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in Attleboro, Sylvanus Thomas, of Mid-
dleboro (see Thomas VII).

(The Thomas Line).

(I) William Thomas, said to have been
of Welsh descent, and one of the mer-
chant adventurers of London, came from
Yarmouth, England, in the "Marye and


Ann" in 1637, and settled in Marshfield,
Massachusetts, with his son, Nathaniel.
He was assistant deputy governor in
1642-5C ; member of the council of war
in 1643, and died in August, 1651, aged
seventy-eight years.

(II) Nathaniel, son of William Thom-
as, born in 1606, came over with his
father, bringing with him his wife and
son William. He commanded one of the
watches against the Indians in 1643; was
one of the volunteers of the Pequot ex-
pedition in 1643 i was commissioned en-
sign of the Marshfield company of the
Colonial troops and later captain, and in
1654 succeeded Miles Standish in com-
mand. He had children besides William :
Nathaniel, born in 1643; Mary, who mar-
ried Captain Symon Ray ; Elizabeth ;
Dorothy, died young ; Jeremiah and

(III) Jeremiah, son of Nathaniel Thom-
as, born 1658-59, died February 2, 1736,
He married, February 25, 1684, Lydia
Howland, born 1665, granddaughter of
John Howland, of the Plymouth Colony.
Elsewhere in this work is an extended
history of John Howland, the son of
Humphrey Howland, a draper of London.
John Howland's son, Joseph Howland,
was born in Plymouth, and made his
home in that town. In 1679 he was lieu-
tenant of militia, continued in that office
many years ; filled various civil offices ;
was a large landholder, his possessions
including the present site of Pilgrim's
Hall, in Plymouth, which descended to
his great-great-grandson, Thomas How-
land. He married, September 12, 1664,
Elizabeth, only daughter of Thomas and
Elizabeth (Raynor) Southworth, grand-
daughter of Edward and Alice (Carpen-
ter) Southworth, great-granddaughter of
Thomas and Jane (Lynn) Southworth, of
Wells, Somersetshire, England. The
eldest child of this marriage was Lydia
Howland, who married, February 25,

1684, Jeremiah Thomas, and died August

7, 1717. They lived in Middleboro, Mas-
sachusetts. Children : Nathaniel, born
January 2, 1686; Sarah, December 25,
1687; Jeremiah, mentioned below; Eliza-
beth, November 19, 1690; Mary, June 5,
1692; Lydia, March 26, 1694; Thankful,
June 30, 1695; Jedediah, August 17, 1698,
Bethiah, March i-j, 1701 ; Ebenezer, No-
vember 1, 1703; Priscilla, October 13,
1705; Sophia, 1707.

(IV) Jeremiah (2), son of Jeremiah (1)
and Lydia (Howland) Thomas, was born
February 14, 1688, and lived in Middle-
boro. He was married by Rev. Peter
Thatcher, in Middleboro, December 12,
1 718, to Miriam Thomas, who died Janu-
ary 10, 1758, at the age of sixty-three
years, in Middleboro. He died there June

8, 1763. Children: Mary, born October
10, 1719; Miriam, August 5, 1721 ; Lem-
uel, July 16, 1723; Lydia, November
17, 1725; Martha, September 17, 1727
Charles, December 6, 1729; Jeremiah
mentioned below; Sarah, February 6
1736; Deborah, February 10, 1737.

(V) Jeremiah (3), third son of Jere
miah (2) and Miriam (Thomas) Thomas
was born December 5, 1731, in Middle
boro, and died there December 12, 1778.
He married, January 15, 1761, Susanna
surname unknown. Children : Ransom
born March 12, 1762; Jeremiah, January
12, 1764; Silas, 1765, died August i&,
1834; Abraham, March 7, 1770; Eliza-
beth, August 30, 1771 ; Jacob, mentioned

