Friday, May 3, 2019

About the Broyles Brothers

It doesn't seem right, leaving the phase of life in which the Broyles family lived at Ashtabula without mentioning something more about the majority of those family members inhabiting the place. While the Ashtabula book focused mostly on the women associated with the home—and, granted, in that era, it did seem the home was the woman's domain, despite such rude outbreaks of boyish behavior as leaving one's mark by way of carving initials into the building—the three women in the Ozey R. Broyles family were definitely outnumbered by its patriarch and his eight sons. Before we move on to the rest of the material contained in the Ashtabula book, we should at least give a passing nod to those male offspring and provide a brief synopsis of what became of them.

As the Ashtabula book mentioned—in all of one breath, it seemed—the Broyles family included eight sons: Augustus, Charles, Zacharias, Richard, William, Ozey, Thomas, and John. However, not all of them lived to see the family move from the country plantation at Ashtabula to their in-town residence in Anderson, South Carolina. One, in fact, died as an infant long before the family even acquired their home at Ashtabula—Richard Taliaferro Broyles, who, along with his teenaged brother Zacharias much later in 1843, were both interred, not on the Broyles property, but in the family cemetery belonging to their aunt and uncle Simpson.

The others, though, I can assure you lived long lives after their boyhood memories of Ashtabula. Augustus Taliaferro Broyles, as the oldest and having never married, lived, for the most part, at the family homes in both Pendleton and Anderson. Charles Edward, the second-born, married Lucy Ann Johnson in South Carolina in 1848, but then moved his growing family out of state before 1850, long before his parents sold Ashtabula; his was a long and double life, moving before the death of his wife from his home in Georgia to Colorado where, marrying again, he raised a second, large family in Conejos County.

With the loss of Ozey and Sarah Broyles' third and fourth sons, the next in line was William Henry Broyles. He it was who headed to Georgia to marry his second cousin on the Taliaferro side of the family in 1857; after the war, they relocated from their home in Tennessee to Alabama. Likewise, sixth son Ozey Robert Broyles—possibly the first of the Broyles children actually born at Ashtabula—eventually relocated to Tennessee, though he married a Charleston girl, Ella Wilkinson Keith, and remained in his home state until the late 1880s. Seventh son, my second great-grandfather Thomas Taliaferro Broyles, also headed to Tennessee, though not until claiming his own bride from among the descendants of the related Taliaferro family in Georgia.

It was not until the last of the Broyles sons that we see another descendant of Ozey and Sarah remaining in South Carolina. From the date of his birth at Ashtabula in 1846 until his death in nearby Anderson in 1927, it appears John Pendleton Broyles, his wife Elizabeth Hubbard, and their four children remained as lifelong South Carolina residents.

Perhaps there was some significance, after all, to the pattern of just whose initials were carved into the basement supports at Ashtabula. Of all eight sons, it was those two whose initials still remain visible at Ashtabula—Augustus Taliaferro Broyles, the attorney, and John Pendleton Broyles, the farmer—who remained behind near the old family home for the rest of their lives.


  1. I believe we are cousins - but we have to go back to the immigrant ancestor, Johannes and Ursula (Ruop) Breyhel. Based on the Keith Manuscript, I believe your line goes thru their eldest son, Jacob Broyles. My line goes thru their second son, Conrad Broyles (Briles). Conrad moved from Virginia to Randolph County, North Carolina. My Ancestry user name is philbrick. My tree is called Heartland Genealogy.

    1. Marcia, thanks for getting in touch. I did take a look at your tree--it appears you are doubly related on your Broyles/Briles line, not unusual during that time period.

      Though Broyles is not a very common name, from time to time, I do run into someone sporting that surname. Almost always, as often also happens with the surname Taliaferro, I mention something about the possibility that we are related, and in checking into it further, have the opportunity to meet a ninth or twelfth cousin, a discovery which could only happen among genealogists!

      I am aware of the Keith manuscript, as well as those who feel that manuscript contains errors. I have also been in touch with other Broyles researchers--one, in the early years of online postings, who lived not far from me here in California--and, of course, have also looked into the Broyles genealogy published by a much closer relative during my grandmother's era.

      Glad to have met you, Marcia. Hopefully, we can do the calculations at some point and determine just how we are cousins.

  2. I have mentioned a tense passage in Emmala Reed's diary: one evening at the gate, her Pa confronts Dr. Broyles about Robert's treatment of Emmala, and indeed about the whole Broyles family's snubbing of the Reed family. Emmala, in agony, is peeking from the window. Robert is passing stiffly up and down the street on guard duty. The way it looks to me: Gus acts the peacemaker. He joins the two older men at the gate, and defuses the situation by chatting Judge Reed up on all the news. What a story!

    1. It's those read-between-the-lines stories which really give us an idea of the dynamics in families. Wonder what, exactly, the younger Robert had done?! Sounds like the book will fill in quite a few blanks in the story.

  3. Replies
    1. It is interesting to shift around all the genealogical data and see how things stack up. Sometimes, that kind of process can clarify some family history trends that otherwise get buried in the details.


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