REVISED QUESTION: Can you help clean up the John Brockett profiles? (PGM

+6 votes

UPDATE: I've revised this question. It started out trying simply to attach the correct parents, but the resulting research indicated that his origins as well as the full name of his wife ARE NOT KNOWN. However, the Brockett profiles here on wikitree are an absolute mess, perpetuating unsourced family trees and previously published 19th/early 20th research that has subsequently been disproven. We need help cleaning up this mess.

appears to be a very well researched set of pages about the history of the Brokets (later Brocket then Brockett, post emigration) of England. This page in particular focuses on John Brocket of New Haven, Connecticut:

The following freespace page is an attempt to extract from the various web pages a descendancy outline to help rebuild the set of Brocket(t) pages here on wikitree.

IT IS NOT YET COMPLETE (as of 1 June 2016). 

Current bottom line for John Brockett of New Haven is that neither his origins, nor the name of his wife (first OR last name) are known.

Edited 14 Dec 2018: updated URLs above.

WikiTree profile: John Brockett
in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (934k points)
edited by Jillaine Smith
Can any of the points he mentioned regarding the "new" parents be confirmed?

I'm feeling skeptical. I was recently dealing with a bad "Somerby Pedigree."
I tried to reach him because I found a discrepancy in the text. But his 16-year-old email address bounced. Go figure.  

Yeah maybe we should slow down.  Hopefully those parish records are more available now than they were in 1999/2000.

I'll go poke around and see what I can find. British parish records are not my forté though.
Oh it gets better/worse:

This web site that John b who married Blackwell was not the immigrant and that he remained in England and died with no issue.

I think we may have a mess.
And this page by the same compiler as the last points out that no parents of Brockett have been documented.

A lot of good info on that one.

Anne B: I trust that you remembered to use Category:Horatio Gates Somerby Fraud

I did and was glad I found it before I'd gotten too far. I never would have thought to look for a category, but found it accidently
I agree the parents should be removed and not replaced.

I've detached the parents (leaving links in the narrative). I've also started an outline of the Hertfordshire Brockets based on the website, which seems to be the best sourced source at this point. 


Greetings Brocket(t) cousins (?) ... I wanted to comment on how thankful I am to everyone who has worked so hard on our family history.  I descend from Frances Brocket who married John Dudley North (3rd Baron North).  My tree is challenging as I descend from royals, nobles and landed gentry in the U.K. and Europe.  Since those families tended to intermarry with abandon, I'm finding great grandmothers marrying great grand uncles and the like (drives software NUTS!).  My mothers parents and my father's mother all have ancestors arriving in America well before the revolution and descended from this aristocratic 'spiders web'.  Descended from lessor sons and daughters, of course (good old primogeniture at work). I'm using your guide here to double check my own work as relying on just perpetuates gross errors!   I may have questions as I dig in but for right now THANK YOU for this and I'm keeping it bookmarked !!!

2 Answers

+2 votes
Based on what we've found, especially on, I recommend that the immigrant and his children be detached from Mary Blackwell. While she did marry a John Brocket, they remained in England and died childless.

Any objections?
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (934k points)
Jillaine, I agree that Mary Blackwell should be detached. I'm also looking at the documentation you've provided for the Brocketts, and am particularly interested in the Broket DNA project that Adrian Brockett is working on. I hope to find time in the next couple of days to spend some time on John's profile. Thanks for all the work you've done on this one!!
Kay, if you'll focus on the DNA stuff (which I just can't follow...), I'll continue working on incorporating the Broket Archives info. It's slow going. I'm using as a guide the descendancy outline I'm creating at:

I'm slowly adding links to the various WT profiles; feel free to edit this free space page .
I just created a new profile for the unknown wife of John Brockett, moved all of his children to her, and removed the incorrect wife.
0 votes

I found this in the Rootsweb archives (the last is a published article):

