Cawyer, P.O. Box 164, Stephenville, TX
Joseph Brittain was dead long before Buncombe County was formed, we submit
this sketch as Joseph Brittain was the progenitor of all the Brittain descendants
in western North Carolina.
According to NSDAR #523976, this Joseph Brittain was born in 1723.
We do not have proof of this, but it seems logical, since Joseph was still
fathering children in the 1760's. We do not know the parents of Joseph
Brittain. Much has been written on a James Brittain, born between
1699-1710 (various records give different dates), in Wales, married Mary
Witty. If Mary Witty was near the age of her husband, then she would
not be the mother of children born in the mid-1750's. This compiler
has many genealogies of the "James from Wales," and each record has a different
version, or list for his children. We do accept Joseph Brittain as
our ancestor, for his Will names all of his children, and we have traced
all of these up to ca 1849, by deeds, court minutes and other records.
Joseph Brittain, living in Orange Co, NC, in 1764 when he sold land in
Hampshire Co, Virginia; Joseph also appears in the Court Minutes of Orange
Co. His Will mentions land in Orange Co, NC. His widow, Jemima Brittain,
is listed in the court minutes of Orange Co, and some of his sons are there
The children as
listed in the Will, probated August 1774, Rowan Co, NC, Will Blk., A.,
1. Mary Elrod.
(We find many mentions of Elrods in early Burke Co, NC, records connected
to the Brittains.)
2. "My Eldest
Son, James Brittain, one improvement joining
the place I now live on."
3. Phoebe Brittain.
(We find a Phoebe Poteet, wife of John Poteet, Sr., who is on the 1850
census of Burke Co, born in NC ca 1772. There was also a Brittain
Poteet born soon after 1800 in Burke Co, NC.) Jemima Brittain, the widow.
She is on the 1790 census of Burke County with young males in her household.)
"I give and bequeath unto my six youngest sons" (Indicating that they are
minors, as they shall get their part when they come of age and have their
4. Phillip Brittain,
born ca 1760. (He was in Burke Co, NC 60 1816 [sic] when he sold
his land to John Smith. Phillip Brittain was a musician in the Revolutionary
War. He was living in Bedford Co, Tenn. in 1818 when he applied for
a Rev. Pension. It is believed that his first wife was Mary Walker,
daughter of George Walker of Burke Co. There are many deeds in Burke
Co. between Phillip and Mary Brittain and the Walker family.)
Brittain, born 1762 in Orange Co, NC; died 12 March 1846 in Buncombe
Co, NC; married Rachel Brank, a daughter of Peter Brank. William
Brittain was a Sgt. in the Revolutionary War. He was living in Burke
Co. in 1790, then his land was located in what was Buncombe Co. in 1792.
6. Joseph Brittain
Jr., born ca 1756 in NC, died 1823 in Bedford, now Marshall Co,NC.
Married in Orange Co, NC, 1786 to Dorothy Herner. Joseph Jr. appears
on Court Minutes of Burke Co. early.
7. Benjamin Brittain.
We do not know when he was born, and he is gone from the Burke Co, NC Court
Records after 1820. One source gives Benjamin Brittain's age as born
ca 1759/60 in Orange Co, NC, married there 30 July 1785 to ComfortDunnigan,
dau of William and Sarah Dunnigan.
8. Aaron Brittain,
born between 1765/67, according to the 1800 through 1840 census for Burke
Co, NC. He is not on the 1850 census of Burke Co, and the last mention
of him on the Burke Co. Court Minutes is 1849.9. Samuel Brittain was under
age 16 on the 1790 census of Burke Co, living with hismother. Samuel
is on the Court Minutes of Burke Co, beginning in 1793 when he was on road
work, up to Jan. 1813. In Oct. 1801, Zachariah Downs deeded 51 acres
to Samuel Brittain. This is probably when Samuel married.
Bk of Rowan Co, NC & Court Minutes of Rowan Co.
NC Court Minutes and Deeds.
NC census from 1790 through 1900.
with descendants of the Burke Co. Brittains.
May 1984, Vol. V, #5, p. 84-41 thru 45
SR. & DELILAH (STRINGFIELD) BRITTAIN
Shirley (Brittain) Cawyer P.O. Box 164,
According to the 1880 census of Greenville Co, SC, James Brittain Jr. gave
both his parents' birthplaces as Virginia.
