This is a working history of the first known BRAM(B)LETTS in the United States. Our surname, spelled with a number of variations due to the lack of importance/consistency in spelling before 1900, leads us back to William Sr who probably migrated here from England. Trying to find Bram(b)lett's (any variant spelling) in modern day England (or old England) has, thus far, been fruitless. It appears our surname is probably a corruption of something else but what exactly, I don't know. Following are leads that have surfaced in England: The BAMLETT family dates back to at least the 1540's and appears to have, originally, been centered in Devonshire. In the area of Yorkshire and Durham, by the 1600's, there are families named: BRAMFITT, BRAMFELETT and BRAMFETT. These people appear to be separate from the BAMLETTS and may have a root ancestry in the BROMFLETE family (1300's) of Yorkshire, other variations found in Yorkshire & Durham includes: BROMFIT, BROMFE(E)T and BRO(O)MFOOT. Norfolk records have turned up a few BROMLETS in the mid/late 1600's. Additionally, researching the Netherlands has produced one family (early 1700's) of BRAAMSLOOT (try pronouncing it Bramslot). Mike and I chased after a family of BROMBLETTS (1700's) in France, until Mike heard from a French Historical Society that the progenitor of this family was originally from England. So if anyone has a connection, ideally someone living in England, we could sure use help with further research…contact mike--AT--bramblett.com, or me, Gale Bramlett at GMBP44--AT--aol.com.
(Replace the --AT-- with @ before sending your e-mail)
A 1690 transport record lists the name Ambrose BAMBLET. He was transported by John Lydell along with 44 others to VA. The record shows John received 2000+ acres in New Kent Co., VA for his efforts. No other record of Ambrose has surfaced so we don't know what happened to him. The question is: Could he be the father of William?
The first known William Bramlitt/Bramlett in the US was born (best estimate) Bef 1694. Under English Common Law he had to be 21 to be a witness to the deed dated 1716 and son Henry Sr was born Abt 1710. We don't know where he was born but he lived in Essex & Caroline Co., VA (see posted records/references) and moved Abt 1750-1752 to Lunenburg Co., VA. [part of Lunenburg formed Bedford Co., VA, in 1754.] The 1752 Lunenburg Co. tax list shows William Sr and William Jr Bramlett living in the same household. William Sr probably died soon after giving his stock & household goods to son-in-law Stephen White in November 1759. This action, along with comments regarding his will "bearing date 6th of February 1750" and maintenance "agreeable to my age" shows he was an elderly man in 1759.
Based on Virginia records, the following persons are believed to be William Sr's children. I have listed them in no certain birth order. Concentration is on the males because they impart the surname to succeeding generations:
Stephen White married Agatha Bramlett. They moved to Adair Co., KY. According to the White Family History, Stephen lived to be 101 years old. As stated earlier, by 1759 William Sr. was too old to work so he and Steven entered into an agreement for Stephen & Agatha to look after him until his death.
One of the earliest records in Bedford Co., VA is the will of James Bramlitt, dated 1758. It contains the only currently known record of sister, Nancy Bramlett. A 1744 deed in Caroline Co, VA provides the best estimate of his age/birth (21 to be a witness), born before 1723. No mention made of children in James will and no record found (to date) of guardianship (required by law) for minor children belonging to him.
Hennings Statutes at Large - Volume 7, pg.'s 205-210:
September 1758, 32nd George II
To the Militia of the County of Bedford, and provisions furnished by sundry inhabitants of the said county, viz.
To Amhus Bramlett.....8 shillings
To Ambrose Bramlett, Serjeant....2 lbs, 17 shillings, 4 pence
To William Bramlitt....5 lbs, 19 shillings
To Ambrose Bramlett, Ensign.....7 lbs, 18 shillings
To James Bromlet...…2 lbs, 14 pence
This is a pay record for service in the French & Indian War of 1754-1758. Only one William & one James listed but Ambrose is mentioned at least twice. Its possible Amhus is a misspell of Ambrose because no further mention of an Amhus has been found anywhere, any state. Ambrose may have served first as a private, promoted to Serjeant and finally to Ensign (army, old style). From Ambrose daughter, Theodosia's obituary (1853 Kentucky Statesman), we know he achieved the rank of Colonel during the War of Independence. It goes on to say, "The family residence on the banks of the Yadkin was burned by British Troops." The above Pay record appears to correlate to the land grants/patents given to Ambrose & William Jr., Ambrose (with higher rank) receiving 750 acres in 1765 and William (1770) receiving 500 acres. James, who died in 1758, may have been mortally wounded in service but that's purely speculation on my part.
Ambrose is well documented in Bedford Co., VA. In 1752, soon after the family arrived in Bedford, Ambrose was listed as a tithable (had to be 16+ years old, b. Bef 1737) in the house of Richard Callaway…this being Col. Richard Callaway who later moved to Boonesborough, KY. In 1757 Ambrose bought lot #28 in the newly developed town of New London. In 1765 he received a patent for 750 acres in Bedford Co. and later, 1767/1768, sold portions of this land. The May 1768 deed says "him thereunto moving" The same year (1768) he's listed on the tax list of Gideon Wright in Rowan Co., NC. His marriage to Jane Woodson is recorded Nov 1768, in Pittsylvania Co., VA. Subsequent Bedford Co., VA deeds dated 1779 and 1792 place him in Surry Co., NC and Wilkes Co., GA respectively. Tax records also confirm his places of residence. His will, 1804 Wilkes Co., GA, name's wife Jane "Janny" and all his children: Theodosia, Lydia, Jesse Hughes, Sarah, Steven Hughes, William, John, Lunsford Meredith, Mary Ann and Elizabeth.
Reportedly a biographical sketch of the family of Sarah Bramlett and James Callaway appeared in the 1890's in the Louisville, KY Courier. I've yet to find the correct date (mo/year) the article appeared. Anyone with any information, please e-mail me.
Elizabeth Bramblet married James Buford on July 14, 1761 in Bedford Co., VA.
Our Kin, A history of Bedford Co., VA, pub circa 1900 says, "Elizabeth was the daughter of William Bramlett, one of the oldest settlers of Bedford Co." It goes on to say, "James Buford moved to KY with his family and died in Scott Co., KY after 1798." Another reference says, "Capt. James Buford (1740-post 1798) married, 1761, in Bedford Co., VA, to Elizabeth Bramblett, daughter of William Bramblett, early settler of Bedford Co., VA. Virkus. Vol. 5, pg. 475,
The Rev. William Bram(b)lett Jr, believed to be the son of William Sr (might be a grandson), married Anna Ballard Abt 1760-1762. Anna was the daughter…inferred in court records/deeds…of Richard Ballard of Bedford Co., VA. William's home, Cedar Hill, is still standing (see posted picture/info). According to Reminiscences from the Life of Col. Cave Johnson (1760-1850), who was an eyewitness to the event, a rather large party was returning to VA from Bryant's Station, KY in the summer of 1779. The Rev. William (Bethel Baptist of Bedford) was mistaken for an Indian and shot by Aquila White (no known relation to Stephen White) near the Cumberland River. KY Court records show William established Bramlett's Station 'on a branch of Stoner's Fork, a branch of Licking' this same year, 1779. William's children are all accounted for by deeds naming them as heirs (9 equal, undivided parts) they are: James, Reuben, William, Elkanah, Mary, Milly, Lydia, Matilda and Lucy. James moved, Abt 1808/9, to Wayne Co., KY and, later Abt 1821, to Breckinridge Co., KY. Reuben remained in Bedford. I believe Elkanah went to Wayne Co. and Jersey Co., IL but have not yet verified his age on census records. William's whereabouts unproven.
Lucy Bramlett married Thomas Lumpkin March 4, 1778 in Bedford Co., VA. No parental consent was given for her to marry, so she had to be 21+ years old and born Bef 1758. To date, nothing more has been found on her. Question: Whose BRAM(B)LETT daughter was she, or, was she the widow of a Bramlett? Later, in 1798 Bedford Co., Anne Bramblett married Thomas Lumpkin. This Anne must be the widow of William Jr, (she's not his daughter) and Thomas Lumpkin (only one Thomas Lumpkin in Bedford during this time period) has to be the widower of Lucy. Thomas listed on the 1830 census as age 80-90 (b. 1740-1750).
Henry Bramlett Sr (born Abt 1710, wife unknown) believed to be William Sr's eldest son, bought 250 acres in King George Co. [Prince William Co., VA formed from King George, Fauquier Co formed from Prince William] deed recorded 1735. It was Henry Sr's son, William b. Abt 1732, who moved to SC. Also to SC were Henry Sr's grandchildren, offspring of sons Henry Jr and Reuben. Henry Jr's widow, Margaret "Peggy" moved to SC too.
Prince William Court Minutes -- 27th November 1752. Henry gave up his position as constable. It is believed this refers to Henry Sr. who may have been ill and unable to carry out the duties of the position.
