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Ancestors of William P. Whitman of Brockton, MA

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.

Descendants of John Washburn of Duxbury, MA

The Washburn name in this country is a distinguished one. Perhaps it is as yet only a tradition that John Washburn, the ancestor of the Washburns here considered, was he who first served as secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Several governors of our States have borne the Washburn name and at one and the same time four of the name occupied seats in the United States Congress. And the branch of the Massachusetts Washburns seated in Middleboro and vicinity have borne no small part in the annals of the Old Colony and later Commonwealth. Capt. Amos Washburn was in command of a company in the American Revolution; one of his sons, a graduate of Harvard, was a talented lawyer at Middleboro; Edward Washburn, brother of Capt. Amos, was another patriot in the Continental army; and his son, Gen. Abiel Washburn, was one of the leading men of his time in Middleboro, the acknowledged leader of the Federal party, and for thirty-six years held commissions through the different grades of office in the State militia; while Luther, Cyrus and the late Bradford Sumner Washburn, in turn, were substantial citizens of the town, and the latter’s son, Judge Nathan Washburn, lawyer and present Justice of the Courts of Plymouth county, is giving a good account of himself.

Descendants of John Sanford of Taunton, MA

The town of Taunton, which included within its original boundaries the neighboring village of Berkley, has been the home of a branch of the Sanford family for about two hundred years. This Berkley-Taunton branch of the family, in the line of Capt. Joseph Sanford, an active patriot of the Revolution, has been more or less eminent in professional life. Four of the sons of Capt. Joseph Sanford were college graduates and ministers of the gospel; and several of their posterity have followed the learned professions. One of the grandsons of Capt. Joseph was the late Hon. John Elliott Sanford, of Taunton, lawyer, legislator, railroad commissioner, etc., who at the time of his death was characterized by the local paper as Taunton’s “first citizen.”

Descendants of James Keith of Taunton, MA

The family bearing the name of Keith at Taunton, whose head was the late Edwin Keith, Esq., who for some sixty years was engaged in business there and was one of the highly esteemed and respected citizens of the place, for upward of twenty-five years connected with the Taunton Gas Company, long its superintendent and treasurer, and who in various capacities served his adopted town and city officially, is a branch of the ancient Bridgewater Keith family, the progenitor of which was Rev. James Keith, formerly of Scotland, who came to New England and soon thereafter became pastor of the church at Bridgewater, which he . served for fifty and more years.

Pierce Family of North Bridgewater, MA

The Pierce families of this country are and have long been very numerous. Early in the settlement of New England came representatives from England, most of them not related, so far as now known. Among them were Abraham, of Plymouth, 1623, who became one of the original purchasers of Bridgewater in 1645; Daniel, of Newbury, blacksmith, who came from Ipswich, County of Suffolk, in 1634, aged twenty-three years; John, of Dorchester, mariner from Stepney, Middlesex, before 1631; another John, of Dorchester and Boston; John, of Watertown, 1638; Capt. Michael, of Hingham and Scituate; Richard, of Portsmouth, R. I.; Robert, of Dorchester; Thomas, of Charlestown, who was admitted to the church there in 1634; and Capt. William, of Boston, who was a distinguished shipmaster of his time.

Ashley Family of New Bedford, MA

ASHLEY (New Bedford family). Among the first settlers of Rochester, Mass., and their families appear the names of Joseph Ashley and his wife Elizabeth and their children. There had settled at Springfield as early as 1639 Robert Ashley; and from the fact that many of the early settlers of Springfield were drawn from Roxbury by Pynchon, perhaps Mr. Ashley had been there previously a short time. One Thomas Ashley resided at Cape Ann (Gloucester) in 1639; he was admitted an inhabitant of Boston in 1658, and was probably the Thomas Ashley of Maine, 1654, who, says Savage, may have removed in 1658 to Boston, where his wife Joanna died Dec. 27, 1661, and he married the last of the next month Widow Hannah Broome. At Wells, Maine, lived William Ashley, whose name is given among those who were inhabitants of that place from 1641 to 1687. He was appointed constable there July 4, 1659. Joseph Ashley, the head of the Rochester family alluded to in the foregoing, is made by some members of the Rochester-New Bedford branch of the Ashley family the son of William and Elizabeth (Batson) Ashley and grandson of Thomas Ashley, who was a brother, of Robert Ashley, of Springfield. Accepting this, Joseph Ashley of Rochester is made generation (III) in the genealogy that follows. This article, however, is to deal with the one branch only of the New Bedford family – that whose head was the late Joshua B. Ashley, a manufacturer of New Bedford, and one of her active, enterprising business men, one of whose sons, Hon. Charles Sumner Ashley, has long been one...

Descendants of Thomas Boyden of Bridgewater, MA

BOYDEN (Walpole-Bridgewater family). For a half century – for fifty and more years: – the name Boyden has stood in the town of Bridgewater, Mass., as a synonym for the highest type of useful, ennobling and elevating citizenship, as exemplified in the life of the now venerable principal emeritus of the Bridgewater State Normal School, Prof. Albert Gardner Boyden, who for the long period of fifty and more years has been identified as student, teacher and principal with the noted institution of learning alluded to, and has reared a son who has taken up the work so recently laid down by the father and is now carrying it forward in a manner worthy of him whose mantle he wears. Reference is made to Prof. Arthur Clarke Boyden. This Boyden family of Bridgewater is descended from Thomas Boyden, of Watertown, who came in the ship “Francis” from Ipswich, England, in 1634, when aged twenty-one years. He was of Scituate in the following year, uniting with the church there May 17th of that same year. He was made a freeman in 1647. By his wife Frances he had children: Thomas, born Sept. 26, 1639; Mary, born Oct. 15, 1641; Rebecca, born Nov. 1, 1643; Nathaniel, born in 1650; Jonathan, born Feb. 20, 1652; and Sarah, born Oct. 12, 1654. The father removed to Boston in 1651 and Jonathan and Sarah were born there. The mother of these died March 17, 1658, and he married Nov. 3d, following, Mrs. Hannah Morse, widow of Joseph, and removed in a few years to Medfield. So far as is known only one of the sons...

