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.]


Whatever may have been the cause of the immigration of this family from the old country, one thing is plain, that the leader was a man of conviction who acted upon his own judgment. His general course of conduct from the time he left Salisbury till he died in Haverhill clearly shows that he was capable under God of being the architect of his own fortune. His autograph, his dealings in real estate, his official relations in Salisbury, his breaking away from his associates there, his choice of a home in Haverhill and finally his last will and testament, are so many testimonials of his intellectual ability and moral integrity. The various admirable characteristics so pre-eminent in the ancestor prevail very largely in his progeny. The general standing of the Eatons of America today is such as to reflect honor on the name.

(I) John and Anne Eaton with their six children came to our New England shores, like so many other families of their time, without leaving any known record of the date or place of their arrival, or of the vessel in which they came. His name first appears on the proprietor's books of Salisbury, Mass. in the winter of 1639-40. It is supposed that the family came from England, but no trace of its ancestry has yet been found.
There were several grants of Salisbury unto John Eaton Sr. from 1640 to 1646 inclusive. One was of a house lot in Salisbury, near the present town office; the other, supposed to be the one he lived upon, was a "planting lott containing pr estimation six acres more or less, lying upon ye great Neck." His house was near the "great Neck bridge" on "the beach road." This homestead has never passed out of the Eaton family and is now (1908) owned by seven sisters in equal and undivided shares, under the pleasing name of "Brookside Farm."
In the spring of 1646 John Eaton was chosen grand juror, and also one of the five "Prudential men" to manage the affairs of the town. In the same year he transferred his homestead to his son John and removed with the rest of his family about fifteen miles up the Merrimac to Haverhill, Mass., where he spent the last twenty-two years of his life in tilling the soil and in manufacturing staves.
One of his entries in the records of the town of Haverhill is "Anne ye wife of John Eaton died on the 5th of Februray, 1660." Another, "John Eaton sen. and Phebe Dow, wid. of Thomas Dow of Newbury, were married ye 20th of November, 1661."
John Eaton sen. died in Haverhill, Oct. 29, 1668, aged seventy-three years. Mrs. Phebe (Dow) Eaton died 1672.
Children of John and Anne Eaton:
John, Ann, Elizabeth, Ruth, Thomas and Hester.

(II) John (2), eldest child of John (1) and Anne Eaton, was born in 1619, probably in England, and died on his homestead on "the great Neck" Nov. 1, 1682. He appears to have come to Salisbury, Mass., with his father in the winter of 1639-40. He succeeded to his father's homestead on "the great Neck" and other real estate, which he occupied till his death. He was the possessor of much real estate, and in conveyance is something called "cooper" and at other times "planter."
He married about 1644, Martha Rowlandson, daughter of Thomas Rowlandson Sr., of Ipswich, Mass., and sister of the Rev. Joseph Rowlandson, who was graduated from Harvard College in 1652, the only member of his class. She died July, 1712, a woman of great age, and of great excellency of character.
Hester, John, Thomas, Martha, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, Mary, Samuel, Joseph and Ephraim.

(III) Joseph, son of John (2) and Martha (Rowlandson) Eaton, was born March 6, 1660, in Salisbury, and died there Jan. 13, 1743. His will was made Feb. 2, 1736.
He subscribed to the oath of allegiance and fidelity in 1677, and was a freeman in 1690. He married, Dec. 14, 1683, in Salisbury, Mary French, daughter of John and Mary (Noyes) French, and granddaughter of Edward French, the pioneer of Salisbury. She was born June 12, 1663, in Salisbury, and died July 12, 1726, in that town.
Joseph Eaton was published Nov. 2, 1726, as intending to marry Mary Worster, of Bradford.
John (died young), John, Samuel, Joseph, Benjamin, Moses, Mary, Nicholas, Sarah and Jacob.

