The originator of this work, Reginald Shanks Bracewell, has worked long and hard in helping gather and compile the following information. He, as well as the editor, has written all over the United States, stirring the dead embers of the distant past, trying to uncover more evidence concerning the early history of our ancestors in this country.
The beginning point of this history consisted of a “family tree” mounted on a large piece of thick cardboard. This was burdensome and the “limbs” were spreading out on every side, growing off the cardboard; therefore, a new means of preserving the Bracewell lineage had to be found.
This question was brought up at the annual reunion on June 2, 1946. A committee of three descendents was appointed by the president to produce a new, revised family history in handy pamphlet form. This is what you have contained herein.
The best form to use in placing the names therein in the right order and in a manner easy to understand has been a perplexing problem. Those early ancestors of ours didn’t know how much trouble they were putting us to by having such enormous families! However, we have tried to follow a definite, logical system throughout the entire publication.
In most cases the record of descent of a given individual is begun at marriage and ended with the marriage of the children. However, other information may well be and has, in some cases, been added.
An effort has been made to place the descendents listed in this pamphlet according to generation; that is, all of Joseph Marion Bracewell’s children are placed together, all of William Bartow Bracewell’s children are placed together, and so on. Only one generation, including the parents of that generation, are placed together.
This history, for obvious reasons, is incomplete. When one takes the “trunk” of a family tree” and tries to trace down each “limb” and the “limb’s limb” it becomes an impractical if not impossible task, certainly for a few people. The solution to this problem, if there is any dissatisfaction, is for each family to have one of its members write out its own history and submit it for inclusion in the official family history. For each person connected with the “tree”, four items of information are standard: name, date of birth, date of marriage, and date of death.