Britts and Brickey family tree
|Ancestors and Children of Jailey Brickey and John William Britts
[I paid a recent visit to the old "home place" of John and Jailey. See notes at end. Oct 2010)
John William Britts lived in Craig County, Virginia. He married Jailey E. Mayflower Brickey, also of Craig. They had fourteen children together, Clara the oldest to Raymond the youngest. They were farmers. Jailey died in 1917. John became disabled and started making baskets and caning chairs until his death in 1941.
Of the fourteen children, seven never married: Clara, John, Edgar, Carl, Frank, Sydney, and Hubert.
Frank had an incident with a kicking mule as a very small child, and so never became independent; he died in his early 50’s. Hubert stayed on the old family farm in Louisa, farming, hunting, even after the farm was sold in the sixties to Colonel Diston, retiree and equestrian. (The farm was sold in the sixties for peanuts. The colonel left it to UVa, which has sold it to a developer to use for luxury estates.)
When son Sydney was 24 years old or older, he left home. He was never heard from again, but a rumor lingered for decades that he’d gone to Oregon, where he had cousins on his mother's side. (Brickey-Barr)
Clara had a sixth grade education, which qualified her to be the school teacher in a one room schoolhouse, where all grades met together. One of her texts was an out of print translation of the Bible copyrighted in the 1890’s, not the King James. She helped raise her younger brothers and sisters. She looked after her father in his illness until his death. Later she cleaned house and tended children of her nieces and nephews. (I was one of those babies. She struggled to teach me to read the year on the calendar.) She lived with her baby sister Dixie in Charlottesville until her death.
Edgar died building bridges in Missouri. John died in Richmond at age 22. I do not know Carl's outcome. All of the single brothers and sisters,except Sydney, are buried at Beaverdam Baptist Church in Troy, VA.
There were seven who married:
Supposedly there was a family out-of-state incident in Jailey's family that embarassed the Britts. John and Jailey and family moved from Craig to Louisa, settling on a farm with an apple orchard, fresh springs, forests, and room for pigs, horses, chickens, and donkeys.
Effie Britts and Henry Spencer, Louisa, VA
Irene Britts and Hegameyer, Richmond, VA
Maggie Britts and Russell Walker, Louisa, VA
Bessie Britts and Harry Gordon Gooch, Troy, VA
Jesse James Britts and May Mahanes, Louisa, VA
Raymond Britts and Evelyn ? Louisa, VA
Kathleen Louise Britts (Dixie) and Harry Jackson Smith Charlottesville, VA
All fourteen have passed away.
Their grandparents were:
Jarred Brickey, nickname “Rock” (sometimes spelled Jared) 1819-1884 Craig Co., VA
Mary C Hall Brickey 1829-1914
Samuel Frantz Britts abt. 1820-1898 Craig Co., VA
Mary Campbell 1831- ?
Samuel’s first spouse was Elizabeth Elmore who died of TB after her seventh child was born. He quickly remarried to Mary who had John William Britts. Elizabeth lived 1818-1856. Samuel was a farmer and a Superintendent of Mountain View Christian Church. Samuel was appointed an Election Commissioner of the Confederacy, and served as a local officer in the Nov. 1861 election. He served in the Confederate Army, as did two of his brothers. Three of his sons from his first marriage served in the army including, his 15 year old son who was a drummer boy until he was wounded and sent home. Their home was between New Castle and Catawba and is still standing.
Jarred Brickey was also a Confederate serving as a guard at a salt mine in Saltville, Virginia. This mine, in the southwest corner of the state, was crucial to the South and its supply line. There were two conflicts at Saltville, the first conquest going to the South. The Union had put a regiment of freed black men at the front, and they sustained heavy casualties. The second battle was led by a different general; this time the Union won possession of the mine. When “Rock’s” term of duty was over, he walked between 80 and 100 miles from the Saltville area to his home near Craig’s Creek. He was so thin and haggard, only one member of the family recognized him. He announced, “I’m all tuckered out.”
In his last years, Jarred had failing eyesight. He died of “dropsy”, a condition of swelling and fluid retention and fatigue. He probably had congestive heart failure.
His wife, Mary Hall is rumored to have Indian blood. However, no one knows which tribe or which relative or when. Most likely her mother was Indian, or half-Indian. Only Algonquian tribes were in Virginia, so one of those would be the most likely. Some older folks heard it when they were young and the ones who said it aren’t around any more. Mary did not have a birth certificate or church records. Her mother is not listed on her marriage license, but her father is.
The great grandparents of the fourteen children:
Henry Campbell, 1831- ?, Craig Co.
Catherine ? Campbell, ? - ?, Craig Co.
Henry Britts, abt. 1781-1845, Cumberland Co., PA - Botetourt Co., VA
Mary Catherine Frantz Britz, 1781-1870, PA - Craig Co., VA
John Brickey, 1794- ?
Roda Shrewsbury Brickey, 1794-1868
William Hall, 1790-1849, Botetourt Co, VA
Mary Ledgerwood* Hall, 1799 -1874, Botetourt Co – Roanoke, VA
*Some sources say Mary Lee, others say Nancy Lee. They may be one and the same or there may be two William Hall’s with Legerwood wives. Mary Ledgerwood was married to William Hall in Montgomery Co, VA in 1820. Her family lived in the Catawba valley.
The Great great grandparents:
No more data on either Campbell
*Johan Adam Britts (Britz), 1741-1832 Russheim Baden, Germany – PA – Botetourt, VA USA
**Margaret Stover Britz, 1752-1810 or 1820 Franklin Co, PA – VA
*** Michael Zug Frantz (III), 1753-1843 Cocalico, Lancaster, PA
Elizabeth Sollenberger Frantz, abt 1753 - ? Botetourt Co, VA
Dabney Shrewsbury, 1765-1803
****Elizabeth Sinclair (or St. Clair), abt 1777 -?
No data on Mary or Nancy Ledgerwood, don’t know connection if any to Matilda
Peter Brickey, b 1670-1685 France, d1786 PR George MD
Winfred Lucas. 1718-1786
*Adam Britts came to America at the age of 10 or 11 with his family. They departed from Rotterdam and went to Philadelphia, then onto Pennsylvannia Dutch country. Legend has it that he was strong enough to pick up a barrel of apple cider with his hands and drink from it.
**Margaret Stover’s brother is the great grandfather of Dwight David Eisenhower on his mother’s side, Ida Stover. They are also related to Russell Stover, the candy-maker.
Adam's name was Britz, but in America it became Britts. In researching family history, Britz, Britts, Pretz, Pretts may all be related. Brit is definitely not connected.
***Michael Zug Frantz lived in Carvin’s Creek in Botetourt Co. Zug is a family name, which started as Zaug, and became Americanized as Zook. His family escaped persecution to America in 1727 , fleeing from Germany and the Catholic Church. He had been a serf, but got his manumission (freedom) papers the week before leaving Germany. This Michael is frequently confused with his cousin about the same age who arrived two years later on the same ship. Our Michael left behind a married daughter and other relatives in Germany.
****Elizabeth Sinclair had a second spouse after Dabney died, a Parish. No children came from this second marriage.
As with any family history, this is subject to correction and addition. Since many court house records in Virginia have been destroyed by fire, some things are hard to verify. Not many people sill read French or German within this family, so even if a trip to Europe was made, reading and understanding public records and church records for verification would be difficult. Much that is here Is relayed by relatives and may have been copied incorrectly, etc. Old documents are also difficult to read.
What is here is fairly reliable. For instance, a few people agree with me that a generation must be missing somewhere in the Brickey line. Problems occur because names are so much alike. If you go over the names again, you’ll see that the mother’s maiden name is frequently the middle name of the son.
Method of Naming Children
As for the Germans, there is a system that they used, adding to the genealogy problem. The first son was not named for the father as here in America today. He was named for the father’s father. The second son was named for the mother’s father. The third was named for the father, the fourth for the father’s paternal grandfather, the fifth for the mother’s paternal grandfather, and if they were so blessed for so many sons, the sixth son was named for the father’s maternal grandfather and the seventh was named for the mother’s maternal grandfather. The same practice was used for daughters, but since they married, they’re easier to track, that is, if a name is recorded at all for the women.
This was practiced by each member of the family, so that cousins would be named exactly like cousins in the other families. They did not distinguish by adding Jr. or III. When you see those specifications, they have been added in the 20th or 21st century by researchers like me.
Location Names Adjusted
Please note that Botetourt county at one time was much larger, but was broken down into what is now known as Bedford, Craig, and Botetourt. Where I have listed Craig, someone else has already determined which part of Botetourt it would be today.
There is more background and ancestors, but it gets more confusing and rests on shakier ground in some cases. See Part II. The families come primarily from Scotland, France (Artois region), Germany, and Switzerland. Some families on the Brickey side come from the Channel Islands: the Isle of Guernsey, and the Isle of Jersey, about 10-14 miles from the Normandy coast of France, but properties of the British crown.
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The Old Home Place in 2010 and the 1930's and 1940's
(House and farm of John William Britts in Louisa Virginia)
The main house, or sleeping house, has been modified several times over the last few years, as have other buildings on the grounds. The current owners have only 26 acres, but are trying to restore as much of the property as possible. It's really quite lovely today.
It is surrounded by woods and gentle mountains, and a newly formed subdivision. The nearby houses are not assembly line, and the lots are sizeable, which keeps traffic, noise, and parking problems to a minimum. The spring is still in the side of the hill and a brook flows down below the house. The apple orchards are gone, but I have a feeling that a few apple trees might be planted on the original sight in the next few years.
The colonel who bought it from the Britts, added a wing to each end, replaced the kitchen/day use house with a small cottage, and replaced the barn with a stable, which still stands today. Other sheds and a tobacco barn were destroyed. After the colonel, the next owner added an enclosed patio or sun room. Another added onto the front of the house, making a large family/living room where the big front porch used to be. The staircase is still the same, with curved at the bend near the top. Pete Gooch, grandson of John Britts remembers sliding down that railing as a boy. Harry Smith, another grandson, remembers the bedroom at the foot of the stairs was his grandfather's. When the old man was ill and bed-ridden, people came to visit and would sit in chairs around the bed in this big bedroom.
When Clara still lived there and sister Effie Spencer was alive, Effie lived on the 500 acre farm next door. The house could be seen from the Britts' porch. If either of them was sick, they would hang a white sheet from the porch as a signal. The other would go over as soon as possible to help tend a wound or injury or check a fever.
One of them had a dog named Wimpy. Wimpy was the mail dog. They could pin a note on the dog's collar and the dog circulated around 3 or 4 farms for hand-outs and deliver the news. He usually made his rounds within 24 hours.
The tobacco barn was typical: tall to hang the tobacco for drying. Other buildings included a spring house for keeping things cool (no refrigeration), a chicken house, and an outhouse. The barn housed some cows, the hay, and the mules. Plowing and hauling were done with mules.
Making apple butter was a yearly endeavor, even after the kids grew up and left home. The big copper kettle was big enough to hold several toddlers. It was one of our favorite playthings when my brothers and I were small, and Hubert gave it to my Dad. It was huge. My grandmother thought it was in our family's way, and sold it for $5. Years later. I found one much, much smaller for $75. Needless to say, Grandma had been had, and it hurt my Dad's feelings just to lose it. I remember seeing the apple peeler in front of the old barn in its delapidated days, when the apple butter no longer was an event. It was like a long saw horse with 8 apple corers sticking straight up. You'd jam an apple on each corer, slip the peeling rod over, walk to the end and start cranking. The apples turned in place against the peeler and the skins fell to the ground. You lifted the peeling rod, then walk down the length of it, pulling off the cored, pared apple. The apples were transported by a pan or bucket over to the big copper kettle. The peelings on the ground were taken to the pig sty.
Now the fire under the kettle was too hot for anyone to get close enough to stir it. The big wooden ladle, about 5 to 6 feet long had a hole in the upper end. Another pole was fastened to that, and at the far end, was fastened to the collar of a mule. Someone would take a turn walking the mule around in circles as it was too heavy for a person to do it that long. The apples never burned, and turned a nice color and mushy with sugar. When it cooled enough to handle, the women sealed it in quart jars and dipped into baths of boiling water to seal the lids. They divided it among themselves.
John Britts made a lot of his furniture. The dining table was long and heavy. Instead of nails, he used wooden pegs. My mom sorted laundry on that table for decades. My brother has it now. He made chairs from hickory that his sons cut for him. Even as an invalid, he could manipulate the wood and cane chairs and make baskets from the hickory.
Today land has great value, but they had plenty of land and were actually quite poor. They lived off the things they grew, the animals they raised and hunted. They made small profits from their farming efforts, mostly tobacco. All the sons but one took non-farming jobs. One daughter took a job in another town. There is no evidence that any of them sent money home to help Dad, or Clara or Effie. They all worked hard and adapted as necessary. Most of them stayed pretty close to each other, as long as health and circumstances allowed.
The home place is in a beautiful, quiet, peaceful setting. Its current owners are aware and appreciative of what they have. They are honoring its beauty, its history, and the memories of those who have known it.