All My Ancestors

4 July 2012

Bachelor Farmers and Corn on the Cob

Filed under: South Dakota, Unruh Family by allmyanc

Tonight we had corn on the cob at dinner. I’ve been working on my extreme dislike for grocery shopping and consequently, we’ve taken advantage of some of the fresh produce available at out local Sunflower now Sprouts Farmers Market.

Every time I eat corn on the cob it takes me back to my summers in South Dakota. The farmer across the road from my grandparents’ place grew corn. His house was up the hill and not all that visible from the road, and I could not understand why it wasn’t just ok to cross over into his field and help ourselves to a few ears. I loved the stuff and couldn’t get enough. My grandmother ran the country post office and store, but being 17 miles from a town, fresh produce wasn’t high on her list of offerings.

We called him “Batch.” Tonight I was wracking my brain trying to think of his real name. I always thought of him when I heard Garrison Keillor talk about the Norwegian bachelor farmers–especially the part about seeing their bedding on the clothesline once a year. That part of South Dakota was populated with second and third generation immigrants from Scandinavia, so I’d assigned Batch to that category.

I decided I’d see if the 1940 census would help. This was about 10 years before my grandparents moved up there from Beaver County, Oklahoma, but I knew that by the time I started going up there in the mid to late 1950s, some of the “old-timers” were still there. So perhaps I would recognize some of the names.

Somehow, I remembered Granddad calling him “Augie.” So, I thought I’d search Hughes County, located right in the middle of South Dakota, for a man named August. Sure enough, the third on down, was August Rauch in Township 111, Range 77. This section was only 5 pages long, but it was full of names I recognized. There was Earl Mosteller, and his father Earl, Sr. I never knew Earl Sr. but Earl Jr. was a missionary and always spoken of in reverent terms. I knew his mother, Mabel, and she’s there too–she lived in Canning, the little village where my grandmother’s store was, in a small trailer, out behind Grandma Clark’s place. I didn’t see Grandma Clark there, so perhaps it was prior to her arrival in Canning. The DeHarts were there as well–I knew Alda and her brother Charley and their canaries. Charley was at the post office every day to pick up the mail and one week when I was bored, I’d dyed my two white kittens with food coloring. Charley had only on good eye, and he said, “Is my eye deceiving me or is that cat green?” It was the funniest thing I thought I’d ever heard.

There was Merl Putnam, age 17. He was a man with 3 sons when I knew him, and he was one of the few people who could match my granddad’s exacting standards. Granddad helped Merl build his home down the hill on the creek, and Merl helped granddad keep his buildings and equipment in good order. I think Merl’s oldest son bought Granddad’s 1932 Ford pick-up I learned to drive in when Granny and Granddad came back south for their retirement.

I saw the Nye family–I remembered them–Clayton Nye had twinkly eyes and always had a kind word for me. All their kids were in the area–I knew some of them later. And there were the Samco family, who were listed as merchants of the grocery store. That was the store that my grandmother later owned–I didn’t know the Samcos but I do have a post card that has “Samco’s Store” on it. And in the same building as the “grocery store,” there was a hardware store, long since abandoned when I was there. I saw the proprietor of that store on the census as well. The Fry family was there, the family that owned the store in between the time the Samcos had it and my grandmother bought it. By the time I knew Canning, it was a sparsely populated place with a church and a post office and a large, two story red-brick school that had once housed all grades through high school. I attended that school when I was in the 6th grade, and by then it was functioning as a two room school. However, because of its former grandeur, we had a gymnasium in the basement and really nasty looking lab specimens in one of the upstairs rooms. Those rooms were not heated but they served just fine for recess on the days we couldn’t go outside.

But back to Mr. Rauch/Batch/Augie–here he is on the census (along with the Nye family)–

Look at where he’s from–it’s not any part of Scandinavia. Luxembourg? He was 46 in 1940 so when I knew him in the late 1950s, he was pushing 60. This makes me wonder when he immigrated. Like all our genealogical quests, one answer leads to many more questions.

I enjoyed this trip down memory lane–the “village of Canning” showed teachers and preachers (both the husband and the wife were listed as ministers) at the small country church, and many many farmers. But there were also some folks who worked in the gravel pits for the WPA and even one man who said he was a musician in an orchestra. I don’t remember too many of those out in the prairies–when I knew him later, Mr. Schomer was a farmer. And there were a couple of young women who were listed as “typist” for N.Y.A. Sounds like perhaps an offshoot of one of the WPA programs, but I’ll have to do more research for that.

So now I’m off to see what I can find about Mr. Rauch’s immigration. As I tell my clients, it doesn’t have to be MY famly for me to get involved and enthused.

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24 June 2012

Confederate Citizens File

Filed under: Arkansas, Military, Osborne Family, Tennessee, Texas by allmyanc

Yesterday while at work I had opportunity to prowl through the “Confederate Citizens Files” online at Fold3.

When I was in library school, I loved taking the course on government documents, so much that I even did an internship in the government documents department in the university library. I know the potential of what can be found in government document collections. I also know that they are not always easily ferreted out.

BUT, here these records are, scanned and online. They are essentially claims made against the Confederate Government for services furnished and/or goods rendered to the government during the war.

I found all sorts of relatives in these papers.

Here’s a claim made by second granduncle Ephraim Osborne:

This is one of the three sheets filmed. The others appear to be the reverse of this document and an envelope of some sort. It is dated 12 Sep 1864 and the payment was received in Asheville, NC. Ephraim lived in Haywood County and died in November 1864. Did he travel to Asheville himself to collect this money? AND, was the $700.00 paid in Confederate money? I’ve perused some other records and the highest I see being reimbursed for a mule is $400—is this rate higher because it’s toward the end of the war?

Is that actually Ephraim Osborne’s signature?

The other file I saw that was fascinating to me was the 36 page file for W. F. Osborne. Wilbur Fisk Osborne is the brother of my great grand-father Charles Winfield Osborne (1848-1926). Prior to the War, their father operated a hotel in Humboldt, Tennessee, at the intersection of two rail lines. On the 1860 census for the family, Wilbur is enumerated as a telegraph operator. The first document in the Confederate Citizens File indicates he continued his telegraph work in the War:

The file is full of vouchers recording who sent telegraphs for what amount to whom and on what date. There’s even a 2 page letter Wilbur wrote to a general proposing to build a telegraph line from Houston to San Antonio. This letter is dated 28 Nov 1864 and is signed saying he’s the manager of the Marshall [Texas] telegraph office.

So Wilbur Fisk Osborne, who was in western Tennessee in 1860, has worked at least in 1862 as the manager of the Arkansas State Telegraph Company and then has moved on to manage a telegraph office in east Texas by 1864.
In addition to the documenting of the telegraphs sent and received, who was talking to whom, conducting the business of the war, these files contain a glimpse into the person. There are notes that appear to be made in 1933 on these sheets—here’s what’s at the bottom of the front sheet:

I have no idea what this indicates. I don’t know who Anna B. Osborne is in San Jose, California. Wilbur Fisk’s date of death and family have been a bit of a mystery—here are some more clues, perhaps.

I recommend these files to you if you had family living anywhere in the south. One of my colleagues found his great-grandfather selling potatoes to the troops in Texas—he has practically no paper trail for this man, so he was thrilled. Take a look—you might find a treasure. Be sure to look under all possible spellings of the surname—I found Osborne relatives spelled 3 different ways.

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4 April 2012

1940 in the Panhandle

Filed under: Osborne Family, Perryton, Texas by allmyanc

Using Ancestry.com, I found my paternal grandparents in the same place they lived until their deaths in the 1977 and 1982. Trolling through the unindexed Ancestry images reminded me of the days when we scrolled through reel after reel of microfilm–ok for the short term but I’m eager to have access to a search engine for more mobile folks.

1940 census page 13

1940 census page 21

This is one of the few records I’ve seen that shows all 8 children in the same household. It sort of makes my heart stop when I see children aged 25 through 4–I can’t imagine a house full of 10 people, including grown sons as well as a 4 year old.

Granddad is the last person on page 2B and then the rest of the family begins the next page:

This list of my aunts and uncles, along with my dad, reminds me once again that practically no one in this family used their birth names.

There’s Lowell C[ooper], Cooper was my grandmother’s maiden name, who was always known as Scoops.
Clark Mobley (Mobley was Granddad’s mother’s maiden name) was Pete.
Dorothy E[valyn] was Dot.
Gertrude R[uth] was Ruth. (Gertrude was Grandad’s mother’s first name)
Donald G[uice] was Jack–later legally changed to Jack. Guice was also a Mobley family name
Raymond K. was known as Ray–pretty close to his actual birth name
T. Morrison was my dad, named after his father, officially Thaddeus Morrison Osborne, Jr., known as Morrison
and the “baby” was G[eorge] Landrum, always known as Landrum. George was Grandmother Rachel’s father AND brother’s name, and Landrum was another family name.

