Brokets of southeast N America 18th C
Lots more research on the records of Brokets from this area is needed.1 If you can help in any way, do make contact. if you know of records either not referred to here, or misinterpreted, please let us know. This research needs a lot of assistance.
During the 18th C most of southeastern Broket men appear to have been sons of immigrants. One or two weren’t: Edward recorded in 1725 who was probably a visiting seafarer and Robert and Annabella, who were immigrants to Alexandria in 1784/5 from Scotland.
It seems that almost all the known Broket immigrants to N America during both the 17th and 18th C came to the southeast—in which we include not just Virginia and the wider Chesapeake Bay area, but also the Carolinas. Only one known Brockett is known to have immigrated to New England during this whole period. For immigrants to the southeast in the 17th C, see this separate page.
Contents of this page:
- William and Mary Brothett of Norfolk Co VA 1703
- Francis Brocket/t of Princess Anne Co VA d 1712
- Edward Brocket Ship’s Commander 1725
- Thomas Brockett Convict 1731
- Francis Brocket/t of Pasquotank Co NC d 1732
- Joshua Brockit of Pasquotank Co NC d 1747
- Benjamin Brockett of Craven Co NC d 1758 (See separate page.)
- William Brockett of Craven Co, NC, 1773, later of York Co SC (See separate page.)
- Joel Brockett d 1777
- John Brockett d 1812
- Redding Brockett d ?1834
- Richard Brockett 1780
- John Brocket: Sailed to Delaware 1785
- Benjamin Brocket/t of Jones Co NC d 1819
- Robert and Annabella Brocket, Alexandria VA 1784/5 (See separate page.)
Every so often an unexpected discovery in a document demolishes a longstanding interpretation of earlier events, and years of assumptions that were built upon it suddenly fall away. In our research over the last 25 years into the history of American Brocketts 3 of these stand out:
1. The Will of John Brockett of Grimston, Norfolk, England, discovered in 2005, see the separate page.
2. The divorce petition of Lydia Brockett, discovered in 2021, see the separate page.
3. This William of Norfolk VA, undiscovered in Aug 2022. For an account of the undiscovery, see the separate page.
See the separate page.
In a Power of Attorney dated 23 Apr 1725 in London Mr Jonathan Forward of London Merchant appointed Mr Patrick Simpson of Maryland Merchant to be his Attorney and Agent giving him full power to act on his behalf in Maryland in whatever way necessary. Specific mention was made empowering him “in cases of the misconduct or misbehaviour of Edward Brocket the present commander of the Goodship or vessel called the Rappahanock Merchant lately bound to Virginia or his successors as also of Peter Casey the super cargoe thereof to eject displace & remove each and every of them out of and from such their respective stations And to substitute and appoint such other proper person or persons in their or either of their stead and place as his said Attorney shall think fitt and to call them or either of them to account touching the trusts committed to their care & management and to give proper discharges as occasion may require and to transact & manage all affaires relating thereto in all respects with the like authority as if he the said [Mr Jonathan Forward] were personally present…”2
Discussion: A ship named Rappahanock sounds as though it was based in Maryland, in which case its commander may well have been too. No records of an Edward Brocket, Mariner, have been found in England at that period. Who was Edward?
Transported as a convict 1731.3 Thomas was “indicted for feloniously stealing an hundred Weight of old Iron”, for which the punishment was transportation.
