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 Pennell family of Maine and the west may justly be proud of its ancestry and of the grand achievements of the many descendants of Clement and Thomas Pennell. These brothers came from the Isle of Jersey, after 1700, and settled in Gloucester, Mass. The name is spelled Peniel in the old records. A letter from Trinity Parish, Isle of Jersey, says "the family name is spelled Pineel in many places, and sometimes Pinel. This was one of the oldest and highest families in Trinity Parish. For above three centuries they held the highest offices, and intermarried with the noblest families in the Isle of Jersey. They settled here in the fourteenth century. Old documents state that they came from England during the war of the Roses. Their name was then spelled Pennell. During the first part of the eighteenth century many families left Trinity Parish for America. Others left still earlier. Among these were members of the Pennell family. The last one bearing the name of Pennell on the Isle of Jersey was buried about 1879. The only representative of the family now living here is Elizabeth L. McGurier, a granddaughter of the last of the Pennell name, a very wealthy lady."
These records are given from careful old writings, to show that the story of three Pennell brothers (Thomas, Clement and John) being sent to America by their uncle, under the benevolent pretense of giving them an education, but really in order to obtain possession of their property, is without truthful foundation. There were but two brothers - Clement and Thomas - and America was not in 1700 an ideal region for the education of youth. Again, a family of high character of the Pennells in the Isle of Jerey had no "wicked uncles." Instead of landing at Scituate, Mass., without money, as the fictitious narratie asserts, Thomas and Clement Pennell settled at Gloucester, and were able to buy lands, and they settled among relatives and neighbors from the Isle of Jersey.

(I) Philip Pennell, of the Isle of Jersey, was twice married. His first wife, Ann L. (Mortes) Pennell, born him two sons - Thomas and Clement; his second wife, Marie L. Hardy, was mother of two daughters - Marie and Rachel - born respectively in 1705 and 1712.

(II) Thomas (1), son of Philip Pennell, with his brother Clement, came to America and settled at Gloucester, Mass. In 1810 he had a common right in Gloucester, derived from his grandfather, Robert Elwell. Three years later he sold land there. He died in Gloucester, March 31, 1723, aged thirty-four, from which it is evident that he was born in 1688 or the year following.
He married, Jan. 30, 1718, Sarah Durin.
Sarah, Thomas, Rachel, Clement.

(III) Thomas (2), second child and eldest son of Thomas (1) Pennell, was born in Gloucester, Feb. 25, 1720, and was baptized in the First Church there, Oct. 22, 1721. He was an infant at the time his father died, and when about six years old Capt. Thomas Stevens was appointed his guardian. He was a shipwright by trade, and of sturdy character. The records of Alfred, Maine, show that he received from Jeremiah and Rachel Riggs, Jan. 13, 1736, a deed to land, probably in Falmouth, where both then resided. In 1739 he received a deed to land from Thomas and Mary Westbrook, and March 30 of that year he sold land purchased of Jeremiah Riggs to Charles Frost. Aug. 11, 1757, he and his son Thomas were members of Capt. Skilling's company at Stroudwater, in the French and Indian war. In 1764 he purchased land at Brunswick, and soon after removed to that town, where he was a leading citizen, and where he is said to have died about 1770, at the home of his son John. His sons were also characterized as leading citizens.
June 14, 1735, at Falmouth, was published intention of his marriage to Rachel Riggs, born March 10, 1717, in Gloucester, great-granddaughter of Thomas Riggs. Thomas RIGGS came to Gloucester in 1658 and died there in 1722. He was town clerk fifty-one years, schoolmaster, and representative to the general court. His wife Mary was a daughter of Thomas Millett. Their son, John Riggs, married Ruth Wheeler, and they were parents of Jeremiah Riggs, born in Gloucester, Oct. 5, 1694, married Dec. 31, 1716, Ruth Haskell, born March 13, 1697, and they were parents of Rachel and Ruth Riggs, who became wives of the Pennell brothers. Children of Thomas (2) Riggs: John, Thomas, William, Lucy, Rachel, Matthew, Stephen, Affie and Hannah.

