Christopher BROWNE, III
(Abt 1523-1574)
Mrs Browne Christopher III
(Abt 1527-)
Thomas BROWN, Sr
(1552-Aft 1610)
Abraham BROWNE, Sr
(Abt 1582-1650)


Family Links


Abraham BROWNE, Sr

  • Born: Abt 1582-1607, Swan Hall, Hawkedon, Suffolk, England
  • Christened: Abt 1585, St Paul, Norwich, Norfolk, England
  • Married: 1632, , , England
  • Died: 1 Oct 1650, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA

   Ancestral File Number: 9ND1-S6. User ID: 4660.

   General Notes:

Immigrated Yarmouth Isle of Wight England Apr/May 1630 >Salem Massachusetts Jun/Jul 1630 Aboard the Wintrop Fleet, Rem to and A Very Early Settler perhaps One of the First of Watertown, Admitted Freeman 6 Mar 1631/1632, Land Surveyor, Received Important Appointments and Trusts more numerous than were conferred on any other peson, No two men were more Respected and Confided in than he and his brother Richard Browne, Selectman 1636-1643, Conservator of timber trees, Surveyor of the Town "to survey all the lots that are granted", Will and Inventory "accepted at court" 1 Oct 1650.

A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England, John Farmer, Genealogical Publishing Co, Lancaster MA 1829, p44: ABRAHAM BROWN Watertown, freeman 1632, had sons Jonathan and Abraham, born in 1635 and 1639. His wife was Lydia. The name of Brown is frequently written in ancient records with the addition of the e, and several families, as those in Salem, have ever retained this orthography.

The Winthrop Fleet 1630, Charles Edward Banks, Riverside Press, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1930, p62:
"Browne, Abraham. Watertown. From Hawkdon, Suffolk (Bond). Freeman Mar 1631.1632 (M.C.R., I, 367). Died 1650..."

Planters of the Commonwealth 1620-1640,Charles Edward Banks, Riverside Press, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1930
p65: "1630 The Winthrop Fleet
"Eleven vessels brought 'the Great Emigration' of this year, viz:
"Arbella (the flagship), Ambrose, William and Francis, Talbot,Hopewell, Jewel, Whale, Charles, Success, Mayflower, and Trial.
"The first five ships sailed 8 Apr 1630 from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and arrived at Salem 13 June and following days. The other half of the fleet sailed in May and arrived inJuly at various dates. Altogether they brought about seven hundred passengers of whom the following are presumed to have been on these ships (See Banks 'The Winthrop Fleet of 1630'):
p67: "...Abraham Browne, of Hawkdon Suffolk, Watertown
Mrs Lydia Browne
James Browne
Richard Browne..."