“In 1717, the British Parliament adopted a policy of transportation, which banished convicts to the American colonies, usually for 7 years, and this allowed them to be bought and sold as indentured servants during their sentences. … Neither men nor women could marry until they completed or purchased their service contracts.”4
His origin isn’t known. Nash said, “He may have been Brackett. I found him on a VA tax list once, but nothing thereafter.”5
Nash dubbed him ‘Francis II’. 6 records have so far been found:
Record 1: 1720 4/5 Oct. Court copy of an indenture between Frances Brocket and Thomas Ewell, both of Linhaven Parish, Princess Ann Co.6
Record 2: Deposition of Francis Brocket 6 Sep 1721 Princess Ann Co on the motion of James Ewell.8
That some time in the month of January & year one thousand seven hundred & nineteen he at the request of James Ewell went with him to the house of Mr Cason Moore [at] the eastern shore in the County of Princess Ann being the late dwelling house of his mother Mrs Sarah Clowes deceased to assist him bring home the negroes belonging to Elizabeth his then wife & daughter of Mr William Moore formerly of the said places which this deponant understood was given her by William Moore her deceased brother in his last will & testament and were born since his death & in the possession of the said Cason Moore his executors & then heard the aforesaid James Ewell tell him he was come for his negroes who thereupon answered that he would goe with him to the plantation where they then were and delivered them & accordingly the said Moore, Ewell, & my Self went to the late dwelling house of the abovesaid Mr. William Moore & when there heard the said Moore say to the aforesaid James Ewell one of your negroes is runaway but if you will stay awhile she will be back againe presently upon which he told Mr. Moore that if he would lend him his horse he would goe & look her which the aforesaid Cason Moore immediately did & then the said Ewell went away & in some short time afterwards & [sic] brought her with him upon which the said Moore went into the Kitchen were [sic] was a negro woman her two sons & one daughter & delivered them to the aforesaid Ewell telling the said negroes they must get their things & go along with him the aforesaid James Ewell which they instantly did in the presence of the said Executor & came away with him & my self who brought them over Linhaven river & left them that night at Mrs. Susannah Thorowgoods which negroes he has severall times since seen in the possession of the said Ewell & his wife and further saith not.
Princess Ann. At a Court held the 6th. of September 1721. Then came Francis Brocket personally into Court & made oath to the above Deposition which on the motion of James Ewell is ordered to be Recorded
Nash used this deposition to make the following calculation of dates and hence descent:
1. Working backwards from the known birth of William in 1748 and assuming bridegroom ages of 25—younger than average—provides a birth date of c 1698 for Francis II. A deposition dated 6 Sep 1721 states that Francis II was “aged twenty one years and upward” and so born 1700 or earlier.9 He was also selling land in 1720, for which he probably had to have been 21, therefore born by 1699.
2. This allows for Francis II to have been the 2nd son of Francis I and Rebecca, married by 1696.
Susanna Sandford Thorowgood, widow of Argall, was also administratrix of his [Cason Moore’s] estate. She was the daughter of Mrs Sarah More Sandford Clowes by her (Mrs Clowes’) second marriage to John Sandford who had died by 1692/3.10
Record 3: 1721 Purchase by Edward Faircloth and Francis Brockett of a tract of land in Pasquotank Precinct 17 Oct 1721 from Thomas and Elizabeth Merriday.11
Record 5: 1729 petition to record a Baptist meeting house
Record 6: Inventory of the estate of Francis Brockitt of Pasquotank deceased 12 Aug 1732
Possible children of Francis and Mary:
- ?Frances (probably female) witnessed the will of Elizabeth Torksey, Pasquotank Co, NC, 1754. Her name and estimated age suggest that her father was Francis II.
- Jacob Brocket was mentioned only in a 1755 Muster roll for the Pasquotank County Militia, a s Private in Capt Samuel Lowman’s Company.15 Given that militia service usually was required of men 16 to 60, one cannot guess at his date of birth. He probably died at an early age.
- Nash also speculated that Benjamin d 1758 Craven Co, North Carolina was a child of Francis and Mary, but this has been shown to have been mistaken, see separate page.
Record: Estate inventory [to follow]
Joshua d 1747 Pasquotank Co, North Carolina—just south of Norfolk Co. It was a [Nash: “the”] custom in Virginia then for first-born children to be named for their grandparents and second-borns for parents,16 so Joshua has been assumed elder son, named for his maternal grandfather, who had furnished the land the family lived on. Married Perthinia …. Children:
- ?Joel—perhaps born to a yet unidentified first wife of Joshua—was paying taxes in Pasquotank Co in the 1750s, therefore born probably before 1730. See below.
