Descendants of Thomas Brown

Our Thomas Brown of Newbury, Ma. was born about 1606 (aged 72 in 1678) in Christian Malford, County Wiltshire in England and died from a fall on 08 Jan. 1687 in Newbury, Ma. He married, at Christian Malford on 20 August 1632, Mary Healy who was born in 1612 at Christian-Malford and died in Newbury, Ma on 02 June 1654. Her parentage and ancestry are unknown. Thomas Brown and his wife sailed from Southampton 05 April 1635 on the ship James, William Cooper-Master, arriving in Boston, Ma on 03 June 1635.The manifest of the ship “James” shows only “Thomas Brown-Weaver”. It is assumed that his wife Mary and their first born child, Francis, was with him on this journey.

Thomas Brown was a weaver by trade. The manifest of the ship “James” actually reflected two entries for “Thomas Brown-Weaver”.The second entry noted him as being a servant of one Thomas Antram. As the name “Thomas Antram” does not appear in other records, there is some doubt as to the viability of our Thomas Brown being “a servant of Thomas Antram”. He and his wife settled in Newbury, Ma. He was admitted to the Newbury Church prior to 22 May 1639 at which time he was designated a Freeman. Thomas Brown being able to clearly sign his name was a man of some education. He witnessed the will of John Goffe on 04 Dec 1641. He served on the Grand Jury in different years and he disposed in court many times. Thomas Brown’s name is on the list of members of the church of Newbury in April 1671. He signed the Oath of Allegiance in Newbury in 1678.

Prior to 1652, Thomas Brown (and others) agreed to surrender land that had been granted to them on the on the left side of the Merrimack Ridge in Newbury, on condition that they be granted elsewhere three acres for every two previously granted. On 26 March 1652, “Henry Short of Newbury, yeoman, as agent and in the behalf of Stephen Dumer, late of Newbury aforesaid, gentleman,” sold to “Thomas Brown & George Little of the aforesaid town and county, yeomen, all that farm of upland and meadow which was granted unto the said Stephen Dumer by the town of Newbury, being three hundred acres, sixty acres whereof is meadow”. On 23 May 1660, Thomas Brown of Newbury, yeoman, sold to Henry Sewall of Newbury, gentleman, eight acres of meadow lately laid out and given to Henry Sewall in the Birchen Meadows in Newbury.

On 11 April 1677, Thomas Brown executed a deed wherein he confirmed transfer of property and land to his son-in-law, Peter Godfrey who married his only daughter Mary. This included “the possession of the of the house and barn and eleven acres of arable Land, adjoining to the said house in Newbury aforesaid, as also seven acres of meadow land lying at hither end of Birchen meadows, next George Little’s, with a four acre lot in Plumb Island which was granted to me for my freehold portion with the privilege of commonage–which the said Peter Godfrey has possessed ever since I did give unto Peter Godfrey in marriage with my Daughter, but having no assurance of it in writing–doe here by these presents, confirm unto the sayd peter Godfrey–all of the above named premisses provided the said Peter Godfrey pay yearly forty shillings unto the aforesaid Thomas Browne during my natural life, if it be demanded”.

Finally “Newbury Feb. 22 1687 a writing of a Kind of a will appears in court made by Thomas Brown deceased and it is not appearing to be so legal as the law requires: no executor being therein nominated therefore there is administratorship granted unto Francis Brown of Newbury son of the said Thomas Brown upon the estate of the of the said Thomas Brown deceased” . Judging by the appraised value of his two sons’ estates, i.e. son Sargent Francis at L661,17s and son Isaac at L369,8s, we can assume that our Thomas Brown was a fairly successful weaver and an investor in property.

Thomas and Mary Healy Brown had four children, i.e. one daughter and three sons. The first child and son, Francis, was baptized at Christian Malford on 01 January 1633 and died in 1691 at Newbury, Ma. He first married , at Newbury on 21 November 1653, Mary Johnson and married second, at Newbury on 31 December 1679, Mary Morse. Mary Brown, born 1636 to come. Isaac, the third child and second son, who was born ca 1638 and died 13 May 1674 both at Newbury, married, on 22 August 1661 at Newbury, Rebecca Bailey. The fourth child and third son was Nicholas who was born ca 1645 and married, at Haverhill on 27 January 1670, Mary Linforth.

References:FH21:749-750; PH7:109; PH71:V13:120; PH81:272; PH97:74-75; PH217:126; PH222: V4:361; V7:156; PH226:V1:435-438.

Mary Brown, the second child and only daughter of Thomas and Mary (Healy) Brown, was born 1636 and died 15 April 1715, both in Newbury, Ma. She was the first white child born in Newbury. She married, on 13 May 1656 at Newbury, Ma., Peter Godfrey who was born in England in 1631 and died 05 October 1697 at Newbury, Ma. He was the son of John Godfrey. References:. FH21:750: PH7:307; PH71:V13:120; PH81:272; PH97:74; PH226:V1:436-437