Robert Brasseur, Sr.

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Robert Brasseur (Brassieur), Sr.

Nicknames: "Brashears", "Brasher"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Pernes-les-Fontaines, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Death: Died in Nansemond, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Calvert, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of N.N. N.N. and N.N. N.N.
Husband of Florence Fowke
Father of Benoit "Bennet" Brasseur; John Brasseur, Sr.; Thomas Brashears; Perside "Persie" Brashier / Brashear / Brasseur; Robert Brashear, Jr. and 6 others

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About Robert Brasseur (Brassieur), Sr.

  • NOTE: Robert Brasseur was disconnected from suggested parents Allemand Brassier de Jocas and Madeleine de Cheylus, on August 1, 2014. Many online 'sources' (other genealogy websites) ascert this filiation. However, click here to see some commentary that declares such filiation as 'nonsense'. Secondly, no French source on the Brassier de Jocas family suggests any emigrant son (i.e. check Le Nobiliaire Universal by Ludovic de Magny). The Brassier de Jocas family was throughly catholic, and there is no source that suggest any deviation from that faith in the 16th-17th century generations. Of cours, if any solid proof comes up that would support this filiation, please do not hesitate to bring it up in a discussion about this profile!

1. ROBERT1 BRASSEUR was born Abt. 1595 in France, and died Dec 1665 in Nanesmond Co, VA. He married (1) FLORENCE UNKNOWN Bef. 1620 in France. She died Abt. 1632 in Isle of Thanet, Kent Co, England. He married (2) SECOND WIFE Abt. 1633. She died in Calvert Co, MD.

Notes for ROBERT BRASSEUR: ORIGIN OF BRASHEAR/S NAME The Brashear/s included in this book were originally Brasseur. Robert Brasseur was a French Huguenot who moved from France to the Isle of Thanet in Kent Co., England where his first wife died. Some of his children's names were registered in records on the Isle of Thanet. He moved to Virginia about 1635 and settled in Nanesmond County. About 1658, he and his family moved to Calvert Co., Maryland where they Anglicized their name to Brashear.

Until about 1100 A. D., people had only one name. As the population grew and there were more men named Robert, John, George, etc., they began to add a surname for better identification of individuals. There were four primary methods used in assigning a surname: 1. Occupation - The surname was the individual's occupation, i. e. Robert Brasseur (brewer of beer). 2. Location - The surname designated the region where the individual lived, i. e. George Birch (grove of birch trees). 3. Father's name - The surname was the same as his father's 4. Personal Characteristics - The surname described his appearance or personal characteristics such as John Short. Since the family arrived in America, individuals and record keepers have used the following spellings and perhaps other derivations: Brasseur, Brasseurs, Brassieur, Brasseur, Brasseur, Brassure, Brasseure, Brassures, Brasheers, Brashere, Brasheire, Brashieur, Brasheare, Brashiers, Brashires, Brashairs, Brashure, Braysier, Brayser, Brayshear, Brassieux, Brassier, Brasseur, Brassewr, Brassere, Brasshear, Brashears, Breshears, Bresshears, Brasher, Bresher, Brazure, Brashaw, Brushier, Brosher, Broshear, Broshears, Broshares, Boshers, Bouchers, Breshiers, Brashears, Brashear, Beshear, Besshairs, Bashears.

Robert Brasseur was baptized in Bouches-du-Rhone France in 1595 (IGI file for France). Robert was a member of the Huguenot religious group (dissenters who left the Catholic church to follow John Calvin). Robert left France for the Isle of Thanet in Kent Co, England to escape harassment by the Catholics. The births of five children were registered on the Isle of Thanet between 1622 & 1632. Robert arrived in the British Colony of Virginia and begins appearing in Virginia records about 1635. Nanesmond County was created from Upper Norfolk County in 1637 where most of his neighbors were British Anglicans (Church of England) who did not want French Huguenots in their midst. They moved on to the Colony of Maryland in 1658. Robert Brasseur, Sr. purchased a land patent from Peter Johnson in 1638. It was customary to grant a person 50 acres for each person transported from Europe to America. The transporter may not claim his 50 acres per person for several years. Peter Johnson apparently had transported people to America and had received a sizable amount of land for this service. Robert Brasseur claimed 100 acres in 1640 for transporting two people to America.