(VI) Jacob, youngest child of Jere-
miah (3) and Susanna Thomas, was born
November 21, 1774, in Middleboro, where
he made his home, and died March 27,
1851. He married (first) in 1799, Lucy
Thomas, born 1775, daughter of Joseph
and Deborah (Thomas) Thomas. She
died July 10, 1815, at the age of forty
years, and he married (second) Cynthia
Thomas, born 1774, in Middleboro, daugh-



ter of Sylvanus and Susanna (Thomp-
son) Thomas. She died March 22, 185 1,
at the age of seventy-seven years. Chil-
dren of first wife : Lurena, born April 7,
1800; Clarinda, March 8, 1802; Jacob
Allen, March 1, 1805; Eliphalet, June 2S,
1809; of second wife: Sylvanus, men-
tioned below. Cynthia Thomas, wife of
Jacob, descended from the same immi-
grant ancestor through William Thomas,
son of Nathaniel, brother of the first Jert-
miah. William Thomas, son of Wil-
liam, born 171 1, married Mary Thomas,
before 1733. She died August 4, 1768,
aged fifty-eight years, and he died June
7, 1764, aged fifty-three.

Sylvanus Thomas, son of William and
Mary (Thomas) Thomas, was born 1744,
and died August 30, 1814. He served
through several enlistments in the Revo-
lution. He was first a private in the
Fifth Middlesex company under Lieuten-
ant Consider Benson, which marched to
Howland's Ferry on the Alarm of De-
cember 8, 1776, serving five days. He
was a sergeant in Captain Elisha Has-
kell's company, Colonel Benjamin Hawes'
regiment, from July 29 to September 11,
1778, one month and fourteen days, at
Rhode Island. He was a private in Cap-
tain Perry Churchill's company, Colonel
Ebenezer Sproutt's regiment, from May
6 to May 9, 1778, three days, on an alarm
at Dartmouth. In September, of the same
year, he served a like period under the
same commanders at a similar alarm. Also
under the same commanders on an alarm
at Rhode Island, August 1, 1780, marched
on that day and served until the 9th. He
married Susanna Thompson, born 1743,
died September 4, 1822, aged seventy-
nine years, daughter of John Thompson,
granddaughter of Shubael Thompson.
Children: Molly, born July 29, 1762;
William, July 10, 1764: Sylvanus. Feb-
ruary 20, 1768: John, March 31, 1771 ;
Cynthia, mentioned below ; Shubael,

January 26, 1777; Sally. August 19, 1779;
Susan, May 7, 1783. The second daugh-
ter, Cynthia Thomas, born April 2, 1773,
became the wife of Jacob Thomas, as
previously related .

(VII) Sylvanus, son of Jacob Thomas,
and child of his second wife, Cynthia
Thomas, was born January 28, 1818, in
Middleboro, where he grew up, availing
himself of the limited educational advan-
tages of his native place. His business
life began in the store of Hon. Peter H.
Pierce, of Middleboro, but about 1838 he
removed to New Bedford, Massachu-
setts, where his long business career was
a marked success. Beginning trade in a
small way in domestic goods, he gradu-
ally expanded and became interested in
the West India trade ; later engaged in
the whaling business and manufacture of
oil. With him were associated Mr.
Pierce, his former employer, and Elisha
Tucker, of Middleboro, both of whom
had implicit confidence in his capacity
and integrity. The greater share of the
burden of the extensive operations of the
firm fell on Mr. Thomas. He was emi-
nently capable of fulfilling his trust, and
his success was well earned and merited.
After his death, a New Bedford gentle-
man who knew him well, wrote of him as
follows :

No merchant of this city ever devoted himself
more assiduously to business than Mr. Thomas,
and none can leave behind a more unspotted repu-
tation. No man could be more missed by the
mercantile community, especially by the dealers
in its great staple ; for no one was ever more
active, bold, or successful in the purchase and
sale of oil. For many years his annual trans-
actions in that article were immense and the im-
porters were, of course, greatly benefited by his
energy and enterprise. His death is a severe loss
to our city— the loss of a man of extraordinary
perseverance, of public spirit, of great probity,
and of most estimable character in all the rela-
tions he bore to his fellows. He was a good man,
ever ready to aid in maintaining every good cause
and recognizing and discharging the obligations
which increasing wealth create.



