Thursday, October 08, 2009

Did You Know? #15

Way back in the early 1980’s, while pursuing a bachelor degree in Bible at Freed-Hardeman College/University, Ann and I attended the Estes church of Christ, located a few miles south of Henderson, TN. Ann’s father, Norman Hogan (pictured to the right), was serving at that time as the congregation’s pulpit minister. Years later our daughter also attended this same congregation for a time while she was attending FHU.

From my earlier exposure to the Estes community I was aware that there was a rich history behind this rural community. B.J. Naylor notes on the congregation’s website writes that …

“The name "Estes" can be traced back to a family whose parents were A.G. and Eliza Estes and who lived in the community around 1840 to 1870. Their graves were among the earliest in the old cemetery which is located across Highway 45 and approximately one-half mile from the present building. The graves of the Estes family were located in a row and were enclosed with a wire fence. The wire fence is gone, but the primitive grave markers are still there.” []

What stirred my interest in the origin of the Estes name in Chester Co., TN? In looking at a somewhat remote part of our family tree I came across the Estes name not once but twice. Two of Thomas Milton Bragg’s sons married women with the Estes name. Gabriel Bragg (b.1774) and Mary Ann Estes (b.1782) were married on October 12, 1799 in Culpepper Co., VA and raised a family of seven while his younger brother, Ezekiel (b. 1784), married Mary Ann’s younger sister, Nancy (b. 1785), on September 7, 1802. Ezekiel and Nancy also raised a large family of nine children.

Gabriel and Ezekiel Bragg were third cousins of Hugh Lewis Bragg, our great-great-great- grandfather. The Estes girls were also third cousins of John Bennett Estes (b.1791), the father of Allen Green Estes, the A. G. Estes, who along with his wife, Eliza, both of whose remains rest “the old cemetery which is located across Highway 45 and approximately one-half mile from the present building” of the Estes church of Christ south of Henderson, TN.

One of the interesting aspects of studying one’s family history is to see how, over the years, families intersect so many others as they seem to migrate. Although so many years have passed since they walked this earth, just taking the time to consider how they relate to our family tree seems to honor them.

Sometimes it is interesting to learn that our path through life has wandered across their lingering influence. Below is a chart to help illustrate the family connection with each generation of the Bragg and Estes families down to the dual set of third cousins (highlighted in yellow), and then our descending generations down through our father, Don:

Joseph Bragg & Mary Tapp

Abraham Estes & Barbara Brock

Joseph B. Bragg b.1690

Charles Bragg b.1691

Thomas Estes b.1688

Sylvester Estes b.1684

John Bragg Sr. b.1733

William Bragg b.1729

John Estes b.1725

Ephraim Estes b.1712

Richard Bragg b.1762

Thomas Milton Bragg Sr. b.1755

Marshall Estes b.1755

John Estes b.1750

Hugh Lewis Bragg b.1795

Gabriel b.1774 / Ezekiel Bragg b. 1784

Mary Ann b.1782 / Nancy Estes b. 1785

John Bennett Estes b.1791

William Bragg b.1834

Allen Green Estes b.1816

Frank Martin Bragg b.1867

Orval Bishop Bragg b.1895

Don C. Bragg b.1920

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