MS Roots

December 19, 2011

1860 Slave Schedules – SB Hathorn

Filed under: african american genealogy,Covington County, MS,Hathorn — by tmailhes @ 3:32 pm

Slaves owned by SB Hathorn - deceased

This is the listing for SB Hathorn on the 1860 Federal Census – Slave Schedule. Slaves Schedules always frustrate me. A collection of ages, gender, race and a lot of guess work on my part. I draw a conclusion and then try to track down supporting information. Thankfully, I have almost decoded this listing for SB Hathorn.

45 M Black – Randall Hathorn (sold to John McRany) found in 1870 household with Elizabeth and Ann Hathorn
40 F Black – Elizabeth / Betsy Hathorn (sold to Mary E. Hathorn) found in 1870 household with Randall and Ann Hathorn
34 F Black – Lucy (sold to Loyed Polk) found in 1870 household with Elam and Allen Hathorn
30 F Mul – Mahala Hathorn (not sold) My 3rd great-grandmother
24 M Black – Steve (sold to Thomas Pope) not found yet
16 F Black – Charity (sold to HA McLeod) not found yet
11 F Black – Jane Hathorn (sold to Mary E. Hathorn) found in 1870 household with Reddoch, Rich and Zana Hathorn; this family would take the last name Thompson by 1880; Rich and Zana were born free
11 M Black – Henry (sold to Moses Pfeifer) not found yet
8 F Black – Margaret (sold to JH Bass) not found yet
7 F Black – Ann Hathorn (sold to Mary E. Hathorn) found in 1870 household with Randall and Betsey Hathorn; possibly listed twice in census; Ann Hathorn is also listed last in the household of Isaac and Mahala Hathorn
7 F Black – Zana Hathorn (not sold) Mahala’s daughter
6 M Black – William “Bill” Hathorn (not sold) My 2nd great-grandfather
6 M Black – Jim (sold to SJ Harper Jr.) not found yet
4 F Black – Matilda Hathorn (not sold) Mahala’s daughter
x F Black – I believe this is Little Isaac as explained in the Estate Record of SB Hathorn and that F was incorrectly notated.

I’m waiting for additional film that I won’t have access to until after the holidays. There should be a case in Covington County that explains why my Hathorns couldn’t be sold. And since I’m waiting, I’ll try to track down the other slaves belonging to SB Hathorn. I’ll also begin plotting SB Hathorn’s life to locate additional information about Mahala. I once thought this journey was near impossible but I’m beginning to think that it can done.

**Please pass this along to any geneafriends researching any of the surnames listed in this post**

December 17, 2011

Estate of SB Hathorn – 2 November 1860

Filed under: african american genealogy,Covington County, MS,Hathorn — by tmailhes @ 9:13 pm

Finally, I received a roll of film of Probate Records from Marion County, MS. There was a notation in a book of abstracts of wills from Covington County stating that SB Hathorn had died intestate and that additional documentation could be found in Marion County. I was hoping for a mention of my 3rd great-grandmother, Mahala, in the documentation.
Here’s what I found:
The petition of AS Harper administrator of the Estate of SB Hathorn late of Covington County deceased; shows that his intestate died possessed of sixteen Negro slaves (Five of which cannot be sold owing to a suit pending in the chancery court of Covington County Miss, in which the title to said five Negro slaves is in controvercy [sic] (to wit;, Mahala, Zana, Bill, Matilda and Little Isaac,) leaving a balance of eleven Negro slaves…
I was so excited to find not only Mahala but there is Bill, who is my 2nd great-grandfather. I will spend this afternoon cross referencing data in the 1850 and 1860 census with the names found in the estate of SB Hathorn.
The other eleven slaves are named as follows:
Woman Betsy sold to Mary E Hathorn
Girl Jane sold to Mary E Hathorn
Man Randal sold to John McRany
Woman Lucy sold to Loyed Polk
Man Steve sold to Thomas Pope
Woman Charity sold to H A McLeod
Boy Henry sold to Moses Pfeifer
Boy Elum sold to SJ Harper
Girl Ann sold to Mary E Hathorn
Girl Margaret sold to J H Bass
Boy Jim sold to SJ Harper, Jr.

November 19, 2011

Zana Hathorn found in Lawrence County, MS

Zanie Hathorn Entry

I needed to get reorganized in my search for Mahala Hathorn. I had gotten sidetracked with other family searches and writing about genealogy. Mahala was still as she was at the beginning of the year – a labor contract with unidentified persons signed with N.C. Hathorn. So I set about this past week to review her information and revise my research plan.

Sidetracked again – a clue about Zana Hathorn. An alert on my Family Tree Maker dashboard showed that someone had linked the 1870 Census for Zana Hathorn to Zanie Hawthorne in their family tree. I tried not to click the link. I knew where this was going to lead.

