Gravestone of Capt. George Brent
Brent Cemetery
Aquia, Virginia


Gravestones of Mary Sewell Brent, ca. 1658-1694, left; George Brent, ca. 1640 – 1699, 2d from left; Elizabeth Greene Brent, ca. 1654-1686, 2d from right; and unknown, right. The unknown stone may be one for George's brother Robert, 1660-1696.1

George Brent, the son of George Brent and Marianna Peyton, was born about 1640 in Worcestershire, England. His father, George, was the son of Richard Brent and Elizabeth Reed and the brother of Giles Brent, Margaret Brent and Mary Brent, who came over from England in the 1600s to settle in Maryland and later moved to Virginia where they felt they could practice their Catholic religion more freely.

George Brent followed his aunts and uncle to America in the early 1660s, acquired property near the plantations of Giles, Margaret and Mary. He named his property Woodstock, located on Aquia Creek in Stafford County. The original house was located near the cemetery. Remains of the original house have been found outside the perimeter fence of the cemetery which was north of the original manor house. Later on, his descendants built a second manor house where the Aquia Harbor golf and country club is now.

George was commander of Stafford County’s troop of horse in 1675, a surveyor of Stafford County in 1679, Receiver General North of the Rappahanock River in 1683, acting attorney general in 1686-1688, surveyor of Westmoreland County in 1687 and represented Stafford County in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1688. George was an attorney, a tobacco planter and a land speculator.

He married Elizabeth Greene, daughter of William Greene and Mary Layton. Elizabeth and George had at least five children before she died in childbirth in 1686. George then married Mary Sewell Chandler, a widow, daughter of Henry Sewell and Jane Lowe, in 1687. She also died in childbirth in1694.2

George wrote his will in 1694 and he died by 1699. George had three sons by his first wife: George, Nicholas and Robert. George died in 1708, or perhaps 1700 - sources differ, and Nicholas in 1711, so Robert inherited Woodstock.3

George and Elizabeth are my 7th great grandparents. It is quite likely that their son Robert and his wife, Susannah Seymour, are buried in the cemetery also, as well as their grandson, George Brent and his wife, Catherine Trimingham, even though there are no gravestones for them. They all lived at Woodstock and probably died there.


Related links:
A brief history of the Brents
Direct descent tree from Richard Brent and Elizabeth Reed
The Bermuda connection to the Brent family
Brent links
The sandstone quarries at Aquia Creek
Brent descent reports



Photo: Taken by the author on 5 May 2017 during a visit to the cemetery. Thanks go to Tom Vetter and William Emond. Tom offered a visit to the cemetery and Bill was the tour guide on our memorable and informative tour. Tom and Bill are both Knights of Columbus and are involved in research on the cemetery and those buried there as well as its maintenance and security.



Notes

1The book by Chester Horton Brent, below, on the Brent family, gives the inscription on Robert's stone as follows: Hic Jacet Robert Brent Gent The Brother of George Brent Esqr Obit 19th of Janurie 1695/6 He Married Anne Baugh of Edw Baugh Dsqr. of Pensa in Worshire and Left 3 Chldren by Her Anne Eliz and Richard Etatis Suae 35. There is a photograph of his tombstone, as well photographs for those of his brother George and his wives. In this photograph, Robert's grave is further from the next stone than the gravestone shown in the photo above. At one time all these gravestones stood upon stone pedestals or legs, but now all are flat on the ground. Perhaps the stone was pushed closer to the other stone when this happened. According to the researcher, Thomas Vetter, there is a fragment of a tombstone which cannot be seen in the photo above. He thinks that this might have been the gravestone for Anne Baugh Brent, Robert's wife. Anne died sometime after Robert.

2According to her tombstone, George’s wife, Elizabeth Greene, was 31 when she died in 1686 which puts her birth around 1655. At least one source puts the date of her marriage to George as 1660, but she would have been about six years old then. Another source gives a date about 1670. If Elizabeth died in childbirth in 1686, then her five previous children would have been born most likely during the ten previous years. A marriage in the mid 1670s, as some sources suggest, would be possible. George was the eldest son as he inherits Woodstock in his father’s will. Nicholas was the next son and then Robert and Elizabeth. Marianna’s birth is given in one source as 8 May 1677. Where the date came from I do not know. The same source gives a birth date for Robert as 1670, but that would mean his two older brothers would have been born when their mother was about thirteen or fourteen. Elizabeth, the youngest of the five, was said to have been born in 1684. My take on all this is that we just don’t know most of these dates. Also, George is said to have been married to someone before he married Elizabeth.

3George’s death is given as 1694, the year his will was written, in some sources and in 1699 by others. It is possible that after his wife Mary died in 1694 he felt the need to write a will. Wills are often written close to death, but not necessarily. The will was probated by 1700.


Sources

Brent, Chester Horton. Descendants of Coll Giles Brent, Captain George Brent and Robert Brent, Gentlemen, Immigrants to Maryland and Virginia, Rutland, VT, Tuttle Pub. Co., 1946.

http://www.swoycc.org/information/BrentCemeteryTalk.pdf
Text of a talk given by unnamed person and was found on the St. William of York Catholic Church website under Brent Cemetery Facts, parts one and two. St. William of York Catholic Church is close to the cemetery, in Stafford, Virginia.

Hardy, Beatriz Betancourt and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "George Brent (ca. 1640–by 1700)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 10 Mar. 2016. Web. 21 May. 2017. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Brent_George_ca_1640-by_1_September_1700#start_entry

French, David M. The Brent Family, The Carroll Families of Colonial Maryland, Alexandria, VA, David M. French, 1981.

Eby, Jerrilyn. They Called Stafford Home: The Development of Stafford Co., Virginia from 1600 until 1865, Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1997.

http://www.colonial-settlers-md-va.us/index.php
Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck Counties.




Anne Healy's Genealogy
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24 May 2017
Updated 29 June 2017
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