MIGRATION: 1635 on Susan & Ellen
FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP. Admission to Cambridge church prior to 18 April 1637 implied by freemanship.
FREEMAN: 18 April 1637 [MBCR 1:373].
EDUCATION: He made his mark to his will and to town documents [CaBOP 154]. His inventory included "a parcel of old (books] with one Bible and a great bible" valued at £1 [MPR 1:10-17].
OFFICES: Cambridge selectman, 1640, 1647 [CaTh 41, 43, 701. Constable, October 1639, 8 November 1642 [CaTR 36, 46].
ESTATE: In the Cambridge land inventory on 1 May 1635, Thomas Brigham held one house with three and a half acres of land [CaBOP 64, 100]. In 1645 Thomas Brigham held one acre on the west side of Menotime [CaBOP 127]. In 1645, Thomas Brigham received the first numbered lot at Menotime containing ten acres (CaTR 67]. In 1646, Thomas Brigham received 8 acres in the ox pasture (CaTR 65]. On 11 October 1647, Thomas Brigham was charged 3d. per head, for a total of 7s. 8d., being abated one-third part of what he owed [CaTh 63]. On 17 May 1648, Thomas Brigham purchased ten acres of land in Fresh Pond meadow from William Hamlett (CaBOt 134]. In 1648, Thomas Brigham received seventy two [CaBOP 138]. On 9 June 1652, Thomas Brigham received 180 acres in the Shawshine division [CaTR 98].
In his will, dated 7 October 1653 and proved 3 October 1654, Thomas Brigham of Cambridge, "weak in body," bequeathed to "my wife" one-third part of the estate; to "my eldest son Thomas" one-third part of the remainder; residue to be equaIly divided between my other four children John, Hannah & Samuel"; "my wife" to have use of the whole estate during her widowhood for the bringing up of the children, should she remarry, their bringing up to be at the discretion of the overseers; "my loving brethren Thomas Danforth, John Cooper, Thomas Fox, John Hastings & William Towne" overseers [MPR Case #2702].
An inventory of the estate of Thomas Brigham, taken 10 February 1653/4, was untotalled; the real estate amounted to £208 10s.: "the dwelling house & barn with 4 acres of land adjoining," £70; "the lot bought of goodman Doggett in Watertown," £40; "the upland & meadow in the hither end of Watertown," £60; "10 acres upon Rocky meadow," £15; "9 acres salt marsh, £13 10s.; and "a small farm at Charlestown line, "
£10 [MPR 1:10-17]. Two servants, "Daniell Mikenna, a scotchman," and "Anne Ketch 6 years to serve" were also valued in the estate, as were "a pair of horseman pistols" valued at £1 10s. [MPR Case #2702].
On 21 March 1656, twenty acres of land in Watertown which had been the property of Thomas Brigham late of Cambridge, were sold by Edmund Rice and Mercy Brighamn, now his wife [MLR 7:447; see also MLR 10:654, 656].
ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Brigham was first cousin of Constance (Brigham) Crosby, widow of Robert Crosby, who came to New England about 1640, and of Anne (Brigham) Crosby, wife of SIMON CROSBY, who came to New England in 1635 (Brigham Gen 2:26].
COMMENTS: On 18 April 1635, "Tho[mas] Briggham," aged 32, was enrolled at London as a passenger for New England on the Susan & Ellen [Hotten 62].
On 8 June 1646, Thomas Brighamn was found delinquent in a breach of the order about ringing his hogs. He was cited for "his wife's rescuing of 7 two hogs from the impounder" who should have driven them to the pound, and several other occasions, and was fined 4s. (CaTh 53-54]. On 8 February 1648/9, Thomas Brigham was granted liberty to fell timber on the common to repair his house and fences [CaTh 79]. In February 1652/3, with Richard Jackson, Thomas Brigham sought the counsel of an arbitrator in the matter of a fence on a neck of land, in difference against Mr. Joseph Cooke, Edward Goffe and Thomas Danforth [CaTR 156].
Regarding the tradition that Thomas's wife, Mercy, was Mercy Hurd, Winifred Lovering Holman remarked that the "names of Hurd and Hunt -could be easily confused and without further evidence I do not accept that her maiden name was Hurd" [Stevens-Miller Anc 2:109-31, especially 115]. We concur.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1907 W.I. Tyler Brigham and Emma E. Brigham compiled The History of the Brigham Family: A Record of Several Thousand Descendants of Thomas Brigham The Emigrant, 1603-1653 [New York 1907] (cited above as Brigham Gen 1), a comprehensive account of the family. In 1927 Emma Elisabeth Brigham compiled The History of the Brigham Family, Second Volume [Rutland, Vermont, 1927], which included "The English Origin of Thomas Brigham the Emigrant, 1603-1635" by J. Gardner Bartlett (cited above as Brigham Gen 2).