The formation of many of the earliest
manufacturing enterprises of New Bed-
ford was due in a large measure to his
influence and energy, even when his
means were not directly invested, while
in all matters pertaining to the prosperity
of the city he was among the foremost.
His career was based upon the principles
of Christianity, and he was long a mem-
ber of the First Baptist Church. Mr.
Thomas died November 20, 1866. He
married, in 1840, Agnes J. Merton, of
Rehoboth, who died November 15, 1906,
and was buried beside her husband in
Rural Cemetery. Children : Cynthia
Maria, born February 15, 1842, died Oc-
tober 5, 1843 ; Agnes Jackson, born No-
vember 22, 1843, married James A.
Roberts, and they reside in Dayton,
Ohio ; Sylvanus Grandison, born Septem-
ber 22, 1848, died February 14, 1849;
Sylvanus Martin, born March 23, 1850,
was a lawyer in Taunton, Massachusetts,
where he died November 20, 1898, he
married Emily H. Hayman, and they had
children — Sylvanus M., Jr., Elizabeth A.,
and Sydney Bartlett, who died young;
Ida Grandison, born June 22, 1858, men-
tioned below.

(VIII) Ida Grandison, daughter of
Sylvanus and Agnes J. (Martin) Thomas,
became the wife of Charles E. Wood-
worth, of New Bedford (see Woodworth


Elsewhere in this work will be found
an extended account of George Gardner,
pioneer ancestor of this family in Amer-
ica, together with his son Samuel, grand-
son Samuel (2) and great-grandson
Samuel (3) Gardner.

(V) Samuel (4) Gardner, son of
Samuel (3) and Content (Brayton)
Gardner, was born March 5, 1745, and
died September 20, 1822. He married,

December 17, 1767, Elizabeth Anthony,
daughter of John and Lydia (Luther)
Anthony, died in Swansea, Massachu-
setts, February 14, 1816. Children :
Bessie, born April 10, 1768, married, No-
vember 11, 1787, Charles Chase; Samuel,
mentioned below ; Cynthia, March 9,
1771, married, November 11, 1787, Aaron
Baker; Anna, October 5, 1772, married,
November 22, 1792, Peleg Gardner; An-
thony, June 23, 1774, married, November
11, 1803, Elizabeth Wilbur, daughter of
Daniel Wilbur; Avis, March, 1776, mar-
ried, October 29, 1795, Preserved Sher-
man, son of Gideon and Abby (Eddy)
Sherman; Mason, April 10, 1781, married
Ruth Anthony ; Ebenezer and Winslow
(twins), April 22, 1783; Patience, May 23,
1785, married Philip Munro; Israel, Au-
gust 9, 1787, married Hannah Anthony,
daughter of Gardner and Sarah (Slade)
Anthony; Elizabeth, March 9, 1790, mar-
ried, March 1, 1816, Hale Mason; Heze-
kiah, April 29, 1792, married, June 26,
1817, Almira Mason.

(VI) Samuel (5), eldest son of Samuel
(4) and Elizabeth (Anthony) Gardner,
was born September 2, 1769, in Swansea,
Massachusetts, and there grew to man-
hood. When a young man, in 1795, he
removed to the town of Tiverton, Rhode
Island, where he settled on the old Bor-
den farm, and ever after made his home.
Here he was engaged in farming, and
died July 18, 1830, aged sixty-one years.
He married, 1795, in Tiverton, Catharine
Borden, born June 15, 1773, in Tiverton,
Rhode Island, daughter of Benjamin and
Rachel (Cobb) Borden, granddaughter of
Samuel Borden, and great-granddaughter
of Richard Borden. She died in 1813.
Children: Rachel, born April 14, 1796,
married, September 3, 1815, Abraham
Allen, died 1883 '< Samuel Borden, men-
tioned below; Joseph, August 12, 1800;
Catharine, November 7, 1802, married,



September 6, 1841, Lemuel Harrison;
Eliza, October 22, 1804, married Judge
Joseph Osborne, of Tiverton, and died
April 19, 1866; Julia Ann, January 25,
1807, married Obadiah Chase, of Fall
River, and died 1880; Emma, January 25,
1809, married John Russell Hicks, and
died in Tiverton ; Benjamin, February
21, 181 1, died in Tiverton, April 7, 1875.

