Location: West Bridgewater Massachusetts

Descendants of Rev. James Keith of Bridgewater, MA

The name Keith has been a conspicuous one in the history of this Commonwealth since the first interior settlement was made, and the descendants of this time-honored family have been prominently identified with the development and growth of this community from the time of the ordination of the first minister of the settlement – Rev. James Keith, in 1664 – down to the present time, covering a period of nearly 250 years. This article is to treat particularly of the branch of descendants of Rev. James Keith to which belonged the late Simeon Cary Keith, who was an honored citizen of West Bridgewater, and his three sons, Warren R. Keith, who is president of the Independent Oil Company, of Brockton; Edward H. Keith, who is ex-mayor of the city of Brockton, and general inspector of the George E. Keith Company’s shoe factories; and S. Elliott Keith, who was a foreman in the extensive shoe manufacturing plant of the George E. Keith Company for a number of years and is now secretary of the Independent Oil Company. The ancestry of this branch of the family follows in chronological order.

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Ancestry of Moses Adams Packard of Brockton, Massachusetts

Moses Adams Packard, of Brockton, where he has been so long and so successfully engaged in the manufacture of shoes, is as well one of that city’s highly honored and respected citizens. Mr. Packard began life with little capital save boundless energy and a resolute purpose, and has pushed his way upward against almost every kind of obstacle until he now holds a foremost position among the leading manufacturers in this Commonwealth, vindicating the old saying, “Labor is king.” He was born Feb. 28, 1843, in New London, N. H., which was the home of his mother, while his father was a native of North Bridgewater, and a descendant of one of the old and historical families of Massachusetts.

Since its coming to this Bridgewater settlement, which was the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, as early as 1664, to the present time, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in this community, and has become a most numerous family, many, too, of its members both at home and abroad having given a good account of themselves.

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Ancestry of the Embert Howard Family of Brockton Massachusetts

EMBERT HOWARD, long one of the most successful business men of Brockton, of which city he is also one of the foremost citizens, is a worthy representative of a family which has historic identity with the earliest settling of New England. For two hundred and sixty and more years the family bearing this name has dwelt in the Bridgewaters and in the region of country thereabouts, the posterity of John Haward, who was one of the early settlers of Duxbury, Mass. The genealogy following traces the line in chronological order from this immigrant ancestor.

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Ancestry of Herbert Isam Mitchell of Brockton, MA

The family bearing the name of Mitchell is one of the oldest in the New World, its progenitor being Experience Mitchell, who came over in 1623 in the “Ann,” and from that time to the present the records of various towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, chiefly Plymouth, Duxbury and the Bridgewaters, bear mute testimony of the prominence in peace and war of the members of the family in the different generations, and the present head of the family in Brockton, Isam Mitchell, president of Isam Mitchell & Co., lumber dealers and contractors, and his son, the late Herbert Isam Mitchell, active in business with his father and prominent in fraternal circles, have proved themselves firm in purpose and able in business.

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Stetson Family of Bridgewater, MA

The Stetson family of Bridgewater is one of the oldest and most prominent in that section of the State, and it has for upward of two centuries been identified with the manufacturing interests of the town, its representatives being the founders of the iron industry of Bridgewater. Especial reference is made to Capt. Abisha Stetson, who was one of the first to engage in the iron business; his son, Nahum Stetson, whose name was a household word in his native town, and who by his great foresight, enterprise and progressive ideas built up the great Bridgewater Iron Works; and the latter’s sons and grandsons, all men of substance and good citizenship.

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Ancestors of Horace Alden Keith of Brockton, MA

Horace Alden Keith, founder of the Brockton Webbing Company, one of the successful and thriving industries of Brockton, and one of that city’s enterprising and progressive business men, is a descendant on both his paternal and maternal sides of historic old New England ancestry. Mr. Keith was born in West Bridgewater May 25, 1862, eldest son of the late Henry Snell and Thalia (Alden) Keith. The ancestral line of the branch of the Keith family in this country to which Horace Alden Keith belongs, and which follows, is given in chronological order from the first American ancestor. Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, was educated in Aberdeen, Scotland (as tradition says at the expense of a maiden aunt), where he was graduated likely from Marischal College, his name appearing on the roll of 1657, said college having been founded by George, the fifth Earl of Keith Marischal, in 1593. At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to this country, arriving at Boston in 1662. He was introduced to the church at Bridgewater by Dr. Increase Mather, and became settled as the minister of the Bridgewater Church Feb. 18, 1664. Rev. James Keith passed away in West Bridgewater July 23, 1719, aged seventy-six years, having labored in the ministry of the town for fifty-six years.

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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.

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