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Eaton Family Association 


OCTOBER 31st, 1888. 




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The fifth Reunion and sixth meeting of the Eaton Family- 
Association was held in the Meionaon of Tremont Temple, in 
Boston, on Wednesday, October 31st, 1888. The members of 
the association continued to collect in the hall for an entire 
hour, from 10 to 11 o'clock. During this time badges were 
distributed to the various branches represented ; white ribbon 
for the Plymouth Batons ; red for the Dedham branch ; yellow 
for the members of the Haverhill family ; blue for the descend- 
ants of Jonas of Reading, and pink to those who belonged to 
William of Reading. Much good will and heartiness of ex- 
pression were displayed by the members present, as becometh 
those of kin and especially the Eaton Family. 

Th Association was called to order at half past 11 o'clock 
by the President, Rev. Dr. William H. Eaton of Keene, N. H., 
and the meeting was opened by the singing of one verse of the 
hymn, — 

"^// Hail, the power of Jesus' name.'' 

The Rev. Herrick M. Eaton, of Middleboro, Mass., then 
offered prayer. A committee of enrollment, consisting of 
Daniel A. Eaton, Ebenezer Ferren and Rev. Irving C. Tomlin- 
son, was appointed to obtain the names and addresses of those 
present. Mr. Stephen B. Eaton of Concord, N. H., was ap- 
pointed to attend to the sale of tickets for dinner. 

The report of the secretary. Prof. Daniel C. Eaton of New 
Haven, Conn., was read and approved. It made special men- 
tion of the kindness of Miss Thomas, who sang at the previous 
gathering, and of the validity of the proof then offered by Mr. 
William L. Eaton that Jonas and William Eaton of Reading 
were brothers. The treasurer's report, from Edward B. Eaton 
of Boston, here followed, which presented for the year past as 

Income, .... $507.86 

Expenses, . . . . 202.31 

And a Balance in Treasury of . $305 -55 


It was voted to accept it when audited and found correct, as 
this formality liad not been attended to. The following gentle- 
men were appointed a committee on nominations : 

Rev. SiLVANUS Hayward, of Globe Villat;e, Mass. 
Prof. Daniel C. Eaton, of A'^cw Haven. 
Rev. H. M. Eaton, of Middlcboro'. 
Mr. Everett W. Eaton, of Wakefield. 

The reports of tlie genealogists of the various branches j 
were then presented in alphabetical order. (These reports 
have been revised since the meeting, and are printed in full at 
the end of this general report.) 

The committee on nominations reported, and moved that 
the officers for the past year be re-elected, which was done by 
uplifted hands. 


Rev. William H. Eaton, D.D., Keene, N'. H. 


Rev. Ephraim L. Eaton, La Crosse, Wisconsin. 
Hon. Dorman B. Eaton, New York, N. V. 
Rev. Charles H. Eaton, D.D., New York, N. Y. 
Hon. John Eaton, Marietta, Ohio. 
Hon. W. W. Eaton, Hartfo7-d, Conn. 


Prof. Daniel C. Eaton, New Haven, Conn. 


Edward B. Eaton, Esq., j6 Federal sf., Boston, Mass. 


Rev. Arthur W. H. Eaton, St. Botolph Club, Boston. 

William L. Eaton, Esq., Concord, Mass. 

Daniel A. Eaton, Esq., Loxvell, Mass. 

Mrs. SiLVANUS Hayward, Globe Village, Mass. 

Mrs. H. K. Wight, Indian Orchard, Mass. 


J. J. Eaton, Esq., 224 Washington st., Boston. 

John Eaton, Esq., R00771 11, 246 Washington st., Boston. 

Charles O. Eaton, Esq., Boston. 

A motion was made, and after slight amendment, was carried 
unanimously, that Article VI of the Constitution be amended 
so as to read thus : " The Association shall meet annually in 
the month of August, or at such times as the Executive Com- 
mittee shall determine." 

A recess was then taken that the company might partake of 
a collation prepared in an adjoining room. After the colla- 
tion brief addresses w^ere made by several persons. The 
secretary read letters from Hon. W. W. Eaton of Hartford, 
Mr. A. W. Eaton of Oxford, Idaho, Mr. Wm. L. Eaton of 
Concord, Mass., and others who regretted that they could not 
attend the meeting, and then gave some further account of the 
Eaton family formerly living near Dover. 

Professor John P. Marshall, of Tufts College, was the next 
speaker, and expressed his pleasure at meeting so many per- 
sons bearing the family name of his grandmother. Mr. 
Frederic Eaton, of Toledo, a brother of President Eaton of 
Marietta, said that he had never made a speech in his life, but 
that he could not refrain from expressing his delight at meet- 
ing so many good looking men and handsome women of the 
name of Eaton. 

Mr. George Eaton Priest, of Watertown, Mass., had been 
one of the party that visited Haverhill last summer under the 
guidance of the good Doctor from Keene. He wished that 
some photographer would take views of the interesting places 
they then visited. 

Dr. Benjamin Rand said that he belonged to the Nova 
Scotia Eatons, and spoke of his ancestor David's emigration 
to that delightful region from which the Acadians had been 
expelled. He said the district was now full of Eatons ready 
to give a warm welcome to all of the race. 

Rev. Herrick M. Eaton said that until this Association was 
organized he had no idea how many handsome and excellent 
people were related to him. He could remember his great- 
grandmother, who died long ago at a very great age, but the 
Doctor could go back several generations further, and tell 
him of ancestors he had never heard of before. He believed 
in being happy, and in doing good with a cheerful face. 

