Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lou Ella Markham Howard as the Help

Here is a photo of my grandaunt Louella Markham Howard with her young charge. Aunt Louella, like many women in my family, worked as a domestic. Aunt Luella was born 16 Aug 1885 in Caseyville, MS, to Monroe and Mary Byrd Markham. She married Elijah Howard, no children were born to the union.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Church with the Red Door

St Mark's Episcopal Church was organized in 1837 and construction of the sanctuary was completed in 1855. Following the battle of Raymond, MS, on May 12, 1863, the church was used as a hospital for Federal troops.

The church is located in Raymond, MS.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Alice Mitchell Durr

She lived in Hazlehurst, Copiah County, Mississippi
Daughter of Alex Mitchell and Mary Copeland
Wife of William Durr
Mother of Mike, Eudell and Manuel

Alice is my great grandmother.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog Caroling 2011 - Joy to the World

Here is my first contribution to footnoteMaven's Blog Caroling challenge, Whitney Houston's Joy to the World. I love the hand clapping, feet stomping rendition of this song. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2011

Miss Martha's Age

Lets keep it between you, me and the gatepost, Miss Martha Bryant is much older than her death certificate claims. She or a member of her household was consistent about her age until her last census in 1910 shaved off a few years. Saying she was 50 something may have been a little difficult for Miss Martha. The conspiracy to keep her younger continued with her death when her age was reduced another 4 years.

In 1870, she was 16 - born about 1854
In 1880, she was 24 - born about 1856
In 1900, she was 45 - born about 1855
In 1910, she was 49 - born about 1861

The 1919 death certificate gives her birth year as 1865.

I know that the 1854 birth year is closer to accurate, here is why. Martha is named on the 1857 deed of gift of her family's slave owner John McDaniel along with her mother and brother Robert "Bob".

This Indenture and Deed of Gift made and entered into on this the 12th day of November 1857 by John McDaniel of the county of Franklin in the State of Mississippi witness That for and in consideration of the natural love and affection I have for and bear to my son James H. McDaniel...I Give, Grant and Deed...ELIZABETH a woman & child BOB a boy, MARTHA a girl

Elizabeth and her child Bob were grouped as a pair, Bob would not be separated from Elizabeth because he was too young and needed the direct care of his mother. Martha was older than Bob. I guess Martha is a girl of 4-5 years of age and her brother Bob is probably 2-3 years of age since he was not described as an infant, thus Martha was likely born about 1853-1855.

Martha Bryant was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Bryant, born in Franklin County, Mississippi. After the Civil War, she went to Natchez to live near a sister to attend school. She returned to Jefferson County to live with her mother. She never married nor had children. She remained with her mother and nursed her during her last illness. Martha's mother willed her the 80 acres of land the family purchased for $12 and a bale of cotton. Martha went with family to Bogalusa, Louisiana, a thriving timber industry town. She died there 18 Jan 1919. Her nephew Bryant Coleman was her informant.

John and Elizabeth's descendants married members of my maternal family.

John McDaniel owned 28 slaves in 1850, and he owned 38 slaves in 1860 per the slave schedules of Franklin County, MS.
Federal Census Records
Granville Cox's Federal Military Pension Records
Elizabeth Bryant's Will - Jefferson County Chancery Court Case Number: 1543 - Microfilm Number: 12263
John McDaniel's 1857 Deed of Gift
Will and deed of gift found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Luella Markham Harris
b. 1886

b. 1886 in Lincoln County, MS
She probably died in the Chicago area where the family was located on the 1930 census.
Daughter of Alexander Markham and Sallie Smiley
Sister of Mary, Luther, William, John, Alex, and Jim
Wife of Stanhope Harris
Mother of Josie May and Estella
Luella is my mother's first cousin twice removed.
Photograph Courtesy of Carolyn Betts

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Willie Louis Markham

b. 23 Dec 1887 - d. Nov 1971
Son of Monroe Markham & Mary Jane Byrd
Husband of Fredonia Culver
Father of Archie, Joyce Mae, Willia Mae, Robert, and Arthur

Willie was my grandmother's brother.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Confederate Cemetery
Raymond, Mississippi

I live near a Confederate cemetery and have passed by many times, telling myself I will stop when time permits. My people are southerns, tried and true, born and bred southerns. This, too, is a part of my family's story. On Veteran's Day, I decided to visit.

The Confederate Cemetery in Raymond contains the graves of 140 Confederate soldiers who were killed during the battle of Raymond on 12 May 1863, or who died as a results of their wounds. Reading one of the markers, I learn that most of the men who died were from Tennessee and Texas. Union dead from the battle of Raymond were initially buried in the cemetery but later moved to the Vicksburg National Cemetery.

The Confederates failed to prevent the Federals from reaching the Southern Railroad and isolating Vicksburg from reinforcement and resupply. None of my ancestors or the people they knew were involved in the battle of Raymond. They would be in Vicksburg.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Murdered the Master - Burned his House

Two diarists recorded the murder of William Anderson Killingsworth and the destruction of his home by fire in Lorman, Jefferson County, Mississippi. Slaves of Killingsworth were accused of the murder and setting the house on fire. They were tried, convicted and hung within four months for the crime. While the house was ablaze, unnamed slaves of Killingsworth rescued his body and his three children from the fire.

