OUR BRONSON FAMILY

Generations 4-6







Generation 4 - the Brother
SGT. ISAAC BRONSON (mar. Mary Root)

Generation 5
JOHN BRONSON (mar. Mary Hickox)

Generation 6
JEMIMA BRONSON (mar. Stephen Hopkins)








SGT. ISAAC BRONSON
Generation 4

ISAAC BRONSON was born in November 1645 at Farmington, and was baptized 7 December 1645 at Hartford, by the Rev. Thomas Hooker. He chose his bride from the local maids, and married, about 1669, MARY ROOT, the daughter of John and Mary (Kilbourne) Root. Mr. Root was a non-fulfilling subscriber of the articles. Farmington was always an important part of Isaac and Mary’s lives, all their children were born there, but ultimately, Isaac moved onward.


MATTATUCK / WATERBURY, CONNECTICUT

In process of time, certain hunters and explorers from Farmington, in their excursions into the western forests, discovered the flats or intervals on the Naugatuck River, where the city of Waterbury now stands. They told their friends what they had seen. So favorable was their report, and such the disposition of the early settlers to push out further into the forest, that they began at once to think of emigration. But at that period, according to the laws of the colony, no person could acquire a title to Indian lands, or make a settlement upon them without the permission of the General Court. Having, therefore, sent out from among themselves a committee to view the place for a new plantation, and obtained from them a favorable report the Farmington people petitioned the “honored general court” for liberty to make a settlement. This was in the fall of 1673.

The Algonquin name for the area was “Matetacoke” meaning “place without trees.” The original settlers were calling the place “Mattatock” in 1673. In the General Court record of 18 May 1674 it is spelled “Mattatuck”. Mattatuck was 33 miles southwest of Hartford.

The Assembly’s Committee (called on the town records “the Grand Committee”), thus constituted, drew up “Articles of Association and Agreement,” which the proposed settlers signed. Among those signers was Isaac Brunson, Edmund Scott, Samuel Hicok, Joseph Hecoks, and John Bronson Jr.

The original settlement was a Town Plot section, and Isaac Bronson was one of the original patentees named in the first town patent, and was with the first company of settlers there. He was numbered among those who received meadow land as allotments and was named in all the divisions of common fence.

In 1674, there were new and obvious reasons for not pushing forward the enterprise. The more serious matter of King Philip’s War caused the settlement to be vacated early in the summer of 1675. The whole weight of it fell upon New England, then with a population of forty thousand, ten thousand of them in Connecticut and widely dispersed in small settlements. The death of King Philip in the latter part of 1676 allowed for people to return in 1677. Now they located west of the original settlement. Both sites are marked.


Waterbury Pioneer Memorial

Anderson, in his History of Waterbury (p. 173) included a prosetic tour of the village of “Mattatuck as a Plantation” as it was in 1681, and has this to say about Isaac:

... The reliable Isaac Bronson. He is a man who seems in all ways to have been faithful to his promises, building on his four-acre lot [in Farmington] in time, and “according to articles,” and therefore not afraid to enter complaints against others. Isaac is thirty-five years of age. His wife is Mary, the daughter of John Root of Farmington. Their children are: Isaac, age 11 years, John, age 8 years, Samuel, age 5 years, Mary, age 1 year.


The settlement was the 28th town in the Connecticut colony. The name was changed on May 15, 1686, to Waterbury because of all the streams flowing into the Naugatuck River.


Of the 34 proprietors of Waterbury, who became settlers before 1688, all except four were from Farmington. They were all farmers. Some of them had trades, such as are in most demand in new settlements, to which they devoted a part of their time, particularly when the weather was unfavorable for farm work. There were among them a few men of substance, but generally, they were in moderate circumstances. None was rich, none very poor. All labored with their hands.




CHURCH

Isaac Bronson united with the church at Farmington on 25th of May 1684, and had his five children baptized there on the 29th of June 1684.

He was active in establishing a church in Waterbury, being one of the petitioners with Mr. Peck to the General Court for liberty “to gather” a church, and was one of its seven pillars at its first organization in 1691.


CIVIL SERVICE

When the train-band reorganized, he was appointed corporal in 1689, and became known as Sergeant in 1695. He served as deputy in May, 1697, and October, 1701, and held a number of other public offices such as school committeeman, town surveyor, etc., at different times.