Mr. Stephen B. Eaton was introduced as coming from the 
State Prison of New Hampshire (of which he is steward). He 
said he was happy to meet with the Eatons, and now would 

go back to New Hampshire ''and be a good boy and stay in 
prison a little longer." 

The Association then re-assemblcd in the Meionaon and 
upon motion adjourned. One lumdred and thirty-one persons 
sat down to the dinner, and a considerable number more were 
present at some part of the exercises. 

Daniel C. Eaton, Secretary. 

*t* In -writing the above report I have had the use of notes kindly taken by Dr. Benjamin 
Rand.—D. C. E. 



Reports of the Genealogists for the Several Families in the 


1. The Family of Franci§ Hatoii of Plymouth. 

{Report presented by Rev. Silvanus Hayward^ 

Previous to this year much valuable work had been done in looking up 
the descendants of Francis Eaton of the Mayflower. During the past year 
much has been accomplished in sorting and arranging material already 
gathered, and in adding to the record, especially that of the later generations. 
A few important facts have been discovered. Heretofore it has been said that 
\ Martha wife of Samuel Eaton"'^ was probably daughter of Francis Billington. 
In Vol. Ill of Plymouth Colony Records, p. 47 under date 3 Jan. 1663 is a 
deed of gift from Francis Billington " To my son-in-law Samuell Eaton and 
my daughter Martha as his wife, and their daughter Sarah." This renders it 
certain, and gives the new fact of a dau. Sarah older than Samuel.^ We have 
found some descendants of Silvanus^ who went to New Salem. The name 
Eaton in his line seems to be extinct, unless there are descendants of his 
youngest son Abner® of whom we have nothing but the birth. The line of 
SamueP is much more complete than that of Benjamin^ Rev. Elisha Eaton 
of Harpswell, Me., has been positively identified by probate records as the 
son of Benjamin.^ There is yet considerable confusion in this line owing 
partly to the fact that there are several Benjamins of about the same age, 
and with wives of the same name. If this paper should fall into the hands 
of any one who can give any information on these or other points it will be 
thankfully received. The names of those of the blood of Francis Eaton', 
already collected, are in number as follows : i of the first generation, 3 of the 
second, 9 of the third, 33 of the fourth, 42 of the fifth, 77 of the sixth, 253 
of the seventh, 416 of the eighth, 376 of the ninth, 78 of the tenth and 2 of 
the eleventh, making 1,290 in all. There are many more yet to be collected. 
The first six generations are all dead. Forty or fifty of the seventh genera- 
tion are supposed to be still living, mostly elderly people. The Eatons now 
in active life are mostly of the eighth and ninth generations. The tenth 
and eleventh are young people and children. The following is an outline of 
the first four generations : 

Francis Eaton^ came over in the Mayflower in 1620. His autograph is 
preserved in the County Office at Plymouth. His name is in the list of 
freemen and is rated at 9 shillings, 25 March 1633. He was a carpenter by 
trade, and removed from Plymouth to Duxbury, where he died in the latter 
part of 1633. 22 May 1627 "The cattell w<=^ were the Companies, to wit, 


the Cowes & the Goates" were divided in 12 lots, 13 persons being " ppor- 
tioncd to one lot." "The tenth lot fell to fTrancis Eaton & those joyned w»'» I 
him, his wife Christian Eaton, Samucll Eaton, Rahell Eaton" and nine 
others. " To this lott ffell an hcyfer of the last yearc called the white belyd 

heyfer & two shee goats." Francis Eatoti^ m. first Sarah who came 

with him in the Mayflower. Bradford says she died in "the generall sick- 
nes," which was the first winter, 1620-1. He m. a second wife, name un- 
known, who died soon. He married third, Christian Penn who came over 
in the "Ann" in 1623. [In July 1634 she m. Francis Billington by whom 
she had eight children.] 

Children by first wife: — 

1. Samuel'^ b. England or Holland 1620. 

Children by second wife : — 

2. RacheP b. Plymouth i624r-.5. 

Children by third wife : — 

3. Benjamin^ b. Plymouth about 1627. 

Two others, one of whom was " an ideote," and the other probably 
died without issue. 


Samuel Eaton'' {Frauds'^) b. England or Holland 1620; came over in the 
Mayflower, " a sucking child ;" was apprenticed for " seaven yeares " to 
" John Cooke, the younger ;" was among the purchasers of Dartmouth in 
1652 ; was first of Duxbury, and afterwards "a householder" in Middleboro', 
whence he was driven back to Plymouth by the Indians at the time of 
" King Philip's War " in 1675 ; was admitted a freeman 1 June, 1663 ; d. 

Middleboro, 1684 ; m. first, before 1647, Elizabeth , by whom he had at 

least one child ; m. second, 10 Jan. 1660 Martha Billington, dau. of Francis 
and Christian (Penn) (Eaton) Billington. 

Children by first wife : — 

1. A child living in 1650 prob. d. young. 

Children by second wife : — 

2. Sarah^ b. Duxbury ? about 1661. 

3. Samuel^ b. Middleboro ? 1663. 

4. Mercy^ b. Middleboro ? about 1665. 

Rachel Eaton'^ (Francis') b. about 1624 ; m. 2 March 1645 Joseph Rains- 
den. An order of the Court in May 1652 says that he lived with his family 
"remote in the woods," and he was warned "to bring his wife and family 
with all convenient speed near unto som Naighborhood." 2 Feb. 1673 
Joseph Ramsden executed a deed of gift conveying "my house, land, and 
meadow lying in Lakenham" "to my eldest son Daniell Ramsden, and 
my proper heir and successor." [Joseph m. 16 Oct. 1661 a second wife, 
Mary Savory."] 