I was most anxious to see the 1940 census to find my mom as she had not been born on the 1930 census. But seeing this entire family together in one household was rewarding as well.

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28 March 2012

. . . and then there were none

Filed under: Osborne Family, Perryton by allmyanc

Yesterday we buried the last of my dad’s siblings.

I’d been sad for days. Though I grew up knowing all my 2 aunts and 5 uncles, Uncle Ray was one of the special ones. He and my dad were closest in age among the children of T.M. “Bud” and Rachel Cooper Osborne, being less than 2 years apart. We all lived in the same small town–and when we were young, we spent lots of time together. Later, Ray and June were in and out of my parent’s home on a regular basis–my husband and I stayed in their home when we traveled back there to celebrate my maternal grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My own kids had mistaken Uncle Ray for their Papaw (my dad) when they were little, so strong was the famiy resemblance (and I say their sweet spirits).

But Uncle Ray died early Saturday morning and as happens when loved ones are sick and suffering, I had very mixed feelings, knowing his suffering was over but that one of life’s milestones was passing.

His funeral was in the same church where my Uncle Landrum’s funeral had been 17 years ago. Landrum was younger than I am now when he suddenly died. Again, an uncle who had lived my hometown and whose children I had babysat–it was a very hard funeral to attend to tell that beloved uncle good bye. And now I was returning to the same sanctuary for the last uncle’s services.

That church and another one are the bookends on the street where I grew up. The minister for the service was a man I’d gone out with a few times in high school and whose parents had been my teachers and were very very special to me as well. What a swirl of emotions it was going to be. . .

It was one of the most wonderful days I have had in a very long time. I didn’t expect to feel this way, but there you have it. Family members flocked in from the other family home towns of Pampa and Lubbock, and all but two of our 12 cousins were there. Parents of some of my high school friends were there to provide love and support and memories–some of those folks had been friends of my own parents in school–that’s the kind of place it is–generations of people have known and associated with each others’ families. Sounds warm and fuzzy but it’s always created more discomfort than comfort for me. Except for this time.

We remembered Uncle Ray. Cousin Charles recalled being a very young salesman who came to Perryton to check on some as yet unpaid for equipment he’d left at a company there. He’d gotten word that the company was going bankrupt, and he called my Dad or Ray to see if he could borrow a pickup. Both showed up with their trucks, helped load the copiers and machines, and then sent Charles on his way to return the equipment to a neighboring town. He said they weren’t at all concerned about his driving off in their vehicle even thought they didn’t really know him all that well. (I’m sure Ray and Dad didn’t even think about it–Charles was their cousin Mary’s boy and he was family.) Charles got back the next day and they sent him on his way, glad to have helped him save the day.

I got to tell my cousin, his son, about my Dad’s story of our grandmother calling Dad and Ray ‘Lasses and Honey. He said they had molasses or honey on their breakfast biscuits every morning, but I couldn’t remember which was which. Lindey said, “Oh, I’ll bet Dad was ‘Lasses–we always had a jar of blackstrap mollasses in the house.” That made MY dad Honey, I guess.

I didn’t get to tell them that Uncle Ray had provided a great deal of comfort to me when he told me “you kids are doing a good job of taking care of your dad.” My dad had a major staph infection after a hospital stay, resulting in a stroke and debilitating him at age 55. After our mom died too early from cancer, we had to make some decisions about Dad’s living arrangements which meant he had to move from the place where he’d been born, lived, and where all his friends were. Ray’s assurance went a long ways toward making those tolerable.

“Bittersweet” seems like an overused word, but it does describe the day. It was comforting–to be with family and the long-time friends of the family, to hear the compressed version of my Uncle Ray’s life, very well-lived, and to be in the midst of so many memories and to rest on so many strong connections.

It was a very good day. I have a bit of a burn on my face from the sun and the wind in that wind-swept place, and I have a full and grateful heart for having had Raymond Kenneth Osborne as my uncle, and for being part of his official send-off.

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13 December 2011

You never know what you’ll find in the newspapers . . .

Filed under: Newspapers, Osborne Family, Texas by allmyanc

You just never know when you start trolling through newspapers.

