Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


The surname Cleaves, Cleves, Cleve, Cleeves and Clive, variously spelled, is derived from local names. Parishes of this name are found in the counties of Gloucester, Somerset and Worcester. The Cleve coat-of-arms is: A wolf's hed erased per pale dancette art sable. The family bearing this armorial has its seat in Walford, county Salop. Another ancient armorial of the family is: Argent an escarbuncle sable. The following is used by the family at Huxley, Chester, who descend from the Clives of Syche: Argent on a fesse between three wolves; heads erased sable as many mullets or. Crest: A griffin passant with wings endorsed ducally gorged or. A coat-of-arms in general use, perhaps the original of the above: Argent on a fesse between three foxes heads erased sable, as many mullets or. Crest: A fox's head erased sable.

(I) George Cleeves, the first of the name in this country, was born in England about 1576, and came from Plymouth in Devonshire in 1630 and settled first at Spurwink, or Scarborough, Maine. After two years he moved farther eastward and is said to have been the first settler at Falmouth, now the city of Portland, drawn thither, it is said, by the magnificent harbor. He served on the grand jury in 1640. He united with Richard Tucker, of Saco, both in trade and land speculation, "thereby promoting great discord among patentees." Cleeves and Tucker took a lease of fifteen hundred acres of land, including Hog Island in Casco Bay, from Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the patentee of Maine, Jan. 27, 1636. They conveyed Hog Island by lease to Alexander Rigby, May 23, 1643. George Cleeves granted to Edward Ridby a thousand acres near Casco Bay. Cleeves sold a lot at Black Point, Sept. 30, 1648, to Henry Watts; one hundred acres to Nicholas Bartlett, on Falmouth Neck, adjoining land of Cleeves and his son-in-law, Michael Britton; to Michael Mitton a tract fronting Casco river from Mitton's dwelling house to land of Richard Tucker, Falmouth Neck, on Back Cove, May 1, 1658; to Nathaniel Mitton fifty acres on Back Cove, May 20, 1658; to John Bush four hundred acres at Cape Porpoise, May 14, 1661; to Hope Allen four hundred acres at Falmouth; to Michael Britton a tract at Casco Bay, Feb. 24, 1650; to Thomas Kimball, Hog Island, in Casco Bay, May 15, 1658; grants to various neighbors to establish bounds April 12, 1664. Cleeves was admitted a freeman in 1658; was deputy to the general court in 1663.
He died in 1667, probably very old, as his wife Joan, who died in 1663, was eighty-seven. Cleeves had a daughter Elizabeth, who married Michael Mitton, and (second) ____ Harvey, and died in 1681, and probably other children.
The family probably left Maine at the time of King Philip's war.