(VII) Samuel Borden, eldest son of
Samuel (5) and Catharine (Borden)
Gardner, was born February 25, 1798, in
Tiverton, and was a carpenter, which
trade he followed in Tiverton and Fall
River. He died in the latter city Decem-
ber 21, 1861, aged sixty-three years. The
maiden name of his first wife was Lake,
and he married (second) November 23,
1841, Emma Sturtevant, of Plymouth.

(VIII) Samuel Borden (2), son of
Samuel Borden (1) Gardner, was born in
Tiverton. In early life he was extensively
engaged in the wholesale grain and pro-
vision business in Wareham, Massachu-
setts. His latter life was spent in Mid-
dleboro and New Bedford, Massachu-
setts, his death occurring in the latter
city. He married Louise P. Keith, born
1825, in Middleboro, daughter of Foster
A. and Elizabeth (Briggs) Keith. She
died in New Bedford, April 15, 1887, aged
sixty-two years (see Keith V). Children:
Samuel Foster, died November 8, 1868;
Sarah, married Isaac Tompkins, both
now deceased; Luella, died in infancy;
Luella G., married Charles Tripp, living
in New Bedford, Massachusetts ; Mattie
James, mentioned below; Mary Louise,
married Henry Thompson, living in Port-
land, Maine; Nellie, now deceased, mar-
ried Lieutenant William Barry, of New
Bedford ; Abby, died in infancy.

(IX) Mattie James, daughter of Samuel
Borden (2) and Louise P. (Keith) Gard-
ner, born in New Bedford, was educated
in that city, and is a well-known vocalist,

an artist in that line. She married James
Thomas Milne, born October 26, 1846, in
Schodack, New York, and they now re-
side on French street, Fall River. They
were the parents of one son, Keith Alex-
ander Milne, who died in infancy. Mr.
Milne is a grandson of John and Janette
Milne, of Scotland, whose son, Rev. Alex-
ander Milne, born there June 4, 181 1, was
a Baptist clergyman who officiated at
various churches in America, was for
some years pastor of the Baptist church
at Macedon, Wayne county, New York
and died at Fall River, September 15
1866. He married, January 4, 1837, in
Tiverton, Rhode Island, Eliza Ann Os
born, born May 25, 1810, died August 18
1887, in Tiverton, daughter of Thomas
and Ann (Durfee) Osborn, of that town
granddaughter of William and Elizabeth
(Shrieve) Osborn. Their children: John
Osborn, born July 1, 1837, served in the
Civil War, and died in 1907, in Duluth,
Minnesota; Ann Janette, born June 27,
1841, married Rev. Orin Munger, and she
died in 1864, in Alden, New York; Eliza
Jane, born September 30, 1843, married
Elias A. Tuttle, of Medina, New York,
and she died in Tiverton, Rhode Island,
in 1876; Abby, died in infancy; James
Thomas, mentioned below; Mary Dun-
can, born November. 22, 1848, married
Marcus G. B. Swift, of Fall River, where
she now lives, a widow; Hattie, died in
infancy; and George Alexander, born
May 23, 1853, married Lizzie Swift, of
Northville, Michigan, and he died in 1910,
in Brooklyn, New York.

James Thomas Milne, son of Rev. Alex-
ander and Eliza Ann (Osborn) Milne,
was born October 26, 1846, in Schodack,
New York. His early schooling was ob-
tained in the various cities where his
father was engaged in preaching. In
October, 1863, he located in Fall River,
Massachusetts, and on January 1, 1864,



became a clerk in the Pocasset Bank,
which was later merged into the Massa-
soit-Pocasset National Bank. Mr. Milne
was connected with this bank for several
years. Later he became a member of the
firm of Tuttle, Milne & Company, cotton
and cotton cloth dealers, and continued a
member of this firm until 1900, when he
retired. In 1908, Mr. Milne accepted the
position of treasurer of the Osborn Mills,
of Fall River, in which capacity he has
since continued. He is a member of King
Philip Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons. Both he and his wife are mem-
bers of the Baptist church. In political
faith he is a Republican, and has served
as a member of the common council and
of the board of aldermen.

(The Borden Line).

