Henry Bright was born 29 December 1602 in Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk, England to Henry Bright (1566-1615) and Mary Ann Woodgate (1560-1618) and died 9 October 1686 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Anne Goldstone (1615-1649) 1634 .


Henry Bright was baptized St. James, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, 29 December 1602, son of Henry and Mary (Woodgate) (Barker) Bright. Came from Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk to Massachusetts Bay in 1630. First settled in Boston; later moved to Watertown. Died in Watertown 9 October 1686. On 7 October 1686 Sewall noted that "Deacon Bright carrying home chairs, &c. used at Mr. Bayly's [ordination], is hurt by his cart none seeing, so that he dies October 9, Saturday. It seems he was the only officer left in that church. Several of his ribs broken."

Watertown Founders Monument

Watertown Founders Monument

He is listed on Watertown Founders Monument, commemorating the first settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts. The town was first known as Saltonstall Plantation, one of the earliest of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements. Founded in early 1630 by a group of settlers led by Richard Saltonstall and George Phillips, it was officially incorporated that same year. The alternate spelling "Waterton" is seen in some early documents.

Marriage and Family

Married by 1635, Anna Goldstone, daughter of HENRY GOLDSTONE {1634, Watertown].


Offspring of Henry Bright and Anne Goldstone (1615-1649)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Anne Bright (1635-1639)
Abigail Bright (1637-1705)
Mary Bright (1639-1712) 23 April 1639 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 17 June 1712 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Nathaniel Coolidge (1634-1711)
John Bright (1641-1691)
Anna Bright (1643-1711)
Elizabeth Bright (1645-1702)
Nathaniel Bright (1647-1726)
Beriah Bright (1649-1734)
Henry Bright (1653-)


Vital Records


In his will, dated 25 January 1680 (with codicil dated 25 October 1685) and proved 13 November 1686, "Henry Bright of Watertowne, aged 78 years," bequeathed to "my eldest son, John Bright, my dwelling houses, barns, outhouses, and land adjoining on both sides of the highway, lying in two parcels" containing forty acres, "also one parcel of salt marsh land, about two acres and one rood," two acres in Pigsgusset Meadow, "two acres of meadow land near unto Corporal Bond's land," two acres in Patch Meadow, two acres in Rocky Meadow, three acres of Remote Meadow "purchased by me of Mr. Saltonstall," thirty acres of dividend land "being part of the fourth squadron near Cambridge line," twenty acres of lands in Lieu of Township, and one hundred acres of farm lands "granted me by the town," and if John die without issue reaching the age of twenty-one this bequest to go to "his brother Nathaniel," and if he and his issue also fail, then to "my five daughters equally"; to "my daughter-in-law Mary Bright during her widowhood" the use of the legacy given to son John if they die without surviving issue; to "my son Nathaniell" in addition to what he already has two acres of salt marsh and 50s.; to "my daughters Anna and Eliz each a silver spoon and to "my daughters Mary, Abigail, Beriah and to my daughter-in-law Mary Bright" 10s. each to buy a silver spoon; to "my five daughters, viz: Anna Ruggles, Elizabeth Hastings, Mary Coolidge, Abigail Audly, Beriah Fowle," £20 each in corn and cattle to be paid by son John Bright; to "my daughters Anna Ruggles, Eliz Hastings, Beriah Fowle," £10 apiece out of the £100 owed by son Nathaniel; remainder to be divided equally among five daughters. In a codicil of 25 October 1685 he noted that whereas "since the sealing of this my will, I have disbursed for the settlement of my son Nathaniel Bright more and otherwise than I did then appoint, I do now hereby declare my will that those my outlands which I had some time purposed for his settlement, viz: sixty acres of dividend land had to me from my father Goldstone situate in Watertown ..., twenty acres of upland by me had by Robert Jennings , five acres purchased by me of Henry Freeman, fifty acres had of Mr. John Sherman deceased ..., two hundred acres more or less of farm land and was sometime my father Goldstone's; all these several parcels of land I do will and appoint shall be divided" as follows: to son Nathaniel fifty acres of the two hundred acre farm, and the rest to be "equally divided among my five daughters, i.e. Abigall Audly, Mary Coolidge, Anna Ruggles, Eliza Hastings and Beriah" .

Inventory of Estate

The inventory of the estate of "Deacon Henry Bright," taken 3 November 1686, totalled £680, of which £519 10s. was real estate: "dwelling house, two barns and outhousing and two orchards & about forty acres of land adjoining to said housing with the cider mill," £300; "four acres of saltmarsh & < at the lower end of our town," £22 10s.; "two acres of meadow in Peakesgusset Meadow," £10; "two acres of meadow in Patch Meadow," £6; "two acres of meadow in Rock Meadow," £6; "three acres of meadow at Mr. Saltonstall's farm," £6; "thirteen acres of dividend land near the pond," £8; "twenty acres of land in lieu of township," £20; "sixty acres of dividend land near Stower's Brook," £30; "twenty acres of dividend land near Stower's Brook," £10; five acres of meadow land upon Stower's Brook," £5; "fifty acres of land part meadow, part upland," £30; "two hundred acres of land being farm land," £40; "a hundred acres of land being farm land," £20; and "two acres of meadow land called West Meadow," £6 .

Research Notes

There was at Watertown a second Henry Bright, referred to in the records as Henry Bright Sr. or "Old Bright" who may have been related to the immigrant we treat here. He appeared rarely in the records, and was one of the poorest men in town, being supported by the town in his latter years. Henry was 2ns cousin of ANNE (DEREHAUGH) STRATTON [1637, Salem}. Source: Anderson's Winthrop Fleet.



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