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.
The Hooper family, to which belonged the late George Mitchell Hooper, one of Bridgewater’s well-known citizens, is an old and distinguished one in New England. George Mitchell Hooper, son of Mitchell, was born in the town of Bridgewater Sept. 1, 1838. He received his education in the public schools and Bridgewater Academy, later attending Peirce Academy and the State normal school at Bridgewater, graduating from the latter institution in 1857. After leaving school he engaged in teaching, a profession he followed for one year and then began the manufacture of brick with his father, a business in which he engaged for half a century. He was also a surveyor. He was identified with the banking interests of Bridgewater, having been one of the trustees of the Bridgewater Savings Bank, also filling the office of clerk. He was clerk and treasurer of the Bridgewater Cemetery Association; a member of the Plymouth County Agricultural Association, of which for years he was treasurer, and was secretary; and trustee of the Memorial Public Library. He died July 2, 1909, in his seventy-first year. On Oct. 16, 1861, Mr. Hooper was married to Mary E. Josselyn, who was born at Hanson, Mass., daughter of Hervey and Elizabeth (Howland) Josselyn. She died Jan. 30, 1884, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. Eight children were born of this marriage.
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.
The purpose of this article to treat with one branch only of the Marshfield-Rochester family, the head of which was the late Hon. Charles Jarvis Holmes, lawyer and public servant of distinguished official relation, as was his father before him, Hon. Abraham Holmes, and as was also the former’s son excepting that he was a banker and financier instead of a member of the legal profession, and a man of high standing and long service in his calling at Fall River, where he was succeeded by his only son, Charles L. Holmes, now treasurer of the Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank, an institution his father had served in the same official relation for approximately fifty years, and who is worthily wearing the family name and sustaining its reputation.
Joshua Remington, father of Mrs. Mary Anna (Remington) Holmes (See Ancestors of Charles Jarvis Holmes of Marshfield and Rochester MA), was born May 29, 1798, in that part of Providence, R. I., now called Olneyville. He was a son of Stephen and Sarah (Walton) Remington, and of the eighth generation in descent from John Remington, who came to this country in 1637 and settled in Newbury, Mass.