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John Fox
 John Fox, 1765-1856.

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.


JOHN FOX, the progenitor of the Fox family in Dorchester, Mass., was born in Preston, Conn. May 29, 1765, and died in Boston March 26, 1856. He married March 3, 1794, Abigail Bayley, daughter of Deacon Thomas and Abigail (Cazneau) Bayley, of Boston. She was born in Boston, December 27, 1768, and died in Dorchester, December 8, 1838. He came to Boston in 1784, and was for many years a linen merchant.

John Fox was a son of Samuel Fox, who was born in Groton, Conn., June 15, 1724 (O.S.), and died in New London, Conn., December 13, 1809. He married Prudence Turner, of Groton, Conn., January 6, 1751. She was born in Groton, March 8, 1732, and died in Salem, Mass., January 24, 1823. They had ten children; Amos, born July 4, 1752, died December 21, 1755; Jesse, born February 8, 1754, died February 13, 1834; Ezekiel, born April 19, 1756, died April 6, 1844; Asa, born December 29, 1757, died March 7, 1758; Elijah or Elisha, born December 29, 1757, died March 12, 1758; Thankful, born February 27, 1759, died March 5, 1838; Elijah, born March 1, 1761, died January 20, 1847; Jabez born May 26, 1763, died April 15, 1783; John, born May 29, 1765, died in 1856, as already mentioned; Barradill, born May 21, 1768, died March 11, 1839.

The first of the family in America was probably Thomas Fox, who was a settler in Concord, Mass., as early as 1640, dying February 14, 1658. Samuel Fox was probably his grandson.

The children of John and Abigail (Bayley) Fox were: Charles, born September 14, 1795, died unmarried in Dorchester, December 28, 1831; William Cazneau, born July 26, 1797, died unmarried in Dorchester, January 30, 1867; Edward , born September 15, 1801, who sailed from Boston in May 1851, arriving in San Francisco the following November, and was never heard from again; George, born July 10, 1803, died unmarried at Loango Bay, Africa, August 22, 1824; Thomas Bayley, born in Boston, August 20, 1808, died in Dorchester, June 11, 1876.

Thomas Bayley Fox, just mentioned, was graduated from Harvard College in 1828. He prepared for the ministry in the Harvard Divinity School, was first settled over the Unitarian Society at Newburyport, Mass., from 1831 to 1845, and next over the Indiana Place Church, Boston, from 1845 to 1855. After this he was engaged in literary work, and was finally literary editor of the Boston Evening Transcript. He married October 27, 1831, Feroline Walley Pierce, daughter of the Rev. John Pierce, D.D., and Lucy Tappan Pierce, of Brookline, Mass. She was born in Brookline, March 20, 1810, and died in Dorchester, Mass., February 4, 1898. Their children were: Charles Barnard, born in Newbury, Mass., January 17, 1833, died in Dorchester, March 30, 1895; George William, born in Newburyport, Mass., October 15, 1834; John Andrew born in Newburyport, December 23, 1835; Thomas Bailey, Jr., born in Newburyport, February 1, 1839, died in Dorchester, July 25, 1863; Feroline Pierce born in Newburyport December 23, 1843, died in Dorchester, April 23, 1885.

Charles Barnard Fox married March 19, 1863, Ruth Anne Prouty, daughter of Vaniah and Ruth (Wilder) Prouty. She was born in Hanover, Mass., July 30, 1834, and died in Dorchester, August 11, 1881. Their children, all born in Dorchester, were: Alice, born December 17, 1863, died in Dorchester, February 14, 1867; Feroline Wilder, born Mary 18, 1868; Bertha Cazneau, born December 20, 1870. He married a second time, October 31, 1887, Mary McLean, daughter of Roderick and Annie McLean of Hunter's Mountain, Cape Breton. For an account of Colonel Fox, see the Boston Evening Transcript, March 30, 1985. His business was real estate.

George William Fox has been connected with the America Unitarian Association of Boston since 1855, serving most of the time as assistant secretary. He married September 16, 1863, Mary Susannah Poor, daughter of Silvanus and Eliza (Brown) Poor, of Andover, Me., were she was born November 3, 1841. Their children, all born in Dorchester, are: Thomas Alfred, born July 26, 1864, who is an architect in Boston, of the firm of Fox, Jenny & Gale; Walter Silvanus, born January 16, 1868, who is in the real estate business; Mary Blake, born April 1, 1871; George Bayley, born April 1, 1871, who in banking; John Pierce, born November 5, 1872, who was graduated from Harvard College in 1894, and is now engaged in scientific work.

John Andrew Fox is an architect in Boston. He married January 3, 1878, Josephine Clapp, daughter of Asahel and Elizabeth (Stickney) Clapp. She was born in Dorchester, May 15, 1854. Major Fox served in the Second Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers.

Thomas Bayley Fox, Jr., was Captain in the Second Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers, and died of wounds received at the battle of Gettysburg.

The following are the family names of the known ancestors of Thomas Bayley Fox and Feroline Walley Pierce: Atherton, Atkinson, Baker, Bachiler (later Batchelder), Batt, Bayley, Baynton, Bird, Blake, Bright, Bumstead, Cazneau, Cheney, Clap, Clark, Coffin, Craighead, Curtis, Cutler, Cutting, Dawes, Emerson, Emery, Fessenden, Ford, Folger, Franklin, Frye, Germaine, Greenway, Grant, Johnson, King, Little, Locke, Marsh, Mercer, Mills, Moody, Morrill, Mudge, Parkhurst, Ruggles, Shepard, Simpson, Smith, Story, Taylor, Thompson, Toppan (later Tappan), Turner, Wales, White (twice), Wigglesworth, Withington.


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Created: November 1, 2004   Modified: November 1, 2004