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Walter Briggs (abt. 1612 - bef. 1684)

Walter Briggs
Born about in Suffolk, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married after 1661 in Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died before before about age 72 in Scituate, Plymouth, Plymouth Colonymap [uncertain]
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Profile last modified | Created 20 Sep 2009
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Walter Briggs was in Scituate as early as 1643, when his name appears on the list of those able to bear arms.[1] According to Deane, In 1651, he bought a farm of Mr. Hatherly on the north side of Farm Necknad the cover there still bears the name of Brigg's Harbor."[2]

Walter Briggs was a slaveholder. In 1673 he purchased an enslaved African child named Mariah from Margret Cocke of Boston. Although the enslavement of Africans in Plymouth Colony can be traced to the 1650s, Mariah is the first enslaved African person that can be identified by name. Walter Briggs also enslaved a man named Jemmy.[3]

Children of Walter Briggs: [4]

  1. John (Capt. John), b. Dec. 1644; m. Deborah Hawke.
  2. James (Lieut. James), b. 1645; m. Rebecca Tilden.
  3. Cornelius (Capt. Cornelius), b. 1647; m. (1) Mary Russell, (2) Mehitable (Allyn) Annable.
  4. Hannah, b. about 1650; m. Samuel Winslow.
  5. Joseph, b. about 1652.

Last Will and Testament

Dated 16th January 1676[5] and recorded Court 4th June 1684 lists his wife Francis, mentions his "neger" Jemy and Mariah and living at Conihassett. Also sons John (eldest) & James and land in Scituate. Daughter Hannah Winslow. Also son Cornelius and land in Swansey.[6]

Research Notes

Secondary sources give Mary as the name of his first wife/mother of his children, but could not find birth record or other record of this. Briggs (1938) lists several land transactions. Possibly a church record?

"Walter Briggs was twice married. The surname of his first wife Mary, who was the mother of his children, is not known. We only know that she bore him a family of four sons and a daughter, and that she was living in 1558/9. She died not long after that date, for about 1602 Walter married, for a second wife, Frances, the widow of John Rogers of Marshfield." [citation needed]

Winsor doubts that he lived in Duxbury; more likely, he says, Walter lived in Scituate.[7]

Torrey NE Marriages entry: BRIGGS, Walter (-1684?) & Frances (?WATSON) [ROGERS] (-1687), w John; ca 1661?; Scituate {Hanover Hist. (1910) 332; Briggs (1878) 11; Sv. 1:252; Briggs (1880) 58, 86, 234; Litchfield 66; Pilgrim Notes 4:107; Gen. Adv. 1:19; Bartlett-Jenkins 100}


  1. Shurtleff, Nathaniel B. "List of those able to bear arms in the Colony of New Plymouth in 1643." The New England Historical & Genealogical Register (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 1850)Vol 4 Page 257.
  2. Deane, Samuel. History of Scituate, Massachusetts (James Loring, Boston, 1831), page 225.
  3. Mariah Negro vs. Cornelius Briggs (Pt. 1)
  4. Briggs, Lloyd Vernon. History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family, 1254-1937 (C. E. Goodspeed & Co., Boston, 1938). Page 71.)
  5. Note that both Deane and Cutter incorrectly give the date of his will as 1684
  6. Shurtleff, Nathaniel B, and David Pulsifer. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England: Printed by Order of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. New York: AMS Press, 1968. Vol 5, Pages 134-136.
  7. Winsor, Justin. History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts (Crosby & Nichols, Boston, 1849), pages 237-38.
  • Briggs, Samuel. The Archives of the Briggs Family (Theodore C. Schenek & Co., Ohio, 1880).
  • Briggs, Samuel. A Partial Record of the Descendants of Walter Briggs of Westchester, N.y: To Which Is Added Some Account of His Ancestry, Collateral Branches, Origin of the Family Name, Ancient Pedigrees, Wills, Etc, Etc. Cleveland, Ohio: Printed for private circulation only by Fairbanks, Briggs & Co, 1878.
  • Cutter, William Richard. New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial (Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York, 1915), Vol 4, Page 1741.
  • The Genealogical Advertiser (Lucy Hall Greenlaw, Cambridge, Mass., 1898)
  • Sherman, Robert M, Verle D. Vincent, Robert S. Wakefield, and Lydia D. Finlay. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Mass. December 1620. Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1997. Vol. 15: Chilton/More, p. 16.

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Comments: 4

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Hi: I'm not finding any sources that support Walter as the son of Walter and Ann (Cooper) Briggs, or any connection specifically to Suffolk, England. Does anyone have a source supporting this? If not, any objections to disconnecting and removing "Suffolk" from the birth location?
posted by M Cole
Never mind. I see there's an English origin section in L. Vernon Briggs book.
posted by M Cole
Briggs-24 and Briggs-2588 appear to represent the same person because: These are intended to be the same person. the 1676 date is the date of his will, not his date of death. Not sure that the mother Ann Cooper has any sources supporting.
posted on Briggs-2588 (merged) by M Cole
The wife was Frances Rogers, Mrs, John Rogers, her maiden name is not known.

The wife attached is a Bogus profile.

posted by Adrian Stanley

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