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Male Abt 1603 - 1653  (~ 50 years)

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  • Name Thomas BRIGHAM 
    Born Abt 1603  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 1635  MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Will 7 Dec 1653  Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 8 Dec 1653  Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 3 Oct 1654 
    • (1) Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vol. 1, Boston, MA: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1995, pp. 401-404:


      ORIGIN: Unknown

      MIGRATION: 1635 on Susan & Ellen

      FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge

      CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Cambridge church prior to 18 April 1637 implied by freemanship.

      FREEMAN: 18 April 1637 (MBCR 1:373].

      EDUCATION: He made his mark to his will and to town documents [CaBOP 154). His inventory included "a parcel of old [books] with one Bible and a great bible" valued at £1 [MPR 1:10-17].

      OFFICES: Cambridge selectman, 1640,1647 [CaTR 41, 43, 70]. Constable, October 1639, 8 November 1642 [CaTR 36,46].

      ESTATE: In the Cambridge land inventory on 1 May 1635, Thomas Brigham held one house with three and a half acres of land [CaBOP 64, 100]. In 1645 Thomas Brigham held one acre on the west side of Menotime [CaBOP 127]. In 1645, Thomas Brigham received the first numbered lot at Menotime containing ten acres [CaTR 67]. In 1646, Thomas Brigham received 8 acres in the ox pasture [CaTR 65]. On 11 October 1647, Thomas Brigham was charged 3d. per head, for a total of 7s. 8d., being abated one-third part of what he owed [CaTR 63]. On 17 May 1648, Thomas Brigham purchased ten acres of land in Fresh Pond meadow from William Hamlett [CaBOP 134]. In 1648, Thomas Brigham received seventy two [CaBOP 138]. On 9 June 1652, Thomas Brigham received 180 acres in the Shawshine division [CaTR 98].

      In his will, dated 7 October 1653 and proved 3 October 1654, Thomas Brigham of Cambridge, "weak in body," bequeathed to "my wife" one-third part of the estate; to "my eldest son Thomas" one-third part of the remainder; residue to be equally divided between "my other four children, John, Mary, Hannah & Samuel"; "my wife" to have use of the whole estate during her widowhood for the bringing up of the children, should she remarry, their bringing up to be at the discretion of the overseers; "my wife" executrix; "my loving brethren Thomas Danforth, John Cooper, Thomas Fox, John Hastings & William Towne" overseers [MPR Case #2702].

      An inventory of the estate of Thomas Brigham, taken 10 February 1653/4, was untotalled; the real estate amounted to £208 10s.: "the dwelling house & barn with 4 acres of land adjoining," £70; "the lot bought of goodman Doggett in Watertown," £40; "the upland & meadow in the hither end of Watertown," £60; "10 acres upon Rocky meadow," £15; "9 acres salt marsh," £13 10s.; and "a small farm at Charlestown line," £10 [MPR 1:10-17]. Two servants, "Daniell Mikenna, a Scotchman," and "Anne Ketch 6 years to serve" were also valued ill the estate, as were "a pair of horseman pistols" valued at £110s. [MPR Case #2702).

      On 21 March 1656, twenty acres of land in Watertown which had been the property of Thomas Brigham late of Cambridge, were sold by Edmund Rice and Mercy Brigham, now his wife [MLR 7:447; see also MLR 10:654,656].

      BIRTH: About 1603 (aged 32 in 1635 [Hotten 62]), son of John and Constance (Watson) Brigham of Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Lancashire [Brigham Gen 2:23-24].

      DEATH: Cambridge 8 December 1653.

      MARRIAGE: By about 1641 Mercy _____. She married (2) Sudbury 1 March 1655/6 Edmund Rice (with whom she had two children [Stevens-Miller Anc 2:130-31]). He was buried at Sudbury May 1663 (recorded Marlborough). She married (3) Marlborough [blank] October or November 1664 William Hunt. He was buried Marlborough October 1667. She died Marlborough 22 December 1693.


      i THOMAS, b. about 1641 (d. Marlborough 25 November 1717, aged 76 years); m. (1) Marlborough 27 December 1665 Mary Rice; m. (2) Marlborough 30 July 1695 Susannah (Shattuck) (Morse) Fay (Joseph Morse and Susanna Shattuck m. Watertown 12 April 1661 [WaVR 23]; John Fay and Susanna Moss m. Watertown 5 July 1678 [WaVR 44]; Susanna, wife of Thomas Brigham, d. Marlborough 16 March 1716, aged 74).

      ii JOHN, b. Cambridge 9 March 1644/5; m. (1) by 1673 Sarah Davis (eldest child b. Marlborough 27 March 1673/4; in his will of 12 March 1675/6, Thomas King made a bequest to "my son John Brigham," who must have been his stepson-in-law, married to the daughter of his second wife, Bridget (Loker) (Davis) King [Stevens-Miller Anc 1:82-85]); m. (2) after 1698 Deborah (Haynes) Brown [Brigham Gen 2:34 (evidence not shown)]; m. (3) Sudbury 22 May 1717 Sarah Bowker.

      iii MARY, b. say 1649; m. by 1669 John Fay (eldest known child b. Marlborough 30 November 1669) [Brigham Gen 1:57-58].

      iv HANNAH, b. Cambridge 9 March 1650/1; m. (1) by 1671 Gershom Eames (eldest child b. Marlborough 3 February 1671/2); m. (2) Marlborough 4 August 1679 William Ward [the marriage record calls her "Hannah Ward"].

      v SAMUEL, b. Cambridge 12 January 1653/4; m. Marlborough [blank] [blank] Elizabeth How.

      ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Brigham was first cousin of Constance (Brigham) Crosby, widow of Robert Crosby, who came to New England about 1640, and of Anne (Brigham) Crosby, wife of SIMON CROSBY, who came to New England in 1635 [Brigham Gen 2:26].

      COMMENTS: On 18 April 1635, "Tho[mas] Briggham," aged 32, was enrolled at London as a passenger for New England on the Susan & Ellen [Hotten 62].

      On 8 June 1646, Thomas Brigham was found delinquent in a breach of the order about ringing his hogs. He was cited for "his wife's rescuing of two hogs from the impounder" who should have driven them to the pound, and several other occasions, and was fined 4s. [CaTR 53-54].

      On 8 February 1648/9, Thomas Brigham was granted liberty to fell timber on the common to repair his house and fences [CaTR 79].

      In February 1652/3, with Richard Jackson, Thomas Brigham sought the counsel of an arbitrator in the matter of a fence on a neck of land, in difference against Mr. Joseph Cooke, Edward Goffe and Thomas Danforth [CaTR 156].

      Regarding the tradition that Thomas's wife, Mercy, was Mercy Hurd, Winifred Lovering Holman remarked that the "names of Hurd and Hunt could be easily confused and without further evidence I do not accept that her maiden name was Hurd" [Stevens-Miller Anc 2:109-31, especially 115]. We concur.

      BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1907 W.I. Tyler Brigham and Emma E. Brigham compiled The History of the Brigham Family: A Record of Several Thousand Descendants of Thomas Brigham The Emigrant, 1603-1653 [New York 1907] (cited above as Brigham Gen 1), a comprehensive account of the family. In 1927 Emma Elisabeth Brigham compiled The History of the Brigham Family, Second Volume [Rutland, Vermont, 1927], which included "The English Origin of Thomas Brigham the Emigrant, 1603-1635" by J. Gardner Bartlett (cited above as Brigham Gen 2).


      Thomas Brigham was born circa 1602 at England, Thomas "embarked in the Susan and Ellen, April 1635, then aged 32." He married . . . Mercy (?) circa 1637 at Cambridge, MA. Thomas Brigham died on 8 December 1653 at Cambridge, MA; at about age 50 (WARD indicates date of death as 8 (10) 1653).

      He left a will on 7 December 1653, (WARD indicates date of will as 7 (10) 1653).

      Children of Thomas Brigham and Mercy (?):

      [i] Mary Brigham

      [ii] Thomas Brigham

      [iii] John Brigham

      [iv] Hannah Brigham

      [v] Samuel Brigham

      Copyright © 2002, 2014 by the Edmund Rice (1638) Association.


      Thomas Brigham
      Birth: 1603, Holme on Spalding Moor, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
      Death: Dec. 8, 1653, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA

      Thomas Brigham fathered the first Brigham generation in America. History books have called him "The Emigrant" or "The Puritan".

      In the spring of 1635 a group of adherents of Rev. Thomas Shepherd, who had been preaching in Buttercombe, England, a few miles north of Home-on-Spalding-Moor, decided to migrate with him to the new world in order to escape religious persecution. On April 18 1635, they embarked on the ship "Suzan and Ellen" on a voyage from Bristol to Boston, that would last sixty-four days. Appearing in the passenger list:

      Thos. Brigham, aged 32
      Symon Crosby, husbandman, aged 26
      Ann Crosby, Uxer, aged 25
      Tho. Crosby, child aged 8 weeks.

      Ann was Thomas's first cousin. Soon after reaching New England, Thomas Brigham settled Cambridge, MA. His 14 acre homestead adjoining that of Simon Crosby. He owned a windmill and records show he owned a third of all the swine in town. Thomas Brigham was made by the general court a Freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Company, 18 Apr 1637 and thus became a member of the body politic and acquired the right to vote. He was selectman 1640, 1642, 1647. A constable from 1639 to 1642.

      In 1637 when Thomas was about 34, married Mercy Hurd, aged about 21. (The name Hurd is only traditional, and the Rice Genealogy by Ward is responsible for the tradition.)

      Family links: Spouse: Mercy Hurd Brigham Rice Hunt (1615 - 1693); Children: Thomas Brigham (1641 - 1717), Mary Brigham Fay (1647 - 1676)

      Note: According to: Brigham, Willard Irving Tyler, The History of the Brigham Family, Vol. 1, New York: Grafton, 1907, Thomas is buried here without a marker.

      Burial: Old Burying Ground, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA

      Maintained by: Ken Nagel
      Originally Created by: Linda Mac
      Record added: Jun 16, 2009
      Find A Grave Memorial# 38419321
    Person ID I5190  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 26 Apr 2019 

    Father John BRIGHAM,   b. of Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Constance WATSON,   b. of Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F16094  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mercy (BRIGHAM),   b. Abt 1618, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1693, Marlborough, Middlesex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 75 years) 
    Married Abt 1637  Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Thomas BRIGHAM  [natural]
     2. John BRIGHAM  [natural]
     3. Mary BRIGHAM  [natural]
     4. Hannah BRIGHAM  [natural]
     5. Samuel BRIGHAM  [natural]
    Last Modified 26 Apr 2019 19:38:14 
    Family ID F2877  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart