Jonathan Brewster

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Jonathan Brewster

Also Known As: "Johnathan Brewster", "Elder"
Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
Death: August 07, 1659 (65)
Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Preston, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of "Elder" William Brewster, "Mayflower" Passenger and Mary Brewster, "Mayflower" Passenger
Husband of Betie Brewster and Lucretia Brewster
Father of William Brewster; Mary Turner; Jonathan Brewster, II; Ruth Hill; Elizabeth Christophers and 3 others
Brother of Patience Prence; Fear Allerton; a child of William Brewster; Love Brewster, "Mayflower" Passenger and Wrestling Brewster, "Mayflower" Passenger

Occupation: ribbon maker and exporter, Son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne., Deputy to General Court, Assistant to the Governor of Connecticut
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jonathan Brewster

Jonathan Brewster was born August 12, 1593 in Scrooby, Nottinhamshire, England to William Brewster. He moved with his family to Leiden in Holland around 1610. It was there he accepted citizenship on June 30, 1617 and where married his first wife on April 27, 1618. She and their infant son died around 1620. He later married Lucretia Oldham in Plymouth, Massachusetts on April 10, 1624. They had eight children:

  • William Brewster, born 9 March 1625
  • Mary Brewster, born 16 April 1627
  • Jonathan Brewster, born 17 July 1629
  • Ruth Brewster, born 3 October 1631, married John Pickett 14 March 1651.
  • Benjamin Brewster, born 17 November 1633
  • Elizabeth Brewster, born 1 May 1637
  • Grace Brewster, born 1 November 1639
  • Hannah Brewster, born 3 November 1641

He died August 7, 1659 in New London, Connecticut. Jonathan and Lucretia are both buried in Brewster Cemetery, Brewster’s Neck, Preston, Connecticut. A monument was erected there in their memory by their descendants.

Coming to America

His family came to America on the Mayflower in 1620. Jonathan decided to stay behind in Holland with his wife. When she and their infant son died, however, he came to America on the ship Fortune on November 9, 1621 which docked at Cape Cod.

He moved to Duxbury, Massachusetts around 1630. Jonathan was also one of the men who undertook to discharge the debts of Plymouth Colony. A freeman in 1633, he was active in the settlement of the town of Duxbury, incorporated 7 June 1637. Records indicate that he served as a surveyor, laid out highways, practiced as an attorney, and was styled a “gentleman.” He served as Deputy to General Court 1639, 1641, 1643-1644. He was on a committee to raise forces during the Narragansett Alarm of 1642, and was a member of Captain Myles Standish’s Duxbury Company in 1643. He served as a military commissioner in the Pequot War of 1637. In 1638, Jonathan Brewster established a ferry service to transport passengers and cattle across the North River. In 1641, he sold this to Messrs. Barker, Howell and others. He also practiced as an attorney and was the master and owner of a coasting vessel plying as far south as Virginia. This was evidently unprofitable, according to a letter written by Roger Williams to John Winthrop, Jr.:

“Sir, (although Mr. Brewster write me not a word of it) yet in private I am bold to tell you that I hear it hath pleased God greatly to afflict him in the thorne of his life: He was intended for Virginia, his creditors in the Bay came to Portsmouth and unhung his rudder, carried him to the bay, where he was forced to make over house, land, cattle, and part with all to his chest. Oh how sweet is a dry morsel and a handful, with quietness from earth & heaven.”

He also had a trading post in Connecticut in 1635.

"Sometime before Sept 1649 he moved to Connecticut, being appointed town clerk of Pequot (New London) and obtained a grant of land from the Mohegan Sachem, Uncas, in that town. By Nov. 30, 1652 a large tract, still known as Brewster's Neck, from the Mohegan tribe was confirmed to him from which he operated a trading post with the Indians." (Brewster Book, by Milton Terry, 1985)

Because Jonathan set up a trading post without the authority of the local government, he was censured, but the deed was confirmed by the town on 30 November 1652.

