Facts and Events
Disputed Parents of Maude Mann
There is only one primary source that identifies Maude's maiden name as Mann and that is the will of Christopher Mann dated 1584 published by John G Hunt in NEHGR Volume 124 p 253 in 1970. This was a follow-up article to his previously published treatment of this family published in 1965 in TAG Volume 41 p 1-5 In 2014 the General Society of Mayflower Descendants published the latest research on Elder William Brewster and they called these two articles the current state of research on this topic. In his will dated 11 Oct 1558, proved Jan 13 1558, Christopher Mann names his wife Alice and his children Avery, John, John and Christian Ioys. (Note he lists two sons named John). He names his siblings William, Annis, Isabel and Maude Brewster. He named William Watson but does not state his relationship to him. Of the women named he does not name spouses and only two of them have married names: his daughter Christian Iolys and his sister Maude Brewster above. The three Witnesses are familiar to us: William Bruister (sic) John Simkinson and Thomas Simkinson (John Simkinson being the first husband of Mary Smythe, the mother of the Mayflower passenger). Nowhere in this document do the names of a father John Mann or grandfather Baseling Mann appear. There is no primary source naming a John Mann or Baseling Mann in Scrooby. They appear to be pure fantasy. John G Hunt has been so determined for so many decades to try to stretch this family back as far in time as possible that if there was even a hint that there was a John Mann anywhere in the area he would have published it by now. He’s not a person who backs away from controversy and he doesn’t mind offering speculation.
Moreover, there is no evidence aside from geography that these families are related in anyway to the Cornwall family. That is wild conjecture without any evidence whatsoever.
Nor is there evidence that her sister Isabel married William Watson. William Watson was named in the will of her brother Christopher but that doesn't imply he married his sister Isabel specifically.
This is the family of a very important historical character and it should be as accurate as possible. A whole list of children and parents are getting copied to GENI, Wikitree, Familysearch, Ancestry and Werelate, etc. and there is no evidence to support their existence. We should raise the bar. If we include a name or a profile in the family tree of the only college educated Mayflower Passenger then we had better pony up a solid source to back up that name or profile.
Maude Mann was the sister of Chistopher Mann, William Mann, Annis Mann and Isabel Mann. As stated above this was a followup article to his previous article published in 1965 in TAG Volume 41 p 1-5 and there is no evidence that her father was named John Mann. She married at an unknown place by about 1534 to William Brewster of Doncaster. Doncaster is seven miles North of Scrooby. That date is based on the approximate birth date of her child. Her husband William Brewster first appears in 1524 when he was taxed in Bentley cum Arksey, South Yorkshire, England. William Brewster is next taxed Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. It is in Doncaster where we find him as witness to a will although that might have been his son of the same name. We find no evidence of him in Scrooby. Nothing is known about the birth or death dates of Maude Mann and William Brewster of Doncaster. Nor do we know who their parents were. We do know Maude was living when she was named in her brother's will dated 11 OCT 1558. A William Brewster was witness to the same instrument on 13 Jan 1558 but it isn't clear if this was William Brewster of Doncaster or his son William Brewster of Scrooby. John G Hunt believes it was the son.
The children of William Brewster of Doncaster and his wife Maude Mann were published by John G Hunt in NEHGR Volume 124 p 253 in 1970. Only two children are listed:
John G Hunt lists no sons named James Brewster or Benjamin Brewster. In 2014 the General Society of Mayflower Descendants published the latest research on Elder William Brewster and they called these two articles the current state of research on this topic. They did presumably have a grandson named James Brewster. Although it has not been decisively proven that this grandson James is identical to the man of the same name who was vicar. However, the evidence is fairly strong that he was.
The will of Maude's brother Christopher is not only helpful in determining her maiden name it also helps us elucidate the identity of the mother of William Brewster the Mayflower passenger, Mary Smythe. Christopher's will was witnessed by John Symkinson who was the first husband of Mary Smythe, the mother of Thomas Sinkinson of Hull by her first husband and the mother of William Brewster the Mayflower passenger by her second husband William Brewster of Scrooby. In 1609 William Brewster of the Mayflower while living in Leiden gave power of attorney to his half-brother Thomas Simkinson of Hull to receive money that Anne Pecke had left in England. Ann Peck and her brother Robert Pecke were ward's of William Brewster. They have been identified as the children of William Brewster's half-sister Prudence Brewster and her husband Robert Pecke of Everton. These two records link William Brewster of Leiden to his grandfather William Brewster of Doncaster just seven miles North of Scrooby. The will of Thomas Symkinson Alderman of Doncaster dated 29 Jan 1558 proved 2 May 1560 names John Simkinson and his two children Dorothy and Thomas Simkinson as well as Thomas Smythe, John Smythe of Hull, William Smythe and Alice widow of Chirstopher Mann among others. The will of John Smythe of Hull dated 8 Aug 1592 proved the following October made it evident that Elder William Brewster and the younger Thomas Smythe of Hull were maternal half-brothers when he named "my nephews" William Brewster, John Smythe and Thomas Simkinson executors of his estate.
The Will of Christopher Mann
Taken from Footnote 5 of NEHGR Volume 124 p 253 in 1970:
"Will of Christopher Mann, dated 11 Oct. 1558, Proved Jan 13. following (York P&E court, vol 15, pt 3, fo. 186) : "my bodie to be buried within the church or courtyard of St. James in Scrowbie... to my daughter Christian ioys [?wys] 3/6/8... to Wm. Watson xl s... to Isabel my sister 6/8... to my sister Maude Bruister 6/8... to my brother Wm. Man 6/8... Alice my wife... Avery and John and John my children [!]." Witnesses: Mr. Thomas Simkinson, Willam Bruister [!] and John Simkinson."