William and Andrea Brinsmead

Early Years

William Brinsmead's early life, moving from London England to New York with his father and brother, is detailed on another page.  This page describes his marriage, his career and his family. William's marriage to Andrea Amelia Ingebrightsen resulted in ten children and ultimately, five generations later, by far the largest contingent of Brinsmeads in the United States of America.

An Army Life

At age 18, William enlisted in the American Army 2nd Infantry, at Fort Omaha, Nebraska on October 1st, 1887. Initially, he signed up for five years. When he retired 26 years later, on March 8, 1913 he held the rank of Chief Musician 8th U.S. Cavalry Band.

William BrinsmeadAndrea Amelia BrinsmeadIn 1890, William let his foster parents in Iowa know that he liked the Army well and that "...any young man can do well if he behaves himself."  He was by then playing in the band and earned $13 per month.  The Fort Omaha, Nebraska Directory lists William as a musician in the Regimental Band of the 2nd Infantry from 1892-1894.  In 1888-1890 he is listed as a Private and a Musician in Company D of the 2nd Infantry.  In 1896 he is listed as a Sergeant in Company F. In 1900 he is still a sergeant, posted to the Philippines.

William Brinsmead's graveOn May 8th, 1902, William married Andrea Amelia Ingebrigtsen at Highland Falls, New York.  Andrea was born on November 1st, 1877 in Bergen, Norway, the daughter of Absalon Johan Ingebrigtsen and Anne Marie Knudtsen.  Andrea's father was a tailor by trade, although may have been a lawyer in Europe.  He died on May 29th, 1907 at Fort Slocum, Westchester County, New York.  Andrea was the youngest child and had three sisters Anna, Rogna and Ingrid.   Her mother died when she was about nine years old.

William Brinsmead, RetiredMore of William's military postings can be determined by the birthplaces of his children.  In 1903 the family was in New York.  In 1905, they were at Jefferson Barracks, Jefferson County, Missouri. 1906 saw them posted to Fort McKinney in the Philippine Islands.  From 1908 until at least 1910 they were at Fort Robinson, Nebraska and by 1913 they had settled in Port Townsend, Jefferson County, Washington State.

William died on March 22nd, 1936 in Seattle, Washington.  Andrea died in October 8th, 1938.

Census Records

Fort Robinson H.Q. BuildingThe 1900 Census record - Military and Naval Population - for William Brinsmead shows him as a Sergeant stationed at the Port of Aparri, Philippine Islands.

The 1910 Census records the family, then with the four oldest children, at Fort Robinson, Dawes County, Nebraska (shown right).

By the 1920 Census records the family, with all ten children at home, living at Woodman, Jefferson, Washington State which is a part of present day Port Townsend.

The 1930 Census records the family living in Port Townsend, Washington State. By then the four eldest daughters, Lillian, Ellen, Ruth and Melba had left home.  Lillian and Melba were living together in Seattle where Lillian was a school teacher and Melba a stenographer.

Ten Children

Over eighteen years, William and Andrea had a total of ten children, (the eleventh, Robert George died before he was one) shown here in a family photograph provided by Lee Brinsmead and taken about 1921-22.

 William and Andrea's family circa 1922
Top row, left to right: Ruth, Melba, Ellen, Johnny, Lillian, Bill
Bottom row: Arthur, Betty, Andrea, Henry ("Bud"), William and Violet.



Lillian married Fred Leon Bristol, born on May 6th, 1885 in Columbia County, Wisconsin.  In 1900, at age 15, Fred was enrolled in the Industrial School for boys in Lancing, Michigan. He registered for the WWI draft at Missoula, Montana.  There he is listed as a Machinist and Musician. His next of kin is Mrs. F.L. Bristol of Missoula.

We have no details of when they were married.  The couple lived in Seattle at 2555 27th Ave.  They took a vacation to Hawaii, sailing from San Francisco on September 8th, 1950 and returning home by air to Seattle on September 23rd.  Fred died in Seattle on Jan 9th, 1967 and Lillian on November 9th, 1983.  It appears that Lillian may have been an active member of the Seattle Genealogical Society.

EllenEllen Mary

Ellen Mary Brinsmead was born at Jefferson Barracks, Jefferson County, Missouri on January 5th, 1905.  On April 9th, 1932 she married Allen Arthur Clark at Trinity Parish Church in Seattle. Arthur was born in Vancouver, British Columbia on Feb 25th, 1907, but as a teenager lived on his parent's farm in the small south-eastern Saskatchewan community of Coalfields. The couple had two daughters; Diane Andrea who married John Bagley and now lives in Salem, Oregon, and Marily Kathleen who married James Wright.  Both daughters have children and grandchildren. Diane Bagley has been very helpful keeping the family tree up to date.

RuthRuth Mable

Ruth Mable Brinsmead was born in the Philippines, at Fort McKinley, on September 9th, 1906. She married John Peter Chamberlin on October 12th, 1928 at Port Townsend, Washington State. He was the son of Matthew and Margaret Chamberlin of St. Paul.  Matthew was a gospel missionary of English extraction and Margaret was Irish. Ruth and John moved to his home state of Minnesota. Ruth Chamberlin - 1930 CensusOn the 1930 census, Ruth is listed as living in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her in-laws, along with her new baby Alycemae, just two months old.

The couple went on to have five children: Alycemae Bernice (m. Macker, died 2020), William Matthew (died 2008),  Joan Ruth (m. Wayne Douglas Moldenauer, died 1992), John James, and Andrea Margaret (m. Harvey Criss then m. Leslie Phillips).

John Chamberlin served in the US Army Air Force in Korea, starting on March 5th, 1949.

John died on December 9th 1970 and Ruth on June 7th 1986. Ruth and John are both interred in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in South Minneapolis.


MelbaMelba Andrea

Melba was born on Feb 7th, 1908 at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. She lived with her parents into the 1920's then moved out to live with her sister Lillian in Seattle. She worked as a stenographer in an office. We have little detail of her life.  she is known to have married a Glenn Langdon and then Nels Johnson, with whom she had a daughter Lane.  Lane married Michael Copper and had nine children.

Melba died on June 19th, 1996 in Kirkland, King County, Washington State.

William AbsolonWilliam Absalom

William (Bill) Absalom Brinsmead was born on August 23, 1909 at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. In 1929 he married Gloria Eaton, born on July 26th, 1911 in Chewlah, Washington, the daughter of Charles and Bertha Eaton.   Bill died in a car accident in 1963.  Gloria then married Otto Gilbertson who died in 1997.  When Gloria died in 2002, at Snohomish, Washington, she was buried next to William at the Evergreen Cemetery, Washelli.

Sandra and Jay's WeddingSandra and Jay's wedding


The couple had three daughters, Doreen, Barbara and Sandra.  Sandra married Jesse (Jay) Edward Hammond, and they had two daughters.  Doreen married a Pennington, a Hill and then a Nerison. Doreen died in Snohomish, Washington on November 19th, 1984 survived by a daughter. Barbara married a Tarp, a Jackson and a Calkins.  Barbara passed away on December 18th, 1985 and was survived by a son and a daughter.

JohhnyJohn Charles

John Charles Brinsmead has his own "Brinsmead Biography" page.  He was born in 1910 at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.  On June 10, 1941 he married Blanche Missiaen, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  The couple had three children; Alice Ann, who married Paul Hegna; Andrea, who married Robert Mowad, and John who married Diana.  Alice Ann passed away on November 4th, 2009.

John Charles served in World War One in the US Army and then returned to active duty for the Korean war.  He died in active service in Korea on September 27th, 1950.  Blanche Brinsmead died on September 16th, 2000 in Seattle.


Lee BrinsmeadArthur was born on July 26th, 1913 at Port Townsend, Washington State.  On November 25th, 1945 he married Margaret Arneman.  The couple had two children, Lee Arthur (m. Sharon) and Joy (m. Larry Sirianni).  Margaret died on October 27th, 1972. Arthur lived until July 27th, 1997. Lee (right) lives in Seattle and has been very generous in sharing his family picture and other records.


VioletViolet Louise

Violet Louise was born on December 11th, 1914. She was living with her parents in Port Townsend, Washington State at the time of the 1930 census.  She subsequently married Denver E. Seaman who was born on April 19th, 1913.  The couple lived in Portland, Oregon.  they are not known to have had any children.  Denver died in Portland on June 18th, 1988. Violet died on January 9th, 1999 in Henderson, Clark County, Nevada.

Clare Elizabeth (Betty)Clara Elizabeth (Betty)

Clara Elizabeth was born in Port Townsend, Washington State on July 7th, 1917.  She was living with her family there at the time of the 1930 census.  On November 19th, 1938, she married Albert Simpson Fournier in Seattle.  Albert was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 30th, 1914.  They had two children, Alan Michael Fournier and April Ann Fournier.

Brian and Jennifer Huseland Of particular significance to this web site is that Betty's grandson, Brian Anthony Huseland, (along with cousins George Brinsmead and Diane Bagley) did much of the early research on the children of William and Andrea Brinsmead.  In addition, while Brian and his young family were working for an outreach church mission in England, he did a great deal of research about William's predecessors and the circumstances surrounding their arrival in the USA.  We are indebted to Brian for much of the information we are now able to include within this larger family history. 

Brian and his wife Jennifer (right) have since returned to the US, where Brian continues his work both on behalf of his church, and on the family history of the Brinsmeads.


Henry (Bud)Henry (Bud)

The youngest of the surviving Brinsmead children, Henry "Bud" Brinsmead was born in Port Townsend, Washington State, on July 12th, 1919.

On December 15th, 1945 Henry enlisted in the US Army, as a Master Sergeant, for an initial term of three years, to serve in the Hawaii Department. However, this may have been a reenlistment as he appears to have served earlier than that.  By 1945 was already married, to Gloria Agren.  His enlistment papers show that at that point he had a year of college and, as a civilian, had worked as a sheet metal worker.  The couple's first son Mark had just been born.  Cindra Mae was born in 1946 in Renton, Washington State.  Vicki Sue was born in May, 1948 in Los Angeles and then Patti Lynn in 1951 in Pennsylvania. 

Henry BrinsmeadHenry remained in the Army, and his postings took the family up and down the East and West coasts of the USA as well as to Japan and Germany.  The family returned from Yokohama to Seattle on the USNS H.B. Freeman in October, 1954. Jana Gail was born in 1955. In 1960, the family settled permanently in the Carmel Valley. 

Henry and Gloria divorced in 1968 and each remarried; Henry to Jae.  Gloria married a Henry M. Trippe on Dec 31st, 1969 in Reno, Nevada. Henry and Jae had son George, another Brinsmead to whom this web site is heavily indebted for his research and continuous support.

Henry Brinsmead's grave in the Monterey CemetryMark married Michelle Wallace and they have two children.  George is married to Debra Shen and have a daughter. Henry died in Monterey on November 3rd, 1995. He is interred in the Monterey Cemetry. The remaining family all still lives in the beautiful Monterey - Carmel - Big Sur area of California. 

Cindra Brinsmead is an accomplished professional artist.  Her works can be seen on her website.or at the art gallery at 425 Cannery Row in Monterey.