Friday, January 9, 2015

Goes Both Ways

With so many people in Charles Edward Broyles’ generation heading west, it seems it was hard to recall that one could reverse course and actually, you know, also head east. Though Charles’ “second family” had apparently wondered “why none of them came to be with the Colonel,” at least one of the latter family had made the effort to reverse course.

The oldest surviving son of Charles and his second wife, Nellie—named Taliaferro Brooks Broyles, though he in later life chose to spell his given name as it was pronounced, “Toliver”—actually spent a few years of his young adult life back in Georgia. According to the Broyles genealogy published by Montague Laffitte Boyd in 1959, Toliver stayed for a while with two of his half-brothers.

Even the author, though, got confused with the relationships, mentioning Toliver’s visits with his “uncle” Charles and his “uncle” Robert. Setting aside that trifling error—see, this family can be confusing, can’t it?—it appears he spent two years with one half-brother, then another year or so with the second one.

Toliver arrived in Georgia in 1904, at the age of eighteen. His first stop was at Ringgold, home of his oldest half-brother, Charles—yes, you know: the other brother Charles. This Charles, if you remember, was portrayed as a scholar, so perhaps that was why the younger Broyles son was sent east to this particular household, for he arrived in Ringgold to attend school. There is no mention of whether this was to enroll in college, or to complete a high school education—although Ringgold’s proximity to the Tennessee border could introduce the possibility of Toliver’s attendance at the college which now is known as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

By 1906, Toliver had moved to Atlanta to stay with another half-brother, Robert. This particular Robert Augustus Broyles, as we mentioned yesterday, became quite successful in business, operating a series of grocery stores bearing his name, R. A. Broyles, in the state’s capital.

Toliver didn’t stay in Georgia permanently, of course. Perhaps, though, a little bit of the South stayed with him on his return to Colorado. Not long after arriving back in Antonito, Toliver met and eventually married Minnie Hartley, a young woman whose heritage was rooted in North Carolina. Close enough, perhaps, to remind him of his years spent with that “other” Broyles family in Georgia.


  1. Well, it seems like the two families knew each other and some of them met -- which isn't as bleak a family relationship as one might imagine.

    1. That's what I think as well, Iggy. While I can't tell from the post on that genealogy forum, I wonder if it was from a descendant of one of Charles' youngest children. While the eldest of the second family would have had ample opportunity for interaction with their half-siblings before Charles passed away, the youngest were such children at the point of his death. That may have been the point at which relationships between the two families lost their connecting incentive. The youngest children may have been too young to remember the visits from their much-older half-brothers.


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