Henry and Ann Brockett of Lanchester and Durham
Here is an exception to the rule that the surname Broket did not derive from Brock or Brok. It also proves—without the need for DNA evidence—that not all Broket clans are related.
Contents of this page:
- Durham St Oswalds
- Brock and Brocket interchangeable
- Brocks of Lanchester
- Henry and Ann’s children
Durham St Oswalds
A headstone in Durham St Oswalds churchyard records the burials of Henry and Ann Brockett in 1792 aged 72 and 1794 aged 70 respectively. They should therefore have been baptised c 1720 and 1724. Henry’s will shows that he was a Yeoman from Croxdale, a Chapelry in St Oswalds parish, where he farmed fields called Outherin Closes, probably part of the Salvin estate.1
Other Brockets had been baptised, married and buried in Durham St Oswalds 1644-1823, so it was thought likely that Henry was part of that clan, or of another Durham City one. But Henry’s baptism does not appear in any Durham registers. Nor indeed did any of his children’s. In fact he came from Lanchester, 8 miles to the west, where he and Ann married in 1742 and stayed for at least another 22 years—their youngest son was baptised there 1764.
There are 2 indexes to the Lanchester Parish Registers:
- Book 93 which records marriages 1561-1837 and has one Brocket entry: Henry and Ann Aynsley 1742, as transcribed into the IGI.
- An older index, Book 131, which records baptisms, marriages and burials 1560-1781 and provides folio references to the actual Register Books.2
Book 131 has 3 Brocket entries with folio references as follows:
|Henry Brocket & Ann Aynsley||C f 19|
|William Brocket son of Henry||C f 27|
|Deborah Brocket daughter of Anthony||D f 21|
Who might Anthony Brocket have been? The actual folios record:
|Henry Brocket & Ann Aynsley||married 27 Dec 1742||both of this parish|
|William||baptised 28 May 1745||son of Henry & Ann Brocket of Broom-house|
|Deborah||baptised 23 May 1748||daughter of Henry & Ann Brocket of Langley Lane|
- ‘Anthony’ was a transcription error by the compiler of the index and Deborah was in fact the daughter of Henry and Ann, as reflected later in Henry’s will.
- William was baptised in Lanchester. This had been missed by the IGI transcribers.
- Henry and Ann lived on in Lanchester after their marriage in 1742, through 1745 to 1748.
- Henry and Ann were both natives of Lanchester.
Why though weren’t there any other Brockets in the Lanchester registers, and why only the baptisms of two of Henry and Anne’s five children? His will mentioned Hugh, John and Mary as well.
A glance at preceding pages of Book 131 provides the solution. While there was only one Brocket recorded in Lanchester of Henry’s generation and before—himself— there were more than 30 Brocks. Moreover, they had names which tallied with Henry’s family, like Hugh, Deborah and Henry. More particularly, there was a marriage record of a Deborah Brock to a Samuel Wild. Henry’s will shows that his daughter Deborah married a Wild.
- Henry Brocket started life as Henry Brock.
- Although he had been using Brocket at least since his marriage in 1742, he continued to use Brock as well at least into his 40s.
- Three of his five children were baptised as Brocks in Lanchester, including the last one, John, as late as 1764.
- His eldest daughter Deborah, although baptised as a Brocket, married as a Brock 24 years later in 1772.
A few Brocks from Register Books C and D:3
|Year||Brock||Event||Lanchester Parish Register entry|
|1721||Henry||baptised 9 Jul||son of William Brooke of Broomhouse|
|1722||Hugh||buried 10 Jul||of Broom House [brother of Henry?]|
|1737||William||buried 16 Jul||of Broom house [father of Henry?]|
|1743||Hugh||baptised 27 Dec||son of Henry Brock of Broom-house|
|1746||Mary||baptised 13 May||daughter of Henry & Ann Brock of Langley Lane|
|1753||John||buried 21 Jan||son of William & Elizabeth Brock of Langley Lane [brother of Henry?]|
|1764||John||baptised 26 Nov||son of Henry & Ann Brock of Stobbilee|
|1772||Deborah||married 8 Aug||of this parish, to Samuel Wild of the parish of Chester le Street, by licence.|
It appears that Henry grew up in Broomhouse and was joined there by Ann during the time of the birth of their first two children (Hugh and William). Then they lived in Langley Lane, where their next two were born (Mary and Deborah). For their last (John) they were at Stobbilee Farm, on a hillside a couple of miles from Lanchester parish church.
Henry described himself in his will as ‘Yeoman’. He himself could not write, but his sons could. John for one was well educated. The 19th century saw the family spread out around the world from Havana to China and from Jamaica to New Zealand.
Page Last Updated: September 16, 2018