Children of Capt William and Patsey Brockett - The Broket Archive

Children of Capt William and Patsey Brockett

More Y-DNA results of descendants are urgently needed. Currently we have them from only two sons of William and Patsey: William and Elisha We need more both from them, and from descendants of other sons. Where are they now? Are you one of them? Please email us at broket @ one-name . org (spaces inserted to reduce spam). See the Y-DNA evidence gathered so far here.

Contents of this page:

Family Bible register
William’s Will 1819
Illinois censuses
William and Patsey’s children


The purpose of this page is to evidence the early ancestry of participants in the Y-DNA project—and only to the extent of making sure we have the correct son in their chain of descent. Being a Y-DNA project this obviously only concerns sons, and only those we know had descendants. The purpose is not to try to provide full accounts of either their lives, or of the lives of all William and Patsey’s children; other researchers have done this. We are only concerned here in providing sufficient evidence to document the sons’ existence. The principal sources of our evidence are the contemporary Family Bible, William’s Will of 1819 and US Federal censuses.

Family Bible register

As evidence to support his mother’s pension application in 1839 son Benjamin produced the register or family record from the Family Bible. This would have been the “big house Bible” bequeathed by Capt William to sons Benjamin and William in his Will of 1819, and therefore as a document predates the Will. Much of it also appears to have been in William’s handwriting. The relevant pages were torn from the Bible and attached to the application and so have been preserved, and have recently been transcribed and reproduced on the internet by Will Graves for all to examine.1 For other details about the pension application, see the separate page.

Will Graves’ reproduction has 3 consecutive dual panels with the original handwritten entries in the right-hand panels and transcriptions in the left-hand ones. The original pages in the Bible also had dual panels but both contained handwritten entries. Thus, the first right-hand panel in Will Graves’ reproduction was the left-hand panel of the first page from the Bible and the second right-hand panel in the reproduction was the right-hand panel of the first page from the Bible. The third right-hand panel in Will Graves’ reproduction reproduction is divided into two, the top half being the left-hand panel of the second page from the Bible and the lower half being right-hand panel.

The first 2 panels

Apart from the poorly written addition at the end of the second panel—“david talor was deceber 12 179”—the entries were all in the same elegant hand, and perhaps written up at the same time. Be that as it may, the ‘W’ of the first entry at least, that of the birth of William himself, was written with the distinctive curling tails on either side that can be seen in other examples of his signature. Benjamin testified at the hearing that the Bible was the family Bible of William Brocket his deceased father and that the record was the Register or family record, but curiously, wasn’t able to say whose handwriting it was.

Since the second panel follows the first in time we reproduce them one after the other here as transcribed by Will Graves.2

William Brockett was born June 26th Anno Domini 1748
John Brockett was born February 4th Anno Domini 1773
Benjamin Brockett was born April 18th Anno Domini 1775
Jesse Brockett was born August 9th Anno Domini 1777
Sarah Brockett was born February 25th Anno Domini 1779
William Brockett Junr was born March 24th Anno Domini 1783
Elisha Brockett was born November 9th Anno Domini 1786
Frederic Brockett was born January 7 th Anno Domini 1789
James Brockett was born February 21st Anno Domini 1790 [or 17913]
Thomas J. Brockett was born July 21 Anno Domini 1792 [middle initial is unclear, could be “I” “T” or possibly “S”, but my best guess is “J”]
Mary and Betsy Brockett were born August 15th Anno Domini 1795
Patsey Brockett was born October 25th Anno Domini, 1797
david talor was deceber 12 179

These dates of birth are the only known record we have. No church records are known of and later census records only provide approximate dates. Jacobus was sceptical about the reliability of Bibles: “Some people swear by old Bible records. My experience with them,—and I have had plenty of experience,—is that as far as dates are concerned they are much less reliable than town or church records. Very often the entries were made after the entire family of children had been born, … Comparison with church records of baptisms for the same family proves how often such mistakes occurred.”4 As mentioned, the entries in this case seem to have been written up at the same time by William. However, they are all we have.

The 3rd and 4th panels

The 3rd and 4th panels are on the flip side of the page with the first 2, as can be seen from their more-heavily-written words writing coming through to the other page. The entries were less elegantly written at different times.

