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by Judy B. Anderson

The Philbrick family of Hampton, New Hampshire, traces its origins to Bures St. Mary, Suffolk Co., England, where it is noted that Thomas, son of Thomas Filbrigg, was baptized 13 September 1584. We know this is the same individual who appears in Hampton, as his wife and children re-appear in New England.

A record researched and compiled by Theodore V. Dickerson, called "My Family Lines", would seem to have established the ancestry of Thomas.

Those who have done research during the sixteenth century may find yeoman families bearing the name of a prominent knightly family. In all probability, they are descended from a younger son of the family, but it is almost impossible to trace the generations. It is also possible that an individual was a free tenant and took on the name of the owner family when they moved on.

However, it is generally accepted that there was only one family of the Felbrigg name, which started with Roger Bigod, who came to England with William the Conqueror, and married Adeliza, daughter of Hugh Grentdesmesnils. The history of this family through five generations is well documented.1

The first ancestor Mr. Dickerson ties to the Bures family is Nycholas Fyllebrigge, who died 21 Feb 1563 at Bures.2 He places, as the only known child:

1) *William Fylbrigge.3 Born prior to 1540. William was living in Bures parish between 1540 and 1550. On February 23 or 26, 1559, he married a woman with the given name of Cyslie. William died in 1579 at Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, England.4  Mr. Dickerson places as children:

1) *Thomas Fylbrigge. Bapt. 1545-50, Bures, Suffolk, England. Md. circa 1574 to Elizabeth. He died after 1621. She died in 1619 and is buried at Bures.5

2) Robert Fylbrigge. Bapt. 15 Feb. 1561. Bures, Suffolk, England.

Because of the discrepancy in dates, it would appear that the ancestry of Thomas Felbrigge cannot be stated with any degree of certainty.



Thomas Felbrigge, of Bures, Suffolk County, may have been a fuller6. He was born about 1545-1550 and died after 1621. He married Elizabeth, last name unknown, about 1574. She was buried at Bures in 24 Apr. 16197. Their children, all baptized at Bures, Suffolk, England, were8:

1) John, baptized 9 Jan. 1575/76.

2) Priscilla, baptized 2 Feb. 1578/79.

3) Margaret, baptized 5 Nov. 1581.

4) *Thomas, baptized 13 Sept. 1584.

5) Robert, baptized 5 Nov. 1584.

6) Alice, baptized 25 May 1590.

7) Edward, baptized 18 June 1592.

8) William, baptized 28 Apr. 1594.

9) Elizabeth, baptized 28 Nov. 1596; died young.

10) Elizabeth, baptized 27 Aug. 1598.



Thomas Filbrick, baptized 13 Sept. 1584 at Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, England9; died at Hampton, New Hampshire in 1667. He married, while living at Bures St. Mary, Elizabeth Knopp or Knapp, daughter of William Knopp and Elizabeth Reade, 4 June 1615.10 She was baptized 8 July 1593 at Bures St. Mary.11

On 12 Oct. 1631, Thomas "Filbrig junior" appears in the Manor Court Rolls of Bures. Apparently he and some others have converted some of their tenements into cottages and have been brought before the court. It is determined that no one within the manor be allowed to convert tenements to cottages as a result of the action.12 This proceeding may have precipitated his move to America.

It has been said that he came to New England in 1630 in the ship Arabella. It was one of seventeen ships which brought colonists in that year. Traveling with this company was Gov. Winthrop and Richard Saltonstall. They set sail from Yarmouth, England on 8 Apr. 1630 and arrived at Salem, Massachusetts on June 14. Many who came in 1630 settled at Charlestown, but some, including the Philbricks, moved with Saltonstall to Watertown. However, it would be difficult for Thomas to have been in New England in 1630 and Bures in 1631, unless he made more than one trip and returned to England to take care of property disputes. Thomas was noted as a proprietor at Watertown, Massachusetts in 1636.13

In 1639 his son, John, removed to Hampton, followed not long after by another son, Thomas. Hampton was known for its abundance of fish, fowl and clams, and the salt marshes provided fodder for livestock. Thomas decided to sell his property in Watertown, and about 1646/47 joined his sons in Hampton.14

Elizabeth died 9 February 1663/64.15 Her death probably prompted Thomas to see to a will for himself, as his will was written 12 Mar. 1663/64. It was proved in court 8 Oct. 1667, indicating that he probably died in that year.
Their children, all born in Bures, Suffolk County, England were:

1) John Philbrick, baptized 1 Oct. 1616; drowned 20 Oct. 1657. Married Ann Knopp, daughter of William Knopp and Judith Tue, circa 1646. He, his wife, and a daughter, Sarah, were lost at sea when they left on a vessel sailing from Hampton to Boston.16

