B. about 1645 in the Low Country (now a part of France)
M. (1) 1 Dec 1663 in Manheim, Germany
Wife: Marie du May
M. (2) 18 Dec 1666 in Manheim, Germany
Wife: Catherine Lefevre
D. 1720 in Somerset County, New Jersey
Emigrated: about 1676
Bourgon Broucard was born in the Low Country, in what is now France, in about 1645. The name "Broucard" has been spelled several ways, and Bourgon's father is now believed to be have been named Louis Brouquart.
Bourgon was a French Huguenot, meaning he followed Calvinism rather than the Catholic religion. In the 17th century, Huguenots were persecuted by Catholic authorities in the area where Bourgon lived. Around 1664, a king in a section of Germany invited French Huguenots to settle on some of his empty land. The deal was that if they helped to build his castle, he would give them a farm. Broucard was one who took up the offer and he moved to Manheim, Germany. There he married first Marie du May on December 1, 1663. It is believed she had one child and then she died. On December 18, 1666, Bourgon married 18 year-old Catherine Lefevre. Between 1667 and 1672, they had three children born in Manheim.
In about 1672, the family moved to Amsterdam, Holland, where a son was born in 1675 and died as an infant. Within a year, they sailed for America. By the following year, Bourgon and his family lived in Brooklyn where he owned about 23 acres and two cows. In 1684, they were in Bushwick, and 1692, bought a large estate in what is now Long Island City, Queens. Bourgon built a house that stood for over 200 years before it was torn down by the Pennsylvania Railroad along with several other old houses. In 1702, Bourgon purchased two thousand acres in Somerset County, New Jersey with his son-in-law John Covert; the land was bounded on the north by the Raritan and Millstone Rivers.
It was said that Bourgon was a “man of towering stature, of noble mind and some military experience.” In 1720, he died in New Jersey, and it is believed he was buried in a cemetery near the junction of those two rivers. By the time he died, the name “Broucard” had been converted into “Brogaw” in some rcords, and in other records into “Broka” which was later spelled “Brokaw.”
Famous descendants of Bourgon Broucard include Humphrey Bogart and Tom Brokaw.
Children (all by Catherine Lefevre):
1. Jeanne Broucard – B. 1667, Manheim, Germany; D. 1722; M. Johannes Covert
2. Marie Broucard – B. 1670, Manheim, Germany; M. Myndert Wiltse
3. Catherine Broucard – B. 1672, Manheim, Germany
4. Isaac Broucard – B. 1675, Amsterdam, Netherlands; D. as an infant in Amsterdam
5. Isaac Broucard – B. 1676, Brooklyn, New York
6. Jacob Broucard – B. 1678
7. John Brokaw – B. about 1680, Flatbush, New York; D. 16 Oct 1740, Raritan, New Jersey; M. Sarah Teunise Van Middleswart (~1685-?), about 1704, Somerset County, New Jersey
8. Peter Broucard – B. 1682
9. Abraham Broucard – B. 1684
10. Cathrina Broucard – B. 1686
Our Brokaw-Brogaw heritage, Elsie E. Foster, 1967
"Historic Houses Being Razed to Make Way for the March of Improvement," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2 Aug 1903
The Bragaw Family Web Site
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]