Nicholas Brown

Nicholas BROWN (1601 – 1694) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line.

Brown Coat of Arms

We have five separate Brown lines and seven different Brown immigrant ancestors, by far the most of any surname.  When the surname is of English origin it is derived from a nickname concerning the complexion of an individual, or the colour of their hair. Brown is derived from the Old English brunbrūn; Middle English brunbroun; or Old French brun.

1. John BROWNE Sr. (Swansea). (1583 Hawkedon, Suffolk  – 1662 Swansea, Mass)
John BROWN Jr.  (1620 -1662 Rehoboth, Mass)

2. John BROWN (Hampton) (1589 London – 1677 Salem, Mass)

3.  Nicholas BROWN (1601 Inkberrow, Worcester – 1694 Reading, Mass)

4. James BROWNE (1605 Southhampton, Hampshire  -1676 Salem, Mass.)

5. Thomas BROWNE (1607 Christian Malford, Wiltshire – 1687 Newbury, Mass.)
Francis BROWN I (1633  Christian Malford, Wiltshire – 1691  Newbury, Mass.)

Nicholas Brown was born in 1601 in Inkberrow Parish,  WychavonWorcestershire that is often thought  to be the model for Ambridge, the setting of the long running radio serialisation or soap opera The Archers. In particular ‘The Bull’, the fictional Ambridge pub, is supposed to be based on a very real pub, the Old Bull, in Inkberrow. It is at this historic public house or wayside inn, a black and white half-timbered building, that William Shakespeare is reputed to have stayed while on his way to Worcester to collect his marriage certificate. His parents were Edward BROWN and Jane LEIDS. He married Elizabeth LEIDS in 1624 in England.   After Elizabeth died,  he married widow Frances Parker.  Nicholas died 16 Nov 1694 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass

Elizabeth Leids was born in 1605 in Malford, Worchester, England. Her parents were Thomas LIDE and Jane GIBBS. It’s not known what exactly was her relationship with Nicholas’ mother Jane Leids.  Some sources say that Elizabeth’s older sister married the father of Elizabeth’s husband which sounds incestous to me, even if Jane was Edward’s second wife.  Other sources say that Thomas Lide and Jane Gibbs were Jane’s parents and Nicholas’ grandparents.  Elizabeth died 1 Nov 1674 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass.

Children of Nicholas and Elizabeth: I don’t have documentation of the location of the births of these children.  It appears Nicholas maintained a connection to both Lynn and Reading in the 1640’s.

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas Brown c. 1628 in Inkberrow, Worcester, England
According to his deposition taken July 11, 1666. (Essex Co., Court Papers, B. XIII.L 62,)
Mary Newhall
16 Jun 1653 Lynn, Essex, Mass.
28 Aug 1693  Lynn, Essex, Mass.  Burial: Western Burial Ground
2. Anthony Brown 1630 in Malford, Worcs., England
3. Josiah Brown 1630 in Malford, Worcs., England Mary Fellows
23 Nov 1666 Reading, Middlesex, Mass
29 Jan 1690
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
4. Cornelius BROWN 1632 in Malford, Worcs., England Sarah LAMSON
6 Jun 1665 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass.
Sarah Burnap
20 Nov 1684
Mary Dustin
26 Nov 1698
Ipswich, Essex, Mass.
5. Ergn Brown 1632 in Worcs., England Sarah Burnett
1657 in Malford, Worcs., England
Essex, Mass
6. Capt. John Brown 1634
Malford, Worcs., England
Elizabeth Osgood
12 Oct 1659 Reading, MA
Anne Fisk
30 May 1677 Chelmsford, Middlesex, Mass
Elizabeth Bulkeley
29 Mar 1682 Malford, Worcs., England
Rebecca Crawford
24 June 1697 Malden, Mass.
12 Mar 1717
Reading, Middlesex, Mass.
7. William Brown 1638 Lynn, Essex, Mass. Lydia Parchment
11 Apr 1656 Boston, Suffolk, Mass
Bristol, Bristol, Rhode Island,
8. Nicholas Brown  1639
Lynn, Essex, Mass.
Catherine Almy
1664 in Of Malford, Worcestershire, England
Mary Chambers
1707 in Of Malford, Worcestershire, England.
2 Jun 1711 New Jersey
9. Edward Brown 15 Aug 1640
Lynn, Essex, Mass.
Sarah Dix
21 Jul 1679 Reading, Middlesex, Mass
26 Apr 1685
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
10. Jane Brown 1645 in Malford, Worcs., England James Babcock
1645 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass
4 Feb 1719
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island,
11. Elizabeth Brown 10 Dec 1647
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
Hananiah Parker
30 Sep 1663 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass
10 Mar 1724
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
12. Joseph Brown 10 Dec 1647
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
Elizabeth Bancroft
26 May 1674 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass
17 Oct 1723
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
13. Sarah Brown 28 Jun 1650
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
Robert Burnap
28 May 1662 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
14. Mary Brown 1653 Reading, Middlesex, Mass Thomas Upham
2 Oct 1704 in Malden, Middlesex, Mass
21 Apr 1707
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
15. Mehitable Brown 1656 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass John Townsend
23 Apr 1690 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass
Reading, Middlesex, Mass

Nicholas Browne of Reading is not the same person as Nicholas Browne of Haverhill nor Nicholas Browne of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Nicholas a native of Inkberrow, Worcestershire, England. He may have come to Lynn as early as 1630, but he  first appears in New England records in March, 1638, when he is one of the 100 planters who received grants of land in the “Six-mile Grant”, of Lynn, Massachusetts.

Nicholas received 210 acres, one of the largest grants. Many of the grantees did not occupy the land, but sold it to others. Nicholas did live on his land however, and he was active in the affairs of Lynn until 1649. He served as Lynn’s representative to the General Court, on various juries, and on the Essex County Grand Jury from 1641 to 1649.

Sometime during those years, he moved his family to Reading, where he had also received several grants of land. His last two children are recorded in Reading, in 1640 and 1647, although Nicholas and his wife belonged to the church in Lynn until 1663. From 1651 on, Nicholas also took an active roll in Reading. He was chosen to fill various rolls such as selectman, commisioner “to try small causes”, and tax collector. Nicholas and Elizabeth had six children, the first four probably born in England, or possibly Elizabeth, thought to have been born about 1639, was born in Lynn, but not recorded there. The last two children are recorded as having been born in Reading.

In 1660, Nicholas granted his son John power of attorney, as John was traveling to England. John was to attempt to recover whatever he could of the estate that his mother inherited from her father, Thomas Lide. Nicholas made his will on March 29, 1673 and died on April 5th. His estate was probated on April 17, 1673, it was valued at over 1200 pounds, a large estate in those days. Elizabeth died in Reading on November 1, 1674.

7 Sep 1638 – Freeman in Lynn
1641 – Representative to the General Court
1644- Removed to Reading
1655 – 1658 to 1661 – Deputy from Reading
1660 – Sent his son John to England to look after the property of Thomas Leide which he had inherited as next of kin.

Nicholas’ will was dated 9 Mar 1673, proved 17 June 1673. He bequeathed to children: John, Josiah, Edward, Joseph, Cornelius, and Elizabeth, and to his wife Elizabeth.

Many of the Massachusetts Bay Colony‘s original settlers arrived from England in the 1630s through the ports of Lynn and Salem. In 1639 some citizens of Lynn petitioned the government of the colony for a “place for an inland plantation”. They were initially granted six square miles, followed by an additional four. The first settlement in this grant was at first called “Lynn Village” and was located on the south shore of the “Great Pond”, now known as Lake Quannapowitt. On June 10, 1644 the settlement was incorporated as the town of Reading, taking its name from the town of Reading in England.

The first church was organized soon after the settlement, and the first parish, later known as “South Reading”, became the separate town of Wakefield in 1868. Thomas Parker (Elizabeth Brown’s father-in-law) was one of the founders of Reading. He also was a founder of the 12th Congregational Church (now the First Parish Congregational Church), and served as deacon there.   He was a selectman of Reading and was appointed a judicial commissioner.  There is evidence that Parker was “conspicuous in naming the town” and that he was related to the Parker family of Little Norton, England, who owned land by the name of Ryddinge.

A special grant in 1651 added land north of the Ipswich River to the town of Reading. In 1853 this area became the separate town of North Reading. The area which currently comprises the town of Reading was originally known as “Wood End”, or “Third Parish”.


