SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Selman Family Index
Allied Families: Sellman/Selman | Richford

 

The Brashear (Brasseur) Family

French Huguenots from France Who Found Freedom in Virginia and Maryland


The Brasseur family were French Huguenots, dissidents against the Catholic Church, searching for freedom from religious persecution by immigration to Holland, England, then America before 1635.  They settled in CalvertCo, Maryland.  The surname has been spelled Brasher, Brashear(s), Boshears, Brashier, Brasier, Brazier, Basher, Bashier and even Bradshaw.  The original is thought to have come from the French word "Bras" meaning arm (a part of the body) and "Seuir" meaning Lord or Knight.  Most Brashers and variants of the name come from Benois' sons Robert, Benjamin and John, however, there appears to be another branch that entered the American Colonies through the New England area.

There are generally two versions of the background of Benois Brasseur before coming to America.  The Brasseur Family history has been most thoroughly researched in recent times and published by Charles Brashear in two volumes titled A Brashear(s) Family History.  The origin and background of earlier versions of the origin of Benois Brasseur is thorougly discussed in the new work as "The deBrassier NONSENSE".   Individuals from the deBrassier family of Carpentras, France are listed here, but not linked to Benois Brasseur.

 

Benjamin (Benois) Brashear (Brasseur)
Parents:  Robert & Florence? Brasseur

Born abt 1620 France     Died abt May 1663 CalvertCo, Maryland

Married Mary Richford (Rickford)

Born 1630     Died 1685 CalvertCo, MD

 

Children
Robert (abt 1646-1712)
m. 1. Unknown
2. Alice (Jackson)

Benjamin (d. 1675)

John (abt 1650-1696)
m. Anne Dalrymple

Anne
m. William Dalrymple Jr.

Susannah (1650-1692)
m. Mareen Duvall

Elizabeth (abt 1654-1728)
m. Jonathan Sellman

Martha (aft 1658-1688)
m. Henry Kent Jr.

Mary (abt 1660-1702)
m. Christopher Ellis

1658:  Regional historians say that Benois entered negotiations with Richard Bennett for 1,150 acres, where he built in or about 1658 a home now known as Upper Bennett.

1661:  Benois Brasseur was named first Justice in 1661 and later Sheriff.

1663:  Mary Richford Brashear's will was recorded in 1663 along with a prenuptial contract with Thomas Starling.

Will of Mary Brasseur, widow of The Clifts:

In the name of God, Amen. I, Mary Brasseur, widow of the Clifts, in the Province of Maryland, being of sound and perfect mind and memory, but knowing the uncertainty of this life, do make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and forme following: Imprimis [in the first place], for the natural love and affection I bear to my children and for their future maintenance and livelyhood, I give and bequeath to each of them as followeth; that is to say, 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, the said land to come to them and either of them, their heires & assignes for ever, when they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares; and in case any or either them shall depart this life before he or they shall attaine to his or their respective ages of one and twenty years, the land of him or them so dyeing shall remaine and be to the surviving brother or brothers; and my will and desire is that no timber trees shall be fallen for any use whatsoever on the said land until the said children shall come of age; but if they shall all depart this life before they shall attaine to their respective ages, then the said land to remaine and be to such daughter and daughters of me, the said Mary Brasshear, as shall then be living, the said six hundred acres of land being part of the land on which I now live, seituate at the Clifts, and bought by mee of Mr. Richard Bennett, merchant. 

Item. I do also give and bequeath unto each of my sons above-named one feather bed, with the rug, blankets, curtains, and such like appurtenances to the same belonging.

Item. I give to each of my sons, when they shall attaine to their respective ages, one servant a peece.

Item. To Benjamin one cow, called the Wild Heifer, and another, called Goate; to my son John one heifer named Dainty, and one heifer named Starr, the said cowes and heifers, with their female encrease, to be delived to them at such time and when they shall attaine their several and respective ages aforementioned; and if any or either of them shall depart this life before they shall come of age, the said cattell, with their female encrease, to be equally divided between the surviving brothers; and my will and desire is that the two hundred acres of land that I have bequeathed to my son Robert shall be the 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; and 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.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary two heifers, called and known by the names of Pascoll and Phillpaill, with their female encrease, to be delivered to the said Mary when she shall accomplish the age of sixteene years or day of marriage, which shall first happen. Also, I give and bequeath to my daughter Ann two heifers, called and known by the names of Ioneeasy and Sarah, with their female encrease, to be delivered to her when she shall accomplish the age of sixteen years or day of marriage, which shall first happen; also I give and bequeath to my daughter Susannah two heifers, called and known by the names of Fancy and Pye, with their female encrease, to be delivered unto her when she shall accomplish the age of sixteene yeares or day of marriage, which shall first happen; also I give and bequeath to my daughter Martha three heifers, called and known by the names of Brouning, Primrose & Roase, with their female encrease, to be delivered unto her at such time and when she shall accomplish the age of sixteen years or day of marriage, which shall first happen; also I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth three heifers, called and known by the names of Christmas, Cole and Nutt, with their female encrease, to be delivered unto her at such time and when she shall accomplish the age of sixteen years or day of marriage, which shall first happen; and in case either of my said daughters shall depart this life before they shall accomplish their severall and respective ages, then the cattle, with their encrease, of her or them so dyeing to remaine and be and equally to be divided amongst the surviving daughters.

