The Fall River French family here considered springs from the early Rehoboth family of the name, and it, as will be observed further on, according to Savage, perhaps from the Dorchester family. John French, the head of the Dorchester family and the immigrant ancestor, was a native of England, born in 1612. He had land granted him at what became Braintree for five heads Feb. 24, 1639-40. He was admitted to the church in the adjoining town of Dorchester, Jan. 27, 1642, and the births of his first two children are recorded in Dorchester. He became a freeman May 29, 1639. He was active and prominent among the early settlers. His son John was born Feb. 28, 1641.
Joshua Bates, son of Samuel Ward Bates, was born Jan. 7, 1842, in Bridgewater, and was educated in the local schools, in Bridgewater Academy, and in a private school under the tutorship of the Hon. John A. Shaw, of Bridgewater. Although engaged in the commission business in Boston, he made his home in Bridgewater, where he died Aug. 17, 1886.
The ancient town of Bridgewater, the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, has been the birthplace and the home of many who have made the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts rich in stories of good lives devoted to the development and uplift of the community, and not the least among these may be mentioned the late Capt. Benjamin Beal Howard, philanthropist, whose name is perpetuated in Howard Seminary, which he founded, and his son, the late Francis Edward Howard, philanthropist, statesman and upright, patriotic and useful citizen.
The Arnold family of Abington, one of the oldest in southeastern Massachusetts, is ably and worthily represented at the present time by Capt. Moses N. Arnold and his brother, William B. Arnold, both veterans of the Civil war and well-known shoe manufacturers of North Abington. The first of the family in America was Joseph Arnold, …
Most of the Frenches of the Bridgewaters and vicinity descend from John French, of Braintree. This John French was born about 1612, in England. Before coming to Braintree, of which point he was an inhabitant in 1640, and a freeman in 1644, he had been a short time at Dorchester. He died Aug. 16, 1692, aged about eighty. His wife Grace died Feb. 28, 1680-81, aged fifty-nine years. Walter Lyman French, the gentleman whose name introduces this article was one of Brockton’s enterprising business men, one who had achieved marked success in various branches of industry and trade. He was born in Brockton Mass. (then North Bridgewater) May 4, 1843, son of the late Francis M. and. Nancy L. (Blake) French. Walter is a direct descendant of John and Grace French of Braintree Mass.
These families, Reed and Loud, allied by marriage, are still represented in the ancient town of Abington, where for three generations the Reeds have been engaged in the lumber business with other lines connected with it. Reference is made to the late Amos S. Reed, to his son, the late Maj. Edward Payson Reed, and to the present Arthur B. Reed, son of Major Reed, all active business men, prominent and influential citizens of what is now North Abington. Both the Reed and Loud were early Weymouth families, and we take up the records in order. There follows from William Reed, the immigrant ancestor of the North Abington Reed family alluded to, chronologically arranged, the genealogy of the family.
EVERETT CLINTON HALL, wholesale grocer at Brockton, is one of that thriving city’s enterprising and progressive young business men, one who by his own efforts has risen to a position of affluence through his energy and ability to take the initiative combined with natural-born business acumen. Mr. Hall is a descendant of several of the earliest settled families of this Commonwealth, numbering among his ancestors several of the country’s most noted Pilgrims, among these being John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. The Hall family ancestry following is given in chronological order.
Moses Adams Packard, of Brockton, where he has been so long and so successfully engaged in the manufacture of shoes, is as well one of that city’s highly honored and respected citizens. Mr. Packard began life with little capital save boundless energy and a resolute purpose, and has pushed his way upward against almost every kind of obstacle until he now holds a foremost position among the leading manufacturers in this Commonwealth, vindicating the old saying, “Labor is king.” He was born Feb. 28, 1843, in New London, N. H., which was the home of his mother, while his father was a native of North Bridgewater, and a descendant of one of the old and historical families of Massachusetts.
Since its coming to this Bridgewater settlement, which was the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, as early as 1664, to the present time, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in this community, and has become a most numerous family, many, too, of its members both at home and abroad having given a good account of themselves.
