Jeremiah Gillette Sr. was born in Chaffcombe, Somerset County, England, in 1608 (possibly earlier). He was one of the sons of Rev. William Gillette, the Rector of the Church at Chaffcombe. They were a Puritan family, which along with so many others, set their sites on America in the 1600s. Jeremiah had at least 7 brothers and sisters. Some say as many as eleven. We have the names of his brothers William (the eldest), Andrew, Thomas, Silas, Elias, possibly also a Richard, and Habiah (or Abiah or Hebiah), and a sister, Mary, and of course Jonathan and Nathan Gillette (whose descendant lines in America are more commonly known today).
Between 1630 - 1633 Jeremiah, and his brothers Jonathan and Nathan left England to become settlers in the New World. They may have taken separate shipping on different dates. Jeremiah is said to have come aboard "The Recovery" out of London, and Jonathan and Nathan on "The John & Mary," commanded by Capt. Squeb. Nantasket (the town of Hull) Massachusetts was their port of entry. At least Jonathan lived first at Dorchester, MA but all three of the brothers soon settled in Windsor, Connecticut. Jeremiah is listed on the Windsor CT founders list, and he fought in the Pequot Indian war of 1637. Actually it appears that Jonathan returned to England and married there, and didn't return to Massachussetts until 1634 (with his bride), and, this trip (like Jeremiah's) was aboard The Recovery. I have it that Jonthan & his wife and the first three of their children moved from Dorchester to Windsor in October 1635. So Jeremiah was probably the first of the brothers to become a Connecticut resident. If not Jeremiah, then Nathan, but I have fewer such details on Nathan's early residency. It should be noted that some sources say that Jeremiah sailed on "The John and Mary" and not on The Recovery. It is not impossible that he sailed on both, as did Jonathan, since both are known to have crossed the Atlantic more than once.
About the time when his father Rev. Gillette in England was declining in health and nearing death the records appear to show Jeremiah again crossing the Atlantic. He appears to be in England, then in Connecticut, then England again, etc.. It appears he was attempting to juggle responsibilities in both places. His own firstborn son, Jeremiah Jr. (later known in records as Sgt. Jeremiah Gillette) may have even been born in England during one of his father's trips back there. Perhaps Jeremiah's eldest brother William was himself in poor health and needed help in managing family affairs in England in their father's last days, and Jeremiah came home to assist. We cannot say with certainty. But it appears that responsibilities in England made it difficult for Jeremiah to remain and get fully established in Connecticut like Jonathan and Nathan did. None the less, he did get his son Jeremiah Jr. (Sgt. Jeremiah Gillette) established. When the new settlement of Simsbury, near Windsor, was begun, Jeremiah was awarded a colonial land grant of fifty acres for his service in the 1637 Pequot Indian war. Due probably to needing to be in England again, Jeremiah assigned that land on Simsbury's east side to his son Jeremiah Jr. in his stead. Nathan Gillette also was awarded land on Simbury's east side, and moved there from Windsor.
A great many Gillettes in America are descended from Jeremiah Gillette through Jeremiah Jr (Sgt. Jeremiah Gillette): Simsbury was a hub for that family line, as were Wethersfield, CT and Milford, CT.
A note for genealogists. In the earlier days of chronicling the genealogy of this Gillette family in America, research was published (in print) by several different people who only had knowledge of the two immigrant brothers Jonathan & Nathan. As alluded to above, they once came on the same ship together (The John and Mary), while their brother Jeremiah came on The Recovery. These researchers only saw TWO brothers on "THE" ship they tracked back to, and made a giant ASSUMPTION; They took this to be "THE" sole "arrival" of this Gillette family in America, and so they published incorrect reports stating that this whole family in America is descended from "THE" bothers Jonathan and Nathan! The other reason this oversight occurred is that one of the researchers who published the "Two Brothers" assertion just happened to be a descendant of Jonathan. Upon tracing back to him, and, finding his passage on the ship The John and Mary, lo! and behold! they of course found there his brother, Nathan, WITH him. In the same way, another researcher who published the "Two Brothers" notion just happened to trace their line back and learn they were from NATHAN. Same story: Behold! Nathan had a brother with him on the John and Mary. You see? They cropped their research right there on that one discovery (except they added the available info on who their father was, in England). It's really sad that they didn't look about for anything else going on, before they went to print. This was a tragic oversight, for not only were the THREE (3) brothers ALL the same as concerns being raised in the same house, and as regards immigration to America, but, the LIVES of all three were inter-involved in the New World, and ALL THREE were the uncles of their brothers' children, and, the children of all three were the cousins and playmates of one another. It becomes a worse tragedy when you see the effect, to wit, countless Gillett/Gillettes in America have brushed right past one another, assuming they are not kin. That's the power of a single ill-placed word, to wit, "THE Gillett/Gillette family in America descends from THE immigrant brothers Jonathan & Nathan." The BLIND-SPOT as to Jeremiah and his descendants in these genealogies led to much confusion for researchers who came along later. Since earlier researchers had stated erroneously that ALL the members of this family in America (that traces back to Rev. William Gillett, the Rector of the Church at Chaffcombe, in England) DERIVE from either Jonathan or Nathan, the many descendants of JEREMIAH were bewildered. They would track back to when they (Jeremiah's kin) were basically "next-door neighbors" with the kin of Jonathan and of Nathan, and, everyone at that time appeared to be the nearest of "cousins," but they hit that tragic assertion that was circulating in print, that to be from that Gillette line, you had to track to either Jonathan or Nathan. It really caused problems. Large numbers of Gillettes who dabbled in genealogy kept PERPETUATING that "Jonathan & Nathan, "THE" two immigrant brothers" mistake so much, that everyone just assumed it was so.
