John BrownIt is not known when John Brown of Hampton arrived in New Hampshire nor from where he came from in England. He is often confused with the other John Browns of New England. He was first granted land in Hampton in 1640. In the first land grants most of the lots given out were "house lots" the largest of which was 10 acres, but most were much smaller. John Brown was one of about 5 men who were given "farm lots". This land was further out from the town. A document from 1645 show John Brown owning 2 lots besides his farm lot. In another document dated 1663 John is on a list of owners of the "cow common", one he was given and one he bought from Thomas Sleeper. He owned lot numbers 11, 17 and 24. Apparently you were only allowed to graze cows on the common if you owned a share.
One of the boundaries of the common was John Brown's River. Today, the cow common is known as the Great Salt Marsh of Hampton. John Brown's river ran up to his farm. Brown's river was also named for him as was John Brown's Point, his share of the salt marsh on the east side. He was one of the largest land owners at that time and on a list of tax papers his name was third in rank of amounts paid. In 1681 John gave all his land to his sons. His farm stayed in the Brown family for many generations.
In 1680 New Hampshire was separated from Massachusetts and became a Royal Provence. It was to be governed by a president and council appointed by the King and an elected house of representatives. A list of men eligible to vote was drawn up including John Brown, Sr. It is estimated that there were about four thousand white people in New Hampshire at that time.
In a history of Rockingham County is written the following about John Brown:
John Brown 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.
John Brown died Feb. 28, 1687 his wife Sarah died July 6, 1672.
John Brown and his wife Sarah had the following children:
Sarah b. 1643 m. John Poor of Charlestown
John b. August 29, 1643 died unmarried
Benjamin b. 1647 Hampton m. Sarah Brown of Salisbury d. 1736
Elizabeth m. Isaac Marston
Mary b. Sept 13, 1655
Thomas b. 14 July 1657
Stephen b. 1659 killed at Blackpoint in 1677
All of John and Sarah's sons fought in the King Phillip's War. Only Stephen was killed. The battle at Blackpoint in Maine was fought between the colonist and the Indians. The colonist were on the losing side, suffering 50-60 causalities. This was one of the last battles of King Phillip's War. The following was written in an article called "A Doleful Slaughter Near Blackpoint" by Sumner Hunnewell:
Only one man from Swett’s town of Hampton was recorded to have accompanied him. STEPHEN BROWN was a teenager probably living with his widowed father, a first settler and prosperous landowner in Hampton. It may have been a shortlived but merry meeting for Stephen and John Parker of Andover. Stephen’s older sister had married John’s oldest brother. Some (if not all) of Stephen’s brothers were soldiers during the war and now it was his turn to play the man.
Benjamin BrownBenjamin Brown was born in 1647. He married Sarah Brown, daughter of William Brown of Salisbury. They settled on a part of his father's farm in Hampton near the Salisbury, Massachusetts border. This area became part of Seabrook. He petitioned to have a road built to his farm, the road was known as Rocks Road. He was given land in Hampton Falls to compensate for land lost in building the road.
Benjamin was a signer of Weare's Petition in 1683. This petition was taken by Nathaniel Weare, a leading Hampton citizen, to London and presented to the King. It was a complaint which resulted in the removal of the then Governor Cranfield.
Benjamin was chosen as a selectman in 1696-1705 and 1711. He was also chosen as a Representative from Hampton in 1697.
He farmed and raised cattle.
Benjamin and Sarah had the following Children:
William b. June 5, 1680 m. Anne Heath d. Sept 1725
Sarah b. Sept 11, 1681 died young
Benjamin b. Dec. 20, 1683 m. Sarah Gove, lived in South Hampton
Elizabeth b.July 16, 1686 m. Benjamin Green, lived in Hampton Falls
John b. March 18, 1688 m. Abbey Johnson, lived in Seabrook
Jacob b. March 1691 m. Mary Green, Jemima Rowell, lived in Hampton Falls
Stephen b. July 17, 1693 m. Mary Chase, lived in Kingston
Mary b. 1696 m. Thomas Cram
Thomas b. May 21, 1699 Mehetible Towle, lived in Seabrook
Jeramiah b. Nov. 20, 1701 m. Mary Weare, lived in Seabrook
William BrownThere is not much written about William Brown. He married Ann Heath in 1701, he was 21 years old. They had at least ten children, William died in 1725, his youngest child was not quite a year old at the time.
The Will of William Brown:
WILLIAM BROWN 1725 HAMPTONIn ye Name of God Amen ye twenty sixth Day of August 1725 I William Brown of Hampton in ye Province of New Hampshier in New England yeman—being sick & weake of body " * *Imprimis—my Will is y‘ all my Just Debts & funerall Charges be Well & truly Paid out of my stock of Creturs—& my Hows & Land which is betwen my brother Thomases Hows & ye Countery Rhood & three quarters of an acre of Land Neear Benjamin greens & two acres & three quarters of Land on ye North Sid of ye mudy Pond and one acre of Land at ye town Neer Benjamin moultons—& if any or what shall remain of these fore mentioned Pertigulers after my Debts & funerall charges are all Paid ye remainder to go to my dafters toward their Portions—And all ye rest of my Lands & marsh in Hampton & Else where I give to my fower sons
William my Eldest son to have a duble Part of all my Land where my Hows stands with one halfe of all ye howsing & orchard y° other halfe of my Howsing & orchard to bee for my wife during her life or widowhood—my son William to have his duble Part of ye Land with ye orchard on ye East side of my Land where my Hows standeth from End to End ye whole bredth till his duble Part is compleated
Item I give unto my son Benjamin his single Part or fifth Part Next to william in Lake maner ,Item I give to Nehemiah ye Next in Like maner with benjmenItem I give to my son Stephen an Equal Part with Benjamin & Nehemiah & to have my Land at ye great Hill & what that wanteth of his Part by measuer to be made up to him on ye West sid of my Land at home—&_all my mashs to be devided amongst my fows sons after thay all come to one & twenty years of age William to have his duble Part & ye rest all a Like in quantity . Item I give to my three Daughters Rachel Sarah & Ann fifteen Pounds Each besids what they have all ready had to be Paid them in one year after my decease by my sone WilliamItem I give to mary & Elizabeth fifteen Pounds each y‘ is if any thing remains of what I have appoynted to Pay my Debts & Iunerall charges to go to mary 81 Elizabeth & if ye do not amount to fiften Pounds Each to be Paid them by my three sons Benjamin Nehamiah & Stephen all aLike after they shall come to one & twenty years of ageItem give & order my Daughter Lidia to be maintained out of my Whole Estate—& if it shold Please God to order it so y‘ Shee shale marry then to have fifteen Pounds Paid her Every one to Pay his Part according to what he hath of my Lands-—Item I give all Husbendry tools of all sorts what so ever Without dors to my son WilliamItem to my son Benjamin my Loom & takling to it _Item I give to my beloved Wife Ann all my Puter Brass Iron beding 8:. all my moveables with my Hows what so Ever
And Every one of all my Childerin to have his or her Part orPortion as they com to age of one & twenty years of age—but all those childerin under seven years of age to Be brought up by y° whole estate until they be seven years old
I Likewise Constitute make & ordain my Beloved Wife & my sone \Villiam my sole Execntorex & Executor of this my Last will & testiment in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal y“ Day & year above Writtensigned sealed Published Pro- william Brown nownced & Declared by y“ said William Brown as his Last Will & testiment in y" Presents of us y° subscribersPeter WeareSamuel CliffordJohn Clifford[Proved May 19, 1726.][Warrant, Oct. 26, 1725, authorizing Col. Peter Weare and Samuel Clififord, both of Hampton, to appraise the estate.][Inventory, Nov. 1, 1725 ; amount, £943.18.o ; signed by Peter Weare and Samuel Clifford.]
History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire From its Settlement Vol 1, Joseph Dow
History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire From its Settlement Vol 2, Joseph Dow
Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Hoyt
Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire 1635-1777 vol. 32
History of Rockingham County and It's Representative Citizens, Charles Hazlet
History of Hampton Falls, Warren Brown