Sketch written by James N. Bracewell
James Newton Bracewell, the writer of this sketch and history of the Bracewell Family, was descended from a long line of ancestors who emigrated from Ireland early in the 18th century and settled in North Carolina on a river near where the town of Tarborough now stands. The name of the first immigrant father is not recorded, but raised only two children, both sons – Richard and Robert. Richard was the great grandfather of the writer. He raised eight sons, one of which was Richard, my great grandfather. He was twice married: by his first wife he had only one son whose name was Robert. He served in the army through the Revolutionary war and took active part in many of the important events of that long struggle. During the time he was in the war, at his leisure hours, he dressed out a beautiful powder horn and carved his name on it, which is still kept in the family as a relic.
Richard in the year 1774 or 75, married Agnes Proctor and raised a large family of children, all sons but one and her name was Elizabeth, who was the first daughter ever born into the Bracewell family in this country. His family were raised to be nearly grown in North Carolina. Soon after the Revolution, he sold out there and moved to Georgia and settled on Briar creek in Burk County. The climate there proved to be very deleterious to the health of the family and several died. He moved to Washington, now Lawrence county, and settled upon the Oconee river at that time the dividing line between the whites and Indians. In a few years all his children died except three Viz: Richard, Sampson and Elizabeth.
Richard, the eldest son and grandfather of the writer, about the year 1793 or 94, was married to Charity Scarborough and his first child James, was born on the 5th day of June 1794 in Allen’s fort as the people on the west side of the Oconee river had to live in forts to protect themselves from the Indians. Richard by his first wife had four children viz: James, Richard, Wiley, and William. William was the youngest son, born in Lawrence County, on the 13th day of October, 1801. Grandfather Richard after many years was left a widower by the death of his first wife, when he married a second time, a Miss Carlile, by whom he had two children, both sons, Kindred and Allen, who were both living in Houston County, Georgia, as late as the year 1840. Grandfather Richard died September 3rd, 1818, leaving his son James as his executor. He died possessed of considerable real estate, land and slaves, but what became of this as the other three sons had nothing left them and commenced life without property of any kind.
His eldest son, James, after settling up the estate moved up into Morgan County, and there commenced merchandizing in that county, with what means, the writer never heard, though he must have had a hansome start as it was said he succeeded well in that business for several years, until he endorsed for a friend by the name of Richardson in Darien Bank and had it to pay, which broke him up in business.
The next eldest son was Richard, who lived for may years a bachlor, most of the time in the family of his brother, William, the father of the writer, until 1835, when he married a widow Nobles, the daughter of James Spears. Her husband Levy Nobles, was accidently killed by being thrown from a horse against a pine sappling on the road to Dubbin. At this time he left his wife before the first child was born to whom she gave the name of the father, "Levy Nobles". Her name was Lucinda Spears. Richard had several children by this marriage and survived them all but one daughter, Mrs. Louisa J. Wyatt. He married a second time a Miss Allen by who he had one son, James who survived his father. Richard died near where he had been born and raised in Lawrence County near the mouth of little Rocky creek on the west side of the Oconee river, about the year 1880, age 86 years. He had many virtues and few faults, and no vices or enemies.