Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday
Slums 1957

Picture showing slums that were removed in construction of High Street Ext., Jackson, Mississippi, March 14, 1957.

Photograph courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Shoebox Lunch

This past weekend I cleaned my side of the closet. Threw out clothes I didn't wear this winter and removed shoes from shoe boxes. Shoes need to be free, I will wear them if I can see them. When I was a child most of our shoes were purchased off the rack without a shoe box. My mother would save the rare shoe boxes that came into our house, saved boxes to use for visiting, traveling kin to pack lunches.

This was before integration when African Americans on the road had limited places to eat in dignity. We improvised, packed our own food for road trips. The shoe box was a convenient size for traveling on the bus, train or plane. It would be tied neatly with thick thread, yarn or thin strips of fabric

It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment. Alabama Jim Crow Laws

Talking with friends about what was prepared for the shoebox lunch, we all mentioned fried chicken, fruit and pound cake. Someone in my family canned pickles and a pickle was included in the box. Boiled eggs, homegrown tomatoes, peanuts, sandwiches, and cheese were also mentioned.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Amanuensis Monday
The Will of Philip Christmas 1904

Photograph Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Phillip was born about 1840 in Mississippi. He may be the son of Richard Christmas. He was first seen in the 1852 inventory and disbursement of Peachy Ridgway Taliaferro. He was valued at $500 on the inventory and $1300 on the disbursement. After Peachy's death he was given to Peachy's eldest son, Richard Taliaferro.

Phillip married Ann Brown, 10 Jun 1871, in Copiah County. The couple had at least two children Artie and Richard.

State of Mississippi
Copiah County

Well knowing the uncertainty of this life, and desirous of arranging my property affairs, I, Phillip Christmas, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make publish and declare this instrument of writing, to be my last will and testament.

I, direct that my funeral expense and all my just debts be paid first paid by my executrix herein to be named,

I, give, devise and bequeath unto my wife Ann Christmas all the property real and personal and mixed of which I, shall die seized or possessed or in which I, have any interest what-ever.

I, hereby appoint my wife Ann Christmas as executrix of this my last will and direct that she be required to give no bond as such I, direct that she be not required to make any inventories of my estate or render any accounts to the court of her management of the same as such executrix.

In testimony of which I have hereunto set my hand and signed my name this the 30th day of April A. D. 1904.

Phillip x(his mark) Christmas

We the undersigned witnesses to the above instrument of writing at the request of Phillip Christmas witnessed his signature to said instrument and heard his declaration of the same as his last will and testament, and we signed the same at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other on this the 30th day of April, 1904.

John H. Long, Jr.
Hugh Barr Miller

Filled & admitted to probate & record 19th, August, 1904

J. H. Long, Clerk.

How does Phillip Christmas connect to my family tree?
Phillip Christmas' daughter, Artie Christmas, married Shelby Sanders.
Shelby Sanders' brother
Luther Sanders's grandson
McNesse Sanders married my paternal grandmother's sister, Alice Overton

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday
Mother and Child

The photograph was taken in or around Natchez, MS. The pair is unknown to me.

Thomas H. and Joan W. Gandy Photograph Collection from Louisiana Digital Library.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mary Winston's Letter - 1894

Mary Peachy Smith-Demyers Winston
At Home
Apr. 27 1894

Mrs Ella Harris

Dear friend
Please to send me that what you promse(sp) me of Sidney's
by so doing you will oblige

Your Resp
Mary Winston

Home for Mary was near Hazlehurst, Copiah County, MS. Mary was born about 1828 in Alabama. She was a slave of Peachy Ridgway Taliaferro and later his son Richard. According to oral tradition, Mary is believed to be the daughter of Peachy R Taliaferro with my 3rd great grandmother Peggy Demyers.

Mary is named in the probate records of Taliaferro, along with her husband Andrew and two of their daughters, Malinda and Sidney.

What of Sidney's did Ella Harris have? Did she owe Sidney money? Did Sidney leave behind clothing, hat, tools? Did Ella Harris make a promise to give Sidney a gift?

I am also curious about the writer. Did Mary write the letter, one of her children, grandchildren, or a neighbor?

How Does Mary connect to my family tree?
Mary is the half sister of my 2nd great grandmother
Alice Demyers Overton Usher.


Lucy Ella Rice married Lewis Bingaman Harris. The couple was associated with Gustavus family of Copiah County. Read about Andrew Gustavus and the Harris family here. Ella is connected to the Taliaferro family through marriage.

Source: Harris (Lewis Bingaman and Family) Papers
Box 3
Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amanuensis Monday
Lindsey Impressed by the Governor - 1863

Received of C. B. N. Rice one negro man slave named Lindsey aged 49 years with axe, impressed by the govenor(sp), the said C. B. N. Rice is entitled to one month's pay and commutation.

Hazlehurst Miss Febry 14th 1863
A P Barry Maj Com

Impressment was the informal and then, beginning in March 1863, the legislated policy of the Confederate government to seize food, fuel, slaves, and other commodities to support armies in the field during the Civil War (1861–1865). From Confederate Impressment During the Civil War

As a citizen of the Confederacy, Charles Benjamin Nicholas Rice was obligated to give his property for service. Lindsey was the property of Rice and was to do as he was told. Rice was to be paid, not Lindsey.

I searched the census records for Lindsey in 1870 and 1880 Copiah County censuses. I did not find a Lindsey of the right age in the county.

C. B. N. Rice was a slave owner in Copiah County, Mississippi, near Hazlehurst, owning over forty slaves in 1860. C.B.N. Rice was born in 1803 in South Carolina, died in 1868 in Copiah County. He married Mary Ann Macon. Two of the couple's daughters, Lucy Ella and Elizabeth, married into families who enslaved members of my family.

Lucy Ella Rice married Lewis Bingaman Harris. The couple was associated with Gustavus family of Copiah County. Read about Andrew Gustavus and the Harris family here.

Elizabeth Rice married Joseph Brown. They owned members of my Sinclair and Overton family. See Elizabeth Rice Brown's 1855 inventory and appraisement listing of slaves here.

Source: Harris (Lewis Bingaman and Family) Papers
Box 1, Folder 3
Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Sunday, April 6, 2014