A motive for the murder is not known, although it was speculated by Killingsworth's descendants that the slaves who committed the crime were field hands, angry with Killingsworth because of his business of tracking and capturing runaway slaves.

Killingsworth owned Richard "Dick" Bailey, the blacksmith, and his wife Maria and their children. They may have helped to recover his body and his children from the burning house. Richard and Maria's descendants married cousins of my cousins.

Diary Entries

July 20: There was an awful murder committed at Killingsworth' s last night. He was murdered by his negroes & the house burned down. He had 4 children but the house was discovered & the children were taken out.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary

Thursday July 20, 1854 - This morning 2 o'clock or before Billy Killingsworth murdered by his negroes and his house burned down. Great many people collect. His runaway Jesse suspected.
Dr. Walter Wade Diary

Friday July 21, 1854 - People all collect again. Negro boy Albert confess to have seen Jesse murder his master & that he was with him. Caught two of his runaways today, Moses & Lucy.
Dr. Walter Wade Diary

Saturday July 22, 1854 - In pursuit of Jesse this morning.
Dr. Walter Wade Diary

Sunday July 23, 1854 - Caught Jesse at the bridge between Grand Gulf & Port Gibson.
Dr. Walter Wade Diary

Monday July 24, 1854 - Jesse bought back. Acknowledges killing his master and setting the house on fire, and says Albert, Charles and old Bill assisted.
Dr. Walter Wade Diary

Receipt for Jesse's Jail Fees

Tuesday July 25, 1854 - The above negroes sent to jail to await their trial for murder & arson. Many people present and many were for administering punishment in a summary way.
Dr. Walter Wade Diary

July 25: They have taken the negroes that killed Mr. Killingsworth; there was four concerned. They are in jail.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary

July 26: Mr. Darden went to Fayette this eve; they were trying those negroes; they were all committed to jail.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary

Oct. 21: Mr. Darden went to Fayette to serve on the jury to try the Killingsworth negroes.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary

Oct 23: Old Jesse & Albert were sentenced to be hung in Nov. For killing their master Mr. Killingsworth. They were trying old Bill & Charles for burning the house down.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary

Nov. 21 Our negro man went to Fayette to see Jesse & Albert hung for murdering their master W. Killingsworth, Jesse confessed that he done it all, that no one helped to do it; exhorted his fellow servants to be faithful & do their duty.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary
William Anderson Killingsworth was born 1821 in Tennessee, son of Anderson Killingsworth and Mary Sweet. He died 19 July 1854 in Jefferson County. Mississippi. He married Nancy Ann Shaw, daughter of Thompson Breckenridge Shaw and Mary Shaw. She was born 1820 in Mississippi, and died 23 June 1853 in Jefferson County, MS. Their children were Francis, Horace, Valencia, William, and Albert.

Frances was attending school at the time of her father's death; Horace died in 1853; Valencia, William and Albert were the children rescued from the fire.

Judy's Family
Annie's Place
Diary of Susan Siller Darden 1854
Hire Appraisement of William A Killingsworth's Slaves - 1861
Diary of Dr. Walter Wade of Rosswood Plantation, Jefferson County, MS, 1834-1854;
Microfilm Number: 36015, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Jesse's Jail Receipt Courtesy of Anthony Miller

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Workday Wednesday - Patrolman

My brother James on the day of his graduation from the Jackson Police Academy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Mollie Whalam

Mollie Whalam
Born in Jefferson County, Miss
Died June 15, 1890
"She was a kind and affectionate wife, a fond mother and a friend to all."
Buried at Hickory Block Cemetery
Union Church, Jefferson County, Mississippi

Mollie Whalum was not found in the census records. The Whalum surname has a variety of spellings, which could be one reason she was not found. A candidate for Mollie is sixty year old Mary Whaland found in 1880, married to Henson who was a widower in 1900.
Photograph Courtesy of Nathaniel Thomas

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (not so) - First Grandchild

Almost a year ago, I wrote about my grandmother's long wait for grandchildren. My daughter and son-in-law promised me that they would not make me wait as long as my grandmother to hold the first bundle of love. My first grandchild/son arrived 11/01/11 at 12:13 pm. I wonder what a numerologist would think of those numbers. He weights 7lbs and is 20.8 inches long. I think he is the best baby I have seen in 26 years.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Church Record Sunday 1858
Receipt for Hiring Preacher for Negroes

Prior to the Civil War, records of the area where my ancestor lived show that one method by which African Americans received their religious training was from a preacher hired by several slave owners. Reverend Smiley and most of the men who paid for Reverend Smiley's services were Presbyterians and lived in Union Church or Fayette, Jefferson County, Mississippi.

We the undersigned promise to pay the Rev. J H Smily the sums anexed to our names for his services viz to preach to the negroes at Zion Hill twice in each month for the balance of this year comencing with April, payable the first of January next. this April 3rd 1858

Wm Shaw $15.00 paid
- (Shaw owned 53 slaves in 1860.)
D McArn $20.00 paid - (McArn owned 51 slaves in 1860.)
D H Cameron $5 paid - (Cameron owned 21 slaves in 1860.)
R D Torrey $5 paid - (Torrey owned 24 slaves in 1860.)
M McPherson $5 paid - (McPherson owned 8 slaves in 1860.)
John C McCormick $2 paid - (McCormick owned 9 slaves in 1860.)
J ? Scott $5 paid - (J L Scott owned 18, J W Scott owned 22 in 1860.)
?? paid by corn

Shaw, McArn, Cameron, Torrey, and McCormick owned members of my family.

See Copy of Receipt

My notes are between parentheses.
McArn (Duncan) and Family Papers, Collection Number: Z/1487, Box 3
Collection found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History
1860 Jefferson County, Mississippi, Slave Schedule

Monday, October 10, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Jane McLaurin Buie's Letter

Jane McLaurin Buie (pictured) writes to her only daughter Missouri about every day life on the farm. According to my family's oral history, Jane and her husband David Buie were the last slave owners of my 2nd great grandmother Marilda Whitney Markham, born about 1829. I believe the Rilday mentioned in Jane's letter is my ancestor.

October the 25, 1858

Dear Daughter,

I received your letter of the 12 and was glad to hear that you were well. I was sorry to hear that Julia was not well. We are all well except som of the negroes that had the chill and fever. They relaps every weak or two. Rilday has bin quit sick. She is getting well. People are generally well. I am very sorry to hear that the typhus fever is in the colledge Your grandmother says for you not to youse snuff. I hope you will not get in such bad habits. Ophelia has gon to school to Fayett. Board is $15 a month with out washing. I have not heard how she likes the school. Naomi has another daughter. Mr. Morgan died week before last of typhus fever. It has bin very dry here. We had a fine rain today. My garden has done well doing to the wet wether in the spring and drouth of summer. we had more wet than could youse. We had fine cabage. We had a fine turnip patch. I cannot tell you how many chickens I raised. I have some fall chickens that look nice. I have raised about 16 turkeys. If hading bin for the redbugs I would have raised a grait meney more. I had bad luck your ducks there was only a few hatch and the hogs eat them up. Our cattle have not takin the blacktoung yet and I hope they will not. Your papa had to attend court last weak as grand juror and has to go back next weak. Your Uncle Milton had a good deal of sickness among the negroes. The children have bin a little sick. He lost one little negro. Your Aunt Betty says you are doing just rite to go off to school. The last time I saw Nancy she said she was going to write to you. I don't know why she has not wrote. David William talks of writing to you. They seam to be slow about it. Philip is as lively as ever. He is bothering me. You arbreviter is going fine. Prentice is learning very well. I cannot tell you what type of an examation dress to get but hope you will get one that will be of servis to you. I want to be careful and not dress thinly and not messy but with what you will be taking care of while you are in the care of Mrs. Johnston and Dr. McLain. We received a letter from Mrs. Johnston reflecting your progress in learning. We were well pleased. Mary Ann wanted her name put down and said howdy to you. Loucindy and Harriet and Mat howdy to you. Newton can walk with out his cruch. He can get along rite fast. He is healthy. Nothing more at present to write to you.

Remain your affectionate mother,
Jane Buie

Jane McLaurin was born December 21, 1821 in Waynesboro, MS, to Daniel McLaurin and Mary McLaurin and died February 23, 1906 in Copiah County, MS. She married David Buie May 28, 1840 in Mississippi, son of Neil Buie and Dorothy Mercer. David Buie was born February 07, 1807 in Georgia, and died October 19, 1871 in Copiah County, MS. This couple resided in Caseyville, MS. Their children were Joseph, Missouri, William, Prentiss, and Phillip.

Missouri Ann Buie was born 15 Jan 1844, Copiah Co., MS; died 04 Jun 1927.
Sources: Letter and photograph from Buie Family Papers - Z/1115.000/S
Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Buie Homepage

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Do - Redos
Wedding Wednesday

Blushing brides and shy grooms say I do all over again to the person they've been married to 50 plus years. Maybe the children and grands urge them to redo, or maybe they didn't have their dream wedding the first time around, whatever the reason, they appear happy to redo. Both couples married during the 1930s, remarried during the 1980s.

Wilmer Durr and his wife Rosie Mae Childs Durr
Copiah County, Mississippi
Parents of Wilmer Lee, William Charles, Denon, Rickey, Dorester, Emma Shirley, and Dora Lynn
Rosie Mae died in 1999.
Wilmer Durr is my father's uncle.

Hardy & Mary Alice Coleman Williams
Lincoln County, Mississippi
Parents of Harvest, Vivian, Lessie, Ruth, and Fredna
Hardy died in 1999, Mary Alice in 1993
Mary Alice was my mother's 2nd cousin.
Hardy and Mary Alice's photograph courtesy of James Scott.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tenant Farmers on Durr Farm

James Pearly Scott, Jr., with mule in Caseyville, MS
Benjamin Durr, fellow researcher of Caseyville, MS, shared with me the names and notes of people who were tenants on his father's farm in Caseyville during the 1930s and 1940s. To my surprise, most were related to me.
  • Walter Scott- moved to purchase his own farm.
    Walter married Susie Mae Smith. Walter was a 1st cousin once removed of my mother. James Pearly, in the above photograph, was Walter's brother.

  • Perry and Kathaleen Thomas - Kathaleen was the farm's doctor. She delivered me (Benjamin Durr).
    Perry married Kathaleen Sartin.

  • Walter and Pinky Henderson-moved to purchase a home in Brookhaven.
    Walter married Pinkie Markham who was my mother's 1st cousin once removed.

  • Stanley Tyler and wife Willie Mae Thomas, daughter of Perry and Kathaleen Thomas

  • Gilmore Banks married Ada Beth Henderson, daughter of Walter and Pinky Henderson.
    Gilmore Banks was a second cousin of my mother.
    Ada Beth Henderson was a second cousin of my mother.

  • E.L. Holloway and Ethyl - E.L. had the first black gospel quartet on radio in Brookhaven

  • Buster and Christine Markham – Jeannette Coleman, the lady you met in Brookhaven having breakfast with us was their daughter.
    Virgil "Buster" Markham married Christine Holloway. Virgil was my mother's 1st cousin.

  • Anthony Washington and wife ?
    From the 1920 and 1930 census, Lincoln County, MS, Anthony's wife name was Lula.

  • Walter Ransfer and wife?
    From the 1930 census, Lincoln County, MS, Walter's wife name was Alice.
Photograph Courtesy of James Scott

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Is the Light Red

Ernest Scott 1898-1979
Rosie Durr Scott 1928-1990

Uncle Scott was my favorite uncle. He was loving and kind, and my siblings and I loved being with him. It didn't matter if we were helping him to pull weeds from his garden or going to the store to buy two for a penny cookies we knew he would share, his company was golden. He was our ticket to the outside world, outside of Subdivision Number Two. He was a pentecostal preacher married to my Aunt Rosie. He loved singing and telling people about Jesus. Everyone, church goers and juke joint goers, enjoyed being in his presence.

If Uncle Scott invited us to go with him, we gladly went no matter where he was going. Glaucoma and diabetes slowly began to erode his vision but he continue to drive. I don't think the adults knew how bad his vision was, we children knew but didn't realize we were in danger riding with him.

As we would approach traffic lights, Uncle Scott would ask, is the light red. We would tell him the color of the traffic light and he would obey. Aunt Rosie finally realized his vision was too bad to be driving. She talked with our mother and told her not to allow us to ride with Uncle Scott. We were disappointed.

Between our mother saying no to his offers and Aunt Rosie telling him he shouldn't drive, he realized our days of riding with him were over. His feelings were hurt. We continued to spend time with him just not in the car. Shortly after we stopped riding with him, Uncle Scott stopped driving, Aunt Rosie learned how to drive or in her case, she learned to dodge ditches.
Aunt Rosie was my Dad's sister.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ida Mae McCallum Sartin
Wordless Wednesday

1902 - 30 May 1931
Daughter of Henry and Cora Coleman McCallum
Wife of Edmond Sartin
Mother of Irene, Beatrice and Robert Earl Sartin
Ida Mae was my mother's 2nd cousin.

Wordless Wednesday - Cora Coleman McCallum
Wordless Wednesday - Brother and Sisters
Photograph Courtesy of the late Beatrice Sartin Wilson
Daughter of Edmond and Ida Mae McCallum Sartin

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lamar Smith
Civil Rights Activist in the Family

Photograph Courtesy of Wikipedia

On August 13, 1955, civil rights activist Lamar Smith was murdered on the crowded lawn of the Lincoln County courthouse in Brookhaven, Mississippi, at close range. Lamar Smith campaigned against one of two candidates for the county Board of Supervisors. He encouraged African Americans to vote by absentee ballot. Lamar was warned several weeks before that he was too political. He was told to quit or be killed. He was shot by a .38 caliber pistol under his right arm, died instantly.

When District Attorney E. C. Barlow reached the scene of the murder, he first spoke with Sheriff Robert E. Case who told him that he saw Noah Smith leave the scene of the murder with blood all over him. Noah Smith and two other men, Charles Falvey and Mack Smith, were arrested. The men were each released on a $20,000 bond.

Not one witness appeared before the grand jury. The case was dropped and the three men went free. District Attorney Barlow called the lack of cooperation "a gross miscarriage of justice."

Lamar "Ditney" Smith was born March 1893 to Levi Smith and Harriet Humphrey in Lincoln County, MS. He served in World War I and was a local farmer in rural Lincoln County. He was the husband of Annie Clark, father of Earline Smith Thomas.
Lamar Smith's sister Susie Mae Smith married Walter Scott, my mother's first cousin once removed.

