William Richard Cutter.

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) online

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Benjamin. Samuel French ( father) died in
October, 1 71 8.

(III) Alexander, third son of Samuel and
Anna (Marsh) French, was born December

13, 1695, died January 31, 1745, aged fifty
years. He married (first) Mary, daughter of
Thomas and Mehitable (Adams) White, and
their children were: 1. Alexander, born Feb-
ruary 28. 1724. 2. Samuel. September 5,
1725, see forward. 3. Isaac, November 13,
1729. 4. Benoni, May 30, 1732, died June 2,
1732. The mother of these children died May
30, 1732. Mr. French married (second) May

14, 1734, Rebecca Staples, by whom he had six
children: 5. Elizabeth, August 13, 1735. 6.
Jacob, June n, 1736, died June 20, 1736. 7.
Asa, May 7, 1737. 8. Jacob, September 19,
1739. 9. Experience, April 23, 1742. 10. Job,
June 16, 1744, died June 19, 1744.

(IV) Samuel (2), second son of Alexan-
der and Mary (White) French, was born Sep-
tember 5, 1725. He lived in Braintree, where
he was a farmer, but on account of annoyance
of the British he went to Goshen, where he
was the first settler and the first taxpayer. He
married Mary (surname unknown). Chil-
dren: 1. Mary, born January 14, 1748, died
April 17, 1748. 2. Mary, October. 1750, died
November 2, 1753. 3. Samuel, January 18,
1755. 4. Asa, see forward.

(V) Asa, second son of Samuel (2) and
Mary French, was born May 3, 1757. He was
a farmer during the greater part of his life.
He took an active part in "Shay's rebellion"
and many legends exist as to his absolute lack
of fear. He enlisted first at the age of seven-
teen, re-enlisted and served through the en-
tire war ; after the war he became an exten-
sive cattle buyer. He married Sarah, daugh-



ter of Ezekiel and Abigail (Blanchard)
White, and granddaughter of Deacon Samuel
White, in Williamsburg, February 14- I7&4-
Children: i. Elihu, died young. 2. Samuel,
married and moved to Vermont. 3. Irene,
married (first) a Mr. Staples and had two
children, William and Sarah: married (sec-
ond) a Mr. Eagley and had two children.
Frances and Irene. 4. William, see forward.
5. Sophia. 6. Jabez. born in Williamsburg,
June 17, 1794, died at Northampton. February
11, 1857. 7. Ambrose, March 22, 1797. died
April 29, 1863: married Sophia Town. 8.
Sally, died young. 9. Nathan, died young.

(VI) William, son of Asa and Abigail
(White) French, was born probably in Wil-
liamsburg, as nearly all of his father's chil-
dren were born there. He was a farmer by
occupation. He married Eunice Coates. Chil-
dren : Orange, William, Edmond, Henry.
Frank, Fred, Miranda, Minerva.

(VII) Edmond, son of William and Eunice
(Coates) French, was born in Stamford, Ver-
mont, January 14, 1826, died September 6,
1901, at Brattleboro, Vermont. After a com-
mon school education, he learned the trade of
carpenter, later taking large contracts to build
mills. In 1849 he removed to Pittsfield and
there and in neighboring towns built several
large mills, among which was a paper mill at
West Cummington. He married, about 1852,
Mary Galloway, born in New York, August 1,
1832, died June 24, 1889. Children: 1. Gren-
ville W., bom in Pittsfield. July 12, 1853, mar-
ried (first) Nettie Hollister, of Hartford; one
daughter, Edith M. : married (second) May
Elliot: one boy, died in infancy. 2. Arthur
M., see forward. 3. Ervin E., January 2,
1859, died April 6, 1864. 4. Nellie Elizabeth,
October 7, 1864. married G. W. Gardiner ; no
issue. 5. Alice Gertrude. March 12, 1868. died
unmarried, April 11, 1909. 6. Mary Emily.
August 29, 1869, married L. G. Mugford. of
Chicago ; three children : Dorothy, Gertrude
and Elizabeth.

