Branscomb/Branscum Genealogy

The Genealogy of
Richard Branscomb
of Brunswick County, Virginia,
and a Number of his Descendants

by Fred Tubbs







The Children of Benjamin Branscomb:
Joseph Edmond Branscomb

The line of descent for Joseph Edmond Branscomb:

(Note: Hereinafter the first three digits of the identification numbers are omitted. Please check the Author's Notes for an explanation of the numbering system I use for identifying individuals within any family.)

1. Joseph Edmond Branscomb

Joseph Edmond Branscomb was b. 9 October 1816 in Greensville Co., VA; he d. 31 July 1865 in Maysville, DeKalb Co., MO; bur. Maysville Cem. (Donna Serna , granddaughter of #1151 Ethel Irene Hansen, provided the DOB. Currently evidence is firm only for the year; that comes from the grave marker. Cletis E. Branscome [hereinafter CEB] considered Joseph E. to be a son of Edmund, whereas the record makes clear that he was a grandson. CEB may have derived Joseph’s birth year of 1813 from the 1850 census. The 1860 census and the cemetery records for Maysville, MO, show his birth year as 1816, and that date is compatible with the date of his parents’ marriage.)

Joseph’s given names derive from his grandfathers Joseph Seward and Edmund Branscomb. A family account says that Joseph went to Fayette County, OH, when he was 17 years old, which means that he probably left home approximately three years after the family moved to Jackson County, OH. At age 18 he married in Fayette Co. on 5 February 1835 Diana Pierce, who was born in Fayette Co. Diana’s name appears as “Dianna Perse” in the marriage record. Diana could have been no more than 16 years old if the 1850 and 1860 censuses show her age correctly. Family lore states that after Joseph and Diana married they moved to Washington County, but in 1838 they returned to Fayette County. (It is also possible that in March 1836 they were in Jackson County, because the family lore states that their firstborn son Benjamin was born in Jackson Co.; a young wife who was expecting her first child might choose to be with her experienced mother-in-law if her own mother was far away or possibly dead.) Later in 1838 they moved to Knox County, IL. On 10 July 1844 the Quincy, IL, land office issued to Joseph Branscomb a patent (cash entry) for 159.54 acres in Knox Co., the NW¼ of S31 T11N R4E as measured from the fourth principal meridian. According to The History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California, by Aurelius O Carpenter and Perry Millberry (Chicago: Historic Records Co., [1914], p. 1022) Joseph’s farm bordered on the Spoon River. In 1854 Joseph and his family moved to Dubuque, IA, and thence in 1856 to DeKalb Co., MO. The birthplaces of the children, as shown in several censuses, are in keeping with these dates.

The 1850 census for Knox Co., p. 310, showed Joseph’s family in household #11 in T11N R2E of the fourth principal meridian. If this location is recorded correctly, it is at least 12 miles to the east of the 1844 patent, and thereby it suggests additional land transactions for Joseph.

    Age Where born  
Branscum, Joseph 37 VA  
  Dianna 31 OH  
  Benjamin 14 OH  
  Virginia 12 IL  
  William 10 IL  
  Thomas 9 IL  
  Eliza 6 IL  
  Martha 3 IL  
  Sabory (fem.) 1 IL (See Rachel in the 1860 census)

During the next decade the family moved further westward, to DeKalb Co., MO; quotes Benjamin as saying that the move occurred in 1854. On 2 April 1857 Joseph E. Branscom received a land patent (cash sale) for 175.78 acres in DeKalb Co: the NW¼ of S18 T58N R30W from the fifth prime meridian. The 1860 census found them in Camden Township of DeKalb Co. (p. 566 [6?], household #41:

    Age Where born  
Branscom, Joseph E. 44 VA Farmer
  Diannar 42 OH Housekeeper
  Thomas M. 18 IL Farm laborer
  Aliza A. 16 IL Assistant housekeeper
  Martha 14 IL  
  Rechel 10 IL  
  Joseph 7 IL  
  Emily 5 IA  
  Charles 3 MO  
Branscom, William 26 VA Farm laborer ( Joseph’s brother)

Betty Lawrence found four deeds by which Joseph bought additional land in DeKalb Co. between 1862 and 1864. These deeds are recorded in Book H:

  • 30 August 1862, George H. Wyatt to Joseph Branscomb, acreage not specified (p. 198; also another deed from George Wyatt on p. 199)
  • 3 November 1863: Ira & Mary Brown to Joseph Branscomb, acreage not specified. (p. 422)
  • 8 March 1864, Brown & Chesmore to Joseph & Dianna Branscomb, 200 acres. (p. 624)

Joseph was said to be a staunch abolitionist. During the troubled years of the Civil War he became the sheriff of DeKalb County. A newspaper article in the Maysville Register told of Joseph’s death: Joseph had arrested some members of the Harvey gang who had robbed and terrorized people in the area. Later these people arranged with a Jacob J. Stoffle to kill the sheriff. Stoffle shot Joseph on 8 July 1865, and Joseph died from his wounds on 31 July. Stoffle fled to Kansas; a posse went after him but did not apprehend him. Another newspaper article, dated 5 January 1870, reported Stoffle’s capture; Stoffle’s backers threatened to lynch the persons who brought him in, and the captors let him go. He was finally apprehended and brought to justice in 1877 by Joseph’s son Charles and Joseph’s brother William (see the entry for #1A Charles). This time Stoffle pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Governor pardoned him two years later, perhaps because he was ill with tuberculosis. He died soon afterward.

A deed in DeKalb County shows that Deanna/Anner Branscomb sold Lot One in Maysville on 24 March 1868 to Augustus Stout (Book K, p. 119, note 3). Two years later, as “Anner,” she married in DeKalb County on 27 April 1870 William H. Addington (1851-1900 marriage index for Missouri). The 1870 census for Camden Township, DeKalb County, shows the family on p. 440:

    Age Where born  
Addington, William 61 NY Innkeeper
  Diana 50 KY  
Branscomb Charles 12 MO  
  Emma 14 IA  

Emma was Emily. Also in the household, or rather the inn, were several professional people, among them a physician, a druggist, a civil engineer, and an attorney.

The 1880 census ( p. 268) shows William, age 71, and Anna, age 60, still in the hotel, and again a number of guests were also listed. The address was given as 13 Main Street in Maysville.

Nothing is known of Dianna after 1880. Family lore holds that she moved eventually to Colorado and that she died there. (Also stated in Carpenter, op. cit.) Attempts to find evidence of her in Colorado have not succeeded.

See also:
The Children of Joseph Edmond Branscomb and Diana Pierce




Copyright 2007
Frederick B. Tubbs

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