The Tappan family of Attleboro, while not an old one in this section of the State, has, nevertheless, been resident for half a century in Attleboro, where Ephraim H. Tappan makes his home, and where his sons, Charles H. and William C, the latter now deceased, have been identified with the manufacturing interests of that section, by their great energy, enterprise and progressive spirit making for themselves a name ranking them among the foremost jewelry manufacturers of the State. The Tappan family was planted in America by:
Abraham Toppan (or Tappan), son of William Topham, of Calbridge, in the parish of Coverham, and fourth in descent from Robert Topham, of Linton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England; he was baptized April 10, 1606. He lived for some time in Yarmouth, County of Norfolk. His wife, whose maiden name was Taylor, was born in 1607, daughter of Elizabeth, who married (second) John Goodale, whom she outlived and from whom she inherited considerable property. Mr. Toppan with his wife, two children and maidservant, in 1637, took passage in the “Mary and Ann” to New England, and there came in the same vessel with them Mrs. Goodale, his mother-in-law. He settled in Newbury, being admitted Oct. 16, 1637, and at different times in the year following several lots were granted to him. He made a number of voyages to Barbadoes, one or more of which were profitable. He died Nov. 5, 1672, aged sixty-six, in the house on “Toppan’s Lane” which he had built about 1670 for his son Jacob. His widow died March 20, 1689, aged eighty-two years. The children of Abraham and Susanna (Taylor) Toppan were:
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. Solomon Holman married Mary Barton and their twelve children were:
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).
CHARLES WARREN MILLIKEN, M. D., of Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Mass., engaged as a general practitioner of medicine, has high professional and social connections which have brought him a wide acquaintance. The Millikens, though not one of the oldest Colonial families, have become allied with the posterity of the most distinguished early settlers, and the Doctor traces his line back to many whose names are suggestive of the interesting and important events of the ancient history of this region. There follows in chronological order from the first known American ancestor the genealogical and family history of his branch of the Milliken family.
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.