18th C Bedfordshire Brokets
Watch how the 3rd Broket kin group of 17th C Bedfordshire expands into a larger Grouping during this 18th C, while the other two kin groups disappear. You’ll be forgiven for feeling confused at first. Databases of 18th C Bedfordshire Brokets show them in more than a dozen different parishes. But as you look closer you notice how they leave Blunham and Sandy for Kempston and Bletsoe, and many move on to other villages in the ‘country’—the rural hinterland NW and W of Bedford town—such as Biddenham, Bromham, Carlton, Felmersham, Odell, Radwell, Sharnbrook, Souldrop, Stagsden and Turvey. Here they branch into what look like separate clans, especially since apart from the Biddenham one their pre-18th C roots aren’t documented. But you were not to know that descendants of 4 of these clans tested their y-DNA and, with insignificant differences, it is identical.
According to the opening sentence of the Introduction, the Kempston Parish “Register is practically complete from 1570”, and a browse through the pages clearly shows the regularity and consistency of the annual entries. Even during the Civil War and Interregnum 1642-60. Each year 1690-1717 there were regularly a minimum of 15-20 baptisms, and the Bishop’s Transcripts confirm and complement the record. So, I felt confident of constructing a coherent genealogy. But a puzzling gap of 67 years soon became evident between the 1st Broket entry—the burial of “Elizabeth wife of Andrew Brockett” in 1670—and the 2nd—the baptism of “Elizabeth daughter of William Brocket jun” in 1737. A 67 year gap implied no connection between the two events, but the ‘junior’ in 1737 indicated that a William senior was also probably living in the parish then. Burial records for only two other Williams in Kempston after that—of a William Brocket in 1740 and a William Brockett in 1775—seemed to confirm that these were of a William senior and junior respectively, although both were recorded just as “Labourer”. I knew from the IGI that there were also Brokets in a number of other parishes nearby, but records from those didn’t solve the puzzle either. But because of the completeness of the Kempston registers I assumed that some unrecorded movement between parishes had occurred. This all led me to the following parentage to fill the 1670-1727 gap between these 2 first Kempston Broket entries:
Another puzzle was: If William senior was the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Brocket, both he and William junior had to have been unusually old at marriage to fill the 1670-1727 gap satisfactorily. William Brocket junior was recorded as such baptising another child in Kempston in 1739, but the following baptism was in 1744 of a son of “William Brocket Labourer and his wife Sarah”. This suggested most naturally that the intervening record of the burial of a “William Brocket Labourer” in 1740 was of William senior, after which William junior no longer would have been called so. Children continued to be baptised in Kempston to William and Sarah through to 1760. It was safe therefore to assume that Elizabeth, baptised 1737, had been William junior’s first—or one of his first—children. An average age of men at marriage in the 17th C of around 272 would mean a birth date for William junior c 1710, and for William senior c 1683. William junior was buried in 1775, which would fit. But in that reconstruction William senior couldn’t have been a son of Andrew and Elizabeth Brockett, since she died in 1670. So was William senior born, say between 1663-70 and didn’t father William junior till he was 40-47? Or did Andrew marry again and not father William senior for another 20 years? These were possible but unsatisfactory explanations. Andrew did marry again—in 1671—but in Turvey and to an Eve, and while they baptised 2 children there between 1672-8, a William wasn’t one of them, and Andrew died there in 1679. Nor was any William recorded in other local parishes, specifically Blunham where Andrew had had other children baptised.
So, these puzzles remained unsolved, casting any linkage between the 2 Williams and other Bedfordshire Brokets into obscurity. Until some unexpected facts about Andrew Brockett and his family began to emerge. The first was a record of the baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew BROCKET or BROTHWOOD, in 1652 in Sandy. Andrew appeared to be using two surnames. Further investigation revealed that Andrew’s father was called Richard, who had 3 sisters, all of whom were recorded as Brothwood at birth in Henlow but as Brockett or Brockytt at marriage in Tempsford. Might something similar have occurred in Kempston? Lo and behold it had! A William, son of Richard BROCKWOOD, was found to have been baptised in Kempston on 23 Dec 1688, and other children subsequently, with Richard described as a Miller in 1700 and 1705. Andrew’s father—and himself too perhaps—had been a Miller. Richard was the missing link in the unsatisfactory parentage suggested above, and this was how it actually was:
1. Up to 1812 the Kempston Parish Register had 27 BROKET entries stretching over a period of 137 years: 12 baptisms, 5 marriages, 1 associated Banns and 9 burials. The 1670-1737 gap is obvious:
1670: 30 Nov Elizabeth wife of Andrew Brockett buried
1737: 6 Nov Elizabeth d/o William Brocket jun baptised
1737: 22 Dec Sarah wife of William Brocket junior buried
1739: 13 Mar Elizabeth Brocket married John (perhaps Jos[eph]) SOSEBERRY both of Kempston
1739: 18 Nov Samuel s/o William Brocket jun baptised
1740: 23 Dec William Brocket Labourer buried [i.e. senior, although this wasn’t explicit].
