"Progenitor" Brannen

M
Relationship
Father of Thomas Brannen
Member of:
Brannen Family of Florida
Charts
Clarice's Ancestry
     Biography of "Progenitor" Brannen:
We have created "Progenitor" Brannen for the purpose of providing a begining framework aimed at determining the relationship between all the Brannen's we have identified in Burke, Screven and Bulloch County Georgia in the time period after 1787. We are hopeful other Brannen researchers will review this work and contribute to further clarification of this family's early origins.

The parentage and relationship between Henry Brannen (1755), John Brannen (1765), William Brannen (1765), Thomas Brannen (1770), Hugh Brannen (1785) and Thomas Brannen (1794) is not known at present. These men are the first and only Brannen's to appear in Screven County, Georgia records from the counties begining in 1793 into the early 1800's. In all cases the birth year shown is our best current estimate based on records we have found. One thing is quite clear. They all lived in the area between the forks of the Savannah River and Briar Creek, mostly along and bordering Briar Creek. Henry, John, Thomas and William all acquired headright lands in Burke County Georgia in the time period 1787 to 1792. This land became part of Screven County when it was formed out of Burke in 1793. Unfortunately Burke County early records were destroyed in several courthouse fires in the 1800's so finding additional Brannen records in this time period is difficult.

There appears to be several "traditional" versions regarding the origins of the Brannen family in Bulloch County, Georgia. The first which we call the "three brothers" tradition is recorded by Brannen and Brinson as follows: "The Brannens of Bulloch County by tradition, are descended from three Brannens, William, Hugh and Henry who emigrated together from Ireland to America." [Brannen and Brinson, The Descendants of John Brannen, (Statesboro, GA; Privately printed, 1965) p. 4.] This tradition was recorded by Jesse Ewell Brannen in the 1930's while doing research on his family.

This tradition is furthered enhanced by Alvaretta Kenan Register in her 1967 genealogy entitled "The Keenan Family and Some Allied Families of the Compiler and Publisher" where in she states (in quotation marks) in the first paragraph to the "Brannen" section: "William, Hughey and John Brannen came from Ireland when boys and settled first in North Carolina, later coming to Screven Co. Georgia. At that time William married Elizabeth Gross, and about that year [they moved] to the place now (1910) owned by William P. Donaldson at Blitch, Bulloch Co., Georgia. He died in 1840 and is bur. in Lower Lotts Creek Church Cemetery in Bulloch Co. His widow died later is bur. at the same place. William raised a large family." Ms. Register goes on to say in the next paragraph "The compiler's BRANNEN family is said to descend from Hugh or Hugey, as he is spoken of above, though no record has been found to substantiate this. Family tradition is that Thomas was a sone of Hughey. Only verified data is given below."

Another "traditional" version of the origin of this family is recorded in a 1950 pamphlet entitled "A Short History of the Brannen and The Donaldson Families" that was prepared for a 29 October 1950 reunion at Bethlehem Church near Statesboro. That pamphlet reads in part as follows:

" It is not known just by what route the family came to Bulloch county, but it is probable that the first came to Pennsylvania to old Donegal Church, which was a Scotch-Irish stronghold, and from this point traveled through the valley of Virginia, and thence to Georgia"

" Mrs. Julian Lane found records in Screven county of a Major Thomas Alexander Brannen, who fought against the Spanish in the Colonial Wars. He married Susanna Terrell. They lived on the Ogeechee River, probably at Blitch. The sons were: Hugh, Thomas, Alexander, William and John."

"We have no positive proof that this Major Thomas Brannen was our ancestor".

We have heard and seen other variation of the above "traditions", but without documentation or other evidence these "traditions" remain just that, "traditions".

We have seen some information suggesting that William Brannen (1765) came from Johnson County, North Carolina. Our work to date does not support the Brannen's of Bulloch or Screven Co. Georgia being from Johnson Co. North Carolina.

We did find where a Thomas Brannen was awarded bounty land in 1784 for military service. The land he received is in present day Greene Co., Georgia. There are also Brannen's in Wilkes Co., Georgia after the Revolutionary War. However, we have yet to find evidence to support a connection between these Brannen's and the Brannen's of Bulloch/Screven.

In addition, there are Brannen's with first names of Thomas, William, Hugh, John or Henry to be found in pre-revolutionary war times in South Carolina and Virginia. Thus the Brannen's of Screven County could have come from these areas.

Children of "Progenitor" Brannen

Thomas Brannen1

M, b. circa 1770, d. before 1825
Relationship
Brother of Thomas Brannen
     Thomas was born circa 1770 at Ireland. He was the son of "Progenitor" Brannen. He married Jane Humphreys, daughter of Joseph William Humphreys and Esther Conyers, circa 1790. Thomas died before 1825 at Screven, Georgia, United States.2
     Biography of Thomas Brannen:
The earliest record we have found on Thomas Brannen is dated 1792 wherein he received 100 acres as a headright grant in Burke County, Georgia. Grant Book XXX-99 (Lucas - Index to Headrights and Bounty Grants of Georgia p. 63] This very likely is the same land that he sold in a Screven County Georgia deed dated 19 April 1794 where in Thomas Brannen and Jane, his wife, of Screven Co. GA, planter, conveys to Jesse Burleson, of Screven Co. GA, in consideration of 10 pounds, sterling, a tract of land, situated and being in Screven Co. containing 100 acres adjoining land of Richard Bryan and vacant land. Signed: Thomas Brannen, Jane Brannen Wit: H. Atkins, Sarah Rotenbury Screven County GA DB- A-673 [Hollingsworth Card Collection - Brannen 2808]. The northern portion of Screven County was formed out of Burke County in 1793.

A Screven County deed dated 8 Aug 1795 shows Joseph Humphrey selling to Thomas Brannen 250 Acres bounded on s. side by Brier Creek, e. by lands run for the said Humphreys and including the said Joseph Humphreys old improvements. Sign: by his mark Joseph Humphreys. Wit: Robert Williams, Robert Warren Rec: 20 Aug 1795 [Screven Co. DB A-31] [Hollingsworth Card Collection - 9293] Joseph Humphrey is the father of Thomas Brannen's wife Jane. Jane is often found in the records as Jean.

Thomas Brannen's name appears in half a dozen deeds in Screven County during the time period 1792 to 1812. The names of William and John Brannen also appear in most of these deeds as either witnesses or shown as owning neighboring land. Thomas, William and John are clearly very closely related. In November and December of 1812. Thomas executed four deeds where in he granted land, buildings, slaves, cotton gin, stock, implements and household items to his three sons, Hope, Ralph, William (a minor in 1812), and his five daughters, Mary Ann, Jean, Sarah, Deliah and Sealy Brannen. He only reserved to himself and his wife, the privilege of the dwelling house and 50 acres of land he had granted his son, William.

In one deed dated 2 September 1820, and two dated 11 May 1820 Thomas Brannen, Sr. deeds three tracts of land originally granted to John C. Humphreys to his sons, Hope, William and Thomas Henry Brannen. Screven County Georgia DB 4 p. 226-9. [Hollingsworth Card Collection - Thomas Brannen, Sr. 2782] Thomas Henry his fourth son, was born in 1816 and was thus not included in the 1812 land distribution. These 1812 and 1820 deeds clearly identify the children of Thomas Brannen and his wife, Jean Humphreys.

Court entries in Screven County suggest Thomas died there before 1825 and his wife Jane about 1842. All his children appear to have married and remained in Screven County as adults.

Children of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys

Citations

  1. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."
  2. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Receipts for share of the estate of Thomas Brannen as received from Jane Brannen, widow and trustee. Earliest receipt is dated 1825. Recorded 2 May 1838 in Screven Co. GA DB 7 p. 253-254.

Jane Humphreys1

F, b. circa 1772, d. circa 1842
     Jane was born circa 1772. She was the daughter of Joseph William Humphreys and Esther Conyers. She married Thomas Brannen, son of "Progenitor" Brannen, circa 1790. Jane died circa 1842 at Screven, Georgia, United States.

Children of Jane Humphreys and Thomas Brannen

Citations

  1. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

Joseph William Humphreys

M
     He married Esther Conyers.

Child of Joseph William Humphreys and Esther Conyers

Esther Conyers

F
     She married Joseph William Humphreys.

