Braimer family from the 17th Century

Some South Australian Families

Notes on the Braimer family

I have traced this Braimer family back to James Braimer who fought in the Swedish Army in the 17th C and then probably in the Scottish Army with Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven (who at one time became the supreme commander of the Scottish Army). James Braimer married Leslie's (half-?) sister Margaret and the Braimer family appears to have first taken up land near Markinch in Fife. James' son, John, later took up land at Edrom (possibly including a baronetcy).

James' grandson (John's son), David Braimer, was also engaged in the military but appears to have retired (on half pay) before the Jacobean uprising in the 18th C. He was a captain in the army of the incompetent General John Cope and he was killed at the Battle of Prestonpans (Gladesmuir) in 1745.

Shortly before David's son, John Braimer, died, the Edrom properties were disposed of and the assetts were, apparently, put in trust for the surviving children.

It seems that the Braimer name (male line) from this branch of the family has died out in Scotland, at least. Of the Braimer sons of John Braimer (the last of Edrom) only David Braimer (RN) had children and none of his sons appears to have had children. In fact none appears to have married! This family inherited the "Braimer watch" (see below). According to a Braimer/Ridpath descendant the watch was last heard of in the possession of an Edward Ridpath.

The Braimer family made some interesting connections via marriage. Apart from Colonel James Braimers' marriage to Margaret Leslie, his son, John married Mary Bethune who was from the Bethunes of Balfour (or more accurately, in her case, Bethunes of Bandon). John's son, David, married Marion Congalton whose mother was Janet Lauder daughter of Sir John Lauder of Fountainhall.

The connection with the Congalton line, however, led the surviving Braimers in the 19th century in Britain, Captain David Braimer RN and, after his death, his eldest son, John Louttit Braimer, into a lawsuit which they lost. They had claimed a right to the Congalton estates according to a succession order stipulated by a Congalton ancestor. A later ancestor, however, changed the succession so that the eldest Congalton descended child, rather than the eldest surviving male inherited. The British court upheld the right to change the succession in what must have been a landmark decision at the time - but unfortunate for the Braimers!

It's interesting to speculate about the origins of (Colonel) James Braimer. Intruigingly, there were "Braimer" families (with variable spellings) in Kennoway parish, Westmoreland, Cumbria, in the late 16thC (source: Cumbrian Genealogy). The following christenings, for example reveal "Braimer" families where the fathers have given names of "John", "James" and "Thomas".

  • BRAMORE Elizabeth d of John Bramore of Strickland ketle christened 26Oct1577 (Kendal PR)
  • BREYMER Mary d of James Breymer of Strickland feild christened 17Sept1581 (Kendal PR)
  • BRAMER Margarett d of Thomas Bramer of Stricklandfeild christened 21Nov1587 (Kendal PR)
Strictly Cumbria is in England but it's an area that used to be part of Scotland. In particular there was a Thomas Braymer who had at least one son named James (who appparently died in the 1590s). Interestingly, the first son of James Braimer and Margaret Leslie appears to have been named "Thomas" perhaps honouring James' father. Thomas might have become a doctor on the Continent and thus gave up his entitlement to his father's estates in favour of his brother, John.

Nonetheless, it's clear that there were other "Braimer" and "Brymer" (and variant) families in other parts of Scotland in the early 17thC so until/unless further evidence is available James' origins remain just speculative.

NOTE: Some references to this family use the spellings "Brymer" and "Braymer" (as well as "Brymore" and "Brainer"!) amongst other variants and the name "Braimer" is sometimes considered to be a variant of "Bremner" or "Brebner". The family itself, though, seems to have consistently adopted the spelling "Braimer" certainly from early in the 18th century.


Father: not known
Mother: not known

Family 1: Margaret LESLIE

The National Archives of Scotland also contains documents described as follows: "Ante-nuptial Marriage Contract between Lt.-Col. James Braimer [Bremner], on one part, and Margaret Leslie, relict of George Law, fiar of Bruntoun [Brunton], with consent of Alexander, Earl of Levin [Leven], and Captain John Leslie, his brother, brothers of said Margaret, on the other, whereby said James is to invest 10,000 merks in land, Margaret's liferent right by her former husband being reserved to her for her aliment." (GD26/6/35 dated 30/7/1647)

Further evidence of the marriage is provided in W. Macfarlane Genealogical collections concerning families in Scotland edited from the original manuscripts in the Advocates' Library, by James Toshach Clark (Scottish History Society: Edinburgh) 1900, Vol 2. p.50.

