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.
EARLE (Fall River family). The Fall River branch of the Earles, the family there to which this article is devoted (to some of the descendants of the late Slade Earle, of Somerset, Mass.), springs from the earlier Portsmouth (R.I.) – Swansea (Mass.) family, one of some two hundred and seventy and more years’ standing in the section named; especial attention being given to the late Hon. Lloyd Slade Earle, who was through a long lifetime one of the prominent business men and useful citizens of his adopted city, and his son, the late Andrew Brayton Earle. The former was a descendant in the eighth generation from Ralph Earle, the first American ancestor of the family, from whom his lineage is through William, Thomas, Oliver, Caleb, Weston and Slade Earle, which generations in detail and in the order given
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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.
For something more than two centuries the Holman family of which the Attleboro Holmans are a branch has been identified with the history of this Commonwealth, and for half of that period the Holmans have been people of distinction in the town just named, closely identified with its social, religious, educational and business life. The progenitor of this Massachusetts Holman family, Solomon Holman, with his brother John, is said to have come from the Bermuda Islands to Newburyport, the family tradition being that the Holman family came from Wales to the Bermuda Islands some time between 1670 and 1690; that the two named were seized by a press-gang and brought to this country and escaped from a British ship at Newburyport; that John, the youngest, went to North Carolina and Solomon settled in Newbury. Coffin’s Newbury says Solomon Holman and wife came there about 1693 or 1694.
JOHN RICHARDSON BRONSON, M. D., who for over half a century was one of the best known practitioners of medicine in southern Massachusetts and part of Rhode Island, and who for upward of fifty years was a resident of Attleboro, was a native of Connecticut, born in the town of Middlebury, New Haven county, June 5, 1829, son of Garry and Maria (Richardson) Bronson.
The Bronson family was early planted in the New World. John Bronson (early of record as Brownson and Brunson) was early at Hartford. He is believed, though not certainly known, to have been one of the company who came in 1636 with Mr. Hooker, of whose church he was a member. He was a soldier in the Pequot battle of 1637. He is not named among the proprietors of Hartford in the land division of 1639; but is mentioned in the same year in the list of settlers, who by the “towne’s courtesie” had liberty “to fetch woods and keepe swine or cowes on the common.” His house lot was in the “soldiers’ field,” so called, in the north part of the old village of Hartford, on the “Neck Road” (supposed to have been given for service in the Pequot war), where he lived in 1640. He moved, about 1641 to Tunxis (Farmington) He was deputy from Farmington in May, 1651, and at several subsequent sessions, and the “constable of Farmington” in 1652. He was one of the seven pillars at the organization of the Farmington Church in 1652. His name is on the list of freemen of Farmington in 1669. He died Nov. 28, 1680.
The Baker family of Taunton, the head of which was the late Charles F. Baker, who for years was one of the successful business men of Taunton, his adopted city, esteemed and respected for his many noble qualities of mind and heart, springs from the old Swansea-Rehoboth family of the name, the progenitor of which was John Baker. Little is known of the latter save that his wife was formerly Susannah Wood, and that he died in 1767. From this (I) John Baker of Swansea and Rehoboth the descent of the late Charles F. Baker, the head of the Taunton family under consideration, is through Nathaniel, Joseph, Levi and Caleb W. Baker.
For nearly a century there have lived in North Bridgewater and Brockton representatives of an earlier family of the name in and about Boston. Reference is made to some of the descendants of Charles Little Hauthaway, who, coming from Roxbury in youth, in 1828, cast his lot with the people of North Bridgewater, where have figured most successfully three generations of the family. From members of this family it seems that the English spelling of the name is Haughtweight or Hautweight, which may be the same as the old County Suffolk English spelling Hautwat, a name still extant there. The records of a century and more ago in Boston reveal the spelling Hauthwait, one Francis Hauthwait being the owner and occupier of a dwelling “North on West street; east by John Ballard; West by Frothingham.”
The Tripp family first at Portsmouth, R. I., among the earliest inhabitants there, soon spread into the adjoining territory both in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and in the march of civilization advanced with it until they became one of the numerous and substantial families of our country. Hon. John Tripp, the first American ancestor of the family in question, was one of the founders and proprietors of Portsmouth, R. I., 23d of 6th month, 1638. In the following is briefly considered a line of Tripps which descended through the settler’s son who located in Dartmouth, Mass., later generations settling in Westport, and a still later generation in Freetown and Fall River. It is with the special Westport-Freetown-Fall River family, the heads of which were Philip J. and Azariah S. Tripp, this article is to deal. These gentlemen were long substantial men and citizens of their respective communities, the former being a resident of Freetown, State senator and much respected citizen, and the latter especially prominent and useful, for years the cashier of the Metacomet National Bank from its inception, in 1853, for seventeen years a member of the school committee of Fall River, prominently identified with many of the manufacturing enterprises and at the time of his death president of the Fall River Savings Bank.