The Borden family is one of the oldest
and most conspicuous of Southeastern
Massachusetts, and the early generations
are described at length elsewhere in this
work, including Richard Borden, founder,
his son John Borden, grandson Richard
(2) Borden, who was father of Samuel

(V) Benjamin, third son of Samuel and
Peace (Mumford) Borden, was born 1 741,
in Tiverton, where he was a farmer and
land owner, his farm being still known as
the Richard Borden farm. He was a
member of the Society of Friends. He
married, January 18, 1772, Rachel Cobb.
Children: Catharine, mentioned below;
Samuel, born February 17, 1780, was a
military officer, and died on the Missis-
sippi river, while in the United States

(VI) Catharine, only daughter of Ben-
jamin and Rachel (Cobb) Gardner, was
born June 15, 1773, in Tiverton, married
Samuel (5) Gardner, of Swansea, Massa-
chusetts (see Gardner V), and died April
9, 1813, in Tiverton.

(The Keith Line).

Across the sea the Keiths were among
the most ancient families in Europe.
While some of the nobility of Scotland
were originally Scots, others at different
times came to that country from foreign
lands. To the latter class belonged the
Keiths, it being the supposition that the
ancient family derived its origin from one
Robert, a chieftain among the Catti, who
was of German origin, from which it is
said came the surname Keith. At the
battle of Panbridge, in 1006, he slew with
his own hands Camus, general of the
Danes, and King Malcomb, perceiving
this achievement, dipped his fingers in
Camus's blood and drew red strokes, or
pales, on the top of Robert's shield, which
have since been included in the armorial
bearings of his descendants. As a reward
for this signal bravery King Malcomb
bestowed upon him several lands, particu-
larly the Barony of Keith, in East Lothi-
an, after his own name and from which
his posterity assumed their surname. The
king also appointed him hereditary great
marischal- of Scotland, which high office
continued in the family until the year
1715, when the last earl engaged in the
rebellion and forfeited his estate and
honors, and this ended the family's tenure
of the office of marshal, after serving their
country in a direct capacity upward of
seven hundred years. The last and tenth
Earl was colonel of the guards under
Queen Anne, but during the rebellion in
1715 he joined the service of the king of
Prussia, and died unmarried near Pots-
dam, May 28, 1778, in his eighty-sixth year.
His brother James became a field marshal
in the service of Peter the Great of Russia,
afterward served with the same rank in
the Prussian army, and after many signal
services was killed at Hochkirch in a
battle with the Austrians, in 1758; a
superb monument erected to his memory



at Berlin, by order of the king of Prussia,
testifies to the estimation in which he
was held by that illustrious monarch.- As
will be noted in the foregoing, a family
dating back to the tenth century, enroll-
ing among its members the names of
many noted and famous characters in the
history of the Old World, has good
claims to the consideration of its descend-
ants. The ancestral line of this branch of
the family from the American progenitor,
which follows, is given in chronological

(I) Rev. James Keith was born in 1644,
and was educated at Aberdeen, Scotland,
where he was graduated, likely, from
Marischal College, his name appearing
upon the roll of that college in 1657, said
college having been founded by George,
the fifth Earl of Keith Marischal, in 1593.
Rev. James Keith, as tradition says, was
educated at the expense of a maiden aunt.
At the age of eighteen years he emigrated
to this country, arriving in Boston in
1662. He was introduced to the church
at Bridgewater by Dr. Increase Mather,
whom he always esteemed as his patron
and best friend. Rev. Mr. Keith is re-
fered to in the records of the church as
"a student of divinity, having some com-
petent time improved his gifts amongst
them, in the work of the ministry, and
having also due approbation, by the testi-
mony of the Reverend Elders of other
churches of Christ, to whom he was
known." His settlement in Bridgewater
took place February 18, 1664, upon the
following terms: "A double house lot of
twelve acres, with a home built thereon ;
a purchase right, so called, being a fifty-
sixth part of the original grant ; and forty
pounds annual salary, twenty pounds in
Boston money and the other half at
home." The house in which he lived and
died is still standing, and is situated on
the north side of River street, near the
intersection of Forest street. It was origi-

