Lafferty/Briggs Genealogy
Home Alphabetical Family Tree Search Maps Chronology of Events Contact Us

See John BRIGGS in the Family Tree
Find Another Individual
 
John BRIGGS1  

Born: 1609 in Darrington, York, England
Died: BEF 16 NOV 1690 in Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Buried: Old Commons Burial Ground, Little Compton, RI
Christening: 8 APR 1618 St. James, Clerkenwell, England

Children With Sarah CORNELL, Married: 1640 in St. James, Clerkenwell, Essex, England
Enoch BRIGGS Born:
Little Compton, RI
Died: 1734
John Jr BRIGGS Born: 1641
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 2 JUL 1713
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Susanna BRIGGS Born: 1642
Portsmouth, Little Compton, RI
Died: 7 NOV 1704
Portsmouth, Little Compton, RI
Thomas BRIGGS Born: 1644
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 12 JAN 1720
Dartmouth, MA
Job BRIGGS Born: 1648
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: AFT 1734
William BRIGGS Born: 1650
Portsmouth, Little Compton, RI
Died: 12 MAY 1715
Little Compton, RI
With Constant (or Content) MITCHELL FOBES
 
Notes: The Briggs families are referred to in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, "Richard, William, and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton, Massachusetts." by Edna Hannibal & Claude Barlow (1971, 3 volumes), when those with the name "John" [Briggs] are discussed, each of which appears early in New England. Paraphrasing Hannibal/Barlow in this work:

1) "John" Briggs, son of Clement Briggs, born in Weymouth (Plymouth County, MA).His father Clement arrived in 1621 on the ship The Fortune in Plymouth Colony, after the ship Mayflower. This line is documented in "Clement Briggs of Plymouth Colony & His Descendants" by Hannibal/Barlow, Vol I & II, 1969, published 1969 (by author);

2) "John" Briggs who "came to Boston in 1638, was driven from there with Anne
Hutchinson`s party and settled in Newport, RI in 1640." (This sect was known as "Antinomians" or "Hutchinsonites".) This John is more commonly known as "John Briggs of Portsmouth, RI," and is documented in the book, "John Briggs of Newport and Portsmouth, Rhode Island and His Descendants," by Lilla Briggs Sampson, published Pawling, NY 1877 (by author) (This is my line through Dad`s side)

3) "The third John Briggs settled in Sanwich, MA in 1640 [on the Cape]. This line is documented in "John Briggs of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and His Descendants," by Hannibal/Barlow.

4) "The fourth was John Briggs who sailed with Capt. John Greene for Warwick, RI and settled in Kingstown, RI in 1671, in Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, John Russell Bartlett, ed. (This one seems to be my line through Mother`s side, except they arrived much earlier, as one child was born there in 1642. EL)

5) The fifth is "Richard, William and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton," by Hannibal/Barlow, appearing in NEHGR Vol. 125, No. 2, April 1971, and appears in each issue through Vol 127, No. 1, Jan 1973. This John Briggs is referred to as "John Briggs Senior." It is inferred from land records that John Briggs Sr. arrived prior to 1657.

6) I am departing now from Hannibal/Barlow`s outline in ..."Sons of John Briggs/Taunton" and am going to lump together the NY Briggs lines:

-The Colonial Ancestry of the Family of John Greene Briggs, son of Job Briggs and Patience Greene, and Isabel Gibbs De Groff, daughter of William Stoutenburgh De Groff, and Susan Hopkins, by Henry Tallmadge Briggs & John Greene Briggs [This is the line for John Briggs of Dutchess County, NY]
-A Partial Record of the Descendants of Walter Briggs of Westchester, NY pub. Fairbanks, Briggs, & Co. 1878 (is in the NYPub Library)

I am less familiar with the NY lines so perhaps somebody else could advise as to the earliest ones. I have been told that some of the genealogies therein are a bit controvertial as to accuracy...

Copies of some of the genealogies that are out of print can be obtained from Quintin Publications (quintinpublications.com) in Pawtucket, RI, plus other Briggs genealogies not mentioned.

I`m sure there are other Briggs lines I`m not familiar with and haven`t mentioned, so hopefully others can fill in the blanks! Hope this is helpful to you.
Regards,
Louise Briggs

The following is info I have gathered over the years.

Followed his sister, Rebecca (Briggs) CORNELL and husband, Thomas CORNELL, to Boston. Authority--Leonard`s Notes in New Bedford Library, New Bedford, MA, In the notes, John BRIGGS wife is given as Sarah CORNELL. They were probably married in England. Thomas and Rebecca arrived in Boston in 1636 and it is possible that he came at the same time. This would fit in with John`s apparent involvment with the Antinomian followers of Ann Hutchison and their subsequent move from Boston to RI

Austin`s Genealogical Dictionary speaks of the relationship of Rebecca (BRIGGS) CORNELL to John BRIGGS. Reverend John CORNELL, compiler of the "Cornell Genealogy" considers this point was brought out in the trial of Thomas CORNELL, Jr. for the murder of his mother, Rebecca Briggs CORNELL

In "Representative Men of Southeastern Massachusetts", John BRIGGS is said to have married Sarah CORNELL, sister to Thomas CORNELL, who married Rebecca BRIGGS, and refers to "Leonard`s Notes as authority. Leonard`s notes are in the "New Bedford Library", New Bedford, Massachusetts, and in the notes, John Briggs` wife is given as Sarah Cornell.

He is said to have been "of Newport, RI" in 1638, and "of Portsmouth, RI" in 1642. His name appears on nearly every page of the Town Records of Portsmouth. He served constantly and in every capacity as jury-man, Town Councillor, Surveyor of Lands, Special Commissioner and Deputy to the General Assembly of the Colony. This latter office he held continually for many years. He was evidently a man of some property, since the Town on various occasions was indebted to him for moneys he had advanced for the Town`s benefit.

(also under John Briggs, Jr., m. Frances Fisher)

Pg 25 and 55, are from Austin, John Osborne, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (reprinted in 1982 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. of Baltimore.

He is said to have lived on the highway that leadeth to the Windmill, and Town meetings were frequently held at his home, and he was moderator at some of these meetings.

In 1638 he was one of those admitted as inhabitants of the island of Aquidneck. On April 30, 1639, was one of twenty-one to sign the following: "We, whose names are underwritten, do acknowledge ourselves the legal subjects of his Majesty, King Charles, and in his name, do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politicke, unto his laws, according to matters of justice."

He was made an inhabitant of Newport, RI in 1639, and Portsmouth, RI in 1650. He was one of the founders of Portsmouth. His name appeared on nearly every page of the town records. He served constantly and in every capacity as juryman, town councillor, surveyor of lands, special commissioner, and deputy to the general assembly of the colony. This latter office he held continually for many years. He was evidently a man of some property, since the town on various occasions was indebted to him for monies he advanced for the town`s benefit. It is said he lived "on the highway that leadeth to the windmill". Town meetings were frequently held at his home. One record is that he lived nearer to Newport than to Portsmouth.

April 30, 1639 John BRIGGS with 28 others signed the following compact: "We whose names are underwritten do acknowledge His Majesty, King Charles, and in his name do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politic unto his laws according to matters of justice."

He was made freeman 16 March 1641, On 5 Oct. 1643, he was directed to go to every house to see what arms were defective. On August 24, 1643, he bought a house and lot of John Hall of Portsmouth, "all his house and lot, etc. without molestation, only if I (John Hall) abide upon this land, I do have the use of the dwelling house for the use of me or mine, for the space of one year".. he was assistant in 1648 and commissioner for uniting the four towns of RO, 31 Aug, 1654. In 1649, he was licensed to keep an ordinary. He served as commissioner in 1654-55-56-59-61-62-63. He was on a committee to build stocks and a cage.

Mr. BRIGGS purchased in 1662 of John DUNHAM of Plymouth, MA (one of the original thirty-four purchasers of Dartmouth), DUNHAM`s whole share of L42. It was described as "all my lot or portion of land at Acushnett Coaksett and places adjacent in jurisdiction of New Plymouth".

At some point, John must have acquired property in Dartmouth Township (probably in MA). On 14 Oct 1679 he gave 1/2 of property to his son John. On 11 Mar 1679 he gave a quarter of a share to his son Thomas and wife Mary (35 acres) and if Thomas die, his wife, Mary, to enjoy same, if she continue his widow.

He became a Quaker when that religion was introduced to America after 1656.

On 13 Oct, 1679 he deeded his eldest son John, of Portsmouth one half of a share in Dartmouth, and if his wife, Hannah, survive him, she to enjoy same while widow. If she marry again, then to my grandson John, the second son of my son John, and if he die without issue, then to my son John`s next younger son, etc. In case of failure of all, then to go to John`s eldest son, Edward, he paying to daughters of son John, 20£.

A copy of John Sr.`s will is in the Anthony Tarbox Briggs collection at Salt Lake City. It lists all of his children except William.

Will is recorded in Council Book of Portsmouth Vol II, pg 278, dated 1690 and probated 17 Sep 1690. It was written 19 Apr 1690. Executor--son Enoch.Will proved 16 Nov 1690. to son Enoch all and every part of land and personal estate, goods, chattels, debts (next threee or four words illegible) by paying legacies, etc. To eldest son, John, son Thomas, son William and daughter Susanna Northway, 1 s. each, these four children having "long since received their portions and are gone from me". To son, Job, three ewes, two wether lambs and two heifers.

Children mentioned include: Susannah BRIGGS NORTHWAY, (she married Joseph COOK first 19 Apr 1692 and then NORTHWAY); John BRIGGS; Thomas BRIGGS; Job BRIGGS; William BRIGGS; Enoch BRIGGS.

Although his name and dates are shown on the grave marker in the BRIGGS cemetery in Little Compton, along with several members of William`s family, it seems likely that this was erected much later than his death, and that he is not buried there at all.

Many books show that he and Sarah were married in England, but another authority thinks that his possible arrival in America by 1635/1636 and the birth of their first child in 1641 suggests that they were married in RI in 1639 or 40.

On 20 Feb 1673, he testified in the trial of Thomas CORNELL, Jr. where he stated that he was 64 years or thereabouts. (From John Robert Austin Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, 1982.)

While living in Boston MA, he became a follower of Ann HUTCHINSON, and this sect, the "Antimonians" (also called "Hutchinsonites") were so much in disfavor in Boston that Roger WILLIAMS advised them to purchase Aquidneck Island, in Rhode Island. Records say that John BRIGGS with others purchased Aquidneck Island (the Indian name for the Island where Portsmouth and Newport are located) from the Indians Cononicus and Miantonomi in 1638, and that John BRIGGS was one of the founders of Portsmouth, RI.

There is much information on another John BRIGGs, who immigrated to Sandwich, MA in abt. 1637. and died in 1641. His children seem to have stayed in MA, and do not seem to be connected to the RI branch.

However, an interesting fact is derived from the History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Biographical NY. The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920.pp. 184-185.

John W. BRIGGS--The surname Briggs is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin, and had its source in the Saxon word, Brigg, meaning bridge. It is local in derivation, and appears in the earliest English rolls and registers. Williamatte Brigge (William at the Bridge) of Salle is mentioned in the records of Edward I and Edward II about 1272, and the ancient Norfolk family of the same name trace descent from him.

The following was copied from BRIGGS-L@@Rootsweb, information sent by Jeff Briggs, Dec. 3, 2002




From "The American Genealogist" Vol. #36, dated ??, page16-18
photocopy contributed by Nelson Warner, transcribed by Frank Mitchell, 1997

WHO WAS REBECCA CORNELL?

George E. McCracken, Ph.D., F.A.S.G. VD
Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Mr. G. Andrews Moriarty has lately put us all greatly in in debt by publishing [supra, 35:107] certain discoveries made by Mr. Waldo C. Sprague in the parish registers of Saffron Waldon, co. Essex. There can be no doubt
that Mr. Sprague located eight baptisms and two burials of children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell, later of Boston, Portsmouth, R.I., and Westchester Co., N.Y. Three children, Samuel, Joshua, and Mary, all presumably born in America, are naturally missing, as are also Ann, the second daughter living 1664, and therefore born in either 1624 or 1626, and Richard, the second son in 1664 (actually the third, counting the William who died in England, born, it would seem, therefore, between July 1628 and April 1629. Perhaps Ann and Richard were baptized in a neighboring parish. But apart from these omissions, the evidence from Saffron Walden is completely in harmony with that presented by the will of Rebecca Cornell, dated 2 Sept. 1664, probated 1673, of which.an abstract appears, supra 19:132, a facsimile (not very legible) and a complete transcript in John Rose Delafield, Delafield the Family History (privately printed 1945), 2:648 f. The testatrix listed her sons in order and her daughters in order, and also numbered each list so that we are not left to assume merely from the order that it is chronological. It is to be hoped that we shall soon have the additional material discovered by Mr. Sprague.

Unfortunately, however, in this article reference in made to a "Briggs Genealogy" without making clear that the claims made in that work, and partly cited, are far from being sound. It is true that on the occasion of the
trial in 1673 of Thomas2 Cornell for the alleged murder of his mother, when he was convicted an flimsy evidence and subsequently hanged, one John Briggs of Portsmouth deposed that he had seen the deceased Rebecca in some sort of apparition and that she had asserted to him, "I am your sister Cornell."
This is for me satisfactory evidence that Rebecca Cornell and John Briggs bore the relationship of brother and sister to each other, but I do not regard it an sufficient proof that they were the children of the same parents. The
terminology of the seventeenth century was such that this relationship could have been established in at least three ways:
(a) Thomas Cornell could have married John Briggs` sister;
(b) John Briggs could have married Thomas Cornell`s sister; and
(c) The sister of Rebecca could have married John Briggs.