With work in the library and client work I haven’t had much time for looking around my own lines, but this week I came down with a sinus infection that kept me in bed but not off the net. I’ve written several times about my “not very well-liked” 2nd great grandfather John Osborne who died in 1865 in Humboldt, Gibson County, Tennessee. Shortly after his death, some of the older sons moved to Texas, and my great-grandmother and the younger children moved as well.

The two youngest children in this family were daughters–Alice Massey Osborne and Lillie Lenoir Osborne. (I have this theory that the middle names for these girls came from the surnames of their older sisters’ husbands. The older sisters were from John Osborne’s first marriage to Violet Cathey–Martha Jane married Henry Carter Massey and sister Harriet married Walter Franklin Lenoir and these families remained in Tennessee after the war when most of the rest of the family went to Texas.)

Despite not being able to locate many of this group in Texas on the 1870 census, I do have a record for my great-grandparents marrying in 1871 in Grimes County, Texas.

But back to the girls.

Alice and Lillie were about 9 and 6 when their father died. Their older brother Charles W. was my great-grandfather who married Gertrude Susanna Mobley in 1871 in Texas. Alice married Alexander Franklin Brigance in 1874, also in Grimes County, Texas, and Lillie married Thaddeus S. Clark in Falls County in 1885. In 1880, Lillie is not living with her mother and brother John Morrison in Grimes County–I believe she is in Bell County boarding in the household of John and Clarinda Regans, working as a teacher. Both of her older brothers George C., now widowed, and Charles W. are also living with their families in this county.

I was prowling through various online sources such as Find A Grave, Texas death and marriage records at FamilySearch, and a couple of newspaper databases, tracking descendants of these two women. One of Lillie’s daughters lived in Waco and fortunately, the Waco newspaper is available through my NewspaperArchive subscription. I determined that Lillie’s daughter Rosa married William E. Thrash, and, based on several newspaper articles that their daughter Adelaide married a man named Lee.

Then this article appeared–

Pampa Daily News 8 Dec 1946

What are the chances of two people in the same family being involved in major hotel fires in the same year?

Further, I actually found this article in several newspapers, including the Dallas paper. But this one from the Pampa, Texas, paper is particularly interesting since this is where my great-grandfather Charles W. Osborne and his family “landed.” He died there in 1926 but several of his descendants still reside there–it’s the site of our family reunion every two years. I wonder if any of the family recognized the names–I’d certainly never heard the story through the usual family grapevines.

Neither of these hotel fires was familiar to me–so, of course, this sent me off on a whole other chase. At which time I found this picture! Again, it appeared in several newspapers since it went out on the AP wire but this one is from the Cullman, Alabama newspaper.

This is Langdon Thrash in an Atlanta hospital in December 1946, being ministered to by nurse Mrs. Gloria Horton. As the story indicates, he survived the Winecoff Hotel fire by putting his head out the window and closing the window so he couldn’t withdraw it. The firemen found him unconscious. All of his possessions with him were destroyed but his life was spared, unlike 119 of the other residents. The article on the Winecoff Hotel in Wikipedia indicates it remains the deadliest hotel fire in US history.

There were no such photos of Adelaide’s son Billy, but there were several stories about the fire at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago earlier in the year, June 5. Many of the stories about the Winecoff Hotel fire indicated that if the lessons of the LaSalle fire had been learned, many of the fatalities of the Atlanta fire could have been prevented. Neither building had sprinklers nor effective fire escapes–building codes were put into place soon thereafter as a result of these tragedies. Billy evidently escaped with no severe injuries and lived long and well if he turned out to be who I think he was.

That’s for another post.

Bottom line, newspapers are wonderful resources and we are fortunate to live in the day of digital availability of SOME of the stories published in them about our ancestors’ lives.

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16 October 2011

A Trip to Guthrie

Filed under: Oklahoma by allmyanc

Yesterday I went to Guthrie to speak to the Logan County Genealogical Society.

Guthrie was the first capital of Oklahoma and it remains a historical place–it is a National Historic Landmark. I always enjoy visiting there–the people are warm and the history is unavoidable. The Society meets in the Oklahoma Territorial Museum.


The museum is attached to the first Carnegie library built in Oklahoma.


The library interior has been beautifully restored, with the tile surrounds on the fireplaces showing my favorite color.

There were displays of modern-day constructions made in the recent workshop held at the Museum.

In addition, there is a display of Nicole Moen‘s wearable ceramic corsets. Fascinating.