The Brewster Book

Jonathan Brewster left an invaluable legacy to the Brewster family known as "The Brewster Book," a record in his own handwriting of the deaths of his mother and father, the birth dates of each of his children, and the marriage dates of his daughters, Mary and Ruth, his son, William, as well as his own birth and marriage dates. He apparently began the record after the marriage in Plymouth of his daughter, Mary, to John Turner in 1645, perhaps after he moved to Connecticut, leaving Mary and his grandchildren behind in Plymouth Colony, but before the date of his second entries, which follow the 1651 marriage of his son William. All of the entries in this book were contemporary and made by three persons, Jonathan, his son Benjamin, and Benjamin’s great-grandson Jabez Fitch, Jr. The book has been of inestimable value to the Brewster family.


  • “Brewster Book,” Milton Terry, 1985

Unverified sources:


Jonathan Brewster

Elder Jonathan Brewster (August 12, 1593 – August 7, 1659) was an early American settler, the son and eldest child of elder William Brewster and his wife, Mary. Brewster had two younger sisters, Patience and Fear, and two younger brothers, Love and Wrestling along with an unnamed brother who died young.[1]

Brewster was born in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, on August 12, 1593. In around 1610, he accompanied his family to Leiden in Holland, where he married his first wife.[2] Brewster did not join his family on the Mayflower in 1620, however. He stayed behind in Leiden instead with his wife, who died soon after, and their infant son, who also died. Brewster would have been 27 at the time. Brewster came to America on the ship Fortune in 1621.

On April 10, 1624 in Plymouth, Brewster married Lucretia Oldham, the daughter of William Oldham and Phillipa Sowter; her brother was Captain John Oldham, whose slaying led to the Pequot Indian war. Brewster and Oldham had eight children.

Brewster died on August 7, 1659 in New London, Connecticut, at the age of 65. He was buried in Brewster's Plain, Norwich, Connecticut.[3]

Jonathan Brewster married Lucretia Oldham, originally of Derby, on 10 April 1624 in Plymouth.[4] Their eight children were:

  • William Brewster (born March 9, 1625)
  • Mary Brewster (born April 16, 1627, mother of Amos Turner)
  • Jonathan Brewster, Jr. (born July 17, 1629)
  • Ruth Brewster (born October 3, 1631)
  • Benjamin Brewster (born November 17, 1633; died September 14, 1710)
  • Elizabeth Brewster (born May 1, 1637)
  • Grace Brewster (born November 1, 1639; died April 22, 1684)
  • Hannah Brewster (born November 3, 1641)



  • Jonathan Brewster
  • Birth: Aug. 12, 1593 Scrooby, Bassetlaw District, Nottinghamshire, England
  • Death: Aug. 7, 1661 New London, New London County, Connecticut, USA
  • h/o Lucretia Oldham; s/o William & Mary Brewster
  • Burial: Brewster Cemetery, Brewster's Neck, Preston, CT
  • Citizen: 30 June 1617, Became Dutch Citizen
  • Immigration: 09 November 1621, On "Fortune"
  • "Lintwerker" or ribbon maker in Pieterskerhof, Holland
  • Surveyor (laid out highways)
  • Military commissioner in the Pequot War in 1637
  • Tradesman
  • Started a Ferry company
  • Lawyer
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • William Brewster (1566 - 1644)
  • Mary Brewster (____ - 1627)
  • Spouse:
  • Lucretia Oldham Brewster (1600 - 1678)*
  • Children:
    • Mary Brewster Turner (1627 - 1698)*
    • Ruth Brewster Pickett Hill (1631 - 1677)*
    • Benjamin Brewster (1633 - 1710)*
    • Elizabeth Brewster Christophers (1637 - 1708)*
    • Grace Brewster Wetherell (1639 - 1684)*
    • Hannah Brewster Morgan (1641 - 1711)*
  • Siblings:
  • Elizabeth Brewster Emerson (1584 - 1638)*
  • Jonathan Brewster (1593 - 1661)
  • Patience Brewster Prence (1600 - 1634)*
  • Fear Brewster Allerton (1606 - 1634)*
  • Love Brewster (1611 - 1651)*
  • Wrestling Brewster (1614 - ____)*
  • Burial: Brewster's Neck Cemetery, Preston, New London County, Connecticut, USA
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 11415606
  • From:


  • OLDHAM, Lucretia
  • b. 14 JAN 1599/1600 Derby, England
  • d. 4 MAR 1678/9 New London, New London, CT.
  • Parents:
  • Father: OLDHAM, William
  • Mother: SOWTER, Philippa
  • Family:
  • Marriage: 10 APR 1624 Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass.
  • Spouse: BREWSTER, Jonathan
  • b. 12 AUG 1593 Scrooby, Nottingham, England
  • d. 7 AUG 1659 Norwich, New London, CT.
  • Parents:
  • Father: BREWSTER, William
  • Mother: LOVE, Mary
  • Children:
    • BREWSTER, William
    • BREWSTER, Mary
    • BREWSTER, Jonathan
    • BREWSTER, Ruth
    • BREWSTER, Benjamin
    • BREWSTER, Elizabeth
    • BREWSTER, Grace
    • BREWSTER, Hannah
  • From:


  • Johnathan Brewster
  • M, #79693, b. 12 August 1593, d. 7 August 1659
  • Father Rev. William Brewster b. c 1566, d. 10 Apr 1644
  • Mother Mary b. c 1569, d. 27 Apr 1627
  • Johnathan Brewster was born on 12 August 1593 at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England. He married Lucretia Oldham, daughter of William Oldham and Philippa Sowter, on 10 April 1624 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA. Johnathan Brewster died on 7 August 1659 at Norwich, New London, CT, at age 65.
  • Family Lucretia Oldham b. 14 Jan 1600, d. 4 Mar 1679
  • Child
    • Hannah Brewster+ b. 3 Nov 1641, d. 22 Apr 1684
  • From:


  • The Brewster genealogy, 1566-1907; a record of the descendants of William Brewster of the "Mayflower." ruling elder of the Pilgrim church which founded Plymouth colony in 1620;"
  • .... etc.
  • 2 JONATHAN2 BREWSTER (William1), came in the ship Fortune in November, 1621. He "marryed Lucretia Oldham, of Darby, the 10th Aprill. 1624." (See illustration of facsimile of pages in the Brewster Book.) "She was probably a sister of John Oldham, who came to Plymouth on his 'perticular,' about 1623, and who was called 'brother' by Jonathan."* Jonathan Brewster died in Connecticut, August 7, 1659, and was buried in the Brewster Cemetery at Brewster's Neck, Preston. His wife, Lucretia, died March 4, 1678-9.
  • .... etc.
  • .... etc.
  • Children, i-iii born at Plymouth, iv Jones River, v-viii Dusxbury:*
    • i WILLIAM3, b. March 9, 1625; m. Oct. 15, 1651, Mary Peame or Peime of London. (Brewster Book). .... etc.
    • ii MARY, b. Apr. 16, 1627; m. Nov. 10, 1645 (Nov. 12, Plym. Col. Rec), "John Turner of Situate the Elder," son of Humphrey and Lydia (Gamer) Turner of Scituate, Mass., and formerly of Essex, Eng. His will was dated 4 March, 1695, proved 28 June, 1697. Res. Scituate, Mass., .... etc.
    • iii JONATHAN, b. July 17, 1629. His name is in the list of those able to bear arms in Duxbury, in 1643, being called "Yong Jo : Brewster." .... etc.
    • iv. RUTH, b. Oct. 3, 1631; d. at New London, Conn., May 1 1677 (Apr. 30, N. L. Town Rec.); m. 1st, March 14, 1651, John Pickett,* of New London, who "dyed at Sea returning from Barbadoes," Aug. 16, 1667 (N. L. T. Rec.); m. 2d, July 2, 1668 (July 16, N. L. T. Rec.), Charles Hill, formerly of London, son of George Hill, of Barley in Derbyshire. He d. Oct., 1684. Res. New London. . . . . etc.
    • 6 v BENJAMIN, b. Nov. 17, 1633.
    • vi ELIZABETH, b. May 1, 1637; d. 1708; m. 1st, Sept. 7, 1653, Peter Bradley, of New London, who d. Apr. 3, 1662; m. 2d, as his second w., Christopher Christophers, who d. July 23, 1687, aged 56. Res. New London .... etc.
    • vii GRACE, b. Nov. 1, 1639; d. at New London Apr. 22, 1684; m. Aug. 4, 1659, Capt. Daniel Wetherell, son of Rev. William and Mary (Fisher) Wetherell, of Scituate, Mass., b. at Maidstone, Co. Kent, Eng., Nov. 29, 1630; d. at N. L. April ye 14th, 1719 (g. s.). Res. New London. .... etc.
    • viii HANNAH, b. Nov. 3, 1641 ; m. Dec. 23, 1664, Samuel Starr,
  • .... etc.
    • of New London (N. L. Town Rec), son of Dr. Thomas and Rachel Starr, b. probably in Mass., about 1640. "No will, inventory or record of the settlement of his estate has been found, but a deed was executed Feb. 2d, 1687-8, by Hannah, widow of Samuel Starr, and it is probable that her husband had then recently deceased." .... etc.


