Thomasson: 2 additional Brays featured

Published 12:59 am Saturday, April 2, 2016

Today’s story will feature the families of two of the younger children of John Henry C. Bray and his wife, Nancy Caroline (Morgan). In the past two columns, the couple’s children and some of their grandchildren were presented. This Bray family is obviously quite large with many, many descendants.

The last column was ended with the family of Sophia Della (Bray) and husband, William Henry “Bill” Palmer. Today’s writing will begin with Della’s sister, Betty Elizabeth (Bray) and her husband, William Columbus Goodman (1878-1937). Betty was born in 1882 as the eighth child of John Henry C. and Nancy Caroline (Morgan) Bray. It is not known if Betty was born before or after the family settled in the Fairfield community of Covington County. Betty lived her last years with her son, Arthur Goodman, and family in the Salem community. She died in 1955 and was buried in the Cedar Grove Church of Christ Cemetery in Arthur’s family plot.

Betty was married to William Columbus Goodman and they had the following children: Sam, (mentally challenged), d. 1930, buried in Weed Cemetery; William Charlie, m. (1) Katie Mae Lambert (2) Esther Chavers; Arthur Bray, b. 1913, d. 1991; m. Lydia Fae (Stokes) Garrett; Barney (female), d. as infant and buried at Jordan Cemetery; and two unnamed infants who died at birth and were buried beside their father in Jordan Cemetery. It appears that the family lived mostly in this community but resided for a time in the Weed community.

Betty’s second son, William Charlie Goodman, was married first to Katie Mae Lambert who died during the mid-1960s with cancer. They had four children born who died in infancy and one son who survived, William Coston, b. 1952. Coston was married several times, first to Trisha Smith. He and his second wife, Margie Mizell, had three children: Stacy Coston, b. 1975; Charles Ray, b. 1976; and Joseph. He married third Leonie King and fourth, Margie Greer. He and Margie had a daughter, Katie Diane. He also had two children with Margaret Lynette Smith, Timothy Shane Smith and Justin DeWayne Smith. He had a daughter with Phillis Harris, Brenda Harris.

Betty’s third son, Arthur Bray Goodman, was married in 1939 to Lydia Fae (Stokes) Garrett (1915-1953), daughter of Justice Lamar Stokes and Flossie (Huggins). Lydia Fae had previously been married to J.P. Garrett of the Cedar Grove community who had died after a short time. Lydia Fae later married Arthur and had the following five children: Flossie Elizabeth “Lib,” b. 1940, m. Jimmy Coxwell; Arthur Wayne, b. 1941, m. Virginia “Ginger” Buskirk; Columbus Justice “Lum,” b. 1943, d. 1985, m. Brenda Ann Franklin; Hazel Lenelle, b. 1947, m. Benjamin Jackson “B.J.” McClain; and Faye Elaine, b. 1953, m. Henry Greenhill. Lydia Fae met with an untimely death following the birth of her fifth child at the young age of 37 years, and Arthur remained single to maintain a home for their children.

Arthur Bray Goodman has been described as a “fine Christian man who was a faithful member and deacon for many years at the Cedar Grove Church of Christ.” His employment career included working as bookkeeper for the Sinclair Refining Company of Andalusia and later serving as manager and treasurer for the Andytex Federal Credit Union for employees of the Andala and Alatex. While serving in the Alabama National Guard, his unit was mobilized during World War II, and he was attached to a Marine Corp unit. Following his tour of active service, he returned home to help rear his family.

Their oldest daughter, Elizabeth Goodman, and her husband, Jimmy Coxwell, reared two daughters: Sandy, m. Larry Skipper; and Susan, m. Patrick Rigdon. They have five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Sandy and Larry had the following: Heather, m. Jed Blackwell; Kenneth Larry “Kenny” m. Emily Edson; and Kyle, m. Brittany Neal. Susan and Patrick have two children: Lauren, m. Clif Green; and Russell, m. Loran Rabren.

