Members of the Bracewell clan will gather on June 6 for the 35th Annual Bracewell Reunion.
The meeting will be at the Bedias Civic Club Building in "downtown" Bedias, Texas.
Lynn Bracewell, this Year’s president, is expecting this to be the most successful reunion in recent times.
The program is set for 11:00a.m., but everyone is encouraged to come earlier, if possible, to enjoy a few moments of visiting before the program.
A song service and devotional will open the program, to be followed by and introduction of guests, reading of memorials, and adding of memorials, and adding of the new “limbs.”
There’ll be a business meeting, then a final song service before adjourning to the dinner tables.
An effort will be made to keep the program short this year to provide plenty of time for visiting and sightseeing after lunch.
Bracewells in US Since 1700
The ancestry of Joseph Marion Bracewell, grandfather to all who celebrate the Bracewell Reunion, has been traced to the early 18th Century. About the year 1700, an immigrant forefather from Ireland made his start in the New World. The site of that new beginning was in North Carolina on the Tar River near the town of Tarboro. The names of the immigrant father and mother are unknown; we know that two children were born to them, both boys: Richard and Robert.
‘70 Reunion Recalled
The Bracewell Reunion met for the 34th time on June 8, 1970. Raymond Bracewell led everyone in "When We All Get To Heaven" and "Promised Land." President Dick Parris welcomed everyone and introduced the visitors. Don Crowson presented the devotional, which was based on "Reunion" from John 3:12. The theme of the program was "Memories of Old Reunions." Joe Taylor read minutes from the meeting of June 5, 1939.
Resolutions were read for J. B. Rice, George Stevens, B.B. McWhorter, Mona Reid Bracewell and W. E. Boney.
The business portion of the meeting was devoted mainly to a discussion of the newly founded cemetery fund. (See story on Page2)
Raymond Bracewell, reporting on the cemetery fund, said that James Bracewell had been elected to serve on the fund board and that Robert Lee Up-church would serve as depositor member of the board.
The nominating committee chairman presented the officer candidates for 1971, who were: Lynn Bracewell, president, Joe Taylor and Dick Farris, co-vice presidents, and Linda Massey, secretary- treasurer. All were elected by acclamation.
New "limbs" added during the preceding year included a son, Robert, to Kenneth and Shirley Farris. A son-in-law was added to the family of Sue Bracewell.
Richard Bracewell was married twice and had nine sons.
The first son, Robert, served in the Revolutionary War, taking part in many of the important events of that struggle. He was the only child of the first wife.
From Richard’s second marriage came eight other sons, one of whom was Richard Bracewell II.
Richard Bracewell II
In 1764 Richard Bracewell married Agness Proctor. Many children were born to them. Again, they were all boys, except for one, Elizabeth, who was the first daughter to be born into theBracewell family in this country.
All of the children were in North Carolina and faired well.
Soon after the Revolutionary War Richard sold his property and moved the family to Georgia. They made their home on Briar Creek in Burke County. Here, in contrast to their good fortune in North Carolina, several of the (Continued on Page 2)
Bracewell Homestead Built On Indian Village Site
By Joe Taylor
About a half mile south of the site of the old Bracewell homestead, (which is still in the family), on the crest of a hill is a small outcropping of rock. The rocks are common sandstone with a coating of platen indicating their long exposure.
In several of these rocks are holes, some 10 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep, which were obviously man made.
Although the last known camping grounds of the Bedias tribe was near Village Lake the tribe was known to have ranged the entire area between North and South Bedias creeks.
The Bracewell homestead was apparently an Indian
(Continued on Page 3)
Bracewell Lineage Traced 270 Years
(Continued from Page 1)
family fell ill and died.
Richard then moved his family to Laurens County,
Ga. (Dublin, the county seat, suggests an Irish influence in that region.) They settled near the Oconee River, which was at that time the boundary line between the lands of the white man and Indian.
Within a few years all the children of Richard's family had died except for three: Richard Bracewell III, who was the oldest son, Sampson and Elizabeth.
