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Edward Thomas Broughton , Sr.

My Great Grandfather E.T. Broughton was in Smith Co. from 1852 to after the Civil War. Descendants still live there. - Mary Lee Barnes

Nathaniel and Sarah Benbow Broughton's son, Edward Thomas Broughton Sr. was born in 1805 in South Carolina. On December 18 1823, he married Rachel Winborne Walker, daughter of Dempsey Winborne, Jr. and Priscilla Owen. of South Carolina (Rachel was the grand-daughter of Dempsey Winborne Sr. a Revolutionary War soldier in York County, South Carolina. She had been married previously to Robert Walker - Monroe Co., AL. Her father, Dempsey Jr was an ordained minister of Old Salem Baptist Church in Monroe Co. AL)


According to Alabama land records, Broughton acquired some land in Monroe County on October 8, 1826. Some sources written by descendants claim he was elected sheriff of Monroe County and served two terms in the General Assembly of Alabama "with credit to himself, satisfaction to his constituents and to the best interests of the commonwealth." But no official records in the Alabama archives have been found yet that could confirm this. Records were located that show Broughton served two terms (1826-1833) as the Justice of the Peace in Monroe County. [NOTE: Monroe County is one of many Alabama counties that suffered a loss of public records in a string of mysterious courthouse fires in the last part of the 19th century.] According to deed records, on February 11, 1842, Edward Broughton and Rachel C. Broughton sold 400 acres in six tracts to Nathaniel Broughton, presumably Edward's father, for $12,000. On that same date, Nathaniel sold to Edward eight slaves for $4,000. In October of that same year, Edward purchased four more slaves from Nathaniel for $3,000.


Edward and his family moved to Arkansas in 1842 and since their stay in Arkansas was not early or long enough, the Broughtons are not shown on either the 1840 or 1850 Census of Arkansas. However, Masonic records confirm they were living in Ouachita County until about 1847.

The family of E.T. Sr. and his mother-in-law Priscilla Winborne came to Texas in 1848 settling first in Jasper County for about a year, then to Old Larissa in Cherokee Co. in 1850. In the report of Larissa Masonic Lodge No.57 in 1852, among the Master Masons named were E. T. Broughton, (his son) D.W. Broughton and J. G. James (his son-in-law). On the 1850 Census in Cherokee County, E. T. is 45-years-old, a farmer originally from South Carolina. Also listed in his household are: (his wife) R. C. Broughton, 50-year-old female from South Carolina; (his children) Edward T. age 16 of Alabama, Amanda M. age 14 of Alabama and Ann age 11 of Alabama; and (his mother-in-law) 72-year-old Priscilla Owen Winborne of South Carolina In 1853 Edward T. was Clerk of Smith County and lived in the Old Omen area.

They were on the 1860 Smith County census and lived there until after the Civil War when they moved to Kaufman County. Edward's sons, Nathaniel W. and Dempsey W. were also listed on the Cherokee County Census in 1850 as heads of their own households.

[NOTE: J.C. Walker is also found on the 1850 Census and, despite a conflicting middle initial, some researchers believe him to be Rachel Broughton's son J. O. Walker from her first marriage. The circumstantial evidence to support this assumption is that J.C. Walker had a son named Dempsey and was a Baptist minister. Rachel's father and grandfather were both named Dempsey, as was her son Dempsey W. Broughton. Also, her father and her son, Dempsey, were both ministers. And, in a special issue of The Chronicles of Old Omen, it is mentioned that John O. Walker was the proprietor of the first mercantile store in 1852, and he was from Cherokee County. J.C. Walker also had a son listed on the 1850 census of Cherokee County named W. H. Walker, age 9. Ten years later, the 1860 census of Smith County TX shows a 19-year-old W. H. Walker living with Rachel's mother, Priscilla Winborne, age 81.]


