Biography of Simeon Brant
Contributed by William Brackett
Simeon Brant of Berrien County, Michigan, was reportedly born "near Rhode Island" or possibly Massachusetts, about 1776. His mother's name was Phoebe Loetz who was a native of England. Her name may also have been Litz or Lutz? His father's name has yet to be determined. I have seen his father's name printed as Phineas Brant.
Simeon Brant married Sarah Herrington in Genesee County, New York. I have seen this same name as Sarah Herndon also. This could be a matter of semantics. There were reportedly eleven children. Simeon Brant served a year in the military during the War of 1812. In 1836 this Brant family came to Michigan. Simeon was accompanied to Berrien County, Michigan by three sons and a daughter: Nathaniel Brant, John Daniel Brant, Augustus Brant and Malvina Brant. Three other sons, Artaxerxes Brant and Van Rensselaer Brant and Lacey Brant came later.
Simeon and Sarah (Herrington/Herndon) Brant had children:
Artaxerxes Brant b. 1801
Van Rensselaer Brant
Porter Brant b. 1804
Lacey Brant born 1810 in what became Wayne County, New York
Nathaniel Brant b. 1815 Macedon, New York
John Brant b. 1817
Daniel Brant b. 1820
Augustus Brant b. 1827
The 1810 census of New York does include Simeon Brant in Ontario County in Canandaigua and also Elias Brant in this same location. In this census Simeon Brant was between 26-44 years. In his household were two other males, one who was less than 10 years of age and one who was 10-15 years of age, one female 26-45 years of age and one female less than 10 years of age. Elias Brant also living in Canandaigua may have been Simeon's younger brother. Elias was 16-25 years of age and in his household was another male under 10 years of age and one female 26-44 years of age.
The 1820 census contains a Simeon Brant in Ontario County living in Palmyra. Palmyra is the name of a township and town in present day Wayne County. Nathaniel Brant said he was born in Macedon, New York. Macedon Township was included in Palmyra until it separated off on its own.
The History of Wayne County New York, by W.H. McIntosh, published in 1877 contains one reference to Simeon Brant. On page 95 under the section about Arcadia you can read" "beginning with this tract, he secured the team of Foster with Simon Brant on one day, and Soverhill and Team with Culver on another, and in two days they had rolled the logs off three acres, and had piled thirty log heaps, numbering ten to fifteen logs in a pile." This entry was in reference to one John Welcher clearing of his farm. It is interesting in reading this history and especially that of Macedon how many references were made to families who "removed to Michigan". This entry is not dated but was after 1798 and probably before 1820.
Ontario County New York land records contains the following Brant records. These records were compiled by Dr. Hans-J. Finke and are posted on his website at the Ontario County Records and Archives Center at http://raims.com/deedmenu.html
Grantee Deed Index for Ontario County, NY, 1789-1845
The History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan was published in 1880 in Philadelphia by D. W. Ensign & Co. Under the section for Bainbridge Township of Berrien County you can read on page 217:
"The Penn Yan Settlement. The southwestern portion of Bainbridge is popularly known as Penn Yan, a name given to it by Isaac Youngs after the Brants located there. The first settlement in this part was made by the Brant family, of Wayne Co., N.Y. Simeon Brant with his wife and four children-Nathaniel, John, Daniel, and Augustus-came to Michigan in 1836, and made settlement upon section 31 in Bainbridge township, where the elder Brant had, previous to his coming hither, bought 80 acres of land of Darius Clark. At this time the southern tier of sections in Bainbridge was an unbroken wilderness, into which Brant was the first to venture as a settler. With the aid of his boys, he chopped out a road to his place, put up a cabin, and made a clearing."
On page 224 there is a biographical sketch of Nathaniel Brant. There you can read:
"The subject of this sketch was born March 12, 1815 in Wayne Co., N.Y.; is the eighth in a family of eleven children, of whom only four are now living. His father Simeon Brant, was a native of Massachusetts, and a farmer by occupation, though sometimes working at the carpenter trade. His mother was of Dutch descent, but was born in America, her maiden name being Herrington." And also "He came to Michigan with his father when he was twenty-one years of age, and helped to make the first clearing on section 31 of Bainbridge township,".
UPDATED 9/19/09 - Three New Biographical Sketches:
Landmarks of Wayne County was authored by Cowles and was published in 1894. On page 33-34 of the Biographical sketches you can find: "Hamilton Brant, the third of seven children of Joshua and Susannah Brant, was born in Schoharie County, august 3, 1809. He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. He taught school and took great interest in public questions, and was a good debater. He came to Wayne County about 1840 and bought the farm now owned by the family, where he died in 1868. Formerly a democrat he became a Republican about 1856. He married in 1844 Frances B. White, a native of Saratoga County, who was born March 24, 1824, and daughter of Stephen and Sarah White, and they had ten children. Mr. White and wife came to Penfield, Monroe County, in 1831, and emigrated to Michigan where he died in 1872, and his wife in 1869. Mr. Brant and wife have had four children: Mason, Amasa, Jennie and William. Mason married Jane Church of Ontario by whom he had seven children: Sarah J., Hattie R., Amasa, Amelia J., George, William H., and Edith. Amasa married Florence Sweed of Penfield and has two children: J. Hamilton and Leon. William married Carrie Ott, of Walworth and has one child, Homer Hamilton. Jennie, William and their mother reside on the homestead of 108 acres, and follow general farming, and are members of Ontario Center Grange 122."
[Hamilton Brant's father, Joshua, is believed to be, a brother of my ggg-grandfather Simeon Brant. I would be happy to share my information with others.]