Francis Brown

Francis Brown (abt. 1610 - aft. 1668)

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Francis Brown aka Browne
Born about in Ratcliffe, County York, Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died after in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 21 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 8 Jan 2019
18:49: Anne B edited the Biography for Francis Brown (abt.1610-aft.1668). [Thank Anne for this]
This page has been accessed 3,322 times.

Categories: Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement | New Haven, New Haven Colony | New Haven, Connecticut Colony | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Francis Brown migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm


Disputed Origins

Francis Brown and Elizabeth Brewster have been disconnected as parents of Francis, for total lack of proof, evidence and sources.

Francis Brown of New Haven

Francis Brown was born about 1610 Ratcliffe, County York, England[1][2]

It is believed that Francis Brown arrived in America in 1637 with the group of puritans led by Theophilus Eaton and John Davenport, either on the "Hector" or her companion ship, whose name is unknown. When they scouted the harbor at the mouth of the Quinnepiac River in 1637, they left seven men there over the winter, to begin the work of establishing there a new plantation. Francis Brown was one of these men.[3]

Francis, although with the group who founded New Haven, did not sign the fundamental agreement on June 4, 1639.[4] He did, however, sign it sometime in the next few years, and was admitted a member of the court of Newhaven and given the charge on March 2, 1641. [5] His name is on the early lists (undated) of planters Hoadley 1-18 and of freemen [6] In 1644, he took the Oath of Fidelity, with the first group to do so,[7] and in 1666 he took the Connecticut Colony freeman's oath..[8]

Francis Brown was a tailor and he kept the ferry. In 1644, he took on George Pardy as his apprentice for 5 years[9] In 1650, when George no longer wished to run the ferry Pardee, took over the position.[10]

16 June 1645 "Francis Browne moved in the court thatt if he may have a little house or shade made att the water side to worke in and competent allowance for his paines, and if itt may be, some land in the Oyster-shell field to plant, he will keep a ferry boate to carry people over the East River, and thatt he will attend itt every day from the rising of the sun to the going downe of the same in an ordenary course till 12 moneths be expired from the date here-of, exceptinge Saboth dayes and other times of solemne publique wor[ship] of God."[11] Rates for ferrying were set by the court: 2d each for 1 to 3 persons: 4, 5, and 6 persons were to be charged 3 ob each. I more thatn six on the ferry he was only to charge 1d a head. "Itt was allso ordered thatt if any English man shall transport any person or persons in any other boate or cannow in the ferryes way, he shall pay to the ferryman ld a head for every person so transported by him, provided notw'hstanding, that if any planter in this towne have a boate or cannow of his owne he may make vse thereof to transport himselfe, famyly or worke folkes to and againe, (as their busines or occasions require) w'hout offence. Note allso that the farmers on the East side are left free either to vse their owne cannowes or boates, or to agree w'h the ferryman as they can when they have need."[11] The court agreed to see that a shade house was built and that the ferryman be accommodated with 2 to 3 acres of land in the oystershell, where it was convenient.[11] This land was allowed to him rent free.[12] In 1649, other renters of land in the oystershell field were to re-fence the land into common land except Francis Brown was allowed the continued use of his 3 acres, but he was responsible for keeping a good fence to keep out the cattle.[13]

Brown was granted some other concessions by the Colony. He was expected to attend general trainings when he was not busy with ferry business, but was exempted from attending when he couldn't make it.[12][14] He was also given permission to leave required court meetings when ferry business called him away.[15][16][17][18]

In 1650, Francis opted to give up the ferrying business and George Pardee agreed to run it.[19] Pardee gave up the ferry on account of some bodily weakness in October, 1661,[20] and Brown must have agreed to attend it again, for in Dec 1662, he reminded the town that their year is up about the ferry.[21] In 1663, "ffrancis Browne propounded to ye towne about ſettleing the fferry at the Red rocke & he ſhould attend it there, being a more convenient place to goe over with horſes: But nothing was done in it."[22] In 1665, Francis enquires about getting land to build a house by the ferry.[23]

Francis, besides tailoring and ferrying, farmed. He had land in the area encompassing New Haven, sometimes granted by the town, sometimes passed to him (bought) and sometimes sold.[24][25][26] Francis Brown was one of seven residents who 'dwelt on the bank side' (East Water street fronting the harbor).[27] Francis Brown didn't escape the usual town fines: in 1640 for being late to watch[28], for having a defective gun,[29], for bad fencing[30][31]

