Bracewell clan first came to area in 1860

Published 11:59 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

Ancestors of the Bracewell family of Covington County arrived here circa 1860, when they migrated from Dale County, Ala. Prior to that residence, the family lived in Georgia, and their ancestors probably came there from the Carolinas.

The earliest Bracewell ancestor known to this writer is Kendred or Kendrick who was born in Georgia circa 1810. He was married there to Ailey (last name unknown) who was born circa 1815 in North Carolina. Kendred and Ailey are the pioneers who brought their family to this area to carve out a better future. They lived in the Gantt/Straughn community where he homesteaded 79.90 acres of land in 1885, which fell in the Gantt Township. They were most likely associated with the Old Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church, which was the earliest one of record in Covington County. Their son, Kindred Jr. was active in the church and held the title of Elder, which indicated he was a leader and probably a preacher for the church.

Two Bracewells appear on the Covington County Registered Voters’ List compiled in 1867, K. (Kendred), and R.T. (Robert Thomas), who is probably Kendred’s son. Robert Thomas was born circa 1842. In the 1870 Federal Census for Covington County, K. Bracewell was listed at 60 years of age, and his wife, Adiley, was 52. They had the following children with them: Jhon, 22; Jane, 18; Kindreth, 13, and William. The family was residing in the Buck Creek Township.

Living next door was apparently their son, R. Thomas Bracewell at 28 years of age. His wife, Elizabeth, was 26, and they had two children at the time: Mary J., 5; and Zinnamon, 3. There was also a R. Thomas Bracewell who rendered service in Company E., 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army. He had a wife named Zilphie Ganey, and they had at least the following four children: James Irvin, Zaney, Lewis Edward and Dona.

Zinnamon Bracewell, was married to Barbara Bracewell, and they had the following children: Missouri, m. Elam Gorum; Carrie; Fennie, m. ? Harrelson; Carlie, b. 1936; and possibly Dallas, who is buried with family members in the Carter Cemetery. There was also a Lonnie Bracewell who was appears to be the father of Barbara and Ann Bracewell. He was married to Maggie Wheeler, sister to Daisy, who was married to John Earnest Bracewell. It is likely that Lonnie and John Earnest were cousins.

Zinnamon is reported to have been the father of John Earnest Bracewell, (1894-1982), who was the son of Ann Bracewell, a sister to Barbara Bracewell. John Earnest was married to Daisy L. Wheeler (1896-1985), daughter of Morgan Daniel Jackson “Jack” and Lucinda Adaline (Bozeman) Wheeler. John and Daisy resided in the Dunn’s Bridge community and became prosperous enough that they were able to give each of their children a tract of land. They reared the following children: Minnie Lee, m. Oliver Cecil Nichols; Erby, m. (1) Catherine ?; Mary Etta, m. Victor Pignatelli; Kirby, m. Roxie Williamson; and Willie Pearl, m. Eugene Hall.

Another son of Kendred and Ailey, Kendred or Kendrick Bracewell, Jr., was born circa 1850 before the family moved from Georgia. He was married to Mary Ann “Molly” Elizabeth Harrelson, daughter of Elijah and Mary Ann Elizabeth (McMillan) Harrelson, pioneers in the Straughn community of Covington County. Kendred became a leader in the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church near Straughn School, and the title of “Elder” was placed on his tombstone.

In the 1900 census, Kindred Bracewell Jr. and family resided in the Straughn School House Precinct. He was listed as being 50 years of age, and his wife, Mary A.E., was 36. With them were the following children: Joseph Daniel, 18; Martha Charlotte, 16; Mary Magdaline, 12; Lillie Lee, 9; Elisha Russell, 6; Essie S., 4; and Katie M., 2.

Family records show that Kindred Jr. and Mary Ann E. Bracewell had the following children: Joseph Daniel, b. 1881, d. 1967, m. 1904 Carlie Idell Carter (1881-1954); Martha Charlotte “Lottie,” b. 1884, d. 1975, m. 1909 John B. Nelson (1886-1969); Mary Magdaline, b. 1887, d. 1978, m. 1904 Harley Isaiah Carter (1881-1956), twin to Carlie Carter; Lillie Lee, b. 1890, d. 1973, m. 1907 Ace Monroe Carter, (1885-1963); Elige Russell, b. 1893, d. 1950, m. (1) Mae Wellington (1895-1918) (2) Rossie ? (3) Lula Jowers; Essie S., b. 1895, d. 1975, m. Albert H. Nelson (1890-1953); Kate, b. 1898, m. 1920 Earnest Price (1900-1964); Foster Kendrick, b. 1904, m. Jewel Thomas (1910-1970); H.L., b. 1904, d. 1906; and twin sons, b.&d. 1900. The last three sons were buried in the Shiloh Church Cemetery along side their parents.