Children : — 

I. Daniel Ramsden^ b. 14 Sept. 1649. 
and probably others. 

Benjamin EATon^ (Francis^) b. about 1627; was bound out 11 Feb. 1635 
to " Bridgett Fuller, widow, for 14 years, shee being to keep him at schoole 
2 years ; " he was of Duxbury in 1648, of Plymouth in 1650 and later ; was 
admitted to first church in Plymouth 19 March 1693 ; m. 4 Dec. 1660 Sarah 
Hoskins, probably dau. of William. 

Children : — 

1. William^ b. about 1662 ; will proved 18 March 1690-1. 

2. Benjamin^ b. Plymouth 1664. 

3. Ebenezer^ b. about 1667. 

4. Rebecca^ m. Josiah Rickard. 


Samuel Eaton^ (Samuel,'^ Francis') b. Middleboro? 1663 ; a member of 
the first church in Middleboro, of which Rev. Samuel Fuller was the pastor, 
whose dau. Elizabeth he m. about 1694, and d. there 8 March 1723-4. 

Children : — 

1. Mercy* ["Eaighton"] b. Middleboro, 16 Dec. 1695; d, there 

before 1724. 

2. Keziah* b. Middleboro, 16 May, 1700 ; d. there 7 Feb. 1709. 
-3. Elizabeth* b. Middleboro, 26 July 1701. 

4. Barnabas'* b. Middleboro 12 April 1703 ; m. first Mehitabel Alden, 
by whom he had five children ; m. second Elizabeth Clemmons, 
by whom he had eight children. 

Mercy Eaton^ (Samuel^ Francis') b. about 1665 ; m. Samuel Fuller, son 
of Rev. Samuel, and resided in Pl)'mpton. 

Children : — 

1. Nathaniel Fuller* b. 1687. 

2. Samuel Fuller* b. 1689. 

3. William Fuller* b. 1691. 

4. Seth Fuller* b. 1692 ; m. Sarah, dau. of " Adam Wright and 
widow Deborah Cole." 

5. Ebenezer Fuller* b. 1695 ; m. Joanna Gray. 

6. Benjamin Fuller* b. 1696. 

7. Elizabeth Fuller* b. 1697. 

8. John Fuller* b. 1698. 

9. Jabez Fuller* b. 1701. 

10. Mercy Fuller* b. 1702 ; m. Ebenezer Raymond. 

11. James Fuller* b. 1704; m. Judith, dau. of Henry Rickard. 


Benjamin Eaton* (Benjamin'^, Francis') b. Plymouth 1664 ; was a 
" Housewright" at Kingston, then a part of Plymouth ; his will was dated 3 
April 1745, and probated 20 Dec. following; m. first 18 Dec. 1689 Mary 
Coombs of Middleboro, who was the mother of his twelve children ; m. 
second Susanna who d. 13 April 1739 aged 70. 

Children : — 

1. William'* b. Kingston i June 1691 ; non compos. 

2. Hannah'* b. Kingston 16 Feb. 1692 : m. Benjamin Bryant. 

3. Jabez'* b. Kingston 8 Feb. 1693 ; d. young. 

4. DanicH b. Kingston 1694. 

5. Sarah^ b, Kingston 20 Oct. 1695 ; m. Benjamin Cushman. 

6. John'*b. Kingston 6 Oct. 1697 ; m. Elizabeth Fuller. 

7. Benjamin^ b. Kingston 1698. 

. 8. Francis^ b. Kingston about 1700; resided in Middleboro, where 
/ he d. before 1748 ; m. first Thankful Alden, by whom he had 

two sons ; m. second Lydia Fuller, by whom he had seven 
9. Elisha'* b. Kingston about 1702 ; graduated at Harvard College 
1729 ; was ordained at Braintree, Mass. 2 June 1731 ; installed 
pastor of Congregational Church at HarpsweIl,Me. I754,where 
he d. 22 April, 1764 ; m. Mrs. Katharine (Belcher) Clough by 
whom he had seven children. 

10. Mary^ m. Zachariah Soule. 

11. Elizabeth'* m. Cornelius Sturtevant. 

12. David^ b. Kingston about 1709; d. 8 July 1759; m. Deborah 

Fuller by whom he had six children. 

Ebenezer Eaton^ (Benjamin^, Francis') b. about 1667-70; m. 24 Nov. 
1701, Hannah, dau. of Giles and Hannah (Dunham) Rickard of Plymouth, 
She died at North Yarmouth, Me. 26 April 1765. Their children were born 
in Plymouth. He was a house-carpenter and removed to North Yarmouth, 
Me. probably about 1719, where he died before 28 Dec. 1736 when his son 
Ebenezer presented an Inventory of his estate. He and his wife were ad- 
mitted members of the First Church in Plymouth, 4 Aug. 1706. 

Children : — 

1. Ebenezer"* b. 17 Sept. 1702 ; removed from Kingston about 1730 

to North Yarmouth, Me. where he was killed by the Indians 
20 June 1748. 

2. Benjamin^ b. 23 Nov. 1704 ; d. before 18 Aug. 1706. 

3. Mercy"* b. 15 March 1705-6. 

4. Elisha"* b. II Oct. 1708. He and his brother Gideon both joined 

the Congregational Church at North Yarmouth, 21 May 1732, 
and signed a deed there 30 April 1737 in which they call them- 
selves "husbandmen." 

