Brokets of the USA
Broket migration to North America began in the 17th C and has continued ever since.1 It began from England. The first known Broket immigrant from Scotland wasn’t until 1784. The sea journeys could be perilous. Conditions on the American side were often harsh and early death was probably common, especially in the Chesapeake Bay area. Passenger lists—if they existed—gave few clues to origins.
This page provides some general background. For details of individuals see the separate pages about early Broket immigrants to the northeast and the southeast, and later ones in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Contents of this page:
Phases of the immigration
Voluntary and forced
Northeast and southeast US
Research so far
Some simple general information to provide a context for immigration by Brokets:
Phases of immigration
Fischer categorized the immigration into 4 phases:2
2. The migration of a small Royalist elite and large numbers of indentured servants from the south of England to Virginia c 1642-75. The peak was in “the 1650s, when perhaps as many as 7,200 individuals, many of them servants, went each year from England and Wales to the American colonies”.3 “According to some estimates, about 40 percent of those who arrived in these regions died during their terms, many in the first year”.4
3. A movement from the north midlands of England and Wales to the Delaware Valley c 1675-1725.
4. A flow from the borders of England and Scotland and from northern Ireland to the Appalachian backcountry mostly during 1718-75.
Voluntary or forced
Most Brokets came voluntarily, with only a few as convicts.
Northeast and southeast N America
Before the 19th C only one Broket immigrant to northeast N America is currently known. All the others were to the southeast.
Researching the early centuries of Brokets in the USA presents some challenges:
2. Broket or Braket? In the UK there have been a few isolated instances of the misspelling or idiosyncratic transcription of Broket by Braket, and one—possibly two—found so far of it as a variant or alias. But as far as we know, they haven’t passed on to another generation. In the USA however, mostly for the New Haven clan, records show that Broket and Braket often alternated with each other for at least the first 100 years of their immigration—or 3 or 4 generations. It’s curious and difficult to explain. Perhaps as schooling became more commonplace by the 19th C, which spelling you used crystallised—whether Braket or Broket. But it’s clear that today some cousins have now been Brocketts for generations and others Bracketts. DNA evidence proves it. Disentangling the two is again more difficult in North America as Braket is far more common than in the UK. There were at least 13,000 Brakets estimated in North America in 2014 as against only 163 in the UK—83 times as many!9 By the way, it is interesting how historically in England Brakets have been fewer than Brokets, but in the States if the figures are reliable they are now 3 times as numerous.
3. Mobility. People wherever they are have always relocated looking for a better living. However, the drive to settle new areas in North America, especially after the first two centuries of colonisation, means that there are more cases of untraceable Brokets appearing in places out of the blue as it were, than in the UK. Both the numbers involved and the potential distances were also of course greater, adding to the uncertainty.
Research so far
Much more research is needed into the Brokets of the USA; please let us know what you think of it so far.
A 2014 rough estimate of the number of Brokets in North America was around 4,393—a little over six times as great as their rough estimate of 724 for the UK.10 See better estimates here. Keeping track of 724 people and their ancestors is hard work. Keeping track of six times that many is …! So the decision has been made, that with one or two exceptions, this Broket Archive will just attempt to document the ancestry of those USA Brokets who participate in the Broket Y-DNA project.
Page Last Updated: April 6, 2020
For full bibliographical details please see the sections Publications or Glossary.
 The spelling 'Broket' is used in this website as a kind of lowest common denominator when no specific variant is being referred to, like Brocket, Brockett, Brockette.
 Albion's Seed, 1989, p 6.
 Sacks 1991 ch 9.
 Sacks 1991 ch 8.
 From www.cityoflondon.gov.uk in 2005, nut now no longer available. See now goo.gl/553aMc (accessed 27 May 2017).
 goo.gl/iXuivC (accessed 21 Jan 2018).
 Fischer 1989 pp 13ff, esp pp 27-8.
 Fischer 1989 pp 207-36.
 goo.gl/T31fpM and goo.gl/GtTosc (accessed 27 Apr 2018).
 forebears.co.uk at goo.gl/Pn8NuK and goo.gl/XhJjTr (accessed 17 Oct 2018).