William's truly noteworthy involvement with the judicial system occurred five years earlier, when he was a juror in the trial of several Indians accused of the murder of John Sassamon, a Christianized Indian and one-time "counselor" to Metacom, sachem of the Pokaneket band of Wampanoags (known to the English as "King Philip").1

William/1p Brooks

M, #2554, (1615 - )
Appears on charts:Descendants of William/1p Brooks
Custom index:Philip's War (1675-76)
Last Edited:5 Aug 2017

Children with (–?–) (–?–):

William/1p Brooks was born in England about 1615, perhaps in Essex.2,3 William Brooke, 20, and Gilbert Brooke, 14, were enrolled at London, 17 Jun 1635, for passage to New England on the Blessing, John Leicester, master, as servants in the party of William/1 Vassall, a wealthy merchant of Stepney, Middlesex and son of a London alderman. They arrived at Boston in August, and thence went with Vassall to Scituate, in Plymouth Colony.4,5,6,7 Vassall left for England in 1646, and thence for Barbados, 1648, where he died in 1655. The name of William Brooks, Marshfield, was included on a 1643 list of men able to bear arms in Plymouth Colony.3,8
     According to Savage and Deane, he married (1), by 1644, the widow Susanna Dunham, but no such person is found in Plymouth colony records. Torrey alludes to an unidentified 1st wife while naming William's 2nd wife. The Great Migration team says he married "(1) By 1644 — —; she died after 1659 and by 1665." This unidentified 1st wife was the mother of William's 8 children.9,10,11,3
     3 Mar 1644[/5?], Willm Brookes acted as agent for Manasseh Kempton in the sale of land in Scituate, with Gilbert Brooke as witness.3 Plymouth grand juror, 5 Jun 1644; Plymouth grand and petit juror, 1 Jun 1675.3 "He or his wife had become a member of the Second Church at Scituate by 14 September 1645 (even though they were residents of Marshfield at this time), when their first child was baptized."3 3 Mar 1645/6, Willm Brookes of Marshfeild was presented to the court "for the breach of his oath, in disclosing of his fellows' counsel and his own, which he through weakness confesseth he did, and is released."3
     30 (9) 1649, Maj. William Homes of Scituate left the widow and children of his late brother Thomas, all of London, "if they come over," his farm at Scituate, "now or lately in the possession of William Brooke."12
     With Walter Woodward, William Brooks returned the inventory of Thomas Hicke of Scituate, attested by the widow 3 Oct 1653. With James Torrey and John Bryant, he returned the inventory, 10 Apr 1657, of Widow Kempton of Scituate.13
     William Brooks returned by 1657 to Scituate, where he took the oath of fidelity that year. Admitted freeman 1 Jun 1658, he was recorded in the Scituate section of Plymouth Colony lists of freemen dated 1658 and 29 May 1670.3 Says Deane, "His farm was south of Till's creek, latterly called Dwelley's creek, and his house near that of Capt. William Brooks, his descendant of the sixth generation. The spot seems to have been selected on account of the sweet spring of water near it." Evelyn Beran says the house was near the spring in today's Riverdale Farm pasture. Steve Ivas wrote in 1999, "[He] purchased a property along the North River about two miles from where I type."14,15 He had a proportional share of eight in a list, 1673, of "allowed and approved inhabitants of the Town of Sittuate … to whom division of land and a common privilege does appertain," and was granted five acres "in a swamp near the land called Spring Swamp."16,3 Named in the will of Thomas Bird of Scituate, dated 4 Feb 1663.17
     William married (2), by 1665, Susanna Hanford, daughter of Jeffrey Hanford and Eglin Hatherly, and widow of John Whiston, with whom she had had 6 children.18,19 12 Dec 1664, Susanna and her children received £12 and a heifer in the will of her uncle Timothy Hatherly of Scituate, who added, "I acquitt her of her first husband's debt to mee." 18 Feb 1666/7, William and Susannah Brookes gave a receipt to Joseph Tilden, administrator of the estate, for their share.19,20
     In 1665 "father-in-law" (stepfather) William Brooks and uncle Edward Jenkins (husband of Susannah's sister Lettice Hanford) assisted Joseph Whiston (eldest son and heir of John Whiston) in settling some of the realty of his father's estate. Joseph died in 1666, and Edward Jenkins was appointed guardian of John Whiston, Joseph's younger brother.21
     7 July 1680, William Brooks testified in Plymouth Court in a case involving Zachariah Damon and his mother.3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     William's truly noteworthy involvement with the judicial system occurred five years earlier, when he was a juror in the trial of several Indians accused of the murder of John Sassamon, a Christianized Indian and one-time "counselor" to Metacom, sachem of the Pokaneket band of Wampanoags (known to the English as "King Philip"). Sassamon had informed the English about growing sentiment among the Wampanoags for war against the English, and his life became forfeit when this fact became known to the Wampanoags. The Indians accused of his murder pleaded not guilty, after which "itt was judged very expedient by the Court, that, together with this English jury aboue named, some of the most indifferentest, grauest and sage Indians should be admitted to be with the said jury, and to healp to consult and aduice with, of, and concerning the premises." The racially mixed jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty, and the prisoners were executed by hanging.
     "At this time there was a superstitious belief, that if one person had killed another, the body of the one killed would immediately begin to bleed if approached by the perpetrator of the murder. In the case of the murdered Sassamon this test was tried, and, says Dr. Increase Mather, 'when Tobias, the suspected murderer, came near the dead body, it fell a bleeding on fresh, as if it had been newly slain; albeit, it was buried a considerable time before that.'"
     The murder of Sassamon, which occurred during the winter of 1674-75, and the subsequent execution of the Indians adjudged guilty of it, helped to precipitate the disastrous conflict known as King Philip's War which broke out the following spring.1 Despite his advanced age of about 60 years, William Brooks subsequently took the field against the Indians with Capt. Mosely's independent company, being paid £2-5-0 on 21 Sep 1675 for service during June and July. William Brooks was also paid £2-3-0 on 27 Aug 1675 for service under Prentice in the Mt. Hope campaign. Of the latter service Bodge notes, "Several are credited as 'guards,' and may have been in service as scouts and guides."22
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     The inventory of William Brooks, 24 Jan 1682/83, amounted to £59-19-8, including "his apparel and books" valued at £6-6-6. The only real estate listed (not valued) was "1 tenement of one house & barn with 60 acres of upland & eight acres of marsh belonging to it."3 His undated will, signed by mark and proved 6 Mar 1682/3, bequeaths to son Nathaniell half my upland and half my meadow land, also half the upland which is on the island within the meadow and half the fruit of my orchard forever; to son Thomas the other half of my land & meadow with the housing thereon, with instructions for providing for the testator during his life, but if Thomas die without issue, this land to return to Nathaniell, who shall pay to each of his six sisters or their children £12-40. Wife Sussannah shall live in my house during her widowhood, with provision for her maintenance by Nathaniel and Thomas, and with a bequest of some moveables and of all those things which she brought with her when she became my wife; "my grandchild Beriah shall be at my wife's dispose"; to wife's youngest daughter Bathshebah Dunham 40s; the residue of the estate to be divided amongst my six daughters, only my grandchild Beriah, my daughter Hannah and my daughter Mary forty shillings apiece more than the rest. Eldest son Nathaniell was named executor, and Cornet Robert Studson and Charles Stockbridge Sr. overseers.3
     See The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:412–15.3

Local Notes:

Electedbetween 1646 and 1649, Marshfield, MAMarshfield surveyor of highways, 2 June 1646, 6 June 1649 [PCR 2:102, 139].3
Property2 Apr 1649, Scituate, MAESTATE: On 2 April 1649, "William Brookes of Marshfield, husbandman," sold to John Bryant of Scituate, wheelwright, land which "the said William Brookes hath lately bought and purchased of William Randall of Scituate, being part of two lots which the said William Randall did formerly buy and purchase of George Kenerick once of Scituate" [PCR 3:94].3
Property31 May 1659, Scituate, MAGranted "a certain island of upland lying in the marsh on the northerly side of the creek commonly called and known by the name of Till's Creek" in Scituate, 31 May 16593
Elected5 Jun 1667, Scituate, MAScituate constable, 5 June 1667 [PCR 4:148].3

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S106] NEHGS Register, "Notes on the Indian Wars in New England" (Apr 1861), 15:149-150.
  2. [S97] Charles Edward Banks, Planters of the Commonwealth, 176–77, Blessing.
  3. [S520] Anderson, Sanborn and Sanborn, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:412-15, William Brooks.
  4. [S97] Banks, Planters, 176–77, Blessing passenger list.
  5. [S106] NEHGS Register, "The Founders of New England" (Oct 1860), 14:317.
  6. [S133] New England Historic Genealogical Society, Nexus, 14:6, 195: William Vassall. "He and his family arrived in Massachusetts in 1635."
  7. [S520] Anderson et al, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:407–11, Gilbert Brooks; 1:412-15, William Brooks.
  8. [S106] NEHGS Register, "List of those able to Bear Arms in New Plymouth" (Jul 1850), 4:259.
  9. [S36] James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary, 1:263, William Brooks: n.d., n.p.
  10. [S221] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages, 103, William Brooks.
  11. [S430] Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, 223-224: "His wife was widow Susanna Dunham of Plymouth."
  12. [S106] NEHGS Register, "Abstracts of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth" (Jul 1853), 7:230.
  13. [S106] NEHGS Register, "Abstracts of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth" (Apr 1851), 5:260; (Jul 1851) 5:338.
  14. [S430] Deane, Hist. Scituate, 223–224.
  15. [S442] Steve Ivas, personal communication, 15 Dec 1999.
  16. [S430] Deane, Hist. Scituate, 155–57.
  17. [S106] NEHGS Register, "Abstracts of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth" (Apr 1852), 6:186.
  18. [S431] Evelyn S. Beran (Madison, WI, e-mail address), research shared with the author, 1997–2002, citing Cornet Robert Stetson, 30–32: "calls her widow Susanna Dunham of Plymouth, niece of Mr. Timothy Hatherly, and mentions only one wife."
  19. [S520] Anderson et al, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:412, William Brooks.
  20. [S106] NEHGS Register, "Abstracts of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth" (Apr 1852), 6:187-88.
  21. [S431] Beran, citing Holman, Stevens-Miller Ancestry, 1:486.
  22. [S106] NEHGS Register, George M. Bodge, "Soldiers in King Philip's War" (Apr 1883), 37:175; (Jul 1883) 37:280.
  23. [S485] Vital Records of Scituate Massachusetts To the Year 1850, 1:50, Hannah Brook bp.
  24. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Nathaniel Brook bp.
  25. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Mary Brook bp.
  26. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Sarah Brook bp.
  27. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:52, Miriam Brooks bp.
  28. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Deborah Brooke bp.
  29. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Thomas Brooke bp.
  30. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Johanna Brook bp.
In 1675, during Philip's War, he kept a garrison at Gov. Josiah Winslow's house in Marshfield, and is credited, 26 Jan 1676, in the amount of £3.14.10, on a list of men who made advances of money to the government to sustain the war effort. This probably represents reimburseable expenses incurred in maintaining the Winslow garrison.1,2

Gilbert/1p Brooks

M, #2555, (circa 1621 - 13 June 1695)
Appears on charts:Descendants of Gilbert/1p Brooks
Custom index:Philip's War (1675-76)
Last Edited:27 Aug 2017

Children with Elizabeth Symons:

Findagrave.com, memorial #38414206. Photo by Kim Christensen.
Gilbert/1p Brooks was born in England circa 1621, perhaps in Essex.3,2 Gilbert Brooke, aged 14, was registered at London 17 Jun 1635 as a passenger for New England on the Blessing, John Leicester, master. His entry follows that of Will[ia]m Brooke, 20, almost certainly his brother.4,2 The Brooke brothers were servants in the party of William/1 Vassall, a wealthy merchant of Stepney, Middlesex, and son of a London alderman. Arriving at Boston in August, the household settled at Scituate.5,4,6,7 Vassall, a disaffected Anglican, returned to England in 1646, and thence went to Barbados, 1648, where he died in 1655.8,2
     "Gilbert Brookes, the servant of Mr. Will[ia]m Vassell," was presented 5 Mar 1638/39 at Plymouth Court for "drinking inordinately at John Emerson's house."2 Gilbert Brooks was on his own at Marshfield in 1643, and in 1645 at Scituate, where, says Deane, his residence was on the south of Colman's hills. (Descs. John Otis says that Judge Joseph Otis Esq. (1665-1754) of Scituate, and later New London and Montville, Connecticut, lived while at S. "on the south of Colman's Hill, the former residence of Gilbert Brooks, Esq.") Gilbert Brooks removed, finally, to Rehoboth by 1662. At his death he owned lands in Rehoboth and Attleborough.9,2,10
     3 Mar 1644[/5?], he witnessed a Scituate land transaction in which his brother Willm Brookes was agent for Manasseh Kempton.11 He was a freeman of Plymouth Colony 1 Jun 1658, and his name is found in the Scituate section of a Plymouth Colony list of freemen, 1658; and in the Rehoboth section of Plymouth Colony lists of freemen, 29 May 1670 and early 1683/4.2 His name is also found on lists of Rehoboth freemen, 1658 and 1670.12
     His name is found in the Marshfield section of a 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms. He was Marshfield constable, 4 Jun 1645; Plymouth grand juror, 6 Jun 1654, 6 Jun 1660, and 5 Jun 1666, petit juror, 5 Jun 1666, 5 Mar 1667/8, 25 Oct 1668, and 28 Oct 1684; coroner's juror (as "Sergeant Gilbert Brookes"), 16 Feb 1655[/6].
     He was Rehoboth deputy to the Plymouth General Court, 3 Jun 1679, 7 Jun 1681, 3 Jun 1684, 2 Jun 1685, __ Jun 1686, and 3 Jun 1690; Rehoboth selectman, 1 Jun 1680, 7 Jun 1681, 6 Jun 1682, 6 Jun 1683, 3 Jun 1684, 2 Jun 1685, __ Jun 1686, and __ Jun 1689; Rehoboth delegate to Plymouth Colony Council of War, 2 Apr 1667; Rehoboth surveyor of highways, 5 Jun 1672 and 7 Jun 1676; Rehoboth constable, 3 Jun 1673; committee to seat the meetinghouse, 10 Dec 1680; and committee to "lay out the country roads through the town of Rehoboth," 22 Sep 1684.2,9
     Gilbert married (1), by 1645, Elizabeth Symons, with whom he had 9 daughters, all of whom lived to marry.1314,2 He sold his house at Scituate to son-in-law Robert Crossman in 1652.15 The will of John Stockbridge, 4 Sep 1657, gives to his wife Mary "my hous at Sityate that gillbert Brooks doth live in."16 Gilbert Brookes was granted 12s. by Plymouth Court, 1 Mar 1658/9, apparently for assisting Humphrey Johnson in his role as "attorney in the behalf of the country about Joseph Tilden's business."2 He was at Rehoboth 1679–1683, where he was one of a committee in 1683 "to treat with the Rev. Samuel Angier, concerning his settlement in the ministry there."17,15
     His wife Elizabeth died in July, 16872,18, and he married (2), 18 Jan 1687/88 at Rehoboth, Sarah/2 Redway, daughter of James/1 Redway, and widow (with 10 children) of Samuel/3 Carpenter.2,19 He died at Rehoboth 13 [per inventory] or 30 [per executors' account] Jun 1695.2,20
