Branscomb/Branscum Genealogy

The Genealogy of
Richard Branscomb
of Brunswick County, Virginia,
and a Number of his Descendants

by Fred Tubbs







The Children of Benjamin Branscomb:
Ervin Ruffin Branscomb

The line of descent for Ervin Ruffin Branscomb:

(Note: Hereinafter the first three digits of the identification numbers are omitted. Please check the Author's Notes for an explanation of the numbering system I use for identifying individuals within any family.)

2. Ervin Ruffin Branscomb

In his will Benjamin named Ervin second among his sons, and it is therefore logical that Ervin was born after Joseph Edmond (b. October 1816) and before Joanna (b. August 1819). He would be one of the two males under ten years of age shown in Benjaminís household in 1820. The wording of Benjaminís will makes clear that Ervin was living in September 1861. The name Ervin is known for him only in his fatherís will, but several records are found for R. Branscom and Ruffin Branscom in Knox Co., IL, where several other children of Benjamin and Tabitha lived at various times. Given that one of Tabithaís brothers was named Ruffin, it is likely that Ervinís middle name was Ruffin. The available evidence is strong enough to support the conclusion that Ervin and Ruffin are two names for the same individual.

The grave marker for Ruffin (see below) gives a DOD of 26 November 1879 and supports a DOB of 6 March 1817. Given the most likely DOBs for his older brother Joseph Edmond (October 1816) and the next younger child, Joanna (August 1819), I posit a DOB of 6 March 1818. Survivors are unlikely to mistake the birthday of deceased person in his later years, but they may be unsure about the year of birth. The censuses for Ruffin support a birth year of 1818.

The 1850 census for Knox Co., IL, shows Ruffin and his family in T22N R3E:
    Age Where born  
Bransum, Ruffin 32 VA (note spelling of surname)
  Mary 25 VA  
  Martha 6 OH  
  William 4 OH  
  Tabitha 3 OH  
  Sarah 2 IA  

(plus two adult males with different surnames who appear to be farm laborers. Data provided by Betty Lawrence.)

The names of Ruffinís wife and of two of the children are strong indicators: (1) after Ruffin died in 1879 Mary Branscom gave a (quit claim?) deed to Ervinís brother Benjamin in 1881. (2) Ervinís sister Martha had died shortly before Ruffinís daughter Martha was born, and (3) Ervinís mother was named Tabitha, and it is natural that (as Ruffin) he would name a child in her honor.

This census record suggests two moves for the family: Ruffin and Mary were probably married in Ohio circa 1842, and they must have moved to Iowa by 1848 and then to Illinois before 1850. A web source names the wife as Mary Wright. (Not yet substantiated.) As shown below, the family returned to Iowa before 1864: Ruffin and Mary, their son William and their daughter Sarah, and Williamís two wives, were all buried in Long Creek Twp, Decatur Co., IA. Ervinís brother Henry was also in Long Creek Twp. before 1860, and Joannaís son #34 Thomas J. French was in Franklin Twp. of Decatur 1870.

The 1860 census for Haw Creek Township, Knox County, IL (household #655, p. 664) shows R. Branscome, age 42, b. VA, in the home of Isaac & Nancy Latts (ages 68 and 60, respectively, both b. VA), along with other persons with different surnames. It appears that Ruffin was away from home at the time of the census.

The remaining information currently available for Ruffin and his family is from the records of the Van Wert Cemetery. Section B, in Decatur County, Iowa, as augmented by the Internet. Members of Henry Branscombís family were also buried in Section B. The data for Ruffinís family:

Ruffin Branscom, d. 26 November1879, age 62 years, 8 months, 20 days [=b. 6 March 1817]. M. A. Branscum, Mother [no dates].
William J. Branscom, b. 1845 ( 1847?), d. 1927
   Farzina, (Fairzina Branscomb), first wife, died 27 June 1868, age 18 years,19 days [=b. 8 June 1850]
   Nancy A., second wife, d. 22 May 1894, age 58 years, 3 months, 9 days [=b. 9 March 1836]
Sarah Margaret Branscomb, dau. of R & M.A., d. 19 October 1864, age 15 years, 9 months, 19 days [=b. 31 December 1848]
Martha A. Branscom, wife of J. Branscom, d. 17 February 1876, age 17 years, 10 months, 6 days [b. 21 April 1858]. (The husband J. Branscom was probably a son of Ruffin and Mary who was born after the 1850 census and who has not yet been located..)

(Data provided by Carolyn Canida and William Cole.)

Some information is also available for the son William: in 1870 he was in Long Creek, Township of Decatur Co., IA, p. 328, dwelling #19:

    Age Where born
Branscomb, Wm. 24 OH
  Nancy A. 33 SC

In 1880 they were in the same location, listed on p. 181:

    Age Where born  
Branscom, Wm. 35 IA  
  Nancy 43 NC  
Craft, Lewis 20 IA Stepson
  Lydia M. 19 IA Stepdaughter
Branscom, Filia 10 IA  

This census record suggests that soon after his wife Farzina died William married a widow whose first husband was named Craft. The 1870 census may provide information about Lydia and Lewis Craft. (Data provided by Carolyn Canida.)




Copyright 2007
Frederick B. Tubbs

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