James Brittain Sr. was born ca 1750/55 in Va. He died between 26
Jan. 1831 and the 6th of Jan. 1832. Buncombe Co, Court Minutes and Quarter
Pleas, Bk. 6; Jan. 7, 1832 term of Court. "In the inventory of notes
in favor of Thomas Jones, dec'd., now in the hands of William D. and Russell
L. Jones...one note made 26 Jan. 1831 to James Brittain, Sr. for $280.00.
Buncombe Co, Court Min. Bk. 6, page 14; 6 Jan. 1832. Court ordered
James D. Justice, David McCarson and Charles Greer, Esqurs., to be appointed
a com- mittee to settle with Philip Brittain and John Y. Murray, admrs.
of the estate of James Brittain, Sr., dec'd., and that they report the
results of the proceedings to next term of court. Bk. 6, page 12,
Saturday, Jan. 12, 1833. Buncombe Minute Dockets for 1833.
The estate inventory of James Brittain, Sr. was submitted to Court by the
Admrs., Philip Brittain and John Murray. Among those owing money
to the estate were P. Brittain; Wm. B. Lenoir; John Williams; John Osburn;
Thomas Edwards; Benj. S. Brittain; and David McCarson.
James Brittain was "the eldest son" of Joseph Brittain whose Will was written
12th August 1773, and probated August 1774 in Rowan Co, NC. It is
believed that the mother of James was a first wife of Joseph's, as the
Will provides for three children, then goes on to mention six younger sons.
James Brittain, Sr. was in Burke Co, NC, as early as 20 Feb. 1778 when
he is mentioned in a land transaction. #260, p. 87. He remains in
what was then Burke Co, until shortly before 1790 census when he is on
the census of Rutherford Co, NC, not far from his father-in-law, James
Stringfield. He is listed on the 1800 census of Buncombe Co, NC,
We find James Stringfield, Sr. as a witness to the Will of Joseph Brittain
in 1774 in Rowan Co, NC, then James Stringfield appears on the earliest
land records of Burke Co, along with James Brittain, Sr., and then the
two are neighbors on the 1789 census. James Stringfield moved to
Barren Co, Ky, ca 1795 and before 1800. There are deeds in Barren
Co, Ky, where James Stringfield mentions James Brittain, Sr. of Buncombe
Co. (No relation is listed, but it is tradition that a daughter,
Stringfield married "Col" James Brittain.)
James Brittain, Sr. was on the first court records, deeds, etc. of Buncombe
Co. and he served in the Senate from Buncombe Co, from 1796 through 1807.
It is not known when Delilah Stringfield Brittain was born, but we have
the birth dates for her brothers, and they were born in the 1760's.
It is likely that Delilah was the youngest child. She is not on the
1820 census of Buncombe with James. James is listed as over 45; one
male is under 10 (this would be Horation Nelson Brittain), and one female
under 10 (this would be Delilah, the sister to Horatio N.).
Henderson Co, NC, Deed Bk. 2, page 138, Grant #3195; entered 28th day of
December 1821. State of NC to James Brittain, 100 acres on Crab Creek
to be granted to: Mary Edwards; Jos. Brittain (this could be another
son, or perhaps the son Philip was given both the names Joseph Philip ?);
Amelia Edwards; Keziah Pace; Benj. S. Brittain; Nancy Stevens (no record
of this daughter); Comfort Bell (wife of Montgomery Bell); William Brittain;
Susannah M. Wilson (m. in Haywood Co, NC, 5 Feb. 1822 to Asaph Wilson);
Jas Brittain, Jr.; Lorenzo Dow Brittain; Horatio Nelson Brittain; and Delilah
Brittain, heirs of said James Brittain. (This is the only record,
or proof of the names of the children of James Brittain, Sr.)
The above deed was not recorded until 28 Feb. 1842, and since the land
was in Henderson Co, the deed was recorded there. Henderson Co, NC,
Deed Bk. 3, page 397; date of deed was 1843. Phillip, James Jr.,
and William Brittain, sold to Boyd McCrary, 100 acres on Crab Creek.
The deed does not mention the other heirs.
James Brittain, Sr. served in the Revolutionary War from 1 Dec. 1776 to
1 Feb. 1780. He was in the 9th Regt., Col. John Williams, Cook's
Co. He appears on many deeds, court minutes, and other records for
Burke, Rutherford, Buncombe, and Haywood Counties, NC.
In the book, Lost Links, by Eliz. Francis and Ethel S. Moore, and reprinted
in 1975 by The Genealogical Publishing Co. of Baltimore, MD, we find the
following mention of James Brittain Sr.:
Veterans Administration, Bureau of Pensions, Burke Co, NC, 22 Oct. 1832,
Joseph Dobson, resident of Burke Co, aged about 76 yrs old, his age was
recorded in a large family Bible which said Dobson states that he has,
states that Joseph Dobson was born 4 June 1756....that he entered the service
in March 1776....under Captain John Haiden?, Lt. James Brittain's own regiment
was commanded by Cols. Beakman (or Bateman), and Charles McDowell....(the
article goes on to describe the battles Joseph Dobson was in during his
service.) Joseph Dobson of Burke Co, was closely connected to the
brothers of James Brittain in deeds, court minutes, etc.
We have submitted sketches of most of the children of James Brittain, Sr.
and wife Delilah Stringfield. Yet nothing has been found on the daughters,
Nancy (Brittain) Stevens, and the youngest daughter Delilah Brittain.
We have traced Asaph Wilson on Haywood Co. deeds and Court Minutes up to
ca 1840. He did not leave an estate in Haywood Co, and we do not
know the names of his children, if any.
This compiler has located eighty-four grandchildren of James and Delilah
(Stringfield) Brittain, to date. We have located by actual count,
three hundred and sixty-seven great-grandchildren, and not all have been
The following list of the Brittain children is better organized, and easier
Brittain married Thomas Edwards
(this is Phillip (Joseph?) Brittain, b. 1787; d. 1849; married Melinda
Lewis, 2 May 1823.
Brittain (1785-1851) m. Ellis Edwards
Brittain (1786-1843) m. Jeremiah R. Pace
Stringfield Brittain (1793-1864) m. Celia Vance
Nancy Brittain. No further information other than that she married
Brittain (1796-1873) m. Montgomery
(see sketch in Vol. I, Heritage of Old Buncombe Co.)
Brittain (1797-1867) m. Rachel Clayton
Susannah M. Brittain. No data except her marriage in 1822 in Haywood
Co, NC, to Asaph Wilson.
Brittain, Jr. b. 8 May 1803, Buncombe Co.
Dow Brittain, b. 1805; d. 1832.
Nelson Brittain, b. ca 1815; d. ca 1865.
Brittain. No further data except that she was not married in December
1823 when she was deeded land in Buncombe Co. with her brother Horatio
Nelson Brittain, by James Ruthledge, paid for "in hand," by James Brittain,
May 1984, Vol. V, #5, p. 84-41 thru 45
James Brittain, Jr., son of
James Brittain, Sr. and
Delilah Stringfield, was born 8 May 1803, Buncombe Co, NC. His
death date and place are not know, yet he was on the 1870 and 1880 census
of Greenville Co, SC, and we assume he died there. (His birth date
is recorded in an old Bible in the possession of Mrs. Velma Sumrell of
James Brittain, Jr. married (1) Rachel R. (probably daughter of James McConnell
Smith and "Polly" Patton of Buncombe Co. This is only tradition and
not documented as yet.) Rachel R. Brittain was b. 12 July 1812, Buncombe
Co, NC; d. 31 Dec. 1853; bur. Mills River Methodist Cemetery, Henderson
There are many deeds, court minutes, and other records of James Brittain
Jr. recorded in both Buncombe and Henderson Counties. He is listed
with his father, brothers and some brothers-in-law on some deeds.
Children of James
Brittain Jr. and Rachel R. (Smith?) were:
P. Brittain, b. 30 Jan. 1834, Buncombe Co, NC. Married in Rutherford
Co, 27 March 1855 to Sarah Ursula Harris, b. 7 Oct. 1834, Rutherford Co;
d. 31 May 1904. She was the daughter of John Washington Harris and
his wife Sarah Whiteside. Their children:
Washington Brittain, died young
2. Mary Salome
Brittain, b. ca 1839, Henderson Co, NC. She married William Nelson
Harrison on 16 April 1856. They separated, and Mary managed the "Florence
Crittendon Home for Girls" in Knoxville, TN. William was on the 1900
census of Henderson Co. living alone, and listed as a widower. She
died April 7, 1912 in Henderson Co.
[Harrison], b. Feb. 20, 1857; d. Sept 3, 1952; bur. Roanoke, VA; m.
M. Harris [sic], who moved to Russellville, Ala; married twice.
Alein Harris [sic], b. ca 1864; d. ca 1897, Henderson Co; m. Walter C.
Harris who d. 1904, Henderson Co.
Swannono Harris [sic], b. Aug. 9, 1866; d. 1950, Buncombe Co, NC.
Married (1) Lewis Tunstill, train engineer, killed on Saluda Mountain;
28, 1897 to Robert Franklin Cline, b. Dec. 12, 1870, Catawba Co, NC; d.
1949, Buncombe Co, NC.
Nelson Harris [sic], Jr., b. after 1870. No further information.
Note: There is a 1919 marriage record in Henderson
Co. for Willian N. Harris and Eva Phyllis Stevens. It is not known
if this is a son of the above family or not.
February 1985, Vol. VI, #2, p. 85-10
& SOPHIA MELINDA (LEWIS) BRITTAIN
Cawyer, P.O. Box 164, Stephenville, TX 76401
Phillip Brittain, son of James and Delilah
(Stringfield) Brittain, was born 15 July 1787 in what was then Burke
Co, NC. (Tombstone recording by Sadie Patton.) No record has
been found of his first marriage. He married in Buncombe Co. 2 May
1823 to Miss Sophia Melinda Lewis, b. 9 Sept. 1802; d. 16 Feb. 1887.
She was a daughter of Henry Grady Lewis and Mourning Mills.
Phillip Brittain was called "General" but he was appointed Captain in the
War of 1812. Sophia M. Brittain submitted her Bible record when she
applied for a land patent in 1853. This record lists the children
with the birthdates. Another old Bible was located in Greenville,
SC, that lists the death dates. Also, see The Lewis Genealogy in
America, pub. 1893 by William Terrell Lewis of Winston Co, Miss.
Phillip Stanhope Brittain, b. 21 Nov. 1824, Buncombe Co; d. 31 Dec. 1895;
bur. Oakdale Cem, Henderson Co; m. at age 64 to Addie Livingston, age 24,
on 1 Nov. 1887. No issue.
Eliza Mourning Brittain, b. 21 May 1826, Buncombe Co; d. 7 Apr 1877, in
Arkansas or Idaho; m. 10 Dec. 1857 to Dr. James G. (or Joseph) Blackstock
as his second wife.
Attilla Delilah Brittain, b. 28 Feb. 1828, Buncombe Co; d. 27 July 1889;
bur. Henderson Co; m. 10 Dec 1857 to William B. Henry.
James H. Brittain, b. 15 May 1829, Buncombe Co; d. 28 June 1848.
Benjamin C. Brittain, b. 11 Oct. 1831, Buncombe Co; d. 25 July 1893. Not
Sophia D. Brittain, b. 20 Feb. 1834; d. 17 Sept. 1835.
William Gaston Brittain, b. 4 Sept. 1835; d. 3 July 1900, Spartanburg,
SC. He was called "Judge" as he had served as a member of the House
of Representatives. He married Permelia McDowell, b. Nov. 1842 in
SC, dau of John Y. and Mary McDowell of Spartanburg, SC. Served
in the Civil War, enlisting from Polk Co, NC.
Laura L. Brittain, b. 3 March 1837; d. 22 May 1921; bur. Boyleston Cemetery,
Henderson Co, NC. She married William Henry Cairnes (1845-1901).
Annie Eugenia Brittain, b. 7 Sept. 1838, Henderson Co; d. 6 July 1891,
Henderson Co; m. Norris Allison on 28 Sept. 1865. No issue.
Tippaconoe "Tip" Brittain, b. 29 Apr. 1840, Henderson Co, NC; d. 20 Sept.
1919 at Mills River. She did not marry until she was 47 years old
- to Mr. Solomon Franklin Young, age 50 years, Henderson Co, NC, 23 July
ALOB, July 1984, Vol. V, #7, p. 84-62
ALOB, September 1984, Vo. V, #9, p. 84-85
STRINGFIELD BRITTAIN and his wife CELIA VANCE
Shirley (Brittain) Cawyer
Benjamin Stringfield Brittain, son of James Brittain,
Sr. and Delilah Stringfield, was born 1793 in Buncombe Co, NC, and
died 19 Aug. 1864 in Cherokee Co, NC. He married 20 May 1817, Buncombe
Co. to Celia Vance, born 1795, Buncombe Co. and died 22 May, 1879, Cherokee
Co, NC. She was a daughter of Col. David Vance and his wife, Priscilla
Brank of Buncombe Co. Both Benj. S. and Celia (Vance) Brittain are
buried in the Harshaw Chapel Cemetery, Cherokee Co, NC.
