Between 1803 and 1815, three sets of parents named three babies Abram French.  They were born within 25 miles of each other in the Boston region of Massachusetts and lived most of their lives in close proximity.  One became a crockery merchant in Boston, another the owner of a leather making factory in Framingham and the third was a clothing merchant in Lowell.  All were very successful businessmen in the early-mid 1800’s.

While doing genealogical research, a common name or geographic location can often create a roadblock or confusion.  In this case, I have a clear genealogical record of Abram French, my 3rd great-grand father.  However, I kept coming across the other Abram’s and wondered if they might be related and/or did they know each other?   It is also fun to imagine that they might have been in the same place at the same time together.  Below is a brief snippet about each Abram.

Click here to read the rest of the story!

ABF(My) Abram French – Born in 1803 in Billerica, Massachusetts the son of Luther French and Sarah Bowers.  Married Elizabeth Simonds.  He died at Lowell, Massachusetts in April 11, 1879.

I have written about Abram previously, you can read a post on his life and also a separate story about his brother Walter who died in a train crash in Connecticut.

Abram FrenchMS102.002.009.DO.00207.basic – Born in 1815 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts to Ephraim French and Rebecca Abrams.  Abram married Sophia Cobb and had 8 children. He died in May 1884 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.  Abram was a very successful crockery, glassware and china dealer in Boston.  This Abram is related to my Abram through their common 4th great grandfather William French (1603-1681)!

157437scr_1c1a6ed762d5895Boston and Bostonians – Abram French & Co. – “One of the finest and undoubtedly one of the most extensive establishments in this line of trade on the American continent is the old established.  Leading Manufactures and Merchants of the City of Boston, 1885.”

unnamedAbram Stickney French – Born in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts to Abram French and Elizabeth Kidder.    Abram married Lois Page Richardson and had 4 children. He died in March 1896 in Townsend, Massachusetts.

At this time, I can find no genealogical connection between this Abram S. and my French family line.  However, his wife was from Billerica where another Kidder, a generation prior, had married someone in my family line.  For now, I will leave Abram S. in the possible column!

Abram S.  made one or two voyages to the West Indies as a cabin-boy, but not being pleased with a maritime life he was sent to New Ipswich Academy, where he acquired a good education. He preferred a business life rather than to pursue a course of studies with the view to enter upon one of the learned professions.

In 1833, he built a morocco factory on the brook running northeasterly from Bayberry Hill (Framingham), near its confluence with the river, and near where James Giles built his sawmill. This establishment was in successful operation for twenty years, employing constantly ten or twelve workmen; and considering the length of time the business was prosecuted, it must have been a source of wealth to the proprietor.

Morocco leather is made from goatskin, it is tougher than sheep or cow skin, and its denser texture makes it more suitable for being worked into a variety of products. To produce the distinctive red Morocco color, the untanned but cured leather is soaked in a dye made from dried insects.

In 1853, he went to Lockport, NY. and stocked a tannery, where he carried on business successfully with a partner, to whom he sold his interest in the business in 1858, and removed to Wellsville, N. Y., and built an extensive tannery, and pursued that branch of industry for several years, doing a large and profitable business. Partially losing his health, and seeing a good chance to sell out, he disposed of this factory and its stock in trade and retired from business in 1864.

Mr. French has always been fond of books, which, during the days of bad health, have been a source of pleasure to him. He has a retentive memory is well posted on historical matters and possesses a large amount of miscellaneous information. He gives liberally to the poor, and enjoys life at his advanced age in a remarkable manner. He is a member of the Republican Party, and in 1861-62 he represented the Twenty-seventh District (Ashby and Townsend) in the General Court.

Source: (Abram S. French) History of the Town of Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: From the Grant of Hathorn’s Farm, 1676-1878

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