Saturday, January 30, 2016

New England Colonists, 1600-1700 Bridges-Brooking


Henry was born in 1613 at Teltain, Suffolk, England and came to Dorchester, Mass. in 1641, then to Boston in 1644.
James was a carpenter from Winchester, Hants, Engalnd and went to Hartford, Conn. in 1641, then to Springfield, Mass. between 1643-1655 before removing to Northampton, Mass. by 1656.

An old woodcut of a Colonial leather tanner


James was at Hartford, Conn. pre-1641 and by 1645, he was living in Springfield, Mass..


Thomas came from Faversham, Kent, England to Charlestown, Mass. by 1635.


Clement was a felmonger(called a felsmonger in colonial times) who came from Southwarke, England to Plymouth, Mass. by 1621, then to Dorchester, Mass. by 1631 and lastly to Weymouth in 1633.
Edmund was living at Topsfield, Mass. in 1667.
James was a settler in Mass. by 1683.
John was born in 1609 and was living in Newport, R.I. in 1638, then to Portsmouth, R.I. by 1650 and lastly at Kingstown, R.I. in 1678.
Joseph was living in Mass. in 1679.
Matthew, or Matthias, is found being married at Hingham, Mass. in 1648.
Thomas was born in England in 1603 before settling at Cambridge, Mass. in 1637.
Walter was at Scituate, Mass pre-1643.
William was at Boston by 1642.


Sebastian was at Cambridge, Mass. in 1636 before removing to Rowley, Mass. by 1644.
Thomas was born in 1603 and is found as a freeman at Cambridge, Mass. by 1636.


Henry was the son of Henry, of Bury St. Edmunds, England. He came from Ipswich, Suffolk, England to Watertown, Mass. by 1634. He was born in 1602.

A Colonial engraving of 'coopering' in New England


Henry was at Portsmouth, R.I. in 1670. Thomas was at Watertown, Mass. by 1640.


Samuel was at Boston in 1692.


John was a woolcomber at Boston in 1654 before removing to Marblehead, Mass. pre-1674.
Philip was brother of John and was at Marblehead in 1668.

Brimsden or Brimsdell

Robert was a merchant and married at Lynn, Mass. in 1667.

Brimsmead or Brinsmade

John was at Charletstown, Mass. in 1637 and then went to Stratford, Conn. in 1650.
William went to Dorchester, Mass. between 1628-1630.


Francis was the son of Thomas of Datchett, Buckinghamshire, England and was born in 1632. He was at Newport, R.I. in 1652.

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Thomas was living in Boston pre-1655.


Benjamin was a shoemaker at Boston and was married there in 1656.
Nathaniel wa a tanner and known as "Rich Tanner". He was a descendant of Edward Bisco of Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England, who died in 1653. Nathaniel was the 4th generation from Edward, who was bapt. at Little Missenden, England in 1595. Nathaniel came to New England in 1639, then to Watertown, Mass. Nathaniel then returned to England by 1654, leaving two sons named Nathaniel and John, as well as two daughters in New England.
William was a tailor at Boston in 1640.

Bristol or Bristow

Henry was a cooper who was born in England in 1625 and is found at New Haven, Conn. by 1647.
Richard was a brother of Henry and is also a cooper. He was living at Guilford, Conn. by 1640.


James was born in England in 1610 and is found at Woburn, Mass. in 1637.
William came from Bristol, England to Newport, R.I.. His family name was Summerill, but on leaving England, he assumed his mother's maiden name of Britton.
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Richard is found at Casco, Maine by 1680.


Henry is found at Dedham, Mass. in 1642 and left no male issue.
Richard was at Watertown, Mass. in 1635.
William is found at Salem in 1639.


John was at New Haven, Conn. in 1639.


John is at Rowley, Mass. pre-1655.


Woolstone was born in England in 1638 and is found to have purchased land in Saybrook, Conn. in 1659.

Brodbent or Broadbent

Joshua married at Woburn, Mass. in 1685.


Edward was a merchant and the son of Henry, grandson of Arthur. He was born at the Haywood House in New Forest, Hants, England in 1649 and came to Boston in 1675.


Luke was at Stonington, Conn. pre-1692.


Robert was born at England in 1638 and is found in New England colonial records in 1667. He was at Boston in 1690.

Bronson or Brunson(see Brounson)
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John was at Guilford, Conn. in 1695.


John was living in London, England before coming to R.I. in 1681.