From: Paul Doane <
Dear Fellow Brocketts,
Dow Davidson has been kind enough to provide me with the paper by
Raymond W. Madsen that he spoke of earlier in the week and he has
graciously given me permission to post it to the list so that the
information can be more widely disseminated and discussed.
The paper, which is written by a professional genealogist, does
unfortunately have a few mistakes in it, but none of these counter the
argument he makes for a revised parentage of John Brockett the immigrant.
For your information, the mistakes/problems that Dow and I have found so far are the following:
(1) Madsen is apparently not aware of Adrian's work on the Dionisea
question since he cites Dionice Neville (she was really the heiress
Dionisea Sampson);
(2) Madsen shows that Mary Bannister had eight children and that none of Mary Garaway's children survived into adulthood. Additionally his
daughter Elizabeth predeceased him. Therefore his seven surviving
children at the time of his death should be: George, Thomas, Mary, John, William, Bannister and Henry. However, in his will in 1649, John
Brockett, Esquire mentions the following seven children: Edward, George, Thomas, William, Bannister, Henry and a daughter. This leaves us with the question of where Edward comes from and why son John is not mentioned in the will. (John may have been deceased by this time as well, and we do have an Edward christened Jan 14, 1606 in Wheathampsted who married Mary Took and had five children: John, Mary, Elizabeth, Frances and Anne. Possibly he is a son of Mary Garaway that Madsen overlooked.) 
(3) Towards the end of his article, as Madsen is discussing Sir John the
friend of Queen Elizabeth I he rightly names him as the husband of
Helena Lytton and Dame Elizabeth Moore, however he confuses Sir John's parents listing them as John and Dorothy (Hughson) Brocket. In
actuality, these are the parents of John's father, Sir John Senior who
was married to Margaret Bensted. 
If you find any other mistakes please let the rest of us know.
I hope that we can have a nice discussion about this paper and if we all
agree that Madsen's work on John's lineage stands up that we can get
this information out to the rest of the world -- as Madsen notes, there
is a great deal of erroneous information floating around on the internet
and elsewhere that is unfortunately blindly accepted as true.
Paul Doane, Cousin at Large.

by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (875k points)

John Brockett and Mary Blackwell
29 December 1999
by Raymond W. Madsen A.G. (c) 2000
In the fall of 1983 I published an article called the "A Case Study of
the Brockett Family in Colonial America and England". This study 
began with John Brockett who sailed from England aboard the ship
"Hector" arriving in Boston 26 June 1637 with the Rev. John Davenport, 
Theophilus Eaton and Edward Bannister. They were Puritan's. John was
active in the religious settlement of New Haven with Davenport and 
others. The goal of the study was to determine the ancestral parentage
of John Brockett in England. In the case study I wrote "little 
has been known concerning the life of John Brockett before his arrival
in America. Yet tradition has existed for two hundred years that 
John Brockett was the eldest son of Sir John Brockett of Brockett Hall,
Hertford, England." Descendants and genealogists for decades 
have generally accepted that connection. One writer wrote "On account of his Puritanical ideas, his father (who had been knighted by 
Queen Elizabeth) disinherited him, and that John Brockett then gave up
all claims to the title and estates of the Brocketts in England, 
in order to join the Puritan Band which came with Rev. Davenport to
America. Another tradition is that John Brockett fell in love with 
a Puritan maiden, that for her sake he gave up his right to the paternal
estate, came to this country, established himself, provided a 
home for a wife, returned to England, married her and brought her to
this country [America].

In the Case Study I used a variety of primary and secondary sources with the goal of identifying the ancestral parentage, then extending the Brockett line using medieval records. As such I came to a
conclusion as to who John Brockett married (Mary Blackwell). In addition it was determined that he was born in Wheathampstead parish, Hertfordshire about 1612 the son of John Brockett based on the 
Cambridge University Records: BROCKETT, JOHN. Adm. Fell. Com (age 21) at CHRIST'S, Apr. 23, 1634. S. of John, of Wheathampstead, Herts.  B(orn) there. School, Watford. Matric. 1634. It was this University Record that lead to the assumption the christening in Wheathampstead on 20 May 1611, son of John Brockett, Esquire was ancestral. Mary Bannister was the wife of John Brockett, Esquire. As 
the immigrant John came to the America with Edward Bannister, all things seem to fit in place.
Over time others either came to the same conclusion, or they found my pedigree with this connection in the Ancestral File, a collection of lineage link data submitted by patrons and available in FamilySearch
and accepted it. This false connection has now been widely accepted and can be found in many electronic databases and on the Internet. However in September 1999 I made a pilgrimage to the ancient parish of Wheathampstead. With great admiration I took in the
church with it's remarkable lead covered "broach" spire crowning the tower. The six bells rang out in beautiful melody as we approached the church. The grounds were exceptionally well kept. What a beautiful building. As one enters the church through the porch to the
south aisle and turns right, they approach the south transept called Brocket or Lady Chapel. In the Chapel is the effigy of Sir John Brocket and Margaret (Benstede) his wife. The tomb bearing the date of 1558. Sir John is portrayed in a suit of armor with long hair and beard. This Sir John and wife Margaret were the parents of ten sons and three daughters including Sir John Brocket of Brocket Hall, friend of Queen Elizabeth.