(IV) Thomas (3), second son of Thomas (2) Pennell, was born Feb. 21, 1739, probably at Falmouth, died Nov. 25, 1812. He early established a large shipyard at Middle Bays, near Brunswick, Maine, and taught all his five sons the shipbuilding art. This location became one of the most famous shipbuilding sites on the Maine coast, and here Thomas Pennell completed in ninety days, reading for launching, a privateer which was employed by the colonists during the revolutionary war. While Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe resided at Brunswick, she often visited the Pennells, and one of the most interesting chapters in her "Pearl of Orr's Island" describes the launching of a vessel at this yard. When the poet Longfellow was a student at Bowdoin College he witnessed many a launching scene at Middle Bays, hence his famous poem, "The Building of the Ship." One of these vessels was "The Union."
Thomas (3) Pennell married Alice Anderson, born Jan. 27, 1748, at Freeport, died Christmas Day 1839, aged nintey-two years, daughter of Jacob and Agnes (Phinney) Anderson, of Freeport.
Agnes, Rachel, Thomas, Mary, Jacob, William, John, Alice, Robert and Peggy.

(V) Robert (2), youngest son of Thomas (3) Pennell, was born Oct. 16, 1789, died April 22, 1861. Like his father and brothers, he was a shipbuilder. He married Jan. 25, 1810, Jane Simpson, born April 8, 1789, died Jan. 30, 1851, daughter of Lewis and Martha (Skolfield) Simpson.
Robert, Thomas, Martha, Louis S., Capt. Isaac Alexander, Mary A., Agnes, John, Albert, Elizabeth and Rebecca.

(VI) Robert (2), eldest child of Robert (1) Pennell, was born Nov. 20, 1811, died Sept., 1877. He was educated in the local schools. He was a prominent citizen of Brunswick, Maine, and a leading shipbuilder during his entire career. He built many vessels of note, among them a number of exceedingly fast clipper merchant vessels for Major Thomas Harward, of Bath, among them the "Thallatta," "Union," and the "Lizzie Harward," all at Bath. Later he built at North Brunswick, Maine, a large number of vessels for himself and others, among them the "Martha Bawker," "Majestic," "Ellen Hood," "Caroline Lamont," "Galveston," and the "Nettie Marryman." All these were world-famous in their day, and were known in every port reached by American commerce. In 1865 Mr. Pennell purchased the old Pennell homestead at Brunswick, and in 1868 he took up his abode there, and there lived during the remainder of his life.
He attended the Congreagtional church. He married, in 1853, in Bath, Maine, Sarah Hathorne Maxwell, born in Bowdoinham, Maine, May 20, 1819, died Feb. 2, 1903, daughter of Robert and Abigail (Hathorne) Maxwell. She was a woman much loved by all who knew her.
William Maxwell, of whom futher; Elizabeth Harward, unmarried; Thomas, died in childhood.

(VII) William Maxwell, elder and only surviving son of Robert (2) Pennell, was born in Brunswick, Maine, Oct. 13, 1857. He has been a lifelong resident of his native town. He was educated in the public schools there, and at Kent's Hill Academy. He early engaged in agriculture, and cultivated about two hundred acres of land, paying particular attention to stock raising and dairy products. He subsequently engaged in the insurance business, to which he added real estate dealing, and followed this occupation several years. For several years he was postmaster at Brunswick. In 1902 he was elected sheriff of Cumberland county, and was re-elected in 1904 and again in 1906. He is active and energetic, and these successive elections indicate clearly the confidence of the community in his ability and integrity. He is a very active worker in the interests of the Democratic party, believing that its principles and policies best conserve the public interests.
He married, June 7, 1882, Leida Merry, born June 25, 1858, in Damariscotta, Maine, daughter of Abner Stetson, of that place.
Christine Lenox, Sarah Hathorne and Robert Maxwell.

