Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ancestry of Captain Benjamin Briggs

Benjamin Spooner Briggs was born 24 Apr 1835 in Wareham, Plymouth, MA and died at sea in Nov 1872.  He was the second son of five sons born to Captain Nathan Spooner Briggs and Sophia Matilda Cobb. 

From his letters and sea journals, Captain Briggs appears to have been a poet and philosopher as well as a successful master mariner.

On 9 Sep 1862 in Marion, MA, Benjamin married his cousin Sarah Elizabeth Cobb, daughter of the Reverend Leander Cobb and Julia Ann Scribner. Sarah was born 20 Apr 1841 in Marion, Plymouth, MA, and also died at sea in Nov 1872. As noted in Marion town records, "Benjamin and Sarah had been boy and girl sweethearts. It was a love match, and they always remained devoted to each other."

The newly weds sailed to Europe aboard the schooner Forest King. The year following the birth of their son, Arthur, the family travelled to Marseilles, France, returning home in time for the birth of their daughter Sophia.

Found on U.S. Federal Census:

1870 ~ Marion, Plymouth, MA 
Name: Benj S Briggs
Birth Year: abt 1835
Age in 1870: 35
Birthplace: Massachusetts  
Post Office: Mattapoisett
Household Members: Name Age
Benj S Briggs 35
Sarah E Briggs 29
Arthur Briggs 4

Arthur Briggs
A cenotaph memorializing the family is found in Evergreen Cemetery, Marion, Plymouth Co., MA. The inscription reads, "Capt. Benj S. Briggs born Apr 24, 1835, Sarah E Cobb his wife born Apr 20 1841, Sophia M, their daughter, then 10 mos, born Oct 31, 1870. Lost in Brig Mary Celeste Nov 1872". Evergreen Cemetery (G.R. 13) was established in 1780. It's located on the east side of Mill St (Route 6), north of Converse Road. 

Children of Benjamin Spooner Briggs & Sarah Elizabeth Cobb:
  • Arthur Stanley Briggs was born 20 Sep 1865 at the family home at Rose Cottage in Marion, Plymouth, MA and died in MA on 31 Oct 1931. For awhile he was the ward of his uncle, James Briggs, the only non-seafaring member of the family. Arthur married Margaret Holmes. Margaret was born in MA abt. 1873 and died after 1830. They did not have any children.
  • Sophia Matilda Briggs was also born at Rose Cottage on 31 Oct 1870. She died at sea with her parents.
Nathan Spooner Briggs was born in Rochester, Plymouth, MA on 24 Feb 1799. Stuck by lightening and died in Marion, Plymouth, MA on 28 Jun 1870.  He was the son of Benjamin Briggs and Elizabeth Spooner. He married Sophonia Matilda Cobb in Plymouth Co., MA on 23 May 1830. Sophronia was born 28 Oct 1803 in Rochester, Plymouth, MA.

One of his sons, Oliver Briggs, had been planning to make his final voyage before settling down on land. But on 8 Jan 1873 a storm sank his ship, the Julia A. Hallock, in the Bay of Biscay. He managed to survive on wreckage for four days. But two hours before help arrived, he succumbed to the elements.

Found on U.S. Federal Census:

1850 ~ Rochester, Plymouth, MA 
Name: Nathan Briggs
Age: 51
Estimated birth year: abt 1799
Birth Place: Mass
Family Number: 361
Household Members: Name Age
Nathan Briggs 51
Sophia M Briggs 46
Nathan H Briggs 19
Moriah M Briggs 17
Benjamin S Briggs 15
Oliver E Briggs 13
James C Briggs 11
Zenas M Briggs 6

1860 ~ Marion, Plymouth, MA 
Name: Nathan Briggs
Age in 1860: 61
Birth Year: abt 1799
Birthplace: Massachusetts  
Post Office: Marion  
Household Members: Name Age
Sophia M Briggs 56
Benjamin S Briggs 25
Oliver E Briggs 23
James C Briggs 21
Lenas M Briggs 16
Nathan H Gibbs 2
Nathan Briggs 61

1870 ~ Marion, Plymouth, MA 
Name: Nathan Briggs
Birth Year: abt 1799
Age in 1870: 71
Birthplace: Massachusetts   
Post Office: Mattapoisett
Household Members: Name Age
Nathan Briggs 71
Sophia M Briggs 67
Zenas M Briggs 26        
Benjamin Briggs was born in Plymouth Co., MA 3 Mar 1755 and died in Bristol Co., MA on 19 Jun 1826. He was the son of Nathan Briggs and Sarah Perry. He married Elizabeth Spooner, daughter of Cornelius Spooner and Elizabeth Young, in Rochester, Plymouth, MA on 9 Nov 1786. Elizabeth was born in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA on 14 Jun 1764 and died 26 Jul 1831.

Nathan Briggs was born in Rochester, Plymouth, MA on 21 Sep 1716 and died in Wareham, Plymouth, MA on 18 Jun 1798 in. He was the son of Samuel Briggs and Lydia Stetson. He married Sarah Perry in Wareham, Plymouth, MA on 28 Feb 1744. Sarah was born in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA on 27 Jan 1718.

Samuel Briggs was born in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA on 12 Dec 1673 and died in Rochester, Plymouth, MA on 6 Nov 1751. He was the son of Samuel Briggs and Bennett Ellis. He married Lydia Stetson in Rochester, Plymouth, MA on 12 April 1708. Lydia was born in Scituate, Plymouth, MA in Jul 1683 and died in Wareham, Plymouth, MA on 21 Apr. 1772.

Samuel Briggs was born in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA in 1645 and died in Rochester, Plymouth, MA on 2 Nov 1688. He was the son of John Briggs and Catherine (Unknown). He married Bennett Ellis. Bennett was born in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA on 27 Feb 1649 and died in Bristol Co., MA on 21 Jan 1702.

John Briggs was born in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England in 1615 and died in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA on 1 Jun 1641. He married Catherine (Unknown). Catherine was born in England in 1619 and died in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA.

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