Brittain, James Sr. & Delilah (Stringfield)

submitted by Shirley (Brittain) Cawyer P.O. Box 164,
Stephenville, TX 76401
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, page 162.

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, Delilah 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 found.

Editors note: The following list of the Brittain children is better organized, and easier to follow:

1. Mary Brittain married Thomas Edwards
2. Joseph (this is Phillip (Joseph?) Brittain, b. 1787; d. 1849; married Melinda Lewis, 2 May 1823.
3. Amelia Brittain (1785-1851) m. Ellis Edwards
4. Keziah Brittain (1786-1843) m. Jeremiah R. Pace
5. Benjamin Stringfield Brittain (1793-1864) m. Celia Vance
6. Nancy Brittain. No further information other than that she married a Stevens.
7. Comfort Brittain (1796-1873) m. Montgomery Bell
(see sketch in Vol. I, Heritage of Old Buncombe Co.)
8. William Brittain (1797-1867) m. Rachel Clayton
9. Susannah M. Brittain. No data except her marriage in 1822 in Haywood Co, NC, to Asaph Wilson.
10. James Brittain, Jr. b. 8 May 1803, Buncombe Co.
11. Lorenzo Dow Brittain, b. 1805; d. 1832.
12. Horatio Nelson Brittain, b. ca 1815; d. ca 1865.
13. Delilah 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, Sr.

–ALOB, May 1984, Vol. V, #5, p. 84-41 thru 45

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