Branscomb/Branscum Genealogy

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


by Fred Tubbs


 

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The children of John and Olive Branscomb

John's will names four children: Thomas, Rebecah, Wesley and Isaac. The one census available for John comes too late in his life to show the size of his family. It would be unlikely for John and Olive to have only four children spaced approximately over a quarter of a century, from the birth of Thomas (ca. 1780-1784) to Isaac (1805), although it is possible that there were miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths. The official records of Wayne County provide evidence for several Branscombs who could easily have been their children and for whom evidence shows some interaction either with John and Olive or with the four known children who are named in John’s will. Further, these presumed children do not appear to fit within the families of any other Branscombs. The evidence to show the links among the children and presumed children is presented in the accounts for those children. As stated in the preface to this series of genealogical histories, the word “presumed” is generally omitted for those persons for whom full proof is lacking to show them as children of John, but readers should keep that word in mind.

Following is the list of known and presumed children:
1. Thomas, b. ca. 1780-1784; md. Barbara ___
2. Rebekah (also spelled "Rebecah" and "Rebecca"), b. ca. 1783; md. ___ Burris (Rebekah could have been the firstborn.)
3. Roland, b. ca. 1786; md. Nancy Barrow
4. Elizabeth, b. ca. 1790; md. Reuben Stone
5. Mary, b. 12 October 1794; md. William Dobbs Jr.
6. David, b. ca. 1795; md. Mary ___
7. Edmund, b. ca. 1797; md. Nancy Cristle
8. Wesley, b. May 1801; md. Jane Dobbs
9. Isaac, b. 1805; md. Ruth Gregory
10. Henry, b. ca. 1809; md. Elizabeth Burris

No satisfactory reason accounts for the absence of bequests in John’s will to some of these children, assuming that they were truly his children. By 1821 Roland and Edmund had already left Wayne County, but the others remained. The will does give the appearance of being drawn hastily. Despite his statement that he was “of perfect mind and memory,” John may not have been in condition at the time he made his will to weigh legal matters carefully. As stated in the history of John Branscomb, he neglected to name an executor. After the witnesses had signed his initial statement he was prompted to add an amendment in order to dispose of the remainder of his estate. If he was failing rapidly it would have been understandable that he neglected to mention his other children. It is also possible that, for whatever reason, John chose not to make bequests to the other children, all of whom but Henry were married and established on their own property. For adolescent Henry, no doubt he continued to live at home with his mother. (Isaac, age 16 at the time of his father’s death, was mentioned in the will.)

See also:
Olive E. Branscomb, wife of John Branscomb
John Branscomb, son of Richard and Sarah Branscomb

 

 

 

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Frederick B. Tubbs

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