Monday, August 5, 2013

Amanuensis Monday
Virginia of Somerset Plantation

Aunt HARDENIA had charge of the milk house. Her grown daughter, Ann Liza, helped her- you know her – but there were other women to milk the cows. VIRGINIA, another of Aunt Hardenia’s daughters, a woman of about twenty was in training as a house servant. From Edwina Burnley Memoirs

Virginia was born between 1842-1855 per census records.

1870 - 25 yrs - born about 1845
1880 - 25 yrs - born about 1855
1900 - 50 yrs - born April 1850
1910 - 61 yrs - born about 1849
1920 - 78 yrs - born about 1842
1930 - 86 yrs - born about 1844
I think the Virginia mentioned in the memoir was the wife of John T Demyers, the brother of my 2nd great grandmother Alice Demyers Overton Usher. In the 1880 census for Copiah County, Mississippi, Hardenia Williams is in the household of her daughter's family. Virginia's death certificate confirms her mother's name was Ardenia Williams. Virginia died 17 Aug 1930, buried in the Lucky Hit Cemetery.

The Lucky Hit Plantation was a neighboring plantation to Somerset Plantation. Lucky Hit was owned by Hezekiah George David Brown who I believe was the slave owner of members of the Demyers family, including Virginia's husband John T Demyers. John died before Virginia, between 1909-1910.

Edwin Burnley owned (pink on map) Somerset Plantation. Per the 1860 Copiah County slave schedule, Burnley owned 60 slaves. Edwin's daughters, "Edwina Burnley and Bertha Burnley Ricketts, wrote the memoir describing their family and their childhood at Somerset plantation, near Hazlehurst, Copiah County, MS. Their father, Edwin Burnley (b. 1798), moved to Mississippi from Virginia in 1832 and married Maria Louisa Baxter (1820-1907) of Persippany, N.J., in 1852. The memoir describes plantation life, including many details about activities, relatives, neighbors, and slaves."

Edwina Burnley Memoirs
Map courtesy of Beverley Ballantine

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