Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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"Hannah X Mudgett"
"Nov. 3, 1817."

Her son Samuel was the first male child born
in town.

Dr. French's farm comprises two hundred and
forty acres, the finest and most picturesque of Gil-
manton. He has spent thousands of dollars in
improvements, and his buildings are of the best.
His farm is in a high state of cultivation. Where
the present fine buildings stand the first white male
child was born. He is a member of the Grange,
and New England Order of Protection. He mar-
ried (first) Emogen F. Grant, of Gilmanton, Au-
gust 23, 1873, who died at forty-one years of age,
leaving one daughter, Ethel M., and (second) Lila
M., daughter of Albert and Olive Jane (Towle)
Thompson, of Chichester, September 19, 1892.

Like his ancestors, the Doctor is a Republican
in politics. He is one of the representative citizens
of the town and has served nine years on the Board
of Education, three years as chairman. Mrs. French
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

(X) Ethel M. French resides at home.

(HI) Nathaniel, fourth son and sixth child of
Samuel and Abigail (Brown) French, was born
December 8, 1678, in Salisbury. He was a resident
of Hampton in 1701, and later made his home in
Kingston. He married Sary Judgkin (probably
Judkins), and they were the parents of seven chil-
dren, most of whom settled is points north of Kings-
ton, in Rockingham and Belknap counties. They
were: Samuel, Nathaniel, Sary (died young), Jona-
than, Sary, Benjamin and Mary.

(IV) Nathaniel (2), second son and child of
Nathaniel (i) and Sary (Judgkin) French, was
born April i, 1709, in Kingston, and continued to
reside in that town. No record appears of his mar-
riage, but his wife's name is given as Abigel. Their
children were: Elizabeth, Abraham, Nathaniel,
William, Secomb, Abigel, Mary and Marthay.

(V) William, third son and fourth child of
Nathaniel (2) and Abigel French, was born May
23> 1738,. ill Kingston, and settled in Stratham, New
Hampshire. His wife's name was Olive, but no
record appears of her maiden name, or of their

(VI) Reuben, son of William and Olive French,
was born December i, 1765, in Stratham, and re-
sided in Newmarket, New Hampshire. His wife
Lydia, was born January 26, 1766, in Stratham. Their
children were : Thomas, Lucy and Polly.

(VII) Thomas, eldest child of Reuben and
Lydia French, was born July 17, 1786, in New-
market, and died December 10, 1864, in Tuftonboro,
New Hampshire, where he was an early resident.
He married Elizabeth Foss, who was born May
22, 1790, and died August, 1834.

(VIII) James, son of Thomas and Elizabeth
(Foss) French, was born July 29, 181 1, in Tufton-
borough. During his early life he was a country
merchant in the town of his birth. In 1851 he moved
to Moultonboro, and continued in business on a larger
scale until 1869, when he retired, his son James
succeeding him. He joined the Methodist Church
in 185S, and was active in religious work, and a
liberal contributor to the cause of religion. He
was an aggressive advocate of Republican princi-

ples, an earnest anti-slavery man, and allied with
temperance movements, and took the lead in keep-
ing up party organization in his town and in edu-
cating the voters. The town was strongly Demo-
cratic for many years, therefore he was never
chosen to hold any local office with the exception
of that of postmaster of Moultonborough, in which
capacity he served for many years. He married
Eveline Ann Moulton, who was born March 30,
1814, and died October 18, 1899, daughter of Simon
and Lydia (Miller) jMoulton, the former born 1783,
died 1867, and the latter born 1788, died i860. Mr.
French died November 4, 1886. Simon Moulton
was a son of Nathan Smith and Mehitable (Per-
kins) Moulton, and Lydia (Miller) Moulton was
the daughter of Edward Brown and Ann (Smith)
Miller, the former named having been an officer in
the revolutionary war. Moultonborough was named
in honor of the ancestor of Eveline Ann (Moulton)
French. James and Eveline had four children :
James E. ; Lydia E., who married Simeon Estes ;
George B.; and John Q. A., who died in child-

