Francis and Elizabeth Bressie

Francis and Elizabeth Bressie

Francis Bressie was born about 1700 in Norfolk County, Virginia. Most researchers believe his parents were William and Mary (Merry) Bressie. They were more than likely natives of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. There were a large number of Bressie, Bracy, Bracey, Brassee and other variants of the name living in Isle of Wight County during the 17th Century. Many of these Bressies had the same Christian name which makes it extremely difficult to trace the lineage of Francis Bressie. It is believed that Francis Bressie's grandfather was a Thomas Bressie (Brassee). Most of the early Bressies came to Virginia from Bristol, England. There was a Hugh Bressie in Virginia in the early 1600's and it is believed that he is one of Francis Bressie's ancestors. Hugh Bressie was a supporter of the Friends of Society or the Quaker movement in Virginia; however there is no evidence that Francis Bressie was a Quaker.

Sometime about 1723 Francis Bressie married Elizabeth Wiggs (?) of Isle of Wight County and by 1724 they were living in Prince George County, Virginia. There were nine children born of their marriage. They were:

1. William Bressie - Birthdate not known. He was married to an Elizabeth __________ and they had at least one child, probably more. The known child was named Anne Bressie and she married Bressie Lewis, her cousin. William Bressie was an officer during the Revolutionary War. He was commissioned as a Captain in the Virginia State Line and also served in the 3rd, 5th and 7th Virginia Regiments of the Continental Line from March 1778 to July 1779. He was awarded a land grant of 4,000 acres for his military service. William Bressie was still living 2 May 1832. Nothing further is known of William Bressie.

2. Elizabeth Bressie - Born 23 December 1724, Prince George County, Virginia. Birth recorded in the Bristol Parish Vestry Book of that county. Nothing further is known of Elizabeth Bressie.

3. John Bressie - birthdate not known. He married Mary Wilkin (?) and they had at least two children who were named Francis and John Bressie. Nothing further is known of John Bressie.

4. Mary Bressie - Born about 3 July 1731 in Prince George County, Virginia. Her birth and baptism is recorded in the Bristol Parish Vestry flock of that county. Mary Bressie married Edward Lewis, Sr., about 1750 and they established a residence in a section of Lunenburg County which in 1765 became part of Mecklenburg County. There were at least 11 children born of the marriage. They were Thomas, Edward, Jr., Francis. Martha, John, Elizabeth, Nathaniel, (my ancestor) William, Mary, Ann (called Nancy) and Bressie Lewis. Mary Bressie Lewis died in December 1781.

5. Thomas Bressie - Born 22 February 1733 in Prince George County, Virginia. His birth is recorded in the Bristol Parish Vestry Book of that county. He married Elizabeth and they had at least one child, a son, named Thomas M. Bressie. Thomas Bressie was an officer in one of the Virginia State Line during the Revolutionary War. He was a Captain in 1776 in the 2nd Regiment of the Virginia State Line and by 1783 he was a Major. At the end of the war he was awarded 4,666 acres of land for his military service and was living at the time of the award at Portsrnouth,Virginia. He died after 1789.

6. Irby Bressie - Birthdate not known. He married Ann Ivy of Nansemond County, Virginia on 9 April 1764. It is not known if there were any children of the marriage. He died in 1783.

7, Henry Bressie - Birthdate is not known. He was married; however, the name of his wife is not known. Henry Bressie lived and died in Norfolk County, Virginia. He was a merchant and owned property near Great Bridge. There were at least two children of his marriage: Henry, Jr., and Ann Bressie. Henry Bressie died about May 1782.

8. Samuel Bressie - Born 12 February 1741 in Prince George County, Virginia. His birth is recorded in the Bristol Parish Vestry Book of that county. He married Sarah Murden on 15 July 1765 in Norfolk County, Virginia. There were at least five children born of the marriage. They were James, Samuel Jr., Henry, John and Charlotte Bressie. Samuel Bressie died in Norfolk County in 1779.

9. Jane Bressie - Birthdate is not known. She married Zachariah Baker in Lunenburg County, Virginia and they lived in a section of that county which later became part of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. There were at least five children born of the marriage. They were:

Elizabeth, Maryanna, Sarah, Francis Bressie and William Baker. Nothing is further known of Jane (Bressie) Baker.

In the year 1726, Francis Bressie received a land grant in Prince George County, Virginia on the north side of Stony Creek between the head branches of the Cattail and the head branches of the Chamberlain Bed Creeks. The records of Prince George County have a number of entries pertaining to the activities of Francis and Elizabeth Bressie and they are presented below:

I. On 8 August 1726, Francis Bressie sold 500 acres of his land grant (Page 911, Prince George County, Virginia Deed Book 1713-1728).

2. On 8 October 1726, Francis Bresgie and his wife, Elizabeth,. of Prince George County, sold to John Manson of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 200 acres of land on Stony Creek, being a part of a greater tract of land granted to Bressie. The land was bounded by Henry Maynard, William Tucker and said Manson (Page 995, Prince George County, Virginia Deed Book 1713-1728)

3. Francis Bressie on 18 October 1726 sold 200 acres of land to William Tucker. William Bressie was a witness to the sale. Elizabeth Bressie, wife of Francis Bressie, later appointed an attorney to secure her dower rights to the property. She later relinguished her rights (Page 994, Prince George County, Virginia Deed Book 1713-1728) COMMENT: William Bressie who witnessed the sale may have been the father of Francis Bressie.

4. Francis Bressie was awarded 1O87 acres of land in Prince George County, Virginia on both sides of the upper Nottoway River Road between Stony Creek ad Gravilly Run and the head of the Cattail Run in the line of Captain Francis Eppes. . adjacent to Francis and Isham Eppes tract of 649 acres.. adjacent to William Browdens new and his old line of his 100 acres.. adjacent to George Andrew Browdy line.. adjacent Maynard/Alias/Jones Irvin line.. (Patent 22/254, 10 July 1745).

5. In the Bristol Parish Vestry book is the following entry for the year 1728: "Francis Bracey having signified to his Vestry that he is willing to Provide for peter Plantine for the usual allowance, ord'red that the sd Plantine ( immediately) repair to ye sd bracey. For several years Francis Bressie was one of the men appointed to procession the land, that is, prepare tax lists.

6. In 1729, Francis Bressie received a license to operate an ordinary or an inn. This entry can be Found in the Prince George County Minute Book, 1737-1740: "Francis Bressie with James Keith, his security, entered into the sum of Four Thousand pounds of tobacco, with condition for his well keeping an ordinary at his house on Gravilly Run Road, and acknowleged the same in court." Recorded 13 February 1738.

7. In 1737 Francis Bressie was paid for setting horse blocks and seats in the church (Bristol Parish Vestry Book, Prince George County, Virginia).

8. On 4 June L742, Francis Bressie was a witness of Seth Pettypool at the suit of William and Francis Poythress, executors of John Fitzgerald, deceased. He was paid 280 pounds of tobacco for four days attendance at court and for travel of thirty miles (Brunswick County, Order Book 2, page 129, 4 June 1742) COMMENT: Note that this entry is in the Brunswick County records and not the Prince George County records. Undoubtedly, Francis Bressie travelled from his home in Prince George County to Brunswick County to serve as a witness.

Something prompted Francis Bressie to move from Prince George County to Brunswick County about 1745. In the early 1740's there was a great deal of interest in the possibility of mining copper and gold along Butchers Creek and its tributaries in southwestern Brunswick County. This is mentioned in William Byrd's paper, Journey to the Land of Eden, which is a journal of a trip to the mines on Butchers Creek. Interests in these mines may have caused Francis Bressie to move from Prince George County to Brunswick County and to purchase land on Butchers Creek. On 4 March 1745 Francis Bressie bought from Richard and Mary York for 35 pounds, "a certain tract or parcel of land with a plantation grist mill thereon on two hundred and four acres lying on both sides of Butchers Creek in the county of Brunswick." The same year he built a bridge over the Nottoway River, called the Upper Cut Bank Bridge. For this work he was paid 46 shillings, and 2 pence half penny (Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 3, page 153).

In the same year that he purchased the land in Brunswick County, that section of land lie bought on Butchers Creek became part of the newly formed county of Lunenburg. The records of that county show some activities of Francis Bressie as follows:

1. In 1746 Francis Bressie presented the Brunswick County Court with a petition that Josias Rand owed him rnoney on account (Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 3, page 45, 95, 200)

2. In March 1747 Francis Bressie petitioned the Lunenburg County Court for a mill on Butchers Creek (Lunenburg County, Virginia Order Book 1, page 290, 395).

3. On 7 September 1747, Francis Bressie "of the parish of Cumberland of Lunenburg County" bought 362 acres of land on the west side of Butchers Creek (Lunenhurg County, Virginia Deed Book 1, page 227).

4. On 14 April 1753 Francis Bressie of Lunenburg County brought legal action against the estate of Henry Maynard in Dinwiddle County, Virginia to recover some land. The records of Dinwiddle County reflect the following entry: " 14 April 1753, for Francis Bressier of Lunenburg Co. 564 ac. on both sides Nottoway P. Rd. adj. Anthony Haynes, Rinalt Hington, William Tucker, William Carey, John Hailey & Jones Irvine. Being part of a tract formerly granted Francis Bressier (no date of patent) and by said Bressier sold Henry Maingard for 500 ac. bearing date 9 August 1726, who died seized of said land without any heirs. After whose death said Bressier sued out an Escheat Warrant for said land and caused a Jury to be thereon, who found the same Escheatable, and on the present survey is found to contain 564 ac." (Dinwiddle County, Virginia Surveyor's Platt flook, 1755-1865).

5. Francis Bressie on 2 December 1754 sold 100 acres of land to his son, Thomas Bressie, for 50 pounds. His reason for selling being that he was moving. The property sold was on the south side of Butchers Creek, at "the mouth of the second branch above the plantation whereon the said Francis Bressie now lives", to Robert Easters to creelk, down the creek to the begining. Samuel Bressie was one of the witnesses (Lunenburg Deed Book 4, page 349)

6. On 1 April 1755, Francis Bressie sold 80 acres on Butchers Creek to Thomas Avery (Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed flook 4, page 60).

7. Francis Bressie on 16 June 1756 received a patent for 4,681 acres on the branches of Butchers Creek and Sandy Creek. In September of the same year he sold 1000 acres of the grant for 100 pounds to John Arnistead (Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 4, page 311). On 26 November of the same year, he sold 100 acres on the north branch of Butchers Creek to Phebe Akins (Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 4, page 349).

Sometime after 1756 Francis Bressie moved south of the Roanoke River, or at least applied for a land grant in that area. He wrote his will on 16 January 1761 and died before 2 March 1762, the date his will was proved. The will was recorded on 4 May 1762 in Lunenburg County. The grant for 1000 acres of land on the south side of the Roanoke River, south to a point in the Bracey's line (Probably his son John Bressie), and to Island Creek was dated 23 May 1763, one year after his death. Following his death an inventory of his estate was made and it was recorded in March 1763 (Lunenburg County, Virginia Order Book 9, page 21)

The appraisal of his estate showed his personal possessions included the following: four feather beds, a trunk, two tables, spoons, a chest, a box of cooking utensils, a brass kettle, two saws, two guns, a parcel of books, a slate, tobacco, cattle, etc. Francis Bressie was more than likely buried on the Bressie plantation near the Roanoke River in Hecklenburg County, Virginia.

375. The records of Lunenburg and Mecklenburg Counties, Virginia both reflect that Elizabeth Bressie, widow of Francis Bressie, Sr., was quite active in the management of her deceased husbands assets following his death. The records contain a number of entries which are discussed below:

1. On 9 July 1764 Elizabeth Bressie sold 600 acres of land of the Bressie grant which was south of the Roanoke River to Samuel Tarry. The sale was witnessed by Thomas Bressie, her son (Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 9, page 199).

2. Elizabeth Bressy on 10 July 1767 sold to her nephew, Francis Bressie, son of Thomas Bracy, 600 acres of land, part of the tract of 4680 acres patented by Francis Bressie, Sr., on 16 June 1756. The land was bounded by "Christopher Hudson and the Land that was deeded to Thomas Smith by Francis Bressie, Thos. Cunn and William White." The sale was witnessed by William Bressie, Samuel Bressie and Edward Lewis (Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 1, page 456).

3. On 4 January 1776, Elizabeth Bressie sold to Robert Munford some land on both sides of Butchers Creek having a grist mill theron "beginning on the west side of Butchers Creek at Munford's corner thence along the said Munford’s line to Little Creek thence up the said creek to Edward Lewis’ line thence along said line to Abraham Hester's line, thence along the said line to Butchers Creek across the said creek to Puryear's line to Munford's line on the east side of the creek to Butchers Creek, down the creek to the beginning." It was a sale of about 400 acres of land exclusive of a tract of 100 acres, more or less, formerly deeded by Francis Bressie, Sr., to his son Thomas Bressie. Excepted from the sale was, " The Grave Yard wherein the family are interred---." The deed was witnessed by Edward Lewis, Sr., and Edward Lewis, Jr. and it was recorded on 13 May 1776 (Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 4, page 519).

4, On 3 January 1780, Elizabeth Bressie deeded to Francis Lewis, her nephew, 100 acres of land on a branch of Butchers Greek, bounded by the lines of Mr. John Armistead and Mr. Call. The deed was witnessed by Clement Blackburn, Peter Puryear and Benjamin Hopkins and was recorded on 9 April 1780)

5. On 13 May 1782 Elizabeth Bressic gave a power of attorney to her son Thomas Bressie which read to wit, "To all to whom these presents shall come I Elizabeth Bessie of the county of Mecklenburg send Greetings, whereas know ye that I the said Elizabeth Bressie the elder relying on the faith, Trust and Fidelity of my son Thomas Bressie do by these presents appoint him my special attorney and agent to do transact and perform whatever worldly business that hath or may hereafter occur in regard to my Temporal concerns and the more so as I am now growing aged and infirm and unable to perform the same -----," (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 6, page 174).

6. Elizabeth Bressie wrote her will on I May 1782. It was witnessed by John Potter, William Baker, and William Hudson.

Elizabeth Bressie died about November 1782 since her will was proved on 11 November 1782. It was recorded on 12 June 1786. She was probably buried in the Bressie Graveyard next to her husband's grave.

The above information was compiled from several sources. I do not assert acuracy. Please verify information independently. Corrections and additions would be welcome. Send E-mail to: Janet Crain . Last updated: June 12, 2000.

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