Copeland Family of Easton, MA

COPELAND (Whitman family). The family bearing this name is one of long and honorable standing in southeastern Massachusetts. Early at Braintree, then at Bridgewater, and for generations in the town of Easton, this Easton-Whitman branch of the earlier Braintree stock has for several generations been one of Easton’s leading families, and more recently – a later generation – in the new town of Whitman, formerly South Abington. Reference is made to the forefathers of the present George Copeland and Horatio Franklin Copeland, M. D., brothers. The latter though of Easton birth has been for nearly half a century active and prominent in the professional and social life of what is now Whitman. Himself a veteran of the Civil war, the Doctor is a representative of patriotic ancestry, his father being a soldier of the war of 1812 and his great-grandfather of the Revolution, and he, too, is representative of the Pilgrim Fathers, descending in direct line from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, of the “Mayflower.” There follows in chronological order from his first paternal American ancestor Dr. Copeland’s lineage. Lawrence Copeland is of record at Braintree as early as 1651, Dec. 12th of which year he married Lydia Townsend. His death occurred Dec. 30, 1699, when, according to the gravestone, he was aged an hundred years. His widow Lydia died Jan. 8, 1688. Their children were: Thomas, born May 10, 1652; Thomas (2), born in 1654 or 1655; William, born Nov. 15, 1656; John, born Feb. 10, 1659; Lydia, born May 31, 1661; Ephraim, born Jan. 17, 1665; Hannah, born Feb. 25, 1668; Richard, born July 11, 1672; and...

Wright Family of Boston, MA

WRIGHT. The family of this name is an early Boston family, which through marriage is allied with some of the historic families of New England, among them those of Adams, Winslow and Wentworth. We give herewith an outline of the earlier generations, beginning with the first ancestor in this country. (I) Richard Wright, born about 1607, died in Plymouth, Mass., June 9, 1691. In 1644 he married Hester Cook, and they had children: Adam, Esther and Mary. (II) Adam Wright, born about 1644, died Sept. 20, 1724. He was twice married, having by his first wife, Sarah (Soule), two children, John and Isaac, and by his second wife, Mehitable (Barrows), four children, Samuel, Moses, James and Nathan. (III) Samuel Wright, born about 1700, died Jan. 5, 1773. He was of Plympton. By his wife, Anna (Tillson), born about 1704, died Nov. 16, 1792, he had children as follows: Ruth, born Aug. 12, 1723; Ruth (2), March 1, 1725; Sarah, June 3, 1726 (married a Hall); Samuel, Oct. 6, 1728; Edmund, Oct. 28, 1730; Jacob, April 17, 1733; Lydia, Sept. 22, 1736. (IV) Jacob Wright, of Plympton, born April 17, 1733, son of Samuel and Anna (Tillson) Wright, died March 30, 1818. He married Deborah Torrey, of Weymouth, born Sept. 18, 1731, died Dec. 31, 1820. Children: Ann, born Jan. 1, 1753; Zadoc, April 17, 1754 (served in the Revolutionary war); Joseph, Oct. 31, 1756; Deborah, April 14, 1761; Edmund, July 26, 1763; Jabez, July 13, 1765; Silas, March 7, 1773 (died in Boston). (V) Edmund Wright, of Boston, born July 26, 1763, died in Boston, Dec. 10, 1837. He...

Descendants of Charles Keith of Bridgewater, Massachusetts

For the ancestry of Charles Keith, please see Descendants of Rev. James Keith of Bridgewater, Massachusetts (VI) Charles Keith, son of Benjamin, was born Aug. 8, 1794, and married Dec. 8, 1817, Mehitable Perkins, born March 23, 1795, daughter of Josiah and Anna (Reynolds) Perkins, of North Bridgewater, both of whom were descendants of historic old New England families. To this union were born children as follows: Damaris Williams, born Oct. 8, 1818, married Vinal Lyon, of North Bridgewater, where she died; Charles Perkins, born June 20, 1820, is mentioned below; Anna Reynolds, born Nov. 11, 1822, married Theodore Lilley, of North Bridgewater, and died Jan. 28, 1882; Rhoda Perkins, born Oct. 28, 1830, married Barnabas H. Gray, of Kingston, Mass.; Sanford, born Nov. 25, 1833, died in Boston, though he lived at Louisville, Ky., where he was engaged in the shoe business, and where he married Maggie J. Harvey. Charles Keith, the father, died July 29, 1859, and the mother passed away April 22, 1863. Naturally of a “bookish” turn of mind, outdoor occupations had little attraction for Mr. Keith, and in the gratification of his tastes and inclinations farming pursuits were neglected for the less severe physical occupation of the shop. In his younger days he was evidently quite an athlete, for it is related that at the “raising” of Sprague’s Mill, Factory Village, a wrestling match was planned for the occasion, and that he was pitted against several, all of whom he overcame, when, as a last resort, Lieut. Israel Packard was brought forward to contend for the honors; after a protracted struggle he, too, was...

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