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 Thomas and Tabitha Branscomb

Following is the line of descent for the children of Thomas and Tabitha Branscomb:

Some information is available for the children of Thomas and Tabitha:

  • 11. Isaac Branscomb, b.1765, d.1851 (the dates come from the grave marker. Alderman, p. 101, citing records of the New Hope Primitive Baptist Church, gives the DOD as  8 January 1855); bur. Branscome Cem., Dugspur, Carroll County,Va. He md. (1) in Greensville County 25 October 1787 Elizabeth Harrison and (2) in Patrick County circa 1803 Nancy Jones. During his later years his surname was often spelled “Branscome,” and that spelling persists among descendants. 

    Isaac was almost surely one of the two white males age 21 or older in his father Thomas’s household as shown by the tax rolls for 1783.  His name does not appear on the tax rolls for either Brunswick or Greensville County for the years 1784-1787. He married late in 1787 and presumably established his own household at that time on a portion of his father’s land. Starting in 1788 the tax rolls for Greensville County show Isaac as head of a household:

    1788-1790: one white male over the age of 21; no taxable property. 
    1791-1995: one white male over the age of 21 plus one horse.
    1796:  1 white male >21; 1 Black >16; 1 horse.
    1797:  1 white male >21; 1 Black >16; 2 horses.
    1798:   1 white male >21; 2 Blacks >16; 1 Black >16; 2 horses.  Tax: $1.23

    In his will dated March 1794 Thomas wrote,

    Item  I give sons Isaac and Edmund Branscomb the tract of land whereon they both live containing one hundred and fifty two acres to be equally divided to them and their heirs forever.

    Isaac and Edmund were supposed to inherit the land upon the death of his father (Thomas’ will was proven on 9 January 1815).  Yet Isaac sold his portion of the 152 acres to Edmund on 31 October 1798 (Deed Book 2, pp. 554-555).  Soon thereafter, probably in the company of his uncle John and perhaps other residents from Greensville County, Isaac and his family moved to Patrick County, Va. On 4 September 1799 Isaac bought two tracts on Paul’s Creek in Patrick County: 100 acres from Martin and Hannah Talley (“Taley” on the deed) and 50 acres from Joseph and Mary Johnson (Deed book 2, p. 5, as cited by Alderman, p. 361). The absence of enduring landmarks makes it impossible to determine the proximity to the land which his uncle John Branscomb bought on Paul’s Creek in November 1798. The tax rolls for Patrick County show Isaac as a resident taxpayer as of 1800. 

    1800:  1 white male tithe; no taxable property.  (Land was not taxed.)
    1801:  1 white male tithe; no taxable property.
    1802:  1 white male tithe; no taxable property.
    1803:  1 white male tithe; 2 horses.  Tax: 24¢.
    1804:  1 white male tithe; 2 horses.
    1805:  1 white male tithe; 2 horses.
    1806:  1 white male tithe; 3 horses.
    1807:  2 white male tithes; 2 horses.  Tax: 24¢.
    1808:  no tax records available.
    1809:  1 white male tithe; 4 horses.  Tax: 48¢.

    Tax records for Isaac are not found in Patrick County after 1809. In 1810 the county lines were redrawn, and the portion of Patrick County in which Isaac lived became part of Grayson County; in 1811 his name appears on the tax records for Grayson County:  2 white male tithes, 2 horses; tax 40¢. However, the deed by which Isaac sold  150 acres on Paul’s Creek is recorded in Patrick County (Book 2, p. 600, as cited by Alderman, p. 368) The deed is dated 16 December 1810: to John Scudars for $150.  Both parties were residents of Grayson County. It would be necessary to review the deeds in order to ascertain whether the 150 acres is the same land which Isaac bought in 1799. What does seem certain is that Isaac continued to own land on Paul’s Creek until 1818: in 1815 the assessor prepared written descriptions of the property in Grayson Co, and Isaac signed the description for his property:

    One farm on the waters of pauls creek containing two hundred Acres having thereon one dwelling house of logs, one cabben and barn and corn house, valued at $140.
        (signed) Isaac Branscom
        [Alderman, pp. 388-389]

    Still quoting Alderman (pp. 100-101), we learn that Isaac moved to Big Reed Island near Dugspur in 1818 (deed book 4, p. 132), and in 1824 he deeded the property on Paul’s creek to his son Reuben. (book 5, p. 9; both deed books from Grayson County)  Isaac lived near Dugspur until his death in 1851.  Shortly before Isaac’s death both Paul’s Creek and Dugspur became part of Carroll County.

    The 1820 census for Grayson County lists Isaac Branscome on p. 252B:  A male age 45+, a female age 26-45, a male age 16-18, 3 females age 10-16, and a male and 2 females under ten years of age. (data from Brian Bivona.) The son age 16-18 matches Edmond, Isaac’s son by Elizabeth; the other three children by Elizabeth were married and had their own homes. The one son and five daughters younger than 16 were Isaac’s children by his second wife Nancy.

    Isaac and Elizabeth had four children:

    • 111. Reuben Branscome, b. 11 September 1789 in Greensville County, d. 12 February 1870 in Carroll County; md.  28 September 1811 Hannah H. Oneal (1791-1880); eight children.  Reuben received a bounty land warrant for service in the War of 1812.
    • 112. James Branscome, b. September 1791, d. 10 March 1881.  Md. 5 March 1815 Frances “Frankie” Dean (Jones; d. ca. 1885), widow of John Jones Jr.  James & Frankie had eight children.   James received both a pension and a bounty land warrant as a result of service in the War of 1812.
    • 113. Edmond Branscome, b. ca. 1802.  Md. 20 December 1821 Nancy Huff.  At least seven children.  They moved to Greene County, Tenn., and then to Washington County, Tenn., where Edmond d. some time after 1880. (Wautauga Association of Genealogists, The History of Washington County, Tennessee, 1988, gives the DOD as 1894; reference cited by Brian Bivona. Note also: CEB gives 1795  as the DOB for Edmond, and others have copied that information. However, the census data for Edmond, as provided by Brian, support a DOB of ca. 1802.
    • 114. Mary Branscome, b. 1798, d. during the 1870s.  Md. 13 November 1816 Thomas Hill.  Seven children.

    After Elizabeth's death Isaac md.(2) ca. 1803 Nancy Jones (d. 13 May 1851), the  older sister of the John Jones Jr. who was the first husband of Frances Dean, who later md. (2) Isaac's son James (Alderman, p. 218). Alderman provides evidence (p. 218) to suggest that Nancy was married first to a man named Sanders or Samster.  Nancy’s DOB is unknown, but, according to Alderman (p. 218, citing “Baptist records”), she d. 13 May 1851, which is about the time that Isaac also died.

    Isaac and Nancy had six children:

    • 115.  Tabitha Branscome (1805-1890; md. 20 November 1823 Samuel Mabry.
    • 116.  Frances Branscome (1807-1896); md. July 1829 Alfred Oneal.  (The marriage bond was dated 4 July.)
    • 117.  Rhoda Branscome (1809-1885); md. 6 November 1831 Nathan Thompson.
    • 118.  Harbert Branscome (1813-1892); md. 10 September 1833 Nancy Dalton.
    • 119.  Ann Branscome (b. 1813?); md. 1849 Willis Reece.
    • 11A (=10). Nancy Branscome, md. 7 November 1839 John S. Marshall. 

    (Readers should note that I have not made a detailed study of the history for Isaac Branscome son of Thomas and Tabitha.  I saw the tax records for Greensville, Patrick and Grayson Counties, the deed by which Isaac sold his land in Greensville County, the court order book for Patrick County, and a photograph of his grave marker.  Except for these items I should not be quoted as the authority for any statement concerning this Isaac.  The other data which I have recorded comes either from Alderman or, for the 1820 census and for Isaac’s son Edmond, from Brian Bivona. Earlier writers have recorded the history of Isaac’s descendants, although, I fear, with many errors, and I provide the foregoing account as a guide for persons who are interested in checking the available records for themselves.)

  • 12. Edmund Branscomb, b. ca. 1769-1770 in Brunswick County, Va., d. in Greensville County  between 3 February 1844 (date of his will) and 5 August 1844 (date the will was proved in court); Md. (1) in Brunswick County on 6 October 1791 Joanna Ingram, d/o Joseph Ingram. Edmund md. (2) in Sussex County on 25 November 1818 (or 1819?) Elizabeth May. Edmund’s known children by Joanna were Benjamin, Thomas, Eliza and Edmond Jr. his children by Elizabeth were George L., Robert D., and Mary ( = Polly). A separate entry gives the genealogical history for Edmund and his family.
  • 13. Robert Branscomb was b. 23 December 1776 in Brunswick County, and he d. in  Muhlenberg County, Ky., 8 August 1866. 

