Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Past had Once Been the Present

I was recently reading a novel and came to this paragraph. I stopped and read it a couple more times. Then I stuck a bookmark in the page.  William Martin's books are packed with history, overlaid with the present. As genealogists I think we also have one foot in the past and one in the present.

He didn’t expect that too many people thought about the world the way he did. To him, the past had once been the present…and the future. And if you looked at it like that, not only did it keep the past alive, it made the present more comprehensible and gave contour to the future’s flat horizon.

The view of life of the character, Peter Fallon as written by William Martin in Harvard Yard (Boston: Grand Central Publishing, 2003) 228.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

John Ellzey Bible

The Ellzey is not a direct line family of mine. However, the Ellzey family married into my Alford, Fortenberry & Smith lines. They were our neighbors, friends & in laws.

Finding the Bible record on line at Genealogy Gophers was a nice surprise. It yielded the oldest information I have on this family.

John Ellzey Bible
Original owner: John & Elizabeth Coney Ellzey
Bible published 1851


John Ellzey                  Elizabeth Coney                      18 July 1823
Wm S Ellzey                Winneyfred Sibley                   20 Jan 1842
Burrel Fortenberry       Eliza Jane Ellzey                      15 Aug 1850
John S Ellzey               Sarintha Smith                         1 May 1851
Benjamin F. Ellzey       Elizabeth Holmes                    2 Sept 1852
Lewis N. Ellzey            Mary Ann Holmes                   1 Sept 1853
James W. Ellzey           Nancy C. Jane                          18 Sept 1856
John Ellzey                  Margaretta Indiana Hall          5 Jan 1860


John Ellzey                  10 Nov 1796
Elizabeth Coney          24 Apr 1808

Their children:
William S.                   8 Aug 1824
Mary N.                       25 Dec 1825
Benj. F.                       10 Sept 1827
John S.                        13 Mar 1829
Eliza J.                        5 Sept 1830
Lewis                           2 Feb 1832
Jackson J.                   8 Dec 1833
James W.                     9 Aug 1835
Thomas J.                   19 Apr 1837
Wesley M.                   1 Feb 1839
Rachel M.                    23 Dec 1840
Lemuel N.                   1 Nov 1842
Laura A.                      25 Apr 1844
Eveline E.                    6 Feb 1846
Jesse C.                      15 Apr 1848
Sarah W.                     13 Sept 1851

Source: Mississippi Genealogical Society, Mississippi Cemetery and Bible Records, Volume 8 (Jackson, MS, 1961) 84-85; digital image, Genealogy Gophers ( accessed Aug. 2017).

           Are you related to this family? Let's talk.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Terrible Hurricane in South Mississippi, 1882

Hurricanes are in our news. While we have been learning about Texas, Louisiana and Hurricane Harvey and Florida bracing itself for Hurricane Irma I read this account of a Hurricane in Mississippi in 1882 that caused trouble for my family.
The years pass but many things remain the same.

Pike County. The unfortunate victims of this calamity are, so far as we have heard, as follows: J. P. Welch, W. J. Fortenberry [William Jackson Fortenberry, 1853-1928], W. S. Ellzey [Willis S. Ellzey, 1857-1946], Jeptha Simmons, Alexander Green, Raymond Alford, Mrs. Shillings, Eli Alford, Ellis Varnado, Jordan Dykes and Rhoda Smith, a colored woman. These persons lost their houses, fences, timber and some stock. Nearly all of them received some personal injuries, and the only particulars we have obtained are in regard to Mr. Fortenberry and Mr. Alford.

Dr. W. F. Simmons was at Mr. Fortenberry’s on a professional visit when the storm occurred, and just previous to that awful visitation, Mrs. Fortenberry [Canolia A. Simmons, 1858-1925] had given birth to a child – a girl [Myrtis Jane Elizabeth Fortenberry b 18 April 1882]. Several ladies were present, and manifested some alarm at the threatening elements. The force of the wind struck the house, first breaking the glasses, then taking off the roof, after which the walls fell in. Dr. Simmons knew no more for some time, for he was knocked senseless by falling timbers. After he became conscious, he found himself under the debris of the building, and with powerful exertions extricated himself. The he began a search among the ruins to see who was hurt. He found Mrs. Fortenberry still in bed, and safe. The foot of the bed-stead was broken down, and she was slightly bruised. One lady had the infant in her arms, and was sealed in a rocking chair when the storm came. Dr. Simmons found her and the babe wedged in among the timbers, and it took about 15 minuted hard work to extricate her. When she was released from the perilous condition she was found to be bruised considerably, but the infant was not injured at all. Mrs. Fortenberry and the ladies were injured also but not seriously.

Mr. Raymond Alford’s family were all injured, and Mrs. Alford seriously, by some gashes on her forehead and other parts of her head. She remained unconscious from Tuesday until last Friday, when she realized her condition. The fright and wounds have had a terrible effect upon her. Her condition is regarded as being very critical.