1741: 13 Sep Mary daughter of Elizabeth Brocket, widow, buried
1741: 5 Oct Sarah wife of William Brocket buried
1743: 12 Sep William Brocket Widower married Sarah THOMPSON spinster, both of Kempston
1744: 21 Oct Thomas s/o William and Sarah Brocket Labourer baptised, born 30 Sep
1746: 31 Aug Mary d/o William and Sarah Brocket Labourer baptised, born 12 Aug
1748: 5 May Elizabeth Brocket of Kempston married George GRIFFIN of Wootton
1748: 5 May Sarah d/o William and Sarah Brocket baptised, born 18 Feb
1750: 18 Feb Ann d/o William and Sarah Brocket baptised, born 12 Feb
1753: 7 Oct William s/o William and Sarah Brocket baptised, born 5 Aug
1755: 9 Mar John s/o William and Sarah Brocket Labourer baptised
1757: 28 Dec James s/o William and Sarah Brocket baptised, born 7 Dec
1760: 1 May Susan d/o William and Sarah Brockett baptised privately, born 12 Apr
1761: 23 Mar Elizabeth Brockett married William RAY/REEY
1762: 20 Dec Susan Brockett infant buried
1775: 3 Dec William Brockett Labourer buried, aged 72
1777: 5 Oct James s/o William and Elizabeth Brockett baptised
1780: 8 Oct Sarah Brocket 3rd proclamation of Banns with Samuel WHITTINGTON, Widower
1784: 7 Feb Sarah Brocket Widow buried, Pauper
1802: 22 Aug Sarah Brocket Widow buried
1806: 26 Jan Ann Brocket baptised, 24 years old
1807: 27 Jul Ann Brokitt married James JORDAN
2. Conversely, 1688-1724 was the only period up to 1812 when the Kempston Parish Register recorded the names BROCKWOOD / BRAITHWOOD / BRAITHWAIT / BROTHWOOD. Here were the ‘Broket’ records from that 1670-1737 gap. They or the parish clerk just didn’t use the Broket alias for the record:
1668: 2 Jan Elizabeth supposed daughter of Anthony BROCKWOOD baptised
1688: 23 Dec William son of Richard BROCKWOOD baptised
1698: 20 Nov Samuel son of Richard BROCKWOOD baptised
1700: 7 Jun Samuel son of Richard BROCKWOOD Miller buried3
1705: 13 May Sarah daughter of Richard BROCKWOOD Miller baptised4
1712: 27 Oct William BRAITHWOOD Servant married Elizabeth EYRES widow
1713: 21 Jun Elizabeth BRAITHWOOD baptised
1716: 19 May Elizabeth BRAITHWAIT buried
1715: 27 Feb William BRAITHWAIT baptised
1718: 14 Sep Elizabeth BRAITHWAITH baptised
1722: 27 Mar Samuel BRAITHWAIT baptised
1724: 6 Dec Mary BROTHWOOD baptised
Combine these with similar records from other nearby parishes and a satisfyingly complete picture emerges. The Kempston Broket clan descended from the Brothwoods of Henlow.
1. The Bedfordshire Grouping
1. The Bedfordshire Grouping
By the 18th C the overwhelming majority of Bedfordshire Brokets belonged to what we call the ‘Bedfordshire Grouping’—the largest unitary Broket Grouping in the UK. Their origins trace back through Richard son of Andrew son of Richard Brockett of Sandy/Blunham 1600-66, son of John Brothwood of Henlow. There is also a tiny minority of unrelated—or so far unrelated—individuals. Details about the records that show this are here.
Most of the men of this 18th C Bedfordshire Grouping were Agricultural Labourers, and a few were Paupers at some stage of their lives. Had any been Yeomen there would be some surviving Wills. To supplement the meagre family income, many of the women sat and made lace with their fingers all day from teenage through to old age: Read more
Contents of this page:
1. Andrew III 1672-1747 and Sarah, of Bletsoe
2. William I snr 1688-1740 and Elizabeth, of Kempston
3. William II jnr 1715-1775 and Sarah, of Kempston
4. Samuel 1722-1770 and Sarah BASS, of Cranfield
5. Andrew IV 1723-74 and Ann INGRAM, of Odell
6. Daniel 1727- and Mary CARINGTON, of Carlton
7. Elizabeth 1738 married John SOSEBERRY, Kempston
8. Elizabeth 1748 married George GRIFFIN, Kempston
9. Thomas 1748-1812 and Elizabeth CURTIS, of Cranfield
10. William III 1753-1818 and Elizabeth WILCOX, of Bromham
11. John 1755-1823 and Mary KENDAL, of Biddenham
12. James 1757- and Mary GEARY, of Stagsden and Biddenham
13. Andrew V 1764-1828 and Ann LAWSON, of Colworth, Sharnbrook
14. John c 1771-1833 and Elizabeth PAIN, of Felmersham and Kimbolton
15. Daniel c 1772-1830 and Mary MABBOT, of Houghton Conquest
16. William b c 1788, of Bedford
17. James b c 1801, buried 1811 Bedford St Mary
Andrew III and Sarah were recorded baptising children in Bletsoe 1724-36.6 They both also were buried there: Andrew in 1747 and Sarah in 1753. The Parish Register has 8 entries from a single family—none of which were marriages, suggesting the couple were incomers.
Even though it would mean that Andrew was here having children in his 50s, there is little doubt that he was the Andrew baptised 1672 in Turvey, son of Andrew and Eve. Andrew was a generation-unique Broket name at the time—no Andrews have been found in Britain before the husband of Eve, b c 1630, not even in Scotland, and the next two to be recorded were their son baptised 1672 in Turvey—ie this one baptising his children here in Bletsoe from 1723/4, just 8 m NW—and his son Andrew, baptised here in Bletsoe 1723/4 and married to Ann INGRAM in Odell 1756. If not father and son, the latter two must have been grandfather and grandson, but the possibility of an entire generation escaping marriage, baptismal and burial record is unlikely.
Known records: Apart from two records at the end of his life—his burial as William Brocket, Labourer, on 23 Dec 1740 in Kempston,7 and as William Brockett, a voter in a County of Bedford Poll in 1734—all other known records of William were under his surname of Brothwood or Braithwait and variants. Only one record has been found explicitly calling him ‘senior’—a 1735 sale of property in Wootton, a village 2 m S of Kempston. This was around the time of 3 records in Kempston between 1737-9 of “William Brocket junior”—his first marriage and the baptisms of his 1st 2 children. Apart from this 1735 Wootton record, the 1734 Bedford Poll record is the only other one found of the older William after the baptism of his last child in 1724.
How we discovered that all these records were of the same man has been described above. Suffice it to repeat here that we presumed that William’s baptism had for some reason gone unrecorded. However, as shown above, it then came to light that a generation had intervened and William was actually the son of Richard son of Andrew son of Richard. And he was indeed baptised in Kempston—on 23 Dec 1688 as William son of Richard BROCKWOOD.8 His father Richard had been baptised as BROCKETT, married as BRAITHWOOD to Susan STATTON/STRATTON, and William was their second child.
Then, aged 24 William, recorded as BRAITHWOOD, Servant, married Elizabeth EYRES, widow, in Kempston 27 Oct 1712.9
Between 1713-24 William and Elizabeth baptised 5 children in Kempston, William’s surname given as BRAITHWOOD, BRAITHWAIT, BRAITHWAITH or BROTHWOOD. And as it turned out, the couple were the ancestors of a large Broket clan or Grouping, with members still in Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, elsewhere in the UK, and in N America and Australasia.
For subsequent records of the coupleRead more
William’s occupation was recorded as a Servant in 1712, a Dairyman in 1716, and as a Labourer in 1713, 15, 18, 22 and 40. He hasn’t been found in records from 1725-33, but 3 records from the final years of his life have been found—his burial in 1740 and two which show that in 1734-5 at least he owned some property:
1. 1734: On 24 Apr William Brockett voted in a County of Bedford Poll.12 The electorate was limited to freeholders. William therefore had a freehold property, and the entry commented that his property lay in Wootton.13 This is c 2 m S of Kempston. The record couldn’t have been of William Brocket jnr, who was only aged 9 then.
2. 1735: An Easter Term Final Concord was reached between plaintiffs (purchasers) John Allen, esquire; Thomas Squire and Thomas Maddey, gentlemen to deforciants (vendors) Mary Cawne, widow; Joseph Dearner and wife Ann; John Lament and wife Mary; William Kippest and wife Sarah, William Brathwood senior and wife Elizabeth for 2 messuages, 2 cottages, 39 acres land, 4 acres meadow, 4 acres pasture in Wilstead, Wootton and Bedford for £100.14 It is possible that part of this sale was the property in Wootton that enabled William to vote in 1734 above.
3. 1740: The 20 Sep probate of the Will of John Woodward of Cardington, Draper, included a cottage or cottages left to his daughter Susannnah in “East End Kempston occupied by Luke Saunders, Edward Lovell and William Whittin, and in case occupied by William Broathwood (lately purchased of brother William Woodward).15 The “in case occupied by William Broathwood” evidently means the testator wasn’t sure whether William was also an occupant. It doesn’t signify ownership like the previous record of 1735.
Children of William and Elizabeth:
- Elizabeth, baptised as BRAITHWOOD 21 Jun 1713 Kempston; buried as BRAITHWAIT 19 May 1716 Kempston.
- William II, baptised as BRAITHWAIT 27 Feb 1714/15 Kempston; married three times and stayed in Kempston till he died in 1775.
- Elizabeth, baptised as BRAITHWAITH 14 Sep 1718 Kempston. Most probably married as BROCKETT of Kempston to George GRIFFIN of Wootton 5 May 1748 in Kempston, see below.
- Samuel, baptised as BRAITHWAIT 27 Mar 1722 Kempston; m Sarah BASS 1746 Cranfield and stayed there till he died 1770.
- Mary, baptised as BROTHWOOD 6 Dec 1724 Kempston. With little doubt she was the “Mary daughter of Elizabeth Brocket widow” buried 13 Sep 1741 in Kempston.
Son of William I and Elizabeth EYRES of Kempston. In contrast to his father, only two records of William II have been found as a Braithwait or Brothwood, and all the other records were as a Broket. He was baptised as BRAITHWAIT 27 Feb 1714/15 in Kempston; and buried 3 Dec 1775 in Kempston, “aged 72”. The 72 must have been an error for 62 or 61, either by a clerk, or through ignorance of his age—estimations of age at death among illiterate old folk were often inaccurate.
‘Junior’: That there were 3 records in Kempston between 1737-9 of “William Brocket junior” was an early indication that William’s father might also have been from there, but as explained above, it took a long time to see the whole picture. But it is now clear that the period William was recorded as ‘junior’—1737-9—was when his father (d 1740) was still alive and he himself married for the first time aged 21 and then baptised his 1st 2 children. That he married for the second time in 1738 without a ‘jnr’ after his name was probably because it was in a different parish.
Until we found out about the Brothwood or Braithwait and variants alias, the records of William we knew of were:
2. The burial of Sarah, “wife of William Brocket junior” in Kempston 22 Dec 1737.
3. The marriage in nearby Biddenham of William Brocket to Sarah WHITE 20 Feb 1737/8, both of Kempston.
4. The baptism of Samuel, son of “William Brocket jun” in Kempston 18 Nov 1739.
5. After the older William’s death in 1740, the marriage of “William Brocket Widower”—without a ‘jnr’—to Sarah THOMPSON Spinster in Kempston 12 Sep 1743, followed by the baptisms of their 8 children up to 1760, all in Kempston.
We therefore assumed—correctly as it turned out—that William had married three times, and each wife was a Sarah:
The Brothwood alias revealed that William’s first marriage was to Sarah STIMSON 11 Nov 1736 Stagsden. Sarah was buried as “wife of William Brocket junior” 22 Dec 1737 in Kempston. Child:
- Elizabeth bap 6 Nov 1737, Kempston; m William RAY 23 Mar 1761 Kempston.
William married 2ndly Sarah WHITE 20 Feb 1737/8 in Biddenham, ‘both of Kempston’.16 Sarah Brocket was buried in Kempston 5 Oct 1741. Child:
- Samuel bap 18 Nov 1739, Kempston. Probably the Samuel Brocket, Shepherd, bur 6 Feb 1772—aged 32—Elstow, a mile or two E of Kempston.17
William married 3rdly Sarah THOMPSON, Spinster, 12 Sep 1743 in Kempston, both of the parish. William, Labourer, was buried there 3 Dec 1775; Sarah Brocket, Pauper, was buried 7 Feb 1784. Children (all b and bap Kempston)—all 4 sons had families of their own and the clan proliferated:
- Thomas, b 30 Sep, bap 21 Oct 1744. No further record, unless he was the Thomas who married Elizabeth CURTIS 9 Jan 1769 in Cranfield, where they had 4 children. That Thomas was literate, so he may not have been William and Sarah’s son.
- Mary, b 12 Aug, bap 31 Aug 1746. No further record.
- Sarah, b 18 Feb, bap 5 May 1748. Probably married Samuel WHITTINGTON, Widower, Oct 1780 Kempston. She died 3 Jun 1838 in Marston Moretaine, Beds (JH).
- Anne, b 12 Feb, bap 18 Feb 1750. Probably married Daniel MORRIS, 7 Jun 1787 Cranfield. She died 1838 in Bedford.18
- William, b 5 Aug, bap 7 Oct 1753. Most probably married Elizabeth WILCOX Bromham 26 Jun 1777 and lived there through the 1790s at least, where they had 10 children.
- John, bap 9 Mar 1755; married Mary KENDAL Oct 1778 in Biddenham. He had 8 children.
- James, b 7 Dec, bap 28 Dec 1757; married 1stly Elizabeth WILSON 5 Feb 1783 in Stagsden,19 and 2ndly Mary GEARY 22 Dec 1786 in Biddenham. He had 2 children.
- Susan, b 12 Apr, bap 1 May 1760 privately. Bur 20 Dec 1762 Kempston.
William was also recorded in the Parish Register Memoranda: he was given money out of the collection on 4 occasions: 6d on 7 Aug 1763, 1s on 25 Dec 1763, 1s on 29 Jan 1764, and 8d on 25 Mar 1764. Others were too, including the Parish Clerk, the Churchwarden and several widows. In William’s and the widows’ cases it was probably as charity.
Their descendants moved in and around Bedford for about 100 years, then in the 1850s began moving further afield to London, Northumberland and Sussex.
Samuel was baptised as BRAITHWAIT 27 Mar 1722 Kempston, second son of William I and Elizabeth of Kempston and Wootton. Samuel, Bachelor, Shoemaker of Wooton, married Sarah BASS 22 Sep 1746 in Cranfield, Spinster of the parish by banns.20 There were only two other recorded contemporary local Samuels: One was aged c 7 in 1746, presumed son of William II and nephew of this Samuel, and the other was c 24, but married Eleanor BULL in 1755 in Godmanchester and was of the St Neots line.
The Parish Register recorded Samuel and Sarah’s surname 6 times 1746-57 as Brocett. Sarah may have been baptised Cranfield 26 Mar 1722 daughter of William and Ann BASS or 10 Apr 1726, daughter of John and Ann.21 Samuel was probably at least a decade older. They stayed in Cranfield the rest of their lives—Samuel was buried there 26 Apr 1770 as BROCKET, and Sarah 8 Aug 1802.22 Children, all bap Cranfield as BROCETT:23
- Elizabeth, bap 2 Nov 1746. No further record.
- Thomas, bap 15 May 1748. Thomas married Elizabeth CURTIS 9 Jan 1769 in Cranfield. Theirs was the only other recorded Broket household in the village.
- William, bap 29 Oct 1749, bur Cranfield 26 Jan 1750 as BROCETT.
- Ann, bap 11 Apr 1756. No further record.
- Hannah, bap 18 Sep 1757; buried—as Brockitt—Cranfield 4 May 1762,24 aged 4.
There were only 8 entries in the Odell Parish Register up to 1809 (PR), doubtless all of the family of Andrew and Ann INGRAM: starting with their marriage in 1756, followed by 4 baptisms over the next 8 years and then 3 burials in the following 8. Thereafter up to 1840 the only recorded events in Odell were the marriage in May 1809 of James and Frances CURTIS and the baptism of their first child in July 1809.
|1756||9 Nov||Andrew||married Ann INGRAM, both of the parish, after Banns, both signing with their mark|
|1757||4 Dec||William||s/o Andrew and Ann Brocket baptised|
|1759||23 Sep||Sarah||d/o Andrew and Ann Brocket baptised|
|1761||2 Aug||Henry||s/o Andrew and Ann Brocket baptised|
|1764||17 Jun||Andrew||s/o Andrew and Ann Brocket baptised|
|1771||7 Oct||Henry||s/o Andrew and Ann Brockett buried|
|1774||24 Feb||Mary||Spinster buried [presumably sister of Andrew, b 1725]|
|1774||19 Mar||Andrew||Labourer buried [husband of Ann]25|
Ann was originally from the parish—baptised there 12 Nov 1732 daughter of Henry and Elizabeth INGERHAM26—but Andrew was baptised in nearby Bletsoe 1723, son of Andrew and Sarah. TR considered that William bap 1757 was the William who married Elizabeth WILCOX and had a large family in Bromham. but this is shown as unlikely, even though no more is known of this William son of Andrew and Ann. The only child of Andrew and Ann with known descendants is Andrew, bap 1764, married first to Ann LAWSON 1787. Ann, nee INGRAM, was buried 1800 in nearby Sharnbrook, where she apparently moved to be with son Andrew.
