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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Brackett

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1429-1432 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Captain Richard Brackett was one of the first of the name in America. It is known that he was in the colony of Massachusetts Bay as early as 1630. Other Bracketts in the Bay Colony at an early date were Peter Brackett, of Boston, and Thomas Brackett, of Salem. Captain Richard Brackett testified by affidavit on July 2, 1668, that the year of his birth was 1612. His tombstone says "aged 80 years," deceased March 5, 1690. If this be so, he was born in 1610, which would make him nineteen years of age in 1629, the year he came to America. On August 27, 1630, he was among the colonists with whom Governor Winthrop organized the first church of Boston. With this church he remained twelve years, when he removed to Braintree. He was made a freeman of Boston, 1636, and November 23, 1636, he becamee a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. While in Boston he was appointed by the general court keeper of the prison, and was jailer for several years. It is stated that the jailer described in Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" was Richard Brackett. Captain Richard Brackett was one of the early settlers and incorporators of Braintree. He sold his Boston property and removed to Braintree in 1641-42. He was ordained deacon of the Braintree church, July 21, 1642, and this office he held until his death. He was the first town clerk and held office several years. In 1652-70-72 he was selectman; in 1654 he was elected representative to the general court; was also deputy in 1655-66-67-71-72-73-74-75-80. He was sergeant of the train band, lieutenant, and about 1654 was attacked by the Indians during King Philip's war; Captain Richard Brackett and his men were constantly employed in that war, but there is little record of their doings. As he advanced in years he sought to unburden himself of some of his public duties. In 1684 the general court allowed him to resign his place as "chief military commander" of Braintree, after forty-three years of service, and thirty as captain. His business in Braintree was farming; he had choice of the best land in the town, and acquired a considerable estate. When Billerica, Massachusetts, was incorporated, he became a freeholder; two of his sons and two daughters later settled there. It is said that at one time he taught the Braintree school. He was a busy man, highly honored and respected. He is buried in the north precinct of Braintree, now Quincy.

His wife's name was Alice ————. She was his lifelong companion after their marriage, she preceeding him to the grave but one year, in 1689. A silver cup inscribed

   B
-------
R and A

used in the Unitarian church in Braintree (in early, days Congregational) at communion service is the gift of Captain Richard Brackett and his wife Alice to the church. He made his will January 29, 1689, remembered all his children, and nominated his son James to be sole executor. The will was approved at Boston, December 19, 1690. Children:

  1. Hannah, killed by the Indians at Dunstable, now Nashua, New Hampshire; married (first) Samuel Kingsley; (second) Deacon John Blanchard.
  2. John, married (first) Hannah French; (second) Mrs. Ruth (Morse) Ellis.
  3. Peter, twin with John, married (first) Elizabeth Bosworth; (second) Mrs. Sarah (Parker) Foster.
  4. Rachel, married Simon Crosby.
  5. Mary, married Joseph, son of Rev. William Thompson.
  6. James, see forward.
  7. Sarah, married Joseph Crosby.
  8. Josiah, married Elizabeth Waldo.

All of these reared families, some of them very large ones.

(II) James, son of Captain Richard and Alice Brackett, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, about 1645. In deeds he is described as a "Cooper." In 1673 he removed to Boston, as shown by his letter of dismissal from the Braintree church to the Third (Old South) Church in Boston, where he was admitted a member, March 2, 1673. In 1682 he returned to Braintree, according to similar evidence. He was admitted a freeman in Boston, May 12, 1675; clerk, 1689-94; was sergeant of the Braintree military company, 1695; selectman, 1701-03. He seems to have bought and sold a good deal of land and to have been a man of some distinction. He married, in Braintree, about 1674, Sarah, born in Hingham, Massachusetts, December 22, 1649, died October 6, 1727, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Beal) Marsh, and granddaughter of George and Elizabeth Marsh who came to America in 1635. Children:

  1. Joseph, of Braintree, married Mehitable Belcher;
  2. Nathan, see forward;
  3. Sarah, married Edward Adams, of Milford;
  4. Mary, unmarried;
  5. Deborah, married Samuel Baxter, of Braintree;
  6. Anne, married Deacon Richard Paxon, of Braintree;
  7. Abigail, baptized October 20, 1689, in Braintree, married August 6, 1719, ———— Gregory, son of Deacon Gregory.

