John/3a Brooks

M, #17104, (1657 - 4 August 1713)
Father-Candidate*Dea. Joshua/2a Brooks1 b. c 1630, d. b 24 Aug 1697
Mother-Candidate*Hannah/2 Mason1 b. 23 Sep 1636
Appears on charts:Descendants of Capt. Thomas/1a Brooks
Descendants of Dea. Joshua/2a Brooks
Last Edited:1 Aug 2017
John/3a Brooks was born in 1657, son of Joshua and Hannah, says Savage, though the birth is not found in Concord records.1 According to Bond and Torrey, he married, 8 Nov 1682 at Watertown, Deborah/4? Garfield, perhaps, daughter of Samuel/3 Garfield and Mary Benfield.2,3 Recorded the same date at Sudbury is the marriage of John Brooks and Hannah/4? Garfield, perhaps , daughter of Joseph/3 Garfield and Sarah/3 Ball.4 Bond and Torrey say John Brooks died 18 May 1697, but again I find no such record at Sudbury. Weston's published records do not begin until 1707. Bond says he died without issue.5,6
     The likely key to the identification of John's wife lies in the fact that daughter Deborah Brook is mentioned in her mother Mary Garfield's will of Jan 1708/9.7 Assuming that a dying mother knew her daughter's correct Christian name, the "Hannah" recorded at Sudbury (county copy) is probably a copyist's error, representing the "Deborah" of Bond and Torrey.
     Sudbury town records indicate that John Brooks died there 4 Aug 1713.8

     "In September [1699] the [Middlesex County] court approved and confirmed an agreement between Captain John Goodenow, on the one hand, and Joseph Noyes, Sr., and William Brown, on the other, arrived at with the 'friendly advice' of Thomas Clarke of Chelmsford and Ebenezer Grout of Concord. Noyes and Brown were acting as spokesmen for a body of townsmen in setting forth dissatisfaction with Goodenow's public and private behavior.
     "Publicly Goodenow had monopolized town offices and corruptly misused his power. Privately, he had cheated at horse trading, been censured for drunkenness by his fellow church members, and attended only half the services. What he did during the other services is implied in the complaint: 'When he is absent from meeting the wife of John Brooks is absent also.' Mary Clap was more specific:
Being at John Brooks house during meeting Capt. Goodenow entered. When he thought me asleepe he went to the bedside where Goodwife Brooks lay. I did hear them discourse in such a manner as was not mete for any but a man and his wife. The wife of John Brooks said that the custom of women was uppon her and that her body was much swollen. Capt. Goodenow said he hoped not so. Goody Brooks said it is & if you will not believe me … how it is.

     "Another witness had seen them 'in an uncivil maner liing all along [sic] in the hovil together, the womans coats up above her knees. I saw her naked.'
     "Three years previously John Brooks, economically vulnerable as a tenant of Goodenow, had complained that his landlord 'had as much to do with his wife as himself and he wold beer it no longer … he asked some of the company to go with him to demand his house from Capt. Goodenow' but found no volunteers. Another Sudbury housewife deposed that the man who was concurrently militia captain, town clerk, town assessor, first selectman, and moderator of the town meeting had lustfully 'tempted me with the command of his estate … to committ adultery with him.'
     "Scandalized by this behavior, Noyes had started formal accusations in May. In the summer months, however, informal mediation produced a solution. 'Being willing to secure my repputation as far as I may which is dear unto me,' Captain Goodenow agreed to resign all offices and pay eight pounds court costs in return for the withdrawal of the accusation. Sudbury secured peace after two years of fratricidal wrangling."9

     "The John Brooks listed by Bond as an eldest son [of Joshua] was an error," says Threlfall. "He was son of Timothy, Henry, and d. at Sudbury 4 Aug. 1713." Threlfall is mistaken. The John Brooks who was son of Timothy, Henry died at Swansea, 22 Nov 1714, where his parentage and residence are clearly established by the terms of his will.10

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S36] James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary, 1:261: Brooks, "John, 1657."
  2. [S83] Henry Bond, Watertown Genealogies, 1:232, Deborah (2½.1.7) Garfield; 2:720, Brooks genealogy.
  3. [S221] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages, 103, John Brooks/Deborah Garfield m.
  4. [S189] Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, To the Year 1850, 175, John Brooks/Hannah Garfield m.
  5. [S83] Bond, Watertown Genealogies, 2:720: 18 May 1697.
  6. [S221] Torrey, New England Marriages, 103: d. 18 May 1697.
  7. [S83] Bond, Watertown Genealogies, 1:232, Samuel (2½.1.) Garfield.
  8. [S189] Sudbury VR, 298, John Broks d.
  9. [S1755] Roger Thompson, Sex in Middlesex, 171-72.
  10. [S282] John Brooks Threlfall, "Thomas Brooks," 10.