A little background – Zana Hathorn was listed in the 1870 census in the home of Isaac and Mahala Hathorn. She was 17 at the time. I had been unsuccessful in finding her after this census. I also knew that in 1900, Mahala and Isaac would be the caregivers for two children – John and Anna Holloway. The three candidates for their mother were – Zana, Ann or Matilda.

Clicking the link – Zana Hathorn was listed as being married to Henry Thomas. She was found in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census in Lawrence County. Still missing though was information about her whereabouts after 1870 to 1900. Per one of the family trees, Zana Hathorn had children prior to her marriage. I then went to the Lawrence County Enumeration of Educable Children found on Familysearch.org and found her in 1892 with 3 children – Lear, Vandy? and Willie. Willie Hathorn would become Willie Thomas. The other two are still unknown.

Making the decision – I have decided not to follow Zana for the moment. I have written her here so that I will not forget and plan to revisit her next year if I have finished with Mahala. So till next year, Miss Zana Hathorn.

August 8, 2011

Memories of Papa

I speak with my cousin Comel Hawthorn (she is a Hathorn who married a Hawthorn) about once a month to catch up about family in Prentiss, MS.  I share information that I have found on the family and more often than not she tells me that whatever I’ve found can’t possibly be right.  Today, I got her good!  She is waiting for me to send this information to her and has told me that her retired sister will  follow up on research.

The information – A Freedmen’s Bureau Contract listing our 4th great-grandmother being given one acre of land by N.C. Hathorn along with 4 other adults and 1 dependent adult.  The dependent adult was Sanco Hathorn, enslaved son of N. C. Hathorn.  The other adults all mulattoes would also take the name of Hathorn.  I told Comel about my conversation with the 3rd great-granddaughter of N.C. Hathorn and that everyone knew that Sanco was his son.  The location of N.C. Hathorn’s other enslaved children was not known.  I told her that the other children may have been those listed in the contract including our Myhalia Hathorn.

Comel was silent before saying, “I don’t know if the other children will say this, but I was always a little scared of the way that Papa looked.  His hair was what you would call wavy.  And his eyes were light colored.  Hazel, I guess we would say now.  Though I think they were green.  He had light skin lighter than your Aunt Elna who looked most like him.  We didn’t associate with White people when I was growing up so one day when a White man came over to talk to Papa about something.  I asked if that man was kin.  He looked more like Papa than anyone else.  I was told to hush up because that was a White man.  But he looked like Papa – same coloring, same hair, same eyes.  I wonder if we ain’t related to those White Hathorns?

Proof?  I don’t know if we’ll get it.  I just don’t know if there is any document out there that will tell us the reason that N.C. Hathorn chose 5 adult slaves to give an acre of land after Emancipation.

April 17, 2011

2011 Genealogy Goal #2 – Mahala

My second genealogy goal this year was to take one step back past 1870 for the Hathorns, namely Mahala. I had followed her through the census with various names, a range of ages and fluctuating races. She was recorded as Haley, Holly and Mahala. Her birth year was recorded from 1830 to 1843. Sometimes, she was listed as Black and sometimes she was mulatto. But she there from 1870 to 1910 with a family that I could document.

Last week, I began preparing to research the community of Hollidays Creek as a slave owning community. I had two clues that may lead me to the former owner of Mahala and decided to follow what I had. My first clue was the chosen surname of the family – Hathorn. There were Hathorns listed in the 1860 slave schedule for the near vicinity of Hollidays Creek. My second clue was a Freedmen’s Bureau Labor contract dated 1865 between N.C. Hathorn and several freedmen. The freedmen were listed as follows:

Laborers:
Gerry – 24; Mahala – 22; Lucy – 21; Calvin – 18; Jane – 15; Rachael – 14; Bertro – 12; Ann – 11
Dependents:
Sanco – 26; Henry – 6; Willis – 5; Jack – 4; Unreadable; Easter – 1

The name Sanco stood out for me for two reasons – 1) He was listed with the children and 2) I had seen his name in my review of the 1870 census. Further research found him living in 1870 and 1880 with the family I had identified as the possible slave owners of Mahala. He was also listed in a family tree on ancestry.com. His father was named as N.C. Hathorn. I immediately contacted the owner and received the response below:

Hello. I will be happy to tell you what I know about Sanco. I am not sure of birth or death dates, so the birth date is from the census, and I have really guessed at his death. In 1870 he was living with his half brother, Samuel Baskin Hathorn and they were about the same age. In 1880, he was living with his half sister, Sarah Hathorn & husband James “Jim” Clark. These were my G Grandparents. Apparently, Sanco always knew who his father was and after the Civil War, he refused to leave. My knowledge of him comes from my grandfather, Grover Cleveland Clark, who called him what all the family called him, “Uncle Sanco”, and they knew his story. He lived in the house with them and helped with house chores and Sarah’s children. Remembering the stories my grandfather told of him, leads me to think that he was a “childlike” person. He would get mad about things and expected to go everywhere with the family and to be treated as family. Once he was not envited to a wedding and he was so mad about it. They brought him some of the wedding cake and he would not eat it. He said “I don’t want no old cold cake”. My grandfather would tell this and laugh and laugh.

