Initially this person was listed here at John Marvin “Jack” Branson. The name was corrected by information uncovered by Jack Elliott, Jr., in June, 2006. Scroll down to bottom of this notes section for information Jack sent me in June, 2006.
Mr. Branson was from Gibson Co., TN
The below information is from Jack Elliott, Jr. during email exchanges we had in November, 2000.
Me get tired of being bombarded with this material?? Not likely!
Your meeting your sisters after Uncle Bill's death reminds me of a
recent revelation in the wake of Mama's death. I'm afraid that Mama was
always very secretive about some parts of her life. She would
apparently get mad at someone and then we would never hear her mention
Her real father John Marvin "Jack" Branson lived until 1965 in Memphis,
about 150 miles away. She never mentioned him. I had only a vague
awareness that he was even alive, although I was twelve when he died. I
never laid eyes on him. A few years later Mama suddenly reconnected
with her half-sister Juanita who was considerably older than her
(probably 15 years or more older, and Mama was born in 1930). From 1969
on for the next few years, Mama and Aunt Nita would get together. That
suddenly ended in the mid-1970s. The last time that I ever saw Aunt
Nita was in January 1976 when she attended John's wedding. After that
Mama never mentioned her again; never explained why the two never
communicated. Upon Mama's death we had to do some phoning around to
find out if Aunt Nita was still living. She was it turned out, living
with her son Linus. Her daughter-in-law Donna and her daughter, it
turned out, had died years before.
Then a few months after Mama's death, I was going through some of her
papers and found a form filled out by the funeral home that attended to
her father. And there I found out that he had a son--Billy
Branson--whom I had never even heard of before. Of course that was 35
years ago, so have no idea as to what ever happened to this guy. But
it's something of a shock to realize that Mama had a brother whom she
Below emails from Jack Elliott to Greg Lasley in June, 2006.
I've started looking into my mystery grandfather, Jack Branson on the web. As it turns out it appears that some of the information that i supplied you might be wrong.
Here are some corrections, as matters currently appear. His name was not John Marvin Branson as I had previously informed you. Instead his name was Marvin Benton "Jack" Branson. according to a funeral service record that I found in mama's papers he was born 17 july 1892 (and not 10 july 1891; although the 1900 census lists his birth date as july 1891 so who knows) in Gibson County Tennessee and died 15 may (not 4 may) 1965 in Shelby County Hospital, Memphis. He is buried in a cemetery in Gibson County Tenn. at Yorkville (quite likely the one identified as "Yorkville Cemetery," beside his parents. I remember visiting these graves in the mid-1960s.
It turns out that "Jack" was married twice before he married nana. married (1) claudie warren, 1916, gibson county, and (2) ruth couch, 1924, gibson county. then of course he married sara lasley in 1928. so he went through wives pretty quickly. i'm not sure how these two wives correlate with jack branson's first two children, juanita and billy. i suspect that given her age (i.e. she was considerably older than mama and her oldest daughter bobbie ann was probably born in the late 1930s), juanita almost had to be the daughter of claudie. i have no idea as to how old the son billy was. however, since i never heard juanita or mama ever talk about him, i suspect that he had a different mother, which through process of elimination would suggest that ruth couch branson was his mother.
jack branson's parents were marshall branson and mary alford branson (married 1875, gibson county), both of gibson county, and both buried in the same cemetery as "jack." i don't have their birth and death dates right now, but will find them. i know that we have a photo of their tombstone around here.
children of marshall and mary branson:
1. william b. ca. 1877 according to 1880 census which lists him as 3 years old, however the 1900 census gives birth date of feb 1878
married on 20 November 1904 in Dyer Co. TN to Bertha Fetherston (Bertha: 1883-1968, buried Fairfield Cemetery, Dyersburg, Dyer County, TN
daughters: Lucille and Edith (i knew these two women)
Lucille married on 19 Nov. 1921 to Add Waldron in Dyer Co.
william was probably dead by 1920 at which time his wife and two daughters were living in dyer county.
2. clarence b. according to 1900 census june 1882
married willie or millie prior to the 1910 census
sons paul and harold
clarence appeared in the 1920 census with his wife and two sons. the census taker noted that that particular page had been ennumerated on january 12 and 13 1920. within a couple months clarence was dead as indicated in this item that i found online from the newspaper The Courier-Chronicle, Humboldt, TN March 12, 1920
---KILLED BY FALLING TREE---Clarence E. BRANSON, a young farmer of the
8th District,died at his home,Wednesday morning following a serious
accident on Tuesday. He was engaged in felling a tree having three prongs. As it fell to the ground it split in three ways, and he could not get from under the weight of one section. He was
crushed to the ground and his body entirely paralyzed from the neck down.He was 38 years of age,had been working in Caruthersville,MO.,for several months and had only returned to his home the first of the year.http://www.rootsweb.com/~tngibson/Register/humboldtcourier2.htm
3. randolph ("ran") b. according to 1900 census feb 1884
married bessie summers
a. carl wyman, listed as 3 in the 1920 census. he died on 14 january 1921 (records of J.W. Curry Funeral Home, Dyer Co., on web), age given as 5, so he was born ca. 1915-1917.
i recall that uncle ran had a son who as a small child died of tetanus. this is almost certainly this child.
b. earl houston
i met uncle ran and earl houston in the 1960s.
4. marvin born according to 1900 census july 1891, according to funeral service record he died 17 july 1892
regarding occupations, marshall branson and his oldest three sons were always listed as farmers in the census listing where i found them. jack however departed to become an insurance salesman, and given the way that he went through wives and liquor, probably was at least partially responsible for the reputation that traveling salesmen have.
here's a bit of supplemental information about jack branson's brother clarence taken from a photograph of the headstone for him and his wife:
Clarence E. Branson
30 June 1882
9 March 1920
Willie Jetton Branson
27 October 1885
1 August 1961
We believe she was born as Sarah, but as a young woman changed her name to Sara and used that spelling all her life.