Anna Bright: Birth: ABT 1635 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: AUG 1639 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Anna Bright: Birth: ( CIR 1635) in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: AUG 1639 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Abigail Bright: Birth: 12 OCT 1637 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA.
Abigail Bright: Birth: 12 OCT 1637 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA.
Mary Bright: Birth: 23 APR 1639 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 17 JUN 1712 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
John Bright: Birth: 14 MAY 1641 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 17 AUG 1691 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
John Bright: Birth: 14 MAY 1641 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 17 AUG 1691
Hannah Bright: Birth: (17 MAR 1642/43) in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 05 SEP 1711 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Elizabeth Bright: Birth: (17 MAR 1642/43) in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 23 JUL 1702 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Anna Bright: Birth: (17 MAR 1643/4) in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 05 SEP 1711
Elizabeth Bright: Birth: 1645 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 22 JUL 1702
Nathaniel Bright: Birth: 05 MAY 1647 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 11 MAY 1726 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Nathaniel Bright: Birth: 05 MAY 1647 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 11 MAY 1726
Beriah Bright: Birth: 22 SEP 1649 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 07 OCT 1734 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Beriah Bright: Birth: 22 SEP 1651 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA. Death: 07 OCT 1734
Note: ORIGIN: Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk MIGRATION: 1630
FIRST RESIDENCE: Boston
RETURN TRIPS: Perhaps returned to England in 1631 and then back to New England by 1634
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admitted to Boston church as member #48, which would be during the fall or early winter of 1630 [BChR 14]; membership in Watertown church prior to 6 May 1635 implied by freemanship. Elected deacon early in 1664.
FREEMAN: 6 May 1635 [MBCR 1:370].
EDUCATION: Signed his deeds and his will. Inventory included "a parcel of books very much worn by often using" valued at 1.
OFFICES: Watertown member of colony committee to value livestock, 13 May 1640 [MBCR 1:295].
Watertown selectman, 6 December 1639, 29 December 1640, 20 December 1651, 19 December 1653, 9 January 1659/60, 31 December 1660, 4 January 1663/4, 1 November 1666, 3 November 1679, 1 November 1680 [WaTR 5, 6, 26, 34, 64, 70, 78, 88, 142; WaTR 2:1]. Assessor, 12 November 1652 [WaTR 31]. Perambulator of the town bounds, 11 March 1656/7, 6 April 1663, 28 March 1664 [WaTR 52, 76, 81].
Surveyor of the arms in Watertown, 27 August 1640 [MBCR 1:298]. Sergeant of the train band from 1647 (and perhaps earlier) until 1664. Clerk of the train band, 1654 or earlier [WaTR 39].
ESTATE: Granted Great Dividend in Watertown, thirty acres, 25 July 1636 [WaBOP 5]; granted Beaverbrook Plowlands, three acres, 28 February 1636/7 [WaBOP 6]; granted Remote Meadow, three acres, 26 June 1637 [WaBOP 9]; granted six acres at Town Plot (as "Henry Bright jun[ior]"), 9 April 1638 [WaBOP 11]; granted a Farm of one hundred twenty-five acres, 10 May 1642 [WaBOP 12].
In the Watertown Inventory of Grants "Henry Bright jun[ior]" held five parcels: three acres of plowland in the Hither Plain; two acres of meadow; thirty acres of Great Dividend upland; three acres of Remote Meadow; and six acres of upland [the grant at the Town Plot, which he sold to John Bigelow (WaBOP 58, 139)] [WaBOP 88-89]. In the Composite Inventory he held seven parcels: homestall of seven acres [which he had acquired from John Firmin (WaBOP 104)]; five acres of upland; two acres of meadow; thirty acres of Great Dividend upland; three acres of plowland in the hither plain; three acres of Remote Meadow; and a farm of one hundred twenty-five acres [WaBOP 32-33].
On 16 December 1653 Henry Bright of Watertown sold to "Isaac Mixture" of Watertown three acres in the Little Plain in Watertown [MLR 6:435-36]. On 21 February 1654 Reynold Bush of Cambridge mortgaged to Henry Bright of Watertown "his house & his land with gardens & orchard, meadow with all other rights belonging thereto" in Cambridge [MLR 1:149]. On 6 September 1659 Richard Cooke of Boston mortgaged property in Boston to Henry Bright of Watertown [MLR 2:127].
On 14 August 1672 "Deacon Henry Bright of Watertown" stated that he had "diverse years past granted unto Capt. Hugh Mason" of Watertown half an acre in Watertown bounded "with a watercourse the head whereof is in the said Bright's land, the use of the said watercourse was also by Bright granted unto Capt. Mason for the planting of a tanyard in the said land," with several restrictions, and he now confirmed this grant [MLR 6:184-87]. He made an almost identical statement on the same matter on 28 August 1672, stating that the commitment to Mason had been made "about fourteen or fifteen years agone" [MLR 4:370].
In his will, dated 25 January 1680 (with codicil dated 25 October 1685) and proved 13 November 1686, "Henry Bright of Watertowne, aged 78 years," bequeathed to "my eldest son, John Bright, my dwelling houses, barns, outhouses, and land adjoining on both sides of the highway, lying in two parcels" containing forty acres, "also one parcel of salt marsh land, about two acres and one rood," two acres in Pigsgusset Meadow, "two acres of meadow land near unto Corporal Bond's land," two acres in Patch Meadow, two acres in Rocky Meadow, three acres of Remote Meadow "purchased by me of Mr. Saltonstall," thirty acres of dividend land "being part of the fourth squadron near Cambridge line," twenty acres of lands in Lieu of Township, and one hundred acres of farm lands "granted me by the town," and if John die without issue reaching the age of twenty-one this bequest to go to "his brother Nathaniel," and if he and his issue also fail, then to "my five daughters equally"; to "my daughter-in-law Mary Bright during her widowhood" the use of the legacy given to son John if they die without surviving issue; to "my son Nathaniell" in addition to what he already has two acres of salt marsh and 50s.; to "my daughters Anna and Eliz[abeth] each a silver spoon and to "my daughters Mary, Abigail, Beriah and to my daughter-in-law Mary Bright" 10s. each to buy a silver spoon; to "my five daughters, viz: Anna Ruggles, Elizabeth Hastings, Mary Coolidge, Abigail Audly, Beriah Fowle," 20 each in corn and cattle to be paid by son John Bright; to "my daughters Anna Ruggles, Eliz[abeth] Hastings, Beriah Fowle," 10 apiece out of the 100 owed by son Nathaniel; remainder to be divided equally among five daughters. In a codicil of 25 October 1685 he noted that whereas "since the sealing of this my will, I have disbursed for the settlement of my son Nathaniel Bright more and otherwise than I did then appoint, I do now hereby declare my will that those my outlands which I had some time purposed for his settlement, viz: sixty acres of dividend land had to me from my father Goldstone situate in Watertown ..., twenty acres of upland by me had by Robert Jennings [Jennison], five acres purchased by me of Henry Freeman, fifty acres had of Mr. John Sherman deceased ..., two hundred acres more or less of farm land and was sometime my father Goldstone's; all these several parcels of land I do will and appoint shall be divided" as follows: to son Nathaniel fifty acres of the two hundred acre farm, and the rest to be "equally divided among my five daughters, i.e. Abigall Audly, Mary Coolidge, Anna Ruggles, Eliza[beth] Hastings and Beriah" [SPR 11:44].
The inventory of the estate of "Deacon Henry Bright," taken 3 November 1686, totalled 680, of which 519 10s. was real estate: "dwelling house, two barns and outhousing and two orchards & about forty acres of land adjoining to said housing with the cider mill," 300; "four acres of saltmarsh & � at the lower end of our town," 22 10s.; "two acres of meadow in Peakesgusset Meadow," 10; "two acres of meadow in Patch Meadow," 6; "two acres of meadow in Rock Meadow," 6; "three acres of meadow at Mr. Saltonstall's farm," 6; "thirteen acres of dividend land near the pond," 8; "twenty acres of land in lieu of township," 20; "sixty acres of dividend land near Stower's Brook," 30; "twenty acres of dividend land near Stower's Brook," 10; five acres of meadow land upon Stower's Brook," 5; "fifty acres of land part meadow, part upland," 30; "two hundred acres of land being farm land," 40; "a hundred acres of land being farm land," 20; and "two acres of meadow land called West Meadow," 6 [SPR 9:321-23].