(VIII) Arthur M., son of Edmond and
Mary (Galloway) French, was born in Pitts-
field. October 10, 1856. He obtained his edu-
cation in the public schools of that place, and
April 26, 1875, came to Holyoke. at once en-
tering the employ of the Massasoit Paper
Manufacturing Company. The business of
paper manufacturing appealed to him, and at
the expiration of nine years he was offered
the position of superintendent of the Whiting
Paper Company's mill. No. 1. at Holyoke.
Massachusetts, remaining for five years, later

assuming a like position with the Hurlburt
Paper Manufacturing Company of South Lee,
Massachusetts, and after one year there re-
turned to Holyoke as superintendent of the
Valley Paper Company. He soon purchased
an interest in that company and was elected to
the board of directors, serving four years.
With his assistance the Linden Paper Com-
pany was then organized. Mr. French was
entrusted with the difficult problem of draw-
ing the plans for the building so that all avail-
able land might be utilized, also with the su-
perintendency of its erection and the install-
ing of the plant. Soon after the mill was in
operation he became ambitious to manufacture
"Blueprint" paper, which heretofore had
never been successfully done in this country,
and at the present time (1909) this is one of
the principal papers manufactured by him. On
the absorbtion of the company by the Ameri-
can Writing Paper Company, Mr. French was
retained as superintendent. He is a director
of the Home National Bank, member of the
Masonic orders. Knights Templar and Shrine,
and of the Congregational church. In poli-
tics a Republican, serving in 1897-98 as alder-
man at large, and 1890-91 as president of that
body. He married, September 20, 1882, Me-
lissa D., daughter of Albert G. and Mary
( Jenne ) Ridout. They have one child, Ar-
thur Edmond, born May 7, 1889, who gradu-
ated from the high school, Worcester Acad-
emv. and is now at Dartmouth, class of 191 1.

Line of descent of the Jenne family of
which Mrs. Arthur M. French is a representa-
tive :

Sometime in the early settlement of this
country Isaac and Ephraim Jenne came from
England and settled in Massachusetts, in the
part which is now New Bedford. Tradition
savs they were of Welch extraction ; also that
thev married sisters (English women) about


1) Isaac Jenne married Milly


had five children : Isaac. Ephraim, James,
Mary and Milly. Many descendants of this
line are now living in Chester, Vermont.

(2) Tames, son of Isaac and Milly Jenne,
was born in New Bedford, August 14, 1744.
He married Miriam Pope, sister of General
Pope, of revolutionary fame. They had nine
children: Isaac. Thomas. Miriam. James,
Sarah, Elisha and three others who died in

(3) Thomas, son of James and Miriam
(Pope) Jenne, was born in New Bedford.
Massachusetts, January 11. 1773, died Janu-



ary 9, 1861. When about four years of age
his parents moved to Grantham, New Hamp-
shire, where March 2, 1797, he married Bet-
sey Hunter, born in Ashford, Connecticut,
September 13, 1777, died January 13, 1854.
They were the parents of three children :
Thomas, born March 23, 1799; Siloam S.,
July 26, 1809; Moriah, December, 1817.

(4) Siloam S., son of Thomas and Betsey
(Hunter) Jenne, was born in Grantham, New
Hampshire, July 26, 1809. He removed to
Lenox, Massachusetts, with his parents, where
November 26, 1829, he was married to Amelia
P. Root. She was born in Lenox. October 5,
1806. They had children: Nancy M., born
December 10, 1830, died November 6, 1834;
Mary Ann, August 25, 1833 ; William McK.,
January 14, 1837 ; Frances Amelia, June 27,
1846, died May 16, 1873.

(5) Mary Ann, daughter of Siloam S. and
Amelia P. (Root) Jenne. born August 25,
1833. married, November 24, 1853, Albert G.
Ridout, of Lee, Massachusetts. Children:
Charles Albert, born Lenox, November 9.
1854; Melissa D., born in Lee, Massachusetts,
July 17. i860, married Arthur M. French, as
previously stated.

(For preceding generations see preceding sketch).

