Sunday, July 24, 2011

One-Line Study - Isaac Brenton

On Saint Patrick's Day, I wrote about my great-great-great grandparents, Isaac and Jane (Johnston) Brenton. That post covered my Irish roots via Jane. Today, I'm going to continue with my one-line study with Isaac Brenton (father of Johnston P. Brenton).

Isaac was born about 1830 in East Pike Run, Washington County, Pennsylvania1-5. He worked on the family farm there when he was young, along with a few of his siblings3-4. I am not sure when he married Jane. I do have a general idea - their first child (that I know of) was born in 18596, so they were probably married before that. Jane would have been about 20 in 18597, so most likely only a few years before that at most. Knowing when Jane immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland would help to narrow the date further, but I am having trouble finding those immigration records due to Jane's common name.

So far, I know of nine children that Isaac and Jane had together. The 1910 Federal census indicates that Jane had 9 children, and that 7 of them were still living at that time8. As I indicated in the last post, two of their children (J.P. and William) opened a very successful butcher shop together in West Brownsville, Washington, PA5. Three of their children (J.P., Henry and Mary Louise) married, settled nearby, and had children. James, William, Emily and Elizabeth never married9-11. They lived together and helped support each other in West Brownsville area, not far from their brother J.P. and his wife Lena.5

Isaac, along with his brothers, were enumerated on a Civil War draft in 18634, but I have not found any service records for any one of them, so I cannot tell whether any of them served. There was a space of a few years (from 1861 to 1865) where Isaac and Jane did not have any children, as far as I know. This may mean that he did serve in the war. I will continue to search for evidence of what he did during those years.

The last census on which I've found Isaac is the 1870 Federal Census1. According to an undated, unsourced list of deaths in a 1904 directory of West Brownsville, Isaac died 11 Jul 187712. I haven't been able to find solid evidence to back this up, however.

I do know that Jane was enumerated on the 1880 Federal Census, living with her unmarried children in East Pike Run (perhaps on the family property there)9. She also lived with them in West Brownsville, according to the 190010 and 19108 Federal Censuses. In 1910, that household lived a few houses away from Isaac and Jane's daughter Mary Louise and her husband David Watkins8. Jane died on 24 Mar 1918 in West Brownsville, and was buried in Bridgeport Cemetery in Brownsville, Fayette County, PA7.

I hope to find some other death records soon to verify Isaac's death date, as well as some property or tax records to tell me a little more about Isaac. A search for his will came up empty. The best source I have for the details of Isaac's life is a few sentences from Joseph McFarland's 20th Century History of the City of Washington and Washington County, Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens5:
Isaac Brenton, also a native of East Pike Run Township, was born on the farm on which his father, Joseph Brenton, a native of Virginia, settled at an early period. He married Jane Johnston, who was born in Ireland, and came to this country during her girlhood days, with her parents, Thomas Johnston and wife...
This is a good start, but all of the statements need to be further verified. Also, the account is a little suspect (expected for secondary information like this), since part of it is not correct; that is that Joseph Brenton, Isaac's father, was a native of Virginia. I am confident that Joseph Brenton was not from Virginia. His wife was most likely from Virginia, and that is probably where the mix-up occurred. The Brenton family, generations before, did briefly live in Virginia, but they had always lived in the same area. There was a heated border dispute between Pennsylvania and Virginia, so that many people in what is now Western Pennsylvania were not sure exactly whether they lived in Pennsylvania or Virginia at a given time. This has made land record research for that time especially fun (i.e. complicated). I will detail this further with the information I have gathered about Isaac's parents (and grandparents) in the next few posts.

(Sources below the cut).


Endnotes
1. 1870 U.S. census, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, East Pike Run, p. 9 (penned), p. 52 (stamped), dwelling 65, family 65, Isaac Brenton; digital images, (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7163 : accessed 30 May 2010); NARA micropublication M593, roll 1453.
2. 1850 U.S. census, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, East Pike Run, p. 169 (stamped), dwelling 52, family 352, Isaac Brinton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8054 : accessed 11 September 2010); NARA micropublication M432, roll 833.
3. 1860 U.S. census, Washington county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, East Pike Run, Greenfield post office, p. 10 (penned), p. 264 (stamped), Isaac F Bunton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7667 : accessed 28 November 2010); NARA micropublication M653, roll 1191.
4. "U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 April 2011), entry for Brintons of East Pike Run Township; citing Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865: NARA, Record Group Number: 110; Title: Records of the Provost Marshal General's Bureau (Civil War) ARC Identifies: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 1 of 3; Pennsylvania, 24th district.
5. McFarland Joseph F., 20th century history of the city of Washington and Washington County, Pennsylvania and representative citizens (Chicago: Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co., 1910), 1297; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 September 2010.
6. Pennsylvania, Department of Health, death certificate 45515 (1931), Johnson Playford Brenton; Division of Vital Records, New Castle.
7. Pennsylvania, Department of Health, death certificate 33223 (1918), Jane J Brenton; Division of Vital Records, New Castle.
8. 1910 U.S. census, Washington county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, West Brownsville, enumeration district (ED) 253, p. 1B, dwelling 25, family 25, Jane K Brenton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2010); NARA micropublication T624, roll 1427.
9. 1880 U.S. census, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, East Pike Run, enumeration district (ED) 246, p. 209 (stamped), dwelling 20, family 20, J K Brinton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6742 : accessed 30 May 2010); NARA micropublication T9, roll 1201.
10. 1900 U.S. census, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, West Brownsville, enumeration district (ED) 141, p. 1B, dwelling 21, family 21, Jane Brenton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7602 : accessed 11 September 2010); NARA micropublication T623, roll 1494.
11. "U.S. City Directories," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 December 2010), home of Jane and James Brenton, page 580; from Hart's History and Directory of West Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 1904.
12. "U.S. City Directories," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 December 2010), "Necrological Record of the Three Towns and Vicinity Since August 20, 1869" (undated) by J.S. Pringle, page 250; from Hart's History and Directory of West Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 1904.

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