Regarding Henry Sr's descendants, following is some information showing where/when they moved:
Fauquier County Rent Roll 1770
Henry 250 acres
Reuben 150 acres
William 123 acres
William, who lived in Prince William/Fauquier Co. VA is named on a survey of a tract of land "12 March 1755…houses of Wm BRAMLETT & widow Gist on plat" He's also named on Fauquier Co, 1759 & 1770, tithable lists. He moved, about the time he received a 300 acre land grant from Gov. Bull in 1774, to the area now known as Laurens Co., SC. He appears on the 1779 SC Jury list, "for the upper part of the middle division between Broad and Saludy Rivers" & the 1779 SC Tax list. In a 1787 SC deed son Enoch 'real heir of William' sold some of his inheritance 'part of larger survivors grant to said Wm. Bramblet 25th April 1774.'…Santford appears as a witness. Elizabeth, believed to be his wife/widow is shown as head of her house in the 1790 SC Census.
Reuben, son of Henry Sr, moved to Bourbon Co., KY in 1795/1796 from Fauquier Co., VA. Quite a few records exist in Fauquier for Reuben and his sons, including land, tax and marriage records for 3 of his children. Tax lists show:
1778 Fauquier Co., VA. William Pickett's Tithable List:
Rubin Bramlett, Rubin Bramlett Jr., Hugh Bramlett
1782-1787 Taxpayers -- Fauquier Co., VA
Peggy Bramlett (widow of Henry Jr)
Reuben Bramlett, Sr.
Reuben Bramlett, Jr.
Reuben Bramblett Jr appears on the 1791 Fauquier tax list but it's the last time he's mentioned in the Fauquier records. Sister Milly married in Fauquier Co., in July of 1792. These two, and sister Polly, probably arrived SC late 1792/early 1793 with their spouses.
The 1795 Fauquier Co., Tax list shows:
William Bramblett (paid by Abram Cox)
Reuben Bramblett Sr
Lewis Bramblett (paid by Reuben)
1794-1795 Fauquier Co., VA, Reuben Bramblett trades 160 acres in fork of Rappahannock and Carter's Run to Martin Pickett for 500 acres out of 5000 owned by latter on Licking Run in Bourbon Co., KY
Tax lists of Bourbon Co., KY show:
1796; Hugh, Henry
1797; Reuben, Henry, Hugh, William
1806 Bourbon Co., KY. Reuben's will names wife Peggy; and children; Hugh, Reuben Jr, Henry, William, Lewis, Polly, Milly and son-in-law, John Grinstead. Living in SC are: Reuben Jr, Milly Robertson and Polly Robertson. Reference is also made by Reuben to 'land I claim from heirs of Martin Pickett.' Widow Margaret appears on the 1808 Bourbon Co. Tax list.
After Henry Jr's death in 1778/1779, his widow, Margaret "Peggy" is shown on the Fauquier Co. tax lists. She paid the tax 1782-1784. In 1784 her son Henry III sold the land, 'Henry of 96 District, SC to James Dobie 231 acres occupied by Margaret Bramblett.' The records show Henry III, son of Henry Jr, already living in SC by 1780. This record, 'Henry Bramblett of South Carolina and Fauquier Co., VA, Aug 5, 1780-Nov 1780, 231 acres from warrants. This land formerly held by a certain Henry Bramblett, father of sd Henry which the father died' also lists Reuben & John Bramlett as chain carriers for a re-survey of the land. Additional records/deeds in SC associate John & Reuben (pension papers filed in IL) and Nathan to Henry Jr's widow, Margaret, strongly indicating that they were all sons of Henry Jr. Margaret appears on the 1790 SC Census as head of her household.
By 1800 Henry III had moved on to GA. Children of William & Elizabeth: Enoch and Santford, had moved into Georgia & TN. Another Henry (to GA), Newton (stayed SC) & William (to TN) are also believed to be children of William & Elizabeth. Reuben, son of Henry Jr, left SC and moved to Christian Co., KY by 1802/3, and by 1818 had moved on to Saline Co., IL.
Not placed here is William of Darlington Co., SC because I'm not sure which family he belongs to. And the widow Polly in Garrard Co., KY, 1810, which family did her husband belong to?
Finally, this account will be updated if new information surfaces but this is what we currently (May 1998) believe to be the correct descendancy. Credit for this information belongs to every one who shared their research with this website, and, special thanks to Mike for making the space available to post it.