Jane Furnace was a great grandmother I have so little information. She was the mother of my paternal grandmother Gertrude Overton Durr. Jane died when my grandmother was 7 years old, so, I suppose that is one of the reasons little is known about Jane. I think Jane was born about 1860, in Mississippi. She was likely a slave on one of three intersecting plantations connected to my paternal family.
Lets take a look at the 1870 census for Copiah County, Mississippi. A Jane Furnace was found on the 1870 census, recorded as a ten year old. Relationships were not defined in 1870, therefore I am not sure of her relationship to the people in the Furnace households. I didn't find Jane in any other census that is recognizable to me.
The Furnace family was living near Hezekiah Brown, a known slave owner of paternal family members. Two households of Furnace family lived next door to each other. I suspect they were living in cabins formerly inhabited by slaves. In one household was Alexander Furnis 60, who might be Jane's father or grandfather. A 50 year old Charlotte lived with Alexander: Martha 24 and two children, Mariah and Ellic; Mary 28 and three children, Wallace, George and Josephine. The growing, maturing family extended next door with 21 year old Omar, Barbara 17, Elbert 15, Jane 10 and twelve year old Elizabeth. Skip the next home and we find Nathan Furnis 30, Susan 25, and children Willie and Martha.
The oldest two members were born in Virginia, all others in Mississippi. No one could read and write. The value of the family's real estate was $225.
Farmer was how Alexander Furnis was described on the 1870 census. Next week I will share whether he was a landowner or a renter of the land.