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George Aldrich

The first learned of George Aldrich is of his marriage, September 3, 1629, to Katherine Seald, and as about three years later he emigrated to America from Derbyshire, England, It is presumed that Derbyshire was where the marriage took place. The first found of him in America is In 1654, when a one-acre houselot was set off to him in Dorchester. Houselots In those days were generally larger than an acre, but as George Aldrich was a tailor by trade, the smallness of his houselot is explained. Whether he built a house on this one-acre lot we do not know; neither is it known how long was his stay in Dorchester, but it was for some little time at least, for we find that both he and his wife Katherine became member of the Dorchester church. In 1640 we find our ancestor in the town of Braintree as owner of about eight acres of land with buildings, and as he came from Braintree when coming to Mendon, and the births of the greater part of his children are' recorded there, it is presumed that from 1640, or thereabouts, to 1663, Braintree was his home."

"As stated above, George Aldrich was a tailor, and it is concluded that it was by this trade he gained subsistence, for with but one acre of land at Dorchester and only eight at Braintree, it would appear that he was paying but little attention to agriculture. It is also found that of sons, John and. Peter, thus leaving him with but thirteen and one-third acres in his home lot. As he was about 60 years of age when coming to Mendon it is doubtful about his ever engaging much in farming here. The authorities who had the matter in charge, fixed for the rule of settling the new township of Mendon, that those who had been accepted as worthy to become members of the seemingly select company should reach the new territory before the seventh month, 1665, and, as stated above, Ferdinando Thayer and George Aldrich were among the first to comply with this requirement."

"At Mendon George Aldrich had a houselot set off to him a little southerly of the present Mendon village, which lot today comprises the southerly portion of the Gilbert Gaskill farm; and the house where George Aldrich lived, and some three or four generations after him, must have stood, in the vicinity of the Gilbert Gaskill vegetable garden, opposite the Gaskill house."

"Until 1786 the homestead of George Aldrich was in the hands of his descendants. At this time Rev. Caleb Alexander, the sixth settled minister of Mendon, bought the ancient Aldrich homestead, together with the John Harber houselot, (which sometime previous had come Into possession of Stephen Aldrich, a great grandson of the first George) the above-mentioned Gaskill house being situated on the John Harber houselot."

"George Aldrich had eleven children, all of whom were born before his coming to Mendon, his youngest, son, Jacob, being seven years old at that time. George died In Mendon "arch 1, 1682 and his wife Katherine Jan. II, 1692. His first child., Abel, was probably born In England, and. as I find no trace of him or his birth date, it is concluded that he died there. Joseph, his second child, married Patience Osborne and came to Mendon with his father, he also becoming a proprietor. Joseph's houselot of 20 acres comprised the northerly portion of the N. R. George farm, extending across the road and taking in the southerly portion of the present home place of Julius A. George. The house of Joseph Aldrich stood in the vicinity of where our former village blacksmith, the late John Barry, lived and died. Joseph Aldrich stayed in Mendon until about the time of his father's death in 1682 when he removed to what is now Smithfield, Rhode Island, in which state many of his descendants are still found, including the Hon. Nelson W. Aldrich, the financial leader of the United States Senate, whose daughter married John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Joseph Aldrich was of the Quaker faith and tradition has It that on this account his house was spared at the burning of the town in 1676 by King Philip's warriors. The next three of George Aldrich's children all died young. John, the sixth child, married Sarah Thompson, daughter of John and Sarah Thompson of Mendon. He had a third part of his father's houselot and may properly be termed a proprietor. His lot of 15 1/3 acres comprised the southerly portion of the said N. R. George farm and his house is supposed to have been In the vicinity of where the Nathan George "yellow house" so called, formerly stood, In front of the town's burying ground. John Aldrich removed from Mendon to Bridgewater about the time of the King Philip war, where he is supposed to have lived until his death. "

"Peter, the eighth child, has not been positively traced but he is believed to have removed to Long Island and become the progenitor of the Aldrich branch who for many generations have existed there. Mercy, the ninth child, married John Randall, a son of Robert Randall of Weymouth, and as the births of some of their children are recorded in Mendon, it is evident that they lived here for a while at least. It is found, however, that they subsequently removed to Weymouth and spent their days on his father Robert's farm. Martha, the eleventh child of George Aldrich, married John Dunbar, and while they had a son born in Mendon, I have gained no further knowledge of them worthy of mention."

"I will now go back to the tenth child, Jacob, who married Ferdinando Thayer's daughter Huldah, and from here on the title of my paper, "The Thayer-Aldrich Tribe" applies. Jacob Aldrich and Huldah Thayer were married November 5, 1675 and in the main it will be upon their descendants that the remainder of this paper will treat. Jacob settled in Mendon on the Aldrich homestead which was bequeathed to him by his father, and while I do not wish to speak disparagingly of my own side of the house, I feel forced to admit that of the innumerable descendants of Jacob Aldrich and Huldah Thayer the Thayer blood has predominated. They had a family of twelve children, the most of whom grew to adult age. To six of their sons sixty-five children were born, and with eighteen children born to their daughters, eighty-three grand children are credited to Jacob Aldrich and Huldah Thayer."

Marcus M. Aldrich, Mendon, MA, 1908

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