Brinegar Family

Note: there is more information on this family on the Jarvis Family site. Here I have focused on the family in Davie County NC.

First Generation

Adam Brinegar is usually assumed to be the child age 5 who immigrated with Veith and Barbara Bruninger, on the Britannia in 1731. The family presumably settled initially in Pennsylvania, but we know nothing further of them. Robert Ramsey's book Carolina Cradle suggests that the Adam Brinegar who appears in Rowan Co. NC in the early 1750s is this child but conclusive proof of this is lacking. Adam's will, signed 1767 and probated 1772, names a wife Elizabeth, three sons and two daughters.

Elizabeth's maiden name is not known, and no marriage record has been found, despite what has been stated on several web pages and in a recent publication.

Second Generation

Children of Adam and Elizabeth Brinegar
Jacob Brinegar m. Mary Prock, daughter of Paul and Margaret Prock
Adam Brinegar (ca. 1745-1816), m. Margaret (Wiley?), moved to Clark Co. KY
Catrina Brinegar
Barbara Brinegar
John Brinegar (ca. 1755-1833) m. Lucretia Linville, daughter of William Linville and Eleanor Bryan, moved to Clark Co. KY

Third Generation

Jacob Brinegar was probably born about 1745-1748, estimated from his 1768 marriage date and his father's estimated birthdate of ca. 1726. We don't have a definite death date for him, or a birthdate for his youngest child, Joshua, but my best guess is that both events occurred about 1782.

Mary Prock, wife of Jacob Brinegar, is identified from their marriage bond, which suggests that she was under age in 1768: Mary Prock to Jacob Bringer Dec. 5 1768, Signed by Mathias Prock and William Brown before John Frohock. "These are to certify that I Marget Prock doe give my face consent to this marriage of my daughter Mary to Jacob Bringer. Given from under my Hand, Margert Prock, this 5 Day of December 1768, Wm. Charles Riles." Deed and tax records indicate that Paul Prock was still living in 1762, but deceased at least by 1770; the fact that Margaret Prock signed the marriage consent for her daughter suggests that Paul was probably already deceased by December 1768. Matthias Prock, the witness, was Mary's brother.

In August 1778, Adam Brinegar, Jacob Brinegar, and John Brinegar were cited among a large number of other people for failure to appear to take the Oath of Affirmation of Allegiance to the State. All were in Capt. Johnston's District, Rowan Co. NC.

Jacob Brinegar was dead by March 1783, when Mary Brinegar received a land grant in her own name. Judging from subsequent deed records referring to her as the widow Brinegar, and litigation over title to the Brinegar land, Mary must have married her second husband, Richard Jacks, between November 1784 and March 1785. She appears in legal records in 1785 as Mary Jacks.

Jacob Brinegar is named as a neighboring land owner in a number of deed records in 1779 and 1780 on Linville's Creek and Carter's Creek, in what is now Davie County NC. Among the people named in those deeds, Jeremiah Malone, Gabriel Enochs and James Robinson are listed on the Lagle land grant map to the west of Mary Brinegar's 1783 grant; all these are 1783-1784 grants on the map. Thus the land shown for Mary Brinegar is probably the same tract referred to in the deeds in 1779 and 1780. These records fix Jacob's death as between May 1780 and the time Mary received title to the land in 1783.

Jacks family records indicate that Mary died about 1822, probably in Surry Co. NC. I have encountered some conflicts in some of the Jacks material, an apparent confusion of Mary's husband Richard with another person of the same name, which makes Mary the mother of Jacks children who are born too early to be hers. There is some evidence that Richard may have married Mary without divorcing his first wife. Charlee Wilson has told me that there was another Richard Jacks who started in NC and settled in Jackson Co. Alabama, with wife Mary Sparks, and thinks that some researchers have confused their children. I think that Mary Prock Brinegar Jacks was probably the mother of five Jacks children at most (Solomon, Larkin, Job, Sally and Polly). This would make her the mother of 12 children altogether, a large family but not impossible, especially in view of the fact that she was young at the time of her first marriage.

