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    1. [BRAZELTON] Notes about John Brazelton (1741-1781)
    2. William Lindsey
    3. The following are my notes for John Brazelton, son of John Brazelton, the immigrant to Frederick County, Maryland. Note that they often cite notes I have filed in other files. I will gladly share any and all of my information on the Brazelton/Braselton family with family members and researchers who want it. Here are my notes: John Brazelton's dates of birth (13 Apr 1741)  and death (14 Mar 1781) are from his tombstone in the Springfield Friends' Cemetery, Guilford Co., North Carolina.  I have visited the grave and have a picture of the tombstone, which reads, "John Brazelton was born April 13, 1741.  Died March 14, 1781."  In a personal interview on 31 May 1995 at the Springfield meeting house, Brenda Haworth, curator of the museum attached to the meeting house, told me that the present stone was placed sometime in the 20th century to replace the original stone. Ms. Haworth showed me the original, which is now stored under the museum. It is an old slate stone with very faint lettering, obviously hand carved. On this stone, the date of birth is partly worn away; it appears to be April 15th, 1741, but the 5 could easily be a 3. The original tombstone, which Brenda Haworth tells me John's family placed on his grave, spells his name as Brasselton, using the old double S spelling. At the time of John's birth, various records place his parents in Prince George (later Frederick) Co., MD.  Records cited below suggest that, at his death, he was living in Guilford Co., North Carolina.  At the time of JB's death, his brother William was also living in Guilford Co. 9th day 4th month: John appears in Fairfax Friends' monthly meeting minutes witnessing the marriage of Joseph Wright of Menallen, Pennsylvania, monthly meeting to Mary Farquhar of Pipe Creek meeting. The marriage was in the latter meeting. William and Isaac Brazelton, John's brothers, witnessed the same marriage. Prior to his move to North Carolina (via Virginia), John appears in a number of Frederick Co., Maryland, land records. On 22 June 1763, John Brazelton, Sr., and wife Bridget deeded parts of Black Oak Hill and Level Spring to son John, who then sold the land to Valentine Miers the same day (see file of John Brazelton, Sr., for details on this source). On 13 Apr. 1765, along with brother William, John sold his share of Level Spring on Black Oak Hill in Frederick Co. —evidently intending to move to Guilford Co. with brother Wm., though Frederick records place him in Frederick Co. as late as 1776. See file of William. Brazelton/Braselton Family Newsletter 8 (15 Oct. 1994), p. 21, has a photocopy of a 7 Nov. 1765 patent to John for a tract of land called Brazelton's Chance. In Brazelton/Braselton Family Newsletter 16 (25 Jan. 1998), Glenn Brazelton reports that a map of land tracts in Frederick Co., Maryland, prepared by George Horvath, shows Brazelton's Chance being immediately adjacent Stringer's Neglect, another tract owned by John. Both are just south of the German Baptist Church, also known as Ivy Church, and east of Beaver Dam Creek. On 28 Nov. 1769, John sold the tract of 17 acres called Brazelton's Chance to  Alexander Thomas, the deed being rec. acres in Frederick Co. on 2 Dec. (DB M, 612-3). On 20 August 1776, John and wife Sarah sold to John Miller a tract called Stringer's Neglect in Frederick Co. (Frederick Co. Land Record Bk. BD-2, pp. 325-8).  Brandner states that this land was on Little Pipe Creek in the northeastern part of Frederick Co. Note that previously Stringer's Neglect had been owned by John's father John and sold to William and Elizabeth Williams, the latter evidently JB's sister — see files of John, Sr., and of Elizabeth Williams. John appears in the Frederick Co. Land Office Proprietary Debt Book, 1753-1773, from 1769 to 1773 as the owner of part of Stringer's Neglect, and from 1768 to 1770 for Brazelton's Chance. On the Proprietary Debt Book, see file of John Brazelton, Sr. John, Jr.'s, 1768 listing in the debt book for Brazelton's Chance, a year before his father deeded the land to him, suggests to me that he married in this year, and had set himself up on this tract of land as his homeplace. John was