This page treats the Leach Genealogy of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, starting with Lawrence Leach, the immigrant ancestor, and descending to the James Cushing Leach family of Bridgewater, Mass.
The Stetson family of Bridgewater is one of the oldest and most prominent in that section of the State, and it has for upward of two centuries been identified with the manufacturing interests of the town, its representatives being the founders of the iron industry of Bridgewater. Especial reference is made to Capt. Abisha Stetson, who was one of the first to engage in the iron business; his son, Nahum Stetson, whose name was a household word in his native town, and who by his great foresight, enterprise and progressive ideas built up the great Bridgewater Iron Works; and the latter’s sons and grandsons, all men of substance and good citizenship.
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.
The Lothrop family, of which the late Frederick Lothrop Ames was a descendant on his mother’s side, is an old family of Massachusetts. The name Lowthrop, Lothrop or Lathrop is derived from Lowthrope, a small parish in the wapentake of Dickering, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, four and a half miles northeast from Great Driffield, and a perpetual curacy in the archdeaconry of York. The church there was an ancient institution, said to have been built about the time of Edward III., although there has been no institution to it since 1579.
The Ames surname is of early English origin, and the family living at Bristol bore the following coat of arms: Argent, on a bend cotised sable, three roses of the field. Motto: Fama Candida rosa dulcior. Crest: A white rose. (I) John Ames was buried at Bruton, Somersetshire, England, in 1560. (II) John Ames (2), son of John, died in 1583; married Margery Crome. Children: John Ames Launcelot Ames William Ames (III) John Ames (3), son of John (2), born in 1560, died in 1629, married Cyprian Browne. Children: William Ames. John Ames, went to New England, settling first at