Page images

of all his descendants for three generations ; with notices of the most marked men among them, and occasionally their descent, continued to later times.

Second.-A Memoir of Brigadier General Jedidiah Preble, a grandson of the head of the American family, and my immediate ancestor, with his Diary and Letters during the historical period of the American Revolution in which he was a somewhat prominent actor.

Third.—Each of the Brigadier's children is taken as the head of a family, and as much as could be obtained of their histories is given, with the names of their descendants to the present year, as full and accurate as years of inquiry and effort could make the roll.

Fourth.In the Appendix, some errors, discovered after they were printed, have been corrected, new facts added, and a list of the volunteers of the name from Maine, in the War of the Rebellion, is given, and also the names of all of the family name found in several of the recent Directories of the principal cities of the Union, which may assist hereafter in tracing the ancestry of yet unborn and to be honored sons and daughters of the name.

Lastly. A General Index, with a complete Index of Names and of Authorities, completes the book.

It was my design to have added a general genealogy of the whole American family, for which I have ample material; and as at some future day I may carry out that plan, I would respectfully and urgently solicit all its living members, to send me, at my household address, Charlestown, Mass., any information they may be in

possession of, concerning themselves, their parentage, children or grandchildren. A single name, or date of birth, marriage or death, may prove the connecting link which verifies the immediate ancestry of a whole family.

I wish it understood by all that this volume is not published, and that only a few copies have been printed for private distribution, designed to perpetuate within, and for the family, the memory of its principal members; with a hope that their examples may lead to higher excellence and aims, and be an incentive to cherish and keep alive the honor of the family name.

" It is the laudable desire of every brave man,” writes Washington Irving, "to receive the praises of his countrymen ; but there is a dearer and more cherished wish that grows close to his heart, it is to live in the recollection of those he loves and honors, to leave behind him a name at the mention of which the bosom of friendship shall glow, the eye of affection shall brighten, which shall be a legacy of honest pride to his family, causing it to dwell on his worthy deeds and glory in his memory. The bravest soldier would not expose himself to certain danger, if he thought that death were to be followed by oblivion; he might rise above the mere dread of bodily pain, but human pride shrinks from the darkness of the grave.” Says Daniel Webster, "If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble into dust ; but if we work upon immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with the just fear of God and of our fellow-men, we engrave upon those tablets something which no time can efface, but which will brighten to all eternity.”

With that admonition of the great orator, I close my work, hoping it may be acceptable, and subscribe myself the Humble Servant of the Family,

G. H. P.

U.S. S.Pensacola,"
Navy Yard, Mare Island, California.

July 15, 1870.



" What constitutes the true nobility?

Not wealth, nor name, nor outward pomp, nor power.
Fools have them all; and vicious men may be

The idols and the pageants of an hour.
But 'tis to have a good and honest heart,

Above all meanness and above all crime ;
To acl the right and honorable part

In every circumstance of place and time.
He who is this, from God his patent takes :

His Maker formed him the true nobleman.
Whate'er is low or vicious he forsakes,

And acts on rectitude's unchanging plan.
Things change around him, changes touch not him-
The star that guides his path fails not nor waxes dim."


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ÅBRAHAM PREBLE came over from England with the “Men of Kent,''* and settled, somewhere about the year 1636, in Scituate, Plymouth Colony. Fuller, in his “ Worthies of England," says, “Kent hath so carried away the credit in all ages for man hood, that the leading of the front or vanguard in former times hath simply and absolutely belonged to them." Abraham Preble was one of the earliest settlers of Scituate, and very soon after his arrival was married to Judith, the third daughter of Elder Nathaniel Tilden, the descendant of a very ancient family in the County of Kent, England. His ancestry is traced in Berry's County Genealogies to a William Tylden, who paid aid for lands in Kent at the time of making the Black Prince a Knight,

[ocr errors]



“Men of Kent." To be so called was considered a distinguishing honor, but the reverse to be called “ a Kentish man,” for Kentish men were thieves.

in the 20th year of Edward III.1 Thus, by father and mother, the descendants of Abraham Preble may claim to reflect the eulogy of Fuller.

After his marriage, Abraham Preble removed to York, or Gorgiana, as it was then called, in the Province of Maine, where, in 1642, he purchased a tract of land of Edward Godfrey. In the deed they are both styled of Agamenticus. York was incorporated as a city by Sir Ferdinando Gorges in 1641, by the name of Agamenticus, and the following year the name was changed to Gorgiana. This was the first city government established in New England, and Thomas Gorges was appointed the first Mayor under the charter. Sir Ferdinando also appointed for the little settlement of less than three hundred inhabitants, Aldermen, Councillors and Recorder; and, in fact, made it as much of a city as seals and parchment could make it. Abraham Preble soon rose into consideration, and was early appointed Mayor of the city, and continued to sustain for the remainder of his life some of the most responsible and honorable offices of the Province. He was appointed in 1645 one of the Councillors or Assistants to Sir Ferdinando Gorges's government, and continued in that office until the dissolution of that government in 1649.

Under the succeeding brief sway of Edward Godfrey he was a member of the General Court, and held the first military appointment with the title of Major. He was one of four magistrates holding a General Court at Saco, Oct. 21, 1645, of which Richard Vines was Deputy-which ordered, Whereas, we have not heard of late from the Hon. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight, lord proprietor for this province of Mayne, for a full establishment of Government within the said Province for our peace and safety, this 21st day of October, 1645, have chosen for our Deputy Governor Richard Vines, Esqr. for one whole year, and also order yearly to choose a Deputy Governour, and further order that in case the said Richard Vines Esq. shall depart the

+ Elder Nathaniel Tilden, son of Joseph Tilden, one of the merchant adventurers, came first from England about 1628. The first records of Scituate relate to his purchase of land that year from Hy. Merritt, and which was bounded in part by land already owned by him. He must, however, have returned to England, for in March, 1634, we find Nath'l Tilden, yeoman, of Tenderden in Kent, embarking at Sandwich, a passenger in the ship Hercule, 200 tons, John Witherly, master, with Lydia his wife, seven children and seven servants. He was chosen Ruling Elder over the first church in Scituate the same year. He died 1641, and in his will, dated May 25, bequeaths —"To Lydia my wife the income of my stone house with the lands in Tenderden in Kent in which Richard Lambeth now dwells." To son Joseph a double portion, that is as much as both Thomas and Stephen, in land, house, &c., in Scituate and Marshfield. To Lydia and Stephen, his youngest children, “a maintenance until 21.” To Judith a cow. To Mary and Sarah 10 shillings each. He was the first person who kept bees in the Colony. His widow married Timothy Hatherly, Esq., who died in 1664. She appears to have survived her second husband, as he bequcaths property to his “wife Lydia” in his will.

country before the year be expired, Then we nominate and choose Henry Joselin Esq. Deputy Governor in his place and stead.

He was one of the Assistants at a General Court held at Wells by Henry Joselin, Esq., Deputy Gou'r, July 6, 1646, which outlawed John Bonighton. He was chosen an associate Justice of the County in 1647, which important office he held until 1650, and is believed to have been the author and adviser of the following act against lying ordered that year, viz. : Wherefore as truth in words as well as in actions is required of all men, Specially of christians, who are the servants of the God of truth, and whereas all lying is contrary to truth, and some sorts of lyes are not only sinful (as all lyes are) but also pernicious to the Public weal, and injurious to particular persons, it is therefore ordered by this court and authority thereof, That every person of the age of discretion which is accounted fourteen years, who shall wit. tingly or willingly make or publish any lye which may be pernicious to the public weal or tending the damage or injury of any particular persons, or with intent to abuse or deceive, the persons with false news or reports and the same be duly proved in any court, or (before) any one magistrate, who hath hereby power granted to hear and determine all offences against the (this) law. Such person shall be fined for the first offence ten shillings, or if the party be unable to pay the same, then to be set in the stocks so long as the Court or magistrate shall appoint, in some open place not exceeding two hours. For the second offence in that kind whereof any shall be legally convicted, the sum of 20s 10d, to be whipt upon the naked body not exceeding ten stripes, and third offence that way 40s Od. If the party be unable to pay, then to have 15 stripes, and if any shall offend in the like manner and kind and be legally convicted thereof, such person shall be fined ten shillings a time more than formerly, or if the party so offending be unable to pay, then to be whipped with 5 or 6 more stripes than formerly, not exceeding forty at any time, and for all such as be under the age of discretion, that shall offend in lying contrary to (these) orders, their parents or masters shall give them due correction in the presence of some officer if any magistrate shall so appoint. Provided also that no person shall be barred of his just word of slander, or otherwise by any proceeding upon this order."

The same year, 1650, he took an active part in the petition of the Fishermen of the Province, relating to certain of their rights. When Massachusetts extended her jurisdiction in 1652 over the western part of the Province, he was selected with the right trusty Mr. Edward Godfrey, Mr. Edward Johnson, and Mr. Edward Rishworth, Commissioners to hold County Courts, attend to the execution of justice, commission military officers, and perform the other services of a responsible nature.

« PreviousContinue »