- John. The 1748 settlement of Joshua’s estate referred to John Brockit’s part, “orphan of Joshua Brockit Decised”.17 If Joel was an elder brother, perhaps he wasn’t named in Joshua’s estate because he was an adult. Married Mary ?FAIRCLOTH and their son Redding has living descendants.18
Plan of the Town and Port of Edenton in Chowan County, North Carolina, 1769:19
Nash speculated that Joel was perhaps born to a yet unidentified first wife of Joshua. Joel was paying taxes in Pasquotank Co in the 1750s, therefore born probably before 1730. He was married at the time of his death in 1777 and had a son and daughter, the former of whom, Joel jnr, was named in the 1790 census as being more than 21 years of age. No descendants of Joel jnr are currently known.
On 20 Jun 1761 Joel Brocket was granted 51 acres on the NE side of Pasquotank river, Pasquotank Co NC.20
Redding was one of the Camden Co NC Broket clan. Its 1810 census only gave initials for first names, so we only assume that R Brockett was Redding, as follows:
R Brockett, aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1765-84], with 2 males aged 0-10, and 2 females, one aged 16-26 [presumably a daughter], and 2 aged 26-45 (one presumably his wife), one other, and 4 slaves.21
4 other households in the 1810 census in Camden Co NC were recorded:
D B Brockett, [2 entries above Redding’s], a male and a female both aged 16-26 [i.e. b 1784-94], 1 male 0-10, and 6 slaves.22
T R Brockett, a male aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1765-84] and one 45+, a female aged 16-26 [i.e. b 1784-94], 2 males 0-10, and 4 slaves.23
J Brockett, a male aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1765-84], 2 males 0-10 and 2 10-16, 3 females 0-10, 2? 10-16, one 26-45, one 45+, one other, and 7 slaves.24
J Brockett, a male aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1765-84], 2 females aged 16-26 [i.e. b 1784-94], 2 males 0-10 and one 10-16, 2 females 0-10, and 8 slaves.25
These five 1810 Brockett households comprised 34 free Whites, 29 slaves and one other. The 18 white males consisted of 9 aged under 10, 3 aged 10-16, 1 aged 16-26, 4 aged 26-45 and 1 aged 45 or over. The 16 white females consisted of 5 aged under 10, 2? aged 10-16, 5 aged 16-26, 3 aged 26-45 and 1 aged 45 or over. The age and sex of slaves weren’t provided.
In the 1820 census for Camden Co NC Redding’s name was given in full:
Note concerning the columns in the forms:Read more
Before 1830, enumerators lacked pre-printed forms. The enumerator for Camden Co included a number of columns to the right of the page not in the form found on some census guide websites.27 The Camden returns have no headings for any columns, but those before and after—for Brunswick Co and Anson Co—do and the the Camden columns correspond exactly. On the first Brunswick page28 the column headings are in the following order: Whites: males—To 10, To 16, 16-18, 18-26, To 45, 45&c; females—To 10, To 16, To 26, To 45, 45&c; Foreigners, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures; Slaves: males—To 14, To 26, To 45, To 45+; females—To 14, To 26, To 45, To 45+; Free coloured [sic]: males—To 14, To 26, To 45, To 45+; females—To 14, To 26, To 45, To 45+; Total.
According to the US Census Bureau these correspond to the questions enumerators were to ask.29
These same column headings can be seen on the opening page for the form for Huntley, Anson Co, NC, the next section after Camden Co:30
3 other households were recorded in Camden Co NC in the 1820 census. The heads of households may have been married to some of the 4 recorded in 1810 above, who would either have died, moved elsewhere or been absent:
Jane Brockett, aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1775-94]; with 2 males aged 0-10, 1 aged 10-16 and 1 aged 18-26 [presumably sons]; 1 female aged 0-10 and 1 aged 16-26 [presumably daughters]; 4 male slaves aged 0-14, 1 aged 14-26, 1 aged 26-45, and 1 aged 45 or more; 2 female slaves aged 0-14 and 1 aged 14-26; and a total of ?4 working in agriculture, including slaves.31
Amey Brockett, aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1775-94]; with 1 male aged 16-18, 1 aged 18-26, 1 aged 26-45; 1 female aged 0-10; 1 male slave aged 0-14, and 1 aged 45 or more; and a total of 3 working in agriculture, including slaves.32
Abba Brockett, aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1775-94]; with 2 males aged 18-26; 1 female aged 0-10, 1 aged 10-16, and 1 aged 26-45; 2 male slaves aged 0-14; 2 female slaves aged 0-14, and 1 aged 26-45; and a total of 2 working in agriculture, including slaves.33
No Bracketts were recorded.
