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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Richard Branscomb II, son of Richard and Sarah Branscomb

The dates for Richard Branscomb (hereinafter Richard II), the son of Richard and Sarah Branscomb, are unknown. As shown below, it is likely that he was born in Brunswick County, Va., at least by 1754 and probably considerably earlier--his brother Thomas had a son who was born in 1765. Richardís will was proven in Greensville County, Va. (formed in 1780 from Brunswick County), in December 1829, so the DOD was probably only slightly earlier. The name of his wife is unknown.

The first known mention of Richard II was in his fatherís will dated 20 March 1775:

Item: I give and Bequeath to my son Richard Branscomb Two Hundred acres of land more or less on the south side of the upper spring run it being part of that tract of land sold to Robert Williamson also the first choice of my beds and furniture to him and his Heirs forever. . . .

The location of that land within the 845 acres patented to the elder Richard is uncertain because it is not clear which tributary to Douglas Run was known locally as the upper spring run. (Neither is it clear how the father could devise to his namesake land which he sold to someone else). It is known that Richard II was taxed on land in Brunswick County, Va., from 1782 (the earliest available tax record) through 1787, and thereafter in Greensville County, showing that his 200 acres came from the western side of his fatherís tract. (See Branscomb land in Brunswick and Greensville Counties, Virginia.)

The will of Richard I also appointed Richard II as coexecutor of his estate, along with Sarah, his mother. Thomas was an older son, but valid reasons must have existed for selecting Richard II as coexecutor. It is almost certain that Richard II was older than 21 (= b. before 1754) at the time his father wrote his will, and possibly a number of years older. Also, from another provision of the will, it is obvious that Richard II was unmarried in March 1775:

Item: I lend to my loving wife, Sarah Branscomb During her natural Life all the rest of my Estate of what nature or kind soever and after her death the same to be equally Divided Between my three children, Richard, John and Sarah Branscom, but if either of the three children, Richard, John or Sarah should Marry before I die they shall not come in for any part of my Estate lent to my said wife after her decease.

The next mention of Richard II in the records for Brunswick County also concerned his fatherís estate. William Richardson had given bond for the purchase of land from Richard I, and the sale was not finalized prior to Richard Iís death (the will was proved on 24 July 1775, four months after it was written). In 1778 Sarah (the mother) and Richard II executed a deed conveying to Richardson145 acres of land from the estate. No doubt Richard II was busy thereafter in settling his fatherís estate, but a review of the court records has not unveiled additional entries to show such effort.

The tax rolls for Brunswick County are available from 1782. Each white male age 21 or older paid 1 tithe (= poll tax) plus tax on horses, cattle and slaves. At least for 1782 and 1783 taxes were expressed in pounds, shillings and pence. Thereafter the amount of tax was not recorded. Following is the record for Richard II:

1782: District 2: 1 tithe, 1 horse, 5 cattle. Tax: 0.13.3
1783: District 4: 1 tithe, 1 horse, 5 cattle. Tax: 0.13.3
1784: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle
1785: District 4: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 4 cattle
1786: Meherrin Parish: District 4: 1 tithe, 1 horse, 5 cattle
1787: 1 tithe, 7 cattle.

When in 1787 the line between Brunswick and Greensville Counties was changed, Richard began paying taxes in Greensville County. Following is the record through 1798:

1788: 1 white male >21, no taxable property (cattle were not taxed initially)
1789: 1 white male >21, no taxable property
1791: 1 white male >21; 1 horse
1792: 1 white male >21; 2 horses
1793: 1 white male >21; 2 horses
1794: 1 white male >21; 1 white male age 16-21; 2 horses
1795: 1 white male >21; 1 white male age 16-21; 1 horse
1796: 1 white male >21; 1 horse
1797: 1 white male >21; 1 white male 16-21; 1 horse
1798: 2 white males >21; 1 horse. Zachariah Branscomb was named as the other poll.

Given that Richard II was not married when his father Richard I made his will in March 1775, it seems likely that young Richard must have married soon thereafter if his son Zachariah reached the age of 16 years in late 1793 or early 1794 and his majority in late 1797 or early 1798 (=b. ca. 1777). The name of Richard IIís wife is unknown. His will refers to her but does not name her, and no marriage record has been found.

Continuing with the tax records for Richard II in Greensville County through 1810:

1799: 1 white male >21; 2 horses
1800: 1 white male >16; 2 horses
1801: 1 white male >16; 2 horses
1802: 1 white male > 21; 2 horses
1803: 1 white male > 21; 2 horses
1804: 2 white males >21; 2 horses, 1 chair.
Wm Branscomb was named as the other poll.
1805: 1 white male >21; 1 Black >16; 3 horses
1806: 2 white males >21; 1 Black >16; 3 horses.
William Branscomb was named as the other poll.
1807: 2 white males >21.
William Branscomb was named as the other poll.
1808: No tax list is available.
1809: 2 white males >21; 1 white male age 16-21; 3 horses.
Wm Branscomb was named as the other poll.
1810: 2 white males >21; 2 white males age 16-21; 4 horses.
Wm Branscomb was named as the other poll.

