I think you’ll agree that the surname Braket—or Brackett and other variants—is orally distinct from the surname Broket. If your surname is Brackett you don’t get called Brockett—at least not in the UK.Read more
The ‘a’ and ‘o’ sounds in an emphatic short first syllable in English are not ordinarily interchangeable. Thus the words packet and pocket are not oral variants—no one says, “Take your hands out of your packets!” Nor are hat and hot—no one says, “Take your hot off!” If these words get mixed up in writing, they are mistakes in spelling or writing.
A few such scribal misspellings of Broket by Braket have occurred in the UK down the centuries—some obvious, some less obvious—and conversely some of Braket by Broket may have occurred.
Note: this Archive spells the surnames as Braket and Broket when no specific variant is being referred to—as a kind of lowest common denominator. These Braket and Broket spellings are also neutral, scarcely in use today at all.
A different issue is whether you’ll find the surname Broket as an alias of Braket, or vice versa. UK records show that Broket aliases have been adopted by bearers of the surnames Brock and Brothwood. A question therefore is: has Broket also been an alias of Braket—or vice versa—in the USA?
Contents of this page:
1. When is a variant not a variant?
2. Braket as an alias of Broket
2.1. John Braket baptisms in England 1600-20
3. Brakets in N America
3.1. Benjamin Bracket of Ashfield MA, 1790-1810
3.2. Jacob Bracket of W Springfield MA, b 1727
3.3. Chauncy Brocket/Bracket of Onondaga, New York, 1777-1850
3.4. Brakets of Maine 18-19th C
3.5. Brakets of SW North Carolina 18th and 19th C
3.6. Brakets of Georgia 19th C
The difference between a variant and an alias is that a variant is, or starts as, just a different or erroneous spelling, like Brockett for Brocket, or Brockel for Brocket, i.e. a written phenomenon. An alias, on the other hand, is the conscious and sustained use by someone of a different name to their original one, like the conscious adoption of the surname Broket or Brockett by someone originally called Braket or Brackett, or vice versa. This is mainly an oral phenomenon and can be passed on to subsequent generations. The words confusion and cross-over are also used in some contexts in this website in reference to variants and aliases.
In the UK there have been a few isolated instances of Broket/Braket variants by misspelling or idiosyncratic transcription. But they haven’t passed on to the next generation, except in one case. In the USA, however, especially among the New Haven Broket Grouping, records show that Broket and Braket alternated regularly with each other for at least the first 100 years—or 3 or 4 generations—of their immigration, and in some cases passed on to subsequent generations. It’s curious and difficult to explain. Might the early New England accent not have distinguished between the ‘o’ and ‘a’ in the surnames so clearly as elsewhere? Perhaps as education and going to school became more commonplace by the 19th C, and which spelling you used—whether Braket or Broket—crystallised. Or perhaps you made a choice for one reason or another. But there’s no denying that today some cousins have been Brocketts for generations and others Bracketts.
It’s curious that in 16th and 17th C England Broket was an uncommon name, and Braket even more so, yet in modern day USA there are up to 16 times as many Brakets as Brokets. Even in the early days of colonization it seems that there were many more Brakets in N America than Brokets, both in the northeast and southeast.
Perhaps the earliest confusion—or cross-over—of the surname Broket and Braket in N America was with William who was transported to Accomack Co, Virginia 1638 sponsored by Thomas Burbage. Filby listed him as Brockett,1 but Nugent listed him as Brackett.2 William was the only Brackett listed by Nugent. Filby listed 7 Brackets emigrating 1620-50.
Since then the confusion or cross-over has happened often: anyone researching early North American Brokets, especially the New Haven Grouping, soon notices that they are quite often recorded as Brakets. Indeed, it went further and in at least one case the Braket version of the New Haven surname prevailed, see the section below on Braket as an alias of Broket.
The most striking example of this is the case of the N American Christopher (b 1749) and his descendants who are surnamed Brackett today. It also occurred in a number of other cases among his New Haven clan, like Jacob b 1727 (below) and even with the original settler John of New Haven, d 1690. It is therefore worth trying to follow up all the John Bracketts known to have been baptised in England during the period within which John of New Haven would have been born.
Working back from an age at death of John of New Haven in 1690 of between 77 and 80, gives a earliest possible birth c 1609-13. We will go back one further decade for good measure. To be a signatory to the Fundamantal Agreement, dated 6 Jun 1639, John would have been at least 21, therefore born no later than June 1618.
More research is needed, but currently records of the following baptisms of 5 John Bracket/ts have been found 1600-20, of which 3 could possibly have emigrated to N America—nos. 1, 2 and 5:
- 11 Feb 1612 Holy Trinity, Ely, Cambridgeshire: John son of William Bracket.3 See below.
- 5 Jan 1616 Hadleigh, Suffolk: John son of Edward and Judith Bracket.4 See below.
- 15 Jul 1616 Swaffham, Norfolk: John son of George and Anne Brackett.5 See below.
- 31 May 1618 Lydd, Kent: John son of Anthonie and Brigget Bracket.6 See below.