2) James Philbrick, baptized 2 Dec. 1619; drowned 16 Nov. 1674, in the Hampton River, near the mouth of Cole's Creek.17 Md. (1st) Jane Roberts, daughter of Thomas Roberts of Dover, abt. 1644, Strattford, NH. Md. (2nd) Ann Roberts, daughter of Thomas Roberts of Dover. After James' death, Ann married William Marston.18

3) *Elizabeth Philbrick, baptized 31 Oct. 1621/22; died 11 Feb. 1677, Hampton, Norfolk, NH.19 Married (1st) *Thomas Chase of Hampton abt. 1642. Thomas and Elizabeth settled opposite the Philbrick homestead. They remained there until the death of Thomas.20 Md. (2nd) John Garland of Hampton, 26 Oct. 1654.21 Md. (3rd) Henry Robie of Hampton, 19 Jan. 1674.22 His first wife, Ruth Moore, died 5 May 1673.23 After the death of Elizabeth, he married Sarah, surname unknown, who died 23 Jan. 1703. He died 22 Apr. 1688.24

4) Mary Philbrick, baptized June 1622. D. 28 Oct. 1702, Hampton, NH.25 Md. (1st) Edward Tuck, son of Robert and Joanna Tuck of Hampton, about 1648. He died 6 April 1652.26 Md. (2nd) James Wall of Exeter and Hampton. He died 3 Oct. 1659.27

5) Thomas Philbrick, baptized 7 Mar. 1623/24 Lincolnshire, England; died 24 Nov. 1700, Hampton, NH.28 Md. (1st) Ann, surname unknown. She died 17 May 1667.29 Md. (2nd) Hannah French, widow of John White of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and daughter of Edward French of Salisbury,30 22 Jul 1669.31

6) Hannah Philbrick, born about 1626.

7) Margaret Philbrick, baptized 30 Nov. 1628. Died young.

8) Martha Philbrick, baptized 4 Sept. 1631. Md. (1st) John Cass of Hampton, 7 Apr. 1657, Hampton, NH. John died 7 Apr. 1675.32 Md. (2nd) William Lyon Sr., of Roxbury and Rowley, Mass., 30 Nov. 1676.33 Md. (3rd) John Brackett, 21 Nov. 1698, Hampton, NH.34


The will of Thomas Filbrick follows: 35

Some of the will of Thomas Philbrick was either damaged or could not be read. Missing parts are noted with " . . ."

The Last will and testament of Thomas Philbrick Sunr of Hampton in the County of norfolke in new England --

I Thomas Philbrick being very Aged and weak in body Butt sound in understanding senc & memory Doe settle my Estate according to this my last will here under written

Impri I Give and Bequeth unto my son James Philbrick and to my Grand Child John Philbrick my fresh medow lying near to the Beach being by Estimation six acres more or less as itt is the which to bee Equally Devided betwen them att such time as shal be . after mentioned:

Ittem I give unto my son James Philbrick . . . Dwelling House and my House lott with the orchyard and . . . priveledges and appertinances thear unto belonging to him . . . His Heiers for Ever:

Ittem I Give & bquith unto my son . . . and to my Grand Child John Philbrick my . . . . of Thomas Sleeper lying towards the Clambancks in that . . . of marsh Comonly Called the Little ox Comon to bee Devided . . . them att such time as is hereafter mentioned

Ittem I Give unto my sonn Thomas Philbrick the some of . . . pounds to bee payd by my Exequetor after my disease

Ittem I Give unto my sonn Thomas Philbrick the land which was sometimes Daniell Hendrakes Called the Hop Ground to bee wholly att His Disposall at this prsent time:

Ittem I Give unto my sonn James one bed with all the furnituer thearunto belongeing and a payer of Cob Irons and a payer of tongues:

Ittem I Give unto my Grand Child John Philbrick thatt Bed which hee useth to ly upon with the Bedding Belonging to It. and my Beetle and [fower]36 wedges and one of my Hakes: and a weanable Cow Calfe within a yeer after my Diseace to be payd by my Exequetor and like wise I Give to my Grand Daughter Hanna Philbrick one weanable Cow Calfe the next yeer to bee payd by my Exequetor.

Ittem I Give unto my son James Philbrick my mare and hee is to pay or deliver unto my sonn Thomas Philbrick the first Colt which she shall bring when itt is weanable

Ittem I Give my fower Cowers to my fower Daughters to my Daughter Elizabeth one to my Daughter Hanna one to my Daughter mary [one] and to my Daughter martha one to bee Delivered by my Executor after my Deseace and the moveables in the House which [are] not Expressed above are to bee Equally Devided between [my four] Daughters after my Desease. and I Doe appoint my sonn [James] Philbrick to bee my lawfull Exequetor to this my Last [will] and Testament and I Doe Declare itt to bee my Intent thatt [when] my Grand Child John Philbrick shall Come to the age of twenty one yeeres thatt then hee shall Enter upon & posses whatt I have Given him by this last will: and thatt att the Deseace of my Daughter Elizabeth Garland her son James Chase shall have one Cow in lew of the Cow which I have Given my daughter Elizabeth & thatt the Cow Given to my Daughter Cass shalbee for the use and Pfitt of her daughter martha: & for the Confermation Hereof I have sett to my hand & Seale the twelft of march 166:64:

