William Swift, the founder of the family on Cape Cod, was a native of Bocking, County of Essex, England, and came to New England in 1634, stopping first at Watertown, of which he was a proprietor in 1636. He sold his property there in 1637 and removed to Sandwich, where he spent the remainder of his life and where he died about 1641. His wife Joan bore him two children, William and Hannah, and after the death of her husband she married Daniel Wing, Nov. 5, 1642. She died Jan. 31, 1664.
William Swift (2), son of William, born in England, came to the New World with his parents and settled at Sandwich, Barnstable county. He represented his town in the General Court, 1673, 1674, 1677 and 1678. He died in the latter part of 1705.
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.