First Name:  Last Name: 
[Advanced Search]  [Surnames]

Rev. Robert BRACEWELL, Sr.

Male Bef 1611 - Bef 1668  (< 56 years)

Personal Information    |    PDF

  • Name Robert BRACEWELL 
    Title Rev. 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born Bef 13 Oct 1611  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened St. Andrew, Holborn, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Will 15 Feb 1667  Isle of Wight County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died Bef 1 May 1668  Isle of Wight County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 1 May 1668  Isle of Wight County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (1) England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975:

      Name: Robt. Bracewell
      Gender: Male
      Christening Date: 13 Oct 1611
      Christening Place: St Andrew, Holborn, London, England
      Father's Name: Richard Bracewell
      Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C01051-1
      System Origin: England-ODM
      GS Film number: 374348

      (2) "Following the Braswells in America, 1600 - 2004" <>:


      The BRASWELL story, as it is presently known, began in the city of London, England, over three-hundred years ago. There, a certain Richard BRACEWELL, Gentleman, lived in the year 1612 when a son Robert was born. (The word "Gentleman", as a designation following a proper name, means that the person belonged to an armorial family.) Little is known of the family prior to this date except that they and others of this same name in England were said to have fled from Scotland during the rebellion against the tyrannical rule of the kings. . . .

      At the age of fifteen young Robert BRACEWELL was sent to Oxford University to be educated for the ministry. Records of colonial Virginia show that Robert BRACEWELL, son of Richard BRACEWELL of London, England, Gentlemen, entered Hart Hall at Oxford University February 22, 1627, at the age of fifteen and graduated with an The Old ChurchA.B. Degree (Artium Baccalaureus known today as Bachelor of Arts) in November 1631. This information has been certified of recent years by an Oxford Register (from The BRASWELL FAMILY- Elizabeth Braswell Pearsall). Soon after Robert must have immigrated to America. As early as November 10, 1635, he was living in Isle of Wight, Virginia, where he owned a plantation on the Blackwater River. He became the rector of St. Luke's, which is now known as the Old Brick Church, Isle of Wight, Virginia.

      A period of almost twenty years elapses before Robert BRACEWELL is again heard from. During the latter part of this period, England and Scotland were passing through difficult times under Charles I, who was determined, as his father James I had been, to force the Anglican form of worship on the Puritans of England and Scotland and the Presbyterians of the latter. As a result both England and Scotland were in constant rebellion and civil war. Many prominent churchmen were forced to flee to other countries. During the Cromwellian rebellion and subsequent rule (1640-1660), many Royalists fled England and Scotland. Most of these refugees settled in the American Colonies. These circumstances resulted in Robert BRACEWELL's coming to the New World and settling in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, sometime prior to 1635. He was at this time an Episcopal Clergyman.

      The was a witness to an agreement between Ambrose Bennett and Thomas Webb for the use of a mill and adjacent land, 29 April 1650 (Deed book I, pg. 426).

      When Captain John Upton made his will in January 1651, he mentioned three-hundred acres of land he had sold to Mr. Robert BRACEWELL (Will and Adm. Bk. A, pp. 32-33).

      As water was a most important means of transportation in colonial times, most of the early settlers established themselves on some body of water or stream. So, too, Robert BRACEWELL's plantation was located on the Blackwater River, some miles south of the James River and the colonial town of Jamestown, a few miles northwest of where the town of Smithfield, Virginia, now stands. Robert BRACEWELL's pastorate, known as Lawn's Creek Parish, was changed to Southwark Parish in 1737.

      In 1653 the Reverend Robert BRACEWELL was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. At this time in history separation of church and state was the subject of much agitation in both Europe and America. According to the records of the 1653 session of the House of Burgesses, "It is ordered that Mr. Robert BRACEWELL (cleric), be suspended since it is un-presidential and may produce bad consequences." (Hemning I, pg. 376). If clergymen were not allowed to hold political offices it would seem odd that he was elected to hold the office to begin with.

      The Will of the Reverend Robert BRACEWELL was made February 15, 1667. It was one of the earlier wills made in this country and can be found in Deed and Wills Book 1, pg. 9 of the Isle of Wight County records of Virginia. Whether the Reverend Robert BRACEWELL was a wealthy man before coming to Virginia, or whether he accumulated his wealth after coming to the New World has not been established, but at the time of his death in 1668 (Will proved May 1, 1668, Book 2, Page 52), he was the possessor of considerable property. He was referred to in the WILLIAM AND MARY QUARTERLY Vol. 7 as a "notable minister." (THE BRASWELL FAMILY- Elizabeth B. Pearsall).

      Isle of Wight County Records,
      William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine,
      (Vo., 7, No. 4, Apr., 1899). pp. 205-315.

      " In 1736, William Bidgood was clerk of the Upper church, and Joseph Weston clerk of the "Brick church," which seems to show that the present St. Luke's, near Smithfield, was originally in the Lower parish. Rev. John Camm (afterwards President of William and Mary College) succeeded Rev. John Gammill in 1745, and then followed Rev. John Reid from March 8, 1746, to April, 1757; Rev. Mr. Milner from February, 1766, to May 3, 1770; Rev. Henry John Burges (In the churchyard at Williamsburg is a tombstone to the memory ) from of "Ann Burges, wife of Rev. Henry John Burges, of Isle of Wight, who died Dec. 25, 1771, in giving birth to an infant daughter." 1773 to 1776; Rev. William Hubard, who died on the Glebe in 1802; Rev. Samuel Butler, who officiated occasionally in 1780, and Rev. William G. H. Jones, who officiated from 1826 to 1832.

      To this list of ministers might be added the names of Robert Bracewell, who died in Isle of Wight about 1667, and of Robert Dunster, who died in 1656.

      The Southside counties had many dissenters among their population. Col. Byrd attributed the fact to the low grade of tobaco grown in those counties, which rendered the support of a competent clergy difficult and precarious. At an early day a considerable Puritan party developed, at the head of whom were the brothers, Richard and Philip Bennett, who had settled in Nansemond county. Upon their invitation New England sent to Virginia three Congregational ministers, but Governor Berkeley gave them a dose of the medicine, which they had long been administering to Episcopalians in their own country. He banished them from the colony, and got the Legislature to enact a law against all non-conformists."

      In his Will, Robert BRACEWELL directed that his two underage sons - ROBERT, JR. and Richard- were to receive the bulk of his estate and were to share the 700 acre home plantation and 600 acres on the western Branch of Nansemond County. They were also to share in the new mill when it was completed. He named two friends and neighbors - George Gwellin (Welsh for William) and Richard Izard - to act as guardians for the children, they were each to receive forty shillings with which to buy himself a ring. He further directed that his two sons be placed in a school to learn to read and write. His three married daughters were to receive three cows each; the indentured servant Elizabeth Hall, was to receive a heifer. Seven of his friends were to receive one cow, and his son-in-law William West, a cow and a yearling.

      Included in the inventory of his property were sixty-three head of livestock, a servant boy, a library worth 500 pounds of tobacco, a sloop (a single-masted, fore-and-aft-rigged sailing vessel), silverware, and numerous articles of clothing and household furnishings. The total value of his estate was given as 35,800 pounds of tobacco (Will and Deed Book I, pg 55). From an accounting of his estate rendered on 10 January 1669-70 and signed by Richard and Rebecca Izard, it appears that Mr. Izard, who owned the adjoining plantation, must have performed his duties as guardian in a very satisfactory manner indeed (Will and Deed Book I, pg 28).


      1. Jane BRACEWELL was born about 1645 in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and died a very wealthy woman in 1713. She was married three times, her first marriage was to Robert Stokes, her second marriage was to Robert Eley II, and her third marriage was to John Roberts. According to Hildon B. BRASWELL, Jane was evidently very attractive, married well, and "became one of the largest owners of land and other real property." Jane's first marriage was to Robert Stokes in 1667. Robert, along with his brother-in-law William West, participated in Bacon's Rebellion and was hung by the Brittish in 1677 for his involvement. Although they were married for only a short time before his death, they had three daughters: Mary, Ann and Rebecca Stokes. Jane next married Robert Eley, II in 1678 and they lived in Virginia. They too, were married a short time (less than three years) and only one child was born to this union, Robert Eley, III. Jane's last marriage was to John Roberts in 1680. To this marriage was born three children: John, Thomas and Jane Roberts.

      2. Rebecca BRACEWELL was born in 1647 in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and died in 1700. Rebecca married William West in 1668 and they had only one daughter, Rebecca West. William was involved in Bacon's Rebellion . . . along with his brother-in-law, Robert Stokes. Both William and Robert were captured by the Brittish January 16, 1677 . . . , but William escaped and was later pardoned by the King. . . .

      3. Ann BRACEWELL was born in 1649 in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and died in 1734. She married James Bagnal in 1667 in Virginia and they had four children: Rebecca, Joseph, Robert and Mary Bagnal.

      4. ROBERT BRACEWELL, Jr. was born in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1650. ROBERT married SUSANNAH BURGESS and they had four children: James, Ann, William and Richard. [Note by compiler: Robert had no known children.]

      5. Richard BRACEWELL was born in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1652 and died in 1734. He married Sarah Sampson[?] on January 16, 1673. . . . Sarah died in 1735. Richard and Sarah had nine children: Richard, Ann, Robert, Valentine, William, Martha, Jane, Jacob and John BRACEWELL. [Note by compiler: Sarah was not a SAMPSON.]

      (3) Braswell Genealogy <>:



      In the name of God Amen, I ROBERT BRACEWELL beinge very weake & sicke of Body but of perfectt memorie, doe make this my last Will & Testament, Revockeinge all former Wills whatsoever, Imprimis I bequeath my Soule into the hands of my Redeemer, who gave it mee, And my body unto the ground from whence it came to be decently buried, And for those Temporall goods God hath given mee I dispose of them in manner as followeth, I give unto my daughter JANE STOCKES her CHILDREN, three cowes, To REBECCA WEST my daughter one Cowe & Calfe And one Cowe & Calfe to the next child she shall have, And the rest of all my Estate unto my two sonns ROBERT and RICHARD whome I make my full & sole executors of this my Will, and the Mill I desire shalbe finisht, with what speed may bee And to be lett out, only reservinge corne for themselves, and the p.[ro] duse of the Mill to be equally divided betweene them both, And reserved to build a new mill hereafter And when built to be left wholly to my sonne RICHARD Likewise I give Seaven hundred Acres of land where I now live and sixe hundred Acres att the Western Branch of Nancemond County To be equally divided betweene my two sonnes ROBERT and RICHARD Likewise it is my desire that noe part or parcell of the estate shalbe disposed of, nor none of the land, untill they both are of full Age, nor no wayes divided But if it shall please God that either of them shall depart this life before he comes of Age, That then the Survivor shall enjoye the whole Likewise I give unto my Servant ELIZABETH HALL when she shalbe free one heiffer of two yeares of Age And likewise it is my desire That my loveinge friends Mr RICHARD IZARD and GEORGE GWILLIM to be Guardians unto my Children in the time of theire Minoritie, And to see this my Will performed Likewise I give unto the said RICHARD IZARD and GEORGE GWILLIM, ffortie shillings to each of them, to buy them each one ringe, Likewise I give unto my Daughter ANN BAGNALL one Cowe & Calfe And one Cowe & calfe to her first Child, if it please God she have any, And likewise it is my desire that my two sonnes, ROBERT & RICHARD shalbe putt to schoole untill they cann both write & read And this beinge my Will I testifie it with my hand this 15th of February 1667


      In Wittness of



      This will was proved in open Cort held for the Isle of Wight County this first Day of May 1668 And then Recorded

      Teste John Jennings Clr: Recordes:
    Person ID I38251  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 

     1. Richard BRACEWELL, I,   b. Between 1651 and 1652, Isle of Wight County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1725  (Age ~ 74 years)  [natural]
     2. Robert BRACEWELL, Jr.,   b. Abt 1650, Isle of Wight County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 9 Apr 1702, Isle of Wight County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 11:25:31 
    Family ID F16491  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart