Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Briggs

Male Abt 1609 - 1690  (~ 81 years)


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  • Name John Briggs 
    Born Abt 1609  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died Nov 1690  Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Buried Old Commons Burying Ground, Little Compton, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I80  Nielsen Hayden genealogy
    Last Modified 21 Dec 2016 

    Family Sarah Cornell,   d. Abt 1661, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1640  [1
    Children 
    +1. Ens. Thomas Briggs,   b. 1644, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jun 1720, of Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
    Last Modified 22 Apr 2017 09:48:20 
    Family ID F17  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • As best as we can make out:

      John Briggs m. Sarah Cornell. Sarah Cornell's brother Thomas Cornell m. Rebecca, possibly Rebecca Briggs, who burned to death in 1673, for which her and Thomas's son, Thomas Jr., was prosecuted for murder in a trial that famously relied on dream-based "spectral evidence," some of which was offered by John Briggs. In his testimony, Briggs called himself "sixty-four years or thereabouts" (thus the commonly accepted birth year of 1609), and said that he had had a dream in which a woman was at his bedside, "whereas he was much affrighted and cryed out, in the name of God, what are thou? The apparition answered, I am your sister Cornell, and twice said, see how I was burnt with fire." Partly because of this testimony, Thomas Cornell was found guilty of the murder of his mother and was hanged.

      Sources disagree on whether John Briggs and Rebecca Cornell were actually full siblings, half siblings, siblings-in-law, or some other relationship. It seems to be more generally agreed that John Briggs's wife Sarah Cornell was in fact a sister of the senior Thomas Cornell. See George E. McCracken, "Who Was Rebecca Cornell?", The American Genealogist 36:16 (January 1960), for an overview of the probably insoluble problem of Rebecca (maybe Briggs) Cornell's parentage, and for a critique of the idea (promulgated by the 1953 The Briggs Genealogy, citation details below) that John Briggs and Rebecca (maybe Briggs) Cornell were children of a family from the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, London. Also see Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell by Elaine Forman Crane (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2002).

      John Briggs was one of the signers, in 1638, of the compact of the settlement of Aquidneck. He played a prominent part in the government of the town, serving as juryman, constable, town councilor, surveyor of lands, special commissioner, and Deputy to the General Assembly.

      John Briggs (1609-1690) = Sarah Cornell (d. 1661)
      Susannah Briggs (1640-1704) = William Palmer (1638-1675)
      William Palmer (1663-1746) = Mary Richmond (1668-1708)
      Elizabeth Palmer (1687-1754) = Henry Head (1680-1755)
      Deborah Head (b. 1725) = Brittain Tallman (1729-1815)
      William Tallman (1755-1835) = Rhoda Akin (1751-1844)
      Lydia Tallman (1787-1873) = Abel Ford (1783-1842)
      Silas Ford (1807-1854) = Amanda Hedden (1812-1853)
      Emily Helena Ford (1834-1901) = William Lyman Aiken (1821-1893)
      William Ford Aiken (1864-1901) = Anna Potter (1864-1901)
      Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) = Jessie McDonald (1889-1970)
      Joan Aiken (1924-2001)
      Jane Aiken Hodge (1917-2009)

  • Sources 
    1. [S95] Pane-Joyce Genealogy, by David Pane-Joyce.

    2. [S994] The Briggs Genealogy, Including the Ancestors and Descendants of Ichabod White Briggs by Bertha Bortle Beale Aldridge. Victor, New York: 1953., year only.

    3. [S42] The Howland Heirs: Being the Story of a Family and a Fortune and the Inheritance of a Trust Established for Mrs. Hetty H. R. Green, by William M. Emery. New Bedford, Massachusetts: E. Anthony and Sons, 1919., year only.