definitely married by Aug., 1776, when he sold land with wife Sarah. John's spouse Sarah was evidently the daughter of John Justice; on this, see file of John's wife Sarah Justice. In an 11 March 1992 letter to me and others, Glenn Brazelton states that John paid 2 shillings and 7 pence in 1769 on Brazelton's Chance and part of Stringer's Neglect. In this letter, Glenn hypothesizes that, after selling Stringer's Neglect in Aug., 1776, John moved his family through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to North Carolina. The move from Frederick County apparently occurred after 27 Dec. 1775, when John's name appears with those of his brothers Isaac and Jacob in a list of Frederick Co. associators returned on that date; for the citation, see file of Isaac Brazelton. Glenn Brazelton's hypothesis alludes to a 4 Oct. 1776 Washington Co., Virginia, record in which John appears. On this date, he witnessed the will of William Todd Livingston in Washington Co., Virginia. Glenn Brazelton's letter cites Shelby Edwards, abs., Washington County, Virginia, Will Book 1, 1777-1792, p. 73. Other witnesses to the will included William Williams, Matthew Mayes, Andrew Cowan, and Isaac Shelby. For Glenn Brazelton's theory that William Williams was the husband of JB's sister Elizabeth, see files of Elizabeth Brazelton and (Isaac?) Williams. Glenn Brazelton's 11 March 1992 letter notes that another source entitled The Livingstons of Virginia T gives 4 Oct. 1778 as the date of William Todd Livingston's will, and indicates that Livingston had been in both Maryland and Rowan Co., North Carolina (from which Guilford Co. was taken). William C. Stewart, Gone to Georgia (Washington, DC: National Geneal. Soc., 1965), p. 166, gives the will's date as 4 Oct. 1776. A transcript of the will is in Brazelton/Braselton Newsletter test version 3 (15 July 1992), p. 3. In the past, there has been considerable confusion about the circumstances and place of John's death. Pearl Ghormley Ingle's "Brazelton Family" (ca. 1926; cited in file of John Brazelton the immigrant) states that John went from Maryland to Kentucky, and was killed by Indians at Bear Grass Creek. This statement was repeated in queries in William and Mary Quarterly 6, series 2 (1926), pp. 68-69; and in Boston Transcript (27 Dec. 1926), p. 4948.  The William and Mary query is by Elizabeth Gaylord Rathburn of Lincoln, Nebraska. I suspect that the Boston Transcript query was also placed by Elizabeth Rathburn. Both state that John emigrated from Maryland to Kentucky between 1774-8, and was killed by Indians at Bear Grass Creek near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Both also identify this John as John, son of John the immigrant. In a 20 May 1991 letter to me, Dorothy Brandner that she has seen an 8 Sept. 1925 letter of Elizabeth Gaylord Rathburn which states that, when John was captured by Indians, he was so large that 3 Indian chiefs danced a war dance around his overcoat. However, as Dorothy points out, this story also assumes that John was son of John the immigrant, so it may not have a basis in fact. (I assume that the letter of Elizabeth Rathburn is in Lewis, Genealogy of Brazelton/Braselton Family; on this source, see file of Jacob, son of John the immigrant). Brazelton Newsletter 1,2 (1 Apr. 1990), p. 1 (published by Dorothy Dittmer, Akron, Ohio), attempts to discover the basis of the story regarding John's death. Dittmer notes that the story was clearly incorrect in assuming that the John Brazelton of Kentucky was son of John the immigrant, since John, son of John the immigrant, can be proven to have died on 14 Mar. 1781 in Guilford Co., NC. Dittmer's theory is that, somehow, the story of John Brazelton, son of John the immigrant, has been conflated with circumstances that pertain to the history of John's nephew John, son of Isaac, son of John the immigrant. Isaac's son John married Catherine, daughter of James Westerfield/Jacobus Westervelt. In Dittmer's view, the story of John Brazelton's killing by Indians probably refers to James Westerfield, rather than to John Brazelton, son of the immigrant, who clearly died in Guilford Co., N.C. In Brazelton/Braselton Family Newsletter test version 3 (15 July 1992), pp. 1-2, Glenn Brazelton discusses other legends pertaining to