- 28 Aug 1618 Swaffham, Norfolk: John son of George and Anne Brackett.7 See below.
In addition, Richard Brackett of Norwich, Clerk, mentioned his son John in his Will of 17 Jul 1633. This John is another possible candidate for the emigrant to N America. See below.
Other than John, baptised 1612, records of baptisms of children of William Bracket are recorded for Holy Trinity, Ely: on 26 Dec 1600 (Margaret) and 24 Nov 1605 (Dina), and of a burial there of Willyam Bracket on 21 Oct 1614, presumably himself. Otherwise no other relevant records or further record of John after his baptism have been found in Ely or Cambridgeshire. So, it is possible that it was he who emigrated to America and joined the Newhaven colony. Various other Brakets were buried in Ely but no connection with William or John was made. Ely is a cathedral city c 14 m N of Cambridge.
The following records have been found of a couple from Hadleigh, Suffolk, and their children.8 The social status of the clan isn’t known—whether they were Yeomen or Labourers. Hadleigh is only c 10 m E of Sudbury, where a larger Bracket clan is recorded.
Edward BRACKET m Judith W… 1611.9 Edward was probably baptised in Hadleigh 3 May 1590, the eldest known child of William Bracket, and one of about 7 other Bracket children with father William baptised there between 1592-1612. Edward and Judith had 5, perhaps 7, children in Hadleigh:
- Edward, bap 13 Mar 1613.
- John, bap 5 Jan 1616.
- Arthur, bap 20 Dec 1618.
- ?Robert, bap 8 Apr 1621.
- Janne, bap 16 Feb 1622
- ?Fraunces, bap 3 Oct 1625.
- Judith bap 1 Jul 1627.
Of these, Edward, Arthur, Robert, and probably Janne, are recorded marrying and/or having children in Hadleigh, but no further record of John was found in Hadleigh or Suffolk. So, it is possible that it was he who emigrated to America and joined the Newhaven colony. However, records exist of John Brakets marrying or being buried elsewhere in Norfolk in 1650, 1657, 1666 and 1680, and in London in 1643 and 1674, any one of whom of course could have been this John. More research should be done.
The following records have been found of a couple from Swaffham, Norfolk—John and Joan Bracket—and their children.10 Swaffham is c 25 m W of Norwich and 13 m SE of King’s Lynn. Records were also found there of two possible sisters of John—Joane Bracket in 1584 to William LISTE, Labourer—and possible parents of all three—William Bracket, buried 1576, and Annes Bracket, Widow, buried 1589. Two baptismal records from 1574 and 1581 of two sons of a Thomas Bracket—a possible brother of John—were found in Marham, c 8 m W of Swaffham.11
Otherwise no records of other Brakets were found in Swaffham or Marham after 1634—the burial of George, below. The Thomas and Barbara Brocket—with an ‘o’—who were recorded in Swaffham at the end of the 17th C were unconnected with either these, or apparently any other, Norfolk Brakets, and were probably incomers from Grimston, c 10 m NW of Swaffham. No baptismal record of a suitable Thomas Bracket in Norfolk was found. However, not all Norfolk parish registers are currently online.12
John BRACKET m Jone LETHER 5 Oct 1578. Children:
- Barbara Bracket, bap 20 Sep 1579; alive Feb 1606.13 Daughter:
- Jone Brackett, bap 22 May 1603. “Jone Brackett the daughter of Barbara Brackett base borne was baptized the xxijth of Maie”
- John Bracket, bap 19 Oct 1581; bur 30 Jan 1592/3. “John Bracket the sonne of John Bracket and Joan his wife was buried the xxxth of Januarie”
- Anne Bracket, bap 1 Mar 1583/4; alive Feb 1606.14 Son:
- William Bracket, bap 25 Jan 1606. “Wm Bracket sonne of Anne Brackett base borne was baptized 25 of January”. Might he have been transported to Virginia in 1638?
Anne married 8 Jul 1610 Thomas BATTERBY.
- Amy Bracket, bap 13 Mar 1586; alive Feb 1606.15 ?Married 1607.
- James Bracket, bap 7 Aug 1588; bur 16 Mar 1589.
- Mary Bracket, bap 6 Jan 1590; alive Feb 1606.16
- George Bracket, bap 28 Jan 1592. “George Bracket the sonne of John Brackett & Joan his wife was baptised the xxviijth of Januarie”.17 George married Anne GYLES 8 Sep 1614; and was buried 29 Jun 1634. Children:
- John, bap 15 Jul 1616. “John the sonne of George Brackett baptized the 15 of July”. No record of his burial has been found, so he most likely died before his namesake brother was born.
- John, bap 28 Aug 1618. “John the sonne of George Brackett bap’ the 28 of August”. No further records of a relevant John Braket have been found in Swaffham or Norfolk as a whole. So, it is possible that it was he who emigrated to America and joined the Newhaven colony. The burial of John Brackett in Marham (c 7 m W of Swaffham) was recorded on 25 Mar 1657 may have been him.18 See Will of John Brackett or Bracket, Husbandman of Marham, Norfolk, 26 July 1659.19
- William Bracket, bap 13 Nov 1597; bur 22 Nov 1597.