(IX) George Barstow, son of James and Eve-
line Ann (Moulton) French, was born at Tuf ton-
borough, New Hampshire, November 27, 1846. He
attended the common schools. New Hampshire Con-
ference Seminary and Female College, Tilton, from
which he graduated as valedictorian in 1868, and
Dartmouth College, which he entered in 1868
and from which he graduated in 1872. He assisted
materially in defraying the expenses of his law
studies by teaching for three winters and in taking
the census of three towns in the year 1870, per-
forming all the field work on foot. He served
as principal of Milford (New Hampshire) high
school from September, 1872, to June 25, 1874. He
pursued a course of study in law with Wadleigh
& Wallace, Milford, New Hampshire, from Sep-
tember, 1874, to the summer of 1875; from October,

1875, to June, 1876, he studied with Nathan
Morse, of Boston, Massachusetts, and attended
lectures at Boston University Law School. He was
admitted to the bar in Massachusetts in May, 1876,
and to the New Hampshire bar in September of
the same year. He began the practice of his pro-
fession at Nashua, New Hampshire, September i,

1876, and has been actively engaged there ever since,
a period of almost thirty years. His practice has
been general and laborious ; he argues his cases
before juries and law courts, has been connected
with many important cases, and has acted as counsel
for some of the largest corporations of Nashua
for many years.

Mr. French was president of the Nashua Trust
Company for eleven years, and at the present time
(1907) is director in the same. He was president
for one term of the New Hampshire Bar Associa-
tion; for a number of years was a member of the
Board of Education of Nashua ; was a member of
the Constitutional Convention of 1889, and was ap-
pointed on the committee to revise the statutes,
but declined to serve. He was formerly a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but is now a
member of the Congregational (Orthodox) Church.
He also holds membership in Rising Sun Lodge,
Free and Accepted Masons, and the Holeb Club,
of which he is president, which is devoted to fish-
ing and hunting, having a club house and camp in
]\Iaine. Fishing and hunting are the recreations
to which Mr. French turns when seeking rest and
recuperation from business pursuits. He is a Re-
publican in politics.

Mr. French married, at Milford, New Hamp-

CV l.n^ c



shire, December 24, 1879, Sarah French Burnham, a
graduate of Milford high school and Wheaton Semi-
nary. She is a daughter of Dexter S. and Harriet
M. (Crosby) Burnham, who died December, 1892,
and March, 1903, respectively. Dexter S. Burnham
was a druggist and hardware merchant at JMilford,
a member of the Board of Education of Milford,
for many years, president of the Milford Savings
Bank for a number of years, and a leading member
of the Orthodox Congregational Church. Harriet
M. (Crosby) Burnham was a descendant of the
Crosby family, of which Dr. Dixi Crosby and others
were distinguished representatives. The children
of George B. and Sarah F. (Burnham) French
are : Ruth Hawthorne, born at Nashua, October
17, 18S0, graduate of Nashua high school, 1898,
Smith College, 1902. Robert Allan, born at Nashua,
September 13, 1882, graduate of Nashua high school,
1901, Dartmouth College, 1905, now at Harvard Law
School. Helen Burnham, born Nashua, September
5, 1884,' graduate from Nashua high school, 1902,
attended Andover Academy from 1902 to 1903;
and Smith College from 1903 to 1904. George
Moulton, born Nashua, May 2, 1888.
(Second Family.)
Several families of this name are de-
FRENCH scended from very early settlers in
Massachusetts. The founders of this
sketch are frequently referred to as the Braintree
Frenches. Many good citizens have sprung from

(I) John French was born in England about
1612, and emigrated to New England about 1635.
He was admitted a freeman in 1639, and after living
in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a short time he re-
moved to Braintree, where he was a resident as
early as 1640. He died August 6, 1692, aged about

eighty years. He married (first) Grace ,

who died February 28, 1681, aged fifty-nine years.
Married (second), July 8, 1683, Elinor, daughter of
Rev. William Thompson, widow of William Veazey.
She died April 22, 171 1, aged eighty-five. His chil-
dren, all by his first wife, were : John, Thomas,
died young; Dependence, Temperance, William,
Elizabeth, Thomas and Samuel.

