Jean "John" Brevard, I (c.1665 - c.1733) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: France
Death: Died in Elk River, Cecil County, Maryland
Managed by: Pam Wilson
Last Updated:

About Jean "John" Brevard, I

Biographical text for Jean Brevard, from "Brevards, McKnitts, Alexanders, Research work of Kathryn Carter, 1994, San Antonio, Texas." Acquired by Pam Wilson from John Alan McCullough <74101.2030@CompuServe.COM> in May of 1997:

"Jean Brevard (c1675-c1735) was the first of the Brevard family in America. According to his grandson, Alexander Brevard, Jean Brevard was a French Huguenot who, a young orphan boy, left France to escape persecution after the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685. In the Edict of Nantes Henry IV had granted equal rights to his Protestant and Catholic subjects, and for about three quarters of a century the Huguenots, or French Calvinists, had enjoyed comparative safety; but Henry's successor, Louis XIV, renewed the persecution of his Protestant subjects, imposing disabilities and fines upon them; and when he revoked the Edict of Nantes, endeavoring to suppress all forms of worship except the Catholic, he drove from his dominions more than half a million of his most useful and industrious subjects."

"Nothing is known of Jean Brevard's life in France; but the name Brevard is probably from a French word breveter meaning to annotate,suggesting that his family may have been people of some education. The name appears variously as Bavaird, Bravard, and Brevard in subsequent records."

"When he left France, Jean Brevard went first to Ireland, where he may have joined other members of his famly who had previously migrated. The Heathmoney Rolls of County Donegal in the Ulster province of northern Ireland in 1665 contained the names of Robert Bavaird, as well as the Alexanders, McKnitts, Dales, Polks, and Wallaces with whom Jean Brevard was later associated in America."

"Tradition says that Jean Brevard came to America with the William Wallace family and that he may have married a member of that family about the time he left Ireland. There is no documentation of this marriage nor any record of issue from such a marriage. It is not known exactly when he reached America, but the will of William Wallace which was proved in Somerset Co MD on 15 Jun 1698 mentions him, thus establishing him as an American resident in or before 1698. "

"In Somerset Co Jean Brevard and the William Wallace family became a part of what was the first Presbyterian community in America. It was located at Manokin and included other members of the Wallace family and members of the McKnitt and Alexander families. Some of these families lived as neighbors in Somerset Co and later in Cecil Co MD; intermarried extensively; and finally migrated together to western NC. Their continued close association suggests that they were probably relatives in Ireland or perhaps even earlier in Scotland. Some of them had reached America as early as 1648, well ahead of the great influx of Scotch-Irish in the 1700's. They were probably political dissenters and seem to have been at least moderately prosperous, judging by the land holding they accumulated in America."

"About 1700 Jean Brevard went with John McKnitt, Matthew Wallace, and some of the Alexander family to Cecil Co MD. There he married a daughter of John McKnitt about 1711 or 1712 and settled with her near her father's home in the Elk River neighborhood of Cecil Co. There is no documentation of this marriage, but Cecil Co court records clearly establish Jean Brevard as John McKnitts' son-in-law. His wife may been Katherine McKnitt, who was born in Manokin, Somerset Co. MD in 1686; or the wife may have been Katherine McKnitt's younger sister Mary McKnitt, who was born in Somerset Co in 1691."

"By the time of this marriage Jean Brevard was about 35 years old and was well established in the Elk River community. His plantation, Charles Camp, was first surveyed 2 Apr 1685. Jean Brevard acquired it before 1724, probably much earlier than that. It was located in the northeast corner of Cecil Co, 2.5 miles from the present city of Elkton MD and half a mile northwest of the village of Chesapeake City, on what is now the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. It was near the western terminus of the canal and across the canal from the Broad Creek Presbyterian Church. It was adjoined by John McKnitt's plantations Glasgow and High Spaniola and by three plantations owned by Samuel Alexander - Sligo, Alexandria, and Bullens Range."

"Jean Brevard was active in Presbyterian affairs, not only in his local church, but also in the meetings of the New Castle Presbytery and the General Synod. On 13 Jun 1712 Samuel Alexander and Peter Bouchelle leased an acre of land for 21 years for "an annual rent of an ear of Indian corn to be paid upon demand" for the use of the Presbyterian Congregation at the head of Broad Creek, near Bethel. With Samuel Alexander and Peter Bouchelle, Jean Brevard served as one of the first elders in this church; and Presbyterian church records reflect his attendance at Presbytery and General Synod meetings between 1726 and 1729."

"Jean Brevard and Katherine (or Mary) McKnitt were married about 25 years and had at least seven children, the youngest born about nine years before Jean died when he was about 60 years old."

OTHER ASSORTED INFORMATION:

John Brevard, a French Huguenot, came to Maryland from Northern Ireland with the McKnitt family and settled on the Elk River. He married one of the McKnitt daughters. Their eldest son moved to North Carolina about 1740-1750. [Brøderbund WFT Vol. 1, Ed. 1, Tree #0015, Date of Import: May 4, 1997]

Will of William Wallace, Somerset County, Maryland 1698 names his "cousin" John Brourd. [Brøderbund WFT Vol. 6, Ed. 1, Tree #2198, Date of Import: May 4, 1997]

North Carolina Inventories, Vol. 8 #2 1677-1784 (Archives at Raleigh)

File SS944, pg 21 - John Bevar - 1735

There is some confusion in various family trees about when Jean/John Brevard died, and where. In fact, there may be a merging of two French-born immigrant Jean Brevards, a father and son--most trees give his date of birth at c. 1665 (which makes him a very old parent), but one tree adds a generation, with Jean Brevard the elder born c 1660 and Jean Brevard the younger (who married Katherine McKnitt) c 1685. There are also two sets of death dates: c. 1709 and 1730-35 and two sets of death locations--Somerset Co, MD and NC.

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Jean "John" Brevard, I's Timeline

1665
1665
France
1710
1710
Age 45
Cecil, MD
1713
1713
Age 48
Elk River, Cecil Co, MD
1715
1715
Age 50
Elk River, Cecil County, Maryland
1718
January 10, 1718
Age 53
Elk River, Cecil County, MD
1720
1720
Age 55
Elk River, Cecil Co, MD
1722
1722
Age 57
Cecil County, Maryland
1724
March 29, 1724
Age 59
Elk River, Cecil County, MD
1724
Age 59
Somerset County, Maryland
1725
1725
Age 60
Elk River, Cecil County, Maryland