MS Roots

August 18, 2010

Marriage Records and Surprises

Filed under: Hathorn,mississippi family history,Prentiss,Uncategorized — by tmailhes @ 3:16 am

I was very excited when the library called to tell me that the microfilm from the LDS library was in.  I had requested the colored marriage records from Jefferson Davis County 1939 – 1954.  I was sure that I was going to find my grandparents marriage records and hopeful that I would find records for my great – aunts, Elma and Christine.

I looked immediately for Abraham Graves, my grandfather, and found nothing.  I then scanned the brides’ names just to see if I could find my two aunts.  And there was the name – Thelma Hathorn.  My grandmother’s name.  The groom was Eddie Hugh Johnson.  The record showed that on 15 February 1947 Thelma Hathorn, daughter of Arthur Hathorn of Prentiss, MS, married Eddie Hugh Johnson, son of Jim Johnson of Mendenhall, MS.  My first surprise – my grandmother had a first husband!? Still waiting on a call from the cousins to see if anyone remembers this or if this something that has been conveniently forgotten.  I have yet to find the marriage record for my grandparents.

I continued scanning the brides’ names and found my two great-aunts.  Elnora “Elma” Hathorn married Joe Burkhalter on 1 March 1949.  She was 26 and he was 55.   The age difference was amazing because the vast majority of couples in the records were only 2 or 3 years apart in age.

Christine Hathorn married Mack Durr on 18 August 1951.  She is listed as 25 years old and he is 26 years old.  But my great-aunt was born about 1916, she would have been about 35 years old at the time of the married.  I wonder if his age had been miscalculated as well?

Upcoming interviews will focus on these three men.  If my grandmother was married in 1947, when did she marry my grandfather and have my mother and uncle between 1948 and late 1949?  Why did Elma marry a man twice her age?  Did Christine knowingly marry a man 10 years younger? And what happened to the marriages? Death? Divorce?

June 27, 2010

Hill Family Task 1 Completed

Filed under: african american genealogy,Hill Family,Oktibbeha, MS,Uncategorized — by tmailhes @ 3:01 pm

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.

March 12, 2010

The Hathorns of Mississippi

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tmailhes @ 5:17 am

I have found the earliest record of my Hathorn family in the 1870 census.  It lists Ike Hathorn age 40 and his wife Haley age 38.  Ike is my 3rd great grandfather.  Writing that is amazing.  I only had a few names going into this project and unfortunately most of my older relatives have passed away.

At the time of the 1870 census, Ike and Haley lived in Holiday Creek, MS a part of Covington County and had 5 children living with them.  There were 3 girls – Yana (17), Matilda (14) and Ann (16).  There were 2 boys – William (16) and T D (12).

In the 1880 census, William is 26 and married to Harriet (also 26).  At this time they have 4 children living with them.  There are two girls – Lizzy (8) and Tilda (3).  There are two boys – Iky (6) and baby male (10 months)

There is no census link between my 2nd great grandfather W. Arthur Hathorn and this Hathorn family.  However, I believe that this is the same family.

First, W.  Arthur (age 18)  in the 1900 census is shown in the same area as this Hathorn family as a single male servant in the Stepphen Talis? household along with another male boarder, Estus Hathorn (age 20).  Secondly, my grandmother had one story about her grandmother and her name always stuck with me.  She said that her “Grandmaw Harriet” was a mean woman who beat her for smoking in the barn.  And thirdly, the practice of naming children after relatives continued with W. Arthur.  His children will include William Arthur, William and Elinor ( also a younger child of William and Harriet).

I love going back and finding the names, but I know that will have to start on the actual work.  I have requested the death certificates of  W. Arthur Hathorn and his wife Idella Griffin Hathorn.  Should have some concrete answers soon.

March 11, 2010

Getting Started

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tmailhes @ 4:22 am

Step 1. Choose a method of organizing the information.

For me this was easy.  I was given The Family Tree Maker software.

Step 2. Write what you know.

In the first sitting, I recorded just the basics and had 32 people, 2 States and 2 Countries.

Step 3.  Search the Census ( I used the online resources of my local library)

By the end of these searches over the course of a month, I have a total of 105 people, 4 States and 2 Countries.

Step 4. What now?

My next step is to find other records related to my family besides their page in the census.  I have a few days planned in Mississippi in June and will visit the archives while I am there.  I will be looking for marriage and death certificates.  In the meantime, I will continue to pester my relatives for information.

March 9, 2010

Discovering My Mississippi Heritage

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tmailhes @ 4:18 am

In my quest to find what I will do when I grow up, I have thought about reviving my dream of being a playwright only to discover that theater was no longer my passion.  I thought about going back to school and becoming a teacher.  That too had no real allure after a lot of research.  I have researched lots of ideas – CSI, archaeologist, anthropologist, romance novelist, theologian!  All to find that the research itself was enough.

And so, I begin the research of the Hill and Wright families of Oktibbeha County Mississippi and the Graves and Hathorn families of Jefferson Davis County Mississippi.  Maybe I will actually find the “indian in our family” and the names associated with all the initials.

We shall see

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