top of page

Subscribe for Updates

Congrats! You’re subscribed

The missing ancestors...By Vincent Alexander Davis

Have you ever started your research and come across that proverbial brick wall where you KNOW an ancestor existed (after all, you're here, right?) but you can't find them save for a few records here and there? Well, that is exactly what I am dealing with now in that I am looking for my great-great grandmother Cora (Sutton) Bracey. The problem is, all trace of her ends after the birth of my great-grandaunt Corrine Bracey. So, where is she?

As genealogical researchers, one of the things we accept is that sometimes, we won't find everyone. It's not right, especially as African-Americans, that our ancestral paths are usually stopped because our ancestors' lives did not matter to a number of people. That said, these lives matter to US. Thus, I won't give up searching for my great-great grandmother.

Cora Sutton was born to Frank and Louisa Sutton (my third great-grandparents) in about 1873 in Hinds County, MS (presumably around Raymond). One thing I can say about Frank & Louisa is that they had a lot of kids and both lived a long time. Also, surprisingly, there was a dearth of information on them both. Now, anyone researching MS records knows how hard it is to find concrete records of your ancestors both before and after slavery, but it is possible. For the longest time, I was able to go by the (mostly accurate) oral history that my late grandmother provided for the Sutton side of her family. Then several years ago, I came across a marriage license which further validated some of the information my grandmother gave me:

  • Cora Sutton was married to Gus Bracey (my great-great grandfather, in 1891). Check.

  • Cora was about 18 when she got married (she was actually 19). Check.

  • Bankston Bracey (my grandmother's granduncle) was Gus's brother. Check.

    • Note: My grandmother fondly remembered a George Evans (she said they called him Georgie) and his wife Mary Bracey (whom she specifically identified as her father's first cousin), and that Mary's father was named 'Banks'.

      • The marriage license corroborates all this information.

In fact, we now know that Cora and Gus had at least two children: Clay (my great-grandfather) and Corrine (my great-grandaunt). The problem is that she seems to have disappeared after Corinne's birth. Though I have seen the name Cora (or Corah) Bracey in other records, certain information doesn't line up, so I know those records are not attributable to her.

So then what happened to Cora? Something definitely happened, as Clay and Corrine were both raised by Cora's parents, Frank & Louisa Sutton. Further, I found two other sons of Gus Bracey (Harvey & Louis) whom he raised. Corrine is a bit difficult to track also, but I believe that I was able to track her to Chicago as she got older. As such, to wrap things up, I am appreciative of finds like this marriage record to corroborate the information passed on to me orally. As a professor of Communication Studies, there is nothing we like better than validated information. At the same time, the mystery still remains as to what happened to Cora.

I'll let you know when I find out.


Recent Posts
Robin R. Foster
Robin R. Foster
Front cover Draft (2).jpg
My Best Genealogy Tips Its Time to Start - eBook.jpg
ebook cover (1).jpg
Prayer Journal 1.jpg

©2014-2024 Genealogy Just Ask, LLC. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

bottom of page