Jacob Brimberry (1768-c1823)

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7.2 Jacob Brumberry & Jane CunninghamEdit

The name Jacob Brumberry is first found when he signed a petition at Boonesborough, Kentucky on September 26, 1785. Petition 27, as it is officially known, was one of 110 petitions by the early inhabitants of Kentucky, which was then a part of Virginia, to the commonwealth between 1769 and 1792. Although other records do not indicate that Jacob resided inside the fort at Boonesborough, petition 27 to create a new county nevertheless bears the signatures of many Boonesborough residents including Daniel Boone.

It is also interesting to note that Jacob appeared in Kentucky at Fort Boonesborough the same year that his parents, Matthias Brimberry and Mary Anderson, moved from Orange County, North Carolina to Washington County, Virginia. Two years later, in 1787, Jacob’s father appeared on the 1787 tax list with two sons over age 16, one of who was, Peter, believed to be the eldest of the seven Brimberry brothers. The other may have been Jacob, who like Peter may have been born in Delaware before the family moved to North Carolina with other Swedish kinsmen. Likewise, the second tithable between 16 and 21 was Jacob’s brother Joseph since both Peter and Joseph (both by now 21 or older) appeared with their father Matthias on the 1790 tax lists of Washington County, Virginia.

Suffice based on available evidence, it is believed that Jacob was born circa 1768, suggesting that he was only about 17 years old when he signed the petition at Boonesborough. It is also interesting to note that Jacob and his father’s surnames were both spelled “Brumberry” in separate records in 1785. While it is unknown whether Jacob or Joseph was the second eldest it is certain though that Jacob arrived in Kentucky first, followed by his father and four of his brothers within two or three years. The two exceptions were Peter who moved instead to Greenville District, South Carolina and William who moved to Louisiana via Tennessee and Mississippi.

Undoubtedly possessed with wanderlust and an adventurous spirit, Jacob also appears to have led the way for his brothers Joseph, John, Isaac and Samuel into the Northwest territories of Indiana and Illinois which were then wild, untamed country filled with danger lurking from hostile Indians seeking to stem the influx of settlers. Since Matthias last appeared in any record in 1811 in Warren County, Kentucky it is surmised that he died there about age 75.

Jacob’s movements are largely unknown between 1785 when he signed the petition at Ft. Boonesborough and 1803 when he appeared in the records of Clark County in then Indiana Territory across the Ohio River from Louisville. While he does not appear in the records of Bourbon County, Kentucky with his father or brothers, it can be assumed that he maintained close contact with his family because his brother John, who married Agness Beethe in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1797, appeared with him a court record in Clark County in 1803. It is also possible that he lived in Indiana Territory before 1803 since many of the early records of Clark County were lost in a flood.

Jacob Brumberry married Jane Cunningham in Southern Indiana on 20 Oct 1808. Jane was the daughter of John Cunningham and Mary McIan. Jane’s parents, who were Scottish and Catholic, were married in Maryland and moved to Washington County Kentucky after the Revolutionary War. John Cunningham, a Revolutionary War veteran, is last found on the Washington County, Kentucky tax list for 1793. Possibly, Jacob knew Jane and her parents before moving to Indiana Territory.

Jacob and Jane moved to Eagle, Illinois Territory soon after they were married and two of their children, Elizabeth and John, were born there. Jacob joined Jacob Short’s Company of Territorial Rangers and served from July to November 1812. Banded together in groups, the Rangers traveled around scouting for Indians in order to protect the settlers. He was allowed $23.60 for the use of his horse and $19.42 for his service. He was one of the Rangers that chased the Indians that murdered the Lively family, capturing them in eastern Illinois. Jacob then joined Jacob Short and served from Feb.27 to May 31 of 1813.

