MS Roots

July 3, 2011

Surname Saturday – Sorting through the GRIFFITHS

When I finally uncovered my great-grandmother’s parents, I found a Griffith married to a Griffith. This week has been dedicated to sorting through the Griffiths and trying to find a filing system that will keep the two lines distinct in my mind and on paper.

Idella Griffith’s parents were Isom (Isam, Isham) GRIFFITH and Mira (Myra) GRIFFITH. Her siblings were:
Eliza m. R.A. BLOUNT; Nathan; Ophelia; Ada; Oliver; Fronie; Willie; and James (1893 – 1967) m. Hattie MCNAIR.

Contained in the orange binder is the family of Isom Griffith:
Father: Orange Griffith born in Mississippi
Mother: Icy born in Kentucky
Siblings: Elvira, Norvel, Alfred, Lucy, Milly
Griffiths of Kentucky – Searching through records for Hiram Griffith who settled in Covington County in the 1830s with his wife Icy FOUNTAIN from Caldwell Kentucky.
Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contract – located a contract for Icy, Elvira, Alfred, Lucy, Milly and Isom bound to Milton Griffith, son of Hiram Griffith of Kentucky.

Contained in the dark blue binder is the family of Mira Griffith:
Father: Dennis Griffith born in Virginia
Mother: Eliza born in Mississippi
Siblings: Isaac; Malley; Harry; Dennis; Sarah; Elizabeth
Unable to locate family in Freedmen’s Bureau contracts. I will have to start with 1860 slave schedules.

I think that even though I have divided the two families into separate binders that I should track them together. The community of Holledays Creek, Mississippi was very small and I doubt that GRIFFITH was chosen randomly as a surname by both families.

May 16, 2011

Agreement with Freedmen made by T.L.H. Caraway

I was very excited today to have unlocked the secret system of the Freemen’s Bureau Labor Contracts located at the Central Dallas Library. I created my very own index using the index from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. It was a time consuming process, but in the end it was all worth it. After searching through two rolls in Dallas, I was able to match Dallas #49 to Mississippi #2574. All I had to do from there was to count to the correct contract number.
Here are my results:

Agreement with Freedmen made this 7th day of September 1865 by and between T.L.H. Caraway and Jerman & his family and Amanda of Covington and State of Mississippi;…In testimony whereof the said parties have affixed their names to this agreement on the day & date aforesaid and for the purposes specified.
Names Ages Wages
Jerman 33 Food & Clothing
Marinda 30 Food & Clothing
Hariet 11 de
Amanda 21 Food & Clothing

Harriet is my 2nd great grandmother. Jerman and Marinda are my 3rd great-grandparents. I will be searching probate records for a mention of Caraway or Loflin in the surrounding counties.

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 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.

The Toni Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.