Henry/1w Brooks

M, #2619, (circa 1592 - 12 April 1683)
Father*John/a Brooke1 b. s 1568, d. b 5 Aug 1607
Appears on charts:Relationship of Henry/1 and Thomas/1 Brooks
Descendants of Henry/1w Brooks
Y-DNA Overlay Chart -- WOBURN line
Custom index:Baptists of Early Massachusetts & West Jersey
Last Edited:10 Dec 2019

Children with (–?–) (–?–):

Dated 10 months before his death.
Henry/1w Brooks was probably born in or near Manchester, Lancashire, circa 1592. The location of his birth is inferred from Y-DNA testing which has established Henry's close relationship to Richard/b Brooke (d. 1607) of Manchester. Henry's birthdate is calculated from a December, 1658 suit in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in which he testified he was then "about 66" years of age.2,3 He was probably the Henry, son of John deceased, whose grandfather Richard/b Brooke, of Manchester, in his will dated 5 Aug 1607, left Henry Brooke, son of his son John Brooke, five shillings.4
     Henry Brooks married (1), probably by 1622 in England, an unnamed first wife with whom he had all of his 8 known children.5,3 (Here we include Hannah Brooks, who, while sometimes erroneously ascribed to Thomas Brooks of Concord, was Henry's daughter.)
     From Shattuck in 1835 to John Brooks Threlfall in 1973, many authorities have suggested a sibling relationship between Henry and Thomas Brooks. In this regard, the year 2006 brought a gratifying conjunction between Y-DNA testing and the unpublished English research of John Brooks Threlfall. (Full details are available via the DNA Testing link on this site's home page.) Here we will simply state that Henry and Thomas Brooks were evidently 1st cousins, grandsons of the aforementioned Richard Brooke. Previously, the scant evidence for such a close connection was found in the will of Henry's son-in-law Thomas Fox, which speaks of "uncle Thomas Brooks," and in the fact that Thomas's son Joshua was living at Henry's son Isaac's place at Concord in 1666.6,7,4
     Henry Brooks first appears in New England records on 14 Mar 1639, when, of Concord, he was admitted a freeman of the Bay Colony8, and was a Concord resident 12 Apr 1641, when the birth of his son Joseph was recorded there.9,10 He then appears between 1649 and 1657 on the tax list of Woburn, Massachusetts.11 20 Dec 1650, William Brackenbury ["Brakenbury"], late of Charlestowne (where he had been constable), sold to Henry Brookes of Woburn, yeoman, for £50, six parcels of upland and meadow (178 acres in all) at Horn Pond, together with a house frame. Brackenbury's wife Alice ["Ales"] gave her consent by mark. Henry Brooks's homestead, described in Woburn records in 1678, was located on South Street (later, lower Main Street), and as late as 1789 was owned by a direct descendant, Capt. Nathaniel Brooks.12,13
     Henry Brooks married (2), before 27 Mar 1651, Susanna ?Bradford, widow of Ezekiel/1 Richardson of Woburn. An herbalist (see her own person page entry), she was described by Daniel Gookin as "an ancient and skilful woman, living at Woburn."14,15
     17 Jun 1651, Dea. Edward/1 Converse of Woburn, yeoman, sold to Henry/1w Brooks of Woburn seven acres.16,17 13 May 1654, Henry Brooks bought 37 acres in Woburn of Alice and Thomas Rand.18,19 Susanna Richardson (now Brooks), widow of Ezekiel Richardson, quitclaimed, 23 Mar 1655, 35 acres of land in Charlestown to Thomas Moulton and John Greenland [Midd. Deeds, ii. 36.].20,21 27 Mar 1657, Samuel Richardson, brother of Ezekiel, now deceased, quitclaimed forty acres of land in Woburn, on the side towards Reading, to my sister Susanna Richardson, now Brooks, during her lifetime, and then to my cousin [nephew] Theophilus Richardson. [Midd. Deeds, ii. 72.]22 Hen: Brookes was a juror, 16 Jun 165723; a grand juror, 5 Apr 165924 and 4 Oct 165925; a juror, 16 Dec 1662.26
     Henry Brooks was, 28 Dec 1658, "about 66," a witness in Capt. Edward Johnson's suit for slander against Ensign John Carter.2,3,27 13 Dec 1659, Henry Brookes and Susanna Brookes of Woburn, in accordance with an award of the court, resigned one-half of Ezekiel Richardson's house and lands, deeding the property to her son Theophilus Richardson. Both signed by mark.28,29 In 1668 Henry Broockes and his sons John and Isaac Broockes each signed a petition in support of Thomas Dutton, who had sued Michael Bacon Jr. for calling him a thief.30,31
     Henry Brooks seems to have materially increased his estate and wealth during his lifetime. While in 1650 he called himself a simple yeoman, in his old age he called himself a clothier. In Pope's words, "A 'clothier' was a man who combined the various departments of cloth-making and handled the products. The carder prepared the wool for the spinster; the weaver passed his pieces over to the webster and fuller; the tucker got things in shape for the shearman; and the clothier criticized, accepted, or rejected, and adjusted the prices of the cloths, and put them on the market. … Clothiers were generally men who comprehended the entire process of manufacturing cloth, and who were cloth merchants; so the trade or business implied a person of large brain and strong grasp of details and good sagacity. It was also usually very profitable, so that clothiers were very often more wealthy than the gentry …"32 There his wife Susanna died 15 Sep 1681.33 There he married (3), 12 Jul 1682, Annis Jordan, widow of Abraham Jaquith of Woburn, and there he made his will six days later.34,5
     Henry Brooks, "cloathyer … stricken in years and may expect every day my change," dated his will 18 Jul 1682, signing with the initial "H." To loving wife Annes he left an annuity of three pounds a year, "covenanted under my hand on day of marriag upon her renowncing any other Dowry," and the use of a cow during her lifetime. To son John, the £10 owed for a yoke of oxen and one third of the wearing apparel, "but he hath had his portion already." To son Timothy, one third of the wearing apparel and confirmation of all that land I gave him; "he hath his portion already." For son-in-law John Mousall, he forgave a bond (note) of £50 for land and housing held jointly with his son John Brooks, and his wife my daughter Sarah may have the disposing of £20 of the said fifty. To son Isaac, all my land on the east side of the highway except 8 acres reserved for Isaac's sons Isack and Henery, half my herbage and woodlots, and all my plowland lots except my great lot which I give to his daughter Miriam. To daughter Lestor, five shillings and no more because she hath received her portion already as will appear by a receipt in her hand. To his grandchildren Isaac and Henry, all his lands west of the highway leading to Charlestown, a piece of land on the west side of James Convers, the previously mentioned 8 acres in the meadow on the east side, half my woodlots and half my herbage, "the little playne," and passage for their catoll [cattle] to and from the Common. To reverend pastors Thomas Carter and Jabez Fox, twenty shillings apiece. He appointed his son Isaac sole executor and residuary legatee, and his trusted friend Lieut. William Johnson overseer to see the will performed, for which in token of my love I give him twenty shillings in silver: the which I have payd alredy. Finally he desired that his two grandchildren not alienate [sell] any of the land he gave them during their father's lifetime. Witnesses were Jabez Fox, Daniel Boldwen and Peter ffowle.3,35,36
     Henry Brooks died at Woburn 12 Apr 1683.37 His inventory, returned 17 Apr 1683 by James Convers Junr and Nathaniel Pearce, was as follows:
An Invoyce of the Estate of Henry Brooks deseased taken this 17th of aprill anno dom 1683

