Tuesday, January 7, 2020

John Brown of Hampton, New Hampshire 1589-1687

Could there be a more common name than John Brown? Could his parents have not, at the very least, given him an amazing first name to differentiate him from the zillions of other John Browns? Ah well, well just have to work with it. According to Robert Charles Anderson, there were at least nine John Browns who immigrated during the Great Migration. Many of their individual facts have become confused and combined. I will do my best to sort out those that belong to our guy. So, here is what I know about John Brown of Hampton, New Hampshire.

English Origins
John's origins are unknown. There, that's it. We have no idea where in England he came from. Some websites suggest he was the son of one Angus Brown of Scotland, but offer no proof. 

Another disappointment. We have no idea when and on what ship John came to America. He is not the John Brown who arrived on The Elizabeth in 1635. That was the John who ended up in Rehoboth, in Massachusetts. 

Well, here is something we know, at last. John Brown received a grant of land for a house lot in Hampton in June 1640. [1][2] Noyes, Libby, Davis in their book which I will abbreviate to GDMNH and Dow both claim he was awarded a farm but I don't see his name recorded as such. But in a 1645 list of the division of the Cow Common, John Brown received 2 shares, beside his farm. [3]There is a river that runs along the boundary of the Cow Common called Brown's River, you can still see it today, just look for the Great Salt Marsh of Hampton. In a 1663 inventory of the cow common, John Brown is listed as having one share originally owned by William Moulton and one bought off of Thomas Sleeper, but originally owned by the Widow Bristow. [4] John clearly became prosperous in Hampton and 1653 he paid the 3rd highest tax rate. 

According to Joseph Dow, John Brown did not live on his 4 acre house lot, but rather a 10 acre lot he bought from John Sanders. This seems to allay the idea that John was awarded a 'farm', but rather purchased it at a later time. His son Benjamin settled on a part of his father's farm, located in the South-Easterly portion of the town of Seabrook. 

Marriage and Family
John was married to a woman named Sarah, maiden name unknown. They had eight children, 3 girls and 5 boys. Lane Memorial Library has an amazing data base, hosted by Roots Web, that contains the genealogical data on over 20,000 people connected with Hampton. John Brown and his family are included

His children were:
Sarah Brown, b. abt. 1643 Hampton, d. 1678, Charlestown, m. John Poor
John, born abt. 1644, d. 29 Aug. 1683
Benjamin born abt. 1647, m. Sarah Brown, d. abt. 1739
Elizabeth Brown abt. 1650, d. 5 Oct. 1689, m. Isaac Marston
Jacob Brown, born in 1653, d. 13 Feb 1739/40, m. Sarah Brooklin
Mary born September 13, 1655, married Nathan Parker, m. 15 April 1675
Thomas Brown, born July 14, 1657, 29 June 1744, m. Abial Shaw
Stephen Brown, born in 1659, killed 29 June 1677, Battle of Black Point, Maine

Sadly, but not unexpected, John lost several of his children as young adults, including his youngest son, Stephen, still a teenager, killed at the Battle of Black Point. This was the last battle of King Philip's War in Maine and was a disaster for the English militia. 

Sarah died 6 July 1672. John died 28 Feb. 1686/87, supposedly aged 98, hence the birth year of 1589. Age at death was often exaggerated, so this may or may not be his real age. He was freed from military training in 1662. If he had been born in 1589, he would have been 73 years old. This is out of the norm for most men, who were released from duty in about their 60th year or so.

See Benjamin Brown- his son


[1] Hampton Records Vol. 1, available online from the Hampton Lane Memorial Library. (The grant is best seen in the photos rather than microfilm.)

[2] Dow, Joseph, 1807-1889, and Lucy Ellen Dow. History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From Its Settlement In 1638, to the Autumn of 1892. Salem, Mass.: Printed by the Salem press publishing and printing co., 1893. p. 18

[3] Dow, Vol. 1, p. 33

[4] Dow, Vol. 1, p. 62

[5] Dow, Vol. 2, p. 617


Unknown said...

Where did you find the info that he was freed from military service in 1662? I am researching my ancestor John Casse, John Brown's contemporary and neighbor and, like John Brown, there is no info on his age or origin that can be verified. Am hoping that there may be a clue here.

Karen said...

Did you find anything about a son James born in 1642? One tree on FamilySearch had him as John & Sarah's son, but I'm feeling like that was an error.

James Brown m Hannah Bartholomew
child Bartholomew Brown

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