Alfred Pierce is a native of Bristol county, Mass., born in the old historic town of Rehoboth Jan. 1, 1822, son of Jeremiah and Candice (Wheeler) Pierce. This branch of the Pierce family in America is one of long standing and among the first settlers of New England. The name has been variously spelled, but the change to Pierce has been made in the last three-quarters of a century. In the Old World the members of this family have been quite prominent, and the name can be traced through a loner and distinguished line back to the days of the Norman Conquest.
The Richardson Family, of which the late Henry A. Richardson was a descendant, is an old and well-known family of Bristol county, Mass., the line being traced back to Samuel Richardson, who was born not far from 1610, in England, and came to this country, his name being first of record July 1, 1636, in Charlestown, as an inhabitant there in 1637.
William Sturdy, as he was thenceforth known, then shipped on an American schooner lying at Leghorn, and bound for the United States. He finally landed at Beverly, Mass., June 9, 1809. From the port of Beverly he made several voyages as mate of American schooners, but finally abandoned the seas. He married in Beverly Clarissa Whittemore, who was born in that town Jan. 28, 1794. After their marriage they settled in Attleboro, Bristol county, where Mr. Sturdy bought land lying on the west shore of the Falls pond and engaged in farming until 1827. Here ten of his fourteen children were born. About that time, 1827, “the initial efforts in cotton manufacturing on the Blackstone had opened the way for the employment of minors,” and Mr. Sturdy availed himself of this opportunity because it had become impossible for him to procure a proper subsistence for his large family from his farm. In that year he sold out and removed to the Blackstone Valley, locating at Slatersville, town of North Smithfield, R. I., where he and his children found employment in the cotton mills. He later settled in Blackstone, Mass., where he died Oct. 16, 1834. He was a hardworking man, honest and upright in his dealings, and his large family of fourteen children reflected great credit on their home training. The wife and mother died Feb. 13, 1856.
The Connecticut-Massachusetts branch of the earlier family of this name of the old Bay State is one of long and honorable standing in New England, and as well of historic connection. The especial family here considered, and which for designation is styled the Taunton family, is that of pome of the descendants of Capt. Jabez Fox, of Berkley, Mass., one of whose sons was the late Henry Hodges Fox and the latter’s son the present Hon. William Henry Fox, lawyer and judge, who for forty and more years has been judge of the First District court of Bristol county and otherwise prominently identified with the public affairs of the city of Taunton.
Walter Ballou, one of the representative citizens and well-known jewelry manufacturers of North Attleboro, where for upward of a half century he has been a member of the jewelry manufacturing firm of R. Blackinton & Co., is a native of the State of Rhode Island, born in the town of Cumberland Feb. 20, 1835, son of Preston and Harriet M. (Brown) Ballou. The Ballou family is among the oldest and most distinguished of Rhode Island. Of Norman-French origin, it is descended from Gunebored Ballou, who was probably a marshal in the army of William the Conqueror and took part in the memorable battle of Hastings, 1066.
SOULE (New Bedford family). The family bearing this name at New Bedford, Mass., is a branch of the Old Plymouth family, descending from George Soule, one of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims and a signer of the compact in 1620. The present head of the family is the Hon. Rufus Albertson Soule, citizen soldier, now collector of the port of New Bedford, who for many years has been a conspicuous figure in the business and political life of that place, a public servant of high and honorable service, one who as man, citizen and neighbor enjoys that popularity that comes to but few.
Maj. Herbert Allyne Clark (deceased), of Attleboro, Mass., who in recent years was Regimental Quartermaster of the United States Volunteer Army, and a man widely known, was the only surviving son of Samuel W. and Charity H. (Cushman) Clark, and was born in Middleboro, Mass., Feb. 22, 1859.
This branch of the Horton family has furnished to Attleboro, Mass., three generations of business men. Gideon Martin Horton, who was a well known merchant there a half century ago, and his four sons, Everett Southworth, Edwin Jackson, Gideon Martin and James Jackson Horton, all became successful jewelry manufacturers and prominent citizens. The eldest and last surviving brother, the late Maj. Everett S. Horton and his nephew, Raymond Martin Horton, were the only male representatives of the name residing there at the time of the Major’s death.