I never heard anything about a girl friend or relationship, so do not know if he had children. I do not think he ever lived away from the Clarks. As with many Hathorns, he had horrible arthritis and crawled on his knees in later years, unable to walk. ( Sarah also had arthritis and was an invalid, bed-ridden for some years before her death.) They said he used two long cow leg bones for crutchs as they were the right length for him. That was one of the things my Grandfather told–Uncle Sanco would hit them with the bones if they misbehaved, so they tried to stay far enough away to avoid being “disciplined” with the bones. From all that I heard, he really loved Sarah and looked out for her.

After this email, I am now more inspired to research Mahala and our kin. I can’t make any claims now as to the relationship between Mahala and Sanco and the Hathorns and the others listed in the labor contract, but I know that it can be figured out with some work and guiding voices like this one!

April 10, 2011

Sidetrip through the Griffith Line

Recently, I was able to connect to the Griffith line of my family. For all intents, this line was lost. My cousins even thought that I had the last name wrong and that it was Griffin not Griffith. (The family historian wins!) I began taking notes on this family line using one of my favorite tools – The Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contracts search tool available on The Mississippi State Archives website. This tool allows you to search labor contracts by Freedman’s name, Planter’s name, Plantation or County.

I was able to find the following information about Icy Griffith in 1865:
Planter: Milton Griffith
Freedmen connected to Icy and Orange Griffith (3rd Great Grandparents)
Icy – 45
Alfred – 15
Isom -12 (2nd Great Grandfather)
Milly – 11
Elvira (Vira) – 7
Lacy (Lucy) – 5
Icy is listed with all of her children from the 1870 Census with the exception of Norvel, who was born free.

From my very brief overview of the census records, I was able to find the following leads for further research:
Icy Griffith- Born in Kentucky (per 1880 census record)
Milton Griffith (planter) – Mother’s name was Icy, parents lived in Kentucky prior to move to Mississippi (per family trees on ancestry.com)

So there is research to be added to my list of research to be done.

March 14, 2011

Matrilineal Monday – Thelma and Elna and Christine


My grandmother, Thelma Hathorn Johnson Graves (pictured on the left), and my aunt Elenor “Elna” Hathorn Burkhalter (pictured on the right) were always together. My aunt Christine Hathorn Durr, the third member of this trio, is probably hiding away from the camera. My Nanny and Aunt Elna were the ones out front. They laughed loudly, smoked cigarettes and drank beer. Aunt Christine was quite reserved in contrast. She would rarely speak in public. She never drank beer or alcohol or smoked cigarettes. The youngest three sisters of the Hathorn family. The secret keepers.
As I have embarked on the family history journey, I’ve uncovered bits of the secrets that they kept. But no ultimate Truth to date.
My grandmother had a first husband, Eddie Hugh Johnson. I found the marriage certificate. A cousin told me that she seemed to remember that someone had said that my grandmother had been married once before my grandfather but she couldn’t remember what happened to the man.
My Aunt Elna was married to a man named Joe Burkhalter. Again I found a marriage certificate. Again a cousin says that she seemed to remember a marriage, but she couldn’t remember what happened to the man.
My Aunt Christine was married to a man named Mack Durr. Yes, I found a marriage certificate. Yes a cousin says that she remembered something. This time, however, I found the niece of Mack Durr. A fellow genealogist who was able to give me a little more of the story of this woman with whom I had lived my childhood and adult life through 2008.
Oh, the things they kept!
My latest challenge? Those cousins who remember a little of this and a little of that have asked if I could find their father’s father. This is the big secret of the family. The eldest daughter of Arthur and Idella Hathorn had a son out of wedlock. This son was raised as the youngest child of Arthur and Idella. It wasn’t until he was 65 and applying for benefits that he discovered that his biological mother was his sister.
Of course, my cousins asked my grandmother and her two sisters for the answers. As my cousin says, “Your grandmother and Aunt Elna and Aunt Christine called us everything but the child of God, so that was the end of that.”
I don’t know if we will find the answers, but I’m thankful for the riddles.

January 1, 2011

2011 Research Goals – The Hill Predicament

I have thought for a long time today about what to do with the Hill family research. It became clear very early that my present day HILL family was actually the SAMPSON family in 1900 and 1910. When my grandfather married my grandmother in 1925, his name was recorded as L C HILL not L C SAMPSON.

