Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lived in 3 Countries Before America – Bourgon Broucard

B. about 1638 in Mouscron, Flanders (now a part of Belgium)
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 (probably) Somerset County, New Jersey
Emigrated: about 1676

Bourgon Broucard was born in the town of Mouscron, in what is now Belgium, in about 1638. 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 by Marie du May:
1. Marie Broucard – B. 28 Jan 1665, Manheim, Germany; D. about 1666, (probably) Manheim, Germany

Children by Catherine Lefevre:
1. Jeanne Broucard – B. 16 Nov 1667, Manheim, Germany; D. 1722; M. Johannes Covert

2. Marie Broucard – B. 1 Apr 1670, Manheim, Germany; M. Myndert Wiltse

3. Catherine Broucard – B. 16 May 1672, Manheim, Germany; D. before 14 Mar 1686

4. Isaac Broucard – B. about Mar 1675, Amsterdam, Netherlands; D. as an infant in Amsterdam

5. Isaac Broucard – B. about Aug 1676, Brooklyn, New York

6. Jacob Broucard – B. about 1678

7. John Brokaw – B. about Nov 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. about 1682

9. Abraham Broucard – B. about 1684

10. Catharina Broucard – B. about Mar 1686

Long-Overdue Brokaw/Bragaw Additions & Corrections: The European Origins of the Bourgon Broucard and Catherine Le Fevre, Perry Streeter, 2010
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]


  1. For more information, please see...

    Perry Streeter, “Long-Overdue Brokaw/Bragaw Additions & Corrections: The European Origins of Bourgon1 Broucard and Catherine le Fevre” (New Netherland Connections; October, November, December 2010; Volume 15; Number 4 [final issue]).

    1. 14 November 2017

      Perry Streeter:

      I'm not at all certain you will receive this but I have just in the last few days come upon “Long-Overdue Brokaw/Bragaw Additions & Corrections: The European Origins of Bourgon1 Broucard and Catherine le Fevre” (New Netherland Connections; October, November, December 2010; Volume 15; Number 4 [final issue])".

      Allow me to explain my interest. I am the Great-Granddaughter of Lowell Bush Brokaw, born to Gabriel Duvall Brokaw and Alcestia Jane McCracken in Dec 1891.
      My Great Grandfather had a copy of the original Brokaw/Bragaw book bound in green hardback. His book was passed to his oldest son, John and then to John's daughter.

      According to our family book I am in direct descent from Bourgon Broucard and Catherine Le Fevre or La Febre through their son, Abraham born in 1864.

      I have made contact with a cousin, Dennis L. Brokaw Sr. just this year who has spent 20 years studying our family. According to Dennis, he feels that we are actually from Belgium instead of France. Not sure what to make of it all and there is LOADS of information. If you could shed light on the "corrections" I would be most grateful.

      I can be reached directly at my personal e-mail address:

      Thank you in advance,
      Mrs. Jenny R. Jones