The Middleboro family bearing this name is a branch of the Bridgewater family and it of the earlier Weymouth Kingman family, the American ancestor of which is credited with coming from Wales. This article pertains to some of the descendants of the late Maj. Bela Kingman, whose father, Abner Kingman, and family came from Bridgewater to Middleboro during the closing years of the Revolution, and here for generations the family has played well its part in the affairs of Middleboro, notably the Major’s son, Calvin D. Kingman, Esq., and the latter’s sons, Charles W. and Philip E. Kingman, who for years together and in turn developed and carried on a large shoe industry, giving employment to hundreds of hands.
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There follows in chronological order and somewhat in detail the history of this Middleboro branch of Kingmans.
Kingman Genealogy of Weymouth Massachusetts
Henry Kingman with his family embarked from Weymouth, England, before March 20, 1635, for New England and settled at Weymouth. At the time of his embarkation he was aged forty years, and his wife, Joane, thirty-nine. Their children were:
- Edward Kingman, aged sixteen
- Joane Kingman, aged eleven
- Anne Kingman, aged nine
- Thomas Kingman, aged seven
- John Kingman, aged two years
The father was made a freeman in 1636; was on the grand jury at Weymouth in 1637; was a representative in 1638 and again in 1652; was one of the committee to lay out highways in i649. His wife lived to be seventy-four years of age.
Kingman Genealogy of Bridgewater Massachusetts
John Kingman, son of Henry, born before his parents came to this country, came with the family and settled first at Weymouth. He purchased in 1685 from Michael Bacon, Jr., of Billerica, the estate in West Bridgewater, Mass., formerly belonging to his uncle, Daniel Bacon, it being the place where lived Caleb Kingman. The Christian name of the wife of Mr. Kingman was Elizabeth, and the following were their children:
- John Kingman, born in 1664
- Henry Kingman, 1668
- Samuel Kingman, 1670
- Elizabeth Kingman, 1673
- Deliverance Kingman, 1676
- Susanna Kingman, 1679
The father died in 1690. Of this family, Elizabeth married Thomas Mitchell; Deliverance married Jacob Mitchell, both couples being married at the same time, in 1696; Susanna married in 1699 Capt. Chilton Latham; and another daughter married probably Nathaniel Packard.
John Kingman (2), born in 1664, married (first) Desire, daughter of Isaac Harris, and after her death he married, in 1698, Bethia Newcomb. Mr. Kingman lived in Bridgewater, Mass., where he died in 1755, aged ninety-one years. His children were:
- Desire Kingman, born in 1690, who married in 1721 John Orcutt
- Mary Kingman, born in 1692
- Seth Kingman, born in 1696
- Deliverance Kingman, born in 1698 (all to the first marriage)
- Isaac Kingman, born in 1699
- John Kingman, born in 1703
- Abigail Kingman, born in 1705
- David Kingman, born in 1708
- Ebenezer Kingman, born in 1711
- Josiah Kingman, born in 1713
- Bethia Kingman, born in 1716
John Kingman (3), born in 1703, in Bridgewater, Mass., married Rebecca, daughter of Samuel Allen, and their children were:
- Mehetabel Kingman, born in 1731
- Daniel Kingman, 1732
- Abner Kingman, 1735
- Mercy Kingman, 1737
- Eliab Kingman, 1739
- Rebecca Kingman, 1741
Mr. Kingman, it is said, had a second wife, Elizabeth (Widow Elizabeth Kingman joined the church in East Bridgewater in 1742). Of his family, Mehetabel married in 1759 Ebenezer Wade, and died in 1772.
Kingman Genealogy of Middleboro Massachusetts
Abner Kingman, born in 1735, married in 1761 Susanna, daughter of Josiah Leonard, and their children were:
- Celia Kingman, born in 1762
- Josiah Kingman, 1764
- Huldah Kingman, 1767
- Cynthia Kingman, 1770
- perhaps several others, among whom was Bela Kingman, born May 2, 1781, after the removal of the family to Middleboro.
The father settled on a farm in North Middleboro, and there resided the remainder of his life. He followed the occupation of a farmer and tanner.
Maj. Bela Kingman, son of Abner, born May 2, 1781, in Middleboro, Mass., married in 1804 Lydia Dean, of Taunton, Mass., and they had twelve children, among whom were:
- Cynthia Kingman, who married Boswell W. Waldron
- Hosea Kingman, who married Phebe Lyon
- Abigail Kingman, who married Uriah Sampson
- Philip Kingman, who married Betsey B. Washburn
- Fanny Kingman, who married Sylvester Holmes
- Julia Kingman, who married Jared Pratt
- Sophia Kingman, who married Soranus Wentworth
- Calvin Dean Kingman
Maj. Bela Kingman lived on the old homestead, and was, as was his father before him, a farmer and tanner. He was a graduate of Brown University. His place of worship was at the North Middleboro Congregational Church, and he was superintendent of the first Sunday school of that church, which was organized in 1818. He held a major’s commission in the militia. He was a man of good judgment, and both physically and morally strong. He died April 16, 1854. His wife, whose birth occurred July 6, 1786, died Dec. 12, 1860.
Calvin Dean Kingman, son of, Maj. Bela and Lydia (Dean) Kingman, was born April 29, 1825, upon the homestead farm on which his grandfather settled in North Middleboro, Mass. It had been characteristic of the earlier Kingmans to seek knowledge rather than wealth, and this trait was shown in young Kingman. He had such privileges for gaining an education as in that day and place were afforded the general country lad, but he diligently improved these, and he himself made the means for some additional school training – this by savings he laid by from extra work for neighbors in haying in season and pegging shoes of winter evenings. Thus he was enabled to spend three terms in attendance at the Bridgewater normal school – all this by the time he was sixteen years of age. Such was his ambition and application that when seventeen he himself began the occupation of a school teacher, and almost at once gained high rank in the profession. He taught three winter schools in Taunton, Mass., and in the mean-time he worked at haying in season, and attended the spring and fall terms of the Bridgewater Academy and three terms at the Bridgewater normal school. While yet in attendance at the normal school he was given a surprise by Mr. J. N. Ballou, then principal of the Taunton Academy, offering him the assistant principalship of that institution, he being then but twenty years of age. Prior to this time young Kingman had arranged to teach the West Bridgewater school the next winter, which engagement he felt it a duty to keep, in the meantime teaching three terms in the Academy. Suffice it to say that during his experience as a teacher he gave general satisfaction and had flattering promises ahead for that line of work. But he had concluded not to make teaching a life work. At the close of his last winter school he went to work on a bench in a shoe shop across the road from his father’s home, and from that time on through his active business career he continued as a shoe manufacturer.
In the middle forties Hosea Kingman, brother to Calvin D., was engaged in manufacturing shoes in Lakeville, Mass., and in the fall of 1846 Calvin went to live with him. In 1847 Calvin began making shoes on his own account, but soon became associated with Hosea. This partnership had continued but about a year when Hosea died and Calvin assumed the entire business. The latter in the meantime had married, and in the spring of 1862 he removed his family and business to Middleboro, Mass., which was ever afterward his place of residence and field of operation. On going to Middleboro he was for a time a partner in the same line of business with Messrs. Charles E. Leonard and Horatio Barrows, they carrying on the manufacture of shoes under the firm name of Leonard, Barrows & Co. This firm was dissolved some five years later, and in 1867 or 1868 Mr. Kingman built a shoe factory on the corner of Oak and Centre streets, where for years he did an extensive and profitable business. Subsequently he took into partnership with him his sons Charles W. and Philip E. Kingman. For a period the establishment produced men’s and boys’ calf kip and buff brogans, balmorals, English and Oxford ties, etc. The senior member of the firm retired from business in 1888, leaving its management to his sons, who continued therein until the year 1891, when the business was closed out.
From a small beginning in the manufacture of shoes Calvin D. Kingman, by his energy, tact and ability, gradually developed an ex-tensive business, which gave employment to some 250 hands. He gave his attention to business mostly, though he assumed some public duties, refusing, however, political office.
He was first a Whig, then became rather independent, voting for such measures and men as he judged best, regardless of their political complexion. While a resident of Lakeville he served as representative to the General Court, to which he was chosen as a Republican. On the organization of the Middleboro National Bank, in April, 1889, Mr. Kingman was made its first president, and was also a member of the board of directors of the institution. He resigned the presidency of the bank in 1900. At one time he was a trustee and a member of the board of investment of the Middleboro Savings Bank. He was also a trustee of the Middleboro Public Library, and president of the same for several years. He was for a period largely interested in cattle raising in Colorado, where he spent several months in each year for a time, beginning in 1880, and it is worthy to note here that in his prime Mr. Kingman was an enthusiastic lover of the chase, of hunting; few, of his generation in Massachusetts killed so much large game as he – deer, antelope, elk, bear, buffalo, etc. He greatly enjoyed the sports of the far West. For some years he took a deep interest in the cultivation of flowers and fruit, and he carried this on extensively at his home for his own pleasure. He was a great lover of nature.
The religious affiliations of Mr. Kingman were with the Congregational Church, in which body at Middleboro he was an active worker. He was for years a deacon therein and superintendent of the Sunday school of the church. With hardly an exception during his long residence in Middleboro, each Sunday found him in his seat in the church, and as well in the Sunday school. Mr. Kingman was of an active, vigorous temperament, a warm and fast friend, and a good and law-abiding citizen, who merited the esteem and respect in which, he was so long held.
While at Lakeville, this Commonwealth, Oct. 3, 1847, Mr. Kingman married Sarah P., daughter of Caleb and Mary (Holmes) Bassett, and there commenced housekeeping. Mrs. Kingman died Jan. 21, 1875, and Nov. 16, 187.6, he married (second) Mary A., daughter of Andrew J. and Abigail (Snow) Pickens. His children, all born to the first marriage, were:
- Sallie Ranson Kingman, widow of Henry F. Tillson, and mother of one child, Marian Kingman (who married Alton G. Pratt)
- Charles W. Kingman, who married Lizzie E. Cole
- Philip E. Kingman, who married Nellie Shaw
- Henry C. Kingman, the latter being now deceased, having been accidentally drowned May 14, 1883, when in his twenty-first year.
Mr. Kingman died Feb. 1, 1906. Mrs. Kingman still lives at the Kingman home, and takes great pride in its beautiful surroundings. She is a lady of refined taste, and takes a deep interest in Middleboro and its social life. She is a member of Nemasket Chapter, D. A. E., of Middleboro, being one of its charter members, and has held the offices of treasurer and registrar. She has been delegate from the chapter to the State conventions of the D. A. R. She is also one of “the charter members of the Cabot Club, in which she holds the office of treasurer; and is a member of the District Nursing Association, of Middleboro. She is a member of the Congregational Church. Mrs. Kingman is not only a descendant of Revolutionary ancestry but also of “Mayflower” and Colonial governor forbears, and is a member of the Mayflower Society, through her descent from Francis Cooke, William Brewster and Stephen Hopkins, and a member of the Descendants of Colonial Governors through being a descendant of Gov. Thomas Prence.
Pickens Ancestry of Mrs. Mary A. (Pickens) Kingman
In paternal lines Mrs. Kingman is descended from Thomas Pickens, who came to America in 1717.
Thomas Pickens, according to a letter of his grandson, John Pickens, of New Bedford, bearing date of Jan. 6, 1807, with his wife Margaret (Steel) and their children, Jane, Andrew and James, the latter two twins and about two years’ of age, came to America about 1717, landing after a rough and tedious voyage of eleven weeks at Boston. The family was for a time at Milton, thence went to Freetown, and later settled in the southwest part of Middleboro, on land which for generations was occupied by their descendants. Two sons and two daughters were born to them after their arrival in New England, namely:
- Martha Pickens
- John Pickens
- Margaret Pickens
- Thomas Pickens
The Milton Church records show that “Thomas and Martha, twins, children of Neighbour Thomas Pickens, were baptized June 11, 1721.” The family came from Ballygnlly, near Coleraine, in the northern part of Ireland. Thomas Pickens first acquired land in the Middleboros by deed Dec. 26, 1732, from Barnabas Eaton. His name appears as one of the original members of the Lakeville Congregational Church formed Oct. 12, 1725.
Andrew Pickens, born about 1715, in Coleraine, Ireland, came to New England with the family. He married Nov. in, 1741, Elizabeth Reed, of Freetown. Mr. Pickens was a farmer, and lived on the land owned by and in the house built by his father. He died in Middleboro, Mass., March 29, 1795, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. His wife died in Middleboro, April 4, 1795, in the eighty-second year of her age. Their children were:
- John Pickens, born Feb. 27, 1743
- Andrew Pickens, Jr., born July 3, 1744
- Phebe Pickens, born Nov. 4, 1745
- James Pickens, born March 17, 1747
- Sarah Pickens, born Nov. 18, 1748
- Thomas Pickens, born Nov. 3, 1750
- Samuel Pickens, born May 4, 1752
- Eleazer Pickens, born May 27, 1754
- Martha Pickens, born Feb. 6, 1756
- Elizabeth Pickens, born March 21, 1757
- Benjamin Pickens, born May 10, 1760
Samuel Pickens, born May 4, 1752, married Matilda, daughter of Ebenezer Briggs, who served in the Revolutionary war, being a member of Capt. Amos Washburn’s company, which marched on two alarms at Dartmouth in 1778; also a member of Capt. Jonah Washburn’s company, which marched to Rhode Island on an alarm in 1780. The children born to Samuel and Matilda were:
- Stephen Briggs Pickens, born Oct. 5, 1782
- James Pickens, Oct. 17, 1784
- Ebenezer Pickens, Oct. 6, 1787
Samuel Pickens, the father of these children, was also a Revolutionary soldier, having been a private and corporal in Capt. Job Peirce’s company, which was on duty in Rhode Island in 1777, during the Revolution; and also was a private in Capt. Amos Washburn’s company, raised in Middleboro in 1778. He served as a member of the Constitutional convention, Nov. 15, 1820.