5. Gideon^ b. 5 Feb. 1711-12 ; d. at North Yarmouth 18 Oct. 1786. 

6. Joanna"* b. 29 April 1716. 


II. The Family of John Eaton of Dedham. 

{Report presented by Daniel C. Eaton.) 

Materials for compiling the genealogy of the Dedham Batons have now 
been collected so fully, that not much more remains to be done in the way 
of looking up old records. The principal gap is in the family of William 
Eaton of the fifth generation, who went to Vermont from Dedham about 
1770-1780. He married Mary Thorp of Dedham at King's Chapel in Bos- 
ton, 18 Dec. 1760. Children Mar}'-, Abigail, William, Asa, Joseph were 
born in Dedham, and Jesse, Samuel and John after the family went from 
there. The descendants of Joseph and Jesse are known, those of the rest 
are. yet to be discovered. The history of the family is written out and 
ready for printing through about half of the seventh generation, but so little 
time can be spared for the work from other duties, that I can make no 
promises as to its completion. 

During the year the attempt to find the old home in England of John 
Eaton of Dedham has been prosecuted energetically, and with what success 
the following will show. In his will, dated 2 November, 1658, fifteen days 
before his decease, it is ordered that £s should be given to John Dammant 
of Reading, and £s to John Plimpton of Medfield. As John Plimpton had 
married Jane Dammant of Dedham, who came from England in 1635, then 
aged 9 years, in the same company with Mrs. Abigail Eaton, John Eaton's 
wife, it has long been supposed that there was some connection between 
the Dedham Eatons and the Reading Dammants, or Damons, for so the 
family name has usually been written. Miss Lucy E. Eaton, of Dedham, 
discovered a few years ago that in the Church Record of Dedham Jane 
Damat was styled in 1640 " the daughter of our sister Eaton." This makes 
it certain that John Eaton's wife had been the widow of a Dammant or 
Damon. In the " Damon Me/norial", published in 1882 by Rev. Samuel C. 
Damon of Honolulu, it is said that the baptism of John Damon, son of 
John Damon, is recorded under the date of June 25th, 1620, in the Parish 
register of St. Lawrence's Church, Reading, England. Carefully made 
fac-similes of this entry are now in my possession, and the true reading is 
beyond all question yi^/zw Cannon, and not JoA^t Damon. The C is a little 
peculiar, but no good reader of ancient writings could have any doubt about 
it, and the middle letters are clearly double n. 

Long-continued searches* in the probate records at Somerset house, and 
the various probate registries in Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, and at several 
parishes in London and in the counties mentioned, have brought to light 
interesting particulars about many Eatons, living between 1600 and 1650, 
named John, Thomas, William, Richard, Francis, Humphrey, James, Ed- 
mund, Peter, Henry, Robert, Walter, etc. But no records were found which 
were clearly referable to any of our New England emigrant ancestors. 
Knowing that William Eaton of Reading was registered as coming from 
Staple, it was decided last spring to try Kent ; and finally the long sought 
names were discovered in the Registers of the Church of St. James the 
Apostle in Dover. 

* These searches were made by Mrs. Minima Harman, of Llugwy, Machynlleth, North 
Wales, a lady who has had great experience in this kind of investigation. 


•■r \ 

I 2 

The extracts, ccrtifud by Rev. A. Howell Smith, the present Rector of that 
parish, read as follows: — 


r6jo yohn Eton 6^ Abigaile Doman. April j 

Walter Richards^ Rector. 


2624 Jane daughter of Henry Daman, Aug. /j 
i6jo Mary the daughter of John Eaton, Mar. 20 
i6jj John the son of JoJui Eaton Oct. 7 

Walter Richards, Rector. 

By these four concurrent pieces of evidence it is absolutely proved that 
John and Abigail Eaton and their older children came from Dover, Co. 
Kent, England. Further searches, now being made, may disclose yet more 
about them, and perhaps connect John Eaton with a family of Eatons whose 
memorials are still seen in the old churches of Dover. 

Incidental to this search there were discovered some interesting records 
relating to the family of William Eaton of Reading. It has already been 
shown by the investigations of Mr. Waters [N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, 
vol. xxxvii, p. 378J that his wife's family name was Jenkins. The following , 
are extracts from the Registers of St. James', Staple, Co. Kent, England : — 

i6jo. Martha, the daughter of William Eaton, bapt. jq Sept. 

i6ji. Alba, the daughter of William Eaton, bapt. ig Feb. ' 

idjj. William, the son of William Eaton, bapt. 12 Jan. 

i6j4. Mary, the daughter of William Eaton, buried 2g July. > 

i6j4. William, the son of William Eaton, buried 11 Aug. 

i6j^. John, the son of Williaiii o^ Martha Eaton, bapt. 20 Dec. 

These items agree perfectly with the long-known entry at Sandwich, certi- 
fied 9 June 1637, of " persons who have taken passage for the American 
plantations," and among them; — "William Eaton, of Staple, husbandman, 
'and Martha, his wife, 3 children, i servant." 

From evidence gathered in Massachusetts we knew already that these *' 3 
children " were Martha, Abigail or Abby, and John ; so that the identifica- 
tion of Staple as the former home of our William Eaton is now fully cor- 

* It should be remembered that at this time the year began about the first of April and 
ended late in March, so that in our present style the year of Mary's birth would be written 


III. The Family of John Eaton of HaTerhill. 

{Report presented by Rev. Dr. William H. Eaton ^ 

Before the formation of this Association in July 1882, I was under the 
impression that the descendants of John and Anne Eaton were very numer- 
ous. Within the last six years this impression has ripened into a full assur- 
ance of faith. I have now in my possession 4088 names which I am able to 
place in their proper connection. These names include ten generations and 
are about equally divided between the two sexes, viz : sons 2043, daughters 
2045. Among these I find 1041 marriages. In addition to these I have 
about five hundred names belonging to the Eaton race, but whether to my 
line or not is as yet uncertain. With this collection of names it is safe to say, 
that when all has been, done that ought to be done before our Genealogy is 
published, there will be at least six thousand names to be entered as the 
descendants of John and Anne Eaton. Much more work remains to be done 
in this line, though th-e most difficult half has already been accomplished. 

In the past year the Muster Rolls of the Revolutionary War, as found in 
the Massachusetts Archives, have been carefully examined by a profes- 
sional reader of old manuscripts, and all Eaton names, with their immedi- 
ate connection, have been faithfully copied for the use of the genealogists of 
this Association. I have personally examined the Muster Rolls of the 
French and Indian Wars, of the Revolutionary War, of the War of 1812, and 
of the War of the Rebellion, as put forth in the report of the Adjutant Gen- 
eral of the State of New Hampshire, and have copied whatever I found per- 
taining to the Eaton name. There is now in the hands of our Secretary, a 
full record of all Eaton pensioners for services in the Revolution, as found 
in the Pension office in the city of Washington. And I have the promJse, 
whenever I will ask for it, of a like record of all Eaton pensioners past and 
present, whenever their services for the government were rendered. With 
correctly certified copies of all those rolls before us, as now indicated, we 
shall be able to designate pretty fairly those of our respective clans who 
have been in the wars. And we are all desirous that due credit should be 
given to our ancestors who have thus served their country. 

It is with pleasure that I speak to you of a very enjoyable trip that some 
lew of my " Kith and Kin" took last August to the old homesteads of our 
ancestors in Salisbury and Haverhill, in the eastern part of Massachusetts. 
Our original ancestor in this country spent six years or more in Salisbury, 
and then moved to Haverhill. He had two sons ; one married and lived in 
Salisbury, and the other went with his father to Haverhill. So there were 
ancestral homes to be visited in both places. We met first in Haverhill at 2 
o'clock p. M. on Tuesday Aug. 7th. At this hour we took a barge for the 
' West Parish, about 2 miles distant, where the Eatons established a home in 
the autumn of 1646. Here we identified, beyond all reasonable doubt, 
three important estates formerly held by the Eatons. One which stood 
' nearly opposite to the "Garrison House," is clearly traced back to the pos- 
session of Thomas Eaton, of the fourth generation, who was born in 1686, 
and married in 1729. His eldest son, Joseph, remained on the home place, 
where he had a family of ten children, most of whom are represented in this 




Association. Another was " Capt. Timothy Eaton's Mansion " built about 
one hundred years ago. Capt. Timothy's sons, Isaiah, Timothy, Jr., Daniel, 
Phineas and Ward, are well known to many here to-day. We also found 
the old cellar over which formerly stood the house of James Eaton, who 
was born March 9, 1697. This estate was owned by his father, Jonathan of 
the third generation, and was probably, as tradition has it, the homestead of 
John and Anne Eaton from 1646 to the day of their death. Many of the de- 
scendants of the before mentioned James Eaton are connected with this 
Association. The oldest grave stone which we found with a legible inscrip- 
tion was erected to his memory. The inscription is ; 

" Here lies the body of 

Mr. James Eaton. 

He died March 18: 1773. 

In the 76th. year of his age." 

We imagined that his ancestors were buried on a line just north of him, 
where were six or eight unmarked graves. 

In the evening some thirty or more of the good people of Haverhill, con- 
nected with the Eatons by blood or marriage, came in to see us at our hotel, 
and made us glad b}'^ their presence, sympathy and words of cheer. Among 
this number we can not fail to mention the name of William Cogswell, M. 
D., of Bradford. On Wednesday morning Aug. 8th, we Avent down to Salis- 
bury by rail, where we were shown by Eaton friends the first homestead of 
our original American ancestor. It consisted of 2^ acres lying only a 
stone's cast from where the depot now stands. His farm was about a mile 
distant on the road to the Beach on the " Great Neck," so called. If tradi- 
tion is true, and all known records seem to confirm it, this estate has been 
in the hands of the Eatons for about 250 years, and is now owned by seven 
sisters, daughters of the late James Eaton of Salisbury. It was here that a 
choice dinner was served for our company by one of the seven sisters, Mrs. 
Mary Jane Lake. This was the homestead of Jonathan Eaton of the fourth 
generation who married Judith Ash in 1720. They were the parents of The- 
ophilus Eaton, who, with his brother Jonathan and cousin William, settled on 
Deer Isle, Maine, more than a hundred years ago. After dinner we sepa- 
rated with the blessings of seven generations resting upon us. Rev. H. M. 
Eaton of Middleboro, Mass., and Prest. John Eaton of Marietta College, 
Ohio, contributed largely to the enjoyment of this family gathering. 

The author of this report remained in Salisbury for the next three weeks, 
and spent much of his time in visiting the descendants of former genera- 
tions. He was especially aided in his investigations by Mrs. Mary Jane 
Lake, Mr. Perkins Merrill and his mother, and by Mr. Lewis Greenleaf. 
Estates owned by Eatons of the fourth, fifth and sixth generations were 
pointed out and described with great definiteness. The ancestry of quite a, 
number of families was given verbally by women whose memory seemed al- 
most infallible. This excursion to Haverhill and Salisbury will be of great 
value to this Association, though there was no draft upon its treasury. 

