Relating To The Families Of Boston And Eastern Massachusetts.
Prepared Under The Editorial Supervision Of
William Richard Cutter, A. M.
Historian Of The New England Historic Genealogical Society
Librarian Of Woburn Public Library
Author Of "The Cutter Family," "History Of Arlington," "Bibloigraphy Of Woburn," Etc. Etc.
New York Lewis Historical Publishing Company
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
The surname Felch is of Welsh origin and in the early records is variously spelled Felt, Felch, Ffelch, Falch, McFelch, Feltch. In Wales the spellings Felcks, Foulches and Foulcks are found. We are told that this family has the same lineagve as the Hughes family, Barons of Edeironion, county Merioneth, Wales, which derives its royal lineage through the ancient princes Powys and monarchs of North and South Wales, from Roderick the Great, or Rhodri Maur.
(I) Henry Felch, immigrant ancestor, was born in Wales as early as 1585 and settled at Gloucester before it became a town. He owned six acres there in 1642, not among the early grants, indicating that he preceded the founders and proprietors of the town. He was a proprietor in 1641. The earliest record of him is the datge of his daughter's marriage, March 2, 1641-42, to Samuel Hayward at Gloucester. He had land in Watertown in 1642. He left Gloucester before 1649 and settled in Boston. Some authorities state that he went to Reading, where his son located. He sold his land and house at Gloucester to James Avery.
His will was made July 4, 1670, and proved Sept. 27, following, bequeathing to wife: to sons Henry Felch and Samuel Dunton; to each of his grandchildren. His daughter Mary and her husband John Wilborne, deeded on August 1, 1671, to her mother Elizabeth Felch, widow.
Henry Felch married twice. His wife Margaret died June 23, 1655, and his second wife Elizabeth survived him.
1. Daughter, married Samuel Hayward.
2. Henry, mentioned below.
3. Daughter, married Samuel Dunton, of Reading.
4. Mary, married John Wiborne, mariner.
(II) Henry Felch, son of Henry Felch, born in Wales about 1610, died Nov. 11, 1699, at Reading, Mass. He probably came over with the father about 1640. Both he and his father were proprietors of Gloucester in 1647, the year he removed to Reading. He became a prominent citizen of that town and was selectman in 1647-47-51-81. He was sergeant of the military company. He drew many lots in Reading.
He married Hannah ____, probably in the old country. She died Dec. 15, 1717, aged nearly one hundred years, according to the records. The inventory of his estate was dated Dec. 13, 1699, and his son John was administrator.
1. Hannah, born Feb. 26, 1650, died April 23, 1668.
2. Mary, born July 31, 1653, married William Green.
3. Elizabeth, born July 15, 1655, died Oct. 18, 1657.
4. Samuel, born June 3, 1657, died Oct. 22, 1661.
5. John, born Feb. 26, 1660; died April 9, 1746; married May 25, 1685, Elizabeth Gowing.
6. Samuel, born July 12, 1662, died Jan. 14, 1683.
7. Joseph, died May 31, 1727.
8. Elizabeth, born March 9, 1666, married Dec. 30, 1686, Thomas Cutler.
9. Daniel, born Jan. 5, 1668, mentioned below.
10. Hannah, born Sept. 8, 1672, married Samuel Parker.
11. Ruth, born June 1, 1675.
(III) Dr. Daniel Felch, son of Henry Felch, born at Reading, Mass., Jan. 5, 1668, died at Seabrook (Hampton Falls) New Hampshire, Oct. 5, 1752. He practiced many years at Seabrook, but very little in detail is known of his life. His estate was administered by his sons Joseph and Daniel Felch.
He married (first), May 6, 1702, Deborah Dean, of Charlestown, who died Jan. 7, 1715. He married (second) Sarah ____, who diedd prior to 1730. He married (third) Hepsibah ____, who died at the homestead where her son Samuel resided.