(H) Thomas, seventh child and fourth son of
John and Grace French, was born in Braintree,
March 10, 1658, and died there September 22, 1717.
His wife, Elizabeth, who died December 23, 1718,
bore him children : Elizabeth, Thomas, Moses, Jona-
than, Rachel, Samuel, Abijah, Ebenezer, Sarah and
Seth. (Mention of Moses and descendants appears
in this article.)

(HI) Thomas (2), second child and eldest son
of Thomas (i) and Elizabeth French, was born
August 5, 1698. He married (first) Rebecca

; (second), November 5, 1723, Mar}.

Owen. By his first wife he had one child, and by
the second eleven.

(IV) Elijah, second child of Thomas (2) and
Mary (Owen) French, was born November 23,
1726. Before 1790 he removed from Massachusetts
to Washington, New Hampshire, where he died
January 15, 1800, aged severity-three. He married,
July 13, 1750, Mary Clark, who died January 7,
1812. They had nine children, several of whom set-
tled in Washington, viz. : Joseph, Abraham, Isaac,
Betsey and Seba.

(V) Joseph, third child of Elijah and Mary
(Clark) French, was born in Braintree, Massachu-
setts, March 10, 1760. He removed as early as 1784
to Washington, New Hampshire, where he died
May 2, 1788, aged twenty-eight. He married Abi-

gail Farnsworth, who bore him two children:
Charles and Betsey.

(VI) Captain Charles, the elder of the two
children of Joseph and Abigail (Nabby) (Farns-
worth) French, was born in Washington, New
Hampshire, November 16, 1784. His father died
when he was less than four years old, and from that
time forward, during childhood and youth, he re-
sided with his uncle, Deacon David Farnsworth,
of Washington. In 1808 he purchased the farm
which was ever afterwards his home. He was a
man of sterling character and highly esteemed, was
a captain in the state militia, and in later times was
generally spoken of as "Captain French." He died
April IS, 1880, at the great age of ninety-five years.
Two months before his death he participated in the
public celebration of the one hundredth birthday
of his neighbor Deacon Samuel P. Bailey. He mar-
ried, November 27, 1806, Hannah Clark, of Sharon,
Vermont, who died February 22, 1873. They had
thirteen children : Joseph, deceased ; William B.,
died young; Sabrina, deceased; William B., de-
ceased ; Mary J., deceased ; Emily D., died Sep-
tember, 1907 ; Elizabeth F., deceased ; Catherine,
deceased ; David F., deceased ; Sarah F., living in
Dexter, Maine; Abigail W., deceased; Charles A.,
living at Hillsborough Bridge, New Hampshire, and
Clark, deceased.

(VII) William Bigsby, fourth child and third
son of Charles and Hannah (Clark) French, was
born in Washington, New Hampshire, May 20, 1812.
He was engaged in trade in his native town until
1864, when he removed to Boston, Massachusetts,
and later to Manchester, New Hampshire, where
he died August 16, 1884; He married (first), De-
cember 27, 1837, Aura A. Allcock, who died May
23, 1868, leaving one child, Charles H., whose sketch
follows. He married (second), September 22,, 1869,
Jennie E. Forsaith, who died in 1902.

(VIII) Charles H., only child of William B.
and Aura A. (Allcock) French, was born in Wash-

• ington. New Hampshire, September i, 1840. He was
educated in the common schools and at Tubbs Acad-
emy in his native town, and after completing his
studies there accompanied his parents to Manches-
ter, New Hampshire, where he was engaged with
his father in the flour and grain business for some
years. He then went to Boston, where for the
ensuing six years he was engaged in the same
line of business. In 1876 he removed to Nashua,
New Hampshire, and became a partner in the manu-
facture of furniture in the firm of Howard & Com-
pany. At the start they only employed three men,
and' from this small beginning built up the present
enormous business, being now (1907) the largest
furniture manufacturing concern in the east. After
admitting Mr. David Heald into the firm they re-
moved the manufacturing part of the business to
Milford, where Mr. French built a new factory,
and in addition to this opened a large store and
wholesale house in Boston. The firm then con-
sisted of J. Woodbury Howard, Charles H. French
and David Heald; they conducted business under
the firm name of Howard, French & Heald, till
1893, when Mr. Howard went out, and since 1893
the firm name has been French & Heald. Mr.
French, who was a thrifty, energetic, hard-working
man, looked after the manufacturing, which had
been built up almost by his own efforts, and in ad-
dition to this acted as the general manager of the
entire business, giving a part of his time to the store
and sales, and Mr. Heald took charge of the factory.
Mr. French was a man of quiet, home-loving pro-



divides, and was possessed of keen business acumen
and personal probity. He was affiliated with no
fraternal or social orders, but was a Universalist
in religious belief.

Mr. French married, January i, 1863,. Mary
Helen Howard, who was born in Washington, New
Hampshire, daughter of Ezra P. and Mary ( Per-
kins) Howard. She died August 30, 1869, leaving
an only child, Mary Helen, born in Manchester,
June 20, 1869, married, 1894, Dr. Claude Freleigh,
of Nashua. Mr. French married (second), No-
vember 9, 1881, Mrs. Lorenza A. Wright, of Nashua,
daughter of Joseph Starret Atherton, of Antrim,
New Hampshire. Mr. French died at his home in
Maiden, Massachusetts, October 31, 1907, aged sixty-
seven years and two months.

(HI) Moses, second son of Thomas and Eliza-
beth French, was born and lived in Braintree.

(IV) Moses (2) French was the son of IMoses
(i). He married Esther Thayer. All were of

(V) Rev. Jonathan, son of IMoses (2) and
Esther (Thayer) French, was born in Braintree in
1740. He was a man of education, and was a sur-
geon in the English army several years before his
attention was turned to the ministry, while prac-
ticing among the sick soldiers at Castle William
in Boston Harbor. While there he commenced his
study preparatory for the ministry, and finished his
course at Harvard College, and was installed pastor
of the South Parish in Andover, Massachusetts,
in 1773, which position he held till his death, July
28, 1809, nearly thirty-seven years. He had the
reputation as standing high in the esteem
of the clergy, and was a man of great
influence for helping all good causes in his
community. His wife was Abigail Richards,
daughter of Dr. Benjamin and Sarah Thayer
Richards, of Weymouth, a distinguished physi-
cian of that town. She was born in 1742, and
died August 28, 1821. Her mother and her hus-

. band's mother were sisters, Sarah and Esther Thayer. •
This relationship makes Mrs. Dearborn a descend-
ant in the seventh generation in two lines from John
Alden and Priscilla Mullen, who came over in the
Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock, December
21, 1620. This' interesting genealogy is shown as
follows : John Alden and Priscilla Mullen, his wife,
had nine children. Their daughter Esther married
John Bass. A daughter, Sarah Bass, married
Ephraim Thayer; Ephraim and Sarah (Bass)
Thayer had fourteen children all of whom lived to
grow up, marry and have families. One of the
fourteen, Esther, married Moses French, and they
had several children, one of whom was the Rev.
Jonathan French, of Andover, as before stated.
Another daughter married Dr. Richards, as above
stated, so Mrs. Dearborn is one of the bluest of
New England blue blood of the Pilgrim stock.
John and Priscilla (Mullen) Alden's granddaugh-
ter was grandmother of Rev. Jonathan French (and
his wife), of Andover, who were the grandparents
of Sperry French, Mrs. Dearborn's father.

(VI) Rev. Jonathan (2) French, D. D., of
North Hampton, was a son of Rev. Jonathan (i)
and Abigail (Richards) French. He married Re-
becca Mercy Farrar, of Lincoln, Massachusetts.

(VII) Professor Sperry French, son of Rev.
Jonathan (2) and Rebecca M. (Farrar) French, was
born in North Hampton, January 9, 1823. He was
principal of the grammar school at Exeter fifty
years, beginning when he was twenty years old,
and retiring when he was three score and ten. Mr.

French kept up with the advanced ideas and methods
of education, down to the very last year of his
teaching; he did not retire because he was super-
annuated in mental power or antiquated in his
methods of instruction; he was equal to the best of
them, but decided to retire and take life easy. He
was a strict disciplinarian, but always kept on good
terms with his pupils. He was a born teacher, and
when the boys left his school it was not his fault
if they were not capable of pursuing their studies
in the schools for higher education.

Among the earliest names in New Eng-
BUCK land this has borne an honorable part in

the development of the states of Massa-
chusetts and New Hampshire, as well as of other
states in the Union, and is still borne untarnished by
leading citizens of this state. While not so univer-
sally represented as some others, it has borne its
full share in the spread of civilization.

(I) William Buck (sometimes written Bucke),
was born in 1585, in England, and died in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, December 24, 1658. He came to New
England in the bark "Increase," in 1635, and was
then fifty years old. He was accompanied by his
son Roger, a young man of eighteen, and resided
in the west field, Cambridge, northeasterly from the
present Garden street, where was formerly a high-
way to the great swamp, now called Raymond street.
He was a manufacturer of plows.

(II) Roger, son of William Buck, must have
been born about 1617. He inherited the homestead
and occupation of his father. Soon after 1685 he
removed to Woburn, and there in 1688 acknowledged
the sale of a part of his homestead to his son-in-
law, Thomas Baverick. A condition of this sale was
that if Baverick should sell the property, Roger's
son, Ephraim Buck, should have the preference as
purchaser. Roger Buck died at Woburn, November
10, 1693, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife's
name was Susan, and their children were: Samuel,
John, Ephraim, Mary, Ruth, Elizabeth. John and
Lydia. Susan, mother of these children, died Septem-
ber 10, 1685, and this fact seems to have led to the
removal of her husband to Woburn, where some of
his children were already settled.

(III) Ephraim, third son and child of Roger and
Susan Buck, was born July 26, 1646, in Cambridge,
and resided in Woburn. He was taxed there in the
meetinghouse rate in 1672. His death occurred be-
tween November 23. 1717, and March 20, 1721, the
respective dates of signing and proving his will. He
was married January i, 1671, at Woburn. to Sarah,
daughter of John Brooks, and their children were :
Sarah, Ephraim, John (died young), John, Samuel,
Eunice, Ebenezer and Mary. His descenants are
numerous in Wilmington, Massachusetts.

(IV) Ebenezer, fifth son and seventh child of
Ephraim and Sarah (Brooks) Buck, was born May
20, 1689, in Woburn, and probably resided in Wil-
mington, Massachusetts.

(V) Ebenezer (2), son of Ebenezer (i) Buck,
is found on record as a resident of Framingham,
Massachusetts, in 1768, and of Woburn in 1769. Af-
ter 1770 he resided in Upton, Massachusetts, where
he died August 7, 1827, then said to be eighty-seven
years old. He was a soldier of the Revolution and
his descriptive list would make it appear that he was
born in 1742. His wife, Mary survived him thirteen
years, and died August 18, 1840. Before 1770 he had
three' children born, namely: Ezra, Elijah and Amos.
Ten children were born in Upton from 1772 to 1792,
namely : xA.nna, Henry, Charles Gates, Mary, Ruth,



Susanna,' Ebenezer, Moses, Mehitable and George
Washington. Of these Ezra, Elijah and Charles
Gates died young.