  • Genealogical guide to the early settlers of America: with a brief history of ... By Henry Whittemore

  • Pg. 254-256
  • CHARLES HILL, New London, came from Maryland, 1665, but was born in Barlow, near Chesterfield, in Derbysh.; son of George; was a merchant of distinction, partner with the Christophers, going to and from Barbadoes. From that island he brought the first news of the great fire in London, 1666, as set forth in his letter to Gov. Winthrop. (See 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., X, 66.) He married 1668, Ruth, widow of John Picket; had Jane, born 1669; Charles, 1671; Ruth, bapt. 1673, and Jonathan, 1674; his wife, daughter of Jonathan Brewster, died 1677, and he married 1678 Rachel, daughter of Deputy Gov. John Mason, who with infant child died next year. He was a useful man, clerk of Co. Court, and recorder of the town; died 1684.
  • Pg. 421
  • PICKET, JOHN, New London; married Ruth, daughter of Jonathan Brewster; had Mary, Ruth, William; John, born 1656; Adam, 1658; and Mercy, 1661. He was an active merchant, had good estate, and died 1667. His widow married Charles Hill, who, in 1670, obtained from the Col. comfirmat. of a grant of 600 acres, made by Uncas to P.; Mary married, 1672, Benjamin Shapley; Ruth married Rev. Moses Noyes, of Lyme; and Mercy married, 1682 Samuel Fosdick, and next, John Arnold. Boyd's Conesus, N. Y., 168; Orcutt's Hist. New Milford, Ct., 751; Orcutt's Hist. Stratford, Ct., 1268; Savage's Gen. Dict., III, 423; Stiles' Hist. Windsor, Ct., II, 607.


  • Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania By John W. Jordan
  • Pg. 1052
  • ley, and daughter of Jonathan Brewster, of whom a more particular account is given below. She died in 1708, aged about seventy years.
  • Christopher Christophers was a trader and importer, in partnership with Charles Hill, under the firm name of Hill & Christophers. He is mentioned in the earlier records as a "Mariner", and the firm of Hill & Christophers, had a ship of Seventy tons burden, built for them, called the "New London", delivered to them June 25, 1666. They subsequently had a number of other vessels built and were the principal traders of that part of the New England coast, carrying on a large trade with Barbadoes and the West Indies. . . . . Here he died July 23, 1687, aged fifty-six years.
  • Richard Christophers, son of Christopher and Mary Christophers, according to an ancient record in the family, was born July 13, 1662, at Cherston Ferrers, .... He married (first) January 26, 1681, Lucretia Bradley, born 1660, died 1691, daughter of Peter Bradley, of new London, Connecticut, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Jonathan Brewster, who after his death married Christopher Christophers, father of Richard. Peter and Elizabeth (Brewster) Bradley had three children, Elizabeth, married Thomas Dymond; Peter, Jr., married May 9, 1678, Mary Christophers, the sister of Richard; and Lucretia, above mentioned, who married Richard Christophers. He married (second) Grace Turner, daughter of John and Mary (Brewster) Turner, of Scituate, Massachusets.
  • Jonathan Brewster, father of Elizabeth (Brewster) Bradley-Christophers, was born at Scrooby, England, in 1593, and was a son of Elder William Brewster, born about 1560, the ruling elder and spiritual guide of the Pilgrim Fathers, whom he accompanied to New England in the "Mayflower", which landed it living freight of intrepid pioneers at Plymouth, December 11, 1620. Jonathan Brewster married, in England, and his wife "Mistress Lucretia Brewster", accompanied her father-in-law, Elder William Brewster, in the "Mayflower", with one child. Her husband Jonathan Brewster, followed in the ship "Fortune", which arrived November 10, 1621. "Mistress Lucretia Brewster" as she is usually denominated in the ancient records, was a woman of note and respectability among her compeers: she is often referred to in some useful capacity, an attendant upon the sick and dying, or a witness to wills, deeds and other public documents. She survived her husband.
  • .... etc.
  • Pg.1053
  • .... Of the nine children of Jonathan and Lucretia Brewster, the four eldest seem to have remained at Duxbury, Massachusetts, viz: Two sons, William and Jonathan, who are on the military roll there in 1643; and two daughters, Lucretia, and Mary, who married John Turner, of Scituate, Massachusetts, and was the mother of Grace Turner, the second wife of Richard Christophers. Those who removed with him to New London were: Benjamin, who settled at Brewster's Neck; Elizabeth, born 1638, died 1708, who married as before stated, first Peter Bradley and second Christopher Christophers; Ruth, who married John Picket; Grace, who married Daniel Wetherell; and Hannah, who married in 1664, Samuel Starr.
  • .... etc.