- Margaret Bracket, bap 5 Aug 1599; alive Feb 1606.20
The following records have been found of a couple from Lydd, Kent, and their 3 children.23 Their surname was recorded half the time as Bracket/t (or Bracchet) and half as Bricket. Lydd is near Dungeness c 25 m SW of Dover.
Antony BRICKET married Brigget CRINCHAM 8 Oct 1611. Children:
- Eizabeth, baptised as BRACCHET bap 30 Aug 1612, buried as BRICKET 8 Nov 1612.
- Daniel, baptised as BRICKET 27 Oct 1616, buried as BRACKETT 13 Oct 1636.
- John, baptised as BRACKET 31 May 1618, buried as BRICKET 16 Feb 1619.
Antony BRACKET was buried 14 Jan 1633.
Brakets are recorded in Norwich from the 15th C. John Brakett of Norwich St Stephen, for instance, died in 1451,24 Then from 1608 a Richard Brackett was apparently a curate at St Martin at Palace, Norwich, and assisted at the services in the nearby cathedral.25 In 1617 he became Rector of Norwich St Augustine and he held the living till his death on 29 Dec 1634 and burial there 2 Jan 1634.26 He went to Cambridge and Venn & Venn recorded his career:27
The records of Richard’s date of birth vary between c 1553-61. According to Venn & Venn above he was admitted at Caius in 1574 aged 21 and ordained a deacon in 1601 aged 40. We know from his Will of 17 Jul 1633,28 that his wife then was Jane, and that he had 6 surviving adult children, but no records of his marriage or of the children’s baptisms have so far been found. If a 6th child was 21 in 1633 then the 1st child would have been born by 1602 at the latest when Richard was 41-9. There were a large number of parishes in 16 and 17th C Norwich and by no means are all their registers digitally available.29 Besides living in Norwich, Venn also recorded Richard as a student at Cambridge 1573-8, and a Curate at Ashwell Thorpe and Intwood 1601-2. St Augustine’s registers date from 1559; Ashwell Thorpe’s from 1558; Intwood’s baptisms from 1538 and marriages and burials from 1557 and 1558. However no relevant record has so far been found in any of these parishes. Richard may therefore have married any time between c 1574-1601.
Thus Richard’s children are known for sure only from his Will and their birth dates can only be estimated within a large range. The most likely record of any of them is of the Robert Bracket who married Margaret NORTON in St Augustine’s—his father’s parish—on 7 Sep 1639.30 This would mean that the second son was born at the latest by c 1618, but it could have been a late marriage and he was born much earlier. It’s all speculation, and when the other children were born can only be estimated very roughly. It’s possible that the eldest son Richard was the “Richard Bracket (near 100 y old)” at his burial in Norwich St John Timberhill with All Saints & St Michael At Thorn on 2 Dec 1678,31 i.e. b c 1578, but estimates of the elderly at their burial are unreliable. The Jane Brackett buried at Norwich St Paul on 23 Mar 1636 may have been Rev Richard’s widow.32
Our interest here is in their son John, mentioned in the Will as follows Read more
The 1631 Norwich St Gregory record: “John Brakett & Isabell Inman were maryed the xjxth day of May” may have been of this John, in which case he would probably have been born by c 1609. But he was not the John Bracket buried in St Peter Of Mountergate, Norwich, 25 Jul 1666; that John was an infant child of Owen Bracket, as was Anne, buried there 1 Aug that year.33 Who Owen was isn’t known. There were clearly other Braket families in Norwich at the time. But that there was another Richard Braket at the time is perhaps unlikely, so the Tomasin, wife of Richard Braket who was buried in St John Timberhill with All Saints & St Michael At Thorn on 23 Dec 1605 may have been a wife of Richard’s before Jane.34 Why she would have been buried in that parish is unclear, the record added that she was buried “in the mount”, but it didn’t cost any more than a normal burial in the churchyard—6d. No other burials were recorded there in the adjoining few years. A couple of years later—on 20 Feb 1607/8—a Margery Bracket was buried in the same parish.35 In her case she was “chested”, i.e. buried in a coffin, for which the charge was 12d.
A further record of John son of Richard in Norwich or its environs may come to light in future, but currently none has been found. As a younger son he may typically have moved elsewhere to seek his fortune. That he was the John who died in New Haven 1690 would mean he would have been born at the early end of the estimated range of his birth of c 1609-18, and therefore aged not less than 80 at death.
