Joshua Brantley was the father of a large family in
Northeast Georgia and was another key progenitor of the Brantley family.
He has several thousand descendants living in America today. Of
his descendants, the following statement was made in the early 20th
century book “Georgia and
is doubtful if any one family has contributed more able members of the
medical profession to Georgia during the last fifty or sixty years
than those bearing the name Brantley."
Today we continue to find his descendants who have entered the medical
Joshua Brantley was born 1777 in, likely, Chatham County N.C. He first
appeared in Wilkes County Georgia in the early 1790s in the estate
papers of William Phillips.
Joshua Brantley and Joel
Phillips were among those who held accounts against the estate of Wm
Phillips decd - 1792-1802
We see from the records of the Church at
Williams Creek (Wilkes, later Warren Co) that he was excommunicated from
the Church for non-attendance before 1794. In 1799, 1800 and 1801 he was
on the tax list of Jackson County, Georgia. Clarke County sprang from
Jackson County in 1801 and he showed up on the tax list of Clarke County
in 1802 and 1805. By 1810, he appeared on the tax list of Morgan County,
which sprang from Clarke County in 1807. He is shown again in Morgan
County in the tax records of 1817. In 1818, Walton County sprang from
Morgan County and in the 1820 census, he was found in Walton County. In
spite of the census findings showing him in Walton County until his
death, we find the following deed entry in Morgan County in 1820.
May 24 1820, Joshua Brantley of Morgan County purchased from Geo
Upton 50 acres of land on the Appalachia and joining Archibald Tanner
for $250 - Book L pg 141
would live his remaining life in Walton County, this property at least
adjoined the Walton County property. Today, one can find along the
Appalachia River in Walton County, "Tanners" Bridge Rd,
"Braswell' Road and
the "Kilgore" Cemetery (his son married Sarah Kilgore) and
other landmarks that clearly point to his residence there.
One can see from this record that while Joshua was shown in 5 different
counties, he would not have had to move but once. After an apparent move
to Jackson County, it was likely the creation of these new counties that
gave him the different county residences.
The last 3 counties all sprang from the original Jackson County.
The move from Wilkes/Warren County around 1794 was substantial, as we
note that the Williams Creek Church, from which he was excommunicated
about then, is still located today in Warren County. His residence in
Walton County places him approximately 100 miles NW of Williams Creek.
While we do not know the father of Joshua we, without hesitation, place
as a descendant of the Chatham County, NC family.
Many factors point to this. (Please refer to our 6th report). All
the Brantleys who were in the Williams Creek Church with Joshua
Brantley, Phillip, Benjamin and Joseph Brantley and their descendants;
as well as Jeffery Barksdale and Benjamin Braswell are proven
descendants of Chatham County, N.C. We would see later Benjamin Braswell
follow Joshua to Jackson County and he too would ultimately reside along
the Appalachia River in what is now, Walton County.
In early 2000, we declared Joshua to be a son of Lewis Brantley,
who reportedly died in an Indian Massacre in Morgan County in 1813. We
did this based on a reported claim of a story given by one of his
descendants. When the written documentation came in several weeks after
our newsletter publication; however, we saw that the reported claim not
only did not support this hypothesis, it completely conflicted with it.
Reference was made repeatedly to "Uncle Lewie".
Of course there would be no reason why an earlier kinsman to
refer to his great grandfather as "Uncle". (For more on this
see our forth-coming record on the Indian Massacre study). We apologize
for this blunder. We feel it more important to correct the record rather
than save face and let it rest.
Since it appears that Joshua was not Lewis' son, we can now focus in on
another and now seemingly even more likely candidate, James Brantley who
came to Georgia about 1777. His family could have followed him a year or
two later, giving the reason of Joshua's birth in N.C. James married
Easter Shaddock. In 1777, James Brantley & wife Esther and Benjamin
Braswell & wife Mary sold land on the Deep River in Chatham County,
NC. That same year they both appeared on a petition in Wilkes County,
Georgia to remove General McIntosh from his command. James and Esther
also sold land in 1774 to Valentine Braswell. He too would later reside
near Joshua in Walton County, Georgia. As reported in our 6th report,
Jesse, Edmund and Lewis Brantley were found in Jackson and in Clarke
Counties with Joshua. In one case, these men, along with Benjamin
Braswell, drew consecutive draws in a land lottery. While it is without
question that all these people were closely related, the exact family
arrangement cannot be determined. Certainly,
James was the right age to be the father of Joshua, but there was at
least one other candidate. Thomas Brantley and wife Nancy Harris, once
of Chatham County also came to Georgia during this time. Only one son
Thomas Jr is a known descendant of this union. Surely there were others.
One appears to be Harris Brantley who also appeared on the petition
against Gen McIntosh, but others mentioned above cannot be ruled out.
Joshua married first Nancy Phillips (often shown as Phelps). Their two
children were Elizabeth Brantley; m Dr. Shadrack Turner and son James M.
Brantley, m first Lucinda Sental. They
moved to Wayne County, Missouri.
Joshua married second, Temperance Radford on Feb 1, 1809. She bore him
10 children: William Radford, Thomas Russell, Piety, Mary Ann, Henry,
Joshua E, Levi G, Reuben W, John M, and Temperance Ann Brantley
There are 390 descendants of Joshua in our computer files to 1900.