William Brewster was born in 1567 in Scrooby, Yorkshire, England, and was a member of the local gentry. He studied Latin and Greek at the University of Cambridge and left to enter the service of English ambassador Sir William Davison (1583-1599), whom he served faithfully. After Brewster’s father died in 1590 William Brewster replaced him in the positions of bailiff and postmaster of Scrooby. He married Mary Wentworth, a descendant of King Edward I. Mary and William had 11 children.
Aware of the persecution in London of religious dissenters, “the English Puritans,” William Brewster organized a group of dissenters, “the Pilgrims,” who separated from the Church of England in 1606. Two years later, together with other Pilgrims, Brewster moved to Leiden in the Netherlands to avoid harassment and religious persecution. The Pilgrims enjoyed religious freedom for twelve years in Leiden, but they became discouraged due to economic difficulties and Dutch influence on their children. The congregation voted to emigrate to America.
On September 16, 1620, Brewster along with 102 others boarded the Mayflower at Plymouth, England, for the trip to America. After a voyage of 65 days the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod but were unable to land because they had no legal rights to settle until they reached the land they had contracted. At this time they drew up the Mayflower Compact, thus creating their own government. They soon discovered Plymouth harbor and made landing December 21, 1620.
William Brewster was a signer of the Mayflower Compact and of the constitution of Plymouth Colony. He continued as leader of the colony until 1629 when an ordained minister was appointed. He was the only church officer at the Plymouth Colony. He died age 77 on April 10, 1644, at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
CAPTAIN THOMAS CLAGETT
Thomas Clagett, born in London April 3, 1645, was the youngest son of Edward and Margaret Adams, daughter of the Lord Mayor of London. Thomas was the first of the Clagetts to emigrate to America. In England, as a young man, Thomas was an officer in his Majesty’s Navy and is identified as Captain Thomas Clagett in Maryland genealogical records. He arrived in the Province of Maryland in 1670. Clagett was a landowner of a number of tracts of land: Greenland and Croome in Prince George’s County, and an estate near St. Leonard’s Town where he lived. At his father’s death he inherited lands in England, which he later willed to his eldest son Edward who returned to England to claim them. His second son, Thomas, stayed in America and claimed the estate of Weston, which remains today in the Clagett family.
Captain Thomas Clagett was a vast landowner from the start, which identifies him as a man of credit and worthy of land grants. He was a captain in the Calvert County militia, held the office of commissioner of Calvert County, coroner (1687), and vestryman of Christ Church Parish in Calvert County (1692). Until his death in 1703 Thomas Clagett remained a respected gentleman of substance and importance in his chosen country.
John Cooke traveled on the Mayflower with his father Francis Cooke, who was one of the 41 signatories of the Mayflower Compact. Francis was a wool comber from England who arrived in Leiden around 1603, earlier than the Separatist migration to the area. He was born in England probably about 1583 and died at Plymouth Colony on April 7, 1663. Although not part of the Separatist group from England, Francis Cooke and his wife Hester Mahieu (daughter of Jennie Mahieu from Canterbury, England) had an affinity for the Separatist movement, along with other members of their Leiden Walloon Church. Hester’s family was part of the French Walloon refugees that fled to Canterbury, England, where she was born in 1584. She and Francis were married in 1603. The Huguenots and Walloons were Protestant exiles from Europe. Those from France were known as the Huguenots and those from present-day Belgium were known as Walloons. Both were persecuted for their religion and left Europe for England in large numbers.
John Cooke’s mother Hester arrived at Plymouth aboard the Anne in 1623 with her other children, Jane and Jacob. Two more children, Hester and Mary, were born in Plymouth. The “division of cattle” made at Plymouth on May 22, 1627, lists Francis Cooke, wife Hester, sons John and Jacob, and daughters Jane, Hester and Mary. This is the earliest record giving names of his wife and children. Francis Cooke was one of the “Purchasers” who bought in 1627 all the rights of the “Adventurers,” in effect saving the colony from bankruptcy.
Edward and Matthew Griswold were born at Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England. According to a deposition in the state records of Hartford Connecticut, Edward was born in 1607. The two brothers emigrated to America about 1640. Edward brought his wife and four children with him. He settled in Windsor, Connecticut. He was a representative in Windsor from 1658-1661. In 1664 he moved to Killingsworth, Connecticut, as one of the leaders in the settlement of that area and became the settlement’s first representative. He, mostly likely, is the one who gave Killingsworth its name, answering to the popular pronunciation of his native place Kenilworth, England.
In 1678, when the County Court took the conditions of the schools into consideration, he represented Killingsworth in a committee of six, “to see what could be done towards establishing a Latin School at New Haven.” Records show that Edward, his brother Matthew, and his son Francis were all representatives in one court at the same time. Edward died in 1691. Nothing is known about his wife except that her name was Margaret.
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM HART
William Hart was born June 24, 1746, in Saybrook, Connecticut. He was the eldest son of the Reverend William Hart of Saybrook. William became a Major General while serving in the American Revolution. An accomplished equestrian during the Revolution, he led the First Regiment of Connecticut Light Horse Militia to Danbury to take part in resisting Tryon’s raid.
In 1767, when he was 21 years old, he built a home for his bride Esther Buckingham (1745-1811). This beautiful Georgian house, now known as the Hart House, is the home of the Old Saybrook Historical Society. The Hart House stayed in William Hart’s family until approximately 1827, when his second wife, Lucy Buckingham (1775-1851), sold it to a local ship captain.
By 1785 William and his brother Joseph were in the mercantile business and involved in the West Indies trade. Old Saybrook served as their fleet’s port of origin; ships docked by the entrance of North Cove.
William and Esther Hart had one child, Major Richard William Hart (1768-1837). William had no issue from his second marriage.
JEAN PAUL JAQUETT
Tracing the ancestry of many continental families, even though exact places of origin are known, is a difficult task, in part, because of the destruction of records caused by the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Records show, however, that the ancestry of Jean Paul Jaquett can be traced back to the 15th century.
Jean Paul Jaquett was born in Nuremburg, Bavaria, about 1615-1620. He was the son of Peter Paul and Anna Maria Jaquet (Bavarian spelling). He left his native land and settled for a time in Holland, where he became identified with the Dutch West India Company, spending some years in their service in Brazil. In Holland Jean Paul Jaquett married Maria de Carpentier. Church records show that he was baptized in New York City at the Dutch Reformed Church on July 18, 1655, having arrived in New York about 1650-1655. This indicates that he was among the many settlers from a variety of European communities who were attracted to the New Netherlands, the Dutch colony along the Hudson River. Records also show that Jaquett was appointed vice-director and chief magistrate of the South River of New Netherlands.
After the capture by the English in 1664 Jaquett became a subject of Great Britain. He was appointed justice of the peace and served until the delivery of the territory to William Penn in October 1682. In 1684 Jean Paul Jaquett obtained warrant for a tract of land consisting of 290 acres south of Wilmington, known as Long Hook. Until the middle of the 19th century Long Hook remained in the family. One of his descendants was Major Peter Jaquett, a well-known person in the American Revolution.
Thomas Leavitt arrived in New Hampshire from England about 1637, living at first in Exeter and then Hampton. He married Elizabeth, about whom little is known. In 1644 he married Isabella Bland, widow of Francis Asten and daughter of Joshua and Joanna Bland. An article by Thomas’s great-great grandson in the Granite Monthly, vol. 25, states that Thomas Leavitt came from Lincolnshire, England; and that his name is first found in the public papers of Exeter, where histories state that he signed the so-called “Combination” in 1639, a society which disintegrated soon after he moved to Hampton.
Thomas Leavitt moved to Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1634 and was a soldier at Oyster River in 1695. NH P.P. Vol. I states that, “Thomas Leavitt signed with others a petition for the Province of NH to the governor.”
Thomas and Isabella had four children, all boys. The eldest, Hezron, married Martha Taylor in 1667 and they had eight children. The second son, Aretas, married Ruth Sleeper in 1679 and they had six children. The two younger sons, John and James, also married but left no heirs.
Thomas Leavitt also had a son with his first wife, Elizabeth, whose name was Thomas. This son moved to Portland, Maine. The History of Portland, vol. II, pg. 7, published in 1833, states: “Among the 25 people killed by 500 Indians and French was Thomas Leavitt and his family in August 1703.”
Robert Lucas was Ohio’s twelfth governor. His father, William Lucas, was a descendant of Robert Lewis, an English Quaker who came to America in 1679 and enlisted in the American Revolution. In 1781, when the future governor was only a few months old, his father volunteered for service against the Indians on the frontier.
Robert Lucas was born at Shepherdstown, Virginia, on April 1, 1781. His mother was Susannah Barnes. Little is know of his early life, except that a Scotch tutor taught him mathematics and surveying. At age 19 his family moved to Scioto County, Ohio, then to the Northwest Territory. In 1803 Lucas was appointed surveyor of Scioto County. He joined the state militia and in 1812 organized a battalion of volunteers from his Ohio militia brigade. That summer Robert Lucas was captain in General Hull’s campaign against Canada, as well as maintaining his position of brigadier general in the militia. After Hull’s surrender Lucas returned home to a sick wife who died soon after, leaving a daughter of one year and a half. In 1816 Robert became a major general in the militia but saw no more combat.
In 1808-09 Robert Lucas served in the Ohio House of Representatives. In 1814 he was elected to the state senate and represented Scioto and other neighboring counties until 1822; then again in 1824-1828; and 1823-30. Lucas was returned to the lower house in 1831 for the last time. He supported legislation for canals, public schools and a strong militia.
On 1816 Robert Lewis married Miss Friendly Ashley Summer, moved to Pike County, opened a general store, and built a grand house named Friendly Grove, in honor of his wife. It is still standing on the original site two miles from Piketon.
By this time, Robert Lucas had become very prominent in the state and was an ardent supporter of Andrew Jackson. Democratic Republicans chose Lucas to run for governor against Duncan McArthur, an old friend, but he lost. In May 1832, he was elected chairman of the first national convention. That same year he won the election for governor over Darius Lyman. Lucas was re-elected for a second term over James Findlay, the anti-Jackson candidate. This term Robert Lucas played a decisive role in the "Toledo War," a battle between Ohio and Michigan for territory that was the terminus of the Miami-Erie Canal. Ohio won but Michigan was awarded land around Lake Michigan. In 1834 Lucas was unable to negotiate a treaty with the Wyandot Indians to move west. He was involved in various other territorial disputes and finally retired in 1841.
In 1844 Robert Lucas built a brick house at Plum Grove to spend time with his wife and family of six children and compose religious poems and hymns. He died February 7, 1853, and was buried at Iowa City.
COLONEL THOMAS MARSHALL
Colonel Thomas Marshall was born April 30, 1730, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Captain John Marshall and his wife, Elizabeth Markham. Captain John Marshall’s father, also John Marshall, had been a captain of the cavalry in the service of Charles I and emigrated to Virginia about 1650. He died in 1704 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Thomas Marshall was not formally educated but was ambitious and became a successful surveyor and land agent. George Washington was a neighbor and childhood friend; the two were close friends for the remainder of their lives. Both men became surveyors and Washington helped Marshall obtain employment with Lord Fairfax as a surveyor of Lord Fairfax’s royal grant of five million acres in the Northern Neck of Virginia.
When his father died in 1752 Marshall moved to Germantown in Fauquier County. In 1754 Thomas Marshall married Mary Randolph Keith, the daughter of the Reverend James Keith of Hamilton Parish. She was intelligent, well educated and taught her children at home. The two lived in a small home in Germantown where they began their family, which would grow to fifteen children. Thomas collected quitrents for Lord Fairfax and later served as both tax collector and sheriff.
After the birth of their third child in the 1760s, the family moved and built a house near present day Markham, a frontier town on the banks of Goose Creek. The house was known as The Hollow. It measured 16 x 20 feet with two rooms on the first floor and two in the loft. Here the next seven children were born which resulted in two parents and ten children living in four small rooms. By 1773 Marshall had accumulated wealth and purchased an estate near North Cobbler Mountain.
Thomas Marshall represented Fauquar County in the House of Burgesses during the 1860s and 1870s. When he died in 1802 Colonel Thomas Marshall owned more than 200,000 acres in Virginia and Kentucky. The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Marshall, was the oldest of his fifteen children. Both father and son participated in most of the principle battles of the Revolutionary War.
Lemuel Shattuck in his History of the Town of Concord speaks of the Minots as a distinguished family going back to Thomas Minot, secretary to the Abbot of Walden in Essex. His son George Minot, born in 1594, came to New England and was among the first settlers of Dorchester, Massachusetts. George had four sons with one son named John (1628-1669). John Minot also had four sons, one of whom was named James born 1653. James Minot attended Harvard College. In 1680 he moved to Concord, Massachusetts. Shattuck tells further how “James preached in Stow, Massachusetts, in 1685 for twelve shillings six pence per day, one half cash, one half Indian corn.” Also that, “James practiced physic, was a captain, justice of the peace, representative to the Massachusetts ‘General Court,’ or House of Representatives, and was eminently a useful man.” He died in 1735.
Shattuck continues to say that Concord’s James Minot married Rebecca Wheeler (1666-1734), the daughter of an early settler Timothy Wheeler (1601-1687). Wheeler, among other things, had come to own the mill in Concord. (The shopping area at the center of Concord is still called the Milldam, this being where the settlers had dammed the brook and established their first mill.) Timothy Wheeler, who died not long after Rebecca’s marriage, left the mill to her in his will. This made the James Minot family among the more prosperous inhabitants of Concord. James and Rebecca Minot had ten children. The fifth of these children was also named James (1694-1759), and Shattuck calls him “one of the most distinguished men of his time.”
A later ancestor, Captain Jonas Minot, was the stepfather of Henry David Thoreau.
Anthony Morris, Quaker preacher and mayor of Philadelphia, was born in the parish of Stepney, London, England, on August 23, 1654. He was the son of Anthony Morris and Elizabeth Senior. On arrival in America he settled first in New Jersey and in 1683 removed to Philadelphia, where his name appears as an alderman in the City Charter March 20, 1691. The following year he was appointed a judge of the Courts of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions and of the Orphan’s Court, of which he became the presiding judge. In 1694 he was named a judge of the Supreme Court. William Penn, reporting to the Lords of Trade in London the conditions in the Province noted, “Morris is one of the most sufficient as well as diligent magistrates there.” In 1695-97 he was a member of the Provincial Council and for several years a member of the Assembly. Eventually, in 1704, he became mayor of Philadelphia.
Anthony Morris was a committed Quaker. He began to preach in 1701 and not long thereafter came to devote nearly all his time to ministerial labor with the Society of Friends, traveling through most of the North American provinces.
After Morris’s death on October 24, 1721, his son, also named Anthony, followed in his father’s footsteps not only as a judge, member of the Assembly and mayor, but for almost forty years as one of the most influential members of the Society of Friends in Philadelphia.
REVEREND PIERRE ROBERT
An account states that “Rev. Pierre Robert was the first Huguenot preacher to set foot on the shores of the New World. He was of sturdy stock, whose fearless spirit neither the cruelty of religious persecution nor the dangers of the ocean and fear of the savage could intimidate or subdue.”
Reverend Pierre Robert was born in Basle, Switzerland. He was ordained in Switzerland in 1682. In 1686, after the revocation of The Edict of Nantes, he immigrated to America along with a Captain Philip Gendron. Reverend Robert settled on the Sante River, either in or near Jamestown, Virginia. He led the Huguenot Colony and was the first rector of the Parish of St. James Santee. Robert later became an Anglican. He died in 1715.
Records tell of the Village of Robertville (most likely named for Reverend Robert) in the Beaufort District. It is now a small country settlement but was once of historic interest, renowned for the beauty of its churches. The village’s glory ended during Sherman’s March to the Sea, when soldiers destroyed the noted church and the surrounding plantation homes.
A famous descendant of Reverend Pierre Robert was General Henry Martyn Robert, the county’s leading parliamentarian. He was born in Robertville. His Robert’s Rules of Order, an authoritative work on parliamentary procedure, was published for the first time in February 1876.
GOVERNOR THOMAS ROBERTS
Thomas Roberts, presumed to have been the son of the John Roberts of Woolaston, England, was born about 1600. Thomas came to the New World by 1623 settling near what is now Dover, New Hampshire. He was married in 1627 to Rebecca Hilton, who may have been the sister of fellow settler Edward Hilton.
In 1639-40 Thomas Roberts was elected “President of the Court,” an office of agency for the Bristol county proprietors of Dover. At the March 1640 elections, Thomas was chosen governor or president of the county in place of Governor John Underhill. He held that office until Dover (then Northam) came under Massachusetts rule in 1642. Later he held various minor town offices. He was a regular member of the church for many years but was inclined to be liberal in his views. When the Quaker missionaries came to Dover he favored giving them a fair hearing and opposed having the women whipped, as they were by order of the court.
Thomas Roberts died in 1671 and was buried in the oldest cemetery in Dover, which adjacent to the Roberts homestead on the high bank of the Fore River at what was known as Dover Neck.
John Sanborn or John Samborne (as it was spelled then) came to America with his two brothers and his maternal grandfather from Berkshire, England, in 1632. They settled in Hampton, New Hampshire, and his grandfather, Stephen Bachilier, became a minister there.
John Samborne grew up and became a selectman in Hampton. He served as a lieutenant in the King William War in 1689. He married twice. His first wife Mary Tuck died in 1668. John Samborne died on October 20, 1692. Two generations later the name was changed to Sanborn.
LIEUTENANT SAMUEL SMITH
Lieutenant Samuel Smith was born in 1602 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England. He was christened on October 9, 1628 in Hadleigh, England. He died on January 17, 1681, in Hadley, Massachusetts.
In April 1634, Lt. Smith, at the age of thirty-two, set sail for America on the Elizabeth of Ipswich with his first wife Elizabeth and their four children: Philip aged one, Samuel aged nine, Elizabeth aged seven, and Mary aged four. At first the family settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, then moved to Wetherfield, Connecticut. Finally, because of church disputes in Wetherfield, they moved to Hadley, Massachusetts, where two more sons were born.
In Hadley, because of his integrity and soundness of judgment, Lt. Smith was chosen for town affairs management. For many years he was deputy of the Massachusetts General Court, associate magistrate at the Hampshire County Court, and lieutenant of the Hadley Company from 1663-1673. He also held important offices in his church and was chosen a townsman (selectman) many times. He died at the age of seventy-five, and his wife died in 1686 at the age of eighty-four.
Richard Ward was born in Newport, Rhode Island on April 15, 1689, the third child of Thomas Ward (1641-1689) and his second wife, Amy Billings (1658-1732). Richard’s father, Thomas, emigrated from Gloucester, England, where he had served as an officer in one of Cromwell’s cavalry regiments.
Like his father before him, Richard Ward was a merchant. He served as attorney general from 1712 to 1713; was clerk of the Rhode Island Colonial Assembly in 1714; and recorder from 1714 to 1730. He was deputy governor in 1740 and ascended to the governorship in July of that year upon the death of Governor Wanton. Richard Ward served three terms until 1743.
On November 2, 1709, Richard Ward married Mary Tillinghast (1690-1767). Their son Samuel, who was the ninth of their fourteen children, also served as governor of Rhode Island. Richard Ward died August 21, 1763.
WILLIAM WHITFIELD II
William Whitfield I emigrated to Nansemond, Virginia from Lancashire, England, in the early part of the eighteenth century. He married Elizabeth Goodman of Gates County, North Carolina, and settled in Bertie County, North Carolina. They had ten children.
Their son, William Whitfield II, was born May 20, 1715. He married Rachel Bryan (1723-1780) on November 6, 1741, in the Bryan home in Bertie, North Carolina. After their marriage they settled at Rich Lands on the Neuse River in Dobbs County, where they raised their family of four sons and five daughters. Over their lifetimes they built three homes along the Neuse River: Rockford, White Hall, and a plantation called Pleasant Plains, where William and Rachel Whitfield died.
William Whitfield II was a leader in county affairs. In 1750 he was appointed justice of the peace by the State Council held in New Bern, North Carolina; represented Dobbs County as a member of the Assembly held in Wilmington in 1761-62; was a member of the State Senate in 1777; and a member of Governor Caswell’s Council in 1779. Whitfield also was a captain in the North Carolina Militia and later a colonel.
Three of the sons of William Whitfield II – Bryan, William II and Needham – distinguished themselves in the American Revolution; fighting from the beginning of the war at Moore’s Creek Bridge through to the end at Yorktown. Needham served as a lieutenant in the Continental Army and Bryan rose to the rank of brigadier general in the militia. From 1805-15, Bryan Whitfield was a trustee of the University of North Carolina.