Note also Sir William Fraser The Melvilles, Earls of Melville and the Leslies, Earls of Leven which states: 'The earl gave his sister, Margaret Leslie, on her marriage with George Law, fiar of Brunton, in1643, a tocher of 13,000 merks, and after the death of her husband the earl arranged for her second marriage, when she was styled "Lady Brunton," in 1647, to Lieutenant-Colonel James Brainer.' Vol. 1, p. 388

John Lamont's Diary has a reference to the Braimers' life after marriage "1650 This yeare, Maior Brymer, wha maried the young Lady Brunton, sister to Ge[neral]. Leslie, Earle of Leuin, bought the Wefter-Newton in Fyfe, from Robert and Andro Duries. It stood him 18 thousande marke, wherof Robert Durie receaued eght, and the said Andro receaued the other ten, out of which he was to pay the debt that was contracted by his umqu father." p.18

Children (possibly incomplete):

  1. Thomas BRAIMER [?m Margarit COPLAND, 5 January 1686, Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland; d by 2 August 1705 (DISH - shown as BRYMER)]
  2. John BRAIMER (Heir to his brother, Thomas - DISH)
  3. Alexander BRAIMER (possible son - christened 25 January 1650, Dysart, Fife, Scotland, father James BRYMER) - IGI C114262
  4. Margaret BRAIMER (assumed daughter from marriage to John BURGES, 23 JUN 1709, Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland (f James BRYMER) - IGI M119827. Margaret might have been (previously?) married to John Mow (Molle). The name "Molle" is celebrated in the Cornwall based Braimer family of Captain David Braimer R.N. This marriage is identified in The Commissariot Record of Lauder - Register of Testaments, 1561 - 1800 (Scottish Record Society; Edinburgh) 1903
Family 2: Mary PORTEOUS


Father: James BRAIMER
Mother: Margaret LESLIE

Family: Marion BETHON (BETHUNE of Balfour) (identified in Eighty Years' Reminiscences by John Anstruther-Thomson "James Thomson of Mildaine and Montrybo (Mildeans and Montrave) matriculated his arms about 1676. His eldest son, John, married, in 1709, Rachael, daughter of John Brymer of Edrom, in the county of Berwick. Her mother was Mary Bethune of Balfour." p.2)

Children (possibly incomplete):
  1. David BRAIMER
  2. William BRAIMER
  3. Rachel BRAIMER m John THOMPSON 28 JAN 1709, Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland (IGI M119827 - shown as "Brymer", father John; see also The east neuk of Fife: its history and antiquities by Walter Wood (1862) - "John Thomson of Charlton, W.S., md. Rachel, dau. of Brymer of Edrom, by whom he had John ; Alexander, alive in 1742 ; Mary, md., in 1740, John Spottiswoode of Spottiswoode; and Rachel, md. Peter Wedderburn. He died bef. 1740."
  4. Mary BRAIMER
  5. Isobell BRAIMER
  6. Catherine BRAIMER
NOTE: These children identified from An album of Scottish families 1694-96 (Aberdeen University Press, 1990)

"BRYMER, of Newtone in Fife or Edrom. This is John Brymer, the laird living in the 9-hearth Edrom House with his Lady, David and William their sons, Rachel, Mary, Isobell and Catherine their daughters, and three men and five women as servants ...."

Furthermore, the book Eighty Years' Reminiscences by John Anstruther-Thomson (a descendant of the Thomsons of Charlton) maintains that:

  • His great grandmother was Rachel Brymer of Edrom (she married John Thomson).
  • Rachel's mother was Mary Bethune of Balfour.


Father: John BRAIMER (mentioned in various documents in National Archives of Scotland eg: GD382/13-14)
Mother: Mary BETHUNE (of Balfour)

Family: Marion CONGALTON d 27th February 1765 (described as relict of Captain David Braimer of Edrom - source her Testament Dative)

Marion Congalton was identified as sister of "Mr Congalton of Congalton" in an account of the battle of Prestonpans. Her brother was William Congalton of Congalton (f Charles Congalton of Congalton, m Janet Lauder - daughter of Sir John Lauder, Bart of Fountainhall)

Children (probably incomplete):
  1. John BRAIMER
  2. James BRAIMER (unconfirmed)
Notes on David Braimer's ancestors

The article A curious Old Watch ....from Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Volume 5 (1862-64) pp 310 - 311 demonstrates a link between James BRAIMER who served in the Swedish Army in the 17th century and descendants of David BRAIMER (d 1745).

Originally I used this, the description of various documents in the National Archives of Scotland (NAS), information in the Decennial Indexes to the Services of Heirs in Scotland (Murray & Gibb 1870) - DISH - and Edinburgh Burgess and Guild brethren entries to construct the ancestry above. Since then other documentation (mentioned throughout the page) has confirmed this ancestry.

James Braimer (Brymer) is described as a Lt. Col. at marriage to Margaret Leslie and as a Colonel in Edinburgh B&G records, at his remarriage and after his death in DISH.


Father: David BRAIMER
Mother: Marion CONGALTON

Family: Janet DUNSE (identified from Christian Braimer's death Certificate) d after 26 August 1808 (correspondence of that date between Richard Braimer and Gilbert Innes of Stow mentions her as nervous about the eldest son, John's, behaviour).

Children (possibly incomplete):
  1. Marion BRAIMER b 8 November 1772; chr 28 Nov 1772 (source: IGI C11738-2 note: father incorrectly shown as "James"); d 24 May 1777 aged 5 years and 6 months (source: Monumental Inscription, Edrom photographed by John Bremner)
  2. John BRAIMER b 19 December 1773; chr 24 January 1774, Edrom, Berwick, Scotland; d 5th May 1811, Edinburgh
  3. Janet BRAIMER b 2 June 1775; chr 15 April 1776, Edrom, Berwick, Scotland; m William Alexander REDPATH, 9 April 1798, Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
  4. Christian BRAIMER b 9 February 1777; chr 2 March 1777, Edrom, Berwick, Scotland
  5. David BRAIMER b 17 January 1780; chr 26 January 1780; d (possibly) March quarter 1838 (Falmouth, Cornwall Vol 9 p 55) NOTE: According to NAS item GD113/5/109 the date of death was 5 February 1838 at Falmouth.
  6. Richard BRAIMER b 4 May 1783; chr 25 May 1783; d about 12 June 1850 (Source: Last Will and Settlement of Richard Braimer*)
Notes on Captain David Braimer and John Braimer and their families

Documents described on the National Archives of Scotland website in conjunction with evidence in Decennial Indexes to the Services of Heirs in Scotland (1770-1779) strongly suggest that Captain David Braimer was the father of John Braimer from Edrom. Birth dates for the children of John Braimer and Janet Dunse were extracted from the British Isles Vital Records Index.

Captain David Braimer (Brymer) was killed at the Battle of Prestonpans during the Jacobite uprising in support of "Bonny Prince Charlie".

*The Last Will and Settlement of Richard Braimer 14 Feb 1850 (transcribed by Carolyn Cartney) and the description of item GD113/5/95a in the National Archives of Scotland website ("Letters from Richard Braimer at The Royal Bank, Edinburgh, David Braimer, his brother, and Elizabeth Braimer, David's wife, at Falmouth ....") confirms that Christian Braimer, David Braimer and Richard Braimer were siblings. David Braimer is described as "my late Brother Captain David Braimer Royal Navy ...." in Richard's Will.

Notes on John, Janet, Richard and David BRAIMER

John BRAIMER became a doctor in the British Army [Scotch Brigade, 3 June 1795], he was put on half-pay (retired) in 1798 and died in Edinburgh, 5 May 1811 [source: William Johnston Roll of Commissioned Officers in the Medical Service of the British Army: Who Served on Full Pay ... 1917].

According to documents in the National Archives of Scotland, at one time he was in jail for penury (despite his inheritance), he appears to have become an alcoholic (perhaps this explains his short term as an army doctor) and possibly he was given to fits of madness (he threatened to burn down his mother’s house). He seems never to have married and had no children.

Janet BRAIMER married William Alexander REDPATH, "a merchant from London" at Canongate, Edinburgh on 9 April 1798. Their children included:

  1. William REDPATH b 30 January 1799; chr 10 March 1799, Saint Mary At Hill, London, England; d 4 March 1800 (IGI C032101)
  2. George REDPATH b 25 December 1801; chr 26 January 1802, Kings Weight House Fish Street Hill-Independent, London, England (IGI C096981)
  3. Walter REDPATH b 31 May 1803; chr 30 June 1803, Kings Weight House Fish Street Hill-Independent, London, England (IGI C096981)
  4. Janet REDPATH b 19 December 1807; chr 28 January 1808, Kings Weight House Fish Street Hill-Independent, London, England (IGI C096981)
Source of above, IGI, shows surnames as RIDPATH.

