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 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 26, 2011

Don’t Shoot, Aunt Thelma!

Filed under: Hathorn,mississippi family history,Prentiss,Uncategorized — by tmailhes @ 3:51 am
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This is Robert Hathorn’s story.  

There are some things that you need to know about my grandma to appreciate this story.  She lived with her two sisters off an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere.  She went to bed at 11:30pm just after the Johnny Carson Show on weeknights and at 10:30pm on weekend nights just after the News.  There was a storage room in her carport that held tools, a freezer and a container of gasoline.  She owned three guns – a .22, a .38 and sawed-off double-barreled shotgun.  And she was an excellent shot.

So on to cousin Robert’s story…

It was late, late round about two o’clock.  I didn’t have enough gas to make it home so I pulled in to Aunt Thelma’s.  I cut off the car lights and eased the car down the road to just in front of the carport.  I walked up into the shed, turned on the light, got the gas can and walked out.  Didn’t think nothing about it.

I’m putting the gas in the tank and BAMM!  Let me tell you, I hit that ground.  I felt the hot wind whirling round that bullet. I’m laying there in the gravel.  You know wasn’t nothing but sand and rocks in front of the carport.  I got a mouth full of sand and I’m trying to talk to her. Another crack.  BAMM!  This time that bullet skidded across the roof of the car.  

I got my breath and I yell, “Don’t shoot, Aunt Thelma!  It’s me, Robert.  It’s me, Robert.”  I’m calling her y’all and praying at the same time.  

Then I hear Aunt Christine.  “Shoot him, Thelma.  I’ll drag him under the carport.”  My right hand to God, Aunt Christine said that.

I’m still talking telling them it’s me.  Aunt Thelma says, “Stand up boy!”  I get up with my hands up.  My legs just a shaking.  Aunt Thelma and Aunt Christine standing on that side porch with hedges.  None of them got their glasses on.  Aunt Thelma holding that double-barreled shotgun on me like she in the movies, man.  You know she held that gun high up against her shoulder.  I’m just praying there’s enough light she can make me out.  

Finally, she drop that gun down and laugh.  “Boy, that’s a good way to get killed.”

Aunt Christine starts walking in the house and turns around and says, “Scaring folks in the middle of the night.”  I’m thinking I’m the one shaking and can’t get my hands down.  Let me tell you the next time I needed gas in the middle of the night,  I pulled over and slept in the car.  I waited till first light and rang the doorbell.

 

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.

July 3, 2011

Preparing for interview with Grace Nell Hathorn

Filed under: Hathorn,Holloway Family,mississippi family history,Prentiss — by tmailhes @ 2:47 pm

This week, I will be visiting family in Prentiss, MS and will have the opportunity to speak with my Aunt Nell. She is not really an aunt, but the widow of my 2nd cousin, Toxey Hathorn. I remember her from my childhood as a beautiful woman. She was short and slender and had the most beautiful black, black hair that was always wound into a bun at the nape of her neck. She and Toxey had 13 children.
I am trying to find the most important questions to ask her and have come up with the list below. I know my Dad and my brother will there telling me to leave her alone so I won’t have much time!

1.) What were the names of your parents?
2.) Where did you live?
3.) Where were you and Toxey married? (I have a lot of marriage records, but I really don’t know if anyone was married in a church or if you just went to the JP.)
4.) Do you remember Thelma’s (my grandma) first husband, Eddie Johnson?
5.) What happened to him?
6.) Do you remember Papa’s (my great-grandfather) brothers and sisters? (I have my list to confirm with her. Estus Hathorn is the unknown. I remember his son, Buster, was called a cousin. However, I don’t know if Estus was a brother or a cousin himself.)
7.) Do you remember Bill and Harriet Hathorn? (my 2nd great-grandparents)
8.) What did they look like?
9.) Do you remember John and Anna Holloway? (I believe we are related to the Holloway family, but my family says no)
10.) Why were they living with Bill and Harriet?

I’m very excited about my trip and will give a follow-up and pictures from the field!

May 15, 2011

Dinner with James

I was very excited this evening to have dinner with my cousin, James. It was great to be able to speak with a fellow family historian. He shared some wonderful stories with me and I could just hear my mom and grandmother saying those things. It was nice to know that they hadn’t changed from the time he knew them to the time that I knew them.

James is the grandson of my great-grandmother’s brother. He is also the nephew of my great-uncle’s wife. His father’s sister married my grandmother’s brother. I think that makes us double cousins?? We are both not sure about that.

James, however, was able to solve one mystery for me. I remembered a set of twins from my childhood. They were adults when I was born. I remember them because of their names – Big and Lil. I didn’t realize at the time that those were nicknames. I have asked older cousins in the past what their actual names were and had always gotten the same response, “I don’t remember”. James was able to tell me that they were named Rufus (Big) and Rascus (Lil). Both names are derivatives of Rucus, our uncle.

We talked about the families, about their love of laughter and their love for each other. They seemed never to grow tired of one another. We talked about hoping to pass this knowledge of the importance of kinship and laughter to our children.

May 12, 2011

Wednesdays and Barbecue

Each Wednesday, barbecue is served in the cafeteria at work. I have worked there for five years and the Barbecue Wednesday has been in existence for the last three. Today it made me laugh.

I thought about the first family cookout that my husband ever attended with me in Prentiss, MS. Cookouts were nothing special for the Hathorns. We had random cookouts for anywhere from 20 to 50 cousins, aunts and uncles all the time. The men grilled and the women made potato salad, egg salad, green salad, cornbread, baked beans and the desserts. Only water and tea (sweetened of course) were served around the table. There was usually a tree with a cooler under it that held the beer. That was just the way dinner was served in the summer.

I told my newlywed husband that we were going to Prentiss, MS to visit my grandmother and that most likely there would be a cookout. He looked worried. The idea of an interracial couple in a small town in Mississippi didn’t make him feel all warm inside. I told him that he was being ridiculous. The whole trip to Mississippi, he kept asking if everyone in my family knew that he was White and that they were cool with that. I kept saying yes, but he didn’t believe me.

The day of the cookout, my family welcomed him with open arms. He looked a little more comfortable as the day got started but kept his seat next to me and my grandma. My cousin yelled, “Food’s ready, y’all” and a rush of people gathered around the food table with plates. A cousin said to Paul, “Baby, we made you gumbo. It’s not the best, but I think it’s all right.” He thanked her politely, but didn’t move from his seat.

My grandma leaned over to me and whispered, “Get Paul a plate.” I then turned to Paul and said, “Get your plate.” And for the first time since I was a very small child my grandmother pinched me under the table – hard! She whispered again, “Don’t embarrass me. Get Paul a plate.”

Well, with those instructions, what could I do? I got food for Paul and my grandma and myself. My grandma smiled and Paul grinned. I mouthed “Never again” and he laughed. We still talk about that day almost 16 years later when I was disciplined by my grandma as 22 year old married woman.

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!

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