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Granville Genealogy Festival to honor Ragland families

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The upcoming Granville Genealogy Festival, set for Saturday, April 8, will honor the Ragland families from Jackson County.

William Marshall and his brother, James Howard Ragland, were farmers who lived and died in Jackson County, leaving hundreds of descendants - the most flamboyant being Lloyd Cooper Flatt. He covered his head with a tall top hat and wore a black eyepatch over his right eye.

Dr. William Hardin Ragland was born near Granville in 1842 and operated the present Sutton General Store prior to his move to Cookeville. His son, Charles Burton Ragland, founded the Nashville-based C.B. Ragland Co., and his descendants have been instrumental in the development of the Nashville business community. His maternal ancestry has been documented back to a 10-year-old girl who arrived in Jamestown, Va. in the summer of 1610.

Another descendant of the Granville Ragland family is Jimmy "Jim" Ragland, who played football and coached at Tennessee Technological University and was twice named OVC Coach of the Year.

Robert Brown will present a program at 1 p.m. at the Granville United Methodist Church called "Early Raglands in Jackson County." The Granville Museum will sell copies of a 137-page book, "The Early Ragland Families of Middle Tennessee," originally published in 1959. The festival will also honor the black families of the Granville community.

In addition to Brown's program, the festival will feature the following speakers: Joellan Hall, 9:30 a.m., "How to Access the Largest Genealogy Library in the World;" Edie Williams and Linda Coffey, 10 a.m., "Family Connections: Finding Missing Family Through DNA;" and John F. Baker Jr., 2 p.m., author of "The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation." The museum will also feature how-to information on genealogy from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Also on April 8, Granville will host the Upper Cumberland Wine Festival, the grand opening of the 1940s Up to 1950s Antique Car Show, craft booths, music, food and more. The Granville community, located in Jackson County, is hosting the Tennessee State Museum traveling exhibit, "Slaves and Slave Holders of Wessyngton Plantation" through June 1, plus 1940s exhibits in all its historic buildings.

To learn more, call (931) 653-4151 or visit

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