Boston Brahmin

The Boston Brahmins or Boston elite are members of Boston's traditional upper class.[1] They are often associated with Harvard University; Anglicanism; upper-class clubs such as the Somerset in Boston, the Knickerbocker in New York City, the Metropolitan in Washington, D.C., and the Pacific-Union Club in San Francisco; and traditional Anglo-American customs and clothing. Descendants of the earliest English colonists are typically considered to be the most representative of the Boston Brahmins.[2][3] They are considered White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

Colonial Boston— the Boston Common in 1768


The doctor and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. coined the term "Brahmin Caste of New England" in an 1860 story in The Atlantic Monthly.[4] The term Brahmin refers to the highest-ranking caste of people in the traditional Hindu caste system in India. By extension, it was applied in the United States to the old wealthy New England families of British Protestant origin that became influential in the development of American institutions and culture. The influence of the old gentry has been reduced in modern times, but some vestiges remain, primarily in the institutions and the ideals that they championed in their heyday.[5]


Typical dress of the Boston elite

The nature of the Brahmins is hinted at by the doggerel "Boston Toast" by Holy Cross alumnus John Collins Bossidy:

And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God.[6][7]

While some 19th-century Brahmin families of large fortune were of bourgeois origin, still fewer were of a somewhat aristocratic origin. The new families were often the first to seek, in typically British fashion, suitable marriage alliances with those old aristocratic New England families that were descended from landowners in England to elevate and cement their social standing. The Winthrops, Dudleys, Saltonstalls, Winslows, and Lymans (descended from English magistrates, gentry, and aristocracy) were, by and large, happy with this arrangement. All of Boston's "Brahmin elite", therefore, maintained the received culture of the old English gentry, including cultivating the personal excellence that they imagined maintained the distinction between gentlemen and freemen, and between ladies and women. They saw it as their duty to maintain what they defined as high standards of excellence, duty, and restraint. Cultivated, urbane, and dignified, a Boston Brahmin was supposed to be the very essence of enlightened aristocracy.[8][9] The ideal Brahmin was not only wealthy, but displayed what was considered suitable personal virtues and character traits.

The Brahmin was expected to maintain the customary English reserve in his dress, manner, and deportment, cultivate the arts, support charities such as hospitals and colleges, and assume the role of community leader.[10]:14 Although the ideal called on him to transcend commonplace business values, in practice many found the thrill of economic success quite attractive. The Brahmins warned each other against avarice and insisted upon personal responsibility. Scandal and divorce were unacceptable. The total system was buttressed by the strong extended family ties present in Boston society. Young men attended the same prep schools, colleges, and private clubs,[11] and heirs married heiresses. Family not only served as an economic asset, but also as a means of moral restraint. Most belonged to the Unitarian or Episcopal churches, although some were Congregationalists or Methodists. Politically they were successively Federalists, Whigs, and Republicans. They were marked by their manners and once distinctive elocution. Their distinctive Anglo-American manner of dress has been much imitated and is the foundation of the style now informally known as preppy. Many of the Brahmin families trace their ancestry back to the original 17th- and 18th-century colonial ruling class consisting of Massachusetts governors and magistrates, Harvard presidents, distinguished clergy, and fellows of the Royal Society of London (a leading scientific body), while others entered New England aristocratic society during the 19th century with their profits from commerce and trade, often marrying into established Brahmin families.[12]

List of families

Selected Boston Brahmin
American statesman, Governor of Massachusetts, and founding father, Samuel Adams
American merchant, Samuel Appleton
Banking merchant, John Amory Lowell
U.S. Congressman and lawyer, Robert L. Bacon
Philanthropist, business magnate, namesake of Bates College, Benjamin Bates.
Federal judge, founder of Choate Rosemary Hall, William Gardner Choate
Railroad executive and son of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, John Coolidge
Congregational minister, Samuel Cooper
Colonist, Benjamin Williams Crowninshield
Massachusetts colonial speaker of the house, Thomas Cushing
Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Joseph Dudley
Massachusetts minister, William Emerson
American businessman and art collector, John Lowell Gardner
Boston manufacturer, Patrick Tracy Jackson
Politician and founder of Lawrence, Abbott Lawrence
American statesmen and congressman, Henry Cabot Lodge
Colonial lawyer, James Otis
Entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the House of Morgan and the Peabody Institute, George Peabody
Art historian, philanthropist, founder of the Museum of Fine Arts, Charles C. Perkins
Educator and founder of Phillips Exeter Academy, John Phillips
President of the United States, John Quincy Adams
Sylvanus Thayer, the Father of West Point
John G. Palfrey I, Played a leading role in the creation of Harvard Divinity School, U.S. Congressman, Unitarian minister
Businessman and philanthropist, David Sears
U.S Congressman, John K. Tarbox
Major general and doctor, Joseph Warren


Adams Family


Amory Family

  • John Amory Lowell (1798–1881): merchant
  • Thomas Coffin Amory (1812–1889): lawyer, author
  • Thomas Jonathan Coffin Amory (1828–1864): Civil War general
  • Ernest Amory Codman (1869–1940): surgeon
  • Cleveland Amory (1917–1998): author


Appleton Family

Patrilineal line:[13]

  • Daniel Appleton (1785–1849): publisher
  • Frances Appleton (d. 1861): wife of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • George Swett Appleton (1821–1878): publisher
  • Jane Means Appleton Pierce (1806–1863): wife of U.S. President Franklin Pierce, was First Lady of the United States from 1853 to 1857
  • Jesse Appleton (1772–1819): second president of Bowdoin College
  • John Appleton (1816–1864): assistant Secretary of State, diplomat, U.S. congressman
  • John Appleton: Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
  • John F. Appleton (1838–1870): lawyer and Union colonel in the American Civil War
  • John James Appleton (1789–1864): ambassador
  • Nathan Appleton (1771–1861): U.S. congressman and merchant
  • Nathaniel Appleton (1693–1784): Congregational minister
  • Samuel Appleton (1625–1696): military and government leader in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay
  • Samuel Appleton (1766–1853): merchant and philanthropist
  • Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–1884): writer and art patron
  • William Appleton (1786–1862): U.S. congressman
  • William Henry Appleton (1814–1899): publisher
  • William Sumner Appleton (1874–1947): philanthropist

Other notable relatives:[14][15][16]

  • Thomas Storrow Brown (1803–1888): journalist, writer, orator, and revolutionary in Lower Canada (present-day Quebec)
  • Edward Augustus Holyoke (1728–1829): educator and physician
  • Alice Mary Longfellow (1850–1928): philanthropist and preservationist
  • Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow (1845–1921): artist
  • Alpheus Spring Packard (1839–1905): entomologist and palaeontologist
  • William Alfred Packard (1830–1909): classical scholar
  • Charles Storrow Williams (1827–1890): Director of Railroad Transportation for the Confederate States of America
  • Edward H. Williams (1824–1899): physician and railroad executive


Bacon Family

  • Robert Bacon (1860–1919): U.S. Secretary of State
    • Robert L. Bacon (1884–1938): U.S. congressman
    • Gaspar G. Bacon (1886–1947): politician
      • Gaspar G. Bacon, Jr. (1914–1943): actor


Bates family

Originally from Boston and Britain:

  • Benjamin Bates I (c. 1651–1710);[17][18] merchant banker, family patriarch
  • Benjamin Bates II (1716 – c. 1820);[19] member of the Hell Fire Club
  • Frederick Bates (1777–1825); politician
  • James Woodson Bates (1788–1846); judge
  • Joshua Bates (financier); Barings Bank partner, managed many Brahmin family fortunes, advised Adams family on Court protocol
  • Edward Bates (1793–1869); U.S. Attorney General
  • Benjamin Bates IV (1808–1878); philanthropist, namesake and benefactor of Bates College


Boylston Family

  • Thomas Boylston (b. 1644): doctor, family patriarch
  • Zabdiel Boylston (1679–1766): physician
  • Ward Nicholas Boylston (1747–1828): benefactor, Harvard University


Bradlee Family

Direct line:[20][21][22]

  • Nathan Bradley I: earliest known member born in America, in Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1631
  • Samuel Bradlee: constable of Dorchester, Massachusetts
    • Nathaniel Bradlee: Boston Tea Party participant, member of Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association
    • Josiah Bradlee I: Boston Tea Party participant; m. Hannah Putnam
      • Josiah Bradlee III (Harvard): m. Alice Crowninsheld
      • Frederick Josiah Bradlee I (Harvard): Director of the Boston Bank
        • Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. (Harvard, 1915): on the first All-American football team at Harvard; m. Josephine de Gersdorff
    • Joseph Putnam Bradlee (1783–1838), Commander of the New England Guards, chairman of the State Central Committee, Director and then President of the Boston City Council
    • Samuel Bradlee, Jr.: lieutenant colonel during the American Revolutionary War
    • Thomas Bradlee: Boston Tea Party participant; member of Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association; Member of the St. Andrews Lodge of Freemasons
    • David Bradlee: Boston Tea Party participant; Captain in the Continental Army, member of the St. Andrews Lodge of Freemasons
    • Sarah Bradlee: "Mother of the Boston Tea Party"


Brinley Family

  • Francis Brinley, Esq.(1632–1719): arrived from England in 1651 after the English Civil War, with his two sisters, children of Thomas Brinley, auditor to King Charles I&II, his original home became Newport's White Horse Tavern, Judge, book collector, landowner (RI, MA, NJ), Governor's assistant, m: Hannah Carr (niece of RI Gov. Caleb Carr). Boston estate at Hanover and Elm, current site of Government Center.
    • William Brinley, Esq (1656–1704): first son of Francis, Judge in Newport, co-founder of Trinity Church, Newport, first Anglican church in RI
      • William Brinley, Esq. (1677–1753): only child of Wm. Brinley, Judge in Monmouth, NJ
        • John Brinley (1713–1775): Brinley grist mill owner in Oakhurst, NJ
          • William Brinley (1754–1840): Major in Revolutionary War
            • Sylvester C. Brinley (1816–1905): founded Brinley, Ohio (aka Brinley Station) in 1855.
    • Thomas Brinley (1661–1693): second son of Francis, Boston/London merchant, co-founder of King's Chapel, Boston, first Anglican church in colonial New England.
      • Eliakim Hutchinson (1711-1775): Judge, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas for Suffolk County, and one of Boston's richest men, owner of Shirley Place (now Shirley-Eustis House) m:Elizabeth Shirley (daughter of MA Gov William Shirley)
      • Colonel Francis Brinley (1690–1765): Colonel in Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company, merchant, landowner (Datchet House/Brinley Place-Roxbury, Brinley Place-Framingham), one of the richest Bostonians of the 18th century, grandfather's heir, m: Deborah Lyde, granddaughter of Judge Nathaniel Byfield
        • Francis Brinley Fogg Sr. Esq. (1795–1880): m. Mary Middleton Rutledge of Middleton Place, TN state senator, started Nashville public schools, school board president, namesake Fogg School opened in 1875, a founder of Sewanee University of the South. and Christ Church Cathedral Nashville
        • Catherine Grace Frances Moody Nevinson Gore (1798–1861): English writer
        • Francis William Brinley (1796–1859): merchant, mayor of Perth Amboy, NJ, Surveyor of NJ state.
        • Francis Brinley Jr., Esq. (1800–1880): Harvard 1818-Porcellian Club, President of Boston Common Council, MA state legislator (House and Senate), clerk to Secretary of State, Daniel Webster, delegate to state constitutional convention, commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
        • Edward Brinley (1809–1868): Importer for Edward Brinley & Co., Old Faneuil Hall, Boston
        • George Brinley (1817–1875): noted book collector, pioneer of the Americanist movement
        • Emily Malbone Morgan (1862–1939): founder of the Colonel Daniel Putnam Association and the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross
        • Godfrey Malbone Brinley (1864–1939): top 10 US tennis pro, later master at St. Paul's school
        • Edward Brinley Faneuil Adams (1871–1922): Harvard 1892/Law 1897, Harvard Law librarian
        • Daniel Putnam Brinley (1873–1963): artist (painter, muralist, impressionist)
        • Charles Henry Brinley Esq (1825-1907): Judge in AZ, involved in early CA/AZ politics, int'l merchant, appointed Vice Consul to Mexico by Pres Theo. Roosevelt
          • Charles Brinley (1880–1946): silent actor
      • Emily Borie Ryerson (1863-1939): Titanic survivor, suffragette, philanthropist
  • Anne Brinley Coddington (1628–1708): third wife of Governor William Coddington, who arrived with the Winthrop fleet in 1630 and became an early MA magistrate, the first Governor of Rhode Island/founder of Portsmouth and Newport, RI, and mother and grandmother of subsequent Governors.
    • William Coddington Jr.(1651–1689): colonial Governor of Rhode Island
    • Mary Coddington (1654–1693): wife of Gov. Peleg Sanford of RI
    • William Coddington III (1680–1755): colonial Governor of Rhode Island, merchant, judge, m: Content Arnold
    • Margaret Sanford Hutchinson (1716-1754): wife of Thomas Hutchinson (governor), last loyalist Gov. of MA
    • Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832–1918): First Lady, wife of 20th U.S. President James A. Garfield
    • Ted Danson (born 1947): actor, activist
  • Grisell Brinley Sylvester (1635–1687): wife of Nathaniel Sylvester, together they became the first white settlers and owners of all of Shelter Island, NY. She is credited with bringing boxwoods to the colonies.
    • Brinley Sylvester (1690–1752): built Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, which was made a non-profit educational farm by the 11th generation heir.
    • Charles Ward Apthorp Jr. (1729-1797): owner of Manhattan's Apthorp Farm, merchant, NY Governor's Council 1763-83
    • Sarah Wentworth Apthorp Morton (1759-1846): poet, wife of Perez Morton, MA Speaker and AG.
    • Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844): Harvard 1781/4, architect in Boston and of the US Capitol building
    • Sen. James Lloyd (1769-1831): Harvard 1787/90, US Senator from MA, merchant, businessman
    • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945): Harvard 1904, 32nd and longest serving President of the United States
    • Benjamin Crowinshield Bradlee (1921–2014): Harvard 1942, Executive Editor of The Washington Post


Chaffee Family

Originally of Hingham, Massachusetts:[23]

  • Thomas Chaffee (1610–1683), businessman and landowner
  • Jonathon Chaffee (1678–1766), businessman and landowner
  • Matthew Chaffee (1657–1723), Boston landowner
  • Adna Romanza Chaffee (1842–1914): U.S. general
  • Adna R. Chaffee, Jr. (1884–1941): U.S. general
  • Zechariah Chafee (1885–1957): philosopher, civil libertarian
  • John Chafee (1922–1999): U.S. senator
  • Lincoln Chafee (b. 1953): former U.S. senator, former Rhode Island governor, 2016 U.S. presidential candidate for the Democratic party


Choate Family

  • Rufus Choate (1799–1859): U.S. senator
  • George C. S. Choate (1827–1896): founder of Choate Sanitarium, Pleasantville, New York
  • Joseph Hodges Choate (1832–1917): lawyer, diplomat
  • William Gardner Choate (1830–1920): U.S. federal judge, founder of Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Sarah Choate Sears (1858–1935): art patron
  • Robert B. Choate, Jr. (1924–2009): businessman
  • Elizabeth Choate Spykman (1896–1965): writer
  • Nathaniel Choate (1899–1965): artist, sculptor


Coffin Family

Originally of Newbury and Nantucket:

  • Tristram Coffin (1604–1681): colonist, original owner of Nantucket
  • William Coffin (1699–1775): merchant, co-founder of Trinity Church
  • Sir Isaac Coffin (1759–1839): naval officer
  • Charles E. Coffin (1841–1912): industrialist, U.S. congressman
  • Charles A. Coffin (1844–1926): industrialist, co-founder of General Electric
  • Henry Coffin Nevins (1843–1892): industrialist
  • John Coffin Jones, Sr. (1750–1820): Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
    • John Coffin Jones, Jr. (1796–1861): U.S. Minister to Hawaii
  • Thomas Coffin Amory (1812–1889): lawyer, author
  • Thomas Jonathan Coffin Amory (1828–1864): Civil War general


  • John Calvin Coolidge Sr. (1845–1926): politician and businessman
    • Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933): 30th President of the United States
      • John Coolidge (1906–2000): businessman and railroad executive
  • T. Jefferson Coolidge (1831–1920): Financier, industrialist, and civic leader
  • Archibald Cary Coolidge (1866–1928): educator
  • John Gardner Coolidge (1863–1936): U.S. ambassador
  • Charles A. Coolidge (1844–1926): U.S. Army general


  • John Cooper (1609–1669): colonist
  • Samuel Cooper (1725–1783): clergyman
  • Samuel D. Cooper, Jr. (1750–1824): revolutionary
  • Samuel D. Cooper III (1778–1853): trade merchant
  • Priscilla Cooper Tyler (1816–1889): First Lady of the United States
  • Theodore Cooper (1839–1919): civil engineer
  • Frederic Taber Cooper (1864–1937): writer


Crowninshield Family

  • Johann Casper Richter von Kronenscheldt: colonist
  • Jacob Crowninshield (1770–1808): U.S. congressman
    • Arent S. Crowninshield (1843–1908): U.S. Navy admiral
  • Caspar Crowninshield (1837–1897): Union Army colonel
  • Benjamin William Crowninshield (1837–1892): Union Army colonel
  • Frederic Crowninshield (1845–1918): first president of the National Society of Mural Painters
  • Benjamin Williams Crowninshield (1772–1851): 5th U.S. Secretary of Navy
  • Frank Crowninshield (1872–1947): creator and editor of Vanity Fair
  • Bowdin Bradlee Crowninshield (1867–1948): American naval architect

Descendants by marriage:

  • William Crowninshield Endicott (1826–1900): 5th U.S. Secretary of War
  • Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. (1892–1970): on the first All-American football team (from Harvard)
  • Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee Sr. (1921–2014): Editor-in-chief of The Washington Post
  • Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee Jr. (b. 1948): Editor for The Boston Globe
  • Josiah Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee (b. 1982): founder and CEO of


Cushing Family

Originally of Hingham, Massachusetts:[24]

  • Caleb Cushing (1800–1879): U.S. congressman and Attorney General
  • John Perkins Cushing (1787–1862): China trade merchant, investor
  • Thomas Cushing (1725–1788): statesman, revolutionary
  • William Cushing (1732–1810): U.S. Supreme Court justice
  • Harvey Cushing (1869–1939): neurosurgeon

Descendant by marriage:

  • Albert Cushing Read (1887–1967): naval officer


Dana Family

  • Richard Dana (1699–1772): colonial Boston politician
  • Francis Dana (1743–1811): revolutionary
  • Richard Henry Dana, Sr. (1787–1879): lawyer, author
  • Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882): lawyer, author (Two Years Before the Mast)


Delano Family

  • Columbus Delano (1809–1896): U.S. Secretary of the Interior
  • Jane Delano (1862–1919): founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service
  • Paul Delano (1745–1842): naval officer
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945): President of the United States
  • Frederic A. Delano (1863–1953): civic reformer and railroad president


Dudley Family

  • Thomas Dudley (1576–1653): Governor of Massachusetts, a founder of Harvard College
  • Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612–1672): first American poet, wife of Royal Governor Simon Bradstreet
  • Joseph Dudley (1647–1720): Royal Governor of Massachusetts, President of the Dominion of New England, Chief Justice of New York, Member of Parliament, Lt. Governor of the Isle of Wight
  • Paul Dudley (1675–1751): Chief Justice of Massachusetts, member of the Royal Society, founder of the Dudleian lectures at Harvard
  • Paul Dudley Sargent (1745–1828): Army colonel and Revolutionary War hero
  • Dudley Saltonstall (1738–1796): Naval commodore during the Revolution and successful privateer


Dwight Family

  • Timothy Dwight IV (1752–1817): president of Yale University
  • Joseph Dwight (1703–1765): lawyer, French and Indian War veteran
  • James Dwight Dana (1813–1895): geologist


Eliot Family

  • Samuel Eliot (banker) (1739–1820)
  • Samuel Atkins Eliot (politician) (1798–1862)
  • Charles William Eliot (1834–1926): president of Harvard University
  • Charles Eliot (1859–1897): landscape architect
  • Samuel A. Eliot II (1862–1950): president of the American Unitarian Association
  • Samuel Eliot Morison (1887–1976): maritime author
  • Theodore Lyman Eliot (1928–2019), diplomat
  • Charles Eliot Norton (1827–1908): author
  • T. S. Eliot (1888–1965): Nobel Prize-winning poet, playwright, and literary critic


Emerson Family

  • Rev. William Emerson (1769–1811): clergyman; m. Ruth Haskins Emerson
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882): poet; m. Lydia Jackson Emerson
      • Edward Waldo Emerson, (1844–1930)
        • Raymond Emerson, (1886–1977)


Endicott Family


  • William Crowninshield Endicott (1826–1900): U.S. Secretary of War


  • Augustus Bradford Endicott (1818–1910): politician
      • Philip Endicott Young (1885–1955): industrialist
    • Henry Bradford Endicott (1853–1920): industrialist
      • Henry Wendell Endicott: philanthropist (1880–1954)


Of Marblehead and Salem:[25]

  • William Fabens (1810–1883): lawyer, member of Assembly, Senate[26]
    • William Chandler Fabens (1843–1903): Lynn attorney,[27] namesake of Fabens Building
  • Samuel Augustus Fabens (1813–1899): master mariner in the East India and California trade[28]
  • Francis Alfred Fabens (1814–1872): mercantile businessman, San Francisco judge, attorney[29]
  • Joseph Warren Fabens (1821–1875): U.S. Consul at Cayenne, businessman, Envoy Extraordinary of the Dominican Republic[30]
  • George Wilson Fabens (1857–1939): attorney, land commissioner and superintendent of Southern Pacific Railroad, namesake of Fabens, Texas[31]


Forbes Family

  • John Murray Forbes (1813–1898): industrialist
  • Edward W. Forbes (1873–1969): Director of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University from 1909 to 1944.
  • John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943): United States Secretary of State (2013-2017), senator from Massachusetts (1985–2013)
  • Elliot Forbes (1917–2006): conductor and musicologist
  • Robert Bennet Forbes: (1804–1889): sea captain, China merchant, ship owner, writer
  • William Howell Forbes: (1837–1896): businessman
  • Beatrice Forbes Manz: professor of history at Tufts University


Gardner Family

Originally of Essex county:

  • Samuel Pickering Gardner (1767–1843):[32] merchant
  • John Lowell Gardner (1808–1884): merchant
  • John Lowell Gardner II (1837–1898): merchant
  • Augustus P. Gardner (1865–1918): U.S. congressman


  • Jonathan Gillett (1609–1677): colonist
  • Edward Bates Gillett (1817–1899): attorney
    • Frederick Huntington Gillett (1851–1935): 37th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
    • Arthur Lincoln Gillett (1859–1938): clergyman


Hallowell Family

  • Ward Nicholas Boylston (1747–1828): Born Ward Hallowell, Boylston Street in Boston and the town of Boylston, Massachusetts are named for him, as well as Boylston Hall at Harvard University, where he was a benefactor
  • Norwood Penrose Hallowell (1839–1914): A colonel in the 54th Massachusetts regiment, Norwood Penrose was an avid abolitionist. He left the Somerset Club upon seeing that the curtains were closed during the 54th's victory march.
  • Edward Needles Hallowell (1836–1871): An officer in the 54th Massachusetts. He and his brother were collectively portrayed by actor Cary Elwes in his role as Major Cabot Forbes in the Civil War movie Glory.
  • John Hallowell: (1878–1927): Harvard Football player and assistant to Herbert Hoover in the United States Food Administration during WW1.


  • Mark Healey (1791–1872): originally of New Hampshire, merchant and first president of the Merchant's Bank[33]
    • Caroline Wells Healey (1822–1912), writer, feminist, and abolitionist
    • Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816–1886), first Unitarian minister to India


Holmes Family

  • Abiel Holmes (1763–1837): clergyman
    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809–1894): doctor, author
      • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935): U.S. Supreme Court justice


Jackson Family

  • Edward Jackson (1708–1757): colonist; m. Dorothy Quincy Jackson
    • Jonathan Jackson (1743–1810): merchant, revolutionary; m. Hannah Tracy Jackson
      • Charles Jackson (1775–1855): Massachusetts Supreme Court justice
        • Amelia Lee Jackson, who married Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. above
      • Patrick Tracy Jackson (1780–1847): co-founder of the Boston Manufacturing Company
      • Hannah Jackson: wife of Francis Cabot Lowell
  • Lydia Jackson: wife of Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Greling Jackson


Lawrence Family

  • Samuel Lawrence (d. 1827): revolutionary
    • Amos Lawrence (1786–1852): merchant
      • Amos Adams Lawrence (1814–1886): abolitionist
        • William Lawrence (1850–1941): Episcopal bishop
          • William Appleton Lawrence (1889–1963): Episcopal bishop
          • Frederic C. Lawrence (1899–1989): Episcopal bishop
    • Abbott Lawrence (1792–1855): U.S. congressman, founder of Lawrence, Massachusetts
    • Luther Lawrence (d. 1839): politician

Descendant by marriage: Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1856–1943): president of Harvard University


Lodge Family

  • John Ellerton Lodge, married Anna Cabot
    • Henry Cabot Lodge (1850–1924): U.S. senator
      • George Cabot Lodge (1873–1909): poet
        • Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1902–1985): U.S. senator, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
          • George Cabot Lodge II (b. 1927): Harvard Business School professor, 1962 U.S. Senate candidate from Massachusetts against Edward M. Kennedy
          • Henry Sears Lodge (b. 1930)
        • John Davis Lodge (1903–1985): 79th governor of Connecticut, U.S. ambassador


  • Theodore Lyman (1753–1839): China trade merchant, commissioned Samuel McIntire to build one of New England's finest country houses, The Vale
  • Theodore Lyman II (1792–1849): brigadier general of militia, Massachusetts state representative, mayor of Boston
  • Theodore Lyman III (1833–1897): natural scientist, aide-de-camp to Major General Meade during the American Civil War, and United States congressman from Massachusetts
  • Theodore Lyman IV (1874–1954): director of Jefferson Physics Lab, Harvard; eponym of the Lyman series of spectral lines. The crater Lyman on the far side of the Moon is named after him, as is the Lyman Physics Building at Harvard.


Minot Family

  • Charles Sedgwick Minot (1852–1914): anatomist
  • George Richards Minot (1885–1950): winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine
  • Henry Davis Minot (1859–1890): ornithologist
  • Susan Minot (b. 1956): author
  • Alexandria Minot (b. 1981): lawyer, human rights activist


Norcross family

Original from Watertown, Massachusetts

  • Otis Norcross (1811–1882): mayor of Boston
  • Amasa Norcross (1824–1898): politician
  • Eleanor Norcross (1854–1923): artist


Oakes family

  • Urian Oakes (1631–1681): minister and educator; president of Harvard College.


Otis family

  • James Otis, Jr. (1725–1783): revolutionary[34]
  • Mercy Otis Warren (1728–1814): playwright, revolutionary
  • Samuel Allyne Otis (1740–1814): politician
  • Harrison Gray Otis (1765–1848): U.S. senator, mayor of Boston


Palfrey Family

  • Peter Palfrey (1611–1663): one of the founders of Salem, Salem representative to the first General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony[35][36][37]
  • William Palfrey (1741–1780): American patriot, Aide-de-camp to George Washington, chief clerk to John Hancock, successful merchant[38]
  • John G. Palfrey I (1796–1881): played a leading role in the creation of Harvard Divinity School, first Dean of Harvard Divinity School, U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts, Unitarian minister, historian[39]
  • Francis Winthrop Palfrey (1831–1889): historian, decorated Union officer
  • Sarah Palfrey Danzig (1912–1996): won 18 national tennis championship titles (singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
  • John G. Palfrey V (1919–1979): member of President Kennedy's Atomic Energy Commission, Dean of Columbia University[40][41][42]
  • John G. "Sean" Palfrey VI (b. 1945): pediatrician and advocate, Harvard Faculty Dean of Adams House with Judy Palfrey[43]
  • John G. Palfrey VII (b. 1972): educator and author, historian, Headmaster of Phillips Andover[44]


Parkman Family

  • Samuel Parkman: (1751–1824): investor; father of
    • George Parkman: physician; investor; philanthropist; victim in the Parkman–Webster murder case
  • Francis Parkman, Jr.: historian; grandson of Samuel Parkman; nephew of George Parkman


Peabody Family

  • Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804–1894): American educator who opened the first English-language kindergarten in the United States
  • Endicott Peabody (1857–1944): Episcopal priest and founder of the Groton School for Boys
  • Endicott "Chubb" Peabody (1920–1997): governor of Massachusetts
  • George Peabody (1795–1869): entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the House of Morgan[45] and the Peabody Institute
  • Joseph Peabody (1757–1844): merchant, shipowner, and philanthropist whose company sailed clipper ships in the Old China Trade from its base in Salem, Massachusetts
  • Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (1806–1887): American author
  • Nathaniel Peabody (1774–1855)
  • Richard R. Peabody (1892–1936): author of The Common Sense of Drinking, a major influence on Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson
  • Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (1809–1871): painter, illustrator, and wife of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne


Perkins Family

  • Thomas Handasyd Perkins (1764–1854): merchant, pioneer of the China trade, philanthropist
  • Charles Perkins (1823–1886): art historian, philanthropist, founder of the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Edward Perkins (1856–1905): constitutional lawyer
  • Maxwell Perkins (1884–1947): literary editor of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald


Phillips Family

  • Christopher H. Phillips (1920–2008): politician and diplomat
  • Samuel Phillips, Jr. (1752–1802): politician, founder of Phillips Academy
  • John Phillips (1719–1795): educator, founder of Phillips Exeter Academy
  • John Sanborn Phillips (1861–1949): publisher of McClure's Magazine
  • Wendell Phillips (1811–1884): abolitionist
  • William Phillips (1878–1968): diplomat
  • Samuel Phillips (1690–1771): first pastor of the South Church of Andover.

Other notable relatives:

  • Phillips Brooks (1835–1893): American Episcopal clergyman and author
  • Samuel Phillips Huntington (1927–2008): Harvard political science professor and author; grandson of John Sanborn Phillips
  • Charles F. Brush (1849–1929): inventor and philanthropist
  • Bill Gates (1955–): billionaire software pioneer and philanthropist


Putnam Family

  • James Putnam (1725–1789): last attorney general in Massachusetts before American Revolution; judge and politician in New Brunswick
  • James Putnam (1756–1838): Canadian politician
  • Israel Putnam (1718–1790): American army general during the Revolutionary War
    • Colonel Daniel Putnam (1759–1831): Home at Putnam Elms
      • John Day Putnam (1837–1904): WI politician
  • William Lowell Putnam (1861–1924) and Elizabeth Lowell Putnam
    • George P. Putnam (1887–1950): publisher, explorer, husband of Amelia Earhart
    • Katherine L. Putnam (1890–1983): wife of Harvey Hollister Bundy
    • Roger Lowell Putnam (1893–1972): politician, businessman


Quincy Family

  • Edmund Quincy (1602–1636): settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633
  • Josiah Quincy II (1744–1775): lawyer, revolutionary
    • Josiah Quincy III (1772–1864): U.S. congressman, mayor of Boston, president of Harvard
  • Dorothy Quincy Hancock: wife of John Hancock
  • Abigail Smith Adams (1744–1818): wife of John Adams


Rice Family

Originally of Sudbury, Massachusetts:

  • Deacon Edmund Rice (1594–1663): colonist
  • Alexander Hamilton Rice (1818–1895): industrialist, mayor of Boston, governor of Massachusetts, U.S. congressman
    • Alexander Hamilton Rice, Jr. (1875–1956): physician, geographer and explorer
  • Americus Vespucius Rice (1835–1904): general, U.S. congressman
  • Edmund Rice (1842–1906): U.S. Army general, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Edmund Rice (1819–1889): U.S. congressman
  • Henry Mower Rice (1816–1894): U.S. senator
  • Luther Rice (1783–1836): Baptist clergyman, missionary to India
  • Thomas Rice (1768–1854): U.S. congressman
  • William Marsh Rice (1816–1900): businessman, founder of Rice University
  • William North Rice (1845–1928): geologist, educator
  • William Whitney Rice (1826–1896): U.S. congressman
  • William B. Rice (1840–1909): industrialist, philanthropist


Saltonstall Family

  • Leverett Saltonstall I (1783–1845): politician, educator[46]
  • Leverett Saltonstall (1892–1979): U.S. senator
    • William L. Saltonstall (1927–2009): politician
  • Elizabeth Saltonstall (1900–1990): lithographer and painter
  • Philip Saltonstall Weld (1915–1984): World War II commando, environmentalist
  • William G. Saltonstall (1905–1989): 8th Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy


  • Colonel Epes Sargent (1690–1762): colonel of militia before the Revolution and a justice of the general session court for more than 30 years
    • Paul Dudley Sargent (1745–1828): Revolutionary officer, one of the founding overseers of Bowdoin College
      • Harrison Tweed (1885–1969): lawyer and civic leader
    • John Sargent (1750–1824): Loyalist officer during the American Revolution
      • Winthrop Sargent (1753–1820): patriot, governor, politician, and writer; member of the Federalist Party
      • Judith Sargent Murray (1751–1820): feminist, essayist, playwright, and poet; her home is the Sargent House Museum
    • Daniel Sargent, Sr. (1730–1806): merchant, owned Sargent's Wharf in Boston
      • Daniel Sargent (1764–1842): merchant, politician
        • Daniel Sargent Curtis (1825–1908): lawyer, banker, trustee of the BPL, owner of Palazzo Barbaro
      • Henry Sargent (1770–1845): painter and military man
      • Henry Winthrop Sargent (1810–1882): horticulturist and landscape gardener
      • Lucius Manlius Sargent (1786–1867): author, antiquarian, and temperance advocate
        • Horace Binney Sargent (1821–1908): Civil War general, politician
      • John Singer Sargent (1856–1925): artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation"
      • Charles Sprague Sargent (1841–1927): botanist, first director of Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum
      • Winthrop Sargent Gilman (1808–1884): head of the banking house of Gilman, Son & Co. in New York City
      • Epes Sargent (1813–1880): editor, poet and playwright
      • Francis W. Sargent (1915–1998): 64th governor of Massachusetts
      • Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee (1921–2014) (Harvard, 1942): editor of The Washington Post
      • Frances Sargent Osgood (1811–1850): poet, one of the most popular women writers during her time
      • Anna Maria Wells (née Foster; ca. 1794–1868): early American poet and writer for children


Sears Family

  • Richard Sears (1610–1676): colonist
  • David Sears II (1787–1871): philanthropist, merchant, landowner
  • Clara Endicott Sears (1863–1960): author, philanthropist
  • Mason Sears (1899–1973): politician and ambassador
  • Emily Sears: wife of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
  • John W. Sears (1930–2014): politician


  • Major General Robert Sedgwick (1611-1656), immigrant, Commander of the Massachusetts Bay Colony forces
    • Hon. Theodore Sedgwick (1746-1813), 4th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
      • Henry Dwight Sedgwick I (1785-1831)
      • Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick (1813-1864), Union Army General
        • Ellery Sedgwick (1872-1960), magazine editor
        • Henry Dwight Sedgwick III (1861-1957), lawyer and author
          • Edith Minturn Sedgwick (1943-1971), American socialite, actress and fashion model
          • Theodore "Ted" Sedgwick, diplomat and publisher
          • Kyra Sedgwick (b.1965), actress, producer and director m. Kevin Bacon, actor


Tarbox Family

  • John Tarbox (1645–1674): colonist
  • John K. Tarbox (1838–1887): U.S. congressman
  • Increase N. Tarbox (1815–1888): author


Thayer Family

  • Sylvanus Thayer (1785–1872), United States general and Father of West Point
  • Nathaniel Thayer, Jr. (1808–1883): Financier, philanthropist. Partner in John E. Thayer and brother firm which he left to clerks Kidder and Peabody after his retirement. One of the most generous citizens of Boston donating Thayer Hall to Harvard University. He was an overseer of Harvard, 1866–1868, and a fellow, 1868–1875
  • Nathaniel Thayer, III (1851–1911): Capitalist and pioneer railroad promoter
  • Bayard Thayer (1862–1916): Millionaire sportsman, horticulturist.
  • Eugene Van Rensselaer Thayer (1855–1907): Financier and Capitalist
    • Eugene Van Rensselaer Thayer, Jr. (1881–1937): Harvard class of 1904. President of Merchants and Chase National Banks. Chairman of Stutz motorcars.
  • James Bradley Thayer (1831–1902), American legal writer and educationist
  • Ernest Thayer (1863–1940), American poet, author of "Casey at the Bat", and uncle of Scofield Thayer
  • Scofield Thayer (1889–1982), American poet and publisher
  • Eli Thayer (1819–1899), member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • John A. Thayer (1857–1917), member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • John R. Thayer (1845–1916), member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • John Milton Thayer (1820–1906), United States Senator and Civil War general
  • Webster Thayer (1857–1933), the judge at the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti
  • William Greenough Thayer (1863–1934), American educator
    • Sigourney Thayer (1896–1944), theatrical producer, aviator, and poet
  • Tommy Thayer (1960), lead guitarist for the rock band Kiss


Thorndike Family

  • Israel Thorndike (1755–1832): merchant, politician
  • Augustus Thorndike (1896–1986): physician
  • George Thorndike Angell (1823–1909): lawyer, philanthropist


Tudor Family

  • William Tudor (1750–1819): lawyer, politician, founder of the Massachusetts Historical Society
  • William Tudor (1779–1830): cofounder of the North American Review and the Boston Athenaeum
  • Frederic Tudor (1783–1864): Boston's "Ice King", founder of the Tudor Ice Company
  • Tasha Tudor (1915–2008): illustrator and author of children's books


  • Richard Warren (1578–1628): London merchant, Mayflower passenger
  • James Warren (1726–1808): Army general, paymaster of American Army, president of Massachusetts Congress
  • Mercy Otis Warren (1728–1814): playwright, historian, revolutionary
  • Joseph Warren (1741–1775): major-general, hero/martyr of Bunker Hill, president of Massachusetts Congress, sent Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride
  • John Warren (1753–1815): founder of Harvard Medical School, surgeon at Bunker Hill, co-founder of the Massachusetts Medical Society
  • John Collins Warren (1778–1856): surgeon, gave first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia, a founder of The New England Journal of Medicine, president of the American Medical Association, founding dean of Harvard Medical School, and a founder of Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Winslow Warren (1838–1930): American attorney who served as Collector of Customs for the Port of Boston during the second administration of Grover Cleveland
  • John Collins Warren Jr. (1842–1927): surgeon and president of the American Surgical Association
  • Charles Warren (1868–1954): lawyer and legal scholar who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Supreme Court in United States History


Weld Family

  • Thomas Weld (born c. 1600): colonist, Puritan minister
  • William Gordon Weld (1775–1825): merchant
  • William Fletcher Weld (1800–1881): merchant, philanthropist
  • Ezra Greenleaf Weld (1801–1874): daguerreotypist
  • Theodore Dwight Weld (1803–1895): abolitionist
  • Stephen Minot Weld (1806–1867): politician, educator
  • George Walker Weld (1840–1905): philanthropist
  • Stephen Minot Weld, Jr. (1842–1920): Civil War general
  • Charles Goddard Weld (1857–1911): philanthropist
  • Isabel Weld Perkins (1877–1948): philanthropist
  • Philip Saltonstall Weld (1915–1984): World War II commando, environmentalist
  • Tuesday Weld (b. 1943): actress
  • William Weld (b. 1945): governor of Massachusetts, 2016 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate


Wigglesworth Family

  • Michael Wigglesworth (1631–1705): colonist, clergyman
    • Edward Michael Wigglesworth (c. 1693–1765): clergyman, educator
      • Edward Wigglesworth (1732–1794): academician
  • Richard B. Wigglesworth (1891–1960): U.S. congressman


Winthrop Family

Patrilineal descendants:

  • John Winthrop (1588–1649): governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony[47]
  • Lucy Winthrop Downing, mother of diplomat Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet, founder of New York, of Downing Street, London, and ultimately of Downing College, Cambridge, UK. Lucy's letter to her brother Governor Winthrop provided the impetus for the founding of Harvard College.
    • John Winthrop the Younger (1606–1676): governor of Connecticut
      • Fitz-John Winthrop (1637–1711): governor of Connecticut
  • John Winthrop: married Anne Dudley, granddaughter of Thomas Dudley
    • John Winthrop (1714–1779): acting president of Harvard, pioneer of American science
      • James Winthrop (1752–1821), Librarian and jurist.
  • Thomas Lindall Winthrop (1760–1841): lieutenant governor of Massachusetts
  • Robert Charles Winthrop (1809–1894): lawyer, politician, philanthropist

See also

  • Philadelphia Main Line
  • Old Philadelphians
  • First Families of Virginia
  • Colonial families of Maryland
  • American gentry
  • Golden Square Mile
  • Socialite
  • Upper class
  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
  • Bourgeoisie


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  42. John G. Palfrey V
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