To all to whom these present shall come: I Sr (Sir) John Harvey, Kt (Knight), Governor and etc.... . Now know yee that I the said Sr (Sir) John Harvey, Kt, doe and withe the consent of the Councell of the State accordingly give and grannt unto Robert Brassure and Peter Rey 600 acres of land seituate, lying and being in the upper Countie of New Norfolke lying NE and SW along the south side of Creeke upon the head of the said Creeke and butting upon Nanesmund river, alias Matrebers River. The said 600 acres of land being due unto them, the said Robert Brassure and Peter Rey, by assignment from Peter Johnson to have and to hold, &c. dated the 24th of Feb 1638. (VA. Land Patents, Bk 1, p. 622, Peter Johnson's original patent is on p. 354) NOTE: After Nanesmond County was created in 1637, the land became a part of that county. Robert Brasseur was given a patent for 100 acres in Upper Norfolk County on the western branch of Nanesmond River, opposite a 400 acre tract of Lawrence Peters, for transporting Peeter Bersairdier and Reene Bersairdier. (VA Land Patents, Bk 1, p. 736, 6 Oct 1640) Robert Brasseur received 1200 acres for transporting 24 people to America in 1653. He had waited a long time to claim his land. He received 600 acres on the southern branch of Nanesmond River lying on the south side of the branch and another 600 acres on the north side described as follows: "Beg on the north side.....joining land of Adrian Buny.... on the south side being an Indian Towne, beginning at a marked pine standing on the banche by the branch side joining land of Wm. Haines, etc. for transporting 24 persons: Marg. Stockwell, Geo. Ivory, Robert Brasseur, Florence-his wife, Mary Brasseur. Persid Brasseur, Kathe Brasseur, Bennet (Benois) Brasseur, Wm. Wotton, Tho. Parker, Jno. Sutton, Jno. Stephens, Step(hen) Dordon, Jon. Loyd, Jon. Bott, Symon Iron, Jon Barefeild, Eliz. Pateman, Geo. Daldye, Wm. Ball, Nicho. Moroise, Tho. Pursell, Ra. Ellis, Jon. Abby" (VA Land Patents, Bk 3, p. 33, 12 Apr 1653)

(NOTE: The William Ball who came with Robert Brasseur raises a question. Could he be the William Ball who was Mary (Ball) Washington's grandfather? Mary (Ball) Washington was George Washington's mother. Ann Brashear married Moses Ball, a 2nd cousin of Mary Ball Washington, and owned property contiguous to George Washington.)

Circumstantial evidence indicates that Florence Brasseur possibly died on the Isle of Thanet in Kent Co, England, but the above 1653 land patent names her as the mother of four of Benois' children. She was registered as the mother of KATHE, PERSID, ROBERT, Jr, and MARY in Isle of Thanet records.

ROBERT BRASSEUR'S WILL (dated 4 Dec 1665; entered to court 16 Dec 1665) (NOTE: Robert's will led to squabbling and hostility. He left the bulk of his estate to servants Thomas Frost and Thomas Smith who he owed money. Robert Jarvis appears to be a hired man. John Cobreath and Mark Clare were sons-in-law of Robert Brasseur - husbands of his daughters Persid and Katherine. Couzen Mary was actually his daughter-in-law, Mary, widow of Benjamin (Benois) Brasseur. She remarried shortly after Benjamin died.) Robert Sr, failed to name an executor, so Tovey, Smith & Frost managed to be named co-executors. This led to legal wrangling on a big scale. Robert Brasseur, Jr. managed to get control of the estate and then lost it in the last legal round. Samson Waring, guardian to Robert Brashier, son of Benjamin (Benois) Brasher, also contested the right of the three to be executors. Samson Waring being , Robert's (son of Benjamin) guardian creates yet another question. Why wasn't his mother, Mary, his guardian? Had she abdicated her responsibility to her son?

The last Will and Testament of Robert Brasheur, Elder, being of good memory but waiting till my Maker and Redeemer do remove me from here into his Everlasting and Heavenly Kingdom of Mercy which is far better for me- -I give unto Thomas Tovey and Thomas Frost and Thomas Smith this 320 acres of land that I am now seated on - - equally amongst them three and they to pay the remainder of what tobacco is not paid for the said land. Further, I give to Thomas Tovey one cowe called Fill Paile, I give to Thomas Frost one cow called Browning. I give to Thomas Smith one cow called Colle. I give to Thomas Tovey my best broad Cloath Suite. I give to Robert Jerves one large suite and the time that I did hire him for and to have houseing and ground on the foresaid land for two years clear of charge. I give to Robert Jervis two heifers of three years old a peece. I give the foresaid Tovey and Frost and Smith all my hoggs - - only to Jervis one breeding sowe. I give to Thomas Tovey my best gunn, and to Thomas Frost the left handed gunn, long gunn - - I give my bed and household stuff to the foresaid Three, Tovey, Frost and Smith. I give the said Tovey Frost and Smith all my Crop of tobacco and corn they paying what debts I owe. I give to couzen Mary Brashieur one silver tankard and one silver sack cup - - I give to Mark Clear my best hat and silver hat band. I give to John Cobreath the cattle house he builded on the foresaid land with one acre of land round about it, and three steers of one years old a peece and one steere of four years ould. As witness my hand this fourth day of Dessember in the year of our Lord 1665. /s/ Robert Brasheurs In presents of: John Cobreath, Mark Clear, John Bennett

Because Robert failed to name an executor of his estate, Tovey, Frost and Smith applied to be named administrators on 15 Dec 1665 and succeeded. This led to legal war. It is possible they forged the will.

