I am utterly amazed at how much information is available on the Internet, especially if you know how to dig around and find it! I have compiled stories, photos, and documents on several ancestors. Reuben Bramlett is no exception. In fact, I ran across his name on the Illinois Gen Web page for Saline County, Illinois before I realized he was my 5th great-grandfather. I simply recognized Bramlett as a family name and started filling in the family tree.
As I soon discovered, I descend from Reuben by his daughter, Margaret Easley. From Margaret, I descend from her daughter, Elivra Moore, then Joab Moore, George Moore, Joab Moore, and my dad, Joe Moore.
It is important to note Bramlett has been spelled “Bramblet”, “Bramblett”, “Bramlette”, and “Bramlet” Because Reuben used “Bramlett”, I have chosen to use it throughout this post.
The Beginning of Reuben Bramlett
Margaret Bramlett gave birth to her second son, Reuben, on March 17, 1757. She lived on a farm in Fauquier County, Virginia (then Prince William County) with her husband, Henry Jr, and their 3 year-old son, Henry III.
Reuben would later have a younger brother, John, in 1764. While I believe there were additional Bramlett children, I have been unable – at least for now – to pin them down. They’re part of the never ending search!
Revolutionary War Service
At age 20, Reuben volunteered under Captain Samuel Blackwell in Colonel Armistead Churchill’s regiment. He served three months.
A year later, he volunteered for another three month stint under Captain William Berry in Colonel James Williamson’s Regiment. They were stationed in South Carolina near the Indian Boundary Line (presently, the Greenville-Spartanburg County line) at a block house where Reuben and two other men were taken prisoner by a large group of Tories. Wanting only supplies, the Tories left the three men unharmed.
Reuben volunteered for a third tour of three months again in 1781, this time under Captain William Triplet.
From all accounts, Reuben wasn’t involved in any battle. He was honorably discharged just a few weeks before Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.
Reuben is listed in the DAR Ancestor database under #A013722. Here, his name is spelled, “Bramlette”.
In accordance to the Pension Act of 1832, Reuben was allotted an annual $30 payment until his death in 1844. The family then applied for payment of the balance, which was awarded in 1845.
Reuben married Elizabeth Brown about 1785. Together, they had seven children:
- Benjamin (1875-1830)
- Henry (1787-1865)
- John (1788-1844)
- Nathan (1799-1858)
- Coleman (1802-1889)
- Margaret (1804-1855, my line)
- Elizabeth (1806-1860)
Benjamin and Henry were both born in Virginia. Reuben moved his family to Christian County, Kentucky around 1892, where the remainder of his children were born. The family then moved to Gallatin County, Illinois in 1818 after Reuben’s son, Benjamin had selected a tract of land for him in 1805.
Benjamin Bramlett was among a small group who helped survey Saline County in the early 19th century. In 1816, Reuben’s sons John and Nathan arrived in southern Illinois to help clear a portion of the land and plant crops, likely of corn. They returned to Kentucky in 1817 to help the family move the 112 miles northwest, through the Shawnee National Forest to the area now known as Eldorado, Illinois.
Reuben was able to secure the territorial certificate for his land in early 1818, and later the deed from the state (1819). The cost was $2.00 per acre, 160 acres, for a total cost of $320.00. The older boys settled near Reuben’s farm. Ultimately, all of the children would remain in the area, raising their own families, as did many of the later generations.
By written account of local historians, Reuben Bramlett was very much the story teller, recounting tales from his Revolutionary War service and from his experiences as a pioneer. I now know where my dad got his story-telling abilities! If Reuben told stories like my dad, they stretched further and further from the full truth each time they were told!
Reuben Bramlett died at age 87, on September 11, 1844. He was buried in Wolf Creek Cemetery in Eldorado, Illinois.
In 1931, the Michael Hillegas Chapter of the DAR dedicated a plaque honoring Revolutionary War Veterans, including Reuben Bramlett. The plaque, which is attached to a large stone monument, used to sit on the courthouse lawn in Harrisburg, Illinois. It was later moved to Sunset Lawn Cemetery in Harrisburg.
I want to give a big shout out to Deb Dennis, another 5th great-granddaughter of Reuben Bramlett and Bramlett family history researcher. Without the information she has shared on a variety of website, I would never have been able to begin putting this puzzle together!