Brabham family ancestors appear to have immigrated from Wales

Published 10:15 am Friday, November 12, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Those researching the genealogy of the Brabham family of South Carolina believe they descend from a John Brabham who sailed to the Barbados in 1680. According to Parish registers, the ancient home of the Brabhams was in Merioneth, Wales. The information has not been proven, but there is support for it. The St. Michaels Parish Registers report that John Brabham migrated early in the 18th Century to the Barbadian colony in North Carolina. One record indicates he was there by 1719.

John Brabham and family settled on lands in Onslow County, N.C., where the family grew and prospered. He ended up rendering service during the Colonial Wars in 1754 as a member of the drummers. He had married Mary Johnston soon after arriving in America. They are believed to be the parents of the following children: John Jr., Benjamin, Henry, James and Joseph.

The oldest three sons rendered service during the American Revolutionary War. John Brabham Jr. appears on The Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina. Benjamin Brabham enlisted in the 5th Regiment, North Carolina, in April 1776, and Henry enlisted in the same unit in March 1776 as a sergeant.

A few years after the war, Benjamin, Henry, James and Joseph Brabham moved to South Carolina. In the 1790 federal census, James and Joseph were in the Orangeburg District. In the 1800 census, James was in the St. James Parish, Charleston District, and Joseph was in Barnwell County.

In 1772, Joseph Brabham was married to Flora McPhail, daughter of John McPhail. In 1787, he purchased 100 acres in the Orangeburg District of South Carolina. In 1801 he received a land grant for a 208-acre tract which adjoined his other property. He and Flora were the parents of the following 11 children: Reuben, m. Elizabeth ?; John, m. Martha Moye; Joseph, m. Sarah Kirkland; James, m. Mary Graham; Archibald, b. 1783, d. 1854, m. Rebecca Grimes; Sarah, m. Willis Knight; Nancy, m. Jacob Kearse; Flora, m. William Kearse; Mary, m. George Tass Grimes; Cynthia, m. George Kirkland; and Elizabeth, m. (1) ? Broxton (2) S. Richardson.

At least two of the sons, Reuben Brabham and Archibald Brabham, fought during the War of 1812. Archibald served as a Corporal in Rowe’s Regiment of the South Carolina Militia. In 1812, he was married in Barnwell County to Rebecca Grimes, daughter of Nathan C. Grimes and Esther Kirkland (1775-1815). The two brothers and families left Barnwell County, S.C., and migrated to Alabama probably during the 1830s. Archibald was found in Pike County in 1840 where he engaged in farming. He died circa 1860 and was buried in the Ludlum Cemetery in Bullock County which had been carved out of Pike County.

Archibald and Rebecca Brabham were the parents of the following children: Richard, b. 1812, m. Ayners Helms; Rebecca, b. 1816; James Grimes, b. 1818, d. 1896, m. 1847 Mary Matilda Johnson; Jemima Jennett, b. 1820, d. 1870, m. Stephen J. Richardson (1815-1860); Henry “Pete,” b. 1820, d. 1862, m. Martha ?; George Cornelius, b. 1833, d. 1905, m. Sarah Emerson (1835-1915); John Allen, b. 1834, d. 1918, m. 1864 Mary Jane Ludnam; Esther “Kitty,” b. 1838; and Caroline Elizabeth, b. 1840, d. 1934, m. (1) 1860 John Blue (1834-1865 (2) Pvt. James Nickolas “Jimmie” Hutto (1833-1915).

The second son, James Grimes Brabham, was married in 1847 to Mary Matilda Johnson, daughter of Harris Johnson and Mary Sims/Simmons. They lived next door to his parents in 1850 in Pike County. In 1870, his home in the Perote community fell in the new Bullock County after it was cut from Pike. He had rendered service during the War Between the States as a private in Company H, Jeff Davis Legion, but survived to return home.

James and Mary Brabham were the parents of the following children: Rebecca Alice, b. 1848, m. 1866 John Wesley James; Martha Ann “Mollie,” b. 1850, d. 1923, m. 1873 John D. Brooks (1852-1915); Augustus Archibald, b. 1852, d. 1932, m 1878 Martha Louise Griffin (1855-1930); Osborn Allen, b. 1853, d. 1928, m. Amorette Dawson (1858-1905): John H., b. 1857, d. 1929, m. 1894 Eudora Kirkland (1866-1950); Isaac Lowery, b. 1859, d. 1932, m. Matilda ? (1861-1888); Jacob Johnson, b. 1861, d. 1943, m. 1896 Laura Melissa Wilkes (1870-1931); James J., b. 1865, d. 1934, m. (1) ? Bates (2) Rella Blue (1860-1953); and Mary Lula, b. 1868, d. 1923, m. 1888 William J. Linton.

The oldest child and daughter, Rebecca Alice Brabham, was born in 1848 in the Perote community of Pike County. She was married there in 1866 to John Wesley James, son of William M. James and Ann C. Ross. Rebecca died in 1914 while visiting relatives in Dothan, Ala., and was buried there in the Selma Baptist Church Cemetery. John Wesley was born in 1841 in Lee County, Ga., and died in 1917 in Florala, Covington County, Ala.

On April 4, 1861, John Wesley James enlisted as a private in Company E, 7th Ala. Infantry Regiment in Barbour County. He re-enlisted in May 1862 as a sergeant in Company H, 39th Ala. Infantry. He was captured in Nashville in December 1864 and imprisoned at Camp Douglas from which he was paroled in June 1865. He returned home to Barbour County, Ala., and resumed his life. He later brought his family to Covington County when he migrated there in 1911, but he only lived for six years before his death in 1917. He had said he did not want his body moved anywhere, so he was buried in a Florala Cemetery.

John Wesley and Rebecca were the parents of 11 children: August Clifford, b. 1867, d. 1868; Mary Alma, b. 1869, m. (1) S.A. Howard (2) J.S. Finlayson; Ida Alyne, b. 1871, d. 1955, m. 1887 John Morgan Dykes; Mattie Lou, b. 1873, d. 1950, m. Ernest Goodyear; William Osborne, b. 1875, d. 1910, m. Dollie Belle Gibbons; Annie Lee, b. 1878, d. 1949, m. I.J. Haisten; Joseph Deleon, b. 1880, d. 1948, m. Saphronia Brooks; Lowry Brabham, b. 1882, d. 1952, m. Mattie Lou Knowles; Nancy Leona, b. 1885, d. 1965, m. J.B. Gardner; John Porter, b. 1887, d. 1957, m. Ruth Slauson; and Walter Homer, b. 1888, d. 1980, m. Atha Mae Daniel.

The second daughter, Ida Alyne James, was married in 1887 to John Morgan Dykes, son of Wilson Dyches and Susan Hutto. They were the parents of eight children: Alice, b. 1889, d. 1962, m. 1906 Hannibal Chester Taylor; Wilson Hubbard, b. 1891, d. 1929, m. Annie Melinda Murphy; DeLeon, b.&d. 1895; John Holland, b. 1896, d. 1989; Fannie Loomis, b. 1902, d. 1917; Fred Meadows Sr., b. 1907, d. 1983, m. 1909 Lydia Edna Andrews; Ralph Wesley, b. 1908, d. 2001, m. 1928 Martha Emma Fletcher; and George Ellis, b. 1910, d. 1982, m. 1929 Ozelle Allen.

The oldest son, Wilson Hubbard Dykes, born in Pike County, and was 11 years old when his family moved to Dothan in 1902. In 1908, he married Annie Melinda Murphy, daughter of Oscar Milton Murphy and Gertrude Aman. In 1924, the family moved to Covington County where Hubbard purchased a dairy in 1927. Tragically in 1929, Hubbard died from a gunshot which he accidentally fired when picking up his shotgun.

Hubbard and Annie Dykes were the parents of nine children: Earl Raymond, b. 1909, d. 2008, m. Marietta Lucille Hudson; Hazel Gertrude, b. 1911, d. 1995, m. Cecil Kinette Adams; John Morgan, b. 1915, d. 1980, m. Loyce Rice; Sannie Frances, b. 1917, d. 2011, m. Charles Judson Ward Jr.; James Bluford, b. 1919, d. 1014, m. Sarah Lee Talley; Amorette Alyne, b. 1922, d. 2020, m. 1943 Lenward James Reece; Oscar Milton, b. 1925, d. 2017, m. 1944 Mary Louise Spurlin; Wilson Hubbard Jr., b. 1926, d. 2015, m. 1945 Helen May Kotka; and Charles Emoral, b. 1928, m. (1) 1947 Julia Belle Summerlin (2) Margaret ?.

The oldest son, Earl Raymond Dykes, was born in 1909 in Dothan, but he moved with the family to Andalusia in 1924. He became a minister and was married in 1933 to Marietta Lucille Hudson. Among their children was a daughter, Mary Jane, who was married in 1971 to Dewey Alvin Weaver.

More genealogy of the James family will be presented in next week’s column

Mary Jane (Dykes) Weaver is the author of the book, Dykes and Kin of Yesterday and Today, which was the major source along with for today’s story.

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