Robert Brasseur Family
France, England & Virginia

Robert Brasseur/Brashear/Brassieur
b. c1597 ? France
d. 4 Dec 1665 Calvert, MD

m. unknown
b. ...                            d. ..
her father: ............. wife:

his father: unknown Huguenot
his mother: unknown Huguenot
Benjamin Benoit Brassieur*/Brashear b. before 1620 France@ # d. Dec. 1662 Calvert Co., Maryland m. Mary Richford b1621-30
her 2m. Thomas Sterling
(betw. 25 Jul 1663 - 2 Aug 1663)
Mary Brassieur* b.c.?1622 ? France* d. shortly after arrival with name being reused * probably didn't marry
John Brasseur* b.c.?1624 ? France* d. lived Nansemond Co., VA 1m. Mary Cocke (dau. of Thomas Cocke)
2m. Mary Pitt 1672 (dau. of Robt. Pitt
became a Quaker and many years a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses
Thomas Brasher*
(little documentation for inclusion, C. B.*)
b. c 1626 or before d. before 9 Mar 1709 lived in Cecil Co., MD m. Catherine d. bef. 17 Jun 1709 (who had a son, John Brasher, b. 17 Nov 1708)
Perside "Persie" Brasseur*
(a French feminine name)
b. 1628 * d. 1665 m. (?possibly John Cobreath)
Robert Brasseur Jr.*
(called himself "The Elder")
b. c 1630* d. 5 Dec1665 Calvert Co., MD.@ m. Florence (?Rey)
Katherine "Cabell" Brassieur* b. 1632 * d. between 27 Oct 1687 and 6 Mar 1688/9 m. (?possibly Mark Clare)
Martha Brasseur* b. ?1636 Isle of Wight Co., VA* d. 1m. Capt. William Moseley (prior to 21 Jan 1659 - d. after 13 Dec 1675)
2m. Capt. George Taylor
(prior to Feb 1683)
Margaret Brasseur* b. 17 Jul 1642 Isle of Wight Co., VA*@ d. 7 Dec 1706 Chuckatuck Par., Nansamond Co., VA m. Thomas Fleming Jordan, JR. c1658 , (1634-1699) "she became an ardent Quaker"*
Mary Brasseur* b.3 Jan 1645/46 Isle of Wight Co., VA* d. before 1713 1m. James Biddlecombe
2m. Col. Samuel Peachey

* family according to Brashear, Charles and McCoy, Shirley Brasher. A Brashear(s) Family History, Vol. 1 (of eight) The First Two Hundred Years of Brashears in America, Charles Brashear/Shirley McCoy, 1998

@ children as listed with Russ Williams using Judge Price research on the Bolling Family prior to 1958
% records in the LDS files
#birth place based on Benjamin's citizenship paper where he declares he is "a subject of the Crowne of France" and assumption that both Robert and Benjamin were here before 1637.[Back]

The family name Brassieur/Brashear is spelled many different ways in records for this family. It is common to find the same ancestor with records spelled in any number of the following ways: Brashere, Brassure, Brasseur, Brasheure, Brashear, Brasheare, Brasheer, Braysier, Brashairs, Brassieux, Brassier, Brassewr, Brassere, Brasshear, Breshears, Bresshears, Brasher, Bosher, Boucher, Breshiers, etc. According to one researcher there are calculated to be at least thirty-five variations of the name.

Our particular Robert Brasseur came to the new world very early in the development of the Virginia Colony. Jamestown was first established in 1608 and Robert Brassieur is assumed to be here already by 1636. The first known record of Robert Brasseur is the renewal of his promissary note in Warrisquicke Co., VA, on June 1, 1636 [Nugent, Cavaliers and pioneers, v. 1, p.41] At this date the total population of Virginia was only a few thousand. According to Troy Back, "George Washington's great-grandfather, was only four years old and the Declaration of Independence would not be signed for another one hundred and thirty-nine years. " [Back p. 6] This implies that Robert had been here long enough to borrow money, buy land and have the note come due. [Brashears/McCoy p. 4]

Charles Brashear is convinced that we have no idea who Robert's wife may have been. Several researchers have listed that Robert was married to Elizabeth Fowke of France and others that it was Florence. He has found no evidence to support either of these marriages to this first Robert. Robert Sr. was certainly in the colonies by 1636 and had grown children by 1653, if his wife was left at home she would have been rather elderly by her immigration if she was indeed the Florence who came over in 1653. Is seems more likely that it would be the new wife of Robert Jr. who went back with his brother to bring in the relatives.

Robert and Benjamin Brashear are listed in the Register of Huguenot Ancestors. There are a couple of things wrong with the following registration.  One is that the Isle of Thanet parish was off the coast of Kent County, England only separated by a sand spit but certainly not part of France.  The family may have moved there as a first refuge from French persecution and then later traveling to Warrisquicke Co., VA. This is on the south side of the James River rather across from Jamestown and the present-day Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties. The birth dates are also probably incorrect and doesn't fit the known facts. 

1637, November 24, A land-lease contract is filed in Virginia for another individual that the land is "bounded... West on land of Robert Brasheare"
[VA Land Patents, Book 1, p.503]

It does not appear that Robert Brashear owned the land on which he lived but three months later he files the following patent registered as "Robert Brassure and Peter Rey" on "Warrisquicke Creeke and butting upon Nanzemond river".

1640, Oct 6 -  Robert Brasseur apparently paid for the passage of another French couple as was common method for aquiring land or helping out relatives.  He was issued a patent for head rights for "100 acres in Upper Norfolk Co, on the western branch of Nansemond River, opposite a 400 acres tract of Lawrence Peters, for the transportation of Peeter Bersairdier and Reene Bersairdier." (VA Land Patents, Book 1, p.736; see also Edward Pleasants Valentine Papers, v.1, p. 213.)

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]

Also on this date , a patent was issued to Benjamin Brasseur for three hundred acres on a "a creeke called Indian Creeke being a branch of Nansemum river" for the cost of transporting six persons into the the colony. "
[VA Land Patents, Book 3, p. 33]

Since Benjamin was given a patent it seems reasonable to assume that Robert and Benjamin were traveling together and that both of them had been in the colony before November 24, 1637. It is conceivable that Robert Brasseiur Sr was the individual here earlier as Russ Williams contends and that both Robert Jr and Benjamin came later but my bet is with the brothers. Benjamin's patent was renewed and recorded again on March 26, 1656. It was an apparent precaution against litigation.
[Va Land Patents, Book 4, p. 40]

1658 - Benois Brasseur is in records in Calvert Co. Maryland on a tract of land called "Bennett". This is Benjamin Brassieur of the earlier record.

1659- Margaret Brasseur, daughter of Robert Brasseur, marries Thomas Fleming Jordon, son of Thomas Jordan who was born in 1600 in England.  Thomas Jr. was born in 1634, he died 8 Oct 1699.  They lived in Chuckatuck in Nansmond, Virginia. Thomas and Margaret became a Quaker in 1660 for which they were persecuted beginning in 1664.  Thomas was fined and imprisoned several times for his beliefs.  Their son, Robert Jordan, born 11 July 1668 and died in 1728, became a prominent Quaker minister.   Thomas Jordan Sr. was "a soldier under Sir George Yeardley.  He settled in the present Isle of Wight, and was burgess for Warrasquoacke at the sessions of 16 October 1629, of 21 February 1631-2, and 4 September 1632.  On 2 July 1635, he patented 900 acres in the County of Wrrasquioake, "neare the old Indian Towne, at an oake mark'd w'th three notches, being upon the North west side of the river running West North west into the woods a mile; and soe runing down the river, to a Cross Creek, a small oake being there, marked with twoe notches."[William and Mary College quaterly historical magazine, Vol. 27, page 122]

Living in Virginia was not without its trial and tribulations.  Being a Huguenot or Quaker in an Anglican controlled area became uncomfortable enough that Benjamin Benois Brasseiur moved his family into Maryland where he became a citizen. 

Benjamin's Citizenship papers state that

Benjamin Brasseur dies barely a year after he is granted his citizenship. Mary Brasseur, widow of The Clifts, files her last will and testament on 25 of May of 1663. In this she says that she sold 320 acres to her brother in law Robert Brasseur, gives 200 acres to her sons Robert, Benjamin and John. [Hall of Records of Maryland, Wills, Bk 1, pp.187-89]
See more on Benjamin Brasseur on Cheryl's Pages.


For more on the Brassieur / Brashear line see Cheryl's Pages
Cheryl's Family button

Elroy's Family Index | Ancestor Chart #192 | French Huguenot History



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