(IV) Jacob French, son of

FRENCH Alexander French (q. v.), was

born September 19, 1739. at

Braintree. He married Olive . He and

his brothers settled in Williamsburgh, Massa-
chusetts, when young men. According to the
first federal census taken in 1790 John,
Thomas. Samuel. Asa and Jacob were heads
of families in that town. Jacob had one male
over sixteen years of age, three males under
that age and two females, four children in all,
at that time. He was a soldier in the revolu-

(V) Isaac, son of Jacob French, was born
August 30, 1789, in Williamsburgh, and died
there of lung fever, March 8, 1857. He mar-
ried, October 2, 1814, Nancy Hill, born on
Battery-march street, Boston ; died at Wil-
liamsburgh, Massachusetts, in 1886. at an ad-
vanced age. She was descended from an old
and prominent family of Boston. Children,
born in Williamsburgh: 1. Seth, March 11.
1816, died 1857 : married Maria Deman, of
Williamsburgh, where she died without issue
in 1864. 2. Chauncey, March 29, 1817, men-
tioned below. 3. Samuel, July 14, 1818. died
in 1874: married Ophelia Adams. 4. Polly,
January 29, 1820, married Samuel Smith, of

Granby, Massachusetts, and had a son and a
daughter. 5. Clymena, March 12. 182 1, mar-
ried Simeon Merritt, a mason by trade ; had
several children. 6. Tirzah, April 27, 1822,
married John B. Orcutt, who was for some
years superintendent of spinning at the cord-
age works. Warehouse Point, Connecticut ;
daughter, Alice Arcutt. 7. Salome, August 9,
1823, died unmarried in 1853. 8. Abisha,
March 17, 1825, died August 12, 1827. 9.
Joseph, September 24, 1826, died August 27,
1827. 10. Lucretia Jane, March 15, 1828, mar-
ried William Fuller, for many years in the
livery stable and trucking business at Spring-
field ; son William Fuller lives in Springfield.
11. Joseph, September 12. 1829, married
Nancy Hitchcock, now living with her only
son, Cornelius French, of Springfield. 12.
Laura. May 17, 1833, married Timothy Fuller,
teamster, Palmer, Massachusetts ; had no chil-
dren. 13. Algene, September 26, 1834, mar-
ried Willis Gilford, a carpenter in Williams-
burg, where he died December 19, 1907: his
wife died April, 1905 ; daughter, Jennie Gil-

(VI) Chauncey, son of Isaac French, was
born in Williamsburg, March 29, 1817, died in
1888. He was educated in the public schools,
and learned the trade of blacksmith. He en-
gaged in business on his own account at Hins-
dale, New Hampshire, in the manufacture of
axes. Afterwards he manufactured at North-
ampton, Massachusetts, hoe eye-sockets, at
which he was especially skillful and successful.
At that time all this work in making tools was
done by hand and there were no large fac-
tories. He returned to Williamsburgh in his
declining years and spent the remainder of
his life there. He died in 1888. He married,
in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, Martha Eliza-
beth Smith, born 1816, at Hinsdale, died 1894,
in Williamsburgh. She was of an old New
England family. Children: 1. William C,
born May 11, 1841, mentioned below. 2. Hen-
ry, 1842-43, enlisted on the first call in the civil
war in the Tenth Massachusetts Regiment,
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, from
Northampton, and contracted sickness from
which he died April 19, 1862, in the military
hospital, and is buried at Young's Mills, Vir-
ginia : unmarried. 3. George L.. 1845, en ~ •
listed in the Twenty-seventh Regiment, Mas-
sachusetts Volunteer Militia, in 1861, and
served three years, taking part in twenty-six
different engagements, escaping serious
wounds or illness, and was discharged in
1865; found employment in Northampton on



the Canal railroad, as it was then called, and
in 1867 was accidentally killed by being
thrown from the top of a freight car on which
he was standing when he came into contact
with an overhead bridge ; he was unmarried.
4. Charles A., January, 1853, lives in Charles-
town, Massachusetts ; represents the National
Cash Register Company ; married Ida Van
Houton, of New York : has two children : Ed-
ward and Edith. 5. John, born June, 1855,
died unmarried September, 1898.

