William Richard Cutter.

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

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accuracy and industry, and it is said that
scarcely a transfer of real estate was made in
Boston without his examination and approval
of the title." He wrote altogether fifty-five
volumes of land titles, besides making many
plans and maps. He also gave much attention
to public institutions in Boston, particularly
the Massachusetts General Hospital, of which
he published at his own expense a comprehen-
sive history, in 1857. He had previously
issued a memoir of his father, in 1839. In
1857 he published his "Suffolk Surnames,"
(enlarged editions, 1858 and 1861). This
work contains curious surnames met with by
the author in his business as conveyancer, and
its chief peculiarity is in his system of classifi-
cation by the derivation of the names. Mr.
Bowditch bestowed much of his large fortune
upon charitable objects, including a gift of
$70,000 to Harvard for founding scholarships,
and a bequest of $2,000 for the purchase of
books." He married Elizabeth Brown, and
by her had children : Elizabeth Francis, Mary
Ingersoll. Ebenezer Francis and Alice Francis,
wife of James Murray Forbes (see Forbes).

( )ne of the many notable char-
WILBUR acters in early New England

history was the founder of the
American family, bearing the surname of Wil-
bar, but which in the time of the ancestor him-
self was spelled Wildbore. This rendition is
said to have been continued through one or
two generations of some branches of the
family after that of Samuel, and in various
early records in towns where some of his
descendants became settled the name appears
in different forms, and Savage gives account
of Wilbore, Wildboare, Wilbur, Wildbore and
the name Wilbar now represents a majority
of the descendants of Samuel of Boston and
Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and Taunton,
Massachusetts, where the scene of his life was
chiefly laid, and thus is distinguished from the
more numerous families of Wilbur and Wil-
ber. It may be said, however that so good an
authority as Austin in his genealogical diction-
ary gives the family name of Samuel as Wil-
bur. In the present work, the name will be

i 4 86


mentioned as known to the several generations
holding it.

(I) Samuel Wildbore was born in England
and is believed to have come to this country
before 1633, with his wife and several chil-
dren. The christian name of his first wife was
Ann, and reliable accounts mention her as a
daughter of Thomas Bradford, of Lancaster,
Yorkshire, England, from which part of the
dominion Samuel himself is said to have come.
His second wife was Elizabeth, widow of
Thomas Lechford. The year of Samuel's birth
is not known, but he died September 29, 1656.
He was made freeman in Boston in 1633, and
with his wife Ann. was admitted to the church
in December of the same year. In 1634 he
was assessor of taxes, and on November 20,
1637, was one of the several disarmed "in con-
sequence of having been seduced and led into
dangerous error by the opinions and revela-
tions of Mr. Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchin-
son," and therefore being given license to
depart the colony, he took up his place of
abode in the colony of Rhode Island. He is
next recorded in Portsmouth, Rhode Island,
where on March 7, 1638, he was one of eigh-
teen who entered into the following compact :
"We, whose names are underwritten do here
solemnly in the presence of Jehovah incor-
porate ourselves into a Bodie Politick, and
as he shall help, will submit our persons, lives
and estates, unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and to
all those perfect and most absolute laws of
his given us in his holy word of truth, to be
guided and judged thereby.'' It is evident
that Samuel Wildbore was a person of some
consequence in the plantation at Portsmouth,
for in 1638 he was present at a public meet-
ing, upon notice, and in the same year was
chosen clerk of the train band. In 1639 he
was made constable and given an allotment of
a neck of land lying in the great cove, con-
taining about two acres. In 1640 he and
Ralph Earle, who seems to have been in some
way associated with him, were ordered to
furnish the town of Newport with new sawed
boards at eight shillings per hundred feet, and
half-inch boards at seven shillings, to be de-
livered at the "pit," by the water-side. On
March 16, 1641, he was made a freeman in
Portsmouth, became sergeant of militia in
1644, and in 1645 returned with .his wife to
Boston. On November 29, 1645, Samuel
Wildbore and his wife were received unto the
church in Boston, and in a deposition made
May 2, 1648, he made oath that when he mar-

ried the widow of Thomas Lechford he re-
ceived no part of her former husband's
estate. In 1655 he was again in Portsmouth,
but at the time of making his will he lived in
Taunton and at the same time had a house in
Boston. His will was recorded in both Mass-
achusetts and the Plymouth Colony. That
instrument bore date April 30, 1656, and was
admitted to probate November 1 following,
which fact determines the year in which he
died. His property was inventoried at two
hundred and eighty-two pounds, nineteen
shillings, six pence. His children, all by his
first marriage, were : Samuel, Joseph, Wil-
liam and Shadrach.