(IV) John (3), second son of Joseph and Mary (French) Eaton, was born in Salisbury, Oct. 18, 1685, resided in that town throughout his life, and died there March 1, 1746. Administration on his estate was granted to his son Joseph, "cordwainer," May 18, 1747.
He married (first) about 1710, Esther Johnson, of Kingston, New Hampshire, who died Jan. 22, 1728. Wife Esther was baptized in the First Church of Salisbury Sept. 8, 1723. John Eaton and wife were admitted to the First Church, Nov. 26, 1727.
He married (second) July 2, 1728, Elizabeth Hook, who survived him, and married Dec. 28, 1752, Abner Lowell. Hoyt's old families of Salisbury and Amesbury gives the children of John (3) as:
Joseph, John, Abigail, Hannah, Mary, Moses, Esther, Elizabeth, Wyman and John; and adds "perhaps other children."

(V) Wyman, son of John (3) and Esther (Johnson) Eaton, was born in Salisbury, Mass. July, 1725, and settled in that part of Hampton, New Hampshire, now Seabrook, and within six miles of the homestead he made. There five generations of descendants have resided up to the present time (1908). In 1765 Wyman Eaton's name appears on the petition to Governor Wentworth for a Presbyterian Society in Hampton Falls, which shows that he was a freeholder and an inhabitant of the town.

(VI) John (4), son of Wyman Eaton, bought land in Buxton, Maine in 1744, from James Gray, of Salisbury, Mass., and moved to that town. He married Jemima Green and they had nine children.

(VII) Tristram, fourth child of John (4) and Jemima (Green) Eaton, was born in Buxton, Maine Dec. 16, 1781, and died there 1875. The Buxton Centennial History says that Tristram Eaton attended teacher Barnabas Sawyer's school, which was taught in 1785, in Ebenezer Ridlon's house, which house stood where the house of Captain Lewis B. Goodwin now stands.
In 1808 Tristram Eaton settled on the place he still occupied in 1872. He was present at the raising of the first mill (a sawmill) at the Bar on the Hollis side. Mr. Eaton is several times quoted by the compiler of the Centennial History of Buxton, and "though feeble in body," is said to be "sound in mind and with a remarkably clear and distinct memory." The compiler seems to have availed himself of all the assistance this ancient man could give him, which without doubt was no little, but he did not give him a single line of a biographical sketch, though he devotes page after page to other men and their families. Tristram Eaton married Betsy Woodman.

(VIII) Stephen W., son of Tristram and Betsy (Woodman) Eaton, was born in Buxton, Maine. His first work in connection with the traveling public was in employ of the Cumberland and Oxford Canal Company. He was next engaged as an engineer in making the first survey of the line of the Atlantic & St. Lawrence (now the Grand Trunk) railroad. He remained there but a short time and then returned to Maine and became railroad superintendent at Leeds and Farmington, next filling the office of second lieutenant of the Androscoggin railroad, and later he was first superintendent of the York & Cumberland. This was the last railroad office held by him. He next engaged in commercial business in Portland, and for many years was one of the prominent merchants of that city.
In politics he affiliated with the Democratic party, which was then dominant in the state of Maine, and was surveyor of the port of Portland during the administration of President Taylor, serving under Collector Jewett.
He was a Free Mason and prominent in the councils of that order. In 1854 he removed from Portland to Gorham, on account of ill health of his family, though still attending to his business in the city. He died in Gorham in 1876, aged seventy-one.
Stephen W. Eaton married Miranda B. Knox, who was born in Portland; her father was a descendant of General Knox, having been born in Buxton.
Stephen M., Samuel K., George R., Minnie, Charles P., Woodman S., Howard B. and Edward.

(VIII) Charles Coffin, seventh son of Tristram and Betsy (Woodman) Eaton, was born in Buxton, May 14, 1819, and died there March 12, 1898. He attended the district schools and Standish Academy, afterward going into business in Portland, Maine, as general agent of the International Steamship Company, and remaining there about twenty years. After retiring from active business he moved to Limington and lived there about six years, where he bought and sold timber and had an interest in the tannery business. He afterward moved to Saco, where he lived about five years, and finally settled down in Buxton on a farm, where he died.
He married, in the year 1851, Esther Jane Frost, of Limington, by whom he had three daughters:
Ella Frost, died 1852, aged 14 mos.
Harriet Rebecca, died 1870, aged 16 years.
Helen Hathaway, born 1858, is still living with her mother in Gorham, Maine.

