Mary Brinsmead

My 9 x Great Grandmother, Mary Brinsmead/Brinsmade was born 24 May 1640 in Charlestown, MA. She is the oldest child of John and Mary (Carter) Brinsmead. She was christened on 3 June 1640 at First Church in Charlestown.

First Church Records, Charlestown

Her family moved to Stratford, CT after 1643 (birth of sibling in Charlestown) but before 1645 (birth of sibling in Stratford).  Below is a map of Stratford in 166o. Her father, John Brinsmead’s land was located on lot 72 and her future father in law, Arthur Bostwick’s land is located on lot 25.



Mary Brinsmead married John Bostwick around 1665 in Stratford and they set up a farm. They had 7 children: John 1667, Zachariah 1669, Joseph 1672, Mary 1674, Elizabeth 1677, Jane 1680, and Benjamin 1683. In 1674, her husband, John who was already living on his father’s land, inherited all of his father’s land and added on to it. According to the will of Mary’s father in 1673, she received a smaller share since she had received a portion when she was married. Below is her name in the will. Her husband, John signed the will for her.

From the will of John Brinsmead 1673.

John Bostwick died in 1688 and left Mary most of his estate with a portion given to their son John. The other kids were under 20 years old so I don’t know if this is why no one else is named. Mary remarried around 1690 to William Reed. On the map above, he is located on lot 39. William was an affluent man and this was his second marriage also. Along with his first wife Deborah, he had 3 children: Abigail, John, and Sarah. His son John graduated from Harvard, lived in Boston and is considered the “father of American law”. William died in 1697 and his will gave his entire estate to his 3 children while his widow, Mary received satisfaction in the dower she received. I am assuming Mary moved back to the Bostwick estate with her children who would be nearly all grown. The oldest boys may have been running the farm with the oldest son John who received part of the estate when their father John Bostwick died.

Mary died in 1704 and Joseph and Zachariah settled the estate. There was no will so I don’t know how it was divided up. I am assuming John didn’t receive anything since he previously received a share from his father’s will. It is unknown where Mary is buried.


Charlestown (Mass.). First Church Records of the First church in Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1632-1789 Published 1880

Orcutt, Samuel, A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut 1824-1893. Published 1886. Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 John Brinsmead.

Ancestry. com Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 Mary Reed.


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