Child of 1st wife:
1. Daniel, born March 8, 1703, died Sept. 13, 1713.
Children of 2d wife:
2. Daniel, born April 3, 1718, married Feb. 14, 1749, Jane Page.
3. Deborah, born Jan. 12, 1720, married Abner Harris and removed to Ipswich, Mass.
4. Joseph, born about 1725, mentioned below.
5. Sarah, born about 1727, died Jan. 13, 1811, unmarried.
6. Samuel, married Jan. 1, 1755, Jemima Cilley, who died 1817; he died June 3, 1811.
7. Curtis, ancestor of many Seabrook families; resided at Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire.
8. Hannah, born Oct. 24, 1731, died May 14, 1746.
9. Henry, born July 20, 1735, died June 27, 1807.
(IV) Joseph Felch, son of Dr. Daniel Felch, was born in Hampton Falls or Seabrook, New Hampshire, about 1725, and died at Weare, N. H. Feb. 5, 1803. He bought the farm at Weare of Stephen Russell, in 1779, and the place is still owned by the family. He showed his sympathy for the cause by signing the association test in 1776 in support of the revolution.
He married, in 1756, Mary Hoyt, born Jan. 6, 1739, died April 4, 1804.
Children b. at Seabrook:
1. Anne, born Sept., 1757.
2. Jabez, born Feb. 14, 1759, died Aug. 24, 1830; married Feb. 14, 1785, Patience Johnson.
3. Curtis, born Jan. 23, 1761, died Jan. 28, 1849; married Salley Evans, who died Dec. 30, 1846.
4. Molly, born May 12, 1764, died Feb. 10, 1803; married Joseph Brown.
5. Joseph, born April 28, 1765, or 1766, died June, 1846; married 1788-89, Sarah Ayer, who died Sept. 25, 1797; married (second), July, 1799, Abigail Manchester, who died Sept. 18, 1859.
6. Jonathan Hoyt, born May 20, 1768, died Jan. 27, 1852; married Abigail Favor.
7. John, born July, 1773, mentioned below.
8. Benjamin, born Nov. 12, 1775, died April 10, 1848; married Polly Thompson, born Dec. 27, 1779, died Dec. 24, 1837.
(V) John Felch, son of Joseph Felch, was born at Seabrook, N. H., in July, 1773. He received a good education in the public schools, and became a school teacher at Deering and Weare for several winter terms. He worked at farming during the summer seasons from early youth. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was said by a contemporary to have "had the best intellect in the family." All of his brother located in Weare. He settled in Deering, N.H.
He was a member of the Orthodox church. In politics he was a Democrat.
He removed to Francestown to conduct the farm of his wife's parents adn to care for them in their old age. When they died the farm came to him.
He married, Dec. 22, 1796, Olive Thompson, born Aug. 7, 1778, at Dedham, Mass., died at Francestown, Nov.2 4, 1860, daughter of Samuel and Olive (Felch) Thompson. Her mother, Olive, was daughter of Stephen Felch, of Natick and Walpole, Mass., and Hannah (Fisher) Felch. Her only sister, Mary Felch, b. Dec. 27, 1779, married April 14, 1799, Benjamin Felch, of Weare, brother of John. Samuel Thompson built and occupied a log house on what is now known as the Bryant farm, quite early. The present house was built for him by Benjamin Deane. After working a year clearing his farm, Thompson brought his family to Francestown in 1785. He was born May 26, 1749, died Jan. 30, 1825.
Children of John and Olive Felch:
1. Olive, born March 7, 1798, married May 1, 1823, Samuel Gould.
2. Asenath, born Feb. 26, 1800, married Nov. 1822, Daniel Hadley.
3. Mary, born Jan. 26, 1802, died Jan. 19, 1890; married March 11, 1824, Whitcomb May.
4. Irene, born June 9, 1804, died June, 1881; married Aug. 5, 1840, Rufus Moore.
5. Charlotte, born March 26, 1806, married Nov. 17, 1825, William Baldwin.
6. John Thompson, born March 13, 1808, mentioned below.
7. Samuel, born March 24, 1810, died in Florida.
8. Luke, born July 28, 1812, died Aug. 11, 1876; married (first) Lucy Ann Burnham, widow; (second) Elizabeth Wardwell; (third) Mrs. Elizabeth Mann.
9. Hiael, born Nov. 17, 1814, died at New Orleans, 1834, in the army.
10. Chelmsford, married Elizabeth Mace.
(VI) John Thompson Felch, son of John Felch, was born in Deering, N. H., March 13, 1808. When a boy he removed with his parents to Francestown and attended the public schools of that town. During his youth he removed to Concord, Vermont, living with Ezra Wilson, from whom he learned the trade of carpenter. He worked at this trade until he was twenty years old, attending the winter terms of the school at Concord. He then returned to Francestown and bought the old Thompson farm, known as the Bryant place, inherited by his mother from his father. Later he bought the adjoining farm known as the Captain Martin place, making a total of three hundred acres. From the time of his marriage in 1833 to 1859 he did general farming and traded in cattle, sheep and stock. He also followed his trade of carpenter and built many of the dwelling houses in that town. He sold his place to Mr. Phelps, and in 1859 bought the James Quigley farm of about three hundred acres and conducted it successfully until his death, June 20, 1887. The farm is now owned and occupied by his son, Samuel Lewis Felch.
Mr. Felch was a man of fine physique and personal appearance, six feet tall. He served in the militia. He was a member of the Congregational church in Francestown. In politics he was a Democrat. Both Mr. and Mrs. Felch were prudent, industrious and worthy.
He married June 4, 1833, Sally Lewis, born in Greenfield Feb. 23, 1804, died April 6, 1889, daughter of Captain Samuel and Betsey (Martin) Lewis, of Greenfield, and granddaughter of the first settler of the town.
Children, b. at Francestown:
1. John Thompson, born March 12, 1834, died March 5, 1835.
2. Samuel Lewis, born Dec. 26, 1835, married Dec. 10, 1891, Georgianna Felch.
3. Sophronia Thompson, born March 1, 1837, married Oct. 28, 1858, Nathaniel C. Locke, of Hopkinton, N. H.
4. Elizabeth Irene, born Jan. 27, 1839, died Nov. 14, 1903; married Oct. 3, 1867, Alfred W. Savage.
5. John Parker, born July 8, 1840, died Jan. 2, 1896, married Jan. 30, 1866, Anna Maria Kendall.
6. Sarah Hannah, born Jan. 6, 1846, married Sept. 2, 1867, David W. Kennedy.
7. Mary Curtis, born March 4, 1848.
(I) Joshua Fielden was born in Todmorden, England, and married Elizabeth Haslam, of Bolton, England, who was born in Moors, England. He was a trader in the earlier part of his life and later devoted much of his time and energies to the establishment of churches of the Methodist Episcopal demonination and the extension of the doctrine of that church in general. For about seventy years he was a class leader and local preacher, and Methodism owes much to his faithful work. He died in his nintieth year.
He had nine children, Hannah, John, Alice, James, Samuel, Joshua, Thomas, William and Elizabeth. Of these sons Samuel, Joshua and Thomas came to America.
(II) Samuel Joshua Fielden, immigrant, son of Joshua and Elizabeth (Haslam) Fielde, born Todmorden, England, Dec. 28, 1799, married, in Amesbury, Mass., April 30, 1829, Betsey Scott; born Harwick, Scotland, March, 1803, daughter of Robert and Jane (Duncan) Scott, of Harwick.
Samuel Joshua & Betsey (Scott) Fielden had eight children:
1. Robert Scott, born March 21, 1830.
2. Elizabeth Haslam, born Feb. 6, 1832.
3. Helen Jane, born Jan. 31, 1834, married John Hume.
4. Andrew Howarth, born May 21, 1836.
5. Caroline Crane, born July 8m 1838, now deceased.
6. Samuel Joshua, and
7. Susan Isabella, twins, born Dec. 13, 1841, both deceased.
8. Joseph Flanders, born Oct. 23, 1843.
(III) Andrew Howarth Fielden, son and fourth child of Samuel Johnson and Betsey (Scott) Fielden, was born in that part of Salisbury which now is Amesbury, Mass., May 21, 1836. His business occupation has been that of overseer in a carriage factory. In politics he is a Republican, and in religious preference is a strong and consistgent member of the Baptist church, of which he is one of the deacons.
