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.
The family bearing this name in East Bridgewater, whose head was the late Hon. Isaac Newton Nutter, descends from an ancient and honorable family of early New Hampshire, and is connected by marriage in later generations with a number of the old and highly respected families of Plymouth Colony, among them descendants of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims. The emigrant ancestor,
Elder Hatevil Nutter, was born in England in 1603. He was one of those of good estate and of “some account for religion” who were induced to leave England with Captain Wiggins in 1633, and to found a town in New England on Dover Neck, in New Hampshire. His wife, Annie, and son, Anthony, accompanied him. He received several grants of land, and became a large holder of real estate. He was a ruling elder in the first church at Dover, and sometimes filled its pulpit. He filled various offices in church and state, was highly respectable, and possessed of a good share of this world’s goods. He died before June 28, 1675 (when his will was proved), at the age of seventy-one years, leaving a “present wife, Ann,” and three children.
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 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.
The Sumner family, to which the late Mrs. George Barstow Stetson belonged, is an old and prominent family of New England, descended from one William Sumner, who was born at Bicester, England, in 1605, son of Roger Sumner, of Bicester, Oxfordshire, and his wife Joane (Franklin).
William Sumner, the only child of Roger and Joane, married Oct. 22, 1625, Mary West, and they came to America with their four children in 1636, locating at Dorchester, Mass. He was made a freeman of the Colony May 17, 1637, and held many offices of importance, being selectman for nearly a quarter of a century. He was deputy from Dorchester to the General Court for eight years. He died Dec. 9. 1688, surviving his wife, who died June 7, 1676. Both are buried at Dorchester.
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.
John Spence, who during his lifetime was a well-known citizen and successful business man of Rockland, Mass., was a native of Ireland, born there Dec. 12, 1834, son of James and Mary (Coffey) Spence. Mr. Spence left his native home for America in 1848, in his fourteenth year. He located in Massachusetts and learned the trade of shoemaker, at which he worked in a factory in East Abington, now Rockland, where he continued until 1875. He then started in business for himself, manufacturing heels, being a pioneer in that business. At this he continued for a number of years, and then in 1885 he started in the leather business, opening a store on South street, Boston, and a branch house in Chicago. In 1895 he established the Brockton Leather Company, which he conducted with great success until his death. He was also interested in other enterprises, being one of the promoters of the Rockland & Abington street railway, and serving as vice president and a director of the company during its existence. He was also a stockholder and director of the Abington & Rockland Electric Light & Power Company, and was a trustee of the Rockland Savings Bank until his death. He took quite a prominent and active part in the public affairs of Rockland, was a member of the board of water commissioners, and a member of the Commercial Club. Through his industry and thrift he built up a successful business and gained a considerable fortune. He was a consistent member of the Roman Catholic Church.
IVERS (New Bedford family). The name Ivers seems one uncommon in New England annals and the family by no means numerous. At Dedham are fragmentary records of the Ivers family name, but nothing of an early date.
William and Gregory Ivers, brothers, appear in Boston in the early part of the eighteenth century. They are said to have come about 1720 with the pioneer Scotch settlers from the North of Ireland. William Ivers married in Boston April 28, 1724, Jane Barber, the ceremony being performed by a Presbyterian minister. Jane Ivers died at Boston in 1789; her will, made April 29, 1776, proved April 13, 1789, Capt. Job Prince, executor, mentions sons James and Thomas, probably the only ones living at the date of making the will.
The earliest record of a Toby or Tobey in our American annals is that of one Francis of Boston, who was in court on July 7, 1635.
The first known and credited ancestor of this family was Thomas Tobey, of Scituate, Mass. He removed to Sandwich, Mass., and was a member of church there in 1694. He married at Sandwich Nov. 18, 1650, Martha Knott, daughter of George Knott, deceased
Albert Cranston Thompson, a resident of Brockton, Plymouth county, for over forty years, was a citizen of proved worth in business and public life. His influence in both is a permanent factor in the city’s development, a force which dominates the policy of at least one phase of its civil administration, and his memory is cherished by the many with whom he had long sustained commercial and social relations. As the head of an important industrial concern for a period of over thirty years, as chairman for nearly ten years, up to the time of his death, of the sewerage commissioners of Brockton, as president of the Commercial Club, as an active worker in church and social organizations, he had a diversity of interests which brought him into contact with all sorts and conditions of men and broadened his life to an unusual degree. Good will and sympathy characterized his intercourse with all his fellows. As may be judged from his numerous interests and his activity in all he was a man of many accomplishments, of unusual ability, of attractive personality and un-questionable integrity. He was earnest in everything which commanded his attention and zealous in promoting the welfare of any object which appealed to him, and his executive ability and untiring energy made him an ideal worker in the different organizations of every kind with which he was connected. Mr. Thompson was a native of the county in which he passed all his life, having been born Dec. 19, 1843, in Halifax, a descendant of one of the oldest and best known families of that town. The families of Thompson and Fuller were very numerous and prominent in that region, so much so that according to tradition a public speaker once, in opening his address, instead of beginning with the customary “Ladies and Gentlemen” said “Fullers and Thompsons.” So much for their numbers. The line of descent is traced back to early Colonial days.