Saturday, July 2, 2016

On the Tale of the Tidwells: Nothing to Bragg about part I



Warren Bradley Arkansas 1920's courtesy of rootsweb.ancestry.com

In my last post I concluded with this speculation:

"So in conclusion, if Joe Bragg is the son of Marian Bragg and/or George Bragg born 1840 who is the cousin of Millard Tidwell my great great grandfather. Then George and/or Marian Bragg is also the son of Sterling Bragg born 1810 who married Sarah LNU.  Sterling Bragg is the father of Agnes Bragg born 1820 my great great great grandmother who married William Faulkner.   Marian or George Bragg then would be my fourth great Uncle and his son Joe Bragg my first cousin four times removed.  There will be more substantiating evidence to follow.  Please follow me on this."


1870 Census Clay Bradley Arkansas Ancestry.com


  • In each census year, Sterling Bragg and his wife Sallie, lived next door to my great great grandparents Andrew and Evaline Tidwell.  Was he the father of Agness Bragg-Faulkner, my great great grandmother, Evaline Tidwell's purported mother?  Probably not. The ages are way off according to this census Agnes born 1820, would not have been young enough to be the daughter of Sterling born in 1810, their ages do not suggest a father child relationship.  So, is he related to us at all? Let's see. In the above census, Sterling Bragg has the following children Amanda,Tennessee Margaret and Rufus.

  • We have evidence for the marriage of Amanda Bragg to Quitman Willis on 16 Dec 1875

  • We have evidence that Tennessee Bragg never married.
  • We have evidence that Rufus Bragg married Louvisa Harris.


Arkansas County Marriages 1837-1957 FamilSearch.org
  • We have evidence that Margaret Bragg married Oliver Tatum.                  


I have found no evidence for Sterling Bragg and Sallie's marriage yet, but what I have discovered is that Sterling Bragg and Sallie were slaves in 1850, according to one researcher named Dena, they were the former slaves of James T. Bragg who died prior to the 1860 census. This evidence was discovered at The Special Collections Division of Arkansas by Dena in 2002 as she documented the following:
http://www.afrigeneas.com/forumdarchive/index.cgi/md/read/id/2786/sbj/bragg-family-the-last-slave-owner/

According to this bill of sale Sterling Bragg's daughter Amanda who was sold to B. J Bragg had one child, but Amanda according to the 1870 census was only 20 years of age in 1870. So in 1860 when James T. Bragg died she would have only been ten, she couldn't have biologically given birth to a child at age ten. We know that the nineteen year old Tempess as documented by Dena is Tennessee Bragg, but she also would have been too young in 1860 to have given birth to a child. So did Sterling Bragg have another daughter who would have been old enough to have a child prior to the 1870 Census?

When I go back to this Afrigeneas Slave Research Forum Archive posted by Dena, I find there is a follow-up question that is raised by another researcher who asks the same thing. Both of these researchers are friends of mine. Dena's reply below is to the question posed by Mel:

http://www.afrigeneas.com/forumdarchive/index.cgi/md/read/id/2786/sbj/bragg-family-the-last-slave-owner/

Dena says, the name looks like America Bragg. In the 1870 census of Clay Bradley Arkansas Alfred and America Tidwell live in a household with six others:


1870 Census Clay Bradley Arkansas Anestry.com

  1. Tidwell, Alfred age 40 born 1830
  2. Tidwell, America age 36 born 1834
  3. Tidwell, Sarah age 16 born 1854
  4. Tidwell, Columbus 10 born 1860
  5. Tidwell, Henderson age14 born1864
  6. Tidwell, Henry age 14 born 1859
  7. Tidwell, Thomas age 1 born 1869
Now was Dena correct, was America Tidwell age 36 listed in this 1870 census of Clay Bradley, America Bragg the daughter of Sterling Tidwell?  According to the marriage certificate of Alfred Tidwell and America Bragg dated 19 Mar 1868 Alfred Tidwell and America "Marica"Bragg were married in the residence of her father Sterling Bragg.


Arkansas County Marriages 1837-1957 FamilySearch.org

Now who is Alfred Tidwell?