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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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DE WITT CLINTON BREED came from a good old Puritan family. The first and only man by the name of Breed (or Bred, as it was then spelled) known to have come to America was Allen Breed, who emigrated from England in 1630 with John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, who, with eleven vessels, landed in Salem, Mass., only a decade later than the landing of the Pilgrims. Mr. Breed settled in Lynn, Mass., a few miles from Boston, which is now one of the largest shoe manufacturing cities in the world. In Salem he had married Elizabeth Knight, and four sons resulted from this union: Allen, Timothy, Joseph and John. Allen, Sr., received a grant of land comprising two hundred acres, which is situated in what is now the north side of the city, and is known as “Breed’s End.” His family multiplied greatly upon the face of the earth, and a little over two centuries from the time he landed in Salem (1839), there were two hundred and forty-three persons named Breed residing in Lynn, and it is a fact that one of the family arose in his seat in Representative Hall, in the State House in Boston, a few years ago, and, with a twinkle in his eye, gravely moved that the city be re-christened Breedville. The name was formerly spelled Bread, occasionally Breade, sometimes Bred, and, back in the sixteenth century, Le Bred. During the reign of Canute, of the Saxon heptarchy, in 1100, a Breed family left Germany and settled in Sussex county, England, and the place of settlement is still known as the town of Breed. Allen Breed’s son, Allen, had a son named John, who is the ancestor of nearly all the Breeds who settled in New York, Pennsvlvania, and other Western States. He died March 17, 1791, aged ninety. John Breed married for his first wife Mary Kirtland. They had one daughter. John’s second wife was Mary Palmer, and she bore him six daughters and four sons. One of the sons, John, married Mary Prentice, and to them were born six daughters and three sons. One of the sons, Nathan (great-grandfather of De Witt C.), was born December 13, 1731, in Stonington, Conn. He married Lucy Babcock, of Stonington, and by her had four daughters and five sons. One of the sons, Thomas, was the grandfather of De Witt C. He was born January 3, 1764, in Stonington, and married Elizabeth Clements, settling in Saratoga, N. Y., on the farm famous as the place of the surrender of Gen. John Burgoyne during the war of the Revolution. He died in 1826, leaving a family of seven sons and five daughters. One of the sons was William, father of De Witt C., and he was born December 24, 1795, on the farm in Saratoga. The maternal grandfather of De Witt C., Solomon Jones, was born in Wadsburg, Vermont, and emigrated to Chautauqua county about 1810, locating near Stillwater, where he purchased a large farm, now known as “the old Jones Farm.” He afterwards moved to Jamestown, and engaged in hotel-keeping for several years, and served as justice of the peace, in those days a much more important and honorable office than in these latter times.

Politically he was an old-line whig, and in religion a member of the Congregational church. He married Clarissa Howard, and had fourteen children, all living to maturity except one, who died in infancy. The father of De Witt C. emigrated to Pittsburg, Pa., and from thence removed to Jamestown, where he married Clara Jones, and engaged in the furniture and carpentering business. At this time (1823) Jamestown was a very small village. Politically he was a whig, and later was the only abolitionist in Jamestown. When the Republican party was organized, in Fremont and Dayton’s time, he affiliated with it, and voted that ticket the rest of his life. For several years he was captain of the Lightfoot Infantry of Jamestown. He was an active and prominent member of the Baptist church. By his marriage he had one son and three daughters.

De Witt Clinton Breed was born in Jamestown, September 20, 1826. De Witt Clinton Breed was educated in the common schools of Jamestown, and afterward made himself practically and thoroughly acquainted with every detail of furniture manufacturing, and took the business of his father, which he has most successfully managed to the present time (1891). He makes specialties of chamber suits, sideboards and bookcases, and employs seventy men, besides a half dozen traveling salesmen. In politics he is a republican, having come from the Whig party. He is a member of the Baptist church, of which he is one of the deacons. An honorable, successful business man and a respected citizen, he occupies an enviable position in the community in which he resides.

De Witt C. Breed married for his first wife Lucy A. Aldrich, of Kiantone, by whom he had four children: Clara I., who married John Aldrich, a retail furniture dealer of Jamestown; George W., married and resides in Denver, Colorado; Anna L., married to Albert A. Moore, a merchant at Rockwell, Iowa; Ida May, married William A. Young, an insurance agent in Jamestown, and book-keeper. For his second wife he married Mrs. Mary L. Haughwout, of New York city widow of Rev. B. P. Haughwout, a noted Baptist minister of Fall River, Mass., where he occupied a pulpit for fifteen years.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

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