(II) William Cleaves, ancestor of all of the old families of the name in New England, was born about 1650. It is not likely that he was the son of George, unless we have estimated his age too great or the birth of William at too late a date. But he owned property in York county, Maine, and it seems impossible that he could have been unrelated to George Cleeves, the first settler.
On June 12, 1688, William was one of the grantees of a tract six miles by four, called Cokshall, adjoining Wells and Cape Porpoise, Maine, from Harlaakanden Symonds, of Ipswich. This territory is now the town of Lyman, Maine. We find his son Robert in Arundel (Kennebunkport), where he bought land of James Smith, Nov. 11, 1732. But William Cleaves made his home in Beverly, Mass., where his descendants have lived to the present time (1908).
He married (first) Martha Corey, and (second) her sister Margaret. They were daughters of Giles Corey, who met the most cruel death of any of the innocent victims of the Rev. Cotton Mather and his fellow persecutors, during the witchcraft delusion. Corey was a man of excellent character, a watchman by occupation, born in England about 1617, according to his own deposition June 17, 1672. Corey married (first) Margaret ____, who was the mother of his children; (second) Mary ____, "who was brought out of a London ship in Virginia by the father of Caleb More, who testified to this and to her good character when she was accused in 1678" (of witchcraft). She died Aug. 27, 1684. Corey was tortured to death after being found guilty by the court at Salem. Stones were piled upon him until he was slowly crushed to death by the weight. Even Nero devised no more cruel death for his innocent victims. All the Cleaves family are descendants of this martyr.
Children of Giles and Margaret Corey: Martha, Margaret, Deliverance (b. Aug. 5, 1658).
Margaret (Corey) Cleaves married (second) May 3, 1716, Jonathan Byles.
Children of William Cleaves, b. at Beverly,
by 1st wife:
1. John, Oct. 11, 1676; died Sept. 14, 1753; married (first) June 26, 1699, Marcy Eaton, dau. of Joseph, (second) Aug. 22, 1723, Rebecca Corning; (third) Aug. 21, 1725.
2. Elinor, b. 1678.
3. Martha, b. 1680, bap. with the two older children July 24, 1681.
Children of 2d wife:
4. William, born July 23, 1686; married Rebecca Whitridge, dau. of Thomas; sons Joseph and William
5. Hannah, born March 31, 1688.
6. Robert, born July 21, 1689.
7. Ebenezer, born Oct. 13, 1691; married Jan. 15, 1713, Sarah Stone, dau. of John.
8. Benjamin, mentioned below.

(III) Lieutenant Benjamin, son of William Cleaves, was born in Beverly, Oct. 23, 1693, and died there Sept. 14, 1775. He was a prominent citizen, and lieutenant of the military company. He married June 2, 1719, at Beverly, Rebecca Conant, born March 29, 1696, died Sept. 13, 1770, daughter of John and Bethia (Mansfield) Conant. Her father was born Dec. 15, 1652, at Beverly, inherited a lot given his father in 1666 by his grandfather, Governor Roger Conant, and followed farming; was a soldier in Captain Samuel Appleton's company in King Philip's war; deacon of First Church of Beverly, Aug. 23, 1691; died Sept. 30, 1724. Lot Conant, father of John Conant, was born in 1624, at Nantasket or Cape Ann; resided early at Marblehead and was a grantee in 1657; selectman in 1662; was given the homestead and other land of his father at Beverly, leased back to his parents for the nominal rental of a kernel of corn yearly during their lives; his wife Elizabeth was daughter of Rev. William Walton, graduate of Emanuel College in 1621, receiving his A. M. in 1625 and having Seaton parish in Devonshire before coming to America, settled at Hingham, Weymouth and Marblehead, where he was minister. Roger Conant, son of Richard and Agnes, father of Lot Conant, mentioned above, was baptized at Budleigh, England, April 9, 1592, came to Plymouth about 1622, and removed soon to Nantasket; was recommended by friends in England to the Western Adventurers as a successor to Mr. thomas Gardner at the Cape Ann Colony, and took charge there in 1625. On the failure of the colony at the end of a year, he with others removed to Naumkeag, later called Salem. Conant is conceded by many to be the first governor of Massachusetts Bay, followed by Winthrop, who brought more settlers to Naumkeag, which Conant virtually founded. He was admitted freeman May 18, 1631; was town officer, deputy to the general court; his son Roger was the first child born in Salem.

Children of Lieut. Benjamin & Rebecca (Conant) Cleaves, b. at Beverly:
1. Bethia, b. July 25, 1720, bap. Nov. 25, 1721.
2. Benjamin, b. Jan. 4, 1721-22, died at Beverly, Aug. 16, 1808.
3. Joshua, b. Feb. 2, 1723-24, mentioned below.
4. Deborah, b. Jan. 10, 1725-26.
5. Rebecca, b. Feb. 29, 1728.
6. Lydia, b. Aug. 29, 1731.
7. Joseph, bap. March 24, 1733-34.
8. Andrew, born Oct. 1, 1735.

