Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Man Named Vivian Married to the Woman Named Joseph

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Back: Allie Marbury Brantley and William "Willie" Day Brantley
Front: Daughters Virginia, Cordillia and Betty
Families grow, split and separate faster than you realize. I assume the offspring of my own children, and their grandchildren and great grandchildren will spend holidays together and be in each other’s lives 50 or 100 years from now. But, more times than not, that's not the case.

I recently attended the family reunion of my maternal grandmother’s family, the Brantleys, and joining us for the occasion was a branch of Brantley family we had never met. They were descendents of a man who I always noticed sitting there on my family tree because of his name, Vivian, and that of his first wife, Joseph.

This was the reunion of the families of Willie and Allie Marbury Brantley’s daughters: Virginia Lovelace, Cordillia Jacocks and Betty Sullivan.

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l to r: My third great grandfather, Henry Day Brantley,
second great grandfather, Henry Preston Brantley and
great grandfather, William Day Brantley

Willie Brantley was the son of Henry Preston Brantley who was the son of Henry Day Brantley.

Henry had several brothers and sisters including Vivian Everett Brantley whose descendents joined us at the reunion. Other than his name, I knew nothing about him. Now, I even have photos.

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Viv and his second wife Josephine

Vivian Everett “Viv” Brantley was born Feb. 3, 1882 in Haywood Co., TN.

On Oct 29, 1900, he married Joseph Lyda Castellaw who was a granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson Castellaw, my third great grandfather on my father’s side, and his first wife Mary Elisar Castellaw.

Two of Viv’s brothers, Archie Brantley and Walter Brantley married sisters of his wife: Mary Castellaw and Emily Castellaw. So three sons of Henry Day Brantley married three daughters of Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Sr. I bet that was a very confused group of cousins.

Another interesting fact is that Lyda Castellaw Brantley’s uncle (the brother of her mother, Emily Thomas Castellaw) was Revered George Thomas who moved to Haywood Co., TN around 1840 to be the pastor of Zion Baptist Church.

In the Haywood Co., TN census of 1910, Viv and Lyda own their farm and live in District five only a few farms away from his brother Reginald and his farm.

In the Haywood Co., TN census of 1920, five farms away from Viv and Lyda is the farm of my great grandparents, Willie and Allie Marbury Brantley and their 3-year-old daughter, Virginia, who is my grandmother.

Lyda died of liver cancer on August 12, 1923 at age 41, leaving behind three children: Joseph, age 22, Robert “Bob,” age 11, and Margaret, age seven. Their last child, Larry Archie, had died as an infant the previous year at seven months old. Both Lyda and Larry Archie are buried at Holly Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Haywood Co.

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Viv and Josephine Brantley

Four years later, on Aug. 22, 1927, Viv married Anna Josephine Proctor. He was 45 and she was 19.

They had three children: Jerry Proctor, Barbara Josephine and Larry Day, whose middle name came from his grandfather, Henry Day Brantley.

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Viv Brantley with unidentified boys, possibly
the children of his son, Jerry.
Viv died on July 12, 1964 at age 84 in Haywood Co. and Josephine died in Feb. 1981 at age 72.
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Descendants of Viv and Josephine Brantley
At the family reunion were the daughters of Viv and Josephine's son, Larry Day Brantley. It was a lot of fun meeting new family members and filling in some more detail on

You can visit the site to find out more about the Brantley and Castellaw families or check out more pictures from the reunion below. You can click to enlarge the photos below.

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