Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Home No More

My parents' three-bedroom, one-bath home for our family of seven was sold earlier last year to investors. We moved there in 1972 from a long trail of renting shotgun apartments. My father died unexpectedly in 1980, leaving my mother and three children in the home. The remaining children left, leaving Mama who eventually begins her battle with Alzheimer's disease. Mama died in 2014

As young adults, we were eager to leave our childhood home, to build our own place called home. As long as the home of our childhood remains in the family, we always have a home to return to. We go back home for the holidays or send our children back home for the summer. There are days when we need respite from the responsibilities of adulting, so we just go home to sip a cold beverage, to see a parent's warm smile, to sit in the old chair with the worn cushions.

When that home is sold, there is no place for you or your children to return. The grandchildren have no place to envision you as a child. You have a childhood home no more.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Friday Furnace Findings
Isabella Furnace Bowen
1872 - 1940

Wife of Luke Copeland, Jr., and Moses Bowen
Daughter of Nathan Furnace and Susan Washington
Granddaughter of Alexander Furnace and Charlotte

Alexander and Charlotte Furnace were my 2nd great grandparents.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Monroe's Children
Joseph Markham - Child 3
1876 - ?

My great grandparents Monroe and Mary Byrd Markham had a total of 17 children, who were born between 1872 thru 1903. I started this series in 2017 and only completed the 1st of 17 children. Let's see if I can complete this in 2021.

Well, it is another boy for Monroe and his wife Mary. The boy was the 3rd child and the third son born on the same land where his father was enslaved near Caseyville, Mississippi. Keeping with the family tradition of naming their sons after biblical men beginning with the letter "J", the couple named this son Joseph who was born about 1876. Joseph was listed as 4 years on the 1880 Federal census. On the 1880 census, Monroe is listed as 28 yrs old, and his wife Mary is 25 yrs old. This is the only document where Joseph appears and he was unknown to elderly cousins.

The 1885 Educable Children List is a document where Joseph should have been named. This list consisted of all school age children. Joseph would be about nine years old in 1885. His siblings were named but Joseph was not.

Joseph likely died between 1880 and 1885.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Friday Furnace Findings
Fransharon Furnace
1966-2012

Fransharon was the daughter of Frances Louise Furnace, granddaughter of Woodrow Furnace, Sr., and Bessie Lee Gordon. I am not sure of the relationship between Fransharon, her mother and grandfather, and myself. My Furnace family has deep roots in Copiah County, Mississippi.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Monroe's Children
John Markham - Child 2
1875-1959

My great grandparents Monroe and Mary Byrd Markham had a total of 17 children, who were born between 1872 thru 1903. I started this series in 2017 and only completed the 1st of 17 children. Let's see if I can complete this in 2021.

It's a boy, the second son, and second child for Monroe Markham and his wife Mary. John Markham was born about 1875 in rural Lincoln County, Mississippi. The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875, an event in which the parents likely had little interest, and several African Americans were killed in terrorist attacks in Vickburg, an event that likely held the attention of John's parents.

On the 1880 census, John was listed as 6 years old. He was in the household with his parents, and brothers James, Joseph, and Buddy (Octavius). He was listed on the 1892 Lincoln County Children's List as 16 years of age, and he could read and write. Relatives said he was good with numbers. He married Ida Blue during the holiday season on 31 Dec 1896. Ida was the daughter of John Blue and Amanda English.

Dysfunctional behavior is common in families. What I am about to share is common knowledge within the family but just in case you meet someone who does not know the story, you can keep this between you, me, and the gatepost.

In 1900, John, his wife Ida, and their two young children Samuel and Arlynch lived with his parents-in-law, along with other relatives. Clara Blue was in that 1900 household as a 9-year-old. She is listed as a niece to the head of the family John Blue. Relatives have said she was the daughter of John Blue. No matter the relationship between Clara and John Blue, John Markham had an illicit relationship with his wife's 13/14-year-old relative. This relationship produced a son and damaged the bridge between John and his parents.

Between 1910 and 1930, John's family with his wife grew with seven children, mostly girls as is common in Markham men households, five daughters, and two sons. His wife Ida died in 1934.

John was a preacher and made his living as a tenant farming, working the land he rented. He was tending his fields one comfortable autumn day in October 1937 when he noticed a funeral processional going toward Galilee AME Church. When he questioned out loud a fellow worker, whose funeral was to be held at the church. The worker told him, "that's your Ma."

John Markham and Ida Blue's Children
Samuel Allis (1897-1973) married Mary Liza Thompson. They settled in Los Angeles
Arylynch (1900-1965) married Lessie Wilson. They settled in Georgia.
Cora Lee (1902-2002) married Daniel Coleman. They remained in Mississippi.
Dora Mae (1907-2001) married J W Johnson.
Manda (1908-?) was only seen on the 1910 census. She likely died in infancy or early childhood.
Ora Lee (1910-2002) married Oscar Lee Henderson and Ernest Johnson. She settled in Los Angeles.
Ada Elnora (1913-1999) married N Z Robinson. They remained in Mississippi.

Ora Lee, Ada Elnora, Cora Lee, and Dora May

John Markham and Clara Blue's Son
Virgil Markham (1905-1983) married Christine Holloway. They remained in Mississippi.