(IV) Captain Joshua, son of Lieut. Benjamin Cleaves, was a farmer in Beverly, a prominent citizen. He was a soldier in the revolution from the second parish, in Captain Caleb Dodge's company, on the Lexington alarm. He was drafted by Captain Woodbury, notwithstanding the fact that he was fifty-three years old, for three months in Colonel Henry Herrick's regiment, and asked to be excused on the ground that he already had a son and apprentice in the army and had contributed money to the support of the Continental army. He was released from service by the council Aug. 22, 1777, but later was captain in Woodbury's regiment.
He married (first) Feb. 26, 1746-47, Elizabeth Putnam, who died in 1760. He married (second) April 22, 1761, at Beverly, Huldah Perley, of Boxford, born Feb. 13, 1731, at Boxford, daughter of Thomas and Eunice Perley. Her brother Enoch, b. May 19, 1749, went to Maine with his nephew, Benjamin Cleaves, mentioned below.
Children of 1st wife (b. at Beverly):
1. Nathan, b. July 11, 1748.
2. Nathaniel, b. Sept. 20, 1750, soldier in the revolution.
3. Elizabeth, b. Oct. 30, 1752.
4. Mary, b. May 21, 1755.
5. Joshua, b. Jan, 15, 1758.
Children of 2d wife:
6. Huldah, b, Jan. 28, 1762.
7. Joshua, b. Aug. 13, 1763.
8. Benjamin, b. April 13, 1765, died Aug. 20, 1765.
9. Eunice, b. Feb. 27, 1767.
10. Ginger, b. Dec. 28, 1769.
11. Benjamin, b. 1773, mentioned below.
12. Joshua, baptized June 11, 1775.
13. William, baptized Sept. 27, 1778.

(V) Benjamin (2), son of Joshua Cleaves, was baptized in Beverly, Sept. 5, 1773, died Feb. 17, 1837. He removed from Beverly to Bridgton, Maine, with his uncle, Enoch Perley, where grants of land had been made to revolutionary soldiers.
He married Susanna Woodbury, and raised a family, some of all of whom settled near him.
1. Thomas, born June 13, 1799, mentioned below.
2. William W., b. 1801.
3. Benjamin, b. 1805.
4. Mary B., b. Nov., 1808; married Oct. 28, 1830, Enoch Deering; children: Enoch and William A. Deering.
5. Nathan, married Nancy A. McLellan; children: Angela M., Emily D., and Martha W.
6. George L., married Mary Strout; child, Annie M.
Susanna WOODBURY, wife of Benjamin (2) Cleaves, was descended from the immigrant, William Woodbury through the following line:
(2) Nicholas, eldest son of William and Elizabeth (Patch) Woodbury, was baptized at South Petherington, in 1618, came to America with his parents, and died at South Beverly, Mass., May 16, 1686. He married about 1652, Anna Paulsgrave, of Charlestown, Mass., who died June 10, 1701. Their children were: Joanna, Abigail, Nicholas, Isaac, Joseph and Andrew (twins), and Benjamin.
(3) Andrew, sixth child and fourth son of Nicholas and Anna (Paulsgrave) Woodbury, was born Nov. 9, 1665, and died before 1703. He married Emma Elliot, who married, July 3, 1703, for her second husband, Rev. Thomas Blowers, second pastor of the church at Beverly. The children of Andrew and Emma Woodbury were: Joanna, Andrew and William.
(4) Captain Andrew (2), second child and elder of the two sons of Andrew (1) and Emma (Elliot) Woodbury, was born Nov. 14, 1691, and died March 7, 1757. The house he built is still (1908) standing on Dane street, Beverly. He married Aug. 19, 1730, Joanna Dodge, who was styled "Madame." She died March 23, 1805, aged ninety-two. He and four of their children died of yellow fever within the space of six months. The children of Captain Andrew and Joanna (Dodge) Wodbury were: Mary, Rebecca, Rachel, Andrew, Joanna, Hannah, William, Anna and Joshua.
(5) William (2), seventh child and second son of Captain Andrew (2) and Joanna (Dodge) Woodbury, was born Feb. 19, 1750. He served in the revolution. He married Feb. 2, 1772, Susanna Boyles, by whom he had Andrew, Susanna, William, Larkin and Caleb.
(6) Susanna, second child and only daughter of William and Susanna (Boyles) Woodbury, was born Jan. 11, 1781, and died Feb. 14, 1855, aged seventy-four years. She married Benjamnin Cleaves, of Bridgton, Maine.