(II) William, third son of Samuel and
Ann (Bradford) Wildbore, was born in 1630,
and died in 17 10. He spelled his name Wil-
bor. About 1654 he settled at Little Comp-
ton, Rhode Island, but died at Tiverton. His
wife, whom he married in 1653, was Martha.
Their children were : Mary, Joseph, John,
Thomas, William, Martha, Samuel, Daniel,
Joan and Benjamin.

(III) Samuel (2), fifth son of William
and Martha Wilbor, was born in 1664, died in
1740. He married Mary, daughter of Na-
thaniel and Elizabeth (Stapes) Potter, and
they had : Martha, Samuel, William, Mary,
Joanna, Thankful, Elizabeth, Thomas, Abial,
Hannah and Isaac.

CIV) William (2), second son of Samuel
(2) and Mary (Potter) Wilbor, was born
January 6, 1695, died September, 1774. He
married, June 20, 1717, Esther, daughter of
Thomas and Esther Burgess. She was born
in 1696 and died in 1760. Their children
were: Thomas, Mary, Esther (died young),
Lydia (died young), Samuel, William, Daniel,
Charles, Esther, Lydia, Deborah and Clarke.

(V) Thomas, eldest child of William (2)
and Esther (Burgess) Wilbor, was born May
1, 17 18. died March 5, 1787. He resided in
Hopkinton, Rhode Island. He married (first)
.March 9, 1739. Edith Woodman, born Decem-
ber 20, 1719, daughter of John and Elizabeth
(Briggs) Woodman. He married (second)
July 27, 1761, Mary Hoxie, born September
9, 1736, died July 4, 1827, daughter of Solo-
mon and Mary (Davis) Hoxie. She survived
him and married (second) January 30, 1799,
Jabez Wing. The children by the second wife
Mary were : William, Isaac, Mary, John,
next mentioned.

(VI) John, youngest child of Thomas and
Mary Wilbur, was born in Hopkinton. Rhode
Hand. July 17, 1774, died in Hopkinton, May



1, 1856, and was buried in the Friends' grave-
yard in that town. He was religiously in-
clined, and was brought up by his parents in
the old and orthodox school. He was a use-
ful citizen, often taught school and was a land
surveyor through life. At twenty-eight years
of age he was appointed an elder and was
officially acknowledged as such in 1812. In
1824-25 he conceived the idea of knowing more
of the country and of the Quakers, traveled
through various parts of New England and
in 1827 visited the state of New York. His
increased experience and growing zeal led him
in 183 1 to visit England, where he preached
to the Friends very acceptably for two years.
For nearly twenty years he remained at home
attending to his duties and writing. In 1S52-
53 he traveled and preached in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey and New York. In 1853 he made
a second visit to England, where he was again
engaged in religious labor. He was a con-
servative in opposing innovations made
by Elias Hicks and Joseph J. Gurney.
On account of this opposition he was
denounced in 1838, his monthly meet-
ing, that of South Kingston, was dissolved
and its members were added to the Green-
wich meeting, by which in 1843 he was dis-
owned. A division in the society ensued, an
independent yearly meeting being established
by the Wilburites, as they were called, of
Rhode Island and other parts of New Eng-
land. His private writings were very ex-
tensive. In 1845, after the Gurney schism, he
published a duodecimo of three hundred and
fifty-five pages, entitled "A Narrative and
Exposition." His "Journal and Correspond-
ence," an octavo of five hundred and ninety-
six pages, published by his friends, appeared
in 1859, three years after his death. He was
a citizen who was held in highest esteem by
those who knew him and his differences with
those of his own sect were on religious matters
only. Among other denominations, he was
honored for his high character and ability, and
often preached in their sanctuaries. He mar-
ried, October 17, 1793, Lydia Collins (see
Collins VI), who was born April 29, 1778,
daughter of Amos and Thankful Collins. She
died December 19. 1852. They had children:
Thomas. Amos C., Lvdia, Phebe, Susan C,
Sarah S., Mary. John/Hannah C, Ruth. Wil-
liam H., Anna A. and Elizabeth W.

(VII) Dr. William Hale, son of John and
Lydia (Collins) Wilbur, was born in Hop-
kinton, Rhode Island. March 10. 1816, died in
Westerly, Rhode Island, October 12, 1879.

