John, even though the parentage of Clement Briggs is accepted online within several family trees in ancestry.com as being John Bigge and Rachel Marten (or Martin), I don't trust that data. My reasons:
- John and Rachel were based in Cranbrook, Tenterden and Lydd, all in the county of Kent. This is almost 200 miles from Clement's (unverified) birthplace of Weymouth, Dorset.
- John was a clothier and Clement was a felsmonger. Families usually were in the same sort of profession. Would have made more sense if Clement had been a weaver, rather than a tanner.
- John was seemingly well-to-do, leaving some fine furnishings and silver objects in his will, being generous to the paupers of the town and his servants, leaving them money as well. Descriptions of Clement have me think he wasn't making it financially in Southwark, and went to 'the new world' to try to make more money there. In other words, I don't think he came from a wealthy, generous family.
- John and Rachel had 11 children. Nothing in "English Origins of New England Families, Vol. I (Bates, Bigge, Hyland and Stedman section)" has "Clement" listed among those 11 names.
- John died in England around 1605, and in 1635 Rachel, their daughter Patience and her son Hopewell emigrated to Dorchester, Massachusetts and settled in Roxbury, the same place John and Rachel's daughter Elizabeth and family emigrated the year before. Clement did live in Dorchester, but by 1633 he'd moved further away from Roxbury.
I am Clement's 8th great granddaughter. Clement-Richard-Benjamin-William-Zadock-Ansel-Amasa-Corona-Charles-Ruth-and then me. I've been looking for Clement's parents and have had no luck. I thought I was on to something when everyone seemed to agree about John Bigge and Rachel Martin (or Marten), but I fear this is an assumption only because the years coincide. (Rachel and John were married in Tenterden, Kent in 1583, and Clement was possibly born in 1587.) And there were variations of Briggs, Breggs, Bigge, etc. all in the same family. But I think this is one Bigge that got stretched too far.
Molly, I am looking in to John b. 1557 in Lancashire as a possible father to Clement. An interesting route to follow. But Lancashire is even further away from Dorset than Kent is (about 300 miles). My husband's family is all from Lancashire and that just seems to be an area where people never budged from! And I wonder if this might be the same John Bigge (also born 1557) mentioned above.
Clement's birthplace is a bit confused in my research. Some say it's Weymouth in Dorset. Some say is Southwark in Surrey. I know it was unusual to move great distances from a birthplace. But he did take the chance on a whole new country! We do know for a fact he said on oath he was living in Southwark in 1616. And we know he ended up at Wessagusett. I'm tending to be swayed toward a birthplace of Weymouth Dorset for two reasons: 1) birth records are not easily found for that timeframe in Dorset so I can't prove or disprove, but records for the London area (Southwark is just outside/virtually IN London) are more easily found and I am not finding Clement. 2) I think some have jumped to a conclusion he was born in Southwark simply because we know he lived there at one time, possibly even in 1612. A third possible is too far a reach: could he have had influence in naming the New World area because he was (possibly) born in Weymouth Dorset?
In the Passengers of The Fortune section of "English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers" it's recommended that he might be found in the parish registers of St. Saviour, St. George or Bermondsey in Surrey. I've had a look through St Saviour and couldn't find him. I haven't given up.
Well I suppose the search goes on. I have not been able to find any new information on Clement as of yet.
Yeah, it's pretty frustrating. I've been trying to solve the Clement Briggs' parentage for a while now.