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The Brevard's - French Huguenots

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I live in Charlotte North Carolina, in mecklenburg county. Growing up I was never taught the history of charlotte or even mecklenburg county, so I had to take matters into my own hands. While researching influential people from mecklenburg county I stumbled across the Brevard Family.

The Brevard’s were French Huguenots who moved to Ulster County in Ireland seeking religious freedom. When it was realized that, in fact, the Church of England was in power, the Brevard’s along with many of the Scots-Irish left Ireland for America ( Brevard Station Museum). While in America John Brevard married Katherine Mary McKnitt and they had seven children together. Although John and Katherine had seven children they had two grandchildren who left the greatest impact on North Carolina and most importantly Mecklenburg County.

John Brevard son of John Brevard and Katherine Mary McKnitt was born in Cecil County, Maryland, but later moved to Rowan County, NC. While in North Carolina John worked as a Sheriff in Rowan county, and married Jane McWhorter. Jane and John had eight children who fought in the Revolutionary war, and their first son Ephraim Brevard was one of the authors of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (Whitaker). Due to the families heavy involvement within the Revolutionary war British soldiers 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 made her watch her home burn to the ground. They refused to let her save any belongings from her home (Whitaker).

Ephraim Brevard attended princeton University and received a doctorate degree. He moved to North Carolina at a child and married Martha Polk, the daughter of Captain Thomas and Susannah Spratt Polk (Charlotte Mecklenburg Library). He was one of the authors of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Along with Colonel Thomas Polk, Abraham Alexander, John Queary, and many others. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was a very controversial document during colonial times. It was said that the document was a very poorly written adaptation of the Mecklenburg Resolves, which was a list of statements about the British militia drafted in the month following the fighting at Lexington and Concord.

Alexander Brevard son of John Brevard and Katherine Mary McKnitt fought during the Revolutionary War on the Northern and South sides. After the war Alexander Brevard married Rebecca Davidson, who was the daughter of General John Davidson of Mecklenburg County, one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (Brevard Station Museum). In 1791 Alexander Brevard had an interest in the iron industry. Alexander and Rebecca then moved to Lincoln County to engage in the iron business. Along with them came Alexander’s brother in law and partner in the iron industry, General Joseph Graham with his wife Isabella Davidson (Rebecca’s sister). Together they erected Vesuvius and Mt. Tirza forges, and became wealthy men in the iron industry. Later Alexander Brevard built Rehoboth forge. Because of their interest in the iron mines they purchased large quantities of land in Lincoln County (Brevard Station Museum).

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