Jacob then moved to the Kaskaskia River area in what is now Washington County, Illinois. He lived at or near old Covington and was in the cattle business with Andrew Bankston. He joined Nathaniel Journey’s Company and help navigate a boat up the Illinois River to Peoria where the Territorial Governor was battling a large group or troublesome Indians. Jacob and Andrew Bankston sued Rubin and Robin Middleton for nonpayment of money they promised for cattle that Jacob had sold. They were arrested and taken to Belleville where they paid up plus a fine and turned loose.

Jacob then moved to what is Marion County where he was counted in the statehood census of 1818. He was listed between Samuel Young and Hugh Shearwood along Crooked Creek, south of present day Odin, Illinois. Jacob and Jane's children Joseph, Mary, and Margaret were born at this or the Covington location.

In 1818, Solon Buck traveled from Vincennes to St Louis. During his trip he stopped for the night and found himself in the middle of a band of cutthroats and robbers. Fearful for his life he stayed awake throughout the night. One of the names he heard talked about was “Vimberry”. Mr. Buck must have stopped at a tavern run by a name named Rutherford. This tavern was on the road about where the town of Xenia, Illinois is now located.

Xenia was a crossing of trails and had three known taverns. Just west of this location the trail branched off to the southwest and was known as the Kaskaskia Road. This road ran to the Territorial capital about where the Kaskaskia River flows into the Mississippi. Another trail, called the Goshen Road, ran from about Shawneetown on the Ohio River to a place near Edwardsville, Illinois. The Kaskaskia and the Goshen roads crossed at Walnut Hill, Illinois.

Down the Kaskaskia Road, just north of the village of Kaskaskia, a family named Goings lived. These people had many talents including making rifles that were favored by the territorial governor and the Rangers. They also made all kinds of trinkets as well as sugar cane wine. These two roads became busy with settlers and the Goings boys decided to set up shop near Walnut Hill and sell some of their items. One of the items they made was money. They made change with their pieces of money. This generated several complaints and local "Regulators" came over to the camp and gave the boys a chance to leave the state, if not they advised them that they had all the rope and trees they needed to take care of the situation. One of the names listed in this incident was John Brimberry. John lived near the Goings and "forted" at their place during Indian troubles. The Goings and John Brimberry left the state.

EDITORS NOTE: In fairness, it should be noted that there was not a common currency in the United States at this time, and specie was in short supply, particularly along the frontier. Hence, farmers and tradesmen had to either resort to bartering or find other mediums of exchange such as “paper notes”. By the Civil War, the United States had more than 10,000 paper currency in circulation, most not backed by gold and fraud was rampant. Hence there was a general distrust of paper currency and the people who produced it.

Between present day Harrisburg and the Ohio River, another incident occurred in 1819. A group of local rowdies gathered at a tavern on the Goshen Road. During the evening one of the men, Isaac Kingsland, decided to have a nap and sat down in a corner. Another man decided to have some fun and put a cigar in Kingsland’s mouth and pulled his hat down over his face. Later in the night the tavern owner tried to wake him up and found that he was dead. Believing that the cigar choked Kingsland to death, the group that had left was blamed for his death. The sheriff started after this group but they had gone over into Kentucky. One member of the group was named Brimberry. He was described as about 5 feet 10 inches tall, light complexion, full face, and 25 years old. Nothing further came of the incident because they found the man had died of natural causes. The tavern owner, however, was fined for not having a license.

No one knows who this Brimberry was. If the age 25 is correct that person could not have been either Jacob or his brother John. More than likely, it was John and Agness Brimberry’s son, John. Jacob and John both lived in the area of the incident while Samuel and Isaac lived in Crawford County.

In his final move, Jacob went across the state to Crawford County and settled near his two brothers, Isaac and Samuel, in the Richwood area northwest of Vincennes. He engaged in farming and timberwork. In the spring of 1820 Jacob built a flatboat and that fall he loaded it with produce and started on a trip down the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, probably to New Orleans. Jacob never returned. No information has ever been found that would lead to the fate of Jacob. According to a daughter, in a history of Crawford County, Illinois, published in 1909, her father (Jacob) was murdered by river pirates or drowned; however this is unproven.