The author of this report still solicits help from all living descendants of 
John and Anne Eaton. I 



IT. The Family of Jonas Eaton of Reading. 

{Report transmitted by William L. Eaton.) 

It is not known precisely when Jonas Eaton came to New England from 
the mother country. About 1643 he was in Watertown, Mass. He had left 
England with thousands of his countrymen at a time when the exactions and 
oppression of the Stuart Charles had turned the thought and hopes of Eng- 
lish freeman to the wilderness over the seas. Of his parentage we are 
ignorant ; as yet his birthplace is unknown ; and whether he brought his bride 
with him to grace his rude home, or whether he found her among the towns 
that for ten or more years had been struggling and thriving on the banks of 
the Charles and Mystic, is a matter for conjecture. The maiden name of our 
revered mother has not been saved from oblivion, and the inference is a 
strong one that she left kith and kin and alone followed the fortunes of 
her accepted husband. 

Before settling in Reading it is quite certain that Jonas Eaton lived in 
Watertown, for he bought and sold land in that township, and there is some 
reason to believe that his older children were born there or in the adjoining 
town of Sudbury. In Reading, however, he made permanent settlement on 
Cowdrey's Hill. (The part of the town near the Great Pond, where settlement 
was made came to be South Reading, and recently has changed its name 
to Wakefield). In 1648 he was a member of the First Church, and in 1653 
the General Court of the Colony made him " freeman." He was honored 
by his fellow townsmen with the office of Selectman. This honor, however, 
did not save him from a fine of six-pence, imposed once upon him and some 
of his neighbors for being late in coming to town-meeting. Civic privileges 
were serious obligations in those early days. 

For nearly forty years Jonas lived and thrived in Reading. Of his pros- 
perity the evidence is abundant. Nine children were born to him and Grace 
his wife, and their births are recorded, all on the same page, in the ancient 
records of Reading. Two sons, Jonas and David, died, in infancy; one 
daughter died unmarried at an advanced age ; five sons and one daughter 
became the heads of families. In children and grandchildren, therefore, he 
was prospered. With lands and houses, too, with barns and cattle he was 
well provided. In the several divisions of the common lands in Reading he 
drew large portions ; to his estate he added much by purchase. His minister's 
rate in 1666 was £2, i6s. 6d., a sum that indicates the prosperity of the rate 
payer. He owned two dwelling houses and a barn, and at the time of his 
death was building a second barn. The winter he died there were fed in his 
barn six oxen, eighteen head of other cattle, twenty-three sheep, thirteen 
swine, two horses and three colts, and the ample bins were filled with the 
produce of his fields. Carts, chains, plows, yokes, wedges, beetles, spades, 
shovels, six axes, chisels, planes, augers, 5000 shingles, sawyer stuff and 
boards, all appear among the inventoried articles of his estate, and clearly 
show that Jonas Eaton and his sons turned their hands to the multifarious 
occupations of the pioneer life they led, and that tools were abundant and 
suited to their needs. 

The inventory also reveals a house well stocked with house-keeping 


appliances. Three pounds value of pewter and tin adorned their " cubbard" 
and six pounds value of irons and brasses ornamented their fire-places. 
Books were there, appraised at two pounds. The saddle, pillion, and cloth 
suggest to us the picture of Jonas and his wife, mounted on the same horse, 
winding down Cowdrey Hill Sunday after Sunday to the rude meeting- 
house by the Great Pond. They were devout worshippers at the meeting, 
and at home they lived a godly life. They brought up a God-fearing family 
whose vigorous faith shaped the lives and characters of their descendants 
for many generations. 

Jonas Eaton died Feb, 24, 1674. In his will, which may be read in the 
Probate Office at Cambridge, Mass., he provides with tender solicitude for 
the comforts and care of his life companion. To John, his eldest son, he 
gives the farm and housings at Pine Plains, and upon Jonas, his namesake, 
he bestows the homestead. The care of their mother he enjoins upon John 
and Jonas. Joseph receives £30, Joshua and Jonathan ^15 each. Mary, 
the eldest daughter, receives an annuity of 40 shillings " so long as she lives 
a maide," and Sarie Dodge, his second daughter is given £s. His estate was 
appraised at ^950, i6s., 4d. In 1680, Grace Eaton married Henry Silsbee of 
Lynn, and as our researches have made it quite certain that no Grace Eaton 
other than the widow of Jonas Eaton was then in the colonies, we must con- 
clude that our maternal ancestor died Grace Silsbee. When and where she 
died is unrecorded. 

Mary, the eldest child of Jonas and Grace, died a spinster. In 1731, April 
4, " dyed at Reading Mary Eaton, aged 90 yrs., at the house of her nephew 
Thomas Eaton." There is little doubt that we have here a copy of the 
record of the death of Mary Eaton, daughter of Jonas. 

