An American Dream

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Wolston BROCKWAY's Ancestry

Created 19 December 2007


Wolston was born about 1638 in London, Middlesex, England and married about 1660 in Lyme, New London, Connecticut, Hannah BRIGGS. She was christened 2 August 1646 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, and died 6 February 1687, in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Wolston died 11 November 1717, in Lyme, New London, Connecticut.

One BASSETT Family in America
Buell Burdett BASSETTE
Pages 124 & 125.

Wolston BROCKWAY             b. a 1638
Hannah BRIGGS                m. (1) 1660 Widow Hannah BRIGGS HARRIS
b. a 1643                    m. (2) before Mch., 1707/8 Hannah ________
d.  Feb'y 6, 1687/8 ae a 45  d. a Nov 1717, ae a 79

1642, Aug. 28. Vol. IX, p 12 Boston Ser: "Hannah of Wm BRIGGS born and burried 28 day 6th month." This is the first Hannah BRIGGS who did not live a day. Our Hannah above was born, doubtless within a year thereafter and even as it would bring her first matrimonial feast, which follows, close to her fourteenth birthday.

1657, Sept. 10 p 62 Do: "John HARRIS and Hannah BRIGGS daughter of William BRIGGS of Boston were married 10th 7th month -- by John ENDECOTT, Governor." Both in fact were of Boston. He lived probably not more than two years after this. Whether he died in Boston or moved to Lyme, Ct., with his little family of wife and one son (John HARRIS b. Boston Aug. 8, 1658) and died at Lyme is not known. The chances favor the latter, and that when he died, Wolston BROCKWAY saw her worth and spoke quickly for her.

1660 To be twice married at seventeen years of age is an experience not given to many; but such was the lot of Hannah BRIGGS. This second marriage took place probably in Lyme and probably very shortly after the death of her first husband.

1666. P 248 New London Hist (1852): At a Court of Asistants held a t New London "Wolston BROCKWAY was complained of by Matthew GRISWOLD for entertaining a runaway at his house". In connection with this Matthew GRISWOLD brought defamation suit against Wolston BROCKWAY and his wife; and in turn Wolston BROCKWAY and his wife brought suit against Matthew GRISWOLD.

1687/8, Feb'y 6. P 7 B Gen (1887): Hannah BRIGGS HARRIS BROCKWAY dies today at Lyme -- "Goodwife" BROCKWAY". She died at the early age of 45, the mother of ten children by second marriage, eight of them now being minors. She left also one son John HARRIS, born Boston Aug. 6 1658. He lived at Lyme as shown by Wolston BROCKWAY's interest in "John HARIS" in items below of 1687/8 and 1702.


1638. P 1 BROCKWAY Gen (1890): Wolston BROCKWAY was born in England about this date, if we consider him as just of age when he buys the following land and dwelling iin Lyme, Connecticut, where he was one of the earliest settlers. A deposition which he made in 1714 giving age as "seventy years or thereabouts" gives some latitude in placing birthday around 1644, but considering deed below we would place it a little earlier. There is a tradition that he came from Silver street, London. As yet we know nothing more of his antecedents. It is a distinguishing mark, indeed, for any erlier settler to be the sole progenitor of a name that lives and multiplies. Wolston BROCKWAY has this distinction; he is the ancestor of all who bear the name BROCKWAY in America so far as known.

It will be seen from the following that he was a "cooper" as well as a "planter". In Vol. I, on page 25 of the Lyme records his original autograph may be seen, along with that of Henry CHAMPION, the father of BROCKWAY's son-in-law Thomas CHAMPION. Wolston BROCKWAY lived a long, useful and active life to which the records which he left eloquently testify. The name BROCKWAY has been associated with the ferry in Lyme and with Joshua Town on tghe Connecticut River, five or six miles from the mouth, for 250 years and propably will continue tobe forever.

1659, Dec. 3. P 3 Do: Wolston BROCKWAY buys land with house and barn thereon, of John REYNOLDS, both of Saybrook, the land being described as "one ye east side of ye river over against ye town of Saybrooke", price 20 sterling. This house was probagly on Duck River, at some distance south of the present village of Lyme, and near Long Island Sound. When a young man in those days built of bought a house it generally ment that he was prepairing for a family and we believe he was either engaged or had actually married Hannah BRIGGS HARRIS at this time of purchase. We have treated the marriage or engagenent and have put the (_________) Wolston at this time is about 22 while Hannah is 17.