Genealogies, Families, and Descendants of Early Settlers of Watertown MA, Vol I, Genealogies, Henry Bond MD, Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1855
p119 "...Hiswid. Lydia m 27 Nov 1659 Andrew Hodges of Ipswich [proprietor of Ipswich in 1639, where his wife Ann d 15 Nov 1658]. He died Dec 1665 and his wid returned to Watertown where she d 27 Sep 1686. By wife Lydia he (AB) had 6 chil. of whom at leastone, and probably two were b in England. the earliest record of a birth in Watertown was that of his dau Lydia.
2.1. Sarah b in England, m 16 Dec 1643 George Parkhurst Jr.
3.2. Mary probably b in England, m 10 Apr 1650 John Lewis of Charlestown afterwards of Malden. [His first wife Margaret, by whom he had 6 chil., d 10 Apr 1649.] He d 16 Sep 1657. In 1667 she was wife or wid of ____ Cutler...
4.3. Lydia b in Watertown 22 Mar 1632/1633, m Lieut William Lakin Jr of Groton...
7.5.4. Jonathan b 15 Oct 1635.
5. Hannah b 15 Mar 1638/1639 aged 14das.
6.6. Abraham b 6 Mar 1639/1640, d 1667, Inventory dated 28 Sep 1667. He purchased land in Groton, where he proposed to settle near his sister Lydia. But, Mary Dix, to whom he was engaged to be married, was unwilling to go to Groton, and she 'desired Thomas Parks to go to Ipswich to treat with Mrs Hodges to see what she would do for her son Abraham Browne upon his marriage.' He went, and 'MrsHodges gave him (her son A) full power to settle upon her land in Watertown,' etc. He m 5 Feb 1662/1663 Mary Dix..."
p122: "...The records of Boston and of the county of Suffolk MA show that there was an Edmund Browne, a proprietor of Boston, as early as 1647...Both of his chil. also died early, and Jonathan, the son of Abraham Browne, or Watertown, inherited his land as next kin. In a deed, dated 1 Jan 1672/1673 from Jonathan to one Richard Taylor, conveying the reversion of some of Edmund's real estate, he recites that he is 'cousin and next heir of said Edmund,' and afterwards, in the same instrument he calls Edmund his uncle. In a suit for possession of a piece of land belonging to the estate, Edmund (1682) is incidentally several times called the uncle of Jonathan...It is believed, according with the first recital in said deed, that Edmund was a nephew of Abaham, and brother to John, of Watertown, and a son of John, of Hawkedon. His birth does not appear in the table of pedigree; but the early parish register (commencing 1538) is lost. There is now none dating back beyond 1709. It was the custon, as early as 1560, for clergymen to deposit certified copies of these registers each year in theWill offices. Very few of these copies are now in existence. It was amongst those remaining in the office at Bury St Edmunds, relative to Hawkedon, that were found the baptisms of Mary and John, the chil. of John and grand chil. of Thomas of Hawkedon. the births and baptisms of no other grand chil. of said Thomas have been discovered.
"We have scarcely a doubt that Edmund was the son of John, of Hawkedon. This supposition best harmonizes all known facts. The name of his son, John, for his supposed paternal grandfather- the daughter being named Mary for her maternal grandmother- is confirmatory of it. It is possible that Abraham, of Watertown was also son of John of Hawkedon, and that his place in the table should be adegree below that of Abraham of the pedigree, with whom we have identified him, but the balance of probabilities inclines the other way..."
p124: "Abraham Browne, a younger brother, or a nephew of the Elder, Richard Browne. He was a veryearly settler, perhaps one of the first of Watertown, and was admitted freeman, 6 Mar 1631/1632. He was a land surveyor, and, as is manifest from the records, in the early municipal transactions of the town, he received important appointments,and trusts more numerous than were conferred upon any other person. No two men were more respected and confided in, than he and his relative, Richard Browne. The records of the town do not embrace the transactions of the first four years afterthe settlement. They commence in 1634, extend to 28 Nov 1643 when there occurs a hiatus of four years, and recommence 8 Nov 1647. He was selectman from 1636 to 1643, inclusive. In 1634, he was appointed, in conjuction with Robert Seeley, 'to survey all the lots that are granted'; and they were also appointed 'conservators of timber trees'- none to be cut down without their assent. In 1635, he was one of the seven freemen appointed to divide every man 'his property' of meadow and upland, that is ploughable, and the rest to lie common. In the same year, he was appointed, with John Warren, to lay out all highways, and to see that they are repaired. Also, to survey the lots granted by the selectmen. In 1638, ordered that all lots, both of freemen and foreigners, shall be measured and bounded by Abraham Browne, who shall give a note of each survey to be enrolled in the town books. In the same year, he and Thomas Bartlett were appointed to measure and lay out the remote meadows, according to their best judgments. He was also appointed, with four others, to lay out the farms as they are ordred, and they were authorized to include any rock or swamp in any survey, not counting it in the number of acres. In 1639, the highway from Dorchester Field to the Flats, as Abraham Browne laid it out, was confirmed forever. Also, the highway leading from Robert Jennison's to the river, betwixt the lands of John Barnard and Jeremiah Norcross, together with abouthalf an acre of land on the river, for the landing of goods, was ordered to remain forever, as laid out by Abraham Browne 30 Apr 1639. Also, that when Abraham Browne shall lay out any whole squadron of the great lots, they to whomthe land belongs shall make him present pay. In 1640, Abraham Browne, 'Surveyor of the Town,' was directed to survey the subdivisions of the Hither and Further Plains; and the next year (1641), he was directed to do the same. Also, it was ordered that he have 4d the acre for surveying the two plains and the remote meadows. Also, he was empowered, 1643, to warn trespassers on public timber, and to have one-fourth of the fines. 7 Oct 1641, the General Court appointed him one of the committee for laying out the 1000 acres of land granted to the Artillery Company at its first organization.
