Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday
Amanda Miller Bell
of the Free Woods
circa 1863

Amanda Miller Bell born about 1827
Baby Mary Elizabeth Bell born about 1862

Amanda was a member of the Free Woods, Franklin County, MS, "an isolated farming community where people of three races are said to have intermarried and abolished slavery well before the Civil War."

Free Woods: 19th Century Community Unique in Area

Amanda is distantly related to Cousin Bettie McDaniel Neal.
Photograph courtesy of Anthony Neal, Sr.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Herring Plantation House
Franklin County, MS

Picture circa 1950

This is a typical plantation house built during the late 1820s. David Herring and his wife Mary Leggett owned this home near the Homochitto River in Franklin County, MS. It was a two story oblong shape with chimneys at either end, a one story lean-to across the back and a porch across the front. It was made of hand hewed logs and covered with dressed lumber. The doors and flooring are hand hewed, and are about two inches thick.

Members of my family were slaves on the Herring farm. They worked the land, cooked the meals, maintained the house. Steve Herring was the fiddler and entertained the guests on the front porch and in the parlor. David Herring died in 1842, leaving a widow with several children. When the children reached their majority, the slaves were distributed causing rifts within slave families.

The enslaved men left the plantation to serve in the Civil War. A few enlisted with the Colored Troops and others worked for the Troops as cooks and laborers. A couple of the men's widows applied for pensions from the United States government, giving informative testimonies about their lives on the Herring place.

Below are recent photos of the home. The second story was taken off and the house still stands. The last picture is of the building that housed the kitchen. Kitchens were built separately from the main house for safety reasons, to protect from kitchen fires.

Pictures Courtesy of Freddie Johnson
House description from the research notes of Freddie Johnson.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday
Mary Lou McDaniel Scott
circa 1958

Daughter of Preston and Revella Ephraim McDaniel
Wife of Frank Scott
Mother of Paul, Jurlean, Annie Mae, Geneva, Willie, and Robert

Mary Lou married my mother's 1st cousin once removed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mingo and Levie Adams

Calvin Adams, Son Of Mingo
1865 - 1917
Husband of Maggie Lynch
Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Crump, direct descendant

Mingo and Levie who are believed to be brothers were born about 1833 and 1832. They were first documented as parent-less children named in deeds of gift of the Cato family of Jefferson County, MS.

The young brothers were deeded between family members. They were gifted to Henry Cato from his father Burrell Cato November 4th, 1842. The next day, November 5th, Henry Cato gave Levi to his mother Frances Cato. This legal maneuver was probably done to keep the slave property within the family, avoid creditors of Burrell's debt. The patriarch Burrell was not healthy, he died in 1848.

A few years later, Levi who was about 16 years was deeded as a gift to Sterling Cato from Frances Cato on January 27, 1849.

Mingo was next documented in the 1866 Freedmen's Bureau labor contract of Henry Cato and David McRee. Both men were seen in the 1870 census living with their wives and children in Copiah County, MS. Levi gave a deposition in Sterling Cato's Southern Claims case in 1873. Sterling was a son of Burrell and Frances Cato.

Mingo and Levi's descendants married into my maternal family.

Harvey Adams, Son of Mingo
Husband of Mary Louise Sims & Mary Jane Johnson
Photo Courtesy of Ed Adams, Grandson

Alex Adams, son of Levi, with his wife, children and grandchildren in front of the home he built in Hazlehurst, Copiah County, Mississippi.

Cato and Related Families of Mississippi
Freedmen's Bureau Labor Contract, Microfiche Number: 49-007
Jefferson County Deed Book E, pages 451 & 452 - (Deeds of 1842) - Microfilm Number: 12012
Jefferson County Deed Book G, pages 89 & 125 (Deeds of 1849) - Microfilm Number: 12013
Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Photographs courtesy of Edward Adams, Cynthia Crump and Veronica Ramsey Swift.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do You Know My Name

Who is this lovely lady? Her photograph was discovered in the photograph collection of John H Williams in the Lincoln County Public Library in Brookhaven, Mississippi. The photograph was label L D Kelly. It is believed L D paid to have the lovely face photographed. Is she a wife, daughter, sister, cousin, of L D's? What was her name?
Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rachel Adams Listed on Freedmen Labor Contract

Rachel Adams
b. 1840 in Mississippi
Wife of Mingo Adams
Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Crump, Direct Descendant

While researching freedmen labor contracts for my Mississippi counties of interest, I found one that connects to my family. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, commonly called the Freedmen's Bureau, was established by Congress to supervise all affairs relating to refugees and freedmen, including the writing of labor contracts of planters/farmers with freedmen. Only a small portion of former slaves had labor contracts.

In 1866, Mingo Adams and his wife Rachel made a one year contract with farmers Henry Cato and David McRee of Copiah County, MS. They were to receive half of the cotton, corn, potatoes, and other products minus the market prices for meal, molasses, sugar, coffee, etc. They were also responsible for farm animals and tools for cultivation.

Mingo was a slave of the Cato family, not sure who was Rachel's slave owner. Mingo and Rachel's descendants married into my maternal family.

Freedmen Labor Contract - List of Freedmen
Planter: Henry Cato and David McRee
Plantation: D. McRee
County: Copiah
Date: January 01, 1866

Luke Redrick
Ann Redrick
Mingo Adams
Rachel Adams

Tony Coleman
Anderson Franklin
Phylis Franklin
John Ervin
Samuel Redrick
Willis Ferril
Mariah Ferril
Lydia Holmes
Harriett Thomas
Levie Newel, daughter of Jack Newel
Jack Newel, father of Levi

Freedmen's Bureau Labor Contracts - Mississippi
Microfiche Number: 49-007
Jefferson County Deed Book E - Pages 451 & 452 - (Deeds of Gift 1842
Microfilm Number: 12012
Jefferson County Deed Book G - Pages 89 & 125 (Deeds of Gift 1849)
Microfilm Number: 12013
Records are found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History