(VII) William C, son of Chauncey
French, was born in Hinsdale, New Hamp-
shire, May 11, 1841. He was educated in
the public schools. He was gifted with me-
chanical ability and when a boy learned the
trade of machinist and stationary engineer.
He worked in various machine shops in
Springfield and in 1875 took charge of the
stationary engine on the Hunnewell estate in
Boston, and continued in charge of the mechai-
cal plant there until he resigned in 1899. From
the time of the experimental use of electricity
for lighting purposes, Mr. French has been a
student of electricity and an expert electrician.
As early as 1878 the inventor, C. F. Brush,
introduced his mechanism for electric lighting,
and under his supervision Mr. French learned
to run the dynamo. The demonstration was
successful and the Brush system was de-
veloped successfully on commercial lines.
While Mr. French was engineer in charge of
the Continental Clothing House, corner of
Howard and Washington streets, Boston, an
arc light machine constructed by C. F. Brush
was installed in its engine room. In 1899 Mr.
French was placed in charge of the electric
lighting plant of the Masonic Temple of Bos-
ton and superintended its installation. He has
held the position of chief engineer of this
plant to the present time.

For many years Mr. French has been inter-
ested in Masonry and is a member of Blue
Lodge; Royal Arch Masons; Boston Council,
Royal and Select Masters; De Molay Com-
mandery, Knights Templar ; Lodge of Perfec-
tion ; Princes of Jerusalem ; Mount Olivet
Chapter, Rose Croix ; the Massachusetts Con-
sistory ; and Aleppo Temple, Order of the
Mystic Shrine. In Dolitics he is a Republi-
can. In 1861, on the first call of President
Lincoln for troops in the civil war, he enlist-
ed in the Charleston Artillery Company of the
Fifth Massachusetts Regiment. He took part
in both battles of Bull Run and in several
skirmishes, and served for three months, the
period of his enlistment. He was a member

of John A. Andrew Post, No. 15, Grand
Army of the Republic.

He married (first) July 30, 1862, Henrietta
Chadwick, born 1839, died December 12, 1879.
He married (second) June 8, 1884, Louise M.
(Malcolm) Anderson, born in New York City
in 1851, widow of Frederick Anderson, who
died in 1881. By her first marriage she had
one child, William G. Anderson, who married
Harriet Rouchfuss, of Boston, and has one
child, William C. William G. was married
under the name of William G. French, the
name he has been known by for twenty-five
years. Mr. French has no children. He re-
sides at No. 3 Alveston street, Jamaica Plain,

The surname W'olcott is
WOLCOTT identical with Walcott. as

shown by the use of the same
coat-of-arms, but both in England and Ameri-
ca the two forms of spelling have survived for
several centuries. The coat-of-arms. which
was engraved on the silver of Governor Rog-
er Wolcott, of Connecticut, mentioned below :
Argent a chevron between three chess rooks
ermine. -Crest: A bull's head erased argent
or ducally gorged lined and ringed of the last.
The family motto: Xullius addictus jurare
verba magistri" — accustomed to swear in the
words of no Master; or, taking nothing on
trust. The English ancestry of the American
immigrant has been traced for several genera-
tions, as follows :

(I) John Wolcott lived and died in Tol-
land, Somersetshire, England. His will, dated
February 9, 1571, proved April 11, 1572, be-
queathed to children John, Alice, Mary ; wife
Agnes, and also to John Howe, Agnes Meyer,
and appointing his brothers Henry and Roger
Wolcott overseers. Children of John and
Agnes: John, mentioned below; Alice:

(II) John (2), son of John (1) Wolcott.
lived at Tolland, and died there March 2, 1618,
according to his gravestone. Various branches
of the families lived in that and adjacent par-
ishes. William and Thomas Wolcott were
in Tolland as early as 1525, but the records
are wanting, so the relationship is not known.

