It appears that Benjamin paid for the transportation of a Mary Richford from England to America. That his wife Mary is Mary Richford is an assumption based on that. Although she came from England, her birthplace is not certain. The other merged profile gave France as her birthplace. It is possible she was a French Huguenot who fled first to England to escape religious persecution before migrating to America, but that is pure conjecture.
Charles Brashear in "A Brashear(s) Family History, ..." states that the name Richford is not certain.
Her surname at birth appears as Rickford in some family trees. I am not certain which spelling is correct.
One merged profile had her death year as 1685. Her will, shown below, was written and signed in 1663, but the prenuptial agreement suggests she remarried after that date. Further research and source citations are needed.
Maryland Calendar of Wills, Baldwin, p. 25:
Will of Mary Brasseur widow, of "The Clifts," 25th May, 1663:
To sons: ROBERT, BENJAMIN and JOHN, land; to be of age at 21 years.
To daus: MARY, ANNE, SUSANNA, MARTHA and ELIZA, personalty; to be of age 16 yrs
Complete will for Mary is shown on page 35 of "A Brashear(s) Family History, ..." by Charles Brashear and Shirley Brasher McCoy:
MdHR Wills, Bk 1, pp.187-89:In the name of God, Amen. I, Mary Brasseur, widow of the Clifts, in the Province of Maryland, being of sound and perfect mind and memory, but knowing the uncertainty of this life, do make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and forme following:
Imprimis [in the first place], for the natural love and affection I bear to my children and for their future maintenance and livelyhood, I give and bequeath to each of them as followeth; that is to say, two hundred acres of woodland to Robert, two hundred acres of the like land to Benjamin, and also two hundred acres of the like to John Brassures, my sons, the said land to come to them and either of them, their heires & assignes for ever, when they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares; and in case any or either them shall depart this life before he or they shall attaine to his or their respective ages of one and twenty years, the land of him or them so dyeing shall remaine and be to the surviving brother or brothers; and my will and desire is that no timber trees shall be fallen for any use whatsoever on the said land until the said children shall come of age; but if they shall all depart this life before they shall attaine to their respective ages, then the said land to remaine and be to such daughter and daughters of me, the said Mary Brasshear, as shall then be living, the said six hundred acres of land being part of the land on which I now live, seituate at the Clifts, and bought by mee of Mr. Richard Bennett, merchant.
Item. I do also give and bequeath unto each of my sons above-named one feather bed, with the rug, blankets, curtains, and such like appurtenances to the same belonging.
Item. I give to each of my sons, when they shall attaine to their respective ages, one servant a peece.
Item. To Benjamin one cow, called the Wild Heifer, and another, called Goate; to my son John one heifer named Dainty, and one heifer named Starr, the said cowes and heifers, with their female encrease, to be delived to them at such time and when they shall attaine their several and respective ages aforementioned; and if any or either of them shall depart this life before they shall come of age, the said cattell, with their female encrease, to be equally divided between the surviving brothers; and my will and desire is that the two hundred acres of land that I have bequeathed to my son Robert shall be the two hundred acres which is next adjoining unto and on this side that parcell of land lately sold unto my brother in law Robt. Brasseur; and that Benjamin, my son, shall have his two hundred on this side of my son Robert; and that my son John shall have his next unto Benjamin's.
Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary two heifers, called and known by the names of Pascoll and Phillpaill, with their female encrease, to be delivered to the said Mary when she shall accomplish the age of sixteene years or day of marriage, which shall first happen. Also, I give and bequeath to my daughter Ann two heifers, called and known by the names of Ioneeasy and Sarah, with their female encrease, to be delivered to her when she shall accomplish the age of sixteen years or day of marriage, which shall first happen; also I give and bequeath to my daughter Susannah two heifers, called and known by the names of Fancy and Pye, with their female encrease, to be delivered unto her when she shall accomplish the age of sixteene yeares or day of marriage, which shall first happen; also I give and bequeath to my daughter Martha three heifers, called and known by the names of Brouning, Primrose & Roase, with their female encrease, to be delivered unto her at such time and when she shall accomplish the age of sixteen years or day of marriage, which shall first happen; also I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth three heifers, called and known by the names of Christmas, Cole and Nutt, with their female encrease, to be delivered unto her at such time and when she shall accomplish the age of sixteen years or day of marriage, which shall first happen; and in case either of my said daughters shall depart this life before they shall accomplish their severall and respective ages, then the cattle, with their encrease, of her or them so dyeing to remaine and be and equally to be divided amongst the surviving daughters.
