17 October 2005

1778 Burke County Petition

On 25 December 1778, residents of the newly reformed Burke County petitioned the Governor to remain a part of Tryon Co., NC. This included four of Urban's sons, Henry, Urban, Jr., Phillip, and Felda (John Valentine). All four brothers signed a Burke County petition in
1778/9 requesting the governor to consider the area where they lived to remain as Tryon County. It is not clear if they were living on their father's property, nor is it certain that the named Orband (Urban) was senior or junior, although it was likely Urban, Jr. This petition would never become reality since Tryon County was abolished in 1779 and replaced by the newly created Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. Many of these long time residences were again affected as neighboring county lines were again redrawn.
This document shows the earliest consensus of the adopted spelling in the family name. All four of Urban's sons clearly signed their name using the "Ashabraner" spelling. Before 1778, Urban's signature appeared to vary greatly, resulting in a multitude of interpretations in spelling. The spellings varied to such an extent that I had only his first name and the location of the found document to go by to confirm the connection. There may yet be undiscovered documents waiting to be found. It is likely that the final variation in the spelling of this family name was meant to be "Ashabranner". This family name is phonetically simple and easy to pronounce. It is ironic that while researching my family that I would find this name so commonly misspelled. This presented to me an unusual circumstance to solve. How many spellings exist today which stem from Urban? I know of at least 6 variations: (In order of the highest common appearance in numbers.) [Date of the earliest known use.]
  • Aschenbrenner [1740]
  1. Ashabranner
  2. Ashabraner [1778]
  3. Asherbranner
  4. Asherbraner
  5. Ashabrann
  6. Ashabran

I believe that there may be other variations in spelling used today. I am interested in understanding how each variation became created and when it derived. Please contact me if you share any of the above variations and when you believe it changed. Include your ancestral line.

There also seemed to be a strange but common circumstance of flip-flopping the spelling from one generation to the next and back again. [ie: Ashabraner to Ashabranner to Ashabraner]