RECORDS SEARCH IN PROGRESS...
"Who was the first settler in Northborough and what's his story?"
JOHN BRIGHAM (1644-1728): We know who the first settler was, both from tradition and court records, but I want to know more about the circumstances that brought him here and what happened to his family. One of the Town Proprietors in 1744 was a Brigham and a family relationship should be confirmed or ruled out. (HINT: There's not a direct line between John and Jesse, but they are actually related.)
BIOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND: John Brigham's father Thomas came to Watertown from England when he was 34. He eventually settled in Cambridge, where all his children, including our John, were born. After Thomas' death, his widow married a Sudbury man who, with his new family, signed on to be one of those first settlers of the Marlborough Plantation. John grew up as a Marlborough man, had a well-respected career as a multi-tasking pioneer, and became the very first inhabitant on the land that became modern Northborough. His story is colorful enough that I have been purposely distracted from the Brigham Street to-do list. Truthfully, though, understanding John Brigham's life circumstances will give us insight into what happened to his family and what life was like for his descendants that stayed here. His daughters may be mothers of children buried at Brigham Street and their stories should be uncovered as well.
CURRENTLY READING: Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by George Francis Dow (Dover Publications, New York, 1988)
Brigham, Willard Irving Tyler. The History of the Brigham Family : a Record of Several Thousand Descendants of Thomas Brigham the Emigrant, 1603-1653. New York: Grafton Press, 1907-1927.
Beth Finch McCarthy