The family bearing this name in New Bedford, where it is one of nearly one hundred years’ standing one, too, of prominence and wealth, is a branch of the ancient Knowles family of the town of Eastham, Barnstable county, this Commonwealth. Reference is made to some of the descendants of the brothers Thomas and James H. Knowles of Eastham, several of whose sons – at least two of the former and one of the latter – in their earlier manhood cast their lot with the people of New Bedford. The firm of Thomas Knowles & Co. for many years was one of the greatest engaged in the whale fishery business in New Bedford; and its members in turn have been succeeded in business by younger generations who have most worthily worn the family name and sustained its reputation; and today the name continues of record in and about the city of their birth connected prominently with many of the most extensive commercial establishments and banking institutions of the locality.
The Anthony family of Bristol County Massachusetts descend from one John Anthony of Hampstead England who travelled in the Hercules to New England and settled in Rhode Island in 1634. This family, under the entrepreneurship of Edmund Anthony, became prominent publishers of many early Massachusetts papers, some of which were prominent in the establishment of the Republican Party and it’s causes.
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.
The Vigneron family to which Mr. Spare belongs in the maternal line is descended from Norbert Felician Vigneron, who was baptized June 6, 1670, in the town of LaVentie, Province of Artois, Diocese of Arras, in the French Netherlands. He was the son of Anthony and Anne Therese (de Beaussart) Vigneron. The date of his coming to this country is uncertain, but his marriage to Susanna Peirce, daughter of Joanna Peirce, of Newport, took place in Newport, R. I.
The Taber family of Dartmouth and New Bedford, one of the oldest families in southeastern Massachusetts, is descended from Philip Taber, who according to Savage, was born in 1605, and died in 1672. He was at Watertown in 1634, and he contributed toward building the galley for the security of the harbor. He was made a freeman at Plymouth in 1639. In 1639-40 he was a deputy from Yarmouth, and was afterward at Martha’s Vineyard, and from 1647 to 1655 was at Edgartown, going from there to New London in 1651, but probably returning soon. He was an inhabitant of Portsmouth in February, 1655, and was a representative in Providence in 1661, the commissioners being Roger Williams, William Field, Thomas Olney, Joseph Torrey, Philip Taber and John Anthony. Later he settled in Tiverton, where his death occurred. He married Lydia Masters, of Watertown, Mass., daughter of John and Jane Masters, and his second wife, Jane, born in 1605, died in 1669.
Henry Huttleston Rogers, Fairhaven’s most distinguished son, was born there Jan. 29, 1840, and died May 19, 1909, in New York City. Of typical New England stock and Old Colony antecedents, his continued identity with Fairhaven made him dearly beloved in that community. The Rogers family is, perhaps, one of the most ancient and numerous of the old settled families in the country. There were no less than a dozen who bore the name of John Rogers among the seventeenth century emigrants, and one of this Christian name was president of Harvard College in the latter part of that century. It is the purpose in this article to deal, briefly, with only one of the New England Rogers families – that of which Henry Huttleston Rogers was a representative.
Henry Howland, the progenitor of the Ancient Dartmouth Howland family, the branch here specially considered, lived at Duxbury. The first mention of him in New England is that made in the allotment of cattle to the different families in Plymouth in 1624. Perhaps none of the colonists has a better record for intelligence, thrift, uprightness and unmixed faith in the Divine One than Henry Howland, and these virtues have permeated the lives of his posterity. In general they are a family of great respectability, and as a people thrifty, economical and good managers of finance, most of them having a fair share of this world’s goods – some amassing millions. Henry Howland was made a freeman in 1633; was chosen constable for Duxbury in 1635; bought land there in 1640; was for some years surveyor of highways; served repeatedly on the grand jury, etc. He joined the Society of Friends, perhaps in 1657, and was not a little persecuted thereafter on this account. In 1652, associated with others, he bought a large tract of land in Dartmouth; was one of the twenty-seven purchasers of what is now Freetown in 1659, and in the division of 1660 he received for his share the sixth lot, which was afterward inherited by his son Samuel Howland. He was one of the grantees of Bridgewater but never lived there. Mr. Howland married Mary Newland, and both likely died at the old homestead in Duxbury.
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.
For an hundred years and more the Swift family in and about New Bedford has been one of prominence, wealthy and influential not only in their several local communities but out through the Commonwealth and into the nation, where their extensive enterprises have extended. These Acushnet-New Bedford Swifts, a branch of the Cape Cod family, brought to their new field of effort that activity, industry, ability and honesty that had for generations characterized their forefathers and also the line of business that had enriched earlier generations in the old home section – the dealing in live oak timber and its manufacture into water craft, in shipbuilding for not only the United States government, but for those across the water. Reference is here made especially to some of the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of William Swift, of the town of Falmouth, this Commonwealth, among whose sons were Hon. Elijah, Thomas, William, John and Reuben E.; and among the sons of the latter Rodolphus Nye and William Cole Nye Swift, who with their sons together and in turn figured most prominently in and about New Bedford and abroad, as intimated; and some of their sons are yet active here and in the Massachusetts metropolis.
The Washburn name in this country is a distinguished one. Perhaps it is as yet only a tradition that John Washburn, the ancestor of the Washburns here considered, was he who first served as secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Several governors of our States have borne the Washburn name and at one and the same time four of the name occupied seats in the United States Congress. And the branch of the Massachusetts Washburns seated in Middleboro and vicinity have borne no small part in the annals of the Old Colony and later Commonwealth. Capt. Amos Washburn was in command of a company in the American Revolution; one of his sons, a graduate of Harvard, was a talented lawyer at Middleboro; Edward Washburn, brother of Capt. Amos, was another patriot in the Continental army; and his son, Gen. Abiel Washburn, was one of the leading men of his time in Middleboro, the acknowledged leader of the Federal party, and for thirty-six years held commissions through the different grades of office in the State militia; while Luther, Cyrus and the late Bradford Sumner Washburn, in turn, were substantial citizens of the town, and the latter’s son, Judge Nathan Washburn, lawyer and present Justice of the Courts of Plymouth county, is giving a good account of himself.
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 Taber family of Dartmouth and New Bedford is descended from (I) Philip Taber, who, according to Savage, was born in 1605, and died in 1672. He was at Watertown in 1634, and he contributed toward building the galley for the security of the harbor. He was made a freeman at Plymouth in that same year. In 1639-40 he was a deputy from Yarmouth, and was afterward at Martha’s Vineyard, and from 1647 to 1655 was at Edgartown, going from there to New London in 1651, but probably returning soon. He was an inhabitant of Portsmouth in February, 1655, and was a representative in Providence in 1661, the commissioners being Roger Williams, William Field, Thomas Olney, Joseph Torrey, Philip Taber and John Anthony. Later he settled in Tiverton, where his death occurred. He married Lydia Masters, of Watertown, Mass., daughter of John and Jane Masters, and his second wife, Jane, born in 1605, died in 1669.
The Mortons of East Freetown, Bristol Co., Mass., formerly quite numerous in that vicinity, but not now represented by many of the name, are the posterity of Maj. Nathaniel Morton and descendants of the eminent George Morton.
George Morton, born about 1585, at Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, came to New England in the ship “Ann” in 1623. He had married in Leyden, in 1612, Juliana Carpenter, daughter of Alexander Carpenter, of Wrentham, England. He is said to have served the Pilgrims in important relations before coming to this country, and published in England in 1621 the first history of the Colony, which was entitled “A Relation or Journal of the Beginning and Proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England.” It is commonly known as “Mourt’s Relation.” He died in 1624.
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.
SWIFT. For a hundred years and more the Swift family in and about New Bedford has been one of prominence, wealth. and influence, not only in the several local communities in which its members have resided but out through the Commonwealth and into the nation, where their extensive enterprises have extended. These Acushnet-New Bedford Swifts, …
The head of the Fairhaven family, the late Capt. Alexander Winsor, a master mariner long in the merchant service, sprang from a seafaring father, and as well reared, a son who most worthily bore the family name and sustained its reputation. Reference is made to the late Capt. Alexander Winsor, Jr., who won distinction on the seas in the service of the Chinese government during the country’s war with Japan. And another son of the older Capt. Alexander Winsor was the late Walter P. Winsor, of Fairhaven, for years president of the First National Bank of New Bedford, one of the leading citizens of this section of the State.Here follow in chronological order from the earliest definitely known American ancestor of the family the genealogy and history of the Duxbury-Fairhaven Winsor family here briefly considered.
Allen, Frederick Slocum, son of Holden and Mary Devoll (Slocum) Allen, was born in Westport, Bristol County, December 25, 1837. His early educational advantages were limited to the district schools of Fairhaven. Before he was quite seventeen years of age, he shipped on a whaling voyage to the Arctic Ocean, and sailed from New Bedford, …
For perhaps fifty years there has lived in what is now Acushnet and figured largely in the industrial life of the locality a branch of the ancient and historic Cushman family of the Old Colony, in the immediate family of the late Emery Cushman, whose early life was passed in Duxbury; himself the founder of an enterprise here in which he was succeeded by his son and the latter by his sons, all of whom contributed through the manufacturing plant to the material progress and welfare of their locality.
It will be remembered that Robert Cushman was one of the most active and influential men in all of the preliminary movements of the Pilgrims in going to Leyden and thence to New England, he the ancestor of the Cushman family here in question, the marriage of whose son into the Howland family further identifies it with the “Mayflower” party.
There follows the history and genealogy of this Acushnet Cushman family in chronological order from this first American ancestor.