1. Thomas Brown

Thomas’ wife Mary Newhall was born 1637 Lynn, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Newhall and Mary Jane Pendleton. Mary died  2 Jun  1694  Newbury, Essex, Mass. and was buried Western Burial Ground , Lynn, Essex, Mass

Thomas Newhall was one of the earliest settlers in Lynn, and lived on the east side of Federal Street, a few rods south of the mill brook, owning all the land on that side between the turnpike and Marion Street. (Lynn, Lewis & Newhall, p. 482)

When Thomas died, Aug 28, 1693, his widow, Mary, was appointed administratrix, Oct. 9, 1683, on the same day the nuncupative will of Thomas Browne was taken down(on file in the office of the Register of Probate in Salem). He names his eldest son, Thomas, and his sons Joseph, John, Daniel, and Ebenezer, and dau. Norwood. Two depositions cited by Waters, pp. 15 and 16, show her age. Her name first appears in records as wife of Thomas Browne in 1658. “Her husband was a dish-turner and was said to be of Grawton, Middlesex, in June, 1663, when he bought of William Longley his house lot (6 acres), bounded E. with lands of Richard Haven, W. with land of John Newhall, S. by Mill Street, and N. by the common.”

Child of Thomas and Mary:

i.  John Brown (b. 1664 Lynn, Essex, Mass. – d. Aug 1733 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery); m. Elizabeth Minor b. 30 Apr 1674; d. 19 Jan 1736 Stonington, New London CT; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery.  Elizabeth’s parents were Ephraim Minor and  Hannah Avery.  Her grandparents were our ancestors, Thomas MINER and Grace PALMER.

3. Josiah Brown

Josiah’s wife Mary Fellows was born 1642 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. Her parents were William Fellows and Mary Ayer. Mary died in 1699 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass

4. Cornelius BROWN (See his page)

5. Ergn Brown

Ergn’s wife Sarah Burnett was born

6. Capt. John Brown

John’s first wife Elizabeth Osgood was born about 1636 in Wherwell, Hampshire. Elizabeth died 31 July 1673, Andover, Mass.

John’s second wife Anne Fisk was born 15 Jan 1646 in Malford, Worcester, England. Her parents were John Fiske and Anne Gipps. Anne died 30 May 1681 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass.  Inscription: Here lyes the body of Anna Fiske, first wife of Captain John Brown, Esquire, who dyed May 30, 1681, in her 36th year.

John’s third wife Elizabeth Bulkeley was born 1638 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Edward Bulkeley and Lucian [__?__]. Her grandfather was Peter Buckley (wiki), an influential early Puritan preacher who left England for greater religious freedom in the American colony of Massachusetts. He was a founder of Concord,  and was named by descendant  Ralph Waldo Emerson in his poem about Concord, Hamatreya.   Elizabeth first married 7 Dec 1665 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass to Joseph Emerson (b. 25 Jun 1620 in England – d. 3 Jan 1680 in Concord, Mass.) Elizabeth died 4 Sep 1693 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass.

Rev Peter Buckley (Jan 31, 1583 – Mar 9, 1659)

Rev Peter Buckley (1583 – 1659)

Old Burying Ground  Wakefield, Middlesex , Mass - Find A Grave  Memorial# 21230461

Elizabeth Bulkeley Brown Gravestone – Old Burying Ground
Wakefield, Middlesex , Mass – Find A Grave Memorial# 21230461

Inscription: Here lyes the body of Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, wife to Capt. John Brown, Esquire, formerly wife to Rev. Joseph Emerson of Mendon, who deceased Sept. 4, 1693, in the 56th year of her age.

John’s fourth wife Rebecca Crawford was born about 1634. Rebecca died 8 July 1710, Reading, Mass.

John lived on the farm now [1874] owned by Dr. Francis P. Hurd. He was captain, justice of the peace, selectman, and representative. His epitaph: “Witty, yet wise, grave, good, among the best/ Was he,—the memory of the just is blest.”

Old Burying Ground  Wakefield Middlesex County Mass  Find A Grave Memorial# 22257450

Old Burying Ground, Wakefield, Middlesex,
Mass  – Find A Grave Memorial# 22257450

7. William Brown

William’s wife Lydia Parchment was born 1635 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass. Lydia died in 1680 in Bristol, Bristol, Rhode Island.

9. Edward Brown

Edward’s wife Sarah Dix was born 1644 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Ralph Dix and Esther [__?__]. After Edward died, she married 24 Nov 1685 Lynn, Mass. to Thomas Laughton (b. abt 1642, England – d. 19 Dec 1713, Lynn, Mass.) Sarah died 21 Jul 1679 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass

10. Jane Brown

Jane’s husband James Babcock was born 1641 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island. His parents were James Babcock and Sarah Brown. James died 1698 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island

11. Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth’s husband Hananiah Parker was born 1638 in Lynn, Essex, Mass. His parents were Deacon Thomas Parker and Amy [__?__]. Hannaniah died 10 Mar 1724 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass

Thomas Parker (1605–1683) was one of the founders of Reading, Massachusetts, and a deacon and one of the founders of the 12th Congregational Church in Massachusetts (now the First Parish Congregational Church)

Dea. Parker sailed from London on March 11, 1635, for Massachusetts. He settled first in Lynn, but in 1638 became either the first, or one of the first, settlers of what became the town of Reading. It was first known as Lynn Village, but was incorporated in 1644 as Reading, with a total of seven families living in seven houses.  There is evidence that Parker was “conspicuous in naming the town” and that he was related to the Parker family of Little Norton, England, who owned land by the name of Ryddinge. 

Wakefield Common

Parker was a selectman of Reading and was appointed a judicial commissioner. He owned 200 acres of land on the north side of the Ipswich River, but his homestead bordered the east side of the Wakefield (then part of Reading) Common, just northeast of today’s Wakefield Town Hall. Reading split into three towns in the late 18th century, Wakefield (First Parish), North Reading (Second Parish) and Reading (Third Parish).

12. Joseph Brown

Joseph’s wife Elizabeth Bancroft was born 7 Dec 1653 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass.  Her parents were Lt. Thomas Bancroft and Elizabeth Metcalf.  Her grandparents were Michael METCALF and  Sarah ELWYN.  Elizabeth died 31 Dec 1732 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass.

13. Sarah Brown

Sarah’s husband Robert Burnap was born 28 Nov 1627 in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England. His parents were Robert Burnap and Ann Miller. He first married 1653 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass to Ann [__?__] (b. 1631 in Reading – d. 25 Jun 1661 in Reading) Robert died 18 Oct 1695 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass

14. Mary Brown

Mary’s husband Thomas Upham was born 1668 in Malden, Middlesex, Mass. His parents were Phineas Upham and Ruth Wood. Her grandparents were Edward WOOD and Ruth LEE. Thomas died 26 Nov 1735 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass

15. Mehitable Brown

Mehitable’s husband John Townsend was born 1640 in Lynn, Essex, Mass. He first married 27 Mar 1668 in Lynn, Essex, Mass to Sarah Pearson (b. 20 Jan 1648 in Lynn – d. 9 Jul 1689 in Lynn). John died 14 Dec 1726 in Lynn, Essex, Mass


This entry was posted in 12th Generation, 90+, Be Fruitful and Multiply, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller, Twins and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Nicholas Brown

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  14. candi browne says:

    I found my Brown family lineage in THE BROWN GENEALOGY 1628 – 1915 Vol 1 & Vol 11 by Cyrus Henry Brown, who was of Westerly, Rhode Island and a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). His works are available online as digitized books.
    He writes of my ancestor Thomas Brown (~1627) who married ~ 1652 Mary NEWHALL and lived in Lynn, Essex County, MA (later called Reading Middlesex Co, MA).
    In his second volume he admits his theory, written in his volume 1, that Thomas Brown was a son of Nicholas Browne & Elizabeth Lyde was in error.
    There was no proof of Thomas Brown’s birth year or birth place or parents when Cyrus Brown did his research & wrote his findings before 1916.

    I wonder what SOURCE has been used to determined that Thomas Brown (who married Mary Newhall) was born in Inkberrow, Worcester, England in c.1627. And that Thomas’ parents were Nicholas Brown(e) & Elizabeth Lide (Lyde)?

    I did look at Nicholas Browne’s genealogical information for some time. I was puzzled and still am by the seemingly conflicting facts that
    1. Nicholas & his wife Elizabeth (Lyde) Brown(e) arrived in New England in 1630 to settle in Lynn, Essex co, MA,
    2. several of there future children were born in England between the years of 1632 – 1656?
    How is this possible? Again, I would greatly appreciate knowing the SOURCES of the births of these children in England.