Brooking or Brooken

John was at Boston in 1658.
William was sent over by Mason in 1631 to Portsmouth, N.H. before removing to Charlestown, Mass.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New England Colonists, 1600-1700 Bragg-Bridges

ca. 1780


Edumnd or Edward, settled in Ipswich, Mass, in 1646, leaving no male issue.
Brainerd or Brainard
Daniel was born in Braintree, England in 1641 before coming with the Wadsworth family to Hartford, Conn. in 1649. Removed to Haddam, Conn. pre-1665.


Roger was of Welsh descent and settled at Portsmouth, R.I. in 1696.

Thomas was born ca. 1620-1630 and was living at Taunton, Mass. in 1653.

Brame, Bram or Bream

Benjamin was a cooper when he was living in Boston in 1668.


George was in Dover, N.H. in 1670, then to Casco, Maine as early as 1678. He was killed there by Indians in 1689.


Arthur was at Saybrook, Conn. in 1670.

Peter was a carpenter who came from Holden, Kent, England in 1638. He died en route, leaving a son, John, who was under the apprenticeship of Thomas Wilburne at Duxbury, Mass.
William was at Springfield, Mass. in 1648, leaving no male issue.


George was a baker at Roxbury, Mass. and left no issue.
Thomas was a cooper who went to Salem, Mass. in 1629.


Colonial woodcut of a family picking apples

John was in Wethersfield, Conn. in 1635.


Thomas was at Charlestown, Mass. in 1656 before removing to Boston a year later.
William, a brother of preceding, was at Boston in 1677.


Michael was at Dover, N.H. in 1655.


John was a shipwright at Kittery, Maine pre-1674, when he is found at Gloucester, Mass.
Robert was in Salem, Mass. in 1668.
Thomas was also a shipwright at Gloucester in 1646.
William was at York, Maine in 1689.


Arthur was born in England in 1598 and settled at York, Maine in 1640.


Francis was born in England in 1611 and was living at Portsmouth, R.I. pre-1642.


Edward was at Charlestown, Mass. in 1658.


Edward was born at Lancastershire, England ca. 1595 and is found to have gone to Dorchester, Mass. in 1635, then to Lancaster, Mass. by 1641.
John was at Medfield, Mass. where he died in 1660.
Thomas was born at Lancaster, England in 1600 and began living in Dorchester, Mass. by 1650.


Byron was at Malden, Mass. in 1671.


Allen was born in England in 1630 and went to Lynn, Mass. in 1639, then removed to Southampton, L.I. in 1640.

A woodcut of harvest time in colonial New England.


William, was born at Hammersmith, England and went to Boston in 1633. Afterwards he is found in Portsmouth and Newport, R.I. and lived at Taunton, Mass between 1670-1672.


William was born at Kent, England and is found at Duxbury, Mass. in 1640 and is also one of the first proprietors of Bridgewater, Mass. in 1645.


Philip was a rigger and a Huguenot; was at Falmouth, Maine pre-1700 before removing to Boston.


Christopher was at Lynn, Mass. in 1684
Daniel was born in England about 1600, and settled at Roxbury, Mass. in 1634.
Rev. Daniel was ordained at Springfield, Mass. in 1694.
John, was born about 1620 and went to Cambridge, Mass. in 1642 before removing to Sudbury, Mass. pre-1647.
Thomas was a proprietor of Ipswich, Mass. in 1639 and removed to Lynn, Mass. in 1658.
Thomas was living at Lynn, Mass. in 1682.


Francis came from London to New Haven, Conn. in 1640 and was lost at sea in 1646.
John was living in Portsmouth, N.H. pre-1664.
William of the Mayflower was the son of William and born at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England in 1560 before coming to Plymouth in 1620.

Thomas was a ships carpenter and is at Gloucester, Mass. in 1642.

Nathaniel was at Newbury, Mass. pre-1673.

Edward was at Boston, Mass. in 1681.

Edward was at Roxbury, Mass. in 1639.
John, a brother of preceding, was at Cambridge, Mass. in 1635.
John was a resident of Wickford, R.I. in 1674.
Samuel was a carpenter at Boston in 1671.
William was at Watertown, Mass. in 1636 before removing to Boston in 1643.
William was at Charlestown, Mass. in 1644.

Edmund was born in 1612 at England and settled at Lynn, Mass. by 1636 before removing to Rowley, Mass. in 1641. He then went to Ipswich and Topsfield, Mass.
Robert was at Lynn, Mass. in 1641.


Friday, January 8, 2016

New England at a glance...1800

Aldro Hibbard

The former governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, once wrote "When I die, you will find engraved upon my heart New England.", as he languishing in England during the Revolutionary War. There is a certain nostalgia and "pull" with this term that has lasted for many centuries until the present day.

It doesn't matter if you are lifelong Yankee, simply visited one summer or winter or even read about it while perusing a magazine. The thought of our heritage crosses everyone's mind during Thanksgiving when we are inundated with stories of the first gathering in all media, and lasts through the winter with scenes of fireside flames dancing shadows off the snowdrifts outside the living room window.

New England thoughts carry through to the spring and summer as the sea gulls screech and swarm around the fishing boats, as the stern man is pulling up lobster traps.

The comforting appeal is akin to the hospitable charm the Southern colonies in America bring. But it is the memories that separate these thoughts. Memories of an economy that was almost purely agricultural at the beginning of the 19th century. Over 90% of our people were engaged in some type of farming, with the "ruling party" being the inhabitants of the rural village. A countryside with beauty that resulted from glacial activity many eons ago, ending with a soil that is rocky, but rich, hearty and fertile.

The Yankee were just as rocky and hearty as the landscape. Most of us are of English, Scotch-Irish descent with a smattering of French and Acadian, with Germans rounding off our inclusive bloodline.

The amalgamation of these races that formed the farmer were unique, not firmly conservative nor as radical as their bigger city brethren. Quite naive to the ways of blue-bloods but a head above the urban craftsmen. Independent and poor, but self-sufficient in every way, is what defined our heritage.

The typical farmer had about 100 acres and only tilled but a dozen or so of that for rye, oats, wheat, barley and corn. Gardens edged these fields with potatoes, squash, pumpkins, root vegetables, peas and beans that busted out of every garden.

The Yankee farmer still adhered to the old "Indian" way of farming with the three-field system. This rotation of crops is having one field of grain, one of grass and one fallow each season. Very little in the way of fertilization was needed and no improvement was needed at all, as long as these three patches of land was constantly rotated every year.

An apple orchard with plum, quince, peach and pears scattered throughout was common, with blueberries sprawling over the rocky hillsides where no other crop would grow. Pasture, wood lots and fields for mowing made up the remainder of the land.

His house lot was just enough to live on, often crowded with a large family, a barn of livestock, corn cribs, workshops and a variety of sheds for a multitude of purposes. Six to eight cows could be seen in most families, roaming the pastures along with a dozen sheep, bee hives, chickens and pigs. A horse was not as general as oxen because one had to have money in order to buy a sleigh or buggy. Utilitarian can be comfortably ascribed to the New England farmer because his yoke of oxen was better suited for the heavy hauling that was necessary for his farm.

The work of a farmer was non-ending and the entire household was expected to work as hard as the father and mother. Clearing, plowing, planting, hoeing, harvesting, fence making and repairing, fixing the house and barns, tending livestock, making shingles and furniture, cutting and splitting wood, cooking, soap making, washing, cleaning, clothes making, churning butter, rendering lard, cheese making, food preserving, brining, smoking, making cider.....and this was just the surface of their chores. For example, in order to dry apples and pumpkins, they needed to be gathered, cored and sliced before being strung over the fireplace to dry.

The town village was just as self sufficient as the lonely farmers family. An autonomous principality, one journal entry reads, "A well-instructed, hardy, and laborious yeomanry will pursue the best measures for preserving their republican character and moral institutions."

Hog reeves, constables, sealers of weights and measures, the overseers of the poor, tax collectors and inspectors of provisions are just some of the old time jobs our ancestors had. We controlled our own churches, schools and militias and it wasn't even a forethought NOT to attend "meetin' day".

Although most of the New England farmers mended his own plow, built his own rock walls, made his own axe handles, threshed his own corn and sharpened his own scythes.

The local village had blacksmiths to help with forging tools, cart rims and hardware needed by these same farmers in order to shoe their oxen and make the kitchen, fireplace and woodstove utensils. Millers were very important since the very beginning of New England to grind grains for cooking or sawing lumber for cabinet making. Mills were always found on a stream of rushing water, right next door to a fulling mill and bark mill, although the latter two often polluted the water.

Ye Olde Yankee stores doted the countryside and were of utter importance. It was here that a little repose could be found, gossip could be spread and the news was shared. This store was also the place to do business. Trading, or as we call it "bahterin'" one item for another was essential. Surplus grain could fetch you eggs, cheese or cloth, while a loaf of brown sugar, molasses, tea or coffee could get you that jug of rum you wanted or that spice she needed.

Indigo dyes and cochineal could be attained if you could round up some extra firewood or shingles. Salt, gunpowder, teapots, pottery and stoves could be traded almost any time.

George Henry Durrie
In this same store, the owner was a postmaster as well, thereby deeming him the purveyor of local and national news. Cutting off a slab of Cheddar and grabbing a pickle from the barrel, the French War, the Barbary pirates or the state of national affairs were often argued and spouted over. Those scandalous Southern Baptists were the usual topic of conversation.

