Unidentified woman who worked for the Durr family of Hazlehurst, Copiah County, MS.
Photograph courtsey of Georgia Wise
In 1823, when Albert was only 10 years-old his family moved to the new State of Mississippi. The Brown family settled in Copiah County, Mississippi. Raising cotton in the new frontier state of Mississippi proved to be lucrative for the Brown family. The Brown family owned members of my paternal family.
The children to the right appear to be mesmerized by the appearance of Santa in his automobile. I wonder where Santa's sleigh and reindeer were. Santa is near the train depot in Brookhaven, Mississippi.
She was born in Lincoln County, Mississippi, to Grover Cleveland Culver and Kathleen Thompson. In 1942, she married maternal cousin Lamar Lenoir. The couple enjoyed over 50 years of marriage.
Photograph Courtesy of
Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library
100 S. Jackson St
Brookhaven, MS 39601
Cousin Tim owned a funeral home in Hazlehurst, MS, the ancestral home of my Durr branch of the tree. I went to many funerals with my aunts and uncle when I was a child up to the mid-teen years. We would often see Tim, busy with the bereaved family and the activities that went with running the funeral business. One of the aunts or uncle would say, there's Tim. It was a while before I realized to whom they were speaking. Tim didn't look like us. Who was this white looking cousin and how was he related? They could only tell me Tim was related to us through my paternal grandmother, Tim was Grandma Gertrude's people.
Several months back I was contacted about my Demyers branch, which lead to me joining a Demyers family group on Facebook. I learned a lot through this group and it turns out that is how I am connected to Timothy Ora Winston. Tim and my common direct ancestor is Peggy who was born about 1815 in Virginia. Peggy had her first child with the slave master, Tim's line. Peggy had other children with Thomas Napoleon Demyers, my line. Peggy is my third great grandmother, she was Tim's great grandmother.
Especially around the sick bed, her gentle services were peculiarly grateful, there she was in her element, unwearying, unremitting in efforts to releave pain irrespective of color, for friend or foe, faithful to the promise, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto me." Relying, with the unquestionable faith of a child, on the blessed promises of a covenant keeping God, in the simplicity of her guileless heart, the dying bed became "Victors Couch," and as the Pale Boatman with noiseless oar approached, with joyous shouts of victory, and eager longing for the glory of Heaven, to be with Jesus, her spirit passed away from earth.
Farewell faithful kind friend! We will all miss thy tender care while we journey here, but thy triumph has been sooner won. May we meet around our great Master's throne.
Peggy and her husband Lawrence shared the same slave owning family with members of my family.
The first time I voted was during the time period covered in the last episode of Many Rivers to Cross. I was 19 years old in 1974 voting in a local election.
My immediate family were not activists, not political, and I don't think any members participated in the Civil Rights Movement. My mother never registered to vote; she didn't believe voting would improve her life. An uncle and aunt didn't see the benefits of voting, they depended on God. Another uncle never believed white folks would change. Aunt Alice did register to vote and I think she first voted in the 1968 presidential election. My father first voted in the 1976 presidential election.
Reverend Sutton, neighbor and assistant principal of the neighborhood elementary school, strongly encouraged his former students to register to vote as soon as they turned 18.
Pressure was put on Congress and state houses to pass a constitutional amendment because it was unfair to send 18, 19, 20 years old to fight in the Vietnam War when they couldn't vote for or against their elected leaders. Within four months after the Congress submitted it to the states, the amendment was ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
"The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age." The Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Reverend Sutton encouraged me to register. He worked with the Registrar's Office to allow us to register at the school for a couple Saturday mornings. Reverend Sutton knew most of us didn't have transportation and many didn't have the support or encouragement from our households.
Many Rivers to Cross didn't cover the local activist, people whose names would never make a history book. The local activist knew their communities and how to work within their communities to help others cross one more river.