Archive:History of Westminster, Heywood, P

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Heywood, William Sweetzer, History of Westminster, Massashusetts (First named Narragansett No. 2), From the date of the original grant of the township to the present time, 1728-1893, with a Biographic-Genealogical Register of its Principal Families, (Vox Populi Press: S.W. Huse & Co., Lowell, Mass.: 1893); New England Historic Genealogical Society Call No. F/74/W72/H6.


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[p. 814-816] PAGE

In the year 1630, John Page of Dedham, Eng., accompanied by his wife and two chn., embarked for America in one of the vessels belonging to the fleet which brought John Winthrop and a large representation of the Mass. Colony to these shores. With many of his fellow-voyagers, he set. at Watertown, then newly occupied, where he was made "freeman" the following year, and where he became a leading spirit in public affairs. He d. Dec. 18, 1676, a. 90. His w. was Phoebe Paine, who belonged to a family distinguished in English annals, one of its early scions, Sir Thomas Payne, having been knighted for personal courage and prowess displayed in one of the Crusades to the Holy Land.

John Page2, s. of the immigrant, b. 1630, a short time before his parents left their native land, m. Faith Dunster and located in Groton ab. 1662. He occupied there many positions of trust and honor, and rendered important service in both secular and religious concerns. After the destruction of the town by Indians in 1694, he returned to Watertown, where he d. in 1711. One of his s., Samuel3, was the first white settler of Lunenburg, and was widely known as "Old Gov. Page." Another, Jonathan3, b. June 24, 1677, remained in Groton, and was largely identified with the growth and prosperity of the town. By his w., Mary, he had Joseph4, b. Oct. 22, 1714, who m. Abigail Shedd, and had Jonathan5, b. July 22, 1742. The latter located in Fg. ab. the time of its incorporation, and spent his remaining life there, enjoying the respect and confidence of his fellow-townsmen on account of his unblemished character and upright dealings with all men. In 1769 he m. Esther Willard of Harvard and had 7 chn., of whom one became a permanent resident of this town.

1. Page, Joel6, s. of Jonathan5 and Esther, was b. in 1782. He m. Feb., 1806, Thurza, dau. of Josiah and Huldah (Page) Wheeler, and lived for many years on his f.'s farm in Fg. In 1823 he rem. to W., having made arrangements with the f. of his w. to have the homestead on Bean Porridge Hill, now owned by Mr. Robinson. After residing there some 12 yrs. he sold to his s. Josiah and returned to Fg., where he d. May 22, 1853, a. 71. His w., Thurza, d. Jan. 13, 1846, a. 65. Mr. Page was "well known for his feats of prodigious strength and was the acknowledged champion in all the athletic sports of the day." He also inherited from his ancestors corresponding intellectual energy and force of character. The chn. of Joel6 and Thurza Page, b. Fg., were:
2. Major7, b. April 7, 1807; m. Dorinda Miller; res. W.
3. Harriet7, b. April 10, 1809; m. Sidney Smith; res W. and Stg.; 4 chn.; d. Aug. 6, 1843.
4. Josiah7, b. May 30, 1811; m. Lucinda (38) Whitney; res. W.
5. Emeline7, b. July 11, 1813; m. Josiah (16) Puffer; res. W.; 3 chn.; d. Dec. 21, 1878.
6. Maria7, b. 1815; m. S. P. Gibson; res. Ashby; 1 chd.; d. April, 1864.
7. Betsey7; b. 1817; d. in infancy.
8. Joel7, b. Nov. 25, 1820; m. Sarah Pierce; res. Fg.; 5 chn.
[4.] Page, Josiah7, bro. of the last, also came to W. in 1823 with his f., and m. June 18, 1835, Lucinda (38), dau. of Smyrna and Ruth (Whitney) Whitney. Ab. that time he purchased the home place and remained on it until a few years since, when he rem. to the Gaut home at the Center. He was an industrious, successful farmer, and a man of sterling integrity and worth. He was a member of the Board of Selectmen in 1849, and in other ways has served the general weal. He dec'd Jan., 1893, and his wid. Feb. 24, the same year. Chn.:
14. Porter8, b. July 19, 1837; m. Elsie K. Wood; res.W.
15. Charles W.8, b. Sept. 7, 1845; m. twice; res. Danvers; 3 chn.
16. Francis H.8, b. July 24, 1847; d. April 15, 1865.
[14.] Page, Porter F.8, s. of Josiah7 and Lucinda, m. Elsie K.8, b. March 5, 1845 [p. 945], dau. of T. Dwight and Emeline (Clark) Wood, May 31, 1865. He is an enterprising, successful farmer, residing on the well-known Jonathan Sawyer place on Bean Porridge Hill. Mr. and Mrs. P. have but 1 chd.:
17. Frank H.9, b. July 4, 1866; unm.; res. with parents.
[15.] Page, Charles W.8, studied at the Medical Dept. of Harvard Univ., graduating in 1871. He first located as a regular practitioner in the profession at Fg., but displaying some special qualifications for the position, he was soon called to be Assistant Physician in the "Retreat for the Insane" at Hartford, Conn. He remained there till 1888, when he received the appointment of Superintendent of the Danvers Lunatic Hospital, in this State, where he now is.

