An American Family History

Humphrey Bradstreet

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.

Humphrey Bradstreet was born in England about 1596. 

He married. His wife was named Bridget. Some researchers believe that her maiden name was Harris.

Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet.

Children of Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet
  • Hannah Bradstreet Rolfe Holt
  • John Bradstreet
  • Martha Bradstreet Beale
  • Mary Bradstreet Kimball
  • Captain Moses Bradstreet
  • Sarah Bradstreet Wallis
  • Rebecca Bradstreet Bonfield
  • He was 40 years old when he came to America in 1634. He settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was admitted as a freeman on May 6, 1635 along with Richard Kimball and was made a representative to the general court in 1635.

    He made his will on July 21, 1655. He died on July 25, 1655. 

    As he lived near Rowley line, he ordered his body to be put in the graveyard there.

    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    The ship Elizabeth sailed from Ipswich, England in April, 1634 with William Andrews, Master. On board were Richard and Ursula Kimball and their children, Ursula’s mother Martha Whatlock Scott and her brothers Roger and Thomas Scott. Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet sailed on the same ship. They arrived in July at Boston.

    The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.






    Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

    from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1911

    The will of John Bradstreet of Capel, dated 1610, mentions a nephew Humphrey Bradstreet, probably the emigrant Humphrey Bradstreet, aged 40, who came in 1634 from Ipswich in the ship Elizabeth with wife Bridget and children Hannah, John, Martha, and Mary. It will be remembered that Isaac Mixer and his family, who came in the same ship, were also from Capel (Register, Volume 63, p. 277).

    I believe John of Capel, the testator of 1610, and his brother Thomas (probably father of Humfrey), to be the sons of that name born to Humfrey Bradstreet of Gislingham in 1568 and 1571. I also believe that the son Simon Bradstreet, mentioned in the will of John Bradstreet of Gislingham in 1559, was the father of Rev. Simon Bradstreet and grandfather of Governor Simon Bradstreet [husband of Anne Dudley Bradstreet]. It is known that the Governor's father. Rev. Simon, born about 1565-70, was a minister and held a living at Horbling, Lincolnshire, where the Governor was born in 1603, and that before this he held a living at Hinderclay, co. Suffolk, which is only five miles from Gislingham.

    The above suggestion, that Humphrey Bradstreet, nephew of John of Capel, the testator of 1610, was the emigrant to New England, seems probably correct. It seems unlikely, however, that John of Capell, who died in 1610, was identical with John, born in 1571, the son of Humphrey of Gislingham. Capel, Bentley, and Wenham are adjacent parishes in Suffolk, about five miles southwest of Ipswich, and Gislingham is some thirty miles north of them. A Robert Bradstreet was taxed in Capel, and a Henry Bradstreet in Bentley, in the Suffolk Subsidy of 1568, and it is likely that one of these, probably Robert, was the father of John of Capel, the testator of 1610. In the Suffolk Subsidy of 1524 an Edmund Bradstrett and an Edmund Bradstet junior were assessed at Bentley.

    Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-1672) was the first women poet published in America and England. She was the wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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