Signed & Sealed in ye pr
of Thomas Philbrick  X  his mark

Samuell Dalton his mark

Mehetabel Dalton

[Proved Oct. 8, 1667]37

[Inventory, taken by Thomas Marston and John Redman; amount, 124 lbs.; sworn to by James Philbrick.]38



Elizabeth Philbrick, baptized 31 Oct. 1621/22; died 11 Feb. 1677, Hampton, Norfolk, NH.39 Married (1st) *Thomas Chase of Hampton abt. 1642. Thomas and Elizabeth settled opposite the Philbrick homestead. They remained there until the death of Thomas.40 Elizabeth had two further husbands after the death of Thomas, but it is through Thomas that our line descends. See the history of the Chase family for more information.



  1. Dickerson, pgs. 315-316.
  2. Ibid, pg. 311.
  3. Information found on the web at: -- surname Fylbrigge -- indicates that the progenitor of the Fylbrigge family was Robert. The children were: 1) William, born c. 1530, died 2 July 1579; 2) Nicholas, born c. 1532, died 21 Feb. 1564; 3) Robert, born c. 1533/34, died 28 June 1571; 4) Anne, born c. 1538, and Thomas, born c. 1545/50, died 1632, married Elizabeth.  I don't know which is correct.
  4. Dickerson, pg. 311.
  5. If William didn't marry Cyslie until 26 Feb. 1559, and it is estimated that Thomas was born circa 1545/1550, Thomas would either have to be a child from a previous marriage, or the estimated date of birth is incorrect, or the wrong individual has been connected as a father. Mr. Dickerson does feel that there were other children, but only seems to be certain of the two.
  6. A person who fulls cloth by increasing the weight and bulk of cloth by shrinking and beating.
  7. New England Historical & Genealogical Register (NEHGR), Oct. 1954, Vol. 108, pg. 256. "The English Connections of Thomas Felbrigge or Philbrick of Hampton, N. H.", by G. Andrews Moriarty, A.M., F.S.A.
  8. Ibid, pgs. 255-256.
  9. Ibid, pg. 255. Some have a baptismal date of 23 Sept. 1584 rather than the 13th. In this article, September 13th is listed in both the original register and in the Elizabethan copy.  However, on page 257, when recounting the baptism of Thomas Felbrigge or Philbrick, September 23rd is given as the baptismal date.  I assume, that because of this, some have interpreted the record to mean that Thomas was born on the 13th and baptized on the 23rd.
  10. When they moved to America, the name thereafter appears as Knapp.
  11. NEHGR, Oct. 1954, Vol. 108, pgs. 255-256.
  12. Ibid, pgs. 254-255.
  13. NEHGR, July 1884, Vol. 38, pg. 279-281.
  14. Ibid, pg. 280.
  15. Joseph Dow, "History of Hampton New Hampshire 1638 -1988", Vol. 2, Peter E. Randall Pub.: Portsmouth, NH, 1988, pg. 917.
  16. Dow, pg. 917.
  17. NEHGR, July 1884, Vol. 38, pg. 280.
  18. Dow, pg. 917. William's name is also found as Mastin.
  19. Dow, pg. 917.
  20. Dow, pg. 635.
  21. Clarence Almon Torrey. "New England Marriages Prior to 1700". Genealogical Publishing Co.: Baltimore, 1987, pg. 295.
  22. Torrey, pg. 631.
  23. Torrey, pg. 295.
  24. Dow, pg. 934.
  25. International Genealogical Index (IGI), Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT.
  26. Dow, pg. 1017.
  27. Dow, pg. 1024.
  28. IGI
  29. NEHGR, July 1884, Vol. 38, pg. 280.
  30. Dow, pg. 917.
  31. IGI
  32. Dow, pg. 632.
  33. NEHGR, Oct. 1954, Vol. 108, pg. 258 and the IGI
  34. IGI
  35. Albert Stillman Batchellor, editor, "State Papers of New Hampshire", Vol. 31. Rumford Printing Company: Concord, NH, 1907, pg. 71 - (Essex County New Hampshire Probate Files, vol. 2, p. 99.)
  36. Words in brackets are supplied from the recorded copy.
  37. Essex County, Mass., Probate Files, and Norfolk County, Mass., Deeds, vol. 2, p. 99 as found in: Albert Stillman Batchellor, editor, "State Papers of New Hampshire", Rumford Printing Co.: Concord, NH, 1907, pg. 71-72.
  38. Essex County, Mass., Probate Files.
  39. Dow, pg. 917.
  40. Dow, pg. 635.

This document was last updated 3 March 2001.

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