Lafferty/Briggs Genealogy
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John BRIGGS,  

Born: 1609 in Darlington, England(or Dunnington, York, England?)
Died: BEF 16 NOV 1690 in Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Age: 81 years
   Born    Married    Died
Children with Sarah CORNELL
Susannah BRIGGS Born: 1672
Died: 7 NOV 1704
Enoch BRIGGS Born: ABT 1645
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: 1734
Job BRIGGS Born: 1648
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Died: AFT 1734
Thomas BRIGGS Born: 1644
Portsmouth, RI
Died: 12 JAN 1720
Dartmouth, MA
William BRIGGS Born: 1650
Portsmouth, Little Compton, RI
Died: 12 MAY 1716
Little Compton, RI
John BRIGGS Jr. Born: 1642
Portsmouth Newport, RI
Died: 2 JUL 1713
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
Notes: The Briggs families are referred to in The New England Historical and
Genealogical Register, "Richard, William, and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton,
Massachusetts." by Edna Hannibal & Claude Barlow (1971, 3 volumes), when those
with the name "John" [Briggs] are discussed, each of which appears early in
New England. Paraphrasing Hannibal/Barlow in this work:

1) "John" Briggs, son of Clement Briggs, born in Weymouth (Plymouth County,
MA).His father Clement arrived in 1621 on the ship The Fortune in Plymouth
Colony, after the ship Mayflower. This line is documented in "Clement Briggs of
Plymouth Colony & His Descendants" by Hannibal/Barlow, Vol I & II, 1969,
published 1969 (by author);

2) "John" Briggs who "came to Boston in 1638, was driven from there with Anne
Hutchinson`s party and settled in Newport, RI in 1640." This John is more
commonly known as "John Briggs of Portsmouth, RI," and is documented in the book,
"John Briggs of Newport and Portsmouth, Rhode Island and His Descendants," by
Lilla Briggs Sampson, published Pawling, NY 1877 (by author)

3) "The third John Briggs settled in Sanwich, MA in 1640 [on the Cape]. This
line is documented in "John Briggs of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and His
Descendants," by Hannibal/Barlow.

4) "The fourth was John Briggs who sailed with Capt. John Greene for Warwick,
RI and settled in Kingstown, RI in 1671, in Records of the Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, John Russelll Bartlett, ed. (This one seems to be my line. EL)

5) The fifth is "Richard, William and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton,"
by Hannibal/Barlow, appearing in NEHGR Vol. 125, No. 2, April 1971, and
appears in each issue through Vol 127, No. 1, Jan 1973. This John Briggs is
referred to as "John Briggs Senior." It is inferred from land records that John
Briggs Sr. arrived prior to 1657.

6) I am departing now from Hannibal/Barlow`s outline in ..."Sons of John
Briggs/Taunton" and am going to lump together the NY Briggs lines:
-The Colonial Ancestry of the Family of John Greene Briggs, son of Job Briggs
and Patience Greene, and Isabel Gibbs De Groff, daughter of William
Stoutenburgh De Groff, and Susan Hopkins, by Henry Tallmadge Briggs & John Greene
Briggs [This is the line for
John Briggs of Dutchess County, NY]
-A Partial Record of the Descendants of Walter Briggs of Westchester, NY pub.
Fairbanks, Briggs, & Co. 1878 (is in the NYPub Library)

I am less familiar with the NY lines so perhaps somebody else could advise as
to the earliest ones. I have been told that some of the genealogies therein
are a bit controvertial as to accuracy...

Copies of some of the genealogies that are out of print can be obtained from
Quintin Publications ( in Pawtucket, RI, plus other
Briggs genealogies not mentioned.

I`m sure there are other Briggs lines I`m not familiar with and haven`t
mentioned, so hopefully others can fill in the blanks! Hope this is helpful to you.
Louise Briggs

The following is info I have gathered over the years.

