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.
East Bridgewater Massachusetts
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.
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 P. WHITMAN, president and treasurer of the well-known shoe manufacturing concern of the Whitman & Keith Company, of Brockton, and one of that city’s successful and progressive business men, as was his father before him, is a descendant of distinguished and historic New England ancestry. Mr. Whitman is a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, of the “Mayflower,” 1620; of Rev. James Keith, the first ordained minister of Bridgewater; and of John Whitman, who settled in Weymouth, Mass., as early as 1638, from whom descended many persons eminent in professional life and otherwise, among them Dr. Marcus Whitman, who saved the vast territory of Oregon to the United States; Hon. Ezekiel Whitman, for many years chief justice of the Superior and Supreme courts of the State of Maine; and Hon. William E. Russell, twice governor of Massachusetts.
EMBERT HOWARD, long one of the most successful business men of Brockton, of which city he is also one of the foremost citizens, is a worthy representative of a family which has historic identity with the earliest settling of New England. For two hundred and sixty and more years the family bearing this name has dwelt in the Bridgewaters and in the region of country thereabouts, the posterity of John Haward, who was one of the early settlers of Duxbury, Mass. The genealogy following traces the line in chronological order from this immigrant ancestor.
The Allen family, to which Mrs. Louise Prescott Allen Chandler belongs, is one of the oldest in East Bridgewater or, indeed, in Massachusetts. We give her line from the emigrant ancestor, Samuel Allen, from whom she is descended in the ninth generation.
Adams Bethuel, mechanic, Pearl Adams Rufus, mechanic, Satucket Alden Abner L. shoemaker, Village Alden Bartlett K. carpenter. Village Alden Benjamin K. Village Alden Joseph, mechanic, village Alden Samuel G. lumber dealer, Village Alger Ebenezer, farmer, Beaver Alger Orlando M. farmer, Beaver Allen Bailey, carpenter. Village Allen David, shoemaker, Beaver Allen Galen, shoemaker, Beaver Allen George, …
An historical sketch about East Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts as abstracted from the Plymouth County Directory and Historical Register of 1867. Includes a list of the men from East Bridgewater who gave their life during the Revolutionary War.
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.
This Boston – East Bridgewater Chandler family, the head of which was the late Hon. Peleg Whitman Chandler, long one of the leading counselors of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and one of a family of lawyers, comes of a Massachusetts-Maine branch of the ancient Duxbury family whose progenitor was Edmund Chandler. The branch just alluded to for several generations at New Gloucester and Bangor, Maine, and at Boston in this Commonwealth, has been one of liberal education, college-bred men, men who have adorned the legal profession, and it has allied itself through generations with a number of the ancient and first families of the Old Colony. There follows in chronological order from Edmund Chandler, the first American ancestor of this branch of American Chandlers, and in detail the family history and genealogy.
The East Bridgewater family bearing this name, the head of which was the late Hon. Aaron Hobart, long one of the town’s leading citizens and substantial men, and whose father before Him, Hon. Aaron Hobart, was an eminent lawyer and efficient public servant, holding many positions of trust and responsibility, State senator, member of the …
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.
Reference is here made to the branch of this family to which belonged the late Joseph Hewett, who for a period of thirty years was an honored resident of Brockton, and his posterity, numbered among whom have been men prominently identified with the business interests of the city for many years. Thomas Huet, born in 1609, was an early inhabitant of Hingham and a landholder. Probably Huet’s Cove in that vicinity took its name from him. He married (first) Elizabeth, daughter of William Chapman, who died in 1639, leaving most of his property to his daughter just named. She died May 22, 1649,” in Hingham. He married (second) Mrs. Mary Cutler, widow of John Cutler. Mr. Huet was a tailor and resided in West Hingham. He was made a freeman May 26, 1647. He died May 24, 1670, in Hingham, aged about sixty-one. His wife outlived him and removed to Charlestown.
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.
The family bearing this name in East Bridgewater, whose head was the late Hon. Isaac Newton Nutter, descends from an ancient and honorable family of early New Hampshire, and is connected by marriage in later generations with a number of the old and highly respected families of Plymouth Colony, among them descendants of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims. The emigrant ancestor,
Elder Hatevil Nutter, was born in England in 1603. He was one of those of good estate and of “some account for religion” who were induced to leave England with Captain Wiggins in 1633, and to found a town in New England on Dover Neck, in New Hampshire. His wife, Annie, and son, Anthony, accompanied him. He received several grants of land, and became a large holder of real estate. He was a ruling elder in the first church at Dover, and sometimes filled its pulpit. He filled various offices in church and state, was highly respectable, and possessed of a good share of this world’s goods. He died before June 28, 1675 (when his will was proved), at the age of seventy-one years, leaving a “present wife, Ann,” and three children.
The Harris family here briefly considered — that of some of the descendants of the late Deacon and Hon. William Harris, of East Bridgewater, who for a quarter of a century was town clerk, for several years town treasurer, and a representative in the Massachusetts General Court — is one of the ancient and honorable …