The Brevard Family of Fairview

by Bruce Whitaker

The Brevard family were French Huguenots in a Roman Catholic France. John (Jean) Brevard was born in France in 1665. He was the son of Jacques Beavert and Ann Ledric. The Edict of Nantes, which granted the Calvinist Protestants of France (known as the Huguenots) substantial rights in Catholic France, was revoked in France in 1685. John (Jean) Brevard decided to leave France for Ulster Ireland in hopes of finding religious freedom. John soon found out that the Church of England controlled Ulster almost as forcefully as the Catholics did France. He had become friends with the Scottish McKnitt family, many of whom were moving to America. John Brevard decided to do the same. Brevard moved to Cecil County, Maryland.

John (Jean) Brevard married Katherine Mary McKnitt not long after he came to Maryland. Katherine McKnitt was born August 10, 1689 at Manokin Hundred in Somerset County, Maryland. She was the daughter of John Mcknitt (1660-1714) and Jane Alexander (1665-1691). John and Katherine Brevard lived at Elk River, in Cecil County, Maryland. Katherine died there on December 23, 1734. John (Jean) Brevard died at Elk River, Cecil County, Maryland in 1747. John (Jean) and Katherine had seven children, four of whom moved to what then was considered Western North Carolina.

John Brevard was born in Cecil County, Maryland on September 15, 1715. He moved to Rowan County, NC. John married Jane McWhorter (1726-1800). They lived in the part of Rowan County that later became Iredell County. John Brevard served as sheriff of Rowan County, NC and represented Rowan in the colonial legislature. John and Jane’s son, Ephraim Brevard (1744-1781), attended Princeton University and received a doctorate degree from the school. Ephraim Brevard was the author of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. John and Jane Brevard had eight sons who fought for America’s independence. This so incensed the British that they went to the Brevard home near Mooresville and burned the house to the ground. Jane was at home by herself when the attack occurred. The British held Jane and made her watch her home burn to the ground. They stopped her from saving any belongings from her home. John and Jane’s son, Alexander Brevard, moved to what is now Lincoln County, NC. Alexander bought up several iron furnaces that included Vesuvius Furnace and Mt. Tirza forges. Alexander became a wealthy man from the iron industry. He owned thousands of acres of land in Lincoln County. The Lincoln County Brevard family descends from him. John Brevard died in Statesville, Iredell County, NC on September 15, 1790. Jane Brevard died in Statesville on March 25, 1800.

Robert Brevard was born in Cecil County, Maryland on January 10, 1718. He moved to what is now Iredell County, NC and married Sarah Craig. Sarah was born in NC in 1719. She died January 23, 1807. Robert Brevard died in Iredell County on October 20, 1800.

Elizabeth Isabella Brevard was born in Cecil County, Maryland in 1722. She married John Lewis Jetton (1720-1787), who was born in New Castle County, Delaware in 1720. They moved to Rowan County, NC by the 1760s. Elizabeth died September 2, 1813 in Iredell or Mecklenburg County, NC.

Zebulon Brevard Sr. was born in Cecil County, Maryland March 29, 1724. He married Ann Templeton on March 7, 1754. Ann was born in Cecil County, Maryland on November 17, 1733. She was the daughter of David Templeton (1705-1761) and Ann Hunter (1707-1804). Zebulon and Ann Brevard moved to what was then Rowan (now Iredell) County, NC soon after their marriage. All of their children appear to have been born in NC. Zebulon Brevard served in the North Carolina Militia as an ensign during the Revolutionary War. He received bounty land in Sumner County, Tennessee for service in the Revolutionary War. The land was sold after his death. Zebulon Brevard Sr. died in Burke County, NC on March 8, 1798. Ann Templeton Brevard died in Burke County NC, August 5, 1804.

Zebulon Brevard Jr., son of Zebulon and Ann, was the father of the Fairview Brevard Family. He will be the subject of the next column in the November issue of the Town Crier.

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