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.
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.
In the following information all the names, dates and other essential particulars which appear in the returns to the Court in the County of Worcester during the entire period – a full half-century, from 1737 to 1788 – in which these entries were made, are given. The returns from each place have been brought together and arranged under the name of the town or district, in this case Brookfield Massachusetts.
Being a history of the descendants of Richard Dexter of Malden, Massachusetts, from the notes of John Haven Dexter and original researches. Richard Dexter, who was admitted an inhabitant of Boston (New England), Feb. 28, 1642, came from within ten miles of the town of Slane, Co. Meath, Ireland, and belonged to a branch of that family of Dexter who were descendants of Richard de Excester, the Lord Justice of Ireland. He, with his wife Bridget, and three or more children, fled to England from the great Irish Massacre of the Protestants which commenced Oct. 27, 1641. When Richard Dexter and family left England and by what vessel, we are unable to state, but he could not have remained there long, as we know he was living at Boston prior to Feb. 28, 1642.
Edward Sinclair was born June 20, 1760, supposed at Beverly, where he died while on a visit May 19, 1827, aged sixty-seven years. He married Dec. 17, 1789, Mary Carleton, from Andover, a sister of David, Dudley, Edward and Moses Carleton. She was born Sept. 17, 1760, and died Jan. 1, 1841, aged 80 years and 4½ months. The family of Edward Sinclair, Sr. consisted of the following children: Maria, Edward, Nabby, Dudley, Ebenezer and William.
Peter Parker, Sr., came from Andover, Mass., to Blue Hill Maine in 1765. He was a brother of Col. Nathan and Robert Parker, and was born at Andover Jan. 8, 1741; married Phebe Marble June 5, 1766. She was born July 29, 1744; died Oct. 1, 1805. He died October 24, 1822, aged eighty-one years, ten months and twenty-three days. Their children were as follows: Phebe, Serena, Peter, Hannah, Susannah, Marble, Mary, Isaac and Joanna.
About 1760, two brothers, Thomas and Samuel Leighton, came from Falmouth to this River. Samuel settled on the lot now in possession of Richard P. Willey. His sons were Theodore Leighton, Isaac Leighton, Parritt Leighton and Phineas Leighton. Thomas Leighton, the brother of Samuel Leighton, settled upon a lot at the head of Pigeon Hill Bay. He had a family of six sons and five daughters. Robert, Joseph, Thomas, Annie, Molly, James, Ross, Abigail, Betsey, Sarah and Benjamin. Nearly at the same time that Thomas and Samuel Leighton came and settled, Thomas Leighton 2d came from Dover, N. H., to Gouldsboro. His wife was Lydia Tracy. It is not known that there was any relationship between these two Thomas Leightons. From Gouldsboro, Thomas 2d soon removed to Steuben and settled upon the lot afterwards known as the Henry Leighton lot. He had ten children, Jonathan, Mark, Charity, Alexander, Hatevil, Pamelia, Isaiah, Daniel, Israel and Asa.