Various research shows Edward Thomas Broughton and Rachel Winborne (Walker) Broughton had seven children as follows:

  1. Dempsey Winborne Broughton born August 15, 1824, Monroe County, AL. Prominent Presbyterian minister in Larissa , Kaufman, and Dallas.
  2. Nathaniel William Broughton born June 30, 1826 near Birmingham, AL; went to Kaufman and West Texas.
  3. Sarah Priscilla Broughton, born December 31, Monroe Co. AL - She married Joseph G. (Gabe) James (b.May 1824, d.Dec. 28, 1875) - She died Sept. 2, 1880 and is buried with her husband at Kaufman Cemetery in Kaufman County Texas. [NOTE: J.G. James is listed with his father-in-law as Master Masons in the report of Larissa Masonic Lodge No. 57 in 1852.]
  4. Rachel Elizabeth Broughton, born Monroe Co. AL - She married Henry M. Arnold on September 29, 1853 in Smith County. [Note: This was apparently her second marriage, because marriage records on file in Smith Co. give her name as Rachel Neel] She is on 1850 census Cherokee, wife of David Neel. She died on June 13, 1896 and is buried in Elkins Cemetery in Smith Co. Texas. Children of this daughter married into the Bonner and Gibson famiies who lived many years in Smith County.
  5. Edward Thomas Broughton (Jr) born April 3, 1834, Monroe County, AL, married Mary Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of Rev. Alexander Douglas in Smith County in 1856. Descendants of E.T. , Jr. still live in Tyler, Smith County. Letters from him during Civil War are in archives of The Historical Society. He died Feb 1874, Sherman, Texas
  6. Amanda M. Broughton, born May 6, 1836 Monroe Co. AL - She married John C. Collier on November 17, 1853 She died December 5, 1911 and is buried with her husband in Elkins Cemetery in Smith County Texas located just west of Arp on Farm-to-Market road 345.
  7. Ann Broughton, born ca. 1839 in Alabama - She married Lt. James F. Walker CSA (b.ca 1832 in Georgia) - In 1860, the couple lived in Smith County where they had 2 daughters: Nannet (b. 1858) and Laura (b. 1860) [Note: Ann's father, Edward T. was named as a witness on several probate records in Smith County including one for her family's estate. In 1863, E. T. was named guardian of Ann's two children. "E. T. Broughton petitioned as guardian 3/17/1863. Nanette James Walker and Ann Mariah Walker, under 14, heirs of Lt. James Walker who died September 1862 in the service of the Confederate States (of America) leaving no widow. Appraisers: Joseph G. James, James Wesley Weeks, William Weeks, household articles $268, additional inventory watch $25. Report of 2/23/1866 states that N. J. Walker is deceased."]

From 1852 through the Civil War, Edward T. Broughton Sr. lived in Smith County where he records show he became Clerk of Court in the Commissioner's Court from June 20, 1853 to August 21, 1854. The 1860 Census of Smith County shows Edward had amassed an estate worth $3,000 with an additional $12,000 in personal property. After the Civil War, E. T. Broughton and his wife Rachel moved to Kaufman County, Texas where they lived near their sons, Dempsey W. and Edward T. Jr.


Rachel died in Kaufman County Texas in 1869 however the location of her gravesite is unknown. Sometime during the following year Edward moved further west with his son, Nathaniel W. Broughton, where he lived another two decades. In 1891, at the age of 86, Edward Thomas Broughton (Sr.) died. He is buried in the Great Rock Bluff Cemetery in Comanche County, Texas located about 6 miles west of DeLeon, Texas.

Sources of Information:

Edward T. Broughton, Jr, Obituary, (1834-1874)

Gauntt-Broughton Marriage

Mary Elizabeth Douglas Broughton (1840-1918), Obituary

Texans Who Wore the Gray - E. T. Broughton

Research information submitted by:
Mary Lee Barnes of Tennessee - formerly of Athens, Texas, a descendant of Edward Thomas Broughton, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Douglas Broughton. Letters to Mollie

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If you agree, please email, Scott Fitzgerald with your submission.

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