There were many Bruton settlers in the American colonies, most notably in Virginia and the Carolinas. What follows is a summary of some known references in date order.
One of the earliest known settlers was John Brewton, who arrived in Virginia in 1634. There are many references to Brewtons and Brutons in early Virginia records, notably in Surry County, Virginia, as discussed in more detail below.
In 1684 at the age of nine, Miles Brewton arrived in Charles Town, South Carolina, from Barbados with his parents and two sisters. He had one surviving Brewton grandson, Robert Brewton, Jr., who moved to Bermuda. Robert’s two sons, John Brewton and George Brewton, returned to Charles Town, where John Brewton died in 1777. It is not known what became of George Brewton; one of his children was buried at St. Philip’s Church in Charles Town on 23 October 1780.
Based on records in the British National Archives, a Daniel Bruton arrived in South Carolina before 1690 and appears in another British record as owning property in South Carolina in 1701.
Some 34 years later, Abraham Bruton appears in records in Bertie Precinct, in northeastern North Carolina, as a witness to the will of Henery Crumpton (Crumten) dated 11 January 1735. At around this same time, James Bruton of Lawnes Creek Parish in Surry County, Virginia, signed his will on 5 February 1734/35. It names his children William, Elizabeth, Mary, and Ann. Mary and Ann with their husbands, Mr. Kae/Kay and Mr. Jordan, moved to North Carolina to Edgecombe County (a county within Bertie Precinct that was created from Bertie County in 1732).
On 16 August 1736, Benjamin Bruton appears in an Edgecombe County deed for James Moore but no connection has been found between Benjamin and the Virginia Brutons. Benjamin Bruton is later documented south of Edgecombe County in Johnston County in 1747 and in later records for that area that became Dobbs County in 1759. In 1769 there were two and potentially three adult men in Dobbs County named Benjamin Bruton, one of them believed to be the father of Nathan Bruton/Brewton.
A Charles Bruton appears a few years later on 17 February 1740/1 when he signed as a witness to the will of Adam Luton of Onslow County, in southeastern North Carolina along the coast.
In the early- to mid-1760s several Brutons appear in records in Anson County, North Carolina, in south central North Carolina. These Brutons were David Bruton, George Bruton, James Bruton, and Samuel Bruton. George Bruton was later in Montgomery County, which was created from Anson County in 1779.
David Bruton and James Bruton later appear in Spartanburgh District records, further west and over the border in South Carolina. It was created in 1785 from Ninety-Six District, South Carolina.
David Bruton died in Spartanburgh District in 1816; James “Brewton” died the same year in Madison County, Alabama; and George Bruton died in 1811 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. There was also another George Brewton in Spartanburgh District who died there in 1815.
There was another concentration of Brutons in South Carolina by 1785, on the south side of the Edisto River in Orangeburgh (later Barnwell) District. George, James and Benjamin Bruton all appear in property records in the area. George Bruton died there in late September or early October 1815. Benjamin is believed to be from Dobbs County, born 1761, and served in the Revolutionary War. Isabella Bruton Askew, believed to be the twice widowed mother of Nathan Bruton/Brewton, was there by December 1783 and lived there until at least 1817 before joining Nathan in Tattnall County, Georgia.
DNA STUDY DESCRIPTION:
A group of Bruton/Brewton family researchers are collaborating on this DNA study with four objectives:
• First, we aim to determine if six colonial Carolina Bruton families were related. Thus far we have proven that three of the six share a common ancestry:
(1) David Bruton (ca. 1740-1816) of Spartanburgh District, SC;
(2) George Bruton (ca. 1744-1811) of Anson/Montgomery Co., NC:
(3) Nathan Bruton/Brewton (ca. 1762-1855) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Bulloch Co., GA.
We continue to seek male descendants of the other three colonial families to take the test:
(1) Miles Brewton (1675-1745) of Barbados & Charles Town, SC;
(2) George Brewton (1747-1815) of Spartanburgh Dist., SC; and
(3) Samuel Bruton (ca 1772-1844) of Horry Dist, SC
• Second, we aim to verify that other early Brutons/Brewtons in the southeastern United States believed to be related to any of the six colonial families are in fact related. These include:
(1) James Brewton (ca. 1745-ca. 1816) of Madison Co., AL -- PROVEN;
(2) Joseph Bruton (ca. 1735-ca. 1811) of Craven & Lenoir Cos., NC - NEED A DESCENDANT TO TAKE TEST;
(3) John Bruton (ca. 1741-47- ca. 1830-31) of Craven Co., NC, & Early Co., GA - NEED A DESCENDANT TO TAKE TEST;
(4) George Bruton (ca. 1755-60 - 1815) of Barnwell Dist., SC - NEED A DESCENDANT TO TAKE TEST;
(5) Benjamin Bruton (1761-1842) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Sumter Co., AL - PROVEN;
(6) Col. Simon Bruton (1761-1823) of Dobbs/Lenoir Cos., NC - NEED A DESCENDANT TO TAKE TEST;
(7) Joseph Brewton (ca. 1768-1858) of Dobbs Co., NC, and Escambia Co., AL - PROVEN!;
(8) Benjamin Bruton (ca. 1769-1863) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Conecuh Co., AL - NO KNOWN DESCENDANTS;
(9) Samuel Bruton (ca. 1772-1844) of Horry District, SC; - NEED A DESCENDANT TO TAKE TEST; and
(10) Jesse P. Bruton (born ca. 1835) of Greene Co., NC -- PROVEN.
• Third, we aim to assist other Bruton/Brewton researchers who have been unable to trace their families back to the colonial era in establishing to which, if any, of the early families they relate.
• Fourth, we aim to establish the migration patterns of the Carolina Bruton families and to identify their European origins. We welcome Bruton/Brewton participants whose families lived in other parts of the United States and the world. We especially seek the participation of any Bruton descendants from the Bruton families of Gloucester in England, as well as Bruton descendants from Bruton families in Ireland and in France.
THEORIES OF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS:
Based on research by many Bruton/Brewton researchers, there are a number of theories about the early southern Brutons/Brewtons which we hope this study will confirm or refute. These include:
Miles Brewton (1675-1745) of Barbados & Charles Town, SC. It has been suggested that one of his descendants may be:
• George Brewton (1747-1815) of Spartanburgh District, SC, may have been Miles’ great-grandson.
Samuel Bruton of Anson Co., NC, is believed to be the father of three sons:
• David Bruton (ca. 1740-1816) of Spartanburgh District, SC;
• George Bruton (ca. 1744-1811) of Anson/Montgomery Co., NC; and
• James Brewton (b. ca. 1745, d. ca. 1816) of Madison Co., AL, is documented as living in Anson County, NC, and then Spartanburgh Co., SC, adjacent to property owned by David Bruton.
25 marker DNA results confirm that David Bruton, George Bruton, and James Brewton were related.
Benjamin Bruton (d. ca late 1780s) of Dobbs County, NC, is the proven father of:
• Col. Simon Bruton (1761-1823) of Dobbs/Lenoir Co., NC.
A different Benjamin Bruton of Dobbs County, NC, is believed to be the husband of Isabella Bruton Askew and likely father of:
• Nathan Bruton/Brewton (ca. 1762-1855) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Bulloch Co. GA, is a son of Isabella Bruton Askew and suspected to be the son of Benjamin Bruton.
• Joseph Brewton (ca. 1768-1858) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Escambia Co., AL, are believed to be a brother to Nathan Bruton/Brewton and thus a son of Benjamin and Isabella.
• Benjamin Bruton (ca. 1769-1863) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Conecuh Co., AL, is also believed to be a brother to Nathan Bruton/Brewton, and thus a son of Benjamin and Isabella.
Unknown brother of Benjamin Bruton of Edgecombe/Johnston/Dobbs Co. NC may have been the father of:
• John Bruton (b. 1741-1748, d. 1830-1831) likely of Craven or Johnston Co., NC, & Decatur Co., GA;
• George Bruton (b. 1755-65, d. 1815) of Barnwell Dist., SC; and
• Benjamin Bruton (1761-1842) of Dobbs Co., NC, & Sumter Co., AL, veteran of the Revolutionary War. It has been often cited that he is a first cousin to Nathan Bruton/Brewton but no definitive proof documents this.
John, George, and Benjamin are documented to know each other so are somehow related.
Charles Bruton of Onslow Co., NC, is believed to be the father of:
• Joseph Bruton (b. ca. 1735, d. ca. 1811) of Craven & Dobbs/Lenoir Cos., NC. Joseph's daughter Tiercy married Colonel Simon Bruton, who was named as co-executor in Joseph’s will
Jesse P. Bruton (b. ca. 1835) of Greene County, North Carolina, believed to be the son of William W. Broughton of Craven Co., NC. There is some evidence that suggests that Jesse might have been the son of Solomon Broughton also of Craven Co.
25 marker test results confirm that Jesse P. Bruton was related to David Bruton, George Bruton, James Brewton, Nathan Brewton, Benjamin Bruton (b. 1761) and Joseph Brewton (b. 1768) listed earlier!