THE DECLINING YEARS

When it was necessary to provide for his declining years, Isaac deeded half of his homestead and properties to his youngest son, Ebenezer, on condition as follows:



Know ye that I Isack brounson senr. (&c.) in consideration of my son ebenezer brounson hoo now liues with me finding with me and my wife mary brounson with a sutable and comfortable mantenance and taking the whole care of us both while we liue, both in siknes and in helth I say for and in consideration here of, I do giue and grant to my well beloueed ebenezer brounson (& c.) the one half of my hom lot upon which my dwelling hous now stands which land is esteemed two acres and a half be it more or less as it lies buted and bounded south on samuell standley east on John brounson west on highway north on the remainder of my homsted. Then my whole right in the lot he bought of John Warner.

– Item, half my team, two young heffers and a young mare and One half of all my tackling and impliments belonging to a team to have and to hold (&c.)




The instrument is dated 23 June 1714, signed by a mark, probably due to feeble health as he had, in better days, a fair hand for the times, as seen in the old proprietors book when he served sometimes as clerk.



Several years later, on 2 December 1718, Ebenezer relinquished his interest in his father’s homestead, and his brother Thomas, and brother-in-law Thomas Hickox, in consideration of five acres of land on the Farmington road being the Taylor lot, valued at £8 received of Ebenezer, and he assumed the care of his father and mother. On the same day the father deeded one acre of his home lot to Ebenezer, “that he may be sutably rewarded and encouraged for what he has done for us.”

Isaac died on 19 February 1719/20.

An inventory of the estate was presented to the court on 29 February 1919/20, by Mr. Isaac Bronson, his son, with an agreement among the heirs as to its settlement. They gave bonds for the support of the widow. The oldest son was to have £7 more than the other sons, and the latter £7 more than the daughters, eight in all. The amount distributed was £386. Thomas Clark and John Richards were appraisers of the estate.

Mary Root Bronson died soon after the death of her husband.




CHILDREN of ISAAC SR. & MARY (ROOT) BRONSON

  1. Isaac Bronson Jr., b. 1670, bapt. 29 June 1684; died 13 June 1751.

  2. LT. JOHN BRONSON, b. 1673, bapt. 29 June 1684; m. (1) Mary Hickox; and (2) Mrs. Hannah Upson Richards.

  3. Samuel Bronson, b. about 1676, bapt. 29 June 1684; mar. Ruth Smith; died Jan 1725.

  4. Mary Bronson, b. 15 Oct 1680, bapt. 29 June 1684; mar. Deacon Thomas Hickox; she d. 4 July 1756.

  5. Joseph Bronson, b. 1682, bapt. 29 June 1684; d. 10 May 1707.

  6. Lt. Thomas Bronson, b. 16 January 1686, bapt. 11 April 1686; mar. 21 Dec 1709, Elizabeth Upson.

  7. Ebenezer Bronson, b. December 1688, bapt. 7 April 1689; mar. (1) Mary Hull; and (2) Susanna Langton; he died 11 Apr 1768.

  8. Sarah Bronson, b. 15 Nov 1691; m. Stephen Upson; she died 1748.

  9. Mercy Bronson, b. 28 Sept. 1694; mar. Richard Bronson of Woodbury, Conn.









LT. JOHN BRONSON
Generation 5



JOHN BRONSON was born in 1673. He, along with four other of his siblings, was baptized on 29 June 1685. His father was a founding member of Farmington’s church just the previous spring.

John’s first wife was MARY HICKOX. She was born about 1680, at Farmington. They married on 9 November 1697. She had six children.

Move to the
HICKOK FAMILY



Mary died on 21 March 1713 when her youngest was but two years of age.



John married, secondly, the widow Hannah Upson Richards. She was born on 16 March 1694/5 at Waterbury, the daughter of Stephen and Mary (Lee) Upson [see our Upson Family]. Her first husband was Thomas Richards (1685-1726), who she married on 24 December 1714. By him she had the following children: Eunice (1716); Abijah (1718); Lois (1719); Joseph (1722); Benjamin (1724).

When John Bronson married Hannah in June of 1727, her youngest child was just three; John’s youngest was sixteen, and then they had three children together.



John Bronson had nine children in all. Luckily for us, we have an abundance of genealogies that feature this man and his family. However, they are not all complete. The Hickok Genealogy (p. 10) doesn’t mention John’s second wife, Hannah Upson Richards, but it does list her three children. The Upson Family in America (p. 9) mentions Hannah, of course. Harriet Sibley’s Bronson genealogy (p. 12) mentions John’s nine children, but fails to mention Hannah.



He removed to the part of Farmington which is now Southington – about ten miles east of Farmington. [Southington wasn’t formally established as a town until 1779.] He had a house and a considerable amount of land, and later purchased a number of other pieces of property.

He was licensed as a tavern keeper by the New Haven county court in 1730 and afterward. I believe as such, his place would have been like an inn, with tavern facilities, but also to feed and keep people overnight. His tavern was probably along a post-road going to and from Hartford.

He became a lieutenant of the militia and was several times a selectman.

John Bronson died 17 June 1746. [The Hinman genealogy has his death as 1751.] His widow may have married for a third time, on 18 Oct 1749, Ebenezer Richardson (see Stephen Upson Family).

The Inventory of his estate amounted to £1184-04-08.


CHILDREN OF LT. JOHN & MARY (HICKOX) BRONSON

  1. Mary Bronson was born 9 April 1698; mar. (1) on 9 May 1722, Samuel Porter (b. 30 Mar 1695), the son of Dr. Richard & Ruth Porter. He died 1727/8. She remarried (2) John Barnes. She died 1774.

  2. John Bronson was born 23 April 1701; was a lieutenant, removed to Northbury about 1737, and later to Amenia, New York. He mar. 28 Mar 1728, Comfort, the dtr. of William Baldwin of Stratford. They may have gone to Amenia with John’s sister, Jemima, and her husband Stephen.

  3. Hannah Bronson was born 13 October 1704; mar. Nathan Gaylord, and lived in New Milford, Conn.

  4. JEMIMA BRONSON was born 27 August 1706. She married on 26 Feb 1729/30, Stephen Hopkins (b. 8 Aug 1707, the son of Ebenezer Hopkins of Hartford).

  5. Joseph Bronson was born 15 July 1709; mar. (1), on 1 Jun 1732, Anna, the dtr. of Rev. John Southmayd. She died 12 Aug 1749 and he remarried (2), on 2 May 1750, Mary, the dtr. of Leut. Gershom Fulford. Joseph died 19 Sept 1771.

  6. Benjamin Bronson was born 2 October 1711; he mar. 14 Mar 1738, Lois, the dtr. of Thomas Richards. He died 16 Nov 1745; his widow remarried, Silas Hotchkiss.


CHILDREN OF LT. JOHN & HANNAH (UPSON RICHARDS) BRONSON

  1. Tamer Bronson was born 14 March 1730; mar. Joseph Nichols.

  2. Ezra Bronson was born 24 April 1732; he married Susanna Judd (born 23 Jan 1737/8), the dau. of Thomas and Ann (Porter) Judd. He died 1 Sep 1795; Susanna died 13 Oct 1828.

  3. Phoebe Bronson was born 23 March 1734; mar. 1 Apr 1752, Nathaniel Richardson (born 8 Apr 1729), the son of Ebenezer Richardson. He died 31 Oct 1792; Phebe died 6 Apr 1811.









JEMIMA BRONSON
Generation 6



JEMIMA BRONSON was born 27 August 1706. She married on 26 Feb 1729/30, Stephen Hopkins (b. 8 Aug 1707, the son of Ebenezer Hopkins of Hartford).

Move to
STEPHEN HOPKINS

[Not Ready Yet]









PRIMARY REFERENCES

Coddington, John Insley. “The Brownson, Bronson, or Brunson Family of Earl’s Colne, Essex, England, Connecticut, and South Carolina.” The American Genealogist 152/38, pgs. 192-211.

This study was reproduced in Brownson Branches Vol. I (March 1994) pp. 5-11, a newsletter published by Marylou Cory-Nyblod, [1994], 8452 59th Ave. N.E., Marysville, WA 98279-3204. Email: myblod @ gte. net. At LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah: Call # SLC 929.273 B825c.

Problem: Mr. Coddington states there are more children of John (Emigrant) Brownson, but details only the first child, Mary (bapt. 1627); see pp. 10-11. Coddington is also scathingly critical of many works profiling this family as they include a “fictitious” ancestor, “Old Richard Bronson”.

Hickok, Charles N. The Hickok Genealogy: Descendants of William Hickocks of Farmington, Connecticut (Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 1938) p. 10.

