This article is to treat particularly of the John Haward/Howard branch of the family to which belonged the late Daniel S. Howard, who was one of Brockton’s foremost citizens and most successful shoe manufacturers; his brother, Gorham B. Howard, now retired, who for a number of years was one of that city’s successful merchants, engaged in the dry goods business; and the former’s sons, Warren A. Howard, now deceased, who for years was extensively engaged in the manufacture of shoes, and Daniel S. Howard, Jr., who is president of the Emerson Shoe Company, of Rockland, Massachusetts.
The town of Taunton, which included within its original boundaries the neighboring village of Berkley, has been the home of a branch of the Sanford family for about two hundred years. This Berkley-Taunton branch of the family, in the line of Capt. Joseph Sanford, an active patriot of the Revolution, has been more or less eminent in professional life. Four of the sons of Capt. Joseph Sanford were college graduates and ministers of the gospel; and several of their posterity have followed the learned professions. One of the grandsons of Capt. Joseph was the late Hon. John Elliott Sanford, of Taunton, lawyer, legislator, railroad commissioner, etc., who at the time of his death was characterized by the local paper as Taunton’s “first citizen.”
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.
Copied by George Ethridge from various manuscript volumes and loose papers, and arranged as nearly as possible by dates. Records of births, marriages, and deaths not included. The bounds of Duxbury originally included what is now within the limits of Duxbury, Marshfield, Pembroke, Hanson, the Bridgewaters and Brockton.
The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771 contains the names and descriptions of taxable property of nearly 38,000 individuals who resided in 152 Massachusetts towns in 1771
An historical sketch about Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts as abstracted from the Plymouth County Directory and Historical Register of 1867.
The Keith family is one of the oldest of southeastern Massachusetts. Its founder in America was Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, who came to America, landing in Boston in 1662. He became minister of the Bridgewater Church, where he administered to the spiritual needs of the people for half a century. He died July 23, 1719. He was twice married. His first wife was Susannah Edson, daughter of Deacon Samuel Edson.
ASHLEY (New Bedford family). Among the first settlers of Rochester, Mass., and their families appear the names of Joseph Ashley and his wife Elizabeth and their children. There had settled at Springfield as early as 1639 Robert Ashley; and from the fact that many of the early settlers of Springfield were drawn from Roxbury by …
For nearly two hundred and seventy-five years the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in New England, and it has become a most numerous family, too, many of whose members both at home and abroad have given a good account of themselves. Samuel Packard, the immigrant ancestor of this family, became one of …
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.
Adams William H. farmer, Auburn Akins Charles W. machinist, bd Bedford Alden Caleb, laborer, bds High Alden Cromwell, farmer, r High Alden Elijah, fanner, bds Vernon Alden Ezra H. expressman, r School Alden Horatio, farmer, r Conant Alden Isaac F. watchman, r Walnut Alden Isaac K. clerk, bds Bedford Alden James S. painter, v Bedford …
The family bearing the name of Keith at Taunton, whose head was the late Edwin Keith, Esq., who for some sixty years was engaged in business there and was one of the highly esteemed and respected citizens of the place, for upward of twenty-five years connected with the Taunton Gas Company, long its superintendent and treasurer, and who in various capacities served his adopted town and city officially, is a branch of the ancient Bridgewater Keith family, the progenitor of which was Rev. James Keith, formerly of Scotland, who came to New England and soon thereafter became pastor of the church at Bridgewater, which he . served for fifty and more years.
The Middleboro family bearing this name is a branch of the Bridgewater family and it of the earlier Weymouth Kingman family, the American ancestor of which is credited with coming from Wales. This article pertains to some of the descendants of the late Maj. Bela Kingman, whose father, Abner Kingman, and family came from Bridgewater to Middleboro during the closing years of the Revolution, and here for generations the family has played well its part in the affairs of Middleboro, notably the Major’s son, Calvin D. Kingman, Esq., and the latter’s sons, Charles W. and Philip E. Kingman, who for years together and in turn developed and carried on a large shoe industry, giving employment to hundreds of hands.
This is a collection of 197 free vital records books, otherwise known as “Tan Books” for Massachusetts towns. Generally these records go up to 1849/1850 at which, the genealogist can use the census records to assist in identifying the family connections further. Included with this article is an account of why and how these manuscripts were published along with links to all 197 books which can be freely read or downloaded.
Ellis Brett, president of the Plymouth County Trust Company, of Brockton, and one of that city’s honored and respected citizens, is a worthy representative of historic New England ancestry, the Brett family having resided in this community since the first settlement of the mother town of Bridgewater, from which the town of North Bridgewater (now Brockton) was set off. Mr. Brett was born in the latter town Oct. 23, 1840, only son of Ephraim and Ruth (Copeland) Brett. The early history of the Brett family in America begins with William Brett, who came to Duxbury, Mass., in 1645, from Kent, England, and later became one of the fifty-four original proprietors and first settlers of the town of ancient Bridgewater, settling in the West parish of the town. He was an elder in the church, and often when the Rev. James Keith, the first ordained pastor of the church there, was ill, Mr. Brett preached to the people. He was a leading man in both church and town affairs, and was deputy to the General Court from the date of the in-corporation of ancient Bridgewater in 1656 to 1661. That he was well educated and intelligent is manifest from a letter to Governor Winslow, still extant, and he was much esteemed by his brethren and often employed in their secular affairs. He died Dec. 17, 1681, aged sixty-three years
The family bearing the name of Mitchell is one of the oldest in the New World, its progenitor being Experience Mitchell, who came over in 1623 in the “Ann,” and from that time to the present the records of various towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, chiefly Plymouth, Duxbury and the Bridgewaters, bear mute testimony of the prominence in peace and war of the members of the family in the different generations, and the present head of the family in Brockton, Isam Mitchell, president of Isam Mitchell & Co., lumber dealers and contractors, and his son, the late Herbert Isam Mitchell, active in business with his father and prominent in fraternal circles, have proved themselves firm in purpose and able in business.
The McCullough family is of Irish extraction. Patrick McCullough, grandfather of John McCullough, was a native of the parish of Altacamicussey, County Tyrone, Ireland, where he lived and died. He followed farming. He married Mary Conway, who was a native of the same county, and their son, John McCullough, was born on a farm in Altacamicussey, County Tyrone, June 15, 1821. There he grew to manhood, and what little education he received was obtained in the local school. Meantime he worked at farm labor and also obtained some knowledge of the mason’s trade. He there married about 1845 Alice Devlin, who was a native of the parish of Pallough, County Tyrone, and daughter of Michael and Annie Devlin. In the spring of 1847, with his wife and an infant son, he sailed for the New World, making the trip on a sailing vessel bound for New York. After a passage of six weeks they landed at that port, where they remained three months, during which time they lost their first-born, the infant son mentioned.
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).
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.
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.