THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE BRATTON FAMILY

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by Michael C. Scoggins

Research Historian

York County Historical Center

York County Culture and Heritage Commission

February 2002

© 2002 by York County Culture and Heritage Commission

All Rights Reserved

INTRODUCTION: THE LIVES OF WILLIAM AND MARTHA BRATTON

William Bratton was born c. 1741-1742 and married Martha Robinson or Robertson, who was born c. 1749-1750. Bratton’s daughter-in-law, Harriet Rainey Bratton, told the South Carolina historian Dr. John H. Logan that Bratton’s family came from County Antrim in Northern Ireland and that William married Martha in Virginia. Bratton’s grandson, Dr. James Rufus Bratton, told the noted Revolutionary War historian Lyman C. Draper that William was born in County Armagh, Ireland and lived in Pennsylvania before moving to NC and then SC. Dr. Bratton also reported that Martha’s parents came from Ireland, that Martha was born at sea during the voyage to America, and that William and Martha were married in Rowan County, NC. We do not have any solid proof of either of these traditions as yet, but it is almost certain that the Brattons and Robinsons were both Scotch-Irish Presbyterian families from the Ulster Province of Northern Ireland. The grave of a “William Brattan” who died in 1622 is located at the Clogher Cathedral cemetery in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, close to the border with County Armagh. It is possible that he is an ancestor of our William Bratton.

It seems likely that William Bratton’s family lived in Augusta County, VA before moving to SC. The records of Augusta County contain a wealth of information on the family of Robert Bratton, who settled on the Calfpasture River circa 1740 and died in 1785. Robert and his sons served in the militia and were substantial landowners and influential citizens. One of Robert’s grandsons was William E. Bratton who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition. It has been theorized that Robert Bratton was our William’s uncle, but at this time we have no proof of this. Another possible relation is James Bratton, who may have been Robert’s brother; he also lived on the Calfpasture River.

There is a record of a William Bratton being captured by Indians during an attack on Fort Vause in Augusta County (near Christiansburg in present-day Montgomery County, VA), on June 25, 1756. The fort was commanded by Capt. John Smith; also present among the garrison were a William Robinson, Thomas Robinson and Samuel Robinson. This William Bratton was later released by the Indians or escaped from them. It is not known for certain if this Bratton was our William, who would have been about 14 years old at the time. It has been stated by some researchers that the William Bratton at Ft. Vause was our William’s father, but again there is no proof at this time to support that assumption.

William Bratton moved to what is now York County, SC at least as early as 1766. He had neighbors named Thomas Bratton, Hugh Bratton, Robert Bratton, and John Bratton, who were most likely his brothers. All these men owned land on the waters of Fishing Creek and Turkey Creek in present-day York County, and they appear to have settled in this region as an extended family group during the same time period. The early history of York County is complicated and confusing and a brief summary may be helpful in understanding the records of the time. Prior to 1772, much of upper South Carolina was considered to be part of North Carolina and many of the early land grants and surveys for this area are to be found in the NC records. The York County area was considered to be part of Bladen County, NC from about 1734 until about 1748; from 1749 to 1763 it was part of Anson County, NC; from 1763 till 1768 it was part of Mecklenburg County, NC; and from 1768 until 1772 it was part of Tryon County , NC. In 1772 the line between NC and SC west of the Catawba River was surveyed and agreed upon by both states, and this area became the New Acquisition District of Craven County, SC. In 1785 it became York County of Camden District, SC; in 1791, it was York County of Pinckney District, SC; and in 1800, it became York District, which it remained until 1868 when it finally became York County.

William Bratton purchased 200 acres of land on the South Fork of Fishing Creek in Mecklenburg County, NC, from Thomas Rainey on August 11, 1766. The deed for this transaction states that William Bratton was already a resident of Mecklenburg County and living on the property when he purchased it from Rainey. The deed also refers to improvements such as houses, outbuildings and cultivations existing on the property when it was purchased. On May 4, 1769, Bratton received a land grant for another 200 acres on the South Fork of Fishing Creek in Tryon County, NC, which he sold to his neighbor William Adair in 1771. In July 1769, the Tryon County court minutes confirm Bratton’s appointment as overseer of the road that ran past his house. William Bratton’s house was built on the 200-acre tract which he originally purchased from Thomas Rainey, which is now part of Historic Brattonsville in York County, SC. It is not known for certain if the building now identified as the Col Bratton Revolutionary House at Historic Brattonsville was Bratton’s original house, or one built later. In compliance wth legislation issued by the South Carolina Council after the 1772 survey, Bratton filed a memorial with the SC Auditor’s Office in 1775 certifying that his land was now in the state of South Carolina, and was issued a South Carolina grant for his property.

During the American Revolution, William Bratton served as a Patriot militia commander in the New Acquisition District and rose from the rank of captain at the beginning of the war to colonel by late 1780, when he commanded a regiment in the partisan brigade of Gen. Thomas Sumter. Early on the morning of July 12, 1780, an important battle was fought at the home of James Williamson, who lived near Bratton; this battle is today known as the Battle of Huck’s Defeat, the Battle of Williamson’s Plantation, or the Battle of Williamson’s Lane. A force of 133 local militiamen under Bratton, William Hill, Andrew Neal, and John Moffet of York County; Edward Lacey, John McClure and Michael Dickson of Chester County; and Richard Winn of Fairfield County, ambushed and defeated a force of British Army Provincials and Loyalist militia under the command of Capt. Christian Huck of Philadelphia and Lt. Col. James Ferguson of Chester. This was the first major defeat of British Army forces by rebel militia after the surrender of Charleston in May 1780, and gave renewed hope and strength to the Patriot cause in upstate South Carolina. William’s wife Martha Bratton was also active in supporting the Patriot cause and some of her adventures were documented by Mrs. Elizabeth Ellet in two books written in the 1850’s, The Domestic History of the Revolution and the three-volume Heroic Women of the Revolution.

After the war, Col. Bratton was appointed a Justice of the Peace for York County, elected sheriff of Pinckney District, and served in both the SC House of Representatives and the SC Senate. He was a successful planter and businessman and raised a large family. His children were as follows:

Eliza Bratton, born Sept. 7, 1766, married David Sadler.

Jane Bratton, born Oct. 9, 1768, married Dr. James Simpson.

Martha Bratton, born Mar. 19, 1771, married Rev. John Foster.

William Bratton Jr., born Aug. 22, 1773, married Christina Winn (daughter of

Col. Richard Winn) and later Isabella Means.

Elizabeth Bratton, born Aug. 10, 1779, married William Ervin.

Agnes Bratton, born May 23, 1785, married George Steele.

John Simpson Bratton, born Feb. 21, 1789, married Harriet Rainey.

William and Martha Bratton were associated with Bethesda Presbyterian Church in York County and are buried there. William died on Feb. 9, 1815 at age 73, and was buried in the Bethesda cemetery. His obituary appeared in the Charleston City Gazette on Feb. 28, 1815. Martha died on Jan. 16, 1816, at age 66, and was buried beside her husband.

All of the Bratton children except William Jr. married into neighboring families from the Fishing Creek community; William Jr. moved to Fairfield County, married into the Winn family, and lived near Winnsboro. The Bratton homestead on Fishing Creek soon became known locally as Brattonville or Brattonsville, and in the nineteenth century included a country store, a post office, and a doctor’s office. Both William Bratton Jr. and John Simpson Bratton became doctors, and John Simpson Bratton built the antebellum home today known as the Homestead at Historic Brattonsville. William Jr.’s son John Bratton was a Confederate general during the Civil War and commanded Bratton’s Brigade. Several of John Simpson Bratton’s sons served in the Confederate Army as well, including James Rufus Bratton who was an army surgeon, and Napolean Bonaparte Bratton, who built the house now known as “the Bricks” at Historic Brattonsville. John Simpson Bratton Jr. built the elaborate plantation home known originally as Forest Hall, now called Hightower Hall, at Historic Brattonsville.

BRITISH ORIGINS OF THE BRATTON FAMILY NAME

The surname “Bratton,” along with variant spellings like “Brattan” and “Brattain” and related forms like “Britton,” “Britten,” and “Bretton” (often spelled with one ‘t’ instead of two), ultimately derives from the name of the ancient Celtic inhabitants of Great Britain, the Britons. These people were variously referred to by Roman writers as the Brittani or later the Brittones (again often with one ‘t’ instead of two), and the name of the island is derived from their name. The Britons were distantly related to the Picts (Latin Picti) who lived in what is now northern Scotland, and the Scots (Latin Scotti) who lived in Ireland. All of these terms are names given to these people by the Romans, and it is uncertain whether these peoples originally referred to themselves by these names or not. However, after Britain was conquered by the Romans in the first century AD, these names became generally applied by Latin writers and historians to the inhabitants of the British Isles. During the fifth and sixth centuries, the Roman province of Britannia was invaded from the west by Scots from Ireland, from the north by Picts from the Highlands, and from the east by Angles and Saxons from northwestern Germany. The Scots from Ireland settled in the Highlands around the beginning of the sixth century AD and eventually absorbed the old Pictish kingdoms, creating the kingdom of Scotland. The Britons who lived in Lowland Scotland were absorbed into the English kingdom of Northumberland, and became part of England. Thus the Scottish Highlands retained the Gaelic culture of Ireland while the Lowlands came under the influence of the English.

