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.]


Mr. Ellery Bicknell Crane, in his excellent genealogy of the Rawson family in America, states that this surname was, in all probability, originally spelled Raufeson (Ralph's son). The present form of spelling was in use during the reign of Richard II. The Rawson coat-of-arms, the existence of which attests the fact that the family is descended from distinguished ancestors, is composed of "an escutcheon, representing the old knightly shield, the lower half (sable) black, the uppper half (azure) blue; in the center of the shield is a castle, with four towers in gold; crest (placed over), a raven's head, black; bearing on the neck drops of gold, one and two; erased, on a wreath; in the beak of ring of gold. The motto underneath: "Laus virtutis actio,' may be freely rendered, "The deed of bravery is its own praise."

(I) Edward Rawson, of Gillingham, county of Dorset, England, born Apirl 16, 1616, came to New England in 1636, and became one of the grantees of Newbury, Mass., where he settled. His parents were people of intelligence and high standing, and his mother, who was before marriage Margaret Wilson, was a sister of the distinguished Rev. John Wilson, the first minister in Boston. In addition to serving as a selectman in Newbury he was chosen town clerk, being the second to hold that office; acted as public notary and register, also as commissioner and attorney for the trial of small causes, and was a member of several important town committees. In 1638, when but twenty-three years old, he was elected a deputy to the general court, and was several times re-elected to serve in that capacity. In 1645 he was chosen clerk of the house of deputies, and from 1650 to 1686 he served with marked ability as secretary of the colony. His official duties having necessitated his removal to Boston, he established his residence in what was for at least one hundred and fifty years afterwards known as Rawson's Lane (now Bromfield street), and died there Aug. 27, 1693.
He was actively interested in promoting the manufacutre of gunpowder in New England, and as a reward for his various public services received large grants of land from the general court.
Edward Rawson and his wife were among the original members of the Old South Church, organized in 1669. The maiden name of his wife, whom he married in England, was Rachel Perne.
1. A daughter, left in England.
2. Edward, graduated from Harvard College, 1653; entered the ministry, and was settled in Horsmonden, county of Kent, England, in 1655.
3. Rachel, married William Aubrey, a merchant of Boston Jan. 18, 1653.
4. David, born May 6, 1644; went to England.
5. Mary Perne, born May 14 or 16, 1646; married Rev. Samuel Torrey, May, 1657; she died Sept. 10, 1692; he died April 21, 1707.
6. Susan, died in Roxbury in 1654.
7. William.
8. Rebecca, born Oct. 19, 1654, died young.
9. Rebecca, born May 23, 1656; married Thomas Rumsey July 1, 1679; died at Port Royal, 1692.
10. Elizabeth, born Nov. 12, 1657; married Thomas Broughton, of Boston.
11. John, went to England, and did not return.
12. Grindal, born Jan. 23, 1658; married Susanna Wilson; died Feb. 6, 1715.

(II) William, third son and seventh child of Edward and Rachel (Perne) Rawson, was born in Boston, May 21, 1651. He became a prominent Boston merchant, dealing chiefly in dry goods which he imported from the mother country, and on July 11, 1673, he married Anne Glover, only dau. of Nathaniel and Mary (Smith) Glover, of Dorchester. She was a niece of John Glover, one of the original settlers in Dorchester, and a man of prominence in the early history of the colony.
In 1689 he mvoed to Dorchester, locating upon a portion of the "Newbury farm," inherited by his wife, and he subsequently removed to an estate in Braintree, which he purchased of the heirs of his great-uncle, the Rev. John Wilson. This estate, which is situated in the immediate vicinity of the Neponset bridge, adjoining the homestead of the late Hon. Josiah Quincy, he occupied for nearly forty years, or until his death, and it descended from father to son unto the fifth generation.
William Rawson died Sept. 30, 1726, and his wife died about 1730, aged seventy-four years.
1. Ann, born April 11, 1674; died in infancy.
2. Wilson, born 1675; died in infancy.
3. Margaret, born Aug. 1, 1676; died in infancy.
4. Edward, born Sept. 6, 1677; died in infancy.
5. Edward, born Aug. 29, 1678; died in infancy.
6. Rachel, born Oct. 16, 1679; died in infancy.
7. Dorothy, born Aug. 8, 1681; died Sept. 20, 1689.
8. William, born Dec. 8, 1682; married Sarah Crosby.
9. David, see below.
10. Dorothy, born June 19, 1686; died young.
11. Ebenezer, born Dec. 1, 1687; died Aug. 28, 1696.
12. Thankful, born Aug. 6, 1688; died Aug. 21, 1688.
13. Nathaniel, born Dec. 3, 1689; married Hannah Thompson.
14. Ebenezer, born July 25, 1691; died young.
15. Ann, born Aug. 28, 1693; died in infancy.
16. Patience, born Nov. 8, 1694; died Nov. 14, 1694.
17. Pelatiah, born July 2, 1696; married Hannah Hall.
18. Grindal, born Aug. 24, 1697; died in infancy.
19. Mary, born Dec. 16, 1698; died in infancy.
20. One not named.

(III) David, fifth son and ninth child of William and Anne (Glover) Rawson, was born in Boston, Dec. 13, 1683. He inherited and occupied the homestead, situated in that part of Braintree which is now Quincy, and was an energetic, persevering business man. His death occurred April 20, 1752, and his gravestone is but a few yards from the Adams tomb in the Quincy cemetery.
He married Mary, daughter of John Gulliver, of Milton, and she survived him.
1. David, born Sept. 14, 1714; married Mary Dyer.
2. Jonathan, born Dec. 26, 1715; married Susanna Stone.
3. Elijah, born Feb. 5, 1717; married Mary Paddock.
4. Mary, born May 20, 1718; married Capt. Joseph Winchester in 1745; settled at Roxbury, Mass. had had two children: Mary and William.
5. Hannah, born April 2, 1720, died July 24, 1726.
6. Silence, born June 12, 1721, died Aug. 17, 1721.
7. Anne, born July 30, 1722; married Samuel Bass.
8. Elizabeth, born Nov. 30, 1723; married Peter Adams.
9. Josiah, born Jan. 31, 1727; married Hannah Bass.
10. Jerusha, born Dec. 21, 1729; married Israel Eaton.
11. Lydia, born Jan. 17, 1731; married Samuel Baxter.
12. Ebenezer, see below.

(IV) Ebenezer, youngest child of David and Mary (Gulliver) Rawson, was born in that part of Braintree which is now Quincy, May 31, 1734. When a young man he settled in Sutton, New Hampshire, where he engaged in farming, and his death occurred in that town June 11, 1814.
He was a vigorous historical writer, possessing superior mental attainments, which were fully developed by his studious habits and profound erudition, and it was said of him that "his memory was a vast storehouse of facts always at his command."
In later years he favored the Quakers, adopting their dress and form of worship, and he named one of his sons for Marmaduke Stephenson, a persecuted Salem Quaker, who was released from prison on a warrant signed by his distinguished ancestor, Secretary Edward Rawson.
In 1756 he married Sarah Chase, daughter of Hon. Samuel Chase, of Cheshire, N. H. She died Nov. 14, 1814.
1. Prudence, born Dec. 24, 1758; married Stephen March.
2. Lydia, born April 23, 1760; married Daniel Bullen.
3. Ebenezer, born Dec. 22, 1761; married Elizabeth Tailor.
4. Sally, born March 16, 1763; married Samuel Robinson.
5. Abner, born March 2, 1765; married Abigail Fuller.
6. John, born June 1, 1767; died young.
7. Jerusha, born Oct. 13, 1769; married James Holmes.
8. Samuel, see below.
9. Elizabeth, born June 5, 1774; married Jacob Dodge.
10-11. Marmaduke and Nizaula, twins, born April 18, 1777; Nizaula married Timothy Hutchinson.
12. Mary, born July 5, 1779; married (first) Sullivan Bridgham; (second) Thomas Brown.
13. Clarissa, born Feb. 26, 1782.
14. Abigial, born May 11, 1786; married Daniel Adams.

(V) Captain Samuel, fourth son and eighth child of Ebenezer and Sarah (Chase) Rawson, was born in Sutton, Sept. 4, 1771, and died Jan. 29, 1829. Learning the saddlery and upholstering business, he established himself at Grafton, Mass., but in 1804 came to Maine, and settling in Paris he resided there for the rest of his life, which terminated Jan. 29, 1829.
During the war of 1812-15, he served as a lieutenant of an artillery company engaged in the defense of Portland, and he afterwards acquired the title of captain. He was highly esteemed for his genial disposition, was of an investigating turn of mind and fond of argument.
In May, 1802, he married Polla Freeland, born in Sutton, Mass. Sept. 17, 1778, died Aug. 29, 1875, aged ninety-seven years, dau. of Dr. James Freeland, of that town.
1. Mary Ann, born in Crafton, Mass., May 20, 1803, died July 29, 1874; married (first) Simeon Fuller, M.D., (second) James Bullock, M.D.; settled in Rumford, Maine.
2. Arabella, born Feb. 22, 1807, in Paris, Maine; married T.J. Carter; settled in Paris, Maine; died April 12, 1897, aged ninety years.
3. Abigail Adams, born in Paris, Maine, Feb. 5, 1811; married Henry E. Prentiss; settled in Bangor, Maine; died Dec. 30, 1898.
4. Columbia, born Feb. 27, 1814, now living (1908), aged ninety-five years; married Virgil D. Parris; settled in Paris, Maine.
5. Frances Freeland, born Aug. 28, 1819, died Sept., 1890; married William K. Kimball; settled in Paris, Maine.
6. James Freeland, see forward.

(VI) James Freeland, youngest child and only son of Capt. Samuel and Polla (Freeland) Rawson, was born in Paris, Maine, Oct. 2, 1821. He was for some time a student at Waterville (now Colby) College, and after graduating from Union College in 1844 he entered the legal profession, settling in Bangor, and becoming the law partner of the latge Hon. Henry E. Prentiss. He was subsequenly chosen register of probate, and still later was appointed collector of customs for the port of Bangor. For many years he practiced his profession successfully in Bangor, and was noted for his ability, integrity and other sterling charcteristics. For a number of years he was a member of the board of aldermen, and in 1877 represened his district in the Maine legislature.
March 9, 1858, he married Sarah Deborah, b. Feb. 9, 1831, dau. of Thomas and Mary (True) Jenness, of Bangor.
1. Mary Jenness, born Oct. 16, 1859.
2. Abbie Jenness, born Feb. 16, 1865.

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