1720 Marco Polo Way
Burlingame, Ca 94010
May 8, 1978

Dear Joe,

            Many thanks for your letter today and for the return of the photo.  I have other photos of Grandpa B., but this the only one I have of Grandma B.

            You are correct—you are one up on me letter-wise.

            In recent weeks I have been “head-hunting” Grandma Bracewell’s family.  She was orphaned young and my aunts, Buna B. Smith, Ophelia B. Isgett, & Locye Turner did not know Grandma B’s mother’s maiden name.  I traced it through U. S, census & other records.

            Grandma B’s maternal grandparents were Ignacio Simes (pronounced “See-mes”), a Spaniard born in La. in 1802, and Nancy Earlty, dau. of Michael & Mary Ann (Worsham) Early—all of them Austin colonists arriving in 1824.  Michael Early died in 1927 and his widow, Mary Ann married Jas. W. Pankey, for whom the Grimes Co. community of Pankey was named.

            Descendants of Ignacio & Nancy still spell their name “Simes” but pronounce it “Sims”.

            The Simes league was just north of Bedias, 3/5 in Grimes Co. and 2/5 in Madison Co.  His title was granted in Oct. 1835.  Strangely, made out to “Ignatius Sims” though written in the Spanish language.  Grant signed by Rob’t Peebles (on behalf of S. F. Austin) witnessed by Gail Borden, Jr. (founder of Borden Dairy Products) & Spencer Jack, S. F. Austin’s lawyer.  Surveyor was Francis W. Johnson, who a few months later took command of Texans in San Antonio after Ben Milam was killed and Edward Burleson went home.

            Glad you sent to National Archives for J. M. B. service record 1862-65.  If you get more info, please share with me.

            Suggestion for Reunion ’78—let Travis B, relate the story of his & Uncle Barto’s trip to Skipperville in 1934.  As far as I know, Travis is the only living descendant who has visited the old B. place in Ala.  Also Travis B. knows at least one Civil War story in which J. M. B. participated (when Barnes was shot in the mouth and J. M. B. , alongside got the bullet out.

            I now have access to U. S. Census of 1900.  Grimes Co., Precinct 7, microfilm roll #1640, page 257A, shows:

(Here Charles Heath inserts census information which I will photocopy and put with the letter)

            Joe, as to your Apr 12 letter (the one I’m behind on), I was very pleased to have it.  Especially the info on Uncle Barto and on Green B. Johnson.  Problem is, I just haven’t had time to digest it.

            Very interested that G. B. Johnson married Martha Corner, dau. of John Corner.  Corner is a man who has not had justice done for him in Texas history.

            Blair & others call him “Conner”.  One of these days we will have to set the record straight.

            “Austin Colony Pioneers”, by Worth S. Ray, p. 362, lists the marriage of A. J. Walker to Elizabeth Corner, May 28, 1858.

            I know that you will be pretty busy between now and June 4, but I would like very much to have a copy of Travis T.’s “Reunion ‘78” and any Uncle Barto stories.  Am enclosing stamps for a copy or copies.

            Our schools here aren’t out until mid June, so impossible to come for reunion.  Don’t know if I could take the hot weather or not.

            The welcome mat is out for you here if you’re ever out this way.

                                                                                    Best to you and yours,


                                                                                    (signed) Chas.            

Added on a separate page was:

Uncle Elbert B. operated a barber shop in Shiro (Grimes Co.) about 1914.  My Dad left the Heath farm in west Walker Co. and went to work barbering for Uncle Elbert.  It was through Uncle Elbert that Dad met my mom, a niece of Elbert (Hugh’s dau.)  They married Sept 9, 1917, Dad’s 31st birthday.  They lived in Navasota where my older brother, Harold was born in Aug, 1918, and I in 1921 where my younger brother, John (whom you know) was born in 1923.  We grew up in Cameron, then in 1941 Dad & Mom moved to Bryan.  In 1955 they  moved to Washington State (Renton.)  Mom died there (Renton, Wash.) in Dec, 1960, and Dad stayed on until 1973.  Then he spent his last two years with us here in Burlingame, dying Jan, 1975.  We took him back to Foster Cem. In west Walker Co.