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
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.
The Keith family is one of the oldest of southeastern Massachusetts. Its founder in America was Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, who came to America, landing in Boston in 1662. He became minister of the Bridgewater Church, where he administered to the spiritual needs of the people for half a century. He died July 23, 1719. He was twice married. His first wife was Susannah Edson, daughter of Deacon Samuel Edson.
The name Keith has been a conspicuous one in the history of this Commonwealth since the first interior settlement was made, and the descendants of this time-honored family have been prominently identified with the development and growth of this community from the time of the ordination of the first minister of the settlement – Rev. James Keith, in 1664 – down to the present time, covering a period of nearly 250 years. This article is to treat particularly of the branch of descendants of Rev. James Keith to which belonged the late Simeon Cary Keith, who was an honored citizen of West Bridgewater, and his three sons, Warren R. Keith, who is president of the Independent Oil Company, of Brockton; Edward H. Keith, who is ex-mayor of the city of Brockton, and general inspector of the George E. Keith Company’s shoe factories; and S. Elliott Keith, who was a foreman in the extensive shoe manufacturing plant of the George E. Keith Company for a number of years and is now secretary of the Independent Oil Company. The ancestry of this branch of the family follows in chronological order.
William Hartley Cary was a prominent and respected citizen and business man of the city of Brockton, where his death occurred Dec. 9, 1899. As a citizen he enjoyed the esteem of the entire community, in which industrial center he had for nearly a quarter of a century been an influential and successful factor in the development of its business interests. Mr. Cary was born Jan. 10, 1852, in Charleston, Maine, son of William Harrison and Abigail (Ingles) Cary. His parents were both natives of Maine, although his earlier paternal ancestors were among the early settlers of North Bridgewater (now Brockton). A record of that branch of the Cary family through which Mr. Cary descended, which has been traced in direct line back in England to the year 1170, follows.
EMBERT HOWARD, long one of the most successful business men of Brockton, of which city he is also one of the foremost citizens, is a worthy representative of a family which has historic identity with the earliest settling of New England. For two hundred and sixty and more years the family bearing this name has dwelt in the Bridgewaters and in the region of country thereabouts, the posterity of John Haward, who was one of the early settlers of Duxbury, Mass. The genealogy following traces the line in chronological order from this immigrant ancestor.
For nearly a century there have lived in North Bridgewater and Brockton representatives of an earlier family of the name in and about Boston. Reference is made to some of the descendants of Charles Little Hauthaway, who, coming from Roxbury in youth, in 1828, cast his lot with the people of North Bridgewater, where have figured most successfully three generations of the family. From members of this family it seems that the English spelling of the name is Haughtweight or Hautweight, which may be the same as the old County Suffolk English spelling Hautwat, a name still extant there. The records of a century and more ago in Boston reveal the spelling Hauthwait, one Francis Hauthwait being the owner and occupier of a dwelling “North on West street; east by John Ballard; West by Frothingham.”
Horace Alden Keith, founder of the Brockton Webbing Company, one of the successful and thriving industries of Brockton, and one of that city’s enterprising and progressive business men, is a descendant on both his paternal and maternal sides of historic old New England ancestry. Mr. Keith was born in West Bridgewater May 25, 1862, eldest son of the late Henry Snell and Thalia (Alden) Keith. The ancestral line of the branch of the Keith family in this country to which Horace Alden Keith belongs, and which follows, is given in chronological order from the first American ancestor. Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, was educated in Aberdeen, Scotland (as tradition says at the expense of a maiden aunt), where he was graduated likely from Marischal College, his name appearing on the roll of 1657, said college having been founded by George, the fifth Earl of Keith Marischal, in 1593. At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to this country, arriving at Boston in 1662. He was introduced to the church at Bridgewater by Dr. Increase Mather, and became settled as the minister of the Bridgewater Church Feb. 18, 1664. Rev. James Keith passed away in West Bridgewater July 23, 1719, aged seventy-six years, having labored in the ministry of the town for fifty-six years.
Ellis Brett, president of the Plymouth County Trust Company, of Brockton, and one of that city’s honored and respected citizens, is a worthy representative of historic New England ancestry, the Brett family having resided in this community since the first settlement of the mother town of Bridgewater, from which the town of North Bridgewater (now Brockton) was set off. Mr. Brett was born in the latter town Oct. 23, 1840, only son of Ephraim and Ruth (Copeland) Brett. The early history of the Brett family in America begins with William Brett, who came to Duxbury, Mass., in 1645, from Kent, England, and later became one of the fifty-four original proprietors and first settlers of the town of ancient Bridgewater, settling in the West parish of the town. He was an elder in the church, and often when the Rev. James Keith, the first ordained pastor of the church there, was ill, Mr. Brett preached to the people. He was a leading man in both church and town affairs, and was deputy to the General Court from the date of the in-corporation of ancient Bridgewater in 1656 to 1661. That he was well educated and intelligent is manifest from a letter to Governor Winslow, still extant, and he was much esteemed by his brethren and often employed in their secular affairs. He died Dec. 17, 1681, aged sixty-three years
Nicholas Snow, a native of England, came to this country in 1623 in the ship “Ann,” locating in Plymouth, where he had a share in the division of land in 1624. In 1634 he removed to Eastham, where he became a prominent citizen. His home was on the road from Plymouth to Eel river, on the Westerly side. He was admitted a freeman in 1633, and was elected town clerk at the first meeting of the town of Eastham, holding that office sixteen years. He was deputy to the General Court from 1648, three years; selectman from 1663, seven years. He and his son Mark signed the call to Rev. John Mayo to settle as their minister in 1655. He was one of Gov. Thomas Prence’s associates. He married at Plymouth, Constance, daughter of Stephen Hopkins, who came over in the “Mayflower.” Constance herself came in the “Mayflower.” She died in October, 1677. Mr. Snow died Nov. 15, 1676, in Eastham, Mass.