See a picture of youthful Lamar and wife here, see a picture of older couple here
1900 Federal Census - Lincoln County, MS - Searched for Levy Smith
Brookhaven Leader-Times Newspaper - August 17-19, 1955 - Mississippi Department of Archives and History - Microfilm Number: 31241
Jet Magazine - August 25, 1955 - Jet Magazine - Oct 6, 1955 - Google Books

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Women in Hats

Cousin Bettie McDaniel Neal

Cousin Sadie Havard McDaniel

Ruby Young Hunter

Mary Coleman & Miss Willis
Neal and McDaniel photographs are courtesy of Anthony Neal, Sr.
Hunter and Coleman photographs are courtesy of Christi Young.
Take another look at Women and Hats.

Tombstone Tuesday - Edmond Woods

In Memory of Edmon Woods
Bornd 1835
Died 1905
Farewell My Wife & Children
All From You A Father Christ Doth Call
Cool Spring MB Church Cemetery
McCall, Franklin County, MS

Edmond Woods served with the 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry in Natchez, Mississippi
Photograph Courtesy of Willie L Robinson

Monday, August 29, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Paying the Freedmen 1865-1866

William Emmerson freedmen received for himself and his two children Willis & Amanda of D McArn 35.60$ amount due for labor rendered from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
his mark X
William was former slave of McArn, married to Elizabeth and their children were: Willis (unsound), Manda, Nancy, Scott, Isaac, Rena, Preston, Jacob, Isabella, William, James, Martha, and Frances

Frank Corbin freedman received of D McArn 16.50$ sixteen fifty cents amount due from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
his mark X
Frank was husband of Rachel during slavery, former slave of McArn. his breast and chest was badly mashed. The couple had one child, Harry, cripple from birth.

Joseph Sartin freedman received of D McArn 11.00$ eleven dollars amount due for labor rendered from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
his mark X

Charles Sartin freedman received of D McArn 16.90$ sixteen dollars ninety cents D McArn amount due for labor rendered from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
his mark X

Chester Sartin freedman received of D McArn 25.00$ twenty five dollars amount for labor rendered from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
his mark X
All three Sartin men were former slaves of McArn. The relationship between the three men is unknown. Charles' descendant married into my maternal family.

Rachel Corbin freed woman received of D McArn 14.33$ fourteen thirty three cents amount due for labor rendered from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
her mark X
Rachel was Frank's wife during slavery, had one child, Harry, cripple from birth. Rachel suffered with pain in head and breast.

George Parker freedman received of D McArn for himself & his two sons Henry & Andrew 31.35$ thirty one dollars thirty five cents amount due for labor rendered from August 22nd 1865 to Jan 1st 1866
his mark X

Duncan McArn was born on February 14, 1810. He moved from North Carolina to Jefferson County, MS, around 1835. McArn taught school in Franklin County during the first five years of his residence in MS. He married Catherine Torrey of MS on May 9, 1844. McArn soon began cultivating cotton on a plantation near Fayette, Jefferson Co. Duncan McArn died February 24, 1875.

According to the Jefferson County, Mississippi, 1860 Slave Schedule, Duncan owned 51 slaves.
McArn (Duncan) and Family Papers, Collection Number: Z/1487, Box 8
Collection found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy 78th, Mama

This is my mother with her first born son.

Mama, happy 78th birthday. Although Alzheimer's Disease has taken so much from you and us, you are loved and precious as ever. May you have many more peaceful birthdays.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - T. C. Coleman

Mr. T. C. Coleman departed this life Sunday February 5, 1989, at Kings Daughters Hospital, Brookhaven, Mississippi.

He was born October 26, 1908 in Lincoln County, Mississippi and attended the Lincoln County Public Schools

Boomie, as he was known to his many relatives and friends, served during World War II in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945.

At an early age he united with the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as Church Clerk for a number of years and Chairman of the Deacon Board. He attended services regularly until his health began to fail.

Boomie retired from Escambia Wood Treating Co., Brookhaven, Mississippi.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Luther and Eddie Roberts Coleman and one brother, George Coleman.

He leaves to cherish his memory one son, Mr. Jimmie Coleman of Brookhaven, MS; Three daughters, Mrs. Belinda Irvin of Wesson, MS; Mrs. Brenda Coleman of Baton Rouge, LA; Mrs. Gwendolyn Gayle Kennedy of Houston, TX; Two sisters, Mrs. Lula Mae Jackson of Bogalusa, LA and Mrs. Amy V. Beard of Brookhaven, MS; Two sons in law, Bruce Irvin and Lee Kennedy; one brother in law, Louis Beard; Eight grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Madness Monday - Killed his Sister
Madness Monday - Killed his Sister - Part 2
Madness Monday - Killed his Sister - Part 3

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mary Shaw & Daughter
ca. 1855

Mary Ann McLaurin Shaw
1828 - 1894
Wife of William Shaw
Daughter "Maggie" Margaret Almarinda Shaw
1853 - 1921
William and Mary were slave owners of Samuel Shaw b 1823
in Jefferson County, Mississippi
Samuel's descendants married cousins of my cousins.
Source: Shaw-McCallum Papers
Special Collections of Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State University

Monday, August 8, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Letter from a Slave to her Former Mistress - 1858

This letter was written by Harriet Walker to Mary Shaw, wife of Thompson Breckenridge Shaw. Harriet, living in Arkansas, wrote inquiring about her children who were living on the Shaw farm in Jefferson County, MS. The letter does not tell us how long she had been away from her children nor whether Harriet, husband and other children were sold as a group. Apparently, the husband was separated from the family, causing sadness for Harriet.

Columbus, Arks
June 7th 1858

My Dear Mistress,

It has been a great while since I heard from you or my children and I know not whether any of you are now in the land of the living. but write begging you to please let me now how they are getting along in the world. Me and my two daughters Caroline, and Mary, my son Colby are still owned by Dr. Walker we have a very kind master and mistress. My son Jim belongs to his son Jim and my two daughters are now grown. I begin to feel very old. I often wish I had never left you but at that time thought I would be with my husband as long as we lived. We never know when we are doing for the best.

I am so very glad my children are so well satisfied and have good homes. tell them to stay by their masters and mistress as long as they can. they do not know what it is to have their families scattered and never expect to see them again.

I am very sorry indeed to hear of Old Masters death, but thus passeth away the world and what was your loss was his infinite gain, and all we can do is to strive to meet him in the world to come where there will be no more pain, no more parting.

And now Mistress, tell my children to be good and faithful servants, to honor their master's, and mistresses and in all things do what is right snd honest and set a good example for their children, and above all things to serve their God, and teach their children the same, for they will have to give an account of their deeds in that last day. give my best love to them and tell them I often think of them.

Farewell my dear Old Mistress please answer this is the last request of your old and faithful servant

Harriet Walker
Source: Shaw (Thompson B.) - McKell Papers
From Special Collections of Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State University

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our White House on Washington Street
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 31: Grandparents’ House. Describe your grandparents’ house. Was it big or small? How long did they live there? If you do not know this information, feel free to describe the house of another family member you remember from your childhood.
My memories of my maternal grandmother begin and end in this house.

This modest house was our house of comfort. I loved going to visit when I was a child in the 1960s, then, it was Aunt Bee's house. The childless Aunt Bee didn't have a room full of toys, in fact, no toys. There were no swing sets, no bicycles, but we felt free. Free to roam and run on three huge acres with pecan and fruit trees, and a vegetable garden. It was one of the few places where I saw a smile on my mother's face, where she was relaxed.

The house came into the family after my great grandfather Monroe Markham's death in 1932. Monroe and his wife Mary raised their family of 15 children on the land where Monroe had been enslaved in Caseyville, MS. Monroe rented land from the son of the last slave holder and his childhood playmate Prentiss Buie. Monroe b. 1852 was gifted to Prentiss b. 1850 when they were young children. When Prentiss died in 1926, Monroe, wife and three unmarried daughters were asked to leave, they went to live with their eldest son.

After Monroe's death, the women decided that their future was in owning their own home. The land was purchased in 1933. Prentiss' daughter Hallie Buie came to visit Grandma Mary and this is how she described the house in a letter she wrote to her sister in 1936.
"Mrs. Thompson took me to see Aunt Mary. She lives with her three daughters who bought three acres of land just outside the city limits, Brookhaven, and have put up a nice house, everything is so neat and clean about the place and so many flowers were blooming in the yard and their ferns on the front porch, in nice pots, are so pretty, the house faces the east. Willie Markham, Uncle Monroe’s son, lives in the next house."
The original house was a living room, dinning room, kitchen and two bedrooms. The outhouse was in the back yard, which I have a vague memory. Later they would add a small pantry, small sitting room and an inside toilet with running water.

The women in the house were Grandma Mary, Aunt Bee(Beatrice), Aunt Louella, and Aunt Inez. Grandma Mary went to glory in 1937, Aunt Inez in 1938, their wakes were held in the house. Aunt Louella left and married Elijah Howard, and Aunt Bee and her brand new husband Silas Johnson would have the house to themselves.

By the early 1960s, Luella and Bee's husbands were deceased. Aunt Bee was taking care of her two sisters, my grandmother Alice and Aunt Luella, both stricken with senility or Alzheimer's Disease.

Grandma, Aunt Luella and Aunt Bee's faces would light up with joy when we, my mother and her three to five children, went for visits. There was a small gate to the left side of the house and when the taxi driver would toot the horn, they would all come to unlatch the gate. We would run into their arms for hugs. They smelled clean, sunshine clean with a hint of lemon. They wore long dresses with aprons, thick cotton stockings on their legs and black or brown shoes with the laces neatly tied. They would ha and ho over us, made us feel so special.

Aunt Bee was the cook, she was a great cook. She would set the table with pretty rose pattern dinnerware. Bowls filled of southern main stays was put on the table; grits, ham, fried chicken, field peas or butter beans with okra, buttered rice, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, homemade canned fruits and jellies, homemade biscuits, corn bread and chocolate cake from scratch.

My mother was frugal with the food. I think her philosophy was to leave more food on the table than was presented. Aunt Bee would be in the kitchen and would hear one of us ask our mother for some more of something and mama would tell us we had enough. Aunt Bee would tell mama to let us children eat. Mama word was law and when she said no, no was no.

One of my last memories of my grandmother is her sitting on this back porch in a cane backed chair. She didn't talk with us but would smile and play hide and seek games with her hands, hiding a leaf, plum, whatever we put in her hands. We would run up and down those steps and jump off the porch. From a child's perspective, the steps were steep and the jump from the porch was daring.

When it was time for us to go home, back to Jackson, Aunt Bee would load my mother with the fruit of the land. She would have pecans, peanuts, vegetables from the garden, canned fruit and jellies. We would nibble from these gifts, remembering the visits for a long time.

I remember once when we were in the taxi cab headed to the bus station, looking back toward the house, I saw my grandmother and grandaunts walking back to the steps. Their heads were slighted bowed and the shoulders stooped. I knew then they were missing us as we were already missing them. I also knew they would be okay to settle back into their routine.

Aunt Louella died in May 1966, Grandma in August 1966, and Aunt Bee in May 1989, all of Alzheimer's Disease.

The house remains in the family.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Boy and a Car, 1930s

Alex John "AJ" Howard, Jr
b. 1931
Son of Alex John Howard, Sr and Byrnetta Bryant
Photograph Courtesy of Anthony Neal, Sr

Monday, August 1, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Pastor's Response to Decision in Murder Case

Church Record Sunday - Murder Committed by Church Clerk

Cornelius Washington Grafton was the pastor of Bensalem Presbyterian Church in Lincoln County, Mississippi.

Here is his response to the decision of the church elders in the case of church clerk Jonathan McCallum who killed Dock Gordon.

Bensalem Church Sept 17th 1882
The Session met and was opened with prayer. Present Rev C W Grafton, A Baker, C Blue and John Gilchrist.

The following paper from Rev C W Grafton - read and admitted to record.

I concur with all my brethren who had the following principals.

1st The civil officer is God's minister - appointed to execute wrath upon offenders.

2nd A divine law clothes wither the right and duty to use force where ever necessary in the arrest of a criminal - force that will lead to the sheadding(sp) of blood or the destruction of life if the case demands.

3rd That the criminal who resist the operations of the law by attempting to escape or otherwise is resisting the ordinance of God and does it at his own peril.

But it does not seen clear to my mind that our brother used the necessary con? to prevent the effusion of blood in the above case. Such precoussion(sp) I think is required by the moral law and therefore I do not agree with my brethern in their decision rendered yesterday.

C W Grafton, Moderator
Source: Bensalem Presbyterian Church Session Records - March 6, 1881-April 6 1947

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Church Record Sunday - Murder Committed by Church Clerk

Bensalem Presbyterian Church was organized in 1854 and located in Caseyville, Lincoln County, MS. The church was dissolved in 1968.

Jonathan E McCallum was born in Monroe County, North Carolina, 10 Oct 1838; died in Lincoln County, MS, 17 Jan 1891. He was the church clerk. He killed Dock Gordon who "had attempted an atrocious crime on a female relative." The church Elders met to determine if their brother had violated a moral law.

Here is what was recorded in the church records concerning the killing.

Bensalem Church Aug 20th 1882
Session met and opened with prayer. Present Rev C W Grafton, J E McCallum, A Baker, John Gilchrist and the Session having knowledge of the fact that our Brother J E McCallum had within a few days fact shot and killed a certain negro in the neighborhood...

Bensalem Church Aug 28th 1882
...I John Gilchrist do hereby charge J E McCallum with violation of the 6th commandment under the following specifications. Said J E McCallum did on the 14th day of the present month at a certain house belonging to Dr A Baker in the county of Copiah & the State of Mississippi shoot & kill one negro man known as Dock Gordon...

The accused bring called on to give answer pleaded as follows...of the specifications - "guilty of the charge not guilty." By this answer he explained that he admitted the killing but denied that it was a breach of the moral law...

1st The evidence was clear to his mind that the negro in question had attempted an atrocious crime on a female relative.

2nd Actions as a civil officer he was endeavoring to arrest him.

3rd The negro attempted to make his escape...

Resolved - That it is our belief that the attempt to commit an atrocious crime is a ? in the sight of God as the act itself. The Session them being satisfied...the negro had attempted a fearful assault on female virtue.

Rendered the following decisions - The killing justifiable, therefore the charge is not sustained.