     The will of Gilbert Brook of Rehoboth, dated 6 Jun and proved 5 Jul 1695, and signed (like his deeds) by mark, bequeaths to wife Sarah the dwelling house, orchard & home lot and some moveables "during the time of her widowhood and bearing my name," as well as some livestock and provisions for her current use; to grandson Benony Wiggins [blank] acres of land on the north side and a quarter part of my commons on the north side, with some moveables; to stepson Zachariah Carpenter that lives with me 40s., some weapons and "an axe that was his father's"; to his 9 (unnamed) daughters an equal share of the estate after his death, excepting daughter Rachel's share to grandson Benony Wigen; sons-in-law Robert Crosman & William Manle to be executors. He provided that his children "shall not have whole shares till my wife do leave that which I bequeathed unto her." Finally, to grandchild Batheba Walker, 20s; to grandson Brooks Thrasher, 20s; and to Zachariah Carpenter a coverlet. Witnesses were Samuel Newman, Richard Bowen & Nathaniel Chaffee, all of Rehoboth.2,21
     The inventory of "Mr. Gilbert Brooks of the town of Rehoboth … who deceased the thirteenth day of June 1695," dated 4 July 1695, Nicholas Peck and Richard Bowen, appraisers, was untotalled. Real estate amounted to £84: "12 acres of land," £9; "homelot," £43; "7 acres," £3 10s; "£50 commonage," £2 10s; "one acre," £6; and "lands & rights on the north side," £20. The inventory also included "books" valued at 6s.
     15 Jul 1695, "Robert Crosman and William Manley executors of the last will & testament of Mr. Gilbert Brooks who died the 30th day of June 1695," presented an account of legacies paid. To "the widow," £11-10-6; to Zachariah Carpenter £3-14-6; to Bennoni Wigins £2-5; to Rebecca Haskins, 12s, "with other things not particularly mentioned and therefore no sum to them but all her due by will"; to Bathsheba Walker, £7-18-9½; to Bethiah Thresher with what received upon will, £7-18-9½; to Sarah Lyon, £7-13; to Elizabeth Stevenes' children, £5-9-4½d; "and as to Rachel another daughter being at Long Island we have as yet no opportunity to pay her anything; Mary Colebond as yet will not receive any portion but rather shows dislike of the will, And as to the lands we have not yet opportunity to divide them, our mother, the widow, having the house & houselot during her widowhood, by will, the rest of the estate as it is circumstanced is in our hand to be further disposed of according to will."2,21 Widow Sarah Brooks died 15 Jul 1717.
     17 May 1726, an order for division of the estate of Gilbert Brooks of Rehoboth mentions his will devising to his 9 daughters an equal share in his estate, except the share for (deceased) daughter Rachel given to grandson Benoni Winnings. Said Benoni, notes the order, "hath been out of this Providence in some remote part for more than twenty years past."22
     14 Jun 1726, an appraisal of real estate of Gilbert Brooks in Rehoboth and Attleborough sets off land for grandson Benoni Wiggins, neither he nor his representatives having been heard from. Mentions "Land laid out to Francis Stevens Children." Commissioners: John Foster, Noah Carpenter, Joseph Bucklin, Daniel Carpenter and John Bishop.23
     A large monument in Winslow Cemetery, Marshfield, dedicated to the early settlers of Green Harbor who are buried there, names Gilbert Brooks and wife Elizabeth.24,25
     See The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:407–11.2

Local Notes:

Property26 Jan 1649/50, Scituate, MAESTATE: On 26 January 1649[/50?], Thomas Simmons [Symons] of Scituate sold to "Gilbert Brookes of Scituate … planter … all that my dwelling house, barn, outhouses, garden, orchard & yards together with nine acres more or less of upland on which the said dwelling house & barn standeth … in Scituate … likewise ten acres more or less of upland lying & being in Scituate aforesaid on that hill commonly called Brushey Hill" [PCR 12:217–18].
     Rehoboth taxpayer, 1671, 1674 [Early Rehoboth 1:16 (citing Rehoboth Rate Book 2:13–14), 39 (citing Rehoboth Rate Book 1:2)]. On 28 May 1672, "Gilbert Brookes" was credited with one share in Rehoboth North Purchase [Early Rehoboth 1:41, citing Rehoboth North Purchase Proprietors' Records 1:2–4]. On 26 January 1676/7, "Gilbert Brooke" was recorded as being owed £3 14s. expenditures relating to King Philip's War [Early Rehoboth 2:42, citing Rehoboth Rate Book 2:16].
     On 20 March 1694/5, "Gilbert Brookes" of Rehoboth appointed "my well beloved friend and son-in-law Robert Crossman" of Taunton as his attorney to take possession of and sell Gilbert's land in Scituate, and, on 19 April 1695, Robert Crossman deeded the nine acres of upland to Joseph Otis of Scituate [PCR 12:218–20].2
Property26 May 1668, Rehoboth, MAMay 26, 1668, lots were drawn for the meadow lands in the North Purchase, by the following persons: | Gilbert Brooks.26

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S575] James N. Arnold, Rehoboth VR, 920, List of those who made advances of money.
  2. [S520] Anderson, Sanborn and Sanborn, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:407–11, Gilbert Brooks.
  3. [S97] Charles Edward Banks, Planters of the Commonwealth, 176–77, Blessing.
  4. [S106] NEHGS Register, "The Founders of New England" (Oct 1860), 14:317.
  5. [S97] Banks, Planters, 176–77, Blessing passenger list.
  6. [S133] New England Historic Genealogical Society, Nexus, 14:6, 195: William Vassall. "He and his family arrived in Massachusetts in 1635."
  7. [S520] Anderson et al, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:407–11, Gilbert Brooks; 1:412-15, William Brooks.
  8. [S36] James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary, 1:260: Gilbert Brooks: "living with William Vassall; after at Marshfield…."
  9. [S106] NEHGS Register, "List of those able to Bear Arms in New Plymouth" (Jul 1850), 4:259.
  10. [S918] Paul W. Allred, citing Horatio N. Otis, Descendants from John Otis, an Early Settler at Hingham, in Massachusetts (Boston, 1850), 38.
  11. [S520] Anderson et al, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:412-15, William Brooks.
  12. [S575] Arnold, Rehoboth VR, 918, Nathaniel Morton's list (1658); 1670 list of freemen.
  13. Elizabeth Symons may have been a sister of the Thomas Symons from whom Gilbert Brooks bought a farm at Scituate in 1649/50. See the first transaction included in the Property note above.
  14. [S221] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages, 102, Gilbert Brooks.
  15. [S430] Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, 224-225.
  16. [S106] NEHGS Register, "The Descendants of John Stockbridge" (Apr 1979), 133:98.
  17. [S36] Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary, 1:260: Gilbert Brooks: "at Rehoboth 1679–83."
  18. [S575] Arnold, Rehoboth VR, 804, Elizabeth Brooks bur.
  19. [S575] Arnold, Rehoboth VR, 59, Gilbert Brooks/Sarah Carpenter m.
  20. [S692] H.L. Peter Rounds, Abstracts of Bristol County, 1:11–12, Gilbert Brooks.
  21. [S692] Rounds, Abstracts of Bristol County, 1:128–30, Gilbert Brooks.
  22. [S692] Rounds, Abstracts of Bristol County, 5:290.
  23. [S692] Rounds, Abstracts of Bristol County, 5:294–95.
  24. [S344] "Massachusetts Tombstone Project", Winslow Cemetery listings, Marshfield, MA.
  25. [S148] Findagrave.com, memorial #38414193.
  26. [S575] Arnold, Rehoboth VR, 914, North Purchase division.
  27. [S485] Vital Records of Scituate Massachusetts To the Year 1850, 1:50, Elizabeth Brook bp.
  28. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Sarah Brook bp.
  29. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Mary Brook bp.
  30. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Rachel Brook bp.
  31. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Phebe Brooke bp.
  32. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Bathsheba Brooke bp.
  33. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Rebecca Brooke bp.
  34. [S485] Scituate VR, 1:50, Hannah Brook bp.
  35. [S575] Arnold, Rehoboth VR, 555, Berthia Brooks b.