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George Hall of Taunton: Halls of New England excerpt

By Kathryn Hall | June 11, 2013

The following is an excerpt from The Halls of New England compiled by David Brainard Hall and published in 1883.

THE HALLS OF TAUNTON, MASS.

George Hall and his wife Mary [Family i), were the ancestors of the Halls of Taunton. They emigrated, it is said, from Devonshire County, England, in 1636-7. George Hall is recorded as proprietor of land in Duxbury, Mass., in 1637, about the date of his settlement in ” Cohannet,” — Taunton ; he was one of the forty-six original proprietors of the first territorial ” purchase ” of the Indian Sachem Massasoit, including a tract of eight miles, (an oblong, square, being the present territory of Taunton, Berkley, Raynham, extending to Mansfield) ; he had a twelve acre share, in connection with Richard Williams, John and Walter Dean and others, who had similar shares, spanning Taunton river, on the banks of which they erected their first humble dwellings and were neighbors and friends for lifetime. The selection of their homesteads included the most eligible land of the purchase, on what is now Dean street ; the land skirting the banks of the river had been cultivated by the Indians for years ; and these homesteads have been successively transmitted from ancestors to descendants nearly two hundred years, of whom the sixth, seventh and eighth generations are now owners and residents.

George Hall was one of the founders of the town of Taunton in 1639, was propounded as a freeman in 1643, enrolled to bear arms that year ; admitted as a freeman in 1645, and was constable of the town the same year ; he was a member of the board of the supervising council, of which William Pole was chairman, in 1657, and was chairman of the board of selectmen (established by the colonial court in 1662), from 1666 to 1669, the time of his decease; he was one of the founders of the Pilgrim Congregational church and society of Taunton, and contributed liberally to its support ; also one of the stock proprietors of the first iron ” bloomery ” established in this region by the Leonards and other citizens of Taunton, upon the site of the present “old forge ” how in Raynham; he was its first clerk in 1656, continuing several years in that capacity, and was succeeded after his death bv his son John. In October, 1669, he was taken seriously ill ; he called his friends, Deacons Richard Williams and Walter Dean, and made his will on the i6th, witnessed by them, and died on the 30th of that month, aged about 69 years ; his widow Mary was appointed executrix ; the will was probated in March, 1670. After his death, his widow and sons John, Joseph and Samuel were shareholders in the iron works ; these works have been continued until recently, over two hundred years. Soon after they were started, bar iron manufactured there from native ore dug in the vicinity, was made a “circulating medium ” in business transactions and on account of the scarcity of specie ; orders to that effect drawn by Rev. Samuel Danforth, the fourth minister of Taunton, for a portion of his salary, a few years later, and by others for business purposes, are now in careful preservation.

George Hall was one of the largest landholders in Taunton, and divided it among his sons. They were also among the proprietors of the large tract, called ” Taunton North Purchase,” which included the territory of the present towns of Norton, Easton and portions of Mansfield and Raynham, upon which, many of their descendants settled as farmers and business men ; more than a thousand descendants now bear the ancestral name. The children mentioned in the will of George Hall were :

I. John, b. in 1640 (Family 2). 2. Joseph, b. in 1642 (Family
3). 3. Samuel, b. in 1644 (Family 4). 4. Charity. 5. Sarah.
6. Mary

The town records were burned in 1838, hence the loss of many valuable clues.

Topics: Massachusetts | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “George Hall of Taunton: Halls of New England excerpt”

  1. Ann Hall Says:
    March 20th, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Kathryn,

    Thank you for sharing this information. I believe I am also a direct decedent of George Hall of Taunton, Mass. I was wondering if you know where I could find out if my DNA is a match.

    Thanks,
    Ann

  2. Kathryn Hall Says:
    March 21st, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Hi, Ann, You need to find a male Hall in your family and have him tested. Then compare with dna listed on this site. Then back up with a paper trail. Kathryn

  3. Diane Hall Quackenbush Says:
    February 16th, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I have had my DNA tested and through Ancestry.com and believe I am related to George Hall. There are no males to test for DNA that I know of. Is there another way I can determine my ancestry?

  4. Merrill Souel Hall Says:
    June 3rd, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Hi! I am new to the process of researching my roots but I believe that I am a direct descendant of George Hall.

    My great great grandfather, Israel Hall, had a son he named “Merrill Samuel Hall”. We have traced Israel Hall to the original George Hall, born in England 1600 – 1603 and who died in Taunton in 1669. Merrill Samuel was born in MA and migrated to New Orelans where he met and married Cornelia Amelia Schilling. He died in New Orleans in 1917. Their son, Merrill S Hall, my grandfather, died at age 30, two years after my father, Merrill Souel Hall was born.

    We do not know how the name Souel came about but we think that it might have been a misreading of Merrill Samuel’s birth certificate. , Merrill Samuel and Merrill S died by the time my dad two years old and we had no family connections to the Halls in Massachusetts.

    I had my DNA completed through 23 and me. Would I be able to use the results of this dna test to identify if in deed I am a direct descendant of George Hall?

    I am very excited about what I am discovering about my roots and would appreciate any assistance you can offer me.

  5. Kathryn Hall Says:
    June 18th, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Merrill, you need to test a male to prove lineage.
    KH

  6. Kathryn Hall Says:
    June 18th, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Diane, your DNA results will not connect you to your male ancestry. Before DNA testing folks relied on extensive research. Without an appropriate male to test you are in the situation of doing a lot of extensive homework or hiring a professional to track down your family. Good luck! Enjoy the journey. Kathryn

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