John Brinsmead and Mary Carter

My 10x Great Grandparents John Brinsmead/Brinsmade and Mary Carter started their life together in Charlestown, MA. John emigrated from England, the place and ship are unknown to me. His estimated birth year is 1617. At a separate time, Mary Carter emigrated from England but she came with her parents and siblings. It is unknown where they are from or which ship they came over on either. Her estimated birth year is 1618. Thoughts are that both came in the late 1630’s during the Great Migration to New England and settled in Charlestown, MA.
John Brinsmead was admitted to the First Church of Charlestown 25 January 1638. This is the church that John Harvard (Harvard University is named after) was the teaching elder for about 1 year from 1637-1638 when he died. John Brinsmead was made a freeman 2 May 1638. There are some detailed land records for John recorded in 1638. I haven’t found any maps of the area during that time period but it appears he had 7 lots of land in several parts of the area.

Charlestown Land Records 1638

The map is from 1852. Based on the descriptions above, I was able to identify Horn Pond which is in Woburn. According to the description in number 7 (above) John’s land is southeast of Horn Pond. Also in number 7 above, he had 18 acres in water field. Winchester which is below Woburn, was known as water field. So his land lays on 18 acres under Horn Pond. Numbers 4 and 6 above reference mystic marshes and mystic field.
Mystic Lake which may be an Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 8.57.02 AM.pngarea where the marshes and field are located and can be found in the southern part Winchester and between Cambridge and Medfield. Also, the Mystic River runs from there down past Charlestown which is shaded green. In number 2 above, his land abutted Cambridge which is southwest of his land. I think that most of his land was in the northern part of this map based on the descriptions. In the 1630s, Charlestown encompassed a large area which includes the north portion of the map where Woburn is. Over time, Charlestown became smaller as other towns were formed.



Mary Carter born est 1618, is the daughter of Thomas Carter and Mary. Her siblings that came to America also are: Thomas Jr est 1607, Samuel est 1612, Joseph est 1614, John est 1620, and Hannah est 1625. Mary was admitted to the First Church in Charlestown 24 August 1639. Her name in the record is Brinsmead so Mary and John were married before this date.

John and Mary had 2 children in Massachusetts, my 9x great grandmother Mary Brinsmead 1640 and John 1643. Then the family moved to Stratford, CT because the rest of the children were born there. Daniel 1645, Zachary 1647, Paul 1649, Sarah 1651, Samuel 1655, and Elizabeth 1657. Their land in Stratford is number 72 which abutted the Pootautak River.

Map of Stratford

It is thought that John was a Deputy in the General Court in the Colony of Connecticut from 1669-1672. I have seen one reference to this in a book and am trying to find a list of the Connecticut Legislators to verify this. I also found a family site that states he was representative to the General Assembly in Connecticut in 1650 but there is no reference so this still needs to be verified. John is listed in the Inhabitants of Stratford in 1668.

Mary’s father, Thomas died in 1652 in Massachusetts and named her and her oldest son, John in his will. The will is difficult to read but they both received land.

At some point, two of John and Mary’s children died, Sarah and Zachary. Neither of them are named in John’s will. I have been unable to find out anything about Sarah. Now there was a Zachary Brinsmead that drowned in the Housatonic river in either 1667 or 1677. I have seen both dates and if it is their son Zachary, then it must be 1667. Israel Chauncey delivered the sermon who would be in Stratford at that time. This is the only Zachary Brinsmead that I have found in Stratford at that time.

John Brinsmead died around 1673 and he died intestate. Mary and the 3 eldest sons, John, Daniel, and Paul drew up an agreement to distribute the estate on 4 November 1673. Mary was provided for with half the house and 20 pounds per year. The land was to be divided into 5 shares with John receiving 2 shares and with 1 share each to Daniel, Paul, and Samuel. His daughters, Mary and Elizabeth received an equal share with their brothers the remainder of the estate. Below is the inventory. It is difficult to read but it looks like 10 lines are delineating the acreage of the estate. Then there are the livestock followed by household goods. The top of it reads: “The inventory of John Brinsmead of Stratford in the County of Fairfield in the Colony of Connecticut taken the first day of November in the year 1673”. This is 103 years before the Revolutionary War.

Inventory of John Brinsmead estate 1673

It is unknown when Mary died and there is no indication where either of them are buried. They are probably in the Congregational Burying Ground, Stratford, CT. There are a few old stones from the 1600s there and considering they were part of the Congregational Church, it would make sense that is where they would be.


John Brinsmead married Mary Carter their daughter,

Mary Brinsmead married John Bostwick their son,

John Bostwick married Abigail Walker their son,

Joseph Bostwick married Rebekah Wheeler their son,

Joseph Bostwick married Bette Hurd their son,

David Bostwick married Currence Hard their son,

Jabez Bostwick married Freelove Frisbee their son,

Jabez Bostwick married Sarah Jane Chase their son,

John Day Bostwick married Ida Shelby their son,

Charles Bostwick married Alpha Wilkins their daughter,

Florence Bostwick -my grandmother


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

Andrews, H. Franklin List of freemen, Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1630 to 1691 : with freeman’s oath, the first paper printed in New England 1906.

Charlestown Land Records, 1638-1802 Charlestown (Boston , Mass.)1883

Proceedings of the Connecticut Medical Society, 1892 : one hundredth annuual convention, held at New Haven, May 25th, 26th and 27th.1892

Osborn, NG Men of Mark in Connecticut Volume IV 1908.

Jacobs, Donald History and genealogy of the families of old Fairfield Volume 1 1930.

A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Orcutt, Samuel, 1824-1893 1886.

Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 Thomas Carter Death: Abt 1652 – Massachusetts, USA

Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 John Brinsmead Death: Abt 1673 – Connecticut, USA

1852 map from Wikipedia.


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