Genealogical and Family History
of the

Volume III

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

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Sandra Boudrou]

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


This surname is of French origin and the progenitor was of French Huguenot stock. The name is spelled Pulsever, Pulcifer, and in various other ways, in the early records. The name is not recognized by the authorities as an English surname, though the first settler may have been from Guernsey, or elsewhere on or near the English channel, where many French Protestants took refuge. The nearest French resemblance to the name is Pulosevits, the pronunciation of which might give rise to the spellings in vogue during the life of the pioneer. The coat-of-arms is given in Rietstap: De gu, a'une aigle de profil d'or le vol leve perchee sur un serpent de sin, ondoant en forme de S pose en bends la tete en haut. Crest: Un lion ramp patti d'or et de gu tenant de ses pattes un demi-vol de gu.

(I) John Pulsifer, immigrant ancestor, born about 1650-60, in France, found a Huguenot place of refuge in England. He settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1680, according to tradition on the spot still occupied by a descendant on the old road leading to Coffin's Beach. In 1688 he had a parcel of land granted by the town, "given to the house where he then lived."

He married, in Gloucester, December 31, 1684, Joanna Kent. The only other early settler named Pulsifer was Benedict Pulsifer, of Ipswich, who was probably father or near relative of John. The "History of Gloucester" says: "A tradition was current some years that a man of this family was one of a number of fishermen who were taken from two schooners by Indians at Sheepscot river, Maine, in the early part of last (eighteenth) century. The Indians fastened the men to stakes and then barbarously tomahawked them all except Pulsifer, who was suffered to live, and after three months confinement among the savages made his escape and returned to Gloucester. His mind was so much affected by the awful sight of the murder of his companions and his own sufferings that the mention of the word Indian would throw him into a paroxysm of fright. It is said that in one of these paroxysms he wandered about in the woods a week, having fled thither upon being told that some savages were near in a boat."
Children of John Pulsifer:
1. John, born November 17, 1685, died August 27, 1707.
2. Joanna, October 7, 1688.
3. Mary, April 8, 1691.
4. Thomas, February 10, 1693, had homestead at Gloucester; married (first) Sarah Grover, January 6, 1726; (second) October 29, 1730, Hannah Woodward; had sons Thomas, Nathaniel and Samuel, and three daughters; Nathaniel, born May 29, 1736, was a soldier in the French and Indian war; married, 1765, Abigail Proctor; had five daughters in succession, then four sons-Nathan, Samuel, Epes and Isaac; the last named Nathan died December 25, 1765, aged eighty-six; Thomas, the father, died September 27, 1778.
5. Ebenezer, July 20 1695, married, February 11, 1720, Huldah Silley, and had several children.
6. Mary, April 27, 1697.
7. David, January 9, 1701, see forward.
8. Jonathan, July 30, 1704, married December 11, 1729, Susanna Hadley; children: Susanna, Jonathan, Samuel.

(II) David (1) son of John Pulsifer, was born in Gloucester, January 9, 1701. He resided there, and married Mary _____. He doubtless followed the sea. Children: David, and three daughters.

(III) David (2), son of David Pulsifer, was born in Gloucester, September 29, 1731. He married a cousin, Hannah Pulsifer, of Brentwood, New Hampshire, and settled in Poland, Maine. He was a soldier in the revolution, from Gloucester, a private in Captain Charles Smith's company also matross in Captain William Ellery's company, First Artillery, 1776. Children: Jonathan, and probably others.

(IV) Jonathan, son of David (2) Pulsifer, was born in Gloucester about 1770. He married, August 30, 1789, Polly Rust, born September 1, 1769, died 1862. He settled in Poland, Maine, with his father. Two children grew to maturity:
Moses Rust, mentioned below.

(V) Moses Rust, M. D., son of Jonathan Pulsifer, born in Poland, Maine, September 10, 1799, died January 27, 1877. He was educated in the district schools, and studied the profession of medicine. He practiced at Eden, Sullivan and Ellsworth, Hancock county, Maine.

