Tag Archives: Aquilla Brasher

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

Aquilla Brasher & Mary: Who Are Their Children?

Assigning documentation to Aquilla Brasher is a risky business. Aquilla and Mary (MNU) Brasher are my husband’s 5X great grandparents. That is, unless Aquilla’s brother, John Brasher, was his 5X great grandfather. Read on, please!

One record that helps immensely in identifying Aquilla is his baptismal record of dated 28 July 1740 in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Aquilla was the son of Thomas and Sarah (MNU) Brasher. It isn’t exactly known when the Brashers left Maryland, but Aquilla migrated with his parents to Orange County, North Carolina by 23 October 1782, when both he and probably his brother, Thomas, not his father, registered land grants in Chatham County, North Carolina.

Family reasons for leaving Maryland are unknown, but I suspect that it may have been related to the Brasher family’s Tory leanings. No records have been found for anyone in this family fighting for independence from England.

Another clue pointing to their political beliefs may lie in the fact that they were friends with and married into the Hamby and Bobo families. The Hambys are also part of my husband’s line and they were offered a choice in North Carolina – get out or get hung! They wisely decided the better choice was to move and they relocated to the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina before heading en masse to Kentucky.

The Brasher stay in North Carolina wasn’t lengthy either, as the 1790 census shows Thomas, Aquilla, Samuel and William enumerated in Greenville County, South Carolina.

Now, it is likely, just likely, that Aquilla in 1790 is the same Aquilla born in 1740 in Baltimore County, Maryland.

1790 Census
Source: Ancestry

Here is where things get a bit murky. There are two Aquilla Brashers enumerated in Greenville, South Carolina in 1800. We have Aquilla Brasher, page 48, and Equila Brasher, page 66. However, both of these men are aged 26-44, so born between 1756-1774. Neither man is old enough to be Aquilla born in 1740.

Further, if either was born before c1769 and 21 in 1790, he could be the Aquilla Brasher enumerated that year.

There is also a land deed dated 20 November 1808 whereby one Aquilla Brasher of Greenville County, South Carolina sold land to Thomas Jones of the same place.

The question is which Aquilla sold this land??? We have three possible Aquillas from which to choose.

Aquilla born in 1740 might easily still be alive in 1800 and 1810, but no further record beyond the 1790 census can be said with much certainty to belong to him. No probate records have been found for Aquilla Brasher in South Carolina or in Kentucky.

Aquilla and Mary (MNU) have four children attributed to them:

1. Thomas, born c1773, Chatham County, North Carolina; died 7 September 1852, of flux, Christian County, Kentucky; married Catherine Croft. His death record give Chatham County as his birthplace. Catherine was born c1778, North Carolina; died after her husband, but before 1860, probably Christian County, Kentucky.
2. Lawrence, born before 1774, probably Chatham County, North Carolina since Thomas was born there; died before 24 September 1847, Christian County, Kentucky; married Elizabeth Black, c1792, probably in Greenville County, South Carolina.
3. Jane, born c1780, probably North Carolina; died after 1850, probably Christian County, Kentucky, as she was living wit son Matthew’s family; married Benjamin Armstrong, c1800, probably Greenville County, South  Carolina.
4. Aquilla, born c1786, probably Greenville County, South Carolina; married Lucy (MNU); died after 1860, probably Madison County, Missouri.

The big question here is what records were used to assign these children to Aquilla and Mary Brasher?

The answer is simple: I don’t know. I’ve thought myself that Lawrence Brasher, my husband’s ancestor, might be a son of John Brasher and his unknown wife.

Both John and Aquilla Brasher were sons of Thomas and Sarah (MNU) Brasher, so the line goes back to the same grandparents., but John Brasher also left few records.

Take a look at the 1800 census of Greenville County, South Carolina:

1800 Census of Greenville County, SC
Source: Ancestry

#1452 at the top of the page is John Brasher Sr. #1462 is Samuel Braysher and #1463 is Laurance Brasher, my husband’s ancestor.

The Longs in between them married into the Brasher family and also migrated to Kentucky with the Brashers. Aquilla and Equila Brasher, both of whom I mentioned earlier, are on pages 48 and 66 of the same census, while Lawrence Brasher is on page 78.

Lawrence Brasher appears only in a few land records and censuses himself and I can only prove that he died before 1850 when his heirs filed a land deed identifying themselves.

So, the big question remains, who were the parents of Lawrence Brasher?

We need to take one more step backwards to look at the family of Thomas Brasher, baptized 1 September 1701 in Baltimore County, Maryland.