Ebenezer Pickens, son of Samuel, born Oct. 6, 1787, in that part of Middleboro which became Lakeville, married Oct. 5, 1813, Mary Bourne Thompson, born Nov. 4, 1792, a direct descendant of John Tomson, one of the early settlers of Plymouth and Middleboro and his wife Mary (Cooke), daughter of Francis Cooke, of the “Mayflower,” 1620, from which her descent is through Jacob Thompson, Jacob Thompson (2), Jacob Thompson (3), Benjamin Thompson and his wife Mary (Bourne), Benjamin, last named, being a soldier in the Revolution.
Ebenezer Pickens was one of the well and favorably known men who lived at the Four Corners in Middleboro. He lived near his birthplace until the year 1832, when he removed his house to its present site near the corner of Main and Courtland streets. He resided there for twenty years, and in 1852 purchased land on the southerly side of Main street and built a commodious house. In 1822 Mr. Pickens was appointed a justice of the peace, and in 1850 a trial justice, which office he held until the time of his death. In constructing his house just alluded to Mr. Pickens provided a room on the east side for an office and courtroom. In 1847 he was elected county commissioner and served nine years. While a resident of Lakeville, and later, he with his family attended church at the Green, and they were seldom absent from services through summer’s heat and winter’s cold. On the formation of the Central Congregational Church Mr. Pickens was chosen one of the deacons, a relation he sustained to the church until the time of his death, which occurred May 8, 1868, when he was aged eighty years. The children born to Mr. Pickens and his wife were:
- Caroline Matilda Pickens (born Dec. 26, 1814)
- Andrew Jackson and James Madison, twins Pickens (born June 5, 1818)
Andrew Jackson and James Madison Pickens, twin brothers, born June 5, 1818, as stated above, lived at the father’s birthplace until 1832, when the family removed the house to the corner of Main and Courtland streets. About 1844 the Pickens brothers, together with William A. King, purchased the straw hat business of Ebenezer Briggs, which was established at the Four Corners in 1828, and was still earlier an enterprise in the town of Lakeville. They continued the manufacture of straw hats under the firm name of Pickens, King & Co., for two years, when Mr. King retired and the business was conducted there-after by the Pickens brothers until in 1858, when it was sold to Albert Alden. In the mean-time the business had so increased that it out-grew its quarters, and in 1855 they erected the main building still standing on Courtland street.
Both Andrew J. and James M. Pickens were men of great industry and enterprise, successful in their business and influential in church affairs.
Andrew J. Pickens married Sept. 5, 1841, Abigail Snow, daughter of Linus and Bethiah (Clark) Snow, granddaughter of Jonathan Snow, and great-granddaugbter of Isaac Snow, who was a Revolutionary soldier and resided in Rochester. Jonathan Snow married Hannah Burgess, whose father, Lieut. John Burgess, was an officer in the Revolutionary war and whose son, Christopher Burgess, was a member of Congress. Bethiah (Clark) Snow was a daughter of John Clark, and granddaughter of John Clark, Sr., both of whom were in the Revolutionary war and resided at Rochester, Mass. To Andrew J. Pickens and wife were born children:
- Samuel Pickens, born Oct. 7, 1842, died April 12, 1891
- Wilkeswood Pickens, born Jan. 14, 1844, died Feb. 19, 1904
- Mary Abby Pickens, born Aug. 22, 1845, married Calvin Dean Kingman
- Andrew Francis Pickens, born June 29, 1847, died Oct. 3, 1874
- James Mackie Pickens, born March 12, 1849, died Aug. 15, 1851
- James (2) Pickens, born Sept. 13, 1850, died July 19, 1852
- Cornelia Snow Pickens, born March 2, 1853, resides in Middleboro, unmarried
- Ebenezer Pickens, born April 10, 1855, resides in Middleboro with his sister, Cornelia S.
Mrs. Pickens died May 29, 1903, and was buried in the Central cemetery. Mr. Pickens died March 23, 1897, and he, too, was laid to rest in Central cemetery. Both he and his wife were members of the Congregational Church.