Descendants of Philip Taber of New Bedford, MA

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. His children were:

  1. John, baptized at Barnstable Nov. 8, 1640, died young
  2. Philip, baptized at Barnstable in February, 1646, married Mary Cook
  3. Thomas, born in 1644, was baptized at Barnstable in February, 1646
  4. Joseph was baptized at Barnstable Feb. 11, 1646
  5. Lydia married Pardon Tillinghast, and died in 1718

Thomas Taber, son of Philip, born in February, 1644, baptized in 1646, was town surveyor in 1673, town clerk and constable in 1679, freeman in 1684, selectman in 1686, 1692, 1694, 1699, 1701, 1702 and 1711. He was twice representative to the General Court (once in 1693), and captain in 1689. His house in Dartmouth (now Fairhaven) was burned by the Indians in 1675, and he fled with his family to the blockhouse which had been built by John Cook. Mr. Taber afterward built another house, a portion of the south end of which was standing in 1908. He married (first) Esther Cook, daughter of Rev. John and Sarah (Warren) Cook, he a son of Francis Cook (e) and she a daughter of Richard Warren, both of the “Mayflower.” She died in 1671, and he married (second) in June, 1672, Mary Thompson, daughter of John and Mary (Cook) Thompson, of Dartmouth, the latter a granddaughter of Francis Cook. Mary (Thompson) Taber died May 3, 1734, surviving her husband, Thomas Taber, who died Nov. 11, 1730. To his first marriage were born:

  1. Thomas, Oct. 2, 1668
  2. Esther, April 17, 1671

The eleven children of the second marriage were:

  1. Lydia, born Aug. 8, 1673
  2. Sarah, Jan. 28, 1675
  3. Mary, March 18, 1677
  4. Joseph, March 7, 1679
  5. Thomas, Feb. 22, 1681
  6. John (twin to Thomas)
  7. Jacob, July 26, 1683
  8. Jonathan, Sept. 22, 1685
  9. Bethiah, Sept. 2, 1687
  10. Philip, Feb. 7, 1689
  11. Abigail, May 2, 1693

Joseph Taber, son of Thomas and Mary (Thompson), born March 7, 1679, died in 1752. He married May 28, 1701-02, Elizabeth Spooner, daughter of John, and they became the parents of thirteen children:

  1. Amos, born April 29, 1703
  2. Sarah, March 2, 1704-05
  3. Benjamin, Dec. 2, 1706
  4. Mary, June 6, 1708-09
  5. Joseph, Feb. 15, 1709-10
  6. Rebekah, Oct. 11, 1711
  7. Elener, March 28, 1713
  8. John, Aug. 8, 1715
  9. Thomas, Sept. 20, 1717
  10. Elizabeth, Nov. 2, 1718
  11. Peter, April 6, 1721
  12. William, March 15, 1722
  13. Abegael, April 16, 1725

Benjamin Taber, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Spooner), born Dec. 2, 1706, married Dec. 5, 1729, Susannah Lewis, and became the father of thirteen children:

  1. Elizabeth, born Sept. 17, 1730
  2. Joseph, Feb. 28, 1731-32
  3. Benjamin, Oct. 10, 1733 (died in 1820)
  4. John, Oct. 9, 1735
  5. Archilus, July 26, 1737
  6. Joshua, Jan. 28, 1739-40
  7. Mary, June 14, 1741
  8. Jeduthan, March 15, 1742-43
  9. Rebecca, Feb. 28, 1744-45
  10. Thomas, March 28, 1747
  11. Jeremiah, April 3, 1749
  12. Lewis, Oct. 7, 1751
  13. Joshua, Feb. 23, 1753

Benjamin Taber (2), son of Benjamin and Susannah (Lewis), born Oct. 10, 1733, married (first) in 1755 Hannah Gardner (born in 1737, in Nantucket, Mass., died 1766), and (second) Eunice (Worth) Gardner (born 1731, died Jan. 31, 1814). The latter was a widow with one daughter, Lydia Bunker. To the first marriage were born three children:

  1. Barnabas, born in 1761, died in 1767
  2. Daniel, born June 23, 1764, died in 1839
  3. Benjamin, born Feb. 2, 1766, died in 1846

To the second marriage were also born three children:

  1. Barnabas, April 24, 1768 (died 1853)
  2. Susannah, April 7, 1770 (died 1839)
  3. Francis, Sept. 10, 1772 (died Aug. 31, 1853)

Francis Taber, son of Benjamin (2) and Eunice (Worth), born Sept. 10, 1772, followed the occupation of pump and block maker in his native town, New Bedford. On March 21, 1796, he married Lydia Russell, a member of the Russell family which was so prominent in the early history of New Bedford and vicinity. Their children were:

  1. Joseph, born Dec. 31, 1796, married Nov. 1, 1821, Deborah Smith
  2. Ann, born Feb. 12, 1800, married Joseph S. Tillinghast, and had three children
    1. Lydia T. (married William T. Connor)
    2. John
    3. Joseph
  3. Roby, born Dec. 4, 1801, married Seth K. Akin, and had a daughter, Helen B.
  4. Francis, born Oct. 9, 1803, married Mary Ann Eddy
  5. William R., born Jan. 17, 1805, married Mary Davis
  6. Lydia, born Dec. 19, 1807, married George F. Barnard
  7. Abby, born Dec. 15, 1809, married Robert Holloway, and moved to Ohio
  8. Thomas R., born Jan. 8, 1813, died Nov. 28, 1865
  9. Welthen S., born June 4, 1817, died Oct. 1, 1907, married William W. Russell
  10. George R., born Feb. 12, 1821, married Elizabeth Austin, of Nantucket
  11. Abraham S., born Jan. 28, 1824, is deceased

