Aquilla Brasher of MD, NC, SC and KY

Aquilla Brasher was a man on the move throughout his lifetime. He is my husband’s 5X great grandfather.

Brasher Family Migration

Aquilla was born 28 July 1740, Old Spesutia Church, Baltimore (today in Harford County), Maryland, the son of Thomas Brasher and his wife, Sarah (maiden name unproven, but possibly Constant or Constance.)

When he was young, Aquilla migrated to Chatham County, North Carolina with his parents. This particular branch of the extended Brasher family isn’t found in Revolutionary War patriot records. I suspect, since they married into and migrated westward with several known Tory families, that they were not in favor of American independence!

Aquilla Brasher first appears in the Chatham County records on 23 October 1782, when he, Thomas Brasher and the orphans of William Brasher, deceased, all recorded land grants from the state of North Carolina.

The American Revolution wasn’t quite over yet, so the reasons for the Brashers to move to North Carolina right at that particular time aren’t clear.

However, their stay in North Carolina was brief, as not quite two years later,  Aquilla Brasher sold the land granted to him to Eli Newlin. Why the family again pulled up stakes and moved is a mystery.

Aquilla and Mary Brasher to Eli Newlin, 1784
Chatham County, North Carolina DB C:308
Source: FamilySearch

I haven’t transcribed the deed because the only important items gleaned from it are the date the land was sold and that Aquilla’s wife, Mary, was named. Her maiden name has never been discovered.

Next stop in the migration path was Greenville County, South Carolina. Here things get a bit murky. The Brashers, like many other families, were in the habit of favoring some given names more than others. Besides this Aquilla Brasher, there was his son, Aquilla, born c1786 and Aquilla, son of Thomas, born c1784.

It is thought that Aquilla Brasher is last found in any recorded document on 29 November 1808 when he sold land to Thomas Jones. It was noted that Jones resided in Greenville County, South Carolina and Aquilla was “of Kentucky.”

Have you already spotted the problem? The two younger Aquillas would both have been just over 21 in 1808. There are no land deeds for heirs of Aquilla to be found in Greenville County.

The land sold in 1808 to Thomas Jones totaled 138 acres:

Aquilla Brasher to Thomas Jones
Greenville County, South Carolina DB H:446-447
Source: FamilySearch

Again, I am not transcribing the land deed because only the acreage and date are important here. The 138 acres of land is 62 acres of land short of what Aquilla Brasher purchased from Taply Henson in Greenville County in 1786. That deed does not plat the land in the conveyance so it is impossible to tell if the 138 acres is part of that 200 acres. There are no other deeds found in between those sales in Aquilla Brasher’s name.

Is the Aquilla Brasher of 1786 the same man who sold the 1808 land? I don’t know. What I am certain of is that there was only one Aquilla Brasher on the 1808 tax rolls of Christian County, Kentucky and only one man of that name on the 1810 Christian County, Kentucky census. That household had one young male, three aged 16-26 and one female aged 16-26.

It is possible that Aquilla Brasher Sr. died in Greenville County. It is also possible that he sold off his land, used part of it to finance the move to Kentucky and/or gave it to one of his children to support him in his senior years. No probate record has been found for him in Kentucky either.

The bottom line is that no one can prove whether Aquilla Brasher died in South Carolina or whether he made the move to Kentucky and died before 1810.

No Brasher enumerated in 1800 in Greenville County, South Carolina has a male in the home old enough to be Aquilla. No Brasher enumerated in Kentucky in 1810 has a male old enough to be Aquilla. It’s my personal opinion that Aquilla Brasher died in Greenville County, South Carolina sometime between the 1790 census where he was enumerated, and 1800 when he is no longer found.

Aquilla Brasure, 1790 Census of Greenville County, SC
Source: Ancestry

Four children have been attributed to Aquilla and Mary Brasher:

1. Lawrence, born before 1774, probably North Carolina; died before 2 October 1849, when his heirs sold his land; married Elizabeth Black, c1792, probably Greenville County, South Carolina. She was born c1774, probably South Carolina; died after the 1850 census when she lived with son Elijah’s family.

2. Thomas, born c1773, North Carolina; died after the 1850 census; married Catherine Croft, c1793, probably Greenville County, South Carolina. She was born c1773, North Carolina; died after the 1850 census.

3. Jane, born c1780, probably North Carolina; died after the 1850 census when she lived with son Matthew’s family; married Benjamin Armstrong, c1800, probably Greenville County, South Carolina. He was born 1770-1780; died by 2 November 1846, Christian County, Kentucky, when his will was recorded in court.

4. Aquilla, born c1785, Greenville County, South Carolina; died before 5 December 1865 when probate began on his estate, Cedar County, Missouri; married Lucy (MNU). She was born c1786, South Carolina; died after the 1860 census. They were alone in the home at that time.

It is very possible that Aquilla and Mary Brasher had other children, but with the combination of the time period and the lack of vital records in South Carolina, they may never be identified.

My husband’s line of descent:

  1. Aquilla Brasher and Mary (MNU)
  2. Lawrence Brasher and Elizabeth Black
  3. Hampton Brasher and Altezara Jane Woodruff
  4. Emsley Harrison Brasher and Mary Woosley Perkins
  5. Joseph Henry Brasher and Minnie Mae Williams
  6. Pearl Lillian Brasher and Earl Marcus Stufflebean
  7. Edward Earl Stufflebean and Ruby Jewel Sturgell
  8. David Lee Stufflebean

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