Miscellaneous Bruster/Brewster Records
from Rockingham County1 Virginia

My cousin Connie Shotts, in Charlotte, NC, has been researching our Virginia ancestors and has abstracted, from several publications, these references to g-g-g-g-g-grandfather James Brewster (ca. 1720-1807) and his family members. James immigrated from Northern Ireland and settled on the Virginia frontier in the middle of the 18th century. Brewster researchers please note -- these ancestors' surname appeared, as often as not, Bruster!

Church records: from The Lexington Presbytery Heritage: Churches in Rockingham County, by Harold McNight Wilson

pp. 380-381
Massanutten Cross Keys, Elders: Thomas Lewis, C, 1770; John Craig, C. 1770; Archibald Huston, C, 1770; James Bruster, C, 1770; William Dunlap, C, 1770; -- [C = Commissioned]

Marriage records: From Virginia County Records, Rockingham County Marriages 1778-1850, by John Vogt and T. William Kethley, Jr.

p. 260
Janet Bruster2 and Samuel Erwin, 1787; by Thomas Scott. Consent: James Bruster and Polly Bruster3

Nancy Bruster2 and William Alexander, 1785; by John Graham (of Augusta County). Consent: James Bruster. Witness: Nelly and Tamey Bruster and John Graham

Revolutionary Claims: from Virginia Revolutionary Public Claims for Rockingham County, compiled and transcribed by Richard Slatten and Janice L. Abercromie from originals in the Library of Virginia.

p. 11
James Bruster 98 days with team in the militia ₤49; 3 days with team removing provisions from the barracks ₤2-5.

p. 12
James Bruster 9 days his team ₤4-10; feeding 1 horse 38 days ₤2-7-6; 4 flower cask 8s.

p. 15
James Bruster 10 bu corn ₤1.

Executor, Administrator, and Guardian Bonds: from Abstracts of Executor, Administrator and Guardian Bonds of Rockingham County Virginia 1778-1864 compiled by Marguerite B. Priode

p. 21
Administrator Bonds
Date: 1781 Mar. 26 Decedent: Brewster, Henry4 Administrator: James Bruster Pounds: 100,000 Bondsman: George Huston

p. 38
Guardian Bonds
Date: 1779 Apr. 27 Parent: Huston, Archibald Orphan: Abigail Guardian: James Brewster Bond Pounds: 3,000 Bondsman: David Laird (Jr.)

Court references: from Rockingham County, Virginia Minute Book 1778-1792, Part I 1778-1786, by Constance A. Levinson and Louise C. Levinson

p. 2
28 April 1778
William Bush, Jeremiah Beesly, Henry Brewster, George Huston, William Magill, son of John, Elliot Rutherford, John Fulton Junr., John Bryce Junr., Reuben More, Mathias Lear Junr., Joseph Custard, William Dever, Burton Blizard, Samuel Skidmore and Jacob Ellsworth, are appointed as constables in their respective districts and ordered that they be summoned to appear before the next Justice of Peace to be sworn in their office immediately.

p. 19
23 November 1778
The last will and testament of John Stevnson was produced and proved by the witnesses thereto. Whereupon Danl. Smith Gent. and Felix Gilbert, the executors therein named, having entered into bond and made oath according to law, certificate is granted them Xc. Ordered that Joseph Rutherford, William Young, John Young and James Brewster or any three of them, being first sworn, do appraise the said estate.

p. 24
22 March 1779
Deed from Robt. Hill to the Presbyterian congregation was proved by the witnesses and ordered to be recorded, Thos. Brewster to pay fees. [Note: Who is this Thomas Brewster????]

p. 25
22 March 1779
Anne Huston, orphan of Archbd. Huston, came into court and chose Thos. Hewit, Gent as her guardian. Abigail Huston, orphan of Archbd. Huston, came into court and chose James Brewster as her guardian.