Authur’s oldest son, Wayne Goodman, and his wife, Ginger, have three children: Connon Wayne, m. Debra Hall; Carol, m. Tom Gudaskas; and Parker Dee, m. Emily Turner. Connon and Debra adopted twins, Trey and Elizabeth. Carol and Tom have three daughters: Lydia, Hannah and Sarah. Parker and Emily have two sons, Nolan and Paul. The next son, Columbus “Lum” and his wife Brenda had one son, Jeffery Daniel “Dan,” m. Debbie Whatley. Dan and Debra have a daughter, Joya Claire. The next daughter, Hazel, and her husband, B.J. McClain, reared two daughters: Tracy Ann, m. Tracy Lee Simpler; and Amy Elizabeth, m. (1) Joshua Allen Cobb (2) John Wall. Tracy and Tracy Lee have one son, Garrett Jackson. Amy and Joshua have a daughter, Peyton Elizabeth. The youngest child, Faye, and her husband, Henry Greenhill, have one daughter Alison, m. (1) Chris Pippin (2) Jason Cahoon. Alison and Chris have a son, Adam Pippin, and Jason has a son, Tyler Cahoon.

Mary F. Bray was the next daughter of John Henry C. Bray and his wife, Nancy Caroline (Morgan). Mary was born in 1874 and lived until 1963 when she died in Red Level, Covington County. She was married to Robert T. “Bob” Coleman (1856-1936), and they reared the following seven children: Ollie Green, b. 1898, d. 1973, m. Pearl (Crosby ?); Ola, b. 1898 (twin to Ollie), m. ?; Henry, m. Nancy Kirkland; Joe, m. Mary Shirey ?; Jim, , b. 1907, m. Janey Quinlan; Georgia Lou, b. 1907 (twin to Jim), d. 1995, m. (1) William Fowler (2) William Henry Guy George Griggs; and Furdie, single and worked as a locksmith.

The oldest son, Ollie Coleman, had a hearing deficiency, but he worked hard and most of that was on a farm. He and his wife, Pearl, had three children: William Henry “Bill,” b. 1924, d. 1996, m. Mable Ruth Shank; Jessie Katherine, m. (1) Howard Wilson Shank (2) Robert Earl Kelley; and Elvin Carlton. When Elvin was born, Pearl, chose to take him and leave the family and the area with Melvin Cook. When the oldest son, William Henry “Bill,” was grown, he was introduced to his wife by their becoming pen pals. Afterwards they met and were soon married. They resided in Covington County and reared the following children: William Lloyd, b. 1947, m. (1) Ruth ?; Carolyn Juanita, b. 1949, d. 2014, m. (1) Marion Charles Creel (2) Mixon Moore; LaVonne Ruth, b. 1952, m. Marvin Eugene Kelley; John Stewart, b. 1954, m. Patricia Oliver; Markus Anthony, b. 1958, m. (1) Lisa ? (2) Fran ?;Ann Marie, b. 1962, single; Mable Louise “Cookie,” b. 1965, m. Joe Wilcox; Jana Maurice, b. 1966, m. Alvin Rodgers; and Richard Daniel “Ricky,” b. 1960, m. Nikki Sutton.

Ollie Coleman’s daughter, Jessie Katherine, and her first husband, Howard W. Shank, did not have any children. She later was married to Robert Earl Kelley, and they had two children: Monica Michelle and Michael DeWayne.

Ola Coleman, daughter of Mary (Bray) and Bob Coleman, had at least one daughter who was named Josephine. Ola’s younger sister, Georgia Lou, was married first to William Fowler with whom she had four children: Mary Ollie, m. (1) ? Joseph (2) John Hilpert; Edward, m. Melba Ward; Jeanette, m. (1) Felix Clark (2) Nick Nichols (3) Earl Lawrence; and Daniel, b. 1935, m. Daryl Jean ?. Georgia Lou was later married to William Henry Guy George Griggs (1882-1961), and they reared the following children: Marjorie, b. 1942, m. (1) Nathaniel Ainsworth (2) Donald Blackmon; Albert Clayton, b. 1945, m. (1) Linn Hicks (2) Judith (Castleberry) Porterfield; Lorine “Penny,” b. 1948, d. 2012, m. (1) Carl Edward Kirkland Sr. (2) Richard M. Grant. And David Ozie “Bo,” b. 1951, m. Ruby “Cookie” Chappell;

In next week’s column, the families of the younger children of John Henry C. Bray and his wife, Nancy Caroline (Morgan), will be featured.

Sources for today’s writing include the family records of Hazel (Goodman) McClain, granddaughter of Betty Elizabeth (Bray) Goodman, and interviews with some descendants of Mary (Bray) Coleman including Mable Coleman and Albert Griggs.

Anyone who might discover an error in the above history or genealogy is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will have their monthly meeting on Monday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. First Lt. Cmdr. Hank Roberts will present a program on Ft. Blakely Battlefield Park. Guests are welcome.