Thomas Brasher was baptized on 1 September 1701, Baltimore County, Maryland, the son of William and Elizabeth (MNU) Brasher.
There is a lot of mixed up information online about Thomas. He has been turned into a different Thomas, given the middle name of Levi, and married to several different people.
However, it appears that this Thomas married twice. He married (1) Sarah Constant, daughter of John Constant, 23 October 1726, in St. George’s Church, Baltimore County, Maryland. He married (2) Hannah, who was likely the mother of his younger set of children, still underage when he wrote his will in 1770. Hannah died after 17 October 1779, when she signed off (her X Mark) on a land deed with James and Catie (her X mark) Brazier and Samuel (his X mark) Brazier.
There is a gap of four years between the births of Thomas’s children, Aquilla, in 1740 and Sarah in 1744 and a second gap of about four years between Sarah’s birth and Hannah, who was born c1748.
Sarah Constant Brasher likely either died before Sarah was born in 1744 and the younger Sarah was named in memory of Thomas’s first wife, or else she may have died after Sarah’s birth and Thomas then married Hannah, c1745-1747.
The will of Thomas Brasher helps sort out his children. He wrote it on 17 May 1770, but Hans Black, a witness, didn’t appear in court to prove it until May 1784. Thomas died somewhere in that 14 year window, but most likely died before 17 October 1779, when James Brazier and Catie, along with Samuel Brazier and Hannah Brazier, sold the plantation on which James was living, 100 acres in size, to John Elliott for 500 pounds. This sounds like the legacy give to James and Samuel Brazier.
Will of Thomas Brasher, Orange County, NC, Proved 1784
Source: FamilySearch, WB A:286-287
In the Name of God Amen, This 17th day of May in the year of our Lord 1770 I Thomas Brazier of the County of Orange in the province of North Carolina being weak of body and in a declining way, but of perfect mind and sound memory thanks be given unto god & therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men one to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say principally and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of him that gave it and my Body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a Christian and desent (decent) like manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection, I shall recieve the same again by the mighty power of god, and touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased god to bless me iwth in this life, I give, devise dispose and bequeath of the same in the following manner and form.
Imprimis First of all that all my lawfull debts, and funeral charges, be paid.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Brazier one shilling Sterling money of Great Britain to be paid at my decease.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son John Brazier one Shilling Sterling money of Great Britain to be paid at my decease.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Aquilla Brazier one Shilling Sterling money of Great Britain to be paid at my decease.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my two youngest sons James and Samuel Brazier my land and plantation consisting of one hundred acres to be divided eqully between them when they arrive at age.
Item. I give my daughter Elizabeth Jones one Shilling Sterling money of Great Britain to be paid at my decease.
Item. I give to my daughter Sarah Pyle, one Shilling Sterling money of great Britain to be paid at my decease.
Item. I give to my daughter Hannah Teague one Shilling Sterling money of Great Britain to be paid as my decease.
Item. I give unto my dearly and well beloved wife Hannah Brazier all my personal Estate consisting of all my goods and Chattels of every kind whatsoever, during her widowhood at at her marriage or decease the said personal Estate to be equally divided among my youngest daughters, Mary, Cassa, Jean and Rachel, to be paid them as they marry or come of age.
Be it likewise remembered that as my wife is to have the full possession of my personal estate during her widowhood that is to raise the young Children on. I Likewise constitute and appoint John Pyle Senr. and William Cox Extrs of this my last Will and Testament and I do hereby disallow, revoke and disavow all and any former wills or Legacies or Testaments by me heretofore made ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament. As witness my hand and Seal the day and year first above written.
Thomas (his T mark) Brazier (Seal)
Published declared and pronounced by the said Thomas Brazier to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us the Subscribing Witnesses
Wm. Pane (Paine)
Orange County May Court 1784
The Executors of the above Will was duly proved by the Oath of Jance Black one of the Subscribing Witnesses thereto and on motion was ordered to be Recorded.
Jesse Benton (Seal)
Between the Maryland church records and Thomas’s will, his family can be constructed.
It is likely that his first six children were with wife Sarah Constant. The mother of daughter Sarah, born 1744, is unknown, at least to me. It is likely that the seven children beginning with daughter Hannah were by Thomas’s second wife, Hannah (MNU).
1. William Brasher, born 18 November 1727, Baltimore County, Maryland; probably died before 1770, as he is not mentioned in his father’s will.
2. Elizabeth, born 15 May 1729, Baltimore County, Maryland; died 18 May 1729, Baltimore County, Maryland.
3. Thomas, born 18 June 1731; Baltimore County, Maryland; died c1789, Greenville County, South Carolina; married Sarah (MNU).
4. Elizabeth, born 25 November 1733; died after 17 May 1770; married Mr. Jones.
5. John, born 23 May 1736, Baltimore County, Maryland; died after 17 May 1770.
6. Aquilla, born 28 July 1740, Baltimore County, Maryland; died after 23 October 1782, when he received a land grant in Chatham County, North Carolina; married Mary (MNU).
7. Sarah, born 12 June 1744, Baltimore County, Maryland; died c1815, probably Christian County, Kentucky; married John Pyle, c1767.
8. Hannah, born c1748, Maryland; died after 1820, possibly in Rowan County, North Carolina; married Abraham Teague, c1769.
9. Samuel, born c1752, probably Maryland; reportedly died in Franklin County, Georgia; married Hannah Cox, c1793.
10. James, born c1754, Maryland; died c1835; married Catie, before 17 October 1779, probably Orange County, North Carolina. Catie signed off on the 17790 land deed. (DB 2:237-238)
11. Cassia, born c1756, Maryland
12. Jean, born c1759, Maryland
13. Rachel, born c1761, Maryland
While this proves the family of Thomas Brasher, it does nothing to shed light on the parent of Lawrence Brasher, born c1764. Both Aquilla and John were alive as of 1770 and of an age to have a son born when Lawrence was born.
Neither Aquilla nor John can be identified for sure in the 1790 census and they may have died before then.
If there are any Brasher descendants out there who can help unravel this mystery with documentation, I would love to hear from you!