During his early years he made good use of
Mich educational advantages as were then en-
joyed in the region of his birth, and after-
wards he attended for a while the Friends'
school in Providence. He also taught to some
extent. As a mathematician he had few
equals and as a Latin scholar he was singu-
larly adept. When about twenty-seven years
of age, he commenced the study of medicine
with his brother, Dr. Thomas Wilbur, of Fall
River. Massachusetts, and while continuing
his studies there he attended the lectures in
the medical department of the University of
New York. Before completing his course he
became much interested in the hydropathic
treatment of disease, as taught and practiced,
by Priessnitz at Graefenburg, in Germany;
and after concluding his course, with a view
to making himself perfectly familiar with that
system, he went to Europe and spent nearly a
year there, taking treatment under Priessnitz,
and visiting the principal hydropathic insti-
tutions on the continent and in Great Britain.
Returning to this country, he established a
hydropathic institution at Pawtucket, Rhode
Island, where some wonderful cures of chronic
disease were performed. After two years of
practice in connection with that institution,
finding that comparatively few individuals
could take advantage of institutions of the
kind, while those taking treatment at home
lacked the necessary facilities for its success,
he gave up the institution, then practiced suc-
cessfully for nearly a year at Warwick ; and
finally, in order to be near his father's family,
went to Westerly, about 185 1, where he con-
tinued to practice ever afterward, with the
exception of two years and three months spent
as a surgeon in the army during the civil war.
In the fall of 1862, when the Union army
stood in need of every loyal arm, Dr. Wilbur
gave up a large and lucrative private practice,
and entered the army as surgeon of the First
Rhode Island Cavalry. He joined the regi-
ment December 16, the day after the Army of
the Potomac re-crossed the Rappahannock
from the battle of Fredericksburg. The regi-
ment immediately went into winter quarters,
hut from the active part taken by it in the
summer campaign as a part of the Army of
Virginia and later in the season as a part of
the Army of the Potomac, the sick and
wounded needed and received constant atten-
tion. When hospital accommodations were
so limited that many of the boys were obliged
to remain in their tents, his visits to them were
regular and prompt ; and through all that cold

i 4 88


and unusually rigorous winter, his presence
and his sympathy gave hope and courage when
most needed. With no pompous austerity,
which some army surgeons seemed to regard
as so befitting their rank, he performed his
duties with fidelity, and won the confidence of
all, as being wise and skillful in his profes-
sion. Early in the spring of 1863 the First
Rhode Island became a part of the First Bri-
gade of the Second Division Cavalry Corps,
Army of the Potomac, and on March 17 took
part in that terrific hand-to-hand fight, which
was the first instance in the war where any
considerable number of cavalry met sabre to
sabre in the open field, and which is known as
the battle of Kelly's Ford. During this en-
gagement Dr. Wilbur remained upon the field,
performing surgical operations under fire of
the enemy, and won from all the recognition
that he was not only skillful in his profession,
but intrepid as a soldier. The troops again
returned to their winter quarters. Hospitals
were improvised, and the surgeon's hands were
full. At the time he assumed the duties of
brigade surgeon, and none was oftener called
upon in consultation, and to no one were more
difficult cases submitted. He entered the army
for no holiday purpose, but gave his best ser-
vice to the duties in hand; and being decided
in his convictions, he pursued the course he
deemed to be right, with the most exact
fidelity. The winter camp was broken in April
and the regiment entered upon the spring cam-
paign of 1863. On the 4th of May it partici-
pated in the great battle of Chancellorsville,
and performed constant picket and scout duty,
when the Army of the Potomac commanded
it-^ northward movement to overtake Lee. On
the 17th of June the regiment, by a special
order, was detached from the brigade, sent on
special service, and met the enemy at Middle-
burgh. This was also a hand-to-hand cavalry
fight in which the regiment suffered fearfully
in killed, wounded and missing. Through all
this Dr. Wilbur, having resumed his duties
with the regiment, remained at his post and
rank and file affectionately regarded him as
their helper in every time of need. He was
constantly in the saddle, and although his horse
was hit by a shell yet no danger drove him
from the spot where duty called. The regi-
ment was then ordered to Alexandria to re-
cruit, but such was the pressing need of men
to pursue Lee that a detachment of it, accom-
panied by Surgeon Wilbur, was ordered to
the front. Although the regiment was not
engaged at Gettysburg, yet it was represented

