WILLIAM P. WHITMAN, president and treasurer of the well-known shoe manufacturing concern of the Whitman & Keith Company, of Brockton, and one of that city’s successful and progressive business men, as was his father before him, is a descendant of distinguished and historic New England ancestry. Mr. Whitman is a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, of the “Mayflower,” 1620; of Rev. James Keith, the first ordained minister of Bridgewater; and of John Whitman, who settled in Weymouth, Mass., as early as 1638, from whom descended many persons eminent in professional life and otherwise, among them Dr. Marcus Whitman, who saved the vast territory of Oregon to the United States; Hon. Ezekiel Whitman, for many years chief justice of the Superior and Supreme courts of the State of Maine; and Hon. William E. Russell, twice governor of Massachusetts.
Benjamin S. Atwood, the well-known box manufacturer of Whitman, Mass., was one of the best known men in Plymouth county, and as a business man and as a soldier stood high in the estimation of all who know him. He was born in the town of Carver, Plymouth county, June 25, 1840. The Atwood family of which Benjamin S. Atwood is a descendant is an old and prominent family of Plymouth Colony. The founder was John Wood, who came to Plymouth in 1643, and was later known as John Atwood – a spelling of the name that has been retained to the present time.
The New Bedford Benjamin family here considered – some of the descendants of Isaac Benjamin, one of whose sons, the late Isaac W. Benjamin, was for years officially identified with the New Bedford Cordage Company and a public servant of the city of New Bedford of rare fidelity and usefulness – is a branch of the Livermore, Maine, family of the name and it of the still earlier family of Watertown, Mass., where arrived John Benjamin Sept. 16, 1632, in the ship “Lion.”
The Fall River family of Lindseys here considered is a branch of the earlier Bristol, R. I., family. Beyond the marriage at that point of John Lindsey, the first of the name of record there, 1694, nothing definite seems known. It is a tradition in the Bristol family, however, that their ancestor came from Scotland long prior to the American Revolution. Reference is made here to the genealogy and family history of the Fall River branch of the Bristol family, the head of which was the late William Lindsey, who was through a long life a prominent business man and substantial citizen, followed by his son, the late Hon. Crawford Easterbrooks Lindsey, for many years prominently identified with the manufacturing interests of Fall River and of Pawtucket, R. I., a member of both branches of the city government of Fall River and twice its chief executive officer.
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.
The Barker family of Tiverton, R. I., and vicinity, represented in that section by many prominent citizens, is one of the earliest settled families of New England. The first of the name of whom there is authentic record was Robert Barker, born in 1616, who came to New England at a very early day with John Thorp. In 1641, with others, he bought from Jonathan Brewster, son of Elder Brewster, a ferry and 100 acres of land at Marshfield. Later he located at Duxbury, where for several years he was a surveyor. His death occurred about 1691. He married Lucy Williams, who died March 7, 1681 or 1682.
The Rogers family, of which Mrs. David E. Harding is a member, is an old and prominent one of New England. She traces her descent from the martyr John Rogers, who was burned at the stake Oct. 14, 1555, at Smithfield, during the reign of Queen Mary. The first of the name in the old town of Norton was Benjamin Rogers, who married Oct. 8, 1761, Hannah Newcomb. He made his home in the town of Mansfield, and during the Revolutionary war enlisted and was appointed sergeant in Captain Williams’ company, Colonel Timothy Walker’s 22d regiment; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; engaged May 2, 1775, service three months and seven days; also company’s return dated Oct. 6, 1775, also order for money in lieu of a bounty coat dated Roxbury Camp, Dec. 27, 1775.
DAVID E. HARDING, deceased, who for more than a half century was a leading business man and manufacturer of Mansfield, Mass., was born there May 6, 1826. He was a descendant of an old Cape Ann family, the founder of the family in America being Edward Haraden, who came from Ipswich, England, to Gloucester. The name is found variously spelled, appearing as Haraden, Hardon and Harding, etc.
The Rounsville or Rounseville family of ancient Freetown is believed to be of French origin, and a family tradition has it that they left France on account of religious persecution. It is the purpose here to refer to a branch of the Freetown Rounseville family which in time found its way into the busy manufacturing center of southeastern Massachusetts – Fall River – and soon became a part of the great activity there. Reference is made to the family of the late Capt. Cyrus Cole Rounseville, a master mariner of Freetown, who sailed from New Bedford in the whaling service, whose son and namesake Cyrus Cole Rounseville has long been one of the leading manufacturers of Fall River as treasurer of the Shove Mills, prominent in public life and identified with the banking interests of the city.
For an hundred years and more the Swift family in and about New Bedford has been one of prominence, wealthy and influential not only in their several local communities but out through the Commonwealth and into the nation, where their extensive enterprises have extended. These Acushnet-New Bedford Swifts, a branch of the Cape Cod family, brought to their new field of effort that activity, industry, ability and honesty that had for generations characterized their forefathers and also the line of business that had enriched earlier generations in the old home section – the dealing in live oak timber and its manufacture into water craft, in shipbuilding for not only the United States government, but for those across the water. Reference is here made especially to some of the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of William Swift, of the town of Falmouth, this Commonwealth, among whose sons were Hon. Elijah, Thomas, William, John and Reuben E.; and among the sons of the latter Rodolphus Nye and William Cole Nye Swift, who with their sons together and in turn figured most prominently in and about New Bedford and abroad, as intimated; and some of their sons are yet active here and in the Massachusetts metropolis.