Through three generations the Dyer family of Fall River, descendants of Jonathan Dyer, have been actively and prominently identified with the city’s commercial and social life; especially prominent has been for some forty years there in the great industrial life the present David Hartwell Dyer, who has been officially connected with a number of the large mills and is of the firm of D. H. Dyer & Son, civil and mechanical engineers, of which the junior member, George F. Dyer, is a thoroughly educated and expert electrical engineer.
LYSANDER FRANKLIN GURNEY, late of Brockton, Plymouth Co., Mass., was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers of this section. Going back to the mother country, we find the following general information in “The Gurneys of Earlham” (two volumes, Hart, Mich., March 16, 1906).
The Norfolk Gurneys claim descent from the ancient Barons of Gournay in Normandy, where the curious Ports Ibert with many old towers of the walls and the twelfth century church of Saint Hildevert attest the wealth and power of its ancient lords. Several members of the House accompanied William the Conqueror to England, and fought at the battle of Hastings, after which the valor of the aged Hugh de Gurney III. was rewarded by the establishment of the English Barony of Gourney, held by tenure of military service and by large grants of land, so that he has left his name of Baron Gourney in Somerset and several other places in England. The story of the “House of Gourney” is told in a magnificent history by Daniel Gurney of Juncton Hall, near Norwich, County of Norfolk, England, which possesses historic interest and shows much antiquarian research.
Lysander Franklin Gurney, late of Brockton, Plymouth Co., Mass., was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers of this section. Going back to the mother country, we find the following general information in “The Gurneys of Earlham” (two volumes, Hart, Mich., March 16, 1906).
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.
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 Rogers family, of which Mrs. David E. Harding is a member, is an old and prominent one of New England. She traces her descent from the martyr John Rogers, who was burned at the stake Oct. 14, 1555, at Smithfield, during the reign of Queen Mary. The first of the name in the old town of Norton was Benjamin Rogers, who married Oct. 8, 1761, Hannah Newcomb. He made his home in the town of Mansfield, and during the Revolutionary war enlisted and was appointed sergeant in Captain Williams’ company, Colonel Timothy Walker’s 22d regiment; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; engaged May 2, 1775, service three months and seven days; also company’s return dated Oct. 6, 1775, also order for money in lieu of a bounty coat dated Roxbury Camp, Dec. 27, 1775.
The town of Taunton, which included within its original boundaries the neighboring village of Berkley, has been the home of a branch of the Sanford family for about two hundred years. This Berkley-Taunton branch of the family, in the line of Capt. Joseph Sanford, an active patriot of the Revolution, has been more or less eminent in professional life. Four of the sons of Capt. Joseph Sanford were college graduates and ministers of the gospel; and several of their posterity have followed the learned professions. One of the grandsons of Capt. Joseph was the late Hon. John Elliott Sanford, of Taunton, lawyer, legislator, railroad commissioner, etc., who at the time of his death was characterized by the local paper as Taunton’s “first citizen.”