Child of Esther Conyers and Joseph William Humphreys

Ralph Brannen

M, b. circa 1792, d. before 1842
Relationship
Nephew of Thomas Brannen
     Ralph was born circa 1792 at Georgia, United States.1 He was the son of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys. Ralph died before 1842 at Screven, Georgia, United States.2

Citations

  1. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", 14 November 1812 Screven Co. GA - Deed
    Thomas Brannen "for and in consideration of the love, good will, favour and affection I have for and do bare toward my beloved son, Ralph Brannen of Screven Co. Ga. a tract of 400 acres of land. DB I, p.147-150.
  2. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

William Brannen

M, b. circa 1745, d. circa 1840
Relationship
Brother of Thomas Brannen
     William was born circa 1745 at Ireland.1 He was the son of "Progenitor" Brannen. He married Elizabeth (--?--), circa 1786. William died circa 1840 at Bulloch, Georgia, United States.2 His body was buried at Lower Lotts Creek Church, Bulloch, Georgia, United States.
     Biography of William Brannen:
We believe William Brannen was born in Ireland. This is based on the 1880 Census record of his daughter Cyrene Brannen (1802-1881) who is the only one of his children that lived until 1880 and that we were able to forward trace to 1880. In that Census record Cyrene clearly indicates her father was born in Ireland and her mother was born in North Carolina. [1880 Elmore Co. AL U. S. Federal Census - Five Points Beat 12, ED. 71, page 7 (84D), family 37, Family of Christopher Powell]

     The earliest record we have found of William Brannen is a headright granting William Brannon 100 acres in Burke County, Georgia in 1790. [Lucas - Index to Headright and Bounty Grants of Georgia 1756-1909 Revised Ed. p. 63]. This suggests that William was in present day Screven County by 1789. There are about half a dozen deeds involving William Brannen, buying or selling land in Screven County between 1794 and 1805.

     An interesting deed is one dated 17 October 1796 where in William Brannen sold to Hardy Everette for $450, 450 acres, part of 950 acres on Little Ogeechee, bounded s. by vacant Stewart land, w. by vacant land, n. by vacant Temples and Fulgham, e. by Tumblin land, originally granted to Philip Dell, conveyed to William Black, to Robert Black, then to William Brannen. The deed was signed by William Brannen and wife, Elizabeth Brannen. Recorded 30 March 1808. [Screven Co. GA DB A-471] This deed suggests that William Brannen owned land in the area around the Little Ogeechee River in present day Hancock and Washington Counties, probably not too distant from present day Hamburg State Park. It is not clear when or even if he lived on that land. We did find where Phillip Dell was granted 500 acres in two lots in St. George Parish in 1770. This may well be part of that land although technically that area was west of the Ogeechee River and not in St. George Parish. The area around the Little Ogeechee River was Indian land until it became the original Washington County in 1784. One wonders when William acquired that land and under what circumstances he would be involved in an area so far removed from Screven County.

     It appears that William Brannen and family lived in Screven County from the earlly 1790's until 1814. William and Elizabeth Brannen's name first appear in Bulloch County as members of the Nevils Creek Baptist Church as recorded in the 1814 minutes. They also appear in the 1815 minutes but are not listed in the 1817 minutes. [Register - Bulloch County, Georgia Genealogical Source Material, p. 419] William also is a witness to a Stanford to Hodges Deed on 10 Sep 1814. [Register - Bulloch County, Georgia Genealogical Source Material, p. 51]

     William Brannen, his wife and young children appear to have moved to Jasper County Georgia in the early 1820's. William's last deeds in Bulloch County are dated 1818 and his daughter, Mary marries John Allen on 6 April 1819 in Jasper Co. Georgia. William and his family are enumerated in the 1820 Census of Bulloch Co. Georgia as follows:

     William Brannen is listed as Head of Family age 45+. There is 1male age 16-45 (John) 2 males age 10-15 (Hugh & Edmund) 4 males age <10. (possible grandchildren), 1 female age 16-45 (Elizabeth) 3 females 10-16 (Lucretia, Cyrene, Rhoda) (1820 U. S. Federal Census for Bulloch Co. GA. p. 15). Sons Solomon, William and Thomas Alexander and families are enumerated nearby. There are no foreigners not naturalized indicated and no slave or free colored enumerated. This suggests that Elizabeth, wife of William, was born around 1775. (1820 U. S. Federal Census for Bulloch Co. GA. p. 15).

     William and Elizabeth are no doubt in Jasper Co. Georgia from before 1825 to after 1831 as daughters Cyrene and Lucretia marry there in 1825 and 1827. Son Hugh C. Brannen also marries there in August of 1831. On 1 Dec 1829 William executed the following instrument in Jasper County, Georgia:

     "Know all men by these presents that for the love and affection which I have towards my beloved daughter, Rhodah Brannen, I have this day given to my said daughter, Rhodah the land whereon I am living containing 100 acres. All my household furniture, stock of any kind with all dues and demands which may be owing, all the above property to ge given in fee simple, at the death of myself and my lawful wife, Elizabeth Brannen." Signed: William Brannen Wit: Judith Hancock, William Hancock, Recd.: 1 Dec 1829. [Jasper Co. GA DB B-246]

     The 1830 Jasper Co. Georgia Census shows a William Braner as head of household as follows: Wm. Braner HH 1male 80-90 (William), 1 male 20-30 (Hugh C.), 1 female 20-30 (unknown), 1 female 50-60 (Elizabeth) [1830 Census of Jasper Co. Georgia, p. 378] This Wm. Braner is clearly William Brannen and his wife, Elizabeth, unmarried son Hugh C. and an unknown female, age 20-30. By 1830 all his four younger daughters who would be age 20-30 in 1830, Mary, Lucrecia, Cyrene, and Rhoda are all married and enumerated in the 1830 Census. Mary is living in Bulloch Co. Georgia with her husband, John Allen. Lucrecia, Cyrene and Rhoda are living near William and Elizabeth in Jasper County with their husbands, Henry Smith, C. W. Powell and William Moore respectively. Hugh is unmarried in 1830 and is likely the male age 20-30 in the 1830 census. It is possible that the unknown female age 20-30 is Rhoda as in 1829, William deeded his land to Rhoda. She may have been enumerated twice that year. Once with her husband and once with her parents on land that she technically owned. This clearly suggests that William was born between 1740 and 1750. Based on this census record we show his date of birth as circa 1745.

     
     In the Lower Lotts Creek Church in Bulloch County, Georgia minutes for March 1833 William Brannen is listed as a Male Member with the notation "dismissed by letter". William Brannen Jr. and Solomon Brannen are also listed in these minutes with the same notations. John and Edmund Brannen names are on the list also, however, without notation. [Register - Bulloch County, Georgia Genealogical Source Material, p. 422-3] This suggests that William Brannen returned to Bulloch County before 1833. The minutes from Lower Lotts Creek Church also show William Brannen as "Recieved by letter; Deceased" and Elizabeth Brannen as "Dismissed by letter" and "Deceased". It is not clear when these entries were made but they appear to have been made between March 1833 and February 1841. The William noted as deceased is very likely William Brannen (1745) as his son, William Brannen (1795) did not die until May 1841, after this notation would have been made. Thus these deceased entries in the Church minutes very likely refer to William Brannen (1745) and his wife Elizabeth. Other researchers indicate he did return to Bulloch County and lived with his son John until he died about 1840 and that he and his wife are buried at Lower Lotts Creek Church Cemetery, although there is no grave marker.
     

Children of William Brannen and Elizabeth (--?--)

Citations

  1. [S637] 1830 Census Jasper GA, Wm. Braner HH age 80-90 family, page 378.
  2. [S387] Alvaretta Kenan Register, Bulloch Co. GA Source Material, Minutes of Lower Lotts Creek Church. Pages 422-424.

Elizabeth (--?--)

F, b. circa 1770, d. after 1830
     Elizabeth was born circa 1770 at North Carolina, United States. She married William Brannen, son of "Progenitor" Brannen, circa 1786. Elizabeth died after 1830.

Children of Elizabeth (--?--) and William Brannen

Mary Ann Brannen

F, b. circa 1798, d. after 1860
Relationship
Niece of Thomas Brannen
     Mary was born circa 1798 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1 She was the daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys. She married Nathaniel Scott, son of James Scott and Sarah Brunson, circa 1819.2 Mary died after 1860.

Citations

  1. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Named as daughter of Thomas Brannen and wife, Jane in 5 December 1812 Screven Co. GA Deeds. DB A p. 145-148.
  2. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

Nathaniel Scott

M, b. circa 1797, d. after 1865
     Nathaniel was born circa 1797. He was the son of James Scott and Sarah Brunson. He married Mary Ann Brannen, daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys, circa 1819.1 Nathaniel died after 1865.

