HOME ~ Contact us

John Doggett and Hepzibah Brotherton

John Doggett
Born in 1602 in Groton, Suffolk, England. (S1).

He died in 1673 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (S1).

From www.doggettfam.org: E115:7 JOHN DOGGETT, son of William and Avis (Lappadge) Doggett; chr. 4 Nov 1602, Boxford, Suffolk. (S1).

It has often been stated that this John Doggett was the same as the John who emigrated to Massachusetts with Winthrop in 1630, and who is the ancestor of a large number of descendants, most of whom have adopted the surname "Daggett." This assumption has been based on several coincidences, including the following: John Winthrop was lord of the manor at Groton, Suffolk, adjoining the parish of Boxford; members of the Doggett family were prosperous citizens of Groton and certainly knew Winthrop; John's age would be appropriate for him to have been the emigrant; and no mention is made of him in the records after 1630. It has also been often alleged that John the emigrant's first wife was Hepzibah Brotherton, apparently based on the existence of the given names "Hepzibah" and "Brotherton" in the family. However, these assumptions do not seem to have any evidence in their support. Examination of the parish records of Boxford, Groton, and adjacent parishes, does not reveal any record of a marriage of John, or any Doggett, to Hepzibah, or any Brotherton. In fact, the only mention of John in the records seems to be that of his baptism at Boxford in 1602. Although John was living at the death of his father in 1610, and was bequeathed the sum of 400 pounds, he may have died at a young age. (S1).

In Alice Brotherton, wife of John Doggett of Martha's Vineyard (The American Genealogist, v. 72, p. 89, 1997), Gordon L. Remington advances the theory that the first wife of John the emigrant was one Alice Brotherton, daughter of Thomas and Ellen Brotherton, who was baptized in Husborne Crawley, Bedfordshire, on 6 Mar 1602/3. Alice and John Doggett were married on 29 Aug 1622 in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. The writer has examined the Marston Moretaine parish records, and agrees with Mr. Remington. Although it could be argued that John of Bedfordshire and John of Boxford could be the same person, as they were close to the same age, this is uncertain, as there were a number of other Doggetts in Marsto Moretaine parish, including two sons of a Thomas Doggett, baptized in 1604 and 1608. There is no record of a baptism of John, but the parish records begin in 1602, and he could have been born just prior to that date. The writer has not made any investigation into the records of any predecessor parish, but such effort might be rewarding. In support of the position that John the emigrant and John the son of William are the same person is the fact that there were members of the Lappadge family living in the Marston Moretaine area, and if John moved to that area to be near other relatives, that would account for his disappearance from the Suffolk records. (S1).


Excerpts from 'Annals of Edgartown', pp. 9-16 of "The History of Martha's Vineyard Volume II" by Dr. Charles E. Banks (originally published 1911):
The identity of the passengers who came in that first shallop to Great Harbor in 1642 as companions of young Mayhew is yet an unsolved problem. ..Speculation may be indulged in to the extent of supposing that some of the original grantees of Watertown came to look over their deed of gift, but we know that of these only John Daggett remained to become a settler, and he may be included with the first contingent...The basis of all land titles in Edgartown rests upon the original grant of ...[the Mayhews, father & son]..to certain individuals named in the following grant of township rights: "...unto John Doggett, Danish Pierce and Rich'd Beeres and John Smith and Francis Smith with ourselves to make choice for the Present of a large Towne upon the same Terms that we have it. And also equall Power in Governm't with us, and equall Power in admission if all that shall present themselves to come to live upon any part of the whole grant of all the Islands; and wee grant also to them and their Associates with us to receive another Townshipp for Posterity upon the same Terms wee have from the Grantees." [New York Col. Doc. Deeds, 1, 72]... (S1).

There is nothing of record to show the reason for the selection of this locality as the site of the new settlement, but it offered the most natural advantages for the purpose, a safe harbor and what was quite as important, a spring of potable water convenient to the shore...It is probable that the younger Mayhew determined this selection upon his first visit, and chose the homestead site for his father and himself as a nucleus of their personal holdings on the island. In fact, the senior Mayhew himself, in an instrument dated Dec. 1, 1642, clearly shows that on that date he had not selected all his own land. In their grant to John Daggett, Sr., the proprietors, father and son, provide that the meadow and farm shall not be selected by Daggett until the elder Mayhew had picked out similar lots for himself. The deed, however, indicates that the elder Mayhew had visited the island and chosen his home lot, "upon the point," [Dukes Deeds 1, 189.] and Daggett was limited to a distance of three miles from "the Spring that is by the harbor in my lot."... (S1).

For the first few years after the settlement of the town, no name was formally bestowed upon it, as it was the only place upon the island inhabited by the whites and it needed no distinguishing title...The name of Great Harbor first appears in 1652 in the town records as the title of the settlement now comprised in the territory of Edgartown, but even ten years later in a suit prosecuted by John Daggett at Plymouth the legal entry of it was made as Daggett versus "the towne of the said Vinyard." (S1).


From "The History of Martha's Vineyard" by Dr. Charles Banks: Volume III Family Genealogies: pp. 126-145, 'The Daggett Family' (S1).

John Daggett, the head of this family, has received sufficient notice to cover the details of his life (Vol. II, Annals of E., p. 63­66) and nothing has since been discovered to determine his ancestry or the maiden name of his wife. The author repeats his suggestion that it was Brotherton as this name was perpetuated in three widely separated branches of Daggett descendants. (S1).


The first paragraph of John Doggett's will follows: "I, John Doggett, finding the symptoms of Death upon me, do make this my last will and testament hereby Revoking all former wills. I give to my Beloved wife all my household goods and all my wearing clothes and all my debts in any part of Plymouth Colonies; also I give her one ox at Sacconesit in the hands of William Week Jr; also I give my said wife that five pounds in goods which I was to receive of John Edy as part of pay for the two oxen of mine he sold for 10 pounds; also I give her the hide and Tallow of an ox that is at the Vineyard to be sent to Boston, and the four quarters of the ox I give equally to my sons and daughters at the Vineyard." (S1).

Hepzibah Brotherton

CHILDREN of John Doggett and Hepzibah Brotherton:
  1. Thomas Doggett ?