Cliff McCarthy, 2016
Last Updated, 11 May 2020
John Brockett was the first Brockett in America when he arrived at Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony on 26 Jun 1637. (For more on John Brockett’s origins in England, click here.) He presumably came on the ship Hector with Reverend John Davenport. (For a detailed examination of the mythology around the Hector’s passengers, see:
The passengers on board that ship were “gentlemen in wealth and character, with their servants and household effects.” Shortly after arriving, however, a small group led by Theophilus Eaton decided not to join Massachusetts Bay Colony, but to form a new colony. They explored the coast along Long Island Sound and chose a site that became New Haven Colony. Seven individuals wintered there to hold the site. Others arrived on 13 April 1638, including Davenport and John Brockett. They purchased land from the Quinnipiac Indians and formed a government based upon strict religious principles. Brockett was a not an original signer of the Fundamental Agreement of New Haven on 4 June 1639, but he signed shortly thereafter. Some speculate that he may not have been of age (21) when the compact was originally drafted.
In 1639, Brockett surveyed an area of land for the new colony, based on a grid of nine squares, in accordance with old English custom. The central square was designated a public common and remains today known as the Green. These nine blocks remain the heart of the City of New Haven today. John Brockett took up his house lot in the southeast quarter. [see Brockett’s Map]
These prosperous immigrants formed a new government of a town they called New Haven. The residents must have had confidence in Brockett’s judgment as he was often appointed by the Planters to a committee to resolve cases of differing opinion regarding settlers and Indians. In June 1654 John Brockett was appointed to a commission to settle trouble with the native inhabitants. This commission was fair with the Indians and Brockett helped them survey and fence their lands, to prevent the hogs and cattle of the colonists from destroying their corn. In 1660, he led an effort to resolve a border dispute between Connecticut Colony (in Hartford) and New Haven Colony.
Although John Brockett was fined one shilling in 1643 for coming late to military training, he answered the call for the defense of the colony. In 1654, he was appointed surgeon among a group of soldiers who had aligned themselves against the Dutch who settled along the Hudson River. He also served as a surgeon between 1675 and 1676 during King Philip’s War.
In 1667, he moved temporarily to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, when he was commissioned by the Governor of that colony to survey the bounds of what would become the City of Elizabeth. While living in Elizabethtown, the townspeople chose him and John Ogden to represent Elizabethtown in its House of Burgess. Brockett received an allotment of land for his efforts, which he sold when he left Elizabethtown. In 1669 or ’70, he returned to New Haven Colony and took up residence in Wallingford.
By 1669, the Colony of New Haven had begun planning Wallingford village. John Brockett and his son Samuel were among the first 100 persons to settle there. Each of the 38 heads of households, after signing the original Covenant, were allotted land in the village. Brockett received lot #1 of 12 acres and his son John received 8 acres. John was elected to public offices and became one of the leading men of the town. He was Deputy to the General Court between 1671 and 1685 representing Wallingford, New Haven Colony. He served several nonconsecutive terms during this period.
He signed his Last Will and Testament on 3 Mar 1690 in Wallingford, New Haven, CT. He died on 12 Mar 1690 in Windsor, Hartford, CT. During his active and useful life, he was a surveyor, soldier, civil engineer, and surgeon.
Children of John BROCKETT & his wife
JOHN BROCKETT was born in England, and died 12 March 1689/90 in Wallingford, New Haven Co., CT. He married UNKNOWN. The Children of JOHN BROCKETT and UNKNOWN are:
i. JOHN BROCKETT, b. Bef. 31 December 1642, New Haven, CT; d. October 1720, North Haven, CT; m. ELIZABETH DOOLITTLE; b. 12 April 1652, New Haven, CT; d. March 1730/31, North Haven, CT.
ii. BE FRUITFUL BROCKETT, b. Bef. 23 February 1643/44, New Haven, CT; d. 1645.
iii. BENJAMIN BROCKETT, b. Bef. 23 February 1643/44, New Haven, CT; d. 22 May 1679, New Haven, CT; m. ELIZABETH BARNES, 24 March 1668/69, New Haven, CT; b. 28 May 1650, New Haven, CT.
iv. MARY BROCKETT, b. Bef. 28 September 1646, New Haven, CT; m. EPHRAIM PENNINGTON, 25 October 1667, Milford, CT.
v. SILENCE BROCKETT, b. 4 January 1647/48, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. 1692; m. JOSEPH BRADLEY, 25 October 1667, Milford, New Haven, CT; b. Abt. 1646, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. January 1704/05.
vi. ABIGAIL BROCKETT, b. 10 March 1649/50, New Haven, CT; d. 4 July 1729; m. JOHN PAYNE, 22 January 1672/73, New Haven, CT.
vii. SAMUEL BROCKETT, b. 14 January 1651/52, New Haven, CT; d. 26 October 1742, Wallingford, CT; m. SARAH BRADLEY, 21 May 1682, Wallingford, CT; b. 21 June 1665, New Haven, CT.
viii. JABEZ BROCKETT, b. 24 October 1654, New Haven, CT; m. DOROTHY LYMAN, 20 November 1691, Wallingford, CT; b. 8 June 1665; d. 1 May 1735, Wallingford, CT.
- Anderson, Mary Audentia Smith, Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale, (Independence, MO: 1929).
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- Cutter, William Richard et al., Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, Vols 1-4, (Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York; 1911).
- Davis, Charles Henry Stanley, History of Wallingford, Conn., from its Settlement in 1670 to the Present Time, 1870.
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- Peets, C. Berry, “John Brockett, Green’s First Architect,” New Haven Biography, April 23, 1910.
- Pritchard, Jacob L., M.D., A Compilation of Some of the Descendants of Roger Prichard, (Rainbow Press, San Jose, CA, 1953).
- “The Broket Archive,” (website at:
http://www.brockett.info/index.htmlupdated to: http://brockett.info/usaandcanada/usa/immigrants/johnofnewhaven, see Comment below), “Electronic.”
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