On Monday, we started to traipse through the confusing Brasher records in Christian County, Kentucky. For my husband’s Lawrence Brasher, there are only a few details of his life that can be firmly documented. He was born in the 1760-1770 time frame, as evidenced by the 1840 census of Christian County, Kentucky. He married Elizabeth Black, daughter of Hans Black, who left a will probated in Christian County in 1808. I haven’t dwelt much on this, but his wife’s name isn’t in question in spite of the lack of South Carolina marriage records. Lastly, Lawrence died before 1850, but was he the one who died in 1836, leaving an oddly small estate inventory of only a gun, saddle, bed, mare and bridle, or did he die in the later part of the 1840s, leaving no probate records at all in spite of being married and owning land? I have no answer to that.
The last thing I mentioned in Monday’s post was that there is a land deed filed by Lawrence’s heirs in 1850 in which they sell off his property. I also mentioned that there was another oddity/anomaly here. There is no mention of widow Elizabeth Brasher in this will, although she was enumerated in the 1850 census.
There is also no mention of a daughter named Nancy Hamby, although it is said she was their daughter and James Hamby lived only two doors away from Lawrence and Elizabeth (if they are indeed the elderly couple living in the household of Lawrence T. Brasher.) Nancy Hamby died in the 1870’s. I would assume from this that Nancy Brasher was the daughter of one of the other myriad Brashers living there at the time.
Finding no probate records makes this all a lot of guesswork. Some families bought, sold and traded land among themselves without ever filing land deeds so not all sibling heirs sold land together. Sometimes widowed mothers signed over rights to children unofficially and so nothing was ever officially recorded documenting that fact.
Here is the land deed in question:
Lawrence Brasher’s Heirs
The important part of this deed is the beginning:
This indenture made the 2nd day of October in the year of our Lord 1849 between Edward Wooldridge and Margaret his wife, Enoch A. Brown and Sally his wife, Elijah Brasher, Laurence Brasher, William Brasher, Hampton Brasher and Elizabeth Bourland heirs of Lawrence Brasher deceased of the first part and George Berry (called George Terry in the rest of the deed) of the second part. . . . .
They received payment of $235.oo for the tract of land on a branch of Castleberry’s Fork (the same place where the Lawrence Brasher of 1803 had the land survey done.) Very oddly, the acreage is NOT recorded in this deed!
Signatures are noted for Hampton, William, Lawrence, Elijah, Enoch A. Brown, Sally Brown made her mark, Edward Wooldridge, Margaret Wooldridge made her mark and Elizabeth Bourland, apparently a widow, made her mark.
Thus, we have the following family composition for Lawrence and Elizabeth:
- Margaret (5 Jan 1798-5 Nov 1886) married Edward Wooldridge on 12 May 1816 in Christian County, Kentucky
- William (c1806-11 Oct 1859) married Nancy Thompson on 18 October 1830 in Christian County, Kentucky
- Elijah (28 Oct 1807-23 May 1894) married Sallie Long on 8 July 1846 in Christian County, Kentucky
- Sarah (13 Feb 1809-24 Aug 1884) married Enoch A. Brown on 17 March 1831, Christian County, Kentucky
- Lawrence (1814-1882) married Ailsie Lindley on 16 March 1837, Christian County, Kentucky
- Elizabeth (c1815-after 1870) married Edward Bourland on 28 January 1838 in Christian County, Kentucky
- Hampton (1818-19 Feb 1864) married Altezara Jane Woodruff, 26 March 1840 and Mahala Duncan in December 1847, both in Hopkins County, Kentucky
These children are all proven per the 1849 land deed. There are several other children purported to belong to Lawrence and Elizabeth:
- John Thompson Brasher, 8 Oct 1793-3 Feb 1848, married Elizabeth Williams on 17 May 1825 in Christian County, Kentucky. I would say this could be possible because John died before the land deed was executed. However, he and Elizabeth had at least five children per the 1850 census in which she is the widowed head of household. Why wouldn’t his children have inherited his portion of Lawrence’s estate?
- Nancy Brasher, 22 Sept 1795-9 Sept 1873, married James Hamby on 2 August 1813 in Christian County. If she is a daughter of Lawrence and Elizabeth, why isn’t she a party on the deed?
- Mary Brasher, c1807-before 1860, married Charles Armstrong on 19 February 1820 in Christian County. I doubt Mary’s age is correct in the 1850 census, the only other record in which she has been found, because she would only have been 13 when she got married. It’s more likely she was maybe 18 and then born about 1802, which would fit in the gap in birth years if she was the daughter of Lawrence and Elizabeth. However, once again, she isn’t a party on that deed.
Overall, I think it is not likely that any of these three Brashers are children of Lawrence and Elizabeth Black Brasher. Two of the three were living in 1850 and all had children who would have inherited in the right of their parents.
Having said that, because Lawrence’s widow is also not listed as a party to the deed transaction, there is a slight chance that the family divided up Lawrence’s estate among themselves. I really wish that a probate file could be found for him!