Breretons from Virginia

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Input from Sherrill Williams

A Genealogist from Tennessee, USA

December 11, 2006

I have had a long standing interest in the Brereton family due to an "outside" connection to my ancestor, Peter Callaway of Somerset Co, MD.

Peter was transported by William Pressley (land grant 1649) of Northumberland Co, VA, who also included his family on his headright list. Soon I began to notice Pressley's interactions with Thomas Brereton. On the importation list Peter's name is spelled "Cally" (or similar) [working without notes at hand], and in his first record in Somerset Co, MD land grant]the name is spelled with a "K" - both versions have standing in England.

Somehow, Peter Callaway got to Northampton/Accomac Co, VA where he hooked up with one James Jones, Quaker [who may be a relative]. James Jones was one of the first settlers in Somerset Co, VA when the Quakers were banished from Virginia, and Lord Baltimore offered them refuge and land in Somerset County; Baltimore was in a dispute with the Virginia colony over his southern boundary. He offered the Quakers the opportunity to settle there to help him hold his line. James Jones was one of the first to settle in lower Somerset County; Peter Callaway was with him. It then became interesting to me that Peter Callaway and William Brereton were both living at Nanticoke, and their children's births were recorded in Stepney Parish Register (Book IKL) about the same time. I have since learned a bit more about James Jones, and how the Brereton family, the Presley family, the Winder family and the Jones family were all intertwined. This recitation is just to establish my interest in the Brereton family. Our Peter Callaway was not a Quaker.

I have chased the Brereton family all over England, and of course, the important family of Cheshire. But, I could find nothing there to link the Virginia Breretons to them.

Then last evening, I did another scan of English records and finally found something new - and the direct link to the Virginia Breretons. These records are from the Bristol Record Office [UK], Ashton Court Papers:

AC/AS/34/5. 4 Oct 1666. Bargain and Sale: (1) Henry Brereton of Henbury, clerk - [gives a bit more info]

AC/AS/35/2. 17 Oct 1665. Bargain and Sale (1) Henry Brereton of Westbury-on-Trym, clerk to (2) Anthony
Brereton of Bristol, upholsterer, son of Henry - a messuage and land, part of premises [AC/AS/34/5].

A will for Anthony Brereton, dated 27 July 1677, is referenced: premises in Henbury bequeathed to his son,

AC/AS/35/4. 4 Dec 1677. THOMAS BRERETON OF VIRGINIA, eldest son of Henry Brereton, late of Henbury, to Anthony Brereton, his nephew (part of Henbury].

AC/AS/35/6. 3 Feb 1684. Bargain and Sale: (1) Thomas Brereton, son and heir of Thomas Brereton of Wickacomaco in Virginia, gent.dec'd; (2) Sir Samuel Astry of Henbury (premises as in AC/AS/35/5].

Are you familiar with Access to Archives [A2A], an English record source. If not, type Access to Archives into Google, and it will bring up the internet address. On the opening page there will be a blank for typing in your search objective - type in: Brereton. Below that will be a list of Archives to search. Open that, and click on Bristol Record Office. That will save time; otherwise all the archives will be searched and you will get a huge number of Cheshire references to sort through. As I said before, I have never found anything promising in Cheshire, but there may be a connection to be found eventually.

I have wondered if the Virginia Breretons were anyway related to THOMAS BRUARTON [Brereton] who was MP [Member of Parliament] from Exeter, Devon. I chased that family across co. Somerset to Yard, Somerset. I have biographical info on the MP, and pedigrees of the family he is believed associated with, if you are interested. However, the link between the MP and those in Bristol has not been made. If you are interested in the MP, I will gladly supply additional information.

So, there you have it. I am pleased to be the one who has finally found the link from Virginia to England - even though I have no direct ancestral connection to the Breretons.

If I can offer additional advice, please feel free to ask.

Sherrill U. Williams (I live in Tennessee, USA)
Genealogist, the Callaway Family Association, Inc.


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