Notes and Queries: Leonard

Source: Manning Leonard, “Notes and Queries: Leonard,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 33[1879]:246.

[page 246]

LEONARD. – The writer is a descendant of Solomon LEONARD, an original proprietor of Bridgewater, Mass., and one of the earliest settlers in that town.  An interest in the genealogy of our family began to be awakened when I found in Judge MITCHELL’s History of Bridgewater, soon after it was published in 1840, that my great-grandfather Joseph (17) was married to Mary PACKARD, 1721, when he was but eight years of age!  Ever since that time, as leisure and opportunity would permit, I have been gathering material, in this country and in Europe, for an authentic genealogy of the “Bridgewater branch of LEONARDs,” and their connection with other branches of the name.  Judge MITCHELL was a noble man, and performed a noble work in compiling and publishing this history.  Although it contains numerous errors, it has been, and will continue to be, of inestimable value to historians and genealogists.  He laid foundations upon which others have built more perfect structures.  He had an interleaved copy of his work in which he noted, to the end of his life, all errors or additions that he discovered, or were brought to his notice.  Cannot that copy be found, and the possessor induced to present it to our library, where it will be accessible to the vast number of persons who would be benefited by the records it contains?

A few months before his decease, I had several pleasant interviews with him, when with his characteristic kindliness and interest, he gave me much information relative to my ancestors, and the corrections he had made since his history was published.

He had learned that Jacob,2 son of Solomon,1 had a wife previous to the one mentioned in his will as “his present wife Susanna,” who had sons, Joseph3 and Josiah.3 The former married Martha, daughter of William ORCUTT, born in 1671, and had:

Ephraim,4 m. Martha, daughter of Humphrey PERKINS of Hampton, N.H., September 16, 1720.

Joseph,4 who m. Mary, daughter of Nathaniel PACKARD of Bridgewater, September 14, 1721; and had a daughter who m. –––– FISHER, said to be of Rehoboth.  Who was she?

Ephraim4 was a merchant in Bridgewater, for many years after his marriage.  Removed to Hopwell, New Jersey, where Eliab BYRAM, who m. his daughter Phebe, settled as a clergyman.  (Mitchell, page 127.)

It has been represented that these families had full records of their ancestors.  If so, they may be discovered among some of their descendants.

In a genealogy of the PERKINS family, published in the REGISTER, vol. xii. page 80 (1858), it is stated that Abigail, youngest sister of Martha PERKINS, m. “Mr. LEONARD, of Bridgewater.”  Who was he?

The most vigilant search has failed to discover who was Jacob’s first wife, where and when she was born and died, and when her children were born.  It has been supposed that the family were in Worcester when the first attempt at settlement was made there, and were driven off by the Indians in 1675.  He was certainly there with his second wife, and two children born at Weymouth, as soon as the second attempt at settlement was undertaken in 1684-5.  They were so harassed by the Indians that they became discouraged, however, and removed to Bridgewater in 1693.  A short time before his death in 1717, he deeded his property in Worcester to his nephew Moses,4 who was a prominent man in W.  The children of the first wife probably lived with and were provided for by her relatives (whoever they were), as they were not mentioned in his will made December 14, 1716, proved December 19, 1717.

A liberal remuneration will be made for such information as will enable me to complete an authentic record of the births, marriages and deaths of the three generations commencing with Solomon; including family names of wives.  In the early records, the names were sometimes written LENNER, LENNERSON and LEONARDSON.  Who was William LEONARD, of Bridgewater, m. Sarah BOLTON, 1709?  Sarah, m. Samuel PERRY, December 14, 1710?  Benjamin, m. Hannah PHILLIPS, August 15, 1715?  And Martha, m. Ebenezer EDDY, of Norton, 1734?


Southbridge, Mass.

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