in the hottest of the fire, and poured out some
of its heroic blood in that most desperate bat-
tle of the war. August 17 the different de-
tachments of the regiment came together near
Warrentown, ami again began service at the
front. The cavalry experienced severe and
trying service during the remaining days of
i8f>3. The surgeon was constantly with the
men, and was ever solicitous for their wel-
fare. 11C skill was in frequent requisition
and no personal weariness made him forget
the wants of others. In March, 1864, the most
of the men of the First Rhode Island Cavalry
re-enlisted and went home on furloughs. Dr.
Wilbur went home at this time, reaching
Providence March 26, and returning April 8.
The regiment was assigned to that part of the
Army of the Potomac which was sent to unite
with the Army of the James in laying seige
to Richmond and Pittsburg, and cutting off
Lee's communications with the South. In
June the regiment, after repeated skirmishes,
and participating in the battle at White House
Landing, and many exhausting scout duties
performed by different detachments, at length
crossed the James river. July 27, and advanced
near to Malvern Hill. The next clay it took
part in the battle of Deep Bottom, and on the
31st was ordered to City Point. In all these
marches and counter-marches, the surgeon ac-
companied his command, faithful to his pro-
fessional duties, and from his cheerful and
hopeful disposition he encouraged the weak
and inspired the strong. Although suffering
himself from a mild form of typhoid fever
during those hot summer months, and many
days being quite unable to remain in the sad-
dle, yet his strong desire to be always found
in the path of duty, and the sense of profes-
sional responsibility which always weighed
upon him, nerved him to remain constant at his
post. The confederate forces dashing down
the Shenandoah Valley and crossing the Po-
tomac, the regiment became part of that force
which was ordered back, and on the 12th of
August became a part of Sheridan's command.
Day and night the men were in their saddles
hunting confederate scouts and raiders. The
brigade train was attacked near Winchester
by Mosby's guerillas, who plundered some of
the wagons and burned others. Here the regi-
ment suffered a serious loss in the destruction
of the regimental and company books and
papers, while many of the officers, includ-
ing the surgeon, lost all their clothing save
what they were wearing. The regiment was
part of the force that was detailed to destroy



as a military necessity the corps in the Shen-
andoah Valley and was later the body-guard
to the chief of cavalry, and while serving in
this capacity both officers and men were con-
stantly in positions of danger, being called to
act as aids, couriers and bearers of dispatches.
In this exhausting work, although participat-
ing in several battles, the regiment was con-
stantly engaged until the close of the year.
In December the regiment was consolidated
into a batallion. The new organization being
entitled only to an assistant surgeon, Dr. Wil-
bur, with other officers and men, was mustered
out of the service on the 21st, leaving behind
him written in the hearts of all, the record of
a patriotic, kind and efficient medical officer,
whose skill and devotion to his responsible
duties had saved many sick and wounded.

At the close of his service in the war, Dr.
Wilbur returned to Westerly and resumed his
practice; and there after all it must be said
his life-work was done. Deeply absorbed in
his profession, and having a just estimate of
its high mission, he gave to it the full wealth
of his knowledge, his experience and his life.
He was exact in his habits of thought, meth-
odical in his investigations, studious in keep-
ing pace with the progress made in the science
of medicine, holding his opinions tenaciously
when matured and being thus critical and
thorough in his own culture, he was intolerant
of pretense and sham in others. He was too
human to be faultless, yet where sickness and
sorrow dwelt there could his ministering hand
be found. Such was his sympathy and his
tenderness of nature, that he allowed no
pecuniary considerations to swerve him from
the performance of what he deemed to be his
professional duty. Holding high rank as a
surgeon as well as a physician, he spent his
life in the community of his residence, re-
sponding to the call for help, without regard
to the source whence it came, and by his skill
restoring life and light to many a stricken
home. He made many personal sacrifices and
did much to increase the sum of human hap-
piness, and his memory will be treasured with
affection and gratitude by a host of loving
friends. He was the senior physician of
Westerly at the time of his death ; his practice
was very extensive and he was recognized
as one of the most able physicians and sur-
geons, not at his home only but throughout
Rhode Island and Connecticut. He died sud-
denly from the last of a series of attacks cov-
ering several years, and brought on by poison
with which he was inoculated in performing a

surgical operation. His funeral held at the
Baptist church was conducted by the Friends,
and the attendance was so large that many
were unable to gain admission.