Hinman, R. Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut (1852) pp. 341ff. [scanned copy, hence could have errors].
Hinman states John Bronson’s death was in 1751, not 1746 as stated above.



SECONDARY REFERENCES

The American Genealogist, 152 Vol. 38 #4 (Oct 1962), Parish Register, St. Andrew’s (Anglican) Church, and St. Margaret’ (Anglican) Church in Aldham, Essex Earl’ Colne, Essex. Also in same volume, see Register of Admissions Fines from 1610, Colne Priory Manor, Notes of Fines kept by Richard Harlakenden, D/DPr. 100, Essex County Records Office, Chelmsford.

Bronson, Henry. History of Waterbury, Connecticut (1858), pp. 137-38.

Connecticut Colonial Records, Vol. 1, pp. 218, 278, 281, 283.

Cutter, William. Genealogical & Family History of the State of Connecticut (1911) p. 1740.

de Forest, Louis Effingham. Our Colonial and Continental Ancestors: The Ancestry of Mr. And Mrs. Louis William Dommerich (New York: 1930) pg. 57.

This account of the Bronson family is good, but marred by one error. The de Forests stated that, “At a meetying at Hartford, Dec. 5, 1676, the council granted to John Brunson of Farmington the sume of five pounds, as reparation for his wounds and damage recev’d thereby, and quartering and halfe pay to the first of the present moneth.” The authors supposed that this reward for military service in King Philip’s War (1675-76) belonged to John1 Brownson. Obviously he was too old to have served in King Philip’s War, and the military service in question belonged either to his son John2, or to his nephew John2. Per Coddington, above.

Hinman, Royal R. Catalogue of Names of the Early Puritan Settlers ... Connecticut. Hartford (1852) pp. 341-47.

Hurlburt, Mabel S. Farmington Town Clerks and Their Times.

Manor of Colne Priory, Register of Admission Fines from 1610, Notes of Fines made by Richard Harlakenden, D/DPr. 100, Essex County Register Office, Chelmsford.

Manwaring, Charles William. Digest of Early Connecticut Probates, Hartford District, Vol. I: 86, 278-79.

“Original Distribution of the Lands in Hartford.” Coll. Conn. Hist. Soc. Vol. 14: 68, 91, 139, 146, 152-54, 160, 162, 173-74, 182, 188, 322, 287, 405, 429, 464, 506-08.

Photograph: Connecticut Historical Society Ref. # 1953.5.96 N1828 (470x329H). Northwest View of Farmington from Round Hill, by John Warner Barber (1798-1885). Sketch for Barber’s Historical Collections of Connecticut (1836). “Seen from across the Farmington River, includes the figure of the artist sketching,” according to the Web site of the Connecticut Historical Society.

Parke, Nathan Grier, and Donald Lines Jacobus. The Ancestry of Lorenzo Ackley and his wife Emma Arabella Bosworth (Woodstock, VT, 1960) pp. 216-19. This is the best account of John Brownson (Emigrant) and his immediate family. Per Coddington, above.

See the Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639-1663. Collection of the Connecticut Historical Society, 14:576, 578; 22: 10, 12, 72, 77, 82, 109, 222, 227, 256.

Savage, James. A genealogical dictionary of the first settlers of New England: showing three generations of those who came before May, 1692, on the basis of Farmer’s Register. 4 vols. Baltimore MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1981. At Family History Library, Salt lake City, Utah: Call # 974 D2s 1981.

Shepard, James. Connecticut Soldiers in the Pequot War (1913) pg. 12.

Tracy, Elsie H. Bronson, Brownson, Brunson: some descendants of John Bronson of Hartford (1636).... La Jolla, CA: 1973.
This 29-page typewritten manuscript concerns mainly the family of Jacob Bronson (b. 1640). At LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah: Call # 929.273 A1 no. 929.


OTHER REFERENCES

Bassette, Buell Burdette. One Bassett Family in America (New Britain, CT: 1926) pp. 133-39. This otherwise excellent article on the Bronson family is marred by belief in the fictitious “old Richard” Bronson as founder of the family in New England. So states Mr. Coddington, see above.

Bronson, Harriet Sibley. Bronson Lineage 1636-1817: Ancestors & Descendants of Capt. William Bronson of the Revolutionary War and Other Ancestral Lines (Dallas, OR: 1917). At SLC Family History Library, Call # 929.273 B789s.