Fanney Brockett she was born in October the 21 day in the year of our Lord 1813
Benjamin Brackett was maried 19 November 1809 Aged 31 years, his wife 22 years
Minerva Brackett was maried 23 Dember 1830 Aged 22 years, 4 months and four Days5
Mariah Brackett was maried the 21 June 1832 aged 22 years, Nine months and two Days
Thomas Brockett he was born in July the 21 day in the year of our Lord 1776 [?]6
Marget Brockett was born in July the 11 in the year of our Lord 1794
Merada [?] Brockett was Born in October the 24 day in the year of our lord 1813 [? last digit unclear]

In the original these panels are side by side, i.e. the 3rd on the left and the 4th on the right; here in Will Graves’ reproduction the 3rd is above the 4th. They appear to have been written by two different hands, one supplying the first entry in the left (i.e. 3rd and upper) column and then on a different occasion the three in the right (i.e. 4th and lower) column, and the other hand supplying the other three entries in the left column.

The identities of the 4 people named in the first entry in the left column and the three in the right column are currently unknown: Fanney, Thomas, Marget and Merada Brockett.+Read more

The 3 entries written by the other hand in the left column are identifiable and also of interest because the surname is clearly spelt Brackett in all three, and are transcribed correctly as Brackett. William and Patsey’s oldest surviving son was Benjamin, who became the part owner of the family Bible and produced it as evidence in Patsey’s pension application. He also signed the application in two places, one reproduced here:8

Benjamin 1840 signature pension application
Benjamin Bible marriage entry

Reproduced directly beneath Benjamin’s signature here is the first of the 3 entries in the left column of the Family Bible register. i.e. the 3rd panel, and it reads “Benjamin Brackett was maried 19 November Aged 31 years 1809 his wife 22 years”. It is clearly the same hand as the signature. The two entries following are known daughters of his: Minerva and Mariah.9

Benjamin’s marriage date, written in his own hand, appears to be 1809, and is transcribed as such. Poland commented, “The family Bible gives date, but not place of marriage. The date has been interpreted by most people as 1809, but he had two daughters born before that date and they were strictly religious people. I therefore went back to examine the film carefully. What looks like a 9 is really an old fashioned 7. My problem was solved but many mistakes have been perpetuated in later records because of this.”10 She gave birth dates for the two daughters of 19 Aug 1808 and 19 Sep 1809.

William’s Will 1819

William mentioned six sons and four daughters in his Will, written 7 Aug 1819: Benjamin, William, Elisha, Frederick, James, and Thomas, and “Sally Parkhurst, Polly Parkhurst, Betsey Parkhurst, and Patsey Wakefield”. Sons John, born 1773 and Jesse, born 1777, weren’t mentioned.

In William’s household for the 1790 census for York Co SC were 1 other male aged 16 or over, 6 males aged 0-16 and 3 females.11 Benjamin was born 1775, so was presumably not the other male aged 16 or over. The other 7 known sons were all born by 1792. It’s probable therefore that the male aged 16 or over was John, and that Jesse was either elsewhere or had died. He has not been found recorded elsewhere.

With William in his household for the 1800 census for York Co SC were 6 males, two aged 0-10, two 10-16 and two 16-26 (presumably sons), and 4 females, one aged 45 or over (presumably his wife), two 0-10 and one 16-26 (presumably daughters).12 The two (presumed) sons aged 16-26 were probably Benjamin and William, b 1783. Neither John and Jesse were apparently present.

No relevant Brokets have been found in databases for the 1810 US census, and neither John nor Jesse have been found in any later censuses.

For further details of the Will, see the separate page.

Illinois censuses

The 1820, 30 and 40 censuses show that William’s widow and sons moved to Illinois, where many of their descendants continued to live and farm the land.

Nash gave a good outline:13

William died in the spring of 1821 and was buried near Carthage, Tennessee, most likely at Russell Hill. … At the time of his death, he and Martha had been living with their son Frederick, who, with brothers James and Elisha, was still in Tennessee (Elisha would never leave). Benjamin and Thomas and some of their sisters, those who had married Parkhurst brothers, had already gone to Illinois. After William died, Frederick and James took their families and their mother and went up there, too. It was not an easy trip. One of James’s sons was killed during a bad storm when a tree crashed down on the road. They buried him and kept on going.
Once arrived in southern Illinois, Benjamin and James stayed in the vicinity of White County. Their widowed mother apparently was living with Benjamin in 1839 when she applied for her Revolutionary War widow’s pension. She was allowed $54.81 a year. It didn’t cost the government much. She was up in Effingham County the next year, staying with another son, when she died at age 89.

The 1820 census

Capt William died around this time but a census record for him as a householder hasn’t been found. The 1820 census recorded what were probably 5 of his 6 sons as heads of households: Benjamin and Thomas Brockett near each other in North of West District, White Co IL and Elisha, Frederick and James near each other in Smith Co, TN. It looks as though William and Patsey were living with Frederick.

