The Brimberry Family of Houston County, Texas, is descended from Matthias Brimberry and Elizabeth (Betsy) Minton who married April 10, 1827 in Greene County, Georgia. In 1836, Matthias turned over his wagon trade in Monroe, Georgia to his younger brother, William H. Brimberry. Possessed of a compelling pioneering spirit, he headed westward with Betsy and their four small children, John M., James, Mary and Elbert. A fifth child, Peter, was born in Copiah, County, and Mississippi in 1838. Afterwards, the family moved to the now extinct town of Scottsville in Caliborne Pr., La. Where William Henry Harrison Brimberry and George Anderson Brimberry were born. In 1852, Matthias Brimberry and A.J. Dyches purchased a lot in Rusk, Texas, perhaps intending to establish a blacksmith and wagon repair business there. Matthias moved his family to the Grapeland area instead, and died there one or two years later (c. 1854). Betsy last appeared on the 1860 Houston County census with her son George A Brimberry. Matthias learned his occupation from his father who manufactured and sold wagons and carriages for more than thirty years in Greenville County, South Carolina, where Matthias was born about 1799. Matthias’ parents, Peter and Dicey (Walker) Brimberry, were married in 1791, inWashington County, Va., and migrated to Greenville, SC, soon afterwards. Peter and Dicey had 10 known children: 1) Sarah, who in 1821, married Ryel Black in Hancock County, Ga. and died there in 1823 at 32 years. Her obituary appeared in the same newspaper beside that of her mother who died in the same month back in SC. 2) John, who in 1820, married Mary Archer in Hancock County,Ga. where he died about 1829. His widow Mary afterwards married Jesse Pittman and moved to Bienville Pr., La. John and Mary’s only issue, John F. Brimberry, later settled near Robert, La. in Tangipahoa Pr. 3)Mary, who married twice, first to John Owen in S.C., and second to John Moss, and moved to Talbot County, Ga. 4)George Anderson, who in 1820 married Nancy Morris in Hancock County, Ga. and died around 1828 in Crawford County, Ga. leaving two daughters; 5)Matthias, who was named after his paternal grandfather, commanded Capt. Brimberry’s company of militia in 1831 in Walton County, Ga., and moved to the Grapeland area in 1852, after a period of time in Mississippi and La. His wife Betsy was the daughter of Joseph and Lucretia Minton. She was born about 1809 in Hancock County, Ga. 6)William Harrison, who married twice, first in 1838 to Araminda Reynolds in Walton County, Ga., and second in 1881 to Sarah Blythe in Mitchell County, Ga., where he prospered as a businessman and died in 1889, leaving behind a considerable number of descendants in the Albany and Camilla areas; 7)Susan, who married Alfred Shaw in 1830 in Morgan County, Ga. where they remained; 8)Elizabeth who married Major Fielding W. Arnold in 1832 in Morgan County, Ga. They also remained inMorgan County; 9) Amelia Caroline, who married D.W. Darnell in Georgia about 1839 and moved to Ouachita County, Ark. where she and her family prospered. There is evidence that the Darnells aided their nephew, Peter Brimberry, when he fled to Ark. out of fear of reprisal against his family after killing another man in self defense in Houston County; 10) Armanda, the youngest, who in 1835 married David A. Barron in Walton County, Ga. The Brimberry family history would be incomplete without mentioning that Peter Brimberry (of Greenville, SC) and his brothers, Jacob, John, Joseph, Isaac, William, and Samuel were the progeny of Matthias Brimberry and Mary Anderson. Matthias was born March 22, 1736 in New Castle County, Del. (present day Wilmington) and he died after 1810, most likely in Warren County Ky. now Simpson County. Mary Anderson Brimberry was also born in New Castle County,Del. On April 22, 17481and died after 1785 probably in the Carolinas or Kentucky. Matthias’ father, Christian Brunberg, also Brinberg, was born in 1684 in the province of Halland, Sweden and came to America about 1714. Matthias’ mother, Maria Peterson, was born 1699 in New Castle County, Del. And descended from Samuel Peterson, who came to America in 1638, whereupon he and his fellow Swedish colonists established the first permanent European settlement on the Delaware. Mary Anderson’s forbearer, Andreas Juriansson, was Captain of the “Fogel Grip” on its second voyage to New Sweden in 1639. Had the ship not floundered as it put into shore, forcing