Daniel BROCKIT married Mary CARINGTON 10 Oct 1765 in Carlton, Beds.27 Daniel’s marriage, son William’s baptism in 1767 and assumed daughter Elizabeth’s marriage in 1800 are the only Brokets recorded by the IGI for Carlton, whose Parish Register dates from 1554. So Daniel would most likely have come from elsewhere. Was he son of Andrew and Sarah bap 1727 Bletsoe, c 5m NE of Carlton? If so, he would have been c 38 by then—a late marriage, like his father and grandfather before him—but no other baptism of a Daniel Broket has been found. DNA samples of descendents of probable son John are identical to descendants elder brother Andrew.
Name patterns suggested the following parents and children of Daniel and Mary:
Children (Perhaps the family were non-conformist and only baptised their eldest child in the parish church):
- William, bap 15 Dec 1767 Carlton, married Hannah HOLLADAY 6 May 1792 of Souldrop and lived there the rest of his life, dying 17 Dec 1837. His death certificate gave his age as 74, ie b c 1763, which would have been a couple of years before Daniel and Mary’s marriage.
- ?John, b c 1771, married Elizabeth PAIN 24 Dec 1804 in Felmersham.
- ?Daniel, b c 1772, married Mary MABBOT 12 Oct 1795 in Houghton Conquest.
- ?Elizabeth Brockit, married Thomas WOODING 4 Sep 1800 in Carlton.28 Was Thomas bap 1775 in Harrold,29 c 1 m N of Carlton? Daniel Wooding, recorded in Carlton in the 1841 census, aged 35, b c 1806 in the County, was most probably their son—Thomas Brocket (see next) was in his household.30 Thomas Wooding was probably buried 12 Jul 1813 in Carlton, aged 39, i.e. b c 1774.31 Elizabeth may have married again to William FAULKNER 13 May 1822 in Carlton.32
- ?Thomas, b c 1779. Recorded in the 1841 census in Carlton Moor, aged 62, Lace Maker, b in the County, in Daniel and Martha WOODING’s house. He died 5 Oct 1841 of venous congestion at Carlton, Harrold, Lacemaker, age given as 57 [ie b c 1784].33
Elizabeth, married John—possibly Jos[eph]—SOSEBERRY 13 Mar 1738 Kempston, both of the parish. A John SOSEBERRY, labourer, was buried 10 May 1742 Kempston and an Elizabeth SALISBURY, widow, was buried there 21 Jul 1750. No Soseberry/Salisbury baptisms are recorded there between 1738 and 1750. That the couple had no children and both died with 12 years of marrying suggests that they may have married late in life. Elizabeth was therefore probably the daughter of Richard and sister of William I, baptised as BRATHWOOD 17 Jul 1687 Cardington. The Elizabeth who married George GRIFFIN in 1748 was most likely William I’s daughter. There is a curious record of a John SOSEBERY marrying an Elizabeth BECKET in Bedford 6 Jun 1731.34
Elizabeth of Kempston married George GRIFFIN of WOOTTON 5 May 1748 in Kempston.35 There are no further records of Griffins in Kempston. The couple apparently moved to Waltham Abbey, Essex, c 36 m SE of Bedford, where Elizabeth was buried 12 Oct 1792.36
George was baptised in Wootton 10 Nov 1717, son of George and Ann GRIFFEN,37 so Elizabeth was most probably the Elizabeth baptised as BRAITHWAITH 14 Sep 1718 Kempston, daughter of William I and Elizabeth. Another Elizabeth, who married John / Joseph SOSEBERRY in Kempston ten years before, was most probably her aunt, sister of of William I.
Thomas, Bachelor, married Elizabeth CURTIS 9 Jan 1769 in Cranfield, Spinster, both of the parish, by banns.38 Thomas signed the Parish Register—as Brockit—suggesting that he wasn’t of Labourer stock. Samuel, Shoemaker—the head of the only other family in Cranfield from 1746—may have had the money to send a son to school, although a baptism of a son of his wasn’t recorded. That Thomas was of the parish doesn’t necessarily mean that he originated from there of course, and an otherwise unaccounted-for Thomas was born c 5 m NW in Kempston 30 Sep 1744—first son of William jnr, Labourer, and Sarah THOMPSON of Kempston.
The IGI shows an Elizabeth CURTIS bap Turvey 25 Mar 1744 daughter of Thomas and Mary. She was buried 11 Jan 1778 Cranfield,39 aged c 34. Thomas was buried 6 May 1812 Cranfield,40 aged c 68. Their children all died young:
- Matthew, bap 14 May 1769;41 bur 22 Sep 1770,42 aged 1.
- Hannah, bap 3 Mar 1771;43 bur 19 Dec 1780,44 aged 8.
- Ann, bap 15 Oct 1772;45 probably bur 3 Feb 1779,46 aged 6.
- Matthew, bap 8 Mar 1775;47 bur 5 Jan 1779,48 aged 3.
William married Elizabeth WILCOX in Bromham 26 Jun 1777 after Banns. He could have been none other than the 2nd son of William II and Sarah THOMPSON of neighbouring Kempston, b 5 Aug, bap 7 Oct 1753. William and Elizabeth then lived in Bromham till they died—she was buried there 5 Dec 1813, aged 63, and he 9 Aug 1818, aged 69. They baptised 9 known children there over a 17 year period 1779-96. For further details see the Bromham page.
