Thomas French Jr.

Thomas FRENCH Jr. (1722 – 1793) was Alex’s 7th Great Grandfather, one of 256 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Thomas French was born 16 Apr 1722 in Attleborough, Bristol, Mass.  His parents were Thomas FRENCH Sr. and Mary BROWN.  He married Keziah PERRY on 2 Jan 1745/46 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.  Thomas died 10 Sep 1793 in Attleborough, Mass. and is buried in the Old Kirk Yard.

Thomas French Headstone

Keziah Perry was born 7 Aug 1724 in Rehoboth, Mass.  Her parents were Jasiel PERRY and Rebecca Peck WILMARTH.   Keziah died 13 Nov 1804 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass,

Keziah Perry

Children of Thomas and Keziah:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary French 14 Jan 1746/47
  15 May 1748 Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.
2. Mary French 28 Oct 1748 Attleboro 1 May 1749
3. Thomas French 18 Feb 1750 Attleboro 30 Sep 1757 Attleboro
4. Christopher Peter French 29 Mar 1752 Attleboro Margaret Perry (granddaughter of Jasiel PERRY)
25 Nov 1773
West Stockbridge
Lydia Perry
25 May 1805
West Stockbridge
2 Dec 1845
West Stockbridge, Mass
5. Keziah French 2 Mar 1754 Attleboro 20 Feb 1756 Attleboro
6. Keziah French 21 Feb 1756 Attleborough John Dryer
21 Apr 1778
28 Aug 1826
New York
7. Sarah FRENCH 6 Apr 1758 Attleborough Seth RICHARDSON II
12 Jan 1778
Attleboro, Mass
18 Feb 1816 Attleborough
8. Thomas French 23 Apr 1761
Mercy Willmarth
24 Jun 1783
Polly Sweet
1 Jan 1801 Attleboro
9 Apr 1838
9. Phebe French 2 Nov 1762
15 Sep 1845
10. Lydia French (twin) 3 Sep 1969
Attleboro, Mass
Daniel Balkcom
27 Mar 1792
Rehoboth, Mass
11. Lucy French (twin) 3 Sep 1769
Attleboro, Mass
John or James Cobb
25 Nov 1786

Thomas French Jr was a Private in Captain Alexander Foster’s Company, Colonel John Daggett’s Regiment marching to Bristol Rhode Island on the alarm Dec 8, 1776.  Service 25 Days.   December 8, 1776 at Newport, Rhode Island – Gen. Sir Henry Clinton, under orders from Gen. William Howe, who had found Clinton’s insistent advice aggrevating, sailed into Newport with 6,000 soldiers and took possession of Newport without any resistance.
Conclusion: British Victory

Thomas also was part of Captain Stephen Richardson’s Company Attleborough Service 25 days.  Company marched from Attleborough to Rhode Island Apr 21, 1777 to hold the line until men could be raised for that purpose for two months .

Also Captain Israel Trow’s Company, Colonel Josiah Whitney’s Regiment May 14 – July 6 1777 in Rhode Island.  In July, 1777, the Massachusetts Council of War, suddenly aware of New England’s peril if the victorious progress of Burgoyne was not stayed, hurriedly sent heavy reinforcements of militia to aid Gen. Benj.  Lincoln, who was then harassing the rear of the invading army. Col. Josiah Whitney, on July 27 ordered a draft of one-sixth of the training bands and alarm lists in his regiment to march at once to Bennington with six days rations, and on Aug. 2 ordered one-half of the militia to follow with eight days rations.

Also Corporal in Captain Richardson’s Company, Colonel George William’s Regiment.  Company marched on a secret expedition from Taunton Sep 25 – Oct 29, 1777.

Our ancestors Thomas Frence Jr and his son-in-law Seth Richardson were both on this Secret Mission Source: A sketch of the history of Attleborough: from its settlement to the division By John Daggett 1894


4. Christopher French

Christopher’s first wife Margaret Perry was born 21 May 1755 in Rehoboth, Mass. Her parents were David Perry (1719 – 1807) and Margaret Dryer (1722 – 1806). Her grandparents were Jasiel PERRY and Rebecca Peck WILLMARTH. Margaret died 16 Nov 1804 in West Stockbridge, Mass.

Some say Christopher’s second wife Lydia Perry was Margaret’s sister, but I haven’t found evidence of her parents.  According to the 1850 census, she was born 1764 in Mass. Lydia died 3 Jan 1854 in West Stockbridge, Berkshire, Mass.

Christopher French, his father Thomas French and his brother Thomas French jr. all served in the Revolutionary War. Christopher was Corporal in Captain Israel Trowbridge’s Company,  Colonel Josiah Whitney‘s regiment. the company served in Rhode Island from May 14, 1777 to July 6, 1777.

He migrated to Berkshire County with his family after he was discharged. Christopher had 12 Children and 2 wives. 1st Margaret Perry who died in West Stockbridge and 2nd her sister Lydia Perry.    The French family lives on or near Long Pond Road, in Williamsville, West Stockbridge, Mass, a couple of miles from the New York border.

West Stockbridge, Berkshire, Massachusetts

West Stockbridge was first settled in 1766 and was officially incorporated in 1775. The town grew out of Stockbridge, formerly known as Indiantown, and was originally called Queensborough. The area was part of the disputed border between Massachusetts and New York, which eventually left the town in its current state. The town grew as five separate villages (West Center, West Stockbridge, Freedleyville, Rockdale and Williamsville), with West Stockbridge growing the largest because of the railroad, which hauled iron ore and marble. The town had an ironworks in Williamsville, founded by Colonel Elijah Williams, and the furnace smokestack is the only part which remains of the works.

Christopher French Gravestone — South Cemetery, West Stockbridge, Berkshire, Massachusetts

Christopher  is buried in the Slauter cemetery (now called South Cemetery). This same Christopher French was a cooper in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He was 92 years old and still working at his trade when his great grand-daughter, Julia Jayne Trumbull visited on her wedding Trip in 1843.

Children of Christopher and Margaret

i. Margaret French b. 18 Jan 1775 in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, Mass; d. 4 Feb 1848; Burial: Orcutt Cemetery, Noxen, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania; m.7 Mar 1793 in West Stockbridge to Joseph Jackson (b. 25 Apr 1769 in Granville,  Hampden, Mass – d. 29 Mar 1833 in Monroe, Wyoming, PA) Margaret and Joseph had eight children born between 1793 and 1810.

Joseph and Margaret French Jackson came from Massachusetts into New York State within 10 years after 1793, the year of their marriage, and settled at Pompey, Onaudago, New York.  The 3 oldest children were born in Massachusetts and the 3 sons, Goerge, Henry and Alonzo were born in New York State.

Sometime after 1802, Joseph and Margaret came from Pompey, New York to Bowmans Creek, Pennsylvania, later known as Monroe in Monroe Township PA. They settled on a farm on Leonards Creek in Monroe Township and built the large farm house later known as the “Tom May Place,” in the heavy virgin timber along the creek.  Leonard’s Creek is 16 miles northwest of Wilkes Barre along Pennsylvania Route 309. There were many large sawmills to prepare the lumber and great mills to prepare the corn and wheat flour on this creek. The graves of Joseph and Margaret Jackson are marked by a large white marble upright slab with the inscription of Joseph on one side and Margaret French on the opposite side.

ii. Mary “Polley” French b. 27 Oct 1777 in Attleboro or West Stockbridge, MA; d. 12 Aug 1810 West Stockbridge; m. 01 May 1798 in West Stockbridge to Solomon Reed  (b. 1779 in West Stockbridge-  d. 15 Apr 1839 West Stockbridge) After Polley died, Solomon married Amy French (b. 17 Oct 1785 in West Stockbridge, – d. 27 Nov 1863 in West Stockbridge). Amy’s parents were cousins Nathaniel French (1755 – ) and Bethiah French (1757 – 1832) Amy was Polley’s second cousin through her father’s side and third cousin on her mother’s side.

iii. Olive French b. 29 Sep 1779 in West Stockbridge, MA; d. 20 Nov 1844 Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois; Burial: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Plot: block 10 lot 138; m. 6 Oct 1797 in West Stockbridge to Elijah Slater (b. 8 Dec 1775 in Wyoming County, PA; d. 6 Jul 1836 Springfield, Illinois; Burial: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Plot: block 10 lot 108)

Elijah and Olive Slater were two of the original members of the Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois. The church was founded in 1828 and Elijah was enrolled as an elder Jan 3, 1832.

In 1828 Springfield was still a prairie village with a population not exceeding 200 inhabitants living in 35 log cabins and 6 frame houses. There were a few stores and taverns which made the village a trading center for settlers and Indians who came from as far as 75 miles distance to make purchases. These consisted mostly of staples, including iron castings, nails, coffee, salt and whiskey. Much of the trade was by barter. The Indians brought furs and skins and the whites grain, produce and game. While the village was a crude one by our standards [1953], the crudeness applied only to the man-made part of it, the streets and buildings, and was offset by the natural beauty of the rolling meadows, winding streams.

Elijah Slater bio Source: History of the early settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois : “centennial record”

I don’t normally include great grandchildren (our ancestors’ 2nd cousins), but the story of Samuel Slater’s escape from the Texas Vigilance Committee is so dramatic, that I had to make an exception:

Elijah and Olive Slater Children 1

Elijah and Olive Slate Children 2

Elijah and Olive Slater Children 3

Springfield’s original name was Calhoun, after Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. The land that Springfield now occupies was originally settled by trappers and traders who came to the Sangamon River in 1818. The settlement’s first cabin was built in 1820, by John Kelly, its site is at the northwest corner of Second Street and Jefferson Street. In 1821, Calhoun became the county seat of Sangamon County; due to the fertile soil, and trading opportunities. Settlers from Kentucky, Virginia, and as far as North Carolina came to the city. By 1832, Senator Calhoun had fallen out of the favor with the public and the town renamed itself Springfield after Springfield, Massachusetts.

iv. Christopher French b. 16 Jul 1781 in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, MA; d. 7 Oct 1782 in West Stockbidge

v. Christopher French II b. 15 Oct 1783 in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, MA; d. 18 Aug 1855 in W. Stockbridge, MA; m. 20 Aug 1804 W. Stockbridge to Lavina Lois Brown (b. 1788 in West Stockbridge – d. 24 Aug 1857 in West Stockbridge) Lois’ parents were Ebenezer Brown (1757 – ) and Bathsheba Nichols (1758 – ). Christopher and Lois had seven children born between 1805 and 1822 in West Stockbridge.

vi. John French b. 17 Aug 1785 in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, MA; d. 28 Mar 1839 in West Stockbidge; m. 21 Mar 1811 in Egremont, Berkshire, Mass. to Phena Alcott (b. 1789 in Egremont, Mass. – d. 1857)

vii. Esther French b. 29 Feb 1788 (leap day) in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, MA; d. 15 Mar 1877 Augusta, Oneida, New York; Burial Knoxboro-Augusta Cemetery; m.  22 Oct 1808 in W. Stockbridge to Oliver Otis Robbins (b. 3 Aug 1783 Bernardston, Franklin, Mass – d. 18 Dec 1871 Augusta, Oneida, New York; Burial Knoxboro-Augusta Cemetery) Oliver’s parents were Lemuel Robbins (b. 1741 Plympton, Plymouth Mass. – d. 3 Mar 1824 Burial Knoxboro-Augusta Cemetery, Augusta, Oneida County, New York,) and Rachel Bass (1750 – ). Ester and Oliver had eight children born between 1809 and 1828.

Oliver’s father Lemuel woked in forges in CT and MA. Owned a forge with son, Thomas in Salisbury, CT Worked iron forge in Litchfield Co, CT which were noted for their manufacture and supply of war materials during the Revolutionary War. Wife Rachel Bass (born 1750), insane at end of life. Father of 6 children. 1814 Moved to Augusta, NY, with son Oliver Otis

Bernardston is named for Governor Francis Bernard, who was royal governor at the time of incorporation. The town’s lands were originally set off for the officers and soldiers (or their descendants) involved in the “Falls Fight”, (See my post Turner’s Falls Fight) a battle loosely related to King Philip’s War, in 1676. During the later years of the French and Indian War, the area was the site of raids.

In the 1870 census, Oliver (86) and Ester (82) were living near Oriskany Falls in Augusta, Oneida, New York

viii. Lucenda “Lurena” French b. 3 Jun 1790 in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, MA; d. 5 Nov 1848; m. (int.) 2 Mar 1812  West Stockbridge to Sylvanus F. Slauter (Slaughter) (b. 22 Aug 1790 in West Stockbridge – d 17 Mar 1852 in Westfield, Hampden, Mass.) Sylvanus’ parents were Ephraim Slauter (1755 – 1843) and Lydia Fuller (1758 – 1825). Lurena and Sylvanus had nine children born between 1812 and 1831.

Sylvanus’ grandfather Gilbert Slauter (Gulbert Slawter in the rolls) was killed in action Nov 12, 1778. He was a private in the Winchester County New York Militia 2nd Regiment under Col. Thomas Thomas.

Ephraim Slauter Bio from his 2nd great grandson’s (Lucius Demming b. 1858) Sons of the American Revolution Application

ix. Peter French, b. 29 May  1792 in W. Stockbridge, MA; d. 07 Apr 1858 in W. Stockbridge, MA; m1.  30 Oct 1813 West Stockbridge to Malinda Slauter (b. 1794 in W Stockbridge – d. 6 Nov 1834 West Stockbridge); m2.  4 Apr 1835 in Washington, Berkshire County to Betsy M.. Codding (b. 1801 – d. 17 Dec 1837 West Stockbridge); m3. 6 Jun  1838 in West Stockbridge and Washington, MA. to Achsah Codding (b. 1809 – d. 2 Jun 1862 West Stockbridge)

x. Thomas French b. 24 Apr 1794 in W. Stockbridge, Berkshire, Mass; d. 8 May 1871 in West Stockbridge; m.  1 Jan 1817  to Esther Hale (b. ~1792 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Mass.; d 21 Jun, 1871 in West Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., Mass. Thomas and Esther had seven children between 1818 and 1828.

xi. Eliza “Elise” French b. 17 Jun  1797 in West Stockbidge, Berkshire, Mass; d.  ~1881 in Cilfton Park, NY; m. 20 Dec 1814 West Stockbridge to William Bishop (b. 7 May  1778 in W. Stockbridge, MA. – d. 1860) Eliza and William had six children born between 1815 and 1836.

xii. Almire (or Almira, or Elmira) French b. 13 Jul  1799 in W. Stockbridge, Berkshire, MA; d. 31 Dec 1881 Ovid,  Seneca, New York; m.~1829 to Chester or Otis Belden or Belding (b. 31 May 1799 in Columbia, New York – d.  22 Nov  1878 in Canaan, Columbia, New York) Chester’s parents were Job Kelsey Belding (1762 – 1830) and Martha Dean (1763 – 1850)

In the 1850 census, Chester and Almira were farming in Canaan, Columbia, New York with five children at home ages 12 to 27.

6. Keziah French

Keziah’s husband John Dryer, Jr. was born 23 Jan 1754 – Rehoboth, Bristol, Mass. His parents were John Dryer and Mary Read. John died 29 Sep 1826 in Junius, Seneca, New York

John’s name appears on a Muster Roll of Capt. Samuel Bliss’s Company of Minute Men from Rehoboth, from the 19th of April to the 27th , 1775 each 8 day’s service

His name also appears on a list of men under Capt. Samuel Bliss who enlisted for 8 months from April and May, 1775, in Col. Timothy Walker’s Regiment.

Children of Keziah and John:

i. Israel Dryer b. 31 Mar 1774 in Rehoboth, Mass; d. 26 Dec 1866 New York; m1. 10 May 1802 in West Stockbridge, Berkshire, Mass to Sarah Wood (b. 22 Jun 1786 in West Stockbridge, Ma – d. 23 Mar 1820); m2. 23 Oct 1825 to Eunice Wadhams Cross (b. 1795 in Tyre, New York – d. 26 Feb 1835); m3. 1836 to Lydia Beebe. Israel had three children with Sarah and three more with Eunice.

ii. Mary Dryer b. 1781 in Richmond, Berkshire, Mass.; d. 1853 Clyde; m. 19 May 1803 in Richmond to Luther Redfield (b. 26 Nov 1780 in Richmond – d. 10 Jun 1867 in Monroe, Michigan) Luther’s parents were Beriah Redfield and Dorothy Stevens. Mary and Luther had eight children born between 1804 and 1818.

In January 1806 Luther and Mary moved to Junius, Seneca, NY, then a wilderness. He was an active, substantial citizen… a farmer. He was Captain of the militia. When the British landed at Sodus on Sunday, Jun 18, 1813 he and his company were summoned from worship. In May of 1822 moved to Clyde, Wayne, County, NY. Died June 10, 1867 in Monroe, Michigan.

Luther Redfield (1780 – 1867

In the 1850 census, Luther and Mary were retired in Galen, Wayne, New York.

iii. John Dryer b. 13 Dec 1783 in

iv. Keziah Dryer b. 5 Nov 1786 in

v. Huldah Dryer b. 7 Sep 1789 in Mass; d. Penfield, Monroe, New York; m. 15 May 1809 in Junius, Seneca, New York to Elias Grow (b. 7 Apr 1785 in Hartland, Windsor, Vermont – d. 3 Sep 1831 ) Elias’ parents were John Grow and Deborah Davison. Huldah and Elias had seven children between 1812 and 1825.

vi. Daniel Dryer b. 7 Apr 1792 in West Stockbridge, Mass;

vii. Chester Dryer b. 16 Mar 1795 in West Stockbridge, Mass; d. 1 Mar 1882 Ottawa, Illinois; m1. Susan Thorn (b. 1796 – d. Aug 1841 in Ottawa, Illinois); m2. 8 Mar 1842 La Salle, Illinois to Mary Little (b. 30 JUL 1819 in Campton, Grafton, New Hampshire) Mary’s parents were Ebenezer Little (1789 – 1839) and Pheobe Palmer (1792 – 1854)

viii. Thomas French Dryer b. 17 May 1801 in Richmond, Mass; d. 9 Mar 1889 Michigan; Burial: Richards Cemetery, Armada, Macomb County, Michigan m1. 30 Dec 1824 in Mass. to Cleora Anne Brown (b. 9 May 1804 in Berkshire, Mass. – d. 3 Jul 1831 in Richmond, Michigan) Cleora’s parents were Nathan Brown and Anna [__?__]. ; m2. Electa Ball Condit (b. 1 May 1812 in Junius, New York – d. 1916 in Michigan) Electa’s parents were Moses Condit and Electa Ball.