(IX) Woodman Stephen, fifth son of Stephen W. and Miranda B. (Knox) Eaton, was born in Portland, Oct. 16, 1846, and died in Portaldn Aug. 28, 1905. [trans. note: usually succeeding generations are descended from the gen. directly above them. I don't see that here.] His early education was obtained in a private school in Portland, and later he attended the well-known Gorham Academy. He was seventeen years of age in 1863, and at that time he became an office assistant in the employ of the Berlin Mills, at Berlin, New Hampshire. He afterward spent some time in Lewiston in the freight department of the Androscoggin railroad, where he acquired his first idea of railroad work, and was next called to the south and filled a position in the office of the provost marshal, New Orleans, till the close of the war. When he returned to Maine he took a position with the Androscoggin Railroad Company and worked a year as freight checker. He left this place to take a position as freight cashier of the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth railroad, remaining from 1867 to 1875. In the latter year he was made freight agent of the Eastern railroad, and in 1882 assumed the greater responsibilities of freight agent of both the Eastern and Maine Central. He was made general freight agent of the Maine Central railroad in 1885 and held that office until 1897. During the time he was general freight agent the road had a very rapid growth, and his care and responsibility increased as the years passed. The manner in which he handled the business proved him to be a man of exceptional executive ability.
He attended the High Street Congregational Church and contributed liberally to its support. In politics he was a Republican, and gave his firm support to his party, but never held a political office. He was a Free Mason and attained the thirty-second degree in that ancient fraternity, belonging to the Ancient Landmark Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Mount Vernon Royal Arch Chapter; Portland Commandery, Knights Templar; Maine Consistory, Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret; and Kora Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was a past commander of the Portland Commandery, and great sword-bearer of the Grand Commandery of Maine. He was also a member of Ligonia Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellow, Eastern Star Encampment, Patriarchs Militant, and Bramhall League, the Cumberland, the Portland, and Country clubs.
Woodman S. Eaton married, in Gorham, Oct. 16, 1866, Judith Annette Colby, of Gorham, who was born in Waterford, Maine, 1849, daughter of Rev. Joseph and Almeda (Ballard) Colby.
1. William C., mentioned below.
2. Edward S., who died in 1895, aged twenty-four.
3. Harry Woodman.
4. Gertrude May, who died in infancy.

(X) William Colby, eldest son of Woodman S. and Judith Annette (Colby) Eaton, was born in Portland Jan. 13, 1868. After passing through the public schools of Portland, graduating from the high school in 1886, he entered Harvard College, where he took his degree of B.A. in 1891. After his return to Portland he read law in the office of Charles F. Libby, Esq., and was admitted to the bar in March, 1894. Immediately thereafter he re-established himself in what has proved to be a successful business, devoting himself to the general practice of law rather than to any special line.
He is a Republican and has taken an active part in the affairs of his party. In 1901-02 he was a member of the city council; in 1903-04 assistant county attorney; and in 1905-06 county attorney. June 9, 1908, he again received the nomination of county attorney over five other candidates.
He is a member of the Cumberland Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was four years on the staff of Governor Powers, as senior-aide-de-camp, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He is as thoroughly interested in Free Masonry as was his father, and is a member of Ancient Landmark Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter; Portland Commandery, Knights Templar; and Maine Consistory, Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, of which he is a thirty-second degree member. He is a member of the Cumberland, Portland, Athletic, Country, Elks and Lincoln clubs.
William C. Eaton married May 16, 1894, Marion Durant Dow, daughter of Colonel Fred N. and Julia D. (Hammond) Dow, of Portland. They have one child, Annette Hammond, born March 13, 1989.

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