When the Anglo-Saxons began invading Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries, they referred to the native Britons as Brytons or Bretons and later, as Welsh, from the Anglo-Saxon word wealas meaning “foreigner” or “stranger.” (This is also the origin of the family names Walsh, Welsh and Wallace.) These names continued to be applied to the Welsh and the Britons living in northern Britain and the lowlands of Scotland, especially in the northern kingdoms known as Strathclyde and Rheged. Also in the fifth and sixth centuries, Britons from Great Britain began settling in the province of Armorica in Gaul (France), which came to be known as Brittany (French Bretagne). The Franks, like the English, also shifted the name Briton to Bretton or Breton, which is still the term applied to the inhabitants of Brittany today.

After the Anglo-Saxon conquest of southeastern Britain, the Celtic British culture and language survived for centuries in the west and the north, particularly in the areas now known as Wales, the West Country of England, and Lowland Scotland. In the early Middle Ages, the inhabitants of these regions began to adopt the surnames Bratton, Britton and Bretton, along with all their variant spellings, to reflect their geographic and cultural identities. We find the Bratton family name especially strong in the western English counties of Shropshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Devon, and in the Scottish counties of Dumbarton, Renfrew, Lanark, and Dumfries—areas where the ancient Britons retained their language and culture for many centuries after the Anglo-Saxon conquest. When the Normans invaded England in 1066 under the leadership of Duke William of Normandy, their ranks included a number of Breton knights along with Normans and Franks, and the surname Bretton was reintroduced to England from Brittany. In the 12th and 13th centuries, some of these Bretons migrated to Ireland, where the name became Bratney and macBratney. After King James I created the Ulster colony in Northern Ireland (AD 1610), Protestants from Lowland Scotland and western England migrated to Ulster, and thus the Bratton family name and its variants were transplanted to Northern Ireland.

Although the Bratton and related family names were ultimately Celtic in origin, they belong to the British branch of the Celtic family and not the Gaelic branch, which prevailed in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. The British Celts in the West Country and Lowland Scotland eventually adopted the English language, whereas the Scots and Picts in the Highlands retained the Gaelic language of Ireland until fairly recent times.

The Brattons who settled in Northern Ireland in the 17th century were identified with the Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish when they migrated to North America in the early 18th century. The family of William Bratton most likely originated in Lowland Scotland, perhaps in the area of Dumbarton County. Dumbarton was an ancient British fortress originally settled in the fourth century AD. Its name, like that of the Bratton family, derives from the Britons. The word dun was an old Celtic term meaning “fort” or “fortress,” and thus Dumbarton was “the fort of the Britons.” Its original Celtic name was Dun Breatann, which in English became Dunbarton and eventually Dumbarton.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barber, Henry. British Family Names: Their Origin and Meaning. 2nd Ed. Baltimore:

Clearfield Company, 1968.

Bardsley, Charles Wareing. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames. London:

Henry Frowde, 1901.

Bowman, William Dodgson. The Story of Surnames. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,

1931.

Chadwick, Nora K. Celtic Britain. North Hollywood, CA: Newcastle Publishing Co.,

1963, 1989.

Collingwood, R. G., and J. N. L. Myres. Roman Britain and the English Settlements.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1936, 1937, 1975.

Cottle, Basil. The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. 2nd Ed. New York: Penguin Books,

1967, 1978.

Ewen, C. L’Estrange. A History of Surnames of the British Isles. New York: The

Macmillan Company, 1931.

MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland. 5th Ed. Dublin: Irish Academic Press,

1980.

Matthews, C. M. English Surnames. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1967.

Pine, L. G. The Story of Surnames. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1966.

Powell, T. G. E. The Celts. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1958, 1980.

Reaney, P. H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 1995.

_____. The Origin of English Surnames. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul,

1967.

Stenton, Sir Frank M. Anglo-Saxon England . London: Oxford University Press, 1943.

EARLY BRATTONS IN WESTERN ENGLAND

Several locations in the West Country of England have born the name “Bratton” since at least the Early Middle Ages. Among these sites is a chapelry named Bratton in the parish of Westbury, Wiltshire County, and a village named Bratton Clovelly in western Devon County near Dartmoor National Park. The name also appears in Shropshire and Somerset Counties.

Dorset County

William de Bratton appears in The Great Roll of the Pipe for the twenty-sixth year of Henry the Third, commonly called The Pipe Rolls, in the year 1195. He is listed as William de Braton in the year 1219. (Reaney, A Dictionary of English Surnames, 61)

Wiltshire County

Godfrey de Bratton is listed in the Hundred Rolls of the year 1273. (Bardsley, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, 130)

Somerset County

John de Bratton and Emma de Bratton are listed in the Exchequer Lay Subsidy for the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). (Bardsley, 130)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bardsley, Charles Wareing. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames with Special

American Instances. London: Henry Frowde, 1901.

Cottle, Basil. The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. 2nd Ed. New York: Penguin Books,

1978.

Reaney, P. H., and R. M. Wilson. A Dictionary of British Surnames. 2nd Ed. London:

Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1961.

_____. A Dictionary of English Surnames. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press,

1995.

EARLY BRATTONS IN LOWLAND SCOTLAND

In 1610 King James I of England established the Ulster Plantation in Northern Ireland and encouraged Protestants from Scotland and England to settle there. Many of the people who migrated to Northern Ireland in the 17th century came from the counties of Dumfries, Lanark, Renfrew and Dumbarton in Lowland Scotland These are also areas where the Bratton family name is well-known, and it is probable that the Brattons who migrated to Ireland came from these Scottish counties. Many of the same Bratton family names recorded in Lowland Scotland later appear in both Northern Ireland and North America, as demonstrated by the following list. These Bratton names were extracted from Scottish church and parish records and are found in the LDS International Genealogical Index/British Isles, www.familysearch.org.

Dumfries County

Agnes Bratton, christened Feb. 1749, Kirkmichael, Dumfries, Scotland

Agnes Bratton, married Oct. 21, 1744, Dumfries, Dumfries, Scotland

Helene Bratton, christened June 7, 1621, Dumfries, Dumfries, Scotland

Henrietta Bratton, christened June 15, 1760, Dumfries, Dumfries, Scotland

James Bratton, christened August 8, 1748, Kirkmichael, Dumfries, Scotland

Jean Bratton, christened April 17, 1748, Kirkmichael, Dumfries, Scotland

John Bratten, christened July 14, 1724, Hartbush, Dumfries, Scotland

John Bratton, married November 11, 1744, Dumfries, Dumfries, Scotland

John Bratton, married September 1, 1774, Lochmaben, Dumfries, Scotland

Margaret Bratton, christened October 15, 1754, Dumfries, Dumfries, Scotland

Mary Bratton, christened November 17, 1729, Kirkmichael, Dumfries, Scotland

Mary Bratten, christened December 12, 1753, Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfries, Scotland

Mary Brattan, married February 15, 1716, Morton by Thornhill, Dumfries, Scotland

Robert Bratton, christened November 15, 1745, Kirkmichael, Dumfries, Scotland

Robert Bratton, born November 15, 1745, Kirkmichael, Dumfries, Scotland

Thomas Bratton, married February 26, 1769, Ewes, Dumfries, Scotland

Dumbarton County

William Bratton, married September 24, 1875, Old Kilpatrick, Dunbarton, Scotland

Renfrew County

William Bratten, christened July 30, 1837, Middle Church, Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland

William Bratton, born February 17, 1864, Port Glasgow, Renfrew, Scotland

William Bratten, christened September 6, 1835, Middle Church, Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland

Lanark County

Janet Bratten, christened July 14, 1724, Reformed Presbyterian, Crawfordjohn, Lanark, Scotland

William Harvie Bratton, born March 9, 1857, Clyde, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland

William Bratton, born February 7, 1862, Govan, Lanark, Scotland

William Bratton, born October 16, 1865, Govan, Lanark, Scotland

Angus County

James Braton, christened March 18, 1651, Dundee, Angus, Scotland

John Braten, married October 24, 1648, Dundee, Angus, Scotland

Margaret Braiton, christened July 1, 1649, Dundee, Angus, Scotland

EARLY BRATTONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

The Bratton family was established in the Ulster Province of Northern Ireland in the early 17th century, and it is likely that many if not all of these Brattons were emigrants from Lowland Scotland. One of the earliest Brattons who settled there was William Brattan, son of James Brattan of Tullybroom, who died in 1622 and is buried in the Clogher Cathedral cemetary in County Tyrone.