Item. I give my five daughters each of them a servant to be delivered them at the age of sixteene yeares or day of marriage, which shall first happen. As for that part of my estate that I shall have at my decease and not herein and hereby already given and bequeathed, I give and bequeath to my daughters, equally to be divided between them, share and share alike, to be delivered them at such time and when as they shall accomplish their several ages or days of marriage, which shall first happen. And my will and desire is that if I depart this life before my children come of age, the overseers of this, my will, take care that my children shall peaceably and quietly enjoy the plantaçon I now live on, with all appurtenances whatsoever, without the lett or molestaçon of any person or persons whatsoever until they shall accomplish their severall and respective ages or days of marriage, which shall first happen. And I nominate and constitute my loveing friends, Thomas Sterling, and Robert Brasseur, my brother-in-law, to be overseers of this, my last will and testament, desireing them in all things to see it carefully performed; and I publish and pronounce it to be the absolute last will and testament of mee, Mary Brasseur.
IN WITNESS whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand and seale, May the five and twenty, one thousand six hundred sixty and three. The marke of Mary [ MB ] Brasseur Signed and sealed as the last will and testament of the said Mary Brasseur in the presence of: Theophilus Lewis, James Pugslep
Two months after her will, which was apparently made to protect her children with Benois Brasseur, Mary Brasseur, Widow of the Clifts, filed a prenuptial contract with Thomas Sterling, with whom she planned to marry, that relinquished all claims he might have to any part of her estate:
WHEREAS by God's assistance and permission, ther is a marryage shortly intended to be had & solemnized between Thomas Sterling and Mary Brasseur, wid'w, late wife of Benjamin Brasseur; and whereas the said Mary Brasseur hath made her last will & testament in [ ? ] writing und'r her hand and seale, and therein & thereby disposed of most of the estate the said Benjamin dyed possessed of, amongst her children; now if the said marriage shall take effect, these may certifye [to] all those whom it any wayes concernes that I, the said Thomas Sterling, for naturall love I beare unto the said Mary Brasseur, wid'w, and out of affecçon to her children, doe grant, assigne, and sett over all the residue of the estate that was late the said Benjamin Brasseur's, that I shall dye possessed of, as cattle, hoggs, houses, land, household stuffs, and whatever else the said Mary Brasseur hath not given nor bequeathed in her last will and testament unto Robert Brasseur, her brother-in-law, to and for the sole onely proper use, benefitt, and behoofe of the daughters of the said Mary, equally to be divided betwixt them as they shall attaine to theire severall & repective ages or days of maryage, which shall first happen; and that they shall bee and remaine peaceably att the new plantaçon of the said Mary Brasseur till such times as they come of age or are maryed, according to the tenor & effect of the said Maryes will, without the lett, disturbances or molestaçon of mee, the said Thomas Sterling, or any one from, by, or und'r mee.
WITTNESS my hand and seale the twenty fift of Julye, one thousand six hundred sixty three. Thomas Sterling
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of: Robert Heighe, James Hume
And I furthermore promise that the said Mary Brasseur shall dispose as she will her selfe of the 10,000 lbs of tobacco due from Robert Brasseur upon bill, as witness my hand. (MdHR, Testamentary Proceedings, Book 1, pp.126-27. Copy in Back and Brashear, The Brashear Story, p.15-16.)
Mary's last name is in dispute. It may have been Rickford vice Richford.
She had three sons and five daughters with Benjamin "Benois" Brassier. She died as a young mother in 1663 in Calvert County, Maryland, at the age of 33.
ANCESTRY RECORDCITATION DETAILSASSOCIATED FACTSMEDIA
Web: Netherlands, GenealogieOnline Trees Index, 1000-2015 VIEW RECORD Name Mary Richford Gender Female Birth Date 1630 Birth Place Isle of Thanet, England Death Place Calvert, Maryland Spouse Benjamin Brashears Children Elizabeth Brashears URL http://www.genealogieonline.nl/en/stamboom-van-acker-saesen/I11280.php
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