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Taft Family


Posted By: Connie Swearingen (email)
Date: 10/18/2010 at 23:06:29

History of Woodbury County, Iowa 1984

Taft Family
By Miriam Garrett Myers

The surname ‘Taft’ is well-known in our country. Many famous men, including a President, have carried this name.]

The first Taft in this country was Robert Taft, born in Ireland in 1640. When he and his wife, Sarah, came to New England, is not known. He helped in the building of Mendon, Massachusetts. Sutton, Massachusetts, was started on farm land owned by Robert. They both died in 1775. {Note: Robert would be 135 years old, so the date of death is probably wrong.}

Among the twelve children of Robert and Sarah were five sons. From the descendants of these five sons have developed five Taft lines. The sons were: Thomas Taft, 1671-1755; Robert Taft, 1674-1748; Daniel Taft, born 1677- 1761; Joseph Taft, 1680-1744; and Benjamin Taft, 1684-1766.

Benjamin Taft is the father of my line. This line has many, many branches, but I will attempt to trace part of only one branch.

Benjamin Taft married Sarah Thomas in 1707. Among seven children, Stephen Taft, 1710-1803, was born.

Stephen Taft married Jemima Angell, 1714-1795, in 1733/34. Among three children I am aware of, was born Seth Taft, 1739-1781.

Seth Taft married Jemima Angell, 1743-1828, in 1781. On the ‘Angell’ and related ‘Winsor’ lines, we trace back to Roger Williams, 1607-1682, who was the Founder of Providence, Rhode Island. One of Seth and Jemima’s children was Benjamin Taft, 1773-1820.
Benjamin Taft was born at Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Some sources say he married Thankful Washburn. This is a fact we are trying very hard to substantiate. Among four known children of Benjamin and his wife, we find Seth Taft, 1798-1889.

Seth and his forebearers and descendants have been my big project for over twenty years.

Seth Taft was born at Colchester, Vermont, or in Rhode Island. They are very close. He is buried in Hoffman Cemetery at South Wayne, Wisconsin. He married 2nd) Lucinda Post in Vermont. Some of their children were born in Vermont, some in Illinois, and the rest in Wisconsin. The family is in the Wisconsin records as far back as 1838. Lucinda died in 1844 at birth of her last child.

Alonzo Taft, a brother of my great grandmother helped to found Brookings, South Dakota.

Merriel Rice Taft, 1829-1873, was born at Burlington, Vermont. She married Caleb Miles Munson, 1822-1863, at Wyota, Wisconsin, 1 July 1947. Some of their seven children were born at Wyota; others were born in Howard County, Iowa, where they moved in 1855 or 1856. I will mention other children, before I tell of my grandmother.

Lucinda Sarah Munson, 1848-1931, married Leeman Loop at LeRoy, Minnesota. They moved to Ottertail County, Minnesota, in 1808 and homesteaded there.

Almira Maria Munson, 1861-1940, went to visit her sister, Lucinda and married Jacob Ott.

Many, many descendants of these two families are living in Ottertail and surrounding counties today.

Oliver Goldsmith Munson, 1856-1933, was a well-known newspaper man in Viroqua, Wisconsin. He served three terms in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Caleb Leander Munson lived a very short time after his birth in 1852. Tradition in the Munson family decreed that the first-born boy be named ‘Caleb’. Since there were no more boys with the surname Munson born in this line, the name was not carried on.

Artemisia Louise Munson, 1850-1883, married William W Johnson, 1846-1920, in 1871, at Cresco, Iowa. They had two girls: Eda V Johnson, 1873-1958; and Louise Johnson, 1883-1910.

Louise Johnson worked for her Uncle Oliver Munson at the Wisconsin Statehouse.

Eda V Johnson married William Duncan Garret, 1867-1960, in 1894 at Cresco, Iowa. They had two children: Miriam Louis Garrett, born 1908; Glen Munson Garret, 1895-1960.

Glen Munson Garret married Genevieve Fleming.

Miriam Louise Garrett married John Fowle Myers in 1962, at Sioux City, Iowa.

There are no children to carry on this branch.


Woodbury Biographies maintained by Greg Brown.
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