Followed his sister, Rebecca (Briggs) CORNELL and husband, Thomas CORNELL, to Boston. Authority--Leonard`s Notes in New Bedford Library, New Bedford, MA, In the notes, John BRIGGS wife is given as Sarah CORNELL. They were probably married in England. Thomas and Rebecca arrived in Boston in 1636 and it is possible that he came at the same time. This would fit in with John`s apparent involvment with the Antinomian followers of Ann Hutchison and their subsequent move from Boston to RI

Austin`s Genealogical Dictionary speaks of the relationship of Rebecca (BRIGGS) CORNELL to John BRIGGS. Reverend John CORNELL, compiler of the "Cornell Genealogy" considers this point was brought out in the trial of Thomas CORNELL, Jr. for the murder of his mother, Rebecca Briggs CORNELL

In "Representative Men of Southeastern Massachusetts", John BRIGGS is said to have married Sarah CORNELL, sister to Thomas CORNELL, who married Rebecca BRIGGS, and refers to "Leonard`s Notes as authority. Leonard`s notes are in the "New Bedford Library", New Bedford, Massachusetts, and in the notes, John Briggs` wife is given as Sarah Cornell.

He is said to have been of Newport, RI in 1638, and of Portsmouth, RI in 1642. His name appears on nearly every page of the Town Records of Portsmouth. He served constantly and in every capacity as
jury-man, Town Councillor, Surveyor of Lands, Special Commissioner and Deputy to the General Assembly of the Colony. This latter office he held continually for many years. He was evidently a man of some property, since the Town on various occasions was indebted to him for moneys he had advanced for the Town`s benefit.

He is said to have lived on the highway that leadeth to the Windmill, and Town meetings were frequently held at his home, and he was moderator at some of these meetings.

Mr. BRIGGS purchased in 1662 of John DUNHAM of Plymouth, MA (one of the original thirty-four purchasers of Dartmouth), DUNHAM`s whole share of L42. It was described as "all my lot or portion of land at Acushnett Coaksett and places adjacent in jurisdiction of New Plymouth.

In 1638 he was one of those admitted as inhabitants of the island of Aqidneck. On April 30, 1639, was one of twenty-one to sign the following: We, whose names are underwritten, do acknowledge ourselves the legal subjects of his Majesty, King Charles, and in his name do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politicke, unto his laws, according to matters of justice."

He was made freeman 16 March 1641, On 5 Oct. 1643, he was directed to go to every house to see what arms were defective. On August 24, 1643, he bought a house and lot of John Hall of Portsmouth. he was assistant in 1648 and commissioner for uniting the four towns of RO, 31 Aug, 1654. In 1649, he was licensed to keep an ordinary.(?) He served as commissioner in 1654-55-56-59-61-62-63. He was on a committee to build stocks and a cage.

He was made an inhabitant of Newport, RI in 1639, and Portsmouth, RI in 1650. One record is that he lived nearer to Newport than to Portsmouth.

April 30, 1639 John BRIGGS with 28 others signed the following compact: "We whose names are underwritten do acknowledge His Majesty, King Charles, and in his name do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politic unto his laws according to matters of justice."

At some point, John must have acquired property in Dartmouth Township (probably in MA). On 14 Oct 1679 he gave 1/2 of property to his son John. On 11 Mar 1679 he gave a quarter of a share to his son Thomas and wife Mary..

He became a Quaker when that religion was introduced to America after 1656.

A copy of John Sr.`s will is in the Anthony Tarbox Briggs collection at Salt Lake City. It lists all of his children except William.

Will is recorded in Council Book of Portsmouth Vol II, pg 278, dated 1690 and probated 17 Sep 1690. It was written 19 Apr 1690.

Children mentioned include: Susannah BRIGGS NORTHWAY, (she married Joseph COOK first 19 Apr 1692 and then NORTHWAY); John BRIGGS; Thomas BRIGGS; Job BRIGGS; William BRIGGS; Enoch BRIGGS.

Although his name and dates are shown on the grave marker in the BRIGGS cemetery in Little Compton, along with several members of William`s family, it seems likely that this was erected much later than his death, and that he is not buried there at all.

Many books show that he and Sarah were married in England, but another authority thinks that his possible arrival in America by 1635/1636 and the birth of their first child in 1641 suggests that they were married in RI in 1639 or 40.

