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Town of Norfolk Massachusetts
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Genealogical requests/replies
Information regarding the following individuals and or surnames in the Norfolk, MA area is being sought by people searching for their ancestors or historical connections. Should you have any information related to these folks please pass it along to help them in their search for their family tree.

You may email requests or replies to Betsy Pyne at for publication here.



















Please contact: Idamae Harlfinger Harman, at the email address below, if you have any additional information regarding the CAMPBELL FARRELL GUNNING and SMITH families and their relatives in and around Norfolk, MA.
January 2002

I am researching my family from Norfolk and Medway. My gr. grandmother Kate (or Katherine)Ring Smith Walsh was born in either Medway or Norfolk about 1860. She married John Walsh Smith and moved to Hyde Park, MA. abt. 1880. She died in Hyde Park, MA about 1954. Kate" or Katherine's parents were William Smith and Eliza A. Ring. They were married in Medway on January 2, 1854. I know they had at least two other daughters Ann? E. Smith born July 15, 1856 and Jane Smith born September 11, 1858. In the 1940's the whole family used to visit her relatives there in Norfolk. Harold and Loretta Campbell. He was Fire Chief I believe born November 15, 1893 and died August 1967. Approximately 1945/6 my brother and uncle rode on a fire truck in either the Memorial Day or Fourth of July parade in Norfolk with Harold. Other relatives in Norfolk were Billy Gunning (most summers in the 1940's there was a family picnic at his place), Steve Smith, Farrells. I believe Campbell, Farrell and Gunning were the marriage names of my gr. grandmother's sisters. Steve Smith seems to have been her nephew. I guess I am really looking for names of all her siblings and if possible marriage names of her sisters. Anything regarding my gr. grandmother's family. Harold and his family were really special people to my parents, grandparents and great grandmother especially. I remember going to huge family picnics at Billy Gunnings too. Seems the last time we all went was in the early 50's.

My name is Dave Pond, and I'm looking for information on family ancestors. I'm from the Philadelphia area and do not have the time to visit your town as yet. I am the great-great-grandson of Lewis Pond. My grandfather was the son of Frank Pond. Any information would be appreciated. Big interest in Civil War participants. - Thank you, David C. Pond

Ponds in Norfolk
The Ponds are British in origin and received their coat of arms from King Henry the Eighth in 1508. Our town of Norfolk, prior to its incorporation in 23 Feb 1870, was known as North Wrentham. Many Ponds were involved in the settling of these towns - in fact a section of Norfolk was known as the village of Pondville - in testimony to your relatives. One of the oldest settled spots in the area is on land from the original Dedham grant where an early colony was founded - Daniel Pond and his son Ephraim made their home on this land.

Continental Army Connections
Daniel and Oliver Pond are listed in Col. Miller's regiment at Fort William Henry on 9 Aug 1756 and were involved in an expedition to Lake George in 1757 and 1758. Captain Oliver Pond was born 28 Jul 1737 the son of Ephraim and Michal Man Pond and grandson of Ephraim Pond, the first settler of Pondville and also the grandson of Samuel Mann, a famous religious figure hereabouts. He commanded soldiers who responded to the Lexington alarm in 1776. Pallu Pond son of Reuben and Margaret Pond was born 26 May 1758 and served under Colonel Crafts in a regiment of Artillery.

Religious Connections
Rev. Enoch Pond, eldest son of Jacob was born at Pondville 27 Apr 1756 and graduated from Brown University in 1777. He became the first Congregationalist minister in 1777. In 1832 some inhabitants of the North part of Wrentham (today's Norfolk) agreed to break from the main church and form a separate religious group - The Cleveland Religious Society. Among the 54 signers of this charter were 6 Ponds - Pallu, Daniel G., Smith, David, Jacob and Samuel.

Civil War Connections
James Monroe Pond, born at North Wrentham (Norfolk) 27 May 1823, served three years as sergeant in the Dedham Company of the 18th Regiment and afterward was promoted to lieutenant. He died in Michigan.

Re: Lewis Pond
Wrentham vital records pre 1850 list two:
Lewis Pond son of Malchiah and Ruth born 3 Jul 1771.
Lewis Pond son of Lucas and Molly (or Mary) born 11 Mar 1822

Re: Francis (Frank?) Pond
Wrentham vital records pre 1850 list two:
Francis Lewis Pond son of Lewis and Mary E. born 4 Dec 1847
Francis Thurston Pond son of Samuel and Catherine born 06 Sep 1804

I live near the Pondville Cemetery in Norfolk, where there are many from the Pond family interred. I took a look there today but did not see a Lewis or a Frank, though some of the stones are difficult to read and I didn't look at all of them. I could look for a particular name, if you wish. Some of the stones do not photograph well and may need to be transferred to paper by rubbing, if you need an image of the inscription.
I enclosed a photo taken today of one stone memorializing a lot of folks.
A quick check for "Lewis Pond" via Google found [...]
``Lewis Pond was born in Pondville (now Norfolk), a town that took its name from the prominent Pond family that populated the area. The son of General Lucas Pond and brother of Virgil Pond, he was a shoemaker by trade. He married Mary Fuller December 24, 1844 and they moved into their new home at 21 Baker St., in Foxborough, MA on June 3, 1854. Lewis was practicing his trade on the second floor of his brother's box mill on Gilmore Street (Foxborough). He also earned a considerable reputation raising pears, and had a large orchard on Baker Street. Lewis had a son Frank who was interested in photography and stereoscopic pictures and had a shop on Central Street (Foxborough). Lewis then built Frank his own studio on their Baker Street property, located to the rear of the lot. The building now faces Railroad Avenue (Foxborough). It was used for many years as a photographic studio. Following the death of his wife, Lewis Pond married Anna Capen who retained the property several years after his death. The property was purchased by Harrie Quimby in 1922. A local builder, he erected a bungalow for himself on the north edge of the lot.''


Please contact: Anne Dean, at the email address below, if you have any additional information regarding the Thayer family and their relatives in and around Norfolk, MA.
August 2002

I am looking for the marriage of George Thayer to Katherine Watson which took place in 1860 but I do not know where. They are buried in the Norfolk Cemetery and we visited that grave. With this document, I hope to get their parents names. However, I did get in touch with Frank Gross who is living in George Thayer's house, the house in which my grandfather (George Frank Thayer) grew up. His wife was so gracious to take my 2 cousins, myself, my two daughters and two granddaughters through the entire house and yard at a moments notice! I can't thank her enough and neither can my cousins. We had visited there as children when Eva and Louis lived there. It was quite a day!
Anne Dean

James B. Thayer, on April 23rd, 1832 joined with other "friends of truth and social order" and inhabitants of the North part of Wrentham (Norfolk) at the hall located over the store of Ebenezer Blake, Esq., in North Wrentham and agreed to form themselves into a separate organization, known as the Cleveland Religious Society. The society was so named for the Reverend John Cleveland who owned a farm in Norfolk, on todays Cleveland Street.

Per the baptismal records of the Union Congregational Church in Norfolk...... Raymond E. Thayer, son of Edgar and Carrie Thayer, joined the Congregational Church in September of 1893.

In 1902 Miss Abbie Stanley died at the Crescent House in Franklin, MA. One her sisters was Juliette, a teacher, who died in Greeley, CO. Her other sister was \Mary, wife of Eugene R. Thayer.

In the first report of the engineers of the fire department to the town of Norfolk occurred in 1904. In the report F.C. Thayer is listed as an Asst. Steward.

Norfolk resident Warren B. Thayer was a veteran of WW1.


A Norfolk Yankee in Andersonville

Thomas H. Mann was a 19 year old Teacher from Wrentham - today's Norfolk, MA, who following the firing on Fort Sumter, along with a number of men from his home town, enlisted on May 20, 1861 and was mustered into the Union Army on August 24, 1861. They became the nucleus of Co. I, Eighteenth Massachusetts Infantry.

The regiment underwent its organization at Readville (Hyde Park), Mass., before being shipped off to the seat of the war. The unit was assigned to the Army of the Potomac into what would eventually become the Fifth Corps. Participating in the Peninsula Campaign the 18th saw little action and spent much of its time digging trenches, marching all over the countryside, and suffering the drudgery of camp life.

Mann fought in many battles and was promoted to the rank of Corporal on April 1, 1863 but it was not until Second Bull Run that he and the regiment took part in serious combat. It was during this battle that the regiment took its heaviest casualties of the war. Held in reserve at Antietam, the regiment went on to serve at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Mine Run Campaign, and The Wilderness. During the battle of The Wilderness, in the fighting west of Saunders Field on May 5, 1864, Corporal Mann was captured and taken prisoner - just three months before his enlistment was due to be up. Mann would spent 10 months in various Confederate prisons, including Danville, VA, Andersonville, GA, Charleston, SC and Florence, SC. He was involved in a prisoner exchanged and released from captivity on March 1, 1865.

Mann was literate and observing, and during the course of his enlistment he continuously wrote letters to his family and friends at home and to the Wrentham Lyceum of which he was a member. After the war he left teaching to became a physician and practiced medicine in New England until the mid-1880s. He went on to become a newspaper editor and was then appointed postmaster of Fitchburg, Mass. His last years were spent living with his daughter in Connecticut. He wrote about his prison experiences as a POW in an article "A Yankee in Andersonville," which was serialized in the July and August 1890 editions of Century Magazine.

He used his correspondence, along with some from other members of the regiment, to construct a memoir on the exploits of the Eighteenth Massachusetts, late in the 19th-century. The memoir went unpublished and forgotten until found among some family papers in the early 1990s by Mannís grandsons. It has since been edited and published as "Fighting with the Eighteenth Massachusetts: The Civil War Memoir of Thomas H. Mann".

Fighting with the Eighteenth Massachusetts covers the period between Mannís enlistment and his capture at The Wilderness. Writing in the third person, Mann weaves an interesting tale. The reader experiences a variety of images from the drudgery of everyday soldier life to the horror of battle. Though battle action is descriptive, Mann does not go into the blood and gore. This is an excellent way for descendants of the 18th's soldiers to view what kind of life their ancestors had during the war. Mann was an avid fan of George McClellan and comments on everything from politics to slavery to emancipation to his contempt for the attitude of the folks at home who have a lot to say but donít put their money where there mouth is. At one point Mann muses that the entire army should be discharged and sent home, while those at home with the opinions should be sent to the front to take their place.

Fighting with the Eighteenth Massachusetts is a worthy addition to the history of the regiment, a welcome addition to Civil War history, and a must for those who collect items related to the history of Norfolk.

Norfolk's own Thomas Mannís memoirs are an extraordinary addition to our knowledge of the Civil War and the Eighteenth Massachusetts' exploits.

Please contact Jenny Blackmer, at the email address, if you have any additional information regarding the WARE family and their relatives in and around Norfolk, MA. Aug 17, 2004

I've recently been doing some research into my Ware roots and
discovered the historical outline on your site. I'm only down in Pawtucket and
would love to come and explore Norfolk. Could you suggest to me things I
might look at in your town? One thing I've found no reference to is which
cemetary the Ware's were buried in. Could you give me any leads on
this? Is there also a library where I'd find genealogical records

We are always interested in any information, documents, photos or other items relating to the history of Norfolk and our surrounding areas. If you have information or items regarding the history of your house or any other aspects of life in Norfolk and would like to see them included in these pages - just let us know.

Norfolk Historical Commission
Betsy Pyne, Chairman
Email address:

Norfolk Town Hall, One Liberty Lane, Norfolk MA 02056  Phone: 508-528-1408
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