Children of Jacob Brinegar and Mary Prock
Nancy Ann Brinegar (1769-?) m. Samuel Bracken in Rowan Co. NC, 1789
Thomas Brinegar (ca. 1770-1832), m. Rachel ?, d. Estill Co. KY. There is conflicting information about his wife; some sources say Rachel Masterson, but this is probably incorrect.
Mary Brinegar (ca. 1772-?) m. Thomas Bracken in 1788
Paul Brinegar (ca. 1774-1860) m. Polly ?, moved to Surry (now Yadkin) Co. NC
Jacob Brinegar (ca. 1776-1844), m. 1) Nancy Frasier, 2) Parthena Mitchell, 3) Tasann Johnson; d. Wilkes Co. NC
Adam Brinegar (1780-?), m. Polly?, d. Ashe Co. NC
Joshua Brinegar (1784-1846) m. Sarah ?

Fourth Generation

Joshua Brinegar, probably the youngest child of Jacob and Mary Prock Brinegar, presumably grew up with his mother and stepfather in Surry (now Yadkin) county. He reappears in what is now Davie County in 1804, when he was witness to a deed from Gaspar Sain to Frederick Sain, on Dutchman's Creek. On 13 Sep 1809 he purchased 135 acres in that same neighborhood [Rowan Co. deed book 22:703], but I can't find him in the 1810 Rowan Co. census. He bought additional land in 1814 and 1815, and must have eventually bought more yet, as the total parcel divided after his death in 1846 totals more than 400 acres.

Joshua Brinegar's wife is traditionally assumed to be Sarah, but her surname remains a mystery. To account for the ages of his children, he must have married before 1805, but I have been unable to find a marriage record in either Rowan or Surry County. The census records from 1820 through 1840 show a female in the same age bracket as Joshua, consistent with a marriage by this date, but no wife is named in his estate settlement in 1847, suggesting she probably died between 1840 and late 1846. Joshua and Sarah Brinegar both witnessed the will of Laurence Clement in 1834 (Rowan County H:632). This is the only mention I've found so far of her name, but I have not yet exhausted all the deed and court records. If anyone has more information on Sarah, please let me know!

Joshua Brinegar has an unusually close association with the family of George Potts in Rowan County (now Davie). He was bondsman for the marriage of Josiah Potts and Sarah Graves in 1812, executor in 1823 of the will of James O'Neal, whose wife Creacy (Lucretia) was sister of Josiah Potts, and also executor of the will in 1826 of George Potts, father of Creacy and Josiah. Could his wife have been a Potts daughter? George Potts did have a daughter named Sally or Sarah, but she appears to have been living at home still at the time of his death, and Potts family researchers tell me she was born about 1800. This makes her too young to be Joshua's wife as listed in the census records, although I can't rule out her being a second wife, with an unknown first wife being the mother of his children.

In February 1846 Joshua Brinegar was a commissioner to divide the lands of John Clement, the last record I have found of him alive. The Brinegar estate settlement papers filed in 1847 refer to his death in 1846 but don't give the exact date.

Children of Joshua and Sarah? Brinegar
Mary Brinegar (d. before 1847) m. John W. Turrentine
John Brinegar (ca. 1805-aft. 1860) m. Ann Brown (ca. 1805-aft. 1860)
Margaret Brinegar (1809-1876) m. Thomas Brown (1807-1881)
Thomas Hampton Brinegar (1816-1899) m. Elizabeth Van Eaton (1827-1904)
Emeline Brinegar (d. before 1847) m. Madison Rowsey
Sarah Ann Brinegar (d. before 1843) m. James M. Hellard
Eliza Brinegar (d. before 1847) m. John Nicholas Click (1814-1880)
Camilla Brinegar m. Valentine Ratts

Note that Ann Brown, wife of John Brinegar, and Thomas Brown, husband of Margaret Brinegar, are siblings.

The children listed above are all that appear in Joshua's estate settlement in 1847. However, census records suggest another son, born between 1810 and 1815. Possibly this is Ishmael Brinegar, who was bondsman for the marriage of Thomas Brown and Margaret Brinegar in 1829, but if so, he would be rather young to be serving in this capacity.

