Benjamin B. Brashear Family
France, England & Maryland

brasseuir.doc.JPG
part of the Citizenship Application Letter for Benjamin Brashear dated Dec 4, 1662

Benjamin Benois Brassieur
b. before 1620 France
d. 1662 Calvert CO., MD

m. Mary Richford abt 1646
b. ?  probably England(Benois  apparently paid her passage as a teenager) [Brashear 23]
d. about 1667 Calvert Co., MD (will probated in 16680
her father: ?                       mother: ?

her 2nd m. Thomas Sterling/Starling after 25 July 1663 before 2 August 1663
b.
d.
abt 1685

his father: Robert Brasseur
his mother: unknown
Children
Robert Brasseur/Brashear* b. 1646 MD d. 1712 Prince Georges Co., Maryland 1m. ? (mother of his children)
2m. Mrs. Alice Jackson (widow Thomas Jackson)
Benjamin Brasseur/Brashear jr* b.1648 Nansemond Co., VA
d. Feb 1675 Calvert Co., MD
unmarried (left his estate to sister Martha
John Brasseur/Brashear* b. c1650 Nansemond Co., VA d.1696 Calvert Co., MD
m. Anne Dalrymple (no children) (dau. of Willam Dalrymple Sr.)
Ann Brasseur/Brashear* b. VA d . m. c1685 ?William Dalrymple JR. (son. of Willam Dalrymple Sr.)
Susannah Brasseur/Brashear* b. 1650 Nansemond Co.,VA d. 1692 Anne Arundel Co., MD m. 1679 Mareen Duvall
Elizabeth Brasseur/Brashear* b. c1654 Nansemond Co.,VA d. 17 Jan 1728/29 Baltimore , MD m. John Sellman (lived in Anne Arundel Co., MD
Martha Brasseur/Brashear* b. after1658 Nansemond Co.,VA d. 1688 . m. (at age 16) Henry Kent Jr.
Mary Brasseur/Brashear* b. 1660 Calvert Co., MD d. 23 Jan 1702 Prince Georges Co., MD m. c1688 Christopher Ellis
* children from the will of Mary Brassier, wife of Benjamin

"The given name of Benjamin's wife was Mary, but her maiden name has not been established. It is possible, however, that she was Mary Richford, whose passage to the new World is known to have been paid by Benjamin." [Back p.3]

In reading material from "Seventeenth Century Colonial Ancestors"said that he was Benjamin Brasseur, the emigrant from the Isle of Thanet, Eng. Kent; but originally from France .

1637 - Benjamin arrived in the Colonies sometime before 1638 and settled in the Upper Norfolk County which soon became Nansemond County, Virginia. At the time of Benjamin's arrival with his brother Robert, there were only few thousand persons in the colonies. George Washington's great-grandfather observed his fourth birthday, and the Declaration of Independence was not to be signed for a hundred and thirty-nine years. [Back p.6]

24 Feb 1638- Robert Brasseur files a land-lease contract with Peter Rey" for six hundred acres on "Warrisquick Creeke.. and butting upon Nanzemund river" Robert is linked is several later documents to Benjamin as his brother. [VA Land Patents, Book 1, p.622]

1633, 12 Apr - A patent was issued for three hundred acres to Benjamin Brashear. (origina patent apparently has not survived.)

1653, April 12 - Another patent was issued to Robert for twelve hundred acres "in the County Nanzemond at the head of the southern branch of Nanzemond river"

These patents were intended to reimburse the colonist for the cost of the passage. Each person that paid their own way or the passage of another was given fifty acres. Robert's patent was for twenty-four persons including "Robert Brasseur, Florence his wife, Mary Brasseur, Persid (undoubtedly intended for the French feminine name "Perside") Brasseur, Kathe. Brasseur, Bennet Brasseur." Along with these Brasseurs were also "Marg. Stockwell, Geo. Juory,... W. Wroten, Tho. Parker, Jno. Sutton, Jon. Stephens, Step Dordan, Jon. Loyd, Jon. Bott., Symon Iron, Jon. Barefield, Eliz. Patemen, Geo. Daldye, Wm. Ball, Nicho. Maroise (?), Tho. Pursell, Ra. Ellis, and Jon. Abby."
[VA Land Patents, Book 3, p. 33]

1653, 14 April - A land claim is issued for "Benjamin Brafseure" for three hundred acres on "or being at the head of a Creeke called Indian Creeke being a branch of the western branch of Nancemond river...joining the land of M. John Ganat." This grant was made for paying the cost of transporting six persons into the Colony. These transportation costs gave the person "headrights" to fifty acres a person. Although the patent itself was dated as 12 April 1633 it wasn't registered until 14 April of 1653. Signed by Edward Diggs Esq. [VA Land Patents, Book 3, p.33]
Including Richard Batemen, Charles Drurey, Hugh Edwards, Humphry Evan, John Harris, Mary Richford, John Sutton.

on this same date - , for headrights "Robert Brasseur with Florence Brasseur his wife , and Mary Brasseur. Persid (Preside) Brasseur, Kathe Brasseur and Bennett Brasser" were given land patents for a total of twelve hundred acres [VA Land Patents, Book 3, p.33]
Also on the list is John Abby, William Ball, William Ball(perhaps Jr.), John Barefield, Peter Besairdier, Reeve Besairdier, John Bott, Bennet Brasseur, George Daldye,  Ra Ellis, George Ivory, John Loyd, Nicholas Moroise, Thomas Parker, Elizabeth Pateman, Thomas Pursell, John Stephens,

1658 - Probably due to Maryland's more liberal laws on religious freedom Benjamin moves to Calvert County, Province of Maryland. He may have moved up the Chesapeake Bay by boat to settle on 1150- acres plantation known locally as "Upper Bennett." The plantation had been surveyed in 1651, for Richard Bennett, a Virginia merchant and a devout Puritan. This deed was one of several plots that seem to have been reserved for Puritan believers under Richard Bennett's guidance. [Back p.6]

1660 - Benjamin is called for jury duty. (this is the earliest known remaining record of Benjamin in Maryland, most other records were probably destroyed in one of several fires in Calvert Co. Court House) [Maryland Archives, Vol 41, p.419]

1661- He is selected to be Justice of the Peace.

1662, Dec 4 - application for citizenship is filed.

1662 or early 1663 - Benjamin dies here in Calvert County, Maryland. He left three sons and five daughter whose ages ranged from about two years to seventeen years. At the time of his death the farm had not actually been purchased and Mary quickly closed the deal . [Maryland Archives, Vol 41, p.178]

The inventory of his goods included several silver pieces of tankards, cups, spoons, chimes, whistles, a silver hatband and a gold seal ring. He also had ninety pounds of gunpowder, some iron bars along with two dozen peregrine falcons.  He also owned "eleven barrows and two boars (about 2 years old), twenty-seven hogg sowes and barrows of about 2 years old apiece, twentlyfive piggs ans shoats under a year old, twelve cowes and calves, six cowes more, three stears of four years old, three stears of two years old, two hogs of two years old, and eight servts".  The "servts" were valued as much as all the other livestock together.  Even though one negro came with the land, Sarah, came with the property.  Mary in her will promised each child a servant when he/she came of age.[Inventories , Book 1E, p. 92, in Brashear, p.33]

Mary was left at about the age of 40 with eight children and sizable inventory but no property.   She rather quickly makes a contract to purchase the "Upper Bennet". 