Standing at the feet of Sir John and turning around you see on the stone
floor the monumental inscription for Mary Banister, wife of
America in 1637 on board the ship Hector with Edward Bannister. However the memorial provides a flaw in this assumption. This Mary did have a son named John, but she is the second wife of John Brockett, Esquire. In 1983 the marriage place and date of John Brockett to Mary Bannister was not known. But we now know they were married at St. Bride Fleet Street, London on the 29th of December 16231. Any child of this couple after 1623 could not be the one found at Cambridge or married to Elizabeth Blackwell 16 August 1635 at Sandbridge.
The first wife of John Brockett, Esquire was also to a Mary. Her surname was (Garway). They were married 13 December 1600 in St. Mary Abchurch, London2. It was to this wife that John Brocket, Esquire had the son John Brockett christened in Wheathampsted on 20 May 1611 and assumed to be the ancestral, American Immigrant. In theparish registers of Wheathampstead, John Brocket, Esquire is often noted as "the street". The Brockets lived at Wheathampstead Place just
across the river from the church. However there were two John Brockets having children christened in Wheathampsted the same time. The other John is usually noted as "Mackrey End".
John Brocket, Esq. of the Street and Mary Gerywaie had five children:
1. William christened 20 July 1608, buried 7 November 1609.
2. John christened 20 May 1611, buried 4 November 1628
3. Charles, christened 1 July 1613, buried 9 January 1616
4. Thomas, christened 15 January 1614, buried 9 August 1619
5. Garway, christened 6 June 1616, buried 19 April 1619.
All five children died either as infants or at an early age including John of 1611 -buried 4 November 1628, Jn s. Jn esq. the Street. Mary (Gerywaie) probably died from childbirth with Garway, dying in 1619. She was buried 29 July 1619 at Wheathampstead. Thus they had
no surviving children to adulthood. So John in 1611 can not be the ancestral immigrant. John Brockett, Esquire "of the Street" with Mary Bannister had several children as noted from her memorial. They were all christened at Wheathampstead.
1. George, christened 4 January 1624
2. Mary, christened 19 June 1627
3. Thomas, christened 4 May 1628, buried 6 July 1671
4. Elizabeth, 3 August 1628, buried 18 July 1632
5. John, christened 20 October 1629
6. William, christened 23 October 1631, buried 1 Jan 1675
7. Bannister, christened 20 January 1632
8. Henry, christened 22 July 1634.
John Brockett, Esquire of Wheathampstead was buried there 5 November 1649. His will was proved in 1649. He mentions his sons Edward,  George, Thomas, William, Bannister, Henry and a daughter.  So who are the parents of the immigrant John Brockett?
Actually the answer was there all the time, in fact the source is the same that caused us to point to Wheathampstead in the first place, the Cambridge
University Record say he was 21 in 1634, son of John Brocket of Wheathampstead. His age in 1634 would calculate his birth year to be
either 1612 or 1613. Already the 1611 christening has been proven wrong. That leaves the following christening -baptized 29 July 1612, Jn
s. Mr. Jn Brocket, Mackrey End. There are no other John Brocket christenings until the 1629 entry mentioned above. Again the right
place, the right names and exactly the right time period. So who is this Mr. John Brocket of Mackrey End?  Extensive research was done to ensure that there are no other possible John son of John Brocket's. In fact, research was taken back 300 years to Sir Thomas Brocket who born about 1336, knighted by Henry VI, builder of the original Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire and
married to Dionice Neville. From him down, the various Brocket lines have been traced where possible to the mid -1600's, past the point
where the immigrant John Brocket left for America.
Thomas and Dionice Brocket of Brocket Hall had a son also named Thomas, of Brocket Hall. He was born about 1393 and married Elizabeth
Ashe. They had children Thomas, Edward and Elizabeth. Edward Brocket was born about 1445 of Brocket Hall and died 14 July 1488. He was married to Elizabeth Thwaytes. They had children John, Thomas, Robert, William, Elizabeth and Alice.
John Brocket, Esquire, son of Edward and Elizabeth was born about 1460. He was the Sheriff of Hertfordshire and married Lucy Pulter.
They had children John, Edward Lucy, Elizabeth and Allice. Their son Edward married Margaret Mikleford. Edward resided at Letenworthy,
Hertfordshire. From Edward and Margaret were the Brocket descendants at Codicot, Hertfordshire, also of Campton and Dunton,
Bedfordshire. Their son John Brocket, Esquire, was born about 1500. This John was Sheriff and married Dorothy Hughson, From them the
Brocket's of Wheathampstead and Brocket Hall descend. John and Dorothy Brocket had several sons and daughters:
* Sir John Brocket, knighted by Queen Elizabeth
* Luce Brocket, married to Thomas HOO
* Nicholas Brocket of Wheathampstead, a great land owner married
Margaret HOO
* Robert Brocket, married Margaret Farrow and Margaret Gilbert
* Edward Brocket, Sheriff of Willingalle, Essex and by his wife Elizabeth Barley came the Brockets of Willingalle.
* Also daughters Jane
* and Alice Brocket
Great stories are told of their son Sir John Brockett of Brocket Hall,
husband of Helena Lytton and Dame Elizabeth Moore. The great
Brocket Hall was situated at the extreme northern corner of Hatfield
parish. This Sir John Brocket was a doughty knight, twice Sheriff
for the county like his ancestors. He was "entrusted with the training
and inspection of the men levied in this part of Hertfordshire
at he time of the Armada." It was "whilst Mary was on the throne,
Elizabeth was kept under 'house arrest' at Hatfield House. She used
to walk along the banks of the River Lea to visit John Brocket, probably
plotting to raise an artillery to overthrow Mary. In 1558
Elizabeth was sitting under an oak tree on the far side of the lake when
a horseman galloped from London bringing the news that she was
the new Queen. In 1558, in recognition of their friendship, Elizabeth
bestowed a knighthood on Sir John Brocket." Sir John was buried
at Hatfield in the year 1598. Sir John by his wife Helena, daughter of
Sir Robert Lytton, had daughters Margaret, Anne, Elizabeth,
Helen and Mary. All who married well. By Dame Elizabeth, his second wife he had Frances who married Dudley, third Lord North. Having no
male issue, the estate of Brocket Hall was passed to descendants of
Mary, youngest daughter of John and Helena, who married Thomas
Edward, son of John Brocket and Margaret Benstede was born about 1540.
He married Etheldred Frodsham. They were the parents of John
Brocket, Esquire of the Street in Wheathampsted, who married
1) Mary Gerywaie and 2) Mary Bannister. John is the only known child of Edward Brocket, Esquire, who was buried at Wheathampstead in
1598. Of John Brocket, Esquire of the Street we have already acknowledged.
In the Wheathampstead church there is "on the east wall, an incised
white marble tablet in memory of John Heyworth, his wife Joan, and
their three children all of whom died in their infancy. Dated, 1558, it
tells how the bereaved parents adopted Margaret Hoo as their
sole heir, this lady making an interesting second marriage to one
Nicholas Brocket, Esquire. Thus we learn how two great land-owning
families in the neighbourhood joined forces in marriage."4 Nicolas
Brocket died in 1585 and was buried at Wheathampstead, his will
being proved that year. Nicholas and Margret had two known children,
Johanna who was buried at Wheathampsted 15 February 1566 and John  Brocket, who christened at in the same church 14 January 1562. This John was known as Mr. John Brocket of Mackrey End.
Mr. John Brocket of Mackery End married Mary Snagg (of Mackery End). They had three children:
* Thomas Brocket (Mackery End) christened 8 October 1584
* Ann Brocket (Mackery End) christened 2 March 1585 and buried 22 March 1586
* John Brocket was the eldest child, christened 24 July 1583 at
Wheathampsted and married twice, 1) to Joan Lacon about 1608. Joan died in 1621 and 2) Elizabeth Mordant on 8 July 1624 at Oakely, Bedfordshire.
Of Elizabeth Mordant, John had a son Edward in 1625 and a daughter
Elizabeth in 1626. Mr. John Brocket of Mackery End by his wife Joan
Lacon had Lacon in 1609 and John who was christened at Wheathampstead 29 July 1612. It is this John who attended Cambridge and married Mary Blackwell 14 August 1635 at Sandridge. It is this John Brocket who sailed to the American colonies to throw his lot with the
Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, Puritans from England.


This web page (which does a much better job with source citing) points out how Madsen's conclusions about the parents of the immigrant -- and even the immigrant himself -- were wrong.

The John Brocket who married Mary Blackwell remained in England, died there childless.


More specifically look here for details about John Brocket and Mary Blackwell:

(My main complaint about this web site is that it's difficult to find things and somewhat difficult to follow, but the quality of research and sources balances that out.)

That information seems to make it clear that John of New Haven (Brockett-53) should not be showing Mary Blackwell as his wife. Is there a WikiTree profile for the John of Caswell, where she should be moved?
Ugh,it looks like we never detached Mary Blackwell as his wife and mother of his children. We need to do that.

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