Maybe on the way home from the store, the farmer would head to the tavern and enjoy even more chatter, news.....and a dram. John Adams once said "I was silently listening to these tavern talks among the farmers as he made the circuits that he first came to realize that American independence was both inevitable and close at hand."

These taverns were the place where the conversation on international affairs really heated up, along with new ideas on how our government should be run, religion and by the end of their stopover, every ill in society had an answer by one of the number.

These same issues were discussed again on Sunday morning and afternoon, when the farmers family would attend church in rural New England. The minister would proclaim that he had the answer to save their souls and in the process, taught him about the philosophical, political and religious tenets. Sin, salvation, damnation and faith were a weekly topic as well, to be practiced and feared on every day.

George Henri Durrie
The now sacredly cared for meeting house built in the early 1800s was the center of tax debates, arguments about better roads or those pesky cows that belonged to their neighbors often breaking fences to trod in their fields or gardens.

Choosing the unrewarding job of highway surveyor, voting against a certain selectman because of a quarrel or appointing a new schoolmaster were on the agenda regularly.

But be that as it may, life was not always toil and self-effacing turmoil. Husking bees, house and barn raisings, singing meetings, frolics, a ball here and there(when the local minister was away) and quilting parties all were fun affairs, but utilitarian in nature.

It was only by innate conservatism and poverty that our 19th century forefathers prevented themselves from breaking completely from our Puritan way of life. As in the Puritan days, the leader of the village, as well as its moral guardian, was the minister. The minister was often-times the schoolmaster, who helped prepare a few boys for further education at Harvard. Next to him in the social position was the village squire, or the "richest man about town". Although he may have been worlds apart from the poorer farmer class, his forefathers had been leaders before him and was almost always seated in the state legislature. He was also the local Justice of the Peace, where he sentenced drunkards and those who allowed their oxen to impede on another's property. The farmer held onto him, also, because he was the one that could branch out beyond their small village in order to represent their town in state-wide affairs......and monetary help if needed.

George Henry Durrie
But even the small town farmer in New England found himself separated from the rest of Yankee land, but happily! The long hours of hard work, poverty and isolation(because of the often times poor roads that got even worse with poor weather) made us even more self sufficient, some may even say salty and cantankerous.

We are often seen as intolerant, quarrelsome, with a touch of provincialism mixed in. Our religion was restrictive, our economy was limited, our educational system sporadic and inadequate most of the time, but our lives peaceful.

A minister of Massachusetts writes in 1808: "New Englanders are very industrious and economical and mingle little with other parts of the world. Their industry and frugality are proverbial....there is a great similarity in their habits, manners, and customs of the people, which have been handed down from father to son, with all the regularity of patrimonial descent. To omit fishing in the spring would be an alarming innovation and to intermarry beyond the limits of the town would be a most unpardonable dereliction of duty."

As the 1800s rolled on, the frequent Yankee names that so universally graced muster rolls, tax lists, church member registries and headstones were moving toward the mid-West, being replaced by newer immigrants from Ireland and Western Europe as industrialization began in earnest.

The "Flowering of New England" was blooming, and would continue to do so for a half century, up until the Civil War.

Starting at the close of the War of 1812, the children of the farmer who toiled so long and hard in 1800 were beginning to understand that richness could not be obtained through the soil. These offspring looked doubtfully on the unending toil that showed little reward and so they traveled westward to make their fortunes, or moved to cities to become merchants, artisans or as apprentices.

The farms themselves began to decline, along with the agricultural villages that formed the towns that once held personal places in one's heart. By the Civil War, this Yankee ideal was all but gone. Mainly because it was observed that the War could only be won by manpower, not produce.

But the beliefs, attitudes and ideas of the farmer lived on in these same children, inside and outside New England. The strong religious convictions, the sturdy conscience, self reliance, morality and the appreciation of what could be attained outside of their familiar farm is what lives on today. The farmers conscience also remains and the ambience of family is what gave New England its own little part of the world.

Even though our actions don't directly affect the security of the family as it did in 1800, those ideas and ingrained philosophy still flow through our body and soul, to be seen by outsiders in picture and word. We are Yankee and will always be.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New England Colonists, 1600-1700 Bowers-Bradstreet

A great example of how 17th century town centers were laid out.

George was in Plymouth, Mass. in 1639, then to Cambridge, Mass..


Edmund(or Edward) was at Dorchester, Mass. in 1635, then moved to Sudbury by 1666.
James was originally from Sweden and came to Scituate, Mass. ca. 1674.


John was at Roxbury, Mass. in 1640.
Joseph was in Saco, Maine by 1640 before moving to Wells.
Richard was at Dover, N.H. by 1666.


John was in Plymouth, Mass. in 1633.
Nathaniel settled in Watertown, Mass. by 1630, then to Lexington.


Thomas was born in Matlock, Derbyshire, England in 1595 before coming to Boston in 1648. He was also an early settler at Flushing, L.I..


Thomas, born in Suffolk, England and then went to Ipswich, England by 1634. He then came to Scituate, Mass pre-1650. By 1651, he is found Boston, then Medfield, Watertown and lastly Groton, Mass..

Boyes or Boyce

Antipas, was at Boston in 1659 with only one issue, his son(who went back to England).
Joseph, was at Salem by 1639.
Matthew was at Roxbury, Mass. by 1638, removing to Rowley pre-1641. He went back to England by 1657.
Richard was at N.H. pre-1677.
Samuel was at Saybrook, Conn.(where he married)by 1668.


Thomas, s/o Thomas of London and grandson of Henry, of Litchfield, England. He was at Watertown, Mass. by 1635.


John was born at Knapton, Wingham, Yorkshire, England in 1614 and came to Mass. by 1635, settling in Rowley.
William, was brother of preceding, and son of William(who was the 23d generation from Bartholomew de Boynton). He was at Rowley, Mass by 1638, having came to New England in 1635.
William was at Salisbury, Mass. pre-1670.

Brabrook or Braybrook

John was at Watertown, Mass. by 1640.
Joseph was at Concord, Mass. by 1672.
Richard was an early settler at Ipswich, Mass.
William was at Lynn, Mass. in 1637 before removing to Sandwich, Mass.

Brace or Bracy or Bracie

John was at New Haven, Conn. by 1644, then to Wethersfield, Conn. in 1647.
Stephen was a 'hatter' at Swanzey, Mass. in 1669, then to Hartford, Conn. in 1692 where he died the same year.
Thomas was a resident of Ipswich, Mass. in 1635 before removing to Branford, Conn.
Thomas, brother of John, was at Wethersfield, Conn before removing to Hatfield, Mass. when he died in 1704.


John was at Charlestown, Mass, then to Boston, where he married in 1655.
William, son of William of the Mayflower
Richard was with Governor Endicott when he came to N.E., residing in Salem by 1628.
Samuel was at Boston in 1677.
William, came in Winthrop's Fleet in 1630 and then went to Malden, Mass.


Anthony was in Maine on the "Piscataqua River" as early as 1623 before going to Portsmouth, N.H. pre-1640.
Peter was at Braintree, Mass. by 1643, then to Scarborough, Maine in 1673.
Capt. Richard, brother of the preceding, was at Boston in 1632, then removed to Quincy by 1639.
William, was under the employment of Mason and was at Portsmouth, N.H. by 1624.


Capt. Thomas, s/o Wymond, great grandson of Matthew, was at York, Maine in 1634. Two years later, he was at Ipswich and then one of the original proprietors of Salisbury, Mass.


Joseph was at Marblehead, Mass. in 1638.


Lesby was at Wethersfield, Conn pre-1643.


Alexander was at Dorchester, Mass. in 1638 but left no issue.
Robert was a freeman at Boston in 1642.


Ralph was at Roxbury, Mass. (where he was married the same year) in 1677, but left no issue.


James was at Newbury, Mass. in 1659.


Robert was at Cambridge as early as 1635.


Daniel was at New Haven, Conn. in 1657.
Daniel was at Haverhill, Mass. in 1635 and at Rowley, Mass by 1662.
Francis went to Branford, Conn. by 1660 before removing to Fairfield, Conn. in 1657.
Isaac was first at Branford, Conn. in 1667, the went to New Haven, Conn. by 1683.
John was at Dedham, Mass. in 1642
John was at Dover, N.H. by 1667.
Joseph was at Haverhill, Mass. in 1649.
Joshua was in Rowley, Mass. by 1663.
Nathan resided in Guilford, Conn. pre-1669.
Nathaniel was at Dorchester, Mass. pre-1701, when he died at age 70 years.
Peter, was at New London, Conn. in 1654.
Richard was in Boston in 1651.
Stephen took the oath of fidelity in 1660 in Guilford and New Haven, Conn..
William took the oath of fidelity at New Haven, Conn. in 1644.


Humphrey was at Cambridge, Mass. in 1642


Humphrey came to Ipswich, Mass. from Ipswich, England with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 before removing to Cambridge, Ipswich, Andover and Boston.