The family bearing this name in New Bedford, where it is one of nearly one hundred years’ standing one, too, of prominence and wealth, is a branch of the ancient Knowles family of the town of Eastham, Barnstable county, this Commonwealth. Reference is made to some of the descendants of the brothers Thomas and James H. Knowles of Eastham, several of whose sons – at least two of the former and one of the latter – in their earlier manhood cast their lot with the people of New Bedford. The firm of Thomas Knowles & Co. for many years was one of the greatest engaged in the whale fishery business in New Bedford; and its members in turn have been succeeded in business by younger generations who have most worthily worn the family name and sustained its reputation; and today the name continues of record in and about the city of their birth connected prominently with many of the most extensive commercial establishments and banking institutions of the locality.
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.
John Bartlett was born at Mt. Desert in the early years of 1800, married Mary Hale, of Sedgwick, July 27, 1826, and set up housekeeping upon Long Island. Their children were: Caroline, George, mary, Frederick, Vienna, John, Nancy, Hiram and James.
Sarah Titcomb over her years of study of various New England families had collected quite a bit of material of several early New England families. At the bequest of some of her friends, she prepared and published them in book form. When reading through the material I was impressed with the amount of material collected on each individual, and rather then a brief genealogical sketch, readers are provided an in-depth study of each early family: Ayer, Bartlett, Bradley, Chase, Dean, Dow, Dunster, Ellis, Fuller, Hope, Kilby, Martine, Les Dernier, Maverick, Mills, Montague, Pemberton, Pepperrell, Poore, Precott, Sewall, Longfellow, Spofford, Titcomb, Watmough, and Willard.