John married Joan , who died April 5,

1637. He owned mills and other property at
Tolland. His will, dated November 10, 1623.
proved January 16, following, bequeathed to
John Wolcott, son of his son John, and Agnes
and Mary, daughters of son John : to children
of son Henry ; to kinsman Symon Wolcott ;



servant Giles More; also to Richard Locke,
Alexander Thatloke, John Sealy and Alex-
ander Engrave ; witnessed by sons of the
testators, Christopher and Henry Wolcott.
Children, baptized in Lidiard, a parish ad-
joining Tolland: 1. Henry, mentioned below.
2. Christopher, died March 25, 1639. 3.
John, died February 17. 1652.

(Ill) Henry Wolcott, immigrant ancestor,
was son of John Wolcott, of Tolland, and
was baptized at Lydiard, or Lidiard, England,
December 6, 1578. He came with the first
company to Dorchester, Massachusetts. Al-
though it is said that he came first in 1628,
he came with part of his family in the ship
"Mary and John," of four hundred tons. Cap-
tain Squeb, landing at Nantasket, May 30,
1630. He was one of the original settlers and
proprietors of Dorchester, and was on the
first list of freemen, dated October 19, 1630.
He was one of the leading citizens, held the
office of selectman, and other positions of
trust. He removed with many of his neigh-
bors to Windsor, Connecticut, in 1636-37, and
was a member of the first general assembly
of Connecticut in 1637. He was one of the
undertakers (stockholders or owners) of the
ship "Hopewell" in 1640, when he made a visit
to England, and in that year his name stands
first on the list of inhabitants. He was elected
to the house of magistrates of Connecticut in
1643, and served during the rest of his life.
He was one of the most prominent immigrants
to New England. He was possessed of wealth
and influence. He owned a good estate in
Somersetshire. We are told that he spent
his youth in gaiety and the usual country pas-
times of the normal English youth, but after-
wards, under the instruction of Rev. Edward
Elton, "his mind was entirely changed and
turned to the sincere love and practice of re-
ligion." He became an austere Puritan. As
the Puritans were then treated with great
severity in England, he sold an estate worth
eight thousand pounds and prepared to re-
move to America. At his death, he still owned
a considerable estate in England, rented for
sixty pounds per annum, and afterwards sold
by his heirs. His home in Windsor was at
the south end of the town, south of the Farm-
ington river, on a tract of land called the
Island. He was called by contemporaries a
"man of fine estate and superior abilities."
He died May 30, 1655. He married, Janu-
ary 19, 1606, in England, Elizabeth Saunders,
baptized December 20, 1584, died at Windsor,
July 5, 1655, daughter of Thomas Saunders.

His tombstone of brown stone stands at the
rear of the First Congregational Church, sur-
rounded by the gravestones of descendants.
His wife was buried at his side, and Prince's
Chronology says : "These both dyed in hope
and Lv buried under one Tomb in Windsor."
The stone and inscriptions are perfectly pre-

Children: 1. John, baptized at Lydiard:
died in England. 2. Anna, married, October
16, 1646, Mathew Griswold, of Windsor. 3.
Henry, baptized January 21, 1610-11. 4.

George, married Elizabeth ; died at

Wethersfield, Connecticut. February 12, 1662.
5. Christopher, died September 7, 1662; had
his father's homestead at Windsor. 6. Mary,
married June 25, 1646, Job Drake ; both died
September 16. 1689. 7. Simon, mentioned be-

(IV) Simon, son of Henry Wolcott. was
born in 1624-25, in England. He was five
years old when his father came to America,
and he came with other children later. He
lived opposite his father's homestead in Wind-
sor, on land that he bought of Goodman
Whitehead, on the road to Hartford. He had
a grant of land at Simsbury in 1667. He was
prominent in public life. In 1668 he was on
a committee of the general court to further
planting. He removed to Simsbury in 1671
and was captain of the trainband there, Au-
gust 11. 1673; selectman 1674. He and other
settlers were driven from their homes during
King Philip's war, and it said that he buried
a brass kettle containing the family silver,
sinking it in the mud of the swamp, and that
it has never been recovered. He had a grant
of two hundred acres from the general court
in 1680, and was one of six in the colony
honored with the title 'Air." He married
(first) March 19, 1657, Joanna Cook, born
August 5, 1638, died April 27. 1657, aged only
eighteen years. He married (second) Octo-
ber 17, 1661, Martha Pitkins. who came from
England with her brother, William Pitkins, at-
torney general and treasurer of the colony.
Wolcott died September 11, 1687, and two
years later his widow married (second) Daniel
Clark. She died October 13, 1719. aged
Wolcott, wrote of her: "She was a gentle-
eighty years. Her son, Governor Roger
woman of bright and natural parts which were
well improved by her education in the city of
London. She came to New England in 1661,
and the same year was married to my father.
The rest of her useful life she spent in the
wilderness in doing good and setting an ex-