A mule was blown some distance from Mr. Alford’s place, and a broad-axe was taken up by the wind an carried 50 yards.  A dead crane was found in the track of the storm with its neck and both legs broken. Other dead birds were also found.

Farm fowls were carried off and feathers scattered in all directions. Some of the fowls have been found and they present the appearance of having been picked or deprived of their plumage. Bark was taken off the young pines and oaks and the large timber were all blown down. Some of the largest trees after they had fallen show signs where they have been forced by the wind, as though they had been dragged a distance of from five to fifteen feet. In some places the grass had been actually torn up by the roots.

The Terrible Hurricane in South Mississippi on the 24th. (Jackson, MS: The Clarion-Ledger, 3 May 1882) 2; digital image, accessed Sept. 2017.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

My 7th Blog Anniversary!

In September 2010 I talked to my daughter about my genealogy and I wondered how I could get my research and findings out to family members. I wanted to contact family members that I knew and those that I had never met. My daughter suggested writing a blog. She explained how a blog works and helped me to set up this blog. 

On 3 September 2010 my first post went out and I waited to see where it would lead.

I've made cosmetic changes over the years, trying many things to make it look inviting. I added Tabs with basic information about my family branches & research tips. I have spent many happy hours writing, posting, finding attractive graphics, and rearranging the layout. 

The good news is: I have made several good blogging buddies. I have found cousins I never would have known without this blog. My family has become more interested in our past and the people in it. People have left me kind & helpful comments. I have been motivated to learn more & to share more.

There are many blogs with more followers & more visitors than mine, and I'd be insincere if I said I wouldn't like higher numbers, but I am proud of how much I have learned and happy with my blogging experiences. 

Grab a cupcake & celebrate with me: 7 years & more to come!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Charles Brumfield's Obituary, Is it Accurate?

Recently I found this obituary for Charles Brumfield. Does it give the correct date of death?

Charles Brumfield
Born 1 Jan 1796, York, SC
Son of John B. Brumfield & Margaret Kelly
My 3rd great granduncle

Died at his residence in Yazoo county, on 29th July 1870 Charles Brumfield, a native of York District, South Carolina, for the last 60 years a resident of this state and for the last 40 years of Yazoo county, where he has reared a large and respectable family – a man of the strictest integrity – just and true in all the relations of life.

Source: Obituary. (Jackson, MS: The Semi-Weekly Clarion, 19 Aug 1870) 3; digital image, accessed July 2017.

I do not have a death certificate for Charles but I believe this obituary is accurate. It was created at the place and time of his death & not many years later. However, there are many people who use another date for his death.

Printed Genealogies.  Before discovering this obituary I had read about Charles Brumfield in printed genealogies. Those books agree on his death date as 7 August 1870. However, and this is important, those books had no sources. If those books had sources for this date I would go to those sources to try and discover why the 7 August date was used. Perhaps his will was probated on that date.

Find A Grave has two dates for Charles Broomfield, Memorial# 68935036. It uses the 7 August 1870 date in the description but the photo of the tombstone shows 7 September 1870. I believe the tombstone was placed at a later date. It does not look like an old stone. Again, I wonder at the source of this information.

Online Trees also use the 7 August 1870 date for the death of Charles Brumfield. Their only source is other online trees. No primary sources.

Opinion please. 
I’d like to hear what you think about the death date of Charles.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Another Pioneer 'Crosses the River'

Thomas M. Brumfield

13 Jan 1837 MS - 20 Nov 1923 MS
Son of Charles & Harriet Brumfield
My 1st cousin, 4x removed

Another Pioneer ‘Crosses the River’
Tom Brumfield, Veteran of the Civil War, Passes Away near Concord

One by one the pioneers of Yazoo County are answering the call of another land. On November 20, Tom Brumfield, who was one of the few Confederate veterans that had stood the winter’s cold and the summer’s heat for 87 years, all of which were spent in this county, passed to his reward. He was born near Dover and after his marriage bought a farm and settled near Concord church, where he and his family became part of the institution, attending the services and giving their names for its support. When the call came for the defence of the principals for which the south contended Mr. Brumfield was young and his soul became fired with the justice of the cause, so he, like the true southerner that he was, enlisted and took his stand with the Confederate army. Mr. Brumfield was injured in a railroad wreck which made him practically an invalid for the past 60 years, but his spirit never failed and he stuck to his post and worked until death claimed him. Besides his wife he is survived by six children, all of whom are grown and settled in life. They are Mrs. Mollie Compton, of Belzoni, Mrs. E. S. Manor, of Yazoo City, Route One, Willie Brumfield, who makes his home in the delta, and Tom, Joe and Todd, whom live near Anding. The funeral, which took place at Concord church on Nov. 21, was largely attended.

Another Pioneer ‘Crosses the River’ (1923, Dec. 28). The Yazoo Herald, p. 4. Retrieved March 7, 2017. Yazoo City, MS. Tom Broomfield.

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