This one is called “Autumn Wedding”

. . . I forgot the official name of this one but it looks appropriate for women out here on the frontier, don’t you think?

and “Lily Pond” which is being raffled as a fund raiser for YWCA Battered Womens program. (have I mentioned I like green?) This was beautiful.

There was even information about men who wore corsets, which, according to this display, is the origin of the word “dandy.”

I felt myself breathe a little more deeply when I got to this “Bloomer garment” . . . a welcome relief, no doubt, to women in the early part of the 20th century when looser garments were finally accepted.

And if you want to support the Museum efforts, you can make a donation and perhaps win this wonderful quilted wallhanging made by the volunteers. . .

I hope I get another invitation to talk to this Society again–it’s a wonderful trip.

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31 July 2011

Oklahoma Confederate Pension Index Cards online

Filed under: Alabama, Anderton Family, Military, Oklahoma by allmyanc

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries has put the card file they hold for the Oklahoma Confederate Pensions online.

You can browse or search–all 7885 of them.

Here’s the card for my 2nd great-grandfather

and the reverse–

I got a copy of his pension packet a few years ago at the Oklahoma Historical Society.  And my grandmother, James Anderton’s granddaughter, had told me that he’d gone back to Alabama and died there.  Despite the state of Alabama telling me they couldn’t find his death record, I did find it later and he died in 1918.  And then a few years later, one of my friends found his grave for me.  He’s buried in Cochran Cemetery in Marshall County, Alabama.

The ODL website also includes the index for the Confederate Pensions, but looking through the cards that were typed in the early part of the 20th century shortly after the legislation passed 25 February 1915, gives me a better sense of the process.  Something about seeing the work of those old manual typewriters, with a red ribbon used occasionally, and the other various stamps–

Great-great grandfather James applied for his pension 3 short months after the passage of the legislation.  He lived out in the panhandle of Oklahoma, which, even today, can feel isolated from what goes on in the state capital 200 miles away.  I wonder how he got the word?

His wife of 45 years had died in April.  My grandmother told me that her grandmother Anderton had really wanted to go back home to Alabama in her later years.  They had come out to Oklahoma by 1904 when their son, my great-grandfather, married in Mangum, Greer County, Oklahoma Territory.  A few years later they all moved on out to the panhandle and received homestead land.  Three short months after he applied, his pension application was approved.  He apparently used the money to finance his return home.  His sons who had come west stayed in Oklahoma, with the exception of one whose wife had died.  The cemetery in which he is buried include Kirklands to whom I believe he is related.  His youngest daughter had married a Kirkland, and though I don’t see her name there, she may have buried her father where her husband’s family had property.

So it’s another Oklahoma resource online. It was initially fascinating to me to find that my Alabama grandfather’s military pension was available in Oklahoma. But the soldiers who had served as Confederates received pensions much later than did the Union soldiers, and then from the states in which they were living at the time rather than from the states from which they served.

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27 July 2011

Adoption Research

Filed under: How to by allmyanc

Today I had a customer I really really wanted to help.

He wanted to find his mother.  That’s the first thing he told me in response to my “Can I help you?”  When I thought he probably meant that he’d been adopted, I was right.  He knew her name and he knew where he was born and the state agency through which he had been adopted.

After my interaction with him, I wondered if at some level, he really wanted to know.

I asked him if he’d tried to get a court order to open his files.  He said he had known a judge who was going to help him but she died.

I told him I knew a person in the city where he was born who did this sort of work as a gift to adoptees.  He didn’t ask her name or for her contact information.

I asked him if he’d registered with the agency for their mutual consent service.  No.

He knew that his birth mother had 3 sisters and that she had been born about 1930.  In the 1930 census, I found at least 3 families with daughters that were possibilities in the city where he was born.  He didn’t look at them but told me he’d tracked one family by that name back several generations.  (I didn’t say it, but wasn’t he going the wrong direction?)

From an online index, I printed out a list of persons with the surname he was researching who had died in that city–some of the names matched the 1930 census records.  He went back to the newspaper room to look at obits.  For about 5 minutes.

He said he’d be back and look later as he went out the door.

I’ve helped people find their birth families and birth families find their children.  It’s always a roller-coaster ride.  This gentleman was definitely on the ride and didn’t quite know how to handle it.  I’m almost certain we could have found his mother’s family, but he had to be ready.

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11 July 2011

Planning A(nother) Genealogical Trip

Filed under: Military, Osborne Family, Tennessee by allmyanc

Hubbo and I are taking a vacation.  The criteria is that it has to be someplace cool but not high altitude.

So we’re going to Wisconsin.

And, interestingly enough, in my family of Southerners, I have something genealogical to research in Wisconsin.

A few years ago I found this Tennessee Historical Quarterly with a copy of a water color painting on the cover.

I don’t remember how I found this particular subject, but it includes an article about the 12th Wisconsin Infantry in West Tennessee, authored by Dennis K. McDaniel.  The cover is one of the watercolors of James Gaddis, a member of the 12th, and this particular painting includes, down in the left hand corner, an image of the home and hotel of my great-great-grandfather, John Osborne, in Humboldt, Gibson County, Tennessee.

Alarm at Humboldt

I have contacted the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the Research Archivist has confirmed that they do indeed have these watercolors.  I didn’t find them in the online catalog, but they have been cataloged, records generated, and the images and records are in line to be uploaded into the catalog of objects.  Some of them are on display in the Civil War gallery and I can make an appointment to look at the original.  I can also order a photographic reproduction I hope arrives in time for my Osborne family reunion early in August.

A few years ago I had opportunity to do some research at the Tennessee State Library and Archives about this time and place.  As with much research about topics during the Civil War, I didn’t find much.  I was able to read on microfilm extant copies of the Soldier’s Budget, a newspaper published by the Twelfth.  I hoped for a mention of the soldiers staying in the hotel, but I didn’t find any mention of my relative.  It did certainly give me a flavor of the place, though.  The soldiers had decided to publish their newspaper when they found the printing press in a chicken coop.  I thought it was interesting to have watercolors and newspapers from this unit stationed in Humboldt–they evidently had enough time for these ventures and I’m glad to have their records.

So I’m looking forward to seeing the watercolor up close and personal.  And to see if there’s any other info on James Gaddis’ time in Humboldt.  And to vacation in a place cooler than Oklahoma.

 

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19 June 2011

Oak Hill Cemetery, Water Valley,Yalobusha County, Mississippi

Filed under: Cemeteries, Mississippi, Mitchell Family by allmyanc

One of the early lessons I remember learning in doing genealogy was to be careful about what places are called.  Someone was relating their experience of looking for their family in Yellow Bush, Mississippi.  Of course, the place name turned out to be Yalobusha county, Mississippi.

I thought of that lesson Friday when a friend and I stopped in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Water Valley, Yalobusha County, Mississippi.  I was going to visit the grave of more Mitchell relatives.  I knew they were buried there because I’d found them on Find A Grave.  But somehow that didn’t keep me from wanting to visit them in person.  And having a fellow genealogist along egging me on meant we were destined to find this place.

Mississippi is new research ground for me.  We originally thought we’d go through Jackson and visit the Mississippi Department of Archives and History on Saturday morning.  However, after dropping my car keys down the elevator shaft from the fourth floor, waiting for them to be retrieved, racing to campus in a downpour and finishing a tough course for the week, I just didn’t have the strength to search for the family of my Adaliza Ellis (1824 LA – 1898 TX) in Jackson.  So we decided to visit some of my family’s graves that were close to our route back to Oklahoma City, and then visit the Memphis Central library on Saturday morning so my partner in crime could pull some Tennessee land grants for her family names, which included James Smith!!  (Is it any wonder she has a presentation on tracking people with common names?)

According to the gate, Oak Hill Cemetery was founded in 1816.

In my experience, this is an old cemetery.  And, as might be expected for a cemetery of this age, there were lots of burials. We had a little trouble finding the graves. But using my iPhone to pull up the Find A Grave images, we located them based on the roofs and telephone poles in the background of the images on Find A Grave.

Oak Hill also a very hilly cemetery, with retaining walls and steps to get to some of the family plots.

Here is the step up into the Boyd plot, the target of my search.  I think there’s a worn image on the first, lower step but the name has been re-tooled on the top step.

And, seeing the grave of Mary E. Mitchell Boyd (1818-1893), wife of Robert Louis Boyd (1800-1868, buried in Byhalia, Marshall County), I have questions.

What are the side pieces?  Are they decorative only?  I took a couple of closeups, though not good ones,  and they have designs on them:

There were other graves that had similar “surrounds” and then there were the ones that were ovals–of various sizes–the small ones were very sobering.

Can anyone enlighten me about these types of cemetery markers?  Some of them, particularly the ones for children, had the names and dates incorporated into the ovals:

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