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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Michigan: Berrien County

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Simeon Brant came to Berrien County in 1836
Posted by: William Brackett (ID *****9065) Date: June 23, 2006 at 11:20:34
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Simeon Brant of Berrien County, Michigan, was reportedly born "near Rhode Island" or possibly Massachusetts, about 1776. His mother's name was Phoebe Loetz who was a native of England. Her name may also have been Litz or Lutz? His father's name has yet to be determined. I have seen his father's name printed as Phineas Brant.

Simeon Brant married Sarah Herrington in Genesee County, New York. I have seen this same name as Sarah Herndon also. This could be a matter of semantics. There were reportedly eleven children. Simeon Brant served a year in the military during the War of 1812. In 1836 this Brant family came to Michigan. Simeon was accompanied to Berrien County, Michigan by three sons and a daughter: Nathaniel Brant, John Daniel Brant, Augustus Brant and Malvina Brant. Three other sons, Artaxerxes Brant, Van Rensselaer Brant and Lacey Brant came later.

Simeon and Sarah (Herrington/Herndon) Brant had children:

              Artaxerxes Brant b. 1801
              Van Rensselaer Brant
              Porter Brant b. 1804
              Bert Brant
              Lacey Brant born 1810 in what became Wayne County, New York
              Malvina Brant
              Nathaniel Brant b. 1815 Macedon, New York
              John Brant b. 1817
              Daniel Brant b. 1820
              Augustus Brant b. 1827

The 1810 census of New York does include Simeon Brant in Ontario County in Canandaigua and also Elias Brant in this same location. In this census Simeon Brant was between 26-44 years. In his household were two other males, one who was less than 10 years of age and one who was 10-15 years of age, one female 26-45 years of age and one female less than 10 years of age. Elias Brant also living in Canandaigua and may have been Simeon’s younger brother. Elias was 16-25 years of age and in his household was another male under 10 years of age and one female 26-44 years of age.

The 1820 census contains a Simeon Brant in Ontario County living in Palmyra. Palmyra is the name of a township and town in present day Wayne County. Nathaniel Brant said he was born in Macedon, New York. Macedon Township was included in Palmyra until it separated off on its own. In this same census the person just before Simeon Brant is Elias Harrington. This may have been Sarah’s father or brother. In this census Simeon was 26-45 years of age and in his household there were 2 males under 10 years of age, 1 male 10-15 years of age, one female 26-45 years of age, two females under 10 years of age and 2 females 10-15 years of age. This Simeon was recorded as being engaged in agriculture.

The History of Wayne County New York, by W.H. McIntosh, published in 1877 contains one reference to Simeon Brant. On page 95 under the section about Arcadia you can read” “beginning with this tract, he secured the team of Foster with Simon Brant on one day, and Soverhill and Team with Culver on another, and in two days they had rolled the logs off three acres, and had piled thirty log heaps, numbering ten to fifteen logs in a pile.” This entry was in reference to one John Welcher clearing of his farm. It is interesting in reading this history and especially that of Macedon how many references were made to families who “removed to Michigan”. This entry is not dated but was after 1798 and probably before 1820.
Ontario County New York land records contains the following Brant records. These records were compiled by Dr. Hans-J. Finke and are posted on his website at the Ontario County Records and Archives Center at
Grantee Deed Index for Ontario County, NY, 1789-1845

1810        Brandt        Elias        Gorham        Nathaniel              14        656
1810        Brandt        Mason        Gorham        Nathaniel        15 1
1814        Brandt        Mason        Phelps        Joseph               22        139
1823        Brandt        Mason        Shuler        John Jr        40        437
1836        Brandt        Mason        Cassort        David        59        376
1822        Brant        Elias        McComber Caleb        40        366
1807        Brant        Mason        Flemmen       Thomas 11        569
1809        Brant        Mason        Wells        Peter 13        630
1815        Brant        Mason        Gorham        Nathaniel 23        243
1841        Brant        Mason        Herrendeen Lyman        71        148
1813        Brant        Simeon        Nichols        Adam 19         83
1815        Brant        Simeon        Nichols        Adam 22        247

The History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan was published in 1880 in Philadelphia by D. W. Ensign & Co. Under the section for Bainbridge Township of Berrien County you can read on page 217:

       “The Penn Yan Settlement. The southwestern portion of Bainbridge is popularly known as Penn Yan, a name given to it by Isaac Youngs after the Brants located there. The first settlement in this part was made by the Brant family, of Wayne Co., N.Y. Simeon Brant with his wife and four children-Nathaniel, John, Daniel, and Augustus-came to Michigan in 1836, and made settlement upon section 31 in Bainbridge township, where the elder Brant had, previous to his coming hither, bought 80 acres of land of Darius Clark. At this time the southern tier of sections in Bainbridge was an unbroken wilderness, into which Brant was the first to venture as a settler. With the aid of his boys, he chopped out a road to his place, put up a cabin, and made a clearing.”

On page 224 there is a biographical sketch of Nathaniel Brant. There you can read:

       “The subject of this sketch was born March 12, 1815 in Wayne Co., N.Y.; is the eighth in a family of eleven children, of whom only four are now living. His father Simeon Brant, was a native of Massachusetts, and a farmer by occupation, though sometimes working at the carpenter trade. His mother was of Dutch descent, but was born in America, her maiden name being Herrington.” And also “He came to Michigan with his father when he was twenty-one years of age, and helped to make the first clearing on section 31 of Bainbridge township,”.

A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan, by Orville William Coolidge, 1839-1918 was published in Chicago by the Lewis Publishing Co. in 1906.

On page 671-673 of this work you can find a biography of Nathaniel Brant. In this biography you can read:

       “His parents were Simeon and Sarah (Herndon) Brant. The father was born near Rhode Island, and was married in Genesee county, New York, whither he had gone as a boy with his parents. His mother, who bore the maiden name of Phoebe Loetz, was a native of England, and his father was probably born in that country. Simeon Brant served for one year as a soldier in the war of 1812, and after his discharge re-enlisted for further military service. Later in life he received two land warrants in recognition of the aid he had rendered to the government during the dark period of hostility with England.
       The year 1836 witnessed the arrival of the Brant family in Michigan. The westward trip was made across the country with two yoke of oxen, and the father was accompanied by three sons and a daughter, namely: Nathaniel, John Daniel, Augustus and Malvina. Two other sons, Artaxerses and Van Rensselaer, came later, and the Brant family has figured for many years in the public life of this part of Michigan, especially in subjugating the wilderness and extending the frontier. The father, Simeon Brant, settled on the east half of the southeast quarter of section 31, Bainbridge township,”.

In this same biography you can also read:

       “Simeon Brant had come to the west expecting to enter land near Benton Harbor but on reaching Kalamazoo, Michigan, he became ill and while there purchased the eighty acres on which he settled, without having seen the property.” And also: “In the midst of the forest Simeon Brant hewed out a farm, clearing and cultivating his lands, and transforming the place into rich fields.”

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