Broughton Family of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama & Texas
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The Broughtons -- from South Carolina to Texas

Edward Broughton, Sumter Co., South Carolina

There is much speculation over the father of Edward Broughton. Descendants researching the line have claimed descent from two different sons of Thomas Broughton of South Carolina, who served as governor of that state from 1735 to 1737. Here are three possibilities of paternity:

1. In one source, The Broughton Memoirs, the author M. Leon Broughton speculates that Edward Broughton was actually Edward "Nathaniel" Broughton, son of Nathaniel Broughton and grandson to Thomas Broughton. However, no documented proof is given and the name "Nathaniel" or the initial "N" does not appear in any of the records which bear Edward Broughton's name. He did, though, name one of his sons Nathaniel.

2. Another claim to the Thomas Broughton line is based on the will of Thomas' son Andrew Broughton, who married Hannah Guerard. A descendant of Edward's son John claims Andrew's will states the possibility of an unborn son or daughter. If there was a male infant born shortly after the death of Andrew, he would have been born sometime in 1739-40 since the will was dated July 30, 1739.

3. Finally, another possiblity is that Edward was the son of Edward Broughton and Sarah Weatherly, widow of Thomas Weatherly, who were married in 1740 in St. Helene's Parish, SC. This possible patron is documented as a witness to several land deeds in the 1730's and early 1740's. Other records show Edward and his wife Sarah, of Granville County, St Helene's Parish, sold slaves to Joseph Jenkins on July 1, 1740.

Despite his now controversial paternity, we do know our Edward Broughton married Elizabeth Ragan, the daughter of Revoluntionary patriot William Ragan of Sumter County, South Carolina. The couple lived in South Carolina while it was still under British rule. As documented in a land grant dated May 10, 1773 (Sec. of State's Office, Book 000, Pg 638), King George III granted Edward 250 acres north of the Santee River in "Craven County St Mark's Parish on a branch called Halfway Swamp." The grant was signed by then Lieutenant Governor in Council, Geo. Davidson, certified by John Bremar and witnessed by the "Honorable William Bull Esq."

Another grant obtained by Edward Broughton followed the Revolutionary War. It states that for "Two pounds six shillings of sterling money paid by Edward Broughton into the Treasury for the use of this State (of South Carolina)" he is granted "a Plantation or Tract of Land, containing One hundred acres situated in the District of Camden on Halfway Swamp[...]." It was witnessed by "his excellency William Moultrie esq., Governor and Commander in Chief" of the State, at Charleston on May 2, 1784.

Edward would later (in 1785) have to sell part of his land to satisfy a debt he owed John Chesnut and Company. The court ruled that Chestnut and Company should recover the sum of 12 pounds, 6 shillings, 7 pence plus 3 pounds, 1 shilling, 5 pence for court cost. A writ of Furifacias issued by Honorable Thomas Waters, one of the judges, directed Sheriff Joseph Brevard to take over the lands and sell them to the highest bidder. A deed (indenture recorded in 1797) confirms that one of Edward's own sons, Nathaniel, was the highest bidder and bought the property at a public auction in 1785 for a flat 9 pounds. Fifteen years later Nathaniel would sell the land (350 acres) to James Harkneys (Harkness) for 140-150 dollars. (Deed Book AA, p. 61, Sumter Co., SC)

[Note: St Mark's Parish would later be chartered as Sumter County, South Carolina]

Edward was active in his community. According to Camden District South Carolina Wills and Administration, 1781-1787 (B. Holcomb & E. O. Parker Southern Historical Press, p.53), Edward was one of three men who appraised the Estate and Inventory of John Felder of St. Mark's Parish, Craven County. On February 4, 1784, in the Estate of Joshua Stone, a Warrant of Appraisement was issued for Edward and two other persons. According to South Carolina Jury Lists, 1718-1783 (Mary B. Warren, Heritage Press, 1977, p.35) Edward served on the Petit Jury in Camden District, Craven County, East of the Wateree in 1783.

According to the 1790 census of Clarendon County, South Carolina, the household of Edward Broughton included 3 males over the age of 16 including himself, 2 boys under the age of 16 and 3 females living with him at the time.

Edward and Elizabeth had the following children during the 18th century:

Jemima Broughton was born ca. 1765. She married John Cannon, but following his death in 1809, she married her second husband, John Randall.

Nathaniel Broughton was born ca. 1768.

John Henry Broughton was born ca. 1773.

Edward Broughton Jr. was born ca. 1777.

Martha Broughton was born ca. 1778. She married Jeremiah James.

Sally Broughton whose date of birth is unknown.

Research information submitted by:

Mary Lee Barnes of Tennessee - a descendant of Edward Thomas Broughton Sr.
Herbert W. "Hub" Broughton of Frisco, Alabama - a descendant of Nathaniel Broughton

Edward Broughton's Children: Nathaniel, John Henry & Edward (Jr.)

Nathaniel Broughton appears to have married Sarah Benbow around 1800-1802, though no documentation of this has been located. Sarah was also a South Carolina native who was born in 1780 (according to the 1850 census of Monroe County). Sarah is believed to have been the daughter of Richard Benbow, who listed a minor daughter, Sarah, in his will dated 1784.

[On a side-note: Sarah would name one of her sons "Richard" and one of Sarah's great-granddaughters would bear the name Benbow as her middle name.]

Nathaniel was on the Sumter County, South Carolina census in 1810, but he would not remain in his home state. He left what is present-day Sumter, SC area and settled in Monroe County, Alabama around 1814-7. Sarah Broughton appears on a list of charter members of the Old Salem Church, Monroe County, Alabama in 1817. Edward Broughton, believed to be Nathaniel's father, is listed as deceased in the same church records that same year. Also in 1817, church records indicate a Conference met concerning the baptism of several including Rachel and Mary Ann Broughton. In July 27, 1839, Nathaniel and Sarah Broughton were still listed as members on the church records.

Old Cahaba land records of Broughtons in Alabama list a Nathaniel Broughton in Monroe County on May 5, 1819 and an Edward T. Broughton in Monroe County on October 28, 1836.

Children: Information compiled from a variety of sources indicates Nathaniel and Sarah had the following children...

James R. Broughton, born 1803 in South Carolina

Edward Thomas Broughton, born 1805 in South Carolina, married Rachel Winborne Walker

Nathaniel William Broughton, born 1807-8 in South Carolina, married Ann Nettles

Charles Richard Broughton, born 1810 in Green County, Georgia, married Mary R. Snell.

Sarah Broughton, who married William Brown

Susannah Broughton, born 1814 in Alabama, married John O'Gwynne

One book written by a descendant identifies Mary Ann ("Mary A.E.") Broughton as the daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah, born May 4, 1810 and died October 14, 1883 in Bucatunna, Mississippi, married to Jesse Cornelius Thames, a Baptist minister. But that same book quotes another source Proud to Remember, by Kearl, that states Mary Ann is Edward Broughton's daughter and therefore Nathaniel's sister. Neither source gives documented proof of a connection.


For some unknown reason Nathaniel would head further west a short time prior to his death. At age 82, he is listed on the 1850 census living with a grandson, Nathaniel W. Broughton (age 23) in Green County, Leakville, Mississippi. Nathaniel died in 1852. His handwritten will, witnessed by Walter Denny and Fasgeher M Leah, was filed in Monroe County, Alabama. In it, he left to his wife Sarah, an estate of 4 slaves plus all household and kitchen furniture. After her death, the slaves were to be sold and the money equally divided between his two daughters, Sarah Brown and Susan O'Gwynne. Sarah died in Monroe County, AL in 1859. Nathaniel also left instructions in his will that his slave, Henry, was to learn carpentry and, at age 21, be given his freedom. Jesse Thames and Washington Aldreidge were appointed to remove the property and see "that the whole of said will be carried out" in Codicil dated June 23, 1852.

Nathaniel at FaG

John Henry Broughton was born December 28, 1773 in St Mark's Parish, South Carolina, to Edward and Elizabeth Ragan Broughton. (William Ragan's Will, dated January 15, 1785 leaves part of his estate to "John Broughton, the son of my daughter, Elizabeth Broughton. On March 3, 1800, John sold the land, consisting of 208 acres to James Harkness for $500. The deed was originally recorded Sept. 16, 1800.)

Like his brother Nathaniel, John would leave South Carolina behind and head west. He moved to Georgia around 1802, eventually settling in the Greene County area.

John would have several wives. His first was Sarah Dye, with whom he had no children. John Henry's second wife was Mary Jerdine, with whom he had four children:

Ann (Annie) - married Vincent Sandford on Nov. 14, 1822.
Elizabeth - married Charles S. Lee on Oct. 2, 1826.
Edward, born 1804.
Mary, born 1808. She died in 1826.

Mary Jerdine Broughton died in 1808 (during childbirth?) and is buried in Greensboro Cemetery, Greensboro, Georgia. Her headstone is inscribed with:

Mary Broughton
nee Mary Jerdine
Consort of John Broughton
Born in Liberty County, Georgia 1776
Died Greene County, Georgia 1808
32 years old

Her and John's daughter, Mary, is buried there as well. Her tombstone reads:

Mary Broughton
daughter of
Mary Jerdine and John Broughton
Born 1808 - Died 1826
"Gentle Lady, May Thy Grave
Peace and Quiet Ever Have"
Mary E Jerdine Broughton, Find-A-Grave memorial
John Henry Broughton, Find-A-Grave Memorial