The Jenkins
Rappahannock VA
to Mason Hall TN


The Bradfords

The Bradfords were Mrs Tom Jenkins family. Her father, James Bradford was born in 1852 in Madison County, Tennessee. He married Nancy Jane Lovitt of Dyer County, Tennessee and lived near the Dyer/Gibson county line near Cool Springs. They are buried at Bethpage Cemetery as are his parents.

Thier children were:

Ada Bradford b 1885 and married George Chalker. Moved to around Dyer and had one son. They are buried at Mt Olive Cemetery

Mattie Lou Bradford b 1889 and married Tom Jenkins. Lived on what now is Tom Jenkins Road between Mason Hall and Cool Springs. They are at Bethpage

Charlie Bradford b 1892 and married Ima Wiley. They moved to Texas and had two sons and a daughter

Ora Mae Bradford b 1895 and married William Howard Taylor. They farmed and lived down the  road from Tom and Mattie. They are at Cool Springs Cemetery

James Tommy Bradford b 1898. Pretty much of a vagabond. Lived with brothers and sisters. Married to a Mary only briefly. He is at Bethpage

Beauton Bradford b 1901 and married Welton Byron Alexander. Lived in Trimble and ran a variety store. Byron published the first Mose Headden Book. After Byron died, Beauton married her brother-in-law Howard Taylor. Beauton and Byron are at Cool Springs Cemetery

Jimmie L. Bradford b 1904 never married and lived with sisters and Jenkins nieces. Her father sold his farm to Tom Jenkins and moved to Mason Hall so Jimmie could take piano lessons. She is now at Bethpage with her family

More details on these families are recorded in my Mason Hall RootsWeb database

Some old Bradford photos

Left to right, rear: Ada Bradford Chalker age 21, George Chalker age 28, Ora Bradford age 11, my grandfather Tom Jenkins age 23, grandmother Mattie Bradford Jenkins age 17, Charlie Bradford age 14. Front: Tommy Bradford age 8, my great-grandfather James Bradford age 54 with Grace Jenkins age 1, great-grandmother Nancy Janes Lovitt Bradford age 40 with Jimmie Bradford age 2, Beauton Bradford age 5, 1906 photo


Left to right: Brother of James Bradford, Young Bradford Jr. b 1857, brother, John Bradford b 1855, James Bradford b 1852, sister Anna Littie Bradford b 1850, brother Will Bradford b 1846


            Beauton, Mattie Lou, Ora Mae, Charlie, Jimmie, and Tommy             


                               Mattie Lou Bradford - Mrs Tom Jenkins 


                                         Beauton and Byron Alexander


                                        Ora Mae and Howard Taylor - 1946


                                              Mrs Tommy Bradford


                             Mattie, Ada, Beauton, Jimmie, Ora, and Charlie


                                     Ora Mae Jimmie, Charlie, and Mattie


                         James Bradford, unknown daughter, Nancy Lovitt Bradford



The Lovitts


Mattie Lou Bradford's mother was Nancy Jane Lovitt, daughter of John Lovitt Jr and Mary Ann Vantrease. John was born in 1827 and married Mary Jane in 1847. They too lived in Dyer and Gibsons counties around Cool Springs and are buried at the Cool Springs Cemetery as is John's father.


                                                       Photo credit: Mark Owens

John and Mary Jane's children were:

John William Henry b 1848 and married Mary Crowell. Children were Della, Donnie, and Lovie

Martha Ann b 1852 and married J. W. Walls

Benjamin Frankin b 1853 and moved to Texas

David James b 1858 and lived in Dyer County

Drewey Thomas b 1860 and married Mary Emeline Collins. Children were Samuel Franklin, Octa, Joanna, David, and Erma Lee. After Emeline died, Tom married her sister, Lola Collins. Their children were John and Rainey

Louisa Bone b 1863 and married Robert L. Jetton. Children were John Percis Jetton, Azzie Lee Jetton, and William Rufus Jetton

Nancy Jane b 1866 and married James A. Bradford

Mary Elizabeth (Betty) b 1869 and married Arthur William (Poss) Hundley. Their children were Annie Elizabeth Hundley, John William, Mary Otha Hundley, Joseph Henry Hundley, and Thomas Ezra Hundley


      Brother Ben Lovitt, Nancy Jane Lovitt Bradford, brother Tom Lovitt

More information on ALL of these families and their ancestors and descendants  can be found in my Mason Hall database


The StoryTellers

My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called as it were by our genes.

Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story. So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do.

It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it.

It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today.

It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.

It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation.

It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. We are the chosen.

So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.

That, is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.

Author unknown