LYSANDER FRANKLIN GURNEY, late of Brockton, Plymouth Co., Mass., was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers of this section. Going back to the mother country, we find the following general information in “The Gurneys of Earlham” (two volumes, Hart, Mich., March 16, 1906).
The Norfolk Gurneys claim descent from the ancient Barons of Gournay in Normandy, where the curious Ports Ibert with many old towers of the walls and the twelfth century church of Saint Hildevert attest the wealth and power of its ancient lords. Several members of the House accompanied William the Conqueror to England, and fought at the battle of Hastings, after which the valor of the aged Hugh de Gurney III. was rewarded by the establishment of the English Barony of Gourney, held by tenure of military service and by large grants of land, so that he has left his name of Baron Gourney in Somerset and several other places in England. The story of the “House of Gourney” is told in a magnificent history by Daniel Gurney of Juncton Hall, near Norwich, County of Norfolk, England, which possesses historic interest and shows much antiquarian research.
The Hooper family, to which belonged the late George Mitchell Hooper, one of Bridgewater’s well-known citizens, is an old and distinguished one in New England. George Mitchell Hooper, son of Mitchell, was born in the town of Bridgewater Sept. 1, 1838. He received his education in the public schools and Bridgewater Academy, later attending Peirce Academy and the State normal school at Bridgewater, graduating from the latter institution in 1857. After leaving school he engaged in teaching, a profession he followed for one year and then began the manufacture of brick with his father, a business in which he engaged for half a century. He was also a surveyor. He was identified with the banking interests of Bridgewater, having been one of the trustees of the Bridgewater Savings Bank, also filling the office of clerk. He was clerk and treasurer of the Bridgewater Cemetery Association; a member of the Plymouth County Agricultural Association, of which for years he was treasurer, and was secretary; and trustee of the Memorial Public Library. He died July 2, 1909, in his seventy-first year. On Oct. 16, 1861, Mr. Hooper was married to Mary E. Josselyn, who was born at Hanson, Mass., daughter of Hervey and Elizabeth (Howland) Josselyn. She died Jan. 30, 1884, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. Eight children were born of this marriage.
The Allen family of New Bedford Massachusetts is descended from George Allen who’s children and descendants would eventually settle in Old Dartmouth and New Bedford Massachusetts. This is an extensive genealogy of five sons of the fourteen children of James Allen and Sarah Howland of New Bedford MA, including the ancestry of James Allen back to George Allen.
Lysander Franklin Gurney, late of Brockton, Plymouth Co., Mass., was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers of this section. Going back to the mother country, we find the following general information in “The Gurneys of Earlham” (two volumes, Hart, Mich., March 16, 1906).
William Swift, the founder of the family on Cape Cod, was a native of Bocking, County of Essex, England, and came to New England in 1634, stopping first at Watertown, of which he was a proprietor in 1636. He sold his property there in 1637 and removed to Sandwich, where he spent the remainder of his life and where he died about 1641. His wife Joan bore him two children, William and Hannah, and after the death of her husband she married Daniel Wing, Nov. 5, 1642. She died Jan. 31, 1664.
William Swift (2), son of William, born in England, came to the New World with his parents and settled at Sandwich, Barnstable county. He represented his town in the General Court, 1673, 1674, 1677 and 1678. He died in the latter part of 1705.
The Stetson family of Bridgewater is one of the oldest and most prominent in that section of the State, and it has for upward of two centuries been identified with the manufacturing interests of the town, its representatives being the founders of the iron industry of Bridgewater. Especial reference is made to Capt. Abisha Stetson, who was one of the first to engage in the iron business; his son, Nahum Stetson, whose name was a household word in his native town, and who by his great foresight, enterprise and progressive ideas built up the great Bridgewater Iron Works; and the latter’s sons and grandsons, all men of substance and good citizenship.
