For an excellent account of the family of Zachariah Branscomb and Mazey Towns, you can read the website of Fred Tubbs,
Zachariah Branscomb and his wife Mazey Towns
See also: Children of Zachariah Branscomb and Mazy Towns
Cherry Secretary Desk
Written by Armstead Washington Branscome
Contributed by Penny Leggett
This cherry secretary desk is a Branscome family
heirloom. It dates from the year 1798. The desk was first owned by
Zachariah Branscome. Zachariah Branscome was born in 1755, died 1815.
On November 6, 1798,
Zachariah Branscome married Mazy Towns. This wedding marks the beginning
of this cherry secretary desk. Senior members of the Branscome family
have, by word-to mouth, given this account of this desk. This desk was
built by a slave carpenter. Zachariah Branscome employed this gifted
slave to build the desk as a wedding gift for his bride Mazy.
The heart cherry wood in
the desk probably came from the Brunswick section of the Virginia
Colony. It was here that Zachariah was brought up, and lived untill [sic] his
death in 1815. Zachariah's home site was in Greenville County.
Zachariah married late in
life (41 yrs. old), but lived long enough to father eight children. The
youngest child was George Branscome, and he was born the year that his
father died, 1815. The desk was inherited by George.
Several members of
Zachariah's family moved to Alabama and Mississippi. George Branscome,
with his wife Sally Denton Branscome, took their children and belongings
(including this secretary desk) and headed for a new life in the
Alabama-Tennessee area. Some migrated on to Mississippi.
The desk passed to the
first son of George Branscome, James Washington Branscome, who was born
in 1840. He lived until 1910. By the time of his adulthood, he had
migrated to the area of Cherokee, Alabama. Here he met and married Julia
Franklin Denton, (married in 1863). James Washington Branscome was one
of twelve children and they were scattered over much of Alabama,
Mississippi, and Tennessee.
James Washington Branscome and wife Julia, lived on
the estate of Mr. Armstead Barton, a great land owner in the Cherokee,
Alabama area. James was so fond of Mr. Barton that he named his fourth
son in his honor. Joseph Armstead Branscome was born in 1875. Joseph
Armstead was one of nine children, and he felt it a very special
privilege to inherit the cherry secretary desk, so cherished by his
Joseph Armstead Branscome married Sallie Gargas in 1908. Nine children were
born of this union. They lived four miles east of Tuscumbia, Alabama.
The area is now Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Before the death of Joseph Armstead Branscome in
1961, he gave the desk to Armstead Washington Branscome, his fourth son.
(the year 1958). Armstead Washington Branscome married Martha Jane
Uptain, March 17, 1945. Two children were born to Armstead and Martha,
Martha Sally, & Thomas Armstead Branscome.
Branscome has restored the desk, and has cherished the desk as has his
ancestors before him.
It is my wish (Armstead Washington Branscome) that
this desk pass into the possession of my son, Thomas Armstead Branscome,
and that he will cherish it as have the Branscome families before him.
To this date, 1990,
this is the history of this desk, and please note that it has been
transferred through the male heirs all the way from 1798.
|III.||James Washington Branscome.||1840-1910|
|IV.||Joseph Armstead Branscome||1875-1961|
|V.||Armstead Washington Branscome||1921-2010|
|VI.||Thomas Armstead Branscome||1953-|