The Perkins family is one of long and honorable standing in America, being one of the oldest in New England, where it is first found of record in Hampton – then in Massachusetts, now in New Hampshire. This family has numbered among its members men who have been prominent in the learned professions as well as in the business and financial circles of this country. This article is to particularly treat of that branch of the family through which descended the late John Perkins, of Bridgewater, of which town his ancestors were early settlers, and where he was actively identified with the iron manufacturing industry for a number of years. The ancestral line of this branch of the family is here given in chronological order from the first American settler, Abraham Perkins. Through his grandmother, Huldah Ames Hayward, who became the wife of Asa Perkins, Mr. Perkins is also descended from another of the oldest and best known families of Massachusetts. The progenitor of this family, Thomas Hayward, came from England to New England, becoming one of the early settlers of Duxbury before 1638. In the early part of the eighteenth century many of the Haywards changed their name to Howard, the two names in all probability having been the same originally, as both have the same Norse origin. Among the distinguished descendants of this Hayward or Howard family may be mentioned William Howard Taft, president of the United States. The branch of the family through which Mr. Perkins descends is herewith given, in chronological order.
BRADFORD ELLIOT JONES, of Brockton, one of the best known merchants of southeastern Massachusetts, is also one of that city’s most enterprising and successful business men, and as a citizen has been prominently identified with the growth and development of its business and financial institutions. Mr. Jones was born Sept. 22, 1840, in North Bridgewater, now Brockton, son of Rosseter and Hannah (Marshall) Jones, and a descendant of several of New England’s earliest settled families. A record of that branch of the Jones family to which Mr. Bradford E. Jones belongs follows, the generations being given in chronological order.
The Taber family of Dartmouth and New Bedford is descended from (I) Philip Taber, who, according to Savage, was born in 1605, and died in 1672. He was at Watertown in 1634, and he contributed toward building the galley for the security of the harbor. He was made a freeman at Plymouth in that same year. In 1639-40 he was a deputy from Yarmouth, and was afterward at Martha’s Vineyard, and from 1647 to 1655 was at Edgartown, going from there to New London in 1651, but probably returning soon. He was an inhabitant of Portsmouth in February, 1655, and was a representative in Providence in 1661, the commissioners being Roger Williams, William Field, Thomas Olney, Joseph Torrey, Philip Taber and John Anthony. Later he settled in Tiverton, where his death occurred. He married Lydia Masters, of Watertown, Mass., daughter of John and Jane Masters, and his second wife, Jane, born in 1605, died in 1669.
ROUNSEVILLE (Fall River family). 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, etc.
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.
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.
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.