(II) Clement (1) Pennell was of Falmouth in 1741. In 1750 he bought of his brother Thomas an acre of land at Capisic. Both served in Capt. Samuel Skillings' company at Falmouth from Aug. 11, 1757, at the outbreak of the French and Indian war. Both were ship carpenters and builders. May 2, 1766, Clement Pennell purchased a quarter of an acre of land of Colonel Waldo, and on Nov. 10, 1769, a half-quarter. In 1766 he purchase ten acres of land between Capisic and Nason's Corner, and later five acres more. Upon this lot he erected a house, in which he died.
Clement Pennell and Ruth Riggs were published June 10, 1741, according to old Falmouth records, but some authorities give Jan. 10, 1742 as their marriage date. After the death of Clement Pennell his widow kept an inn, receiving a license in 1766, and which was continued until her death. She was sole executrix of the last will and testament of her husband, according to a record in the Cumberland county registry of deeds. With her husband she was a member of the Congregational church and the parish records show that he had charge of the meeting house for several years.
Abigial, Molly, Joseph, Clement, Thomas and Eunice.

(III) Thomas (1), son of Clement and Ruth (Riggs) Pennell, born 1767, died Westbrook March 2, 1848, aged eighty-one years. He resided near Nason's Corner, in the district of Deering. He married (first) Feb. 1, 1791, Eunice Knight, born in Buxton, Maine, died Nov. 15, 1808, aged forty-three years. He married (second) April 28, 1809, Sally Jones, of Standish. She was a Methodist, and not finding a meeting congenial to her religious views near her new home, she prevailed upon her husband to dispose of his property, which he did in 1809, the year of their marriage, for thirteen hundred dollars, and they removed to Methodist Corner, Buxton, where their descendants still reside upon the ancestral tract. Sarah (Sally) (Jones) Pennell, died Nov. 30, 1862, aged eighty-one years, and was buried in the graveyard at Saccarappa Village.
Children of 1st wife:
Nancy, Henry, Almira.
Children of 2d wife:
Thomas, Jones, Charles, George, Sophia J., John P. and Ephraim.

(IV) John P, sixth child and fifth son of Thomas and Sally (Jones) Pennell, born Buxton, March 14, 1819, died Feb. 18, 1897, aged seventy-eight years. He was a cooper and manufacturer of barrel heads, and for many years before his death resided at No. 37 Spring street, Saccarappa Village. For a half century he was a pillar in the Methodist Episcopal church, and superintendent of its Sunday school.
He married Mary Augusta Norton, born in North Madison, CT., April 7, 1828, daughter of Jonathan Ellsworth and Eliza (Stone) Norton, and a descendant of Theophilus Eaton, first governor of New Haven colony.
1. George E., born 1853, is an attorney in Atlantic, Iowa; married July 2, 1878, Mary Addie Kidder, b. in Bridgewater, Maine, Aug. 26, 1855; children: i. Iva H., b. in Atlantic, Iowa, July 28, 1879, died Feb. 12, 1903; ii. Henry Hodgdon, b. June 30, 1881, resides in Texas; iii. Zina May, b. June 22, 1884, m. Sept. 27, 1906, Robert H. Ely; iv. Deo Dell, b. July 9, 1886, m. Nov. 9, 1906, Charles W. Gregory.
2. Henry B., see forward.
3. Lillian Gertrude, single; is a teacher and resides on the homestead with her mother.

(V) Henry B., second son of John P. and Mary A. (Norton) Pennell, was born in Westbrook April 18, 1858. He attended the public schools until he was fourteen years of age, and then entered the employ of Locke, Twitchell & Company, dealers in dry goods, with whom he remained for five years. At the age of nineteen he became bookkeeper for the firm of W. F. Phillips & Company, wholesale druggists, and served with such acceptability that at the end of five years he was received as a member of the firm. In 1884 Charles Cook, Edward S. Everett and Henry B. Pennell formed the firm of Cook, Everett & Pennell, wholesale dealers in drugs and medicines, paints, oils and varnishes. Mr. Pennell is a prominent and successful business man, and is a director of the Chapman National Bank.
In politics he is a Republican of the stalwart type. He worships with the Congregationalists.
He married Jan. 19, 1883, Grace Woods Fribley, born Marion, Ohio, Sept. 18, 1861, daughter of Jacob and Harriet (Conklin) Fribley.
Henry Beaumont, born March 1, 1887, now a student in Williams College.

(III) Clement (2), second son of Clement (1) and Ruth (Riggs) Pennell, settled in Gray, Maine, where he cleared a forest and reared a family.

(IV) Clement (3), son of Clement (2) Pennell, was born May 16, 1791, in Gray, and died Sept. 22, 1862, in Portland, where he spent most of his life. He married, Nov. 15, 1815, Fannie Poland, born March 13, 1796, died Dec. 27, 1876, near the close of her eighty-first birthday.
Children, all but 1st b. in Portland:
Albert, Benjamin P., Charles S., Clement, Richard C., George W., Frances E., Charles J., William H., Edward F. (died young), Edward G., Woodbury S.

(V) Richard Cobb, fifth son of Clement (3) and Fannie (Poland) Pennell, was born Nov. 15, 1823, in Portland, Maine, an settled early in life in Lewiston, same state, where he died Aug. 15, 1898, in his seventy-fifth year.
He married May 20, 1846, Cornelia Barnes, born Dec. 26, 1822, who died July 4, 1902. She was a daughter of Cornelius and Lydia (Hersey) Barnes.
1. William D., born May 21, 1847.
2. Cornelia B., born Nov. 1, 1848, married George A. Chandler, of Lewiston.
3. Adelaide C., born May 7, 1854, married Woodbury Pulsifer.

(VI) William Dwight, only son of Richard C. and Cornelia (Barnes) Pennell, was born May 21, 1847, in Portland, Maine, adn was sixteen years of age on the day following his arrival in Lewiston with his parents, where he has sicne resided an active citizen, having at heart the best interests of the city and its people. Shortly after his arrival there he found a position as a bobbin boy in the Porter (later Continental) mill under Mr. Rhodes A. Budlong, who observing the careful indsutry of the boy became interested in him and caused him to be advanced through various departments to higher positions, which he fillled most satisfactorily. He finally left the Porter mill to take a position as draughtsman in the office of the Franklin Company with the Hon. A. D. Lockwood, where he was employed three years, until 1869, when he was appointed paymaster at the Lincoln mill. In Nov., 1872, he was made superintendent of the latter mill, in which capacity he gave such satisfaction that the members of the firm selected him, in Nov., 1879, as agent for the company. He remained in this office until Sept., 1886, when he accepted the office of manager for the Franklin Company. Later he became, in addition, manager of the Union Water Power Company. As manager for the Franklin Company Mr. Pennell pursued a progessive policy, advanced the company's interests in Lewiston and Auburn, so that many improvements were made and new building sites opened to the public, and heightened its general popularity and prosperity to a great extent. These positons he resigned in Feb., 1890, to become agent for the Hill Manufacturing Company upon the resignation of Josiah G. Coburn, who retired after thirty-six years of careful mangement. Mr. Pennell was well equipped in technical skill, business training and intellectual strength for this responsibility, and attained a high position in manufacturing circles and in the public regard.
In politics he is an active supporter of the Republican party, has been a frequent delegate to conventions, chairman of city, county and district committees, and in general a valuable worker among advanced party lines. His official services may be enumerated as follows:
City auditor, 1870-71; member of common council, 1874; president of the board of aldermen 1875-76-77; elected water commissioner 1880, for six years, re-elected for an addional term of six years, 1886; twice chairman of the board of water commissioners. On Jan. 15, 1878, he introduced the measure providing for the construction of the Lewiston water works. In 1881 he was elected to fill the vacancy in the state legislature caused by the death of I. N. Parker, and in 1883-84-85 he was a member of the state sentate. In 1883 he introduced and carried through an act prohibiting the sale of the deadly toy pistol that occasioned so many deaths among boys, and his interest in this matter was warmly approved by all the newspapers. The senate of 1885 was one of more than usual ability, with many members experienced in legislation, keen debaters, sound thinkers and earnest men, and it was complimentary indeed to Mr. Pennell that although the youngest member of the senate, with one exception, he was chosen its president, receiving every vote in that body, and through his efficient service became universally esteemed and honored by that body from even the opposition press. he was also a member of the executive committee of the legislative reunion held at Augusta, Maine.
Mr. Pennell was active in other fields of usefulness also, having been trustee of the Manufacturers and Mechanics Library Association; an officer of the State Agricultural Society; trustee of the Androscoggin County Agricultureal Society; and the conspicuous success of the centennial celebration of Lewison and Auburn in 1876. Mr. Pennell is president of Central Maine General Hospital which is located at Lewiston, and is also president of the Lewiston Public Library.
For many years he has been an earnest member of the Pine Street Congregational Church, chairman of its prudential committee, and a participant in the various church and parish activities. He has also been eager in advancing the work of the Young Men's Christian Associatoin. Since he joined the order in 1874 Mr. Pennell has been prominent in Masonic circles, and has taken all the degrees thorough the thirty-second.
He married, June 22, 1869, Jennie A., daughter of Wingate and Eliza W. (Foss) Linscott. Mr. Linscott, a native of Chesterville, became a resident of Boston, where Mrs. Pennell was born.
Dwight R.
Fannie C., married Laurance H. Parkhurst, of Boston, who is with the firm of H. W. Poor & Company, bankers, children: Marjorie and Dorothy P. Parkhurst.
Maude Robie, married Millard F. Chase, who is manager of Dood-Mead & Company's publishing establishment; child, William Pennell Chase.