ample of piety and prudence, charity and pa-
tience." Children: i. Elizabeth, born August
19, 1662 ; married, December 10, 1680. Daniel
Cooley, of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. 2.
Martha, born May 17, 1664; married. January
6, 1686, Thomas Allyn, of Windsor. 3.
Simon, born June 24, 1666. 4. Joanna, born
June 30, 1668; married September 2. 1690,
John Colton, of Longmeadow. 5. Henry,
born May 20, 1670. 6. Christopher, born
July 4, 1672; died April 3, 1693. 7. Mary,
born 1674; died 1676. 8. William, born No-
vember 6, 1676. 9. Governor Roger, men-
tioned below.

(V) Governor Roger Wolcott, son of Si-
mon Wolcott, was born January 4, 1679, at
Simsbury, Connecticut. He became the fore-
most man of his day in the colony, and from
him are descended many distinguished Ameri-
can statesmen, among whom may be men-
tioned Governor and United States Senator
Edward O. Wolcott, of Colorado, and Gover-
nor Roger Wolcott, of our own generation in
Massachusetts. From the private journal of
Governor Wolcott we gain an excellent ac-
count of his life. In 1680, when he was an
infant, the family settled on the east side of
the river at Windsor, at some distance from
any school, and he never attended a school.
He was instructed by his parents. There was
no church in the vicinity. His father died,
leaving his buildings unfinished, his land to be
cleared, and in debt, but the widow and her
six children managed, and as the governor
say, "we never wanted." After his- mother
married Daniel Clark, he went to live with
her in her new home on the west side of the
river. In 1690 he learned to write and read ;
in 1694 he was apprenticed to a clothier or
fuller to learn the trade, and January
2, 1699, he engaged in business as a
clothier on his own account and be-
came very successful. He was elected
selectman of Windsor in 1707; deputy to the
general assembly in 1710. He took part in
the expedition against Canada in 171 1 as com-
missary of Connecticut stores. He was elect-
ed councillor in 1714; judge of the county
court in 1721 ; of the superior court, 1732;
deputy governor and chief judge of the su-
perior court in 1741. He was commissioned
major general of the colonial army by Gov-
ernor Shirley, of Massachusetts, and Gov-
ernor Law, of Connecticut, and led the Con-
necticut troops in the expedition against Cape
Breton in 1745. He was then sixty-seven
years old, the oldest man in the service except

Rev. Mr. Moody. Gov. Wolcott said : "It
was a tough business. Divine Providence ap-
peared wonderfully in our favor and should
forever be remembered with thankfulness."
Louisburg surrendered and the expedition was
successful. In 1750 he was elected governor
of Connecticut. In November, 1752, some
Spanish merchant vessels took refuge in New
London harbor, and through the neglect and
delay of the owner suffered much loss while
in port. Governor Wolcott was accused of
oppression and held responsible in the popular
mind of the Spaniard's misfortunes. For this
reason he was retired from governorship in
1754. But when the case reached the King's
council. Governor Wolcott was absolved en-
tirely from blame, and in a measure the pub-
lic confidence in him returned. In 1755 he
lacked but two hundred votes of re-election.
After his retirement from public life "he di-
vided his time between devotion, reading, ag-
riculture, and the enjoyment of his friends.
His body was strong and well proportioned,
his countenance and deportment peculiarly

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterGenealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) → online text (page 109 of 145)