A Brockett FORBES was also recorded with a female [presumably his wife] both aged 16-26.34 [Perhaps his mother was a Brockett.]
These four 1820 Brockett households comprised 24 free Whites, 22 slaves. The 13 white males consisted of 3 aged under 10, 2 aged 10-16, 1 aged 16-18, 4 aged 18-26, and 3 aged 26-45. The 11 white females consisted of 5 aged under 10, 1 aged 10-16, 1 aged 16-26, 4 aged 26-45. None were aged 45 or over. The 13 male slaves consisted of 7 aged under 10, 3 aged 10-26, 1 aged 26-45, and 2 aged 45 or over. The 9 female slaves consisted of 4 aged under 10, 3 aged 10-26, 1 aged 26-45, and 1 aged 45 or over.
Perhaps the ancestry of some present-day black Brocketts can be traced back to these households.
The final page of the Camden Co section provides the totals for the county in 1820: 4502 free Whites, 112 Free coloured [sic!] persons, 1754 slaves, 1844 persons engaged in agriculture, 14 in commerce, and 22 Foreigners.
Redding is said to have been the son of John Brockett d 1812, and the father of John A Brockett b c 1815-8 (Elizabeth VA), who in turn is said to have been the father of John B Brocket, 1854-1900, ancestor of Clyde.
Richard Brockett, Private in the American Revolution, was discharged 1 Nov 1780.35 No other record of Richard has so far been found. Who might his parents have been? He is another example of the incompleteness of our knowledge of the Brokets of southeastern N America 17-18th C.
From 1675-1725 Delaware was a destination for North Midlands emigrants, but by 1785 Scottish and Irish emigrants may well have predominated.36 John sailed for North America in the Faithful Stuart 19 Jul 1785. He dramatically survived shipwreck off Delaware and went to join his brother Robert in Alexandria, Virginia until moving 1788 to Roseau, Dominica in the West Indies, where he died unmarried in 1796 and is said to have left an estate worth £15,000.37
Nash referred to him as ‘Benjamin II’ and considered him to be the younger son of Benjamin I d 1758, “because THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE to whom he could have belonged. He was probably born posthumously.”
Birth: Nash’s suggested posthumous birth was because of a 1774 apprenticeship record for Benjamin which gave his age as 14, i.e. b c 1760. Benjamin I had died in 1759. Nash gave the source as Craven Co court records, see his ‘Time Line of Southern US Brocketts, but the reference has not so far been seen. The record apparently said he was apprenticed to John Davis, bricklayer of New Bern, NC, September 1774. The 1800 census, however gave his age as 26-45, i.e. born between 1755-74.
Marriage: Married Nancy FROST. [To follow.]
1790: The census for Jones Co NC recorded Benj Brocket as a head of family with one white female [presumably his wife], one white male under 16 [presumably a son], and 32 slaves.38 There were 581 heads of families recorded in the County that year.39 This was apparently in Newbern District.40 Note: The 1790 land grant indexed to William ‘Brockett’ of Jones Co, was a mistranscription for ‘Barnett’, see the separate page.
1798/9: Sheriff of Jones Co, NC, 1798/9. [To follow.]