    As it turns out, I know am finding that one branch of my family is descendant from James BABCOCK jr who married Jane BROWN, born 1645 in Malford, England, the daughter of Nicholas Brown and Elizabeth Lyde (Lide). This branch eventually marries with John W Brown who is the descendant of Thomas Brown & Mary Newhall through their son Eleazer Brown & wife Ann Pendleton.
    Thank you for any clarification on my questions.
    candi Browne

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Candi,

      I think I have the birth location of the later children wrong. Some sources state that only the first four children were born in England, though most show England. (I suspect cut and paste) Have you seen a vessel record for Nicholas? One site says Nicholas first appears in New England in March, 1638, when he is one of the 100 planters who received grants of land in the “Six-mile Grant”, of Lynn, Massachusetts.

      I found a reference that states Thomas was born c. 1628 in Inkberrow, Worcester, England, according to his deposition taken July 11, 1666. (Essex Co., Court Papers, B. XIII.L 62,)

      I’ll update this post.

      Thanks, Mark

  15. markeminer says:

    Tom Melton says: (On About)
    April 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm
    Hi Mark,
    Regarding the Nicholas Brown line, you list information that I have not previously seen on his wife Elizabeth. I’ve found no valid source as to her parents, or the surname you are showing for her. I would appreciate learning of your source.
    Thank you in advance

    Hi Tom,

    I don’t have documentation, but have seen it repeated in several places. Probably conjecture. Some sources say that Elizabeth’s older sister married the father of Elizabeth’s husband which sounds incestous to me, even if Jane was Edward’s second wife and not Nicholas’ mother. Other sources say that Thomas Lide and Jane Gibbs were Jane’s parents and Nicholas’ grandparents.


  16. Doug Brown says:

    I am still very surprised that Thomas Browne, Dish Turner of Reading and Lynn, MA is still listed as the son of Nicholas Browne of Inkberrow when Cyrus Brown (author of the “Brown Genealogy”) researched the issue back over 100 years ago and decided he was not. In looking for Thomas’ origins, the earliest note of him seems to be in the “Genealogical History of Reading” by Lilley Eaton, where town records ordered that “Thomas Browne, the Dish Turner, hath free liberty to fall ash trees….” (see page 13). I believe that Thomas Browne was also the Thomas Browne who married Hannah (Carter) Green, widow of William Green, based on several sources which give his age as “about 30” in a deposition he gave in 1658 regarding a dispute over the property of Hannah’s brother John Carter. In the deposition, Thomas Browne says he was married to the widow Hannah Green. Also, in the granting of his property in Groton, MA to William Longley, Mary (Newhall) Browne is referred to as Thomas’ “now wife”, indicating he was married previously. While I still believe there is some relationship of Thomas to Nicholas (there is a record of a Thomas Browne, son of Thomas Browne, christened in Inkberrow, Dec. 28th, 1628), as yet I have been unable to find any direct proof. Despite this, there must be at least 100 family trees on that repeat this error. So much for the Family Trees on Ancestry,com. By the way, I am directly descended from Thomas through his son John of Stonington, CT, and his ggrandson, Rev. Abel Brown of Stonington and Hillsdale, NY.

  17. Darlene Brown Longstreet says:

    Nicholas & Elizabeth Browne and son Josiah Brown & Mary Fellows are my ancestors……I was hoping to fine more info on Josiah & Mary Brown…

  18. Patti-Ann Cohoon says:

    Hello Mark:
    I have located the transcript of Nicholas’ Last Will and Testament on American Ancestors and while I have not completely deciphered the bequests I can see that in addition to the children you have named above the following are also in his will: Anthony, Thomas and Jane. I hope this is helpful.

    Patti-Ann Cohoon

    • Doug Brown says:

      Hi Patti,
      I’m surprised you could make heads or tails of the clerk’s writing. Just to reiterate my point above, Thomas is not mentioned in the will of Nicholas Browne. I have spent the last several years trying to find anything which would tie Nicholas and Thomas together, but there is nothing. I have been focusing instead lately on the Newhalls and other families who came from Sherington/Newport-Pagnell/Olney and settled in Lynn Massachusetts (the so-called “Olney Cluster”. There were a number of Brownes in Newport-Pagnell around this period, but I don’t think I’ll find anything definitive unless I hire a genealogist in Buckinghamshire, England to check local records for me.

      Doug Brown

  19. Patti-Ann Tanis says:

    Hello Mark:

    The Capt. John Brown that is the son of Nicholas Brown did not marry Elizabeth Osgood. Capt. Brown’s first wife is Ann Fiske. The John Brown who married Elizabeth Osgood is “the other John Brown” who died 1714. I have not figured out who his parents are, but I do know they are two different people.


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