Dates of Birth and Death
John Brockett was born in England, probably before 1620. He was educated and likely to have been of yeoman stock. He sailed from London on the Hector, arriving at Boston on 26 June 1637. The following spring he and others settled in Quinnipiac in Connecticut, renaming it New Haven by 1640. John probably married in New Haven ca. 1642/3. The name of his wife is unknown. According to his Will, John had the following children: John, Silence, Samuel, Jabez, Benjamin, and Mary.
John Brockett was prominent in the public affairs of New Haven, especially in the capacity of surveyor. He was frequently employed in laying out lands about the town. He was probably induced to accompany his neighbors to the new town of Elizabeth in the Province of East Jersey in order to aid them in laying out their lands. After several of the planters had urged the Governor, Sir Philip Carteret, to have the exact bounds of their several possessions defined, the Governor, on 19 December 1667, deputized Brockett "to lay out, survey, and bound the said bounds of Elizabeth Towne the planting feilds [sic] towne lotts and to lay out every particular man's proportion according to his allottments and the directions' of the Governor; for the avoiding of all controversies and disputes hereafter concerning the same, having had certain notice of the good experience, knowledge, skill, and faithfulness of John Brackett [sic] in the surveying and laying out of land.” These surveys have since been superseded by later surveys and hence have not been preserved.
When the First General Assembly of East Jersey convened in Elizabethtown and was constituted on 26 May 1668, the town chose Brockett as one of the two men to represent it in the House of Burgesses.
For his services the town of Elizabeth made an allotment of land to him. In 1670 the Connecticut General Assembly incorporated the village of Wallingford. That same year Brockett sold his land in Elizabeth to relocate to this new village to help manage the affairs of the settlement. Brockett died in Wallingford on 12 March 1689/90. The value of his estate was appraised at £372.
Bedini, Silvio A., “The History Corner: The Ubiquitous John Brockett,” Professional Surveyor Magazine, June 2002.
Hatfield, Edwin Francis, History of Elizabeth, New Jersey (New York: 1868).
Hornstein, Harold, “Scholar debunks 'myth' concerning city's planner,” New Haven Register, 01 November 1981.
“John of New Haven d. 1690,” The Broket Archive, March 2007.