MS Roots

January 3, 2012

My Own Samuel Hathorn

Filed under: Covington County,family history,Hathorn,mississippi family history — by tmailhes @ 1:45 am

While researching Samuel Baskin Hathorn, former owner of my Hathorn family, I have found a lot of information that I will sort through over the next few weeks and months. Samuel Baskin Hathorn was born in Ireland and immigrated first to South Carolina and then to Georgia and finally settled in Mississippi in 1818.

I was performing look-ups and typed in the name Samuel Hathorn without birth date information and found the WWI draft card for Samuel Hathorn, born 1894, Black. Of course I checked my database and there was Samuel Hathorn, the 10th of 11 children born to William and Harriet (Loflin) Hathorn. William Hathorn, Sr. had been owned by Samuel Baskin Hathorn.

As I looked through the list of my Hathorn names, I am seeing the same names appear throughout the generations between the White Hathorns and the Black Hathorns. My second great-aunt’s name is listed as Zana and one of Samuel Baskin Hathorn’s wives is named Susannah. There are Matildas, Williams, Jacks and Janes on both sides. It is very confusing to research the family and I have seen family trees that have records for my Jane Hathorn attached to White Jane Hathorn.

WWI Draft Registration Card - Samuel Hathorn

Simply a matter of common names of the era on both sides? I don’t yet.

December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Holiday Foods

The Hill family loves to eat. The holidays only gave us an excuse to gorge ourselves without guilt.
There were the holiday get-togethers. These were small events where we usually had ribs and macaroni and cheese with a variety of snack foods. I liked these little parties because my mom made my favorite party food – shrimp dip with crackers.
Then there was the Christmas Day Meal – Turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, black-eyed peas and cabbage with those pre-lined rolls. The desserts were my mom’s specialty – Mexican wedding cookies, German chocolate cake, banana pudding and egg custard. (Egg custard is my least favorite dessert of all times)
My Birthday – I was born on Christmas so in order for me to feel like I wasn’t missing a birthday just because it was Christmas, I had a birthday cake. This was usually something with lots of frosting and candy flowers and chocolate ice cream.
Just thinking about those days, makes me feel over full. Today we still enjoy eating but we have fewer parties and fewer gorging opportunities. That probably has something to do with the fact that my husband and I don’t cook.

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.

June 15, 2011

The Hill Files to Nowhere

Filed under: family history,Hill Family,Oktibbeha County, MS — by tmailhes @ 8:10 pm
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I have come to the end of the research that I can do from home regarding the Hill Family. I have so many relatives that have given me their stories and I have come to the conclusion that we don’t know anything about our family.

The Hill Surname – My grandfather was born L C Sampson (according to the 1910 Census). His delayed birth certificate and SS5 letter record his name as L C Hill. His mother, Rosie Sampson, didn’t marry his father. Was there a (in)formal adoption? Is there an official name change document out there somewhere? Is our last name, Hill? I don’t know. My relatives don’t know. Regardless of name, I moved on.

Dina Hill’s Obituary – My great aunt Dina passed away last year. She left written instructions for her obituary. It listed her father as Elijah Harris and her mother as Rosie Sampson. It also listed a brother named Sampson Harris and a sister named Lacy Harris. Who are these people we all wondered. We questioned each other and thought maybe she was confused at the time of her death. Now I know that we are the confused ones.

Jesse Hill – The patriarch born in Virginia. When did he arrive in Mississippi? Where are the other Hills? Is there something in the names he chose for his sons – Romulus and John Lacy?

Now, I wait for a day that I can spend in the archives in Mississippi. I’ve looked at marriage records and death certificates. What can I try next?

May 1, 2011

Surname Saturday – Thompson

I am working on finding the family of my 3rd great grandmother, Mahala Hathorn. I decided to try to locate the other people listed with Mahala on a Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contract in the 1870 census.

Living a few houses down from Ike and Mahala Hathorn was Reddick and Jane Hathorn. This Jane Hathorn was a close match for the Jane listed with Mahala on the Labor Contract. Two children Zana (also the name of Mahala’s daughter) and Rich are listed as living in the household.

I searched for the Reddick/Jane Hathorn household in the 1880 census with no luck. I widened my search to the entire state of Mississippi and then to the nation. Had the entire family been wiped out? I searched the 1900 and 1910 censuses – nothing. Then I got frustrated. Then I got creative with my search criteria.

I found the family. The Reddock/Jane Thompson household. Still listed in the household were Rich and Zana. They were Thompson now. Five other children had been born in the 10 years between the two censuses. Did any of them ever know that they were once Hathorn? I left a note for future researchers who may be wondering how the Thompson family suddenly appeared in 1880.

Tomorrow, I’m so happy to be heading out to the library. I have the Hathorns and the Thompsons and the Griffiths and the Lowes and the Loflins and the Draughns to research – trying to figure out how we all fit together.

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 4, 2011

Finding the Griffiths of Covington County, MS

One of my goals for this year was to complete a narrative sketch of Arthur and Idella Hathorn. They were my great-grandparents. I only have two photographs of them, but the stories of their faith and love of family have provided permanent images in my mind and heart.

Idella Griffith Hathorn was a bit of a mystery. While I knew that she was loved and praised by her daughters and granddaughter as a gentle loving woman. I knew little about her family except that she was a Griffith.

I wasn’t able to locate a family in the census that fit with the age as recorded in the 1910 census for Idella when she was a wife and mother. In the previous census, there was Ida Griffith who seemed too old and Ada Griffith who seemed too young. I wasn’t able to locate a marriage record for Arthur and Idella in Covington County. I ordered Idella’s death certificate and waited.

About two weeks ago, I received Idella’s death record. It listed her parents as Isom Griffith and Mira Smith. The informant was her husband, Arthur Hathorn. She had been listed in the 1900 census as Ida Griffith and that recorded age most closely matched the date of birth recorded on her death certificate. The Griffiths lived a few houses away from the Hathorns and I had seen that record in the census so many times!

I began mapping the Griffith family through census records and checking if any of the records had been saved by anyone else on ancestry.com. The 1900 census record for James Griffith, youngest brother of Idella, had been saved to another family tree. I contacted the owner and found my cousin, James!

We talked about Life…how it keeps going. He had always meant to get back to his small hometown to reconnect with the cousins from his childhood, but Life kept happening. He had attended my uncle’s funeral in 1968, but didn’t make it to my mother’s. He had called her “Sis” his entire life and didn’t know that she was known as Toni. We have made plans to have our families meet in the next two weeks. It will be easy since he lives only 20 minutes away! Life.

February 4, 2011

Finding Focus – Arthur and Idella Hathorn, The Beginning

One of my goals for this year is to write a narrative sketch of Arthur and Idella Hathorn, my maternal great-grandparents. Thanks to the weird north Texas winter storm, I have had four days to organize my thoughts and find focus for the project. I have decided to focus on the beginning of their lives together

The Near Beginning
1910 Federal Census, Beat 1, Jefferson Davis County, MS
Arthur Hathorn H M B 24
Married for 5 Years, Renter, Working, Own Account, Farmer
Farm Schedule #49
Idella Hathorn Wife F B 23
Married for 5 Years, 4 births, 4 children
Clara Hathorn D F B 4
Flucor Hathorn S M B 3
Irma Hathorn D F B 2
Rucus S M B 6/12

The Location
Jefferson Davis County was formed from parts of Covington and Lawrence counties in 1906. The county seat is Prentiss, MS. Prentiss is a rural agriculture community.

The Time Period 1900 – 1920
The Hathorn family would have lived in the midst of the Mississippi’s Jim Crow system and frequent epidemics. Death from disease and lynchings would be a part of life. During the first 20 years of their marriage, the Hathorns would experience WWI and the First Great Migration.

I have decided to start writing even though, there are some questions that need to be answered.
1. Who are Idella’s parents and where is she from?
2. When and where were Arthur and Idella married?
3. How old was Idella?

I have ordered Idella’s death record. Hopefully that will provide the leads to fill in the other questions quickly.

January 23, 2011

52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History – Home

I moved into the house I call my childhood home during the Winter before I started 1st Grade. It was a ranch style house in a new subdivision of Jackson, MS called Presidential Hills. All the streets were named after Presidents and we lived on Warren Harding Drive. (Warren Harding was the 29th President infamous for the Teapot Dome Scandal.)

The houses looked much the same with neat front yards, obligatory pine trees and boxwood shrubs. Rarely, did we ever play in the front yard. We always played in the backyard and knew how to turn the hinge on neighbor’s back gates to get in and see if anyone wanted to come out with us.

Family parked in our driveway and entered the house through the utility room. The utility room was a small room that housed the washer and dryer, floor freezer and my father’s Fingerhut purchases. The man was obsessed with appliances. He would use them for a while and then they would go to the utility room, where he stored them for later use. The “later use” moment never came.

Everyone else parked on the street and entered the house through the sitting room / dining room. This room was always, always immaculate. It was furnished with a beautiful sofa and settee, large hand-blown glass lamps, formal dining room table and china cabinet. It always smelled like potpourri. Even though my father would tell my mom that she shouldn’t be so particular about that room and that a house was supposed to lived in; you could tell how proud how he was when there was a get-together at the house and someone would say that the room was so pretty. “Oh yea, Toni did all this. She keeps this room looking nice.” Of course we never allowed in the room except for parties, Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas morning.

My favorite room was my room. It was me unadulterated. Pink walls! White four poster bed and white desk. My bedspread was floral with pink and green flowers. I grew up in that room and didn’t ever grow out of it. If my husband would agree, my bedroom would still be pink.

My dad and my step-mom moved out the house about 6 years ago. When we travel to Mississippi now, I always think that I’m going to see my dad because home is in old subdivision of Jackson.

January 15, 2011

Surname Saturday – The Disappearing Sampsons of Oktibbeha, MS

Sampson is an English surname with French origins. Currently, the largest concentrations of Sampsons in the US live in Rhode Island and Vermont. There is a smaller concentration of Sampsons living in Montague County, Texas.

Rosie Sampson is my paternal great-grandmother who lived in Oktibbeha County, MS during the early 1900s. Little else is known about her. To date I haven’t found any “cousins”. And my father says that he doesn’t remember any Sampsons living in their community.

I have found Rosie in census records, alone. No parents. No siblings. The only other Sampsons near her during the time period was a woman and daughter living in the home of a son-in-law.

I have found a Rose Sampson listed in the Enumeration of Educable Children – 1885. She is listed with several other Sampson children – Dennis, Prince and two other names that are unreadable. The adult name is Neal Sampson. I have not been able to locate census records for the others listed with this Rose Sampson.

Questions abound with the Sampson family. Where did they come from? Where did they go? Where are they now?

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