Dr. William H. Wilbur was married at
Smithfield. Rhode Island, April 23, 1849. t0
Eliza S. Mann, who was born in Franklin,
Massachusetts, September 6, 1824. died in
Springfield, Massachusetts, January 2, 1906,
daughter of Thomas S. and Eliza (Scott)
Mann, of Franklin, Massachusetts. They had
three children: John, born September 20,
1S50, died September 10, 1895: Sarah M.,
whose sketch follows, and Caroline E., who
died young.

(VIII) Dr. Sarah M.. daughter of Dr.
William H and Eliza S. (Mann) Wilbur, was
bom in Westerly, July 9, 1853. She attended
private school and William Woodbridge's
academy at Westerly until she was seventeen
years of age, when she entered Rutgers
Female College in New York City and gradu-
ated from that institution with the degree of
A. B. in 1872, receiving the honorary degree
of A. M. in 1879, and that of PH. D. in 1887.
After leaving Rutgers she matriculated in the
Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, from which she received the
degree of M. D. in 1885. Soon after gradu-
ating she became an interne in the New Eng-
land Hospital for Women and Children at
Boston, Massachusetts, where she spent her
first year in the practice of her chosen pro-
fession. In 1886 she was appointed resident
physician at the State Primary School at
Monson, Massachusetts, where she had over
four hundred children under her care for two
years. From there she went to Staten Island
and was resident physician to the Nursery and
Children's Hospital for five months. Resign-
ing that position she came to Springfield,
Massachusetts, in 1889, and began practice
May 6. Her natural skill, thorough training,
and conscientious attention to her duties have
made her one of the leading women physi-
cians in Massachusetts. She is a member of
Springfield Academy of Medicine, the Hamp-
den County Medical Society, the Massa-
chusetts Medical Society and was a member
of the New England Hospital Medical Society.

(The Collins Line).

The Collins family of New England, whose
progenitor was Henry Collins, came from
England and settled in Massachusetts, in the
pioneer days, as documentary evidence clearly



( I ) Henry Collins, as recent research has
developed, resided on Tatcliff Highway in the
parish of Stepney in the eastern part of the
city of London, and worshipped at the old
parish church of St. Dunstan, in that place.
The church records show that several of his
children were baptized in this church, among
them being his son John, at the age of eight
days, January 22. 1631. Henry Collins, born
in England in 1606, died in Lynn, Massa-
chusetts, February 20, 1687, aged eighty-one
years. The passenger list of the ship "Abi-
gail" of London contains the following record
of June 30, 1635 :

Vltio .Tunij, 1635. Aboard the Abigail, Robert
Hackwell Mr. p eery from the Minister of Stepney
pish of their 'conformitie; I that they are no subsed'y


Starch maker Henry Collins 29

Vxor Ann Collins 30

Children — Henry Collins 5

Jo. Collins 3

Margery Collins 2

Servants — Joshua Griffith 25

Hugh Alley 27

Mary Roote 15

Jo. Cooke 27

Geo. Burdin 24

Henry Collins settled in Essex street, Lynn,
Massachusetts, where he remained until his
death. In 1637 a town meeting was held in
which Daniel Howe, Richard Walker and
Henry Collins were chosen a committee to
divide the lands, or as it was expressed in the
records, "To lay out ffarmes." The land was
laid out in those parts of the town best adapted
to cultivation, and the woodlands were re-
served as common property, called the "Town
Common." and was not divided until sixty-
nine years afterwards. In a list of names,
about one hundred in number, recorded in the
town records in the year 1638, which follows
the above extract, appears the following:
"Henry Collins upland and meadow 80
acres and ten." The ten acres were a
separate allotment, and undoubtedly his
village or town lot where he lived. In
1639 Henry Collins was a member of the
Salem court. The facts of Henry Collins
bringing servants, and the references to him in
the public records of Lynn, show that he was
a man of importance in the community. He
was frequently called upon to perform duties
of public trust and confidence, and sometimes
acted as an advocate in court trials. His wife,-
Ann. died at Lynn, probably in 1690, as her
will dated in 1690 was probated in that year.

The children of Henry and Ann were : Henry,
John, Margery and Joseph.

(II) John, second son of Henry and Ann
Collins, was born in London, England, Janu-
ary 14, 1 63 1 (O. S.) and was lost by ship-
wreck with his son John in 1679. In a list of

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterGenealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) → online text (page 24 of 145)