Through much of the century but recently closed and on into this has dwelt in Taunton and New Bedford, Mass., a family bearing the name of Rhodes. Reference is made to some of the descendants of the late Stephen and Anna Daniels (Carpenter) Rhodes, whose birthplaces were Dedham and Foxboro, Mass., respectively. Their son, Stephen Rhodes (4), became the head of the Taunton family, several members of which in succeeding generations have given a good account of themselves in the business and social life of their community, rising to useful and substantial citizenship, and as well to responsible public trust. The names of Hon. Stephen H. Rhodes, of Boston, late president of the John Hancock Insurance Company, who for years was prominent in the activities of Taunton, a member of the board of aldermen some forty years ago, and mayor of the city for one or two years; his brother, the present John Corey Rhodes, one of the best known manufacturers of southeastern Massachusetts; another brother, the present Marcus Morton Rhodes, Esq., who for perhaps a half century or more has been actively engaged in business in Taunton, and the greater part of the period as a senior member of the firm or corporation of M. M. Rhodes & Sons Company, and at one time one of the board of water commissioners of the city; the latter’s son, George Holbrook Rhodes, long a partner and stockholder of the firm and corporation just alluded to, and for years its treasurer, many years in succession a member of the common council of Taunton and for a number of years president of that body; John Bird Rhodes, son of John Corey Rhodes, chief executive of John C. Rhodes & Co., Inc., of New Bedford; and perhaps others as well, ever stand out prominently in the annals of Taunton.
MAJ. WILLIAM HUNT GOFF, one of Attleboro’s well known citizens and leading public men, is a native of the Old Bay State, born in the town of Rehoboth, April 10, 1845. He is a descendant of one of the oldest families of Rehoboth, where the Goffs have figured more or less prominently, as well as …
For something more than two centuries the Holman family of which the Attleboro Holmans are a branch has been identified with the history of this Commonwealth, and for half of that period the Holmans have been people of distinction in the town just named, closely identified with its social, religious, educational and business life. The progenitor of this Massachusetts Holman family, Solomon Holman, with his brother John, is said to have come from the Bermuda Islands to Newburyport, the family tradition being that the Holman family came from Wales to the Bermuda Islands some time between 1670 and 1690; that the two named were seized by a press-gang and brought to this country and escaped from a British ship at Newburyport; that John, the youngest, went to North Carolina and Solomon settled in Newbury. Coffin’s Newbury says Solomon Holman and wife came there about 1693 or 1694.
JOHN RICHARDSON BRONSON, M. D., who for over half a century was one of the best known practitioners of medicine in southern Massachusetts and part of Rhode Island, and who for upward of fifty years was a resident of Attleboro, was a native of Connecticut, born in the town of Middlebury, New Haven county, June 5, 1829, son of Garry and Maria (Richardson) Bronson.
The Bronson family was early planted in the New World. John Bronson (early of record as Brownson and Brunson) was early at Hartford. He is believed, though not certainly known, to have been one of the company who came in 1636 with Mr. Hooker, of whose church he was a member. He was a soldier in the Pequot battle of 1637. He is not named among the proprietors of Hartford in the land division of 1639; but is mentioned in the same year in the list of settlers, who by the “towne’s courtesie” had liberty “to fetch woods and keepe swine or cowes on the common.” His house lot was in the “soldiers’ field,” so called, in the north part of the old village of Hartford, on the “Neck Road” (supposed to have been given for service in the Pequot war), where he lived in 1640. He moved, about 1641 to Tunxis (Farmington) He was deputy from Farmington in May, 1651, and at several subsequent sessions, and the “constable of Farmington” in 1652. He was one of the seven pillars at the organization of the Farmington Church in 1652. His name is on the list of freemen of Farmington in 1669. He died Nov. 28, 1680.