ASSOCIATIONS: Bond published an extensive pedigree of the Bright family in England, with voluminous notes [Bond 96-104, 706-18]. "For the materials of this information, we are chiefly indebted to the personal researches of Mr. Somerby, and for the condensation and arrangement of them in the following pages, we are much indebted to Mr. Jonathan R. Bright, of Waltham" [Bond 706].
This pedigree places the immigrant as that Henry Bright baptized at St. James, Bury St. Edmunds, 29 December 1602, son of Henry Bright and his wife Mary. The crucial evidence in favor of this identification is the will of Elizabeth Dell, widow, who names her brother, "Master Henry Bright, of New England" [Bond 101, 709, 713]. On 20 July 1658 "Henry Bright of New England, the natural and lawful brother of Mrs. Elizabeth Dell widow late of Bow in the county of Middlesex in England deceased" gave a receipt to "William Foorth" for 200 which had been his legacy from Elizabeth Dell [SLR 3:170]. Whereas "by the last will and testament of Elizabeth Dell widow late of Bow, in the county of Middlesex in the Commonwealth of England, deceased, there are certain legacies given unto the children of Henry Bright of Watertown ... brother to the said Elizabeth Dell, videlicet to Mary, Abigail, John, Anna, Elizabeth, Nathaniel and Beriah ten pounds apiece to be paid them by Doctor William Foorth, executor of the said will ... Nathaniell Cooladge of the said Watertowne and Mary his wife being one of the daughters of the said Henry Bright and of full age" gave a receipt to Hezekiah Usher of Boston, agent of Dr. William Forth, 24 August 1659 [SLR 3:286]. On the same day "Abigail Bright being one of the daughter[s] of the said Henry Bright and of full age" also gave a receipt, and Henry Bright for "the other five of his children namely John, Anna, Elizabeth, Nathanaiell and Beriah they being not of age" gave a receipt and bound himself to pay the legacies when the children came of age [SLR 3:286-88]. These receipts, in combination with the wills and other documents presented in Bond, show that the identification is correct.
On 8 March 1647/8 Edward Parks wrote to John Winthrop "to request your assistance and advice to my uncle Henry Bright and my son Henry Parks whom I have requested to wait upon you, about a little land that was ordered me by the Court, for a debt owing to me by Mr. George Cooke" [WP 5:208]. This Edward Parks is referred to by various members of the Winthrop family as cousin, possibly through the Forth family. Although the connection is not clear, we do note that Elizabeth Dell names in her will nephew William Parks. (Inadequate abstracts of the will of Elizabeth Dell have appeared in print [Waters 146; Bond 713]; a more complete version of this document might help in sorting out these connections.)
There was at Watertown a second Henry Bright, referred to in the records as Henry Bright Sr. or "Old Bright" who may have been related to the immigrant we treat here. He appeared rarely in the records, and was one of the poorest men in town, being supported by the town in his latter years.
COMMENTS: The grants of three acres in the Beaverbrook Plowlands and the Remote Meadows in 1637 correspond with a family of Henry Bright, wife Anne and daughter Anne.
On 7 November 1634 "It is ordered that Henry Bright shall be set in the bilbowes for swearing" [MBCR 1:133]. On 6 March 1637/8 Henry Bright was presented at court, apparently for "being in company & drinking more than was convenient," but was dismissed [MBCR 1:219].
During his residence in Watertown Henry Bright held two important offices, and we are able to estimate his duration of service in each through indirect evidence. He was first referred to as Sergeant Bright on 8 February 1647/8 [WaTR 14], although he may well have held this position earlier, as he was appointed surveyor of arms in Watertown in 1640 [MBCR 1:298]. He appears in the record frequently as Sergeant, until 8 February 1663/4, when a selectmen's meeting was held at "Sergeant Bright's," but on 8 April 1664 a selectmen's meeting was held at "Deacon Bright's," and that is his title in town records henceforth.
<b>The Great Migration Begins</b>
<b>The Great Migration Begins</b>
<b>Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts</b>
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