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.

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.

 

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 26, 2011

First to Get Pension – L.C. Hill

Filed under: Hill Family,mississippi family history,Oktibbeha County, MS — by tmailhes @ 4:47 am

L.C. Hill receives first pension check for 41 years of service

The picture above was published in our 2000 Family Reunion book.  To date, I have not found the newspaper from which it was taken.  The article is transcribed below:

FIRST TO GET PENSION – L. C. Hill (R), employee of Co-op Creamery and Dairymen, Inc. for 41 years, receives his first pension check from John Moore (L), assistant manager of the industry’s Mississippi Division. Hill is the first employee of 700 at Dairymen Inc. to take advantage of a new pension program offered by the company. A & M Dairy in Starkville is a subsidiary of Dairymen, Inc.  (Staff Photo – Brumfield)

L.C. Hill is my grandfather.

July 5, 2011

A Project Overview with Mary Louise Hill Madison

Filed under: mississippi family history,Oktibbeha County, MS,SEALS,Wright Family — by tmailhes @ 10:31 pm

The Wright Seals

Well your Aunt Kate, we called her Kate but her name was Virginia, anyway I have her original birth certificate and it says Letha Ann on it

So began the family history overview with my Aunt Louise. I just sat there shaking my head and my aunt just smiled. You know almost everyone had different names she told me. Like Uncle Pap, he was really Prentiss. While she talked, I scratched through notes and tried to grasp the entire family line of multiple Prentisses, Ediths and Eulas plus the never-ending initials – LA, MC, and NF. What do the initials stand for? Nothing.

Then Aunt Louise had an idea. We were thinking too big, trying to map too much at once. We were going to pick one family group and begin there. No more looking at the WRIGHTS and the SEALS. We were picking one family and sticking with it no matter what fascinating document we found or family lore that we happened upon.

We created our family group sheet
James Mann Wright married Sallie Seals in 1900 Oktibbeha County (no record located at Archives, will have to contact county)
Their children were Mattie, Prentiss, Edith, Eula, LA, Letha Ann (died in infancy), NF and MC.

Aunt Louise is going to record all the memories that she has of her mother’s siblings and the stories about her grandparents. I will complete the document research and we are going to get this family mapped out!

Aunt Louise using Family Tree Maker

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 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 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.

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.

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