Brunson ancestors of Coffee County immigrated from England in 1633

Published 11:46 pm Friday, October 23, 2020

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Today’s writing will be an expansion and earlier genealogy of the Brunson family of Covington and Coffee Counties which was featured years earlier. According to the family archives, ancestors of the Brunson family left England with members of the Rev. Thomas Hooker’s Church of New Conformists. They arrived in Massachusetts Bay in July 1633, which made them some of the earliest English settlers in America.

The earliest ancestor identified to date is Richard Brownson who became the immigrant one. He was born in 1590 in Derbyshire, England, but the name of his wife is not known. They had at least two sons, John Brownson, and Richard Brownson Jr. who married first in 1640 to Abbigail Wilbourne, and later, to Elizabeth Orvis. Richard Jr. was born in 1617 in Chelmsford, England, and died in 1687 in America. No more was found for John Brownson.


Richard Brownson Sr. sailed from England with his two teenaged sons aboard the Ship Griffin, and they arrived in Massachusetts Bay in July 1633. Richard Brownson Jr. married about seven years later in 1640 and became the father of a son, John Brunson. (Note the changing of name Brownson to Brunson with this generation.) His descendants migrated south and eventually settled in South Alabama.

John Brunson was born in 1645, and he later married Hannah Scott. They became the parents of a son named Isaac Brunson Sr who was born in 1672 in Hartford County, Conn. and died in 1732. He was first married to Thankful Dibble and later to a lady named Margaret. He became the father of Isaac Brunson Jr. who was born in 1711 in Clarendon County, S.C., and died in 1770. He was married to a lady name Mary, but her maiden name was not found. They became the parents of Josiah Brunson Sr. who was born in 1750 in Clarendon County and who died in 1795 in Edgefield District, S.C.

Josiah Brunson Sr. was married in 1776 to Comfort Canty Green who was born in 1755 in Orangeburg, Ga. He died in 1795 in Edgefield District, S.C., and she died in 1808 in Augusta, Richmond County, Ga. They were the parents of Josiah Brunson Jr. who was born in 1777 in Edgefield District and who died in 1836 in Lincoln County, Ga. In 1804, Josiah Jr. was married in Columbia, Ga., to Sylvia Pinckney who was born in 1786 in Edgefield District and died in 1845 in Augusta, Ga. She was the daughter of William Robert Pinckney and Mary Betson. (There is some question regarding Sylvia Pinckney being the correct wife and mother. Some family trees show that Josiah Jr. was married the same year to a Silvia Haynes (1786-1804). This needs to be revolved by some researcher of this family.)

Josiah Brunson Jr. and his wife were the parents of the following children: Matthew Eugene, b. 1806, d. 1877, m. 1838 Sarah Blanchard of Columbia County, Ga.; Comfort Cathrine, b. 1808, d. 1837, m. 1823 John Eddy; Peremilyan Elizabeth, b. 1811; Josiah Pinckney, b. 1813, d. 1833, single; Littleberry Hezekiah, b. 1815, d. 1877, m. 1836 Rebecca Ann Brooks (1811-1897); Amanda Loriearie, b. 1818, d. 1902, m. (1) 1836 Isaac Gray (2) 1838 Thomas McDurmont (1810-1860); Linnory, b. 1820, d. 1824; Thaddeus Warsaw, b. 1822, d. 1897; and Messalina, b. 1827, m. 1845 Whitman C. Turner.

The oldest son, Matthew Eugene Brunson, was born in 1806 in Augusta, Ga., where he lived with parents until 1821. The family resided in their fashionable home on Green Street in Augusta until they moved to their plantation home on Little River in Lincoln County, Ga. There they attended the nearby Double Branch Baptist Church. Matthew and his new wife, Sarah Blanchard, lived on the plantation for a couple of years before migrating to the State of Alabama in 1841. They chose to take advantage of the new government land being made available for purchase at an attractive price. They settled first in Macon County between Auburn and Society Hill. He later drew two land lots in Coffee County, so they moved south then in 1853. The move was accomplished in 12 wagons, and they set up camp on a high hill located about seven miles northeast of the Town of Elba. During the following year, they built their plantation home, which has been reported to be the oldest residence in Coffee County. In 1988, the house was moved to the City of Enterprise and has been the home of “Country Creations” since that time.