County Tyrone

“The Hearth Rolls of 1666 list James and Robert Brattan paying the tax in Eskermore. Sir George Saville gave the Brattans a Lease for Knockmany in 1738.” (Johnston, Clogher Cathedral Graveyard, 16)

Bratton burials at Clogher Cathedral graveyard in County Tyrone:

William Brattan, son of James Brattan, of Tullybroom, died November 2, 1622, age 27 (born c. 1595) (Johnston, 16)

Thomas Brattan, died August 1, 1666, age 61 (born c. 1605). (Johnston, 16)

James Brattan of Tullybrum, died September 28, 1704, age 77 (born c. 1627). (Johnston, 17)

John Brattan of Carntall, died September 16, 1731, age 72 (born c. 1659) (Johnston, 16)

Wallace Bratten of Boveagh, died October 29, 1774, age 49 (born c. 1725) (Johnston, 18)

Grace Stewart Brattan, wife of the above James Brattan, died April 3, —-, age 79. (Johnston, 17)

Mary Brattan, wife of George Brattan, of Augher, died April 6, 1781, age 88 (born c. 1693) (Johnsotn, 16)

Robert Brattan of Boveagh, died January 1801, age 28 (born c. 1773) (Johnston, 18)

County Antrim

John Brattone was listed in the Hearth Money Roll for 1669, living in Bush townland, Antrim Parish, Antrim Barony. (Carleton, Heads and Hearths, 2)

Thomas Britton was listed in the Hearth Money Roll for 1669, living in Lisnalinchy townland, Ballylinny Parish, Belfast Barony. (Carleton, 24)

County Donegal

John Bratton of Taboyne Parish appeared before the annual meeting of the General Synod of Ulster on April 6, 1692, to petition for the continuance of Rev. Gray at Taboyne. (Records of the General Synod of Ulster, I:7)

James Brattin was listed as a Protestant householder in the townland of Bonymain in Burt Parish in the year 1740. (Mitchell, Genealogy Center letter)

County Derry

Mary Bratton, daughter of Morgan and Ann Bratton, was baptised on November 17, 1684 at St. Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry. (Mitchell)

Robert Bratton, son of Robert and Jeane Bratton, was baptised on March 30, 1711 at St. Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry. (Mitchell)

John Brattan was listed as a Protestant householder in the city of Londonderry, Templemore Parish, County Derry in the year 1740. (Mitchell)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Carleton, S. T. Carleton, ed. Heads and Hearths: The Hearth Money Rolls and Poll Tax

Returns for Co. Antrim 1660-69. Greystone Press, 1991.

Johnston, J. I. D. Clogher Cathedral Graveyard. Omagh: Graham and Sons, 1972.

Mitchell, Brian. Letter to Patricia A. Jones of Lynnwood, Washington, from Brian

Mitchell of The Genealogy Centre, Derry, Northern Ireland, February 14, 1995.

Copy at the York County Historical Center, York, SC.

Records of the General Synod of Ulster from 1691 to 1820, Vol. I, 1691-1720. Belfast:

Archer and Sons, 1890.

EARLY BRATTONS IN NORTH AMERICA

Bratton family members began emigrating to North America as early as 1711. It is not known exactly when the family of York County’s William Bratton came to America, but family tradition states that William came over with his father as a boy, so we can estimate that he and his family arrived between 1745 and 1750. The names of William Bratton’s parents are not known with certainty at this time. It has been stated, without any proof, that our William Bratton’s father was also named William, and that he was one of the sons of Andrew Bratton of Pennsylvania and the brother of Robert, James and Samuel Bratton. This information has appeared on the internet on several Bratton family websites but has no supporting documentation and appears to be pure supposition.

Thomas Bratton, a Presbyterian minister or licentiate, arrived in Maryland from Ulster in 1711 or 1712. (Marshall, Ulster Sails West, 62; Newman, To Maryland from Overseas, 31)

Robert and Elizabeth Bratten arrived in Boston from Ulster in 1718. (Knowles, Scotch-Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, 156)

Robert Bratton arrived in Virginia in 1733. (Virkus, Immigrant Ancestors, 15)

“A List of the Troop under the Command of Captain Joshua Mitchell, Somerset County, Maryland, undated,” probably from the 1730’s or 1740’s, includes Samuel Bratton, Joshua Bratton, Willson Bratton, Nathaniel Bratton, John Bratton son of William Bratton, and James Bratton. (Colonial Military Records, Maryland Hall of Records, transcribed in Clark, Colonial Soldiers of the South 1732-1774, 69-70)

Samuel Bratten and Samuel Bratten Jr. (also spelled Bratton) appear on several Maryland estate settlement records between 1731 and 1736. (Maryland Abstracts, 18, 24, 95, 145)

Andrew Bratton settled in what is now Mifflin County, Pennsylvania early in 1755 along with his brother-in-law Samuel Holliday. The present-day Bratton Township in Mifflin County bears his name. “Andrew Bratton selected a tract of land on the south side of the Juanita Rivre and Holliday located at what is now McVeytown. (A History of McVeytown Borough, 88)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch-Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America. Boston: Bacon

and Brown, 1910. Reprinted Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1989.

Clark, Murtie June. Colonial Soldiers of the South 1732-1774. Baltimore: Genealogical

Publishing Co., 1986.

Marshall, William F. Ulster Sails West. Belfast: Quota Press, 1943. Reprinted

Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979.

Maryland Abstracts. Partial copy on file at York County Historical Center.

McVeytown Area Bicentennial Book Committee. A History of McVeytown Borough and

Bratton and Oliver Townships. McVeytown, PA: Privately printed, 1976.

Newman, Harry Wright. To Maryland from Overseas. Annapolis, MD: Newman, 1982.

Reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985, 1986, 1991.

Virkus, Frederick A., ed. Immigrant Ancestors: A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America

Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1964)

EARLY BRATTONS ON THE FRONTIER OF WESTERN VIRGINIA

Bratton family members began settling the western frontier of Virginia, in what was then Augusta County, as early as 1740. Both Robert Bratton and James Bratton were among the original settlers of the Calfpasture River in modern Bath County. It has been claimed that these two men were the sons of Andrew Bratton of Pennsylvania and that they were the uncles of William Bratton of York County, SC, but there appears to be no solid proof of these claims. An individual named William Bratton is recorded in Augusta County in 1756.

Robert Bratton (born May 20, 1712, died c. Oct. 1785) settled on the Calfpasture River in Augusta County, Virginia sometime prior to February 1740. He married Anne McFarland Dunlap, widow of Capt. James Dunlap, c. 1747. His children included:

James, married Rebecca Hogshead in 1774. Trustee of a congregation of dissenters on the Calfpasture River called Little River Meeting House. Had sons named John and Robert.

Agnes, m. William Given before May 1783.

Adam, m. Elizabeth Feamster July 9, 1788.

George

John

Mary, an invalid, never married.

James Bratton (died c. October 1776) settled Bratton’s Run on Calfpasture River, Augusta County, Virginia, sometime prior to December 1752. He married Elizabeth ____ in May 1754. He may have been a brother of Robert Bratton, above. His children included

John, married Ann ____.

Andrew

Thomas (?)

Peter (?)

William Bratton of Augusta County, Virginia, appears on a list of prisoners captured by the Indians on June 25, 1756 at Fort Vause, near the modern town of Christiansburg in Montgomery County. This list appears in the William Preston papers and was transcribed from a copy in the Lyman C. Draper Manuscript Collection:

A Register of the Persons who have been either Killed, Wounded or taken Prisoners by the Enemy in Augusta County, as also of such as have made their Escape.

Capt. John Smith, Fort Vause, prisoner, returned.

Peter Looney, Fort Vause, prisoner, escaped.

Wm. Bratton, Fort Vause, prisoner, returned.

Joseph Smith, Fort Vause, prisoner.

Wm. Pepper, Fort Vause, prisoner.

Mrs. Vause & two daughters, a negro & 2 young Indians, and a servant-man, Fort Vause,

prisoners.

Ivan Medley & 2 daughters, Fort Vause, prisoners.

James Bell, Fort Vause, prisoner.

Christopher Hicks, Fort Vause, prisoner.

—— Cole, Fort Vause, prisoner.

—— Graham, Fort Vause, prisoner.

Benj. Daries, Fort Vause, prisoner.

Lieut. John Smith, Fort Vause, killed.

John Tracey, Fort Vause, killed.

John English, Fort Vause, killed.

Mrs. Mary English, Fort Vause, killed.

Wm. Robinson, Fort Vause, wounded.

Tho. Robinson, Fort Vause, wounded.

Sam’l Robinson, Fort Vause, wounded.

Robt. Pepper, Fort Vause, wounded.

The William Bratton who settled on Fishing Creek in York County, SC circa 1766 would have been about 14 years old at the time of this incident, so it is possible that the William Bratton at Ft. Vause is the same individual who later settled in York County. It has been stated by some writers that the William Bratton of Ft. Vause was the father of the William Bratton of York County, but this claim is as yet unproven.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia (3 vols.).

Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1965.

Draper, Lyman C. The William Preston Papers, part of the Draper Manuscript

Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 1QQ83. Microfilm copy at the Dacus Library, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

THE BRATTON FAMILY SETTLEMENT OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

The Bratton family began settling in the upstate or backcountry region of South Carolina at least as early as 1763 and were well established here by 1766, as the following chronology demonstrates. The records of Anson County, Mecklenburg County, and Tryon County, North Carolina contain references to five Brattons who were probably brothers and who appear to have settled the area as a family group: John Bratton, Robert Bratton, Thomas Bratton, William Bratton, and Hugh Bratton. Thomas, William and Hugh owned property on the South Fork of Fishing Creek, while Robert and John obtained land on the headwaters of Turkey Creek, a few miles away. John Bratton also owned property in present-day Lancaster County on Lynches Creek.

1748-1749: Anson County, North Carolina was created out of the much-larger expanse of Bladen County, NC. At the time of its establishment, Anson County included much of present-day upper South Carolina, including what would later become York County, SC.

