A few weeks ago I had a letter from a great niece of mine, 12 year old Pat Ruffin, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Clarence Lee Ruffin of Johnson City, Tennessee, asking me to write her a simple little family tree, as she wanted to know more about her ancestors. Not knowing how to write a family tree, I attempted to write things about my family as far back as I could remember, which was a long time ago. She seemed to appreciate this letter so much, I think other members of the family would like to have a copy. Pat’s father kindly offered to have his secretary make copies for me to hand to other members of my immediate family.
My father was James RUFFIN, known as Jim. My mother was Joanna BRASWELL, known as Joe. They were reared in the same community about 5 miles apart. My father’s home was about 8 miles of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in Edgecombe Co. The farm is still known as the RUFFIN Farm, but it has passed out of the RUFFIN possession. The RUFFIN Cemetery was reserved when the farm was sold. Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist Church, of which my grandmother was a member, was on the farm. They had services on Saturday and Sunday once a month, always had two or three preachers, so the services were long. If I went with my grandmother to church, she would take a lunch in her satchel for me. Children ate in church during the services. There was a bucket of water with a dipper in it that sat on a little table in front of the pulpit in reach of the children so they could get water as often as they wanted. I almost choked because I was too timid to walk up and get water. The preachers had a pitcher of water and a glass. Everybody used the same dipper and glass. Grandmother’s was a good place to go. When she knew you were coming she was sure to have a big plate of apple jacks and we knew right where to find them. She would make molasses candy, parch peanuts, pop corn, do anything to please the children.
My father and his brothers never had a middle name, but when they started to school, they all took the letter “H” as a middle initial, and always signed their names that way.
Married Brother Charles Daniel RUFFIN married Roxie BASEMAN; had one child, Callie RUFFIN.
Callie RUFFIN married Paul WORSLEY; have two children, Charles Creighton and Janice.
Charles Creighton WORSLEY married Juanita KEYTON; have three boys. Janice WORSLEY married Linzy MAYBERRY; have four boys.
Brother Mack RUFFIN married Ella THOMAS; had seven children, Thelma, Mack Jr., James, Joanna, Lizzie, Vivian, and Mattie.
Thelma RUFFIN married Jack DENSON; no children.
Mack RUFFIN, Jr. married Margaret DENSON; had two children, Mack, III, and Lenora.
Mack RUFFIN III married Pat Carpenter; have two children, Jack IV and Margaret.
Lenora RUFFIN married Charles WESTBROOK; have one child, Charles WESTBROOK, Jr.
James RUFFIN married Catherine FULLER; have two children.
Ann CLARK and Mary Ella.
James RUFFIN was married twice. The second time to Minnie Ruth JOHNSON; no children.
Joanna RUFFIN married William HICKS; have two children, Peggie Joe and William HICKS, Jr.
Peggie Joe HICKS married William POWLES; no children.
William HICKS, Jr. married Bettie THOMAS; one child.
Virginia RUFFIN HICKS.
Lizzie RUFFIN not married.
Vivian RUFFIN married William WHITEHEAD; one child, William WHITEHEAD Jr.
Mattie RUFFIN married Frank KEYS; no children.
Brother Joseph Clifton RUFFIN married Sallie KNIGHT; have three children; James Clifton, not married; Julian RUFFIN married Hazel BULLOCK have two children, Julian and Joseph Clifton RUFFIN; Lucy KNIGHT RUFFIN married Gilbert STOVALL, one child, Clifton STOVALL.
Brother Mark RUFFIN married Lizzie BRITT; have two children, Marvin and Milford.
Marvin RUFFIN married Peggie SHAY; have two children, Michael and Rodger. Marvin was married twice, the second time to Arlene MYERS; have three children, Mark, Mary, and James Erlin RUFFIN.
Milford RUFFIN not married.
Brother Lee RUFFIN married Lurlene THOMAS; have one child, Clarence Lee RUFFIN.
Clarence Lee RUFFIN married Jean ROLLER; have four children, Pat, Cathy, Mary, and Lee.
Sister Mamie RUFFIN married Ben LAWRENCE; one child, Benjamine LAWRENCE, Jr.
Sister Mattie RUFFIN married Phil THOMAS; no children.
Ida RUFFIN [author of this paper] not married. My father married a second time to Minnie EDMONSON; no children.
My father’s family which are my grandparents, uncles and aunts
My grandfather was Tom RUFFIN; died while working on his house. He split his knee open with a hatchet and died of gangrene. Grandpa Tom RUFFIN married Lizandy LONG. They had six boys and two girls.
Charles RUFFIN not married.
Tom RUFFIN married Mary HARGROVE; had two boys, Frank and Sam. Uncle Tom married a second time to Emma DIXON; had three children, Jessie, Pearl, and Ernest.
Uncle Dick RUFFIN married Annie MOORE; had five children, Mark, Fred, Maggie, Mary, and Bessie.
Uncle Joe RUFFIN married Zelphie LANE; had eight children, Collin, Ed, Lena, Lynda, Ruth, Naomi, Annie, and Ella. There were two sets of twins in this family. A colored man knocked Uncle Joe in the head with a stick and he lived just a short while.
