Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Defendants
William Louie et al.

Leah Beasley married George Washington on the James Beasley's place before the Civil War. Their marriage was never legalized but they were married according to the customs of slavery. Leah and George did not have children together. They both died intestate, without a will, leaving 50 acres in Copiah County, Mississippi, at dispute among their heirs. George died in 1900; Leah in 1902.

The defendants in the case were the nieces and nephews of Leah Beasley Washington.

Leah was born about 1815 in Tennessee. She was the daughter of a white man named Louie from Texas and a slave woman Dina. She chose the surname Beasley as this was her owner's surname.

James Beasley, Leah's slave owner, owned 15 slaves per the 1860 Copiah County Slave Schedule.

Leah's husband George lived on the Hooker's place which was about two and half miles from Leah's home. According to the tradition in this community, husbands were allowed to visit their wives Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, known as "wife nights." On those nights, the "patta rolls" could not bother them.

Beliah Louie and Aaron Beasley/Mitchell were Leah's brothers. Beliah Louie and Leah shared the same set of parents, Aaron and Leah shared the same mother but not the same father. The brothers' children were Leah's heirs, the defendants.

The Louie defendants were: Bert Louie of Lincoln County, MS; William Louie of Windfield, Kansas; Ida Louie Hartly of Sunflower County, MS; and James Louie, Preston Louie, Nancy Louie Mack, Lizzie Louie Cason, Wade Louie, Burrel Louie, John Louie, and Allen Louie all of Copiah County, MS.

The Mitchell defendant was Jennie Mitchell Robinson of Copiah County, MS.

The defendants charged that George Washington left only one heir at the time of his death, his wife Leah. The defendants also questioned the paternity of George Washington's son Jim Washington. They believed Jim was not a son of George Washington, thus Jim's children were not heirs of George Washington.

Copiah County Chancery Court Records
Case Number: 3260
Microfilm Number: 8245
Record found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

How do the defendants connect to my family tree?
My granduncle, Haber Overton of Copiah County, married a Rosa Louie. At this time, I don't have enough information to connect Rosa to this Louie family.

Next Post - The Settlement

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Complainants
Lawyer Washington et al.

George Washington and his wife Leah, who did not have children together, died intestate. Fifty acres in Copiah County, Mississippi, were at dispute among their heirs. George and Leah had lived together for nearly a half century. Their marriage was never legalized but they were married according to the customs of slavery. George died in 1900; Leah in 1902.

The complainants filed the case in Copiah County Chancery Court, 1903. They were the grandchildren of George Washington.

George Washington was born about 1810 in South Carolina. He was a slave of the Hooker family, probably Zadock Hooker who owned 52 slaves per the 1860 Copiah County Slave Schedule.

George had only one child, a son, James/Jim Washington born about 1853 to Susan Fry.

James married Easter Davis, 01 Feb 1872, in Copiah County. By 1880, the family had added six children; William 11, George 7, Lawyer 5, Quilla 4, Elias 2, and Mary Ida 0. James and Easter died after 1880, and the couple's children were raised by George and Leah. By the 1900 census, George and Leah were living alone.

All of James' children, with the exception of George, were named as complainants. The complainants charged Leah Washington never held title to the land, therefore the defendants could not inherit land from Leah.

Copiah County Chancery Court Records
Case Number: 3260
Microfilm Number: 8245
Record found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

How do the complainants connect to my family tree?
I am not sure how I connect to this group of Washington kin. I connect to them through DNA tests.

Next Post - The Defendants

Friday, May 6, 2016

Hannah Furnace b. 1856
Friday Furnace Findings

Children of James Howard Bradley, Sr., and his wife Ella Demyers
Grandchildren of Hannah Furnace

Researching a paternal great grandmother, Jane Furnace born about 1860, to discover her parentage and additional information about her life.

Hannah Furnace was born about 1856 in Mississippi. Hannah had a child with a 2nd great granduncle, thus she is on my family tree. I suspect she is related to my great grandmother Jane Furnace but I have not found any information to connect the two ladies.

In 1870, Copiah County, Mississippi, Hannah was in the household of Hezekiah Brown, a former slave owner of family members. She was 14 years old, listed as one of four domestic servants. None of the domestic servants shared her surname.

Hannah had a daughter, about 1871, with Peachy Demyers. She named her Ella. The Copiah County educable children lists shows Ella Meyers, 6 years old.

Twenty one year old Hannah and her nine year old daughter Ella were living in the 1880 household of Elijah and Alice Overton Usher. Their relationship to the head of household was listed as other. Alice Overton Usher was my 2nd great grandmother.

Hannah Furnace married Jordan Powell, 24 Dec 1884, in Copiah County. This is the last record I found Hannah.

Ella, Hannah's daughter, married James Howard Bradley. They had several children: Mary Alma, Ella Mae, Lela Beck, Hannah, James Howard Jr., Oliver Barrington, and Celestine Dicey. Ella and her family were last seen in the Copiah County census in 1910; Tallahatchie County, Mississippi in 1920. The family moved to Gary, Indiana, by 1930. Ella died in 1938, in Gary.

How does Hannah connect to my family?
Hannah married Peach Demyers
Peach Demyers was the son of my 3rd great grandmother, Peggie Demyers.

Photograph Courtesy of Melvia Ella Cherry Dean
Direct Descendant of Hannah Furnace

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

1918 A Bad Year
Luther Coleman vs Eddie Coleman

Luther and Eddie's youngest daughter, Amy Victoria Coleman Beard
Photograph Courtesy of Eddie Beard

The year 1918 was a bad year for the Luther Coleman family. The family began the new year, Jan 19, with the premature birth and death of a baby boy. The eldest son shot his six year old sister, 21 Jul, after they were left alone without adult supervision. Luther Coleman, and his wife Eddie Roberts Coleman separated in December. Luther had an ongoing relationship outside of the marriage. The deaths of two children in 1918 were likely the straw that broke the camel's back in the dissolution of the marriage.

Luther Coleman married Eddie Roberts on Christmas eve, 1905, in Lincoln County, Mississippi. The couple had six children: Lula Mae, T. C., George, S. A., Amy Victoria, and Willie.

A bill of complaint was made against Eddie, 05 Mar 1920, claiming she had deserted the marriage for more than two years, lived separately from her family in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Luther wanted a divorce and the custody of his four children who were in his custody.

Three children were listed in the 1920 census living with their paternal grandmother, Amy Markham Coleman: 13-year-old Lula, eleven-year-old TC, 7-year-old George. Amy was four, maybe with her mother.

The children's grandmother died 04 Mar 1920, which likely spurred Luther to file for divorce and custody.

Eddie claimed she was not living in Bogalusa, she lived with her mother, Sallie Roberts, less than 2 miles from Luther and the children. She claimed he was cruel and inhumane, did not provide for her, and was guilty of adultery. She left her home because of inhumane treatment. She wanted to dissolve the marriage, custody of the children, alimony, and attorney fees

Luther was a farmer, with access to 53 acres. Eddie said he made large crops, which brought in good money.

Eddie, 35, was living with her mother per the 1920 census in Lincoln County.

The couple's marriage legally ended 26 Apr 1920. Eddie was granted custody of the minor children. Luther was ordered to aid in the children's support and given the right to see the children at reasonable times. He was also ordered to pay the attorney fees for Eddie's attorney.

How does the family connect to me?
Luther Coleman was the son of Anthony Coleman and Amy Markham.
Amy Markham and my great-grandfather, Monroe Markham, were siblings.

Lincoln County Chancery Court Record
Case Number: 4265
Microfilm Number: 12876
Microfilm found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Read the newspaper article concerning S. A.'s death here, read additional information here and more here.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

St James Missionary Baptist Church
Brookhaven, MS

The St James MB Church is the oldest African American church in Brookhaven. It was organized by Rev George Black of Vicksburg, MS, in 1866.

The pastors of the church were: Reverends George Black, two brothers Sim A Jordan and Jesse J Jordan, W L Magee, William L Creshon, P T Thadison, Clarence Coleman (Sister Jeanette Markham Coleman), Percy Dixon, and currently Larry Jointer.

Research Notes of Cynthia Thadison Williams

1st Church Photograph Courtesy of
Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library
100 South Jackson Street
Brookhaven, MS 39601

2nd Photograph Courtesy of Cynthia Thadison Williams
Direct Descendant of Pastor P T Thadison

St James Missionary Baptist Church