When speaking with relatives about family history, I am often told to keep this piece of information between you, me and the gate post. Respecting sensibilities, I will share my family stories entwine with historical events from Copiah, Jefferson and Lincoln Counties, Mississippi, from gate post to gate post.
My maternal grandmother was not sure of her paternity. Grandmother Gertrude was born in 1895 and her mother, Jane Furnace, died when she was 7 years old. Since Jane was dead and couldn't answer her children questions about their father, family and neighbors sitting on porches discussed the paternity of Jane's children, so, my grandmother grew up with uncertainty of her paternity. Jane's children with dark complexion would be assigned to Elijah Usher and Jane's lighter children would be assigned to Richmond Overton. Since my grandmother was dark, she would be Elijah's child.
After her mother's death, Grandma Gert was raised by Richmond Overton's mother, Alice. The twist to the story is that Alice was married to Elijah Usher. Alice either raised her granddaughter or she raised her husband's child. I remember snippets of conversation between my grandmother and her children concerning her paternity. Grandma's attitude was that she was "mama's baby, papa's maybe."
The records show the uncertainty but lean toward Richmond Overton being the daddy. 1910 - In the household of Lige and Alice Usher, her name is Gertrude Overton. This is the only census I find Grandma before her marriage. 1919 - Grandma's Marriage Record - She is Gertrude Overton. 1924 - Grandma's Daughter's Notification of Birth Registration - Gertrude Eusher
Parent Information from Death Records of Grandma's Siblings 1916 - Carrie Overton - Parents are Rich Overton and Jane Furnice 1923 - Edgar Overton - Parents are Rich Overton and Jane Furnise 1928 - Ollie Wallace - Parents are Lige Usher and Marry Furnace 1934 - Haber Overton - Parents Richmond Overton and Unknown 1938 - Mary Brandon - Parents are Richmond Overton and Jane Furnice 1967 - Grandma - Parents are Richmond Overton and Jane Furnace.
Recently, I received a photograph from Cousin Alesa of the man I believe to be my great grandfather, the man in the above picture. This was my first time seeing an image of him. I looked to see if there is anything in his face similar to the faces of my siblings or me. I can't tell.
Both men are a part of my family's story. I gladly research them both.
Dr Walter Wade recorded in his journal events that occurred on the Rosswood Plantation in Redlick, Jefferson County, Mississippi, between 1854-1865. Dr. Wade did small drawings throughout the journal which included a drawing of slaves Abram and Easter in their wedding attire.
Shopping for the wedding was done in Natchez. The couple married August 5th 1854 on a Saturday nite. They were likely married by High Peter who was recorded in the journal marrying another slave couple. A wedding supper was held for the couple.
On an inventory and assessment of the Negro property in Oct 1861, Abram was valued at $700, age 37; Easter who had one eye was valued at $400 and she was 21 years of age. The couple had a daughter Olivia who was 3 months old, valued at $50.
Source: Journal of Rosswood Plantation, Redlick, Jefferson County, MS, by Dr. Walter Wade Mississippi Department of Archives and History Microfilm Number: 3882
Researched the census records to see if I could find the family in the 1870 census. I believe I found Easter and Olivia living in Jefferson County. Easter O'Quin was born in SC, 36 years old, Olivia was 9, and three more children were in the household: Frank, male Olivia, and August. In 1880, the family was using Johnson for a surname. Ester Johnson, age 40, born in SC, was in the household with children: Frank, August and Ida.
Olivia Johnson married Stephen Sidney 24 Jan 1878, in Jefferson County, MS.