  • Plymouth Colony, its history & people, 1620-1691 By Eugene Aubrey Stratton
  • Pg. 250
  • BREWSTER, JONATHAN - The oldest son of Elder William and Mary Brewster, Jonathan arrived at Plymouth in 1621 on the Fortune. The Brewster Book, a part of which contains family birth, marriage, and death records, was begun by Jonathan Brewster and continued by members of his family and it is transcribed in MD 1:1 and continuing issues. The first family enter is "Johnathan Brewster was borne at Scroby in Nottinghamshyre the 12th of August 1593 yeaes." He lived in Leiden with his parents, and considerable information on his life there can be found in Jeremy D. Bangs, "Jonathan Brewster in Leiden Documents," MQ 51:161, 52:6, 57. He was a ribbon maker and exporter in Holland, and in 1617 he formed a partnership with Thomas Brewer, who later became one of the Adventurers. In this series of articles, Dr. Bangs effectively counters the claim of the Dexters that Jonathan Brewster had a wife and child who died in Holland. In Plymouth, Jonathan engaged in various activities, acting at times as an attorney, starting a ferry service, and engaging in coastal shipping to Virginia. In 1635 he was in charge of a trading post in Connecticut on behalf of Plymouth Colony, later returning to Plymouth. In 1652 he started his own trading post in Connecticut, and was censured by the local government for doing it without permission, but was allowed to keep his post. He was a close friend of Connecticut Gov. John Winthrop, Jr. and a fellow experimenter and scientist with his own laboratory at his trading post (Morison, Builders, p. 283). He married Lucretia Oldham, q.v., at Plymouth 10 April 1624 and they had William, Mary, Jonathan, Ruth, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Grace, and Hannah. (see also Barbara Lambert Merrick, "Jonathan Brewster and His Family," MQ 52:72-83.)



  • History of Montville, Connecticut: Formerly the North Parish of New London ...
  • Pg.423
  • .... etc.
  • Charles Hill married first, Ruth (Brewster) Picket, 16 July, 1668, widow of John Picket of New London, and daughter of Jonathan Brewster, whose father, William Brewster, was one of the band of Pilgrims that arrived at Plymouth in the Mayflower, December, 1620. The son came over in the Fortune, which arrived 10 Nov., 1621. Mrs. Hill died with her infant child, 30 April, 1677. He afterwards married Rachel Mason, 12 June, 1678, daughter of Major John Mason, deputy governor of the colony.
  • She and her infant child died in 1679. He died in Oct., 1684.
  • Children.
    • 2. Jane, b. 9 Dec., 1669.
    • 3. Charles, b. 16 Oct., 1671; m. Abigail Fox.
    • 4. Ruth, b. Oct., 1673; died young.
    • 5. Jonathan, b. Dec., 1674; m. Mary Sherwood.
  • II. CHARLES (3), b. 16 Oct., 1671, son of Charles Hill and Ruth (Brewster) Picket; married Abigail Fox, daughter of Samuel Fox and Mary Lester.
  • .... etc.


view all 44

Jonathan Brewster's Timeline

August 12, 1593
Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
January 4, 1600
Age 6
Derby, England
November 9, 1621
Age 28
Plymouth Colony
November 1621
Age 28
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Age 27
March 9, 1625
Age 31
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Colonial America
April 16, 1627
Age 33
Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Colonial America
July 17, 1629
Age 35
Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Colonial America