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Harris Family Genealogy of East Bridgewater Massachusetts

The Harris family here briefly considered — that of some of the descendants of the late Deacon and Hon. William Harris, of East Bridgewater, who for a quarter of a century was town clerk, for several years town treasurer, and a representative in the Massachusetts General Court — is one of the ancient and honorable families of the Bridgewaters. Deacon Harris’s son, the late Hon. Benjamin Winslow Harris, lawyer, statesman and judge through nearly sixty years, had a long, useful and honored public career; and his son, Hon. Robert Orr Harris, has for thirty years held a high place at the bar of his county and State, and been honored in the old home town of the family, being for nine years district attorney (an honor long before bestowed upon his father), a representative in the General Court of the State, later judge of the Superior court of Massachusetts, and now Congressman from the Fourteenth Massachusetts district. Sketches of the careers of these men, together with their family history and Harris lineage from their first known American ancestor, chronologically arranged, follow: (I) Arthur Harris, of Duxbury as early as 1640, became one of the original proprietors of Bridgewater and was among the first settlers in West Bridgewater. He removed to Boston, where he made his will in 1673, and where he died June 10, 1674. The Christian name of his wife was Martha. His children were (perhaps others): Isaac Harris.* Samuel Harris. Martha Harris. Mary Harris. (II) Isaac Harris, son of Arthur, married (first) Mercy, daughter of Robert Latham, and (second) Mary, daughter of Robert Dunbar, of Hingham. He...

Ancestors of Warren A. Reed of Brockton Massachusetts

The Reed family of Brockton, Mass., a leading member of which was Judge Warren A. Reed, lawyer and jurist, who for over a third of a century had been one of the foremost citizens of Brockton, and during the greater part of that long period connected with the judicial, civic and financial interests of the city, district and State, is one of long and honorable standing in this Commonwealth, and one the forerunner of which came to these shores over two hundred and fifty years ago. Many members of this historic family have given good account of themselves, and many are there who have been prominent in the history of this country. An account of the branch of the family to which Judge Reed belongs is here given in chronological order, beginning with the earliest American ancestor.

Missionaries Among the Choctaw

In 1832, at Hebron, the home of the missionary, Calvin Cushman and his family, was the place appointed for the assembling of all the Choctaws in that district preparatory to their exodus from their ancient domains to a place they knew not where; but toward the setting sun as arbitrary power had decreed. Sad and mournful indeed was their gathering together helpless and hopeless under the hand of a human power that knew no justice or mercy. I was an eyewitness to that scene of despairing woe and heard their sad refrain. I frequently visited their encampment and strolled from one part of it to another; while from every part of their wide extended camp, as I walked, gazed and wondered at the weird appearance of the scene, there came, borne upon the morn and evening breeze from every point of the vast encampment, faintly, yet distinctly, the plaintive sounds of weeping rising and falling in one strangely sad and melancholy chorus, then dying away in a last, long drawn wail. It was the Availing of the Choctaw women even as that of Rachel for her children. Around in different groups they sat with their children from whose quivering lips sobs and moans came in subdued unison; now, in wild concert united, their cries quivered and throbbed as they rose and fell on the night air, then dying away in a pathetic wail proclaiming, in language not to be misunderstood, the pressure of the anguish that was crushing their souls hidden from human eyes and told only to the night. Truly, their grief was so deep, so overpowering, that even...

Missionaries among the Native Americans

According to traditional authority, the morning star of the Choctaws religious era, (if such it may be termed) first lit up their eastern horizon, upon the advent of the two great Wesley’s into the now State of Georgia in the year 1733, as the worthy and congenial companions of the noble Oglethorpe; but also, it flashed but a moment before their eyes as a beautiful meteor, then as quickly went out upon the return to England of those champions of the Cross, leaving them only to fruitless conjecture as to its import; nor was seen again during the revolutions of eighty-five long and weary years. Though tradition affirms, there were several missionaries (Roman Catholic) among the Choctaws in 1735; and that the Reverend Father Baudouin, the actual superior general of the mission resided eighteen years among the Choctaws. With these two above named exceptions, I have seen no record of the White Race ever manifesting any interest in the southern Indians welfare either of a temporal or spiritual nature, from the earliest trading posts established among them in 1670 by the Virginia and Carolina traders, down through slowly revolving years to that of 1815; at which time may be dated the establishment of the first Protestant mission among the southern Indians. This mission, which was named Brainard, was established among the Cherokees by Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, under the jurisdiction of the Old School Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, in Boston, Massachusetts, who arrived in that Nation, in company with; his assistant laborers, Mr. and Mrs. Williams, January 13th, 1815. In 1818, Mr. Kingsbury, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Williams,...