1664, May 10. Vol III, p 15 C C, Hartford: "Matthew GRISWOLD plntf Contra John BURDEN & Wolston BROCKWAY Defndts In an action of slander to the damage of 50. The Jury finds for the plntf cost of court only, 1-17s."

1671, Aug. Vol. II, p 558 G C, Ptd: Wolston BROCKWAY with our Henry CHAMPION, Matthew GRISWOLD, Reynold MARVIN and others, were engaged in the celebrated battle with pitchforks and rakes between the people of Lyme and New London for the possession of the meadow lands between the two places. The Lyme men carried off Ensign MINOR of New London as a hostage, but finally they released him on promise that the law would prevail in the matter. "Soe drinking a dram together with some seeming friendship every man departed to his home."

1671/2, Mch. 12. Vol. III, p 122 C C: The case came into the County Court at Hartford with result thatr New London was fined 9 and Lyme 5, both fines being remitted, however, later.

1674, July 17. P 127 Do: Gregory WOLVERTON of Hartford, rich tanner, remembers Wolstone BROCKWAY in his will this way: "Mor over I give to wolstone brockwood seaner, ten pounds and to wiliam brockwood his son ten pounds." They were kinsmen of some degree as shown in item of 1709.

1675/6, Mch. 10. BVol. I, p 66 L R: "A deed of saile from Wolston BROCKWAYE, Planter, to Isack WALTERUS" of Lyme, Carpenter: A piece of land in the planting field "in consideration of a deare & just vallew by me in hand Receaved". Neither value not acreage are given, but it is bounded East by the Black Hall river.

1676/7, Feb'y 9. P 4 BROCKWAY Gen (1890): In a deed which he gives to Richard SMITH, Wolston BROCIKWAY is styled "cooper".

1676/7, Feb'y 13. P 4 Do: He was chosen a town hayward.

1677, Sept. 24. P 4 Do: At town meeting Wolstone BROCKWAY was chosen fence-viewer for the year ensuing. He must have done well at this job for the office stuck to him more of less all through life, being so chosen finally in old age on Dec. 10, 1714.

1677. Vol. I, p 79 L R: "A deed of saile from Wolston BROCKWAY unto John ROBBINS: know all men by these presents that I Wolstone BROCKWAY with hannah my wife inhabitance of Lyme . . . . for pay in hand Receved do sell . . . . a sartaine parsell of meeadow Land containing by estimation one acre, by the side of Black Hall River . . . . it amounts to two acres and a halfe . . . . & have hearunto sett our hand and seale in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred seventy seven.

  Witness:  Richard SMITH                                  Wolston BROCKWAY
            Francis SMITH                                  Hannah BROCKWAY"

1679. Vol. I, p 18 T V, in back: "Wolstone BROCKWAY is graunted the Rocky point against his house not prejudicing high wayes and passages to the watter ffor cattell."

1680, Dec. 24. Vol. I, p 43 T V: "Walstone BROCKWAY is chosen pound keeper." He was chosen likewise for the same office in 1682 and 1684.

1681, Dec. 28. P 50 Do: "Peter PRATT and Wolstone BROCKWAYE are collectors for Mr. NOYSEs Ratts for the year following." (Mr NOYSE was the minister.)

1682. P 6 B Gen (1887): He was one of the "stewards" of Lyme with Reynold MARVIN and is on a list of proprietorw of the town this year.

1682,Apl. 29. P 4 Do: Wolston BROCKWAY, Planter, sells to Christopher CHREDOPHUS of New London, for 100, "all my land purchased of John REYNOLDS. in the neck of land commonly called Black Point, twenty acres of upland and three and one-half of meadow." In this deed, in addition to "Planter", he calls himself "Cooper of Black Hall".

1684, Dec. 29. Vol. I, p 99 V T: At a town meeting, Simon de WOLF & Wolston BROCKWAY are chosen haywards." Wolston BROCKWAY was also chosen pound keeper.

16-- June 1. P 4 B Gen (1887): His ear-mark for cattle, recorded at Lyme, was afterward transferred to his grandson William BROCKWAY Jun'r.

1686/7. Vol. I, p 29 P R, in back: "Wolston BROCKWAY is graunted the twelve acres on [       ] Land against the Lower Ciove of twelve myle Island att seven shills pr acra and that is 4 4s and the rest of his proportion he is to have in tghe insur[       ] as it shall be aprized by the measurers where it may be convenient."

1687/8, Mch. 5. Vol. I, p 193 P R: "first unto Goodman BROOKEWAY that he is allowed for John HARIS one pound seven shillings. Also that he shall have the Remainder of the fourth division in sumeconvenient place betwixt Josuah's Land granted to Mr. Wm ELY and fishing brok if it is to be thar found and to be prized according of other lands granted in the said division."

1688, Aug. 27. P 5 B Gen (1890): Walstone BROCKWAY, under the special tax collected under Governor Andros, was assessed 0-8-7, his property being listed as follows: "3persons 60-00-00; house and Lands, 02-00-00; 2 oxen, two cows, 16-00-00; 1 : 3 yerling, 5 : 2 yerlings, 12-10-00; 1 mare, 2 hogs, 12 sheep, 13-00-00; total 103-10-00." There were seven unmarried children in the family at this time, while the mother had died early in the year. Perhaps the "three persons" were Wolston Sen'r, Wolston Jun'r, and Richard; the girls not counting, nor William, since he was of age.

1689, Nov. 27. P 4 Do: Wolston BROCKWAY Sen'r was chosen surveyor, Next year he was re-elected surveyor and chosen also a fence viewer.

1689/90, Jan'y. Vol. I, p 34 P R, in back: "The estat which is to be distributed is 755-14-11 and is at none shillings and nin penc pr Ac." Wolston BROCKWAY with share of 23-14-10 draws 11-11-05 of the above.

1691, Nov. 30. Vol. IV, p 45 P C, Hartford: "At a metting of a Committee appointed by the town of Lyme for the Disposall of Lands: Wolston BROCKWAY Sen'r proposes for the 1oo acrs of Land that goodmanBENET did propose for he Layin down the same . . . . John HARICE proposeth for a small peec of Land a the falls River

1696, Aug. 17. Vol. I, p 117 T V: "At a towne metting Wolstone BROCKWAY Sen'r, John COLT and John Lee are chosen listers for the year ensewing."

1697. P 7 B Gen (1887): There is in 1697 a deed of gift from Wolston BROCKWAY to his son Wolston of land, "commonly known as the Planting Field, where my said son hath erected himself a welling house", near the lot of his own son William. In the same year he devised land to his eldest son William, "according to God's command to provide for my children." Later he gave some land to son John.

1698. P 7 Do: He was granted by the town the remainder of his roportion", viz: "the neck of land against the lower corner of Twelve Mile Island" and "at the upper end of the meadow, at the fishing brook, up to the landing place, near his house", showing that he then lived in that part of the town.

1698/9, Mch. 24. P 3 Do: A highway laid out is described thus: "The highway on the Southward side of Duck river is as follows: First, the highway from Wolston BROCKWAY's landing placed is four rods wide, the landing place being in length from said highway, southwest ten rods and a half to a stub" . . . . This road passed the "planting field" and thence to "Black Hall River". Between SMITH's neck and the planting field it passed Thomas CHAMPION's house, Richard SMITH's yard, Edward LAY's land and William BROCKWAY's corner.

1699, Dec. 18. Vol. I, p 123 T V: "At the same metting Walston BROCKWAY Senr was chosen Constable for the year ensewing but refuses to sarve as a cunstable." Wolston BROCKWAY was above 60 years of age and probably the refusal to serve was due as much to age as to the common unpopularity of the office. Though getting old for such an office as Constable his interest was still keen no doubt in the state of the times, whetherat home of abroad. This is the year when the Elector of Darmstadt, in anticipation of a total eclipse of the sun, which scholars had announced, issued a proclamation warning the prople to prepare for the "dangerous eclipse" by carefully housing all cattle the barn doors and windows being fully covered those of houses still more so, "so that the bad atmosphere might not find lodgment because such eclipses frequently occasion whooping-cough, epilepsy, and paralysis fever and other diseases." Although lotteries were still much used by State and Church, some advanced reformers at this time had begun to denounce them as "cheats" and their promoters as "pillagers". In manufacturing, woolen cloth was just beginning to be made in New England.

1700/1, Jan'y 27. P 131 Do: "At the same metting it was voated that Walstone BROCKWAY senier shall have the nally of forty shillings of land layd out to him near unto Richard BROCKWAY land one the left hand machamoodus path which is in Lewe of an acer of meadow at black point." (Machamoodus is the Indian name of East Haddam.)

1702, April 20. Vol. I, p 43 P R, in back: Walstone BROCKWAY Senr Complaineth that John HARIS and his Daughter Sarah and Jeams ROBINSON was left out of the last Distribution. The Commity declare thaqt we cannot find any thing Dew to Goodman BROCKWAY for John HARIS and Sarah was not of agge; thar is sume thing Dew to JeamsROBESON in this last Distribution."

1702, April 20. P 43 Do: "Att a meeting of the Committy These whos names are hear unto subscribed being the greeved persons concerning the fourth devision doe hearby declare that what the determination shall be of the Committy shall do concearning the said grevanceshell be binding to us to Rest sattisfied and contented and ab ide by it as witness our hands." Wolston BROCKWAY is one of some 15 to 18 who signed this waiver.

1702. P7 B Gen (1887): In a deed he gives certain propety to his son Wolston "feeling that he was growing old" and in return Wolston Jun'r promises to provide for his father, but Wolston Jun'r died in 1707 before his father. Later he gave the homestesd in Lyme to son Richard to care for him and his wife.

1702, June 9. Vol. I, p 140 T V: "Wolston BROCKWAY Sener that being Dew to him in the first distrebution two pounds: At the third hill to the Westward of flat Rock Hill voated."

1702, June 9. Vol. I, p 142 Do: "Wolston BROCKWAY Senr 54: lott,

   himself and all his children                                          19-07-06
   at the third hill from the flat Rocke Hill                             02-07-06
   20 acres of bogs and upland : to the eastward of the great plaine
   at tantome morantum at 3 6s                                           01-15-00
   also 20 acres by brockway lot to Eastward                              03-20-00
   8 acre at the Northend of Sam tinker grant                             01-04-00
   the Remainder at flat Rock Hill                                        20-04-00"

1702, June 23. P 146 Do: "At the same metting it was voated that the committy for the ordering of the Towne Schole shall be chose by papers. The committy are as following: Sejent TINKER, Wolstone BROCKWAY Sener, Leftent BRUNSON, Serg WAYE, and Richard LORD. the abovesd committy are ordered hearby to agree with the schole mnaster of a schole Darm soe as may best answer her end of the Lawe to promoat Learning and best accomodate the towne, voated."

1702/3, Feb'y 1. P 4 B Gen (1887): He bought of Rev. Moses NOYES forty acres of plow land, and also received from the town 200 acres at Tantum Morantum, near what is now BROCKWAY's Ferry; but it is not know that he lived there.

1703, April 27. Vol. I p 151 T V: "Wolston BROCKWAY Senr chosen" one of five "surveiyers for each of thar quarters for the year ensewing."

1704. P 6 B Gen (1887): He was chosen sheep-master and was then located "at the third hill to the Westward of Flatfock hill, and his division to the Eastward f the great plain at Tantum Morantum".

1707/8, Mch. 13. P4 B Gen (1890): Wolston BROCKWAY and wife Hannah by deed gave their homestead to son richard, with reservation during life and a stipulation that he should pat 15 to his brother John, on their death. This is a second sife Hannah of whom this is the first notice we have; she died probably befor the distribution of April 7, 1719.

1708, Dec. 24. Vol. I, p 163 T V: "Wolston BROCKWAY Sem'r is chosen one of five inspectrs of all sorts of timber to prevent transportation out of this towne contrary to the laws of this Colony" . . . .

1709. P 7 B Gen (1887): He devises property again to son Willliaml in consideration of a legacy bequeathed by his "Kinsman Mr. (Gregory) WILTERTON of Hartford". (see WOLTERTON; also item above in 1674.)

1714, July 10. P 3 B Gen (1890): He made deposition at Lyme stating his age as "seventy years or thereabouts" and stated that he had dwelt in Lyme for 50 years past; but there are indications that both his age and the length of his residence in Lyme were placed too low.

1714, Dec. 20. T V, not paged: At town meeting Wolston BROCKWAY is chosen fence viewer so at seventy-six the townsmen still have confidence in his virility and put it to use.

1716, Sept. 5. P 7 B Gen (1887): He deeded to son Richard and also youngest son John, 5 acres near Flat Rock Hill, calling himself in this deed "Cooper". He gives John also "two iron pots and one brass skillet".

1717, May 16. P 5 Do: Wolston BROCKWAY gives deed of certain personal property to daughter Hannah WADE to take affect on death of himself and wife. This was probably his latest deed.

1717, Nov. P 5 Do: This is approximately the date of death of Wolston BROCKWAY Sen'r at Lyme at about seventy-nine years of age. Says the author, He, without doubt, died at his son William's house, in Joshuatown, near BROCKWAY's Ferry, and was interred in the first burying ground of the family on the hill side in the rear of Mr. Z. B. WARNER's home (Duck River Cemetery); but no decipherable stone marks the spot. Many of the nmext generation were buried there, and the stones are still standing, and to be read." During his lifetime he had deeded all of his land and real property to his sonshence the estate probated at New London and which follows is small. Joshua town above was so called for 250 years, after a famous Indian sachem named Joshua, who originally lived there. It is still so called, in fact, and probably will eber be. It is on the east side of the Connecticut river some fove or six miles from the mouth.

1718, Nov. 11. Vol. II, p 37 P Ct, New London: "This Court Grants administration to Richard BROCKWAY of Lyme on the Goods, Chattells and Credits of his Deceased father Wilston BROCKWAY Lat of Lyme."

1718 Dec. 9. P 41 Do: "At a Court of Probate held in New London, An Inventory of ye Estate of Woolston BROCKWAY late of Lyme Deceased was presented in this Court. Proved, accepted & ordered to be Recorded." Though ordered to be, it apparently never was recorded. the BROCKWAY Genealogy gives total, no land, 52-18. The author proably saw original paper on file.

1719, April 7. P 45 Do: "Richard BROCKWAY administratr on the Estate of his Deceased father Woolston BROCKWAY Sen'r late of Lyme presented to this Court an account of the payment of sundry Debts and charges about the Estate amounting to 24-1s-9d which is on file and that being subtracted from ye Totale sum of the Inventory, ther Remains 1-13s-8d which this Court Distribute as followeth. To the eldest son a double portion being 6s, and to the other Children 3s apeice, and to the children of Woolston BROCKWAY Jun'r Deceased 3s & to the choldren of Mary MOTT Deceased 3s."

1827. Vol. 5, p 76 Standard Encyclo: Zebulon R. BROCKWAY, penologist, born Lyme Ct., 1827, made Elmira Reformatory the model for America and Europe.


   1. HANNAH        b: 14 Sep 1664; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md: 23 Aug 1682; , New London, Connecticut.
                                    Thomas CHAMPION
                   md:    Aft 1705; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                                    John WADE
                    d:  2 Mar 1750; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
   2. WILLIAM       b: 25 Jul 1666; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md:  8 Mar 1692; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Elizabeth GREGORY.
                    d: 29 Mar 1755; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
   3. WOLSTON       b:  7 Feb 1667; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md:  4 Dec 1688; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Margaret JONES
                    d: 15 May 1707; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
   4. MARY or MARAH b: 16 Jan 1669; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md:  6 Apr 1692; , , Connecticut.
                                    Samuel MOTT.
                    d:  7 Apr 1719; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
 + 5. BRIDGET   	   b:  9 Jan 1671; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md: 23 Apr 1700; New London, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Jonathan BEEBE.
                    d:  6 Apr 1756; East Haddam, Middlesex, Connecticut.
   6. RICHARD       b: 30 Sep 1673; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md: 25 Oct 1697; 
                                    Rachael FOX
                   md:  5 May 1720; 
                                    Elizabeth TIFFANY.
   7. ELIZABETH     b: 24 May 1676; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md: 30 Nov 1697; Block Island, Newport, Rhode Island.
                                    William HARRIS.
                   md:    Mar 1711; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Roger ALGER Sr.
                    d:    Jul 1729; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
   8. SARAH         b: 26 Sep 1679; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md: 20 Jan 1703; East Haddam, Middlesex, Connecticut.
                                    Nathaniel BECKWITH
                   md:  4 Nov 1705; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Stephen SCOVIL.
                    d:  9 Jan 1740;
   9. DEBORAH       b:  1 May 1682; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md: 27 Jul 1703; Norwich, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Joseph ELDERKIN.
                    d:            ; Norwich, New London, Connecticut.
   A. JOHN          b:    Abt 1684; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                   md:    Abt 1706; , New London, Connecticut.
                                    Mary HUNTLEY
                   md:  1 Mar 1727; Lyme, New London, Connecticut.
                                    Elizabeth BANNING.
                    d: 24 Nov 1764; Surry, Cheshire, New Hampshire.
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Back to Rosetta HALE's Pedigree Chart
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