(VI) Thomas, son of Benjamin (2) Cleaves, was born in Bridgton, Maine, June 13, 1799, died there March 21, 1881, aged eighty-one years, He was a citizen whose character and attainments won the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens, and he occupied many positions of public trust. He was a man of great influence, rare sagacity, excellent judgment and of the strictest integrity. He was one of the men who, as a member of the historic legislature of 1851, placed upon the statute books the world famous "Maine Liquor Law."
He married, Dec. 27, 1827, Sophia Bradstreet, born in Bridgton, Nov. 21, 1804, died Sept. 16, 1882, aged seventy-seven years. This lovely woman's death was sudden but calm, a fitting ending of a long and noble life. They were both members of the First Congregational Church of Bridgton, and intimately identified with the progress and history of Bridgton. She was the daughter of Daniel Bradstreet, of Bridgton.
1. Robert A., born July 16, 1832.
2. Nathan, b. Jan. 9, 1835.
3. Thomas P., b. Jan. 7, 1838.
4. Henry Bradstreet.
5. Mary Cleaves Mason.
All are further mentioned herinafter.

(VII) Robert Andrews, eldest son of Thomas and Sophia (Bradstreet) Cleaves, was born in Bridgton, Maine, July 16, 1832. He was educated in the common schools of his native town and attended North Bridgton Academy. He has always resided in Bridgton, and was for many years employed in mercantile pursuits, being one of the most prominent merchants of the town, and identified with Bridgton's growth and prosperity.
He married (first) Louisa C., daughter of Royal and Harriet Senter; (second) Hattie J., daughter of A. M. Nelson, of Bridgton; (third) Abbie E., daughter of John Dennett, of Bridgton, who died Jan. 9, 1888.
Children of Robert A. and Abbie E. Cleaves:
Carrie Walker Cleaves
Royal Senter Cleaves.

(VII) Judge Nathan, second son of Thomas and Sophia (Bradstreet) Cleaves, was born in Bridgton, Jan. 9, 1835. He died at his residence in Portland, Maine, on Monday morning, Sept. 5, 1892. He fitted for college at the Portland Academy, and entered Bowdoin College in 1854, graduating in 1858. Selecting the law as his profession, he studied with Hon. Joseph Howard and Hon. Sewell C. Strout, and was admitted to the bar in Cumberland county in 1861. He opened an office in Bowdoinham, Maine, and subsequently removed to Portland and formed a partnership with the late Hon. Joseph Howard, and later formed a law partnership with his brother, Hon. Henry B. Cleaves.
In 1865 he married Caroline, the daughter of Judge Howard. Mrs. Cleaves died in 1875. They had noc children.
He was many times honored with public office, being city solicitor of Portland in 1869; representative to the legislature in 1871 and in 1875; judge of the probate court from 1876 to 1880; and surveyor of the port of Portland for four years. He was connected with many business enterprises and corporations, and a director in many of the banking and financial institutions of the state. He actively practiced law for a period of more than thirty years, and obtained prominence in the profession he loved. Memorial exercises were held by the Cumberland Bar Association before the Supreme Judicial Court.

(VII) Thomas Perley, third son of Thomas and Sophia (Bradstreet) Cleaves, was born in Bridgton, Jan. 7, 1838. He was educated in the common and high schools of Bridgton and vicinity, and at Oxford Normal Institute, South Paris, Maine. Adopting the law as his profession, he entered the office of Hon. Edward Fox and Frederick Fox, of Portland, and was admitted to the bar in 1859. He opened an office in Brownfield, Maine, and early took high rank in his profession. He has held many positions of public trust. In 1862 Mr. Cleaves was elected assistant secretary of the senate of Maine, and re-elected in 1863-84. In 1865 he was elected secretary of that body and continued in office by successive elections for five years. He was elected senator from Oxford county, serving two terms. Recognizing his ability and high standing, Hon. Lot M. Morrill, senator from Maine, selected him as chief clerk of the appropriation committee of the United States senate; and Mr. Cleaves and his family removed to Washington. Through all the successive changes in the senate of the U. S., he has continued to serve in this responsible position for nearly thirty-six years, and has been closely associated with the late Senator Allison, of Iowa, Senator Hale, of Maine, and other distinguished senators who have served on this important committee.
He married Elizabeth A., daughter of Russell Lamson, of Bridgton.
Charles Russell Cleaves.
Frederick Henry Cleaves.

(VII) Henry Bradstreet, fourth and youngest son of Thomas and Sophia (Bradstreet) Cleaves, was born in Bridton, Feb. 6, 1840. He attended the public schools, and the North Bridgton and Lewiston Falls academies. He enlisted from the town of Bridgton as a private soldier in the civil war, served in the Department of the Gulf under General Banks, was with General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, and remained in active service under General Grant until the surrender of General Lee. During his service he was promoted to first lieutenant, and at the close of the war was offered a commission in the regular army by Secretary of War Stanton. He was admitted to the bar in 1868, practiced in Bath one year, then removed to Portland, forming a law partnership with his brother, the late Judge Nathan Cleaves. He served two terms as a member of the legislature of Maine; was elected city solicitor of Portland; served as attorney-general of Maine for five successive years; and was elected governor of Maine in 1892, and re-elected by nearly forty thousand majority in 1894. At the close of his administration as governor, both branches of the legislature, irrespective of party, accorded to him the unusual distinction of passing public resolutions in recognition of his distinguished services to the state, and commending his "upright, honest and dignified administration," further declaring "He retires from the high office he has so ably and faithfully filled, with the confidence, respect and affection od the whole people."
Upon retiring from the office of governor he resumed the practice of his profession at Portland. He was at once retrained as counsel by many of the leading business interests of the state, and tried before the courts many important cases, being general counsel for the Maine Central Railroad Company, the Washington County and Somerset Railways, associate counsel of the Boston & Maine Railroad and attorney for various other business and financial interests.
The most notable case ever tried in the state, and one that excited much interest throughout the country, was the Chandler will case, in which Governor Cleaves appeared as senior counsel for the heirs The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, under a will executed by the testator, claimed the entre estate, nearly a million dollars, while it was claimed in behalf of the heirs that they were entitled to one-half of the estate by a subsequent codicil of the testator, though it was executed while he was under guardianship. The contention of Governor Cleaves was sustained by the supreme court of Maine, and the validity of the codicil upheld.
Governor Cleaves is intimately connected with many of the great business interests of the state, being a director of the Maine Central Railroad Company, Somerset Railway Company, Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, Portland National Bank, Union Safe Deposit & Trust Company, Consolidated Electric Light Company, president and director of the Portland Publishing Company, Eastern Dredging Company and Leadville Water Company, and associated with other financial and business institutions.

(VII) Mary Cleaves, youngest child of Thomas and Sophia (Bradstreet) Cleaves, was born in Bridgton, and enjoyed the superior educational advantages of that town, which has been noted for its advanced position in the cause of education. She was a successful teacher in the schools of Bridgton for several years; was a member of the First Congregational Church, and always took a deep interest and prominent part in the social and religious welfare of the community. She resided at Bridgton with her parents, until their decease, when she removed to Portland.
She married William W. Mason, President of the Portland National Bank, son of the late Jeremiah M. Mason, of Limerick. Mrs. Mason is a person of rare intellectual gifts, nobleness of character, of engaging manner and endears herself to all.

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