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.
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 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.
Grant Foreman describes the early life in a Western Garrison; providing insights on some of the traders in the region, the deaths of Seaton, Armstrong, Wheelock and Izard, all soldiers obviously familiar to him. But he also shares the story of the elopement of Miss Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of General Taylor, to Lieutenant Jefferson Davis… yes, THAT Jefferson Davis.
An interesting section of the chapter are the references to the punishments inflicted upon the soldiers in the event of their disobedience.
Painted by Catlin in 1834, the picture attached is of Clermont, chief of the Osage Tribe. Clermont is painted in full length, wearing a fanciful dress, his leggings fringed with scalp-locks, and in his hand his favorite and valued war-club.
When the treaty council with the Osage at Fort Gibson broke up in disagreement on April 2, 1833, three hundred Osage warriors under the leadership of Clermont departed for the west to attack the Kiowa. It was Clermont’s boast that he never made war on the whites and never made peace with his Indian enemies. At the Salt Plains where the Indians obtained their salt, within what is now Woodward County, Oklahoma, they fell upon the trail of a large party of Kiowa warriors going northeast toward the Osage towns above Clermont’s. The Osage immediately adapted their course to that pursued by their enemies following it back to what they knew would be the defenseless village of women, children, and old men left behind by the warriors. The objects of their cruel vengeance were camped at the mouth of Rainy-Mountain Creek, a southern tributary of the Washita, within the present limits of the reservation at Fort Sill.
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.