Third son of William jnr and Sarah THOMPSON of Kempston, bap there 9 Mar 1755; married Mary KENDAL12 Oct 1778 in Biddenham.49 John and Mary raised their children in Biddenham. In 1794 he was recorded as a Pauper there.50 John was buried in Biddenham 1823, aged 70, ie b c 1753, and Mary in 1829, aged 81, ie b c 1748.51 They baptised 7 known children there over a 20 year period 1779-99 and were probably also the parents of:
- Thomas b c 1782, later husband of Ann CLARK of Biddenham who moved to Bromham.
- Joseph, b 1795/6 who married in Biddenham—twice—and whose 9 children were born there.
- James, son of John and Mary Brocket, was buried in Bedford St Mary on 24 Mar 1811, aged 10.52 No baptism record c 1801 has been found, and the only John and Mary known at the time were John and Mary KENDAL. They had a son James b 1791 who married Oct 1811, but this James b c 1801 could have been a second son named James, as they had a large family and baptised a daughter as recently as 1799. The only other known John and Mary were John and Maria DARLING of Bedford St Cuthbert who didn’t marry till 1821. It isn’t likely that there was another John and Mary Brocket in Bedford at the very beginning of the 19th C and who left no other trace.
Fourth and youngest son of William jnr and Sarah THOMPSON of Kempston, b 7 Dec, bap 28 Dec 1757, Kempston. James’ name was spelt Brockit and Brockett in the Register. He married 1stly Elizabeth WILSON 5 Feb 1783 in Stagsden,53 both James and Elizabeth ‘of the parish’. Elizabeth died 5 months after the marriage, buried Stagsden 28 Jul 1783.54 James married 2ndly Mary GEARY 22 Dec 1786 in Biddenham.55 The Parish Register shows that Mary FULLER had married John GEARY 11 Oct 1784 in Biddenham, that their daughter Elizabeth was bap there 22 May 1785 and that John was buried 20 Mar 1786. Children:
It isn’t known when James or Mary died—probably after 1812, as their burials aren’t in the transcription of the Parish Register, but the two 3-week spells in 1821 in Bedford Gaol recorded for James Brackett—there were no Bracketts in Biddenham—showed that as a 65 year-old Widower he was in Biddenham Workhouse:58
|Committed 14 May 1821 by Rev G O Fenwick; Offence: Misbehaviour in the Workhouse at Biddenham, and sentenced to 21 Days in Bedford New House of Correction, prison work: none; discharged 3 Jun 1821; general remarks on prisoner: very good. Aged 65, Labourer, Widower, height 5 ft 4 in, grey hair, grey eyes, fresh complexion, cut on the chin, born Kempston, resident of Biddenham.|
|Committed 24 Jul 1821 by Rev G O Fenwick; Offence: Misbehaviour in the Workhouse at Biddenham, and sentenced to 21 Days in Bedford New House of Correction, prison work: Common Labourer for 1s per week; discharged 13 Aug 1821.|
|1784||28 Feb||Sarah||buried [?bap Odell 1759]|
|1787||13 Nov||Andrew||married Ann LAWSON|
|1800||17 Jun||Ann||buried [?nee INGRAM, mother of Andrew]|
|1802||6 Aug||Ann||w/o Andrew Brockett buried [nee LAWSON]|
|1803||3 Oct||Andrew||married Elizabeth WARD|
|1805||15 Sep||Elizabeth||w/o Andrew Brocket buried [nee WARD]|
|1806||17 Nov||Andrew||married Sarah KNIGHT in Oakley|
|1811||2 Jun||Hannah||d/o Andrew and Ann Brockett baptised, aged 19, ie b c 1792|
|1811||2 Jun||Ruth||d/o Andrew and Ann Brockett baptised, aged 15, ie b c 1796|
Andrew would have been b 1764, the son of Andrew IV and Ann INGRAM of Odell, a couple of miles SW of Sharnbrook. His sister and his mother also apparently moved to Sharnbrook. Andrew, at least, lived some or much of his married life in the hamlet of Colworth. Read more
Marriages had to be solemnised in a Parish Church at this time, whereas baptisms could be performed in chapels or privately at home. So either because the family lived ‘extra parochial’ or perhaps because they were nonconformist, Andrew’s children’s baptisms weren’t all recorded and some were performed late.
Like daughters Hannah and Ruth, son John‘s baptism wasn’t recorded. But he was b c 1798 in Colworth61 so Andrew and Ann had to have been his parents. Furthermore, John’s Bedford parish before he married—St Mary—was also where Andrew was buried, and he and his wife named one of their sons Andrew. Further strong evidence comes from y-DNA of descendants of John showing identity with others from the Bedfordshire Grouping.
There is also no record of the baptism of Joseph of Biddenham, b 1795 or 6, and who married Ann WRENCH. Might he have been another son of Andrew and Ann? John and his wife had a liking for the name Joseph. However, it is much more likely that he was the son of John and Mary KENDAL of Biddenham.
It’s a remarkable repetition of history that like his great-great-grandfather namesake Andrew married three times. After banns on 28 Oct, 4 and 11 Nov 1787 he married Ann LAWSON in Sharnbrook, Bachelor and Spinster, both of the parish and signing with their mark. Ann died in 1802 and with a young family to raise, he married a 2nd time 14 months later. After banns on 13 and 25 Sep, 4 and 2 Oct 1803 he married Elizabeth WARD in Sharnbrook, she of the parish, he ‘of that house in Colworth which is extra parochial‘, both signing with their mark. Elizabeth lived less than 2 years after this, and 14 months later again Andrew married a 3rd time to Sarah KNIGHT in Oakley c 3 m S, both of the parish and signing with their mark.