Richard Bracewell III
Richard Bracewell III married Charity R. Searborough in 1793, the first of two wives. They had four children: James, Richard IV, Wiley and William. Charity apparently died early; Richard married a second time, to a Miss Carlile, and raised two other sons, Kindred and Allen.
In 1818, at about 50 years of age, Richard Bracewell III died after having accumulated considerable wealth in the form of slaves and land holdings. Bracewell family records indicate that this wealth was passed to James, the first son; the others were left nothing.
William Bracewell was born in Laurens County, Ga., in 1801. He was the youngest son of Richard III and Charity Bracewell. William married Elizabeth Stephens, 18, on January 24, 1819, and true to Bracewell tradition, began to turn out a large family. To them were born: James Newton, William Jasper, Matthew, Uriah, Richard Riley, Artimacil, Mary Ann, Benjamin Stephens, Joseph Marian, Elizabeth, Sarah Ann, Rhoda Ann, David Jackson and Nancy Ann.
The last recorded event in the immediate family of William Bracewell was the death of Elizabeth, his wife, on December 31, 1862.
Joseph Marion Bracewell
Joseph Marion Bracewell and his wife, Emmeline James Bracewell, came to Texas from Alabama in 1872, and settled in Grimes County at Appolonia. At that time they had three children: Barto, Joseph and Walter. Not long after their arrival in Texas, another
son, Uriah Clark, was born. In 1873 they moved to Bedias and settled at a place about four miles east of town, a site known for more than seventy years as the Bracewell Place.
At this new home Edgar Franklin, Emma, Elbert, and Ida were born.
Joseph Marion and Emmeline were charter members of the Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, which was located near their homesite. The original church still stands and was, until recently, the annual meeting place of the Bracewell Reunion. The Bracewells lived some three miles from the church and would drive to church in their two-horse hack loaded with their children.
This pioneer family played an important role in the early history of Bedias. All of the children married and raised large families, living in and around Bedias most of their lives. Joseph Marion Bracewell died June 13, 1906. He is buried in Mt. Pleasant cemetary.
Cemetary Fund Needs Help!
At the annual meeting of the Bracewell Reunion in 1969, a resolution was passed to establish a permanent maintenance fund for Mount Pleasant Cemetary, where so many of our ancestors and relatives are buried.
Type of Fund
To assure the cemetary at Mount Pleasant is maintained on a continuing basis, a fund is required in an amount sufficient enough that only the interest need be used for maintenance costs.
How the Fund will be Used
A goal for the fund has been set at $2,000. The resolution setting up the fund provides adequate supervision to insure that the fund will not be misused. The interest from the fund will be used exclusively for cemetary maintenance and improvement.
A copy of the resolution setting up the fund, a list of persons buried at Mount Pleasant, and a report on the amount collected for the fund will be sent to everyone.
The number of Bracewells whose parents and personally remembered loved ones are buried at Mount Pleasant is growing smaller. Later generations will not feel the same sense of responsibility for proper and dignified maintenance of the cemetary that we do. We want to know that the cemetary will be as well kept 100 years from now as it is today.
What You Can Do
You are encouraged to give to the cemetary fund. Pledges of $50 and $100 are needed, but even a one dollar donation will help. Mail your check now to the Bracewell Descendents Memorial Fund, Bedias, Texas.
village site at one time. One can easily see why this site would appeal to anyone whose life was completely attuned to nature as was the Indians.
The site overlooks a small clear creek, which supplied drinking water, and is just above the "Blue Hole", a small, shaded, deep soapstone bottomed bend in the creek which would have been a watering spot for wild game which the Indians hunted.
Blue Hole probably served as a bathing place for the Indians just as it did for many Bracewell children later on. The water seemed like ice on a hot summer day. The spot no doubt provided perch and frogs for the Indian diet. The site has a liberal supply of hickory trees, some bitter pecans, and many oaks, all of which supplied food for the Indians. The low places along the creek are thick with blackberry vines, and mulberries, huckleberries, persimmons, and both "cutthroat" and muscadine grapes are plentiful.
Close examination will reveal arrowhead flakes around the rock outcroppings indicating that the Indians made arrowheads at this spot, apparently from rock brought from other locations or traded for.
The clearest evidence that the Indians occupied the land for a long period was discovered in the early 1930s. One morning, when Earl Bracewell went into the barn, he was surprised to find that one of his hogs, which had been penned in the barn, had rooted up the remains of an Indian. The remains of the Indian body were few, but it was apparently an adult male.
Many large hide scrapers were also uncovered with the Indian remains. David Bracewell has a collection of these today. Several other pieces are held by other family members at the present time.
It is possible that other undiscovered Indian graves are located near the one already uncovered; Indian burial sites became sacred grounds and were usually used for generations. One can still visit the Indian village site in the family sedan, provided there has not been a recent rain on the dirt roads.
Also, of interest would be the Bracewell home site which still has the plum orchard, pear tree, walnut tree, as well as the lilies, phlox, and other flowers which still bloom. The original seed for these plants was put in the ground thirty, possibly fifty years ago. This site will amaze some, as it did me, who labor each weekend, sometimes without success, to keep yard plants growing.
Undoubtedly there is something special about this place which the Indians chose, the Bracewells chose, and which brings back memories for so many of us.
PAST PRESIDENTS OF THE REUNION
1939 Frank Bracewell
1940 Frank Bracewell
1941 - Frank Bracewell
1942 - Frank Bracewell
1943 - Frank Bracewell
1944 - Reginald Bracewell
1945 - Reginald Bracewell
1946 - Reginald Bracewell
1947 - Frank Bracewell
1948 - Frank Bracewell
1949 - Prank Bracewell
1950 - Raymond Bracewell
1951 - Raymond Bracewell
1952 Reginald Bracewell
1953 - Hulon Hall
1954 - Raymond Bracewell
1955 - Reginald Bracewell
1956 - Reginald Bracewell
1957 - Stone Binford
1958 - Roy Stone
1959 - Hulon Hall
1900 - I.S. Bracewell
1961 - Scurry Bracewell Jr.
1962 - W.D. DoeIey
The Count Is At Least 264
The descendants of Joseph Marion Bracewell, "father" of the Bracewell Reunion, now number 264.
That is the number of people listed on the family tree, but it is suspected that the list falls far short of the actual count.
The family tree shows nine children of Grandfather Bracewell, 47 grandchildren, 107 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
A copy of the family tree is being sent to everyone on the Reunion's mailing list. Everyone is encouraged to bring their branch up to date.
Send your additions to Lynn Bracewell, 2201 Fountainview Dr., Apt. 18, Houston, Texas 77027.
‘Reunion’ Needs You
This is the first issue of The Reunion. We hope it to be the first of many.
No schedule has been set for frequency of publication. Much will depend on the interest shown by readers.
The Reunion is sent to all whose names are on the mailing list. If you have news of the family you'd like others to know about, send it to us, c/o Lynn Bracewell, address above.
200 in Record
The Bracewell Reunion of 1948 set an attendance record of 200 which, as far as can be determined, still stands.
In tribute, the Reunion recalls the Minutes of that occasion:
Song: When We All Bet to Heaven.
Prayer: Uncle Frank Bracewell.
Devotional: Sam B. Farris.
Song: Clarice, Anna Lynn, Bill.
Family Tree: Bill Peavy.
Song: Mary, Raymond and Ruby.
A motion was made and seconded that Wilburn take the material for the family history, fill in where necessary and print in booklet form to be ready for June 1949. Present bill to secretary-treasurer.
The nominating committee recommended that Frank Bracewell be president, Raymond Bracewell, vice-president, Odessa Bracewell, sec-treas. The recommendation was accepted and officers elected. The following committeemen were appointed:
History & Resolutions Committee: Raymond, Bill and Reginald.
Program Committee: Hulon Hall.
Attendance: Wilburn, Odessa, Uncle Frank, Victor Crowson and Asbury.
The Nominating Committee that served the year before was elected to serve again. They are: Uncle Frank Bracewell, Chmn., Raymond Bracewell, Gladys Hall, Eglan Binford, Searcy Bracewell Jr.
Record set for 1949 - 200.
There was a brief pause in memory of our members that have gone on and for thankfulness that our family had been so wonderfully blessed during the passed year.
Dismissed with a prayer. Lunch.