Last update: 01-Oct-2019 by Don Braffitt
These notes cover four BRAFFETT families primarily in North America. The information covered begins in southeastern New York (Counties of Orange, Ulster, and Sullivan) and nearby eastern Pennsylvania (Luzerne/Bradford County) in the late 1700s. The most common surname spelling covered is BRAFFETT, but BRAFFET and BRAFFITT also figure prominently. The general organization of these notes devotes a section to each of the four families. For additional details in an online genealogy database which includes these Braffett descendants and related families, go to
More complete lists of descendants are sometimes available through the Find A Grave links detailed below.
These notes were assembled with information provided by numerous people as detailed in the references including research James Matthew Braffitt, Jr. started during World War II.
The origin or origins of these families before North American is uncertain. One close Y-DNA match of a Braffitt in North America is with a Braithwaite in England. The village Braithwaite in Cumbria, England, is pronounced "Breffett".
James Braffett is the first known Braffett of this family line. He was born about 1763 in Plainfield, Windham County, Connecticut. He and Gamaliel Jaqua came from Connecticut about 1792 to the area that was then Ulster Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania but is now Burlington Township, Bradford County. Luzerne County was formed from Northumberland County in 1786, and Bradford County from Luzerne County in 1810. Burlington Township was formed from Wysok Township in 1802.
James married about 1796 Rebecca Gore whose father Silas Gore was slain at the battle of Wyoming. By 1798, James and his family (wife Rebecca and daughter Lucinda), were living on 200 acres valued at $225 in Ulster Township in an 18 foot by 18 foot dwelling valued at $15. For the 1800 census, James and his family (wife Rebecca and children Lucinda and Silas) were enumerated in Wysok Township.
James began improvements on the Morley farm and erected the first framed house in Burlington Township in 1804. James and Rebecca had 5 children before James died about 1808. Rebecca then married Joseph Bloom who occupied the farm. Gamaliel Jaqua married Eleanor Campbell, daughter of James Campbell, and their child Judson Jaqua married Lucinda Braffett. Gamaliel did not stay long in Burlington Township. Rebecca, Joseph, and most of Rebecca's children moved to Harrison Township, Darke County, Ohio by 1826.
To the east in the early 1800s, Hezekiah Braffett (born about 1804) including son William Henry Braffett (1834-1911), and James J. Braffet (1802-1888) were living in Orange County, New York. James William Braffett (1772-1812) including son George Washington Braffett (1801-1887) were living in Ulster County, New York. James William Braffett's grandson Elisha Braffett (1827-1904) was living in Sullivan County, New York. The relationship of these Braffett/Braffet families to James Braffett of Luzerne County is not known at this time.For the latest charts and references on this family, see
Joshua Braffett is the first known Braffett of this family line. Joshua and Mary Mapes (daughter of Henry Mapes of Monroe, Orange County, New York) were married probably in Orange County, New York. In the will of Henry Mapes written 20-Oct-1812 and proved 04-Mar-1823 in Goshen, Orange County, New York, he leaves "my grandson, Hezekiah Braffit, the sum of $20."For the latest charts and references on this family, see
John Braffet is the first known Braffet of this family line. A John Braffet appears in the following census records:
The descendants of this family have fairly consistently used the spelling BRAFFET although the Mark BRAFFETT -- Rose KING branch of DeKalb County, Illinois uses the BRAFFETT spelling. The family is thought to be of Scotch ancestry. Numerous marriages occurred into families of Scandinavian ancestry (Icelandic, Swedish, and Norwegian).For the latest charts and references on this family, see
James William Braffett is the first known Braffett of this family line. There is some debate as to his given name (James or William). The descendants in this family line have consistently used the BRAFFETT spelling. The starting point for the family that stayed in the NY/PA area is the bible of Rene Paul Braffett. Much of the information on the George Washington Braffett family that migrated west is from an FGS on George Washington Braffett prepared by LaDean Sherwood Mellor and from information collected by Lala Vadeina Gifford Whitley.For the latest charts and references on this family, see