1800: The census for Jones Co NC recorded Benjamin Brockett, aged 26-45 [i.e. b between 1755-74] as a head of household with one white female aged 26-45 [presumably his wife], 1 white female 10-16 and 2 white males and 3 white females under 10 [presumably all children], 1 other free person and 9 slaves.41 Comment: Aged 26-45 in 1800 would give an earliest birth date for Benjamin of 1755, and assuming he was the son of Benjamin who died 1758, that would be the latest date. Benjamin wasn’t apparently recorded in the 1810 census. There was a Benjn Brickett Esq in Franklin Co NC, and a Benjamin Brackett in Morganton, Burke Co NC, along with householders Adkins and Nancy Brackett, but not this Benjamin Broket.
1813: According to Nash, Benjamin “sold what was apparently the last of his land to Amos Foscue for $1000: 450 acres on Great Branch on Whiteoak River at John Martin Bender’s line to a pine standing by a negro’s grave, and along river to beginning.”42 Amos Foscue was the youngest son of Simon Foscue Sr’s third and last wife.43 Simon’s first wife Sarah was the widow of Benjamin’s presumed father Benjamin Brocket, d 1758, see the separate page.
1819: Benjamin died in New Hanover Co, NC, leaving his estate to his widow Nancy.44
· Hiram Brocket was recorded in New Hanover NC in 1820, aged 26-45 [i.e. b 1775-94], with 1 white female 26-45 [presumably his wife], 2 white males aged 10-16, 1 white female under 10 [presumably all children], and 1 male slave aged 0-14.47 H Brocket was recorded in Sampson NC (neighbor of New Hanover to the north) in 1840, aged 40-50 [i.e. b 1790-1800], with 1 female 30-40 [presumably his wife], 1 female under 5, 1 male and 2 females 5-10, 2 males and 1 female 10-15, and 1 male and 1 female 15-20 [presumably all children], all White.48 Hiram Brockett was recorded in Newbern, Craven Co NC in 1850, Merchant, aged 48 [i.e. b c 1802], in the house of Alice Fisher, aged 48.49 There is an original gravestone in Willow Dale Cemetery, Goldsboro, Wayne Co NC, for Hiram Brockett, died 30 Apr 1855, aged 60.50
· Wm Brockett was recorded in Decatur GA, in the Sep 1850 census, aged 46 [i.e. b c 1804], Farmer, born NC, with the following members of his household: Mary, 35, b NC; Bennet, 20, Laborer, b FL; Hiram, 18, Laborer, b FL; Harriet, 14, b FL; Caroline, 12, b FL; Jesse, 10, b FL; Ganilda, 6, b GA; Laura, one month, b GA;.51 Accordingly, they were in Florida from at least 1830-40, and came to Georgia by 1844. William Brockett was defendant in a case decided in the GA Supreme Court, Baker Co, in 1856, concerning a legal argument whether property held in trust was liable to settle a trustee’s debts:52Read more
Information from witness testimonies in the case:
Witnesses for the defense: In 1845 William Brockett had no slaves. In June 1845 Aaron DIXON made a deed of gift to Brockett’s wife (his daughter) and children—in particular Bennett—of 3 slaves: Nancy and two children, Armstead and Tom. He had purchased them in Gadsden Co FL in Jan 1841. The deed was destroyed in a fire in 1848. In 1845 Nancy was aged about 30, “black complexion, stout, and limped a little while walking”; Armstead was 7 or 8 and Tom about 5. DIXON had other slaves, and 4 or 5 of his own children in addition to Brockett’s wife. Brockett said “Dixon gave Bennett the negroes because Bennett was his first grand-son.” In Dec 1845 William Brockett swapped Tom for two “negro children” aged about 6 and 4 called Reddick and Margaret with a man called John MORROW. Tom was valued at $350 or 400. Brockett said DIXON had authorized him to do the swap for the benefit of his son Bennett S Brockett, a minor. Bennett had 6 brothers and sisters at the time.
Witness for the plaintiff: DIXON had 10 children and in 1845 had only 2 other slaves. He said that William Brockett came to Georgia from Florida in 1841, brought Armstead and Tom with him and “was worth little or nothing”.
On 3 Aug 1885 the Decatur Co court appointed W S Brockett guardian of ?Missie and ?Bill Brockett, orphans of Hiram Brockett:53
If this was this William, he would have been about 81.
Page Last Updated: October 1, 2022