Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The Gannett family of America were from England. Two brothers and a sister were among the early settlers. Judith Gannett, aged twenty-six, came in the ship "Frances," of Ipswich, April 30, 1634, and lived in the family of John Coggeshall, being admitted to the Boston church Sept. 7, 1634; married at Scituate, Sept. 20, 1636, Robert.....[trans note: oh rats, another line cut off the top of the pg.].......Barnstable in 1644, being dismissed from Boston July 14, 1644. Anne Shelley, sister of Robert, also lived in the Coggeshall family.
Thomas Gannett appears to have come from England about 1638. He and his brother Matthew settled first at Hingham. In 1642 Thomas became one of the first settlers and proprietors of Duxbury, but in 1651, having obtained a grant of land in Bridgewater, he became one of the first five settlers of that town, where he died in 1655.
He married Sarah Jarmill, who married (second) Sept. 6, 1655, William Saville, and (third) July 5, 1670, Thomas Faxon, both of Bridgewater. She died there in 1697.
Thomas made his will June 19, 1655, and it was proved Aug. 7, 1655, bequeathing to his wife and brother Matthew, having no children. A family of this name lived in Blandford, England, from 1580 to 1680. The surname is doubtless of French origin, though the family has been in England many centuries.
(I) Matthew Gannett, the immigrant ancestor, came with his brother Thomas, mentioned above, and located first at Hingham, Mass., removing in 1651 to Scituate, where he had purchased half a share in the Conihasset lands of Anna Vinal. He resided at Scituate the remainder of his life and died there in 1694 at the age of seventy-seven. His will is dated Aug. 23, 1694, and was proved Nov. 15 of the same year. He bequeathed to his grandsons Matthew and Joseph the lands at Bridgewater that he inherited from his brother, and he gave his homestead and land at Scituate and Hingham to his son Matthew.
He married, probably at Hingham, Hannah Andrews, who died at Scituate July 10, 1700, aged seventy-eight, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Andrews.
1. Matthew, had two sons, Matthew and Joseph.
2. Rehoboth, settled in Morristown, New Jersey; died without issue.
3. Hannah, married ____ Adams.
4. Abigail, married Jonathan Dodson.
5. Elizabeth, married ____ Leavitt.
6. Joseph, mentioned below.
(II) Joseph, son of Matthew Gannett, was born in Scituate, Mass. about 1660, and died there Aug. 14, 1693. He is buried on his farm. He married, at Marblehead, Aug. 15, 1682, Deborah Sharp, widow, daughter of Henry Coombs, of Marblehead, who died in 1660, and his wife Elizabeth who died 1709. His widow Deborah married (third) about 1702, Joseph Howes, of Scituate. She died Sept. 19, 1728.
1. Hannah, born 1684.
2. Joseph, born 1686.
3. Matthew, born 1688, married 1702, Mary Bacon.
4. Deborah, botn 1690.
5. Joseph, born 1693, mentioned below.
(III) Joseph (2), son of Joseph (1) Gannett, was born Sept. 14, 1693, at Scituate. He inherited under the will of Matthew Gannett, his grandfather, half of the lands of the immigrant Thomas in that town, and settled there with his brother Matthew, who had the other half in 1713. He died at Bridgewater April 30, 1774.
He married (first) at Braintree, Nov. 21, 1717, Hannah Hayward, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (Hobart) Hayward, of Braintree. She was born Jan. 22, 1693, and died at East Braintree Sept. 9, 1731. Mr. Gannett married (second) in 1732, Hannah Brett, who died in 1777, aged seventy-eight, daughter of Nathaniel Brett.
Children of 1st wife:
1. Joseph, born March 29, 1722, mentioned below.
2. Hannah, born 1724, married Ichabod Cary.
3. Benjamin, born 1726.
4. Benjamin, born 1728.
5. Jonathan, born 1730.
Children of 2d wife:
6. Seth, born 1734.
7. Thomas, born 1736.
(IV) Joseph (3), son of Joseph (2) Gannett, was born in East Bridgewater, March 29, 1722. He was a soldier in the revolution in Capt. Abram Washburn's company, Col. John Cushing's regiment, in 1776 (page 250, vol vi., "Mass. Soldiers and Sailors"). He is said to have held the rank of captain during the war.
He married, June 7, 1744, Elizabeth Latham, born Dec. 14, 1726, died March 1, 1818, daughter of Charles and Susanna (Woodward) Latham.
1. Caleb, born Aug. 22, 1745.
2. Elizabeth (or Betty), born 1749, married Nathan Hudson.
3. Simeon, born 1752.
4. Deborah, born 1755, married Adam Porter and removed to Cummington, Mass.
5. Joseph, born 1760.
6. Barzillai, mentioned below.
(VI) Major Barzillai, son of Capt. Joseph (3) Gannett, was born at East Bridgewater, June 17, 1765. He graduated from Harvard College in 1785, and preached in various places. He settled in Gardiner, Maine, then a part of the state of Massachusetts, and became one of the leading citizens of the county, clerk of the court of sessions, county treasurer, representative to the ligislature, state senator in 1807, member of congress 1809-11. He was one of the most useful and honored citizens of the section, and held various offices in the federal government and in the Protestant Episcopal church. He had the utmost confidence of everybody and was popular to an unusual degree for a man in public life.
Later he went west, where he died in 1835.
He married, April 30, 1797, Elizabeth Farley, born at Newcastle, Maine, July 7, 1774, died Sept. 18, 1845. She came of an honored and respected family, and was a woman of remarkably fine character, courage and integrity.
Children, b. in Gardiner:
1. Edward F., born June 5, 1798, died June 26, 1826.
2. Elizabeth L., born Feb. 21, 1800, died May 30, 1836.
3. Michael F., born March 9, 1802, died 1889.
4. Catherine, born Aug. 4, 1804, died Feb. 2, 1861.
5. Joseph Barzillai, born July 1, 1806, died April 6, 1807.
6. Joseph Farley, mentioned below.
(VI) Joseph Farley, son of Major Barzillai Gannett, was born July 31, 1810, at Augusta, died Jan. 4, 1888. He married, May 19, 1833, Mary E. Patterson, who died Nov. 25, 1873.
1. Charles E., born Jan. 18, 1836, died July 18, 1867.
2. Eben F., born May 5, 1837, died Feb. 2, 1843.
3. Mary E., born Oct. 27, 1838, died Feb. 14, 1843.
4. George F., born Feb. 8, 1840.
5. Sarah P., born Sept. 15, 1841, died Oct. 30, 1846.
6. Isabel, born Sept. 13, 1843, died Jan. 30, 1881.
7. Addie, born Feb. 24, 1845, died May 1, 1903.
8. Emma, born Dec. 8, 1846.
9. Joseph E., born Sept. 17, 1848, died Sept. 11, 1849.
10. Miland F., born March 23, 1850, died Dec. 11, 1870.
11. Anna E., born March 23, 1852.
12. William H., born Feb. 10, 1854, mentioned below.
13. Arthur H., born Aug. 6, 1857.
14. Samuel S., born Feb. 10, 1861.
(VII) William Howard, son of Joseph Farley Gannett, was born in Augusta, Feb. 10, 1854. On both his father's and mother's side his ancestry is among the oldest in New England and in each generation includes men conspicuous for their ability and enterprise, leaders in their respective communities and prominent in public affairs. His grandfather, Major Barzillai Gannett, a graduate of Harvard University in the class of 1785, moved to Gardiner, Maine, where he became a man of great influence, holding various town and county offices, was a state senator and in 1807 a member of congress. His great-grandfather, Joseph Gannett, was a captain in the revolution. Through his mother, Mary E. (Patterson) Gannett, he is descended from the Pattersons and Howards, literally two of the first families of this city, whose progenitors were distinguished characters among the very earliest settlers of Augusta, Maine. His maternal grandfather, Captain ...... [rats, top of pg cut off in scan] ..........time clipper ships engaged in foreign commerce in the palmy days of the American merchant marine. Captain James Howard, Mr. Gannett's great-great-grandfather on his mother's side, was the first settler, and so to speak founder of Augusta, and as commander of Fort Weston in the revolutionary war he entertained Aaron Burr and Benedict Arnold when the latter halted his army at Augusta on his ill-fated expedition against Quebec. Capt. Howard, the leading citizen, the successful business man, rounded out his official career by holding the office of judge. Mr. Gannett's uncle, Hon. Joseph W. Patterson, was a leading citizen and four times mayor of Augusta, and his great-uncle, Joseph Tinkham, was harbor master of New York City; and he is related to the late Dr. George Gannett, of Boston, founder of the Gannett institution for the liberal education of women, to the Rev. W. C. Gannett, to Kate Gannett Wells, the talented writer, and to Henry C. Gannett, of Washington, D. C., now chief topographer of the U. S. topographic survey. His youngest brother, Samuel S. Gannett, also holds a high position in the U. S. topographic survey.
Mr. Gannett is a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and his pedigree discloses a double claim to this distinction in that he is descended in two distinct lines from two of the Pilgrim passengers of that famous ship for whom this association is named, to wit: from Peter Brown, as well as from Mary Chilton, who, famed as the first to step foot on Plymouth Rock, became the wife of John Winslow, brother of Governor Edward Winslow.