Citations

  1. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

James Scott

M
     He married Sarah Brunson.

Child of James Scott and Sarah Brunson

Sarah Brunson

F
     She married James Scott.

Child of Sarah Brunson and James Scott

Hope Brannen Sr.

F, b. circa 1793, d. 28 June 1867
Relationship
Niece of Thomas Brannen
     Hope was born circa 1793 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1,2 She was the daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys. She married Sophia Elizabeth Humprhreys, 26 Novermber 1829 at Barnwell, South Carolina, United States.3 Hope died on 28 June 1867 at Screven, Georgia, United States.4

Citations

  1. [S379] Teresa Whitelaw Miller, "Whitfield - Hendry Family Records."
  2. [S631] 1860 Census Screven GA, p. 59, dw. 10, fam. 10, Family of H. Brannen age 67 born Georgia.
  3. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."
  4. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Loose papers in File, Ord. Off. Screven Co. GA. June term 1891- Petition of Joseph C. Bryan for letters of Administration upon the estate of Hope Brannen, deceased, that Hope Brannen died 6-28-1867, that Sophia E. Brannen, wife was appointed Executrix of will and died leaving a part of estate unadministered..

Sophia Elizabeth Humprhreys

M, b. circa 1810, d. 27 June 1867
     Sophia was born circa 1810 at Milbury Grove, South Carolina, United States. He married Hope Brannen Sr., daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys, 26 Novermber 1829 at Barnwell, South Carolina, United States.1 Sophia died on 27 June 1867 at Black Creek, Screven, Georgia, United States.

Citations

  1. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

Sarah Brannen

F, b. circa 1806
Relationship
Niece of Thomas Brannen
     Sarah was born circa 1806 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1 She was the daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys. She married William H. Bryan, on 29 December 1826 at Screven, Georgia, United States.2

Citations

  1. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Named as daughter of Thomas Brannen and wife, Jane in 5 December 1812 Screven Co. GA Deeds. DB A p. 145-148.
  2. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

William H. Bryan

M, b. circa 1790, d. 29 August 1880
     William was born circa 1790. He married Sarah Brannen, daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys, on 29 December 1826 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1 William died on 29 August 1880.

Citations

  1. [S401] Judith Presnell Cannant, "Brannen-Bryan Family Records."

Jane Brannen

F, b. circa 1804
Relationship
Niece of Thomas Brannen
     Jane was born circa 1804 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1 She was the daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys. She married Paul B. Garnett.

Citations

  1. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Named as daughter of Thomas Brannen and wife, Jane in 5 December 1812 Screven Co. GA Deeds. DB A p. 145-148.

Paul B. Garnett

M
     He married Jane Brannen, daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys.

Delilah Brannen

F, b. circa 1808
Relationship
Niece of Thomas Brannen
     Delilah was born circa 1808 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1 She was the daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys.

Citations

  1. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Named as daughter of Thomas Brannen and wife, Jane in 5 December 1812 Screven Co. GA Deeds. DB A p. 145-148.

Celia A. Brannen

F, b. circa 1810
Relationship
Niece of Thomas Brannen
     Celia was born circa 1810 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1,2 She was the daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys. She married William A. Bennett, on 19 February 1841 at Screven, Georgia, United States.3

Citations

  1. [S380] Henry McLeod, 1880 Census Taylor FL, Dw. 390, Fm. 390, Family of Houston Brannen.
  2. [S624] Dixon Hollingsworth, "Hollingsworth Surname Card Collection", Named as daughter of Thomas Brannen and wife, Jane in 5 December 1812 Screven Co. GA Deeds. DB A p. 145-148.
  3. [S627] Berkley Ivey and Louise H. Ivey, Bulloch, Effingham, Screven GA Marriages,.

William A. Bennett

M, b. circa 1812, d. circa 1881
     William was born circa 1812 at South Carolina, United States. He married Celia A. Brannen, daughter of Thomas Brannen and Jane Humphreys, on 19 February 1841 at Screven, Georgia, United States.1 William died circa 1881.

Citations

  1. [S627] Berkley Ivey and Louise H. Ivey, Bulloch, Effingham, Screven GA Marriages,.