Andrew had moved to Bedford St Mary by 1828, where he was buried 26 Sep, aged 64.62 A Sarah had been buried here 29 Jul 1815, aged 24.63 . This couldn’t have been Sarah KNIGHT whom Andrew had married in 1806, when this Sarah wouldn’t have been much more than 15, and he 52. More likely she was another daughter of Andrew and Ann whose baptism hadn’t been recorded, or else—less likely—from another unrecorded family.
Hannah had moved to Bedford by 1831 and Ruth by 1837. They were recipients of Bedford St John Parish Charity for 4 consecutive years 1837-40 and were recorded in impoverished circumstances in Bedford several times up to 1854.
The IGI records a marriage between John and Elizabeth PAIN in Felmersham 24 Dec 1804 followed by the baptism of a daughter Susan there 11 Aug 1805, and perhaps a son William 26 Jun 1808.64 John was very possibly a son of Daniel and Mary CARINGTON.
|These early 19th C Felmersham Broket records weren’t of direct descendants of the Felmersham couples Edward and Sarah or Richard and Elizabeth in the 1720-40s, but were probably from the same Grouping.|
Other records show that they moved to Kimbolton by c 1816 where a line lived on till at least 1891. Elizabeth was buried there 1821 and John in 1833.
Married Mary MABBOT 12 Oct 1795 in Houghton Conquest. Houghton is in Redbornestoke hundred more or less in the middle of Bedfordshire, about 5 miles from Bedford and an adjoining parish to Kempston. Mary was buried there 27 Dec 1817, aged 41, and Daniel was buried there 5 Nov 1830, aged 58,65 ie b c 1772.
Daniel’s marriage to Mary is the first Brockett record in Houghton Parish Registers which had begun more than 2 centuries before in 1539. The couple both signed the register with a mark. Mary was from the parish—baptised there 27 Jul 1777 daughter of Thomas and Anne—but Daniel was clearly from another—the register didn’t say which.
No record however of a Daniel baptism in Bedfordshire around 1770 has been found in the IGI. The only Daniels recorded in Bedfordshire were in the villages of:
- Bletsoe, baptised 30 Jul 1727
- Carlton, married 10 Oct 1795, c 7 miles W of Bedford
- Souldrop, baptised 1793, c 5 miles N of Carlton
- Souldrop, baptised 1814.
Names ran in families and Daniel was a less common one, so since these 3 villages are within 12 miles of each other, it is possible—probable even—that Daniel who married in Carlton was the grandfather of Daniel baptised Souldrop 1814 and that this Daniel who married 1795 in Houghton was another son of Daniel of Carlton.
His marriage to Mary MABBOT, the baptism of 4 of their children and the burial of 1 of them are the only Brockett records for Houghton, and spanned only 11 years: 1795-1806. Theirs was the only Broket family of Houghton. In the 3 centuries of the Parish Register 1539-1812 they were the only 6 Brocket entries:
|1795||12 Oct||Daniel||married Mary MABBOT|
|1796||31 Jul||Elizabeth||d/o Daniel and Elizabeth baptised66|
|1798||29 Jun||Edward||s/o Daniel and Mary baptised|
|1803||31 Jul||Ann||d/o Daniel and Mary baptised|
|1805||2 Jun||Daniel||s/o Daniel and Mary baptised|
|1806||23 Dec||Elizabeth||aged 11 buried|
All 3 surviving children were living in London by 1829 and stayed there.
Children of Daniel and Mary MABBOT:67
- Elizabeth, bap 31 Jul 1796, Houghton.68 The IGI recorded her parents as Daniel and Elizabeth, but this looks like an error. Buried Houghton 23 Dec 1806 ‘aged 11’.
- Edward, bap 29 Jun 1798, Houghton.69 As a teenager he—like his brother—spent a month in Bedford Gaol:
Committed 29 Mar 1815 by George Cardale, Clerk; Offence: Misdemeanour in Service, and sentenced to 1 Calendar Month Hard Labour in Bedford Old House of Correction; discharged 28 Apr 1815; general remarks on prisoner: orderly. Aged 17, height 5 ft 2 in, light brown hair, fresh complexion, resident of Houghton Conquest.70
Were they both Labourers for Rev George Cardale? He was recorded as Clergyman at Millbrook, c 3 m SW of Houghton 1830.71 Edward moved to London by 1822 and became the ancestor of a London clan which will die out in the male line by next generation.
- Ann, b 7 Apr 1803,72 bap 31 Jul 1803, Houghton.73 Married William RATFORD and had children William, Danial, Ann, Maria. In the same house as brother Daniel and wife for the 1841 census.
- Daniel, bap 2 Jun 1805, Houghton,74 and died 12 Nov 1863 Whitechapel, London—name recorded as Blockett.75 As a teenager he—like his brother—spent a month in Bedford Gaol, name recorded as Brackett:
Committed 24 Feb 1823 by Rev G Cardale; Offence: Misbehaviour in Service, andsentenced to 1 Calendar Month Hard Labour in Bedford New House of Correction; Prison Work: Mill; discharged 23 Mar 1823; general remarks on prisoner: orderly. Aged 18, Labourer, single, height 5 ft 3 in, light brown hair, hazel eyes, fair complexion, nose large on one side, born Houghton Conquest and resident there.76
Daniel moved to London by 1829 and became the ancestor of a London clan with descendants still living.
The only record found is from Bedford Gaol:
Only one visitor and one letter were allowed in 6 months. ‘He shall not by signs, words, or otherwise, hold communication with any other prisoner’.78
Diet consisted of: 2lbs bread and 2oz cheese daily for 4 days in the week, and 2lbs bread and ¾lb suet puddings for 3 days in the week.79
No William born at this time in Bedford is known, except perhaps the William who married Elizabeth in 1832 in Hereford and had daughter Ann baptised in Bedford 1835.