Based upon the following affidavit, Robert died during the night before he was to sign the will.

On 15 Jan 1666, Capt. John Cobreath, age about 34, swore that Robert had sent for a "Deponant" to come to his house because he was ill with pains in the chest and very sick, and inward grief. Robert asked the depont to write a will for him, which he agreed to do. Robert asked Thomas Tovey to bring paper and penie (pen) for the depont who went to the bed of Robert and began writing. The date December 4, 1665 was written first. The next morning the depont asked Robert how it was with him and he said he found it all one still (very ill?). The depont said he could do no good by staying and would return the next day. Robert Brashieur died before the Depont could carry home the will along with him and before his brother Mark to wittness it and any other whom this Depont thought fitt and that wee would not disclose it to none till such time as it pleases God to take him away because he would by no means his sister to know of it in case he should recover againe. it would cause difference betwixt them and further saith not. /s/ John Cobreath

(NOTE: A Deponent is one who gives evidence. It may have been a word they used for a scribe who went to the home to write a will or enter family information in the family Bible.)

More About ROBERT BRASSEUR: Religion: French Huguenot

Marriage Notes for ROBERT BRASSEUR and SECOND WIFE: Some Brashear historians have said that Robert married a second time and had three more children by her. Children of ROBERT BRASSEUR and FLORENCE UNKNOWN are: 2. i. BENOIT (BENJAMIN)2 BRASSEUR, b. Abt. 1620, France; d. Bet. 02 Dec 1662 - 14 Jan 1662/63, Calvert Co, MD. 3. ii. KATHERINE BRASSEUR, b. Bet. 1622 - 1632, Isle of Thanet, Kent Co, England. 4. iii. JOHN BRASSEUR, b. 1624, Isle of Thanet, Kent Co, England. iv. THOMAS BRASSEUR, b. 1626, Isle of Thanet, Kent Co, England.

Notes for THOMAS BRASSEUR: Thomas "Brassie" was probably born about 1626. He is identified as a son of Robert Brasseur in Isle of Wight Co., VA records in 1649. (Virkus Compendium of American Genealogy, p. 604). Thomas Braser appears in land records in Isle of Wight Co, VA. This is possibly Thomas , the son of Robert Brasseur the Hugenot Immigrant. Thomas, or possibly a son, Thomas, Jr., moved to Cecil Co, MD and is found in records about 1677. Very little is known about Thomas Brasseur.

5. v. PERSIDE BRASSEUR, b. 1628, Isle of Thanet, Kent Co, England; d. Bef. 1687, MD?. vi. ROBERT JR. BRASSEUR, b. 1630, Isle of Thanet, Kent Co, England; m. FLORENCE (REY?), Bet. 1650 - 1653.

Notes for ROBERT JR. BRASSEUR: Robert was born in 1630, and his birth was registered in Kent Co., England on the Isle of Thanet. He arrived in America at the young age of about 5 years old. Robert married, probably about 1650-53, to Florence (perhaps) Rey. (Register of Huguenot Ancestors by Georgia Nellie Chandler Cobb, 1986). It does not appear that they had any children.

His father's will did not name an executor which caused much confusion and legal wrangling. Thomas Tovey, Thomas Frost and Thomas Smyth were named as heirs to receive  equal shares of 320 acres  on which Robert Brasseur, Sr. lived and the bulk of the estate.  It is interesting or suspicious why Robert did not will his property to his children.  Perhaps he was indebted to the heirs and the property was collateral. 

Robert, son of Benjamin, grandson of Robert Sr, contested the will that allowed Thomas Tovey, Thomas Frost and Thomas Smith to be executors of his grandfather's estate. Robert, Jr, son of Robert Brasseur the Hugenot immigrant, also got into the hassle. Robert, Jr. asked to be named administrator of the estate, and succeeded. Tovey, Frost and Smyth unjustly detained the estate in contempt of the Governor's Commission. The Governor directed a warrant to the sheriff of Calvert Co, MD to remove custody of the estate from Tovey, Frost and Smyth and give custody to Robert Brassieurs, Jr. Robert, Jr's custody of the estate did not last. Tovey, Frost & Smyth were given full possession of the lands from which they were ousted in the final round in the courts.

Children of ROBERT BRASSEUR and SECOND WIFE are: 6. vii. MARTHA2 BRASSEUR, b. 1636, Nanesmond Co, VA; d. Aft. 13 Dec 1675. 7. viii. MARGARET BRASSEUR, b. 07 Sep 1642, Nanesmond Co, VA; d. 07 Oct 1708, Nanesmond Co, VA. 8. ix. MARY BRASSEUR, b. 03 Jan 1645/46, Isle of Wight, VA; d. 1713, North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co, VA.

-------------------- immigrants from Avignon Thomas Jordan and Margrett Brasseur. Margarett was the daughter of Richard and Florence Brasseur, immigrants from Avignon, who came to Maryland from France. It is believed that Richard gave the land on which the Capitol was built. He patented 1,200 acres in Nansemond County on April 12, 1652. -------------------- Margarett was the daughter of Richard and Florence Brasseur, immigrants from Avignon, who came to Maryland from France. It is believed that Richard gave the land on which the Capitol was built.

http://www.geocities.com/knighthistory/VirginiaKnights.htm -------------------- Found on internet www.fortunecity.com/millennium/vacation/1129/d46.htm

Born before 1600 in France. He died in 1665 in Maryland.

"Many family records of importance were destroyed during the French Revolution in 1789, but this lineage was conconstructed through authentic documents pereserved in the imperial archives in Paris. John (Jean) de Brassier, the first known ancestor of the family, "a gentleman of Reims," settled in Pernes about 1440. From im have descended the four different branches of this house, namely the branch Brassier de Jocas (#1), the branch Brassier de la Plane (#2), and First (#3) and Second (#4) branches Brassier de Saint-Simon. Three of these branches still existed 200 years later in 1640. By that time, Robert Brassier, sr., and sons Robert and Benois, all Huguenots, had left France because of religious and political persecution. The father of Robert, Sr. has not been conclusively identified, so three lineage possibilities follow. If Robert was of branch #1, the lineage was John, Jean (2nd Child) m 1495, Bartholmy (addded deJocas to name). Esprite, 1574, Alleman m 1594, and Robert before 1600. If of branch #2, the lineage was John, Maurice (3rd Son), Sigismond m 1554, Henri m 1558, Jacob m 1584, and Robert. If #3, the lineage was John, Maurice, Sigismond, Jacques m 1580 (brother of Henri in 32) and Robert.

  For those of the 20th Century Brashear-Brashears family who might like to emphasize their aristocratic ancestry, the above lists are liberally sprinkled with various titles of French Nobility.  Brashear and Brashears are only two of the 14 known variations of this family name.  Others include Brassier, Brassieur, Brasseuir, Brasseur and Brasshears.

Another article found at http://www.next1000.com/family/EC/brassieur.robt.html

"Our particular Robert Brasseur came to the new world very early in the development of the Virginia Colony. Jamestown was first established in 1608 and Robert Brassieur is assumed to be here already by 1636. The first known record of Robert Brasseur is the renewal of his promisssary note in Warrisquicke co., VA, on June 1, 1636 (Nugent, Cavaliers and pioneers, v.1, p.41) At this time the total population of Virginia was only a few thousand. According to Troy Back, "George Washington's great-grandfather, was only four years old and the Declaration of Independence would not be signed for another one hundred and thirty-nine years." This implies that Robert had been here long enough to borrow money, buy land and have the note come due.

Charles Brashear is convinced that we have no idea who Robert's wife may have been. Several researchers have listed that Robert was married to Elizabeth Fowke of France and others that it was Florence. He has found no evidence to support either of these marriages to this first Robert. Robert Sr. was certainly in the colonies by 1636 and had grown children by 1653, if his wife was left at home, she would have been rather elderly by her immigration if she was indeed the Florence who came over in 1653. It seems more likely that it would be the new wife of Robert Jr. who went back with his brother to bring in the relatives. 1637, November 24, A land-lease contract if filed in Virginia for another individual that the land is "bounded... West on land of Robert Brasheare". VA Land Patents, Book 1, p.503.

It does not appear that Robert Brashear owned the land on which he lived but three months later he files the following patent registered as "Robert Brassure and Peter Rey" on "Warrisquicke Creeke and butting upon Nanzemond river".