(III) Jeremiah, eldest child of Clement (1) and Ruth (Riggs) Pennell, was born about 1750, probably in Stroudwater, and settled in Gray, Maine, where he was a farmer. He married Charlotte Cummings.

(IV) Jeremiah (2), only child of Jeremiah (1) and Charlotte (Cummings) Pennell, was born March 12, 1820, in Gray, and passed most of her life in that town, where he died Oct. 29, 1882. He was but a boy at the time of his father's death and was compelled to take up active life at a very early age. His limited education was such as the public schools of his native town afforded, and he settled in that town as a farmer.
He married (first) Fannie Doughty, who died within a short time, leaving no issue. Married (second) Clara Webster, who was the mother of a daughter Alice who became the wife of George Fuller, of Tremont, Maine, and is now deceased. He married (third) Elizabeth Doughty, born in Gray.
Children of 3d wife:
1. Fannie D. McConkey, who resides in Gray.
2. Clara W. Dow, resides in Gray.
3. Walter J., mentioned below.
4. George H., resides in Portland.
5. Dr. Edgar L., resides in Kingfield, Maine.
6. Cora B. True, lives in Buffalo, New York.
7. Stephen R., a resident of Rumbord Falls, Maine.
8. Hattie W. Ross, resides in East North Yarmouth, Maine.
9. Percy H., resides in Worcester, Mass.
The mother of Elizabeth (Doughty) Pennell was Esther Pennell, the daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Pennell.

(V) Walter J., eldest son of Jeremiah (2) and Elizabeth (Doughty) Pennell, was born Oct. 2, 1863, in Gray, Maine, and began his studies in the public schools of that town. He was afterward a student at the Greeley Institute at Cumberland and Nichols Latin School of Lewiston, and entered Bates College. Before he had completed the course in the latter institution the death of his father interrupted his progress, and he was obliged to devote some time to teaching school in order to continue his studies. During vacations he was employed in hotels, and in this way obtained the necessary funds to continue his own education. After one year in Bowdoin College he entered the medical department of the University of Vermont at Burlington, where he graduated with the class of 1891. He subsequently pursued a postgraduate course in New York, giving special attention to the eye, ear, nose and throat, and settled in the practice of his profession at Auburn, Maine, making a specialty of the organs just named. In 1905 he went abroad and pursued his investigations in the treatment of the eye in the Royal Infirmary in Scotland and the Morefield Hospital in London, also observing in France, Germany and Switzerland. Returning to his home, he resumed his work of oculist and aurist of the Central Maine General Hospital, and also oculist at Bates College.
Dr. Pennell is not only active in his profession, but is also prominently identified with the social life of his home city, and participates in the work of numerous fraternal organizations as well as medical societies. He is a member of the A.M.A., of the Maine, the Androscoggin and the O.A. Horr Medical societies, and the Medical Research Club. He has attained the thirty-second degree in Free Masonry, through the Scottish Rite, and is a member of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is a member of the Grand Lodge in the Knights of Pythias, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is also identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Improved Order of Red Men, and the Golden Cross.
Dr. Pennell is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Congregational church.
He married, Nov. 30, 1891, Lelia, daughter of Cyrus and Sarah (Rich) Goff.
Helen, born Jan. 8, 1894.
Byron P., born Dec. 10, 1900.
Florence, born May 27, 1903.

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