Returning to the subject of this sketch, Mr. William Howard Gannett is a self-educated and self-made man. The straitened circumstances of his father rendered it necessary for him to leave school at eight years of age and go to work to assist in the support of the family of fourteen children of which he was the twelfth. Since that time, with his physical strength, moral character and mental talents as his only heritage, he has made his way in the world unaided. Self-reliant, cheerful, hopeful, ambitious, courageous, sympathetic, kind and charitable in the highest sense, he has attained an uncommon measure of success and won a host of admiring friends. Of keen intellect, quick perception and natural refinement, by self education he has attained the qualities of a cultivated gentleman. As a boy he clerked in the toy and novelty store. As ...... [rats, here we go again: a line or two cut off] .........Morse, he purchased the stock and carried on the same business some years. In 1887, while still engaged in the same line of business, the firm of Gannett & Morse began the publication of Comfort with very small capital, and, of course, in a very small way at first. Mr. Morse gave his attention to the store, while Mr. Gannett conducted the publishing business, which grew so rapidly under his management that in 1890 the circulation of the Comfort had reached the million mark, and the paper was being printed on one of the largest web perfecting presses. In 1891 the business had outgrown the building and plant which Mr. Gannett had bought and fitted up on Willow street on land originally owned by his great-great-grandfather, Capt. Howard, so for its accommodation he built a large brick block adjoining the first building, and later on a large fireproof addition to the latter building. Soon Comfort's circulation reach one million two hundred and fifty thousand, the largest in the world, and has been maintained at that figure ever since. The unprecedented success of this publication is not the result of luck or chance. It is due to Mr. Gannett's enterprise and keen business foresight. Comfort was designed to circulate among the plain people, and Mr. Gannett seems to have an intuititve knowledge of their wants and how to touch a responsive chord in their hearts wherein he has laid the foundation of his achievements. He has originated and boldly put in practice new ideas and new methods which others have imitated. Many have followed where he has led. For instance, he originated the idea of printing parts of his paper in colors, and determined to do so, although at that time there was no color press in the world that could print his paper in a month. So in 1892 he commissioned Hoe & Company, at a cost of $50,000 to design and built especially for him the first wel-perfecting color press ever attempted; that is, a press which takes in a great roll or web of paper and running it through rapidly revolving cylinders around which are bent the electrotyped plates, turns out the perfect papers printed in colors, folded, cut and stitched. This press can print thirty-two thousand sixteen-page papers an hour, or half that number of thirty-two-page papers. His million and a quarter subscribers are scattered through all the states and territories in the union, and he maintains branch offices in New York, Chicago and London, England. Although the building up of the Comfort has been his life work, his pride and his ambition, he has also found time for the successful pursuit of other avocations and civic and social duties.
Mr. Gannett is a life-long Republican, and for two successive terms (1903-05) has represented the city of Augusta in the legislature of Maine. He is a member of the Universalist church, and chairman of its executive committee. He is a member of Bethlehem Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; of Chusnoc Chapter Royal Arch Masons; of Alpha Council, Royal and Select Masters; of Trinity Commandery, Knights Templar, and of Kora Temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine; also of Asylum Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of Canton Augusta, Patriarchs Militant, and of the Abnaki Club, of Augusta. He is a director of the Augusta Trust Company, a trustee of the Kennebec Savings Bank, and president of the Augusta City Hall Association.
Ganeston Park, his beautiful suburban home, is one of the finest in Augusta. The grounds embrace one hundred and sixty acres of land partly wooded, but mostly under a high state of cultivation, the natural beauty of which has een much enhanced by artistic landscape gardening. It was once the property of William Howard, son of Capt. James Howard. The elegant and artitstic modern house built by Mr. Gannett on the crest of Betsy Howard hill overlooks the city and commands a superb view in all directions. The interior is beautifully and tastefully furnished and is decorated by many pictures and rare curios collected by Mr. Gannett as souvenirs of his extensive travels. He has a find stable and greenhouse in which he raises orchids and other rare exotics. Howard Hall, a spacious barn constructed on the premises for nearly a hundred years, he has transformed into a museum of colonial relics and family heirlooms. In it he has finished a large dance hall, with a stage for private theatricals, and here and at his house, assisted by his wife and oldest daughter, it is his delight to entertain his many friends. Governors, state and federal officials and members of the legislatures so frequently entertained at Ganeston Park, are always charmed with the delightful hospitality of Mr. Gannett and his family.
He married, Oct. 20, 1878, Sarah Neil Hill, daughter of James Hill, of Skowhegan, Maine, born July 19, 1858. Her great-grandfather, General James Hill, of Newmarket, New Hampshire, was one of the leading men in the N. H. colony, having built the first warship at Portsmouth for the revolutionary patriots, and served as representative to the state legislature for six terms.
Children, b. at Augusta:
1. Grace B., born June 13, 1880.
2. Guy Patterson, born Nov. 27, 1881, mentioned below.
3. Florence L., born June 23, 1890.
(VIII) Guy Patterson, son of William Howard Gannett, was born in Augusta, Nov. 27, 1881. He was educated in the public and high schools of Augusta, Phillips Academy at Andover, where he completed his preparation for college, and at Yale College. In 1902, after his freshman year, he left college to become associated with his father in the publishing business. In politics he is a Republican. He has been a member of the common council of Augusta from war two. He is a trustee of the Augusta Trust Company; director of the Kennebec Light and Heat Company; director of the Opera House Company; president of the Maine Power Company, of Norway, Maine; director of the Austin Traction Company, Austin, Texas.
He married, June 6, 1905, Anne J. Macomber, daughter of Hon. George E. Macomber, of Augusta, Maine.