Select Branson Surname Genealogy

Here are some Branson stories and accounts over the years:

Branson and Branston

Bransons outnumber Branstons in England today.  The following are the approximate numbers:


There are more Bransons to be found in America.  But no Branstons.

Early Branstons in Suffolk

The earliest Branston recorded in Suffolk was Edmund Branston of Capel St. Mary, whose will was dated November 19, 1465.  It mentions his wife Christian, sons Stephen and Nicholas Bramston. 

The will of Edmundís brother Robert was recorded in 1473, as was the will of Nicholas Bramstone in 1491. The line from Nicholas went to his son William who married Agnes and died in 1514; their son John who married Katherine and died in 1558; and their son Charles Branston.  Later Branstons were to be found in East Bergholt, Suffolk.

Quaker Bransons in America

The Branson name appears in Quaker records in Berkshire from the 1680ís. 

William Branson, the son of a Quaker, left Berkshire for Pennsylvania in 1708 on the Golden Hind.  He established himself in Philadelphia, being listed first as a joiner, then as a shopkeeper, and in 1726 as a merchant.  Sometime soon afterward he acquired land in Chester county and started an iron foundry with Samuel Nutt near the present site of Hopewell village.  William Branson left a large estate on his death in 1760.  But, although he married twice, he had no son or heir.  His descendants were all daughters. 

Other Quaker Bransons, the children of Thomas and Elizabeth Branson from Berkshire, were to be found in Burlington county, New Jersey.  Two sons John Day and William, born in 1704 and 1714, later settled in Frederick county, Virginia where they were tobacco planters. 

And there were also Quaker Bransons, although some later became Baptists, in Loudoun, Virginia and Guilford, North Carolina. 

Bransons in Whitwick, Leicestershire

William Branson and Frances Woodward were married in Whitwick in 1802.  They were living at Church Gate in Loughborough by the early 1820ís and possibly earlier.  He was listed at various times as a beer seller in Whitwick and a shopkeeper in Loughborough.   In 1847 there were reports of his bankruptcy in the London Gazette.  The same year, however, he became the landlord of the Bow Bridge Inn in Leicester.  His wife Frances took over the inn after his death four years later.

Ruben Branson in Branson, Missouri

From 1882 to 1886 Ruben Branson ran a general store and post office in a town that now bears his name. Each day hundreds of people, most unknowingly, drive past his grave as they travel through historic downtown Branson via Oklahoma Street.  The grave site may be conveniently viewed, without actually entering the cemetery, from the northwest corner of Oklahoma and Commercial.   Just look for the large grey rectangular headstone with the name of "Branson."  It marks the graves of Ruben and his wife Mary.

The Bransons - From Lawyer to Entrepreneur

The Bransons were lawyers in India and George Branson, born back in England, rose to become a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor.  He proved to be a demanding father.  Never an academic child, his son Ted's principal interest at school was natural history.  When he expressed a wish to become an archaeologist, his father insisted that he prepare for a career in Law. 

Ted Branson
married in 1949, returning from his honeymoon to discover that he had failed his Bar exams and that his father had reduced his allowance because he had married before he had qualified.  He finally was able to qualify, was called to the Bar in 1950, and spent the rest of his life working as a lawyer. 

His son Richard might have followed in his fatherís footsteps.  His father recalled: 

ďThere was a time when I felt Richard ought to get a qualification, so I walked him up and down our lawn at home and said I would like him to qualify as a barrister.  Later, I felt awful because I had said to him just what my father had said to me.  So, the next weekend, I walked him up and down the lawn once again and told him to forget everything I'd said." 

Richard had been enrolled at Stowe boarding school in Buckingham, but found the environment too restrictive.  He dropped out of school and moved to London where he made his living as a publisher and later opened a retail record business.

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