The Bates family, to which Joshua Bates belonged, was early planted in Massachusetts. The first of the name was
Clement Bates, born in Hertfordshire, England. He was a tailor by occupation, and with his wife and five children sailed from London, England, in the “Elizabeth,” April 6, 1635. He settled in Hingham, Mass., and there died Sept. 17, 1671.
Joseph Bates, son of Clement, married Hester, and they became the parents of a son Joseph.
Joseph Bates (2), son of Joseph and Hester, settled in 1695 in Scituate, now the town of Hanover. He died there July 9, 1740. His wife, whose maiden name is unknown, died Aug. 15, 1742. They were the parents of eight children.
Clement Bates, seventh child of Joseph (2), was born in the town of Hanover, Dec. 27, 1707. On June 15, 1730, he married Agatha Merritt, who died Dec. 25, 1786. He died March 14, 1788. They were the parents of twelve children.
Seth Bates, son of Clement and Agatha, was born in August, 1735. He married Dec. 21, 1757, Anne Neal, who died Dec. 12, 1810. He was an officer in the war of the Revolution, bearing the title of colonel, and he died April 9, 1820. Fourteen children were born to Seth and Anne Bates.
Joshua Bates, son of Col. Seth, was born in Hanover, Mass. When a young man he went to Canada, and set up a large furnace, which he conducted with great success for many years. After returning to Massachusetts he located in the town of Bridgewater, where he took up farming, and where he died in 1839. In 1796 he married, in Bridgewater, Bethia Ames, daughter of Joseph Ames, and four children were born to them.
Samuel Ward Bates, son of Joshua, was born in Bridgewater in 1808. He learned the trade of machinist, and worked at it in Nova Scotia, and also for a time in Braintree, Mass. Like his father he, too, returned to Bridgewater and engaged in farming on his father’s farm, devoting the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits. He died there April 8, 1883, at the age of seventy-four years, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. He married Helen L. Crooker, daughter of Zenas and Content (Stetson) Crooker, of Pembroke, Mass. Their children were:
- Helen Kay Bates, who died unmarried
- a daughter, twin of Helen E., who died in infancy
- Joshua Bates
- Samuel Bates, who died young
- Corinna Bates, who married Nahum Washburn, both now deceased
- Marcia P. Bates, who died unmarried in Bridgewater
- Elizabeth A. Bates, who married William Thatcher, and had six children
Mrs. Bates died Sept. 18, 1890, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. She was one of the first members of the Church of the New Jerusalem, in Bridgewater.
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. He was laid to rest in Mount Prospect cemetery at Bridgewater. In politics he was a Republican, and in religious connection a member of the Church of the New Jerusalem. On Jan. 21, 1869, he married Anna Washburn, daughter of Seth Washburn. Mrs. Bates is a lady of culture and education. She is a member of the Church of the New Jerusalem, and she takes an active interest in all patriotic work. She is a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants.