Notes by Sarah G. Bagnall, sent to Rosalind (Bagnall) Jackson
Transcribed by Erica Altschul, July 2008
I. Benjamin Bagnall (Senior) Benjamin Bagnall (a quaker) was born in England in 1689. He came to this country in 1714. His wife was Elizabeth Shove. He died July 11, 1775 aged 86 years. Benjamin was a clock-maker, the first clock-maker in New England, and there is no record of any other in the other Colonies. There is an old Bagnall clock in the New England Genealogical Society Rooms in Boston made by Benjamin Bagnall. It is their only timepiece -- is in perfect running order -- made entirely by hand -- and has the name Benjamin Bagnall across the face of the clock. He was the official timekeeper of the town of Boston. (I visited the rooms of the N. E. Gen. Soc. a year ago and saw the clock. S.G.B.) The children of Benj. & Eliz. Bagnall were: 1. Benjamin Jr. born in Boston Mass. March 1714 2. Elizabeth S. " " " " Dec. 7 1716 3. Samuel " " " " Dec. 16 1718 4. Martha " " " " Jan. 23 1720 5. Sarah " " " " Jan. 13 1723 6. John " " " " July 21 1726 7. Thomas " " " " Jan. 12 1728 In the records of baptisms in Kings Chapel, Boston, is that of Benjamin, infant son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Bagnall. (From this entry I infer that the mother was not a quaker, but possibly a member of the Church of England, or of Kings Chapel.) II. Benjamin Bagnall Jr. Benjamin Jr. was the oldest son of Benjamin & Elizabeth (Shove) Bagnall. He followed his father's business as watch-maker or clock-maker. Born in Boston in 1714, and baptized in King's Chapel March 3, 1715, which fact seems to posit that the mother (Eliz. S.) was not a quaker as were the Bagnalls. The other sons of Benj. Bagnall (Senior) -- Samuel, John, & Thomas -- either were not married or died without heirs. The oldest daughter of Benj. & Eliz. S. (as per record of Benj. Senior) was named Elizabeth Shove after her mother. She married John Mifflin, a "Friend" or Quaker, who was very prominent in the early government of Pennsylvania, being a member of the Supreme Executive Council. Their oldest child a son named THomas. He responded to the call of his country with his wealth and also with personal military service. After the battle of Lexington, he raised a regiment of Penn quakers for immediate service, was commissioned as Major, repaired to the Encampment before Boston, and was appointed First Aide-de-Campe to General George Washington. In 1775 he was appointed Quarter Master General and rec'd his commission in Brig. General May 19 1778. He was made Major Gen later in 1778. He had been elected a member of the COntinental Congress in May 1775, and in November 1785, he was elected its President. In 1787 he was elected a member of the Convention which framed the Constitution of the U. States. He was elected President of the Supreme Executive Council of Penn. and later served as Gov. of Penn. for 3 terms of 3 yrs each. (9 years) He died Jan 20. (The Constitution of Penn limited the holding of the office as Gov. to 3 terms) The following memorial & quote -- "It may be claimed for him that he was the leading citizen of his own state, and one of the leading citizens of his country." This Gov. Mifflin you can readily see was a Bagnall through mother Eliz. S. Bagnall, and it was with this Thomas Mifflin that his cousin Rob't Bagnall (our great-grandfather) of Boston served in the Revolutionary War. Also that from him Grandpa Bagnall rec'd his middle name -- and the reason that your father (George) also sometimes wrote his name Thomas Mifflin. III. Robert Bagnall Robert Bagnall was son of Benj. Bagnall Jr. He was a quaker and served under his Cousin Thomas Mifflin in the Penn line of the Continental Army. He was probably induced to enlist with the Penn troops when they came from Penn to Boston rather than with the Mass troops, by the influence of his kinsman, and because there were so many of his religious faith (quakers) in the troops from Penn. It is known that he enlisted at the very outset of the war and before the British evacuated Boston, and that in consequence his family were driven from Boston and his property seized by the Crown while the British occupied the town. He moved his family to Newport, R.I. where some of his children were born. Returning to Boston after the War he was engaged for some years as a grover on Change St. near Essex St., Orange St. (named for [Dupa?] of Orange) being the name at that time of that part of Washington St. from Essex St. to the boundary line between Boston & Roxbury. His death occurred in Ohio in 1789. In the [Mars?] Magazine for July 1789, published in Boston, we find "Died in Ohio, Mr. Rob't Bagnall of this town." Also the Independent Colonials of Boston June 4 1789 says, "At the Ohio, after a short illness, Mr. Robert Bagnall of this town." He had 5 children: Nancy, Sarah, Mary, Eliza Chase, and Thomas. (I remember Nancy -- Grandpa Bagnall's sister who married a Houghton and lived in Chelsea and Sarah whom we called Aunt Sally. She lived with Grandma Bagnall until Grandma took up housekeeping and then lived with Aunt Eliza until her death -- a very old lady. Grandpa Bagnall (Thomas) was the only son, and only 3 yrs old when his father died. Taken from "Soldiers & Sailors of the American Revolution in Massachusetts" -- "Bagnall, Robert. Conductor (late) Deputy Quarter Master. Generals' Department at Boston. Enlisted June 1 1778, discharged Spt 23 1780. Service 28 mos. Also reported as service as Wagon Master." Records of the Am. Rev. show that most of the men enlisted for 6 mos. and then returned to their [haitis?] or farms for awhile, re-enlisting again in many cases, but Rob't Bagnall has a record of continuous service 28 mos, nearly 5 times the usual terms of service. It is from this ancestor that we can claim to be Sons or Daughters of the Revolution. IV. Thomas (Mifflin) Bagnall (Our Grandfather) Thomas Mifflin Bagnall was the youngest child and only son of Robert Bagnall. He was born in Boston Dec. 22 1786. The name given him by his parents was Thomas Mifflin Bagnall after Gov. Mifflin of Penn. For some reason, when baptized on joining the Methodist Church in Boston, he dropped the Mifflin and always afterwards signed his name simply Thomas Bagnall. In 1811, he married Mary Rowell Tucker of Boston. He was a [fisnif?] & blockmaker by trade, carrying on business for himself (Commercial St. near Chelsea & East Boston ferries) from 1813 to 1842 when he returned from business, having acquired a competence (for those days). He died Sept 17 1849. His children were Thomas (Mifflin) born June 29 1814 died Jan 17 1884 69 years Elijah Hedding born Dec 25 1815 died July 2 1965 50 years William Rhodes born July 17 1819 died Aug 1892 73 years Eliza Chase born 1824 died Summer 1864 40 years Mary Tucker (twins) V Thomas Mifflin Bagnall had 4 children by Bethia G. Dyer: Thomas Jr., Bertha, Harriet, & George Elijah Hedding Bagnall had 4 sons & 2 daughters by Ann Brigham: Wilbur, Emma, Edward, Anna, Chas., and Henry William Rhodes Bagnall had 4 children by Sarah F. Goodridge: Wm R Jr., Sarah G., John G., & Frances A. Eliza Chase had 1 son & 3 daughters by William Reed: Thomas Bagnall Reed, Anna, Alice, Lilla F. Mary Tucker (twin to Eliza) did not marry. Of the present generation: Charles married and had one daughter George W married and had two daughters Frances A married and had three daughters So that with the present generation the name dies out.