(III) Nathan, son of James and Sarah (Marsh) Brackett, was baptized in Braintree, Massachusetts, September 29, 1678, in the First Church. His birth occurred on the 23rd. He lived continuously in Braintree from 1683 until his death, in May, 1743. He led the quiet life of a farmer, and never held public office. In 1723 he was chosen constable, but prevailed upon his brother-in-law to accept the office in his stead, the selectmen giving their consent. Neither he nor his wife united with the church until well along in years. His farm is referred to as "at Mount Wollaston." He married, March 27, 1707, Hannah Veazy, baptized January 21, 1685, died before March 31, 1753. Children:

  1. James, married (first) Abigail Belcher, (second) Mary Brackett;
  2. Josiah, married Anna Beale;
  3. Samuel, married Elizabeth Gomary;
  4. Mary, married Silas Stetson;
  5. John, married Demaris Dean;
  6. Sarah, married Jonathan Hayward;
  7. Nathan, married Hannah Owen, served in French war; his son Nathan served in the revolution.

(IV) Nathan (2), youngest child of Nathan (1) and Hannah (Veazy) Brackett, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, July 1, 1724. Farmer, removed to Upton, Worcester county, Massachusetts, in 1754. Name on list of Upton train band, dated March 23, 1757. Before the revolution he removed to Buckland, Franklin county, Massachusetts, where he died in 1795. He married, September 5, 1749, Hannah Owen. Children:

  1. Nathan, was in almost continuous service in the revolution from the "Lexington Alarm" until August 8, 1780, and in 1831 was allowed a pension, no marriage recorded;
  2. Hannah, died young;
  3. Jonathan, unmarried;
  4. Betsey;
  5. Samuel, served in revolution from the "Alarm" of April 19, 1775, until October 12, 1780, granted a pension in 1833, married Betsey Leonard;
  6. Sally;
  7. Benjamin, revolutionary soldier, under different enlistments, pensioned in 1833, married Susannah Washburn;
  8. Hannah, married Thomas Wilson;
  9. James, see forward;
  10. Rebecca;
  11. Lois.

(V) James (2), son of Nathan (2) and Hannah (Owen) Brackett, was born in Upton, Massachusetts, January 27, 1765, died at Delhi, New York, 1812. It is traditional that he served in the American army during the last year of the revolution. He was a farmer, and after the war ended removed to Buckland, thence to Ashland, Massachusetts, and later to Delhi, New York. He married, in Ashland, January 1, 1798, Anna Watson Flower, died February 14, 1866, in Hannibal, New York, daughter of Major William (died at age of ninety-five years) and Hannah (Flower) Flower, his first cousin. Children:

  1. John Adams, see forward.
  2. James Alanson, settled in Hannibal Center, New York; miller and farmer; class leader in the Methodist Episcopal church; superintendent of Sunday school; largely through his liberality and efforts the Methodist church was built in that village; married Sarah Sherman, of Rhinebeck, New York.
  3. William, merchant in Hannibal Center; married (first) Julia Flower; (second) Sally Ann, daughter of Rev. Isaac Teller.
  4. Hannah, married Daniel Haskins.
  5. Truman F., farmer; married Phoebe Perkins.
  6. Harry A., farmer; married (first) Adaline Brown; (second) Locelia Austin.
  7. Harriet, married William Perkins, of Hannibal Center.
  8. Fidelia A., married James A. Knowlton, of Hannibal, New York.

(VI) John Adams, son of James (2) and Anna Watson (Flower) Brackett, was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, September 16, 1798, died January 4, 1871, in Saratoga Springs, New York. He was a cooper and farmer. He resided in Pittstown, Wilton, Bald Mountain and Saratoga Springs, New York. He married (first) at Grafton, New York, Eliza Chase, died January 14, 1833; married (second) Abigail M. Sturges, died 1855. Children by first wife:

  1. James Sylvester, miller, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, married Nancy Sherman;
  2. William Watson, see forward;
  3. Henry Russell, died 1904, married Mary L. Ott;
  4. John, died in infancy;
  5. George Russell, died 1901, married Mary J. Perry;
  6. Polly, died 1866, married Elisha Sherman;
  7. Eliza M., married Cornelius H. Ott;
  8. Harriet, died 1883, married John Fryer;
  9. John Adams, Jr., enlisted in the civil war in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry ("Ellsworth's Avengers"), was promoted corporal, then sergeant; at Gettysburg, when the regimental color bearer was shot, Sergeant Brackett seized and bore the colors until himself shot, July 2, 1863; he lay on the battlefield until July 9, and died either on the 19th or 22nd day of July, 1863.

(VII) William Watson, son of John Adams and Eliza (Chase) Brackett, was born in Pittstown, New York, January 14, 1825, died in Mt. Vernon, Linn county, Iowa, June 15, 1891. He was a railroad bridge builder and followed his calling over a wide territory. In 1857 he went to Linn county, Iowa, on a visit, but made it his permanent home until his death. He married, in Wilton, Saratoga county, New York, March 4, 1846, Elizabeth A., daughter of Sylvanius and Clarissa (Slater) Sherman. Children:

  1. Anna Eliza, born October 24, 1847, in Wilton, New York; married, December 31, 1868, Myron K., son of Zebulon J. and Roxanna S. (Kibbe) Neff; children: Fred B., Charles W. and Elizabeth.
  2. Edgar T., see forward.
  3. Clara Ada, born September 9, 1859, at Ely, Iowa; married William Smith, deceased.

(VIII) Edgar Truman, only son of William Watson and Elizabeth A. (Sherman) Brackett, was born July 30, 1853, at Emersons Corners (now Green Spring), in the town of Wilton, Saratoga county, New York. He was an infant when his parents removed to Iowa, where he was educated and grew to manhood. In 1872 he was graduated from Cornell College, a Methodist institution of learning at Mount Vernon. In September, 1872, he located in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he began the study of law in the office of Pond & French. In June, 1875, he was admitted to the New York bar, at the general term of the supreme court held at Elmira, and the same month his Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of A.M. In the spring of 1876 he became the junior member of the law firm of Pond, French & Brackett, continuing this association for twelve years, when the firm became Pond & Brackett. He became the senior member of Brackett, Butler & Baucus; since 1891 he has practised his profession alone. He is a very able and successful practitioner, learned in the law, skillful in its application, wise and safe as a counselor. His advice and assistance is often sought by his legal brethren in the trial of cases, or in argument before appellate tribunals. In the year 1895 he began his public political career that continues to the present time (1910). In that year he was elected state senator from the district, composed of Saratoga, Schenectady and Washington counties. He at once took prominent rank in the councils of his party (Republican) and in the work of the senate. He has been in continuous service in the senate through successive re-elections, except the years 1907-08. His course as a legislator has met with the approval of his district, and has attracted a great amount of favorable comment outside district and state. He is independent in thought and action, and neither threats nor promises have induced him to swerve from his privately formed opinion. The undue promotion of private interests at the expense of the people has always had in him a vigorous opponent. To no one man is more credit due for recent legislation in regard to the control of insurance and other companies than to the fearless, upright Senator Brackett. In 1898 he received a further evidence of the high esteem in which he is held by his "Alma Mater" by the conferring upon him of the degree LL.D. He has always taken a great interest in educational matters, has served for several years upon the committee of public education, and most generously aided Cornell College with his influence and financial aid. His business interests beyond law and politics are largely in Saratoga Springs. He is president of the Adirondack Trust Company and other of the village's enterprises. He finds relaxation at the Saratoga Club, of which he is a member. He belongs to Rising Sun Lodge, No. 103, Free and Accepted Masons, Chapter and Washington Commandery. Senator Brackett's deepest interest is in the law. Valuable as his services have been to the state as a legislator, and apparently deeply engrossed in public affairs as he is, it is to the law that he has given his life's best thought and most earnest effort, and it is as a lawyer that he prefers to go down in history. Still in the vigor of his manhood, he is actively engaged in his profession, ranking with the most eminent in the state. He married, November 22, 1882, Mary Emma, daughter of Charles and Anna (Laing) Corliss. Children:

  1. Edgar Truman, Jr., born March 25, 1890, died July 10, 1899;
  2. Charles William, November 26, 1892.

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