Here follow the unrelated—so far as we know—18th C Bedfordshire Broket individuals. The other 2 Bedfordshire kin groups of the 17th C—Edmund Brokett’s Luton family and the Dunton clan—had no known descendants in 18th C Bedfordshire. The latter had offshoots in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Suffolk—dying out there by the 1740s at the latest—but none apparently in Bedfordshire. There were a couple of families in the south of the county not linked through records to the Bedfordshire Grouping or the 17th C Luton family, the husband of one of whom was a late descendant of the Hitchin Yeoman clan, leaving a Will in 1784. This was the first Bedfordshire Broket Will since the last Dunton one 123 years earlier. Apart from him and his wife, there were only two males recorded whose connections to a clan aren’t known—Lawrence and Richard. They generated no continuing male lines, so their origins are not of wider significance:
2.1. Hannah b c 1720 Felmersham
2.2. Lawrence / Lancelot 1699-1772, of Luton
2.3. Henry d 1784 and Elizabeth SOUNDS, of Limbury, Luton
2.4. Richard b by early 1720s and Elizabeth, of Felmersham
2.5. Sarah b ?by 1740, of ?Tempsford
7 Feb 1720 Hannah daughter of Edward and Sarah Brocket was baptised in Felmersham.80 Who Edward and Sarah were is unknown. Edward wasn’t otherwise a post-1660 Bedfordshire Broket name. Of the 4 IGI records of Edwards baptised 1660-1700, none were in Felmersham or even Bedfordshire, but sons of:
- Nicholas and Annis 10 Oct 1680 Much Hadham, Herts
- Edward and Elizabeth 18 Mar 1687 Gilstone, Herts
- Gatward and Sarah 25 Nov 1688 St Botolph Colchester, Essex
- William and Sarah 5 Feb 1692 Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire.
and of the 3 Edwards the IGI records marrying 1680-1725 none were to a Sarah, but to:
- Elizabeth RANDOLPH 18 Jan 1684 Widford, Herts
- Ann … 6 Feb 1704 St Mary Hitchin, Herts
- Elizabeth WORBOYS 12 Apr 1716 Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire.
5 Sep 1729 Lawrence Brockett married Ann Briden in St Mary’s. Ann was local—bap St Mary’s 18 Mar 1700/1. Lawrence was baptised in Shillington 1699. Ann died 1741 and on 28 Jul 1746 Lawrence married Mary Pritchard. In subsequent records he was called Lancelot, except his burial. The relationship to Lawrence of Sarah who married 1730 and Henry who married 1741 is unknown. The male lines died out. Following are all the Luton records from this period:
Henry Brockett married Elizabeth SOUNDS in Luton 26 Oct 1741.81 The Wills of “Henry Brocket of Limbury in the Parish of Luton Yeoman” and of “Elizabeth Brockett of Limbury in the Parish of Luton Widow” were proved 28 Sep 1784 and 6 Nov 1784 respectively.82 Until the discovery of the Hitchin Manor Court surrender and readmission by Henry and his wife Elizabeth of the property called The Ship in Walsworth on 19 December 1769,83 it wasn’t known who these two were. They clearly had no children and their Wills didn’t mention their copyhold property in Hitchin. The Court entry reads: “that Henry Brockett of Limbery in the parish of Luton, Bedfordshire, labourer, nephew and heir of Edward Brockett late of Walsworth deceased victualler on 19 December 1769 surrendered the customary messuage wherein the said Edward Brockett deceased formerly dwelt situate at Walsworth and now in the tenure of James Green commonly called or known by the name of The Ship and 5 acres of pasture to the use of the said Henry and his wife Elizabeth who were admitted.”
20 or more years after Edward and Sarah baptised Hannah in Felmersham in 1720 there was a couple in the village, as witnessed by an informative entry in the Milton Ernest Parish Register—the sole Broket one:
Art[?ery] was therefore b c 1741, and Richard by the early 1720s at the latest and 1680 at the earliest, but not in Felmersham, according to the IGI. Milton Ernest is c 3 m SE of Felmersham. Probably connected to the Bletsoe or Blunham families. Beds Richard was bap Blunham 1659.
|The only baptisms of Richards in the IGI 1680-1725 were sons of:|
|Andrew bap 27 Nov 1659 Blunham Bedford
Richard and Ann bap 5 Dec 1673 Horsham Sussex
Edward 8 Jul 1687 St Mary Hitchin Hertford
William 13 Sep 1696 Guilden Morden Cambridge
Richard 6 Jan 1710 Newark Upon Trent Nottingham
Jos and Marth 20 Jun 1716 Mareham Le Fen Lincoln
|And the only marriages of Richards in the IGI 1650-1750 were to:|
|Isabell HASKER 29 Oct 1632 St. Mary Reading Berkshire
Elizabeth SIMPSON 4 Sep 1706 Newark Upon Trent
Sarah TAYLER 22 Dec 1711 Codicote
Rebecka TRUNKETT 6 Jan 1717 St. Botolph Bishopsgate London
The early 19th C Felmersham family wouldn’t have been descendants.
The only entry in the Tempsford Parish Register in the 18th C was the marriage on 8 Apr 1760 between Sarah Brocket, Spinster, and William ABBOT, Widower, by banns, both of the parish, both signing with their mark, witnesses Joseph SOUNDES and Robert FRANKS. Although of the parish by 1760, Sarah would have been baptised elsewhere—there was a gap of 97 years since the last Broket entry in the Parish Register. Sarah would probably have been born by 1740, but it isn’t clear who her parents were.
Page Last Updated: April 5, 2020