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Col. Thomas Brereton, called "the elder," was born about 1635, in England. He was a resident of Northumberland County, Virginia as early as 1650; there he attested the appointment of Lt. Col. Samuel Smith as sheriff in March 1656. Thomas Brereton was Clerk of the Council in James City also in 1656. He was one of the justices of Northumberland County, and lieutenant-colonel in the militia.
William Clayborne patented 5000 acres between the rivers of Great and Little Wiccocomoco on 5 January 1651/2. Then the said William Clayborne and William Clayborne Junr, by deed of 16 October 1665, sold it to Claiborne's future son-in-law Thomas Brereton, of Northumberland County.
Thomas Brereton married, first, between 1657 and 1661, Jane Claiborne, the daughter of Colonel William Claiborne and Elizabeth Butler (Boteler).
He had of his marriage to Jane Claiborne a son Thomas and a daughter Elizabeth, who married Thomas Winder; son Henry was born of "a second venture." [This “second venture” was Graciana Spann, nee Graciana Watts, widow of Richard Spann.]
Information concerning Graciana Watts: "History of the Spann Family" by Earle Steadman. "that the widow of Richard Spann married Colonel Thomas Brereton in 1671."
A court record dated 26 Feb 1660 indicates that one William Vaughan, 13 years old, was the servant of Thomas Brereton, and on 17 October 1660, Thomas Brereton patented 200 acres of land which he sold in 1663 to Samuel Gouche.
On 14 November 1670, Thomas Brereton conveyed by deed 2000 acres of the Claiborne purchase to his son Thomas Brereton.
Some twenty five years after the death of Col. Thomas Brereton, there was filed in Northumberland County, Virginia, Court of 17 September 1714, a Suit of ejectment by Robert Clay against Elizabeth Winder and Richard Kenner for lands in possession of Cuthbert Bennett:
Mrs. Sarah Dickinson, sworn, says
"that sometime before Col. Tho Brereton went to the Susquehannah fort, he came to their house and delivered a bundle or pacquett of paper unto her then husband, Mr. Thomas Hobson, which said husband told her it was the said Col. Brereton's will."
"We also find by the oath of Mr. Tho. Hobson [Jr], who being sworn sayeth: That sometime after the death of the aforesaid Col. Tho Brereton, that his father gave him a paper which he told him was Col.Brereton's will and bid him record it, which he did, a copy of which is with us the jury.
Hobson says he knew Col. Brereton's hand well,
"as also he knew one Peter (X) Platt, an Evidence to the said Instrument, and that it was told him that Peter Platt went to England betwixt the time of the Date of the said Instrument and the death of Col.Brereton, as also one Jno. Jonnys name was subscribed as an Evidence (X) who he was not acquainted with but knew one of that name who was dead before Col. Brereton dyed, as he was informed, also the said Hobson being examined how long it was from the making the said Instrument to the Death of the said Brereton, he sayeth seven years or thereabouts.
"That the will was dated 11 October 1765. In it he devised the land to his son Thomas Brereton. The will states if the son Thomas die before age 21, that then son Henry have the land. Also that Thomas was the
Eldest son and that Henry "was by a second Venture"; that Thomas, the father, died about 1683.
"Also, that Thomas the son, by deed 12 June 1688, sold to John Downing 300 acres, part of the land.
"We also find that the son Thomas had a son named Thomas by his first wife, and at his death 'left his wife, being a second Venture, privily with child' -- Elizabeth, in the plaintiff's declaration mentioned."
"Also we find a will dated 23 March 1698/9 of Capt. Thomas Brereton, son of Col. Thomas Brereton. We find Mary, relict of Thomas the son, married in 1701 Leonard Howson, and soon after, the land and other property was divided between Howson in right of Mary, and George
Cooper and Thomas Hobson in right of Thomas the grandson. And Cooper and Hobson remained in possession till death of Thomas the grandson, which was before he arrived at 10 years of age.
"We also find that Henry Brereton, brother of the half blood to Thomas the son, had not any issue living at the time of the death of Thomas the grandson, but we find likewise that some time after his death, had issue
living and yet hath issue living.
"We find that Elizabeth Winder, widow, is the only sister of the whole blood to the said Thomas Brereton the son, and that Elizabeth Kenner, now the wife of Richard Kenner, is the daughter of said Elizabeth Winder and is the same Elizabeth in the will of the said Thomas the son
"We find that Elizabeth, the daughter of the aforesaid Thomas the son, by a second venture is the only issue of the said Thomas now living and is the Elizabeth in the plaintiff's declaration mentioned and in whose right the
Children of Col. Thomas Brereton and Jane Claiborne:
I. Capt. Thomas Brereton
II. Elizabeth Brereton, married Winder, Son of Col. Thomas Brereton and "a second Venture":
III. Henry Brereton
Capt. THOMAS BRERETON
Capt. Thomas Brereton, son of Col. Thomas Brereton and Jane Claiborne, was born after 1661, and was a minor child in the will of his father, dated 11 October 1665.
Capt. Thomas Brereton, probably under the age of thirty eight, and referred to as "the younger", died in 1699, leaving a young son Thomas, and second wife Mary who was pregnant with the yet-to-be-born daughter Elizabeth.
Will of Capt. Thomas BRERETON, of St. S. Parish, Gentleman
23 March 1698/99 proved 16 August 1699
Wife: Mary Brereton
Son: Thomas, under age 18
Brother: Henry Brereton, "his children, if any"
Niece: Elizabeth Winder, daughter of my sister Elizabeth Winder
Plantation called Mulberry Fields, 700 acres not to go over path from Fleets Point to Sweethall. Provision for unborn child. Son Thomas to be put to school to be taught to read, write, and cypher.
If wife should marry before Thomas is 18, then friends Capt. Peter Hack, Mr. Cuthbert Spann, Geo. Cooper executors. Witnesses: Edward Bennett and Mary Hill.
Re-recorded 18 July 1711.
Produced in Court in trial "in the Ejectione Firma" brought by Robert Clay, lesee of Thomas Gaskins, guardian and nearest friend of Elizabeth Brereton, plaintiff, and Richard
Kenner and Henry Brereton, admitted defendant.
Northumberland County Court Records further outline the circumstances of the family of Capt. Thomas Brereton (Jr).
2 July 1703 -Re Capt. Thomas Brereton, dec'd.
That Thomas Brereton, gentleman, dec'd., late of St. Stevens parish,Northumberland County, by will of 23 March 1698/99, proved 16 August following, provided if his wife Mary marry before his son Thomas was eighteen that he appoint Capt. Peter Hack, Mr. Cuthbert Spann, Thomas
Hobson, and Geo. Cooper executors.
That the widow married Leonard Howson, gentleman, of this County.
That Thomas Brereton, the son of the testator died under the age of 18.
That a daughter Elizabeth Brereton, born after her father's death, is an heiress.
That Capt. Hack refused to act as trustee.
That Cuthbert Spann died shortly after assuming trusteeship.
Now Capt. Thomas Winder and Thomas Brereton, son of Henry Brereton, demand delivery of a rateable part of the estate.
That Elizabeth Brereton is now under 10 years of age, actually about three.
Wit: Wm. Mason signed: Henry Brereton
Joseph Tipton Tho. Winder
Re-recorded 19 July 1717 by Tho Hobson [17:238-243]
13 December 1704 - Elizabeth Brereton, received a Legacy from Capt. Leonard Howson,a ring with her grandfather Brereton's coat of arms. [17:8]
18 March 1713/14 - Elizabeth Brereton: Her guardian Tho. Gaskins sues Tho. Hobson. [6:27]
18 November 1714- Elizabeth Brereton this day chooses Tho. Pinkard her guardian. [6:90]
When she was about seventeen years of age, Elizabeth Brereton was married to Robert Jones, son of Capt. William Jones and Margaret Haynes, also of Northumberland County.
The following year, on 18 June 1718, Robert Jones and his wife Elizabeth petitioned for administration of the estate of Thomas Brereton, "the younger." [6:266]
On 19 June 1718, in the Estate of Thomas Brereton, the younger, Robert Jones and Elizabeth his wife, are listed as nearest of kin. [6:272] She was, in fact, the only surviving heir of her father, since her only brother had died before age ten.
Children of Capt. Thomas Brereton, "the younger" and Mary:
I. Thomas Brereton, died before age 10.
II. Elizabeth Brereton, born 1700, after the death of her father. She married Capt. Robert Jones.
1. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, editor, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume I, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York 1915, p. 194.
2. Beverly Fleet, Abstracts of Virginia Colonial Records, Vol. XIX, Northumbria Collectanea 1645 - 1720, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore 1961, pp. 12 - 15; 23;
95 - 99; 105; 107; and 120-122.
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