Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Jonathan Brewster

Male 1593 - 1659  (65 years)


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  • Name Jonathan Brewster 
    Born 12 Aug 1593  Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 Aug 1659  New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Preston, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I20312  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of LDN
    Last Modified 5 Sep 2019 

    Father William Brewster,   b. Abt 1566, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Apr 1644, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Mother Mary,   d. 17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Bef 1593  Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Family ID F2643  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Lucretia Oldham,   b. Bef 14 Jan 1601,   d. 4 Mar 1679, Norwich, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 78 years) 
    Married 10 Apr 1624  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Children 
    +1. Mary Brewster,   b. 16 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 23 Mar 1698, Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 71 years)
    Last Modified 31 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F12263  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • He moved with his family to Leiden, Holland in 1608, where he became a merchant and a ribbon maker. Unlike his brothers Love and Wrestling, he stayed behind when the Mayflower sailed; he arrived at Cape Cod on the Fortune in November 1621. In 1630 he and his family moved to Duxbury, where he became a trader, working the coast as far south as Virginia. In 1635-36 he was in Windsor, Connecticut. In 1649 he settled in the New London area, where he spent the rest of his life.

      From Kristen Wands, at the Windsor Historical Society site:

      During his time in Windsor, Brewster began corresponding with John Winthrop, Jr., with whom he shared an interest in alchemy. Brewster had an alchemical laboratory in his home at Brewster's Neck. In 1656, he believed he was close to discovering the universal cure, a common goal among alchemists. He shared the progress of his experiments with Winthrop, saying, "I ffeare I shall not live to see it finished, in regard partly of the Indianes, who I feare will raise warres; and also I have a conceite that God sees me not worthy of a blessing by reason of my manifold miscariadges." Brewster worried not only that his life might be in jeopardy, but also that some accident would upset his experiments, which needed to sit undisturbed for years at a time. Typically Puritan, he worried that he was not Christian enough to receive the divine alchemical secrets he sought. Writing that he trusted Winthrop with his research more than his own children, Brewster promised he would "shortly write all the whole worke in few words, plainly ... & sealle it vp in a littel box, & subscribe it to your selfe... that if it please God I should suddainly be taken away, you may call for it." Ultimately, it appears Brewster's experiments were unsuccessful. His letters to Winthrop, however, provide a fascinating window into the minds of our New England forefathers.

      While Jonathan Brewster's encounters with Native Americans do not seem to have affected his alchemy, later events suggest he was right to be nervous about his family's safety. In early March of 1659, while Brewster was away in Hartford, "12 [Narragansett] Indians came suddainly out of the bushes" surrounding Brewster's farm, and ran toward Mrs. Brewster, who was working in a field with one Mohegan and two English servants. Seemingly to shield her from the attack, the Mohegan ran toward "Mrs. Brewster, and held fast about hir, the other Indians pulled him by force from hir and presently killed him and cutt of his hand and fledd away." Apparently, the Narragansetts were upset that Brewster had been supplying his Mohegan allies with firearms, and the attack, which resulted in the death of the Mohegan servant, was in retaliation. Though no member of Brewster's family was physically harmed, the incident was a tremendous fright to all of the English settlers in the region.

      When Brewster's death came, it was the result of an illness rather than an act of violence. He passed away in August of 1659, at 66 years of age. He was buried in Brewster's Neck Cemetery, which is all that remains of the family's home and trading post there.

      Jonathan Brewster (1593-1659) = Lucretia Oldham (1600-1678)
      Benjamin Brewster (1633=1710) = Ann Addis (1628-1709)
      William Brewster (1669-1728) = Patience (d. 1740)
      Patience Brewster (b. 1699) = Matthew Dewolfe (1697-1783)
      Edward Dewolfe (1735-1790) = Elizabeth (d. 1787)
      Edward Dewolfe (1768-1835) = Sarah Bill (1768-1854)
      Charles De Wolf (1794-1870) = Betsy Putnam (1794-1881)
      John Archelous De Wolf (1833-1901) = Louise Doty (1835-1879)
      Ida Corinne De Wolf (1863-1944) = LaFayette Waterbury (1864-1931)
      Ledora May Waterbury (1885-1959) = Harry Ross Hubbard (1886-1975)
      Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986)

  • Sources 
    1. [S1739] Mayflower Increasings: From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, by Susan E. Roser. 2nd edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1995.

    2. [S1652] George Ernest Bowman, "Jonathan Brewster's Family Record." The Mayflower Descendant 32:1, Jan 1934.

    3. [S633] Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Volume 24, The Descendants of Elder William Brewster, Part 1, Generations 1 through 4, by Barbara Lambert Merrick. Edited by Scott Andrew Bartley. Plymouth, Massachusetts: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2014.

    4. [S1647] The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New York Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.