The Tappan family of Attleboro, while not an old one in this section of the State, has, nevertheless, been resident for half a century in Attleboro, where Ephraim H. Tappan makes his home, and where his sons, Charles H. and William C, the latter now deceased, have been identified with the manufacturing interests of that section, by their great energy, enterprise and progressive spirit making for themselves a name ranking them among the foremost jewelry manufacturers of the State. The Tappan family was planted in America by:
Abraham Toppan (or Tappan), son of William Topham, of Calbridge, in the parish of Coverham, and fourth in descent from Robert Topham, of Linton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England; he was baptized April 10, 1606. He lived for some time in Yarmouth, County of Norfolk. His wife, whose maiden name was Taylor, was born in 1607, daughter of Elizabeth, who married (second) John Goodale, whom she outlived and from whom she inherited considerable property. Mr. Toppan with his wife, two children and maidservant, in 1637, took passage in the “Mary and Ann” to New England, and there came in the same vessel with them Mrs. Goodale, his mother-in-law. He settled in Newbury, being admitted Oct. 16, 1637, and at different times in the year following several lots were granted to him. He made a number of voyages to Barbadoes, one or more of which were profitable. He died Nov. 5, 1672, aged sixty-six, in the house on “Toppan’s Lane” which he had built about 1670 for his son Jacob. His widow died March 20, 1689, aged eighty-two years. The children of Abraham and Susanna (Taylor) Toppan were:
For something more than two centuries the Holman family of which the Attleboro Holmans are a branch has been identified with the history of this Commonwealth, and for half of that period the Holmans have been people of distinction in the town just named, closely identified with its social, religious, educational and business life.
The progenitor of this Massachusetts Holman family, Solomon Holman, with his brother John, is said to have come from the Bermuda Islands to Newburyport, the family tradition being that the Holman family came from Wales to the Bermuda Islands some time between 1670 and 1690; that the two named were seized by a press-gang and brought to this country and escaped from a British ship at Newburyport; that John, the youngest, went to North Carolina and Solomon settled in Newbury. Coffin’s Newbury says Solomon Holman and wife came there about 1693 or 1694. Solomon Holman married Mary Barton and their twelve children were:
CHARLES WARREN MILLIKEN, M. D., of Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Mass., engaged as a general practitioner of medicine, has high professional and social connections which have brought him a wide acquaintance. The Millikens, though not one of the oldest Colonial families, have become allied with the posterity of the most distinguished early settlers, and the Doctor traces his line back to many whose names are suggestive of the interesting and important events of the ancient history of this region. There follows in chronological order from the first known American ancestor the genealogical and family history of his branch of the Milliken family.
Lawrence Wilkinson, the first of the race here in New England, was born in Lanchester, County of Durham, England, a son of William Wilkinson by his wife Mary, sister of Sir John Conyers, Bart., and the grandson of Lawrence Wilkinson, of Harpley House, Durham. He was a loyalist, and at the surrender of Newcastle, 1644, was taken prisoner by the Parliamentary and Scotch troops. At this time he held a lieutenant’s commission. He was deprived of his property, and his estates sequestered by order of Parliament. After having obtained special permission from Lord Fairfax, chief commander of the Parliamentary army, he embarked with his wife and child for New England, leaving, according to Somerby, in 1652. Arriving at Providence he signed the civil compact and received a gift of twenty-five acres of land and commenced his pioneer life. He was admitted as one of the original “Proprietors of Providence.” He soon acquired a large real estate, and held a prominent position among his fellow citizens. He was frequently chosen to fill offices of trust in the infant colony; was elected a member of the Legislature in 1659 and subsequently. He was an active business man. He participated in the Indian wars. He lived in his adopted country nearly half a century. His death occurred in 1692.
DAVID E. HARDING, deceased, who for more than a half century was a leading business man and manufacturer of Mansfield, Mass., was born there May 6, 1826. He was a descendant of an old Cape Ann family, the founder of the family in America being Edward Haraden, who came from Ipswich, England, to Gloucester. The name is found variously spelled, appearing as Haraden, Hardon and Harding, etc.
From 1890-1903, the Dedham Historical Society in Dedham Massachusetts printed a quarterly pamphlet for it’s historical society called the “Dedham Historical Register.” In this pamphlet a variety of genealogical data was published on families of Dedham and the villages emanating from the early residents of Dedham, such as Dorchester, Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Needham, and Sharon, etc.
David Arthur Brown, Manager and Treasurer of the Concord Axle Company of Penacook, an ex-member of the New Hampshire legislature, and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in Attleboro, Mass., May 14, 1839, son of Henry H. and Mary Ann (Daggett) Brown. His parents were natives of Attleboro. On the father’s side he …
Murray, Charles B.; chemist and metallurgist; born, Worcester, Massachusetts, April 6, 1866; son of Peleg F. and Mary Prince Murray; educated, common schools at Worcester; took B. S. degree at Polytechnic Institute, at Worcester, Mass., in 1887; married, Attleboro, Mass., Jan. 29, 1890; Ellen Lincoln Robinson; issue, two children, Philip F., and Mildred A.; after …