Richard’s Will mentioned property in Wreningham, a village c 3 m (4.8 km) SE of Wymondham and 9 m (14 km) SW of Norwich, and Venn & Venn’s entry above recorded that his father Richard was from Wreningham. Unfortunately the Wreningham Parish register only dates from 1656. The earlier work by J Venn recorded that Richard’s father had died by the time Richard was admitted, and was ‘mediocris fortunae’ (of average wealth). Spufford showed this to have been a standard term at Cambridge in the 1630s that “apparently covered sons of the clergy and the professional and trading classes, as well as artisans and small farmers.”36 McLaren’s description of Richard’s father as “a gentleman farmer of Wreningham” was unsourced. Richard’s own father Thomas and brother John both styled themselves ‘husbandman’. Interestingly—in the light of records of John of New Haven and his descendants as both Broket and Braket—the records of Thomas were with the surname Broket, see the separate page for the Brokets and Brakets of Wreningham.
The goodes in the kitchen
Imprimus 1 Brasse boord of Joyners worke — 10s
Ittm i Smale Cubberd — 8s
Ittm another Little Cuberd — 3s
Ittm i glasse Case — 1s
Ittm 1. Square Table — 3s
Ittm 1. backe Chayre and 3. other Little Chayers — 3s 6d
Ittm 1 dresser & Choping borde & a Jacke to sitt water on to wash — 4s
Ittm iij warmeinge pannes — 9s
Ittm 1 brasse pott — 13s
Ittm ij Iron pottes — 3s
Ittm ij Latchpans of yrone — 5s
Ittm ij Great kettles — 16s
Ittm ij Little kettles & i skillet i basting spoone ij brasse Couers i lampe of brasse one Shoeinge horne of brasse —2s
Ittm iiij Candle stickes & a brasse Skumer — 6s
Ittm 1 Brassen Jacke with Line & waightes — 13s 4d
Ittm vj Speetes40 with a Rost yron — 6s
Ittm a Cliuer a sheeringe knife & an other knife — 2s
Ittm ij frying panns — 2s
Ittm 1. Creadle41 with the foote yron ij purs42 1 Ridlinge panne — 12s
Ittm ij hakes43 & i yron to hange them on a tost yron & a Linke yron — 4s
Ittm a Saltbox & a Colerake & a pair of bellowes — 1s 8d
Ittm 12. peeces of pewter little & greate — 12s
Ittm 1 Bassen 1 poringer44 1 vinger45 1. Chamberpott j. Salte & Sawcer — 3s 4d
Ittm 1 Lookeinge glasse 1. hanginge Candlesticke & other Lumber — 2s
Imprimus 1 Silluer & guilt Salte weighinge 9 ownces — £1 19s
Ittm a little Silluer salte & Spoone waighinge 4. ownces and 3 quarters — £1 9s
Ittm 1 Little Silluer Cup waighinge 5 ownces 3 quarters — £1 9s
Ittm another Cup waighinge 4 ownces 3 quarters — 19s
Ittm 1 Lipt pott & a little mazer46 Cup —3s
The thinges in the parler .
Imprimus 1 Seeld47 bedstead mat & Cord 1 fetherbed ij Blankettes 1 Bowlster & ij pilloes 1 Dornix48 Coueringe 5 Curtines of greene Saye49 3 Curtaine Rodes with the vallance thervnto belonginge — £9
Ittm the Liuery Cubberd — £1
Ittm 1 Drawinge Table & carpett — £1
Ittm 1 backe Chayre of wainskott —6s
Ittm 1 wicker Chayre — 4s
Ittm 1 Lyuery Table & Carpett — 3s
Ittm 8 buffett stooles — 8s
Ittm 1 Joyned forme — 2s
Ittm 1 Lyttle turnd Chayre — 1s
Ittm 1 Clocke — £2
Ittm 1 Settle — 8s
Ittm the 4 Evangelistes50 —12s
Ittm the Lordes prayre with a Comment vppon it in a frame —5s
Ittm the picture of Judeth & a Lookeinge glasse — 5s
Ittm 1 old boxe howreglasse & other thinges for Lumber — 2s
The Goodes in the Hall.
Imprimus 1 pair of Dogyrons with brass toppes 1 fire pan & tonges — 12s
Item 4 Cushens — 4s
Ittm 1 Boord keepe — 4s
Ittm 1 Trundle bedstead mat & cord — 2s 6d
Ittm 1 inlayd Square table & an old wicker Chayre — 2s 6d
Ittm 1 Cisteirne lynd with leade — 6s 8d
Ittm 1 brush bill & 2 pitchforkes — 1s 6d
Ittm for Smith Cole — 8s
Ittm 1 fowre foote ted51 stoole & other Lumber — 2s 6d
£2 3s 8d
The Thinges in the Hall Chamber .
Imprimus 1 boultinge hutch52 1 Chayre 1 kneedinge tubb — 7s
Item 1 Trundle bed — 1s 6d
Ittm i pair of musterd quernes i Spining wheele & other lumber — 6s 8d
The Parler Chamber.
Imprimus 1 Chest — 12s
Item ij Trunkes —10s
Ittm ij frames —1s 8d
Ittm 1. Joyned forme – 2s 6d
Ittm 1. Copper — £1
Ittm 3. boxes — 6s 8d
Ittm 1. Bushell & halfe bushell — 6s 8d
Ittm 1. Jack of yron — 6s 8d
Ittm 1. old frame with a Cheese Racke & other Lumber — 9s
£2 11s 2d
For his Lyninge
Imprimus 4 pair of Sheetes — 16s
Item 3 pillowberes — 2s
Ittm ij old Surpluses — 13s 4d
Ittm 1 Longe Table Cloth & ij Shorte ones & 4. napkins — 5s
Ittm ij Shirtes — 3s 4d
Ittm for his apparell gownes & other thinges — £4
Ittm for a Citterne53 — 2s 6d
Ittm 1 furindell54 Chest — 6s
Ittm 1 Lyuery bedstead with 2 Square posts & boords layd at the Top. matt & Corde 3 pillowes i bowlster i fether bed 1 old Coueringe — £1 17s
Ittm all his bookes — £3
Ittm in Silluer & Gowld
Ittm 1 band obligatory — £2 10s
Ittm 1 framed Table — 8s
Ittm for bricke & brickes endes — 8s
Ittm for a beere stoole & a doore a lether & other Lumber — 10s
£14 18s 8d
Ittm in moneyes Silluer & gowld — £53
Ittm for ministers wages for one quarter — £6
Ittm Due vnto Mr for for howse Rent — £4 15s
per me W Jarrat [?]
per me Thomas Horace Clerk
per me Jacob Cooke
Inventories like this give an insight into life in those times. It was interesting that Richard had a cittern, somewhat like his next-generation contemporary Rev John Brockett of Grimston, Norfolk, whose 1664 inventory included a pair of virginals. That John was a gentleman by birth and the value and contents of his inventory were significantly greater than Richard’s, suggesting that McLaren’s description above of Richard’s father as a ‘gentleman farmer’ was overstated. Other than that, the inventory unfortunately doesn’t provide further genealogical clues.
So far only one occurrence has been found of a Braket in Hertfordshire: “William Bracket Nursery, of St. Martin’s Ludgate” buried Hatfield 1 Jun 1709.55 It appears to be the burial of a young child from London.
Anyone researching Brokets in N America, will soon come across examples of cross-over between the surnames Broket and Braket—whether as an alias or a variant or an error. Unlike in England, there are many examples right from the first immigrants, through to the early 19th C at least—John and Christopher are two significant ones. Here are some other examples:
A household of Benja Bracket is found in the 1790 census for Ashfield, comprising one male aged 16 years or over, one male under 16 years and 2 females.56 Ashfield consisted of 261 families in 1790 and Benjamin’s was the only Bracket household recorded. There is a slight smudge in the middle of his surname on the census return, but it looks more like an ‘a’ than an ‘o’, and subsequent censuses clearly confirm his Bracket name.
The male aged 16 years or over in 1790 would have been Benja[min] himself, the male under 16 years probably a son, one of the 2 females presumably would have been his wife, and the other perhaps a daughter. If this reconstruction of the household as a family unit of a couple with one or two children is correct, then he might typically have been in his 20s, i.e. b c 1760s and no later than 1770. But according to Jacobus he was born 1733 and thus aged 57 in 1790.
Reliable evidence shows that Benjamin Brockit, born in Wallingford, New Haven, on 2 May 1733, was the son of Benjamin and Lydia, formerly ELCOCK. However, Jacobus’ sketch for him as their 7th child and 2nd son states:57
“b 2 May 1733 WV; Census (Ashfield, Mass.) 1-1-2.”
Jacobus’ abbreviation WV signified ‘Wallingford Vital Statisics’, and his citation is verified by a handwritten true copy made in 1738. His short-hand “(Ashfield, Mass.) 1-1-2” meant that the 1790 census recorded the household of this Benjamin (b 1733) in Ashfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, comprising 1 male aged 16 years or over, 1 male under 16 years, and 2 females. Jacobus recorded the census details correctly, but made a mistake in identifying Benjamin of Ashfield with Benjamin of Wallingford.
The following further census records for Benjamin and other Hampshire Co Brakets add further evidence against Jacobus’ identification of Benjamin, son of Benjamin and Lydia ELCOCK, with the Benjamin in Ashfield in 1790:
1800: The census for Ashfield, Hampshire, MA, recorded Benjn Bracket as head of a household, aged 26 through 44 [i.e. b after 1755], with 4 other males [presumably sons]: three aged under 10, and one 10 through 15; and 4 females: one aged 26 through 44 [presumably his wife], two aged under 10, and one 10 through 15 [presumably daughters].58
1810: 10 years on and the household of Benjamin Bracket in Ashfield comprised 5 free White males: one aged 45 and over [himself], three 16 through 25, and one 10 through 15; and four free White females: one aged 45 and over [presumably his wife], two 16 through 25, and one 10 through 15.59
Comments: There can be no doubt that this Benjamin of 1800-10 was the same man as in 1790. There were no other Brakets, let alone Benjamin Brakets recorded in Ashfield until Benjamin Bracket Junior in 1820, probably a son of this Benjamin Bracket of 1790-1810. In the 10 years 1790-1800 his one or two children had grown to perhaps 7. The 1800 census also recorded that he was born after 1755, whereas Benjamin, son of Benjamin and Lydia ELCOCK, was born 1733. For a discussion of why Jacobus might have erred, see the separate page.
