Genealogical Record of Thomas Wait and his descendants looks at the genealogy of Thomas Wait (1601-1677) who was from Wethersfield Parish, Essex, England. On his arrival in America, landing in Rhode Island, he applied for a lot on which to build,and was granted it on 7/1/1639. On 3/l6/l641 he became a Freeman in Newport R. I. He died in Portsmouth R. I., before April 1677 intestate. This Thomas Wait was a cousin to the Richard Waite of Watertown Mass., who was a large land owner. This unpublished manuscript provides the descendants of this family.
William Bowers Moison Chace, senior member of W. B. M. Chace & Co., real estate, insurance, stocks and bonds, prominently identified with manufacturing and financial concerns, his position won through his own energy, integrity and general worth, is a worthy representative of a family planted in America but a decade later than the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. He was born in Somerset, Mass., Dec. 5, 1854, and is of the ninth generation of the family in the New World.
The Connecticut-Massachusetts branch of the earlier family of this name of the old Bay State is one of long and honorable standing in New England, and as well of historic connection. The especial family here considered, and which for designation is styled the Taunton family, is that of pome of the descendants of Capt. Jabez Fox, of Berkley, Mass., one of whose sons was the late Henry Hodges Fox and the latter’s son the present Hon. William Henry Fox, lawyer and judge, who for forty and more years has been judge of the First District court of Bristol county and otherwise prominently identified with the public affairs of the city of Taunton.
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.
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.
The progenitor in New England of those bearing the family name of Hough was William Hough, son of Edward Hough, of Westchester, in Cheshire, England. This William Hough was known as a house carpenter at Gloucester, Mass., along just prior to the middle of the seventeenth century. He lived at Trynall Cove, where and on Biskie island, opposite, he had land. It is not known that his father came to New England, but it is believed by those who have written of the family that Ann Hough, who died at Gloucester in 1672, aged eighty-five years, was Edward’s widow and the mother of William Hough. The latter was selectman in 1649 and 1650. His departure from Gloucester is spoken of in the latter year, when he joined the migration to New London, Conn., and in that State the family is a numerous one. William Hough married Oct. 28, 1645, Sarah, daughter of Hugh Calkins, and of their ten children the first three were born at Gloucester and the others at New London.
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.
Several persons bearing the name Jennings (variously spelled) located in Massachusetts in its early settlement. Richard Jennings put himself as apprentice to Robert Bartlett, of Plymouth, in 1635, for a period of years. He is said to have lived at Sandwich, whence he moved to Bridgewater, and had a family of children. The Jennings family was long prominent and highly respected in the town of Sandwich, but in time became practically extinct there. Thomas Jennings was an early settler in Portsmouth, R. I. It is, however, the purpose to refer here to the special Fall River family of the name the head of which was the late William H. Jennings. The latter was a descendant in the seventh generation from John Jennings of Sandwich, Mass., from whom his descent is through Isaac, John, Isaac, Isaac and Andrew M. Jennings. These generations follow in the order named.
Lawrence Wilkinson, the first of the race here in New England, was born in Lanchester, County of Durham, England, a son of William Wilkinson by his wife Mary, sister of Sir John Conyers, Bart., and the grandson of Lawrence Wilkinson, of Harpley House, Durham. He was a loyalist, and at the surrender of Newcastle, 1644, was taken prisoner by the Parliamentary and Scotch troops. At this time he held a lieutenant’s commission. He was deprived of his property, and his estates sequestered by order of Parliament. After having obtained special permission from Lord Fairfax, chief commander of the Parliamentary army, he embarked with his wife and child for New England, leaving, according to Somerby, in 1652. Arriving at Providence he signed the civil compact and received a gift of twenty-five acres of land and commenced his pioneer life. He was admitted as one of the original “Proprietors of Providence.” He soon acquired a large real estate, and held a prominent position among his fellow citizens. He was frequently chosen to fill offices of trust in the infant colony; was elected a member of the Legislature in 1659 and subsequently. He was an active business man. He participated in the Indian wars. He lived in his adopted country nearly half a century. His death occurred in 1692.
KELLEY (New Bedford family Haverhill branch). At New Bedford for several generations have lived what for designation may be termed the Haverhill-New Bedford Kelleys. Reference is made to some of the descendants of William Kelley and his wife Abigail (Cannon) Kelley, both natives of the town of Haverhill, one of whose sons, the late Henry C. Kelley, was in the earlier half of the nineteenth century a merchant in New Bedford, and his son, the present Charles Sampson Kelley, since young manhood has been one of the most active and useful citizens of the city, having coupled his name with most if not all of the projects which have tended to the developing and modernizing of the city, one whose efforts in this direction have been especially conspicuous; and who, as a business man, banker and broker, is the architect of his own successful career.
The name Kelley, which was originally spelled Kelleigh, can be traced back to a period prior to the Norman conquest, and its barons are undoubtedly descended from the ancient Britons. The principal manorial seat of the family in England has been for many centuries located in the small parish of Kelly (or Kelley) in Devonshire. Burke and Shirley both agree as to its great antiquity, and the latter asserts that the Kellys have been lords of the manor from the reign of Henry II. (1154-1189). All the Kelleys in New England prior to 1690, with the exception of David Kelley of Yarmouth, Mass., freeman, 1657, and possibly one other family, appear to have been of English origin, and in all probability were of the Devonshire stock.