This is an update to the post I wrote on the Brawley family on October 12, 2012. When I figure out how to link that post to this one, I will do it here: http://wp.me/p2pJGd-5c
I had already found a reference to Leroy Brawley and Sarah McSpadden’s marriage in Wilson County, Tennessee, in 1810.
But I found further information on Leroy’s father, Walter Braly, and Walter’s father, John Braly.
Many libraries have those biographical books on prominent families who lived in the area. As always, those biographies are to be read with caution, as many of the stories may be wrong or at least partly incorrect since the folks who sent in the stories on their ancestors were typically asked to send in what they remembered or had heard about their family members, and were never asked for evidence to support their submissions. Still, I believe these books bear careful reading because they can offer clues toward finding out documented evidence about these highlighted individuals. One such book stated that John Braly was from Derry, Northern Ireland, and that his mother was Agnes Braly. His father was not listed. This may be an indication that John came to America with his mother (and three brothers) but his father either stayed behind, or had already died in Northern Ireland. The book also stated John was a schoolteacher. Later, I found John listed as a schoolteacher in a book referencing different land exchanges.
Deed books are a great source to look through because sometimes information is provided beyond “John Smith sold 5 acres to Peter Brown for $60.” The deed books I looked at from Rowan County, North Carolina had an entry regarding a purchase made by Walter Braly and Honour Carson. As Walter did in fact marry an Honour Carson, this was a welcome find. This same source is the one that cited John as a scholmaster, and James Carson, Honour’s father, as a tanner. As it is often extremely difficult to know what an ancestor’s occupation was (prior to census data) this kind of information is exciting to find.
For some reason, the deed books also sometimes list the entire family. One entry mentions John and his wife, Sarah Carruth, and their nine children, complete with birth dates for each child, and the death date of John’s mother, Agnes. I don’t know what purpose this served at the time, but in terms of today’s research, this kind of thing is invaluable information to future generations. So, thank you, John!