Horace Alden Keith, founder of the Brockton Webbing Company, one of the successful and thriving industries of Brockton, and one of that city’s enterprising and progressive business men, is a descendant on both his paternal and maternal sides of historic old New England ancestry. Mr. Keith was born in West Bridgewater May 25, 1862, eldest son of the late Henry Snell and Thalia (Alden) Keith. The ancestral line of the branch of the Keith family in this country to which Horace Alden Keith belongs, and which follows, is given in chronological order from the first American ancestor. Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, was educated in Aberdeen, Scotland (as tradition says at the expense of a maiden aunt), where he was graduated likely from Marischal College, his name appearing on the roll of 1657, said college having been founded by George, the fifth Earl of Keith Marischal, in 1593. At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to this country, arriving at Boston in 1662. He was introduced to the church at Bridgewater by Dr. Increase Mather, and became settled as the minister of the Bridgewater Church Feb. 18, 1664. Rev. James Keith passed away in West Bridgewater July 23, 1719, aged seventy-six years, having labored in the ministry of the town for fifty-six years.
At New Bedford, this Commonwealth, a point so long famous the world round for its whaling industry, a business carried on to an extent and success that made it the wealthiest place in proportion to its population of any point in New England, and a city that has since been hardly less conspicuous as a cotton manufacturing point, there still reside representatives of the Rotch family; here where, since the middle of the eighteenth century, have lived seven or eight generations of Rotches, than whom as a family perhaps no other has had greater influence in developing New Bedford’s character and prosperity and shaping its history.
Nicholas Snow, a native of England, came to this country in 1623 in the ship “Ann,” locating in Plymouth, where he had a share in the division of land in 1624. In 1634 he removed to Eastham, where he became a prominent citizen. His home was on the road from Plymouth to Eel river, on the Westerly side. He was admitted a freeman in 1633, and was elected town clerk at the first meeting of the town of Eastham, holding that office sixteen years. He was deputy to the General Court from 1648, three years; selectman from 1663, seven years. He and his son Mark signed the call to Rev. John Mayo to settle as their minister in 1655. He was one of Gov. Thomas Prence’s associates. He married at Plymouth, Constance, daughter of Stephen Hopkins, who came over in the “Mayflower.” Constance herself came in the “Mayflower.” She died in October, 1677. Mr. Snow died Nov. 15, 1676, in Eastham, Mass.
Mr. Newcomb was born April 12, 1797, of the sixth generation in descent from Francis Newcomb, who was born probably in Hertfordshire, England, about 1605, and came to America in the ship “Planter” in 1635, accompanied by his wife Rachel, then aged twenty, his daughter Rachel (aged two and a half years) and son John (aged nine months). After residing in Boston three years Francis Newcomb moved his little family to Braintree (now Quincy, Norfolk Co., Mass.), where he died May 27, 1692, his gravestone says “aged one hundred years.” Tradition says he came from Oxfordshire, England, and was of pure Saxon blood. He owned several tracts of land in Braintree. He had ten children.
The Pierce families of this country are and have long been very numerous. Early in the settlement of New England came representatives from England, most of them not related, so far as now known. Among them were Abraham, of Plymouth, 1623, who became one of the original purchasers of Bridgewater in 1645; Daniel, of Newbury, blacksmith, who came from Ipswich, County of Suffolk, in 1634, aged twenty-three years; John, of Dorchester, mariner from Stepney, Middlesex, before 1631; another John, of Dorchester and Boston; John, of Watertown, 1638; Capt. Michael, of Hingham and Scituate; Richard, of Portsmouth, R. I.; Robert, of Dorchester; Thomas, of Charlestown, who was admitted to the church there in 1634; and Capt. William, of Boston, who was a distinguished shipmaster of his time.
COPELAND (Whitman family). The family bearing this name is one of long and honorable standing in southeastern Massachusetts. Early at Braintree, then at Bridgewater, and for generations in the town of Easton, this Easton-Whitman branch of the earlier Braintree stock has for several generations been one of Easton’s leading families, and more recently – a …