Donald Lines Jacobus (1887-1970), the founder and president of TAG (The American Genealogist) magazine and author of Genealogy as Pastime and Profession 1930, and History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield sought to address this glaring oversight, and in 1949 published in TAG the article, The 'OTHER' Gilletts. As you doubtless catch, the reference to "OTHER" speaks directly to the fact that the "Jonathan & Nathan" perception so widely circulated, missed an entire wing of the family. Reference to the TAG article is ordinarily written thusly:
Donald L. Jacobus, The "other" Gilletts, TAG, v. 25, July 1949, 174-191; erratum, v. 27, 99.
and sometimes thusly:
"The Other Gilletts" by Donald Lines Jacobus, "The American Genealogist", Whole Number 99, July 1949, Volume XXV, Number 23.
That was not the end. Jacobus published on the matter AGAIN in The American Genealogist, January 1950, Vol. 26, #1, pgs. 52-3.
While Jacobus is kind to those who, shall I say, ran off trumpeting in print only two of the brothers, he does infer that the oversight subsequently led to the bedevling of research for New England genealogists for years. And while again put very kindly, he does put right in our faces the fact that it was always known by professional genealogists that Jeremiah Gillett Jr. (JUNIOR!) who lived right there alongside Jonathan and Nathan in Simsbury in 1678 (Jacobus puts it, right there "on the spot"), was their NEPHEW! The inference is that it was staring researchers right in the face that there was at least one more brother of Jonathan and Nathan involved there, and, they even had his NAME (Jeremiah) provided for them, if they cared to grasp what "JUNIOR" means. Well they nudged Jeremiah Gillet Jr., the nephew, aside, and rolled right ahead speaking of "THE two immigrant brothers." Jacobus not only reminds genealogists that the nephew Jeremiah Jr. was right there in the records and was always known about, but, he says, NOTHING in all the subsequence research ever done since, has been found to change or contradict that info. So, after basically infering that the oversight should never have happened, he then proceeds to roll out OTHER and MORE available information on both Jeremiah Gillett SR. and Jeremiah Gillett JR.
NOT ONLY should they have been written as "the THREE immigrant brothers, Jeremiah, Jonathan and Nathan," but even thinking it was merely THREE would be somewhat of an assumption, for, when you contemplate the fact that they (Jeremiah, Jonathan and Nathan) were but three of possibly TEN OR ELEVEN siblings, it would seem logical that one ought not to say this whole family of Gillettes in America descend from one of these three brothers, unless and until one has satisfied himself that no OTHERS of the possibly ten or eleven siblings took shipping and LIKEWISE came to America! Wouldn't you think that possibility should be considered? I have never seen a reliable accounting of precisely which ones never left England. Maybe FOUR of Rev. William Gillett's children came to America. Maybe FIVE! I don't know yet. And a secondary phase from England is also quite possible: That is, of the possibly seven or eight CHILDREN of Rev. William Gillett who presumably or theoretically REMAINED in England, did any of THEIR children take shipping and immigrate to America? Neither Jeremiah, Jonathan, nor Nathan were the OLDEST of the siblings in England! We may assume that their older siblings were BEGETTING children for some years before the first three brothers left for America. The point is, there were already nephews and neices right there at home nearing the age when they TOO could go to America. I only mean to say that more information on this family's activities remains to be done before stating that "all" the Gilletts of "this family" in America are descended from specifically "these two" or even "these three" sons of William in Chaffcombe.