Francis was canoe inspector and sealer of canoes.[32] He was also fenceviewer several years.[33][34] He served on at least one coroner's jury, who declared that Henry Morrill had committed suicide by drowning himself.[35]

He and his wife had assigned seats in the meeting house.[36][37]

No town runs without committees. In 1648, and 1649, he was on committees to study and change the way "rates" (taxes) were charged, which at least implies that his fellow citizens considered him a fair man.[38] He was on a committee about fencing[39] He was part of a group sent to stake out a safe place in the Connecticut River to guide a passage over the river.[40] In 1651, he was on a committee that considered what could be done to keep swine out of the meadows.[41] and no doubt other committees also.[42]

Francis was willing to help his neighbors. When, in 1660, Mrs Goodyear and Richard Sperry sustained losses due to fire, Brother Browne, went among his neighbors soliciting "freely given" help.[43]

28 July 1656 Francis had a really bad cough which freed him from arms training. "Francis Browne, who is troubled the tisick,[44] and many times vnfit for that seruice, was so farr freed that when by that meanes he is hindered the fine shall not be required ; he promising now that, when God inables him, he will attend it."[45]

"An inventory of the estate of Edward & Grace Watson late of Newhaven, deceased, amounting to 801', 03s, 08d, was prsented, proued in court at Newhaven March 5, 60, wch was by Francis Browne attested to containe ye whole estate of ye parties deceased, to the vallew of 5s, to the best of his knowledg, (an estate formerly appointed to Mary Walker in ye house & land of her father (vnder some question) excepted.) Francis Browne & James Bishopp attested yt the apprisemt was iust, according their best light."[46]

23 May 1662 Francis Brown having presented an inventory of the estate of Edward and Grace Watson, but pointed out that additions and subtractions had been made. He would like a true number, so he would know exactly how much he had to turn over to the two children of Edward and Grace. £45; 2d.[47]

Among the additions and subtractions, we learn that Francis is standing guardian to Hannah Walker, daughter of Grace by her first husband.[47]

"Francis Browne informed that Grace Watson on her death bed being asked to whom she would dispose her daughter, she answered, to Sister Browne."[47] Francis and his wife were willing to take her until she was 18, at which point he would give her her inheritance. They were also willing to keep the boy until November or December. "& whereas it appeareth in y* Records March 5 60/61, that a third part of the house & land assigned to Mary Walker seemed to be vnder some question, the Court now declared that vpon further consideration they finde no ground for that question."[47]

Francis was a staunch protector of his children, even when they were in the wrong.

7 May 1662, Connecticut Colony had informed New Haven Colony, that by royal charter it was now part of Connecticut. John Brown was charge with intoxication.

"During his examination his father, Francis Brown, coming in, " discovered great distemper of spirit," and "uttered many contemptuous & reproachfull speeches against authority," asking " by what authority his sonn was called thither, he knew no authority they had since the king was proclaimed, nor would he obey any lawes vntill they came thence, & others were of the same minde." Finally he and his son, who demanded of the deputy governor whether he had his authority from Charles the second, were committed to prison, though order was afterwards given that, considering his age and infirmity, Francis Browne should have liberty to lodge at the marshalls house, which he refused to accept of, because his son had not the same favor. N. H. Town Rec. ii. 351"[48]

Francis apologized deeply for his evil, as did John. They were fined 40s (20 each)[49]

In 1665, when son Samuel Browne was ordered to pay 20s for his drunkenness & swearing, Francis paid his fine.[50]


Francis Browne made a will on April 13, 1668. He made bequests to his sons Samuel, Ebenzer, John and Eliezur, and to his daughter Lydia. Ebenezer was to have the pressing iron and Grace Watson was to have a Bible. The rest went to his wife and executrix, Mary. In case of her death the Church of Christ in New Haven was given the power to distribute his estate to his children. Witnesses were James Bishop, John Hall and Eliezur Browne. The inventory valued at £210: 18: 10 was taken 4th of 4th mo. (June) 1668, by Roger Alling and John Cooper.[51][52]
This places Francis death between April 13, 1668 and June 4, 1668. in the year 1668.[53][54][55] in East Haven, Connecticut.[56]

Marriage & Children

Francis Brown married Mary Edwards about 1636, probably in England. This date is estimated from the estimated birth (1637) of his oldest daughter Lydia.[57][58]
Child: Lydia Brown b. c 1637; m. Henry Bristol.
Child: John Browne or John Brown bpt. 7 Apr 1640 in New Haven; left New Haven; m. Mary Walker
Child: Eleazer Brown bpt. 16 Oct 1642, New Haven; d. 1714; m. Sarah Bulkeley
Child: Samuel Brown bpt 7 Aug 1645; d 1691;m Mercy Tuttle
Child: Ebenezer Brown bpt 21 Jun 1646 Jacobus note: [? error for next child]
Child: Ebenezer Brown bp July 1647 New Haven; m. Hannah Vincent
Child: Rebecca UNKNOWN born in 1627 so not child
Child: Francis III Brown Not listed in the will of Francis, will disconnect.



  1. #S78: Vol 1 page 346
  2.  ? County York. How does Jacobus know this?
  3. Atwater Edward E. et al. History of the Colony of New Haven to Its Absorption Into Connecticut. Meriden, Connecticut: 1902 p. 63
  4. Perhaps because he had no land at the time
  5. #Hoadley1 p. 62
  6. #Hoadley1 p. 10
  7. #Hoadley1 p. 138
  8. #Dexter2 p. 178
  9. #Hoadley1 p. 135
  10. #Dexter2 p. 48
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 #Hoadley1 p. 165
  12. 12.0 12.1 #Hoadley1 p. 188 23 Feb 1645
  13. #Hoadley1 p. 501
  14. #Dexter1 p. 222
  15. #Hoadley1 p. 230
  16. #Hoadley1 p. 241
  17. #Hoadley1 p. 458
  18. #Hoadley1 p. 431
  19. #Dexter1 p. 48
  20. #Dexter2 p. 48
  21. #Dexter2 p. 19
  22. #Dexter2 p. 63
  23. #Dexter2 p. 137
  24. #Hoadley1 pp. 50, 61, 94, 183, 430
  25. #Dexter1 p. 381, 195, 442, 446
  26. #Dexter2 p. 137
  27. Genealogical Register of the Descendants in the Male Line of David Atwater, One of the Original Planters of New Haven, Conn., to the Sixth Generation, 1873:
  28. #Hoadley1 p. 42
  29. #Hoadley1 p. 261
  30. #Dexter1 p. 27
  31. #Dexter1 p. 55
  32. #Dexter1 p 213, 216
  33. #Hoadley1 pp 314,389, 486
  34. #Dexter1 p 241, 476
  35. #Dexter2 p 137
  36. #Dexter2 p 220
  37. #Dexter1 pp 271, 512
  38. #Hoadley1 pp 448, 465
  39. #Hoadley1 p. 465
  40. #Dexter1 pp 80
  41. #Dexter1 p 92
  42. #Dexter2 p 211
  43. #Dexter1 p 448
  44. tisick (archaic) a splutter; a cough
  45. #Dexter1 p. 282
  46. #Hoadley2 p 401
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 #Dexter1 pp 522/3
  48. #Hoadley2 pp 429
  49. #Hoadley2 pp 429
  50. #Dexter2 pp 165/6
  51. "Abstracts of the Early Probate Records of New Haven, Book I, Part I, 1647-1687." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 81:122/3. Boston: NEHGS, 1927.
  53. #S72: Vol 1 page 266
  54. #S78: Vol 1 page 346
  55. #S221:
  56. #S-340039157: Death date: 1668Death place: East Haven APID: 1063::480732
  57. #S78: Vol 1 page 346
  58. This is supported by Torrey's New England Marriages to 1700. see attached

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No known carriers of Francis's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 4
North America Family Histories for Francis Brown Mack
North America Family Histories for Francis Brown Mack

East Haven Vital Records for Francis Brown page 133
East Haven Vital Records for Francis Brown page 133

U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications,
U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications,

US New England Marriages Prior to 1700 for Francis Brown and Mary Edwards
US New England Marriages Prior to 1700 for Francis Brown and Mary Edwards


On 23 Nov 2015 at 18:32 GMT Anne B wrote:

Also I don't know who these parents are, Does anyone have a problem disconnecting? Or better yet a source.?

On 23 Nov 2015 at 18:28 GMT Anne B wrote:

I realize there have been multiple merges here that have added a lot of questionable data and sources. I would like to continue to neaten this profile, write a cohesive biography, and delete the two non-children Francis and Rebecca. Also change the sourcing to ref statements instead of span statements. Are you ok with this.

Francis is 18 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 20 degrees from Katy Jurado and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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