• Robin Foster

Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966 Bring to Light More of Lucy Nelms' Children


"Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966." Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 12 July 2020. Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.



Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966 was the collection that brought to light two children of Lucy Nelms. The collection also has death records from the years 1964, 1965, and 1966. The things that you may find on the Tennessee death record are:


  • Name

  • Address

  • Sex

  • Race

  • Marital status

  • Date of birth

  • Age

  • Occupation

  • Birthplace

  • Name of father; birthplace

  • Maiden name of mother; birthplace

  • Informant

  • Date of death

  • Cause of death

  • Place of burial or removal; date

  • Undertaker; date


I was surprised to find the next two death certificates because the mother is my paternal great grandmother, Lucy Nelms. Her maiden name and her married name is Nelms. According to the death certificates, Lucy Nelms had Sam Bradford and Olean Nelms Long by a gentleman named Sam Bradford.


My father never mentioned Sam Bradford. My older uncles never mentioned him. I never heard my grandma, Ora mention him. They did talk of Olean Nelms, but I never knew she was the child of Sam Bradford until I found her death certificate. My great grandma signed the death certificate, and she was Olean's mother.



"Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966," database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D4WS-SC9?cc=1417505&wc=34D9-BZ9%3A1580568901 : 15 October 2018), 004183654 > image 1111 of 2055; Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.


"Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966," database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRTS-NBG?cc=1417505&wc=34DQ-2NL%3A1580587301 : 15 October 2018), 004184467 > image 1613 of 2784; Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.




In the 1910 US Census, Henderson Nelms was married to Lucy Nelms and Josie, Ora, my grandmother, and Walter were home. Right next door there was a Sam Bradford, the son of Lucy Nelms and Sam Bradford:

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRNP-FW8?cc=1727033&wc=QZZQ-498%3A133641901%2C134394101%2C133683601%2C1589089168 : 24 June 2017), Mississippi > DeSoto > Beat 3 > ED 17 > image 17 of 36; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).



Sam Bradford and Lucy Nelms were married in 16 March 1875 in Shelby County, Tennessee.

"Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939K-T5TF-B?cc=1619127&wc=Q63S-BTD%3A1589264674%2C1589373932 : 22 December 2016), Shelby > Marriage licenses, 1875-1876 > image 419 of 2789; citing Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville and county clerk offices from various counties.



"Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939K-T5TL-C?cc=1619127&wc=Q63S-BTD%3A1589264674%2C1589373932 : 22 December 2016), Shelby > Marriage licenses, 1875-1876 > image 418 of 2789; citing Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville and county clerk offices from various counties.



"Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-G1PD-K6K?cc=1619127&wc=Q63S-BYV%3A1589264674%2C1589373994 : 22 December 2016), Shelby > Marriage bonds, 1873-1878, vol F-G > image 297 of 798; citing Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville and county clerk offices from various counties.



I have not yet found the marriage for Henderson and Lucy Nelms, but I am so interested in finding the descendants of Sam Bradford and Lucy Nelms. They had ancestors through Olean Nelms Long and brother, Sam Bradford. They would have lived in Shelby County, Tennessee, Arkansas, or Mississippi. My e-mail is robinfoster@genealogyjustask.com.

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