Juriansson to remain, the history of the Brimberry would have been considerably altered. A detailed description of the Brimberry family’s Swedish roots and seven branches can be found in the 1979 Houston County history. Suffice it that Matthias Brimberry (1736-c1810) was “let out to a trade” (probably wagon making) after his father Christian’s death in 1752, and in June, 1768 he and Mary and her parents Peter and Catherina (Lynam) Anderson, moved to a location near Stoney Creek about 15 miles north of present-day Burlington N.C. (then Orange County). As the frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains opened to settlement following the Revolution, the Brimberrys and their kindred crossed the mountains into Ky. or Tenn., or followed the Piedmont into S.C. and Ga. While Matthias’ grandson and namesake arrived in Texas after it was a state, his sons Samuel and Isaac and their children were among the early corners to Texas when it was still an unbroken wilderness and province to Mexico. Presented below are biographical sketches of the children of Matthias and Betsy (Minton) Brimberry who settled near Grapeland in 1852. John M. Brimberry. He was born about 1828 in Walton County, GA and married Mary L.E. Jamerson, Jan. 8, 1852 in Cherokee County, Texas. He is not found on the 1860 census and has no known descendants. James Brimberry. He was born about 1830 in Walton County,GA and married Martha Cannady about 1858. They lived on the William Carmichael survey and had one son, Jasper who died very young. James Brimberry and his four remaining brothers enlisted in the Confederate army at Crockett in June, 1862. James, Peter, and George A. joined Captain Nunn’s Company, Randal’s Regiment Texas Cavalry. William Henry Harrison Brimberry joined Captain Hick’s Company, Waul’s Texas Legion, and Elbert Brimberry joined Parker’s Brigade, Walker’s Division Texas Infantry. James, who was killed in a skirmish in White County, Ark., is buried with a number of his fallen comrades and foes at Old Dogwood Cemetery, five miles south of Griffithville. His wife afterwards married H. S. Murdock and died in 1863 at 33 years. Her grave was the beginning of the Murdock Cemetery near Grapeland. Mary Brimberry. She was born about 1832 in Walton County, GA and last appeared on the 1850 Claiborne Pr., LA census. No further record has been found of her. William Henry Harrison Brimberry. He went by the name Henry, and was born in 1842 in Claibome, Pr., and LA. He was a prosperous farmer and reputedly buried his money in tin cans about his property, which was taken off of the Stephen Rogers survey. As a young man, he fought at the Battle of Vicksburg. He never married and died Dec. 19, 1900 at 58 years. His body was interred at Davis Cemetery east of Grapeland. ELBERT BRIMBERRY POLLY DENSON FAMILY Elbert Brimberry. He was born in Walton County, GA about 1836 and married Mary (Polly) Denson, Aug. 18, 1864 in Anderson County, Texas. Polly’s sister Nancy married Elbert’s brother George. The Denson sisters were the daughters of John and Mary (Crawford) Denson. John Denson was born in Anson County, NC in 1815. His parents Thomas C. and Polly Denson, came to Texas in 1825 with Hayden Edwards Colony, Thomas C. Denson held a land grant in Wise County in 1830 and served the Republic as a citizen and a patriot. The Densons were one of the first families to settle in these parts; and on May 16, 1837, Thomas C. Denson’s name was on a petition to form Houston County. Mary Ann Crawford was born in Rowan County, NC about 1817. Her parents were Mary Ann (Polly) Coble, born about 1793-1799, and Joseph Crawford born 1790. Records indicate Polly Coble and Joseph Crawford moved to Anderson County, Texas from Tennessee, where their daughter married Wilson Houston, who was lost some time after 1836 in Texas while Mary Ann Crawford Houston was still in Tennessee. Mary Ann Crawford Houston came toTexas in 1838 to join her husband, who perished in the Indian Wars, and subsequently married John Denson and her daughter, Caroline Houston, married Joseph Denson. John and Mary Ann (Crawford) Denson had seven children: Mary (or Polly who married Elbert Brimberry), Martha, Elizabeth, Rachel, Thomas, Nancy J. (who married George A. Brimberry), and Sarah. John Denson is believed to have died in the Civil War. His widow survived him by a number of years and is believed buried in the Denson cemetery. Elbert Brimberry died Aug. 5, 1884, at 38 years, leaving Polly to care for their four children; George Thomas (1867-1925), Lucy A. (1870-1944), Miles (1876-1901), and Zachaire Elija (1880-1955). George T. who was known as “well digger George”, and his second wife, Mary Denman, were murdered at their home near Arp, in Smith County. He had four daughters and three sons by his first wife, Etta Kincaid, and has numerous descendants in North Houston and Anderson Counties. Lucy married William Dotson, around 1887 and remained in Houston County until her death. Miles and Zack Brimberry never married. Their mother was a very religious and industrious woman, and experienced many hardships, including rejection of her application for a Confederate widow’s pension in 1924 because her husband had left Camp Ford without permission in Dec., 1862 and returned home. Elbert subsequently served out his three year enlistment, but Polly’s claim was nevertheless denied. She died in 1933 at 87 years and is buried at Denson Cemetery.
PETER BRIMBERRY LETHA HOLLINGSWORTH FAMILY Peter Brimberry. He was born May 17, 1838, in Mississippi and married Letha Ann Hollingsworth, the daughter Joshua W. and Elizabeth M. Hollingsworth, on Dec. 20, 1865. Letha’s family moved to Anderson County, Texas from Mississippi in 1847. Her father was a charter member of the First Christian Church in Palestine and they lived in Anderson County a number of years before moving to a farm three miles east of Grapeland toward Percilla. Peter, who served with his brothers James and George A. Brimberry in the Arkansas campaign, was a school teacher and very well liked. He killed another man in self-defense and fled to Arkansas where he was joined by his wife and infant son. They took refuge in Rosston Township,Nevada County, and became respected members of that community. Letha Ann was expecting their sixth child when Peter died April 5, 1880. His body was returned by train to Houston County, for burial in Davis Cemetery. Letha Ann subsequently moved back to Houston County, where she died in 1901 at 57 years. Peter and Letha Ann Brimberry had three sons and three daughters: Matthias Jot (1886-1924), Ida E. (1872-1938), Ada Mary (1873-1902), John W. (1876-1948), Emma Letha Lydia Ann (1878-1942), and Seth Peter Brimberry (1880-1956). Ida E. married W. T. Totty in 1890 and they operated the Totty Hotel in Grapeland. They had two children, Willie and Eola, neither of whom married. In 1901, Ada married Thomas Herbert Leaverton and died a year later following the birth of their daughter, Adabel. Ella, as she was called, married her deceased sister’s husband in 1904 and died without issue. Seth also married but had no children; and, Jot and Jack never married. The last survivor on this line is Adabel (Leaverton) Cherry, wife of the late John Allen Cherry. Matthias Jot, Ida E. (Totty) and John W. are buried near their parents at Davis Cemetery. Ada M. and Ella are buried next to Herbert Leaverton at Grapeland City Cemetery. Seth is buried in Tucson, Arizona. GEORGE A. BRIMBERRY NANCYDENSON FAMILY George A. Brimberry. He was born Dec. 1, 1843, in Claiborne Pr., Louisiana and named after his uncle who had died about 1828 in Crawford County, Ga. The youngest of the seven children of Matthias Brimberry and Betsy Minton, he enlisted in the Confederate army with his brothers in June 1862, and served in a cavalry unit for three years. The Civil War made a deep impression on him and, in later years, George Anderson Brimberry he forged miniature plowshares for his grandchildren from a piece of Civil War weaponry he brought home from the Arkansas campaign. George A., who was also nicknamed Gray, married Nancy Jane Denson, in Houston County, in 1870. Nancy’s sister Polly married George’s brother Elbert. Her parents, John and Mary (Crawford) Denson, settled in Houston County before its creation. Her grandfather, Thomas C. Denson, was a patriot of the Texas Revolution and signer of the petition to form Houston County. The Densons emigrated to Texas from Anson County, N.C. by way of Alabama and possibly Illinois. George A. was several inches shorter than his wife, and a very cheerful man. His word was “his bond” and he never missed church on Sunday. He and Nancy would often ride in their carriage for several
In 1903, George A. Brimberry donated two acres for the construction of Sunset Christian Church, which is located 21/z miles east of Grapeland on FM 227 or the Augusta Road. He requested that the church be called Sunset, and his grandson, Hubert Brimberry was instrumental in the construction of a new church near the site of the old church in 1978. George A. and Nancy J. Brimberry’s farm was located east of Grapeland on the Stephen Rogers survey. He was a Confederate pensioner and died Jan. 6, 1923 at 79 years. Nancy, who was born in Houston County, Feb. 17, 1853, also died in her 79th year, on July 17, 1932. They are buried at DavisCemetery east of Grapeland on Augusta Road. Nearly one-fourth of the estimated 300 persons in the United States who bear the Brimberry surname today are descended from George A. and Nancy J. Brimberry. They had seven children and 40 grandchildren. 1. William Melton Brimberry was born in Houston County Oct. 17, 1871 and married Cora E. Price in 1903 in Houston County. Cora was born Oct. 22, 1887, to James W. Price and Sara Elizabeth Grim. Cora’s paternal grandparents, Willis and Elizabeth Price, were from S.C. and settled in Angelina County. Cora’s maternal grandparents, Henry Grim and Mary C. Busick, were married in Sullivan CountyMo. and settled near the Plain Community. Will, who was a farmer and a life-long Houston County resident, and Cora Brimberry had seven children: Fannie Mae Smith (deceased), Bessie Owens, Hermous (deceased), Estelle Streetman, Hubert, Will Olan and Eldridge Lee, this writer’s father. William M. Brimberry died Jan. 10, 1940, at 68 years, and Cora E. Brimberry died Nov. 29, 1929, at 42 years. They are buried at Davis Cemetery. 2. James S. Brimberry nicknamed Jim. He was born in Houston County, Sept. 18, 1875, and married Julia May Green in 1895. They were life-long residents of Houston County, and had nine children: Elmer Lee (deceased),Stanley 0. (Deceased), John A. (deceased), Julius E., Seth 0. (Deceased), James, George Frank, Bert (deceased), and Nannie Lou Clark. James died Aug. 8, 1936 at 60 years, and Julia died Nov. 25, 1946 at 69 years. They are buried at Davis Cemetery. 3. Fannie Brimberry. She was born Feb. 17, 1878 in Houston County and died Jan. 30, 1887 at the age of 8. She is buried at Davis Cemetery. 4.Lydia Brimberry. She was born in Houston County in 1882 and married John James around 1901. They lived in Grapeland and had seven children: Roy Bell (deceased), Dan, Leonard (Japanese prisoner of war, deceased), Pearl Clark, Tom, 01la Mae (deceased), and Andrew (deceased). Lydia died in 1918 at 36 years and is buried at Davis Cemetery. John remarried and had a number of children by his second wife, Linnie. He died in 1963 at 83 years and is also buried at Davis Cemetery. 5. Roxie Ethel Mae Brimberry. She was born in Houston County in 1887 and married Joe T. Colkin. They operated a truck farm near Grapeland and had five children: Ruth Shaver, Joe T., William (deceased), George R. (deceased) and Roxie Ann Brumlow. Roxie Ethel (Brimberry) and Joe T. Colkin both died in 1962 and are buried at Davis Cemetery. 6. Ben F. Brimberry. He was born in Houston County, in 1891 and married Beulah E. Owens. They lived on a farm east of Grapeland and had eight children: Melba Lee Story, Elton Lee, Ben Frank, Arnold, Oather, Wanda Faye Winters, Neva Joyce Williams and Margaret Jo Pilgreen. Ben F. died in 1955 at 64 years and is buried at Davis Cemetery. Beulah was born in 1895 and is in a nursing home. 7. Marshall Lee Brimberry born in 1893 in Houston County. He was the youngest of George A. and Nancy J. Brimberry’s progeny. He married EulaMae Coleman about 1915 and they had four children: Mildred (died in infancy), Coleman (died in infancy), Dorothy Faye Brimberry (deceased) and Nita Frank Barnes. Marshall died February 13, 1939 at 42 years and is buried at Davis Cemetery. Eula Mae remarried Harry Moore and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery northeast of Grapeland. The author, Jerry Lee Brimberry, was born in Crockett in 1940, and is the son of Eldridge Lee Brimberry of Grapeland and the late Dorothy Lee Augusta Moore. Father of four (Lisa, Darrell, Kari and Christopher), he lives near Atlanta, Georgia where he has been employed by the Federal Centers for Disease Control since 1964. The author’s line of descent ascending from 1) Christian Brunberg and Maria Peterson, is 2) Matthias Brimberry and Mary Anderson; 3) Peter Brimberry and Dicey Walker; 4) Matthias Brimberry and Elizabeth Minton; 5) George Anderson Brimberry and Nancy Jane Denson; 6) William Melton Brimberry and Cora Elizabeth Price; and 7) Eldridge Lee Brimberry and Dorothy Lee Augusta Moore.