"The Court Records of Middlesex County show that 1 Oct 1650 his Will and Inventory were 'accepted at court.' And an order of court mad 6 Oct 1691 respecting the final settlement of his estate recites him as 'deceased in the year 1650.' These dates indicate, it is thought, satisfactorily, the year of his decease; though there are some circumstances that favor the belief that he died between the close of 1643 and 1648. The latest mention of his name in the Town Records, is 28 Nov 1643 which is the latest date previous to the before-mentioned hiatus of four years. It is, therefore, unknown when his public services terminated. As his name does not occur in the Records between 8 Nov 1647, when they recommence and in 1650, the supposed date of his decease, it is probable that ill health or bodily infirmity had compelled him to withdraw from his very large participation inpublic business.
"No original Will of Abraham Browne has been discovered, but in the files of the County Court for 1670, is found the followeing, which, by the concluding certificate, purports to be copy of it. 'The Last Will and Testamentof Abraham Browne, of Watertowne, dec'd; being of good and perfect membory but Weake, as is witnessed by us whose names are here under written. Impr: after the decease of his wife, he gave and bequeathed unto his two sonnes, Jonathan and Abraham Browne, his house and lands; but giving liberty to his wife, that if shee had need shee might sell some parcells of it. Also, he gave and bequeathed unto his two daughters, Sarah Browne and Mary Browne, each of them one ewe sheep, ahving each of them one fefore, as was testified. The rest of his goods and state he gave unto Lydea, his wife, making her his sole executrix to perform this, his Will and Testament. Witnesses, Richard Browne, John Whitney. Entered out of the original onfile with the Register, at Cambridge, in the County of Middlesex in New England, and is a ture coppie (sic), being compared and examined by Thomas Danforth, Recorder.'
"This instrument resembles a synopsis, more than a literal copy of an original Will. It is not improbable that it was a nuncupative Will, and the above a copy of the declaration by the witness of its provisions.
"There was much delay and probably some difficulty in settling his estate. and the settlement seems to have been made finally, in entire disregard of the provisions of the Will. On the 6th Oct 1691 the Court ordered the parties concerned in the estate of Abraham Browne, of Watertown, deceased in the year 1650, be sent for, to attend the adjournment of the Court, in order to a settlement of said estate; and they appointed a committee consisting of John Ward, Jonathan Remington, and Thomas Greenwood, to make proposals for said settlement. The claimants were: 1. The heirs of Jonathan Browne, deceased, the eldest son. 2. George Woodward, in right of his wife, only dau of Abraham Browne, Jr, deceased. 3. John Parkhurst, son of one of the daughters of said Abraham Browne, Sr. 4. The heirs of ?Isaac Lewis, decased, who werechildren of another dau of said Abraham Browne. 5. William Lakin, in right of his wife, youngest daughter of said Abraham Browne.
"Owing, as they said, to a change in the government of the Colony, by the coming over of a new Charter, the committee did not report until 22 Jan 1693/1694. They assigned 2/6 (double portion) of the estate to the heirs of Jonathan, and the other 4/6 to the other four claimants. At the same time they recommended that these four claimants should sell their shares to Abraham Browne, eldest son of Jonathan, deceased, who was then ready to purchase; andin that manner the estate was settled.
"It appears from the schedules of possessions, that, besides a pond of one acre, 11 lots of land weregranted to Abraham Browne, the town surveyor, and that previous to 1642, he had purchased 4 other lots, amounting to 39 acres, one of which, a 30 acre lot in the Great ____ lands, had been granted to his kinsman, John Browne. Two of the lots granted him were homestalls. The first upon which he probably settled at first, contained 10 acres, and was at the east of Mount Auburn. His second homestall of 28 acres, to which he is deemed to have removed very early, was bounded on the eastby the way to the Little ____ (now Howard Street); N. by Sudbury Road (now Main Street); S. by the way to ____ Plains, sometimes called the way betwixt lots (now Pleasant Street); W. by his ____ land. Two other lots granted to him, on of 10 acres and the other of 6 acres, were con____ to this homestall of the West, and in the schedule of 1642, they were deemed part of the homestall, which was then enrolled as 40 acres. He must have purchased other adjoining lands not long afterwards,as in the final settlement of his estate in 1694, his homestall contained 60 acres. The Committee, appointed by the Court to settle the estate, ____ Inventory, in 1694 (of lands only), amounting to L187; viz: homestall 60 acres L100; remote meadow 10 acrews L12; salt marsh 4 acres L20; farm land 107 acres L15; lot on Charles River 10 acres L10.
"This is probably the only instance (unless the grant to Deacon Simon Stone be an exception) where an original grant has remained in the possession of the direct descendants of a grantee to the present time. As above stated, this property passed by inheritance and purchase, to his grandson, Capt. Abraham Browne. Although it is stated in the report of the committee for settlingthe estate, that Abraham 'was ready to purchase' the shares of the other claimants, subsequent transactions render it probable that he acted in behalf of the widow and other heirs of his father, and that he never became the proprietor of the whole homestall of 60 acres. From Capt. Abraham B, a part of the land belonging to him passed by Will to his son Samuel, who occupied a part of his house. After his death his son Samuel, about 1739, moved to Leicester, and not long after this, the property was mortgaged to Capt. John Homans, who probably occupied it only a few years, when the mortgage was cancelled by Jonathan, eldest son of Capt Abraham. From Jonathan it passed to his son Jonathan Jr Esq. From him it passed to his son Major Adam Brown, and it is now, at least a part of it, in the occupancy of his heirs.
"The dwelling-house, now standing, on this ancient homestall, is probably, with the exception of the ancient 'Nathaniel Bright house,' considerably older than any other in the town. The 'new part,' next the road, was built and occupied by Capt Abraham B, when he relinquished the old or south part to the use of his son Samuel. The accompanying cut is a view of this house, as at present seen from the northeast:
"[line figure 18.] "Mansion of Capt. Abraham Browne."

17th Century Colonial Ancestors of Members of the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century 1915-1975, Mary Louise Marshall Hutton, Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company Inc, 1987, p37:
"Abraham Browne (1590-1650) MA, m. Lydia ---, Freeman, Selectman."

"The Great Migration
"The Winthrop Fleet of 1630
"Eleven vessels brought 'The Great Emigration' of this year, viz:
"Arbella (the flagship), Ambrose, William & Francis, Talbot, Hopewell, Jewel, Whale, Charles, Success, Mayflower, and Trial
"The first five ships sailed April 8 from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and arrived at Salem June 13 and following days. The other half of the fleet sailed in May and arrived in July at various dates. Altogether they brought about seven hundred passengers of whom the following are presumed to have been on these ships...
...Abraham BROWNE of Hawkdon Suffolk for Watertown
Mrs. Lydia Browne..."

Database: Massachusetts Applications of Freemen, 1630-91
Date, Name, Residence, Original Source, Comment
06 March 1631-2, Abraham Browne, C. R., Vol. I. p. 74.

ANCESTRY.COM 12 Aug 2000
Database: The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33
Combined Matches: 1
ORIGIN: Childerditch, Essex
OCCUPATION: Surveyor [WaTR 6, 7].
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Membership in Watertown church prior to 6 March 1631/2 implied by freemanship.
FREEMAN: 6 March 1631/2 [MBCR 1:367].
EDUCATION: Abraham Brown's frequent employment as a surveyor implies a solid, basic education.
OFFICES: Watertown selectman, 1635 through 1641, annually [WaTR 2, 3, 5, 6, 7]. Appointed to several committees to lay out land and highways, and to regulate timber cutting [WaTR 1-7, 9].
ESTATE: Abraham Brown was granted twelve parcels of land in Watertown, greater both in number and in acreage than the average: ten acre homestall; three acres of marsh; twenty-eight acre homestall; ten acres of plowland adjoining the preceding plot; six acres of upland adjoining the preceding plot; one acre in Patch Meadow; half an acre of meadow with a piece of swamp; four acres of upland; a pond of one acre; a fifty acre Great Dividend; ten acres in the Remote Meadows; and a farm of one hundred and thirty acres [WaBOP 8, 11, 43, 76]. (A dispute over one of these parcels of land arose in 1660, in which his children were involved [WaTR 65-66].)
By the time of the Composite Inventory he had acquired a few more parcels, and disposed of at least one [WaBOP 21, 117]. He had obtained two parcels from John Browne - six acres of upland and a Great Dividend of thirty acres [WaBOP 21, 77]. He had exchanged land with John Collidge, parting with his fifty-acre Great Dividend and acquiring in return five acres of plowland and one acre of upland [WaBOP 21, 36, 92]. And he purchased from Abraham Shaw one acre of marsh adjoining the three acres that he already possessed [WaBOP 21].
The will and inventory of Abraham Browne were presented at Middlesex County Court on 1 October 1650 [MPR Misc 79].
On 6 October 1691 the county court ordered that "the parties concerned in the estate of Abraham Brown of Watertown deceased in the year 50 be sent to to attend the adjournment of this court in order to a settlement thereof." On 7 October 1691 it was ordered that "Lydia Lakin of Groton and Abraham Luist of Rumney Marsh and Mary the relict widow of Jonathan Brown of Watertown and her son Abraham Brown and Georg[e] Woodard of Muddy River and John Parkist of Watertown and all other persons concerned with the estate of Abraham Brown of said Watertown deceased do make their appearance ... on the first Tuesday in November next in order to a legal settlement of the said estate." On 3 November 1691 the court appointed Lt. Remington, John Ward and Thomas Greenwood "to make proposals for a full and final settlement" of "the estate of Abraham Brown Senr. of Watertown deceased" [MPR Misc 82-83].