Olcott Family of Norwich Vermont

Hon. Peter Olcott was born at Bolton, Connecticut, April 25, 1733; married Sarah, daughter of Peletiah Mills, Esq., of Windsor, Conn., October 11, 1759, and removed to that place in 1772. That year or the following one he came to Norwich, Vermont. He was the oldest of his parents’ four children (two sons and two daughters), and the only one of them to come to Norwich to reside. Mr. Olcott‘s name first appears in the town records of Norwich in 1773, when he was chosen one of the overseers of the poor, at the annual March meeting. He early took a leading part in public affairs in his new home. He was elected to the most important town offices, and soon came to be regarded as one of the leading men of the place. It is probable that he was a man of considerable means when he came to Norwich, which, united with his superior talents, gave him a commanding influence in the community. The next year (1774) the annual town meeting was held at his house, and such meetings continued to be so held until 1779, after which they were held at the meeting house, except in severe winter weather. Probably his influence was potent in fixing the location of the first meeting house very near to his residence and upon land which he gave for a site. He also gave the land for the old burying ground adjoining. Mr. Olcott was the first justice of the peace in town, being chosen to that office at a special town meeting called for that purpose April 7, 1778. In...

Biography of Doctor Ira Davis

The son of Moses Davis, Esq., was born at Dracut, Mass., probably about the year 1797 or 1798. He established himself in the practice of medicine at Norwich Plain in 1830 or 1831, and there continued till his death in March, 1873. He was in constant practice of his profession for more than thirty years.

Narrative of Robert Eastburn – Indian Captivities

A Faithful Narrative of the Many Dangers and Sufferings, as well as wonderful and surprising deliverances, of Robert Eastburn, during his late captivity among the Indians. Written by Himself. Published at the earnest request of many persons, for the benefit of the Public. With a recommendatory Preface by the Rev. Gilbert Tennent. Psalms 24, 6, 7, and 193, 2, 4. Philadelphia: Printed. Boston: Reprinted and sold by Green & Russell, opposite the Probate Office in Queen street, 1753. Preface Candid Reader: The author (and subject) of the ensuing narrative (who is a deacon of our church, and has been so for many years) is of such an established good character, that he needs no recommendation of others where he is known; a proof of which was the general joy of the inhabitants of this city, occasioned by his return from a miserable captivity; together with the readiness of divers persons to contribute to the relief of himself and necessitous family, without any request of his, or the least motion of that tendency. But seeing the following sheets are like to spread into many places where he is not known, permit me to say that, upon long acquaintance, I have found him to be a person of candor, integrity, and sincere piety, whose testimony may with safety be depended upon; which give his narrative the greater weight, and may induce to read it with the greater pleasure. The design of it is evidently pious; the matters contained in it and manner of handling them, will, I hope, be esteemed by the impartial to be entertaining and improving. I wish it...

Narrative of the Captivity of Frances Noble – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the captivity of Frances Noble, who was, among others, taken by the Indians from Swan Island, in Maine, about the year 1755; compiled by John Kelly, Esq. of Concord, New Hampshire, from the minutes and memoranda of Phinehas Merrill. Esq. of Stratham, in the same state; and by the Former Gen. Tleman communicated for publication to the editors of the Historical Collections of New Hampshire.

Narrative of the Captivity of Nehemiah How

A Narrative of the captivity of Nehemiah How, who was taken by the Indians at the Great Meadow Fort above Fort Dummer, where he was an inhabitant, October 11th, 1745. Giving an account of what he met with in his traveling to Canada, and while he was in prison there. Together with an account of Mr. How’s death at Canada. Exceedingly valuable for the many items of exact intelligence therein recorded, relative to so many of the present inhabitants of New England, through those friends who endured the hardships of captivity in the mountain deserts and the damps of loathsome prisons. Had the author lived to have returned, and published his narrative himself, he doubtless would have made it far more valuable, but he was cut off while a prisoner, by the prison fever, in the fifty-fifth year of his age, after a captivity of one year, seven months, and fifteen days. He died May 25th, 1747, in the hospital at Quebec, after a sickness of about ten days. He was a husband and father, and greatly beloved by all who knew him.

John Gyles Captivity Narrative – Indian Captivities

John Gyles captivity narrative provides a stunning display of Abenaki culture and lifestyle, as it was in the 1690’s. John was 10 years old when he was taken captive in the attack on Pemaquid (Bristol Maine) and his narrative provides an accounting of his harrowing treatment by his Indian captors, as well as the three years exile with his French owners at Jemseg New Bruswick. His faith in Christ remains central in the well-being of his mind throughout his ordeal.

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