In addition, we have also the possibility that the relationship was either half or step. The first alternative has been widely supposed to be the only one. It was accepted by the Rev. John Cornell, M.A., in his Genealogy of
the Cornell Family, being an account of the Desendants of Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, R.I. (New York, 1902), p.17, and by Mrs. Bertha Bortie Beal Aldridge in her book, The Briggs Genealogy, Including The Ancestors and
Descendants of Ichabod White Briggs (1609-1953) Also Other line descendants of his immigrant ancestor John Briggs, b. 1609, York England, and Some of the Descendants of Ichabod White (Victor, N.Y., 1953), p.11, where Mrs.
Aldridge makes John Briggs marry Sarah, sister of Thomas Cornell. On p. 7, in the preface, she puts the birth of John Briggs in Kent, England, inconsistently with her title-page which makes him born in York. But this latter work is not the "Briggs Genealogy" to which reference was made. That, as I learn from Mr. Sprague, is a typed manuscript which he saw at Providence, "New York Descendants of John Briggs of R. I. and County Essex, England, with 16 Allied Families," by Pearl Leona Heck of Washington, D.C. (1933).
So far as I am aware, no proof has been offered to support the belief that John Briggs` sister Rebecca Cornell was born a Briggs, and in view of the fact that Mr. Sprague has now found evidence that Thomas and Rebecca had a son buried in England on 19 Oct. 1632 with the name, as shown in the register of Kelame, it would be well to investigate the possibility that this child bore the maiden name of Rebecca.

In any case, I have myself investigated the Briggs family as shown in the registers of the parish of St, James, Clerkenwell, London, in which, it is true, there is recorded the baptism of a child named Rebecca, daughter of
Henry Briggs, on 25 Oct. 1600, and it is also true that this date is satisfactory for our Rebecca Cornell, so far as we can tell. There are in these registers more entries of the Briggs family than Mr. Moriarty cites, and for the benefit of those to whom the printed registers are not available, I now transcribe all of them:
Burials
5 Dec. 1575 Eliza Brigges, widow
22 Feb. 1572/3 George Brigges
7 Sept. 1608 John Brigges` stillborn child
23 May 1600 Thoomas, son of Richard Brigges
3 Sept. 1593 Margaret, daughter of Will`m Brigges
27 Aug. 1593 Will`m Brigges, householder
16 May 1620 Henry Briggs` son William
3 Dec 1620 Joyce, daughter of Henry Briggs
14 Aug. 1625 Henry Briggs
Baptisms
25 Oct. 1600 Rebecca, daughter of Henry Briggs
8 Apr. 1618 John & Joyce, children of Henry Briggs
Weddings
27 Feb. 1616/17 Henry Brigges & Hellen Taylor
21 Nov. 1621 Henry Brigges & Joane Wilkinson

I have also made inquiries for wills of the Briggs family of Clarkenwell but received no report of any extant. The children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell were named Sarah, Ann, William, Thomas, Richard, Rebecca,
Elizabeth, Kelame, William, John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Joshua, and Mary, this list being a combination of the evidence from the parish registers and the mother`s will. The children of John Briggs of Portsmouth are shown in
Austin`s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (pp. 25 .) as John,
Thomas, William, Susanna, Job and Enoch, and the same list appears In Mrs. Aldridge`s book--I have myself not done any research on the second generation of the Briggs family of Portsmouth. It would seem clear that there is at least no striking correspondence between the names of the Briggs family of Clerkenwell and the Cornell and Briggs families of Portsmouth. Particularly significant is the absence of the name Henry. Moreover, if Rebecca Cornell was, indeed, the Rebecca Briggs baptized in 1600 at St. James, then the John Briggs baptized there in 1618 is about 10 years too young to have been the Portsmouth settler, since his age was given when he testified in 1673, showing that he was born in 1608 or 1609. I conclude that if Rebecca Cornell was really a Briggs, then she was not the one baptized in Clerkenwell.

Information on burial ground from NEHGS



Based on research published in THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST vol 59, 1983 by Douglas Richardson, M.A, the following children issued from John and Agnes:

1. John bp 27 Sept 1634, Thornbury; suggests without any proof that this is the younger John of Taunton;
2. Katherine bp 6 Jan 1636/7; nfr
3. Richard bp 17 Mar 1638/9; d Taunton bef. 13 Dec 1692; [again speculative-no proof that Richard of Thornbury is the same man as Richard of Taunton]
4. poss. Joanna [mentioned in prenuptial agreement as being of Taunton]
5. William b. ca 1645; d 3 Jan 1728 aged 83;
6. Hugh [year of birth unknown] mar. 1 Mar 1682/3; d bet. 22 Aug 1692 and 1698;


The Thornbury Registers indicate that this family was in Thornbury as late as 1644, after which a gap ensues in the parish records.

The marriage of John Briggs to Agnes Thayer and his family line are presented because it is information that is widely accepted as being factual. However, there is no documentation that has been found to establish Agnes as the wife of John of Taunton, nor is there any proof that the John Bridges found in the Gloucestershire records is the same John Briggs that appeared in Taunton MA 1657.

It is proven through land records and deeds that John of Taunton was the father of Richard, William and Hugh; based on the fact this was the only Briggs family in Taunton, Joanna (Briggs)Tallman of Taunton, is placed in this family speculatively; 4.

The dates of birth and death of John Briggs are unknown. He was certainly deceased in 1686 and probably in 1675. No mention of his wife, the mother of his three sons, has yet been found.

The Briggs families are referred to in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, "Richard, William, and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton, Massachusetts." by Edna Hannibal & Claude Barlow (1971, 3 volumes), when those with the name "John" [Briggs] are discussed, each of which appears early in New England. Paraphrasing Hannibal/Barlow in this work:

1) "John" Briggs, son of Clement Briggs, born in Weymouth (Plymouth County, MA).His father Clement arrived in 1621 on the ship The Fortune in Plymouth Colony, after the ship Mayflower. This line is documented in "Clement Briggs of Plymouth Colony & His Descendants" by Hannibal/Barlow, Vol I & II, 1969, published 1969 (by author);

2) "John" Briggs who "came to Boston in 1638, was driven from there with Anne
Hutchinson`s party and settled in Newport, RI in 1640." (This sect was known as "Antinomians" or "Hutchinsonites".) This John is more commonly known as "John Briggs of Portsmouth, RI," and is documented in the book, "John Briggs of Newport and Portsmouth, Rhode Island and His Descendants," by Lilla Briggs Sampson, published Pawling, NY 1877 (by author) (This is my line through Dad`s side)

3) "The third John Briggs settled in Sanwich, MA in 1640 [on the Cape]. This line is documented in "John Briggs of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and His Descendants," by Hannibal/Barlow.

4) "The fourth was John Briggs who sailed with Capt. John Greene for Warwick, RI and settled in Kingstown, RI in 1671, in Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, John Russell Bartlett, ed. (This one seems to be my line through Mother`s side, except they arrived much earlier, as one child was born there in 1642. EL)

5) The fifth is "Richard, William and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton," by Hannibal/Barlow, appearing in NEHGR Vol. 125, No. 2, April 1971, and appears in each issue through Vol 127, No. 1, Jan 1973. This John Briggs is referred to as "John Briggs Senior." It is inferred from land records that John Briggs Sr. arrived prior to 1657.

6) I am departing now from Hannibal/Barlow`s outline in ..."Sons of John Briggs/Taunton" and am going to lump together the NY Briggs lines:

-The Colonial Ancestry of the Family of John Greene Briggs, son of Job Briggs and Patience Greene, and Isabel Gibbs De Groff, daughter of William Stoutenburgh De Groff, and Susan Hopkins, by Henry Tallmadge Briggs & John Greene Briggs [This is the line for John Briggs of Dutchess County, NY]
-A Partial Record of the Descendants of Walter Briggs of Westchester, NY pub. Fairbanks, Briggs, & Co. 1878 (is in the NYPub Library)

I am less familiar with the NY lines so perhaps somebody else could advise as to the earliest ones. I have been told that some of the genealogies therein are a bit controvertial as to accuracy...

Copies of some of the genealogies that are out of print can be obtained from Quintin Publications (quintinpublications.com) in Pawtucket, RI, plus other Briggs genealogies not mentioned.

I`m sure there are other Briggs lines I`m not familiar with and haven`t mentioned, so hopefully others can fill in the blanks! Hope this is helpful to you.
Regards,
Louise Briggs

The following is info I have gathered over the years.

Followed his sister, Rebecca (Briggs) CORNELL and husband, Thomas CORNELL, to Boston. Authority--Leonard`s Notes in New Bedford Library, New Bedford, MA, In the notes, John BRIGGS wife is given as Sarah CORNELL. They were probably married in England. Thomas and Rebecca arrived in Boston in 1636 and it is possible that he came at the same time. This would fit in with John`s apparent involvment with the Antinomian followers of Ann Hutchison and their subsequent move from Boston to RI

Austin`s Genealogical Dictionary speaks of the relationship of Rebecca (BRIGGS) CORNELL to John BRIGGS. Reverend John CORNELL, compiler of the "Cornell Genealogy" considers this point was brought out in the trial of Thomas CORNELL, Jr. for the murder of his mother, Rebecca Briggs CORNELL

In "Representative Men of Southeastern Massachusetts", John BRIGGS is said to have married Sarah CORNELL, sister to Thomas CORNELL, who married Rebecca BRIGGS, and refers to "Leonard`s Notes as authority. Leonard`s notes are in the "New Bedford Library", New Bedford, Massachusetts, and in the notes, John Briggs` wife is given as Sarah Cornell.

He is said to have been of Newport, RI in 1638, and of Portsmouth, RI in 1642. His name appears on nearly every page of the Town Records of Portsmouth. He served constantly and in every capacity as jury-man, Town Councillor, Surveyor of Lands, Special Commissioner and Deputy to the General Assembly of the Colony. This latter office he held continually for many years. He was evidently a man of some property, since the Town on various occasions was indebted to him for moneys he had advanced for the Town`s benefit.

(also under John Briggs, Jr., m. Frances Fisher)

Pg 25 and 55, are from Austin, John Osborne, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (reprinted in 1982 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. of Baltimore.

He is said to have lived on the highway that leadeth to the Windmill, and Town meetings were frequently held at his home, and he was moderator at some of these meetings.

In 1638 he was one of those admitted as inhabitants of the island of Aquidneck. On April 30, 1639, was one of twenty-one to sign the following: "We, whose names are underwritten, do acknowledge ourselves the legal subjects of his Majesty, King Charles, and in his name, do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politicke, unto his laws, according to matters of justice."

He was made an inhabitant of Newport, RI in 1639, and Portsmouth, RI in 1650. He was one of the founders of Portsmouth. His name appeared on nearly every page of the town records. He served constantly and in every capacity as juryman, town councillor, surveyor of lands, special commissioner, and deputy to the general assembly of the colony. This latter office he held continually for many years. He was evidently a man of some property, since the town on various occasions was indebted to him for monies he advanced for the town`s benefit. It is said he lived "on the highway that leadeth to the windmill". Town meetings were frequently held at his home. One record is that he lived nearer to Newport than to Portsmouth.

April 30, 1639 John BRIGGS with 28 others signed the following compact: "We whose names are underwritten do acknowledge His Majesty, King Charles, and in his name do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politic unto his laws according to matters of justice."

He was made freeman 16 March 1641, On 5 Oct. 1643, he was directed to go to every house to see what arms were defective. On August 24, 1643, he bought a house and lot of John Hall of Portsmouth, "all his house and lot, etc. without molestation, only if I (John Hall) abide upon this land, I do have the use of the dwelling house for the use of me or mine, for the space of one year".. he was assistant in 1648 and commissioner for uniting the four towns of RO, 31 Aug, 1654. In 1649, he was licensed to keep an ordinary. He served as commissioner in 1654-55-56-59-61-62-63. He was on a committee to build stocks and a cage.

Mr. BRIGGS purchased in 1662 of John DUNHAM of Plymouth, MA (one of the original thirty-four purchasers of Dartmouth), DUNHAM`s whole share of L42. It was described as "all my lot or portion of land at Acushnett Coaksett and places adjacent in jurisdiction of New Plymouth".

At some point, John must have acquired property in Dartmouth Township (probably in MA). On 14 Oct 1679 he gave 1/2 of property to his son John. On 11 Mar 1679 he gave a quarter of a share to his son Thomas and wife Mary (35 acres) and if Thomas die, his wife, Mary, to enjoy same, if she continue his widow.

He became a Quaker when that religion was introduced to America after 1656.

On 13 Oct, 1679 he deeded his eldest son John, of Portsmouth one half of a share in Dartmouth, and if his wife, Hannah, survive him, she to enjoy same while widow. If she marry again, then to my grandson John, the second son of my son John, and if he die without issue, then to my son John`s next younger son, etc. In case of failure of all, then to go to John`s eldest son, Edward, he paying to daughters of son John, 20£.

A copy of John Sr.`s will is in the Anthony Tarbox Briggs collection at Salt Lake City. It lists all of his children except William.

Will is recorded in Council Book of Portsmouth Vol II, pg 278, dated 1690 and probated 17 Sep 1690. It was written 19 Apr 1690. Executor--son Enoch.Will proved 16 Nov 1690. to son Enoch all and every part of land and personal estate, goods, chattels, debts (next threee or four words illegible) by paying legacies, etc. To eldest son, John, son Thomas, son William and daughter Susanna Northway, 1 s. each, these four children having "long since received their portions and are gone from me". To son, Job, three ewes, two wether lambs and two heifers.

Children mentioned include: Susannah BRIGGS NORTHWAY, (she married Joseph COOK first 19 Apr 1692 and then NORTHWAY); John BRIGGS; Thomas BRIGGS; Job BRIGGS; William BRIGGS; Enoch BRIGGS.

Although his name and dates are shown on the grave marker in the BRIGGS cemetery in Little Compton, along with several members of William`s family, it seems likely that this was erected much later than his death, and that he is not buried there at all.

Many books show that he and Sarah were married in England, but another authority thinks that his possible arrival in America by 1635/1636 and the birth of their first child in 1641 suggests that they were married in RI in 1639 or 40.

On 20 Feb 1673, he testified in the trial of Thomas CORNELL, Jr. where he stated that he was 64 years or thereabouts. (From John Robert Austin Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, 1982.)

While living in Boston MA, he became a follower of Ann HUTCHINSON, and this sect, the "Antimonians" (also called "Hutchinsonites") were so much in disfavor in Boston that Roger WILLIAMS advised them to purchase Aquidneck Island, in Rhode Island. Records say that John BRIGGS with others purchased Aquidneck Island (the Indian name for the Island where Portsmouth and Newport are located) from the Indians Cononicus and Miantonomi in 1638, and that John BRIGGS was one of the founders of Portsmouth, RI.

There is much information on another John BRIGGs, who immigrated to Sandwich, MA in abt. 1637. and died in 1641. His children seem to have stayed in MA, and do not seem to be connected to the RI branch.

However, an interesting fact is derived from the History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Biographical NY. The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920.pp. 184-185.

John W. BRIGGS--The surname Briggs is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin, and had its source in the Saxon word, Brigg, meaning bridge. It is local in derivation, and appears in the earliest English rolls and registers. Williamatte Brigge (William at the Bridge) of Salle is mentioned in the records of Edward I and Edward II about 1272, and the ancient Norfolk family of the same name trace descent from him.

The following was copied from BRIGGS-L@@Rootsweb, information sent by Jeff Briggs, Dec. 3, 2002




From "The American Genealogist" Vol. #36, dated ??, page16-18
photocopy contributed by Nelson Warner, transcribed by Frank Mitchell, 1997

WHO WAS REBECCA CORNELL?

George E. McCracken, Ph.D., F.A.S.G. VD
Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Mr. G. Andrews Moriarty has lately put us all greatly in in debt by publishing [supra, 35:107] certain discoveries made by Mr. Waldo C. Sprague in the parish registers of Saffron Waldon, co. Essex. There can be no doubt
that Mr. Sprague located eight baptisms and two burials of children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell, later of Boston, Portsmouth, R.I., and Westchester Co., N.Y. Three children, Samuel, Joshua, and Mary, all presumably born in America, are naturally missing, as are also Ann, the second daughter living 1664, and therefore born in either 1624 or 1626, and Richard, the second son in 1664 (actually the third, counting the William who died in England, born, it would seem, therefore, between July 1628 and April 1629. Perhaps Ann and Richard were baptized in a neighboring parish. But apart from these omissions, the evidence from Saffron Walden is completely in harmony with that presented by the will of Rebecca Cornell, dated 2 Sept. 1664, probated 1673, of which.an abstract appears, supra 19:132, a facsimile (not very legible) and a complete transcript in John Rose Delafield, Delafield the Family History (privately printed 1945), 2:648 f. The testatrix listed her sons in order and her daughters in order, and also numbered each list so that we are not left to assume merely from the order that it is chronological. It is to be hoped that we shall soon have the additional material discovered by Mr. Sprague.

Unfortunately, however, in this article reference in made to a "Briggs Genealogy" without making clear that the claims made in that work, and partly cited, are far from being sound. It is true that on the occasion of the
trial in 1673 of Thomas2 Cornell for the alleged murder of his mother, when he was convicted an flimsy evidence and subsequently hanged, one John Briggs of Portsmouth deposed that he had seen the deceased Rebecca in some sort of apparition and that she had asserted to him, "I am your sister Cornell."
This is for me satisfactory evidence that Rebecca Cornell and John Briggs bore the relationship of brother and sister to each other, but I do not regard it an sufficient proof that they were the children of the same parents. The
terminology of the seventeenth century was such that this relationship could have been established in at least three ways:
(a) Thomas Cornell could have married John Briggs` sister;
(b) John Briggs could have married Thomas Cornell`s sister; and
(c) The sister of Rebecca could have married John Briggs.

In addition, we have also the possibility that the relationship was either half or step. The first alternative has been widely supposed to be the only one. It was accepted by the Rev. John Cornell, M.A., in his Genealogy of
the Cornell Family, being an account of the Desendants of Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, R.I. (New York, 1902), p.17, and by Mrs. Bertha Bortie Beal Aldridge in her book, The Briggs Genealogy, Including The Ancestors and
Descendants of Ichabod White Briggs (1609-1953) Also Other line descendants of his immigrant ancestor John Briggs, b. 1609, York England, and Some of the Descendants of Ichabod White (Victor, N.Y., 1953), p.11, where Mrs.
Aldridge makes John Briggs marry Sarah, sister of Thomas Cornell. On p. 7, in the preface, she puts the birth of John Briggs in Kent, England, inconsistently with her title-page which makes him born in York. But this latter work is not the "Briggs Genealogy" to which reference was made. That, as I learn from Mr. Sprague, is a typed manuscript which he saw at Providence, "New York Descendants of John Briggs of R. I. and County Essex, England, with 16 Allied Families," by Pearl Leona Heck of Washington, D.C. (1933).
So far as I am aware, no proof has been offered to support the belief that John Briggs` sister Rebecca Cornell was born a Briggs, and in view of the fact that Mr. Sprague has now found evidence that Thomas and Rebecca had a son buried in England on 19 Oct. 1632 with the name, as shown in the register of Kelame, it would be well to investigate the possibility that this child bore the maiden name of Rebecca.

