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 significance of this name is not far to seek. It undoubtedly belongs to that large class derived from natural objects; and was probably applied in primitive times to dwellers on a peak or mountain top. The English form of the patronymic is Peake, and among the present repesentatives of the name are Major Malcolm Peake, of the British army, Colonel Walter Ancell Peake, a landowner, and R. Arthur S. Peake, professor of Biblical Exegesis at Victoria University, Manchester.
In America Elmore Elliott Peake, of Illinois, is well known among the younger authors and magazine contributors.
Among the early settlers of this country was Benjamin Peake, who was at Stratford, Connecicut in 1669; Christopher Peake, who was at Roxbury, Mass. in 1635; and William Peaks, who was at Scituate, Mass. in 1643. He was the ancestor of the following line, which seems to be the only one in America which has always spelled the name was an s.

(I) William Peaks, first American ancestor, bore arms at Scituate, Mass. in 1643. He bought lands of "Goody Woodfield," widow of John Woodfield. His house was at Hooppole Neck, on the east side of the "stepping stones" way, where his descendants lived for many subsequent generations.
In 1650 he married Mrs. Judith Litchfield, widow of Lawrence Litchfield, who had previously been the widow of John Allen (1).
Israel, 1655; Eleazer, 1657; and William (2), whose sketch follows.

(II) William (2), son of William (1) and Judith (Allen) (Litchfield) Peaks, was born at Scituate, Mass. in 1662, and died in 1717. By his father's will he received lands in Showamet, probably in the neighborhood of Scituate. According to his will, his wife was named Jean, and besides his sons, he remembers his daughter, Thankful Daman, and also Hannah, Judith, Sarah, Penelope and Susanna, who were presumably unmarried. The records are somewhat confused in regard to his sons; but according to one statement he had three: Philip, Israel and William (3), who is mentioned below. In his will William (2) speaks of Eleazer; and it is quite probable that this might have been a fourth son, as Eleazer, son of Israel and grandson of William (2) Peaks, was not born till 1736.

(III) William (3), son of William (2) and Jean Peaks, was born about 1790, probably at Scituate, Mass. The only information we have concerning him is that he was the father of William (4).

(IV) William (4), son of William (3) Peaks, was born in 1719, probably at Scitaute, Mass.

(V) Israel, probably a son of William (4) Peaks, was born in Massachusetts in 1768, and died at Dedham, Maine, in 1865. He probably lived at various places along the coast, as some of his children were born at Gloucester, Mass.
He married ____ Coombs.
Benjamin, Samuel, Joshua, F. William (whose sketch follows), Deborah, Annie, Sally and Serena.

(VI) F. William, fourth son of Israel and ____ (Coombs) Peaks, was born at Gloucester, Mass. in 1801, died at Dedham, Maine, Dec. 2, 1844. He obtained a common school education, and afterwards went into the mill business, having charge of lumber and saw mills. He was a Democrat in politics.
In 1818 F. William Peaks married Betsy Billington, who was born in 1801, and died in 1871.
Josiah F., John B., Lucinda H., Almira S., William G., Thomas J., Joseph B.

(VII) William Greenleaf, son of William (2) and Betsy (Billington) Peaks, was born at Dedham, Maine, Jan. 14, 1829. He was engaged in the mill business most of his life, and operated sawmills both at West Oldtown and Hudson, Maine. When the war broke out he was living at West Old Town, and he enlisted from there in the First Maine Cavalry, Oct. 21, 1861, being discharged for disability Aug. 5, 1862. He was drafted March 6, 1865, and discharged May 13, 1865, on account of the close of the war.
He married, May 1, 1850, Alice Chitman, daughter of James and Mary (Turner) Porter; she was born at Milton, now Greenville, Maine, Dec. 27, 1832, died Jan. 5, 1868.
1. Amanda Ella, born in Kirkland, now Hudson, Feb. 11, 1852, married Fred Hanson.
2. William Melville, mentioned below.
3. Helen Frances, born in Kirkland, Feb. 27, 1855, married Augustus MacMahon.

(VIII) William Melville, only son of William Greenleaf and Alice C. (Porter) Peaks, was born at Hudson, formerly Kirkland, Maine, July 31, 1853. He received a common school education, and when a boy began working on the railroad. He worked with the construction gang, building the Bangor and Piscataquis Railway, 1868 to 1870, and also as fireman on contruction train during the building of the Belfast branch. When eighteen years of age he was fireman on the Pullman trains between Bangor and Portland, from 1876 to 1882 he was engaged in business, steam and gas fitting. Beginning in 1882 he was continuously in the employ of the Maine Central railroad, serving as locomotive engineer from 1885 to 1905, when he was injured by an accident at Dexter, Maine, which incapacitated him from further railroad work. Since that time he has been living on a farm at Foxcraft.
Mr. Peaks is a Republican in politics, and belongs to Oriental Lodge, No. 60, Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Bangor, and also to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.
On Dec. 31, 1876, William Melville Peaks married Julia Etta, daughter of Alfred and Julia E. Hunter, of Burnham, Maine. She was born Feb. 18, 1854, died Dec. 8, 1893.
1. Alfred R., whose sketch follows.
2. Alice Mabel, born May 26, 1884, married Soranus S. Bradford, 1907. Mr. Bradford is a hotel-keeper at East Millinocket, Maine.

(IX) Alfred Rio, only son of William Melville and Julia E. (Hunter) Peaks, was born at Bangor, Maine, July 13, 1878, and attended Foxcroft Academy and the University of Maine for one year. He read law in the office of Willis E. Parsons, of Foxcroft, and was admitted to the bar at the February term, 1900. During that year he was elected register of probate for Piscataquis county, and is now (1908) serving his second term in that office. Mr. Peaks is a Republican in politics, and belongs to the Congregational church. He is also a member of the Royal Arcanum.

(VII) Thomas Jefferson, son of F. William and Betsy (Billington) Peaks, was born at Dedham, Maine, March 30, 1834. He was educated in the common schools, and afterward went into the lumber business. When a young man he worked for seven years in the mills of the Norcross Lumber Company, at Lowell, Mass. About 1859 he went to Charleston, Maine, and began keeping a coutry store. In 1862 he enlisted from Charleston in the Twenty-second Regiment of Maine Volunteers, Company E, and was at the siege of Port Hudson and at the battle of Irish Bend. He was mustered out in August, 1863, and returned to his business at Charleston, Maine. He sold out to his son in 1906 after forty-six years of continuous service as a country merchant.
Mr. Peaks is a Republican in politics, and has served as selectman, town clerk, representative to the legislature in 1872-73, state senator in 1876-77, and as county commissioner from 1882 to 1888. When in the legislture he served on the committee on military affairs in the house and senate, and also on the committee on temperance. He was appointed postmaster at Charleston on Oct. 17, 1871, and has served in that position ever since (1908) with the exception of the interim of Cleveland's administration.
He is a member of the Olive Branch Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Charleston, is past master, and for seven years was district deputy. He is a member of Eli Parkman Post, No. 119, Grand Army of the Republic, at Corinth, Maine.
On Nov. 7, 1856, he married, at Lowell, Mass., Rebecca L., daughter of Ahijah Ring, of Deerfield, New Hampshire. She was born Dec. 29, 1833, died Aug. 30, 1888. Her father served in the war of 1812.
Henry W., whose sketch follows.

(VIII) Henry W., only child of Thomas Jefferson and Rebecca L. (Ring) Peaks, was born at Lowell, Mass. Sept. 17, 1858, and when an infant was taken by his parents to Charleston, Maine. He was educated in the schools of that town, at Kent's Hill Seminary and at the University of Maine. He graduated from the latter institution in 1879. For two years he was a commercial traveler for a dry goods house, and then came to Charleston to assist his father in the store. In 1906 he bought out his father's interest, and has since conducted the business alone.
He is a Republican in politics, and has been town clerk for fifteen years, and has also served on the county committee. He is past master of Olive Branch Lodge of Free Masons at Charleston; is a member of Corinthian Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at East Corinth, Maine; and a member of Bangor Lodge, No. 7, Ancient Order of United Workmen.
On Feb. 22, 1888, Henry W. Peaks married Mary E., daughter of Enoch D. Chapman, of Exeter, Maine.
1. Sarah R., born Dec. 2, 1889, died from an accident at the age of six years.
2. Blanche M., born Jan. 1, 1892, a member of the class of 1909, Higgins Classical Institute at Charleston.

(VII) Joseph Bradford, youngest son of F. William (6) and Betsey (Billington) Peaks, was born at Charleston, Maine, Sept. 21, 1839 and was educated in the common schools of his native town, and at the academies of Charleston and East Corinth. When a young man he went to Lowell, Mass., with his elder brother, Thomas J. Peaks, and upon the breakout of the civil war, Joseph B. Peaks enlisted in the Sixth Massachusetts regiment for three months. On receiving his discharge he re-enlisted in the First Maine Cavalry. He served till 1864, was wounded at Aldie, and taken prisoner, but escaped. At the close of the war Joseph B. Peaks returned to Maine, and read law at Dover, where he was admitted to the bar in 1870. He began the practice of law at Pittsfield and Hartland, Maine, but removed to Dover in 1872, and has made his permanent home in that place.
Mr. Peaks is a Republican in politics, and occupies a high place in the councils of his party. He was a member of Governor Connor's staff in 1877-77-78 with the rank of colonel; representative to the legislature in 1889-91; state senator in 1893; and is now (1908) chairman of the board of railroad commissioners. In 1904 Mr. Peaks was elector on presidential ticket.
He is a member of Mosaic Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and of Piscataquis Royal Arch Chapter of Dover. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, Dover, and to C. S. Drouty Post, No. 28, Grand Army of the Republic. On April 25, 1871, Joseph Bradford Peaks married Eliza, daughter of Dr. F. W. Chadbourne, who was born at Kennebunk, Maine, Dec. 22, 1846.
1. Annie Hamblen, married William S. Kenny, of Chicago.
2. A babe that died in infancy.
3. Francis C., whose sketch follows.

(VIII) Francis Chadbourne, youngest child of Joseph Bradford and Eliza (Chadbourne) Peaks, was born at Dover, Maine, Feb. 26, 1874, and obtained his preliminary education in the schools of his native town, and at Foxcroft Academy. He fitted for college at Coburn Classical Institute and was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1896, spent two years at Harvard Law School, and was admitted to the Maine bar in 1900. For the next three years he served as clerk in the office of the railroad commissioners at Augusta, resigned, and in 1903 entered the law office of his father at Dover, with whom he is associated in the practice of his profession.
Mr. Peaks is a Republican in politics, attends the Congregational church, and was a member of several college fraternties.

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