Loose estates papers, NC state archives, has a folder on litigation in 1847-1849 regarding this division of his property. In May 1847 a petition was filed to divide the lands. This was filed by the following:

Thomas Brown and wife Margaret
John Torrentine guardian pendente lite of Martin, Ishmael, Sarah, James and Margaret, minor heirs of Mary Torrentine dec.
W.D. Henderson who represents John Brinegar
C. Harbin pendente lite of William, John, and Jane, minor heirs of Emeline Rowzee decd.
Thomas H. Brinegar of full age
James M. Hellard guardian pendente lite of Sarah C. Hilliard [sic] minor heir of Ann Hellard dec.
John N. Click guardian pendente lite of Camilla, minor heir of Eliza Click dec.
Camilla Brinegar of full age

The petition states that Joshua Brinegar departed this life intestate in the year 1846, seized and possessed of four tracts of land in Davie County, all lying on the waters of Dutchmans Creek, the first and second adjoining each other and known as the Home and Terry places, and also adjoining that of Henry Clement and others, the third known as the Lagel Place joining the lands of Henry Graves and others, the fourth known as the March Place, adjoining the lands of Samuel Foster and others, the four tracts supposed to contain 525 acres. The petitioners show that said lands have descended to them as tenants in common and therefore pray that five commissioners be appointed to divide and appropriate the lands.

The land was divided on 23 Aug. 1847 as follows:

lot #1 Eliza Click, 60 A adj. J.W. Turrentine
lot #2 John Brinegar 60 A
lot #3 Mary Brinegar 60 A
lot #4 Thos. H. Brinegar 60 A
lot #5 Emeline Rowsey 61 A
lot #6 Sarah Hilliard 45&1/4 A
lot #7 Camila Brinegar 56 A
lot #8 Margaret Brown 56 A
H.H. Click, John M. Gabard, Milton Hobbs, H. Clement, commissioners.

In fall court 1847 James M. Hellard filed a bill of complaint (which was dated March 24, 1847) against Thomas Brown and wife Margaret, John N. Click and his infant child Camilla, John Brinegar, Thomas H. Brinegar, Camilla Brinegar, William Rowzee, Thomas H. Rowzee, and Sarah Jane Rowzee, Martin Turrentine, Rowan Turrentine, Franklin Turrentine, Elizabeth Turrentine, Eliza Turrentine, and Sarah C. Hellard, "hereby complaining that in the year 1839 he intermarried with one Sarah Ann Brinegar the daughter of Joshua Brinegar late of the county & state aforesaid and that shortly thereafter your orator determined to remove to the county of Iredell to which the said Joshua was very averse, and in order to prevent said removal agreed to sell and did sell your orator for two hundred dollars a certain tract of land called the Johanacy tract of land adjoining the one upon which he lived on the waters of Dutchmans Creek, it being a tract of land purchased by said Brinegar of one James Jaunasey 16th [?] Nov 1814...". Hellard further states that "he paid the price of the purchase of said land in the lifetime of said Joshua...and went immediately into possession thereof...made improvements to the value of four hundred dollars..." but that Joshua Brinegar died without giving him a deed for this land. He states that he has often called on the defendants of full age to make him title to said land but that they have refused to do so. He says that the estate is sufficient to pay him the purchase money and the improvements.

The suit seems to have been resolved in spring term 1849: " appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the contract mentioned in the pleadings was entered into by plaintiff and the ancestor of the defendants, and that the purchase money thereof was paid by complainant to defendants' ancestor Joshua Brinegar. It is ordered, adjucated and decreed by the court that Thomas Brown and wife Margaret, Camilla Brinegar, Thomas H. Brinegar, and John Brinegar, the defendants who are of full age, convey to said plaintiff James Hellard by proper assurances to pass the fee simple therein, the lands mentioned in the pleadings according to the metes and bounds of the deed from James Jouncy to said Joshua Brinegar dated 16th November 1814, within ten days from the time they are served with notice of this decree, and that the infant defendants Cammila Click, Wm. Rowzee, Thomas H. Rowzee, Sarah Jane Rowzee, Martin Turrentine, Rowan Turrentine, Franklin Turrentine and Sarah C. Hellard within six months of their arrival of full age convey their interest in the same to said Hellard by like assurances, upon being served with a copy of this decree.

