Mahalia <I>Mosley</I> Branham

Photo added by Margaret Sturgill

Mahalia Mosley Branham

Death 2 Dec 1912 (aged 90)
Burial Clintwood, Dickenson County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 117191858 View Source
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~~These are some notes furnished by Ron Branham on the mystery of Mahalia Mosley Branham.~~posted by Margaret Sturgill (


1.. Born 22 Nov 1822-This date is probably correct. While many researchers say she was born in Hawkins Co, Tenn to Henry Mosley (listed as FPC on 1830 Hawkins Co. census) and Rebecca Jones (some say her last name was Bridgeman), I've not found or seen any documentation to prove the parents names or the place of birth is correct.

2.. 1820's or 30's- Apparently Mahala and another child walked from Ky. with Rebecca. What happened to Henry at this point is not clear. Apparently Rebecca turns Mahala over to Turner Branham and she becomes his ward. The year is uncertain. Another version that came to me by way of Jim Tackitt has Mahala at an Indian camp where she is seen by John C. Branham and he takes her for his wife. At first I discounted this as lore unlikely, as the story of the walk to Ky. came from Mahalas grand-daughter Mimia Coleman. After some thought, I wondered is it possible that after the walk to Ky, they were at an Indian camp, seen by John and his Uncle Turner and Mahala becomes Turners ward (perhaps John thought she was a babe, but she was too young), and John marries her after a few years. While there is speculation Mahala was at least part Cherokee, this is uncertain as well. Also, why would a woman walk alone with 2 kids from Tenn. To Ky? Perhaps to avoid the forced removal to Indian Territory?

3.. 1840's- John and Mahala are married 6 Jan 1842 in Pike Co. Ky. Turner signs the marriage application. Why? She was 20 years old! As a witness? Because she did'nt have a parent to vouch for her? Because she was Indian?

4.. 1840's- John and Mahala apparently move to Virginia. At least their first four kids are born there. This is based on not only the 1850 Pike Co. Ky census, but also on info from others.

5.. 1850's- John and Mahala are back in Pike Co, Ky. as they are listed on the census with Elizabeth, Joseph, Richard and Charity. Here's the kicker: Although I've seen from other peoples info that John was born in Floyd Co. Ky. in 1818, his birthplace is listed as Va, and his age as 28, which puts him born 1821 or '22. Also, Mahala is listed as born in Va, as are the children. Explanation? This info is either correct or the census taker did'nt actually talk to the family but got the info from a neighbor, friend, or family member close by.

6.. 1860's- The Civil War breaks out. John C. and sons Joseph and Richard enlist to fight for the Confederacy. According to an article in the Floyd Co. (Ky) Times written by Jason Gibson 1993 about the life of John and Mahalas youngest son Clifton, the family heads back to Ky from Va (did'nt see where they had left Ky for Va again!), where Clifton is born on the Cabin Branch in Letcher Co. in 1860 or '61. John is taken prisoner at Piketon, Ky while serving with the 7th Battalion Confederate Cavalry and sent to Camp Chase Ohio. He has previously served in Co A or C , French's Battalion Va Infantry. A discription is given- 5'8", 45 yrs of age, blue eyes, dark hair, light complexion. The age given puts him born 1818.

7.. 1865 to 1912- Clifton is a very bad boy and manages to get himself hung for murder (one of apparently several) in Wise, Va 1903. Mahala dies in Dickinson Co. Va 1912 and is buried in Wise Co, somewhere around the Pound, possibly Pound Gap?

8.. An interesting footnote to all of this is that my sister spoke with Mimia Coleman, Mahalas grand-daughter 4 yrs ago when she was 98 yrs old. Well, seems Aunt Mimia thought Mahalas father was a gentleman by the name of WC or MC Mosley. Oh yeah, he also went by the name Blackhawk, Cherokee chief that lived to be 111 yrs old, buried at, where else?- Wise Co, Va. Now, that's a story!

9.. Folks, this story is based on what I know and what I'm guessing at, and should be taken as such. In no way am I trying to say I'm right and everyone else is wrong. There has been a lot of books written and info put out there, and a lot of hard work and sweat searching for this families roots. And my hat goes off to all those that have busted their hump gathering info and putting it together for the benefit of all of us that search. But no matter what, I'm still gonna do my own homework and thinking and looking until I'm satisfied with the results. Just because someone points out a red car does'nt mean it was'nt blue when it came from the factory, ya know? So have fun, share what you know and even what your only guessing at. It might just be that piece of puzzle that was left in the bedroom closet when the family moved out and that kid is still looking for it!--

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  • Created by: Margaret Sturgill
  • Added: 16 Sep 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 117191858
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mahalia Mosley Branham (22 Nov 1822–2 Dec 1912), Find a Grave Memorial ID 117191858, citing Short Earl in Osborne Gap, Clintwood, Dickenson County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Margaret Sturgill (contributor 47669776) .