    Robert was probably the white male age 16-21 in the household of his father, Thomas Branscomb, as shown in the Greensville County tax rolls for 1794-1796. The tax rolls for 1797-1799 for Greensville County show Robert as a male age 21or older in Thomas’s household. In 1799 Robert may have accompanied his brother Isaac or his uncle John or both as they migrated to Patrick County in western Virginia:  the 1800 tax rolls for Patrick County show Robert as one white male tithe; he was taxed 12¢ for one horse.  Back in Greensville County, on 23 October 1801 Robert was a witness when Edward Ferguson sold land to Robert’s brother Edmund.  (Book 3, p. 137).  The deed was proved at the February court 1802 by witnesses Stephen Jackson and Henry Porch, “the other witnesses not living in this state.”  If Robert was in Greensville County in late October 1801 but not in February 1802, he must have moved between Greensville and Patrick Counties more than once. For the years 1802-1804 Robert’s name appears again on the Greensville County’s tax rolls as a member of Thomas Branscomb’s household.

    Robert married 19 November 1795 Elizabeth Ingram (b. 7 May 1777, d. prob. 24 April 1850 but possibly 1830; the dates for both Robert and Elizabeth are from cemetery records (provided by Beulah Branscum; the third digit in the last number for Elizabeth is difficult to read).  Elizabeth’s father Joseph Ingram gave consent for the marriage. Roberts brother Edmund was security, and  Edmund’s wife Joanna, who was Elizabeth’s sister, was a witness. 

    Robert and Elizabeth must have migrated from Greensville County to Kentucky during or soon after 1804; Robert’s name does not appear on the county tax rolls after that year.  In 1817 Robert Branscom sold land in Greensville County to Edmund Branscom (deed book 4, p. 46).  The deed has not been explored, but the most likely event is that this Robert was Edmund’s brother and the heir to  their father’s land, to which he would gain title upon the death of their mother Tabitha.  It appears that Robert sold his inheritance to Edmund prior to his mother’s death, in the same way that brother Isaac had done earlier.

    The 1820 census for Robert Branscomb shows him in Logan County, Ky. (p. 41)

      Males Females
    Persons age 45 or older
    1
    1
    Persons age 26-45
    3
    0
    Persons age 16-26
    1
    3
    Persons under 10 years of age
    0
    1

    As stated above for Thomas Branscomb, his will provided that upon the death of Tabitha their son Robert  was to receive all of Thomas’s estate except for six shillings to Robert’s sister Frances and 152 acres of land to be divided between brothers Isaac and Edmund. Tabitha’s name appears on the tax rolls for Greensville County through 1821, and Robert and his family were far removed from Greensville County by then. I have not studied the records for Greensville County sufficiently to learn how the estate was settled nor how Robert disposed of the property after Tabitha died.

    By 1830 Robert and his family were in neighboring Muhlenburg County, Ky. p. 98, line 1:

      Males Females
    Persons age 50-60
    1
    0
    Persons age 40-50
    0
    1
    Persons age 30-40
    0
    3
    Persons age 20-30
    1
    1
    Persons age 10-15
    1
    1
    Persons age 5-10
    0
    1

    This record does not account adequately for Elizabeth, so it is possible that the difficult-to-read year of death as shown on her grave marker is 1830 rather than 1850, and she must have died during the first half of 1830. Ages as shown in early censuses are often suspect, however, and it is more likely that the census enumerator recorded her age as between 40 and 50;  Given the DOB on her grave marker, she would have been 53 years of age in mid-1830.

    Following is the record for Robert’s family from the 1840 census for Muhlenberg County (p. 350, line 12):

      Males Females
    Persons age 70-80
    1
    0
    Persons age 60-70
    0
    1
    Persons age 40-50
    0
    3
    Persons age 30-40
    1
    1
    Persons age 10-15
    1
    1
    Persons age 5-10
    0
    1

    In 1850 the family was in District One of Muhlenberg Co; p. 184, dwelling #136:

      Age Where born
    Robert Branscom
    73
    Va.
    Nancy W. Morehead
    51
    Va.
    Isaac Branscom 
    50
    Va.
    Mary Branscom
    47
    Va.
    Elizabeth Morehead
    24
    Ky.
    John W. Morehead
    19
    Ky.
    Richard Chandler
    20
    Tenn.
    Vincent Shelton 
    17
    Ky.
    Nancy Whitman
    Ky.

    Elizabeth was gone; the last three names do not represent known family members. The household next door, #135, was headed by Joseph Ingram, age 24, b. Va. It is likely that he was related to Elizabeth (a nephew?)

    In 1860 Robert’s 59-year-old son Isaac was head of the household.  The other members of the household were Isaac’s wife Mary, age 57, Robert, age 83, and Tom Ingram, age 65, b. Va..  The Muhlenberg cemetery records show an Isaac Branscomb who was b. 20 December 1820 and who died 12 April 1876, but he must have been Robert’s grandson; According to the 1850 and 1860 censuses,  Robert’s son Isaac must have been born ca. 1801.

    The records of Muhlenberg County may reveal more about Robert and Elizabeth and their children. To date, the only information for Isaac the son of Robert and Elizabeth comes from the 1850 and 1860 censuses. The Kentucky marriage records show the marriage of John Morehead and Nancy Branscomb were married in Muhlenberg County on 23 September 1824.  The 1850 census suggests that Nancy was widowed some time after 1831 and that their surviving children were Elizabeth, b. ca. 1826, and John W., b. ca. 1831.

  • 14. Frances Branscomb md. 4 February 1793 in Greensville County William Harris. William’s ancestry is unknown. William was probably the son of Joseph and Rebecca Harris, as shown by Josephís will dated 11 March 1801 and proven at the July 1808 court. Joseph's will stated, "all the Land and Plantation whereon I now live to my son William . . .also. . . all the property which he now has." (Will Book 2, pp. 81-82, as cited by Ray R. Sasser in Greensville County, Virginia, Abstracts of Wills, Book 2, p. 18) William and his brother Robert were co-executors. Thomasís son Edmund Branscomb was security for William as executor.

    Henry Baley and Joseph Harris received a land patent of 461 acres on the eastern border of what is now Greensville County on 6 May 1860 (Virginia Patent Book, 12:188 as cited by Ray Sasser in Royal Land Patents and Commonwealth Land Grants of Greensville County, Virginia [1998], p. 34), but it is not known whether this Joseph was related to the one who died in 1801. A more likely candidate was the Harris (first name unknown) who owned land jointly with Maclin (first name unknown) adjacent to the patent of Richard Branscomb on the western side of Greensville County; the patent has not been found, but Drury Stith made a survey of the land in 1763. Joseph could have been a descendant of the patentee. Some Harrises also lived in neighboring Warren County, NC. (Note: the ancestry of William Harris, husband of Frances Branscomb, is not proven, and no one should quote me as confirming that Joseph and Rebecca Harris were the parents of Francesís husband William).

    Frances’ father Thomas wrote his will on 1 March 1794.  He wrote, “Item  I give to my daughter Frances Branscomb six shillings.” If Frances was married thirteen months prior to the date of Thomas’s will, he should have named her as Frances Harris.  It is understandable that he bequeathed to her only six shillings, because parents often provided adequately for their children when they married.  

    The 1810 census for Greensville County shows William Harris as head of a household:
                                                Males       Females 
    Persons age 45 and older           0                1
    Persons age 26-45                     1                1
    Persons age 16-26                     0                1
    Persons age 10-16                     1                1
    Persons under 10 years              1                1

    On the assumption that William and Frances were approximately 21 years old when they married, by 1810 they would still be in the age group of age 26 to 45, and they would have been married long enough to have a 16-year-old daughter. The older female could have been William’s mother.

     The record for William Harris from the 1820 census for Greensville County is not compatible with the one quoted above:  a male and female still between the ages of 26 and 45, a male under 10, and a female 10-16; also three male slaves younger than 14 and a female older than 45. The name William Harris is too commonplace to assume that the 1820 census describes the family of the same person of that name as shown in the 1810 census. No further information is available at present for William Harris and Frances Branscomb.  

See also:
Thomas Branscomb, son of Richard and Sarah Branscomb
Tabitha Branscomb, wife of Thomas Branscomb
Edmund Branscomb, son of Thomas and Tabitha Branscomb

 

Copyright 2008
Frederick B. Tubbs

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