Saturday, May 16, 2020

30 Mothers in 30 Days: Penelope

Penelope Blow Braswell (1761-1846) - Find A Grave MemorialPenelope Blow was my 7th Great Grandmother. At that level of generations, she would be in the company of about 512 other ladies normally, but in my case, because of endogamy in my family tree, particularly in my Burris and Mauldin lines, its more like 485.

As this level of distance, it's sometimes difficult to find much concrete information on an ancestor, or anything about their personal lives, especially that of women. I know Penelope was born on October 7, 1781 in either Bertie or Wayne County. The confusion may be because of the creation of new counties as the new country, called America, was growing.

Penelope was the daughter of Benjamin Blow and Priscilla Braswelll Musgrove Blow. Her father was from Sussex, Virgina and was a Revolutionary War Patriot. She was their first child. Benjamin Blow came from a long line of Virginians with British origins. The first was a George Blow, who was in Surrey County, Virginia by 1661.

Location of Wayne County in North Carolina, USA. | Download ...
Wayne County location in comparison to Anson

Penelope married a Richard Braswell on Oct 11, 1778, at the age of 16, in Wayne County, North Carolina. The Braswell family line to America began in London, England with a minister, Rev. Robert Braswell, son of an earlier Richard Braswell, Gent, who was born about 1612.

From Oxford University, "Bracewell, Robert, son of  Richard of London, Gentleman, Hart Hall, Oxford, matriculated February 24, 1627 at age 15, graduating with a B. A. degree November 3, 1631."

By 1641, Rev. Robert was living in Isle of Wight, Virginia, an Anglican Clergyman. There he owned a plantation on Blackwater River. His parrish was Lawne Creek, on the Surry/Isle of Wight border, later to be renamed Southwalk Parrish. He was later to be elected to the House of Burgesses as clerk, but later gave it up due to a disagreement in parties over the division of church and state. Richard and his wife Rebecca were the parents of another Richard Braswell who was born in 1651 and married Sarah Valentine. This Richard and wife Sarah had a son named Robert, rotating the generations of Braswells between, this one born in 1677. He married Sarah Sampson and they had a son named Richard Jr. born in 1704 who married Elizabeth Bryant. Jr. and Elizabeth had a son named Richard III born in 1732 who married Elizabeth Delaney.  It was their son Ricard Braswell IV, born in 1755 who married Penelope Blow. This would be the generation of Braswells to arrive in Anson County,  North Carolina.

DHR – Virginia Department of Historic Resources » 090-0034 The Old ...
Remains of the old Brick Church in Surry County, Va were Rev. Braswell preaced.

Arriving with Richard and Penelope were Richards brothers Jesse Braswell, who married Rebecca Blow and Sampson Braswell who married Lucressa Wade. They settled down on Buffalo and Little Creeks north of Ansonville. Jesse would later move to the area of Macon County, Georgia.

Richard Braswell of Anson County, like Penelope's father, was also a Revolutionary War Patriot.

He and Penelope would have 9 children:

Richard Braswell Jr. 1781-1870
Delaney Braswell 1782-1870. Married Francis Norton Lowthorp or Lathrop (My Line).
Elizabeth 1781-1796. Married a Deese.
Burwell 1787-1870 Married Milly unknown
Irvin William Braswell 1790-1865 Married 1st Hannah Watson 2nd Elizabeth Porter
Benjamin Blow Braswell 1795-1860 Married Mary Baucom
Pattery (or Patty) Braswll 1797-?
Hiram Bryant Braswell 1799-1871 Married Catherine Pistole
Cullen Braswell 1801-1865 Married Equilla Baucom.

Many of the Braswell family were buried on the old Braswell farm in a family plot. The plot was ignored and neglected for decades. Finally, markers were located at nearby Red Hill Baptist Church near Ansonville to honor them.

Penelope died on August 30, 1846, at the age of 84.

Happy Mother's Day Grandma Penelope!

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