Herbert Ierson Brackett.

Brackett genealogy: descendants of Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth and Captain Richard Brackett of Braintree. With biographies of the immigrant fathers, their sons, and others of their posterity online

. (page 1 of 67)
Online LibraryHerbert Ierson BrackettBrackett genealogy: descendants of Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth and Captain Richard Brackett of Braintree. With biographies of the immigrant fathers, their sons, and others of their posterity → online text (page 1 of 67)
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Our fathers, who were they?"

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"I have observed that old people live much in
the past. As I grow older I find m3'self turning
oftener to the days in the old home. I hear the
patter and the prattle of childish feet and voice ;
light step of youth and maid; sober footfall and
serious word of man and matron; the slowing step
and failing voice of age. All, all are gone! I
alone am left of

'The dear home faces whereupon
The fitful firelight paled and shown.
Hence forward, listen as I will
The voices of that hearth are still.
How strange it seems with so much gone
Of Hfe and love to still live on.'"

Mrs. Silence J. Soule.



,, '^^^' VORK ,

'(PUBLIC library!

^^-^stor, Lenox and rildw ,






Two hundred fifty years ago on or near the
site of the monument perhaps could be seen on a
clear and pleasant day, the herculean form of the
man in whose memory the monument is erected,
with hand shading his brow as he strained his
vision to see the limits of his vast domain border-
ing on the most beautiful of the island-gemmed baj-s
on the coast of Maine. In the present time there
are few successive minutes in a day when descend-
ants of his are not passing over its waters to and
from his beloved Casco. As they glide over the
bay, if they choose, the}^ can see where or near
where he stood, and looking also may honor his
memory with a thought. Let them think of him as
Portland's first settler. If to this they object because
the distinction was by chance, then let them think
of him as the Deputy President of Ligonia. If this
does not please them for the reason that the honor
was but the gift of his fellow men, then let them
think of him as the George Cleeve who

"Would be tenant to never a man in
New England."



A (description of the coat of arms, a cut of which appears on
page 554, is

Shield, sable (black), three garbs, or (gold). Crest, goat's
head, or. Wreath in six divided, the two colors of the shield, black
and gold. Helmet and mantle, or. Scroll, sable. In the introduc-
tion on page 6 it is stated that this coat of arms is not claimed by any
other than the Brackett family. It is claimed by the Brickett family;
its right has not been established in any court of heraldry.

The cut of the coat of arms on page 438, in many particulars, is
like the coat of arms of the Brockett family, described.

Shield of gold with cro^s patonce (three points to each arm of
the cross, slightly curved), sable. The crest a brock or young
deer lodged.

Some of those persons who have representations of the coat of
arms appearing on page 438 are authority for the statement that
the cross is gold faintly outlined with red on a shield of black, its
border blue; the crest a brock, statant.


Cleeve's Monument,

Opposite to vii

Site where Anthony Brackett was killed, . . Opposite to 65

[A sign was nailed to a tree on Deering avenue,
Portland, Me., giving the location of the house of
Anthony Brackett, where tradition said it stood, and
where is now a cellar-hole and a tree growing in it, as
shown in the picture. Anthony Brackett was killed
near the spot. The locality is about one mile west of
the city hall, four or five rods east from Deering avenue,
near the bank under which the Worcester & Nashua
Branch of the Boston & Maine railroad now (1907)
runs. It is in the "front field" of the Deering farm
and back of Deering Park.]

Map of Falmouth and Casco bay,

Map of Berwick, ist Parish,

Plat of First church of Falmouth, 1763,

Map of Greenland and Rye,

Coat of Arms. . . . •

Coat of Arms (Braintree),







Chapter I.
George Cleeve, the Deputy President of Ligonia, . . 10

Chapter II.
Anthony Brackett, the Immigrant, of Portsmouth, . . 47

Chapter III.
Captain Anthony Brackett of Falmouth, .... GO

Chapter IV.
Thomas Brackett of Fahnouth, ...... 72

Chapter V.
Anthony Brackett, the Soldier, ...... 76

Chapter VI.
Zachariah Brackett of Back Cove, ..... 81

Chapter VII.
Lieutenant Joshvm Brackett of Greenland, .... 87

Chapter VIII.


