Friday, January 14, 2011

William BREWSTER 13th Gr. Grandfather - The Great Migration Begins


ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland
MIGRATION: 1620 on Mayflower
REMOVES: Duxbury
OCCUPATION: Printer (in Leiden). (George Ernest Bowman summarized what was known in
1921 about the books printed by Brewster at Leiden [MD 23:97-105]. See also R. Breugelmans, "The Pilgrim Press and How Its Books Were Sold," in The Pilgrims in The Netherlands: Recent Research, ed. Jeremy D. Bangs [Leiden 1984], pp. 25-28.)
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Morison summarized Brewster's church activities prior to 1620: "One of the original members of the separatist congregation at Scrooby which became the nucleus of the Pilgrim church, he emigrated with them to Holland in 1608, and became elder and teacher of their church at Leyden" [Morison 368]. With no minister at the Plymouth church for most of the years before Brewster's death, he was the lay leader and preached to the congregation regularly, and continued in this manner after his move to Duxbury. In the course of relating the controversy surrounding John Lyford, Bradford recounts how "our reverend Elder hath labored diligently in dispensing the Word of God to us, before he came: and since, hath taken equal pains with himself, in preaching the same" [Bradford 162]. Included in the inventory of his library were "7 sermons by W B," which may have been his notes for some of his own sermons.
FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen, prior to those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:3].
EDUCATION: Entered Peterhouse, Cambridge, 3 December 1580, but did not graduate [Venn 1:213; Morison 368]. Within the inventory of William Brewster separate listings were made of his Latin and English books, with nearly four hundred titles included; "the total of both Latin & English books amounts to the sum of £42 19s. 11d." [MD 3:27].
ESTATE: In the list of Plymouth "meersteads & garden plots of [those] which came first laid out 1620" Mr. W[illia]m Brewster is on the south side of the street, at the corner of the highway, and next to John Goodman [PCR 12:3].
In the 1623 Plymouth land division Mr. William Brewster received six acres as a passenger on the Mayflower, and "Pacience & Fear Brewster" received two acres as passengers on the Anne [PCR 12:4, 6]. In the 1627 Plymouth cattle division "Mr. Will[ia]m Brewster," Love Brewster and Wrestling Brewster were the first three names in the fifth company [PCR 12:10].
Assessed £1 7s. in the Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:9, 27].
Administration on the estate of William Brewster was granted on 5 June 1644 to Jonathan Brewster and Love Brewster [MD 3:15, citing PCR 2:101]. The inventory of the estate of William Brewster, taken 18 May 1644, totalled £150 7d., with no real estate included [MD 3:15-27, citing PCPR 1:53-59].
"Whereas William Brewster late of Plymouth, gent., deceased left only two sons surviving vizt. Jonathan the eldest and Love the younger and whereas the said William died intestate for ought can to this day appear," the two sons requested William Bradford, Edward Winslow, Thomas Prence and Myles Standish to assist them in coming to an agreement, and on 20 August 1645 a division was made. Jonathan Brewster was excused the debt he had owed to his father, except £4 "in consideration of the wintering of some cattle which the said Jonathan had the summering upon the division and for the diet of Isaack Allerton a grandchild of the said Will[ia]m which he had placed with his son Love to table and because he was the first born of his father we gave him his father's arms and also a two year old heifer over and above his part of the dividables of the said estate," and Love received his father's dwelling house. The lands were divided equally, except for a dispute over the lands at Duxbury, of which sixty-eight acres went to Jonathan (along with a "dwelling house which the said Jonathan had built on the said land by leave of his said father") and forty-three acres went to Love "and the reason wherefore we gave Love the less quantity was and is because the quality of Love's land in goodness is equal to the quantity of Jonathan's as we judge" [MD 3:27-30, citing PCLR 1:198-99; PCR 12:115-17].
BIRTH: About 1566, probably at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, son of William Brewster.
DEATH: Duxbury 10 April 1644 [MD 1:7].
MARRIAGE: By 1593 Mary [WENTWORTH]; she died at Plymouth 17 April 1627 [MD 1:7]. (See COMMENTS below for discussion of her identity.)

i JONATHAN, b. Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, 12 August 1593 [MD 1:7]; m. Plymouth 10 April 1624 "Lucretia Oldam of Darby" [MD 1:8]; she was bp. All Saints, Derby, Derbyshire, 14 January 1600/1, and was sister of JOHN OLDHAM.

ii PATIENCE, b. say 1603; m. Plymouth 5 August 1624[Gov.] THOMAS PRENCE, "the ninth marriage at New Plymouth" [Prince 229], as his first of four wives.

iii FEAR, b. say 1605; m. Plymouth by 1627 ISAAC ALLER~TON [Bradford 218, 242].

iv LOVE, b. say 1607; m. Plymouth 15 May 1634 Sarah Collier [PCR 1:30], daughter of WILLIAM COLLIER.

v Child, bur. St. Pancras, Leiden, 20 June 1609 [NS] [Dexter 605].

vi WRESTLING, b. say 1611; d. unm. after 1627 and by 1651 [Bradford 444; see GDMNH 109, MD 43:13, Waterhouse Anc 67].

COMMENTS: In his list of passengers on the Mayflower Bradford included "Mr. William Brewster, Mary, his wife, with two sons, whose names were Love and Wrestling" [Bradford 441]. In the accounting of 1651 we find that "Mr. Brewster lived to very old age; about 80 years he was when he died, having lived some 23 or 24 years here in the country. And though his wife died long before, yet she died aged. His son Wrestling died a young man unmarried. His son Love lived till this year 1650 and died and left four children, now living. His daughters which came over after him are dead but have left sundry children alive. His eldest son is still living and hath nine or ten children; one married who hath a child or two" [Bradford 444].
The quest for the identity of Mary, the wife of William Brewster, has attracted the attention of many genealogists, but as yet without a definitive result. For some time she had been thought to be Mary Wentworth, daughter of Thomas Wentworth of Scrooby, and in 1965 John G. Hunt presented his case in favor of this identity [TAG 41:1-5, 63], but this claim was rejected by Rubincam and others, and Hunt himself has now given up this position. He has, however, published a pamphlet claiming that she was a certain Mary Wyrrall, based on the appearance in a will of a bequest to "Mary Butho," which Hunt took to be a variant of Brewster resulting from a speech defect in the person dictating the will [John G. Hunt, Of Mary Brewster: The Identity of Mary, Wife of Elder William BREWSTER of the Mayflower Voyage of 1620 from Plymouth, England, to New Plymouth, New England (Bowling Green, Virginia, 1984)]. Eugene A. Stratton reviewed this volume negatively in 1985 [DSGRM 48:135-36], to which Hunt responded with a supplement to his pamphlet [Of Mary Brewster, part two (Bowling Green, Virginia, August 1985]. The maiden surname of Mary, wife of Elder Brewster, remains unknown. (Hunt has published other articles on various aspects of William Brewster's life which, as with all of Hunt's work, need to be used with caution: "`Master Williamson' of the Mayflower" [NGSQ 62:88-90]; "The Mother of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower" [NEHGR 124:250-56]; "Mary Stubbe - A Connection of Elder William Brewster?" [NEHGR 128:288-90].)
A number of other children have been proposed for William Brewster. Jacobus in 1936 disposed of the claimed connections between William Brewster of Plymouth and Francis Brewster of New Haven and his son Nathaniel [TAG 12:199-210, 13:8-21, 113-116]. Mary Walton Ferris proposes a son Edward [Dawes-Gates 2:151].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: Emma C. Brewster Jones published early in this century a serviceable genealogy of the family [The Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907 ..., 2 volumes (New York 1908)]. Among the many versions of the family published in all-my-ancestor volumes the most complete is that of Mary Walton Ferris [Dawes-Gates 2:142-56].
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants published in 1995 the Brewster volume of its "in progress" series, prepared by Barbara Merrick.
Many biographies of William Brewster have appeared, but mostly of the filiopietistic school; an example from the nineteenth century is that written by Ashbel Steele: Chief of the Pilgrims: or The Life and Time of William Brewster ... (Philadelphia 1857). An exception is Dorothy Brewster, William Brewster of the Mayflower: Portrait of a Pilgrim (New York 1970).
The Great Migration Begins

Ancestry Chain:
13th Great Grandparent - Mayflower passenger William BREWSTER b.1564 / Patience BREWSTER Immigrant b.1599 / Rebecca PRINCE b.1625 / Priscilla PUTNAM b.1657 / Lydia BAILEY b.1695 / John JEFFORDS b.1724 / John JEFFORDS b.1746 / Lucretia JEFFORDS b.1766 / Amariah RAWSON b.1787 / Adaline RAWSON b.1811 / Mary DUNN b.1833 / Harriett Camilla ENSIGN b.1859 / George Ensign SMITH b.1898 / Camilla SMITH b.1926 / Lark / JR.

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