Matthew Eugene Brunson was married in 1838 to Sarah Blanchard (1821-1900), a native of Columbia County, Ga. Sarah was the daughter of Rubun Blanchard II and Rebecca Cartledge. Her paternal grandparents were Rev. James Blanchard and Elizabeth Roberts, and her maternal grandparents were James Cartledge and Rebecca Ayers. 

Matthew and Sarah Brunson were the parents of the following children: Josiah Pinckney “Pink,” b. 1839, d. 1903, m. Salome Coleman; Rebecca, b. 1842, probably died young; Matthew Eugene Jr. “Matt,” b. 1844, d. 1909, m. Nancy Elizabeth Brooks; Anna, b. 1846, d. 1889, m. LaFayette Morgan; Silas, b. 1848, d. 1927, m. Anna Morgan; Eugene “Pig,” b. 1851, d. 1939, m. Pocahontas Brooks; Sarah “Sallie,” b. 1853, d. 1909, m. LaFayette Morgan; and John Franklin, b. 1856, d. 1916, m. 1887 Ella Luverne Treadwell. The four older sons all served in the Confederate Army during the War Between the States, but John Franklin was obviously too young.  Fortunately, all four survived the war and returned home safely.

The oldest son, Josiah Pinckney “Pink” Brunson, was married to Salome Coleman, and they made their home in Victoria. There he owned Brunson’s Store and served as postmaster for many years. He is remembered for bringing the first piano to Coffee. He purchased it in Montgomery and hauled it home in his wagon. He and Salome were the parents of the following children: Warsaw, Annie, Eula, Patie, Willie, Jim, Georgia, Frank and Carl.

Next, Matthew “Matt” Brunson, was married to Nancy Elizabeth Brooks of Elba. They lived down the hill from the plantation home of his parents, and Matt farmed in the “Brunson Settlement” throughout his life. He and Nancy were the parents of the following children: Robert Peter “Bud,” Matthew Eugene “Brother,” Lillie “Sister,” Clant, Arthur, Ruby, Frost, Willa, Ben, Kate, Mose, Paul, and Dewitt. Most of these children and later descendants remained in Coffee and surrounding counties.

The next son, Silas Brunson, remained a bachelor and lived at home for many years, but he later married Anna Morgan in 1884. They continued to live in the plantation home until 1891 at which time they sold it and moved to Mobile with their young son, DeWitt. After the move they had five additional children: Clayton, Charles, Silas, Otis, and Anna Grace. Most of the family continues to reside in the Mobile area.

Son Eugene Brunson was called “Pig” because he was the “runt” of the children. He married Pocahontas Brooks, sister of Matt’s wife, Nancy, of Elba. In 1900, they moved to New Brocton where they operated Brunson’s General Mercantile until 1910 at which time they moved to Bonifay, Fla. There they operated a hotel until 1918 at which time they moved to Pensacola and made it their final home. They were the parents of the following children: Ed, Birter, Bessie, Dr. Homer, Collie, Dr. Jessie, Estella, Olive, Carrobelle, and Ruth. Most continued to live in that area.

Daughter, Sallie Brunson, was married to LaFayette Morgan, the widower of her sister, Anna, who had died during childbirth. They resided at Brunson and reared a family of seven children; Anna, Thaddeus Warsaw “Sude,” Sallie, Bell “Scrap,” Willa, Joe Brown, and Charlie. Most of their descendants live in Enterprise, Dothan and Florala.

Matthew Eugene’s youngest son, John Franklin Brunson, and other Brunson relatives will be covered in next week’s column.

Sources for today’s story include and family stories printed in The Heritage of Coffee County, Alabama, which were written by Judge Marion Brunson, a family genealogist and local historian.

Anyone who discovers an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: