Ancestry of William H. Nelson of Plymouth, Massachusetts

Nelson Genealogy

William Nelson, an early comer to Plymouth, before 1636, had land granted him Aug. 3, 1640, and was among those able to bear arms in 1643. He was juryman in 1648. He was probably among the first settlers of Middleboro, although it is impossible to state when he went from Plymouth to Middleboro, or how long he lived there. He married Oct. 27, 1640, Martha Ford, daughter of Widow Ford, who came to Plymouth in the ship “Fortune” in 1621. Mr. Nelson was admitted a freeman in Plymouth in 1658 and took the oath of fidelity the next year, and in 1670 was a freeman of Middleboro. He was one of the original purchasers in the Twenty-six Men’s Purchase, and an owner in this purchase at the breaking out of King Philip’s war. His name is among those in the fort at the time and in the list of proprietors of Middleboro of June 26, 1677, it appears as William Nelson, Sr. His children were:

  1. Martha Nelson (married John Cobb)
  2. John Nelson
  3. Jane Nelson (born in 1651, married Thomas Faunce)
  4. William Nelson

John Nelson Genealogy

John Nelson, son of William, born in 1647, occupied the house built by his father, who had planted an orchard near by. He and his brother William were both probably residents of Middleboro at the breaking out of King Philip’s war. He married (first) in 1667 Sarah, daughter of Henry Wood, and (second) Lydia, widow of James Barnaby and daughter of Robert Bartlett, and (third) in 1693 Patience, daughter of Ephraim Morton. His children were:

  1. John Nelson
  2. Martha Nelson (both by the first wife)
  3. Samuel Nelson, born in 1683
  4. Joanna Nelson, born in 1689 (both born to the second wife)
  5. Lydia Nelson, born in 1694
  6. Sarah Nelson, born in 1695

Samuel Nelson Genealogy

Samuel Nelson, son of John and Lydia, born in 1683, married (first) in 1704 Hannah Ford, (second) Bathsheba Nichols, and (third) Sarah Holmes. His children were:

  1. Hannah Nelson, born in 1707
  2. John Nelson, born in 1712
  3. Samuel Nelson, born in 1714
  4. Sarah Nelson, born in 1716 (married Seth Cobb) – all born to the second wife
  5. Bathsheba Nelson, born in 1719 (married Abner Holmes)
  6. Samuel Nichols Nelson, born in 1721
  7. Ebenezer Nelson, born in 1723
  8. Patience Nelson, born in 1724

Ebenezer Nelson Genealogy

Ebenezer Nelson, son of Samuel, born in 1723, married in 1754 Ruth Jackson, and their children were:

  1. Ebenezer Nelson, born in 1756
  2. Samuel Nelson
  3. Thomas Nelson, born in 1766
  4. William Nelson, born in 1767
  5. Hannah Nelson, born in 1769
  6. Lemuel Nelson, born in 1771
  7. Cynthia Cobb Nelson
  8. Hezekiah Nelson
  9. Elisha Nelson, born in 1775
  10. Ruth Nelson

William Nelson Genealogy

William Nelson, son of Ebenezer, born in 1767, married in 1792 Bathsheba Lothrop, and their children were:

  1. William Nelson, born in 1796
  2. Mary Lothrop Nelson, who married Jesse Harlow

William Nelson, son of William, born in 1796, married in 1821 Sarah, daughter of Josiah Carver, and their children were:

  1. William Henry Nelson, born in 1830
  2. Thomas Lothrop Nelson, born in 1833, who married Susan A. Warren, of Exeter, N. H., and Mary Stratton of Atchison, Mo.
  3. Sarah Elizabeth Nelson, born in 1838, who married William K. Churchill.

The father was a member of the firm of Nelson & Harlow, who engaged some years in navigation, with a counting room on Water street, opposite Nelson’s wharf, in Plymouth. He was a director in the Old Colony Bank and in the Old Colony Insurance Company, a prominent member and one of the parish committee of the Orthodox Congregational Church and a liberal contributor to its support. Mr. Nelson died at Plymouth, Mass., Oct. 6, 1863.

William H. Nelson, son of William and Sarah (Carver) Nelson, was born Aug. 13, 1830, in Plymouth, Mass., and after obtaining his education in the public schools entered into mercantile and commercial pursuits, for which he seemed peculiarly adapted. While yet a boy he engaged in the hardware business in Boston, leaving it, however, to go as super-cargo of his father’s vessels, then employed in the West India trade. He then became interested in maritime affairs and soon established himself in the fishing business, which was then a prominent industry at this port, owning with the late Jesse Harlow quite a number of vessels and carrying it on until its gradual decadence left him the last fishing owner of Plymouth, when he reluctantly relinquished the pursuit and sold his last vessel only two or three years prior to his death.

Mr. Nelson was also actively engaged with a Philadelphia firm in the importation of fruit from the West Indies in fast sailing vessels, giving up these operations when steamers were introduced, making the trade unremunerative by reason of close competition.

In 1890 Mr. Nelson, with his brother-in-law, Everett P. Sherman, bought the coal business of George F. Weston, and a few months later absorbed that of the late Luke Perkins, thus consolidating extensive interests, which he continued to manage successfully to the time of his decease.

The interests of Mr. Nelson in navigation made evident to him the need of better facilities for reaching the wharfs of Plymouth port, and when it was suggested to him by the editor of the Old Colony Memorial, who cooperated with him in this movement, that government aid might be obtained for the improvement of the harbor, he immediately wrote to Hon. W. W. Crapo, then representing the Plymouth district in Congress, and the result was an appropriation of $10,000 which commenced the work that has been of so much benefit to Plymouth’s commercial interests.

At the time the Washington treaty was made with England, which through its fishery clauses, admitting English fish free of duty, inflicted the fatal blow to the great Massachusetts industry, Mr. Nelson was chosen to represent Plymouth on the large committee from the fishing ports of the State which went to Washington to remonstrate against these provisions.

Mr. Nelson engaged in the manufacturing industries of the town to a large extent, and took a prominent part in establishing the shoe business in Plymouth, giving liberally of his means and acting as one of the committee in building the large factory near the railroad station, which citizens presented to P. Jones & Co. Mr. Nelson’s abilities were also recognized in the different institutions with which he was connected, and after serving many years as a director he was chosen president of the Old Colony Bank in January before his death, upon the decease of the late George G. Dyer, Esq. He was president and director of the Plymouth Savings Bank, president of the Plymouth Foundry Company, director of the Russell Mills Manufacturing Company and a director of the Rutland (Vt.) Marble Company. He was chosen one of the selectmen in 1871, and for the most of the time up to 1890, when he resigned, was chairman of the board, and presided at the meetings of the town as moderator. Under the circumstances narrated Plymouth community on the death of Mr. Nelson mourned his loss as that of one of its most useful citizens. His business training and experience, his public spirit, his absolute integrity, his devotion to the prosperity of the town, his zeal in its service, all contributed to peculiarly qualify him for the position which he held so long and filled so well, that of chairman of the board of selectmen.

The most excellent business training Mr. Nelson had in his early years was supplemented by wide experience in many important positions of trust and responsibility, and he brought to the service of the town an instructed and self-reliant judgment which embraced all its interests and omitted no detail. He was public-spirited in the best sense, for he gave not merely money but time, thought and interest to the public service, and watched the expenditure of public money no less closely than his own. No one in Plymouth possessed more entirely – than he the absolute confidence of those who knew him. Whether his conclusions were always right in his decisions of public or private matters men might differ, but it was never suggested that those conclusions were improperly influenced by considerations of private and personal gain.

During the twenty years of continuous public service Mr. Nelson never inquired what effect his action would have on his own reelection before determining the course he would adopt. He doubtless enjoyed the duties of his office, but they were performed largely because he knew that he had the time to devote to the discharge of those duties, and that he could render useful service. The watchful care which he gave to the affairs of the town, the sincerity and honesty with which he ever consulted its interests and not its own, the good sense and ripe experience which he brought to the discharge of the duties of his office ought not to be soon forgotten. It was easy for him to say “No” to any project involving an expenditure on the part of the town which he did not approve, mainly because he never for a moment considered what effect his opposition to this scheme or that would have on him personally. His only ambition was to best serve the town he loved so well, and whose interests were for the time being entrusted to his keeping. This modesty and good sense made it impossible for him to use his position to gratify any love of notoriety. There was no thrusting of himself forward, no effort to secure the cheap applause of the thoughtless, no self-seeking. He was content to do his duty as he saw it, and to be able to serve the town was the only reward he asked. Plymouth has had many worthy and useful officials, but there is no one in that long list who has given to her service so much of time and labor, united with business training, sound judgment, loyal devotion and perfect integrity as William H. Nelson. Those who knew him will long cherish the remembrance of his disinterested and efficient service and of his useful and honorable life. He was a Republican in political preference. He died at Plymouth July 18, 1891, and was buried in Oak Grove cemetery. He attended the Congregational Church.

On Aug. 6, 1863, Mr. Nelson married Hannah Coomer Weston, daughter of Capt. Coomer, Jr., and Sarah S. (Eddy) Weston.

Weston Genealogy

Weston. The Weston family, to which Mrs. Hannah Coomer (Weston) Nelson belongs, is an old and prominent one of Plymouth county.

Edmund Weston, the first of the name in this country, came in the “Elizabeth and Ann” to Boston in 1635 and settled in Duxbury. His children were:

  1. Edmund Weston
  2. John Weston
  3. Mary Weston, who married John Delano, and Elnathan.

Edmund Weston (2), son of Edmund, was born in 1660 and made his home in Duxbury, where in 1688 he married Rebecca Soule, daughter of John. Their children were born as follows:

  1. Nathan Weston, 1688
  2. Zachariah Weston, 1690
  3. Rebecca Weston, 1693 (married Thomas Darling)
  4. John Weston, 1695
  5. Edmund Weston, 1697
  6. Benjamin Weston, 1701

Benjamin Weston, youngest son of Edmund (2) and Rebecca (Soule), born in Duxbury in 1701, located in the town of Plympton and there spent the remainder of his life. He married four times, and by his first wife, Hannah, had three children:

  1. Benjamin Weston, born in 1724
  2. Joshua Weston, 1725
  3. Hannah Weston, 1729

In 1731 he married (second) Hannah Coomer, daughter of William Coomer, and their five children were born as follows:

  1. William Weston, 1732
  2. Noah Weston, 1734
  3. Zadock Weston, 1736
  4. Hannah Weston, 1738
  5. Job Weston, 1741

For his third wife Mr. Weston married Philemon Jones, and his fourth wife was Mercy Lobdell, widow of Ebenezer Lobdell.

William Weston, son of Benjamin, born in 1732, married in 1754 Mary Weston, daughter of Thomas Weston. They had three children:

  1. Lewis Weston (born in 1734)
  2. Coomer Weston
  3. William Weston

Coomer Weston, son of William, born in Plympton, married Patty Cole, daughter of Isaac Cole, in 1784. His children were born as follows:

  1. Coomer Weston, 1784
  2. Isaac Weston, 1787
  3. Thomas Weston, 1788
  4. Patty Weston, 1791 (married Ichabod Morton)
  5. Lydia Weston, 1794 (married Samuel Ellis)

Coomer Weston (2), son of Coomer, born in 1784, resided in Plymouth, where he was one of the organizers of the Standish Guards, of which he was the first captain. He was a small landowner and was the keeper of the jail at Plymouth for some years. He died at Plymouth and was interred in Burial Hill cemetery.

In 1804 Captain Weston married Hannah Doten, daughter of Jabez, and they had children as follows:

  1. Coomer Weston, born in 1805
  2. Francis Henri Weston, 1807
  3. Hannah Doten Weston, 1809 (married Francis Borasso)
  4. Ann Maria Weston, 1813
  5. Lydia Weston, 1818
  6. Thomas Weston, 1821
  7. Miles Standish Weston, 1826

Coomer Weston (3), son of Capt. Coomer, was born in Plymouth in 1805 and spent his life there, dying in May, 1864. He was buried in Oak Grove cemetery. He was a carpenter and ship builder by occupation, and followed that business all his life, and like his father he served as captain of the Standish Guards, in whose welfare he took a deep interest. He attended the Unitarian Church, belonging to the First parish.

In 1829 Mr. Weston married Sally Sturtevant Eddy, a native of Middleboro, daughter of John Eddy, and she survived him a number of years, dying Nov. 10, 1878. She is buried in Oak Grove cemetery. She, too, was a member of the First parish of the Unitarian Church. Their children were as follows:

  1. Sarah Weston, born in 1831, married Everett F. Sherman, of Plymouth
  2. Hannah Coomer Weston, born in 1833, married William Henry Nelson, of Plymouth
  3. Laura Ann Weston, born in 1835, is the widow of Edward Harlow and resides at Oakland, Cal.
  4. Harriet Davee Weston, born in 1837, married Albert E. Thayer and resides at Hingham
  5. Edmund Weston, born in 1843, married Florence Wood and resides in Plymouth.

Eddy Genealogy

The Eddy family, from which Mrs. Sally S. (Eddy) Weston descended, traces back to William Eddy, vicar of St. Dunstan, in Cranbrook, England, in 1587, who married Mary Foster, daughter of John Foster.

Samuel Eddy, son of William, born in 1608, came from Cranbrook, England, to Plymouth with his brother John in the “Handmaid,” in 1630, and settled at Watertown, Mass. He and his wife Elizabeth had five children.

Obadiah Eddy married a Miss Bennett and had nine children.

Samuel Eddy, third child in the family of Obadiah, born in 1675, settled in Middleboro, Mass., married Melithiah Pratt and had five children.

Zachariah Eddy, son of Samuel, born in 1701, in Middleboro, married there 1737 Mercy Norton, and they had eleven children.

Seth Eddy, son of Zachariah, born in Middleboro in 1754, married Mary Barden.

John Eddy, son of Seth, married, in Middleboro, Abiah Sturtevant, of Halifax, Mass. Their daughter, Sally Sturtevant Eddy, married Capt. Coomer Weston, Jr., of Plymouth.

Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families. 3 Volumes. Beers & Chicago. 1912.

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