This resource has a lot of information in it, but is highly criticized by John Insley Coddington. In his genealogy, Coddington makes scathing remarks about Sibley’s genealogy, calling her a ‘dizzy’ family historian. He claims that she invented a wholly imaginary ‘Old Richard Bronson’ who was supposed to have come to Connecticut ‘early’ (whatever that may mean) and to have been the father of John, Richard, and Mary. No such person as ‘Old Richard’ appeared in any Connecticut record whatsoever, and he is entirely fictitious. ‘Old Richard Bronson’ had, nevertheless, been given unwarranted prominence as the first ancestor of this family in America in a good many printed genealogies, compendia, and articles in genealogical columns of the late Boston Evening Transcript and extant Hartford Times, and because of this repetition many descendants believe in his existence. He warns people away from this thinking.

Furthermore, Coddington warns against other of her statements:

  • that the name was originally ‘de Braundeston’ in the vicinity of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. There is, to be sure, a village named Braunstone, in Leicester, about 20 miles southeast of Burton-on-Trent, but this has nothing whatever to do with the family under discussion, whose original was clearly a patronymic name and not derived from a place name (pg. 1).

  • the illustration of a ‘Bronson coat of arms,’ which is also imaginary, since the Brownson’s were a yeoman family and not at all armigerous (opposite pg. 3)

  • the statement that ‘the first Bronson of whom we have any knowledge came to England from Scotland in May 1568 as follower of Mary Queen of Scots’ (pg. 5).

Such statements should never have been made in the first place, but, having been made, they should be promptly forgotten by all descendants of the Connecticut settlers John, Richard, and Mary Brownson.

Brownson, Dr. Ernest R. Genealogy of One Branch of the Richard Brownson Family 1631-1951. Mayville, ND: 1951. Typescript. At LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah: Call # 929.273 B825b.

Problem: This genealogy subscribes to the theory of there being an “old Richard” who was the father of the Emigrant siblings. Additionally, Brownson lists only five children born to John & Frances Brownson, excluding a “John” who lives to adulthood; but later in the manuscript, details the son John who in 1695 removes his family to South Carolina. Manuscript also excludes Sgt. Isaac, who is a well-documented son (and one of my ancestors), and Abraham, and a Sarah.

Enderton, Herbert B. Bronson (Brownson, Brunson) families, some descendants of John, Richard and Mary Brownson of Hartford, Connecticut : including the Kilbourn, Welton, Hopkins, Enderton, Warner and other allied families (San Jose, CA: H. B. Enderton, 1969). At Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT, Call No. 929.273 B789e. Microfilm No. FHL US/CAN Film 893749 Item 1.

Farmington Library, Farmington, Connecticut. Local History Collection, 44 Colton Street, printed 1974. The writeup states John was given the land by his father Richard, but (as discussed above), most respected biographies state John’s father was Richard, but in fact, it was Roger [see Coddington, under Primary References].


WEBSITES OF INTEREST

Historic Sites at Hartford, Connecticut, on the website of The Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Connecticut. Click here for their Home Page.

Farmington Historical Society.
P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.

Waterbury, Connecticut, Home Page.

“America the Great Melting Pot – Brooke-White Family”, online genealogies at Rootsweb .com. Click here for Hannah Upson Richards Bronson. Here it is stated that Hannah remarried for her 3rd husband, Ebenezer Richardson, but do not provide any documentation for same. The page on Lt. John Bronson may fill in some of the blanks.


CONTACT NOTES

11 February 2009: Received an email note from Paul Bronson. He liked the site and added a few links:
Earls Colne, Essex: Records of an English Village.
The Earls Colne database was constructed by a team at the University of Cambridge between 1972-2002. It contains a large part of the surviving records of an English parish over the period 1380-1854. All of the original records that Coddington used in his paper for TAG can be found here.

Earls Colne, Colne Valley
An online guide to Earls Colne and the surrounding area within the Colne Valley. Has nice walking pages with pictures of Chalkney Wood.

Richard "Dick" Bronson of Spokane, Washington.
He is the principal resource for the Bronson/Brunson/Brownson family, having the most complete database of descendants of the three Brownson siblings who emigrated to America. Dick has researched this family for over 17 years and donated his files to the Connecticut Historical Society. He welcomes folks to contact him at RVBronson@aol.com.













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