George Potter, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and came as early as 1638 to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and was admitted as an inhabitant of what was then called the island of Aquidneck. He and twenty-eight other settlers signed the compact regarding their government, April 30, 1639. His widow married Nicholas Niles. He had a son Abel, mentioned below.
(II) Abel, son of George Potter, was born about 1640, died in 1692. When a youth he was bound out as an apprentice for a term of eighteen years to William Boylston or Baulston. He bought a right in the town of Dartmouth, May 3, 1667, and also owned land in Providence, Rhode Island. He was admitted a freeman, May 1, 1677. His will was proved March 9, 1692, his widow Rachel being executrix. He married, November 16, 1669, Rachel, daughter of John and Priscilla Warner. Children, born at Warwick, Rhode Island: George, died May 3, 1712; John, born 1680; Abel, mentioned below; Benjamin; Mary; Ichabod; Job.
(III) Abel (2), son of Abel (1) Potter, was born about 1690, died January 10, 1727. He married (first) January 1, 1713, Rebecca Paine; (second) April 30, 1719, Martha, widow of John Paine. Child of first wife: Benjamin, mentioned below.
(IV) Major Benjamin Potter, son of Abel (2) Potter, was born October 18, 1713. He settled at Cranston, Rhode Island. He married, December 25, 1735, Jemima, daughter of Joseph Williams Jr. Children, born at Cranston: Zuriel, April 8, 1740; Meshach, mentioned below; Honneyman, M. D.; Holliman, July 3, 1755; Susanna; Rebecca; Jemima.
(V) Meshach, son of Major Benjamin Potter, was born at Cranston, 1744, died September 18, 1819. He married, April 10, 1774, Temperance, born 1750, died 1828, daughter of Josiah and Sarah Burlingame. Children, born at Cranston: Lydia, May 29, 1775; Henry H. January 13, 1777; William Anson, mentioned below; Thomas Rumeril, March 6, 1781; Freelove, May 10, 1783, Hannah, June 22, 1786; Meshach, May 27, 1788; married three times; Abednego, June 28, 1790; Simon W., September 17, 1792.
(VI) William Anson, son of Meshach Potter, was born February 3, 1779. He married, in 1805, Sarah, daughter of John and Hope (Harris) (Parkhurst) Smith. Children, born at Warwick: Alfred W., July 10, 1806; Rebecca W., January 13, 1808; Eliza Harris, twin of Rebecca W.; Maria Smith, November 28, 1809; William Pitt, mentioned below; Job Harris, February 28, 1817.
(VII) William Pitt, son of William Anson Potter, was born August 16, 1811, died February 14, 1887. He was superintendent for many years of the Norwich Bleaching, Dyeing and Calendering Company, now the United States Finishing Company, and was at one time treasurer of the corporation. He lived at Norwich. He married, July 15, 1835, Sarah D., daughter of Nicholas Hawkins. Children: 1. Charles H., born at Warwick, June 1, 1836; married (first) July 22, 1863, Marion Waters, born 1837, died 1868, daughter of Jedediah Waters; married (second) May 19, 1874, Anna M., daughter of David P. Otis. 2. William Pitt, mentioned below. 3. Frank H., born at Norwich, November 17, 1856; married, August 24, 1881, Minnie E., born 1852, daughter of David P. and Julia Ann Otis.
(VIII) William Pitt (2), son of William Pitt (1) Potter, was born at Norwich, July 1, 1850. He married, August 14, 1873, Ellen A., daughter of George H. and Lucinda Waldo (Cheney) Griswold, granddaughter of Henry Griswold, of Windham, Connecticut. Henry Griswold came to Windham from New Hampshire, when about twenty-four years old; married Tryphena, daughter of William Page, a blacksmith by trade. Lucinda Waldo (Cheney) Griswold was a daughter of Joseph and Abigail (Babcock) Cheney, and granddaughter of Abiel Cheney Jr., son of Abiel Cheney Sr. Abigail Babcock was a daughter of Nathan Babcock, of Windham. William Pitt Potter was educated in the public schools of Norwich and graduated at the Norwich Free Academy. For twenty-five years he was bookkeeper for the Norwich Bleaching, Dyeing and Calendering Company. He died at Norwich, August 13, 1901. He was a member of the Greenville Congregational Church and was superintendent of the Sunday school for fourteen years. He was a member of Somerset Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Royal Arch Masons; Royal and Select Masters; Columbian Commandery, Knights Templar. In politics he was a Republican. Children: 1. Ernest Griswold, born at Norwich, August 6, 1874, died October 3, 1874. 2. Charles Palmer, August 5, 1875, was organist of the Second Congregational Church of Norwich twelve years, of the Greenville Congregational Church six years and is now an organist in Boston; graduate of the Norwich Academy and a pupil of the New England Conservatory of Music; he represents the Gale-Sawyer Company of Boston, dealers in office supplies. He married, February 27, 1903, Blanche Louise Spaulding, of Norwich.
Source: Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. New York, NY, USA: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911.