On 20 Feb 1673, he testified in the trial of Thomas CORNELL, Jr. where he stated that he was 64 years or thereabouts. (From John Robert Austin Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, 1982.)

While living in Boston MA, he became a follower of Ann HUTCHINSON, and this sect, the "Antimonians" (also called "Hutchinsonites") were so much in disfavor in Boston that Roger WILLIAMS advised them to
purchase Aquidneck Island, in Rhode Island. Records say that John BRIGGS with others purchased Aquidneck Island from the Indians Cononicus and Miantonomi in 1638, and that John BRIGGS was one of the founders of Portsmouth, RI.

There is much information on another John BRIGGs, who immigrated to Sandwich, MA in abt. 1637. and died in 1641. His children seem to have stayed in MA, and do not seem to be connected to the RI branch.

However, an interesting fact is derived from the History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Biographical NY. The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920.pp. 184-185.

John W. BRIGGS--The surname Briggs is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin, and had its source in the Saxon word, Brigg, meaning bridge. It is local in derivation, and appears in the earliest English rolls and registers. Williamatte Brigge (William at the Bridge) of Salle is mentioned in the records of Edward I and Edward II about 1272, and the ancient Norfolk family of the same name trace descent from him.

The following was copied from BRIGGS-L@Rootsweb, information sent by Jeff Briggs, Dec. 3, 2002

Here is some more information on Rebecca Cornell to help you figure out
what is going on with Rebecca. It has a lot of good information but you
will need to draw your own conclusions. Have fun!


From "The American Genealogist" Vol. #36, dated ??, page16-18
photocopy contributed by Nelson Warner, transcribed by Frank Mitchell, 1997


George E. McCracken, Ph.D., F.A.S.G. VD
Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Mr. G. Andrews Moriarty has lately put us all greatly in in debt by publishing [supra, 35:107] certain discoveries made by Mr. Waldo C. Sprague in the parish registers of Saffron Waldon, co. Essex. There can be no doubt
that Mr. Sprague located eight baptisms and two burials of children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell, later of Boston, Portsmouth, R.I., and Westchester Co., N.Y. Three children, Samuel, Joshua, and Mary, all presumably born in America, are naturally missing, as are also Ann, the second daughter living 1664, and therefore born in either 1624 or 1626, and Richard, the second son in 1664 (actually the third, counting the William who died in England, born, it would seem, therefore, between July 1628 and April 1629. Perhaps Ann and Richard were baptized in a neighboring parish. But apart from these omissions, the evidence from Saffron Walden is completely in harmony with that presented by the will of Rebecca Cornell, dated 2 Sept. 1664, probated 1673, of abstract appears, supra 19:132, a facsimile (not very legible) and a complete transcript in John Rose Delafield, Delafield the Family History (privately printed 1945), 2:648 f. The testatrix listed her sons in order and her daughters in order, and also numbered each list so that we are not left to assume merely from the order that it is chronological. It is to be hoped that we shall soon have the additional material discovered by Mr. Sprague.

Unfortunately, however, in this article reference in made to a "Briggs Genealogy" without making clear that the claims made in that work, and partly cited, are far from being sound. It is true that on the occasion of the
trial in 1673 of Thomas2 Cornell for the alleged murder of his mother, when he was convicted an flimsy evidence and subsequently hanged, one John Briggs of Portsmouth deposed that he had seen the deceased Rebecca in some sort of apparition and that she had asserted to him, "I am your sister Cornell."
This is for me satisfactory evidence that Rebecca Cornell and John Briggs bore the relationship of brother and sister to each other, but I do not regard it an sufficient proof that they were the children of the same parents. The
terminology of the seventeenth century was such that this relationship could have been established in at least three ways:
(a) Thomas Cornell could have married John Briggs` sister;
(b) John Briggs could have married Thomas Cornell`s sister; and
(c) The sister of Rebecca could have married John Briggs.

In addition, we have also the possibility that the relationship was either half or step. The first alternative has been widely supposed to be the only one. It was accepted by the Rev. John Cornell, M.A., in his Genealogy of
the Cornell Family, being an account of the Desendants of Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, R.I. (New York, 1902), p.17, and by Mrs. Bertha Bortie Beal Aldridge in her book, The Briggs Genealogy, Including The Ancestors and
Descendants of Ichabod White Briggs (1609-1953) Also Other line descendants of his immigrant ancestor John Briggs, b. 1609, York England, and Some of the Descendants of Ichabod White (Victor, N.Y., 1953), p.11, where Mrs.
Aldridge makes John Briggs marry Sarah, sister of Thomas Cornell. On p. 7, in the preface, she puts the birth of John Briggs in Kent, England, inconsistently with her title-page which makes him born in York. But this latter work is not the "Briggs Genealogy" to which reference was made. That, as I learn from Mr. Sprague, is a typed manuscript which he saw at Providence, "New York Descendants of John Briggs of R. I. and County Essex, England, with 16 Allied Families," by Pearl Leona Heck of Washington, D.C. (1933).
So far as I am aware, no proof has been offered to support the belief that John Briggs` sister Rebecca Cornell was born a Briggs, and in view of the fact that Mr. Sprague has now found evidence that Thomas and Rebecca had a son buried in England on 19 Oct. 1632 with the name, as shown in the register of Kelame, it would be well to investigate the possibility that this child bore the maiden name of Rebecca.

In any case, I have myself investigated the Briggs family as shown in the registers of the parish of St, James, Clerkenwell, London, in which, it is true, there is recorded the baptism of a child named Rebecca, daughter of
Henry Briggs, on 25 Oct. 1600, and it is also true that this date is satisfactory for our Rebecca Cornell, so far as we can tell. There are in these registers more entries of the Briggs family than Mr. Moriarty cites, and for the benefit of those to whom the printed registers are not available, I now transcribe all of them:
5 Dec. 1575 Eliza Brigges, widow
22 Feb. 1572/3 George Brigges
7 Sept. 1608 John Brigges` stillborn child
23 May 1600 Thoomas, son of Richard Brigges
3 Sept. 1593 Margaret, daughter of Will`m Brigges
27 Aug. 1593 Will`m Brigges, householder
16 May 1620 Henry Briggs` son William
3 Dec 1620 Joyce, daughter of Henry Briggs
14 Aug. 1625 Henry Briggs
25 Oct. 1600 Rebecca, daughter of Henry Briggs
8 Apr. 1618 John & Joyce, children of Henry Briggs
27 Feb. 1616/17 Henry Brigges & Hellen Taylor
21 Nov. 1621 Henry Brigges & Joane Wilkinson

I have also made inquiries for wills of the Briggs family of Clarkenwell but received no report of any extant. The children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell were named Sarah, Ann, William, Thomas, Richard, Rebecca,
Elizabeth, Kelame, William, John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Joshua, and Mary, this list being a combination of the evidence from the parish registers and the mother`s will. The children of John Briggs of Portsmouth are shown in
Austin`s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (pp. 25 .) as John,
Thomas, William, Susanna, Job and Enoch, and the same list appears In Mrs. Aldridge`s book--I have myself not done any research on the second generation of the Briggs family of Portsmouth. It would seem clear that there is at least no striking correspondence between the names of the Briggs family of Clerkenwell and the Cornell and Briggs families of Portsmouth. Particularly significant is the absence of the name Henry. Moreover, if Rebecca Cornell was, indeed, the Rebecca Briggs baptized in 1600 at St. James, then the John Briggs baptized there in 1618 is about 10 years too young to have been the Portsmouth settler, since his age was given when he testified in 1673, showing that he was born in 1608 or 1609. I conclude that if Rebecca Cornell was really a Briggs, then she was not the one baptized in Clerkenwell.
1609 - BEF 16 NOV 1690
William BRIGGS
ABT 1574 - 14 AUG 1625
Sarah GORE
ABT 1577 - BET 1612 AND 1675

David Daniel BRIGGS
ABT 1550 -
ABT 1550 -

Richard BRIGGS


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