Imprims, about twenty acres of upland on the est side of the highwaye att 20-00-00
and seven acres of Meddow adjoyning to the said land 26-00-00
Item, for eaight acres of Meddow In forty pound meddow given to the children of Isack Brooks att 32-00-00
Item, for about eaighty acres of upland on the west side of the highway on both sides the river Given to the 2: sonns of Isack Brookes att 90-00-00
Item for the greatt Lott In Woburne Coman Given to Meriam the daughter of Isack Brookes, forty too acres 10-10-00
Item for three small Lotts in Wooburne Coman amounting to, about fiveteen acres att 07-00-00
Item for a division of Woodland In Wooburne comman land the one half Given to the 2: Sonns of Isack Brooks att 12-00-00
Item for six acres of Meddowland In Shredvine Meddow att 20-00-00
Item for the Towne priviledge in herbidg
[herbage] the one half given to the too sonns of Isack Brooks att 02-00-00
Item for five acres ¼
[sic] of swamp Botum att 02-12-00
Item for three Cows att 09-00-00
Item for nine Sheep att 03-00-00
Item for one Barne att 12-00-00
Item In Silver 07-12-00
Item for fivety pounds In the hands of John Brooks due by bill: 50-00-00
Item for a bill In the hands of John Brooks for a pair of oxen 10-00-00
Item for a fetherbedd and furniture att 08-00-00
Item for a flock bed bedsted and beding att 02-10-00
Item for other beding att 04-10-00
Item for his wareing Cloaths att 09-00-00
Item for 17 yards of linen Cloth att 02-00-00
Item for one cubard
[cupboard] and table Linen att 02-05-00
Item for brass and pewter att 04-00-00
Item for axes crow
[colter?] and other old oyron [iron] att 00-15-00
Item for and oyrons
[andirons] and Spitt att 00-10-00
Item for a bed pann 00-08-00
Item for 4 old bags and tenn bushels of Indian corn 8s ___ 02-05-00
Item for seals & waights 00-01-00
Item for an old lumb
[loom] and old geers for a weaver and combs 01-02-00
Item for three chests barils and tubbs and lumber 01-12-00
Item for too barils of Silver 01-00-00
[TOTAL:] 355-15-00
aprized by James Convers Junr
& Nathaniel Pearce.38,39