BIRTH: Baptized Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, 22 October 1588, son of Edmund and Mary (Cramphorne) Browne [Kempton Anc 174].
DEATH: Watertown in 1650, prior to 1 October [MPR Misc 79, 82].
MARRIAGE: (1) South Weald, Essex, 21 September 1619 Joan Shelton, who was buried at South Weald 27 September 1628 [Kempton Anc 180].
(2) By 1631 Lydia _____; she married (2) Ipswich 27 November 1659 Andrew Hodges; "Lidia Hoges (a widow)" died at Watertown 27 September 1686 [WaVR 58].
With first wife
i SARAH, bp. Childerditch, Essex, 30 July 1620 [Kempton Anc 184]; m. Watertown 16 December 1643 George Parkhurst Jr. [WaVR 10]; she d. before 24 September 1650, when he m. his second wife, Mary Veazie [WaVR 15].
ii HANNAH , bp. Childerditch, Essex, 25 August 1622 [Kempton Anc 184]; possibly the child of Abraham Browne bur. South Weald 10 October 1628 [Kempton Anc 184].
iii MARY, bp. Childerditch, Essex, 8 February 1623/4 [Kempton Anc 185]; m. (1) Malden 10 April 1650 John Lewis as his second wife; m. (2) by 1663 John Cutler [Kempton Anc 185].
With second wife
iv LYDIA, b. Watertown 22 March 1631/2 [WaVR 3]; married by 1655 William Lakin (eldest child b. Reading 6 May 1655).
v JONATHAN, b. Watertown 15 October 1635 [WaVR 4]; m. 11 February 1661/2 Mary Shattuck [WaVR 23].
vi HANNAH, b. Watertown 1 March 1637/8 (calc.) [WaVR 6]; bur. there 15 March 1637/8 [WaVR 6].
vii ABRAHAM, b. Watertown 6 March 1638/9 [WaVR 6];
ASSOCIATIONS: In 1996 Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn demonstrated the English origin and connections of this immigrant; he was brother of JOHN BROWN of Watertown, Edmund Brown of Boston by 1634, and Hannah (Brown) Ines, almost certainly wife of MATTHEW INES [Kempton Anc 168-96]. There was a brother Richard, but he was clearly not the immigrant to Watertown.
COMMENTS: In the grant of the Remote Meadows Abraham Browne received ten acres. We can identify seven persons in the household at this time: Abraham, his wife, and five children. Under the terms of the grant the other three acres might be granted for servants in the household, or for Abraham's holdings of livestock; in either case, he again appears as above the norm in wealth and social standing.

ANCESTRY.COM 13 Aug 2000
Abraham, Watertown, frm. March 6, 1631-2. Town officer, com. of Gen. Court. Wife Lydia; ch. Sarah, (m. George Park-hurst, Jr.,) Mary, (m. ---- Lewis,) Lydia b. 21 (1) 1632, (m. Wm. Lakin,) Jonathan b. 15 (8) 1635, Hannah b. and d. in 1638, Abraham b. 6 (1) 1639. He d. in 1650. The widow m. Nov. 27, 1659, Andrew Hodges of Ipswich. [Mdx. Files, 1670.]

Ancestral File Ver 4.13 9ND1-S6 Abraham BROWNE Born 1607 Of Hawkedon Suffolk England Chr St Paul Norwich Norfolk England Mar 1632 Lydia (AFN:9NJK-4C) England Died 1 Oct 1650 Watertown MA, P6SS-XQ Born Abt 1582, P26J-FW Abraham BROWN Born 1590 Hawkendon Suffolk England Died 1560, NJ71-5H Born Abt 1587.


1. Immigration; 8 Apr 1630-1631, Yarmouth, Isle Of Wight, England.
Winthrop Fleet. Arrived Salem, MA, 13 Jun 1630.

2. Freeman; 6 Mar 1631/32, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. 1

   Marriage Information:

Abraham married Lydia in 1632 in , , England. (Lydia was born on 27 Sep 1608 in Hawkedon, Suffolk, England and died on 27 Sep 1686 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA.)


1 Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England, John Farmer, Library of Congress Catalogue Number 64-19761; International Standard Book Number 0-8063-0108-2, (Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc, Lancaster MA 1829), pg 44.

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