While at Fg., Dr. Page, in 1873, m. Henrietta Parkhurst of Groton, who bore him 1 chd., Parkhurst9, b. at Hartford, July 28, 1874. She d. Feb. 27, 1880, and he m. (2) March 9, 1886, Caroline L. Collins of Hartford, by whom he has had (1890) 2 chn. - Atwood Collins9, b. Nov. 12, 1887; and Charles Whitney9, b. Jan. 27, 1890.

[p. 824] PERKINS

1. PERKINS, BENJAMIN, s. of Benjamin and Lydia, was b. Leom., Oct. ii, 1767. He res. awhile at Bakersfield, Vt., in early manhood, but finally set. in Fg., where he m. Achsah Boutelle, Jan. 11, 1804, and where his chn. were b. Late in life he came to W., and located on the original Philip Bemis place, near where George Harris lives. He d. Sept. 16, 1849, a. 71. His wid. d. April 28, 1862, a. 84. A dau., Maria, long resident in tn., d. June 11, 1877, a. ab. 71.
2. PERKINS, HENRY, s. of the last, was b. Fg., July 30, 1810. He seems to have come here with his f., and to have succeeded him on the Bemis farm. He m. (1) Martha, dau. of Joel and Zilpah (Jones) Sawin of Pn., Dec. 25, 1840. She d. June 13, 1852, a. 37, and he m. (2) Rosilla R. Gibson of Ash., Feb. 22, 1853. They subsequently went to Minn, and finally to Gal., where he d. July 5, 1871, a. 61. His wid. d. there March 18, 1888. His chn. were:
3. Benjamin F., b. Dec. 22, 1841; d. Jan. 15, 1842.
4. Sarah M., b. Dec. 8, 1842; m. A. W. Darling; res. Dimond, Cal.; 5 chn.; l.
5. William H., b. Aug. 30, 1846; res. Napa, Cal.; unm.
6. John F., b. Dec. 11, 1847; d. May 13. 1848.
7. George F., b. Jan. 9, 1852; m. Emaline Silvers; res. San Francisco; no chn.
8. Eugene B., b. Monticello, Minn., March, 1862; d. Sept., 1865.
9. Emmons M., b. Buffalo, N. Y., Aug., 1864; d. June, 1850.
10. PERKINS, HARRISON, s. of John and Polly (Whitney) Perkins, was b. Leom., July 13, 1825. He m. Jan. 1, 1850, Almira, dau. of Leonard and Lucinda (Sawin) Hoar of this tn. He is a farmer, and for a while res. in Monticello, Minn., but for many years has lived in Wachusettville, opp. the reservoir. Chn.:
11. Myra Adklia, b. Oct. 13, 1850. 12. Eliza Jane, b. May 12, 1S52.
13. Hattie Lucinda, b. March 24, 1854.
14. Charles Harrison, b. June 25, 1856.
15. Albert Harrison, b. April 6, 1862.

[p. 825-827] PIERCE

The Pierce families of W. and vicinity descended from Anthony2, the sup. s. of John1, the immigrant, who was b. in Eng., 1609, and, coming to this country in the early days of Mass. Colony, set. in Watertown, where he was made "freeman" Sept. 3, 1634. Anthony2 had Joseph3, whose s. John4 was f. of Jonas5 of Lexington, who m. Abigail, dau. of John and Martha (Monroe) Comee, aunt of David Comee of Gr. Jonas5 spent the last years of his life with his chn. in W., where his will was dated, Aug. 15, 1776.

[14.] Pierce, Elisha7, [s. John6 and Abigail (Beard) Pierce, b. Aug. 26, 1772] m. (1) Deborah, dau. of Jabez and Anna (Twichell) Partridge of Gr., 1787 (pub. Aug. 12). He lived awhile in Gr., but returned to W., built and occupied the large house half a mile W. of his father's which was destroyed by fire a few years since. He also erected a sawmill on the small stream in front of his dwelling, where, in connection with his farming, he got out lumber and chair stock. His wife, Deborah, d. Oct. 22, 1846, and he m. (2) her sr., Cynthia, wid. of Luke Whitney of Gr. He d. April 1, 1858, a. 86, and his surviving wid. d. July 1, 1860, a. 74. Chn.:
25. Nancy8, b. Nov. 6, 1798; m. Andrew Beard; 3 chn.; d. Sept. 28. 1843.
26. Amos8, b. Nov. 8, 1804; m. twice; 5 chn.; d. Aug. 17, 1873.
27. Elisha8, b. Dec. 11, 1806; m. twice; res. W., etc.
28. Roxana8, b. Feb. 28, 1809; twin; m. Joshua H. Holden; res. Gr.; 1 chd.; per.more.
29. Deborah8, b. Feb. 28, 1809; twin; d. March 1, 1809.
30. Hannah8, b. March 28, 1812; m. Luther Baker; res.Gr.; d. Oct. 24, 1834.
[27.] Pierce, Elisha8, son of Elisha7, m. June 20, 1833, Thuseba, dau. of Luke and Cynthia (Partridge) Whitney, and set. on the place where his f. res., more recently occupied by his s.-in-law, George K. Ray. (See A. H. No. 35). Mrs. Pierce d. Jan. 24, 1864, a. 48. Mr. Pierce d. March 2, 1868, a. 62. Chn.:
40. Mary F.9, b. Dec. 16, 1834; m. George K. Ray; res. Gr.

[p. 837] [21.] George K., s. Ivers and Clarissa (Gates) Ray, b. April 7, 1832; m. Mary F. Pierce; res. Gr.

41. Leonard W.9, b. Oct. 19, 1836; m. Laura A. Stoddard, etc.; res. Mich.
42. Nelson J.9, b. March 3, 1839; m. Mary A. Putney; res. Keene, N. H. [from p. 411]: [snip] mechanic, unm. Enl. for 3 yrs. Aug. 11, 1862, and served in Co. H, 36th Regt., at Fredericksburgh, Va., Jackson, Miss., and Blue Hills, Tenn. Being debilitated by sunstroke, he acted as Co. cook to excellent purpose; disch. at close of war, June 8, 1865.
43. Franklin W.9, b. Aug. 29, 1845; d. W., Oct. 16, 1846.
44. Wilson F.9, b. May 4, 1849; d. July 9, 1879.

