For nearly two hundred and seventy-five years the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in New England, and it has become a most numerous family, too, many of whose members both at home and abroad have given a good account of themselves. Samuel Packard, the immigrant ancestor of this family, became one of the early settlers of the ancient town of Bridgewater, and all of the name who have gone from the Bridgewaters were probably descendants of his; in fact, nearly all of the name in this country can be traced to that place. The genealogical records following
John Washburn, first of the name here, was an early settler in New England, and was a resident of Duxbury, Mass., before 1632, in which year he had an action in court against Edward Doten. He was named in the assessment of taxes in 1633, and in 1634 bought a place from Edward Bonparse known as “Eagle’s Nest.” He and his two sons, John and Philip, were included with those able to bear arms in 1643. He and his son John were original proprietors of Bridgewater, and they with the son Philip settled in the town as early as 1665. He died in Bridgewater before 1670.
The ancient town of Bridgewater, the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, has been the birthplace and the home of many who have made the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts rich in stories of good lives devoted to the development and uplift of the community, and not the least among these may be mentioned the late Capt. Benjamin Beal Howard, philanthropist, whose name is perpetuated in Howard Seminary, which he founded, and his son, the late Francis Edward Howard, philanthropist, statesman and upright, patriotic and useful citizen.
Matthew Watson (d. 1720), of English lineage, married Mary Orr in 1695, and in 1718 the family immigrated from Ireland to Boston, Massachusetts and settled in Leicester, Massachusetts. Descendants and relatives lived in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nebraska, Rhode Island, California, Nevada, Michigan and elsewhere. Includes Watson, Armington, Bemis, Denny, Draper, Kent, Washburn, Bailey, Barnard, Belcher, Bent, Biscoe, Bolles, Breckenridge, Bright, Browning, Bryant, Bullock, Burrage, Dennis, Fisher, Foster, Green, Hayward, Hobbs, Hodgkins, Holman, Howard, Jenks, Jones, Kellogg, Kitchell, Knight, Lazelle, Livermore, Loring, Mason, Maynard, Munger, Patrick, Prouty, Remington, Reed, Rice, Richardson, Rogers, Sadler, Sibley, Snow, Sprague, Stone, Studley, Symonds, Taitt, Thomas, Thompson, Trask, Tucker, Waite, Webster, Westcott, Wheeler, Whittermore, Wilson, Woods and related families.
Most of the Frenches of the Bridgewaters and vicinity descend from John French, of Braintree. This John French was born about 1612, in England. Before coming to Braintree, of which point he was an inhabitant in 1640, and a freeman in 1644, he had been a short time at Dorchester. He died Aug. 16, 1692, aged about eighty. His wife Grace died Feb. 28, 1680-81, aged fifty-nine years. Walter Lyman French, the gentleman whose name introduces this article was one of Brockton’s enterprising business men, one who had achieved marked success in various branches of industry and trade. He was born in Brockton Mass. (then North Bridgewater) May 4, 1843, son of the late Francis M. and. Nancy L. (Blake) French. Walter is a direct descendant of John and Grace French of Braintree Mass.
Edward Hunt’s “Weymouth ways and Weymouth people: Reminiscences” takes the reader back in Weymouth Massachusetts past to the 1830s through the 1880s as he provides glimpses into the people of the community. These reminiscences were mostly printed in the Weymouth Gazette and provide a fair example of early New England village life as it occurred in the mid 1800s. Of specific interest to the genealogist will be the Hunt material scattered throughout, but most specifically 286-295, and of course, those lucky enough to have had somebody “remembered” by Edward.
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.
ROBERT THOMPSON DAVIS, M. D., late of Fall River, physician, promoter, State senator, mayor, congressman, etc., was one of the most prominent figures in the public and industrial life of Fall River, and as well one of its most widely known and wealthiest citizens. Dr. Davis was the son of John and Sarah (Thompson) Davis, and was born Aug. 28, 1823, in County Down, Province of Ulster, North of Ireland.
EVERETT CLINTON HALL, wholesale grocer at Brockton, is one of that thriving city’s enterprising and progressive young business men, one who by his own efforts has risen to a position of affluence through his energy and ability to take the initiative combined with natural-born business acumen. Mr. Hall is a descendant of several of the earliest settled families of this Commonwealth, numbering among his ancestors several of the country’s most noted Pilgrims, among these being John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. The Hall family ancestry following is given in chronological order.
Moses Adams Packard, of Brockton, where he has been so long and so successfully engaged in the manufacture of shoes, is as well one of that city’s highly honored and respected citizens. Mr. Packard began life with little capital save boundless energy and a resolute purpose, and has pushed his way upward against almost every kind of obstacle until he now holds a foremost position among the leading manufacturers in this Commonwealth, vindicating the old saying, “Labor is king.” He was born Feb. 28, 1843, in New London, N. H., which was the home of his mother, while his father was a native of North Bridgewater, and a descendant of one of the old and historical families of Massachusetts.
Since its coming to this Bridgewater settlement, which was the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, as early as 1664, to the present time, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in this community, and has become a most numerous family, many, too, of its members both at home and abroad having given a good account of themselves.