Joseph Taber, born Dec. 31, 1796, son of Francis and Lydia, followed his father’s calling of pump and block maker in New Bedford, and was a man much respected. He died Sept. 9, 1882. On Nov. 1, 1821, he married Deborah Smith, born Feb. 12, 1796, daughter of Abraham and Zerviah (Ricketson) Smith, and they became the parents of six children, namely:

  1. Edward S., born March 15, 1826
  2. Sarah S., Sept. 18, 1827 (died Jan. 11, 1845)
  3. Anna R., Feb. 16, 1829 (died June 28, 1843)
  4. Russell, Feb. 11, 1831 (died Sept. 24, 1832)
  5. Caroline Smith, Feb. 3, 1834 (married Samuel Morgan)
  6. one other

Edward Smith Taber, son of Joseph and Deborah, was born March 15, 1826. In common with a large number of the children of that day he was fortunate in receiving the educational advantages of the public schools and the Friends’ Academy, where he made the most of his opportunities, graduating from the Academy in 1844, when he was eighteen years old. He then worked for a few months in his father’s shop,, after that entering the office of George Howland, at that time one of the prominent merchants of the town. He remained with Mr. Howland until the latter’s death in 1852, when he began to acquire an interest in some of the vessels of his employer. The business passed to the two sons of Mr. Howland, George and Matthew, and Mr. Taber continued with them until the breaking out of the war. That event crippled the whale fishery business for some time, and Mr. Taber sought other fields for the exercise of his talents. In Providence he entered the service of George H. Corliss, the famous inventor and builder of steam engines. He was given a position of trust and responsibility with the company. About the close of the war he determined to enter upon a business career on his own account, and to that end removed to Boston and engaged in the crockery trade. While the venture was not a failure, its success was not commensurate with his hopes, nor was it such as to satisfy his ambition. In March, 1868, the Morse Twist Drill Company was in the early years of its existence in New Bedford. It was founded upon the assured value of patents to Mr. Stephen A. Morse for what is known as the Increase Twist Drill, which then possessed great advantages over all others. But while these drills were acknowledged to be superior to others, the success of the company and its growth had not reached the wishes of its projectors. Mr. Taber was called to take the combined office of president and treasurer of the company, in which capacity he was to have the entire management of affairs. Accepting the place, and believing firmly in the value of the article manufactured, he gave his energies to the enterprise, laboring early and late, and employing all his natural and acquired abilities as a business man for the advancement of its interests. He found the company occupying a comparatively small building for its works and office, and employing from fifty to sixty hands, with a capital of $60,000, turning out 50,000 to 60,000 annually. From the time of his acceptance of the trust the interests of the company began to advance, and soon the capital was increased to $150,000 and later to $600,000 from the profits of the business. During his administration the number of employees was increased to 500. Several valuable and widely selling articles were added to the output, notably the Beach chuck, taps and dies, reamers, milling cutters, drill grinding machines, standard gauges, etc. In short, the success and growth of the Morse Twist Drill Company under Mr. Taber’s management was pronounced and rapid. Its tools have a market in the most distant countries of the world, being found in stock in the principal cities of England and Europe, India, Australia and South America.

Mr. Taber became a director of the First National Bank in 1881, and its president in 1890, succeeding Mr. William Watkins. He was elected a trustee of the New Bedford Institution for Savings in 1865, and became one of the board of investment of that institution in 1888. A Republican in politics, he never wished for nor accepted office with the exception of membership in the common council for two years during the war period. The characteristics which worked for success in his career were his nervous activity, executive ability of a high order, and stanch integrity.

Mr. Taber was married Oct. 22, 1857, to Emily H. Allen, born March 27, 1835, daughter of Frederick Slocum and Mary Parker (Howland) Allen, and descended from the Standish family. A full history of the Allen family appears elsewhere in this publication. Mrs. Taber died March 25, 1884, leaving three children, viz.:

  1. Frederick Allen, born March 7, 1859, was the eldest.
  2. Alice Standish, born Nov. 23, 1862, married Oct. 10, 1883, Andrew G. Weeks, of Boston, and resides in Fairhaven, Mass. Their children are:
    1. Allen-Taber, born Dec. 13, 1884, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, who married Eleanor Tenney, daughter of John and Cornelia Angeline (Marvin) Tenney, of Philadelphia
    2. Rosamond Pierce, born Oct. 9, 1887, who married Edgar C. Rust, and they have one child, Rosamond
    3. Kenneth, born Dec. 30, 1889, who is studying architecture in Paris, France.
  3. Sylvia Howland, born Jan. 24, 1872, married Dr. Horatio Cushing Allen, of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

In August, 1888, Mr. Taber married (second) Annie Nelson, daughter of Francis Nelson. She resides in New Bedford.

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