8 Oct 1835 – Thomas was issued 160 acres Meridian: Michigan-Toledo Strip
State: Michigan
County: Macomb
Township: 4-N
Range: 14-E
Section: 19

In the 1850 census Thomas and Close were farming in Lenox, Macomb, Michigan with seven children at home ages 8 to 23.

7. Sarah FRENCH (See Seth RICHARDSON II‘s page)

8. Thomas French

Thomas’ first wife Mercy Willmarth was born 5 Nov 1760.  Her parents were either Thomas’ aunt and uncle Nathan Wilmarth Jr. (1723 – 1813) and Mercy Titus (1725 – 1799) or his great uncle Nathan Wilmarth Sr. (1700-1764) and his second wife Rebecca Brown (1725 – ?)   Even though Nathan Jr was of a more likely  generation, it appears that Nathan Sr. might truly have fathered Mercy with his second wife when he was sixty years old.  Nathan Wilmarth Sr was the son of our ancestor Jonathan WILMARTH.

Thomas’ second wife Polly Sweet was born 18 Feb 1774 in Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  Her parents were Thomas Sweet and Margaret Foster. Polly died 4 Aug 1832 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass

Children of Thomas and Mercy:

i. Mary French b. 12 Feb 1785 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.; d. 1828 Pawlet, Rutland, Vermont; m. 26 Nov 1801 in Attleboro to David Robinson (b. 4 Nov 1780 in Attleboro – d. 1828 in Pawlet, Vermont) David’s parents were Nathaniel Robinson (1752 – 1841) and Hannah Woodcock (1752 – 1845.) Mary and David had eleven children between 1802 and 1828.

ii. Nancy French b. 27 Oct 1789 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.; d. 1868 Norton, Bristol, Mass; Burial: Norton Center Cemetery; m. 10 Oct 1816 in Attleboro to Benjamin Blandin (b. 22 Oct 1781 in Attleboro – d. 1857 in Norton, Bristol, Mass.; Burial: Norton Center Cemetery) Benjamin’s parents were Capt. Benjamin Blandin and Susannah [__?__]. Nancy and Benjamin had six children between 1817 and 1827.

From 1812 to 1814, Benjamin was a sergeant in Capt. Elihu Daggett’s Company, Lt. Col. C. Howard’s Regiment raised at Attlebourgh, service at Plymouth.

iii. Mercy French b, 17 Dec 1792 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.; d. 31 May 1853 Attleboro; m. 18 Nov 1830 in Attleboro to Asa Fisher (b. Attleboro – d. 1850 in Indiana)

iv. Thomas French b. 17 Jan 1795 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.; d. 6 Aug 1857 Attleboro; m. 21 Dec 1821 in Foxboro, Mass to Sally Capron (b. 27 Apr 1794 in Attleboro – d. 11 May 1854 in Attleboro) Sally’s parents were Otis Capron and Rachel Sweet. Thomas and Sally had seven children between 1815 and 1832.

In the 1850 census, Thomas and Sally were farming in Attleboro.

v. Sally French b. 21 Dec 1797 in Attleborough, Bristol, Mass.; d. 28 Oct 1821 Attleborough;

10. Lydia French

Lydia’s husband Daniel Balkcom was born 20 Jul 1765 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.  His parents were Daniel Balcom and Rebecca Cobb.  His great grandfather was our ancestor Alexander BALCOM Jr. Daniel died in 1833.

Children of Lydia and Daniel

i. Metilda Balkcom b. 6 Nov 1808 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass;

ii. Polly Balkom b. 1808 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass.; m. 27 Dec 1824 in Rehoboth, Mass. to Daniel Hunt

11. Lucy French

Lucy’s husband was either John Cobb or James Cobb.

John Cobb was born about 1770 in Abington, Massachusetts. John died in Northampton, Mass.

James Cobb was born 1762 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass James parents were James Cobb (1731 – ) and Judith Wellman (1735 – )


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8 Responses to Thomas French Jr.

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