Branscomb/Branscum Genealogy

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

by Fred Tubbs







The children of Edmund Branscomb, son of Thomas and Tabitha Branscomb

Following is the line of descent for the children of Edmund Branscomb:

Following is information concerning the known children of Edmund by his two wives. The 1810 census shows a white male below ten years of age who is not otherwise known, so he is not tabulated as a son of Edmund and Joanna although he may well have been. The marriage records for Greensville County show that John W. Branscomb gave security when in 1824 Eliza Branscomb married William B. Allen. If John W. was the otherwise unidentified son from the 1810 census, his name should have appeared in subsequent tax rolls. The 1810 census also shows a female age 10-16 in Edmund’s household, and she also has not been identified further. The known children of Edmund and Joanna are Benjamin, Thomas, Eliza and Edmond.

  • 121. Benjamin Branscomb, b. 1792 in Greensville County, d. 1862 in Jackson County, Ohio. Md. in Greensville County 7 December 1815 Tabitha Seward (1796-1891). Nine children. See the separate page that provides a lengthy history for Benjamin and his family.

  • 122. Thomas Branscomb. The tax rolls for Greensville County suggest that Thomas was born circa 1798. The 1820 census for Greensville County suggests that he was between 16 and 26 years old (=b. 1794-1805); in 1830 he was probably the male shown between 20 and 30 (b.1800-1810); and in 1840 he would be between 40 and 50. The 1850 census gives his age as 54 (=b. ca. 1796) At the estate sale for Elizabeth Harrison on 15 December 1821 in Greensville County Thomas Branscomb bought a sheet and a “counterpin” (=counterpane), and Edmund’s son is only Thomas Branscomb known to be present in Greensville County at the time. Thomas md. in Brunswick County 12 November 1823 Mary Ann Wyatt. In 1829 Edmund Branscome & wife conveyed a deed to Thomas Branscome (book 6, p. 355); this deed is still to be explored.

    In his will Thomas’s father Edmund appointed Thomas as co-executor with his brother-in-law William B. Allen, and stated as his “will and desire” that Thomas would “take my daughter Polly to his hands and bring her up and support her decently during her life.” Edmund did not bequeath any property directly to Thomas, who had no doubt received property from his father earlier in that 1829 deed, but Thomas was to receive some property upon the death of Polly.

    Some controversy appears to have surrounded the will, however, and, once it was proved to be a valid will, both Thomas and William Allen “refused to take upon themselves the burden of the Execution thereof.” Further study of the records for Greensville County is necessary in order to ascertain whether Thomas did carry out his father’s wishes in caring for his half-sister, Edmund’s daughter Polly. Further discussion appears under the headings for Edmund’s son Robert D.

    The 1850 census for Greensville County shows Thomas and Mary Ann in dwelling #129:

      Age Sex  
    Branscome, Thomas  54 m  
         Mary 42 f  
         M. A. 21 f Martha A.
         T. E 20 m Thomas E., student
         Elizabeth 15 f  
         Henrietta 12 f  

    The 1860 census shows the family on p. 44, dwelling #306

    Thomas Branscomb   62  
         Polly A. 53  
         Martha A. 32  
    George Allen 29  
         Henrietta 20  
    Harriet Stuart 14 Black
    Sabella Branscomb 5  

    The presence of Harriet Stuart in the family is strong evidence that she was not a slave; she had a surname. Nothing further is known for her.

    Some information for these children of Thomas and Mary Ann come from Ray Sasser’s notes which accompany his transcription of the 1850 census:

    • 1221. Martha Ann Branscomb, b. ca, 1829, may not have been the oldest child of Thomas and Mary Ann, but she is the oldest of the known children; further research is needed. Sasser cites Marriage Book 1, p. 23, as recording her marriage in 1864 to Benjamin E. Woodruff. The1850 census for Greensville County shows Benjamin E. Woodruff (as B. E.), age 38, in dwelling #178; his wife was M. R. (= Minerva A., according to Sasser, who says also that she was still listed with Benjamin in the 1860 census.
    • 1222. Thomas E. Branscome, b. ca. 1830. Md. in 1856 Lucretia V. Cole. The 1850 census for Greensville County shows Lucretia and her brother L. W. in the home of John W. and Carolyn W. Potts. John was the county clerk of court; the census also gives his occupation as “Merchant.” Sasser states that Lucretia and L. W. were the children of William and Susan Cole; the fate of these parents is unknown.

      A number of deeds from Deed Book 9 for T. E. and Thos. E. Branscomb (various spellings of the surname) are still to be explored:
      • 1854 (p. 290), Collier Sally to Thos. E. Branscomb.
      • 1857 (p. 400), T. E. Branscom & wife to Zacharia T. Doyle.
      • 1857 (p. 402), T. E. Branscom & wife to F. E. Richardson; also T. E. Branscom & wife to Jno. S. Ivey.

      1858 (p.468) F. E. Richardson to T. Branscomb & others, Trustees for church.

      This last deed may have been to someone other than Thomas E., son of Robert and Mary Ann; the deed books may provide additional information.  Fortunatus Edmond Richardson was listed as next door to Enoch Branscomb in the 1850 census

      Perhaps soon after the last listed transaction for T. E. Branscom, Thomas and Lucretia migrated to Lowndes County, Ala.: the 1860 census for that county shows them in Haynesville  on p. 512: Thomas E. Branchcomb was age 29, and his wife Lucretia was 24, both b, Va.; their one son, T. E., age one year, was born in Alabama.  The 1860 slave schedule for Lowndes County shows an entry for James W. Cook on p. 309: “By T. Branscomb, manager, 75 slaves, about ½ age 15 or older.”  The later history of Thomas E. and his family is unexplored, but for a hypothesis about his history circa 1852, see the next entry.

      • 12221?  Sabella Branscomb, b. ca. 1855, could have been a late child for #122 Thomas and Polly, it is more likely that she was a grandchild:  the register of marriages for Brunswick County which is available at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, has an entry on p. 434 for the marriage on 24 March 1852 of Thomas Branscomb and Sabella H. Walton. The given name for this child may well reflect the name of her mother. The only reason for hypothesizing that the father could have been #1222 Thomas E. is the child Sabella’s presence in the home of Thomas’s parents in 1860, after Thomas had married Lucretia and had moved to Alabama. Too many possibilities exist at present to do more than surmise; other Thomas Branscombs were present in Greensville County.

    • 1223. Mary Elizabeth Branscome, b. ca. 1835, md 1856 in Greensville County #241 Stith Patrick Branscome, her second cousin once removed. They migrated to Tippah County, Miss., prior to 1870, and the 1879 census shows them there with two children; more information will be posted under Children of Enoch Branscomb and Sarah Richardson at a future date.
      1224. Henrietta Branscome, b. ca. 1838.  Several sources name her husband as George D. Allen, son of her aunt #123 Eliza. The 1860 census does show her name after that of the name of George Allen, age 29, implying strongly that she was George’s wife. I would like to see a record for the marriage to be sure that her cousin George D. Allen rather than some other George Allen was in fact her husband; otherwise, I question why the 1860 census shows George D. Allen, age 29, in the home of his parents (see under #123 Eliza). Such duplicate entries are not unknown, but neither are they frequent. More research is needed. (#1224 Henrietta should not be confused with Henrietta W., b. ca. 1828-1832, d/o William B. Allen and #123 Eliza Branscomb; see below.)
  • 123. Eliza L. Branscomb was shown to be the daughter of Edmund by the marriage record in which her father gave consent. Sasser gives her name as Elizabeth L. Branscomb. She married on 16 January 1824 William B. Allen, who may have been the s/o William Allen who married on 11 November 1811 Rebecca Ingram, (presumed) sister of Eliza’s mother Joanna and thereby Eliza’s first cousin. Several William B. Allens were in the vicinity, however, and identifications are difficult. The 1850 census shows Eliza’s age as 52 years (=b. ca. 1807-1808); William was age 47 (= b. ca. 1812-1813, and too young for a marriage in January 1824, so we must presume that William’s age is not reported correctly.

    The will of Eliza’s father Edmund (in 1844) did not mention Eliza, but it did mention William B. Allen prominently. He was appointed co-executor along with Edmund’s son Thomas Branscomb, and he was entrusted with three Negroes until such time as young George Branscomb (son of Edmund’s deceased son George) became of age. As co-executors William and Thomas would have responsibility for the proper care of George if for some reason his mother was unable to care for him. The refusal of William and Thomas “to take upon themselves the burden of the Execution&rdquo of Edmund’s will, raises questions concerning the execution of the will and of a possible controversy among the heirs, questions which might be resolved by careful perusal of the Greensville County court records for the period. See further below under the heading for Robert D. Branscomb.

    The 1850 census for Greensville County, dwelling 148, showed the family thus:

      Age Sex  
    Allen, W. B.  47 M  
         E. L. 52 F  
         G. D. 20  
         W. B. 16 M  
         J. C. 13 M  
    Branscome, G. L. 11 M  
    Ogborne, J. W. B. 27 Teacher
         H. W. 22 F  
         Elizabeth 6/12 F  

    The Branscome G. L. is Eliza’s half-brother #125 George L. Branscome, age 11, who became the ward of William (and Eliza) under the will of Eliza’s father Edmund Branscomb.

    The 1860 census for Greensville County shows William B. Allen Sr. and his family on p. 44, dwelling #305:

    William B. Allen Sr.  58  
        Elizabeth L. 60  
        George D. 29  
        William B. Jr. 24  
        Joseph C. 22  
    Henrietta W. Ogburn 28 teacher
         Bettie O.   " 10  
         Mary          " 8  
         George E.   " 8  
         John           " 4  
         Henrietta    " 1  
    John W. Ogburn  No age was given merchant 
    The ditto marks for the five children listed after Henrietta confirm that their surname was Ogbirn.

    The children of Eliza and William B. Allen, as shown by the 1850 and 1860 censuses:

    • 1231. Henrietta W. Allen, b. ca. 1828-1832. She is listed out of order in both the 1850 and 1860 censuses. The censuses make clear that she was the wife of John W. B. Ogburn/Ogborne. Sasser states that the Greensville County death records report the death of John W. B. Osborn at age 35 in June 1860; assuming that Ogburn and Osborn were the same person, he must have been on his deathbed when the 1860 census was taken.; Perhaps Henrietta was a teacher out of necessity in order to support the family. It is possible that Greensville County records and the 1870 census might provide further information about Henrietta and her family. Her children (the assumption is that the surname was Ogburn):
      • 12311. Elizabeth Ogburn, “Bettie,” b. ca. June 1860
      • 12312.   Mary Ogburn, b. ca. 1852 (twin)
      • 12313. George E. Ogburn, b. ca. 1852 (twin)
      • 12314.   John Ogburn, b. ca. 1856
      • 12315.  Henrietta Ogborn, b. ca. 1859
    • 1232. George D. Allen, b. ca. 1830, appears to have md Henrietta Branscomb, who was, evidently, #1224, d/o Eliza’s brother Thomas and therefore George’s first cousin. More research is required.  One correspondent gives Henrietta’s name as Henrietta Wilkerson Branscomb, but that may confuse her with Henrietta W. as shown in George’s household in 1850.
    • 1233. William B. Allen Jr., b. ca, 1834-1836.  Because of the numerous persons with this name, it is difficult to determine details for all of them.
    • 1234. Joseph C. Allen, b. ca. 1837

  • 124. Edmond Branscomb Jr., b. ca. 1807 (according to the tax rolls for his father, Edmond became 16 years of age around 1822 or 1823). Edmond md. (1) in Greensville County 3 November 1830 Martha R. Caudle. Before 1840 he had moved to Jackson County, Ohio. A separate page gives the known data for Edmond, his marriages and his children.

    The children of Edmund Branscomb and Elizabeth May, as shown in Edmund’s will, were George L., Robert D. and Polly.