The question that has nagged me has been at what point did the children of Rosie SAMPSON decide that they were changing their last name? All five children, John, L C, Gothie Lee, Mary B. and Diana would use the name HILL for the rest of their lives. Their children and their children’s children are HILL to this very moment.

The Outside Children – My father used this term when I discovered that John Lacy HILL, his grandfather, was actually married to Ellen EDGAR and not this grandmother, Rosie Lee SAMPSON. He said that his father and aunts and uncles were the outside children meaning that they were born outside the bonds of matrimony. Do I dare study the HILL family? “We should leave this alone.” answered my uncle.

Just Looking – Initial research into the HILL family of Oktibbeha County yielded a few interesting names: Jesse, Ben, John, Roman, Caleb. Interesting. In the early 1980s, my aunt met a woman who told her that her grandfather (John Lacy HILL) had four brothers named Ben, Jesse, Roman and Caleb. We recorded this information in the program guide for the HILL / WRIGHT family reunion. The 1910 Census enumerated the household of Rose SAMPSON with four children, John, L C, Mary B. (the B stands for Bennie) and Jesse.

Tangled – After interviewing several family members, I learned that no one discussed the family history or familial relationships. Quoting my cousin, Joyce, “Back then if someone said they were your cousin, you just said okay. You learned not to ask questions.” I did a little more digging and found separate lives for John Lacy HILL and Rosie Lee SAMPSON. Living in close vicinity up to the 1920s but not connecting in any records so far. “We should leave this alone”, answered my uncle to a question I had not asked this time.

Looking for Rosie Lee SAMPSON – I have decided to let the HILL question wait for a little longer, while I search for Rosie Lee SAMPSON. Where was she from? Who were her parents? Her siblings? Did she really have 7 children and I can only account for 6? Certainly these aren’t incendiary questions to ask.

We should leave this alone.

December 29, 2010

2011 Research Goals – Mahala

Filed under: african american genealogy,Covington County, MS,Hathorn,Prentiss — by tmailhes @ 2:56 pm

Mahala (Haley) HATHORN caught my attention early in my research. She is my 3rd great-grandmother listed in a tiny community of other freed slaves named HATHORN living in Holliday Creek, Covington County, MS. Mahala is one of the three women enumerated as mulatto HATHORNs in the 1870 Census. My goal is to complete her story.

What I have:
Census records (1870 – 1920) She is shown as being married to Isaac HATHORN. She is shown as having had 5 children (Zana, Ann, LD?, William and Matilda). In the 1900 census, the children are out of the house and there are 2 grandchildren (Anna HOLLOWAY and John HOLLOWAY) living with Isaac and Mahala. In the 1920 census, Mahala is living with John HOLLOWAY and his wife Mabelle WHITE.

Freedman’s Bureau Labor Contract (June 2, 1865) The labor contract is for 6 months of work for N.C. HATHORN in exchange for food of “good and sufficient quality”, shelter, necessary medical care and an allotment of land for gardening purposes. The group of laborers are Dorry?, Mahala, Lucy, Calvin, Jane Racheal, Bertro and Ann. Dependents are Sanco, Henry, Willis, Jack and Easter. (Lucy and Jane are the two other mulatto women listed in the 1870 census in the Holliday Creek community).

What I may have:
Death certificate – I found a 1924 death certificate for Myhalia HATHORN in Jefferson Davis County, MS. The name and the place of death are in line with the known information about Mahala. However, her age is listed as 52. Mahala would have been in her 80s at the time! The informant is listed as William HATHORN. William is my 2nd great grandfather. The burial is Pleasant Grove Church. A trip to Prentiss, MS is in order.

Next Step:
Cluster genealogy – I will begin researching the plantation owning HATHORNs and the others listed on the labor contract.

Deadline: – December 1, 2011

December 13, 2010

Mystery Monday – Hager Lowe

I was so excited to quickly find my maternal 3rd great grandmother, Harriet and her family. All I knew about my grandmother’s grandmother was that her name was Harriet. After finding the HATHORN family in the 1870 Census, I scanned the next few families and found Harriet LOFLIN. I was able to verify that Harriet HATHORN had once been Harriet LOFLIN when I received my great-grandfather’s SS-5 application letter. His parents were listed as William HATHORN and Harriet LOFLIN.

I was busily entering my new found information into my database when I took a closer look at the census record. The 80 year old woman Hager LOWE was not associated with the house below her name but with the LOFLIN household. Had I found my maternal 5th great-grandmother?

Is she related by blood to Jerman LOFLIN? Is she related by blood to Marandy LOFLIN POSEY?
Was she actually born in Mississippi as it is enumerated in the 1870 Census? Had she been of the first slaves in the colony established by the French in 1719?

Hager LOWE has presented a challenge to me and I am very glad to work on her story. After having living perhaps 80 years in bondage, she deserves to have her story told.

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