p. 26
At a court continued and held for Rockingham County Tuesday, 23 March 1779.
Bruster vs. Hansberger Imp

p. 30
26 April 1779
On the complaint of Henry Brewster against Gabriel Jones Gent. for threatening to shoot him for taking his horse by virtue of authority of Capt. Rush without showing his warrant, on hearing the complaint and the answer of said Jones, the court are of the opinion that the said Brewster acted illegally and therefore dismiss the complaint.

p. 31
27 April 1779
James Brewster formerly chosen guardian of Abigail Huston, orphan of Archbd. Huston, entered into bond with David Laird his security.

p. 35
At a court contd. and held for Rockingham County Tuesday 25th day of May 1779.
Brewster vs Hansberger nonsuit

p. 40
26 July 1779

Ordered that Joseph Rutherford Junr., James Laird, Felix Gilbert and James Brewster or any three, being first sworn, do appraise the said estate. [George Zimmerman]

p. 44
At a court continued and held for Rockingham County Tuesday the 24th day of August 1779.
Brewster vs. Hansbarger Imp

p. 52
27 March 1780
Deed of bargain and sale from Jno. Young and Agnes his wife to William Young and proved by Jas. Brewster, Jno Frasier and Jno. Huston, 3 of the witnesses and ordered recorded.

p. 56
28 March 1780
Brewster vs. Hansberger NG

p. 63
At a Court continued and held for Rockingham County Tuesday the 23rd day of May 1780
Brewster vs. Hansberger plea jd

p. 76
28 November 1780
Gawen Hamilton Spl. Bail for Jas. Harris ads Brewster

Henry Brewster's Adm. For sd. Henry's going & returning 260 miles as a guard to Davis at 2 tobo. p mile 520 tobo. additional 156 ₤

p. 78
Brewster vs. Harris J W E

p. 79
28 November 1780
Administration of the estate of Henry Brewster4 is granted to James Brewster who with security entered into bond and made oath according to law.
Ordered that William Young, Jno. Huston, Jacob Perkey and Felix Gilbert or any three being first sworn do appraise the said estate.

The last will and testament of Jacob Nicolas was produced and proved by the witnesses thereto and John Rush and Peter Nicolas the Executors therein named having entered into bond with security and made oath according to law, certificate is granted them &c. Ordered that James Brewster, Augustine Price, Mathew Cash and Christian Kyger or any three being first sworn do appraise said estate and also the lands devised by said testator agreeable to the will.

p. 82
27 March 1781
Brewster vs. Hansberger Abates by plts death

p. 94
24 September 1781
Ordered that Felix Gilbert, James Brewster, Joseph Rutherford, Junr. and Joseph Haines or any three being sworn do appraise the estate. [James Waite]

p. 95
26 November 1781
Thomas Hewit, Gent. produced a commission from his Excellency Thos. Nelson, the Governor, constituting him Sheriff of this county for the ensuing year. Whereupon the said Thos. Hewit took the oath of Sheriff and entered into bond with James Brewster, Andrew Hudlow, Robt. Cravens and Jas. Baird his securities for the due execution of this office Thos. Hewit with said securities entered into ond with the above securities for the due collection of the taxes. Also entered into bond for the collection of the tobacco tax. Also entered into bond for collecting fines and amercements.

p. 101
25 March 1782
The last will and testament of Henry Coaler was produced in Court and proved by John Huston who made oath that Christopher Roadarmous also in his presence witnessed the same. Whereupon the executors Charles Rush and Leonard Painter entered into bond with security and made oath according to law. Ordered that John Huston, James Bruster, Robt. Cravens, Felty Huffman or any three of them being first sworn do appraise said estate.

p. 104
26 March 1782
Jan. 10th 1781. United States to Jas. Bruster Dr To 3 Days Service with his team at 19S per day employed in removing the prisoners from Albamare Barracks. pd

p. 105
27 March 1782
Decem. 22d '80. To James Bruster for 9 days publick service with his team at 10S per Day.

p. 110
29 March 1782
Nov. 11th '80. To James Bruster for 10 Bus. Of Corn at 2S pr Bus.

p. 117
1 April 1782
Ordered that Jas. Bruster be appointed overseer of the road from Neilson Mill to the fork of road between his own house and Wm. Young's.

p. 152
25 November 1782
Ordered that the surveyor make an inclusive or resurvey of his lands of James Bruster upon his applying for the same.