the death of John. According to Glenn, these are recounted by Fred Hughes in Guilford County, a Map Supplement (Jamestown, NC: Custom House, n.d.). Hughes states that John was a victim of Tory aggression during the American Revolution. According to this tradition, John fled a band of Tories and hid under hay in his barn in Guilford Co. When his pursuers prodded the hay with pitchforks, they discovered him and hanged him after a mock trial. Glenn says that Hughes lists John as a member of the Guilford Co. militia during the Revolution. Brazelton/Braselton Newsletter 8 (15 Oct. 1994), p. 21, has another version of the story of John's death. Here, Glenn Brazelton states that the Tories who hunted John down in a barn near the Springfield meeting house prodded the hay with pitchforks, then left. Afterwards, the body of John was found by Friends, who buried him in the Springfield cemetery. Yet another version of the story of John's death is in Blair Haworth, ed., Museum of Old Domestic Life (Springfield Friends Meeting: High Point, NC, 1976), p. 13. The source of this version of the story is oral history; Blair Haworth recorded stories his grandmother, Sarah Richardson Haworth (born 1896), told him as the two walked around the Springfield Friends' Museum. Re: the tombstone of JB, Sarah R. Haworth told her grandson the following: John was a musician in the Continental Army.Because he was a patriot, David Fanning's men pursued him into a barn not far from Springfield meeting house. John hid under a stack of hay, and was bayonetted by Fanning's men. They threw his body out and left it there, and Friends picked the body up and buried John in the Springfield Friends' cemetery. John's family put a marker over the grave some time after this, and this was the first marked grave in the cemetery. The Federal Writers' Project of the Federal Works Agency, North Carolina: The WPA Guide to the Old North State (Chapel Hill: Univ. of N.C., 1939), p. 389, has conflicting information about these matters. This source states that the Springfield cemetery contains the grave of John Brasleton, a British soldier fatally wounded in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Note that this battle occurred on 15 March 1781, the day following John's death.This makes me wonder whether, in fact, John's death was somehow associated with this Revolutionary battle. According to Burke Davis, Cowpens-Guilford Courthouse Campaign, Cornwallis and his British troops camped on 13 March 1781 at a Quaker meetinghouse between the forks of the Deep River (p. 144). Hugh F. Rankin, Greene and Cornwallis: The Campaign in the Carolinas (Raleigh: NC Dept. of Cultural Resources, 1976), identifies this Quaker meetinghouse as Deep River (p. 69). Note that Cornwallis' opponent, Gen. Nathaniel Greene of Rhode Island, was himself a Quaker, so that it might be possible that the Quaker community of Guilford Co. would have had sympathies with his forces, even if they tried to maintain their tradition Quaker pacifism. Note that in Oct. 1779, two Tories were captured by John's brother John and others at William Brazelton's house in Guilford Co. Could the death of John have been due to revenge for his brother's involvement in this capture of two Tories? According to various sources (see, e.g., Brazelton/Braselton Newsletter 1, 2 [1 Apr. 1990], p. 1), John was one of the first persons buried in the Springfield cemetery. Here, Dorothy Dittmer cites information provided by Mary Mellichampe of High Point, North Carolina, who also told Dittmer that, even though John is buried in a Quaker cemetery, he was not a Quaker. High Point Enterprise (High Point, North Carolina), 1 Jun 1942, Monday, page 10, has an article by Sara Richardson Haworth entitled “Springfield Friends Rededicate Church,” which contains information about John Brazelton’s death. This states that he was an American soldier hunted by Tories who hid under bales of hay in a barn, and was bayoneted to death. He was found by Friends and buried in Springfield meeting’s cemetery. The 1 Jan. 1788 will of JB's father John notes that John had died by the time the will was written. The will leaves 5 shillings to John's heirs. The North Carolina Archives does not have an estate file for JB. William D. Lindsey

    08/04/2019 03:56:34