  • 125. George L. Branscomb. The first known mention of George L. Branscomb is from the marriage records: E. Branscomb gave consent when on 15 February 1840 George L. Branscomb md. Mary A. D. Robinson in Greensville County (cited by Vogt, p. 14). Parental consent was necessary because George was below the age of 21. Because the 1820 census does not list any children in the family in the age range of 0-10 years, it seems apparent that George was born after the 1820 census was taken. Mary was also under age, and her guardian Joshua Sills gave consent.

    The only other known mention of George is from Edmund’s will, made in February 1844, which refers to him as “George L. Branscomb, decd.” George and Mary had one son, also named George L. Branscomb. Edmund bequeathed three slaves to young George, and he appointed William B. Allen as trustee to retain possession of the slaves until such time as George L. reached the age of 21. George was also to receive “one bed and furniture [=bedding].” Young George is also mentioned in the will of his uncle, Edmund’s son Robert D. as the beneficiary of Robert’s entire estate. And since Robert in his turn was the beneficiary of his father’s residual estate not otherwise bequeathed, that was a significant bequest. Nothing more is known currently for either George L. or for Mary the wife and mother.

    • 1251. George L. Branscomb Jr.; see the discussion for him under #125 George L, his father. At the time of the 1850 census George Jr. was listed as 11 years old in the home of William B. Allen and #123 Eliza Branscomb. (see above)

  • 126. Robert D. Branscomb was younger than 21 years of age in February 1844. (Edmund’s will stated, “should he die. . . before he arrives to twenty-one years of age,”.) Robert inherited the family home and all of the remainder of the estate not otherwise bequeathed.

    Robert lived only six years after the death of his father. He made his will on 7 August 1850, and it was proved at the October court 1850 (Will Book 15, p. 328). The will does not name a spouse. Robert named his nephew George L. Branscom as his heir and specified that no part of his estate was to go to (his brother-in-law) William B. Allen. If George L. predeceased him his property was to go to his niece, Martha A. E. Loyd. Thomas P. Lloyd was executor. (Brunswick County Will Book 15, p. 328; the account of the estate sale, held 25 November 1850, was on p. 543.) These Loyd/Lloyds were probably connected with the Polley Loyd who witnessed the statement Elizabeth May made concerning her marriage to Edmund Branscomb.

    As suggested in the statement proving the will of Edmund in 1844, and as stated under the headings for some of Robert’s siblings, there seems to have been some animosity related to Edmund’s will among some family members, illustrating the old adage (variant), “where there is a will there is a war.” Insufficient information is known currently to explicate the reasons or even the existence of such animosity, but a statement that singles out William B. Allen as someone who is not to receive any part of his estate is a strong indication of enmity.

  • 127. Polly (= Mary) Branscomb was a minor in 1844 (= b. after 1826), as shown by the third provision in her father Edmund’s will:

    Thirdly, my will and desire is that at my decease my son Thomas Branscomb shall take possession of my negro man Dick and one bed and bedstead and furniture and at the same time take my daughter Polly to his hands and bring her up and support her decently during her life and at her decease, the said negroe man Dick and the said bed and furniture I grant to my son Thomas Branscomb and his heirs forever.
    The intent of this statement is no doubt that while she was alive the “negro man Dick” and the bed were to be the property of Polly, but the wording does not convey that intent unequivocally. The statement also implies that Polly was not expected to live long. It is impossible now to ascertain whether Polly was destined for an early death, also whether the language of the will was imprecise by implying such a destiny. The Marys in the 1850 census for the household of #122 Thomas were (1) his wife, age 42, and (2) Elizabeth, age 15 (= b. ca, 1835), who, according to Sasser, was Mary Elizabeth Branscome. Mary Elizabeth could well have been Thomas’s sister rather than his daughter, but I am going to consider her his daughter until sufficient evidence is found to support a different conclusion.

See also
Edmund Branscomb, son of Thomas and Tabitha Branscomb
The connection between Branscombs and Hunsingers


Copyright 2007
Frederick B. Tubbs

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