A Willis BRACKET was recorded in Silver Creak township, St Clair Co IL, working in agriculture, aged 26-45 [i.e. b c 1775-94], with 1 male aged 0-10 (presumably a son), and 5 females, one 26-45 (presumably his wife), three 0-10 and one 16-26 (presumably daughters).14 His age corresponds with William Brockett of the 1830 census but the children not so well, especially the daughters. St Clair Co is near St Louis.
Some indexes record a John BROCKERT in Davidson Co, Tennessee, but the surname is actually BROCKEN, see Thompson 3 lines below.15

The 1830 census

27 Nov. Brocketts were recorded in Illinois in White Co and Fayette Co. Of the 37 pages for White Co—almost 1000 households—the 3 Brockett entries are all on a single page.16 This suggests that they lived close to each other and were likely related:

  1. Fredrick, aged 40-50 [i.e. b c 1780-90], with 2 males, one 5-10 and one 10-15 (presumably sons), and 4 females, one 30-40 (presumably his wife), one 0-5, one 10-15 and one 15-20 (presumably daughters).17
  2. Benj[ami]n, aged 50-60 [i.e. b c 1770-1780], with 6 males, one 5-10, two 10-15, two 15-20 and one 20-30 (presumably sons), and 5 females, one 40-50 (presumably his wife), one 5-10, one 10-15, two 20-30 (presumably daughters) and one 70-80 (perhaps his mother).18
  3. James, aged 30-40 [i.e. b c 1790-1800], with 3 males, one under 5, one 5-10 and one 10-15 (presumably sons), and 6 females, one 20-30 (presumably his wife), two under 5, one 5-10, and two 10-15 (presumably daughters).19

The following possible chart of 30 individuals can be suggested:

In Fayette Co, IL, William and Thomas Brocket were recorded near each other as heads of households, so were likely related.20

  1. Thos I/J, aged 30-40 [i.e. b c 1790-1800], with 1 male aged 5-10 (presumably a son), and 5 females, one 30-40 (presumably his wife), two 0-5, one 5-10 and one 10-15 (presumably daughters).
  2. Wm, aged 40-50 [i.e. b c 1780-90], with 4 males, one aged 0-5, one 10-15, one 15-20 and one 20-30 (presumably sons), and 4 females, one aged 30-40 (presumably his wife), two 0-5 and one 10-15 (presumably daughters).

The following possible chart can be suggested:

Comments about the 1830 census:

To follow.

The 1840 census

The 9 unnumbered pages of the 1840 census for Effingham Co IL—allotted to Samuel Houston—are preceded and followed by schedules for Edwards and Fayette Counties IL—allotted to Waltio L Mayo and Akins Evans respectively. The first Effingham page has 3 Brockett entries,21 nos.1-3 below. The following page has the entry for Martha, no.4 below, under the heading “Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services included in the foregoing”, the next page has the entry for John, then the next page the entry for William Jun, and finally 4 pages later the entry for Fredrick. Out of the 238 households in Effingham Co in 1840 6 were therefore Brocketts, Martha presumably residing in the first, and 32 individuals altogether. It is likely that the 6 were all related to each other:

  1. Thos J/I, aged 40-50 [i.e. b c 1790-1800], with 3 males, one under 5, one 5-10 and one 15-20 (presumably sons), and 3 females, one 40-50 (presumably his wife), one 10-15 (presumably a daughter) and one 80-90 (presumably Martha, perhaps his mother).
  2. Michael, aged 30-40 [i.e. b c 1800-10], with a male under 5 (presumably a son), and 2 females, one 20-30 (presumably his wife) and one under 5 (presumably a daughter).
  3. Wm Sen, aged 40-50 [i.e. b c 1790-1800], with 2 males, one 5-10, one 10-15 (presumably sons), and 3 females, one 50-60 (presumably his wife) and two 10-15 (presumably daughters).
  4. Martha J/I, aged 85 [i.e. b c 1755], 1840 United States Census, Revolutionary War Veterans.
  5. John, aged 20-30 [i.e. b c 1810-20], with a female 15-20 (presumably his wife).22
  6. Wm Jun, aged 20-30 [i.e. b c 1810-20], with 3 males, two under 5 and one 5-10 (presumably sons), and 1 female 20-30 (presumably his wife).23
  7. Fredrick, aged 50-60 [i.e. b c 1780-90], with 4 males, one 15-20, two 20-30 and one 30-40 (presumably sons), and 3 females, one 40-50 (presumably his wife), one 10-15 and one 15-20 (presumably daughters).24

The following possible chart can be suggested:

Comments about the 1840 census:

1. Although for the 1830, 40 and 50 censuses the Illinois Brocketts were recorded in three counties, they were the only Brocketts recorded in the State, and the distances between their domiciles were not great. Fredrick and family had moved from White Co, where they were recorded in 1830, to Effingham Co by 1840. Effingham is c 75-80 m N of Carmi and Enfield in White Co. Conversely, William II, at least, moved from Effingham Co, where he was recorded in 1840, to White Co for the 1850 census onwards. The William recorded in Fayette Co for the 1830 census and [as ‘Sen’] in Effingham Co for the 1840 one must have been William I, and he may not have moved—Effingham Co was created in 1831 out of Fayette Co.
2. William senior of 1840 we have called William I. The enumerator probably made an error recording his age as 40-50 rather than 50-60, perhaps mixing up the ages of William and his wife. He was more likely b c 1780-90 than 1790-1800, as in the 1830 census below.
3. William senior couldn’t have been William II, husband of Irene, who only married Irene in 1834. The William junior of 1840 would have been William II with Irene and their first 3 children, the 3rd being Michael S, as recorded in the 1850 census above. Censuses gave William II’s birth date as c 1812 (1850), c 1811 (1860) and c 1812 (1870), which correspond with the lower end of the 1810-20 range in this 1840 census. The census only gave birth dates within a decade.
4. William junior couldn’t have been William III, whose oldest child was only 8 in the 1850 census. William III probably married and became a householder soon after this 1840 census.
5. Fredrick, William senior and Thomas appear to be of an older generation than Michael, William Junior and John. Fredrick who was a householder in White Co in 1830 could have been father of one or more of Michael, William Junior and John, as could William I have been, who was a householder in Fayette Co in 1830. It’s unlikely that Thomas had children born 1800-20; the 1830 census gave his birth date as 1790-1800 and his only child at home born before 1820 was a daughter.

William and Patsey’s children

The purpose of this webpage as explained above is to try to provide sufficient evidence to document the existence of those sons of William and Patsey whose descendants in the male line are participants in the Y-DNA project. The purpose is not to try to provide full accounts of either their lives, or of the lives of William and Patsey’s other children. However, in anticipation of other participants joining and for the sake of completeness, we include basic evidence of all their known children, as follows For ease of reference here again as the chart:

More to follow on most of the children.

This page is
Page under construction!

Please check back later.

Page Last Updated: June 8, 2022


For full bibliographical details please see the sections Publications or Glossary.


[1] At (accessed 24 Oct 2018). Many thanks are due to Will Graves for his sterling and scholarly work transcribing thousands of similar documents and making them available for researchers on the excellent website

[2] We reproduce Will Graves'  transcription as of 19 Mar 2018, with his notes in square brackets, and other comments in footnotes.

[3] Most likely 1790, see the 1790 census,

[4] 1930 p 85.

[5] The name could be Minerve, with the 've' as in November of the previous entry.

[6] 1790? 1796?

[7] Poland 1996 vol 1 p 2; EJ Brockett 1905 p 77.

[8] With kind permission from Will Graves' website at (accessed 24 Oct 2018).

[9] Poland 1996 vol 1 p 3; EJ Brockett 1905 p 117.

[10] 1996 vol 1 p 3. EJ Brockett gave no marriage date.

[11] 1790 US Federal Census for York Co SC, p 619 (or 948), about three quarters of the way down the page.

[12] 1800 US Federal Census for York Co SC, p 619, 19 lines up from the bottom of the page.

[13] 2000 p 34, reproduced with permission from the author. The book is not easily found, due to the small print run.

[14] 1820 US Federal Census for St Clair Co IL, p 128 line 19.

[15] NARA series M33, NARA roll 122.

[16] 1830 US Federal Census for White Co, p 12, 6 or 7. lines 2, 10 and 18.

[17] line 2.

[18] line 10.

[19] line 18.

[20] 1830 US Federal Census for Fayette Co IL, Samuel Houston's enumeration p 238 or 474, lines 14 and 23. Thomas' surname was wrongly indexed in the FMP database under Brockel.

[21] 1840 US Federal Census for Effingham Co, sheet no.4?, lines 6, 20 and 24.

[22] line 14, mistakenly indexed in some databases under Breckett.

[23] line 4.

[24] penultimate line.