He married, 1819, Mary Strout Dunn, born May 30, 1801, died March 11, 1850, daughter of Hon. Josiah and Sally (Barnes) Dunn. Her father was born September 8, 1779, and died February 3, 1843. Her mother was born February 11, 1783, and died December 29, 1858, daughter of Rev. Thomas Barnes, who was a representative to the general court of Massachusetts; a monument to his memory was erected in Norway, Maine, by the Universalists. Children of Dr. Moses Rust Pulsifer:
1. Josiah Dunn, born 1822, was the first stenographer employed in the courts of Maine for reporting, and held that office a number of years; he compiled a "Digest of Maine" during this period.
2. Nathan Goldsmith Howard, January 24, 1824, see forward.
3. Reuben, 1826, a farmer.
4. Caroline, married B. F. Crocker, of Hyannis, Massachusetts.
5. Augustus Moses, June 15, 1834, see forward.
6. Horatio, became a medical practitioner.
7. Thomas Benton, became a physician; practiced at Yarmouth, Massachusetts.
8. Ella Dunn, married Joseph Bassett, of Yarmouthport, Massachusetts.

Children of second wife:
9. Georgia, married Dr. Charles Byron Porter, of Old Town, Maine.
10. Charles Leslie, a farmer at Corinna, Maine.

(VI) Nathan Goldsmith Howard, M. D., son of Dr. Moses Rust Pulsifer, was born January 24, 1824, in Eden, Mount Desert, Hancock county, Maine, and died in Waterville, Maine, December 3, 1893. He attended the common schools of Eden and Minot, Maine, and studied for his profession at the Dartmouth Medical School, from which he graduated with the class of 1847. He had previously studied in the offices of his father and Dr. N. C. Harris, and assisted them in practice. Immediately after receiving his degree he began to practice at Fox Island, Maine. In 1849, when the gold fever broke out, he went to California as doctor in the barkentine "Belgrade," around Cape Horn, the voyage lasting six months. He remained in California two years, returning in 1851 to Ellsworth, where he practiced a short time, then spent a year in study in medical schools and hospitals in New York and Philadelphia, and from 1852 to the time of his death practiced in Waterville, Maine. He had a very large practice, and ranked among the leaders in his profession for many years. He was held in the highest esteem by his fellow practitioners as well as by the families whom he served. His judgment was sound, his ability and fidelity remarkable. He was a director and vice-president of the People's National Bank of Waterville, and was president for ten years immediately preceding his death. In politics he was a Republican, and in religion a Unitarian. He was a member of the American Homoeopathic Society. During the last twenty years of his life he devoted much attention to his real estate investments in Waterville, and was prominent in financial circles.

He married, October 24, 1855, Ann Cornelia Moor, born February 16, 1835, in Waterville, daughter of William and Cornelia Ann (Dunbar) Moor. (See Moor family.) Children:
1. Nora, born January 25, 1856, married Frank Lorenzo Thayer, son of Lorenzo Eugene and Sarah (Chase) Thayer; children: Nathan Pulsifer, born December 20, 1878; Lorenzo Eugene, born March 8, 1883; Frank L. Jr., born December 6, 1895.
2. Cornelia Ann, August 8, 1860, married Herbert L. Kelley, son of Herbert L. and Mary (Crie) Kelley; child: Cornelia Pulsifer, born February 17, 1897.
3. William Moor, August 18, 1863, see forward.
4. Ralph H., August 19, 1865, see forward.

(VII) William Moor, M. D., son of Dr. Nathan G. H. Pulsifer, was born in Waterville, August 18, 1863. He attended the public schools, graduated from Coburn Classical Institute in 1878, from Colby University in 1882, and from the Harvard Medical School in 1887. He took a post-graduate course in the Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1890. He opened an office and practiced for a time in Skowhegan, removed in 1892 to Waterville, where he practiced until 1900, when he again located in Skowhegan, and has since been engaged in practice there.

He married, October 2, 1896, Helen G. Libby, daughter of Isaac C. and Helen Libby. They have one child, Libby William Moor, born March 27, 1899.

(VII) Ralph H., M. D., son of Dr. Nathan G. H. Pulsifer, was born in Waterville, August 19, 1865. He attended the public schools; prepared for college in the Coburn Classical Institute, where he was graduated in 1882. He graduated from Colby University in the class of 1886. He studied for his profession at the Boston University Medical School, where he received his degree of M. D. in 1880. He also graduated from Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1890. He practiced for two years in Waterville, for five years in Vassalborough, then at Skowhegan until 1897, when he returned to Waterville, where he is now permanently located.

He married, February 23, 1893, Grace Goodridge Yeaton, born May 23, 1871, daughter of Freeman G. and Ellen (Page) Yeaton, of Belgrade. Child, Page Moor, born August 20, 1896.

(VI) Augustus Moses, son of Dr. Moses Rust Pulsifer, was born in Sullivan, Hancock county, Maine, June 15, 1834. He received his early education at Hebron Academy (Maine), and Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill and Waterville Academy (Maine), and after attending Waterville College, now Colby University, one year, entered Bowdoin College, where he was graduated in 1858. He taught in the public schools of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and in 1858-59 was principal of the Lewiston Falls Academy in Auburn, Maine. He read law in the offices of Record, Walton & Luce at Auburn, Maine, and was admitted to the Androscoggin county bar in September, 1860. From that time he has practiced law in Auburn. From 1870 to 1873 he was county attorney of Androscoggin county. He has also been chairman of the school board of Auburn and president of the common council. He is president of the water commissioners, organized in 1895, and was one of the projectors and prime movers in forming the Auburn Aqueduct Company. He was interested in building Roak Block, Auburn, and in other real estate investments in that city. He has been exceedingly active in business, especially in promoting various corporate and public enterprises. In 1870 he organized the Androscoggin Water Power Company and has been treasurer to the present time. This corporation owns and operates the Barker Cotton Mill in Auburn, of which Mr. Pulsifer is treasurer and managing director. He is one of the founders of the Auburn public library and has been trustee from the first; was one of the incorporators of the Auburn Young Men's Christian Association; also one of the founders of the Sixth Street Congregational Church of Auburn, of which he is a member. He has been prominent in the temperance movement. In politics he has always been a Republican. He is a member of the Maine Historical Society and of the Maine Genealogical Society' also of the Home Market Club of Boston.

He married, July 2, 1863, Harriet, daughter of Hon. George W. Chase, of Auburn. Children:
1. Jennie Deane, who is at the head of the art department of the Ohio Wesleyan University.
2. James Augustus, attorney at law at Auburn.
3. Dr. Tappan Chase, graduate of Columbia Medical College.
4. Mary Helen, graduate of Mount Holyoke College.
5. Chase, graduate of Bowdoin College, class of 1897.
6. Nathan, graduate of Bates College.
7. Harriet Chase, graduate of the Auburn high school.

(For early generations see John Pulsifer I.)


(V) Benjamin, son of Jonathan Pulsifer, was born in Poland, Maine, about 1810, and was educated in the public schools. He learned the trade of harness maker and followed it during his active life. He lived at what is called the Minot's Corner in the town of Poland.

He married (first) Miss Ford; (second) Miss Chandler, and (third) Mrs. Burnett. Children:
1. Fobes F., mentioned below.
2. Angelina, widow of Timothy Downing of Auburn, Maine.

(VI) Fobes F., son of Benjamin Pulsifer, was born in Poland, Maine (now Minot), died 1877 in Minot. He attended the common schools and learned the tradeoff his father-harness making. Later he took up shoemaking, which he followed most of his active years.

He married Adelaide Bucknam, born in Massachusetts; they lived in Auburn and Minot, Maine. Children:
1. Orpha E., unmarried.
2. James Brown, mentioned below.

(VII) James Brown, son of Fobes F. Pulsifer, was born in Auburn, October 7, 1875. He was brought up in the family of an uncle, Aldin C. Pulsifer, where his mother also made her home, and from early youth worked at farming. After receiving a common school education in Auburn and three years in Hebron Academy, he worked for a time in a shoe factory. He then engaged in the retail milk business on his own account and was very successful. After eight years of prosperous business he and Calvin C. Young bought the coal and wood business of Hastings & Smith and have since conducted it under the firm name of Pulsifer & Young. Mr. Pulsifer is a member of Tranquil Lodge, Free Masons; of Bradford Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; of Lewiston Commandery, Knights Templar, and of Kora Temple, Mystic Shrine, Lewiston. In politics an Independent.

He married, October 29, 1900, Maidee Parsons, born at Turner, Maine, January 6, 1877, daughter of Edward and Mary (Allen) Parsons, of Auburn. Child, Pauline Rebecca, born March 22, 1907.

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