Tracing Braswell-Bracewell Ancestry



Painting of Grantham Church by J.M.W. Turner {Public domain}, via Wikimedia Commons; watercolour and graphite,1797

Today I’ve been revisiting ancestry dot com’s information on my Strickland ancestors, one branch of which diverts by marriage into the Braswell-Bracewell line of Ann Braswell (1680–1734, born VA) who married Matthew Strickland (born in England in 1655). His father, also a Matthew, was born in Westmoreland, England in 1627 and seems to have died in Maryland, USA, in 1699. I say ‘seems’ because of course Matthew died, but being an armchair genealogist I haven’t seen his Maryland documents for myself and must depend upon the research of others before me (the kindness of strangers, I guess).

Other sources say he and his wife died in Isle of Wight (County), VA so this may be a case of mistakes magnified through online repetition.

So the Matthew who married Ann Braswell is listed as dying on October 5, 1730 in “Bertie, NC” by which I suppose that’s Bertie County, NC. And it’s Ann Braswell Strickland’s father Richard Bracewell and grandfather Robert (1555–1613) who were born in Grantham Kesteven Lincolnshire, England. Mentioned back at least as far as the Doomsday Book (1086), Grantham is an ancient area known for prehistoric relics, and more famously as the place where former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was born. (Any resemblance to the phrase ‘prehistoric relics’ and PM Thatcher in this post is quite accidental). Mmm.

According to Wikipedia the market town of Grantham in Lincolnshire lies near the River Witham and is 26 miles south of the town of Lincoln and 24 miles east of Nottingham, if that tells you anything. And another interesting thing about the place is that The King’s School was attended by pioneering scientist and metaphysician, Isaac Newton which makes me wonder if school lad Isaac during his Grantham days met with any Bracewells or Braswells scattered about the town!

Now here’s a 4-min-12-sec video report on ‘Dialects – Lincolnshire dialect is disappearing’:


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