[p. 829] PRATT

One of the early settlers of Plymouth, though not a passenger in the Mayflower, was Joshua Pratt1, b. in Eng., 1598, whose s., Ephraim2, located in E. Sudbury, now Wayland. He had a s., Ephraim3, b. Nov. 30, 1704, who res. for many years in Shrewsbury, but late in life rem. to Shutesbury, where he d. in May, 1804. It has been claimed by some that he was b. in 1687, and hence attained the wonderful age of 115 years, but Rev. Dr. Summer of Shy., who was familiar with the case, in an article published in the Mass. Spy, June 13, 1804, set the matter right. Another Ephraim Pratt4, s. of the last, b. Feb. 7, 1728, came to W. with his w., Abiah, ab. 1775 and purchased lands in the west part, establishing himself upon them. In the formation of Gr. ten years later, he was set off to that town, his place being on the back road west of and adjoining the Joseph Beard now place. His s., Aaron5, m. Betsey Warren and had 8 chn., of whom 4 became residents of W.: Betsey, who m. Joseph H. Whitney; Lovisa, who m. Levi Richardson; Susannah, who m. John Mosman; and one s., as follows:
1. Pratt, Russell6 was b. in Gr., Nov. 18, 1812. Coming to W. he m. Oct. 28, 1838, Ann, dau. of Hayman and Betsey (Mosman) Wheeler, and set. on the Wheeler place in the north part of the tn., where James Morrell now res. He d. Dec. 18, 1868, a. 56. His wid. d. Ash., May 25, 1876, a. 68. Chn.:
2. John W.7, b. Aug. 18, 1842; m. Julia Blackman; res. Charlestown; 2 chn. (See p. 411.)
3. Henry R.7, b. Feb. 25, 1845; d. Jan. 12, 1864.
4. Charles H.7, b. Nov. 11, 1848; m. Mary G. Sampson; res. Ash.; 1 chd.; l.
5. Pratt, David, ptge., etc., not traced, came to this town ab. 1770 and purchased lands of Dr. Harvey and others, on and adjoining Bean Porridge Hill, where he erected a dwelling house nd res. some years. The site of his buildings is still pointed out by those familiar with the locality. (See A. H. No. 10.) He furnished lumber for a new Sch. House in 1773. In 1778, April 14, he sold 92 acres, with house and barn, to Samuel Whitney, Jr., father of the late Smyrna Whitney, and prob. left town, as nothing more of him appears in the records. By w., Hepzibah, he had:
6. Luther, b. Sept. 25, 1772. 7. David, b. July 2c, 1774.

[p. 830-833] PUFFER

On the 24th Feb., 1640, the town of Boston granted to George Poffer1, for himself, wife, and 3 chn., twenty acres of land at Mt. Wallaston, afterward Braintree, but now in Quincy, upon which he permanently located. Of his two sons, James2 remained on the paternal homestead, while Matthias2 went to Mendon as one of the first proprietors and settlers there. His wife and one son, however, being slain in the attack on the town by Indians, July 14, 1675, he withdrew to his native place, where he continued to reside through life. His dau. Esther3, m. Wm. Sumner, and became the gt.-gt.-grandmother of the distinguished Charles Sumner, one of the noblest of the sons of Mass.

James Poffer2, otherwise Puffer, had a s. Jabez3, b. 1672, who went to Sudbury and built him there a home. He was the f. of Jabez4, b. ab. 1705, who m. (1) Thankful Haynes and (2) ---- ----, and had a large family of chn., one of whom, by the 2d w., was Rev. Reuben Puffer, D. D. of Berlin.

1. Puffer, Josiah5, s. of Jabez4 and Thankful (Haynes) Puffer, was b. Sudbury, March 21, 1736. He m. Nov., 1759, Mary, dau of Jacob and Experience Read, her f. being the gd.son of Dr. Philip Read, an eminent physician of Concord in the early days of its history. Josiah Puffer came to W. ab. the time of its incorporation, 1759, and set. on lot No. 62 (the recent Cephas W. Bush farm), in the So. part of the town.

Mr. Puffer became an active, influential, and highly esteemed inhabitant of the town, holding many local public positions requiring good judgment, integrity, and executive ability. He also, in 1787, 1790 and 1791, represented his fellow-citizens in the Gen. Ct. With the exception, perhaps, of Rev. Mr. Rice, he was prob. the best educated person in the community during his generation, and very likely excelled him in some branches of scholarship. He is said to have been a remarkable mathematician, applying his knowledge in this particular to the science of Astronomy, of which he was very fond, whereby he was able to calculate eclipses and other movements of the heavenly bodies with wonderful facility and precision. He was thoroughly conversant with parliamentary tactics, and with the proper modes of governing deliberative assemblies. He bought, in 1805, the Pel. Everett tavern stand, near Hobart Raymond's, and while there, on the 9th of July the following yr., suddenly d. at the a. of 70. His wid. survived him 25 years, passing away July 19, 1831, a. 90. Chn.:
2. Isaac6, b. Jan. 24, 1761; m. Sally Merriam; went to N. Y.; had chn. and d.
3. Polly6, b. April 5, 1796; m. John (1) Dunn; res. W.; 6 chn.
4. Jabez6, b. June 14, 1765; prob. d. young.
5. Eunice6, b. Aug. 7, 1767; m. Nathan (89) Whitney; res. W.; 5 chn.; d. Feb. 22, 1846.
6. Thankful6, b. April 17, 1769; m. Wm. Edgell; res. W.; 5 chn.; d. Feb., 1857?.
7. Lusena6, b. May 27, 1771; m. Asa (7) Merriam; res. W.; 8 chn.; d. Sept. 11, 1851.
8. Samuel R.6, b. Oct. 21, 1773; m. twice; res. W.
9. Ruth6, b. March 1, 1776; m. three times; res. W.; 9 chn.; d. March 24, 1829.*
  • Transcriber's Note: Three different death dates are given in Heywood for this Ruth Puffer. See the following extracts: Ezra (18) Darby; Samuel (11) Garfield.
10. Sally6, b. March 22, 1780?; m. Asa (35) Bigelow; res. W.; 5 chn.; d. Sept. 1811.
11. Asahel6, b. Dec. 20, 1781; m. Jerusha (14) Rand; res.W.; 3 chn.; d. March 20, 1835.
12. Betsey6, b. March 19, 1788; m. Josiah (39) Wheeler; res. W.; 10 chn.; d. Aug 10, 1846.
[8.] Puffer, Samuel Read6, s. of the last, had the Read dropped from his name by Act of Leg., 1827. He m. (1) Polly, dau. of Nathan and Mehitable (Cowee) Wood, Nov. 6, 1801, and succeed to the homestead owned by his f. A quiet, unobtrusive, industrious man of domestic tastes, an upright citizen, faithful in the discharge of all the duties of life. His w. was a woman of literary accomplishments, well read, and prob. better informed upon political issues and matters of public policy than any woman in town - than a great majority of the men. She d. March 27, 1843, a. 60, and Mr. Puffer m. (2), Elizabeth, wid. of Ezra Brooks, in Nov., 1844. He d. March 22, 1854, a. 80. His second w. d. in 1858. Chn.:
13. Merrick7, b. Feb. 9, 1803; m. Mary Mentz; 4 chn.; d. Jan., 1858.
14. Mary7, b. April 20, 1805; m. Samuel H. Evans; res. Chelsea; 4 chn., of whom one, Edward, grad. at Harvard Univ. and was Cong. clergyman; living.
15. Elmira7, b. Sept. 10, 1807; m. Samuel (82) Merriam, etc.; res. W.; 6 chn.; living.
16. Josiah7, b. Jan. 2, 1810; m. twice; res. W. [One of his wives was Emeline (5) Page]
17. Mehitable7, b. Jan. 1, 1812; m. Wm. P. Bigelow; res. Holden; 1 chd.; l.
18. Joel W.7, b. Dec. 25, 1813; d. Dec. 22, 1828.
19. Sarah7, b. Sept., 1815; m. N. S. Hubbard; res. Brimfield; 3 chn., of whom one, John, is a lawyer in Chicago; d. April, 1889.
20. Nancy7, b. Nov., 1817; m. R. W. Twichell; res.W., etc.; 2 chn.; d. June 17, 1879.
21. Caroline A.7, b. Feb. 28, 1822; m. Samuel (40) Whitney, etc.; 4 chn, of whom one, William S., grad. Yale Coll. 1877; resides Boston.
22. Martha R.7, b. 1825; m. Amos S. Taylor; res. Boston; 3 chn.; living.
[11.] Puffer, Asahel6, bro. of the last, m. Jerusha (14), dau. of Zachariah and Jerusha (Sawyer) Rand, Dec. 15, 1817. He owned and occupied the farm on the east side of Meetinghouse Pond, now represented by F. A. Taylor. He d. March 20, 1835, a. 53, and his wid. m. (2) Col. Thomas Wheeler of Worc. She d. Nov. 19, 1866, a. 79. Chn.:
23. Porter F.7, b. Sept. 5, 1809; d. March 16, 1828.
24. Clinton7, b. March 19, 1813; m. and res. Woonsocket, R. I.; sev. chn.; d. Feb. 7, 1893.
25. Damaris7, b. March 24, 1821; d. June 26, 1835.

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