     One further appearance of Henry Brooks may be related. Rev. Increase Mather's history of King Philip's War interpreted the conflict as a manifestation of divine displeasure with New England. In Mather's view, many paranormal events preceding the war had represented divine warnings which had fallen on deaf ears. In one such account he mentions Henry Brooks, as follows.

     And now that I am upon this Digression, let me add, that the monstrous births which have at sundry times hapned, are speaking, solemn providences. Especially that which was at Woburn, Febru. 23, 1670. When the wife of Joseph Wright was delivered of a Creature the form whereof was as followeth. "The head, neck and arms in true Form and shape of a child; but it had no breast bone nor any back bone; the belly was of an extraordinary bigness, both the sides and back being like a belly, the thighs were very small without any thigh bones; It had no buttocks, the Membrum virile was a meer bone; it had no passage for nature in any part below; the feet turned directly outward, the heels turned up, and like a bone; It being opened, there were found two great lumps of flesh on the sides of the seeming belly; the bowels did ly on the upper part of the breast by the Vitalls. This was testified before the Deputy Gouernour Mr. Willoughby on the 2d of March following, by Mrs. Johnson Midwife, Mary Kendal, Ruth Bloghead, Lydia Kendall. Seen also by Capt. Edward Johnson, Lieut. John Carter, Henry Brook, James Thomson, Isaac Cole.
     There are judicious persons, who upon the consideration of some relative circumstances, in that monstrous birth, have concluded that God did thereby bear witness against the Disorders of some in that place. As in the dayes of our Fathers, it was apprehended that God did testifie from heaven against the monstrous Familistical Opinions that were then stirring, by that direfull Monster which was brought forth by the wife of William Dyer, Octo. 17, 1637, a description whereof may be seen in Mr. Welds his History of the Rise and Ruine of Antinomianisme, p. 43, 44, and in Mr. Clarks Examples, vol. I, p. 249.40

     • Inventory of Henry Brooks (219k).
     • Will of Henry Brooks, page one (302k).
     • Will of Henry Brooks, page two (289k).
     • Picture postcard of Horn Pond, Woburn, ca 1900 (54k).

Local Notes:

Electedbetween 1669 and 1672, Woburn, MAHe was selectman of Woburn in 1669, 1671 and 1672.41

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S1405] John Brooks Threlfall, Ancestry of my Children, 512, Thomas Brooks.
  2. [S210] Edward P. Johnson, Woburn Records, 3:284, footnote to Tottingham.
  3. [S298] Cutter & Loring, Brooks Family of Woburn, 3-4, Henry (1.) Brooks.
  4. [S1405] Threlfall, Ancestry of My Children, 2048, Richard Brooke.
  5. [S221] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages, 102, Henry Brooks.
  6. [S36] James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary, 2:477, will of Thomas Fox of Concord.
  7. [S282] John Brooks Threlfall, "Thomas Brooks," 9.
  8. [S222] Lucius R. Paige, "Massachusetts Freemen," 16, Henry Brooke, n.p.
  9. [S106] NEHGS Register, "A Register of the Births & Burialls in Concord from the Yeare 1639 Vntill the First Month 1644 According to Or Account" (Jul 1850), 4:271.
  10. [S185] Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635–1850, 1, Joseph Brooks b.
  11. [S132] Robert Peacock Brooks, Timothy Brooks, 41.
  12. [S318] Thomas Bellows Wyman, Charlestown Estates, 1:108, William Brackenbury; 1:132, Henry Brooks: 1650.
  13. [S1640] Edward F. Johnson, Early Woburn Deeds, 3-4, Brakenbury/Brooks (Book 1, Page 25).
  14. [S221] Torrey, New England Marriages, 102, Henry Brooks/Susanna ?Bradford m.
  15. [S298] Cutter & Loring, Brooks Family of Woburn, 3-4, Henry (1.) Brooks, footnote.
  16. [S520] Anderson, Sanborn and Sanborn, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 461, Edward Converse.
  17. [S1640] Edward F. Johnson, Early Woburn Deeds, 5, Converse/Brooks (Book 1, Page 90).
  18. [S318] Wyman, Charlestown Estates, 1:132, Henry (2.) Brooks; 2:782, Robert (1.) Rand.
  19. [S1640] Edward F. Johnson, Early Woburn Deeds, 5, Rand/Brooks (Book 1, Page 90).
  20. [S318] Wyman, Charlestown Estates, 1:132, Henry (2.) Brooks: 1655.
  21. [S331] John Adams Vinton, Richardson Memorial, page unrecorded.
  22. [S1499] Richardson, David C, posting to MAINE-L at Rootsweb.com, 18 Jul 2011.
  23. [S2396] FamilySearch.org, "Massachusetts Town Clerk Records, 1626-2001," Middlesex County Court Records 1649-1663, v. 1, image 76 of 169.
  24. [S2396] FamilySearch.org, "Massachusetts Town Clerk Records, 1626-2001," Middlesex County Court Records 1649-1663, v. 1, image 98 of 169.
  25. [S2396] FamilySearch.org, "Massachusetts Town Clerk Records, 1626-2001," Middlesex County Court Records 1649-1663, v. 1, image 105 of 169.
  26. [S2396] FamilySearch.org, "Massachusetts Town Clerk Records, 1626-2001," Middlesex County Court Records 1649-1663, v. 1, image 147 of 169.
  27. [S2396] FamilySearch.org, "Massachusetts Town Clerk Records, 1626-2001," Middlesex County Court Records 1649-1663, v. 1, images 93-94 169.
  28. [S520] Anderson et al, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1582, Theophilus Richardson.
  29. [S1640] Edward F. Johnson, Early Woburn Deeds, 7, Brooks/Richardson (Book 2, Page 154).
  30. [S210] Johnson, Woburn Records, 3:83, footnote to Dutton.
  31. [S2308] AmericanAncestors.org,, Middlesex County, MA, Abstracts of Court Files, 1649–1675 (online database, 2003). Unpublished abstracts by Thomas Bellows Wyman, "Abstract of Middlesex court files from 1649," n.d.: 2:48, Dutton vs. Bacon.
  32. [S820] Charles Henry Pope, Merriam Genealogy, 28.
  33. [S210] Johnson, Woburn Records, 2:20, Susanna Brooks d.
  34. [S210] Johnson, Woburn Records, 3:33, Henry Brooks/Annis Jacquith m.
  35. [S1459] Henry Brooks inventory, 17 Apr 1683.
  36. [S2306] Gene Zubrinsky, personal communication, 9 Nov 2017: identification of second witness's signature.
  37. [S210] Johnson, Woburn Records, 2:20, Henry Brooks d.
  38. [S1458] Henry Brooks inventory, 17 Apr 1683.
  39. [S2306] Gene Zubrinsky, personal communication, 9 Nov 2017: identification of second estate apprizer's signature.
  40. [S40] Rev. Increase Mather and Rev. Cotton Mather, The History of King Philip's War, 160-61.
  41. [S522] Samuel Sewall, The History of Woburn, 579, Appendix XIII, Selectmen.
  42. [S106] NEHGS Register, 29:153-157.
  43. [S717] Bradley R. Ridge, "The Bateman Connection," 150-51, Thomas 2, citing MacKenzie, 5:88; Vinton, 39; Sewall, 594.