There were not enough Church of England priests interested in leaving their comforts for the hardships and unknowns of America, so the Colonists looked to Scotland to recruit clergy. One such was the REV. ROBERT MC LAURINE, ELIZA JANE�S 3rd great grandfather. He was born circa 1717 in Scotland, died on 5 Jul 1773 in Cumberland Co., Virginia.

The Colonial Clergy of Virginia..., Weis, "ROBERT McLAURINE came from Scotland;  licensed for Virginia,  24 Aug. 1750; K.B. Virginia, 5 Sept 1750; settled at St. James - Southan Parish (Powhattan) Virginia 1751-1772; Ep." [Note: KB - King's Bounty to Virginia, i. e. received a bounty of 20 pounds given by successive kings from 1690 onwards, though not regularly; licensed for Virginia - licensed to the plantations by the Bishops of London from 1745 to 1776.]  Died and buried there.

Old Churches and Families of Virginia, vol. 2, Meade, from a Vestry book of the parish of St. James Southam, 1745-1791:  "The Rev. JOHN ROBERTSON ceased to be a minister in 1751. Mr. McCLAURINE is then received on probation for 12 months, and continues until his death in 1772.  Mr. JARATT, in his autobiography, speaks of him as a pious man.  'Of Mr. McCLAURINE, other favourable accounts of his piety and great benevolence have come to me.  He preached at Tar Wallett, Manakin, and Peterville Churches: beneath the chancel-floor of the latter he was buried.  He was the first of his name in Virginia....  [Vol. II - 3]'. "

ROBERT�S parish, St. James Southan is on south side of Appomattox, in what is now Powhatan Co.; in 1745 it was cut off from St. James Northan in Goochland.

ROBERT bought 2 joining plantations in 1762,  233A form GEORGE and ELIZABETH CHAMBERS [Deed Bk. 3, p. 275-8] and in 1766 bought 400 A from POINDEXTER and MARY MOSBY [Deed Bk. 4, p. 104-6], the latter stating it was bounded by lands of ROBERT McLAURINE, FRANCIS GEORGE STEGER and Col. TABB.  The dividing line for Powhattan Co. ran through it when it was created in 1777, leaving the plantation in 2 counties, Powhatan and Cumberland. After ROBERT died, ELIZABETH built a home called Somerset. It remains today and is on the
National Register of Historic Places.

Williamsburg midwife], circa 1753 in Powhatan Co., Virginia. They had 7 children. The births were all recorded in a family Bible passed down for generations. Their daughter AGNES NANCY married SAMUEL STEGER, the son of FRANCIS GEORGE.

The Rev. WILLIAM DOUGLAS recorded in the Register for St. James Northam Parish, Goochland, the death of � The Revd. Mr. McLAURINE ...once my scholar for many years.� He conducted the funeral in Cumberland on 23 July 1773, basing his sermon on 1 Peter 5-4.  ROBERT and ELIZABETH (BLAIKLEY) MC LAURINE are buried beneath the chancel of the old church at Peterville.

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                                                                  EARLY CLERGY               

The REV. ROBERT BRASWELL, JOHN�s 7th great grandfather, was born in Dec 1611 in London, England, baptized on 13 Oct 1611-1612 in St Andrew, Holborn, London, England, and died in 1668 in Isle of Wight Co., Virginia. On 22 Feb. 1627 at the age of 15/16 he entered Oxford University, Hart Hall, and graduated with an AB degree on 3 Nov. 1631.  He subsequently became a Church of England clergyman.  Per
The Braswell Family by Irene Braswell Kiker & Wm. Wayne Brasewell , "during this period England and Scotland were passing through a very difficult time under the rule of Charles I and James I. ... Many prominent churchmen were forced to flee to other countries for safety.  During the Cromwellian rebellion and subsequent rule (1640-1660), many Royalists fled England and Scotland...."   ROBERT came to Isle of Wight, VA, about 1635.  He was a staunch Royalist and probably emigrated soon after the Puritans beheaded Charles I.

ROBERT married either REBECCA or ANN. His plantation was on the Blackwater River, south of the James and Jamestown, northwest of the present day Smithfield. 

He was rector of Lawn�s Creek Parish, which became Southwark and is now commonly known as St. Luke's or the
�Old Brick Church�.  He was a Burgess in 1653, but was suspended because of being a clergyman.  �He is not in a capacity to serve as a Burgess, since it is unprecedented and may produce bad consequences.� [Boddie, 17th Century Isle of Wight, VA, from Hening 1-378] At his death he had considerable property, and in the William and Mary Quarterly, v. 6, was described as a "notable minister.

It is believed that his great granddaughter, MARY BRASWELL, married JOSEPH BRIDGES, as JOSEPH had a son BRASWELL BRIDGES, who was the great grandfather of DREWRY/DRURY, who with his wife CHARITY COHOON, went to Trigg Co., KY.
In 1785 was the disestablishment of the Church of England in America. It had been the state church in Virginia, membership required, and much of the governing carried on in the Parish. A lot of our information about pre-Revolution Virginia comes from Vestry Minutes kept by these churches. The church was re-organized as the Episcopal church, but many colonists still associated it with being ruled by England. Baptist congregations had already formed, and many left to join them.

The Rev. PLEASANT GOLD, JOHN�S great grandfather, was an early Baptist minister. He was born after 1773 and died between 9 Aug 1832 and 15 Oct 1832 in Mecklenburg Co., Virginia. 

PLEASANT�S ordination to the ministry is verified in Mecklenburg marriage records and church history. He was ordained minister of the Baptist Society at the request of Buffaloe Church, Mecklenburg, VA, on the 27 Feb. 1819. PLEASANT is the recorded minister for many marriages to 1830.

PLEASANT�S ancestry can be traced back to JOHN GOLD �the Crusader� 1185.

PLEASANT�S daughter SARAH married DAVID WILES went to Trigg Co., KY, about 1862. They were the parents to JOHN�S mother, HELEN WILES.
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