The Perry-Poole Family Tree - Person Sheet
The Perry-Poole Family Tree - Person Sheet
NameRobert Brasseur (Brashear) 167
Birthabt 1590, France
Deathabt 1666, Nansemond Co., Virginia
Misc. Notes
ROBERT BRASSEUR, THE HUGUENOT       

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 with at least seven children and to Virginia in the early 1630's.  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 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.    

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 in part: "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/oBenois ; 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. Cheers,
Spouses
Birthabt 1592, France
Deathabt 1665, Calvert Co., Maryland
Marriageabt 1611, France
ChildrenBenjamin (Benois) (~1620-1663)
 John (~1624-1697)
 Thomas (~1626-1709)
 Robert (~1630-1665)
Last Modified 13 Mar 2017Created 14 Jan 2022 using Reunion for Macintosh
Created Friday, January 14, 2022 by Mike Perry

using Reunion for Macintosh