Alone in the wilderness with several children and expecting another baby, Jane (Cunningham) Brimberry, let the older children work for neighbors for room and board. Jane went to live with the DuBois family in the Dubois Hills across the river from Vincennes. Jacob and Jane's last child, Nancy Jane, was born there.

Jane waited for five years for Jacob to return. With all hope gone she married Blanton Brashear in Crawford County. This marriage produced two children, Alfred and Ithra.

Jane passed away on 14 Feb. 1849 and is buried next to her second husband in the Wesley Chapel Cemetery 3 miles south of Palestine, on Route 33.

Jacob and Jane had six children and 42 known biological grandchildren and two adopted grandsons:

  • 1. Elizabeth married Thomas Lamb
  • 2. John Brimberry married Margaret Higgins
  • 3. Joseph Brimberry married Nancy J. Jones
  • 4. Mary Brimberry married Daniel Mathewson
  • 5. Margaret Brimberry married Ethan Walters
  • 6. Nancy Jane Brimberry married Henry Kuykendall

Elizabeth BrimberryEdit

7.2.1 Elizabeth Brimberry was born in 1812 in Illinois Territory. Elizabeth married Thomas Lamb in Crawford County Illinois on 13 Dec.1827. This couple lived for a short while in Crawford County, then went to Edgar County Illinois and went on to Texas with the Parker group. They first tried to live near the Parker Fort and after the Indians killed most of those Parkers, they went to Walker County Texas, where Elizabeth's cousin and Thomas sister lived. After the Indian troubles were cleared up Thomas and family moved to Limestone County, where he received great amounts of land and operated the L6 Ranch. Thomas was an original Texas Ranger and went where help was needed. Their seven children were (1) Jane Lamb, (2) Samuel Lamb, (3)Nancy Lamb, (4) John Lamb, (5) Thomas Jr., (6) Abraham Lamb, and (7) William Lamb. There were several children that passed away as infants.

Elizabeth passed away in 1863 and Thomas in 1870. They are buried in the Lamb Cemetery, north of Kirvin Texas. Click the following link for a complete history of the [Descendants of Elizabeth Brimberry & Thomas Lamb] compiled by Alkmena Blount Barger of Irving, Texas.

John BrimberryEdit

7.2.2 John Brimberry was born on 18 Nov 1810 in Illlinois Territory. John married Margaret Higgins on 7 Feb 1833 in Crawford County. John served in Capt. Highsmith's Company during the Blackhawk War. His horse was killed in the Battle of Kellogs Grove and John had to walk back to Crawford. John was one of the children that his mother let out to neighborns when he was a young man. John and Margaret went to Clay County where he located his bounty land grant. They spent their entire life in Pixley Township.

John and Margaret's children: (1) William Brimberry born 16 Dec. 1834, (2) Francis born 11 Oct. 1835, (3) Mary Jane born 1 Jan.1837, (4) Leanner born 5 Dec.1839, (5) Joseph born 7 Aug 1841, twins (6) Elizabeth and (7) Margaret born 25 Mar. 1843, (8) Rhoda Adaline Brimberry born 27 Dec 1845, (9) Thursa Caroline born 25 Mar 18 1848 and (10) Arthur Brimberry born Mar. 1850.

When John and Margaret were married a son named Leonard came with the family. The father of this Leonard was supposed to have been a Leonard Simon and some say his father might have been John Brimberry when he worked for the Higgins family. DNA testing have disproved both of these rumors.

John passed away on 21 Apr. 1857 and Margaret prior to that. They are buried in Pixley Township, Clay County Illinois. John is the Great Grandfather of this author. The adoptive line of John Brimberry & Margaret Higgins: Leonard Brimberry

Leonard Brimberry was born 4 Dec. 1828 in Crawford County Illinois. His parents were Margaret Higgins, the name of his father has never been found. When John Brimberry returned from the Black Hawk War he married Margaret Higgins and Leonard came with his mother and was always known as Leonard Brimberry.

John Brimberry and Margaret lived for a while in Crawford County Illinois and when John was awarded a Land Grant he located it in Clay County Illinois. This family moved to a place in Pixley Township southeast of Sailor Springs. Leonard located his farm across the road.

Leonard married Catherine Blakeman in Clay County on 8 April 1849. Leonard farmed and prospered. When the Civil War started Leonard served as a Wagon Master.

Children: John W. Brimberry, Margaret Brimberry, Henry S. Brimberry, Martha J. Brimberry, James Foster Brimberry, Rosella Brimberry, George M. Brimberry, Rolla M. Brimberry.

Most of these children worked on the old Nickle Plate Railroad in various positions and scattered across Illinois and Indiana.

Leonard passed away 23 Nov. 1878 and is buried in Pixley Township.

Joseph BrimberryEdit

7.2.3 Joseph Brimberry was born during 1814. His parents lived in Old St. Clair County and Joseph could have been born in Washington County Kentucky while Jacob was chasing Indians. Jane's families lived in Washington County. Joseph was one of the children that Jane let out to other families. One of these families was the Fuller family. It has been said that 3 Fuller children was fathered by Joseph. One of them was named Perry and when Joseph married Nancy J. Jones this Perry came with the family. DNA testing has disproved this rumor. The children of Joseph and Nancy Jones were (1) Jane Brimberry born 5 Jul.1858, (2) John Brimberry born 9 Aug 1860 and (3) Mary Elizabeth Brimberry born 1862.

Joseph and Nancy both passed away within days in 1865 and are buried in the Lackey Cemetery, south of Robinson Illinois.

The adoptive line of Joseph and Nancy Brimberry:

Joseph Brimberry, as mentioned above, the son of Jacob married Nancy J. Jones in 1857 in Crawford County Illinois. No marriage ever existed between Clarissa Seaney Fuller and Joseph Brimberry. The 1860 census for Crawford County Illinois list Perry Brimberry as a son of Joseph; Francis Brimberry as a son of Joseph Brimberry; Eliza Jane Brimberry as a daughter of Joseph Brimberry. Perry and Eliza Jane are the same children that were listed in the 1850 census as Fuller children. Joseph and Nancy died in some sort of outbreak in 1865. There is as bill for four caskets in the estate papers, who the other two are for is not known.

Clarissa Seaney and Wiliam Fuller were married on 28 April 1830 in Crawford County Illinois. This marriage was never the best. William Fuller was a drinker and often left his family and stayed for extended periods. Clarissa was left to fend for herself and had workers come and do the necessary things. One of these workers was Joseph Brimberry, the son of Jacob. Clarissa divorced William in 1853/54. The 1850 census listed Elias H. Fuller, born ca 1833; Morris Fuller ca 1838; Mahala Fuller ca 1840; Eliza Jane Fuller ca 1845; Perry W. Fuller ca 1846; Francis Fuller ca 1848. William Fuller passed away in 1857.

Perry Brimberry grew up without parents either real or foster. He was drafted into the Civil War as a Teenager and was a replacement for Henry Pierson. Upon returning Perry married Hannah Russell on5 Aug. 1869 in Crawford County. Their children were Carrie Brimberry and Rose Brimberry. Hannah passed away in 1876 then Perry married Eliza Jane Funk in Crawford County. Perry's two children came to live with their father and step-mother. In a terrible accident Rose bed caught fire while she was sleeping near the fireplace and Rose passed on a few days later with terrible burns all over her body. Carrie lived and was married to Thomas Minnich.

Perry and Eliza Jane lived thier entire life in Crawford County. Their children were Laura Brimberry who married Frank Hudson; Roscoe Brimberry who married Lizzie Fields; Ella Brimberry who married Huse Gill; Grover Brimberry who married Laura Pearl Milam; Effie Brimberry who married Marshall Steele; Benjamin B Brimberry who married laura Hurt; Charles Brimberry who passed on as an infant; Joseph Brimberry who marriec Alice Bigs; Eugene Brimberry who passed on as an infant; John L. Brimberry who married Blanche Woods; William Brimberry who passed on in 1918 and Mary Brimberry who married Ray M. Wilson.

Perry died on 17 Sep. 1931 and is buried in the Palestine Illinois Cemetery. Eliza Jane died on 17 July 1937 and is buried in the Palestine Illinois Cemetery.

Mary BrimberryEdit

7.2.4 Mary Brimberry born February 1817 in what is now Marion County Illinois. She married Daniel Mathewson on 21 February 1837 in Crawford County Illinois.

Children of Mary and Daniel:

(1) Gustavus A. Mathewson born 9 September 1838. He passed away as an infant, (2) William Oliver Mathewson born 7 November 1840. He married Anna Cox. No other information. (3) Lucy Jane Mathewson born 26 August 1842. She passed away as an infant. (4) Mary Angness Mathewson born 14 September 1844. She married Nelson Molar. She passed away on 19 August 1879 and is burned in Oak Grove Cemetery. (5) Almusena Matherson born 7 December 1840. No other information. (6) Alonzo Mathewson born 29 November 1846. (7) James Harvey Mathewson burn 29 November 1851, he passed away as an infant. (8) James Allen Mathewson born 29 November 1852. He passed away as an infant.

Mary was placed in charge of her brothers children after that family all passed away in some plague. She lived her life in Palestine Illinois. There is an interesting obituary for her in the old Wabash Pearl newspaper. Mary passed away on 11 Jan. 1909 and is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery, north of Palestine.

Margaret BrimberryEdit

7.2.5 Margaret Brimberry was born 19 Nov. 1819 in what is now Marion County Illinois. She married Ethan Walters in Crawford County on 16 March 1832. This couple had the following children: (1) Dorcas Walters born 21 August 1838 in Crawford County, (2) Isaac N. Walters born 1845 in Crawford County, (3) Sarah Ellen Walters born 28 November 1848 and (4) Armanda Walters born in 1854. There were five other children born to this couple that passed away as infants. In her later years Margaret married George Jefferies. This family lived their entire life in Robinson, Illinois. Margaret passed away on 21 December 1901 and is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery north of Palestine.

Nancy Jane BrimberryEdit

7.2.6 Nancy Jane Brimberry was born 30 Jun. 1821 in the DuBois hills west of Vincennes. She is the last child fathered by Jacob Brimberry. Nancy married Henry Kuykendall on 18 April 1841 in Crawford County. Nancy and Henry's children were as follows: (1) John A. Kuykendall born 1 January 1842, (2) Jesrusha Ann Kuykendall born 30 October 1843, (3) Daniel Kuykendall born 3 February 1845, (4) Henry Price Kuykendall born 20 January 1850, (5) Leander Kuykendall born 3 January 1847, (6) Pheba Ellen Kuykendall born 20 August 1852, (7) Nancy Jane Kuykendall born 20 January 1854, (8) William Reed Kuykendall born 27 March 1856, (9) Joseph Kuykendall born 11 June 1858 and (10) Effie Afton Kuykendall born 28 March 1864.

Nancy and Daniel moved to Christian County, Illinois and from there to eastern Kansas where they settled and raised the rest of their family. There is a large History of the Kuykendall family in the United States that covers this family. Son John was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and was married in his family residence at Springfield Illinois on 26 December 1864. John was also a legal person and represented some important persons of that area. Nancy passed away in 1900 and is buried in the Bethel Cemetery Topeka Kansas.

GenealogyNew Sweden
Editors' NotesA Brief History of New Sweden
The Brimberry SurnameHoly Trinity (Old Swedes) Church
The Brimberry DNA ProjectSwedish Naming Practices
Ancestry of Mathias Brimberry17th Century Sweden
Ancestry of Mary AndersonGeography of New Sweden
Lineages of Mathias & Mary Brimberry's 7 Sons
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