Item. I give my five daughters each of them a servant to be delivered them at the age of sixteene yeares or day of marriage, which shall first happen. As for that part of my estate that I shall have at my decease and not herein and hereby already given and bequeathed, I give and bequeath to my daughters, equally to be divided between them, share and share alike, to be delivered them at such time and when as they shall accomplish their several ages or days of marriage, which shall first happen. And my will and desire is that if I depart this life before my children come of age, the overseers of this, my will, take care that my children shall peaceably and quietly enjoy the plantaçon I now live on, with all appurtenances whatsoever, without the lett or molestaçon of any person or persons whatsoever until they shall accomplish their severall and respective ages or days 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, desireing them in all things to see it carefully performed; and I publish and pronounce it to be the absolute last will and testament of mee, Mary Brasseur.

IN WITNESS whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand and seale, May the five and twenty, one thousand six hundred sixty and three. The marke of Mary [ MB ] Brasseur Signed and sealed as the last will and testament of the said Mary Brasseur in the presence of: Theophilus Lewis, James Pugslep (MdHR Wills, Bk 1, pp.187-89).

Two months after her will, which was apparently made to protect her children with Benois Brasseur, Mary Brasseur, Widow of the Clifts, filed a prenuptial contract with Thomas Sterling, with whom she planned to marry, that relinquished all claims he might
have to any part of her estate:

WHEREAS by God's assistance and permission, ther is a marryage shortly intended to be had & solemnized between Thomas Sterling and Mary Brasseur, wid'w, late wife of Benjamin Brasseur; and whereas the said Mary Brasseur hath made her last will & testament in [ ? ] writing und'r her hand and seale, and therein & thereby disposed of most of the estate the said Benjamin dyed possessed of, amongst her children; now if the said marriage shall take effect, these may certifye [to] all those whom it any wayes concernes that I, the said Thomas Sterling, for naturall love I beare unto the said Mary Brasseur, wid'w, and out of affecçon to her children, doe grant, assigne, and sett over all the residue of the estate that was late the said Benjamin Brasseur's, that I shall dye possessed of, as cattle, hoggs, houses, land, household stuffs, and whatever else the said Mary Brasseur hath not given nor bequeathed in her last will and testament unto Robert Brasseur, her brother-in-law, to and for the sole onely proper use, benefitt, and behoofe of the daughters of the said Mary, equally to be divided betwixt them as they shall attaine to theire severall & repective ages or days of maryage, which shall first happen; and that they shall bee and remaine peaceably att the new plantaçon of the said Mary Brasseur till such times as they come of age or are maryed, according to the tenor & effect of the said Maryes will, without the lett, disturbances or molestaçon of mee, the said Thomas Sterling, or any one from, by, or und'r mee. WITTNESS my hand and seale the twenty fift of Julye, one thousand six hundred sixty three.  Thomas Sterling
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of: Robert Heighe, James Hume

And I furthermore promise that the said Mary Brasseur shall dispose as she will her selfe of the 10,000 lbs of tobacco due from Robert Brasseur upon bill, as witness my hand. (MdHR, Testamentary Proceedings, Book 1, pp.126-27. Copy in Back and Brashear, The Brashear Story, p.15-16.)

Author Charles Brashear relates:  The 10,000 pounds of tobacco was the purchase price of the 320 acres. But brother-in-law Robert died 5 Dec 1665, before it could be paid; in 1666, his will was being argued in court. Mary Brasseur died about the same time; her will entered probate in 1668. On 2 Aug 1663, Benjamin's widow, Mary, who had married Thomas Sterling after 25 Jul 1663, registered:

A list of rights due Mrs. Mary Sterling never entered upon record or land taken up for them, viz ... Benjamin Brashear Sen, Mary Brashier Sen, Robert Brashier Jun, Benjamin Brashier Jun, John Brashier, Ann Brashiers, Susanna Brashier, Martha Brashier, Elizabeth Brashier, Thomas Sterling, Edmond Joyce, Joseph Owen, transported Anno 1661 ... John Selman, Andrew Munrow, Mary Tire, Thomas Smith, Thos Frost, George Davison, John Morgan, William Whitehead, Robert Jarvis, John Cheney, James Polley, Alice Woodyard, Robert Welk (or Webb), Nathan Daw, Robert Brashier Sen, Thomas Morgan..... Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Sterling and Mary my wife have assigned unto Thomas Trueman all our right and title of thirteen of those rights of land first mentioned, as witness our hands this 2 of August 1663.  /s/ Thomas Sterling /s/ M S [her mark] Witness: Robert Brashier. Jam:s Ingley

The said Mary had a warrant in her husbands name, Thomas Sterling, for the remainder of her rights, being 800 acres, dated 20th September return last May next ...


Robert Brasseur

Born abt 1595 France

Died abt 1677 NansemondCo, Virginia

Married  Florence

ChildBenois Brasseur (abt 1620-abt 1663)

 


Allemand De Braissieur De Jorcas

Born 1575 France     Died 1625 France

Married Madelaine De Cheilus

Children
Francois

Pierre

Catherine Marie

Marguite

Robert

Gaspard

Benois ?


Espirit De Braissieur De Jorcas

Born 1550 France     Died 1592 France

Married Francoise De Jarente

Child: Allemand De Braissieur De Jorcas (1575-1625)
m.
Madelaine De Cheilus


Barthelemy De Braissieur De Jorcas

Born 1515 France     Died 1556 France

Married Espirit Choiselat

Child: Espirit De Braissieur De Jorcas
m. Francoise De Jarente


Jean De Braissieur

Born about 1480 France    

Married Catherine De Bellesmanieres (b. abt 1480)

Child: Barthelemy De Braissieur De Jorcas
m. Espirit Choiselat


SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved