Tuesday, June 30, 2020


DNA does it again!  Another family mystery solved, and more cousins found.

JAMES JASPER BRUTON was my great uncle, the brother of my grandmother MINTTIE MAY BRUTON HUBER, and the only one of her three siblings who survived, married and had children.

He was born June 22, 1876 in Sparta, Christian County, Missouri, the son of Rev BENJAMIN BENTON BRUTON and SILOAMA WHITECOTTON.  Rev B B BRUTON was well-educated, an ordained Baptist minister, an author of several books & religious tracts,  and a well-loved teacher in Christian County, Missouri.  JAMES also became a teacher in the local schools.

James Jasper Bruton & son Jesse Jewel Bruton circa 1920 Christian Co Missouri

On Sept 1, 1900, JAMES married ELLA ADAMS in Christian County, Missouri.  They remained in the area until after his mother SILOAMA died in 1908.  Apparently he helped with his mother's application to the Eastern Cherokee Tribe, writing letters providing more information to Guion Miller (the application was rejected, because SILOAMA's ancestors were not Cherokee).

By the 1910 census, JAMES J BRUTON, his wife, and children were living in Brewer,  Muskogee County, Oklahoma, where his occupation was listed as school teacher.  By 1916, they were back in Christian County, Missouri.

JAMES J BRUTON & ELLA ADAMS had the following children:

---BONNIE LELA BRUTON born Oct 2, 1902 Christian County, Missouri; married MATH ADAMS; one son RAYMOND EUGENE ADAMS  d 1985

---WILLIAM MANCIE "BILL" BRUTON b May 30, 1912 Wyandott, Oklahoma; married BARBARA WARREN; two sons, two daughters 

---JESSE JEWELL BRUTON  b Oct 17, 1916 Chadwick, Christian County, Missouri; married JUNE MARIE HICKEY;  one daughter, possibly other children? 2nd marriage aft 2007.

(These three children would have been first cousins to my father and his nine siblings)

While I had long known about my grandmother's brother JAMES J BRUTON,  I could never seem to fully trace his children or his grandchildren after the 1930 census. All I could find in subsequent records was an indication that all of his children had ended up living in California.

JAMES J BRUTON & ELLA ADAMS divorced sometime before 1922; she remarried to  LOUIS E WILSON and moved with her sons to Boone County, Oklahoma. She died there in 1932.

Ella Adams Bruton with Bonnie Lela Bruton, and William Mancie "Bill Bruton circa 1920

After 1922, JAMES J BRUTON was frequently listed as living at the almshouse in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri.  He was listed in the 1930 census at the State Hospital in Vernon, Nevada County, Missouri.  The next record found was again at the almshouse in Springfield in 1953, which indicated he was released to relatives from California.  According to his death certificate and an obituary I found,  JAMES J BRUTON died Dec 31, 1958  in Springfield, Missouri.

To my knowledge, JAMES and his family never visited his sister, my grandmother MINTTIE MAY  in Iowa, where she & her family lived from 1908 onward. It's unlikely that my father ever knew that he had first cousins living in California.

Fast forward to 2020.   I recently received two separate DNA matches, one a 2nd cousin and descendant of JESSE JEWEL BRUTON  on AncestryDNA;  the other, a 2nd cousin 1 x removed and descendant of WILLIAM MANCIE "BILL" BRUTON on 23andMe.  So of course, I was thrilled!!   These are the first close DNA matches to the BRUTON family that I've had since I first tested with 23andMe ten years ago, in 2010.

One of the grandsons of JESSE JEWEL BRUTON shared the photos which I have posted here, and  I am deeply thankful to finally be able to see my great uncle.  I am looking forward to sharing this blog with my Huber relatives!

Be well, stay safe, and if you go out--please wear a mask!!


© Betty Tartas  2020