1763: North Carolina legislature created Mecklenburg County, NC, Anson County. This included the area of present-day York County and Historic Brattonsville.

May 21, 1763: John Bratton purchased 200 acres on Flat Creek, a branch of the north fork of Lynches Creek, from Thomas Waid, originally granted to Mary Gibson and transferred to Thomas Waid on May 15, 1760. (Holcomb, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1773-1778, 215)

1763-1764 (?): “Estate of MANUAL (EMANUEL) EAKLES by JOSHUA BRADLEY by order of ALEXANDER GORDON, Sheriff. Buyers: DAVID GRIFFITH, JOHN EASTER, BOSTON HAGLER, JOSHUA BRADLEY, JAMES PHILIPS, DAVID MARTIN, MR. PERKINS, WILLIAM CHILDRESS, JAMES ROBERTSON, ISAAC WHITEN, JACOB WHITEN, EDWARD WILLIAMS, JOHN LASTLEY, JOSEPH TAYLOR, JACOB FREE, ROCHINA (?) BRADLEY, HATHORNY FUNDERBURK, ANDREW JONES, DEVALT FINDERBURK, SAMUEL GRAY, JAMES WHITE, CHARLES SPENDER, TITUS LENNY, GEORGE MILLER, WILLIAM BRATTON, PETER ARON, NICHOLAS BECK, JOSEPH SAYLER, ANTHONY FINDERBURK, SAMUEL WILSON, THOMAS PAGE, VEAST SAYLN, MICHAEL WHETEN, JAMES ROBERTSON.” (Anson County, NC Wills and Estates Book, 288-291, abstracted in Holcomb, Anson County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1749-1766, 142)

1764: Northern boundary between North and South Carolina east of the Catawba established at its present location.

February 4, 1765: “Allen Alexander & wf Nancy of Meck., to John Bratton of SC, for £65….164 A, part of a grant to Robert Tinnen 3 Mar 1753, sold to sd. Alexander 25 Feb 1761…Allen Alexander (Seal), Nancy Alexander (Seal), Wit: James Potts (I P), Henry Hendry.” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 2:307A-308, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 50. This property was on the north side of the Catawba River and is in present-day Mecklenburg County, NC.)

April 22, 1766: “Surveyed for Thomas Bratton, 200 A on S fork of Fishing Creek, including his own improvement…McLanes…Robert Brattons line…Crafts line…W. Sims, Surv. David Bulton, Robt. Bratton, C.B. Iss. 25 Apr 1767.” (North Carolina Land Grant No. 316, File No. 1964, Book 23:11, abstracted in Holcomb, NC Land Grants, 50)

August 11, 1766: “Thomas Raney & wf Agnes of Meck., to William Bratton, of same, for £36s6, land on middle branch of S fork Fishing Creek, adj. McNabs land, part of the same tract that was conveyed to John Fondren…granted to sd. Raney 21 Apr 1764…Thomas Raney (Seal), Agnes Raney (0) (Seal), Wit: Jas Moore, Rachel Moore.” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 1:377-378, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 17)

The deed refers to the property as “the same being Now in the possession of the said William Bratton and all Houses buildings Edifices Gardens Orchards Trees woods underwoods tiths Commons Commons of Possession Profits Commodities advantages Hereditaments ways waters watersCourses and appurtenances whatsoever….” This is the property where the Col. Bratton Revolutionary House now stands. (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 1:377-378, North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC; copy at York County Historical Center)

November 1, 1766: “John Bratton, Blacksmith, of Mecklinburgh [sic] County, North Carolina, and Mary his wife, to Conrad Arrant, planter, of Craven County, SC, for £220 SC money, 100 acres part of 200 acres granted sd. John Bratton to Cronimus Zinn on Flat Creek a south branch of the north prong of Lynches Creek, granted to Mary Gibson….John Bratton (LS), Mary Bratton (M) (LS), Wit: Michael Miars, John Meloney (I). Proved in Craven County before Claudius Pegues, J. P., by the oath of Michael Miars, 13 Dec 1776. Recorded 1 March 1776.” (South Carolina Deed Book W-4, 53-56, abstracted in Holcomb, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1773-1778, 215)

January 6, 1767: Land grant survey for Robert McNabb and John Kerr Jr., 100 acres “on both sides of a small branch of South Fork of Fishing Creek adj. Samuel Guys line…Hugh Bratons line…Adams line…Thos Raineys line…Leeckes corner…John Moores line…Iss. 25 Apr 1767.” (North Carolina Land Grant No. 214, File No. 956 [1677], Book 17:420 (18, 382), abstracted in Holcomb, NC Land Grants, 77)

June 13, 1767: “Edward Lacy Junr. & wife Jane of Meck., to Robert Bratton of same, for £62 NC money…land on S side Cataba River on the head waters of Turkey Creek near Robert Ewarts, 200 A granted to Lacey 28 Oct. 1765…Edward Lacey (Seal), Jane Lacey (Seal). Wit: Samuel Gay (.), David Reed, Ralph Crofer (?), Prov. July term 1767.” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 4:292-293, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 107)

December 14, 1767: “Samuel Gay of Meck., planter, to Thomas Rayne of same, for £10…200 A on Fishing Creek, adj. McNaub, granted to Thomas Rayne 21 April 1764…Samuel Gay (S) (Seal), Wit: John Taggert, Hugh Brattain.” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 3:36-37, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 71)

1768: North Carolina legislature created Tryon County, North Carolina from the larger territory of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The Bratton settlement on Fishing Creek became part of Tryon County, NC.

February 19 & 20, 1768: “Peter Harper of Tenecum Township, Bucks Co., Pa., Yeoman to Thomas Salter of City of Philadelphia, Merchant, (lease s5, release £250)…600 A on S side S fork Cautabo River on N side of South Fork of Fishing Creek and another tract of 120 A on No fork of Indian Creek…Peter Harpell (Seal). Wit: Peter Knight, James (?) Moor, John Britton, Thomas Britton. Proved by Francis Moor, at Newbern NC, 26 July 1768.” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 4:430-436, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 115-116)

April 29, 1768: Land grant survey for Edward Lacey Sr., “300 A on S fork of Fishing Creek on head of flag branch…Mathias Ardises corner…Hugh Brattons line…Samuel Guys line…John Moores line…” (North Carolina Land Grant No. 403, File No. 2464, Book 23:283, abstracted in Holcomb, NC Land Grants, 79)

June 11, 1768: “Plat: Surveyed for Wm. Bratton 200 A on waters of the south fork of Fishing Creek, joining Robert Kers land…James Williamsons corner…joining McLans land…Peter Johnson Survr. Thomas Bratton & Samuel Gay, C B.” (North Carolina Land Grant No. 112, File No. 91, Book 20:438, issued May 4, 1769, abstracted in Holcomb, NC Land Grants, 128. Copy of original grant and survey plat at York County Historical Center. This is the property where Hightower Hall now stands.)

July 1769: “Ordered by this Court that William Bratton serve as overseer of the Road Leading from Armours Ford on the Cataba to Charles Town Lying between Jno. Gordons & the South Line [ie, state line] and that he enter on his Charge accordingly.

“Ordered by this Court…to law [sic] out a Road the nearest and best way from Little Broad River to Benjamin Hardin’s Mill and from thence to the gap of Kings Mountain and from Kings Mountain to William Brattons.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July term 1769, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 7)

October 1769: “Ordered that William Bratton Serve as Overseer of the aforesaid Road from Mic’l Megaritys to the s’d Brattons house & that he Enter on his Charge accordingly.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October term 1769, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 13)

“Ordered by the Court that John Fondren serve as Overseer of the Road leading from Leepar’s Mill to Charles Town (that part between the main branch of Fishing Creek and Wm Brattons and that he Enter on his Charge accordingly.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October term 1769, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 17)

July 1770: “On appeal of John Price it was Ordered by the Court that a Repraisment be had on Four horse Creatures taken on Ex’n at the suit of said Price vs John Fondren & Wm Watson Esqr. and Wm Adair & Wm Bratton be appointed to Revalue the s’d Horses.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July term 1770, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 39)

July 12, 1770: “PETER JOHNSTON of Mecklenburg Co., to SAMUEL GAY of Tryon Co., for £20 proc. Money…land on waters of S fork Fishing Creek adj. BENJAMIN PHILIPS, JAMES MURPHREY, granted to sd. JOHNSTON 16 Dec 1769-..PETER JOHNSTON (SEAL), Wit: HUGH BRATTON, Jurate; WILLIAM PARICK. Rec. July term 1771.” (Tryon County Deed Book 1:473-474, abstracted in Holcomb, Deed Abstracts of Tryon, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties, 34)

October 1770: “Ordered that William Smith, John Workman, John Anderson, William Neely, Robert Robertson, Alex’r Love, James Miskelly, Hugh Neely, James Armstrong, And’w Love, James McNabb, Robert McClellen Serve as Jurors to Lay out a road from The Temporary Line between So & No Carolina nigh Whites Mill on Fishing Creek from thence to Jas Wallace, thence to the Ridge Road Leading from Kings Mountain to William Brattons at a Noted JS and on s’d Road, W of Capt Alex’r Loves Dwelling and that they appear before John Gordon the 27 day of November then and there to take the Necessary steps to Qualify them for their Charge.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October term 1770, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 44)