The 1810 census for Greensville County shows the population of Richard IIís household as follows:

  Males Females
Persons age 45 and older 1 1
Persons 26-45 0 1
Persons age 16-26 2 2
Persons age 10-16 0 1
Persons age 0-10 2 0

Richard II and his wife were undoubtedly the pair age 45 or older. The tax rolls help with the identification of the males: As shown in the tax rolls for 1798 and 1799, Zachariah did not remain in his fatherís household long after reaching the age of 21. William had become 21 years of age in either late 1803 or early 1804 and was therefore at the top of the 16-26 age bracket. The tax roll for 1809 suggests that Abraham was 16 years of age by that time, but he could have reached that age by late 1807. As shown below, he became 21 years of age in late 1810 or early 1811, so he was also in the 16-26 age bracket. The tax rolls suggest that Enoch became 16 years of age in late 1814 or early 1815; later censuses support a birth year of 1796 or 1797; he should have been shown in the age group 10-16. Nothing is known about the two males younger than ten years.

For more information about Richard II's children, see The Children of Richard Branscomb II.

Continuing with the tax rolls for Greensville County:

1811: 3 white males >21; 2 white males age 16-21; 3 horses.
William & Abraham Branscomb were the other polls.
1812: 3 white males >21; 4 horses.
Wm & Abraham Branscomb were the other polls.
1813: 3 white males >16; 3 horses.
William & Abraham Branscomb were the other named males.
1814: 3 white males >16; 3 horses.
William & Abram Branscomb were the other named males.
1815: 3 white males >16; 3 horses, 10 cattle.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males. Tax: $1.06.
1816: 3 white males >16; 3 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males. Tax: 54¢.
1817: 3 white males >16; 2 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males. Tax: 36 cents;.
1818: 3 white males >16; 2 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males. Tax: 36¢.
1819: 3 white males >16; 2 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males. Tax: 36¢.
1820: 3 white males >16; 3 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males. Tax: 54¢.

The 1820 census for Greensville Co. showed the household of Richard II as follows:

  Males Females
Persons age 45 and older 1 2
Persons 26-45 1 1
Persons age 16-26 1 2
Persons age 10-16 2 0
Also one male slave above the age of 45.  

Richard II was over 45 years of age, William was ca. 37 years old, and Enoch was ca. 26. The younger males are unidentified.

Continuing with the tax rolls for Richard in Greensville County:

1821: 3 white males >16; 1 Black 12-16; 3 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other males. Tax: 93Ĺ¢.
1822: 4 white males >16; 3 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were named, but the 4th male was not. Tax: 40Ĺ¢.
1823: 3 white males >16; 3 horses.
William & Enoch Branscomb were the other named males.
1824: not found
1825: 3 white males>16; 1 Black >16; 3 horses.
Enoch and William were named as the other males. Tax: 83¢.
1826: 3 white males>16; 1 Black >16; 5 horses.
Enoch and William were named as the other males. Tax: $1.07
1827: 3 white males>16; 1 Black >16; 5 horses. Enoch and William were named as the other males. Tax:$2.24

No further entries are found in the tax rolls for Richard. His will was dated 5 February 1815, and it was proven in Greensville County on 7 December 1829 (Book 4, p. 183). In 1828 and subsequent years Enoch was taxed for the property; see the page for Enoch. It is possible that Richard died before the tax assessor made his rounds in 1828, because otherwise he should have been listed as a titheable member of the household even if he was no longer recognized as the head. Assuming that he died in 1828, the question is why his will was not probated until December of 1829.

The Wife of Richard Branscomb II

As stated for Richard II, his wife was named as an heir in his will, but she was not named; neither has a record of the marriage been found. The earliest available census for Richard II suggests that his wife was age 45 or older in 1810 (= b. before 1765). By 1830 Enoch was head of the household, and that household included a female age between 50 and 60. It is not likely that she was Enochís mother, however, because her son William was also between the ages of 50 and 60 and presumably was the male in that age range within the household. It is therefore probable that Richardís wife died prior to 1830. The tax rolls for years subsequent to 1830 have not yet been explored; they may contain additional information of value about Richardís wife.

See also:
The Children of Richard Branscomb and Sarah Proctor
The Children of Richard Branscomb II

 

 

Copyright 2004
Frederick B. Tubbs

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