Ordered Charles Rush, Jas. Bruster, Jno. Huston and Wm. Young or any three of them being first sworn do appraise said estate. [Peter Guise]

p. 154 and p. 179
26 November 1782
Brewster vs. Harris Agreed.

p. 159
25 March 1782
Ordered that John Huston, James Bruster, Robert Cravens and Felty Huffman or any three of them being first sworn do appraise the said estate. [Henry Coaler]

p. 162
1 April 1782
Ordered that James Bruster be appointed overseer of the road from Neilson's Mill to the fork of the road between his own house and Wm. Young's.

p. 177
25 November 1782
Ordered that the Surveyor make an inclusive or resurvey of the lands of James Bruster upon his applying for the same.

p. 203
24 June 1783
James Bruster vs. Danl. Joseph als. Jacob Pence C.O.

p. 204
28 July 1783
James Brewster vs. Danl. Joseph & Jacob Pence. Jacob Argabright Spl. Bl.

p. 207
25 August 1783
Brewster vs. Joseph (John Pence Sp. B. for Jacob Jence) ats same. payment

p. 216
28 October 1783
Breuster vs. Joseph & Pence Discont'd by Sheriffs return as to Joseph. Plea Join'd as to Pence

p. 219
25 November 1783
Appearances
Bruster, Jas. Asn'ee of Graham vs. Givens & Jno. Huston Judgment confessed as per bon by Huston. Exe Issd.
Jannet Bruster2 and Agness Bruster2 proved 1 days attendance for E. Stephenson ats. Of G. Huston and that they were duly summonded for that purpose.

p. 220
25 November 1783
Bruster vs. Ga[rten] & Jno. Huston Judgm't as p bond

p. 227
22 March 1784
Ordered that Felix Gilbert, James Bruster and Charles Rush do view the roads leading from Gasper Hanes down the River by Daniel Sink and make return to the next Court of the conveniency and inconveniency of both the said roads.

p. 228
22 March 1784
James Bruster vs. Wm. Hook - John Gwin and Geo. Hooks Spl.

p. 229
23 March 1784
Bruster vs. Butler & Hook Spl & Impa

p. 235
24 May 1784
Ordered on the motion of Peter Nicholas and John Rush, guardian of Jacob Nicholas, that Matthias Cash, James Bruster, Felix Gilbert and George Hueston, or any three of them, divide and lay off the 150 acres of land devised y the will of Jacob Nicholas, deceased, agreeable to the will of the said Nicholas, and when so laid off the said Peter Nicholas and the guardian of the said Jacob Nicholas draw lots for the choice of the division and it's further ordered that the above persons likewise lay off the widow's dower in their 150 acres of land and also her thirds out of Henry's 150, and return their proceedings to next Court.

p. 236
24 May 1784
Charles Rush and James Bruster who were appointed by a former court to view a certain road do make return as follows: that they have viewed the said road and find the road very good but that where Danl. Sink lives that Mr. Sink must move his house down to the first three apple trees and then along to the end of the land. On the other side of the road W. Pence's fence that Brannaman made to be further set out in order to make the road wide enough.

p. 241
25 May 1784
Bruster vs. Pence Plea waived and judgment to be settled according to the scale.

p. 244
26 July 1784
Agreeable to a former order of this court, Matthias Carsh, James Bruster, and Geo. Huston to them directed for dividing the lands of Jacob Nicholas, deceased, agreeable to the said deceased's will returned the same which was ordered recorded.

p. 247
A Power of Attorney from John Craig, Sr. of Lincoln County, Kentucky to his son, John Craig, Jr. of this county was proved by the oaths of Isaac Crawford and Robert Bruster, the same ordered to be recorded. [Note: Who is this Robert Bruster????]

p. 248
23 August 1784
John Fields vs. Gawin Hamilton Jas. Bruster Spl & Oyer

p. 250
24 August 1784
James Bruster vs. Butler & Hook Payment

p. 258
26 October 1784
James Bruster vs. Butler & Hook Not guilty Joinder

p. 261
22 November 1784
It appearing to the court that a certain John Dumishe died at James Brusters, ordered that the Sheriff sell the said deceased's goods which are now in the hands of the said Bruster and pay him for this expense and trouble with him, the said deceased, and make a return to the next court.

p. 270
Issues to March 1785
Bruster vs. Butler & Hook Pleas O'd & Judgm't issued. Delivered Plaintiff

p. 278
2 April 1785
On the motion of Jas. Bruster vs. Jno. Thomas or his Deputy Michl. Mullan for not returning an execution of James Bruster vs. Jacob Pence on return day according to law, ordered that he be fined one pound, ten shillings.
On the motion of Jas. Bruster vs. Jno. Thomas, Sheriff of this county for a judgt. vs. him for the amount of his exe. Jacob Pence received by his deputy Mullan, and it appearing to the court that the said sheriff had legal notice of said motion, judgment is granted accordingly. Memorandum- Credit to be given this judgment for ₤15 received about the 15th August last and for ₤20.10S. received 15th of November.

p. 318
28 March 1786
Nall vs. Knight and others - a jury to wit - John Robinson, Thomas Harrison, Saml. Hemphill, Denis Lanahan, Benjamin Smith, Jas. Davis, George Pence, James Coyle, John Craig, John Fields, James Bruster, and Reubin Harrison. Jury returned verdict and jud't according.

p. 322
26 June 1786
Ordered Geo. Huston, John Snap, James Bruster and Jno. Huston or any three of them being first sworn, appraise the said estate &ca. [Jacob Keplinger]

In addition to the information above provided by Connie, cousin Ralph Doak informs us that he found references to:

among the list of "persons paying Personal Property Taxes in Rockingham Co.,VA in 1787. They were taxed on slaves, horses, mares, colts, mules, and cattle. They were also taxed if there was a male in the household age 16-21" at Sandi Evilsizer Koscak's Rockingham county site. Ralph also located the following additional references to James in the Chalkley Archives:

Chalkley, Vol III

Page 82.--20th March, 1759. Robert Ralston and Martha (her mark) to Thomas Campbell, 6, 40 acres on a branch of North River called Muddy Creek. Teste: Ephraim Love, James Bruster, Jno. Davison. Delivered: Archibald Hopkins, March. 1763.

Page 87.--21st March, 1759. John Scot and Ann ( ) to James Bruster, 20, 100 acres on a branch of Cub Run, part of 400 acres whereon Scot now lives; line of said Brewster's own land. Delivered: James Bruster, 24th December, 1762.


1Rockingham county was split off from Augusta county in 1778. Has anyone done a similar compilation of Brewster references in the pre-1778 annals of Augusta? Could somebody?
2 Two of James' three daughters who were recognized for their service to the American cause during the Revolution were: 3 James' wife's name is usually given as Elloner Williamson. Could her nickname have been Polly?
4 Is this the same Henry Brewster who is mentioned elsewhere in this compilation? Connie observes:
One of the most interesting pieces, I believe, is the Administrator Bond naming James Brewster for the estate of Henry Brewster. I believe that Henry Brewster may have been his father, but I think it would take further digging in the Rockingham records -- maybe even getting down to primary records -- to prove that.
This page was last updated 14 Nov 2004.