October 1770: Thomas Bratton listed as a grand juror for Tryon County Court. (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October term 1770, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 44)

January 1771: “Ordered by the Court that Wm Bratton Serve as Overseer of the road leading from Kings Mountain to Chas Town that part between James McNabbs over to William Adairs Creek and that he enter on his Charge accordingly.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, January term 1771, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 54)

January 22, 1771: “WILLIAM BRATTON & wf MARTHA of Tryon Co., to WILIAM ADAER, for £40 NC money…land on waters of S fork fishing Creek adj. ROBERT KERS, 200 A, adj. CRAFTS corner, McCLEANS land, granted to sd. BRATTON 4 May 1769…WILLIAM BRATTON (SEAL), MARTHA BRATTON (W) (SEAL), Wit: JOHN PRICE, Jurate; GEORGE SADLER, WILLIAM MANAHAN. Rec. Jan. term 1771.” (Tryon County Deed Book 1:365-366, abstracted in Holcomb, Deed Abstracts of Tryon, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties, 27. This property was Bratton’s 1768 land grant and includes the site of Hightower Hall)

January 1771: “A Deed of Sale from William Bratton & Martha to William Adear Dated the 22d day of Jan’y 1771 for 200 acres of Land proved by John Price Evidence thereto. Ord’d to be Registered.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, January term 1771, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 56)

July 25, 1771: “PETER JOHNSTON of Mecklenburg Co., to ROBERT BRATTON of Tryon Co., for £5 proc. Money…land on waters of Turkey Creek, joining the land sd. BRATTON lives on, adj. MISKELLY…PETER JOHNSTON, Wit: DAVID WATSON, THOMAS BARRON. Rec. July term 1771.” (Tryon County Deed Book 1:43-464, abstracted in Holcomb, Deed Abstracts of Tryon, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties, 34)

July 1771: “A Deed of Sale from Peter Johnston to Sam’l Guy Dated the 21 of July 1770 for 148 acres of Land proved by Hugh Bratton Evidence thereto. Ordered to be Registered.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July term 1771, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 70)

July 1771: “A Deed of Sale from Peter Johnston to Robert Bratton Dated 25 of July 1771 for 170 acres ack’d in open Court. Ordered to be Registered.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July term 1771, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 71)

January 22, 1772: “JOHN WALLACE & wf HANNAH of Tryon Co., to WILLIAM BARREN of same, for £46 proc. Money…land on both sides Mill Creek including Wades Old Store, 200 A adj. JOHN KELLY…JOHN WALLACE (SEAL), HANNAH WALLACE (H) (SEAL), Wit: ROBT BRATTON, Jurate: GEORGE SADLER, BENJ. PHILLIPS. Rec. Jan. term 1772.” (Tryon County Deed Book 1:511-512, abstracted in Holcomb, Deed Abstracts of Tryon, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties, 37)

January 1772: “A Deed of Sale from John Wallace & wife to William Barrow Dated 27 Jan’y 1772 for 200 acres of Land proved by Rob’t Bratton Evidence thereto. Ord’d to be Registered.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, January term 1772, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 85)

January 1772: “Robert Bratton garnishee of Daniel Kerr came into Court and made oath that he hath in hands nothing of the Estate of Daniel Kerr.” (Tryon County Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, January term 1772, transcribed in Holcomb, Tryon County Court Minutes, 86)

May 20, 1772: “John Braton, Black Smith, of S. C., Craven County, to James Corrygin of Meck., for £100 NC money…164 A in Meck. Co., granted to Robert Tennan, 30 March 1753, conveyed to Allen Alexander 23 Feb 1761, then to John Bratton 4 Feb 1769…John Bratton (Seal), Wit: James Robinson, John Robinson. (No rec. date).” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 7:153-154, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 199)

1772: Boundary between North and South Carolina west of the Catawba River surveyed and established. All Bratton property formerly situated in Mecklenburg and Tryon Counties, NC, now situated in New Acquisition District, Craven County, SC.

December 9, 1774: Pursuant to orders of SC Council, William Bratton had his 200-acre tract resurveyed so that it could be registered with the SC government. (SC Memorial Book 14:2; Motes, South Carolina Memorials: Abstracts of Land Titles, Volume I, 338)

February 22, 1775: John Bratton’s memorial of land title in South Carolina registered in the SC Auditor’s Office: “400 acres when runout in Tryon County, N. Carolina, on N side of Broad River on a branch of Turkey Creek about 2 miles SW from Wm. Price, including a tree marked R. E. Originally granted by Honbl. Mathew Rowan, Esqr., then President of N. Carolina to Robert Ewart 25 Sept. 1754, and by said Ewart conveyed to John Bratton, the memorialist, by deed 16 July 1771; but, by a late resurvey, now falls in S. Carolina, in Craven County. Signed by John Swan.” (SC Memorial Book 13:345, abstracted in Motes, South Carolina Memorials: Abstracts of Land Titles, Volume I, 257)

July 7, 1775: William Bratton’s memorial of land title in SC registered in the SC Auditor’s Office: “200 acres (originally granted to Thomas Raney by the Govr. of N. Carolina) on a branch of the S fork of Fishing Creek. Bounded NE by Richard Saddler and John Moore; NW by James Williamsons; SW by Daniel Croft; othe side by William Barrow. Survey certified 9 Dec. 1774; granted 10 Feb. 1775. Quit rent in 2 years. Francis Adams, DS. Delivered 2 Aug. 1775 to William Bratton.” (SC Memorial Book 14:2, abstracted in Motes, South Carolina Memorials: Abstracts of Land Titles, Volume I, 338. Copy of original memorial and survey plat from South Carolina Division of Archives and History at York County Historical Center)

c. 1776: Oral tradition from Virginia Bratton, given to Senator Sam Mendenhall of York County, states that the present Col. Bratton Revolutionary House was built about this time. (Wilkins, et. al., Historical, Architectural, and Archeological Research at Brattonsville, 21)

July 12, 1776: Will of John Bratton, Camden District. “Wife: Mary, living from my plantation during her widowhood. Sons: William, James, John, Samuel and Robison, land where I now live. Dau: Martha. Mentions: children under age. Exors: wife, John Robinson of North Carolina. Wit: Jesse Cornell, Jno. Gordon, David Gordon.” (South Carolina Will Book VV:272, abstracted in Moore, Abstracts of Wills of the State of South Carolina 1760-1784, 298. Copy of original will from South Carolina Department of Archives and History at York County Historical Center)

October 22, 1777: “James Stafford of Meck., planter, to James Brittain of same, Black-Smith, for £100 proc. money…land on waters of Twelve Mile Creek on a branch called Cedar Creek above Nathl. Alexander, adj. Francis McCalls, 150 A…James Stafford (Seal), Wit: William McKee, Robert Philips. (No rec. date).” (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 7:305-306, abstracted in Holcomb, Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 209)

March 24, 1785: “Commission of Governor William Moultrie, Esqr, to William Bratton, William Hill, John Moffet, David Leech, Francis Adams, James Wilson of Kings Creek, and John Drennan, Esqrs. Pursuant to an Act of the Legislature of 24 Mar. 1785 for Establishing County Courts, the above are given full power to be Justices of the Peace in and for the County of York and to hold the County Court. Dated at Charleston, 24 Mar. 1785.” (York County Minutes of the County Court, Book A:1, transcribed in Wells, York County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, 4. Original minutes book at York County Historical Center)

January 2, 1786: “At a County Court begun and held for the county aforesaid on Monday, 2 Jan. 1786 and 10th year of American Independence. Present the Honorable William Bratton, William Hill, David Leech, John Drennan & James Wilson, Esq’rs.” (York County Minutes of the County Court, Book A:1, transcribed in Wells, York County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, 4. Original minutes book at York County Historical Center)

January 4, 1786: Col. William Bratton issued a license to operate a tavern in his dwelling house. (York County Minutes of the County Court, Book A:13, transcribed in Wells, York County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, 4. Original minutes book at York County Historical Center)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Holcomb, Brent H. Anson County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts 1749-1766; Abstracts

of Wills & Estates, 1749-1795. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1980.

_____. Deed Abstracts of Tryon, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties, North

Carolina 1769-1786; Tryon County Wills and Estates. Easley, SC: Southern

Historical Press, 1977.

_____. North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina. Baltimore:

Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980.

_____. South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1773-1778, Books F-4 through X-4.

Columbia, SC: South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, 1993.

_____. Tryon County, North Carolina Minutes of the Court of Pleas and

Quarter Sessions 1769-1779. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, 1994.

Holcomb, Brent H., and Elmer O. Parker. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Deed

Abstracts. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1979.

Medley, Mary L. History of Anson County North Carolina 1750-1976. Charlotte:

Heritage Printers, 1976. Reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001.

Moore, Caroline T. Astracts of the Wills of the State of South Carolina 1760-1784.

Privately printed, 1969.

Motes, Jesse Hogan III, and Margaret Peckham Motes. South Carolina Memorials:

Abstracts of Land Titles. Volume I, 1774-1776. Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1996.

South Carolina Memorial Books 13 and 14, contained in South Carolina Auditor

General: Memorials, 1731-1778, Microfilm Roll 7, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC. Copy at the Chester County Library, Chester, SC.

Wells, Laurence K. York County, South Carolina Minutes of the County Court 1786-

1797. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, 1981.

Wilkins, Joseph C., Howell C. Hunter, Jr., and Richard F. Carillo. Historical,

Architectural, & Archeological Research at Brattonsville (38YK21), York County, South Carolina. Research Manuscript Series, No. 76. Prepared by the Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, July, 1975.

York County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, Book A, January 1786-1792.

York County Historical Center, York, SC.

WILLIAM BRATTON’S 1766 DEED FROM THOMAS RAINEY

The first conclusive record that places William Bratton on the South Fork of Fishing Creek in York County, SC, is found in Mecklenburg County Deed Book 1, pp. 377-378, and is dated August 11, 1766. This record proves that William Bratton was already a resident of what was then Mecklenburg County, NC, which included present-day York County, SC, and that he was living on the said property when he purchased it from Thomas Rainey. The record also makes two separate references to houses, outbuildings and other improvements in existence on the property when Bratton purchased it. The following is a verbatim transcription of this transaction:

This Indenture made the Eleventh day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Sixty Six Between Thomas Raney and agnes his wife of the County of Mecklenburg and Province of North Carolina of the one Part and William Bratton of the County and Province aforesaid of the other Part witnesseth that sd Thomas Raney & agness his wife for & in Consideration of the Sum of Thirty Six Pounds Six shills Provn money to them the said Thomas Raney & agness his wife in hand paid by the sd william Bratton before the Sealing and Delivering of these Presents the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged & hath granted bargained and sold aliened and Confirmed and by these Presents doth Grant bargain and sell alien and Confirm unto the sd William Bratton his heirs and assigns forever all that messuage[1] Tract or Parcel of Land Situate Lying and being in the County and Province aforesaid on the waters of the middle branch of the South fork of fishing Creek joining McNabbs Beginning black oak corner to a Part of the vacated Tract of Land that was Conveyed to John Fondren turning North Sixty Degrees East Five hundred Poles to a Post thence North thirty Degrees west one hundred & sixty Poles to a stake thence South Sixty west Five hundred Poles toa Post thence to the Beginning Containing by Estimation 200 acres be the same more or less the same being a Part of a Tract of 400 acres that was Granted unto the said Thomas Raney by Patent bearing Date the 21st Day of April anno Domini 1764 Relation thereunto had may appear the same being Now in the Possession of the said William Bratton and all Houses buildings Edifices Gardens Orchards Trees woods underwoods tiths Commons Commons of Possession Profits Commodities advantages Hereditaments Ways waters watersCourses and appurtenances whatsoever to the Same belonging or in any wise appurtaining and also the Reversion and Reversions Remainder & Remainders Rents & Services of the said land and Premises and Every Part thereunto belonging and all the Estate Right Title Interest Property Claim & Demand whatsoever of him the said Thomas Raney & Agnes his wife of in & to the said Premises and Every Part thereof To Have and to Hold the Said Tract of Land and all & Singular the premises before mentioned and Every part thereof . . . . . . unto the said William Bratton his heirs & assigns for Ever and sd Thomas Raney and agness his wife for themselves & their heirs and assigns of the said County and Province and to any Part thereof against all & Every other Person or Persons state & will warrant & forever Defend by these Presents in witness whereof they the said Thomas Raney and agness his wife have hereunto set their hands and affix their Seals. Day & year first above written

Signed Sealed & Delivered Thomas Rainey {Seal}

In Presence of her

Jas Moore Agnes o Rainey {Seal}

Rachel Moore mark

North Carolina January Term 1767

Mecklenburg County This is to Certify that the within Deed was Proved in Open

Court & Recd from the Clerks Office

Robert Harris CC

WILLIAM BRATTON’S 1775 LAND MEMORIAL

Prior to the establishment of the North Carolina-South Carolina state line west of the Catawba River in 1772, hundreds of land grants and land conveyances were recorded in territory claimed by North Carolina that is now located in South Carolina. After the 1772 survey, the state government of South Carolina required land holders who had obtained land from North Carolina to have their property resurveyed and registered in Charleston. One of the property holders who fell under this requirement was Col. William Bratton of Fishing Creek, whose 200-acre land purchase from Thomas Rainey was originally a North Carolina land grant and conveyance. Bratton had his property resurveyed in December 1774 and filed his memorial in February 1775. The new grant was approved in July 1775 and delivered to Bratton in August 1775. Bratton’s original memorial is recorded in the South Carolina Auditor General’s Office, Memorial Book 14, page 2. What follows is a verbatim transcription of Bratton’s memorial, and a translation into “plain English.”

Transcription

2

So. Carolina A meml exhibited by William Bratton to be registd in the Audr Office agreeable

William Bratton to order of Council & to a Condn. of the Grant hereafter Mentioned

200 acres of a Plantation or Tract of 200 acres of Land originally granted to Thomas

Qt Rt 3 / Sty Raney by the Govt. of No. Carolina on a branch of the So. fork of Fishing creek

Or 4 / Proc bounded NE by Richard Sadlers and John Moores NW by James William

Certified by Sons SW by Daniel Crofts, the other Side by William Barrow’s Land Survey

[illegible] Certified the 9h Decr. 1774 and Granted the 10h of Feby 1775. to the Memst Qt

Francis Rt 3 / Sty or 4 / Proc per hundred acres to Commence Two Years from

Adams the date In Witness whereof he hath hereunto Set his hand this 7 July

D. S. 1775. Dld. August 2nd. 1775 to William Bratton

Translation

Page 2

South Carolina

William Bratton

Quit Rent 3 pounds sterling

Or 4 pounds proclamation money

Certified by

Francis

Adams

Deputy Surveyor

A memorial exhibited by William Bratton to be registered in the Auditor’s Office, agreeable to an order of Council and to a condition of the grant hereafter mentioned, of a plantation or tract of 200 acres of land originally granted to Thomas Rainey by the government of North Carolina on a branch of the South Fork of Fishing Creek, bounded northeast by Richard Sadler’s and John Moore’s land, northwest by James Williamson’s land, southwest by Daniel Croft’s land, the other side by William Barrow’s land. Survey certified the 9th of December 1774 and granted the 10th of February 1775 to the memorialist. Quit rent 3 pounds sterling or 4 pounds proclamation money per hundred acres, to commence two years from the date. In witness whereof he hath hereunto set his hand this 7th of July 1775.

Delivered August 2nd 1775 to William Bratton.

WILLIAM BRATTON JR.’S REMINISCENCES OF HUCK’S DEFEAT

Dr. William Bratton Jr., son of Col. William and Martha Bratton of Brattonsville, York County, SC, was seven years old at the time of the Battle of Huck’s Defeat on July 12, 1780. His memories of the events surrounding the battle were dictated to his son, Gen. John Bratton, who enclosed them in a letter to Dr. Edward M. Boykin on April 18, 1876. Dr. Boykin was a great-grandson of Capt. John Adamson of Camden, the “honorable Tory” who saved Mrs. Martha Bratton from injury or death at the hands of another Loyalist. A copy of the letter is located in the archives of the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston; it is not known whether this is the original. An early transcription of Dr. Bratton’s reminiscences was published in Historic Camden, Part One: Colonial and Revolutionary, by Thomas J. Kirkland and Robert M. Kennedy (Columbia, SC: The State Company, 1905). The Kirkland/Kennedy transcription is not only incomplete but also includes some text that is not present in the copy I studied. I have inserted one sentence of particular interest from the Historic Camden version into this transcription, and it is contained within curly brackets {} on page three of this manuscript. Comments in parentheses, and words with strikethroughs, are from the original text. The “young officer named Adair” referred to in Dr. Bratton’s account was John Adair, son of William and Mary Adair, a neighbor of the Brattons’ and a lieutenant in the militia regiment of Col. Edward Lacey at the time. He later moved to Kentucky, eventually becoming a general in the War of 1812 and governor of the state. The following is a verbatim transcription of this document:

Huck’s Defeat

Dr. William Bratton’s Story

We were duly warned of the approach of the “Red Coats” and were on the lookout for them. At last they were seen coming up the road, a long line of “Red Coats” followed by a great multitude of “Tories.” A small squad first reached the house. My Mother met them in the Piazza and asked what they wanted? They wished to see her husband, and were told that he was not at home. When asked where he was, she replied “that she did not know,” then a red-headed ruffian swore that he would make her know, seizing a sickle that was hanging on a peg in the Piazza, he placed it in a position around her neck and drawing his sword swore that, “if she did not immediately tell where her Husband was that he would cut her head off and split it.” I, a little chap, clinging to my Mother’s dress, was transfixed with horror and fright, could not even scream, only clutch the dress with a tighter grip and watch the countenance of the monster. My Mother did not move, but spoke in deliberate terms to this effect – “I told the simple truth and could not tell if I would, but I now add that I would not if I could.” The villain’s face grew pale, but was the most horrible countenance that I ever beheld. Just when I expected the blow to fall the sword and the sickle fell to the floor and the wretch crouched, a pitiable beggar for his life. I was so paralized [sic] with horror that, altho’ I saw the change in his countenance and attitude, I could not take in the scene. He was pleading for his life to an officer who stood over him with a drawn sword. The officer did not slay him but beat him with the flat of his sword and kicked him headlong down the steps. He then turned to my Mother expressing regret at the occurrence and giving his assurance of protection. My Mother said not a word but turned and went into the house, I still clinging to the skirt of her dress.

Neither Red-coat nor Tory-Officer or man, entered the house until Col. Huck [sic] came, which was not long after. He asked for an interview with my Mother, and was, at first, very courteous and polite, even extending his consideration to me and so won me over by his kind attentions that I was sitting on his knee playing with his watch chain and seals, while he was offering a commission in His Majesty’s Service to my Father and asking my Mother to use her influence with him to accept it. This it seems was the purpose of the interview. She, at first, merely replied “that she had no influence with her Husband in such matters,” but when he continued to urge that the advantages of his offer, and the great service she would render her husband by inducing him to accept it, she interrupted him him saying, “It is useless to prolong the interview if that is its purpose. My husband is in Sumter’s Army and I would rather see him die there, true to his Country and cause, than have him live a traitor in yours.”

Huck then behaved very badly – sprang up from his chair and stamped about the room swearing fearful oaths of vengeance against the Rebels, and my Father particularly. The suddeness of his movement threw me from his knee on my face on the hearth, and the result of my misplaced confidence will attend me to my grave in the shape of a broken nose. (My Father used always pointed to his nose at this part of the story – I think he felt a sort of pride in it as an “honorable scar.” – John Bratton.)

Huck required supper to be prepared and afterwards all the women and children in the house were confined in the garret and held prisoners. Before day the next morning we were aroused by the first gun of the battle. It was about as light as day. We who could only get narrow views of the outside world thro’ the cracks thought that it was daylight but the battle was fought and won by the light of an Aurora Borealis. The firing receded from the house, became lighter and more scattering until it finally ceased and the battle was over – but we in the garret could not tell how it ended and I have frequently heard my Mother speak of the intense anxiety during the lull after the battle was over when nothing could be heard but the moans of the wounded, for she felt when she first heard the first gun, that it was my Father attacking the enemy here in his home, altho’ he was in No. Ca. when last heard from. The Aurora Borealis died out during the interval and nothing could be seen that would give an indication of the situation. It was about the dawn of day when the tramp of horses was heard in the lane and shortly after someone entered the house and called for my Mother, she answered and a young officer named Adair (he or his brother was, afterwards Gov. of Kentucky) ran up the steps to the garret and said, “Your husband has sent for you.” His short, hurried message struck my Mother speechless. She thought her husband wounded, perhaps dying, but had not the power to ask the question. She moved in silence and so quickly that she was at the bottom of the steps when I reached rushed to the top screaming frantically to her. She stopped and reached her hand to me when Adair told her to go on and springing up the steps took me on one arm and followed. He overtook her, trying to pick her way thro’ the dead and dying that obstructed the passage to the door. They were lying so thick that it was impossible to reach the door without stepping on them. On moving up to her Adair said “from all accounts you need not feel dainty about treading on these Devils,” seizing her wrist strode over them, taking her along with him.

We passed out and saw, at a short distance, my Father and old Capt. Chambers standing with drawn swords over a prostrate “Red-coat.” On our approach my Mother was asked if she recognized the man. He was so pale, and changed in appearance by his wound that she did not recognize him. Indeed she was lost in a sort of maze of relief from the fearful anticipations with which she left the house and could not take in the situation or recognize the Officer until he addressed her saying, “Madam you were sent for at my request, more to save your Husband from a cruel injustice to himself than for any service you may be able to render me. He has heard that it was I who threatened your life.” He spoke with difficulty but my Mother recognized him and comprehended the whole scene. (My Father had heard of the dastardly attack, but as might easily happen under the circumstances, was misinformed as to the perpetrator of it and he and old Capt. Chambers were about to hack him to pieces with their swords, altho’ he seemed to be dying. He of course denied the charge, but was not believed and was taunted with his cowardly capacity for lying to save his dastardly life, while they drew their swords to cut him into mince meat. My Father says that his sword was raised to strike, when he was checked as much by the countenance of the man as by his words which were, “My life is of little consequence to me, Sir, for you can only hasten the end which I feel is fast approaching, but I beg of you to consult Mrs. Bratton before you perpetrate so great a wrong.” Then it was that young Adair was sent for my Mother and the scene which he left behind him accounts for the stern brevity with which he performed his mission, exciting such alarming anticipations in my Mother’s breast.)

When my Mother recognized him and gave the true statement of his part in the attack upon her, all of their savage fierceness changed into tender care. My Father and old Capt. Chambers were kneeling on either side of him administering Rum, the panacea of our Revolutionary Fathers, while my Mother with Adair & some others, went to the house to prepare a place for him. {I remember well how Adair and another man took up Redcoats, one by the head and the other by the heels, and threw them out of the house like dead hogs, and laughed at my Mother when she remonstrated with them.} A room was cleared of dead and wounded (of whom the house was full) and a bed was prepared, and the British Officer (Capt. John Adamson) was brought in. My Mother, who was skilled in concocting healing salves and poultices, dressed his wound and he was made as comfortable as circumstances would permit. He was not touched by ball or sabre but was thrown from his horse and impaled on a pine sapling stump about the size of a candle. It penetrated his chest. The wound was a terrible one and little or no hope was entertained of his life – but by care of Mrs. B. his recovery was complete. The attack was a surprise, but Huck and Adamson displayed splendid pluck and courage, rallying their men & refusing returning to the charge only to be broken & repulsed by the sure aim and deadly fire of our men, who were fighting for their firesides. Huck was killed in the second or third charge when the command devolved on Adamson, who rallied his men and fell leading the last charge that was made. After his fall the enemy fled in confusion.

Above account written by Mr. Jno. Bratton for Dr. E. M. Boykin a descendant of Capt. Adamson.

BRATTON REMINISCENCES FROM THE DRAPER MANUSCRIPTS

Contained in the manuscript collection of Lyman C. Draper, author of King’s Mountain and Its Heroes, are the reminiscences of various descendants of SC Revolutionary War soldiers, including Dr. James Rufus Bratton and Dr. John Simpson Bratton Jr. of York District, both of whom were sons of Dr. John Simpson Bratton Sr. and grandsons of Col. William Bratton. Draper visited South Carolina in the summer of 1871 and interviewed both Rufus Bratton and John S. Bratton Jr.; his notes from these interviews are found in the Draper Manuscript Collection at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Volume 11, Series VV, pages 333-336 (11VV333-336) These notes were published in The Quarterly, a publication of the York County Genealogical and Historical Society, in June 1998, but contained several omissions and transcription errors. In order to correct these mistakes, I have compiled this verbatim transcription of the Bratton information from the Drapers Manuscripts, including Draper’s parenthetical comments, strikethroughs, superscripts, and undelines. The statements about “Capt. Huck” and “Hook’s Defeat” are references to Capt. Christian Huck and the Battle of Huck’s Defeat, fought near Brattonsville on July 12, 1780, between American Patriot forces (including Col. Bratton) and British troops commanded by Capt. Huck, who was often called “Hook” by local residents. All footnotes and comments in brackets [] are mine. – MCS

Col. Wm. Bratton

From Dr. J. R. Bratton, Yorkville, S. C. son of John S. Bratton, & grd. son of Col. Wm. Bratton.

Wm. Bratton was from Armagh Co. Ireland – Settled first in Penna & then perhaps in N. C. Married Martha Robertson, who was born on the Sea while her parents were migrating from Ireland.[2]

Their eldest son Wm. B. Jr. was some 8 or nine years old at the time of Hook’s Defeat[3] – & born in the country – & perhaps two sisters before him, one of whom married Dr. [James] Simpson & another David Sadler.

John Carroll was the one who killed Capt. Hook, who had mounted his horse, close at hand, while the other British & Tory horse were hitched some little distance off. Carroll said: “If you find two rifle balls passed into his head close together, then I killed him, for I loaded with two balls.” Two such ball holes were found – & in subsequent years, Dr. Simpson took up Hook’s skeleton – preserved it – the two ball holes were in it – & the skeleton was taken first to Alabama, & subsequently to California.

In firing, some balls passed from Williamsons & around where firing was done, to Bratton’s house, passing

through the roof, & striking the chimney, fell below, where little Wm. Bratton picked them up.

Hook’s cap & sword, were & holsters, were long owned by Col. Bratton.

It was Wm. Bratton Jr. who treasured up the facts about the fight – for John S. Bratton was not born till after the war – & if the latter gave the details to Dr. Jos. Johnson, it was from his parents & brother’s recollections.[4] And in this way perhaps they were furnished to Mrs. Ellet – by Wm. if then living – who died either in 1852 or ’57 – not certain.

Only used coffee for a social drink on Sunday mornings, in early times – Sugar & coffee, with a little whiskey in it – & called “lace.”

Col. Bratton long kept a country store, getting his goods at Charleston, & taking in butter & other produce wagoned to that city.[5]

Once in straitened times in the Revolution the family were pondering on their porch where they shd. get meal for their next repast – when lo a man rode up, & delivered them a bushel of meal he had loaned of them at a former period – & thus for that time they were supplied.

Bethesda Church land, 10 acres, was deeded in 1771 – & had another place with a long log church before this, & not far off, where are grave stones marked 1761.

Col. Wm. Bratton died Feb. 9, 1815, & Mrs. Martha (Robertson) died Jan. 17, 1816. Their children:

Eliza (married David Sadler ) born Sept. 7, 1766.

Jane ( ” Dr. James Simpson ) ” Oct. 9, 1768.

Martha ( ” Rev. Mr. [John] Foster ) ” Mh. 19, 1771.

Wm. ( ” Miss [Christina] Winn ) ” Aug. 22d 1773.

Elizh. ( ” Wm. Ervin ) ” Aug. 10, 1779.

Agnes ( ” Robt. McCaw ) ” May 23d, 1782.

Mary ( ” George Steele ) ” June 13, 1785.

John S. ( ” Harriet Rainey ) ” Feb. 21, 1789.[6]

{Dr. John S. died in 1843.

Wm. Bratton Jr. died about 1853.

Col. Wm. Bratton buried beside his wife in Bethesda cemetery – tomb stone says he was 73 years old, hence born in 1742 – & Mrs. Bratton 66 – hence the latter was born in 1750 – & was 16 when her first child was born – hence married in 1765.

John S. Bratton [Jr.] (Guthreysville P.O., S.C.) says his uncle Wm. Bratton [Jr.] related that a British soldier at time of Hook’s defeat got a reap-hook & placing it behind Mrs. Bratton’s neck threatened to cut off her head – when (Capt. Adamson) came to her relief; & when Adamson was wounded in the fight & lay on the ground, Col. Bratton spoke harshly to him as abusing his wife, when Adamson referred him to her – & she saved him.

The Hook Defeat battle-ground. – McClures party went up the ascending Williamson’s lane (Saml. Williamson, says his grandson, died about 1816, & buried at Bethesda Church yard, in Chester S.C.)[7] & as they reached the ridge, & just over it was a hollow in which at a spring & spring branch was Williamson’s house, long since disappeared – & just beyond on high ground was Col. Bratton’s house – some 60 rods off [8] – Col. Bratton was sheriff of Pinckney Dist. (3 counties) AD 1795 to 1798, the papers show perhaps a little earlier & later.[9]

From a sketch of Mrs. Bratton in Lady’s Book, Mrs. Bratton lived in Rowan Co. N. C. & was married there – Dr. Bratton (in Yorkville) said something corroborating this.[10]

Col. Bratton’s Revolutionary papers, if he ever had any, are lost or destroyed.

WILLIAM BRATTON BIOGRAPHY AND OBITUARY

Contained in the Lyman C. Draper Manuscript Collection at the State Historical Society in Wisconsin are some details on Col. William Bratton obtained from the unpublished John H. Logan Manuscripts. Dr. John H. Logan was the author of A History of the Upper Country of South Carolina, published as Volume I in 1859. Dr. Logan planned to publish a second volume of this work, but it was never completed. Logan’s unpublished notes were copied by Lyman Draper during the course of his research on the American Revolution in the South Carolina backcountry, and are included in the Draper Manuscript Collection. During the 1850’s, Logan interviewed Harriet Rainey Bratton, the widow of Dr. John Simpson Bratton. John Simpson Bratton was the youngest son of Col. William Bratton, and Logan was able to record some of Harriet Bratton’s memories of Col. Bratton as passed on to her by her husband Dr. Bratton. These notes are found in the Draper Manuscripts, Volume 16, Series VV, page 174 (16VV154). They contain some details about Col. Bratton not found elsewhere, and differ in some aspects from the reminiscences of Col. Bratton’s grandson Dr. James Rufus Bratton, which are found in the Draper Manuscripts, 11VV333-336. For instance, Harriet Rainey Bratton stated that William Bratton’s family originated in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, whereas Dr. Rufus Bratton indicated that they came from County Armagh in Northern Ireland. Harriet also stated that William Bratton married Martha Robertson in Virginia, whereas Dr. Bratton believed they were married in North Carolina. What follows is a verbatim transcript of the Bratton notes in the Logan Manuscripts as copied by Lyman Draper:

Col. Bratton – Col. Bratton came with his father from Antrim, Ireland, first to York County, Pa., & then to Virginia, where he married a Miss Robertson, & afterwards removed returned to York District, S. C., & settled where Mrs. Bratton, his daughter-in-law, now lives, some 10 miles from Yorkville.

Also included in Volume 16, Series VV of the Draper Manuscripts (16VV441-442), is a copy of Col. Bratton’s obituary published in the Charleston City Gazette on Feb. 28, 1815. The obituary contains very little useful information about Col. Bratton, and it is clear that the writer had few details about Bratton’s life available to him; but it is nonetheless interesting for its historical value as a tribute to Bratton and his service to his country:

Col. Wm. Bratton – “Died on the 9th Feb. 1815, in York District, Col. Wm. Bratton, in the 72d year of his age. He was one of the old Revolutionary characters worthy to be remembered. He was one of the heroes of ’76, who bravely defended the rights of our country, and was instrumental in procuring for us the blessings of freedom and independence. He was a fine patriot, and had naturally a strong love for independence. Under a well-regulated government, he was a good citizen, but could not tamely submit to the encroachments of any man or body of men, on his perfect rights. His services were zealously devoted to his country through the Revolutionary war, and for many years afterwards in the Legislature. Through a long and active life, he generally enjoyed good health, possessing a good constitution and a firm mind, judicious and intrepid in the execution of his plans. At length he was taken with a lingering disease which terminated his existence. It may be truly said of him, that he was a strictly honest, virtuous, good man. He was exemplary in his integrity, benevolent and friendly in his position, ever ready to relieve the distressed and help the needy. He has left a widow and a numerous family, besides a large circle of friends and acquaintances to lament his loss.”

A copy of this newspaper article is located in the files of the York County Historical Center in York, SC.

BRATTONVILLE OR BRATTONSVILLE?

In recent years there has been some discussion about the historical accuracy of the name “Brattonsville” as opposed to the name “Brattonville.” In fact, both names are found in records of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and both names were used locally to refer to the area where William Bratton and his descendants lived on the South Fork of Fishing Creek.

Brattonville

1. “Finding this morning that the creek could not be crossed at Eave’s Mill, I have turned back up the South Fork and will reach Brattonville to-night.”

— Brig. Gen. William M. Allen, Allen’s Cavalry Division, US Army, Feb. 25, 1865. (George B. Davis, et. al. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Volume XLVII, Part II. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895, p. 1276-1277.)

2. The name “Brattonville” appears on a map of York County, South Carolina, copyright 1910, by Jones and Walker of Rock Hill, SC.

Brattonsville

1. The name “Brattons V.” appears as an abbreviation for “Brattonsville” in York District on a map of South Carolina, published by J. H. Colton in 1855.

2. “At the period of which I speak, there was but one glazed house in the district, outside of Yorkville, that was built by old Colonel Bratton. It boasted two or three windows, filled by one sash, each composed of four panes, not more than about 6 x 8 inches in size. I am under the impression that the building is still standing at Brattonsville.”

— Dr. Maurice Moore, Reminiscences of York. Greenville, SC: A. Press, Inc., 1981, p. 41. Originally published in the Yorkville Enquirer in 1870 as a series of articles entitled “Reminiscences of a Septagenarian.”

[1] “Messuage” is a legal term meaning “a dwelling house with its adjacent outbuildings and adjacent land.” Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, 2nd College Edition, 1970.

[2] This document was probably one of the original sources for the biography of Col. William Bratton published in the Biographical Directory of the Senate of the State of South Carolina 1776-1964, compiled by Emily Bellinger Reynolds and Joan Reynolds Faunt (Columbia: SC Archives Dept., 1964). On p. 185 we read: “BRATTON, William…Born in 1742 in Ireland; came with parents first to Pennsylvania, then to York, S.C. Married Martha Robinson of Rowan County , N.C.”

[3] William Bratton Jr. would have been seven years old at the time of Huck’s Defeat. Information in the Joe Hart Genealogical Collection at the York County Historical Center, apparently derived from William’s tombstone, indicates that he was born on July 16, 1773 and died on Dec. 1, 1850 in Winnsboro, SC. The information in this manuscript gives William’s birthdate as Aug. 22, 1773. None of the Brattons in York seemed to know exactly when William Jr. died, as evidenced by the dates of 1852, 1853, or 1857.

[4] John Simpson Bratton Sr. was born Feb. 21, 1789 and died Apr. 27, 1843 (Bethesda Presbyterian Church cemetary inscriptions). Dr. Joseph Johnson of Charleston provided details of the Brattons’ experiences during the Revolution to Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet, who later recounted them in her books Domestic History of the Revolution (1850) and Heroic Women of the Revolution (3 volumes, 1849-1850).

[5] The information that Col. Bratton ran a store and traded in Charleston is interesting, given the fact that he was a member of the SC House of Representatives from 1784–1790 and of the SC Senate from 1790-1794, positions that would have necessitated several trips to and from Charleston each year. See Biographical Directory of the Senate, p. 185.

[6] This information looks like it might have been copied from a family Bible or some other record preserved by the Bratton family.

[7] Bethesda Presbyterian Church is in York County, not Chester.

[8] 60 rods equals 330 yards or 990 feet.

[9] The Biographical Directory of the Senate indicates Bratton resigned the Senate “on election as sheriff [of Pinckney District] on December 19, 1794, serving four years.”

[10] An article on Martha Bratton appeared in the June 1848 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a women’s magazine, as part of a series on “Heroic Women of the Revolution” written by Elizabeth F. Ellet.

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