Virgil was not raised by either of his parents. Asiome and Carrie Smith, an aunt and uncle per census records, raised Virgil.

John did not remarry and remained in Lincoln County, Mississippi, where he died 02 Feb 1959, of hypertensive heart disease.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Friday Furnace Findings
Frances Louise Furnace's Obituary

 

Frances Louise Furnace's obituary has been in my collection of obituaries for awhile. I don't know how she connects to my family tree but I am sure she does. My Furnace family has deep roots in Copiah County, Mississippi, at least back to the 1840s.

Frances Louise Furnace, 53, of Hazlehurst, died Wednesday, May 5, 1999.

Services were held Wednesday, May 12, from New Life Evangelical Christian Fellowship Church with Rev. Arnold Stanton officiating.

Born Jan 31, 1946, to the late Woodrow Furnace and Bessie Furnace. She was a member of New Life Church.

Survivors include sons, Gerry of Atlanta, GA, and Tommy; daughters: Dana Gates, Fransharon, Rebecca, Natassia, Felicia, Latresa, and Patrina, all of Hazlehurst; brothers: Woodrow, Jr of Terry, Charles of Jackson, and Homer of Hazlehurst; sisters: Mae Pearl Dillard, and Varol Lynn Sanders of Birmingham, AL; and three grandchildren.   

 Frances was born in 1946 in Copiah County, Mississippi


 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Intimidation and Voter Fraud

James Markham, my 2nd great grandfather, was an election manager in Feb of 1889. Grandpa was born about 1831 in South Carolina. He was a slave on the David Buie plantation near Caseyville, MS, where he remained until his death around 1898. The newspaper article below shares that Grandpa was terrorized and could not carry out the line of duty assigned to him. Reconstruction was well over. Democratic candidates and their supporters replaced Republican candidates by the means necessary, through violence and voter fraud.

The Republicans have succeeded admirably up to this time in proving that the election in this county was fair and entirely honest. For a day and a half witnesses were questioned as to why no Republican tickets were sent to Caseyville, one of the largest negro precincts in the county. It was shown that the Republican executive committee had prepared tickets and had forwarded those intended for that box to one Jame Markham, a respectable colored man who votes at Caseyville and that he was charged to have them early on the morning of the election at the voting places. Various Republican witnesses mentioned that Markham had been terrorized and intimidated, so that he was afraid to carry out the line of duty assigned him.

This evening Markham himself was sworn in on behalf of Kernaghan and proceeded to account for the failure of the tickets. He said that before the election of Cleveland he had been a Republican, but after the Democrats had obtained control the administration was so fair that he had changed his politics: that he was born in South Carolina and reared in Mississippi, and loved the Southern people and believed them to be his friends: that he was not consulted about the tickets and that the Republicans are fools if they expect him to peddle Radical tickets for them.

The Brookhaven Leader
Brookhaven, Miss, March 07, 1889

Thursday, February 11, 2021

My Book Angel

The death of Meredith Coleman Anding, one of the Tougaloo Nine who helped to integrate the public library in Jackson, Mississippi, leads me to think about my library experiences. The public library in Jackson was probably integrated somewhere around 1964 when I was a young child. My parents were separated during this time period. My father took with him the only car our family owned, which did not matter because my mother did not drive, therefore, I have no memories of visiting public libraries as a child.

My Aunt Alice was my book angel. Aunt Alice was pleased with herself when she landed a job as a custodian in a public school after working several years as a domestic. She would have better wages, health insurance, a Christmas Club bank account, and a pension plan. Since she lived next door to me, her joy spread to our household. I was happy she was happy knowing there might be more oreo cookies in my future.

Alice Durr Dent
1924-2000

During the school year, she would bring home a book or two, but mostly magazines. The children's magazine Highlights was my favorite. The end of the school year was almost as good as Christmas. Boxes of discarded books and magazines, crayons, puzzles, erasers, etc. would be welcomed in our home.

I don't know if she knew how much joy those gifts of love brought to this niece who enjoyed books. Thank you, Aunt Alice, for being my book angel.

Monday, February 8, 2021

George Washington Carver Municipal Public Library

Taking its place at the head of the class with regard to Negro library services, the city of Jackson will formally open George Washington Carver Municipal Library, Friday, April 20, 1956.

This library is reported to be the first brand new building, planned, designed and built with public funds for giving library service to Negroes in the state of Mississippi and possibly the first for any city the size of Jackson in the entire south.

Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Miss. April 20, 1956

Fri, Apr 20, 1956 – Page 9 · Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) · Newspapers.com

When this library was opened in Jackson, Mississippi, I was a few months old. I have no childhood memories of visiting this public library. My family lived outside of the city limits of Jackson and we did not have access to this library.

Here is a current picture of the abandoned building located in the historic Farish Street District on North Mill Street.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Thank You Meredith Coleman Anding, Jr

Thank you for your contribution in demanding equql access to the public library system for African American citizens, in Mississippi. May you rest in peace.
Investigating the Tougaloo Nine

Meridith Coleman Anding, Jr., was the son of Meridith Coleman Anding, Sr., and Nellie Marshall. He was my mother's second cousin once removed.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy 2021

May this new year surround you with love, peace, mercy, and grace.