Bedias Community Center

Bedias, Texas

** Photo **


In Special Remembrance
Walter White Bracewell
And Calvin Bracewell

June 1, 1980



Walter White Bracewell

Walter White Bracewell was the fourth child of Joseph Marion and Emiline Bracewell. He was born November 24, 1870, in Dale County, Alabama. He married Mary Leona Swanner September 27, 1903. He died of a stroke September 26, 1933, and is buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, near Bedias. Uncle Walter settled in the Bedias Community with his family at the early age of 4 years. Walter and Mary's children were: Presley Earl, b. Dec. 5, 1904; Jewel (Nichols)(Pepperman), b. Aug. 31, 1907; Ruby Lee (Taylor)(Phillips), b. March 2, 1912, and Raymond G. Bracewell, b. Sept. 14, 1915.



James Norman Bracewell, President, Presiding

10:30 Visiting and Reacquaintance

11:00 Welcome and Recognition of Visitors
Sing Service: Led by Raymond Bracewell
Opening Prayer
Old Business: (Cemetary Fund Report)
New Business: (Family Tree Update)
(Memorial Resolutions)

Election of Officers
Audience Participation
Roll Call of the Ancestors and Moment of Silence
Benediction and Blessing of Lunch

12:00 LUNCH

We would appreciate help from anyone who can stay over a few minutes to clean up the community center.


Grandchildren of Walter White Bracewell

Thru: Earl
David Ried Bracewell

Thru: Jewel
Noreen (Penny) Nickols

Thru: Ruby
Mildred (Taylor) Powell
Joe Taylor
Travis Taylor
Kieth Phillips

Thru: Raymond
Linda (Bracewell) Massey
Jerry Bracewell
Gene Bracewell

Children of Andrew Calvin

Arnold Calvin Bracewell

Beginning of the reunion ******** Starts Here ***********

The Reunion
Bedias, Grimes County, Texas

Volume 44, NO. 1 June 1980


Members of the Bracewell family will gather Sunday June 1st to honor their common ancestors Joseph Marion Bracewell and his wife Emiline (James) Bracewell. Following our custom we will place special emphasis on one (this year two) of their children and their family members. This year the Reunion recognizes Andrew Calvin Bracewell. Because he had only one son, who passed on without children, we will also honor Walter White Bracewell and his descendents.


Andrew Calvin Bracewell

Andrew Calvin Bracewell was the third of Joseph Marion and Emiline Bracewell. He was born Nov. 17, 1867, in Dale County, Alabama, and married Doily Harrison Dec. 22, 1887. He died in October 1946, and was buried at the Methodist Cemetery in Bedias. One child, Arnold Calvin Bracewell was born Dec. 31, 1893. Arnold died in the 1960's and his wife this past January.
Uncle Calvin moved to Texas with the family in 1872 at age 5. After moving to the Bedias area in 1872 he lived there the rest of his life, 69 years, until his death in 1946 at age 74. Uncle Calvin was a farmer and a charter member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.

********* Boxed **********
Unfortunately no photo of Uncle Calvin was available for this issue. We would appreciate having a photo if anyone has one they can donate to the Reunion file.
*********End Box**********


The following information was printed in The Atlanta Constitution in the fall of 1979 and was passed on to us by Ronald Bracewell of Cochran, Georgia.

"Know Your Name - Bracewell (Braswell)" by John Downing

The spellings Bracewell and Braswell are English place names acquired from
once having lived in the parish of Bracewell in the West Riding of Yorkshire. This
place was spelled Braisuelle in the 1086 Domesday Book, Braicewell(e) and
Braycewelle in 1142, Braizwell in 1189, Bracewell in 1303-79, Braswell in
1427-1576 and Brasewell in 1465. The meaning is a combination of the Old
Norse name BREIDR (broad, expansive) and the Old English word WELLA
(spring, stream) and used in the sense of "Breid's well or spring." The Old Norse
name may have replaced an earlier Old English personal name, BRAEGD (trick,
deceit, crafty).

In England, John de (of) Bracewell lived in Lincolnshire in 1273. Willlan
Braycewell was on the 1379 Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls. George Brasswell and
Margaret Milliter were issued a marriage license in London in 1610 and Robert
Bracewell and Grace Toiler were issued one there in 1616.

In Virginia, Robert Bracewell held land in Isle of Wight County prior to 1662 and
land in Nansemond County prior to 1670. He also obtained an 800 acre grant in
Nansemond County in 1670. In 1674 he was referred to as Parson Bracewell in
an Isle of Wight land grant. He gave his son, Robert jr., land in isle of Wight
County prior to 1675 which the son deserted, probably to take up land in
another location.
The 1790 census lists the spellings Bracewell, Brasswell, Brasewel(l) and Braswill in North Carolina, Braswell in South Carolina and Virginia and Brazwell in North and South Carolina.

The surnames Bras(s)el(l), Bras(s)il, Braze(e)l, Brazil, Brazeel, etc., found in North and South Carolina in 1790 are of French origin, but also could be intermixed with Braswell.