Richard BRAIMER appears to have not married and had no issue. His Will describes him as "of the Bank of Scotland" and he bequeathed his property and income from investments to his sister Christian and her (unmarried) daughter Elizabeth for the rest of their lives. Thereafter the property was divided equally amongst the children of his late brother.

David BRAIMER appears to have followed the BRAIMER family military tradition and became a captain in the Royal Navy. His family included:

Marriage: Elizabeth LOUTTIT [b ~ 1786; d March Quarter 1862 (Falmouth, vol 5c, p 137)]; 4 November 1809, Mylor, Cornwall

  1. Jenet (Jeanette or Janet?) BRAIMER chr 19 September 1810, Mylor, Cornwall, England; known as Jessie, she married Duncan Joseph LOUTTIT on 6 March 1848 at Mylor (see West Briton And Cornwall Advertiser Transcriptions); possibly died in Liverpool in March quarter 1863.
  2. Elizabeth Crease BRAIMER chr 25 March 1812, Mylor, Cornwall, England; m Lt David Robert Bunbury MAPLETON, ~ January 1837, Mylor Cornwall (West Briton [newspaper], 3 February 1837); d before July 1840 (husband married Ann COMPIGNE on 21 July 1840, source: Naval Biographical Dictionary of 1849)
  3. David John BRAIMER b April 1814; d Cove, Ireland, May 1815 (source: Memorial Inscription - Sacred To the memory of David John Braimer Son of Captain David Braimer And of Elizabeth his wife Who died at Cove May 1815 aged 13 months
  4. Marion BRAIMER chr 21 February 1816, Mylor, Cornwall, England; d March Quarter 1862 (Falmouth, vol 5c, p 137)
  5. Catherine Molle BRAIMER chr 27 December 1817, Mylor, Cornwall, England; m John GURNEY, solicitor in June quarter 1855 at Falmouth (Vol 5c, p 331) - living at 24 Park Rd, Forest Hill Villa, Lewisham, Kent, England in the UK 1881 census; d June quarter 1890 (71y) at Lewisham (Vol 1d, page 613). John Gurney was a widower, previously married to Sarah Ann Tressider. They had a child, Mary Ann Gurney who married John Frederic JONES. One of their sons was named William Braimer Jones. There is still a Braimer-Jones family in England (presumably descended from William) but their connection to the Braimers is only through the stepparent, Catherine Molle Braimer. A Gurney relative, Richard Malcolm Gurney, married Elizabeth Mapleton Louttit, daughter of Duncan Joseph Louttit and Janet (Jessie) Braimer, in India in 1888.
  6. James Louttit BRAIMER chr 15 January 1819, Mylor, Cornwall, England; d Falmouth, Cornwall, March quarter 1894, 74y
  7. Mary Redpath BRAIMER chr 10 October 1820, Mylor, Cornwall, England; d December Quarter 1902, 82y, (Falmouth, vol 5c, p 102)
  8. Lawrance Boyne BRAIMER chr 27 September 1823, Mylor, Cornwall, England; d Falmouth, Cornwall, June quarter 1876
  9. Gilbert Innes BRAIMER chr 22 November 1827, Mylor, Cornwall, England; d 2 February 1848, 20y, (Falmouth, Vol 9, p 62)
  10. Helen Malcolm BRAIMER chr 24 March 1830, Mylor, Cornwall, England; m John Robert STEVENS, solicitor, London, 29th March 1853, Mylor, Cornwall (Times Digital Archive, 2 April 1853); d March quarter 1854, Kensington (Vol 1a, Page 10). The following death notice appeared in the West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser Friday 24th March, 1854 - In Bloomfield Street, Westbourne Terrace North, London, on the 14th instant, Helen Malcolm, wife of John Robert STEVENS, Esq., solicitor and youngest daughter of the late Capt. BRAIMER, R. N. This lady, youthful, amiable with many pleasing endowments, was in March last, married at Mylor, under circumstances apparently happy and auspicious, and which threw out a bright perspective. But a change was to come over all, an all-seeing wisdom saw fit to revise these placid conditions, sickness ensued, a delicate constitution yielded, and she, who was the bright and cherished love and hope of her affectionate family and friends, is to be "no more seen."
Christening dates for children of David and Elizabeth Braimer extracted from IGI C021851.

James Louttit BRAIMER was a Lieutenant in the Royal Marines and retired before 1881.

It appears that this branch of the Braimers very enthusiastically used family names as given names. However, the male line appears to have died out without issue so the BRAIMER surname has all but disappeared in the UK.

Christian BRAIMER

Father: John BRAIMER
Mother: Janet DUNSE

Family 1: William GREIVE - merchant, Eyemouth (d before 1806) source: William Carlier and Christian Braimer marriage record

No children have been identified from this marriage. Thanks to Nickie Wellingham who provided information on William Greive from the Carlier/Braimer marriage record viz, "William Carlier, merchant, St Cuthbert's Parish and Christian Braimer, St Andrew Church Parish, relict of William Greive, merchant, Eyemouth".

Family 2: William CARLIER

  1. Janet (Jessie) CARLIER b about 1807; c 27 February 1807, South Leith, Midlothian, Scotland
  2. Elizabeth CARLIER b about 1808; c 29 February 1808, Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, Scotland; d 2 March 1864, Edinburgh
  3. John CARLIER b 1809, Scotland; c 17 May 1809, Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, Scotland
  4. William CARLIER b about 1810; c 12 May 1810, Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, Scotland
  5. David CARLIER b about 1812; c 20 May 1812, Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
  6. Richard CARLIER b 1814, Scotland; c 23 April 1814, Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

See the Carlier Page for more detailed notes on the descendants of Christian BRAIMER (and William CARLIER).

Notes on Christian BRAIMER

The 1841 Census shows Christian CARLIER (nee BRAIMER), age cohort 60+, living at 30 Haddington Place, Edinburgh. Her birthplace was listed as "Outside Census County".

Also listed in the same household were:
Surname First name(s) Sex Age/cohort Occupation Where born
BRAIMER Richard M 55 Royal Bank of Scotland Outside Census County
CARLIER Jessie F 31y Teacher of Music Midlothian
CARLIER Elizabeth F 30 Outside Census County
BAIN Elizabeth F 25 Female Servant Outside Census County

Source: 1841 Census - Piece: SCT1841/685/2; Place: Edinb.St Andrew-Midlothian; Enumeration District: 26; Civil Parish: St Cuthbert's; Folio: 128 Page: 5
Note that these are age cohorts rather than exact age (ie Christian Carlier was between 60 and 64 years of age, Richard Braimer between 55 and 59 years of age, etc)

Transcript of Death Certificate of Christian Carlier (nee Braimer)

1855 District of Calton and Bonnington in the City County of Edinburgh (page 78)

  • No: 232
  • Name: Carlier, Christian Braimer
  • Sex: F
  • Age: 81 yrs
  • Where born and how long in this District: Edrom, Berwickshire, 24 years
  • Parents' Names etc: David Braimer, Captain, Army, deceased; Janet Braimer, maiden name Dunse, deceased
  • If deceased was married, to whom: William Carlier, Merchant, deceased
  • Issue in order of birth etc:
    1. Jessie deceased
    2. Elizabeth
    3. John deceased
    4. David deceased
    5. William deceased
    6. Richard deceased
  • When died: 1855, September Twenty fourth 6 (or 10) to One
  • Where died: 30 Haddington Place, Edinburgh
  • Cause of death etc: Organic Disease of the Stomach for more than a year as Certified by James Simson MD who saw deceased September 24th
  • Burial place; undertaker: Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh certified by Alex Archie(?), Undertaker
  • Signature of informant: Elizabeth Carlier, daughter
  • [Registration details]: 1855 October 2nd at Edinburgh; Andrew Balfour, Registrar
(Transcribed by Robert Childs)

Note: The name of Christian Braimer's father, shown by Elizabeth Carlier as David Braimer, is almost certainly wrong. David Braimer was Christian's grandfather. It is also noteworthy that all of Elizabeth Carlier's siblings are shown as deceased whereas John Carlier was certainly alive and living in South Australia in 1855. Elizabeth Carlier (d 1864) was probably the niece identified in A curious Old Watch .... as "recently deceased".


Some South Australian Families

Updated 3 November 2011