Above is a picture of Samuell Brockman's house in Orange Couny, Virginia
It is understandable a father who had earlier lost a son aged 5 years would then name his next son Henry, in memory of his first born Henry, who died 14 months earlier. This was common practice in England at this time. Sir William did not have any more sons.
Third, Henry (colonist) was recorded as the son of Sir William's brother Zouch Brockman. Zouch Brockman did have a son named Henry however, he was born 26 October 1647 but died in England on 21 January 1663 and was buried in the centre isle of St Martinís Church, Cheriton. At the time of his death, he was aged 17 years so he also never immigrated anywhere. Paul Brockman from Charlottesville Virginia, who is an avid Greenway Brockman researcher states "Zouch's son Henry cannot be the ancestor of the American Brockmans. The line from the Henry who purchased Beachborough from George Fogge of Braeburne is ancient history to many of us, and well settled."
Finally, Henry (colonist) was supposed to be the son of William Brockman of Newington who was a 2nd cousin to Sir William Brockman of Beachborough and his brother Zouch Brockman. The claim was the line goes Henry (Harry), John, William, William, Henry (colonist), Samuell, and Samuell's eight children. This is also incorrect.
Henry, the son of William Brockman of Newington was born at Newington, Kent on 1 November 1630 and baptized at St Nicholas Church, Newington on 1 January 1630. This baptism is confirmed by a record of birth recorded by a Rev. Henry Bilton on 21 July 1729 when he copied the St. Nicholas, Newington register. We know from his court appearance in Maryland that Henry (colonist) was born in 1647. Hence, Henry the son of William Brockman of Newington was born approximately 17 years before Henry (colonist). In addition, Henry the son of William died in 1657 at Kent and was buried on 16 October 1657 at St. Nicholas Church, Newington so he certainly did not go to Barbados nor did he die on a ship returning to England.
Consequently, none of the assertions made in WEB's books were true but unfortunately many American family tree websites still show a connection back to either Sir William Brockman, his brother Zouch Brockman or William of Newington which is frustrating and almost impossible to correct now.
Finally, there are no other known Henry Brockmanís in the English Whitfield and Beachborough lines whose birth date relates to the date of birth for Henry (colonist). New research undertaken by professional researchers at Canterbury Archives in England along with David Dixon and Patrick Brockman who are both descendants of the Whitfield Line found a Henry Brockman born in 1645 so this caused some excitement as it was thought this Henry might be the missing American link but a DNA comparison proved not compatible. The DNA test between three individuals including a Beachborough, Whitfield and a Greenway Brockman found the Greenway Brockman was not linked to the other two Kent Brockmans and based on their proposed ancestral line, they should have been if the legend was true.
Dr Adam Brockman (Greenway Line) conducted this DNA Project. Adam also produced a paper on his DNA findings and has given permission for this to be available on this webpage click here To read Adam's DNA project click here
Subsequently at this time, there is no known genealogical link between the American Greenway Brockman line and the English Beachborough or Whitfield Brockman lines from Kent in spite of what you may find on other Brockman related internet pages.
An important point needs to be made in relation to all the above. The researchers responsible for this site have copies of Wills and Probate records from the period 1500-1800s and beyond along with comprehensive BDM records. In addition, Giles Drake-Brockman who is another of our researchers, reviewed the 'Brockman Papers' stored in the United Kingdom's National Archives with the assistance of archival staff. Their focus was all the documents concerning Sir William and his brother Zouch Brockman. None of these Wills or the Brockman Papers made reference to or identified any possible connection to Henry (colonist) or anyone else living in Barbados or Maryland. Additionally, there are extensive baptism, burial and marriage records in England for this period and much earlier so the lack of available records is not the issue. The issue is simply, no evidence of a connection can be found either via these records or the DNA analysis.
Some American Brockman's are unhappy with this finding and claim they have cufflinks and signet rings that have the Brockman crest engraved on them and these have been passed down to descendants. To fully understand how these items originated is pure speculation but perhaps a reasonable explanation might be that they were purchased when American Brockman's visited England or following the publication of the various books written by the American William Everett Brockman. Who knows but unfortunately having such items in ones possession cannot be considered adequate proof of a genealogical connection between the American descendants of Henry (colonist) and the Kent Brockmans. If a connection cannot be substantiated through established records, then we cannot just assume this.
Footnote: Please don't shoot the messenger.