Benjamin S. Brittain was sheriff of Buncombe Co. from 1817-1822.
He moved to Haywood Co. in 1823 and bought land from his brother-in-law
Ellis Edwards. This land was located on Pigeon River. Benjamin
served in the House of Commons from Haywood County from 1827-1829, and
in the Senate from Macon Co. from 1832-1835. He served in the Mexican
War. Many deeds are recorded in Buncombe, Haywood, Macon and Cherokee
Counties, NC for him.
Children of Benjamin
Stringfield and Celia (Vance) Brittain:
Catherine Brittain, b. 20 March 1819, Buncombe Co, NC; d. 4 Feb.
1905, Cherokee Co. Married in Cherokee Co, 4 April 1843 to Ambrose
Mauney, b. 23 Oct 1817, Lincoln Co, NC; d. 3 July 1874. Both are
buried in the Harshaw Chapel Cemetery, Cherokee Co, NC.
Priscilla A. Brittain,
b. 20 March 1821, Buncombe Co; m. 14 Nov.
to G.N. Bean.
Franklin Brittain, b. 24 Feb. 1825, Haywood Co, NC; d. 22
Sept. 1847 in the Mexican War.
Lafayette Brittain, b. 1 April 1827, Haywood Co; d. 25 Feb.
1904, Cherokee Co. He married in 1854 to Sarah Catherine
Tennessee, b. 27 May 1835, Burke Co, NC; d. after 1900, Cherokee
Co, NC. Catherine was a daughter of David and Catherine
Hennessee of Cherokee Co.
Wilson Brittain, b. 9 May 1829, Macon Co, NC; d. 8 April 1899,
Cherokee Co. He served in the Civil War. He married 1st to
Elizabeth (?) and had issue. He married 2nd to Nancy Taylor, age
in Cherokee Co, NC, 17 Feb. 1887.
D. (Delilah?) Brittain, b. 29 April 1835, Macon Co, NC; d. 26 Sept.
1865, Cherokee Co, NC.
E. Brittain, b. 24 Feb. 1837, Macon Co, NC; d. 27 May 186_? at
Lynchburg, VA. C.S.A.
Thomas Brittain, b. 3 December 1839, Cherokee Co, NC; d. 8
January 1850, Cherokee Co, NC.
September 1984, Vol. V, #9, p. 84-83 thru 85
Brittain married Delia Stringfield
Brittain married Rachel Clayton
Brittan b. 12 Aug 1837 Buncombe Co., NC,* d. 7 June 1910 Buncombe Co.,
NC* *; married William B. Moore, b. 7 Mar 1834;d. 9 Nov 1922.
V. Lillian Estelle
Moore b. 15 Sept 1875 Henderson Co., NC, d. 3 Dec 1956 Burke Co., NC; married
Claude Lucian Felmet b. 16 Apr 1874, Buncombe Co., NC; d. 5 Apr 1946, Buncombe
VI. Lucian Holt
Felmet, Sr. b. 11 Apr 1907 Buncombe Co., NC, d. 7 Sept. 1983 Wake Co. NC
married Mary Louise Roberson b. 16 Apr 1909 Buncombe Co., NC.
VII. Lucian Holt
Felmet, Jr. b. 8 Mar 1946 Wake Co., NC; mar. 16 June 1973 Harnett Co.NC
now Clay County, **now Henderson County
CO., NC MARRIAGES
EMLYN J, 39 - WASHINGTON-DC
ROSINA M, 31 - WASHINGTON-DC
J., 28 - TENNESSEE
MATTIE ( MRS), 30
J. H., 23
AVALINE F., 19
J. V., 32 CHEROKEE CO-NC
MARY A., 30
JULIUS L., 33
ELLA E., 28
LUCY, 22 - HELENA-SC
MONTERVILLE G., 31 - BREVARD-NC
NANCY E., 28
R. P., 25
LULIA H., 18
ROSWELL S., 24 - VA
EMILY B., 23
THOMAS J. JR, 24
ELSIE M., 22 - DOZIER-AL