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.
Location: Dorchester Massachusetts
Some four generations of this surname have lived in Taunton through the past hundred years, a branch of the ancient Cape Cod Eldridge family. Reference is made to some of the posterity of Eli Eldridge, whose son, Eli Henry, and the latter’s sons, John Henry and Capt. Albert Stanley Eldridge, all either together or in turn have been identified with one of the solid industries of the city – one of their own founding and fostering and developing, which has come to be an important factor in Taunton history. This was the britannia establishment of Eldridge & Co., whose promoters and owners have long been men of substance and prominent in Taunton’s social and business life.
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.
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.
George Otis Jenkins, one of Whitman’s best known manufacturers and most progressive citizens, was born in Dorchester, Mass., Nov. 22, 1846, son of James and Susan (Holbrook) Jenkins, and a descendant of Edward Jenkins, of Scituate. Also includes a brief genealogy of the Bates Family of Hingham Massachusetts from which George’s wife, Abby Bates descended.
It is to the life and paternal lineage of the late William Mason of Taunton that this article is directed, he being a direct descendant from one of the old pioneers and Indian fighters of this section in its early settlement – Major John Mason, of Pequot fame, from whom William Mason’s descent is through Daniel, Peter, Japhet, Japhet Mason (2) and Amos Mason.
There is nothing definite known concerning the birth of Nicholas White, but there is no doubt that he belonged to the yeomanry of England. He was a freeman in Dorchester, Mass., in 1643, and about the same time married Susanna, daughter of Jonas and Frances Humphrey, who had also settled in Dorchester. At this time he was about twenty-five years of age, and had won the confidence of the early settlers. The first book of Dorchester records was destroyed by fire in 1657, and there is reason to believe that it contained the record of Nicholas White’s marriage and the
The Sumner family, to which the late Mrs. George Barstow Stetson belonged, is an old and prominent family of New England, descended from one William Sumner, who was born at Bicester, England, in 1605, son of Roger Sumner, of Bicester, Oxfordshire, and his wife Joane (Franklin).
William Sumner, the only child of Roger and Joane, married Oct. 22, 1625, Mary West, and they came to America with their four children in 1636, locating at Dorchester, Mass. He was made a freeman of the Colony May 17, 1637, and held many offices of importance, being selectman for nearly a quarter of a century. He was deputy from Dorchester to the General Court for eight years. He died Dec. 9. 1688, surviving his wife, who died June 7, 1676. Both are buried at Dorchester.
For nearly fifty years the name of Whipple has been one of Brockton citizenship, representing a family here of substance and exceptional prominence in the community. Reference is made to the late Ferdinand Whipple and his son, the present Hon. John Jay Whipple, who together and in turn have been among Brockton’s successful business men, the son having figured conspicuously in public affairs, filling most of the offices within the gift of his fellow citizens, among other honors having been four times elected to the mayoralty of the city of Brockton. The Whipple family is one long prominent in the country, the earlier generations having been conspicuous in Rhode Island’s Colonial period, it being a Rhode Island family.
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.