It is a reasonable assumption that the surname Brockman in America must somehow be related to a Brockman family in England. Unfortunately at this time, there is no evidence to support the legend that American Brockmans are related to the Whitfield and Beachborough Brockman family lines of Kent. Over the past 20 years, Brockman and Drake-Brockman researchers located in America, England and Australia have been trying to prove a connection. Due to the large number of inquires received on a constant basis, the following information seeks to address why this legend is factually incorrect and nothing more.
This myth began many years ago when an American named William Everett Brockman (WEB) compiled a Brockman family tree and mentioned this tree in a number of genealogy books including the History of the Hume, Kennedy and Brockman Families (1916); Early American History (1926); Virginia Wills and Abstracts (1948); The Brockman Scrapbook (1952); and Orange County, VA, Families, Vol IV (1964). These publications featured a number of other American families but they also included a section dedicated to the Brockman family. Unfortunately, WEB had numerous errors in his work including the assumption about the connection between the American and Kent Brockmans. Following the publication of WEB's work, Americans must have started visiting Beachborough Park and churches in Kent doing their own family research and wrote letters making claims that were not true. Examples include letters sent in 1905 by Fletcher Simms Brockman back to his family in America. One was sent to his brother Mr Whitfield Brockman and the other two were sent to a Mrs J. W. Simpson. (Click here to read extracts from Fletcher Brockman's letters) It is obvious that even in 1905, both the American and English families were keen to be connected, however, the opinions reflected in this correspondence are just assumptions.
The following is an attempt to demonstrate why the statements in Fletcher Brockman's letters and the data in WEB's books are incorrect. For example, in order to get a sense of how many errors there were in WEB's publications, please click here and move your mouse over the sticky notes or click on them to read the inserted comments. (If you are using an Apple device open these as a PDF). Given these errors, it is understandable why so many American family trees have got it so wrong over the years. For the record, this site is not opposed to finding an American connection but now we know the facts, it is incumbent upon all serious genealogists to deal with valid and reliable data and not rely on family legend as a substitute.
The first known American Brockman is thought to have been a Henry Brockman, commonly referred to as Henry (the immigrant) or Henry (colonist). Henry is believed to have come from England but there is nothing to prove or support this or that he was even English. What is known is he left Barbados, indenturing himself to Captain John Jourdaine for transport to Maryland. He apparently arrived in Maryland in 1667 on a ship called the Samuell & Mary a fact which is documented in the official records in the State of Maryland. Henry later married Rebecca Samuell, the daughter of the owners of the ship Samuell & Mary. Henry Brockman is known to have been in court in Maryland in 1667 trying to verify his claim to an inheritance and at this time, he maintained he was 20 years of age, which means he was born in 1647. Neither his parents nor his place of birth were captured in the court records. The American family legend has him being descended from an English royalist family (i.e. loyal to the King against Cromwell) and because of this, he had to flee or was sent to Barbados. None of this can be substantiated even though there are shipping and passenger records held in the English archives for this period including lists of those prisoners exported to Barbados. Consequently, at this time we don't know if Henry was English, why he came to Barbados and the circumstances of how he got there.
It is important to note that Sir William Brockman and his younger brother Zouch Brockman were the most aggressive protagonists against Cromwell and both even raised an army and fought against Cromwell at Maidstone in 1648 following an earlier uprising in 1642. In spite of their dire predicament, neither brother had to "flee" England like Henry (colonist) supposedly had to. The American legend has Henry dying while sailing back to England trying to collect on this inheritance although there are no records which can substantiate this either. Unfortunately, no other details are known except Henry (colonist) settled in Orange County, Virginia and it is known his son Samuell built a house in 1734 which can still be seen today on a farm called Greenway. Hence, this Brockman line in America is known as the Greenway Line.
Over the years, the American legend has had Henry (colonist) being the child of a number of different people and this has changed on about four different occasions. First he was supposedly the son of Henry (Harry) of Beachborough which would have made him the brother of Sir William Brockman. Second, he was recorded as the son of Sir William Brockman.
The facts are Sir William Brockman had two sons called Henry. The first was born 10 January 1617 and died 13 September 1622 (tablet in St Nicholas Church, Newington). He was 5 years and 8 months when he died. The second of Sir Williamís sons called Henry was born 8 November 1623 and died 3 June 1631 (tablet in St Nicholas Church, Newington). He was aged 7 years and 7 months when he died. Subsequently, neither of these children immigrated anywhere.
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