Broadway firm, where he remained for six months, and then for six months was in a grocery store in New Bedford. In 1864 he took the position commonly called the “boy’s position” in the First National Bank of New Bedford, remaining two years. In May, 1866, he became clerk with the Union Mutual Marine Insurance Company, of New Bedford, and was afterward promoted to the position of secretary and treasurer of the company, continuing as such until 1874, when the company went into liquidation consequent upon the heavy losses in the Arctic ocean in the summer of 1871, and the decline of the whaling business in New Bedford. In June, 1874, be was elected cashier of the First National Bank of New Bedford, and on the death of Edward S. Taber, in March, 1899, he was elected president of the bank, being eminently fitted by natural ability and long training for this work. This position he held until his death, Dec. 8, 1911, becoming known as a conservative and honorable man and a banker of high prestige.

Mr. Winsor was a Republican and was one of the selectmen of Fairhaven for thirteen years. He was a member of the Unitarian Church of Fairhaven. A close friend of the late Henry H. Rogers from boyhood, he represented Mr. Rogers in his Fairhaven undertakings. Upon the death of Mr. Rogers he became one of the executors of the vast estate; was a director of the Virginian Railway Company, whose road was built by Mr. Rogers; vice president of the Atlas Tack Company; director of the Wamsutta Mills; director of the Union Street Railway Company; treasurer of the Fairhaven Water Company; and treasurer of the Millicent Library at Fairhaven.

The following editorial appeared in the Morning Mercury of Dec. 11, 1911:

In the death of Walter P. Winsor there passes out one who has been, for nearly forty years, a prominent figure in the large financial affairs of this community. Mr. Winsor was a son of one of that splendid race of captains who controlled the destinies of the great clipper ships that were once the glory of the seas. From that inheritance a type of man was developed, of commanding figure and bearing, impressive in a physical sense of resourcefulness and reliability. Throughout his long business career, no act of Mr. Winsor’s was ever at variance with that first impression which his noble appearance inspired. His ability as an accomplished banker and financier was high, but the surpassing trait was his exalted honor and trustworthiness, and his judicious conservatism in handling the important affairs and the responsibilities entrusted to his management and care. That the late Henry H. Rogers selected him as an executor of his vast estate and interests, indicates that one of the greatest and most discerning of the financiers of this age regarded Mr. Winsor’s endowments as uncommon. He was the executor of many estates and was entrusted with many affairs of business outside of those in his regular line of duties as a banker, and he was faithful in all. Outside of his business career he lived the life of a gentleman of quiet and refined taste, one who loved flowers and simple pleasures, and his home above all.

“Of soul sincere In action faithful, and in honor clear, Who broke no promise, served no private end, Who gain’d no title, and who lost no friend.”

Mr. Winsor married Mary G. Bancroft, daughter of Joseph B. and Sylvia W. (Thwing) Bancroft, of Hopedale, Mass. They had children as follows:

  1. Walter Pellington Winsor, Jr., born April 20, 1879, died June 29, 1911.
  2. Anna Bancroft Winsor, born May 22, 1881, married Carl Clapp Shippee, and resides at Red Bank, N. J. She has two children
    1. Winsor Winsor, born Jan. 18, 1908
    2. Robert Winsor, born July 3, 1910
  3. Bancroft Winsor, born June 26, 1889, resides in Fairhaven.
  4. Allen Pellington Winsor, born Feb. 12, 1892, is a student at Harvard University.
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