"To all to whom these presents shall come: I, Sr John Harvey, Kt (knight), Gorvernor, & c., send & c. now know yee that I, the said Sr John Harvey, Kt., doe with consent of the Coucell of State accordingly give and grant unto Robert Brassure and Peter Rey six hundred acres of land seituate, lying and being in the upper Countie of New Norfolke (land now in Nansemond County, Virginia) lying north east and south west along the south side of Creeke upon the head of said Creeke and butting upon Nansemund River, alias Matrebers River. The said six hundred acres of land being due unto them, the said Robert Brassure and Peter Rey, by assignment from Peter Johnson to have and to hold, &c. dated 24th of February 1638." (VA Land Patents, Book 1, p.622/Backp.7)

1653, April 12 - Another patent was issued to Robert for twelve hundred acres "in the County Nanzemond at the head of the southern branch of Nanzemond river". These patents were intended to reimburse the colonist for the cost of passage. Each person that paid their own way or the passage of another was given fifty acres. Robert's patent was for twenty-four persons including "Robert Brasseur, Florence his wife, Mary Brasseur, Persid (undoubtedly intended for the French feminine name "Perside") Brassseur, Kathe Brasseur, Bennet Brasseur. "Along with these Brasseurs were also "Marg. Stockwell, Geo. Juory,...W. Wroten, Tho. Parker, Jno. Sutton, Jon.Stephens, Step Dordan, Jon.Loyd, Jon. Bott., Symon Iron, Jon.Barefield, Eliz. Patemen, Geo. Daldye, Wm. Ball, Nicho. Maroise (?), Tho. Pursell, Ra. Ellis, and Jon. Abby."

Also on this date, a patent was issued to Benjamin Brasseur for three hundred acres on a "a creeke called Indian Creeke being a branch of Nansemum river" for the cost of transporting six persons into the colony."

Since Benjamin was given a patent it seems reasonable to assume that Robert and Benjamin were traveling together and that both of them had been in the colony before November 24, 1637. It is conceivable that Robert Brasseiur Sr. was the individual here earlier as Russ Williams contends and that both Robert Jr and Benjamin came later but my bet is with the brothers. Benjamin's patent was renewed and recorded again on March 26, 1656. It was an apparent precaution against litigation. -------------------- Per: http://www.ronulrich.com/rfuged/nti07264.htm

A Brashear(s) Family History, Vol. 1 The First 200 Years of Brashear(s) in America, by Charles Brashear and Shirley Brasher McCoy: "Contrary to Brasseur mythology, there is no proof that Elizabeth FOWKE was the wife of Robert BRASSEUR"

This family became prominent in Nansemond Co,VA 1653. They moved to Calvert Co, MD in about 1658 ... where he died in about 1665.

The name Brasseiur (BRAS = arm, as in a part of the body (not a weapon) and SEIUR = lord or knight, hence ... Lord of Arm or Might by Strength. The first Brasseiur was a page, his descendents Lords and Knights.)

!Book 975.5 G864 Greer, Early Virginia Immigrants 1622-1666: Listing for Katherine, Bennet, Persie and Mary as 1653 immigrants by Robt. Brasseur of Nansemond Co.

!NOTE: Web site: http://www.familytreemaker.com/users/g/a/b/Bryan-E-Gabbard/GENE4-0013.html Stipulates birth about 1584

!A Brashear(s) Family History, Vol. 1 The First 200 Years of Brashear(s) in America, by Charles Brashear and Shirley Brasher McCoy: pg 3; "Apparently to escape religious persecutions and seeing an opportunity, Robert Brasseur left his home in France, some time during the 1620s, possibly in 1629. Several family historians say he made his way to Isle of Thanet parish, Kent Co., England, where he was known as Robert Brashear, but we have no clear documentation." He immigrated to Virginia sometime after that with 7 children.

!Cavaliers and Pioneers, by Nugent: Vol. 1, pg. 41; The first known record of Robert in Virginia is a renewal of a promisory note in Warrisquicke Co., VA on 1 June 1636.

During the 1630s, the Anglican Church was the dominant religion and was hardly more tolerant of the Puritan Dissenters than were the French Catholics (from which they fled France). So Robert moved from the Isle of Wight Co. to Nansemond Co. and patented 600 acres in Nansemond Co. in 1636 and 1638. At least two of Robert's children became Quakers - John and Margaret.

!The Brashear Story, a Family History, 1637-1963, by Troy Back and Leon Brashear: pg. 7: The earliest know deed to any Brashear was listed as being filed on 24 Feb. 1638.

