My Grandma Beard's sister, Meredith (Kennedy) Morse had been the secretary of the family reunions. In these pages were all the births, deaths, and marriages that had occurred in the Brailey family. Aunt Meredith was named secretary after Aunt Al died. (Sevilla Albina Brailey).
Aunt Al kept great records, so much so that I knew my lineage back to the very first of the Braileys in the British Colonies. The first was Roger, then Ambrose, Gideon, Gideon, Gideon, Moses, Eleanor, Julia, Grandma, my mom, then me! It was so neat to realize that I was a part of that family.
When I got into the understanding of what it all meant, I knew that our first known ancestor was Roger Braley. He was located in records as at an inquest of a drowning in 1696 Rhode Island. I haven't found any more on him, but I'm going to keep looking.
His son Ambrose, then the three Gideons. The first Gideon Braley was in the Revolutionary War while the last Gideon fought in the the War of 1812 and lived only about 1.5 miles from where I live. Moses, there will be more about him later, was in the Civil War.
What I remember most about my actual "aha!" moment was March 3, 1960, Mom's birthday. I bet a lot of you can't remember when you became really interested in family history!
Anyway, I remember mom and I sitting on the sofa in the living room at our home on the Chicago Pike (Now called Airport Highway.). We were looking at the old minutes of the family reunions and examining the dates when I saw that Eleanor Brailey was born March 3, 1860! My mom and her great great grandmother shared a birthday! And even more of a coincidence was we were looking at these records exactly 100 years to the very day that Eleanor was born!
From that very day 54 years ago, I knew I wanted to find out more about our family.
And, boy, have I!