"Knowe all men by these presents that I, Richard Bennitt, of Virginia, merchant, doe hereby alien, sell, and conveigh unto Mary Brasseur, widdow of the Cliffs, in the Provence of Maryland, and to her heires forever, all my right, title, and interest in that parcell of land on which she now lives, being eleaven hundred and fifty acres more or lesse, together with all stock of servents, cattle, hoggs, and whatever else thereupon or thereunto any wayes belonging or appertayning for and in consideracon of two hundred and twenty hoggsheads of tobacco (about 110,000 pounds) to bee paid according to speciallty und'r her hand and seale, bearing date with these presents, all which land w'th the servenats, cattle, &c. aforesaid were formerly treated and bargained to bee sold unto Mr. Benois Brasseur, in his life time, which became boid by reason of defect and dislike in relaçon to the said land in point of quantity, and because hee, the said Brasseur, never had any livery and seison thereof from mee, nor never paid any thinge att all to mee for it, in which regard (I) have now bargained, sold, and delivered the said estate of land, &c. unto the aforesaid Mary Brasseur and her heires aforesaid, and doe promise and bind myself, my heires, executors, and administrators to make such further conveighance and assurance of the premisses as is requisite and as it layes in my power to doe whensoever the same shall be demanded or required.
       The servants'  names are as followeth:  Theo. Smith, Geo. Davison, William Whitehead,  Tho. Frost, and Sarah -- a negro woman. 
      I doe allso hereby give unto the said widd'w Brasseur full, quiett pssession of the afforesaid land, servants, cattle, hoggs, &c., with warantee ag'st all or any person or persons whatsover clayming any right thereunto by, from or under mee or my heires.
     In witness whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand & seale the 17th day of Aprill, 1663.
                                                                                                                        Richard Bennett
     Sealed, subscribed and elivered in pr'sence
     of: Thomas Sterling, Robert Brasseur.
[Provincial Court Proceedings, 1663-1664,  Maryland (Bound volume in DAR Library, Wash, DC, p. 178); Maryland Land Patents,  Book BB, p. 238; Maryland Archives, v. 41, p. 178.]

Mary makes a long detailed will before she marries Thomas Sterling.  Thomas Sterling filed a prenuptial contract that gave up all claims that he might have to any part of Benjamin's estate. 

      Will of Mary Brasseur, widow of The Cliffs:
She bequeths "two hundred acres of woodland to Robert, two hundred acres of the like land to Benjamin, and also two hundred acres of the like to John Brassures, my sons," ... "when they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares;"..then the said land remaine and be to such daughter and daughters to me".  "To Benjamin"  two cows,  "to John" one heifer, "to my son Robert" two hundred acres which is next adjoining unto and on this side that parcell of land lately sold unto my brother in law Robt. Brasseur;  that Benjamin, my son, shall have his two hundred on this side of my son Robert; and that my son John shall have his next unto Benjamin's." 
      "... to my daughter Mary two heifers,...to my daughter Ann two heifers,.... to my daughter Susannah two heifers,.... to my daughter Martha three heifers,.... to my daughter Elizabeth three heifers,..."
     " I give my five daughters each of them a servant to be delivered them at the age of sixteene years or day of marriage, which shall first happen."
     "... And I nominate and constitute my loveing friends, Thomas Sterling, and Robert Brasseur, my brother in law, to be overseers of this, my last will and testament,  ..."   [MdHR Wills, Bk 1, pp. 187-89/ Brashear p35-37]

Thomas Sterling became through the head rights of this marriage one of the largest land owners in Maryland.  When he filed his will 24 Jan 1684, proved 27 Jun 1685 he names his wife as Christian [nee Dalrymple] life interest in hme place of "Upper Bennett", his son Thomas Sterling Jr. "Upper Bennett" , 500 acres "Major's Choice," 550 acre Stirling's Chance," and 40 acres (unnamed)..   daughter, Elizabeth, 1000 acres .. brother Derumle 500 acre residue of "Nova Scotia", "   Thomas Sterling doesn't mention any of the Brashear step-children in his will.   [Brashear 39]

1668-  Mary Brashear Sterling's will enters probate, meaning that she had died before this date and also before "The 10,000 pounds of tobacco was the purchase price of the 320 acres" for Robert Brashear "The Elder" could be paid due to his death in 1666. [Brashear 38]     

SOURCES:

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