In any case, I have myself investigated the Briggs family as shown in the registers of the parish of St, James, Clerkenwell, London, in which, it is true, there is recorded the baptism of a child named Rebecca, daughter of
Henry Briggs, on 25 Oct. 1600, and it is also true that this date is satisfactory for our Rebecca Cornell, so far as we can tell. There are in these registers more entries of the Briggs family than Mr. Moriarty cites, and for the benefit of those to whom the printed registers are not available, I now transcribe all of them:
Burials
5 Dec. 1575 Eliza Brigges, widow
22 Feb. 1572/3 George Brigges
7 Sept. 1608 John Brigges` stillborn child
23 May 1600 Thoomas, son of Richard Brigges
3 Sept. 1593 Margaret, daughter of Will`m Brigges
27 Aug. 1593 Will`m Brigges, householder
16 May 1620 Henry Briggs` son William
3 Dec 1620 Joyce, daughter of Henry Briggs
14 Aug. 1625 Henry Briggs
Baptisms
25 Oct. 1600 Rebecca, daughter of Henry Briggs
8 Apr. 1618 John & Joyce, children of Henry Briggs
Weddings
27 Feb. 1616/17 Henry Brigges & Hellen Taylor
21 Nov. 1621 Henry Brigges & Joane Wilkinson

I have also made inquiries for wills of the Briggs family of Clarkenwell but received no report of any extant. The children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell were named Sarah, Ann, William, Thomas, Richard, Rebecca,
Elizabeth, Kelame, William, John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Joshua, and Mary, this list being a combination of the evidence from the parish registers and the mother`s will. The children of John Briggs of Portsmouth are shown in
Austin`s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (pp. 25 .) as John,
Thomas, William, Susanna, Job and Enoch, and the same list appears In Mrs. Aldridge`s book--I have myself not done any research on the second generation of the Briggs family of Portsmouth. It would seem clear that there is at least no striking correspondence between the names of the Briggs family of Clerkenwell and the Cornell and Briggs families of Portsmouth. Particularly significant is the absence of the name Henry. Moreover, if Rebecca Cornell was, indeed, the Rebecca Briggs baptized in 1600 at St. James, then the John Briggs baptized there in 1618 is about 10 years too young to have been the Portsmouth settler, since his age was given when he testified in 1673, showing that he was born in 1608 or 1609. I conclude that if Rebecca Cornell was really a Briggs, then she was not the one baptized in Clerkenwell.

Information on burial ground from NEHGS



Based on research published in THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST vol 59, 1983 by Douglas Richardson, M.A, the following children issued from John and Agnes:

1. John bp 27 Sept 1634, Thornbury; suggests without any proof that this is the younger John of Taunton;
2. Katherine bp 6 Jan 1636/7; nfr
3. Richard bp 17 Mar 1638/9; d Taunton bef. 13 Dec 1692; [again speculative-no proof that Richard of Thornbury is the same man as Richard of Taunton]
4. poss. Joanna [mentioned in prenuptial agreement as being of Taunton]
5. William b. ca 1645; d 3 Jan 1728 aged 83;
6. Hugh [year of birth unknown] mar. 1 Mar 1682/3; d bet. 22 Aug 1692 and 1698;


The Thornbury Registers indicate that this family was in Thornbury as late as 1644, after which a gap ensues in the parish records.

The marriage of John Briggs to Agnes Thayer and his family line are presented because it is information that is widely accepted as being factual. However, there is no documentation that has been found to establish Agnes as the wife of John of Taunton, nor is there any proof that the John Bridges found in the Gloucestershire records is the same John Briggs that appeared in Taunton MA 1657.

It is proven through land records and deeds that John of Taunton was the father of Richard, William and Hugh; based on the fact this was the only Briggs family in Taunton, Joanna (Briggs)Tallman of Taunton, is placed in this family speculatively; 4.

The dates of birth and death of John Briggs are unknown. He was certainly deceased in 1686 and probably in 1675. No mention of his wife, the mother of his three sons, has yet been found.
 
John BRIGGS
1609 - BEF 16 NOV 1690
Henrie BRIGGS
1574 - 4 AUG 1625
Mary HINCKES
12 DEC 1581 - 1615


Thomas BRIGGS
1546 - 1593
Elizabeth MOUNTEYN
1554 - 1618
John HINCKES
1540 - 1581
Elizabeth MYTAR
-





Edward BRIGGE
1526 - 1611
Cecily MOORE
1526 - 1615
Unk MOUNTEYN
1530 - 1590

-

-

-
F MYTAR
- 1616

-


Sources

1.Title: History of the State of RI
Author: American Historical Society
  Home |  Alphabetical List |  Family Tree |  Search |  Chronology |  Admin |  Contact Us
 Copyright © Eloise Lafferty. All rights reserved.