Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Monroe's Children
James Markham - Child 1

My great grandparents Monroe and Mary Byrd Markham had a total of 17 children, who were born between 1872 thru 1903. Here is a sketch of the life of their first child, James Markham

James was born 12 Nov 1872, in Caseyville, Lincoln County, Mississippi. His parents had been free for almost eight years. Reconstruction was nearing an end and Ulysses S. Grant was President. His parents were living on the Prentiss Buie's place, the same land where his father had been enslaved.

Both of the grandfathers were named James, the likely reason for the first born son's name.

He was known as a well to do Negro. He was a farmer and preacher who owned his own land and was self-sufficient. He was described as a tall, dark, slender man.

James was first documented on the 1880 census, first seen as an eight-year-old in the household of his parents Monroe, Mary, and three siblings. He was in school and is named on the 1885 and 1892 educable children lists.

Anna Culver Markham
He married Anna/Annie Culver in 1895 when he was 17 years of age. She was the daughter of Daniel W. Culver and Margaret Ross. Together the couple had 2 sons and 5 daughters. Census records indicate that James, his wife, and children were all literate.

He was last seen in the 1930 census, 50 years old, the only man in a household of women. Anna was 54 years old, and daughters Bessie, Elizabeth, Theodosia, Alberta and granddaughter Earline were in the home. James' son Asirah was deceased. The oldest daughter Mary was living in Chicago with her brother James Monroe. Both had good jobs, James was a Pullman Porter and Mary was a beauty culturist.

James died in 1936 of pernicious anemia. This type of anemia occurs when the body can’t absorb enough vitamin B-12, which is needed to make healthy red blood cells. His wife Anna remained in Caseyville.

By 1940, The widowed Anna was the head of the household which included her daughter Elizabeth, and brother Memphis Humphreys. All the other children were married, living in or near Chicago. Elizabeth would go to be with her siblings after her mother's death in 1952.

James and Anna's children were:

James Monroe Markham, 1897-1985
He married Ida May Thomas and Mildred Weathersby. He lived in Chicago and was a Pullman Porter. He had two children, Earline and Felix James.
Mary 1900-1985
She married Wallace Young and Jay Livey. Mary was a beautician. She did not have children.
Asirah 1905-1923
He died tragically of an accidental self inflicted gunshot wound. He did not have children.

Bessie 1906-1996
Bessie married Earnest L Holloway. Their children were Edith Mae, Annie Pearl and Mary L.

Elizabeth 1908-1989
She did not marry nor had children.

Theodosia 1912-1960
She married Tolson Culver. Their children were Samuel McThay, James Oliver, Patricia Ann, John Douglas, and David M.

Alberta Markham 1913-2006
She married Joseph McCrory. Their children were Mary, Odia, Otis, Osizy, Robert, Olivia, and Lois.


  1. I enjoyed reading this part of the series. With 17 children, it will take a while I guess.

  2. The family came a long way - from slavery to freedom and from Mississippi to Chicago. And literate. I have heard of pernicious anemia but never knew what it was.

  3. This is my great grandfather on my dads side. I’m Samuel D Coleman