nally built in 1662, in 1678 enlarged, in
1837 remodeled, and remains substan-
tially the same at the present time. The
text selected for his first sermon was from
Jeremiah 1; 6: "Behold I cannot speak,
for I am a child," and it was said to have
been delivered from a rock in the "mill
pasture," near the river. His advice and
influence with the civil authorities of the
colony seem to have been considerable,
instanced in the case of the Indian chief,
King Philip's wife and son ; when the
question as to what should be done with
the son was in agitation he stated in a
letter to Rev. Mr. Cotton that he was "in
favor of mercy," and though differing
from most others his opinion had great
weight, if indeed it was not decisive in
sparing the boy's life. Rev. Mr. Keith
preached the sermon at the dedication of
the new meeting house in South Bridge-
water, in 1717, two years only before his
death, which was printed in the Bridge-
water "Monitor," and contained some
pertinent and impressive remarks on the
subject of intemperance. Rev. Mr. Keith
died July 23, 1719, aged seventy-six years,
in West Bridgewater, having labored in
the ministry of the town for fifty-six
years and proved himself a worthy man
and a faithful shepherd over his infant
and feeble flock. He married (first) May 3,
1668, Susanna Edson, daughter of Dea-
con Samuel and Susanna (Orcutt) Edson,
the former of whom was born in England
in 1612, and emigrated to this country,
settling first at Salem, whence he re-
moved to Bridgewater, where he erected
the first mill in the old town, and was
deacon of the church presided over by
Rev. Mr. Keith. His first wife died Octo-
ber 16, 1705, and he married (second) in
1707, Mary, widow of Thomas Williams,
of Taunton. Children of first marriage:
James, Joseph, Samuel, Timothy, John.
Hosiah, Margaret, Mary and Susanna.
(II) John, fifth son of Rev. James and



Susanna (Edson) Keith, married, in 171 1,
Hannah Washburn, daughter of Samuel
Washburn, and they lived in Bridge-
water. He died there in 1761, and his
wife in 1766. Children: John, born 1712;
James, 1716; Israel, 1719; Hannah, 1721 ;
Keziah, 1723; Daniel, 1725; Susanna,
1727; Zephaniah, 1730; Joseph, mentioned
below ; Mary, married, 1761, Solomon

(III) Joseph, sixth son of John and
Hannah (Washburn) Keith, born in
Bridgewater, settled in Middleboro, Mas-
sachusetts. He was known as Joseph
Keith 3d, and served as a soldier of the
Revolution. He was captain of the
Eleventh Company, Third Plymouth
Regiment of Massachusetts Militia, com-
missioned by order of council March 23,
1776. With a detachment of his company
under Colonel Edward Mitchell, he
marched to Bristol, Rhode Island, De-
cember 8, 1776, on an alarm. He com-
manded a company in Colonel Aaron
Willey's regiment, travel to No. 4
(Charlestown, New Hampshire) one hun-
dred and fifty miles, and two hundred
and fifty-eight miles home from Fort
Edward, where he was discharged Janu-
ary 24, 1777, ordered in June, 1776, to re-
inforce the Northern army. He was a
captain in Colonel Cotton's regiment from
September 25 to October 30, 1777, in a
secret expedition to Tiverton, Rhode
Island, and was also in Colonel Theop-
hilus Cotton's regiment, Brigadier-Gen-
eral Palmer's brigade, return made at
Germantown, December 11, 1777. He
married, in 1759, Chloe Packard, born in
Bridgewater, daughter of Samuel and
Anne Packard. Children : Aberdeen,
born 1760, died 1778; Lurania, 1763;
John, 1765; Timothy, 1767; Joseph,
1769; Martin, mentioned below.

(IV) Martin, youngest child of Joseph
and Chloe (Packard) Keith, was born
1771, in Middleboro, or Bridgewater,

Massachusetts, and lived with his wife,
Hope, in Middleboro. Children: Aber-
deen, born August 8, 1792; Lurena,
March 27, 1795 ; Foster Alexander, men-
tioned below ; Martin, June 17, 1799.

(V) Foster Alexander, second son of
Martin and Hope Keith, was born July
29, 1797, in Middleboro, where he lived,
and married, January 9, 1824, Elizabeth
Briggs. He died in New Bedford, Mas-
sachusetts, August 25, 1882.

(VI) Louise P., daughter of Foster
A. and Elizabeth (Briggs) Keith, was
born in Middleboro, and became the wife
of Samuel Borden Gardner, Jr., of New

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