The Fall River French family here considered springs from the early Rehoboth family of the name, and it, as will be observed further on, according to Savage, perhaps from the Dorchester family. John French, the head of the Dorchester family and the immigrant ancestor, was a native of England, born in 1612. He had land granted him at what became Braintree for five heads Feb. 24, 1639-40. He was admitted to the church in the adjoining town of Dorchester, Jan. 27, 1642, and the births of his first two children are recorded in Dorchester. He became a freeman May 29, 1639. He was active and prominent among the early settlers. His son John was born Feb. 28, 1641.
At New Bedford, this Commonwealth, a point so long famous the world round for its whaling industry, a business carried on to an extent and success that made it the wealthiest place in proportion to its population of any point in New England, and a city that has since been hardly less conspicuous as a cotton manufacturing point, there still reside representatives of the Rotch family; here where, since the middle of the eighteenth century, have lived seven or eight generations of Rotches, than whom as a family perhaps no other has had greater influence in developing New Bedford’s character and prosperity and shaping its history.