"It is further declared by the court that the said James is entitled to retain the posession of all the aforesaid lands and premises, and to use, occupy and enjoy the same in as full and perfect a manner as though the same had been conveyed to him by said Joshua in his life time..." James Hellard was ordered to pay the court costs.

Fifth Generation

Children of Mary Brinegar and John W. Turrentine

The estate papers for Joshua Brinegar are inconsistent regarding the names of Mary's children. The division of the estate in May court 1847 names Martin, Ishmael, Sarah, James and Margaret, minor heirs of Mary Torrentine dec., and names John Torrentine as their guardian pendente lite. A subsequent lawsuit by James Hellard, against the other heirs, names Martin, Rowan, Franklin, Elizabeth and Eliza Turrentine, as does the settlement of his suit in spring term 1849. The 1850 census shows Martin, Ishmael, Sarah, James and Eliza living with John Torrentine and his second wife. However, there are also a Franklin Torrentine age 21, a younger Sarah, age 10, and Margaret Torrentine age 8 living with Elizabeth Torrentine age 40. No Rowan Torrentine appears in the 1850 census index. Are some of these people duplicated? If not, who are Franklin, the second Sarah and Margaret? and why are only five children named in each court record, but a different and perhaps partially overlapping set? I would be grateful for more information on this family.


Children of John Brinegar and Ann Brown
Mary Brinegar (ca. 1832-?) m. Williamson Harris
Sarah Brinegar (ca. 1836-?) m. Joseph Hellard
Maria Brinegar (ca. 1838-?) m. Andrew Williams
Elizabeth Brinegar (ca. 1841-1889?) m. John Call
John Brinegar (ca. 1843-?); probably died in the Civil War
Eliza Jane Brinegar (ca. 1845-?) m. John Foster (ca. 1843-?), s/o Samuel Foster and Naomi Booe
Nancy Brinegar (ca. 1846-?) maybe died young
Amanda Brinegar (ca. 1849-?)
Meloney Elvira Brinegar (1851-1934) m. William Wyatt (1833-1905)

John Brinegar and Ann Brown are both listed as age 45 in the 1850 Davie County census, but as only 40 in the 1860. Since they married in 1832, the 1850 version is probably more accurate. They don't appear in Davie County in 1870, or in Davie County cemetery records. Where did they go?


Thomas Brown and Margaret Brinegar are considered in more detail on the Brown family page.


Children of Thomas H. Brinegar and Elizabeth Van Eaton
Milton Brinegar (ca. 1845-?); probably died in the Civil War
Edward Brinegar (1847-1913) m. Amanda Emmaline "Emma" Foster, daughter of Tilman Foster and Frances Tucker
Albert Brinegar (1850-1904) m. Milly Catherine Little
Thomas Bryant Brinegar (ca. 1852-?) m. Sarah Avaline Allen
James B. Brinegar (1857-1935) m. Josephine Hall (1860-1927)
H.T. Brinegar (1858-1939) m. Bessie Rich (1865-1944)

Most of this family remained in Davie County. Thomas H. Brinegar appears in the Davie County census through 1860, and died there in 1899. He and Elizabeth are both buried at Fork Baptist Church. I do not find them in the published transcript of the 1870 census, however.

Thanks to Bill Foster for updates on this family, May 6, 2013.


Children of Emeline Brinegar and Madison Rowsey
William Rowzee
Thomas H. Rowzee
Sarah Jane Rowzee

Emeline was deceased by the time her father's estate was settled, and these three children were named as her heirs. Where did they live, and what happened to them?