On June 3, 1863, Deacon Fielden married Sarah Abbie Johnson, born Amesbury, Mass. Oct. 15, 1842, daughter of Eleazer Austin and Mary A. (French) Johnson.
1. Robert Scott, born Sept. 14, 1864, educated at the Putnam school and the Steward Bradford Academy; married Fannie Killue; no children.
2. Sally Newmarch, born Nov. 21, 1865, educated in the private schools; married Porter Sargent and has two children: Margaret Fielden Sargent and Eleanor R. Sargent.
3. John Herman, born Sept. 13, 1867, died April 23, 1878.
4. Elizabeth Mary, born Oct. 24, 1872, graduated at Amesbury high school and Miss Wheelock's kindergarten training school, Boston; married John Daland, Jr., of Salem, and has three children: Elizabeth Perkins Daland, deceased; Richard Williams Daland; and Sarah Fielden Daland.
5. Gertrude French, born Aug. 29, 1874, an artist; married Henry Augustus Jones, and has one child, Robert Henry Jones.
6. Isabelle Duncan, born June 9, 1876, married Fred L. Rice, and has one child, Carl Rice.
7. Helen Haslam, born Sept. 16, 1882; graduate of Middleburg College, Hartford School of Religious Pedagogy, and Newton Theological Seminary; fitted for future work as foreign missionary; not married.
The surname French is one of the oldest and most honorable in England. It is derived from the personal name Franceis in English (Franc in France and Frank in Germany) and has been used as a surname in England since 1100. It was angelicized to Frensh, Frenscho, Frensshe, etc. as early as 1300. Various branches of the English family of French bear coats-of-arms and a book has been published on the English family in various counties with the armorials they bear.
(I) John French, immigrant ancestor, was born in England in 1612. He had land granted him at Wollaston (Braintree) for five heads Feb. 24, 1639-40. He was admitted to the church in the adjoining town of Dorchester, Jan. 27, 1642, and the births of his first two children are recorded in Dorchester. He was admitted a freeman May 29, 1639.
His first wife, Grace, whom he married in England, died, according to her gravestone, Feb. 28, 1681, aged fifty-nine years. He married second, July 8, 1683, Elinor (Thompson), daughter of Rev. William Thompson and widow of William Veazey. She was born in 1626 and died April 22, 1711.
He was prominent among the early settleres and active in town affairs. He died Aug. 6, 1692. Division of the estate was made to his eldest son John, to Dependence, Thomas, Samuel, William (son of William, deceased); to Temperance, wife of John Bowditch; to Elizabeth Wheelock, of Mendon; and the children of Mary Lamb, deceased.
1. John, born Feb. 28, 1641, bap. Feb. 12, 1642-43.
2. Thomas, b. July 10, 1643, died Oct. 28, 1656.
The following were all born in Braintree:
3. Dependence (son), March 7, 1648-49.
4. Temperance, b. March 30, 1651, married John Bowditch; died Aug. 12, 1720.
5. William, b. March 31, 1653, had son William.
6. Elizabeth, b. Sept. 29, 1656, married ____ Wheelock, of Mendon.
7. Thomas, b. March 10, 1657-58, mentioned below.
8. Samuel, b. Feb. 22, 1659-60, died Oct. 13, 1718; married Ann Marsh.
(II) Thomas French, son of John French (1), was born at Braintree, March 10, 1657-58, died Sept. 22, 1717. He married Elizabeth ____, who died Dec. 23, 1718.
Children, b. at Braintree:
1. Elizabeth, b. Dec. 16, 1696.
2. Thomas, b. Aug. 5, 1698.
3. Moses, b. Feb. 16, 1700.
4. Jonathan, b. June 20, 1702.
5. Rachel, b. March 26, 1704.
6. Samuel, b. Sept., 1706.
7. Abijah, b. May 25, 1709.
8. Ebenezer, b. Sept. 9, 1711, mentioned below.
9. Sarah, b. Feb. 16, 1714.
10. Seth, b. Oct. 25, 1716.
(III) Ebenezer French, son of Thomas French (2), was born in Braintree, Sept. 9, 1711. He married Mary Fuller, of Stoughton, and settled at Milton.
Children, b. at Braintree:
1. Ebenezer, b. Sept. 6, 1738.
2. Joshua, b. March 4, 1740.
3. Thomas (twin), b. Oct. 2, 1742, died April 18, 1820; married Salome Babcock.
4. Samuel (twin), b. Oct. 2, 1742, died Dec. 6, 1750.
5. Mary, b. Sept. 26, 1744.
6. Esther, b. Nov. 10, 1747.
7. Benjamin, b. March 23, 1750, married first Mary Dean; second, Hannah Glover.
8. Samuel, b. July 8, 1752, mentioned below.
9. Sarah, b. April 8, 1756.
(IV) Samuel French, son of Ebenezer French (3), was born July 8, 1752, died in Dec., 1822. He was a soldier in the revolution, in Captain Abel Richards' company, Colonel Benjamin Haw's regiment, and answered the Rhode Island alarm in 1777.
He married, March 9, 1779, Mary Morse. He resided in West Dedham.
1. Samuel, born 1785, mentioned below.
2. Lucy, married Samuel Williams.
3. Hannah, married Daniel Boyd.
4. Rufus, married first ____; second, ____ Smith.
(V) Samuel French, son of Samuel French (4), was born in 1785. He married, May 8, 1822 (intentions published March 24, 1822), Louisa Mills.
1. Charles, born April 18, 1823, in West Dedham, mentioned below.
2. Mary Ann, b. Nov. 24, 1824, died March 28, 1900; married Henry Gay, son of William King and Susan (Gould) Gay, and had Cornelia M. and Mary Elizabeth Gay (deceased).
3. George, b. July 28, 1828, married Elvira Whipple; children: i. George Albert, married Emma Wehterbee; ii. Herbert, married Florence Colburn and had a son Lloyd; iii. Cora A.; iv. Carrie, married Silas Stevens of East Boston.
(VI) Charles French, son of Samuel French (5), was born in West Dedham, April 18, 1823. He married first, Oct. 4, 1847, Hepzibah Whipple, died Sept., 1856, daughter of David and Mercy Whipple. He married second, Henrietta Lillian Robinson, widow of John Coakley. She married first, Ebenezer Langmaid and had children: i. Winthrop Langmaid, died young; ii. Dorcas Henrietta Langmaid, married George Eben Farrington (and had Walter Harris Farrington, Mary Etta Farrington, Charles Eben Farrington, Grace Lillian Farrington, Lester Langmaid Farrington, and Anna Louise Farrington.) She married, second, John Coakley, and third, Charles French, mentioned above.
Children of Charles and Hepzibah French:
1. Charles Willis, born Dec. 11, 1849, married first, Mary Lowell; second, ____; had by first wife, Charles, Ethel and Olivia.
2. Mary Louisa, b. Nov. 8, 1853.
Children of Charles and Henrietta L. French:
3. Henry Elmore, b. March 16, 1861, married Sarah May French and had Elsie J. and Mildred W.
4. Samuel Chauncey, mentioned below.
(VII) Samuel Chauncey French, son of Charles French (6), was born on the homestead at what is now Westwood, Mass., May 10, 1865. He was educated in the public schools of his native town and at Locke's Academy. For several years he worked for his father in the express business, and later was admitted to partnership under the firm name of Charles French & Son, and at his father's death he became sole owner of the business. This enterprise has been carried on by Mr. French for many years under the familiar name of the Westwood and Boston Express, with the main office in Boston. In addition to this, Mr. French has carried on a farm of fifty acres and engaged in the wood business. He is a dicrector of the Medfield Co-operative Bank.
He is an active and loyal member of the Unitarian church and is its treasurer. In politics he is a Republican. He married Edith Powers, born in Boston, May 15, 1867, an adopted daughter of Albert E. Powers, of Lansingburgh, New York.
Children, b. at Westwood:
1. Lillian Louise, born May 18, 1886, married John A. Burdakin, of Dedham; son Wendell French Burdakin, b. Feb. 27, 1908.
2. Edith May, b. Jan. 9, 1889.
The French family claims its origin from Rollo, Duke of Normandy, who was himself a Norseman viking, but who settled in France, and in A. D. 910 formally adopted the christian religion and was baptized, taking the name of Robert, Count of Paris, who was his godfather. He had already conquered the province of Normandy, which was now ceded to him in due form by Charles the Simple of France, kind, who also gave him in marriage his daughter, Gisela, A.D. 912.
The surname French is derived from the French word Grene - the ash-tree - or by other derivation an ashen spear. Antiquarians have brought to light about forty variations of the name, including Frene, Freyn, Freyne, de la Freyne, de la Fresnay, Frainch, Ffrenche and French. The ancient motto of the family was "malo mori quam foedari" - "death rahter than dishonor." Of the arms it is said that "of the seventeen families of French mentioned by Burke are quite a variety of armorial bearings, the dolphin and the fleur de lis being the most conspicuous."
From Harlovan, third son of Rollo, descended Sir Maximilian de French, whose son Sir Theoples French (or Freyn) went with William the Conqueror to England and fought at the Battle of Hastings. Thus was the first branch of the French family planted in England, and from that descent of Rollo is sprung the particular family here considered.
(I) Edward French, immigrant, was born in England in 1590, as also were his wife and their four children, Joseph, John, Samuel and Hannah. [trans. note: they must mean they were all born in England, not that they were all born in 1590, which it sounds like.]
They came to America and settled in Ipswich, Mass. in 1637, and removed thence to Salisbury, Mass., in 1640. Edward was selectman there, 1646-48, and died there in 1674.
(II) John French, son of Edward and Ann French, was born in England and died in Salisbury, Mass. in 1706. He married, in 1656, Mary Noyes, and had ten children.
(II) Samuel French, son of Edward and Ann French, was born in England and died in Salisbury, Mass. 1692. He married, in 1664, Abigail Brown, and had five children.
(III) Henry French, son of Samuel and Abigail (Brown) French, born Salisbury, Mass., 1673, died there in 1752. He married, in 1695, Elizabeth Collins, and had seven children.
(III) James French, son of John and Mary (Noyes) French, born Salisbury, Mass., 1679, died there in 1717. He married, in 1704, Elizabeth Carr, and had six children.
(IV) Henry French, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Collins) French, born Salisbury, Mass., 1703, died in South Hampton, New Hampshire. He married, in 1732, Rebecca French, and had seven children.
(IV) Rebecca French, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Carr) French, born Salisbury, Mass., 1706, died in South Hampton, New Hampshire. She married in 1732, Henry French, and had seven children.
(V) Henry French, son of Henry (4) and Rebecca (French) (4) French, born South Hampton, New Hampshire, 1743, died there in 1810. He married, in 1765, Miriam Jewell, and had ten children.
(VI) John French, son of Henry and Miriam (Jewell) French, born South Hampton, N. H., 1766, died in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1811. He was a merchant and had business interests in both Portsmouth, N. H. and New Orleans. He married, in 1793, Sarah Barnard, and had five children.
(VII) Mary A. French, daughter of John and Sarah (Barnard) French, born Portsmouth, N. H., 1804, died Amebury, Mass. 1800. She married in 1838, Eleazer Austin Johnson, his second wife, and had three children.
(VIII) Sarah Abbie Johnson, daughter of Eleazer Austin & Mary A. (French) Johnson, was born in Amesbury, Mass., Oct. 15, 1842. She married June 3, 1863, Andrew Howarth Fielden, and had seven children.