Babsons come from all walks of life and many have left their mark on our family, their community, their profession, even their country. The first part of these Profiles highlight just a few of the remarkable Babsons who have made an impact.  The second part of these Profiles include sections on Babsons Lost at Sea, Babsons in the Wars and Babsons with Large Families. As a policy matter, there are no profiles of living Babsons due to privacy issues.

NOTE:  The reference to generation and number are keyed to The Babson Genealogy 1606-2017Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG.   Click here to order the genealogy.

Isabel Babson

1577/1580-1661 (first generation #1)

Isabel (1577/1580-1661) is the first known Babson in the United States and is the forebear of sixteen generations of Babsons in this country. She was a remarkable woman not only for the family she and her husband, Thomas Babson, produced but for the courage she exhibited in leaving her country to find a new home and establish herself in the New World.

Isabel, born about 1577-1580, married Thomas Babson about 1604. They had 9 children, two of whom died in infancy. Once widowed, she left England at age 60 and made the long voyage to America with her two sons, Richard and James, and arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637.  Shortly thereafter, she moved to Gloucester where she remained for the rest of her life.  She was a midwife, a profession highly respected and much needed for the medical experience and skill in assisting with the delivering of children in an era when childbirth could be fatal to both mother and child. She also was literate at a time when most women were not. For more on Isabel Babson and midwifery in the mid-seventeenth century, see here.

The Isabel Babson Memorial Library on the site or, or near to, Isabel’s Gloucester home was established by Roger Ward Babson in 1961 in her memory.

Although the exact location of her grave is unknown, a simple stone has been placed in the First Parish Burial Ground located at 122 Centennial Avenue in Gloucester.

Isabel Babson

Arthur Lawrence Babson

1927-2016 (eleventh generation #306)

Arthur Lawrence “Art” Babson (1927-2016) (eleventh generation #306) was born in Orange, New Jersey, to Rea Edwin and Julia Bulkens (Norton) Babson.  He was an acclaimed scientist, inventor and entrepreneur and he was an ardent conservationist.

Art married Doris Marcia Lelong and they had two children. He and Doris were divorced. He then married Susan A. Radar who shared Art’s focus on biochemistry, having received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in biochemistry.

Art served a year in occupation of Japan in World War II.  He then graduated from Cornell and received both a Master’s degree and a PhD in Biochemistry from Rutgers in 1953.  He did a post doctorate at the University of Iowa.  He worked in research and development at Warner-Lambert for twenty-five years where he became Vice President of Research and Development. Art started his own company, Babson Research Laboratories that produced medical diagnostic tests and devices used in clinical labs. He then founded Cirrus Diagnostics, acquired by Diagnostic Products Corporation and ultimately acquired in 2006 by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics where Art became its chief scientist.

Art was awarded the first Siemens Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 for his contributions to the science of in vitro diagnostics.  He retired in 2014 at age 87.  He held 46 patents and published 65 papers during his distinguished career.He was named New Jersey Inventor of the year in 1997 by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame. Art’s inventions of biochemical procedures and immunoassay technology revolutionized the field of diagnostic blood testing in the 20th century. His inventions played a central role in the industrialization and standardization of diagnostic methods that paved the way for today’s highly automated and rigorous clinical laboratories.

Art was also a life-long nature lover and a supporter of many conservation organizations.

Arther Lawrence Babson

Arther Lawrence Babson

Arthur Lawrence Babson

Camilla Rikert Bittle

1923-1999 (twelfth generation #453iii.)

Camilla Rikert Bittle (1923-1999) was born December 4, 1923 to Carroll Rikert and Dorothy Babson Rikert.  The Rikert family lived in the North Farmhouse on the campus of the Mt. Hermon School for Boys.  The school was founded by Protestant evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody as the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 (later called the Northfield School for Girls) and the Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. Moody built the girls’ school in Northfield, Massachusetts, the town of his birth, and the boys’ school a few miles away in the town of Gill.  Carroll Rikert was employed by the school as Head of Buildings and Grounds.

Growing up on the campus of Mt. Hermon during the Depression, the Rikert children (Carroll Jr., Naomi, Camilla and Catherine) were fortunate to be a part of the Mt. Hermon community which included a working farm, supplying the family and students with food.

Camilla was the only child to leave her beloved New England to venture South to attend Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  There she met her husband-to-be, Claude Bittle, who was also a student at Duke.  The couple remembered the day they sang The Messiah at the Duke Chapel and came out from the service to hear the news of the Pearl Harbor Bombing.  Camilla was a wartime bride and returned home to Massachusetts while Claude served as a “flying tiger” under Claire Chennault in China.  When he returned after the War, Claude entered Duke Law School, and the couple settled in Durham.

Camilla had, since childhood, a great passion for writing, and exercised her talent during the years to come.  Inspired by her aunt, Naomi Lane Babson, Camilla began writing stories for magazines such as McCalls, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, The Ladies Home Journal and others.  Her first novel, The Boy in the Pool, was published in 1960, followed by A Change of Plea, A Sunday World, Dear Family and Friends of the Family.  She was invited to attend the McDowell Colony for artists in New Hampshire and often received requests to give talks to clubs and organizations.

Camilla’s article, The Day the World Changed, appeared in the December 1980 issue of Good Housekeeping about an ubiquitous “Grandmother Babson” is found here.

Camilla was a loving and supportive parent to her four children, Claude, Elizabeth, Robert and Rebecca.  She introduced them to the beauty of western Massachusetts as well as the wonders of Cape Ann, where they vacationed in Rockport every summer for many years.  She and Claude attended several Babson reunions and always enjoyed connecting with Babsons from far and wide.

Her published works are archived at Boston University in the Twentieth Century Collection.

Camilla Bittle

Camilla R. Bittle

Capt. Charles Babson

1777-1859 (seventh generation #50)

The first Babson genealogy published in 1934 had only three short paragraphs devoted to Capt. Charles Babson (1777-1859) (seventh generation #50). The first listed his birth in Gloucester, Oct 10, 1777, his marriage in June 1800 to Susanna Howell and his profession, sea captain. The second covers a probate record from March 13, 1818 in which his children were assigned a guardian since Capt. Charles Babson had been declared deceased. The third paragraph lists the child that Susan Howell bore him in Gloucester, MA.Since that first genealogy much has been revealed about Capt.Charles Babson’s second life in North Carolina (NC), and yet questions remain.

Capt. Charles Babson was an experienced ship’s master, having taken charge of his father’s schooner “Astrea” in 1802 at the age of 25, transporting supplies and fish to southern ports and returning with cargo for commercial profit. During the busy hurricane season of 1815 it is possible that his ship was wrecked off the coast of NC perhaps in the area of Cape Fear and the Frying Pan Shoals. It can only be hypothesized why a 38 year old experienced sea captain would not communicate with his wife or family after being ship wrecked. Perhaps the recognition that he had lost a ship, its cargo and possibly its crew members was suddenly too much to bear for someone whose family/forebears were key participants in Gloucester’s economic growth and importance during the 17th, through 19th centuries.Since he did not communicate with anyone in Gloucester for a number of years after last leaving port, at the probate session in Massachusetts on March 13, 1818 Capt. Charles Babson was declared legally dead, thus allowing for the legal settlement of his affairs by his existing family in Gloucester.

How and why Capt. Charles Babson ended up in Boardman, NC remains a mystery with some romantic embellishments.Boardman is approximately 83 miles (according to Google a 26 hour walk) Northwest from the area of Cape Fear where Capt. Babson’s schooner may have gone down in a storm.Somehow he made his way inland over a period of time ending up in Boardman, NC (a rural community of only 152 population even now), meetingSmitha Kinney and marrying her in the spring or early summer of 1816; two years before he would be declared legally dead in Massachusetts. Charles Babson’s new family in NC began when Smitha Kinney Babson gave birth to their first child, Henry H. Babson, born on April 8, 1817. Several children followed. Capt. Charles Babson’s son George from Gloucester also settled in a town not far from his father in 1846. The descendants of these individuals who live in the Carolinas now represent the greatest concentration of Babsons anywhere in the world. While the genealogy listing for Capt. Charles Babson now includes four pages of text and listings of his children and other descendants, how and why he ended up in Boardman, NC still remains a mystery.

All of the Babsons who fought for the South in the Civil War were descendants of Capt. Charles and his second wife. Two sons were wounded and his third son and 2 nephews died from their service in the War.  To see more about the Babsons in the Wars, see here.

Frying Pan Shoals

An underwater labyrinth of sandbars

Charles Leroy Babson

1841-1922 (eighth generation #120)

Charles Leroy Babson (1841-1922) was born at Brooklin, Maine, to William and Clarissa (Freethy Babson).  His involvement in the Civil War was a tragedy for him and his family. He was the long-time Keeper of the Pumpkin Island Light House in Penobscot Bay, Maine.

The Civil War interrupted Charles’ preparations to become a teacher.  At age 21 he enlisted in the Maine Infantry and was wounded in the Union’s disastrous defeat at the  Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862.  His leg was eventually amputated.  Army Headquarters notified Charles’ family that he was dead.  Charles’ brother, William, travelled to Rhode Island to bring the body home.  In the meantime, a nurse noticed small movement in one of Charles’ fingers. They “worked him over and finally brought him back to life.”  William then returned home alone, caught pneumonia on the way back and died within a few weeks.

Charles married Georgianna A. Herrick after the war.  They had three children.  Charles served as Town Clerk, Selectman, and Treasurer for the Town of Brooklin over several years.  He then became the Keeper of the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse located between Deer Island and Little Deer Island in Penobscot Bay from 1870 to 1902.  The youngest of his three children was born while he was Keeper and one of his grandchildren was born on the Island.  The Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1934.

Charles and his wife bought land on Little Deer Island opposite the Lighthouse and created the Eggemoggin Summer Colony, consisting of small cottages and a dining hall. Charles sold the property to his son the day before his death in 1922.

To read more on the Babsons in the Wars, see here.

Pumpkin Island Lighthouse c. 1859 (National Archives)

Captain Edward and Amanda Stanwood Babson

Captain Edward Babson (1811-1879) (eighth generation #78) and his first wife, Amanda Stanwood Babson (1811-1857), were married in 1833. Captain Edward was a wealthy merchant and ship owner. Amanda stayed at home, managed the household and raised their 5 children. Edward captained the brig, the Cadet, which he co-owned with his brothers. His ship’s log covers 12 trips he made to the port of Paramaribo in Surinam, South America. He traded salt fish and other commodities for molasses, sugar and coffee.

A glimpse of their lives is found in the permanent exhibit, Strong Breezes & Passing Clouds, located at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester by Diane KW. The exhibit consists of excerpts from Captain William’s 1838 ship’s log of the Cadet and the 1838 diary of Amanda. A detailed description of their lives is found in the essay by the librarian/archivist of the Cape Ann Museum, Stephanie Buck, in the catalogue which accompanies the exhibit.

Edward and Amanda Babson

Emma and Elmer Babson

Hard to imagine, but for a minute take yourself back in time.You’re a 14 year old from Viken, a small fishing village on the west coast of Sweden, in the 1890s.  Your uncle invites you or one of your seven sisters to join him and his family in America. You and your family take a gamble believing that you, the youngest daughter, will be better off taking your uncle up on his offer and you sail to America, never to see your loved ones in Sweden again.No Facetime, no Facebook, no email.

This was the situation Emma (1873-1954) found herself in when she arrived on the shores of Gloucester, Massachusetts, a place not dissimilar to Viken. You might wonder how her adventure unfolded.

Emma goes to Gloucester High School. Two of her classmates were Roger Ward Babson and her future husband, Elmer Warren Babson (1874-1944) (tenth generation #220). When she and Elmer marry, she had already obtained her college degree and had been teaching and he had obtained his veterinary degree from Harvard and was an instructor there. They move to the family farm in the Riverdale section of Gloucester where they start a family and have three boys.Warren and David graduate from Harvard College and Osman from the Agriculture School (now Boston University).

Her oldest son, William Warren (1905-1987), went to Harvard College and on to Harvard Medical School. He became the head of the medical staff at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester and the 85th president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

At Cornell, the middle son, Osman (1908-1973), became a veterinarian like his dad. If you are on Cape Ann, GPS “Dr. Osman Babson Road” and you can drive through what was once Elmer and Emma’s family homestead.

Her youngest son, David Leveau (1911-1998) , chose to explore a different career path. He founded “David L. Babson & Company, Inc.” and was a pioneer in the field of “investment counseling”. He has been featured in numerous publications and television shows as a visionary in his discipline.

As the story is told, David arrived home on break from Harvard to present his father a report card with very good grades. After a seemingly lackluster reply, David asked his dad if anything was wrong.Elmer replied that nothing was wrong and said “but you have been home for ten minutes, and you still do not have your overalls on”.Elmer’s integrity and Yankee work ethic would lead to him being elected the mayor of Gloucester in 1937.

For the past 50 years, the Babson Historical Society has been led by three of Elmer and Emma’s grandchildren: David Elmer Babson, Marcia Babson Rogers, and Katherine L. Babson Jr. Quite a legacy for Emma and Elmer.

Elmer and Emma’s Three Boys

Dr. Warren W. Babson

Dr. Osman Babson

David L. Babson

Frederick Augustus Babson, Jr.

1930-1999 (tenth generation #250)

Frederick Augustus Babson, Jr. (1930-1999), the son of Frederick Augustus and Clifford Mae (Griffin) Babson was born in Savannah, Georgia and grew up in Wilmington, N.C.  He was an attorney and held numerous elected and appointed positions in local and county government in Virginia. He was also a candidate for election to the U.S. Congress.

Frederick served in the Korean War as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He then went on to college and law school and practiced law. He was president of the Fairfax County (Virginia) Young Democrats and served six years as an elected member and then the first-ever elected chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors.   He served as chairman/president of several commissions, including the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority; the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; the National Organization of Councils of Governments; and the Northern Virginia Transportation Committee. He also served as a member of other commissions, among them the Virginia Democratic Central Committee.

He made an unsuccessful bid as an Independent for the U.S. House of Representatives and in 1978 for the U.S. Senate.

Frederick was married and divorced three times.  He had seven children.

Helen Corliss Babson

1881-1970 (tenth generation #182i.)

Helen Corliss Babson (1881-1970) was the daughter of Fitz James Babson Jr. and Carrie A. Burnham and one of many educators in the Babson family.  She may have been the first, though, in a high-level administrative position.

Born in Gloucester, Helen was in the Class of 1905 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York where she graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors.  There she held both the college and U.S. women’s high jump record.  She moved to California in 1909, received her MA from University of Southern California in 1918, and held important positions with the Y.W.C.A. until 1921.

Helen transitioned to the academic world and became the first principal of Eagle Rock High School in 1927 in Los Angeles.  Then a school of 750 students, it was described as a “progressive school”.  She remained as its principal until 1945.  (Today the school is a magnet for the “gifted and highly gifted” and provides the International Baccalaureate curricula.)  She was a published author of two books including The Finns in Lanesville, Massachusetts (Lanesville being a part of Gloucester) and a book of poems titled Tide Rhythms.

Helen died in 1970 and was buried in the tomb at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, with Sarah E. Bunty, with whom she had worked and lived.

Helen Babson

Helen Corliss Babson

Hon. John James Babson

1809-1886 (eighth generation #77)

The Honorable John James Babson (1809-1886), born in Gloucester, was one of 11 children of William and Mary (Griffin) Babson.  He was the author of the  seminal pre-Civil War history of Cape Ann  and involved in civic affairs on the local and state level.

He married Mary Coffin Rogers and they had 5 children, three of whom survived infancy. His wife died shortly after the birth of their fifth child. He then married Lydia Ann Mason by whom they had one child.

John was a Selectman for the Town of Gloucester in 1859 and 1860 and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for five years and a member of the state Senate for two years. He then became one of the state Bank Commissioners. His short tenure ended and his office was abolished  upon the  establishment of the national bank system.

John was an early member of the Gloucester Lyceum that became the foundation of the Gloucester Public Library where he became chairman of the Board of Trustees.  He also served as a member of the School Committee for 46 years (1834-1880) and was Superintendent of the Schools in 1855 and 1856 and again from 1862-1870. A public school house built in 1881 was named in his honor.

John’s 600 page History of the Town of Gloucester, Cape Ann, including the Town of Rockport, was published in 1860, with its Notes and Additions in 1876 and in 1891 (posthumously), remains as the definitive history of pre-Civil War Cape Ann. It was reprinted upon Gloucester’s 350th anniversary. His monograph on The Fisheries of Gloucester (1876) was reportedly at that time the “highest authority” on Gloucester fisheries.

John was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery.  See here for photo of his tombstone.

Honorable John James Babson

Honorable John James Babson
Archives, State Library of Massachusetts

John Walker Babson

1835-1906 (eighth generation #123)

John Walker Babson (1835-1906) (eighth generation #123), born in Brooksville, Maine, was the son of Samuel Brown and Nancy (Tapley) Babson. He was involved in politics from an early age.

John’s first wife, Louise Ann Tibbetts, died 8 years after their marriage in 1855.  They had three children, one of whom died in infancy. One of their granddaughters, Anne Rainsford French Bush, was the first official woman licensed to drive an automobile in the United States. John married a second time in 1868 to his wife’s first cousin, Eliza Ann Tibbetts. They had five children, only two of whom reached adulthood.

John graduated from Maine Wesleyan Seminary and taught there and in public schools. When he turned 21, he was elected chairman of the Republican Town Committee in Brooksville and was involved in every campaign since then. In 1856 when accompanying U.S. Senator Hannibal Hamlin (a fellow Maine resident and also an alumnus of Maine Wesleyan Seminary), an incident occurred which endangered the life of Hamlin. A life-long friendship ensued. In 1861, under the Lincoln administration, John was appointed Postmaster of Brooksville, but resigned to join Hamlin in Washington, D.C. from 1861-1865 as his secretary during Hamlin’s tenure as U.S. Vice-president to President Abraham Lincoln.

John held a series of political appointments as an officer in the United State Senate, a position in the U.S. Pension Bureau where he became chief of the finance division, then Deputy Commissioner appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant, and then on to the Bureau of Patents. He was also a director of the U.S. Board of Trade.

John and Eliza were heavily invested in charitable and civic work. John was chairman of the committee appointed for the purpose of the selection of Washington D.C. as the location of the World’s Exposition in 1892. He also served on the executive committee to make preparations for the Welcome by Washington D.C. to Admiral George Dewey upon his triumphal return from Manila in 1899.

John, Eliza and several of their children are buried in the Congressional Cemetery in D.C.

John Walker Babson

Brooksville, Maine Post Office

Marian Babson

1929-2017 (twelfth generation #169iii.1.i.)

Marian Babson is the pen name for Ruth Marian Stenstreem (1929-2017), an internationally known  mystery writer based in London.  Born in Salem, Massachusetts to Alphonsa Marian Babson and Charles Stenstreem, Marian spent her adult life in London.  There she wrote close to fifty mystery books, most often involving cats, including three series.   Her publisher’s tagline for Marian is “Murder Most British”.

Marian was the recipient of numerous awards, including an Agatha Award and “Dagger in the Library” award in 1996 for her body of work.  The 1991 movie Bejewelled was based on one of her novels. Her last published book was in 2012.

Ailurophiles loved her!

Marian Babson

Marian Babson

Naomi Lane Babson

1895-1985 (eleventh generation #454)

Naomi Lane Babson (1895-1985), the daughter of Frederick and Ella Maria (Bailey)  Babson, was born in Pigeon Cove in Rockport, Massachusetts on land owned for generations by her family.  She was a teacher, a gifted novelist, wife and mother.

After graduation from Rockport High School in 1913, Naomi taught in the local schools until 1920 when she went on to Radcliffe College.  She worked her way through two years at Radcliffe, partly by selling her short stories, when her money ran out and her “simple faith in a college education gave out”.  She then left for China where she was a teacher in a school for the children of American and English staff at Lingnan University in Canton, a private university started by American missionaries in 1888. There she met her husband, Paul A. Grieder.   They had two sons in Canton and returned to the United States  after the death of their older son in 1933.  They moved to Bozeman, Montana where her husband taught at Montana State University.

Naomi’s first novel, The Yankee Bodleys, was published in 1936, set in what was has been described as Halibut Point in Rockport and what might also be described as semi-autobiographical.

Naomi went on to write five more novels set variously in New England, China and Montana.  She also authored about 100 short stories and novella that appeared in a number of magazines, including Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s, Redbook, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Writer.

Naomi bequeathed her literary estate to the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

Naomi Babson

Naomi Lane Babson

Roger Ward Babson

1875-1967 (tenth generation #230)

From humble New England roots, Roger Ward Babson (1875-1967) crafted a legacy of innovation, philanthropy, and entrepreneurial leadership that has endured for a century.

A Gloucester, Massachusetts native, Babson graduated from MIT, and subsequently made his fortune by founding Babson’s Statistical Organization (later known as Babson Reports), one of the first publishers of economic analysis. Babson pioneered the concept of using data for economic forecasting and famously predicted the 1929 stock market crash.

A philanthropist and author of more than 50 books, he founded the Babson Institute in 1919. In later life, he was a candidate for president of the United States in 1940, became a leading Newtonia collector, and established Webber College in Florida and Utopia College in Kansas. Today, Babson College is the global leader in entrepreneurship education, imbued with its namesake’s zeal for learning, serving humanity, and unparalleled global vision.

Do you want to read more about Roger?

Note: This profile is from the statue of Roger Ward Babson located at Babson College.

Watch Roger Babson in this video (starting around 1 min 06 sec).

Sanford Louis Babson

1910-2003 (eleventh generation #324)

Sanford Louis Babson (1910-2003) (eleventh generation #324) was born in Berkeley, California to Sanford Edwin and Nellie Adelaide (Smoyer) Babson. He was the second Babson to graduate from Babson Institute, Class of 1934.

Sanford studied Japanese in the Army Specialized Training Program at Stanford during World War II and served in the U.S. Army Infantry from 1943 to 1946.  He and his wife, Anna, and their three children moved to central California where he farmed.  Their major crops were oranges and emperor grapes.

Sanford was a member of the American Iris Society and received its Hybridizer Award in 1975.  His Shipshape won the Dykes Medal in 1974, awarded to the best iris developed by an American hybridizer. Shipshape is a tall, bearded iris in cobalt blue color, described as a “classic blue iris”.


Seth Paris Babson

1826-1907 (eighth generation #116)

Seth Paris Babson (1826-1907) was one of the most prominent Victorian architects on the west coast in the mid-eighteenth century.

Seth was born in Sedgwick, Maine in 1826 and wanted to join the gold rush in California. He rounded Cape Horn and arrived in San Francisco in 1850 at age 24. After a while, he became disillusioned with life of a gold seeker and settled in Sacramento where he developed his native skill as a carpenter. Ultimately he became an architect and designed and erected many of the most notable buildings in California’s capitol city, including the residence of Governor Leland Stanford.  He was hired to renovate the home of Judge Edwin Crocker into a grander, Italianate mansion with a gallery building adjacent to the mansion to display the family’s art collection.   Completed in 1872, the mansion and gallery is now the Crocker Art Museum. The Stanford and Crocker buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are extant today.

Seth left Sacramento for the larger city of San Francisco around 1875 perhaps because of the depressed economic situation after the Panic of 1873. He maintained his practice there until his death in 1907.

Seth married in 1873 and he and his wife, Juanita, had three children.

Crocker Art Museum

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Sydney Gorham and Grace Campbell Babson

Brothers Sydney Gorham (1882-1975) (tenth generation #213) and Rea Edwin Babson (1885-1959) (tenth generation #214),  Ivy League educated and in their 20’s, left the comfort of their South Orange, New Jersey home in 1907 in search of a suitable environment for growing fruit trees.  Their search ended in the upper Hood River Valley of Oregon where they purchased 60 acres of shrub and forest and named it “Babson Brothers’ Ranch” where they planted the first commercial apple orchard in the upper valley.

By the spring of 1908, the brothers cleared the land, planted the 60 acres with apple tree seedlings and built a two- story structure with a front porch view of Mt. Hood.

Sydney Gorham Babson,Jr. and Rea Edwin Babson

Sydney Gorham Babson, Jr., left, and Rea Edwin Babson, right

That fall, Sydney married his sweetheart, Grace Bowditch Campbell (1877-1970). Grace also grew up in Orange, New Jersey and graduated from Bryn Mawr College. It is unlikely she fully appreciated the simplicity of life in the Upper Hood River Valley at that time, but would become a key supporter of education for all the valley children and the Parkdale Community Church.

In 1909, Grace gave birth to Arthur Clifford (1909-1999), followed thereafter by Sydney Gorham, Jr.(1912-2010) and Mary Hague (1915-1998).   Rural Oregon at the turn of the century did not offer many modern- day comforts: for years there was no electricity and no central heating and the closest store was five miles away by horse and buggy. Their gardens fed the family spring to fall.  Arthur and Gorham attended a one room school housing eight grades two miles from their orchard, while Mary would be able to attend the more expansive four room schoolhouse in the center of Parkdale.

During the first few years before the apple trees started bearing productive fruit, strawberries were a key early crop which brought income to the household. Eventually electricity became available for the warehousing, grading, sorting and packing of the fruit.  Rea left the orchard in 1917 to serve with the YMCA in France until the end of World War I, after which he returned to the East Coast.

The long economic depression beginning in 1930 lasted until the start of World War II.   Sydney eventually became the sole owner of the orchard renamed “Avalon Orchard” which produced apples and pears .  Sydney was recognized in 1960 as “Orchardist of the Year”.  He was also an author of several books and one of his poems, Verdun, was published in the New York Times in 1917. Grace served their community by serving on welfare and library boards in Hood River County.

After more than 60 years in the orchard business, Sydney and Grace’s granddaughter,  Sydney Gorham, and her husband, Rick Blaine, purchased the orchard in 1974 and slowly expanded their operations to include four other orchards in Oregon and Washington state.  Their daughter, Heather Blaine, a fourth generation fruit grower, is now manager of Avalon Orchards.

Grace and Sydney Babson c.1908

Grace and Sydney Babson c.1908

Arthur Clifford Sydney

Mary Hague, left; Arthur Clifford, center; and Sydney Gorham, Jr., right

Thomas E. Babson

1897-1977 (eleventh generation #311)

Thomas Everett Babson (1897-1977) was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Albert Duley and Annie Lockwood (Rich) Babson.  He was a founding member of the Babson Historical Association and by avocation, a genealogist, fascinated by history and his Babson family.

Thomas Babson was graduated from Princeton University in 1918 and worked for General Electric Company. He married Catherine Eleanor Caithness in 1921 and they had three daughters.  Thomas joined his first cousin, David Leveau Babson, at David L. Babson & Co., Inc., an investment couseling firm, from 1944 to 1966.  Thomas and David co-authored the book, Investing for a Successful Future, published in 1959.

Thomas’ strong interests lay in family history. His seminal paper for the Cape Ann Scientific, Literary and Historical Association (now the Cape Ann Museum) on “Cape Ann Books and their Authors” became a three- part series in 1942 in the Gloucester Daily Times upon the 300th anniversary of the grant of a charter to the Town of Gloucester. His Riverdale Story, privately printed in 1950, was the history of his branch of the Babson family.  It was handsomely illustrated by his daughter, Marcia Lee Meyer, and himself. In 1951, Thomas joined Roger Ward Babson in the founding of the Babson Historical Association and served as its first President until 1956 when he continued as a trustee for many years.  He also joined with Roger in the founding of the Open Church Society, a non-profit organization, in 1942 whose founding principle was that everyone needs a quiet place to communicate with God.

Thomas E Babson

Thomas E. Babson

William Babson

1721-1775 (fifth generation #19)

William Babson (1721-1775) was born in Gloucester and was the son of John and Hannah (Hodgkins) Babson.  He was apparently the unfortunate soul who led the Royal Navy Captain into Gloucester Harbor soon after the declaration of war with England in the American Revolutionary War.

The British had laid siege to Boston Harbor and went on numerous forays to the coast to raid farms for provisions. The British had worked their way up to Ipswich and Cape Ann. In August 1775, Royal Navy Captain John Linzee, in command of the three hundred ton square-rigged sloop-of-war, HMS Falcon, chased a schooner into the outer harbor of Gloucester in what was to become known as the “Battle of Gloucester”.  Uncertain of the shoals, ledges and currents that had brought grief to many unsuspecting,seamen, Captain Linzee spotted two fishermen in a dory nearby and ordered the older of the two, William Babson,  to be brought to him. Under threat of death if William ran the Falcon aground, William piloted the Falcon to safe anchorage within Gloucester Harbor.

A battle ensued. The townspeople rallied, responded aggressively to the attack by the British and by day’s end, the British departed, the proverbial tail between their legs. Thirty-five British were taken as prisoners and three small boats, a quantity of small arms, ammunition and powder were all confiscated.  Gloucester lost two men and suffered some damage to homes and the First Parish Church but it was a victory for the town!

It was not a victory for William Babson, though.  It has been speculated that William, already of infirm health, died shortly thereafter of a “shock to his nervous system” resulting from the sorrow of his unwitting participation in the events of the day. He was survived by four children and possibly by his wife.

For more on the Babsons at War, see here.

The sketch of The Battle of Gloucester by Margaret Garland Tucker in The Fish and the Falcon, by Joseph E. Garland, 2006, page 112.

Willie Babson

1882-1960 (tenth generation #233)

Willie Babson (1882-1960) (tenth generation #233) was born in Ash, North Carolina to George Warren and  Jo Anna (Gore) Babson.  Willie was a manager of a sawmill in the Ash area. He was one of many Babsons who have lived in Brunswick County in the southeast corner of North Carolina and like many of them, he was a farmer. It is said that a majority of the adults in Ash, North Carolina are Babsons or are related to the Babson family.

Willie married Georgia Anna Smith when she was 15 years old and they had 9 children.   At Georgia’s death in 1976 at age 85, she was survived by 7 children, 43 grandchildren, 72 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren. See information on other large Babson families.

Willie was buried in the New Britton Cemetery in Ash where 60 other Babsons are buried.

Willie Babson

Willie Babson burial site.


Isabel Babson and her two sons were the first Babsons to arrive in America, sailing from Weymouth, England and arriving in Salem in 1637.  The sea continued to play a major part in the lives of generations of Babsons.   Many sailed the world for trade in far lands, while others fished or participated in the fight for American independence.  Some were crewmen, while other built and mastered their own ships. They sailed out of the ports of Gloucester, Rockport and Newburyport in Massachusetts and Wiscasset and Deer Isle in Maine.  They have been variously described as “seaman, fisherman, coaster, purser, privateer, ship owner, merchant, sea captain and sailor”.   While many of these Babsons survived, many did not.  They have been described as being “lost at sea, captured by pirates, washed overboard, and drowned while fishing in a storm.”

The list below of the BABSONS LOST AT SEA is based on research by Jean Allen Babson for the 1997 Babson Family reunion and edited and expanded by Babson Historical Association trustee, Katherine Babson, working from the two volume 1606-1997 Babson Genealogy by Alicia Crane Williams. (The genealogy continues to be available for sale here.)

NOTE:  The reference to generation and number are keyed to The Babson Genealogy 1606-2017, Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG.

ISABEL BABSON (first generation #1)) is the forebear of all those who listed here.  Although Isabel had experience on the seas, having survived the trip from Weymouth, England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1637, the son of her daughter, Joan Collins, died at sea.

JAMES COLLINS (third generation #1iii.5) died in 1685 on a voyage to the Barbadoes. He was 42.

THOMAS BABSON (third generation #6), who had served in King Philip’s War,  apparently died at sea between January 1677/78 and May 23, 1679 at age 21.

EBENEZER BABSON (third generation #9), famous for killing the bear in Rockport, was presumably lost at sea before 1696, approximately 30 years old.  For the story of Ebenezer killing the bear, see here.

JOHN BABSON  (third generation #7), whose boat carried cords of wood to Boston, lost three of his sons, presumably to the sea, over a three week period  in 1720:

    • ELIAS BABSON (fourth generation #7i) at age 32
    • JOHN BABSON (fourth generation #11) at age 29, leaving a widow and two children
    • JOSIAH BABSON (fourth generation #7x) at age 17

The Fisherman’s Memorial, known as “Man at the Wheel”, located on the waterfront in Gloucester is a memorial to Gloucester fishermen lost at sea.

Babsons At Sea

The first Babson names engraved on the granite tablets beside the statue are brothers Elias, John and Josiah who died in 1720:

Babsons Engraved

ISAAC BABSON (fifth generation #13), died at Point Petre,  Gaudeloupe, West Indies, of small pox, while a mate on a vessel in 1760, at age 33, survived by his wife and five children.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM BABSON (fifth generation #15), washed overboard on a voyage to the Grand Banks after May 27, 1749, at approximately age 30, leaving behind a pregnant wife and four children.

SOLOMON BABSON (fifth generation #17 **), perhaps lost at sea as he was a mariner. He died shortly before 4/13/1763 at age 48. He left a widow and nine children. Solomon and others with a double asterisk are descendants of Richard Babson (third generation #8) who was one of Isabel Babson’s grandsons. There are number of Babsons in this descendant’s line who were lost at sea.

JAMES BABSON  (sixth generation #21) sailed from Salem, Massachusetts for Wilmington, North Carolina and he took on a load of naval stores for the West Indies.  Six days out, he was taken by an English privateer and carried to Liverpool.  From there he took passage for New York and died of smallpox en route on  7/13/1777 at age 29. He left a widow and three young children.

CAPTAIN JAMES BABSON (sixth generation #23), a privateer during the Revolutionary War, had a daughter, Mary Jackson Babson Babbitt, whose son died at sea:

    • FITZ HENRY BABBITT (eighth generation #23ii.2) died aboard the frigate, the President, on 1/6/1815, during the War of 1812.  He was buried in Bermuda. His mother received a letter of condolence from Stephen Decatur.  Fitz Henry was 25.

JOHN BABSON III (sixth generation #27**) had been a gunner’s mate in the Revolutionary War.   He probably died at sea about 1791, as his name disappears from the records, including from the ship registers at that time.  He was approximately 45 years old. He left a wife and possibly one child.

CAPTAIN SOLOMON BABSON  (sixth generation #30**) was a privateer during the Revolutionary War and  owned and commanded several vessels in his lifetime.  He was lost at sea as his ship was said “to have floundered on his passage from the West Indies.” His brothers, Captains John (sixth generation #31**) and Zebulon (sixth generation #32**) co-owned several vessels with him. Captain Solomon died before 4/6/1796 at age 56 with a wife and perhaps as many as nine children surviving him.

CAPTAIN JOHN BABSON (sixth generation #31) was a ship’s captain and active in privateering during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  He and his brothers, Captains Solomon (sixth generation #30**) and Zebulon (sixth generation 32**), co-owned several vessels with him.  Although Captain John  was not lost at sea, two of his sons were:

    • GEORGE BABSON (seventh generation #31vii**) lost at sea, age unknown.
    • SOLOMON BABSON(seventh generation #31x**) lost at sea, age unknown.

CAPTAIN ZEBULON BABSON (sixth generation #32**) was captured during the Revolutionary War and was exchanged for a British prisoner of war.  He commanded a privateer and co-owned vessels with his brothers, Captains Solomon (sixth generation #30**) and John (sixth generation #31**).  He had sailed from Newburyport in 1784 in command of the privateer Diamond owned by his brother, Captain John.   He was “washed overboard on the third day out”. He was 34. He left a widow and four children.

WILLIAM BABSON (sixth generation #33**), left from Gloucester about 7/1/1777 on a new vessel, the privateer, Gloucester.  She had captured the brig Two Friends off the banks of Newfoundland which had a cargo or wine and salt. She also took a fishing brig Spark which also was carrying a fare of fish and salt. No further communications were ever received, so it is assumed that William, along with a crew of 130 other men, was lost at sea sometime in 1777.  William was age 28 and left a wife and five young children.

CAPTAIN NATHANIEL BABSON (seventh generation #46) was a sea captain who made voyages to places such as Scotland, Gibraltar and Russia. He also owned various vessels. His oldest daughter, Ann Rogers Babson, was married to Stephen Low Davis.  Their oldest child was lost at sea:

    • CHARLES E. DAVIS (ninth generation #46iii.1.) was lost at sea in 1856.  He was 18.

CAPTAIN CHARLES BABSON JR. (seventh generation #47) died suddenly at Guadeloupe, West Indies, while skipper of the 101 ton schooner Equity on 8/24/1816 at age 28. He left a pregnant wife and infant child.

CAPTAIN CHARLES BABSON (seventh generation #50**) possibly was shipwrecked off the coast of North Carolina where he remained.  He remarried and had 7 more children.   The first of his 12 children died at sea:

    • CHARLES BABSON (eighth generation #50.i** )died aboard the brig New Packet in Miragoane on the coast of Haiti sometime before 1823.  He was a twin and 20 years old.

WILLIAM BABSON (seventh generation #54**), like his father, William Babson (sixth generation #33**), before him, was lost at sea.  He died as a mate aboard the Franklin on a voyage to India sometime  before July 1800. He had not yet turned age 30.

JAMES BABSON (seventh generation #59**) drowned on the homeward passage from St. Michaels, Newfoundland on 4/6/1815.  He was a seaman on the 45 ton schooner Marion which was skippered by his first cousin, Captain Charles Babson, Jr. (seventh generation #47). He was 31 years old and left a pregnant wife and three year old son.

HENRY BABSON (seventh generation #61**) died in Calcutta, India in 1820, age 41, leaving his wife, Lucy Bray Babson, and two young children.  Henry was the earliest Babson to be mentioned in a Boston City Directory.  Lucy died in 1864, age 74, in the Boston Insane Asylum, “the stress of worrying about her missing seaman husband as well as making her own living may have been too much for her”.

HENRY S. BABSON (eighth generation #67(iv)**), a twin, grew up on the sea at Eggemoggin Reach in Brooklin, Maine. He was lost at sea in October 1886, age 43.

WILLIAM ROGERS BABSON (eighth generation #80) was a merchant in Boston and Brooklyn, New York.  Two of his three sons were lost at sea:

    • WILLIAM EDWIN BABSON (ninth generation #80ii) of San Francisco, was a purser on the Pacific Mail line on the mail steamer, Constitution.  He died at sea in 1870 at age 32.  He was buried near Acapulco, Mexico.  His nephew, Stanley Mason Babson, came upon the grave marker in 1970.
    • MASON GREENWOOD BABSON (ninth generation #142) enlisted on a merchant vessel bound for the Orient, despite parental objections.  He wrote his parents saying he was “completely disillusioned about the sea” and was returning home via Liverpool.  Mason was among the passengers of the packet ship,Ocean Queen, all on board lost at sea on passage from London to New York sometime after 2/15/1856. He was 19.

EDWIN BABSON (eighth generation #87) was captain of a full-rigged barque, the Lizzie H, which made voyages to the Orient and around the Cape of Good Hope.  On a voyage to Calcutta, he took his wife and two of their children.  He died on the voyage in 1879 at age 47 and was buried in Cardiff, Wales.  The ship was brought back by the mate and the family returned to Newburyport, their home port, by passenger ship. Their son, Edwin Merrill Babson (eighth generation #87iii), had predeceased his parents as result of a drowning in a river in Newburyport in 1873, age 6.

REBECCA INGERSOLL FOSTER NELSON (ninth generation #57(ii i)(2)), the granddaughter of Captain Joseph Babson (seventh generation #57**), was lost at sea somewhere between Hong Kong and San Francisco, with her husband, Captain Charles Nelson, and their son sometime after 11/30/1862.  They were wrecked 11/30/1862 in the bark, Lucky Star, and taken prisoner by the Chinese.  They were ransomed and were taken to Hong Kong where they took passage on the ship, Romance of the Seas, and never heard from again. Rebecca was 33.

WILLIAM EDWIN BABSON (ninth generation #80(ii)) was a purser for the old Pacific Mail Line.  He died at sea on board the Pacific mail steamer, the Constitution, on 1/19/1870, age 32.  He was buried near Acapulco, Mexico.

JOSEPH W. BABSON (ninth generation #106(iii)**) was mackerel fishing and lost with the schooner, Levi Woodbury, near Boon Island off the coast of Maine with 9 others on 10/6/1849.  He was 18.

ALPHONSO M. BABSON (ninth generation #169) was a dory fisherman.  He was coming in with a load of fish when his dory was swamped by heavy seas off Folly Cove in Gloucester.  He was drowned on 3/13/1877, age 37, leaving a wife and a young child.

JAMES BABSON Jr. (ninth generation #183**) was drowned, along with 7 other crewmen, on the schooner, Rolla, while fishing on 5/23/1861.  He was 33 and left a wife and six children, one of whom, James (tenth generation #269**), apparently died at sea.

JAMES BABSON (tenth generation #269**), a son of James Jr. (ninth generation #183**) who also died at sea, was a mariner and died “perhaps at sea, apparently before 20 March 1875”, leaving a wife and infant child.

Life for the male Babson on the sea and for his wife left at home to raise children, run the household and worry about the return of her husband have been memorialized in an extraordinary permanent exhibit, Strong Breezes & Passing Clouds, at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester.  The exhibit is based on excerpts from the 1838 ship’s log of Captain Edward Babson (eighth generation #78) on the brig Cadet and the 1838 diary of his wife, Amanda Babson.  See more here.

The poignant lives of the many women who were left widows  by the ravages of the sea have been depicted in this hauntingly beautiful statue also located on the Gloucester waterfront:

Widows Statue


By Katherine L. Babson, Jr., Trustee

Babsons have fought in wars in America since the end of the seventeenth century until current times.  They have fought in King Philip’s War, the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War (with Babsons fighting for the North and other Babsons, for the South), the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the current conflagrations.  They have fought in the infantry and the calvary and on the sea, both in the Navy and as privateers.

 This section will be expanded as times goes on.  For now, it covers the Babsons who fought in King Philip’s War, the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

NOTE:  The reference to generation and number are keyed to The Babson Genealogy 1606-2017Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG.

(1675-1676 in Southern New England)

 King Philip’s War, also known as the First Indian War, the Great Narragansett War or Metacom’s Rebellion, took place in southern New England from 1675 to 1676. It was the Native Americans’ last-ditch effort to avoid recognizing English authority and stop English settlement on their native lands. It left several hundred colonists dead and dozens of English settlements destroyed or heavily damaged. Thousands of Indians were killed, wounded or captured and sold into slavery or indentured servitude. The war mostly ended Indian resistance in southern New England, paving the way for additional English settlements.

There was only one Babson who fought in this war:

THOMAS BABSON (third generation #6) born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1658 and was lost at sea between 1677/8 and 1679. During King Philip’s War, he served as a soldier in the Massachusetts Militia led by Capt. William Turner’s Company at Hadley, Massachusetts and Hampton, New Hampshire.  Rights to the land granted to Thomas in Kettle Cove on Cape Ann for his service in the war was given to his brother, John, in 1696/97.


There were six Babsons who fought in the American Revolutionary War, two of whom died in the conflict, and another who died from wounds afflicted on him. They, and other Babsons, also played significant roles as Privateers, which is a section “in progress”.

WILLIAM BABSON (1721-1775) (fifth generation #19) was born in Gloucester and was the son of John and Hannah (Hodgkins) Babson.  He was apparently the unfortunate soul who led the Royal Navy Captain into Gloucester Harbor soon after the declaration of war with England in the American Revolutionary War. William’s death in 1775 was “occasioned or hastened” by the Battle of Gloucester. He and his wife had 6 children. He was 54.

See more on William and the Battle of Gloucester.

ISAAC BABSON (1759-1800) (sixth generation #22), born in Wenham, Massachusetts, was the first Babson to graduate from Harvard College, Class of 1779.  While he was still a student, Isaac enlisted in Capt. George Minot’s company of Col. Eleazer Brooks’ regiment and served from March 4-9, 1776 during the occupation of Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts. With cannon procured by Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain boys in the battle of Fort Ticonderoga the previous spring, the victory at Dorchester Heights led to the evacuation of the British from Boston on March 17, 1776 (now locally celebrated as “Evacuation Day”). After graduation, Isaac became a steward on the privateer ship, Buccaneer.  At his death in 1800, he left a wife and four children.,

CAPTAIN SAMUEL BABSON (1740/1-1805) (sixth generation #26), born in Gloucester, was one of 16 men from Gloucester to serve in the war.  Capt. Samuel served as a mariner on the ship Vengeance as part of the 44-ship naval armada on the expedition to Penobscot in August 1779. The Expedition’s goal was to reclaim control of mid-coast Maine from the British who had captured it a month earlier, naming it New Ireland.  It was the largest American naval expedition of the war and the United States’ worst naval defeat until Pearl Harbor in 1941.

In 1780-81, Capt. Samuel commanded two privateers, the brig Ranger, and the brig Ruby, both with crews of 20 men.  After the war, he owned two schooners, one of which, Sally, was captured by the French in 1797.  His descendants filed claims under French Spoliation law. More than 100 years later, in 1907, Congress made an award for the claimed losses.

Capt. Samuel died in 1805 at age 65.  He and his wife had 5 children.

JOHN BABSON 3rd (1746/47-about 1791) (sixth generation #27), probably served as matross (i.e., gunner’s mate) in Capt. William Ellery’s 1st company in Gloucester in 1776. He joined his brother, Capt. Samuel above, on the brig, Vengeance, in the disastrous Penobscot expedition in 1779 to rid the Maine coast of the British. It is presumed he was lost at sea in 1791 at about age 54. He had married and had one son.

NATHANIEL STEVENS BABSON (1749-died after 1775) (sixth generation #28), like his brothers, Capt. Samuel and John (above), Nathaniel served in the Revolutionary War.  In May 1775, he enlisted in Capt. Ezra Lunt’s Company of Col. Moses Little’s Regiment. He served at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, a failed attempt to end the British siege of Boston.

Nathaniel re-enlisted in Capt. Samuel Ward’s Company for Benedict Arnold’s expedition to Quebec with the intention of capturing Quebec City from the British.  The Continental Army troops arrived, exhausted and hungry, and began a siege of the City in December 1775. They finally launched an assault on December 31.  It was a devastating loss and Nathaniel was one of 350 men who were captured. No further record exists for him. He was about age 26 at that time.

ABRAHAM BABSON (1761-1839) (sixth generation #37) was born in Gloucester and moved with his family to Babson’s Ridge in Sedgwick, now Brooklin, Maine, in 1773.  They were the first of many Babsons who ultimately lived in the area.

Abraham enlisted in 1779 and served as a private in Capt. Nathaniel Fales’ Company.  The Company was under the command of General Solomon Lovell who led the land forces of the failed Penobscot Expedition to dislodge the British from the mid-Maine coast around Castine.

Abraham and his wife had 14 children, only one of whom died in infancy. He died at age 78.

WAR OF 1812
(June 1812-February 1815)

The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States and Great Britain over British violations of U.S. maritime rights. It was ended with the Treaty of Ghent that restored pre-War boundaries. Britain recognized international immunity for US citizens and provided freedom of the seas for US merchant ships. Although there are only five Babsons who fought in this war, other Babsons played significant roles as privateers.

NOTE:  The reference to generation and number are keyed to The Babson Genealogy 1606-2017Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG.  

JOHN BABSON (1781-1825) (seventh generation #45) was born in Gloucester. He and his wife moved to Wiscasset, Maine, where he was the editor of the local paper, a merchant and ship owner. He served as a private in Capt. H. Whitney’s Company of Lt. Col. E. Cutter’s Regiment at Wiscasset for two short periods from June 20 to 24 and September 10 to 28, 1814. The British had succeeded in obtaining control of the mid-Maine coast. John joined others from Wiscasset and saw service there.

John died in 1825 at age 44. He and his wife, Abigail Hughes (Hues) Babson, had 12 children, 5 of whom died in infancy and the twelfth child of whom was born posthumously.

JAMES BABSON (1795-1844) (seventh generation #48), brother of John Babson (above), was born in Gloucester.

He is probably the James who served as a private in Capt. Dudley Sargent’s Company in Lt. Col. John Appleton’s Regiment in the Massachusetts Militia. He may have given service in Gloucester on September 19, 1814 “at the battle with the barges of the enemy”.

James died in Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 1844 at age 49. He was survived by his wife and their four children.

JOHN BABSON (1786-c.1825) (seventh generation #51) was born in Gloucester.  He probably was the “John Babson” who served in Capt. A Potter’s Company in Lt. Col. E. Cutter’s Regiment from July 12-13, 1814 at Wiscasset, Maine.  He died around 1825, at age 39, probably leaving a wife and a son who was born after the war.

EBEN BABSON (1792-1841) (seventh generation #52), brother of John (#51), was born in Gloucester and moved with his family to Maine in 1798.   He served in Capt. J.O. Hotchkiss’ Company in the Massachusetts Militia. He received a pension.

Eben was the 8th of the 11 children of Capt. John (#31) and Susannah (Rogers) Babson. Capt. John was a privateer in both the American Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812. Capt. John moved his family to Somesville, the earliest European settlement on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Eben died in Somesville, survived by his wife and 5 children, all of whom were born after the war.

JOSEPH BABSON (1794-1881) (seventh generation #64) was born and died at Babson’s Ridge in Sedgwick on Penobscot Bay, Maine. He served as a member of Phineas Emerson’s Company in Col. Andrew Grant’s Battalion of the Massachusetts Militia. 

Joseph saw action at the Battle of Hampden on September 3, 1814. It was a British victory, Hampden was sacked and many prisoners were taken. It was the last serious battle on land in Maine and represented the end of two centuries of conflict over the sovereignty of district of Maine. Britain removed its expeditionary force from its base in nearby Castine, thus ensuring that eastern Maine would remain a part of the United States, whose boundary was settled by the Treaty of Ghent. The lack of support by Massachusetts was a factor in the subsequent movement for Maine statehood.

Joseph married Emma (Freethy) after the war. She and their four children survived  him.


Babsons fought for both sides in the Civil War.  There are records of 16 Babsons who fought for the Union and 5 for the Confederacy.  Father/sons/brothers/cousins enlisted together and cousins found themselves on opposite sides of the War. Of the 21 Babsons who saw service, 6 died, 5 were wounded and 3 were taken as prisoners of war.

NOTE:  The reference to generation and number are keyed to The Babson Genealogy 1606-2017Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG.


SIMEON ELLIS ALLEN (1843-1864) (eighth generation #38iv.6) was born in Sedgwick (now Brooklin, Maine), one of eight children of Louisa Babson and her husband, Simeon Allen, a state representative.  Simeon died in the Army on July 31, 1864.  Presumably he had enlisted in the Maine Infantry and may have participated in the Richmond-Petersburg Virginia campaign—often known as the Siege of Petersburg, a series of battles around Petersburg from June 15, 1864-April 2, 1865.

EDWIN BABSON (1831-1879) (eighth generation #87) was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts. He served in the U.S. Navy in the eastern and western Gulf, first aboard the Sagamore and later, on the R.R. Cuyler. He was appointed acting master’s mate on November 11, 1861, then in June 1862 named as acting master until his discharge on November 1, 1865.  Both vessels were wooden screw steamers, steam ships that were powered by steam engines.  The Union Navy played an important role in winning the Civil War with its blockade of 3,500 miles of Confederate coastline.   When Edwin joined the U.S. Navy in 1861, he was one of only 9,000 seamen and when he was discharged 4 years later, there were about 59,000 sailors.

Edwin married before the war and had two children born before the war, and two after the war.  Edwin was the captain of a full-rigged barque, the Lizzie, which made voyages to the Orient and around the Cape of Good Hope. On a trip to Calcutta in 1879, with his wife and two of their children, Edwin died and was buried in Cardiff, Wales.

WASHINGTON BABSON (1824-1896) (eighth generation #97) was born in Portland, Maine. President Lincoln’s first call for volunteers for the Union Army was in April 1861 and it required the State of Maine to raise one regiment of infantry for three months of Federal service.  Washington enlisted in Company D, 1st Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry on April 27, 1861.  The regiment of 779 soldiers was transferred to Washington, D.C. where it encamped on Meridian Hill, a strategic location overlooking the capital.  The regiment saw no combat.

Although the required federal service was three months, all of the soldiers, including Washington, had enlisted for 2 or 3 years.  At the end of the three months, he joined Company E, 25th Regiment, Maine Infantry in September 1862 for 9 months of Federal service. This Regiment served garrison duty in the defense of the capital.  He was mustered out with an honorable discharge in Portland on July 10, 1863 due to “nervous and physical prostration and heart disease”.

Washington was married and had three children before the war, two of whom died in infancy. He divorced after the war and remarried. He was admitted to the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans in Milwaukee in 1887 at the age of 63.  He was widowed by that time.

Lt. JOSEPH B. BABSON (1839-1915) (eighth generation #117) was born in Sedgwick (now Brooklin), Maine. He enlisted on October 22, 1861 in Company H, 4th Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry for three years. He was promoted to corporal on March 1, 1862 and was detailed as Division Provost Guard from March 7 to April 24, 1862.  His regiment participated in all the important battles in the Army of the Potomac (e.g., Battles of Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse). The regiment was involved in Malvern Hill, the last of the Seven Days Battles that took place outside of Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital in July 1962. It is assumed Lt. Joseph was wounded there because he was in a hospital at Harrison’s Landing and Point Lookout, Maryland in August 1862.  He was promoted to first sergeant and then suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh on November 27, 1863.

 He was in MacDougall Army Hospital in Fort Schuyler, New York in July 1864 at the end of his three years of Federal service at which time he was transferred to the Army Hospital in Augusta, Maine. Lt. Joseph was declared “fit for duty” on October 29, 1864 at a camp near Petersburg, Virginia. He mustered in again and the Veteran Volunteers were transferred to Company F, 19th Regiment, Maine Infantry. He no doubt participated in the Richmond-Petersburg Virginia campaign—often known as the Siege of Petersburg, a series of battles around Petersburg from June 15, 1864-April 2, 1865.  He was promoted to second lieutenant and mustered out as lieutenant in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia on May 31, 1865 following the Union victory.

Lt. Joseph married after the war and had two children, one of whom died in infancy.  He was a widower and married again. He served as a Selectman in his native town of Brooklin from 1880-1883 and again from 1888-1891.

CHARLES LEROY BABSON (1841-1922) (eighth generation #120) was born in Sedgwick (now Brooklin), Maine.  He enlisted on July 28, 1862 for a three year tour of duty in Company K, 16th Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry.  He received a gunshot wound to his left leg at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862.  Gangrene set in which ultimately led to the amputation of his leg just below his hip.  Charles was first sent to the General Hospital in Washington, D.C. and then received his disability discharge from Lovell General Hospital in Rhode Island.

 On learning of a message from Army Headquarters that Charles had died, his brother, William, travelled to Rhode Island to bring home his body.  Meanwhile, the nurse noticed movement in Charles’ finger and Charles was “brought back to life”.  On brother William’s trip home alone, he caught pneumonia and died a few weeks later.

Charles became engaged just before he entered the Infantry and he married at the end of the war.  They had three children, the youngest of whom was born while Charles was the Keeper of the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse in Penobscot Bay in Maine, where he was Keeper for more than 30 years. See here to read a profile on Charles.

JAMES EDWARD BABSON (1835-1903) (ninth generation #126) was born in Rhode Island and married in Wisconsin before the Civil War.  He enlisted in Company B, 31st Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry on August 15, 1862. His regiment was involved in The Atlanta Campaign, a series of battles fought in southwest Georgia and around Atlanta in the summer of 1864.  The Regiment also saw action in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina from March 19-21, 1865.

James was honorably discharged on June 20, 1865, at the end of the Civil War, near Lewiston, Louisiana.  He suffered from deafness and severe liver trouble after the war and received a pension in 1891 after Congress broadened the categories for qualification for Civil War pensions in 1890. 

James’ brother, Henry Pierce Babson (#127), also enlisted in the Union Army but with a regiment from Pennsylvania.

James and his wife had a child in 1861 who died in infancy.  They had three more children after the war, one of whom died in infancy.

 After the war, James was a member of the County Board of Supervisors in Blockton, Iowa, where he and his family had settled and where he died. He was active in the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), a fraternal organization of Union Army veterans.

HENRY PIERCE BABSON (1840-1913) (ninth generation #127) was born in Rhode Island.  He served as a sergeant in Company F, 9th Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, from May 26 to September 2, 1862.  His regiment saw garrison duty outside of Washington, D.C. for the 3 month enlistment period.

Henry’s brother, James Edward Babson (#126), also enlisted in the Union Army but with a regiment from Wisconsin.

Henry married in 1861 before the beginning of the Civil War.  He was divorced after the war, remarried and divorced again.  He married for the third time in 1885.  He had no children

Henry was a proprietor of general stores in Coventry Centre and Hope Village, Rhode Island.

ERASTUS WALCOTT BABSON (1828-1884) (ninth generation #128) was born in Coventry, Rhode Island. He enlisted in Company A, Rhode Island 12th Infantry on October 13, 1862 for a 9 month muster.  He was in one of the 12 infantry regiments in the Civil War from Rhode Island. His regiment saw action in the disastrous Union defeat at Fredericksburg, Virginia in December 1862 and then in the abortive offensive, the Mud March, from January 20-24, 1863, an attempt to cross the Rappahannock River to reach Richmond, the Confederate capital. He mustered out in July 1863.  He applied for a pension in 1880 which was denied but an application for a  pension was approved for his widow in 1885.

Erastus was married, divorced and remarried.  He had no children. He was described as a “machinist” in the 1850 census.

HENRY WHITMAN BABSON (1843-1935) (ninth generation #132) was born in Woodstock, Connecticut.  He enlisted in Company K, 18th Connecticut Volunteers on August 9, 1862.  He was taken prisoner in June 1863 in the Second Battle of Winchester (Virginia).  The Confederates captured Winchester and took many Union prisoners, including most of troops in his regiment.  Henry was a prisoner-in-war in Libby, a confederate military prison, in Richmond, Virginia, for officer prisoners-of-war.  Henry was then moved to Belle Isle prison, a confederate prison in the James River, for non-commissioned officers and privates.  It was a tented prison, subject to harsh winters and excessive summer heat, and subject to disease. Henry was paroled and sent home. He had had typhoid fever and malaria.  He was returned to his regiment and saw two engagements in the Shenandoah Valley that was the location of operations and battles from May to October, 1864.  Henry was discharged at Harpers Ferry on June 27, 1865 at the end of the war. 

  Henry married on the day he enlisted in the infantry in August 1862 and divorced soon after the war. He did not remarry and had no children. He was active in veterans’ organizations in Connecticut throughout his lifetime.

  Congress broadened the qualifications for Civil War pensions in 1890.  He applied for a pension in 1892.

JOHN WARNER BABSON (1834-1911) (ninth generation #133) was born in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.  He enlisted in Company M, Pennsylvania 4th Calvary Regiment on August 13, 1861.  He served as a quartermaster sergeant.  The 4th participated in battles at Antietam, Fredericksburg and Mud March before he mustered out on March 26, 1863 at Potomac Creek, Virginia.  He received a pension.

John married in 1872 and had two step-children.  He and his wife divorced about 10 years later and had no children.   He was listed as a “wagon maker” in the 1880 census.

FRANCIS H. (FRANK) BABSON (1843-1904) (ninth generation #141) was born in Gloucester and was the son of Captain Edward and Amanda Babson.  For more on his parents, see Captain Edward and Amanda Babson.

Frank enlisted as a private in Company G, 8th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.  The 8th Regiment of infantry was activated for federal service in the Union Army for three separate tours.  The regiment consisted almost entirely of companies from Essex County, Massachusetts.  Frank and his second cousin, Osman (#146), also from Gloucester, joined on September 15, 1862, for the second tour of the Regiment for a term of 9 months. The regiment was stationed in New Bern, North Carolina and participated in several expeditions and saw minor skirmishing. He mustered out on August 7, 1862.

 By 1900, Frank was in San Diego, California. He did not marry and had no children.

OSMAN BABSON (1842-1908) (ninth generation #146) was born in Gloucester.  Osman enlisted as a private in Company G, 8th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.  The 8th Regiment of infantry was activated for federal service in the Union Army for three separate tours.  The regiment consisted almost entirely of companies from Essex County, Massachusetts.  Osman and his second cousin, Frank (#141), also from Gloucester, joined on September 15, 1862, for the second tour of the Regiment for a term of 9 months. The regiment was stationed in New Bern, North Carolina and participated in several expeditions and saw minor skirmishing. He mustered out on August 7, 1862.

Osman married in 1864 and had three sons.  He was the city carpenter for Gloucester and in 1882 he began operating a farm in the Riverdale section of Gloucester that he eventually developed into a truck gardening, apple orchard and diary business, later taken on by his veterinarian son, Dr. Elmer Warren Babson (#220).

SYLVANUS BROWN BABSON (1840-1864) (ninth generation #176) was born in Rockport, Massachusetts. He enlisted for three years in Company D, 32nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on November 22, 1861.  He was promoted to corporal in January 1863 and sergeant four months later. He re-enlisted as a Veteran Volunteer on January 5, 1864.  He was killed at Laurel Hill on May 10, 1864, as part of the battles at Spotsylvania Courthouse that took place from May 8 to May 21, 1864 commanded by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac and General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

 Sylvanus’ third cousin, George Washington Babson (#94), fought for the South at Spotsylvania Courthouse where he was captured and taken as a prisoner-of-war to a Union prison camp.

Sylvanus was married during his month long veterans furlough in January 1864.  His daughter, Sylvania Brown Babson, was born 5 months after his death.  His widow received a pension until her remarriage in 1869.

PHILIP A. BABSON (1837-died after 1875) (ninth generation #184) was born in Gloucester and enlisted for 1 year in June 1861 as an ordinary seaman in the U.S. Navy.  He re-enlisted in November 1864 for 3 years.  Philip was not married and did not have children.  He had a long record of trouble with the law.

NICHOLAS POOR BABSON (1846-1913) (ninth generation #186) was born in Gloucester and enlisted on November 17, 1862 in Company C, 23rd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, claiming he was 18, but he was only 16.  He was discharged on December 1, 1863 and re-enlisted that day as a Veteran Volunteer in the same Company.  He saw action at Cold Harbor, near Mechanicsville, Virginia, which was one of the final battles of General Grant’s Overland Campaign.   The battle was fought from May 31 to June 12, 1864, with the most significant action occurring on June 3, the date Nicholas was wounded in the hand.  It was lopsided battle with many more Union troops who lost in a frontal assault on General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

After Nicholas was wounded, he was sent to DeCamp Army Hospital on David’s Island in New York Harbor.  He was then on detached service at New Bern, North Carolina from September to June 25, 1865, when he was mustered out and the war was over. 

Nicholas married after the war and had three children, one of whom died in infancy.  He was listed in the censuses variously as a mariner, clerk and farm laborer.

Nicholas spent time in the National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Augusta, Maine in 1910.

EDWIN H. BABSON (1843-1863) (ninth generation #192) was born in Methuen, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery on July 27, 1862 for a three year tour of duty which was cut short by his death on June 11, 1863 in Centreville, Virginia.  His Battery was on duty in defense of Washington, D.C. from September 1862 to June 1863 and then moved out through Centreville and on to the Battle at Gettysburg on July 1, shortly after his death.

Edwin was not married nor did he have any children.

FOR THE SOUTH / Confederacy

NOTE:  All five of the Babsons who fought for the South were the descendants of Capt. Charles Babson (#50), who was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and shipwrecked off the North Carolina coast.  He started a second family there. Two of his sons were wounded and one son and two grandsons died from their service in the Confederate Army.  See more on Capt. Charles Babson.

HENRY H. BABSON (1817-sometime after 1866) (eighth generation #92) was born near Boardman, North Carolina to Capt. Charles and his second wife, Smitha Babson. Two of Henry’s sons, Benjamin Asbury (#92i.) and Samuel J.(#92ii), also fought for the South and died as a result of their service.  Two of Henry’s other brothers, Horatio (#93) and George Washington, (#94) also served.

Henry enlisted as a private in Company K, 20th North Carolina Infantry on April 24, 1861, at the age of 45,  along with his sons, Berry (#93i) and Samuel (93ii). His brother, George Washington Babson (#94) also served in Company K.

 Henry was wounded at the Battle of Malvern Hill, near Richmond, Virginia, on July 1, 1862.  It was the final battle of the Seven Days Battles between the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. It was the Union’s thwarted attempt to take Richmond, the Confederate capital.  Henry was discharged from the Confederate Army on September 21, 1863 by reason of “disability and wounds”. 

Henry and his first wife had 8 children. His wife died sometime before Henry’s second marriage in 1866.

BENJAMIN ASHBURY “BERRY” Babson (1841-1863) (ninth generation #92i) was born in Columbus County, North Carolina as the eldest of the 8 children of Henry H. and Irene Babson.  Berry enlisted on April 24, 1861, the same day that his brother (Samuel J. #92ii) and his father (#92) also enlisted. Like his father, he was wounded at the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862, in an attempt to take Richmond, the Confederate capital. Berry was later captured at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1863 and died a prisoner- of- war at Fort Delaware, a Confederate prison on Pea Patch island in the Delaware River on October 3, 1863.  Berry was buried in Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Salem, New Jersey, a then burial ground for Confederate prisoners-of-war.

SAMUEL J. BABSON (about 1842-1862) (ninth generation #92ii) was born in Columbus County, North Carolina as the second eldest of the 8 children of Henry H. and Irene Babson. Samuel enlisted on April 24, 1861, the same day that his brother (Berry, #92ii) and his father (Henry H. #92) also enlisted. Like his father and his uncle (George Washington #94), Samuel was in Company K, 20th North Carolina Infantry. Samuel was killed at Gaines Mill, Virginia on June 27, 1862.  The Battle of Gaines Mill was the third of the Seven Days Battles, the Union’s attempt to take Richmond, the Confederate capital.  The Confederates broke through the Union line and drove them back. 

HORATIO BABSON (1820-1862) (eighth generation #93) was born in Columbus County, North Carolina North Carolina to Capt. Charles and his second wife, Smitha Babson. Two of Horatio’s brothers (Henry H. #92 and George Washington #94) and two of his nephews also fought in the Confederate Army.   Horatio enlisted at the age of 41 on March 4, 1862 as a private in Company E, 36th Regiment, 2nd North Carolina Light Artillery, also known as the Cape Fear Regiment, responsible for defense of the coastal areas around Wilmington, North Carolina. He mustered out at Fort St. Philip in Brunswick, North Carolina, on the date of his death on October 26, 1862.

Horatio was married and they had 6 children, the youngest of whom was born posthumously.  He left 3 other children under the age of 10 at his death.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BABSON (1842-1913) (eighth generation #94) was born in Columbus County, North Carolina to Capt. Charles and his second wife, Smitha Babson.   George, along with his brother (Henry #92)  and his nephew (Berry #92i),was a private in Company K, 20th North Carolina Infantry. George was wounded in the leg and captured in Gettysburg on July 5, 1863.  He was captured again on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, where a series of battles took place from May 8 to May 21, 1864.  Both sides declared victory:  the South because they held their defenses and the North because the Union offensive continued. 

George was imprisoned at Elmira, New York until his release on July 30, 1865 at the end of the war.  The prison had been a Union training camp but was converted to a military prison in the summer of 1864. It held the largest number of Confederate prisoners-of-war.  It was dubbed “Hellmira” and was infamous for its staggering death rate, living conditions and lack of medical care.  The prison was closed shortly after George’s release.

George’s third cousin, Sylvanus Brown Babson (#176), fought in the Union Army and was killed at Laurel Hill in the Spotsylvania Courthouse battles.

George returned to North Carolina where he married and had five children. He was a farmer.


The following is a list of male Babsons who had 10 or more children and is based on The Babson Genealogy 1606-2017Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG. The reference to generation and number are keyed to that genealogy.  (The genealogy continues to be available for sale here.)  The genealogy does not provide separate sketches for Babson women until the tenth generation. No Babson woman is listed with 10 or more children.

Large families were typical in those early generations.  Children would help around the farm or the household.  The high incidence of early childhood deaths was also common.

Roger Ward Babson, the founder and funder of the Babson Historical Association, recognized the essential role that the forebear of the Babson family in America played.  Isabel Babson, the first Babson in America, herself a mother of 9 children, was a midwife.  Roger established the Isabel Babson Memorial Library in Gloucester in her memory.  The Library has books and materials for expectant mothers and for mothers raising children.

Second Generation

JAMES BABSON (1622-1683) (#3) was born in Wookey Parish, Somersetshire, England. He married Elinor Hill and they had 10 children, apparently all of whom lived to maturity.

James was the son of the first Babson in this country, Isabel Babson.  James was the first male Babson from England to permanently reside in America. He was the younger son of Isabel who with her older son, Richard, arrived in Salem in 1637, before relocating to Cape Ann. Following the grant of land given to Isabel in 1658, James started a cooperage, a barrel making operation, on the current site of the Babson Museum.  His barrels were filled with fish and shipped to England, the West Indies and other ports.

James died in Gloucester.

Third Generation

JOHN BABSON (1660-1737) (#7), born and died in Gloucester, and married Dorcas Elwell. Their marriage was the first to be solemnized by a minister that was entered as such in the Gloucester town records.   They had 10 children, 5 of whom survived to adulthood.

John’s land purchase in 1695 led to the settlement at Sandy Point, now part of Rockport, Massachusetts.

RICHARD BABSON (1663-1737) (#8) was born in Gloucester and died in Falmouth, Maine.  He married Mary Dolliver and they had 11 children, 8 of whom reached adulthood.  He remarried upon the death of Mary.

Richard was described as a “seaman, tailor, fisherman and coaster”.  (A “coaster” is one who sails a shallow-hulled trading vessel.)

Fourth Generation

JOHN BABSON (1687-1742) (#12) was born and died in Gloucester. He was a coaster and a fisherman.  (A “coaster” is one who sails a shallow-hulled trading vessel.)

John married Hannah Hodgkins and they had 10 children.  The first four children were two sets of male twins, of which one twin in each set survived infancy.  Of the other 6 children,  5 survived to adulthood.

Fifth Generation

CAPT. JAMES BABSON (1717-1759) (#14) was born and died in Gloucester.  He was a mariner and master of the schooner, Industry, that traveled to/from Lisbon.

Capt. James married Hannah Smith.  They had 10 children, only 5 of whom survived to adulthood.  Hannah died two years after James, at which time only one  of their children was over the age of 15.

Sixth Generation

CAPT. WILLIAM BABSON (1749-1831) (#25) was born in Gloucester and died in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  He was a privateer during the American Revolutionary War and owned various schooners.

Capt. William married Anna/Nancy Rogers and they had 10 children, all of whom achieved adulthood.

CAPT. JOHN BABSON (1746-1825) (#31) was born in Gloucester and died on Mount Desert Island, Maine. He was a privateer during the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He owned various schooners and brigs.

Capt. John married Susannah Rogers.  They had 11 children, 10 of whom survived to adulthood and two of whom were lost at sea.  See Babson family members lost at sea.

ABRAHAM BABSON (1761-1839) (#37) was born in Gloucester.  He moved with his parents to Babson’s Ridge in Sedgwick (now Brooklin), Maine in 1789 and died there.  He served in the American Revolutionary War.

Abraham married Ruth Lufkin.  They had 14 children, more than any other male Babson descendant.  Of the 14 children, only one of them died in infancy and most of whom enjoyed relatively long lives.

Seventh Generation

JAMES BABSON (1773-1847) (#41) was born in Beverly, Massachusetts and died in Central Falls, Rhode Island. He was an ensign in a Rhode Island militia and was described in a census as a “cotton weaver”.

Lt. James had 5 children by his first wife, Betsey Burton.  Three of them survived to adulthood.  Betsey may have died from complications of childbirth.   Lt. James then married Thankful (maiden name unknown) and they had 7 children, all of whom survived to adulthood.

WILLIAM BABSON (1779-1848) (#44) was born and died in Gloucester.  He was part owner of a number of ships, in many cases with his father and with his two brothers.  He was part-owner of the brig Cadet with his brother, Edward, whose ship’s log was the subject of Strong Winds & Passing Clouds at the Cape Ann Museum. He owned a “mansion”, a store and other real estate in Gloucester.

William married Mary Griffin and they had 10 children, 3 of whom died in infancy.  After Mary’s death, William married Polly Edgar Littlehale, who may have died of complications of childbirth since she died 4 months after the birth of their son who died at birth . William married a third time to Sarah (Davis) Williams.  They had no children.

JOHN BABSON (1781-1825) (#45) was born in Gloucester and died in Wiscasset, Maine.  He served in the War of 1812.  He was the editor of a newspaper in Wiscasset, a merchant and a ship owner.

John married Abigail Hughes (Hues) and they had 12 children, 5 of whom died in infancy.  At John’s death in 1825, he left 6 minor children and one who was born posthumously.

CAPT. CHARLES BABSON (1777-1859) (#50) was born in Gloucester and died in North Carolina.

Capt. Charles was shipwrecked off the coast of North Carolina and never returned to New England. He was the first Babson to settle in North Carolina and is the ancestor of the dozens of Babsons who live in Columbus and Brunswick Counties in southeastern North Carolina. Twelve children are attributed to him.

Capt. Charles married Susanna Howell of Gloucester and they had 5 children, all of whom survived to adulthood.  He was apparently declared legally dead as he never returned to Gloucester from the sea.  He did marry again, however, to Smitha Kinney in North Carolina.  They had 3 children, one of whom died in infancy.  Capt. Charles had 3 more children attributed to his union with Smitha but they may be children of a different mother or they may be  his grandchildren by an unknown son.

See more on Capt. Charles.

CAPT. JOSEPH BABSON (1777-1839) (#57) was born and died in Gloucester.  He was a merchant and sea captain.

Capt. Joseph married his first cousin, Mary Babson.  They had 10 children, all of whom survived infancy.

Eighth Generation

JAMES BABSON, JR. (1803-1870) (#73) was born in Pomfret, Connecticut and died in West Gloucester, Rhode Island.  He was a spinner.  (A “spinner” spins yarn to make cloth.)  James and his family moved several times in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

James married Almeda Greenleaf Slafter.  They had 12 children, 2 of whom died in infancy.

JOSEPH BABSON (1809-1878) (#101) was born in Gloucester and died in Rockport, Massachusetts.  He was a fisherman and stone cutter.

Joseph was married twice and had 13 children.  He and his first wife, Maria Woodbury, had 12 children, 3 of whom died in infancy.  After Maria’s death, he married Mary (McRea) McDonald.  She was 41 and Joseph was 65 when their daughter was born.

Tenth Generation

WADE WHITTON “WHIT” BABSON (1897-1976) (#235) was born in Ash, North Carolina and died in Whiteville, North Carolina.  He was a farmer.

Whit and his wife, Amanda Stella Smith, had 12 children, the first of whom died as an infant.

DAVID PRATT BABSON (1880-1957) (#237) was born in Ash, North Carolina and died in Laurinburg, North Carolina.  He worked in a sawmill and later in a cotton mill.  He had 12 children.

David married Cora Dell Smith, and they had two children, the older of whom died in infancy.  After Cora’s death, he married Bessie Ella Carlisle.  They had 10 children, all of whom survived to adulthood.  After the death of Bessie, he married Frances Ambrose (Smith) Evans.  She had had 7 children by her first husband.

Eleventh Generation

JAMES BRYANT BABSON (1910-1978) (#352) was born in Ash, North Carolina and died in Whiteville, North Carolina.  He served in World War II.  He was a farmer and later worked at the Singer Sewing Machine Company. He had 13 children.

James was married to Clovis Fontella Ward and they had 4 children.  Clovis died a month after the death of their fourth child.  James then married Magdoline/Madelin/Magelene Griffin and they had 9 children, one of whom died in infancy.

GEORGE SAMUEL “CARNIE DELL” BABSON (1903-1957) (#375) was born in Ash, North Carolina and died in Bladenboro, North Carolina. The U.S. Census lists Carnie Dell variously as a farmer and in the sawmill industry and in the textile business.

Carnie Dell married Lanta Elizabeth Anderson.  They had 12 children, 3 of whom died in infancy.  After Lanta’s death, he married Lillie Bell Russ. They had no children.

DALLAS SYLVESTER BABSON (1920-1994) (#381) was born in Branchville, South Carolina and died in Clifton Park, New York.  He was one of 12 children.

Dallas served in World War II from 1942-1946 and again in the Korean War.  He owned and operated Babson’s Auto Repair and Sales in Hudson Falls, New York.

Dallas married Pauline Josephine Skovira, who had also served in World War II in the China-Burma-India Theatre of Operations. They had 11 children, all of whom lived to adulthood.  Their second child, Dallas Sylvester Babson, Jr., had 10 children.  After Pauline’s death in 1986, he married Francine (Mead) Bolster. They had no children.

Twelfth Generation

DALLAS SYLVESTER BABSON, JR. (1948-1999) (#661) was born and died in Rutland, Vermont.  His line of Babsons was prolific. He is a direct descendant of Capt. Charles Babson, the first Babson in North Carolina.   Dallas’  great- grandfather had 8 children;  his grandfather had 12 children; and his father had 11 children.  Dallas Jr. then had 10 children of his own.

Dallas, Jr. served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years, including time in Vietnam.  He was a sulfur burner operator and later, an instrument technician.

Dallas married Kathleen M. Seymour.  They had 10 children, 5 of whom were minors at his death.