Uncle Walter as a young man, taken about 1895



Waiter White Bracewell was the fourth child of Joseph Marion and Emiline Bracewell. He was born Nov. 24, 1870, In Dale County, Alabama. He married Mary Leona Swanner Sept. 27, 1903. He died of a stroke Sept. 26, 1933, and is buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, near Bedias. Uncle Walter settled In the Bedias Community with his family at the early age of 4 years, He grew up in a frontier setting with minimal formal schooling. He learned by experience farming, carpentry, and enough of the arts such as stone masonry and blacksmithing, etc., that was required to operate a small farm. The saleable products were primarily cotton and a few meat animals for shipment to city markets by rail. Corn was always raised for the farm animals and the family, and sugar cane, beans, peas, tomatoes , watermelon and other vegetables in season to provide the bulk of the family diet.
It Is said that Waiter's chosen occupation was fishing and that any work between fishing trips was just to make the time pass faster. His favorite fishing method was gill net fishing which required overnight outings to the nearest lake or river. He took pride in making and caring for his own nets.
Walter was a faithful provider for his family and a steadfast supporter of his church. His newspaper obituary read in part, "He was known as a good man, an honorable citizen, and a friend to humanity". This summarizes a successful life.
Uncle Waiter's wife, "Aunt Tump" to all who knew her, was one of the originators of the Reunion tradition 3 years after his death. Her many activities make a long story in itself. She passed away in 1963 and is buried beside Walter in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. She is no less revered than Walter to those who knew her. Their children were: Presley Earl, b. Dec. 5, 1904; Jewel (Nichols) (Pepperman), b. Aug. 31, 1907; Ruby Lee (Taylor)(Phillips), b. March 2, 1912, and Raymond G. Bracewell, b. Sept. 14, 1915.

Uncle Walter and Aunt Tump, with Earl and Jewel, taken in about 1911.


Minutes of the 1979 Reunion

The descendants of Joseph Marion and Emiline Bracewell assembled at the Bedias Civic Center June 3, 1979 for the 43rd Annual Reunion of the Bracewell family. The meeting was called to order by Jerry Bracewell, vice-president. Raymond led the group in singing "Won't It Be Wonderful There" with his sister Ruby at the piano.

Minutes of the 1978 meeting were read by Druie. Approved.

Old business was called for: Raymond reported on the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association and Travis reported on the Bedias Cemetery Association. Both cemeteries are cherished by the Bracewell descendants because of our many loved ones who have gone on.

Joe Taylor, our family historian, brought news of other Bracewell families.

The family tree was up-dated; new additions follow:

Kevin Michael Hillhouse was born January 24, 1979 to Diana and Michael Hillhouse. He is the grandson of Dub and Ola Mae Dooley.

Crissy Renee, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Rigby, was born June 20, 1978.

Clint Michael, son of Mr. & Mrs. Steve Rigby, was born April 1, 1979.

Roy Carroll, son of Darrell and Julia Sire Hall, was born August 29, 1978.

Jody Keith and Jeffry Scott, sons of Joe Bracewell,

Joseph William, son of Penny and Bill Embrey, was born August 6, 1978. He is the grandson of Elyin Stephens.

David Michael Lambert, the grandson of Joyce McQueen, was born December 8, 1978.

W. D. Dooley brought the report of the nominating committee, and the following officers were duly elected:

James Bracewell - President
Jimmy Massey - Vice-President
Hazel Dooley - Sec.-Treasurer

The devotional message was brought by James Bracewell, his subject being Christian Homes using scriptures from Ephesians 5:20-23 and Romans 1:16. Following the timely message, the congregation joined hands and sang "Blest Be The Tie That Binds".

Selwyn Bracewell paid tribute to his grandfather, Joseph Benjamin Bracewell, in whose memory this session was dedicated. Raymond and Travis also recalled incidents in the life of Uncle Joe, who was Uncle Buddy to many of us.

After singing "When We All Get To Heaven", Curtis White led the dismissal prayer and the table blessing.

Jerry Bracewell - Vice-President
Hazel Dooley - Sec.-Treasurer

The collection of the day amounted to $123.76

Expenses paid June 3, 1979 follow:

Paid to Mary Bracewell: 553.73. Total this was for bldg. rental ($25), bldg. cleanup ($10), ice (2.50), cups, glasses, napkins and coffee ($16.23).

Paid to 3oe Taylor: $70.03 The balance in the Bracewell Reunion Fund on August 31, 1979 was $73.84.



(* Indicates direct ancestors)

The information given below was published in the Gwinnett County Journal in Lawrenceville, Georgia paper on October 8, 1379.

The information was taken by an unnamed reporter directly from William B. Bracewell (Joseph Marion's father) around 1869. A typewritten copy of this article was given us by Earnest Wilburn Bracewell who was given it by his father. This same information was used by Billy Peavy and Reginald Bracewell in preparing their family history in 1939, but tile original source of the reformation has not been available to us until now.
Ancestors From West Riding Yourkshire, England
Unknown Ancestor: *
(c. 1665 - 1725) Landed near Tarborough, North Carolina from Ireland.

(2) Sons:
Richard: *
(c. 1730 - 1765) Lived and died in North Carolina.
Oldest was Robert who served in Revolutionary War.

(8) Sons

(6) Unknown

Richard II: *
(c. 1730 - 1785) Born in North Carolina, married Agnes Proctor 1764 - 65, moved to Briar (creek in Burke County, Georgia c. 1780, moved on to Laurens County, Georgia c. 1782. Had a large family, but only (3) children survived.

Sampson Elizabeth:
First girl born to Bracewells in the New World.

Richard III: *
(Born c. 1766. Died 1816) married Charity Scarborough 1793-94. Their first child was James, Born June 5, 1794 in Allen's Fort, Laurens County, Georgia. Richard and Charity had (3) more sons: Richard IV, Wiley, and our direct ancestor William. Richard III later married a Miss Carlisle and produced (2) more sons: Kindred and Allen.

James Bracewell
(Born June 5, 1794, Died Dec. 12, 1875) First child of James and Charity Scarborough. Born at Allen's Fort, Laurens County, Georgia. Moved to Morgan County to open retail business in 1817, bankrupt in 1820 when a friend failed to pay a note he had cosigned. Sheriff sold his possessions at auction to satisfy creditor in 1821. Married Elizabeth Butler on May 10. 1820. Moved back to Laurens County, Georgia in 1823. Moved to Gwinnett County, Georgia in December of 1823. Joined Methodist Episcopal Church at Borings Campground in 1824-25 (Now Bethesda Church). Moved to land of Joseph Boney (Lawrenceville, Georgia 1835 - 1859). Moved one mile south of Lawrenceville in August of 1862 for short time. Moved in with son, J. R. Bracewell, four miles north of Stone Mountain, Georgia in 1864 until death.

Richard Bracewell: *
(Born c. 1794, Died c. 1880) Married widow Noble (Lucinda Spears) 1835. Her son, Levy Noble, by deceased husband born 1835-36. Daughter of Richard and Lucinda, Mrs. Lousia J. Wyatt. Richard later married a Miss Allen and this marriage produced one son - James.

Record Unknown.

Reportedly in Houston County, Georgia in 1840.

Reportedly in Houston County, Georgia in 1840.

William: *
(Born October 13, 1801, Died c. 1869) His brother James had inherited everything from their father Richard III. He grew tip and raised a large family in Laurens County, Georgia. Married Elizabeth Stephens January 24, 1819. Last recorded event in William's history is death of his wife Elizabeth in 1862. It is not known if he remained in Laurens County or died near Lawrenceville, Georgia as reported in one source. His 14 children were born over the period of 26 years. James Newton and Joseph Marion came to Texas in the 1870's. Four daughters were married to gentlemen in Gwinnett County named E. Harris, S. Harris, Mr. H.O.M. and Mr. Mathews. Artimacil was married to a Mr. Barnes and is buried in Huntsville. We have no record at this time of any of the other members of this family.

James Newton:
(Born October, 1820) Married Emily Eliza Jackson in Rapides Parish, Louisiana February 29, 1849. Lived in Point Coupee Parish until 1862, then moved to St. Landry Parish, and later moved to Corsicana, Texas in the spring of 1875. Of his 14 children, only 7 lived to maturity.

William Jasper:
(Born April 6, 1821)

(Born February 16, 1823)

(Born January 13, 1825)

Richard Riley:
(Born January 9, 1827)

(Born November 14, 1828) Married a Mr. Barnes, is buried in Huntsville, Texas.

Mary Ann:
(Born March 29, 1830)

Benjamin Stevens:
(Born February 28, 1832)

Joseph Marion: *
(Born January 13, 1834, Died September 13, 1906) Our direct ancestor - see elsewhere for extensive information.
Children of Joseph Marion
(Born March 26, 1937)

Rhoda Ann:
(Born October 21, 1838)

David Jackson:
(Born February 25, 1841)

David Jackson:
(Born July 25, 1844, Died December 19, 1844)

Nancy Ann:
(Born January 23, 1946)



*** The Walter Bracewell Family Tree *** (not shown here)


Contact Made With Georgia Bracewell Clan

Through letters sent in 1979 and telephone calls in 1980, several distant relatives in Georgia are now in regular correspondence. Their interest in Bracewell history is also keen, and, not surprisingly, they hold an annual reunion in their home country, Dublin, Georgia the first Sunday in April each year. They have both confirmed and added to the information we have on the early Bracewells. Our common ancestor seems to be Richard Bracewell III, born about 1710. We have not yet established the exact relationship. The Georgia group also pushes our history back to Robert "Parson" Bracewell, (sometimes referred to as Braswell in documents), who lived in Isle of Wight County, Virginia in 1640 - 1660. Isle of Wight is just north of Tarboro, N.C. where our records began.
The move to Georgia about 1780 is where the family name picks up from several ancestors, possibly from three cousins who fled from the British Governor in Virginia. We are indebted to our cousin Gaynor Bracewell in High Shoals, Georgia who brings this story from his recent trip into Isle of Wight County.

*** Boxed ***
Special thanks from all the Bracewells to Renay Schlosser who typed up most of this issue of Reunion.
*** End Box ***