John, the eldest son, b. Sept. 10, 1645 was " John of the Plain." This has 
been proven beyond a doubt. He married Dorcas Green, Nov. 26, 1674, 
and had a family of twelve children. Several of these children, five sons 
and perhaps a daughter, died in childhood. Noah lived to be 23 yrs. old, 
and died unmarried. Grace and Phebe, daughters, married, the one in 
1698 John Boutwell of Reading, the other in 1714 Jonathan Nichols. 
Jonas b. 18 May 1680 settled in Framingham, where he was known as 
farmer, carpenter, tanner and bricklayer. In 1717 he was one of the Select- 
men of the town. He founded one of the most prosperous, numerous and 
widely dispersed branches of our Line. Of these families, Framingham, 
Sudbury, Charlestown, Groton, Barre (Mass.), Warren (Me.), Plainfield and 
Killingly (Ct.), and many western towns have been centres. Many clergy- 
men, lawyers, physicians, teachers, merchants, farmers are found among the 
descendants of Jonas of Framingham. Joseph, son of John and Dorcas 
b. about 1184, lived in Lynn and Reading, and had extensive holdings of 
real estate in Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties. Joseph, son of 
Joseph, married Mary Pearson of Lynn, and Pearson has come down to our 
day as an Eaton family name in this branch. To this branch belong a large 
number of Eatons who trace their ancestors to Lunenburg, Mass. The writer 
of this sketch has correspondents of this branch in Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois and California. From 
Benjamin son of John and Dorcas b. 16 Jan. 1683 are descended many 



Eatons of Boston, Roxbury and Marblehead. John Eaton died May 24, 
1691, and his widow, Dorcas, married Abraham Bryant in 1693. 

Jonas Eaton, son of Jonas and Grace b. 24 Sept. 1648, married Hannah 
Mason. The names and birth-dates of seven children are recorded at 
Reading. In 1696 he sold the homestead he inherited and in 1701 he and 
his wife Hannah " owned the covenant" in the presence of the Meeting at 
Reading. We have no trace of him nor of his family afterward. 

Joseph the third son of Jonas and Grace to live, was born 5 Jan. 1651. He 
settled in Beverly, Mass., where were born his two children, Mercy and Jo- 
seph. His grandchildren have been traced into Connecticut, but it is not 
known what became of them afterward. 

Joshua the fourth son of Jonas and Grace settled in Reading, where he 
filled the offices of Selectman and Representative to the General Court, and 
was a Corporal in the Militia. His descendants inherited their ancestor's 
love for the military, and the titles of Captain and Lieutenant were common 
among them. Joshua Eaton was a prosperous farmer and tanner. His eldest 
son, Joshua, was the father of the first descendant of Jonas to graduate at 
Harvard College. His name was Joshua and he graduated in 1735. He 
studied law and practiced at Worcester. He soon felt called to enter the 
ministry, and was for many years settled at Spencer, Mass. He married Sarah 
Eliot, a descendant of the Indian Apostle. Two of his sons, Joshua and 
John Eliot Eaton, graduated at Harvard. Of the children of the latter, John 
Eliot Eaton, Jr., became a physician, well known in central Massachusetts, 
and a daughter Lydia Woolcot Eaton became the mother of Henry C. Bowen, 
widely known as the editor of the Independent. There are no descendants 
in the male line of Joshua [III] living. Thomas, the second son of Joshua 
[II], married Lydia Pierce of Watertown, and held many offices, civil and 
military in Reading. His descendants are numerous and are found in 
Reading, Woburn, Winchester, Mass., and in Vermont. Surgeon Joseph 
Eaton, late U. S. A., and Gen. Joseph H. Eaton, U. S. A., belong to this 
branch. The Auburn, Mass. Eatons, an influential and prosperous family, 
are of this line. Many families in and near Boston are descended from 
Charles, the third son of Joshua [II]. The late Rev. Edwin A. Eaton of 
Boston and the Rev. Chas. H. Eaton of New York are of this family. 

The descendants of Jonathan, the fifth son of Jonas and Grace, are proba- 
bly more numerous than those of John. His children numbered eleven, 
and of these four sons, John, Nathaniel, Samuel, and Noah became the 
heads of large families. From John are descended the Eatons of Amherst, 
and Wilton, N. H., and many Boston and Cambridge families. From 
Nathaniel have come the Westminster, Mass. families, and the widely-dis- 
persed families who trace their lineage to Nathan Eaton of Maiden, Mass. 
A large and prosperous family of this branch lived at Ludlow, Vt. The 
descendants of Samuel have separated far and wide. Sudbury and Worces- 
ter, Mass. were the centres of dispersion, and nearly every Northern State 
from Maine to California contains representatives of this branch. From 
Noah came by far the larger number of the Wakefield and Woburn Eatons. 
Noah Eaton married Phebe, daughter of Dr. Lilley of Woburn. Their son 
Noah inherited the Lilley homestead and settled in Woburn. Their son 


Lilley settled in Reading, now Wakefield. The Hon. Lilley Eaton, late of 
Reading, historian of his native town, and for many years its leading citizen, 
was a grandson of Noah Eaton. Many others of the descendants of Noah 
Eaton have filled creditably influential positions in church and town. 

Sarah, the second daughter of Jonas and Grace Eaton, married Joseph 
Dodge of Beverly, Mass., where she settled and brought up a large family of 
children. In general, no eflfort has been made to trace the descendants of 
daughters beyond one generation. This work properly belongs to the 
genealogists of the husbands' families. 

In our investigations many interesting incidents and facts have been dis- 
covered, which cannot be set forth in a brief report. A line or two, however, 
may be taken to emphasize what must give enduring satisfaction to every 
Eaton in whose heart burns the torch of patriotism. The early colonial 
muster rolls are sprinkled with the names of Eatons. In large numbers 
they answered to the call of duty in the War for Independence. Sailor sons 
of Jonas suffered cruel impressment by the British in the early years of this 
century, and later helped with a will to fight for " Sailors' Rights." Finally, 
from every loyal State in 1861, unnumbered Eatons of this line joined the 
Union hosts who marched through victory to a freer and nobler Union. 

Enough material has been gathered to fill a large volume with the his- 
tories and genealogies of the descendants of Jonas. More than five thou- 
sand names are entered in our classified papers. Many records remain to 
be obtained. It is to be regretted that trace of the families of two of the 
sons of Jonas and Grace has been lost. To prepare the material in hand, 
and to secure what more is accessible, will be a laborious work that will 
consume more time than the writer of this account dares to estimate, or even 
contemplate, when only the leisure moments of a busy life are available for 
the work. 



Y. The Family of William Eaton of Reading^. 

{Report presented by Daniel A. Eaton.) 

William was born, it is supposed in England, about the year 1604 or 1606, 
and married Martha Jenkins about 1633. He was a husbandman at Staple in 
the county of Kent, where his older children were born, and two of them 
buried. The following list of his children is made up from the records of 
the parish of St. James in Staple, and from the town records of Watertown, 

Children: — 

1. Mary ; buried at Staple, 29 July 1634. 

2. Martha, baptized at Staple, 19 Sept. 1630. 

3. Abigail or Abby, baptized at Staple, 19 Feb. 1631 (= 1632). 

4. William, baptized at Staple, 12 Jan. 1633 (= 1634), and buried 

there 11 Aug. 1634. 

5. John, baptized at Staple, 20 Dec. 1635 (just fifteen years after the 

landing of the Pilgrims). 

6. Daniel, born at Watertown, 20 Jan. 1639 (= 1640). 

7. Mary, born at Watertown, 8 April 1643. 

William and Martha, with three children, Martha, Abigail and John, and 
a servant, took passage from Sandwich, for the American Plantations, the 
list certified to 9 June 1637. He was a proprietor or land-holder in Water- 
town, Mass., in 1642, and was made Freeman in 1653. 

After arriving in America, Martha the eldest daughter married first, Rich- 
ard Oldham, and second, Thomas Brown, of Cambridge, Mass., and had 
two children by the first husband, and six by the second. Abigail or Abby, 
married Francis Moore, 7 Sept. 1650 ; it is not known that she left any 

John married Elizabeth Kendall, 8 March 1658, and lived in Reading, 
Mass., and had four sons and seven daughters. Two of the sons, John and 
William, and all the daughters lived to be married, and it is believed that 
all of these had families. 

Daniel, born in Watertown, Mass., 20 January 1639, married Mary , 

21 Dec. 1&64, and had four sons and five daughters. One son died in 
infancy ; of the others William and Daniel went to Connecticut, and Thomas 
lived in Lynn, Mass. Three of the daughters were married. 

Mary, born in Watertown, 8 April 1643, married Richard Dodge, 23 Feb. 
1668. They had five children. 

William the father, moved to Reading, Mass., where he died 13 May 1673, 
leaving property inventoried at £421 1 s., his wife Martha made sole Execu- 
trix, and Martha his wife, Mary, daughter, John and Daniel, sons, and 
Thomas Brown and Francis Moope, sons-in-law, legatees. 

Martha the mother, died 14 Nov. 1680, she left a will dated 24 Nov. 1675,- 
inventory of property, ;i^20. lis., sons John and Daniel, daughter Mary, and 
sons-in-law, legatees. 


William and Martha were members of the First Church in Reading from 
1648 to their death. 

Their descendants are scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from 
Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and represent all the professions and trades 
in life : — they also participated in the French and Revolutionary Wars, and 
in the Rebellion, many giving their lives for their country. 

We have not been able to accomplish as much toward the completion of 
our record during the past year as desired, but have done what we could. 

In our last report we had 1333 Eaton names. This year our summary is 
as follows : 

1st generation, our ancestor, William Eaton, and wife Martha. 




and 4 













" 84 



" 183 






" 126 









This makes a total of 1553, a gain of 220 names during the year. The 
solitary representative of the eleventh generation, so far as reported, was 
born last July. The above numbers do not include the children of the mar- 
ried daughters of the family, nor their children, or else the numbers would 
be very much larger than they are. Our records are still very incomplete, 
and could all the names which belong to us be obtained we could doubtless 
report a much greater number, and this very incompleteness makes it very 
uncertain when we shall be able to send our work to the printer. The year's 
additions to the names recorded are of persons in every generation, from the 
second to the eleventh. 



As amended October j/, 1888. 

I. The Eaton Family Association was organized in Boston, Massa- 
chusetts, July 25th, 1882. Its objects are genealogical research among the 
several families of the name, and the cultivation of mutual acquaintance 
and friendship. 

II. All persons of the Eaton name or race shall be eligible for member- 
ship, and may become members of the Association by assenting to these 
Articles, and sending their names to the Secretary. 

III. The officers shall be a President, five Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, 
a Treasurer, an Executive Committee of from five to ten members, and a 
Finance and Auditing Committee of three ; and the President, Secretary, 
Treasurer, and the Chairman of the Finance Committee shall be members 
ex-officio of the Executive Committee. These officers shall hold office for 
one year or until others shall be chosen at a regular meeting of the Asso- 
ciation, and the Executive Committee shall have power to fill any vacancies 
that may occur. 

IV. The Treasurer shall pay accounts after they have been approved by 
the President, the Secretary, and the Chairman of the Finance Committee. 

V. Members of the Association are expected to take an active interest 
in its various objects, and likewise to contribute annually to its funds 
according to their ability. 

VI. The Association shall meet annually in the month of August or at 
such times as the Executive Committee shall determine. 

VII. This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the 
Association by a majority vote of those present. 


JUL z laju