The oldest son, Joseph Daniel Bracewell, and wife, Carlie Carter, were married in 1904. They reared the following children: James Orbie, m. Alma Elder; Josephine, b. 1908, m. T. Jeff Lunsford; Joseph Claud, b. 1910, m. 1932, Geraldine Taylor; Bonnie Mae, m. J.C. Mathews; Hilary Robert, b. 1915, d. 1990, m. Odessa Wallace; Shelley, m. Doshie Wallace; Marie, m. Bill Fuller; Merlene, m. Billy Barnes; and Marshall, m. 1943 Lottie Chavers. A number of this family are buried in the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church Cemetery.

The oldest daughter, Martha Charlotte “Lottie” Bracewell, was married in 1909 to John B. Nelson (1886-1969). They reared the following children: Ruby, m. Clarence Lankford; Memphis, m. Francis Turner; Cloie, m. Vena Hendrix; Dorothy, m. Aaron Whatley; Hamilton, m. Doris Parrish; and Lois, m. Grafton Bozeman.

The next daughter, Mary Magdaline Bracewell (1887-1978), was married in 1904 to Harley Isaiah Carter (1881-1956), twin to Carlie Carter. They reared the following children: Emma Leslie “Lessie,” b. 1905, d. 1911; Thelma, b. 1908, m. (1) 1925 William Batchelor (1907-1929) (2) 1931 Talmadge Parr; Elvie, b. 1910, m. (1) 1928 Frazier Whatley (1908-1963) (2) Ernie Ellis; Tollie, b. 1913, d. 1974, m. Geneva Mum; Ollie, b. 1916, m. 1940 Nell Nelson; Columbus, b. 1918, m. Agnes Bodiford; Harley Isaiah Jr., b. 1922, m. (1) Flay Carter (2) Mamie Gill; Ruth, b. 1926, d. 1969, m. Hershell Courson; and Cather, b. 1930, m. Mamie Lunsford (1933-1981).

The next daughter, Lillie Lee, and husband, Ace Monroe Carter, reared the following children: Austin, m. Lillie Kilpatrick; Costeen, m. Claude Williams; Kirby, m. Gladys Batchelor; Earl, m. Autibee Henley; Lorene, m. Charlie Anderson; Loman “Pete,” m. Betty Flowers; Beatrice, m. Leon Bringhurst; and Kathleen, b. 1921, d. 1936.

The second son, Elisha “Elige” Russell, and first wife, Mae Wellington, had three children: Andrew Jackson “Jack,” m. (1) Beulah ? (2) Lucille ?; Dora, m. Millard Nelson (1908-1981); and Minnie m. (1) Byrd Wiggins (2) Jack Richards. Elige and second wife, Rossie, had one daughter, Ruth, m. Charlie Godwin. Elige and third wife, Lula Jowers, had two sons, James Huey, m. Mildred ?; and Edward, single.

The next daughter, Essie S., and her husband Albert H. Nelson, had one daughter, Varchie Iduma, single.

The next daughter, Kate M., and husband, Earnest Price, reared the following children: E. Young, m. Mary Lois ?; Laster, m. Helen Toler; Lyda Beth, m. Howard Lamb; Elizabeth, m. Harold Malone; Haskell, m. Nora ?; Joseph, m. Frances Diefenbach; and William R., b.&d. 1934.

The next son, Foster Kendrick, and wife, Jewel Mason Thomas, reared the following children: Charles, b. 1929, m. Barbara Bauer; Kendrick, b. 1933, d. 1948, single; Lamar, b. 1936, m. (1) Pat Royels (2) Kathey Daran; Ronald, b. 1942, m. (1) Ann Warden (2) Linda ?; Carolyn, b. 1944, m. Dudley Destin; Yvonne, b. 1947, m. Douglas Herren; and Rebecca Ann “Becky,” b. 1953, m. (1) Frank Beecher (2) Steve Fatheree.

There are many Bracewell descendants who currently reside in the county. Assistance from some of these provided the genealogy for today’s column. A special thanks goes to Joe and Jan (Conforti) Bracewell and Mary (Nichols) Locklier for sharing their family records.

Anyone who might have any corrections to the above or additional information on this these families are requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail

NOTE: The writer of this column would appreciate hearing from anyone who has family history they would consent to being used for future stories.

HISTORICAL MEETING: The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library.