Dock Gordon was born about 1865. He is seen on the 1880 Copiah County census living with his mother Charlotte and siblings. The family was living near Archibald Baker where Dock was murdered. He was about 17 years at the time of his death.
Sources: Bensalem Presbyterian Church Session Records - March 6, 1881-April 6 1947
Cemeteries of Lincoln County, Mississippi, Volume 1
Next - The Pastor's Response for Amanuensis Monday

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Tuck Ephraim

Tuck was born about 1860, died 13 Sep 1929.
Son of Amanda Gaines
Husband of Elizabeth Thompson
Father of Mary, Revella, Bula, Versie, Smilie, Ovie, Bettie, Arvester, Hettie, Bernice, Annie, Arveld, and Ardella

Husband of May Ross
Father of Mae Artice, Arthur, Sinester, Percy, and Beatrice
Photograph Courtesy of Andrew and Terri Lyke

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - William Pierce

William Pierce
May 5 1864
Dec 16 1937
Only Asleep

Son of Laura Mae Benson
Husband of Mattie Mattier-DuPree
Father of Henry, Cora, Ora, Mamie, William Jr, Josephine, Lulabella, George, Ulysses, David, Sally, and John Arlynch
William's daughter Josephine married my mother's 1st cousin once removed Philip Scott.

Buried at St Paul MB Church on the River
Photograph Courtesy of Willie L Robinson

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Churches in the Family
St Paul MB Church on the River

Pierce cousins are members of this church. The oldest headstone found in the church cemetery is William Pierce who was born in 1862, died in 1937. The church is located in Copiah County, Mississippi.

According to Cousin Karen Pierce, there are two St Paul Missionary Baptist churches in the area, one in Brookhaven and the other one in Caseyville. The one in Caseyville was located near the Homochitto River, which was where they held baptisms. To differentiate between the two churches, they called the one in Caseyville, St. Paul Church on the River.
Photograph courtesy of Carl and Karen Pierce
St Paul Missionary Baptist Church on the River Cemetery

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Elizabeth Thompson Ephraim

Lizzie was born about 1862, died 02 May 1915.
Daughter of Nimrod Thompson and Wontia Ann Watson
Wife of Tuck Ephraim
Mother of Mary, Revella, Bula, Versie, Smilie, Ovie, Bettie, Arvester, Hettie, Bernice, Annie, Arveld, and Ardella

Lizzie's daughter Ardella married my mother's 1st cousin once removed Willie Henderson. The family lived near Union Church, Jefferson County, Mississippi.
Photograph courtesy of Anthony Neal, Sr.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Afro and Puffs of the 70s

This photo was taken in the spring of 1973 on my high school campus. That is me in the afro puffs on the side of my head and friend Katie in the afro. We graduated in 1974 and many of us had afros for our graduation photos. I have notice that my children and their generation have their own versions of the afro.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mary Ephraim Bryant

Mary born about 1877 in Union Church, Mississippi, died after 1940
Daughter of Tuck Ephraim and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Thompson
Wife of Henry Keys Bryant
Mother of Robert John, Christine, Henry G, Brynetta, Leslie J, and Pauline

Mary's sister Ardella married my mother's 1st cousin once removed Willie Henderson.
Photograph Courtesy of Anthony Neal, Sr

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Roundtree

Sept 11 1876
Sept 13 1955
I fought a good fight

Effie A
Oct 7 1872
Sept 6 1968
A servant of God at rest
Ike and Effie are buried at Zion Chapel AME Church Cemetery in Caseyville, MS.
Photograph courtesy of Nathaniel Thomas.

Put your Nose in the Neighbor's Business
Tuesday's Tip

In the genealogy research world, knowing your ancestors' neighbors' business will provide clues to your own family history, so, put your good manners to the side. Go ahead and look at the neighbors' cemetery records, deeds, wills, probate records, vital records, taxes, diaries, personal letters, etc. Its okay to check out the family history of his wife or her husband. Its okay to know how they acquired those cows. Go ahead and be nosy.

One of my favorite research tools is the Civil War pension records. What do you do if you don't find a relative with pension records, as in my case? Look and see if the neighbors has one. My relatives testified in their neighbors cases and I was able to confirm oral history and relationships.

Go ahead and use your favorite research tool on the neighbors. You may be handsomely surprised at what you discover about your own people.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Churches in the Family
Mount Mariah AME Church

Mt Mariah was formerly established 19th day of August 1875, when W G Millsaps and his wife Fannie Millsaps sold to the Trustees "for the use and benefit of the colored people of the Baptist Church one acre around the church building."

Cousins from the Adams, Beal, Ephraim, Ross, and Thompson families attended this church.

The church is located in Jefferson County, Mississippi.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trio of Ninety Something

Armonia Price (96 years old), Allie Moncrief (95 years old)
Florida Jones (92 years old)

This picture was taken in 2006 at a birthday celebration for the trio at the St Paul MB Church in Brookhaven, MS. Cousin Allie is the last survivor of the three.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Churches in the Family
Mercy Seat AME Church

Mercy Seat is the church of my paternal grandfather and his family, located in rural Copiah County, Mississippi. Grandpa Mike Durr and other members of the family are buried in the church cemetery.

The picture below is the remains of the old church, which was a wood frame building. I remember walking up those steps to attend Grandpa Mike's funeral when I was five years old.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Brother and Sisters

Mae L McCallum, Ida Mae McCallum and Nathaniel McCallum
Children of Henry and Cora Coleman McCallum
Second Cousins of my Mother
Photograph Courtesy of the late Beatrice Sartin Wilson
Daughter of Edmond and Ida Mae McCallum Sartin