Samuel Brackett, the First in Berwick, .... 94

Chapter IX.
Samuel Brackett, Jr., of Berwick, ..... 99

Chapter X.
Anthony Brackett of Boston, ...... 102

Chapter XI.
Captain Richard Brackett of Braintree, .... 109


PART 11.


Division 1.
John IJrackett of Rye, and His Descendants, . . . 122

Division 2.
Colonel Thomas Brackett of Bristol, and His Descendants, . 124

Division 3.
Abraham Brackett of Falmouth, and His Descendants, . 133

Division 4.
Anthony Brackett, Jr., of Stroudwater, and His Descendants, 158

Division 5.
Thomas Brackett of Morrill's Corner, and His Descendants, 183

Division 6.
Zachariah Brackett, Jr., of Stevens' Plains, and His De-
scendants, . . . . . . .212

Division 7.

Lieutenant Joshua Brackett of Presumpscot, and His De-
scendants, ....... 227

Division 8.
John Brackett of Berwick, and His Descendants, . . 253

Division 9.
Isaac Brackett of Berwick, and His Descendants, . . 285

Division 10.
Samuel Brackett of Berwick, and His Descendants, . . 290

Division 11.
Deacon James Brackett of Berwick, and His Descendants, . 311

Division 12.
Joshua Brackett of Acton, Me., and His Descendants, . 345

Division 13.
Captain John Brackett of Greenland, and His Descendants, 359



Division 14.
Samuel Brackett of New Market, and His Descendants, . 384

Divisiox 15.
Anthony Brackett of Falmouth, and His Descendants, . 410

Division 16.
James Brackett, the Peacemaker, and His Descendants, . 436

Division 17.
Captain Nathaniel Brackett of Greenland, and His De-
scendants, 477

Division 18.
Ebenezer Brackett of Dedham, and His Descendants, . -485

Division 19.
John Brackett of Dedham. and His Descendants, . . 519

Division 20.
Joseph Brackett of Braintree, and His Descendants, . . 52(i

Division 21.
Nathan Brackett of Braintree, and His Descendants, . . 535

Appendix .......... 581

Index 587


THE PREPARATION of the Brackett Genealogy has been in
course for over fifty years. One person essayed to compile the
genealogy of a branch of the family whose progenitor was the
compiler's great-grandfather; another, in addition to such a task,
attempted to give a brief account of the immigrant forefathers.
Many have worked along different lines, each gathered data and
recorded it which, but for their forethought, would have been lost.
All these several collections have been utilized in compiling this
volume; the great assistance they have afforded the writer can hard-
ly be estimated.

The busy mind and pen of Mr. Adino Nye Brackett as early as
1840, were employed in the writing of an account of the lives of some
of his ancestors, and a genealogy of the branch of the family, of
which his grandfather was the progenitor. He was born in 1777,
in Greenland, perhaps within ten miles from where Anthony, the
selectman, lived and died; he lived there or near there, until he reached
manhood, but Greenland had not been his home for over forty years
at the time he wrote; he was then living in Eancaster, N. H., and
was well advanced in years. He wrote from his recollections of
what had been told him, and, perhaps, had not recently visited the
scenes of his childhood to verify and add to his recollections. He
had talked with a man on the subject of the family history, viz.: his
grandfather, who in turn had the opportunity to learn his ancestry in
America, from one, his father, Joshua Brackett of the third genera-
tion, who had seen and well remembered the immigrant.

Yet proof by oral or other tradition that Anthony, the selectman,
was the immigrant forefather of all the early Maine and New Hamp-
shire Bracketts is not furnished by Adino Nye Brackett. However,
through a contemporary of his, this and other traditions are ours. A
Sarah Brackett, the wife of Elias Field of Phillips, Maine, was the
person. It was her pleasure to attentively listen to the grandsire's
tales, and being blessed with a retentive memory and a sense of
their value, she faithfully repeated them to others. From the lips of
her father, Abraham Brackett, she heard the story of the good old
man who settled at "the Pascatawa," and of his courageous sons; of
the sacking and destruction of Falmouth; of the flight to Hampton;
and of the return to the old farm at Back Cove. She had no chil-
dren, but near her lived her brother James, who had a family. To
his children she told the traditions. One of his children born in
1801, was named Nathaniel Mitton Brackett, named for his grand-
father's great-uncle. The fact is instanced as showing how faithful-
ly oral traditions were preserved in this branch of the family.

A Mr. Luther Brackett about i860 made quite extensive col-
lections of data relative to the descendants of his grandfather. The
writer had the benefit of his work, and it is pleasing to state that it


was found to have been performed with care and accuracy. Also in
the sixties, Mr. Jeffrey Richardson published the names of, and other
data pertaining to, about six hundred descendants of Captain
Richard Brackett of Braintree.

During the next thirty years, though several persons made col-
lections of material with the designs probably of constructing a
genealogical tree limited to the descendants of their respective father
or grandfather, it is not known that any person endeavored to write
an extensive histor}^ of the family. However, in the decade begin-
ning with 1890, several persons commenced lines of work more
extensive in scope than had been theretofore attempted; each had a
design of his own and worked along lines independent of the others.
Ransom D. Brackett of Coldwater, Michigan, during a period of
about six years, conducted a fair-sized correspondence and made
quite far-reaching investigations. He suspended this pursuit for a
time with the intention of resuming it when he had the leisure so to
do. On Christmas day in 1902, he died while attending Cambridge
University. Through the kindness of his father, Mr. Albert E.
Brackett, the writer had the benefit of the labors of this talented
young man.

Two gentlemen, Judge F. M. Ra)^ and Mr. L,. B. Chapman,
living in Portland, Me., about the 3'ear 1896, in their efforts to
preserve and publish facts of local historical value pertaining to
persons and events of whom they had a personal knowledge, made
easy of access man}' matters of interest relative to Bracketts who had
lived in Portland and its vicinity. Family records, abstracts from
ancient deeds and the recollections and statements of aged persons
of the name, were published in the local papers. Copies of their
articles were furnished the writer. From Mr. Chapman were also
received many clippings and original notes, the product of his
research in must}' records and papers, the jottings of conversations
and memoranda of his own recollections.

During the same 3'ear, perhaps at an earlier date, Mr. Alpheus
ly. Brackett of Everett, Mass., commenced collecting data and mak-
ing researches to a greater extent than any person had done. Asso-
ciated with him as a helper was Mr. Nathan Goold of Portland.
The records of Berwick, Me., were made to jield their hidden treas-
ure; all publications pertaining to the Portsmouth Bracketts were
carefully searched and the collections of Messrs. Ray and Chapman
were carefully collated. The result was a new publication, a most
valuable series of charts in design, appearing in the form of leaflets. Mr. A. L. Brackett distributed gratuitous!}', and copies can
now be found in most large libraries. He carried his preparations
much further towards a still larger publication, collected a large
amount of both genealogical and historical data at a considerable
expense, when, because of other matters requiring all his attention,
he was unable to carry out his original design. In the year 1900 he
placed all his manuscripts and other material at the disposal of the

Mrs. Grace Brackett Scott of Newmarket, N. H., has lent her
aid to quite every person who has attempted the compiling of the
family history. Favorably gifted and ardently inclined for research,
and living quite all her life in the field the most promising of results,


from her childhood days she has improved her opportunities to
marked advantage and is well equipped with reliable informtition as
to the history of the famil}' in New Hampshire from the period of the
coming of the immigrant. The writer is indebted to her for data of
quite all kinds, not only a copy of her well kept notes, but also of
correspondence, for tradition, for story, for inter\news with those
who would not answer a letter, for the searching of records, for trips
for discovery of sources of information, and for viewing premises to
be written about. No request that was made did she fail to respond
to; many a page in this volume is due to her untiring efforts, and
unstinted praise she is deserving of.

The many correspondents of the writer have done quite all that
was asked of them, and through their doing those things the work
has been completed.

Mention should be made of others who have rendered the writer
most valuable assistance, viz.: Mr. A. R. Stubbs, librarian of the
Maine Genealogical Society, Mr. Frank V. Loring of Phcenix, Ari-
zona, Mrs. Marcia F. Hilton of East Andover, N. H., and Mrs. J.
M. Hilton of Belmont, Mass. The three last named are genealogists
who appreciate a favor and return two for one received. The writer
acknowledges that he can never hope to make payment in kind for
their services to him.

The waiter, in the fall of 1897, set out to compile a history of the
Brackett family in America. Among the many genealogies in the
Library of Congress there was not one which contained mention of
his Brackett ancestry.

A review of New England local histories disclosed that Bracketts
were among the first settlers of Boston and Braintree, Mass.; Ports-
mouth, N. H., and Portland, Maine; also that they had serv^ed in
the Indian and colonial wars. Whatever may be said to portray the
fierceness of conflicts with the Indians in any part of our countr}^
nowhere else than in Maine was it true that for many years the
Indians were victorious; there the Whites returned to their homes as
suppliants. From the commencement of King Philip's war to the
fall of Quebec, there were over forty years of warfare for the people
of Maine and New Hampshire. At no point was the conflict hotter,
nowhere did the contending parties meet oftener and battle longer,
with such varying success on both sides, as at Falmouth. During
these bloody struggles, in the front ranks, in command at the most
crucial places and times were men of our name. They did their
duty, sacrificed their lives,

"Fought like brave men long and well,"
as did their comrades in arms, and are as deserving of having the
story of their lives told to their descendants, as were any of their day.

The thought occurred that to genealogical data, it would not be
amiss, if were added accounts of the lives of our early ancestors in
America in compiling the family history. Such accounts appear in
the work. It is hoped that some measure of justice has been meted
out to those deserving men whom oblivion was fast claiming. Should
the recounting of their deeds make your pulse to quicken and your
eyes to brighten, imagine, if you can, the quickness of the pulse and
the brightness of the eye of your ancestor when a boy as he listened
to his grandsire's tales of these very deeds, and wonder how it was
that in your line some one failed to pass down those tales.


Faithful work has been performed to correctly trace the lineage
of all of the name mentioned in this volume: however, in a few^
instances, lineaj^e is based only on prol)ability, and in one or two
instances, on conjecture: in those instances the probabilities and
conjectures are stated at lenj^^th in their proper connection.

It has not V)een learned from what part of Great Britain,
Anthony, the selectman, came to America. It has been written of
him, with little or no authority, that he was a Welshman; again that
he was a Scotchman. He probably was an Englishman. It is quite
generally claimed and supposed that he was closely related to the
Bracketts who settled in Boston: it is perhaps true that the relation-
ship was so near that they of that day could trace it, but it is not
thought that it was so close as first cousins. The name Richard
even to this day occurs but once among the Brackett descendants
of Anthony and that in conxparatively recent years. The name
Anthony does not occur among the Brackett descendants of Richard.
However, as one was an lipiscopalian and the other a Puritan it can
properly be inferred that they were not on friendly terms. There is
nothing to show or to warrant the belief that Anthon}^ and Richard
were closely related. There is a tradition among the descendants of
Richard that three brothers by the name of Brackett were among the
earliest immigrants to Massachusetts and the first of the name to
settle in America. It required no great stretch of imagination to saj-
that the numljer of the brothers was four, and it has been so pub-
lished. The writer has never heard anything to confirm svich publi-
cation. (See further as to tradition of the three brothers in chapter
on life of Captain Richard). The fourth brother was stated to be
Anthony, and among the others one was John who settled in New
Haven, Conn. The latter was not a Brackett; he was a Brockett.

A coat of arms, if the family ever had one, would serve to -dis-
close where in Kngland it had its residence. Many of the descend-
ants of James Brackett, the peacemaker (son of Joshua, son of
Thomas, son of Anthony), have in their possession illustrations of a
coat of arms which some of them contend is the real coat of arms of
the family. It is understood by the writer, though he does not
afhrm it as a fact, that in 1805 a James Brackett brought from Eng-
land to America, the first illustration of this coat of arms and claimed
it was the coat of arms of the Bracketts. It is not known that an
illustration of said coat was possessed by an}' Brackett in America
prior to his day; in fact the early Maine Bracketts, so far as has
jjeen learned, never had any knowledge or traditions of a coat of arms
of the family. The coat of arms referred to, is the coat of arms of
the Brockett famih'. There is some difference in the illustrations pos-
sessed by the Brocketts and those possessed by the descendants of
Jame.s Brackett, in the particulars of the position of the stag, and
also in the name appearing in these illustrations, it being Brockett or
Brackett according to its posses.sor. It is thought that these differ-
ences can be accounted for.

There are no more reasons for belie\-ing that the uame Brackett
is a variation of the name Brockett than there is for believing that
the name Brackett is a variation of any other name ending in e-t-t as
Hreckett or Brickett. There is no cited instance of a person b}- the
name of Brackett tracing his ancestry in the direct male line to a


Brockett, nor vice versa. With the person the name is ahva^'S
Brackett; there are instances of confusion in books and other publi-
cations where Brockett is made to appear Brackett. For instance,
in the publication of names of men from Connecticut who served in
the war of the revolution, it appears that ten persons by the name of
Brackett were in the service of that colony during said war. The
fact is that not a person by the name of Brackett was in its service;
all of the ten referred to in the publication were Brocketts and
undoubtedly so called themselves. Several other instances can be
cited and also a few where the name Brackett appears as Brockett.
All this, however, proves nothing relative to origin of the names.

The assumption that Brockett and Brackett refer to the same
family in England in comparatively recent times, has been pro-
ductive of references to men by the name of Brockett who attained
some distinction at times since the sixteenth century, to prove how
ancient the family is; hence we read —

"Among those who held a place in Cambridge College as one of
its professors, was a man b}' the name of William Brockett (in many
instances deliberately changed to Brackett) an enlightened instruc-
tor and a Welshman."

Also is instanced a reference to a Brockett Castle as Brackett
Castle, near Strathaven, vScotland. The following settles all doubt
as to its correct name and to what was and is the castle:

"Rankin Manse, Strathaven, Scotland,"
April 24, 1906.
Herbert I. Brackett, Esq.,

Washington, U. S. A.

Dear Sir : — I was much interested by the receipt of your letter.
Castle Brockett is now the name of a farm. I have interviewed the
farmer and also his older brother who were both brought up on the
farm when their father was tenant of it. They remember that in
their young days, that is about forty or fifty years ago, a small por-
tion of the walls of a ruined tower stood at a corner of the shedding ;
it was pulled down to make room for a new hay shed. It seems to
have been one of the mere rude square towers which are not uncom-
mon in the lowlands of Scotland and may have been occupied in
ancient days by some retainer of the Douglases who were all power-
ful in this district in the 14th, 15th and i6th centuries. But there is
no record of its old inhabitants or any thing connected with it.

I visited the proprietrix of the farm who lives not far off. She
inherited it and a neighboring farm from her father ; her maiden
name was Rowatt, and her family had possessed the land for nearly
two hundred j-ears. Previous to that it was held by a family called
Allan, and before them by a family called Craig, who held it in cove-
nanting times, that is in the latter part of the 17th century. I have
not been able to trace the ownership any further back.

The origin of the name, Castle Brocket, I have not been able to
ascertain. The name Brocket has now disappeared from this par-
ish. In the neighboring parish of Lesmahagow there are one or two
people who bear the name, but they cannot trace their descent fur-
ther back than a couple of generations. In that parish there is also
a farm called Brockets Brae. So there must have been Brockets


about at one time, though I have not been able to find any mention
of the name in the parish records * * * _

With good wishes.

Yours sincerely,

T. M. Dey."

In the writer's letter to Dr. Dey, to which the foregoing is in
reply, nothing is contained about the Brocketts. It is clear that the
name Brackett is not known in those parts.

The writer has heard from different sources that near the boun-
dary between Scotland and England there were ancient gravestones
with the name Brackett inscribed upon them. Captain Horace \V.
Brackett wrote, "it was in a grave-yard in North Umberland
county, England, at the mouth of the T^me river near the Scottish
border * * * , it may be possible that the spelling was an 'o'."

In the chapter on the life of Captain Richard Brackett, there is
contained such data pertaining to Bracketts (not to Brocketts) and
tending to show in what part of England the family lived and what
position it occupied in the social scale one hundred years prior to
the settlement of America, as the writer has been able to collect.
Here it will be said that the writer is of the opinion that Anthony
Brackett came to America from the vicinity of Plymouth, England,
though he has nothing more on which to base it than that, from there
a considerable portion of the immigrants came, who settled in Ports-
mouth, N. H., quite all of whom were Episcopalians.

Online LibraryHerbert Ierson BrackettBrackett genealogy: descendants of Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth and Captain Richard Brackett of Braintree. With biographies of the immigrant fathers, their sons, and others of their posterity → online text (page 1 of 67)