Monday, January 30, 2023

Into More Familiar Territory


As the calendar winds down to the last few days of January, we're doing the same with this month's research project: wrapping up what we can discover on the family of Adam and Mary Broyles. Thanks to help from the recently published—and thoroughly researched—book from the Germanna Foundation, The Broyles Family: The First Four Generations, we've been able to trace the pertinent details on the seven children of my fifth great-grandparents.

The one child I left for last is my own fourth great-grandfather, Aaron Broyles. Since this means moving into more familiar research territory, I've already been working on this generation for quite some time. Thus, my goal in using the Broyles Family book in this instance was to double-check my previous work, as well as follow the many footnotes author Cathi Clore Frost interjected into her narrative. Fortunately, I can see how this process is paying off in answering some research questions I had not previously been able to pinpoint on my own.

Simply put, Aaron Broyles left his father's choice of home in later life—Washington County in what eventually became the state of Tennessee—to settle in what was then known as the Pendleton District of South Carolina. The move was likely done along with his younger brother Joshua, whom we've already reviewed.

While in South Carolina, Aaron married Frances, daughter of Jacob Reed, in 1787. Together, the couple had at least nine children, beginning with the oldest, Cain Broyles, born in 1788.

After naming a son Cain, one would expect the other shoe to drop, allowing us to see a listing for a son named Abel—and this apparently did happen. However, the only references found on this other son are notes in biographical material on the family, informing us that Abel died in childhood.

In addition to Cain and Abel, Aaron and Frances Broyles had daughters Jemima, Sarah, Mary (also called Polly), Edna, and Temperance. Some of the daughters died young—in particular, daughter Sarah, who died within one year of marrying Joshua Halbert—but most lived to see many descendants. Since my personal research goal, because of DNA testing, is to trace the families of collateral lines, I've been steadily adding those lines to my family tree for quite some time now.

As for the Broyles sons, Aaron and Frances were parents of three who lived to adulthood.  These included my direct line, Ozey Robert Broyles, his eldest brother whom we've already mentioned—Cain—and youngest child John Taylor Broyles.

That, apparently, does not completely round out the descendants of Aaron Broyles. I've had an inkling that that might have been the case, ever since reading the published Civil War era diary of a young woman named Emmala Reed—but I never could put my finger on the exact connection. As it turns out, Cathi Clore Frost broaches the subject in her own book, a detail we'll explore tomorrow.

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