!Virginia Land Patents, Book 1, pg. 6222: Robert Brassure and Peeter Rey bought 600 acres in Upper Co. of New Norfolk, "Lying N.E. & S.W. along the S. side of Warrisquicke Creeke, upon the head of same & butting upon Nanzemund river (Alias Matrevers River)" from Peter Johnson. -------------------- French Huguenot, Puritan-Protestant dissenter who followed the teachings of John Calvin. Most of the country was Catholic at that time. During the mid to late 1500's, Huguenots were openly persecuted & several thousand were slaughtered in the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre that occured on Aug. 24, 1572. Henry 3rd of France feared the power of the Catholics & allied himself with Henry of Navarre & the Huguenots. After Henry 3rd was assassinated Henry of Navarre became King & granted religious freedom to the Huguenots in some 75 towns where they were the majority. The proclamation granting religious & political freedom was known as the 'Edict of Nantes', April 13, 1598. Even through the mid 1600's there were outbreaks & the Huguenots didn't get complete relief from oppression until the French Revolution, 1798. --------------------

  • **This is not the son of William Bourchier - Robert Bourchier, Son of William died as an infant.***

There are many variations of this family name, including Brashier, Brashears, etc. He may have originally immigrated from Avignon, France and possibly first made his home Maryland with his wife, Florence. Richard is reported to have given the land on which the Capitol was built. He patented 1,200 acres in Nansemond County on April 12, 1652. --------------------

ROBERT BRASSEUR, THE HUGEUNOT

      The first Brashears in America were Robert and Benois Brasseur, French Huguenots whose family name was anglicized as Brashear. The relationship between these two men has not been positively documented. It is known that Robert was considerably older than Benois, perhaps as much as 22-24 years, for he starts appearing in land records in 1635, whereas Benois does not show up in land records until 1653. It is known that Benois (also called Benjamin) had a father, a brother, and a son named Robert. But it is not entirely clear whether this first Robert Brasseur/Brashear in America was Benois' father or brother. On the basis of circumstantial evidence to be presented in the book, I believe that this Robert Brasseur or Brashear was Benois' father.
      Robert Brasseur (pronounced with an accent on the last syllable: BrasSEUR; also spelled Brassieur, Brashieur, Brashier, Brashear, Brashears, Brasheur, Brassure, Breshear, Brushier, and about 35 other ways) was born in France, some time before 1600, and migrated to England probably in 1629 and to Virginia in the early 1630's with at least seven children. Benois/Benjamin Brasseur/Brashear was also born in France, probably about 1620. They were Huguenots, that is, Puritan-Protestant dissenters, followers of the teachings of John Calvin, in the midst of a very old, very militantly Catholic country.
      Apparently to escape religious persecutions and seeing an opportunity, Robert Brasseur left his home in France, possibly in the Loire region just north of La Rochelle, possibly in the Rhone Valley downstream from Geneva, Switzerland, possibly in Bouche du Rhone ("Mouth of the Rhone," about 20 miles from the Mediterranean Sea) some time during the 1620's, possibly in 1629. Several early family historians say he made his way to the Isle of Thanet, Kent County, England, where he was known as Robert Brashear, but we have no clear documentation.
      Some time before 1636, Robert Brasseur Sr immigrated to Virginia. The first record of him in Virginia is his renewal of a note in Warrisquicke Co, Va, on June 1, 1636 (Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, v.1, p.41). Robert had probably been in Virginia a few years by 1636--at least long enough to have borrowed some money or bought some land and have the note come due.
      On November 24, 1637, Robert Partin leased 40 acres in Elizabeth City County (later Nansemond Co), the land "bounded ... West on land of Robert Brasheare." (Va. Land Patents, Book 1, p. 503)
      On February 24, 1638, Robert Brassure and Peter Rey received by assignment (that is, they bought) a 600 acre patent in Nansemond County, on "Warrisquicke Creeke ... and butting upon Nanzemund river". This is the earliest known deed to a Brashear:
              To all to whom these present shall come: I, Sr John Harvey, Kt [knight], Governor, &c, send &c. whereas, &c. Now know yee that I, the said Sr John Harvey, Kt. doe with the consent of the Councell of State accordingly give and grannt unto Robert Brassure and Peter Rey six hundred acres of land seituate, lying and being in the upper Countie of New Norfolke lying north east and south west along the south side of a Creeke upon the head of the said Creeke and butting upon Nansemund river, alias Matrebers River. The said six hundred acres of land being due unto them, the said Robert Brassure and Peter Rey, by assignment from Peter Johnson to have and to hold, &c. dated the 24th of February 1638. (Va. Land Patents, Book 1, p.622. NOTE: this land now in Nansemond County, Virginia)
      In early Virginia, any person who paid the cost of transporting himself or another into the Colony was entitled to receive fifty acres of free land for each passage paid. The persons transported were known as "headrights," and their names were generally listed in the patent records. It was not necessary to claim your headrights immediately, and they could be bought and sold, like any other real property; some held onto theirs for years.
      For example, on 6 Oct 1640, Robert Brasseur was issued a patent for "100 acres in Upper Norfolk Co, on the western branch of Nansemond River, opposite a 400 acres tract of Lawrence Peters, for the transportation of Peeter Bersairdier and Reene Bersairdier." (VA Land Patents, Book 1, p.736; see also Edward Pleasants Valentine Papers, v.1, p.213.) Peeter and Reene have not been identified, though they were probably at least acquaintances from France.
      On 12 April 1653, almost 20 years after he was known to have been in Virginia, Robert Brasseur received a grant of 1200 acres in Nansemond County. The description in the patent reads:
             "at the head of the southerne branch of Nanzemond Riv., 600 acres lying on the S. side of the branch & the other 600 on the N. side. Beg. on the No. side etc. Joining land of Adrian Buny. On the S. side being an Indian Towne, beg. at a marked pine standing on a bancke by the branch side joining land of Wm. Haines, etc. Transporting 24 persons: Marg. Stockwell, Geo. Ivory, Robt. Brasseur, Florence, his wife, Mary Brasseur, Persid Brasseur, Kathe. Brasseur, Bennet Brasseur, Wm. Wotton, Tho. Parker, Jno. Sutton, Jno. Stephens, Step. Dordon, Jon. Loyd, Jon. Bott, Symon Iron, Jon Barefield, Eliz. Pateman, Geo. Doldye, Wm. Ball, Nicho. Moroise, Tho. Pursell, Ra. Ellis, Jon. Abby." (Va. Land Patents, Book 3, p.33; underlining added for emphasis.)
      It looks to me like Robert, Mary, Persid, Katherine, and Bennet are all siblings; they certainly match and identify the family of Robert Brashear/Brasseur, though it is still a mystery why Robert didn't claim his sons, John and Thomas. Perhaps Robert had sold some headrights for ready cash: John's headright was claimed by Peter Reyault in Gloucester Co in 1654; so far, we have not found Thomas's. Children born in Virginia-- Martha, Margaret, a second Mary--would not be eligible for headrights.
      Robert Brasseur/Brashear was dead by early 1667, for his son John inherited his land in Nansemond Co, VA:
                    John Brasseur, Patent, 400 acres in Nansemond Co. adjoining Mr. Francis Spight, 300 acres part thereof was formerly granted unto Robert Brasseur & Peter Rey, Feb 24, 1638. The moity [one half of an estate] is due the said John* Brasseur, son and heir of the said Robert Brasseur. April 17, 1667. (Va Land Patents, Book 6, p.72)

(*NOTE: The Edward Pleasants Valentine Papers, v.1, p.214, erroneously lists Benjamin Brasseur as the son and heir, but Shirley McCoy's examination of the original in Richmond, VA [Va Land Patents, Book 6, p.72], shows John to be the surviving eldest son in 1667. However, one might note that the researcher of the Valentine papers knew Benjamin to be the eldest son of the elder Robert. Had Benjamin been alive, he would have inherited the moity.)

Children of Robert Brasseur/Brashear:

             21. *Benois Brasseur, (Back 1), also called Bennet, Benoit, Benoist, Benojs, Benjamin Brashear, etc. Born in France, according to his naturalization papers; born before 1629 says the Virkus Compendium. Since his first son was born in 1646, he must have been born c1620; he d. Dec 1662; m. Mary ?Richford. See the chapters on him and his children.
             22. Mary Brasseur, b. c?1622, (IGI #8104402:3); I'm putting her early, because she was listed first in the land grant of 1653; she must have died soon after arrival in Virginia, for the name was re-used.
             23. *John Brasseur, b. c?1624, (IGI #8104402:4); became a Quaker, served many years in the Virginia House of Burgesses, and lived a long life; m.1. Mary Cocke, m.2. Mary Pitt, see the chapter, "John Brasseur, of Nansemond."
             24. *Thomas Brasseur, (documentation lacking) figures in Isle of Wight Co, Virginia, records in 1649 as Thomas Brasee; if 21 at the time, he was b. 1628 or before. Since he was not the eldest son in 1667 (John was), he was probably born c1626. See separate chapter, "Thomas Brasher, of Cecil Co, MD."
             25. *Perside Brasseur, or Persie Brashear, b. c?1628, (IGI #8104402:3) ("Perside" is a French, feminine name.) ??Possibly m. John Cobreath, See below.
             26. *Robert Brasseur Jr, b. c?1630, (IGI #8104402:3), d. 5 Dec 1665 and left a will in which he styled himself "Robert Brasheur, the Elder" to distinguish himself from Robert, s/o Benois; possibly m. Florence ?Rey. See separate chapter, "Robert Brasseur, II."
             27. *Katherine Brasseur, (sometimes referred to by the French name "Cabell"), b. c1632, though b. c?1622, says the suspect IGI #8104402:4; ??possibly m. Mark Clare, See below.

The records (see below) force us to add three others, who were born in Virginia:

             28. *Martha Brassieur or Brasseur, b. c?1636, Isle of Wight Co, VA; m.1. prior to 21 Jan 1659, Capt William Moseley, of old Rappahannock Co, VA; m.2. Capt George Taylor, See below.
             29. *Margaret Brasseur, b. Sep (7mo) 1642 in Va, d. 7 Dec (12mo) 1706 in Va. Margaret became a Quaker in 1658 in Virginia, and married Thomas Fleming Jordan Jr, (1634--1699), son of Thomas Jordan. See below.
             210. *Mary Brassieur, b. 3 Jan 1645/6, VA; d. 1713, VA; m.1. James Biddlecombe, (see The Biddlecombe Family); m.2. c1688, Col. Samuel Peachey, See below.

-------------------- Came from France to Elizabeth City, Virginia via Isle of Thanet off coast of England before 1636.

Many family records of importance were destroyed during the French Revolution in 1789, but this lineage was coconstructed through authentic documents preserved in the imperial archives in Paris. John (Jean) de Brassier, the first known ancestor of the family, "a gentleman of Reims," settled in Pernes about 1440. From him have descended the four different branches of this house, namely the branch Brassier de Jocas (#1), the branch Brassier de la Plane (#2), and the First (#3) and Second (#4) branches Brassier de Saint-Simon. Three of these branches still existed 200 years later in 1640. By than time, Robert Brassier, Sr., and sons Robert and Benois, all Huguenots, had left France because of religious and political persecution. The father of Robert, Sr. has not be conclusively identified, so three lineage possiblities follow. If Robert was of branch #1 (see above), the lineage was John, Jean (2nd child) m 1495, Bartholmy (added de Jocas to name). Esprite, 1574, Alleman m 1594, and Robert, b before 1600. If of branch #2, the lineage was John, Maurice (3rd son), Sigismond m 1554, Henri m 1558, Jacob m 1584, and Robert. If #3, the lineage was John, Maurice, Sigismond, Jacques m 1580 (brother of Henri in 32) and Robert.

For those of the 20th Century Brashear-Brashears family who might like to emphasize their aristocratic ancestry, the above lists are liberally sprinkled with various titles of French Nobility. Brashear and Brashears are only two of the 14 known variations of this family name. Others include Brassier, Brassieur, Brasseuir, Brasseur and Brasshears.

____________________________ Robert Brasseur, a French Hugenot, was born in Avignon and his wife’s name was Florence, possibly last name Fawkes. He was said to have given the land on which the Capitol of Maryland was built. In April 12, 1653, almost 20 years after he was known to have been in Virginia, he patented 1200 acres of land in Nansemond County at the head of the Southern branch of the Nansemond River for transporting himself, his wife Florence, children Mary, Persid and Katherine, Bennett Brasseur and nine others. His daughter Margrett (Margaret) was not named in the patent although she was born in 1642, as she was born in Isle of Wight. .

The patent reads: "at the head of the southerne branch of Nanzemond Riv., 600 acres lying on  the S. side of the branch & the other 600 on the N. side. Beg. on the No.  side etc. Joining land of Adrian Buny. On the S. side being an Indian Towne,  beg. at a marked pine standing on a bancke by the branch side joining land  of Wm. Haines, etc. Transporting 24 persons: Marg. Stockwell, Geo. Ivory,  Robt. Brasseur, Florence, his wife, Mary Brasseur, Persid Brasseur, Kathe.  Brasseur, Bennet Brasseur, Wm. Wotton, Tho. Parker, Jno. Sutton, Jno.  Stephens, Step. Dordon, Jon. Loyd, Jon. Bott, Symon Iron, Jon Barefield,  Eliz. Pateman, Geo. Doldye, Wm. Ball, Nicho. Moroise, Tho. Pursell, Ra.  Ellis, Jon. Abby." (Va. Land Patents, Book 3, p.33; .
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Robert Brasseur, Sr.'s Timeline

1584
1584
Pernes-les-Fontaines, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
1614
1614
Age 30
France
1620
1620
Age 36
Carpentres, Rheime, France
1621
1621
Age 37
Virginia,USA
1624
1624
Age 40
Isle of Thanet, Kent Co., England
1626
1626
Age 42
Kent, UK
1628
1628
Age 44
Island, King William, Virginia, United States
1630
1630
Age 46
France
1632
1632
Age 48
Isle of Thenet, Kent Co., England
1635
1635
Age 51
Virginia