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The History of the Josselyn Family

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Date: 0800 to 1910
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Surname/tag: Josselyn
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The Josselyn Family

The Josselyn Family of Webster is of ancient traceable lineage. Its known history extends even further back then to the time of Charlemagne, whose daughter married Count Joceline. One of the descendants of this union was Sir Gilbert Joceyne, who accompanied William, Duke of Normandy in his quest of England, in 1066, and became the founder of the Joslin family in England. He received from William I extensive territorial grants in the county of Lincoln, among which were the lordships of Sempringham and Tyrington. His son Gilbert devoted himself to a religious life and founded the order of Gilbertines and was canonized a Saint by Pope Innocent III in 1202. The younger son, Thomas, married Maude, daughter and co-heiress of John Hyde, of Hyde Hall, and granddaughter of Baron Sudeley, by which marriage the family obtained the estate which has ever since remained in its possession. One of the descendants married Anne, the heiress of the Percy’s, and became Duke of Northumberland. Another was a signer of the Magna Charta. Another is the present Earl of Roden. Nathaniel Jossclyne (I) was born in 1452 and was brother of Sir Ralph, the Lord Mayor of London, and Sir Thomas, of Hyde Hall, from whom descended Lord Newport, Viscount Josselyn and Earl of Roden. (II) James Joslin, seventh son of Nathaniel Joslin (I), was born in England, in 1497. He was the first to spell the name Joslin. Previously the spelling varied according to the whim of the writer. (III) Robert Joslin, sixth son and youngest child, of James Joslin (2), was born in England, probably about 1560. He married Martha Cleveland.

(IV) Thomas Joslin, son of Robert Joslin (3), the fourth child, was born in England, about 1591. He was the emigrant ancestor of the American. Joslin’s. He married, in 1614, in London, England, Rebecca Marlowe. He came over in the ship "Increase" in April 1635, and landed in Hingham, Massachusetts, with his wife Rebecca, son Nathaniel, and four daughters, Rebecca, Dorothy, Eliza and Mary. Later an elder son Abraham, who had been left at school in England, joined the family. Elizabeth Ward, a servant, came with the Joslin’s. Thomas Joslin was a proprietor of the town and was elected to various town offices there. He was selectman in 1645. He removed about 1654 to Lancaster, of which town he was one of the original proprietors. Thomas and Nathaniel Joslin sold their land at Hingham, March I1, 1652-53, to George Lane and Moses Collier. Thomas Joslin died in 166o. His will was dated May 9,1660 and proved March 20, 1661. He bequeathed to wife Rebecca, sons Abram and Nathaniel, daughters Rebecca Nichols and Elizabeth Emmons, son-in-law Roger Sumner, grandson Abram Joslin. His own signature fixed the proper spelling of the name as Joslin, though variously spelled in records. His widow married William Kerly, of Lancaster.

Children of Thomas and Rebecca (Marlowe) Joslin were: 1. Rebecca, born in 1617, married' Thomas Nichols, and died in Hingham, September 22, 1675. 2. Abraham, born 1619, was in Hingham. in 1647 and afterwards at Lancaster and Stow; he was lost at sea in 1670 and Beatrice his widow married (second), 1671, Sergeant Benjamin Bosworth. of Hull, his son Abraham was killed by the Indians in Lancaster in 1674, aged twenty-five. 3. Joseph, born 1621, married and had children. 4, Dorothy, born 1624. 5. Nathaniel, born 1627. 6. Elizabeth, born 1629, married in Boston, June 21, 1652, Edward Yeomans (Emmons). 7. Mary, born, 1634, married Roger Sumner, great-great-great-grandfather of Charles Sumner, the senator. - (V) Nathaniel Joslin, son of Thomas Joslin (4), was born in England. 1627, died in 1694, in, Marlboro, Massachusetts. He married Sarah King, of Watertown, Massachusetts, and afterward of Lancaster. He removed to Marlboro after the destruction. of Lancaster in King Phillip's war. Children of Nathaniel and Sarah (King) Joslin were Nathaniel, born June 21, 1658, died 1667; Sarah; Dorothy; Rebecca; Elizabeth; Nathaniel, born probably 1668; Mary; Peter.

(VI) Nathaniel Joslin, son of Nathaniel Joslin (5), was born probably in Lancaster in 1668. He married Hester Morse, of Marlboro, where he removed with his parents in King Philip's war. They had thirteen children, among whom was Thomas, born March 10, 1707. (VII) Thomas Joslin, son of Nathaniel Joslin (6), was born March 10, 1707.

He married (second) Lucy Forbush, of Marlboro. Children of Thomas and - Joslin were Lucy, born 1741, died 1743: Israel, born July 13, 1743, married Ann Newton: Thomas, born August 6, 1745, was a soldier in the revolution; Jonas, see forward.

(VIII) Jonas Joslin, son of Thomas Joslin (7), was born April 25, 1754. His widow Lydia married (second) - Hill. Children of Jonas and Lydia Joslin were Israel, see forward; Nathan, born February 6. 1782, died in Blackstone, Massachusetts; Otis, born August 13, 1784, resided in Medford, Massachusetts.

(IX) Israel Joslin, son of Jonas Joslin (8), was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts, December 13, 1778. He settled in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He married Asha Crosby, born November 20, 1788. She was the daughter of Benjamin Crosby, of Smithfield, a soldier in the revolution, who married, October 26, 1775, Sarah Smith. born March 27, 1760. Children of Israel and Asha (Crosby) Joslin were Elisha C., born March 31, 1807; Nathan, born May 5, 1810; Asher, see forward.

(X) Asher Joslin, son of Israel Joslin (g), was born April 26, 1816, in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He was educated in the public schools of Smith-field and at Dudley Academy. He had, however, worked in the Slater mill in Webster some time before he went to the academy. When the mill was burned and he was thrown out of work, he took advantage of the opportunity to study. Except for his interruption he was for forty-seven years continuously employed in the woolen mills of S. Slater & Sons at Webster. He was advanced from year to year until he became the head of the wool sorting department. For about twenty-five years he occupied this prominent and responsible position. He bought wool for the mills in the west, in New York and the various markets. The profits of the business depended to a large extent upon his judgment in buying. He kept to his daily work until his final illness three weeks before his death, May 30, 1880.

Before the war. he was active in the anti-slavery movement. The Joslin house was a station in the Underground Railroad and sheltered many escaped slaves. His associates were largely Whigs, but he affiliated early with the Free-Soil party. When he cast his first vote, he heard that on account of his youthful looks his vote would be challenged on the ground that he was not of age. When he went to the polls, he carried the family Bible under his arm and no questions were asked. In 1845 he voted for John G. Burney. When the Republican party was organized, he joined it with other Free-Soiler’s and continued in hearty accord with its principles the remainder of his life. Ile was always active in the organization and usually served on the Republican town committee. He was a representative to the general court in 1859 and senator in 1863. He took his part in town affairs... Out of thirty-five years he was twenty-five years on the board of assessors. He also served on the school committee.

He was one of the trustees of the Webster Five Cents Savings Bank. The resolutions of the board upon his demise declared that "the corporation has lost an efficient and faithful officer, the community an upright citizen justly esteemed for his ninny sterling qualities of heart and mind." Ile was not in sympathy with secret orders and belonged to none. lie was highly active in the church. He joined the Methodist Church in 1837, at the. time of revival services held by Rev. Isaac Stoddard, while pastor of the old Methodist Church. As a member of the church has expressed it: “He has been connected with the Methodist Church as a faithful member, devoted communicant, liberal contributor, earnest worker, for the past forty-three years, and has been one of the official beard for nearly the whole of that time and has been for over thirty years treasurer of the society. His life among the people of Webster has been such as to extol and commend to his fellow citizens the God he served so devotedly and so earnestly. He was an earnest advocate of temperance legislation and a believer in individual total abstinence."

He married Mary Clark, daughter of Waldo Clark, daughter of Waldo Clark, and granddaughter of Asahel Clark. Waldo Clark married Sally Brown, whose father, Nathan Brown, maternal grandfather of Mrs. Asher Joslin, was a soldier in the revolution. Nathan Brown's wife was Phila. Asahel Clark, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Asher Joslin, was a private in the Woodstock (Connecticut) company which responded to the Lexington alarm. April 19, 1775. He was under General Putnam stationed in the Centre division at Cam-bridge and he took part in the battle of Bunker Hill. His was the seventh company, third regiment. In 1776 he was in the sixth company and eleventh regiment at New York with the rank of corporal. He was made ensign, January 1, 1777, was in camp at Peekskill, New York, went to Pennsylvania with McDougall's Brigade and was in the battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777. He was at Valley Forge during the trying winter of 1777-78. He resigned April 20, 1778. Children of Asher and Mary (Clark) Joslin were Harriet Francelia, born July 21. 1839, died young: Helen Maria, see forward; Asher Waldo, see forward; Eva Josephine, born September 17, 1852, died young; Charles Sumner. see forward. All were born in Webster. Mrs. Joslin passed away December 29, 1906. She was one of Webster's oldest residents, having come here when she was fifteen years old. She had at-tamed the age of ninety-one years and was one of the best-known women. Mrs. Joslin was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Webster and was a constant attendant at services when her health permitted. (XI) Helen Maria Joslin, daughter of Asher Joslin (to), was born September 7, 1841. She is a graduate of the Webster high school and the Westfield Normal school, class of 1862. She began to teach immediately after her graduation in the district school at North Blackstone. She taught for three years in the grammar school at Holyoke. She went to Chicopee Falls to teach in the high school and after four years was transferred to the Chicopee high school. There she was a teacher for seventeen years. In 1890, she resigned because of duties at home, and since then has lived in Webster. Miss Joslin is a trustee of the Public Library and was the first woman in the town to hold this office.

(XI) Asher Waldo Joslin, son of Asher Joslin (10), was born in Webster, Massachusetts, April 23. 1847. He entered the wool business in early life. He married Antoinette Lucy Goddard, of Webster. He resided in Brooklyn, New York, for -seven years. He is now living in Webster and occupied in the care of his extensive real estate interests. He owns the Hub block. a business building. in Webster. He is a graduate of the Webster high school. His children are: Arthur Waldo, a :Boston builder; Bertha Antoinette; Lawrence, a Boston builder; Ralph Joel (twin), formerly with B. A. Corbin & Sons Co., shoe manufacturers, of Webster, now in Lowell, Massachusetts; Roy Asher (twin), died young; Ernest Asher, assistant cashier of the Webster National Bank Stanley Goddard .electrician; Lois, graduate of Webster high school, :and now student of Worcester ; Eunice Aline, in -senior class of Webster high school.

(XI) Charles Sumner Joslin, son of Asher Joslin (10), was born in Webster, Massachusetts, August 22, 1854. He was a graduate of the Webster high school and of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was the valedictorian of the class of 1874. He worked for a time for Worcester, Lowell and North Attleboro drug concerns, purchasing the last-named business. He was later made agent and for "twelve years filled the position in the jewelers' supplies department of George L. Claflin & Co., dealers in chemicals, etc., Providence, Rhode Island. He was a quiet man in his daily life, able and /honorable in business and highly esteemed for his :personal characteristics showing great courage and fortitude during his illness under the almost certain knowledge that death in a comparatively short time was inevitable.

He married (first) Ellie Prudence Carter, October 23, 1878. She was the daughter of John W. and Mary (Grinnell) Carter. and was born September 6, 1855, at Lowell. She died July 2, 1886, t North Attleboro. He married (second) Grace Guernsey Dyer. August 22, 1888. She was the daughter of Major Cyrus G. and Ellen (May) Dyer and was born in Norwich. New York, September 21, 1866. He had one son by the first marriage: Charles Asher, born in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, August 26, 1881, graduate of the North Attleboro high school, designer of jewelry in Keller's, New York. Charles S. Joslin died June 23, 1906, in a sanitarium in Indianapolis. Indiana. The following is taken from the North Attleboro Chronicle:

In the early part of the week word was received of the death of Charles S. Joslin in a 'Western city, where he had been accompanied by his wife, gone only two or three days before in the hope of obtaining relief from the malady which had assailed him something more than a year ago, and which was undoubtedly incurable from the first, a cancerous growth in the throat. which several months since deprived him of the power of speech. An operation was submitted to early last spring as the only means of prolonging life. To this he submitted with rare good courage and it was then thought that he had a fair chance of living several years longer, but before many months. it became evident that the disease was making headway, rather than the patient, and the end came unexpectedly. the third day after his arrival in the city. To which he had journeyed in the hope. of relief. Although. not a citizen of Webster at the time of his death, he was as well-known and esteemed here as in the city in which he took up his residence some five or six years ago. Providence, Rhode Island, where he left a large circle of friends and business associates to mourn his loss. He had no enemies for the reason that he deserved none, was of the most unfailing good nature and at all times the gentleman. lie had no trouble in making hosts of friends in the circles in which his exemplary life and intellectual attainments entitled him to move. In company with the writer he joined the Providence Whist club in i9oo and has been ever since an honored member of that organization, as well as for a number of years a member of the Narragansett Whist Club of Providence and the Providence Athletic club during the years of its existence, also retaining his membership in the Gentlemen's Whist club of this town, of which he was president to the day of his death, though not taking any active part in the past year or two. His fondness for the game was proverbial and he was well known as a player of the first rank in Providence, Boston and other cities where the experts gather several times a year. An excellent accountant, and mathematician, no problems requiring patient and un study were too difficult for him to undertake and he simply would not be beaten by them. These qualities were, of great assistance to him not only in his business, in which he was successful beyond the average, but also in his recreations.

A good citizen, husband, father and comrade has left us, and he will he much missed. To his memory, a friend of more than twenty years standing would render this feeble tribute. V. 0. MORSE.[1]


  1. Online Resource, Worcester County, Massachusetts Memoirs, Volume I-II Ancestry.com. Worcester County, Massachusetts Memoirs, Volume I-II [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002. Original data: Ellery Bicknell Crane, ed. Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts with a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity. Vol. I-II. New York, NY, USA: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907. About Worcester County, Massachusetts Memoirs, Volume I-II This database is a biographical dictionary of over 1,800 people from Worcester County, Massachusetts that has been compiled from genealogical and family memoirs. In the introduction the publishers comment on their goal of preserving this historical information. They state: "It is believed that the present work will prove a real addition to the mass of literature concerning the families of historic old Worcester county and that, without it, much valuable information contained therein would be inaccessible to the general reader, or irretrievably lost, owing to the passing away of many custodians of family records, and the consequent disappearance of material in their possession". Published in 1907, this work also includes information about historic homes and institutions as well as a history of the Worcester Society of Antiquity. Worcester County is located in central Massachusetts and was created in 1731 from two parent counties, Middlesex and Suffolk. Towns that are, today, part of Worcester County include: Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Dana, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Prescott, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shewsbury, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, Westminster, Winchendon, and Worcester. https://ancstry.me/3bW3Frz.

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