Thursday, February 28, 2013

Calvin and Odessa Banks Lowe

Busy this afternoon looking at pictures Cousin Nate emailed me before the holidays. It was nice to see a picture of Cousin Odessa Banks, daughter of Archie and Janie Scott Banks. I had no idea who she married so it was an extra bonus to get a name and photo of her husband. His name, Calvin Lowe, was not on my family tree but his parents were, Robert Lowe and Dezine Kelly. Robert's siblings Fannie and John married into my extended family.

I do what I call community research but I think the correct name for it is cluster research, which is researching extended family members, friends and neighbors of direct relatives. The Lowe family was from Union Church, MS, a neighboring village to the family home place, Caseyville, MS. The Lowe families connected to my tree descend from Eveline Lowe born about 1830 in Virginia.

Cousin Odessa was born about 1927 which lead me to the 1930 and 1940 censuses searching for her husband. In 1930, Calvin was a 7 year old in the household of his parents with his siblings, Euniemay, Hudie Mann, Willis, Chalmers, Jessie May, and Marie. In 1940, everyone except Euniemay is still in the household. I found a family group sheet that a cousin sent confirming the names of Calvin's parents.

Calvin and Odessa married, adopted three children: Stephen, Vera and Christopher.

The Couple's Obituaries



Calvin is the son of Robert Lowe and Dezine Kelly
grandson of Lewis Lowe and Amanda Johnson, Calvin Kelly and Harriet Reed

Odessa is the daughter of Archie Banks and Jannie Scott
granddaughter of Joseph Banks and Mary ?, James Pearly Scott and Mary Viola Markham
Odessa is my mother's half 2nd cousin.

Photograph courtesy of Nathaniel Thomas.
Obituaries from Daily Leader Newspaper, Brookhaven, MS.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Girl Scout Leaders

It's that time of year, Girl Scouts selling their cookies. Here is a photograph of a group of Girl Scout leaders from Brookhaven, Lincoln County, MS. The picture was likely taken in the 1960s-1970s.

Identified (l-r): unidentified, Annie Gaston, Maude Newton, Evelyn Green, Dorothy Diggs, Leatrice Buie, Thelma Honey Smith, Claudine Aultman, Verna Kitty Byrd, Jeanette Coleman, unidentified, Mae V. Benson, unidentified, Katye Gillum, Ruby Kitty Brock.

Couple of my favorite Girl Scout cookies.

Photograph of Girl Scout leaders courtesy of
Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library.
100 S. Jackson St
Brookhaven, MS 39601

Jeanette Markham Coleman is my mother's 1st cousin once removed.
Jeanette is the daughter of Virgil Markham and Christine Holloway.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love in Silence

James & Jimmie Marie Jordan Shephard shared their lives in silence.
The couple was deaf.

James was from Hazlehurst, MS. He was born about 1895 and died Sept 1970 in Detriot, Michigan. He was an uncle to my aunt Annie Bell Shephard Ealy.

Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18

Photograph courtesy of Shelia Easley, the couple's granddaughter.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Amanuensis Monday
Tax Receipt for Tenant Farmers

This is a tax receipt from Prentiss and Jane Buie in Caseyville, Lincoln County, Mississippi, of the men who were tenant farmers on their land. Most of the men listed were enslaved by the Buie family. The receipt was found in the personal papers of the Buie family. A date was not shown nor what the numbers next to the name means. The only explanation given was that this was a tax receipt. It was written before 1906, the year Jane Buie died.

This list handed in by Prentiss Buie
P Buie 237
Mrs Jane Buie 238
W H Gibbs 1047
Terry Brewer 392
Joe Buie 391
Cary Henderson not found
Davis Henderson not found
Munroe Marcum 1812
Henry Isrell 1331
Calvin Johnson 1437
David Harrison not found

Prentiss Buie's family was the last slave owner of my great grandfather Monroe Markham. Jane was Prentiss' mother.
William Gibbs was a slave of Daniel Buie, Prentiss' uncle. William's wife Martha was the mother of Newton Markham, a son of my 2nd great grandfather James Markham.
Terry Brewer was the slave of David Buie, Prentiss' father. Terry married Violet Markham, my 2nd grandaunt.
Joe Buie was a slave of John Buie, Prentiss' uncle.
Cary and Davis Henderson were brothers. Cary married my 2nd grandaunt Viola Buie. It is likely they were the slaves of David Buie.
Monroe Markham was my great grandfather. He was the slave of David and Prentiss Buie.
Henry Israel was the slave of David Buie, Prentiss' father.
Calvin Johnson and David Harrison were likely slaves of David Buie.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Steve Herring - The Fiddler

Steve Herring was the fiddler on the David and Mary Leggett Herring's plantation in Franklin County, Mississippi. He was a house slave who played at various parties up and down the Homochitto River. He was the entertainment when the Herring family had visitors. It was said that when Steve played, it was hard to distinguished who enjoyed the music the most, Steve or the listeners. I like to think that among the tunes he played, maybe one sounded like this, played by Joe Thompson and Bob Carlin.

Herring Plantation House

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Getting those Vaccines

This picture reminded me of getting the polio vaccine when I was about the age of the girl in the picture. I think the school had sent letters home informing parents of the need for the vaccine. Everyone knew someone who had been affected by polio, so there was no need to exert pressure. The vaccine came to my poor working class community in the early 1960s, and was given in a baptist church by the catholic nuns who were nurses. The area itched and of course I scratched, still have a faint round scar on my left arm.
The photograph courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mary Winston's Land

Finding the will of Mary Peachy Demyers Winston, my half 2nd great grandaunt, where she bequeathed 290 acres of land to her heirs in 1895 made me curious how Mary obtained the land. Since she was married, I was also curious why her husband Andrew was not a joint owner.

Mary Peachy Demyers Winston and her husband Andrew and their children were the slaves of Peachy Ridgway Taliaferro. The Winston family were named on the 1852 inventory listing of Taliaferro, her alleged father.

One of Taliaferro's desires in his will, after his death, was that all his slaves remain on his Spring Hill Plantation for three years and the proceeds from their labor pay his debts. After the debts were paid, the slave property was divided into three lots. One third of his property was to be given to his wife Sarah, one third to his eldest son Richard, and one third to be equally divided between his children Sarah and Charles. The slaves was named and divided. Mary, her husband Andrew, and their three children were named in Lot 3, Richard's portion of his father's slaves.

Andrew Winston's occupation was described as a farmer in the Copiah County 1870 census, meaning he farmed his own land or he farmed land owned by someone else using his own tools. Andrew is also named on the 1870 agriculture schedule. He farmed 35 acres of land, had 1 horse, 5 mules, 2 milk cows, and 15 swine.

Winston Family in 1870 Census - Copiah County, MS

Mary and Andrew made their first land purchase from Samuel J Morehead and his wife Amanthis. The deed for this purchase is puzzling. It is dated May 18 1878 but the terms of the deed are for the years 1867 - 1869. The Winston couple purchased 208 acres of land for a total of $960. They paid $100 down and were to pay three equal payments of $286.66, payable 01 Dec 1867, 01 Dec 1868 and 01 Dec 1869. The deed was filed 30 Jan 1880.

Deed between Winston and Morehead

Samuel J Morehead was named as one of two executors of Peachy R Taliaferro's estate. Apparently, there was a close bond between the two men. Taliaferro entrusted Morehead to oversee his estate for the benefit of his family. Did Morehead and the other executor Richard Henry Taliafero, Peachy's eldest son, help Mary Winston with the purchase of her land?

African Americans made great strides during Reconstruction. Mary and her family may have secured their land independently of help from outside the family. Cousins share stories of how entire families worked together. Parents, children, and the children's spouses would pool all their monies to purchase land. There were several people in the Winston 1870 household capable of work to pool money.

The Winston couple purchased 80 additional acres 20 Jan 1891 from J J Holiday and his wife Mary for $560. They paid $240 down and four equal payments of $80 due 01 Jan 1892, 01 Jan 1893, 01 Jan 1894, and 01 Jan 1895. The deed was filed 05 Feb 1891.

Deed between Winston and Holliday

J J Holliday died in 1838 per information found on the internet. In 1880, his widow was living in the household of her daughter Sarah Jane and son-in-law Isaiah Rembert. It is likely Mary Holliday or one of her children sold the land to the Winston couple.

The deeds of the Winston transactions indicate Andrew and Mary were joint owners of the land, Mary's will tells another story, she was the sole owner of the land. I didn't find a record where Andrew had relinquish his ownership. Whatever the reason, Mary and members of the community in which she lived, recognized Mary as the owner.

Samuel L Morehead married Amanthis L Harris 20 Oct 1840 Copiah County, MS. Samuel was born in 1807, died in 1891. Samuel L Morehead owned 45 slaves, trustee for minor, 6 slaves - Copiah 1860 Slave Schedule.
John Johnson Holliday married Mary Mangun Ainsworth 05 Dec 1825 in Copiah County, MS. He died 19 Jan 1838 in Copiah County, MS. John's widow Mary was found in the 1850-1880 census in Copiah County. Mary owned 11 slaves in 1860.
Richard Henry Taliaferro, son of Peachy R Taliaferro was the other executor to his father's estate. Richard owned 44 slaves in 1860