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  • ID: I2350
  • Name: David Branham
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 01 DEC 1807 in Wise County, Virginia
  • Burial: Branham Cemetery, Lawrence Co, KY
  • Death: 16 MAR 1857 in Lawrence County, Kentucky of "Killed By Design" (gunshot wound)
  • Note:
    1) The 1850 Census, Lawrence Co, KY: #422 BRANHAM, David, 44, Farmer, 2000, VA; Elizabeth, 42, KY & children; also BRANHAM, Jonathan, 24, Laborer, KY
    2) "History of Lawrence Co. Ky." 1991: "Branham Family of Rock Castle Creek" by Ruth Ellen Kelley: "David Branham, son of Jonathan Branham and Patsy Elswick came to Lawrence Co. from Floyd Co. around 1834 with his wife Betsy Adkins and two small children. Family legend says that they came down river to the point where the Big Sandy forms. It was at this place that a Mr. Wellman of Virginia sold them a tract of land on Rock Castle one and one-half miles above the falls of Tug River at Clifford, Ky. The children of David and Betsy are as follows: Henderson m. Miranda Fluty, James Wilburn m. Julia Fitzpatrick, Benjamin m. Evaline Fluty, Nancy m. (1st) Endicott (2nd) John Wallace, Lucinda m. Elias Baisden, Margaret m. Sam Pack.,Ola Jane m. Soloman Wallace, Martha m. Jim Frazier, David m. Ellen Bowe, and Columbia m. (1st) Endicott (2nd) G.H. Shannon. These children it seems stayed close to this area. Many are buried in the Branham Cemetery. David was killed in March of 1857. Betsy then married a (James) Waller and lived until 1894. She was known years later as "Granny Waller". James Wilburn known as "Wibb" and his wife Julia Fitzpatrick d/o Burgess Fitzpatrick & Sara Ann Jarrett (Garred) were married at this place in 1854 and were the parents of the following: Sara Ann m. A.W. Crum, Mart (killed by a fall from a horse at age 19),Carilda m. Albert Copley, Burgess (died age 9), Elizabeth m. (1st) Milton Spurlock (2nd) Frank Damron, Rebecca m. Garred Hammond, Lydia m. Dan Stansberry, , Lyss m. Henrietta Vinson, Thursa m. Lige Hammond and Nancy m. Laben Fluty, Wibb married again after Julia's death in 1885, to a (Lucinda) Jarrell and had more children. The family suffered hard times and the land was to be sold for taxes. It is told in the family that Lyss ( Ullysses- s/o James Wilburn Branham and Julia ), who had the store at the mouth of Vinson Branch (Ky. Side) bought the home site and 91 acres at auction - paying cash, a surprise to many. Lyss & Henrietta spent the rest of their lives on Rock Castle. A son of Lyss and his wife Henrietta - Millard - born late in his parents life, left home at age 15. He boarded a train to run away - only to find his brother Taylor, was the brakeman on the train. Taylor took Millard back home, but he left again, joining the Navy and until his death in 1976 delighted in telling how he spent his 16th birthday on the Yangtze River in China. The home place acquired in 1834 by the first Branham to this area was sold in 1979."
    3) "History of Lawrence Co. Ky." 1991: "BRANHAM FAMILY in LAWRENCE CO." by Ronald Branham: "The Branhams have played a part in the history of Lawrence Co. The first Branhams recorded in the county are David and his wife Elizabeth Adkins Branham. They were married in Pike Co. an 1828 and came to Lawrence Co. in 1833. Marriage records of their third son Benjamin, who was born in 1833, states he was born in Lawrence Co. Family tradition says that David was taking his wife and children up the Big Sandy River to Louisa, and then west to Missouri, when he stopped in Louisa to spend the night. During his stay, he learned of a parcel of land on Rock Castle Creek. He purchased the land and settled there. The 1850 census records of Lawrencwe Co., show David with the following ten children : Henderson R., James W., Benjamin, Nancy, Lucinda, Margaret, Jane, Elizabeth M., David Doliver, and Thomas J., David became a leading citizen of the county. Court records show that in June 1855, he was commissioned by the Governor to be Justice of the Peace in District 8 known as Rock Castle. He served until his untimely death in March of 1857. Family history says, he was shot and murdered while traveling by boat down the Big Sandy River. He was on his way to record a land purchase at the court house. At the time of his death, he owned a considerable amount of property in the Rock Castle Creek area. His property was divided among his heirs, and much of the property, including the old homestead and the family cemetery, still belong to his descendants. David, Elizabeth and several of their children and grandchildren, as well as members of the current generations of Branhams are buried in the Family cemetery, known as Branham Hill. It is located on Rt. 3 in the Rock Castle Creek area. Many members, of the ensuing generations of Branhams, continue to live in Lawrence Co.. David's grandson Ballard Branham,was a pioneer minister in the county. He began preaching in 1885 at the age of 17, and throughout his ministry, his sole means of transportation was a red mare by the name of Nell. A man of modest means, he was widely known and highly respected in Lawrence Co. and surrounding areas. Ballard was ordained in the United Baptist Church, and conducted numerous revivals throughout the area. In 1907, he founded and organized the Friendship United Baptist Church, in neighboring Martin Co. His death in 1940, was a heartfelt loss to the community. Many Branhams, spanning several generations, still reside in Lawrence Co. Others have ventured beyond leaving only their roots behind. We are proud to have been a part of the history of Lawrence Co."
    4) Shelby Fleming Phillip's book, "David Branham and His Descendants": "According to the family oral history, David was on his way back to Louisa to record a land purchase at the Lawrence County Courthouse when he was killed. David was among the passengers aboard a ferry at the point where the Tug River and the Levisa River converge to form the Big Sandy River. As the ferry slowly made its way toward Louisa, an allegedly drunk, and disorderly James Vinson began shouting for the ferryman to return for him. The ferryman turned around and was making his way back to the point when Vinson raised his gun and aimed at a Mr. Endicott, who was also a passenger. Vinson's shot missed Endicott but then turned his aim upon David Branham. This time his shot found his mark. The bullet passed through David's body and he died several hours later. A newspaper account at the time of the incident stated, ".....Vinson was well fortified against authorities and made his getaway on the river in a boat he had hidden." This statement indicates the act was not one of random violence but, rather, an act of premeditated murder. Vinson fled to Missouri, where he died of smallpox a short time later. A motive for the killing has not been established. James Vinson was the son of James and Rhoda Sperry Vinson.""

    Father: John Henry Branham b: BEF 1773 in Montgomery County, Virginia
    Mother: Martha Finch b: BEF MAR 1773 in Montgomery County, Virginia

    Marriage 1 Elizabeth Adkins b: 08 APR 1810 in Floyd County, Kentucky
    • Married: 07 FEB 1828 in Pike County, Kentucky

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    A prosopographical e-palimpsest, researched & compiled by Steven A. Williamson. Copyright 2005 - 2014. Special thanks to Viola Wright, Lena Ratliff, and Gary Mullins. All post-ems will be removed - e-mail me if you have a question or comment.

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