Child of Sarah Ann Brinegar and James Hellard
Sarah C. Hellard (ca. 1840-aft. 1860)

James Hellard married Sarah Ann Brinegar in 1839, and she died before June 1843, possibly as early as 1840 or 1841. As indicated above, in 1847 James sued the heirs of Sarah's father, Joshua Brinegar, for land that he claimed Joshua sold to him at the time of his marriage to Sarah, to keep him from moving with her to Iredell County. He stated that he paid for the land and made improvements on it, but that Joshua Brinegar died without giving him a deed. Sarah C. Hellard, his daughter, was one of the plaintiffs, along with her aunts and uncles and cousins of Joshua's other deceased children. The suit was resolved in James Hellard's favor in 1849. James Hellard remarried, and his daughter Sarah appears in his household through the 1860 census. None of this family are in Davie County in 1870.


Child of Eliza Brinegar and John Nicholas Click
Sarah Camilla Click (1846-1915) m. John Cope in 1869

Eliza Brinegar Click was deceased by March 1847, when James Hellard filed his lawsuit. Camilla Click was born in August 1846, and is referred to as "infant daughter of Nicholas Click". Did her mother die in childbirth?


Camilla Brinegar and Valentine Ratts

Camilla Brinegar was of age, but unmarried, at the time of the estate settlement. In January 1849 she married Valentine Ratts in Davie County. They do not appear in Davie in subsequent census records. Does anyone have more information on this couple? Did they have children?

Sixth Generation

Children of Albert M. Brinegar and Milly Little
N.L. Brinegar (ca. 1880-?) m. Jennie Bowles (ca. 1884-ca. 1909)
  The loose estates records in the NC state archives contain papers pertinent to a divorce
  suit in 1908, but Jennie died before the court could take action.
Margaret Brinegar (1883-1948) m. J.A. Harris
William T. Brinegar (ca. 1875-?) m. America Foster
E.D. Brinegar
Amanda Brinegar m. Walter Hammitt
Ruth Brinegar (1891-1974) m. S.S. Trott
Albert Daniel Brinegar (1893-1957)

After Albert's death, Milly married Michael Beaver. The Davie Co. loose estate records file, NC state archives, contains documents in which M.C. Beaver and her husband Michael Beaver; Margaret Harris and her husband J.A. Harris; W.T. Brinegar and wife America Brinegar; N.L. Brinegar and wife Jennie Brinegar; and E.D. Brinegar petition against Amanda Brinegar (alias Amanda Hammitt) and her husband Walter Hammitt, Ruth Brinegar and Albert Brinegar, to sell the land in Davie county received by division of lands of Joshua Brinegar. M.C. Beaver as widow was entitled to a dower interest in this land; Margaret, W.T., N.L., E.D., Amanda, Ruth and Albert were entitled to one seventh interest. Amanda, Ruth and Albert are minors without any guardian. The land was considered too small to partition (it was a 56 acre parcel!), therefore they were asking that the land be sold rather than divided.

Amanda, although under age, was already married, and appears to have left North Carolina. It was ruled that a summons be made in the Davie Record weekly for four successive weeks requiring Amanda to appear at the court in Mocksville on Oct. 31, 1906, to answer or demur to the complaint or petition of the plaintiffs. Resolution of the case is not indicated in this file.


Ramsey, Robert W., Carolina Cradle, Settlement of the Northwest Carolina Frontier, 1747-1762

Strassburger, Pennsylvania German Pioneers

Abstracts of Wills and Estates Records of Rowan County, North Carolina 1753-1805 and Tax Lists of 1759 and 1778, copyright Jo White Linn 1980

Linn, Jo White (1973). Davie County North Carolina Will and Deed Abstracts (Wills 1836-1900, Deeds 1836-1850).

Linn, Jo White . Rowan County Tax Lists

Davie County loose estates papers, NC Archives

North Carolina marriage bonds

Rowan County NC 1790-1840 census records

Davie County NC 1850 - 1870 census

Ashe County NC 1850 census

LDS film F514719/08, family group sheets for Thomas Brinegar family in Kentucky

Personal communications from Joy Alexander, Connie Sheets, and Jerry Brinegar

Minor revisions were made to this page on February 23, 2005, and on June 6, 2010.

Other Resources

Brinegar Cabin, on the Blue Ridge Parkway
This cabin was the home of Martin Brinegar, son of Adam and Polly Brinegar (Third Generation above).

back to home page

Elizabeth Harris,