Tuesday, March 20, 2012

John Brown of New England

So, I am researching the ancestors of an ancestor and once again am finding mass confusion on ancestry.com and the internet. In my previous blogs about Jacob Worthen, I said that he married Mary Brown, daughter of Nehemiah Brown. I wanted to follow Nehemiah back to his immigrant ancestor John Brown and that's when the chaos unfolded.  
There were multiple John Brown's in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and their stories are jumbled together.  Here is what I can make out, as best I can, on the John Browns who are confused.

1.  John Brown sent back to England
     John Brown and his brother Samuel were first on record 4 March 1628/9. They are among the first patentees who received the charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony from King Charles I.  He was made an assistant prior to sailing. He was appointed to the council to advise Governor Endicott in Salem.  John and his brother sailed on the Lion's Whelp 25 April and arrived 26 June 1629.  Due to a disagreement concerning religious practice he and his brother were shipped back to London post haste, arriving by September of 1629.

2.  John Brown of Watertown
     John came in 1632 on the Lyon.  He settled in Watertown along with Abraham, and Richard Brown.  His wife was Dorothy.  He received land and his children received land in his name posthumously.  He died in 1636. He had two children, both girls, Hannah and Mary.  
These Browns supposedly hail from Hawkedon, Suffolk, England, but according to Robert Charles Anderson of The Great Migration, there is not one bit of proof that that is where they are from. Also, the research that lead to these claims was done by a Horatio Gates Somersby who is a known genealogy forger. 

3.  John Brown of Duxbury
     John arrived in the Plymouth Colony in 1632.  He is on the tax rolls in 1633 and 1624.  He was a weaver by trade.  His wife was Phebe and they had one child, a daughter, named Remember.  His brother was Peter Brown of Mayflower fame.

4. John Brown unclaimed
    This John was a tailor who enrolled at London as a passenger 22 June 1635.  What became of him is anyone's guess.

5.  John Brown of Rehoboth
     This John arrived in the Plymouth colony in 1635  on the Elizabeth.  He traveled with his niece and nephew James and Sarah Walker. James was his apprentice. He had traveled in the Low Countries and  had become familiar with the beliefs of the Pilgrims in Leiden. He became a highly respected and successful magistrate in Plymouth.  His wife was Dorothy. James and Sarah's mother, a widow, arrived in Plymouth sometime afterwards.  He returned to England for sometime but was back in the colony by 1660.  He died in 1662.  He had at least three children:  Mary, James and John. 

6. John Brown of Reading
    This John married Sarah Osgood of Andover.  He was selectman for Reading.  But he was born in 1628 so he does not fit with our search for Nehemiah's ancestor. 

So this is all I can find on the John Browns (JB) living in New England at the time.  The JB most commonly given to be the Nehemiah ancestor is a variation of JB #5.  John Brown of London, baker, travelled with his apprentice James Walker and his sister Sarah.  JB married Sarah Walker and moved to Hampton, New Hampshire. There is no record of any marriage between Sarah Walker and John Brown.  And I'm here to tell you that if you think US and International marriage records on ancestry.com is gospel, then you're wrong. This is only a database of submitted ancestry trees, not actual documentation. The only thing that should count is documentation!

So for now, I can say that I don't know much about JB of Hampton.  He was
.... one of the first company who settled here. He was here in 1640. He built the first "barque" that was built in Hampton in 1641-42, at the river near Perkins Mill. He was a prominent man, became one of the largest land-owners in the town, was one of the selectmen in 1651 and 1656, and in 1663, was chosen "to see that the boys do not play in the gallery." He died in 1686.  History of Hampton.
Sources:
Ancestry.com
Genealogy.com
News Group Posting: Brown of Plymouth and Wannamosett
John Brown, Gentleman of Plymouth, George Tilden Brown
Plymouth Colony, Its History and People 162-1691
The History of Hampton, Joseph Dow
The History of Hampton Falls, Warren Brown
The Great Migration Begins 1630-1633, Robert Charles Anderson
The Great Migration 1634/1634, Robert Charles Anderson
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