(VI) Amos, son of Ebenezer (2) and A'lary
Buck, was born November 16, 1769, in Westboro,
Massachusetts, and was brought up from infancy in
Upton'. He resided for a time in Bradford, Massa-
chusetts, and died at the home of his son Amos in
Hampstead, New Hampshire, July 8, 1859, aged nine-
ty years.

(VH) Amos (2), son of Amos (i) Buck, was
born March 24, 1808, in Bradford, Massachusetts,
and died at the home of his son, William E. Buck,
in Manchester,- New Hampshire, January 29, 1881.
For forty-five years he was a prominent citizen of
Hampstead, and was there commonly known as
'"Captain Buck" because of his official connection
with the state militia during his early manhood. He
was a man of marked native talent and much pub-
lic spirit, whose counsel and leadership his towns-
men often sought. He was a justice of the peace
for many years ; and being uncommonly well versed
in a knowledge of law, he did considerable business
as an attorney in writing deeds and wills, and in
settling the estates of persons deceased. As coun-
selor he generally afifected settlements by compromise
in instances among his townsmen who from time to
time threatened one another with lawsuits, in cases
of serious disagreement. Captain Buck was a stanch
Republican; as a political leader he had a strong
and loyal following, who conferred upon him their
highest political honors. He was chosen modera-
tor of fifteen town-meetings ; a member of the board
of selectmen seventeen times, chairman of said
board fifteen times ; and twice as the town's repre-
sentative to the state legislature. Though not a
churchman, Amos Buck was chiefly respected for the
nobility and sympathetic nature of his character.
He was modest, charitable, and trustworthy. Occa-
sionally he was heard to repeat Pope's aphorism,
"An honest man's the noblest work of God"; and
it mav be said that Mr. Buck's life was an exem-
plification of his belief in the truthfulness of the
quotation. Amos Buck was married in Derry, De-
cember I, 1836, to Mary Jane Ela, daughter of
Deacon William Ela (see Ela IV). Immediately
after their marriage they settled in Hampstead,
where the rem.ainder of their lives were spent. Mrs.
Buck died in Hampstead, April 22, 1879. She was an
intelligent and capable christian woman, loyal to
her husband and devoted to her children. She was
admitted to membership in the Hampstead Church
August 7, 1851. They were the parents of_ three
sons; William Ela, the eldest, receives mention in
succeeding paragraphs. George Mitchell, the sec-
ond, died in his ninth year. Amos Henry, the third,
was near the close of his twenty-second year at the
time of his death.

(VIII) William Ela Buck, at this writing, still
survives, and resides in Manchester, New Hamp-
shire, where he has made his home since April,
1869. He was born April 8, 1838, in Hampstead,
New Hampshire. In childhood he there attended the
central village school about twenty-five weeks a year,
until he was thirteen years of age. After that he
attended the same school one or two winter terms.
It had a new teacher nearly every term, but no
course of study; hence the work was disconnected,
and progress slow. However, the young man had
so improved his vacations by working in his father's
shop that at the age of seventeen he had accumulated
about six hundred dollars ; this, together with schol-
arships won and what he earned during subsequent
vacations, enabled him to pay his expenses one term

at Chester Academy, two terms at Atkinson Acad-
emy, and three years at Phillips Exeter Academy,
where at the age of twenty-one he found himself
well fitted for entrance to Harvard University. Mr.
Buck, at this time, also found himself without money
and with health somewhat impaired and conse-
quently deemed it wise to postpone entrance to Dart-
mouth College, where he had proposed to go, until
he could refill his purse and improve his health.
Accordingly in the fall (1859) he went to Bloom-
ingdale, Illinois, and there taught his first school, in
a country district, out on a wide prairie twenty-five
miles west of Chicago. He returned home the follow-

Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 77 of 149)