In January 2010, I thought I would try my hand at genealogy. My strategy for the Hill Family of Oktibbeha County, MS was to locate my grandfather in the census records. From there I would have a good idea of the places he lived and the approximate dates of birth for his brothers and sisters. I was certain that this task would take only a few hours. How hard could it be?
Hill Family Task 1 took 6 months to be completed. The results and notes are below.
1930 Federal Census, Oktibbeha County, HWY #12
L C Hill (28) HEAD, Mattie Hill (26) WIFE, Frank (4 1/2) SON, L C Hill (3 1/2) SON, Robert (1 3/12) SON
This was my first find that afternoon in January. Almost everything seemed correct. Our family bible gave consistent dates of birth for Robert and LC, Jr. However, my dad doesn’t have a brother named Frank and he is not in the family bible. Could Frank be Uncle Tommie’s first name or his middle name?
1910 Federal Census, Oktibbeha County, Leola Bluff Road
Rosia Sampson (33) HEAD, John Sampson (9) SON, L C Sampson (6) SON, Mary Sampson (4) DAUGHTER, Jessie (6/12) SON
This was the second census record found in March 2010. I had searched in vain for the Hill Family with no luck. Then a closer look at the family bible gave the clue – Rosie Simpson was actually Rosie Sampson. And voila! Again, my dad said this wasn’t right because he didn’t have an uncle named Jessie and why was his father’s last name – Sampson?
1920 Federal Census, Oktibbeha County, Black Jack Road
Odie Ratley (25) HEAD, Rosa Ratley (33) WIFE, John H Ratley (18) STEPSON, L C Ratley (14) STEPSON, Mary Ratley (10) STEPDAUGHTER, Gothie Lee Ratley (7) STEPSON, Diana Ratley (5) STEPDAUGHTER
In June 2010, an older cousin remembered that Miss Rosie had bought the land on Black Jack Road where my grandfather grew up. My dad remembered the little house where he would visit Uncle John and sometimes, Uncle Gothie Lee. The name on the deed – Rosa Lee Ratley. And here is my grandfather enumerated as LC Ratley stepson to Odie Ratley.
Sampson to Ratley to Hill. Now there is a story to tell.