Benjamin Bracket of Ashfield was born after 1755, so he couldn’t have been the son of Benjamin and Lydia ELCOCK, and Lydia, who was born in 1733. The records of other Brakets in Hampshire Co suggest that, like them, he sprang from the Massachusetts Bracketts. Evidence points to him being the Benjamin born 10 Nov 1760, son of Nathan Brackett b 1724 Braintree MA, husband of Susannah WASHBURN, and father among others of Ezra b 1795 Ashfield d 1885 Goshen, and Benjamin junior.60
As well as the household of Benjamin Bracket in 1790 in Ashfield, Hampshire Co, MA, discussed above, 3 other Bracket households were recorded in the larger township of West Springfield, Hampshire Co, MA, consisting of 384 families, c 36-40 m S of Ashfield, those of: a Jacob separately, and another Jacob next to a Benajah. The Jacob Bracket listed separately was head of a household comprising 1 male aged 16 years or over, 2 males under 16 years, and 3 females.61 The second Jacob Bracket was head of a household comprising 1 male aged 16 years or over, 1 male under 16 years, and 5 females and the Benajah Bracket listed next to him was head of a household comprising 1 male aged 16 years or over, 3 males under 16 years, and 1 female.62
Comment: As Jacobus recorded,63 the Jacob Bracket listed separately was the father of the other Jacob and of Benajah, and he himself was a son of Samuel and Mehitabel HILL, see the separate page. Benjamin (b 1733) was indeed a relation, but he was not Benjamin Bracket of Ashfield. Jacobus recorded them all as follows:
A number of immigrants from England surnamed Brackett had come to Massachusetts in the 17th C, and the Jacobs and Benajah are examples of New Haven Brakets/Brokets moving into areas nearby. So, despite Jacobus’ usual precision and his overall trustworthiness, it’s not so surprising he made a mistake here, especially since he only looked at the 1790 census.
Summary: Benjamin above is a case of a Massachusetts Braket being wrongly identified as a New Haven Broket by a deservedly well-respected professional genealogist, and Jacob here is a case of a New Haven Broket being recorded in successive censuses as Braket.
The 1820 census for Otisco, Onondaga, New York, recorded Chauncy Bracket—with surname perhaps half changed to Brocket by the census clerk—as a householder containing 7 free White males: 1 aged 26-44 [himself]; 1 aged 16-25; 1 aged 10-15; and 4 under 10; and 4 free White females: 1 aged 26-44 [presumably his wife]; 1 aged 16-25; and 1 aged 10-15.64 His children however, and their male line descendants were all apparently recorded as Brocketts, see the separate page.
The 1790 census recorded the household of Benjamin Bracket in Shapleigh, York Co, Maine, comprising one male aged 16 years or over [himself], and 2 females.65 5 entries down was Joshua Bracket. The Brackett Genealogy recorded Benjamin as son of Joshua (1728-1822), a farmer who moved from Berwick to Shapleigh, now Acton, and a 6th generation descendant of Anthony Brackett, original immigrant to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.66 Benjamin had a son Benjamin, b 1813. Both Benjamen Brackit and Joshua Brackt were recorded in the 1800 census for Shapleigh.67
The 1800 census recorded the household of Benjamin Bracket in Warren, Lincoln Co, Maine, comprising 1 male 0-10; 1 male 26-45 [i.e. b 1755-74, himself]; 3 females 0-10; 1 female 26-45.68 The Brackett Genealogy recorded Benjamin 1764-1839, a farmer who moved in 1790 from Greenland to Warren, ME, a 5th generation descendant of Anthony Brackett, original immigrant to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and with 3 daughters and 1 son in 1800.69
Records of Brakets have been found in the adjacent southwest NC counties of Rutherford, Burke and McDowell, all situated over 300 miles inland W and NW of Charlotte. The earliest records found so far from each are 1790 from Rutherford, 1810 from Burke and 1850 from McDowell.
All land grants entered for Brakets in North Carolina before 1855 were in this area: 12 in Burke Co—the first in 1812 and the others 1822-36, and 2 in Rutherford Co in 1828. All were on Muddy Creek or South Muddy Creek, which passes through Burke, Rutherford and McDowell, where its administrative division nowadays is the Township of Brackett. Monazite placer deposits have been found at South Muddy Creek, McDowell Co, and mining may have been a reason Brakets settled in the area. ‘Miner’ was the occupation of Benjamin Bracket of McDowell Co in 1850. Some Brakets removed to Georgia by 1850.
The 1907 Brackett Genealogy briefly mentioned the Rutherford Co NC family without connecting it to any of the Massachusetts families covered in the book:70
“Bracketts settled at an early day in Rutherford county, North Carolina; their descendants removed from there to Franklin county, Georgia, and Jackson county, Tennessee. Since the civil war, families of this branch have found homes in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. The progenitor of this branch was Benjamin Brackett; his wife was Jane Curry. Among their children were Thomas, born about 1780; Morgan, born about 1790; William, called Buck; and Atkins. William had son, Felix. Another of the third generation was Aulston (married Mary Marshall), born about 1795; died in July, 1867. His son William, deceased, served in company G, 34th Georgia volunteer infantry, C.S.A., from 1862 to the close of the war; married Jane McMurray. Children are James A.; William T.; and Charles E. Another son of Aulston Brackett, was John, born June 18, 1827; died September 21, 1885; served in the cavalry, Confederate army; married — Sewell. Among his children are John A.; A.W., and Jefferson Davis Brackett …”
Comment: This description doesn’t exactly fit the records found below, but if the progenitor was a Benjamin Brackett he was distinct from the Benjamin Brockett who was the progenitor of a Broket clan recorded from 1743 in Craven Co in the east of the state. The Muddy Creek area is some 320-45 miles west of New Bern, Craven Co. It isn’t known where the Brakets of the Muddy Creek area came from, but they would have been unrelated in a genealogical time frame to the Craven Co Brokets, who had come from New Haven. Furthermore, unlike New Haven records, NC records show no cross-over in spelling their respective surnames, apart from a few cases which can be shown to be scribal errors or mistranscriptions.
The following selection of estate, tax and census records provides sufficient evidence that these southwest NC Brakets were distinct from the east NC Brokets, and maintained the Bracket/t spelling of their name. Do you agree?
1790: 2 households were recorded in the census for Rutherford Co, those of:71
Mary Bracket was recorded as a householder in the census, with 1 male aged 0-16 [i.e. b c 1774-90]; 3 females [including herself]; and no slaves.
Ben Bracket was recorded as a householder in the census, with 2 males aged 16 or more [i.e. b by 1774, and including himself]; 2 males aged 0-16, i.e. b c 1774-90; 4 females, and no slaves.72
Comment: It’s an assumption, but Ben’s household appears to have been a nuclear family of husband, wife and children, and Mary’s either an older widow with daughters and grandson or a younger widow with daughters and a young son. Be that as it may, if it was this Ben whose Estate Inventory his widow Nancy returned at Burke County Court in 1810, then neither Mary nor Ben were part of the family of Benjamin and Jane Brackett described in the 1907 Brackett Genealogy above as progenitors of the Rutherford Co branch.
1800: No Brakets have been found recorded in Rutherford Co for this census.
1810: The census for Rutherford Co recorded the household of Thomas Bracket, comprising 7 free White males: 1 aged 26-44 [himself]; and 6 under 10; and 1 free White female aged 16-25.73 Comment: He may well have been the Thomas, b c 1780, son of Benjamin and Jane Brackett described in the 1907 Brackett Genealogy above.
1820-50: No Brakets have been found recorded in censuses for Rutherford Co in this period.
1828: 2 land grants were entered for Brakets in Rutherford Co and issued 1829, both on Muddy Creek:74
James A Brackett: 150 acres on waters of Muddy Creek (3487)
William Brackett: 100 acres on waters of Muddy Creek (3488)
Brakets who were no doubt members of the Rutherford clan were also recorded in neighboring Burke Co, particularly in Muddy Creek, some 30 m NE of Rutherford, 89 m NW of Charlotte, and 320 m W of New Bern, Craven Co.
1790-1800: No Brakets have been found recorded in Burke for the 1790 or 1800 censuses.
1810: Estate Papers of Ben Bracket were probated at Burke County Court. The “Inventory of the property of Banyman Bracket decesed” was returned by Nancy Bracket 24? Jul 1810. The first item was “225 wt of Stemed and Twisted Tobacco”75 Comment: Was he the householder recorded in 1790 in Rutherford Co?
3 households were recorded in the census for Morganton on 6 Aug, those of:76
Nancy Brackett, containing 1 free White male aged 16-25; and 2 free White females, 1 aged 45 and over [herself]; and 1 aged 16-25.
Ben Brackett, containing 4 free White males: 1 aged 45 and over [himself]; and 3 aged under 10; and 1 free White female under 10. Comment: This Ben Brackett must have been a different Ben from the one whose inventory Nancy returned in July.
Adkens Brackett, containing 3 free White males: 1 16-25 [himself]; and 2 aged under 10; and 1 free White female 16-25.
Comment: Nancy would have been the widow of Ben, whose Estate Inventory she returned in 1810.
1814: The earliest recorded land grant to a Braket in North Carolina, was 50 acres on a branch of South Muddy Creek to Benjamin Bracket, entered 2 Apr, although the patent wasn’t recorded.77 See also 1826-36 below and 1828-9 for Rutherford Co above.
1820: Adkins Bracket and his household were again recorded in Burke Co, comprising 5 free White males: 1 aged 26-44 [himself]; 1 aged 10-15; and 3 under 10; and 2 free White females: 1 aged 26-44 [presumably his wife]; and 1 under 10.78 However, he died in October and his Estate papers were probated in Burke Co court.79 Among them is the Petition of his widow Barbary, supported by Joseph Bracket administrator, dated Oct 1820, which lists the children: Benjamin, Nancy, Adkins, Daisey?, Polly T, Wades?80 “Adkins died Possessed of a considerable Personal Estate … leaving six children under age three of them quite small”, and Barbara requests one year’s provision out of the crop stock and provisions.81 Burke Co court granted her Petition 11 Nov 1830.82
1822-36: During these 14 years 11 land grants were entered for Brakets in Burke Co, probably all of which were on South Muddy Creek:83
1822 / 1823 Adkins Bracket: 50 acres on waters of South Muddy Creek (4456)
1822 / 1823 Adkins Bracket: 50 acres on Uptons Branch waters of South Muddy Creek (4457)
1825 / 1827 Adkins Brackett: 200 acres on South Muddy Creek (4568)
1825 William Brackett: 50 acres on the N. fork of South Muddy Creek (384)
1826 William Brackett: 150 acres on the head of South Muddy Creek (385)
1827 / 1829 Felix Brackett: 200 acres on waters of South Muddy Creek (4693)
1827 / 1829 William Brackett:84 50 acres on N. fork of South Muddy Creek (4694)
1829 / 1830 Adkins Bracket: 50 acres on waters of South Muddy Creek (4789)
1829 / 1830 John Brackett: 20 acres on E. fork of South Muddy Creek (4845)
1829 / 1831 William Brackett Sr: 150 acres on waters of South Muddy Creek (4876)
1836 William Brackett: 10 acres on the E. of Job Uptons land (386)
1823: Estate Papers of Ben Bracket were probated at Burke County Court.85 Among them is the sale of his Estate Articles by his widow Elizabeth Bracket, among others to Wm Bracket, John Bracket, Adkins Bracket, Wm Bracket junr?
1837: The Estate papers of William Brackett were probated in Burke Co court.87 Among them is the Petition of his widow Martha.
McDowell Co North Carolina
There is a Brackett township in McDowell County, probably named after the family.
1850 12 Sep: The census for McDowell Co, NC, recorded the household of Benj Bracket, aged 40 [i.e. b c 1810], Miner, value of real estate 500; with Margaret, 28; Juliet, 11; and Margaret, 5; all born NC.88
1880: The census for Marion, McDowell, NC, recorded the household of Benjamin B Brackett, aged 65 [i.e. b c 1815], Farm Laborer, with wife Margaret, 60, both b NC, and their parents also b NC, in the household of their son William D Brackett, 37 [i.e. b c 1843], Farmer, b NC, and his wife Lizzie, 28, and 2 daughters, Julia, 7; and Nanni, 3; and brother Thomas, 20, all b NC.89 Comment: There is a Findagrave memorial for Benjamin, recording his death on 2 Jun 1885 and—unsourced—that he “was the son of Adkins & Barbara Anderson Brackett”.90
By the mid 19th C some of the Brakets of North Carolina had removed to Georgia. The 2000 published version of the 1864 Census for Re-Organizing the Georgia Militia contains the following 2 entries:91
This places Benjamin and Morgan Brocket in Gilmer Co, GA, and born in NC c 1807 and 1809. However, tax and census returns confirm that this Brocket spelling of their name was a mistranscription in or from the original entries. See also Benjamin’s signature in 1867 below.
1850: The census for Union Co, GA, recorded the household of Morgan Bracket, aged 50 [i.e. bc 1810], Farmer; with Mary, 46; Morgan, 18; Lucinda, 15; Sary, 13; Noah, 9; and Mary Ann, 7; all b NC.92
1860: The census for Gilmer Co, GA, recorded the household of Benjamin Bracket, aged 50 [i.e. bc 1810], Farmer, b NC; with Susan, 46, B SC; and children: Thomas, 22; Adam, 15; Sarah, 13; Benjamin, 9; and Martha, 7; all b Tennessee.93
1866: M Brackett was recorded paying Tax in Gilmer Co, Georgia; along with Frances Jane (on 160 acres) and Bailey (on 320 acres).94. 140 volumes. Morrow, Georgia: Georgia Archives. Image accessed on Ancestry.com 10 Jun 2020.”]
1867: Both Morgan W and Benjamin Bracket were recorded as Qualified Voters in nearby Union County, Benjamin’s signature showing how easily he could have been recorded as Brocket:95
1870: The census for Blairsville PO, Union Co, GA, recorded the household of Morgan W Bracket, aged 38 [i.e. b c 1832], Farmer. b NC; with Nancy C, 34, b NC; and children: Elizabeth 13; Bradford 9; Ellen 6; Jane 5; Avery 3; and Rebecca 3 months; all b GA.96 The entries either side were Noah Brackett, aged 29, Farmer, with Mary Brackett, 66, Keeping house, both b NC; and David Bracket, aged 42, Farmer, b NC, with Nicy, 42, b NC, and 8 children, all b GA.
Page Last Updated: December 20, 2020