Brandon Family History and Genealogy

Josiah Brandon, A Revolutionary War Soldier

Dr. John Rison Jones Jr., 84, of Huntsville passed away Wednesday. Dr. Jones was a fifth-generation resident of Huntsville descending from two of the earliest settlers of Huntsville and Madison County: William Brandon in 1809 and Maj. William Jones in 1818. John's full obituary.

If you are a researcher working on any of these lines or know of other Brandon Web Sites, please contact Pat Geary.

The Reverend Josiah Brandon was born in Burke County, North Carolina on June 26, 1761. Josiah has an elusive, if interesting background - he has the distinction of having one of the largest pension files for a Revolutionary Veteran.

When Josiah was between fifteen and sixteen years old, he enlisted under Captain Samuel Davidson to fight against the Cherokee Indians. He participated in the building of "Old Fort" and in 1779, he joined in the pursuit of Captain Cunningham serving in Captain Boykin's Company of Light Horse Cavalry.

He enlisted again in 1780 to fight the Cherokees who had recently butchered the John Davidson family, close neighbors to the Brandon family. However, on the eve of King's Mountain, Josiah's father (identified only as Captain in the Loyalist militia), "partly by persuasion and partly by menace" (to use Josiah's terms in a Testimony for a pension), forced him to join his father's company under Colonel Ferguson in charge of the troops of the crown.

During the battle at King's Mountain, Josiah's father was killed and Josiah was captured though released shortly afterwards by Major McDowell, who knew the family well since Josiah had served under him on several of the earlier excursions against the Indians. He was released to the custody of his widowed mother (also not identified by name) but shortly re-enlisted under Captain Boykin to march against Captain Cunningham who was marauding the settled areas of South Carolina near Ninety-Six.

Josiah's war record shows service under the Americans for some three years, and he was ultimately awarded a pension. Never-the-less, when he applied for the pension in 1832, his service under the crown at King's Mountain became an issue which involved negotiations among his sons to correct the "wrong impression" that he was sympathetic to the royalist cause.

Shortly after King's Mountain, Josiah married Rachel Brown, a childhood friend and neighbor, the daughter of Thomas Brown, a noted Quaker in western North Carolina. She was fifteen when they married and lived to eighty years of age after giving birth to some fifteen children.

Josiah was a land owner in North Carolina and in the 1790's could be found in Georgia where his son, William, was born. This is according to William's tombstone located at Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.

About 1805, Josiah decided to bring his family into Tennessee and by 1812, he had settled near Lynchburg in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Josiah died 5 Nov 1842 and both he and his wife are buried on the hill opposite his church, Brandon Chapel, near Lynchburg.

In 1981, the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal published an article written by William Bennett "Josiah Brandon's Burke County, NC, 1777-1800." This was an in-depth study, using land grants, to determine the name of Josiah Brandon's father. A successful study it was, as Thomas Brandon, Loyalist, emerged.

Some of the information for this narrative came from the James Record Collection found in the Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, Alabama.

Thomas M. Owen's Revolutionary War Soldiers In Alabama (made available through the Alabama Department of Archives and History. This appears to be a complete transcript of this book) Scroll down to Josiah's entry.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, TENNESSEE REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSIONS (contains an abstract of Josiah's Revolutionary War pension file) Scroll down to Josiah's entry.

History of Brandon Chapel Methodist Church, Moore County, Tennessee

W335 Josiah Brandon's Pension Application

Josiah and Rachel had fifteen children. Listed under each child are the researchers and home pages that pertain to that line. If you are researching any of these lines and are willing to share your information, please contact Pat Geary.