Uncle Henry RUFFIN married Ada WILLIAMS; had five girls, Anna, Effie Lee, Emma May, Ada Clare, and Rosa; and two boys; both died the same day with whooping cough and were buried in the same grave.
Aunt Lucy RUFFIN married Lawrence LANE; had two children, Ida and Ella. Ida went to visit her grandparents. She had a chill, so her grandfather went to town to get quinine for her. He was sold strychnine through mistake. She took a dose and died in a short while. I was the next girl born in the family, so I was named for her.
Aunt Pennie RUFFIN married William MEARS; had two children, Walter and Emma.
My great-grandmother, Penina LONG, known as Granny Pennie, smoked a corncob pipe with a long reed stem before going to bed. She slept in a night cap on a big four poster corded bed, so high she had to step on something to get on it. She would step on the trundle bed to get on the big one.
My mother’s family Her father was Bob BRASWELL, her mother Pattie LANCASTER BRASWELL; had four boys and four girls.
Callie BRASWELL married Harrett ROBBINS.
Dick BRASWELL married Sallie FLY.
John BRASWELL married Nannie DAWS.
Byrd BRASWELL married Ann RUFFIN, but no kin to our set of RUFFINs.
Mary BRASWELL married Joe LANE.
Nettie BRASWELL married Ben PITTMAN.
Ann BRASWELL married Willie ROBBINS.
Joanna BRASWELL married James H. RUFFIN.
Family Record My father, James H. RUFFIN was born July 3, 1850.
My mother, Joanna BRASWELL was born August 14, 1853.
James H. RUFFIN and Joanna BRASWELL were married February 23, 1873.
To this union there were twelve children, Charles Daniel RUFFIN born December 12, 1873, Mack Thomas RUFFIN born October 23, 1875, Annie RUFFIN born February 24, 1878, James RUFFIN born October 9, 1879, Joseph Clifton RUFFIN born July 4, 1882, Ida RUFFIN born January 5, 1884, Callie RUFFIN born May 18, 1885, [Thomas Edmondson RUFFIN born June 12, 1886, died November 1 1939 according to Bible Records. -Gayle] Mamie RUFFIN born January 7, 1887, Baby boy born and died October 3, 1888 (not named), Dread Mark RUFFIN born November 3, 1889, Mattie RUFFIN born October 15, 1892, Andrew Lee RUFFIN born October 22, 1894.
Deaths Annie RUFFIN died September 1, 1882 of a congestive chill; buried in RUFFIN Cemetery.
Callie RUFFIN died October 3, 1886 of colitis; buried in RUFFIN Cemetery.
James RUFFIN died December 19, 1895 of black jaundice; buried in RUFFIN Cemetery,
Mattie RUFFIN THOMAS died November 4, 1918 of flu during the epidemic; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
Charles Daniel RUFFIN died December 10, 1927 of a stroke; buried in Rocky Mount, North Carolina Cemetery.
Joseph Clifton RUFFIN died February 17, 1936 of a heart attack; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
Mack Thomas RUFFIN died August 2, 1937 of a stroke; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
Roxie BASEMAN RUFFIN died February 12, 1943 in her sleep of a heart attack; buried in Rocky Mount, North Carolina Cemetery.
Sallie KNIGHT RUFFIN died June 16, 1946 of diabetes and complications; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
James Clifton RUFFIN died January 9, 1948 of a heart attack; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery,
James Benjamine LAWRENCE died October 19, 1948 of a heart attack; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
Mamie RUFFIN LAWRENCE died November 17, 1953 of a stroke; buried in Lawrence Cemetery,
Mack Thomas RUFFIN Jr. died July 6, 1955 of a heart attack, buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
My father, James H. RUFFIN, died April 1, 1915 of diabetes and complications; buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery. A big snow came that day and was on the ground for a week.
Joanna BRASWELL RUFFIN died January 9, 1904 of consumption; buried in RUFFIN Cemetery.
Minnie Edmondson RUFFIN, stepmother, died June 14, 1930 of a heart attack, buried in Tarboro, North Carolina Cemetery.
Best wishes to you all,
November 16, 1960
Dear Mr. Johnston,
Thank you for the card. I am confident your theory is correct.
Perhaps you can use the foregoing to help someone. Unfortunately there are no citations or documentation; however the children of Joseph H. RUFFIN match a portion of Bible record in my possession. This paper was given to my cousin by someone passing through. Ed (Thomas Edmondson RUFFIN Jr. born 1918; father Thomas Edmondson RUFFIN; grandfather Joseph H. RUFFIN; great-grandfather Thomas RUFFIN w/Lisandy WILSON/LONG? Owns several stores all named Ruffins and this stranger gave it to him after seeing the name. The major portion of the document deals with Ida Ruffin’s immediate family.
You have indeed been a great help and rekindled my interest in the RUFFIN family.
Mary K. O’Dohert
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Bob Braswell & Pattie Lancaster, Rocky Mount, NC
The following item was found at the archives in Raleigh, North Carolina by Gayle Braswell Ellison of Applegate, Oregon.