Saturday, February 16, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: LOVE of family

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘LOVE'.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: LOVE of Family

I found LOVE to be a difficult topic to write about. My first thought was about romantic LOVE. I thought I might select a couple and write about their courtship & marriage; their enduring LOVE. But it was difficult to select just one couple. Should I write about my parents who met as teenagers when they went to a square dance? Should I write about my mother’s parents who were married twice, to each other? Or should I write about my father’s grandparents who wrote love letters to each other? There are quite a few LOVE stories to chose from and I cannot select just one.

Then I thought about my parents and what they taught us about LOVE. They taught my brothers & I to LOVE our family. They taught us through their actions. Every happy occasion in the family was shared with grandmothers, uncle & aunts, and cousins. We shared birthdays, holidays and graduations. But we did not need big occasions to share our time together. 

A beautiful autumn day was a good occasion to have a barbeque. Once a thunderstorm rolled through during a family barbeque. My father and our Uncle Leo stood outside at the grill, flipping hamburgers. They wore ponchos in the downpour and never stopped cooking for us.  Why? Because they loved our family. 

A warm summer day was a good occasion to go swimming. I remember many times my mother and our aunts cooked up and packed up big bowls of salads to take to a park or campground where we could spend the day together. They spread tablecloths on picnic tables and unpacked piles of food. We had a wonderful time as a result of all their hard work. Why? Because they loved our family.

In both happy times & hard times our family stuck together. My parents did not give us big lectures on the importance of family. Their actions showed us how much they loved our family. Today we still band together to celebrate happy occasions & lend a hand when needed. 

It is that LOVE of family that motivates me to spend hours and hours on genealogy. Learning about our family helps me to feel connected to those who are no longer with us and to those are. Learning and sharing helps me feel connected to those family members who are spread across the country and to those who are close by. To me, genealogy is about LOVE of family. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine Day Anniversary Celebration, Alford, 1926 MA

Aged Couple Celebrate Sixtieth Anniversary

Barney Seaborn Alford
& Anna Rebecca Norman

Presiding Elder L. E. Alford and family left Friday for their former home at McComb City, where they went to attend the sixtieth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. Alford’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Barney S. Alford, which was celebrated on St. Valentine’s day, at the home of the aged couple’s son, J. B. Alford.

Mr. and Mrs. Barney Alford have five sons and one daughter, all of whom were expected to be in McComb that day. They are:

·     J. B. Alford [James Barney Alford], wholesale Dry Goods Merchant of McComb
·     L. W. Alford [Lewis Wesley Alford], retail jeweler of McComb
·     Rev. L. E. Alford [Lucius Edwin Alford], presiding elder of Newton District of the Mississippi Conference of the southern Methodist Church
·     Norman Alford, retail furniture dealer of McComb
·     Louis Alford [There was a Lewis & Lucius. I don’t have a Louis in my records. I do have Homer Alford.], mechanic of Yazoo City
·     Mrs. Carrie Hays [Carrie Mabel Alford], wife of a wholesale furniture dealer of New Orleans, Louisiana
·     [Daughter Eunice Lillian Alford died c 1884]

Many grandchildren were also present to make the happy young couple even more happy and also a large number of good neighbors who have known them for all these years gathered in the afternoon to do them honor.

The occasion was one long to be remembered.

  • [Notes in Green are my notes.]

  Source: Aged Couple Celebrate Sixtieth Anniversary. (Newton, MS: The Newton Record, 18 Feb. 1926) 2; digital image, accessed January 2019.

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: SURPRISE, Quakers in the Family

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘SURPRISE.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: SURPRISE: Quakers in the Family

During the years I have researched my various family leaves & branches I have uncovered relatives with various religious beliefs. Considering the wide range of people and places that is not surprising but I was surprised to find Quakers in the family. Why was this a SURPRISE to me? I suppose I have thought of Quakers as a relatively small group of people, primarily in rural Pennsylvania and Maryland. I did not know there were Quakers in the early southern colonies.

The Religious Society of Friends, also referred to as the Quaker Movement, was founded in England in the 17th century by George Fox. He and other early Quakers, or Friends, were persecuted for their beliefs, which included the idea that the presence of God exists in every person. Quakers rejected elaborate religious ceremonies, didn’t have official clergy and believed in spiritual equality for men and women. Quaker missionaries first arrived in America in the mid-1650s. Quakers, who practice pacifism, played a key role in both the abolition and women’s rights movements. Many, but not all, Quakers consider themselves Christians.[1]

In 1657 Josiah Coale and Thomas Thurston arrived in Virginia and were successful in reaching out to the people and sharing their Quaker beliefs which spread steadily. The Colony had no tolerance for the Quakers. They had previously enacted anti tolerance laws against Roman Catholics and did the same in an attempt to prevent Quakers from thriving because they were considered a menace to the stability of social life in the colony. A fine of 5,000 pounds of tobacco was imposed for ‘entertaining Quakers to teach or preach’.[2]

I found that my Lawrence family in Nansemond, Virginia appeared in Quaker Records as early as 1683. Brothers Robert Lawrence and John Lawrence, sons of Robert and Elizabeth Lawrence, and their wives, Mary and Joane, were members of the Society of Friends. Those records continue until 1707.[3]Further research may find more Quaker records for the family.

SURPRISINGLY, I discovered my Brown family in North Carolina also belonged to the Quaker society. Edward Brown [c1730 – c1797], my 5thgreat grandfather, was a Quaker.[4]There is evidence of the Edward Brown family in Jones County as related to the Quaker meetings. Oldest sons, John and Aaron, were old enough to join on their own. John Brown was a member in 1788 and Aaron in 1789. Edward, Moses, Daniel and Hardy were brought along by their father in 1789 to become members.[5]This later caused a division in the Brown family. The Quakers were opposed to slavery. They moved north to Ohio. The Browns who were not Quakers lived in Mississippi and owned slaves. Eventually, when the Civil War began, the Browns fought against each other.

Despite attempts by government bodies to halt the spread of the religion branches of our family embraced the Quaker beliefs. 

We never know where our genealogy research will lead us but we can be sure it will be filled with SURPRISES.

[1]Quakers. Digital image, History Channel ( accessed January 2019) 268 – 272; digital image, accessed January 2019.
[2]The Quakers in the American Colonies (London:Macmillan, 1911) 
[3]White, Miles Jr. Early Quaker Records in Virginia (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1977).
[5]North Carolina Quaker Meeting;; Edward Brown and sons.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Promotion for Major P. K. Alford, 1945

Percy Knapp Alford
b 25 June 1911
My 3rd cousin, 1x removed

Major Percy K. Alford has been selected for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the U. S. Marine. Mr. Alford is presently at home with his family in McComb, and will soon again be detached for foreign service. His service with the Marines began about fourteen years ago when he became a member of the Marine Corps, and he was in active service when World War Two was declared.

Major Alford was awarded the Purple heart, for service on Guadalcanal; he has received the Presidential citation for meritorious service; the Nicaraguan Second campaign ribbon, and a number of other awards of recognition for overseas services. He has seen service in China, in New Zealand, and, last year, came home after 29 months service in the South Pacific theatre of war.

Mrs. Alford and their two sons, Keith and Gary, are residing in McComb. Major Alford’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Alford, reside in Jackson. He has a brother, George H. Alford, Jr., in overseas service. 

Source: Major P. K. Alford Chosen for Promotion to Lieut. Colonelcy. (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 22 May 1945) 1; digital image, accessed December 2018.

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: AT THE LIBRARY

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  I completed '52 Ancestors' in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘AT THE LIBRARY.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: AT THE LIBRARY

Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

This is a great topic! I am often AT THE LIBRARY. I find it much more satisfying to find evidences of my family in a library than on line. For me, being able to hold a book with my family information printed on its pages, gives me a more concrete link to those people from times past. Here are a few libraries I have visited & links to the posts I have written about those visits:

Ansonia Library                                   Ansonia, CT

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library           Charlotte, NC

Derby Public Library                           Derby, CT

Family History Library                        Salt Lake City, UT

Franklinton Library                             Franklinton, LA

Lancaster Library                                 Lancaster, SC

Orangeburg County Library                Orangeburg, SC

Pike-Amite-Walthall Library               McComb, MS

Rappahannock Library                      Washington, VA

There are many more libraries I’d like to visit and I’d like to return to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City where I can search for many family lines all in one place.

Don't delay. Find yourself AT THE LIBRARY today!


Monday, January 28, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: I'D LIKE TO MEET Mary Jo

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘I’D LIKE TO MEET.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: I’D LIKE TO MEET

Mary Josephine Mullane Coyle

My Great Grandmother
1867 Ireland – 1927 Bronx, NY
52 Ancestors in 52 WeeksDaughter of Daniel & Brigid (English) Mullane
Married 1895 NY City to Michael Coyle

I’D LIKE TO MEET Mary Jo. She died just three months before my mother was born. Over time I have uncovered many facts about her life. I know she was born in Ireland and came here in 1885. I know when she was married and the names & birthdays of her seven children. But I’d like to know more than mere facts.

I would cover my table with the Irish linen tablecloth and set it with the delicate china plates and tea cups, all of which I inherited from her daughter. I'd brew some Irish tea; I'd lean in and look into her eyes and ask her what it was like to pack her trunk and say good-bye to her brothers, sisters and her parents when she left Ireland. Was she excited about the adventure or was she desperate to find a job opportunity? Did it cross her mind that she would not return to that beautiful green country for many years? 

I’d pour us another cup of tea and I’d ask her about meeting Michael Coyle. Her youngest daughter told me that Mary Jo & Michael were living in the same boarding house and they met on a staircase where it was love at first sight. What was the courtship like? What was it like to get married in New York with her family far across the ocean?

I’d ask her what it was like to be the mother of seven children in New York City in the early 1900s. Her mother was across the ocean. She could not even pick up a phone and call her mother to ask how to handle potty training or how to get her children to sleep through the night. Who did she turn to when she had questions about childbirth and child rearing? Her cousin, who had from Ireland with her had no children. What was motherhood like at that time? What were her fears for her children and her joys? I’m sure it was both different and the same as my days of child rearing. I’d like to hear about the times Mary Jo thought were most precious. What was my grandmother, her oldest child, like as a child, a teenager and as a young woman?

I’D LIKE TO MEET Mary Jo to learn more about her life between the facts and I’d like to tell her about my life. I am now older than she ever became. I can tell her how joyous it is to be a grandmother, something she never achieved. It would be nice to sit and sip tea and share some Irish brown bread and talk about life. 

This china once belonged to Marion Coyle McCall. 
It was a gift from her sisters when she married James J. McCall in 1931.

Related Posts:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Keith Alford's 1st Birthday, 1943 MS

This delightful newspaper article about a little boy's first birthday is packed with genealogy information. It gives information on his parents, grandparents and a great grandmother.

Keith Alford, young son of Captain and Mrs. P. K. Alford, will be on year old Tuesday, January 26, and in celebration of the event, his mother invited members of the immediate family to visit with them for the day Sunday. All enjoyed a delicious dinner together at this time. The dinner was served at the home of Keith’s great grandmother, Mrs. Sam Woodruff, at the Woodruff home where Mrs. Alford and son have an apartment. Guests for the event, in addition to Keith’s mother, his grandmother, Mrs. Vera Dodds, and great grandmother, Mrs. Woodruff, were Mr. and Mrs. George H. Alford of Progress, paternal grandparents, and Mrs. Mildred Ellzey, aunt of the little boy.

Young Keith was born after his father, Captain Percy K. Alford, left the United States for service with the Marine Corps for duty across the seas. Captain Alford has not yet had the privilege of seeing his fine young son.

Source: Keith Alford Has Family Celebration for His First Birthday. (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 26 Jan 1943) 3; digital image, accessed December 2018. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: UNUSUAL NAME, Appollonia

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  I completed '52 Ancestors' in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘UNUSUAL NAME’.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: UNUSUAL NAME

Appollonia Dick Wolf

My 5thGreat Grandmother
14 August 1738, born at Sea – c 1791 PA
Daughter of Johan Adam Dick & Anna Ottilla Knack
Wife of Johann Jonas Wolf

I am intrigued with my 5thgreat grandmother, beginning with her unusual name and the fact that she was born at sea while her parents were crossing the Atlantic from Germany to Pennsylvania. They were onboard the ship, Rob & Alice, with their daughter, Elisabeth Margretha Dick, 6 years old; Maria Christina Dick, 4 years old; and Maria Juliana Dick, 2 years old, when the new daughter was born. They arrived in Philadelphia on 11 September 1738.[i]

Appollonia married Johann Jonas Wolf. They lived in the Berwick Township. He served in the Revolutionary War, as a second Lieutenant in the 5thCompany, 8thBattalion of the York County Militia.[ii]

The couple had ten children.

Jacob Wolf b 1762 PA
Appollonia Wolf b 1763 PA
John Wolf b 1767 PA
Catherine Wolf b 1770 PA
Adam Wolf b 1773 PA
Johan Jonas Wolf b 1775 PA
Christianna Wolf b 1776 PA
John Frederick Wolf b 779 PA
Maria Elizabeth Wolf b 1782 PA
Andrew Wolf b 1787 PA

 They are buried in Emanuel Reformed Church Cemetery, Abbottstown, Adams, PA.

Related Posts:

[i]Wolfe, J. Arthur. Jonas Wolf of Berwick Township, York County, Pennsylvania: A History and Genealogy of a Colonial Ancestor and Some of His Descendants. Privately Published: 1987. Copy of book owned by York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.
[ii]Young, Henry James. Genealogical Reports for the Historical Society of York County, evidences of the Wolf Families of York County before the year 1950. Volume XX. The Historical Society of York County, 1938. . Copy of book owned by York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Obituary: Mittie Fortenberry Simmons, 1940 MS

Mittie Fortenberry Simmons
15 July 1894 MS – 24 August 1940 MS

Daughter of William Jackson Fortenberry & Canolia A.  Simmons
Wife of Ora L. Simmons

Photograph from Find A Grave
Memorial #165881938

Last Rites for Mittie Simmons

47-Year-Old Wife of Ora L. Simmons Died at Hazelhurst Home. Mrs. Mittie Fortenberry Simmons and daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jack Fortenberry, of the Silver Springs community, died at her home in Hazelhurst on Saturday, August 24, after an extended illness.

Funeral services were conducted by the Rev. J. B. Cain, of Hazelhurst, and the Rev. A. E. Pardue, of the Magnolia Baptist church, in the Baptist church of Hazelhurst. Internment followed in the Magnolia cemetery. 

Besides her husband, Mrs. Simmons is survived by two daughters, Mitzie Lee and Pattie, and two sons, Ora, Jr. and Andrew Glen; four sisters, Mrs. Lelia Denman, Franklinton, La.; Mrs. Myrtis Dodds, Meadville; Mrs. Sara Steinbrenner, Atlanta, Ga., and Mrs. Wanzie Tuttle, Birmingham, Ala.; five brothers, Furman, Glenn, Sheldon Fortenberry, of Atlanta, Ga., Dr. Andrew Fortenberry of Morgan City, La.; Victor Fortenberry, Washington, D. C.; and Lane Fortenberry of Detroit, Mich.; one sister-in-law, Mrs. E. J. Simmons, of Magnolia; and a brother-in-law, Hansford L. Simmons of McComb. 

Source: Last Rites for Mittie Simmons (McComb, MS: McComb Daily Journal, 27 Aug 1940) 1; digital image, accessed July 2018.

Monday, January 14, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: CHALLENGE

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  I completed '52 Ancestors' in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘CHALLENGE.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: CHALLENGE

Researching the surname BROWN is a CHALLENGE. I believe I can go into any library, select a genealogy reference book off a shelf and find Brown in the index. The name is too common. 

The problem is I must find the Browns who connect to my family. I have added 159 Browns to my Family Tree Maker program. They are spread over time, beginning in 1730 to today. They are spread over several states: North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio and New York. They have been farmers, mechanics, millwrights, soldiers and more.

Therefore, it is difficult to eliminate Browns who do not connect. I need to read through all those reference books & look at the details before I can find thecorrectBrowns. 

If there is a unique Brown who went his own, who started a branch of the family in a different state, it is likely I will not find him. 

Researching for Brown, my maiden name, is definitely a CHALLENGE.

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

1936 Alford Family Reunion, Mississippi

This newspaper clipping was a great find. The report of this family reunion gives information on several family members.

Alfords Meet in Reunion at Camp Ground.
Topisaw Scene of Festival as Descendants of Famous Family Reunite.

Aug. 17 (Special) – Needham E. Alford of Holmesville [Needham Edwin Alford, 1845-1937], a man who has four sons in the ministry and who lacks only two months of being 91 years of age, was guest of honor at the Alford family reunion here.

In 1881 B. S. [Barnabas Seaborn] Alford (father of L. E. [Lucius Edwin] Alford of Port Gibson, Miss.), his brother, Leander Alford, and their father, S. J. [Seaborn John] Alford, joined in building a frame tent that the families might be represented at the first meeting after the Civil War. This cabin has been kept on this spot for fifty-five years as a place of reunions, and Mr. and Mrs. Norman Alford brought the 1936 reunion about.

Mr. Needham Alford’s sons in the ministry are J. M. [Joseph Martin] and J. A. [Jason Abraham] Alford of the Louisiana Conference, L. F. [Louis Flemon] Alford of the Mississippi Conference, and C. W. [Caldwell Wellman] Alford of the Florida Conference.

At the reunion 

·     N. N. [Needham Nugent] Alford, a son of S. J. [Seaborn John] Alford and a half brother of the B. S. [Barnabas Seaborn] Alford, was present, with one son, Percy Alford;
·     Also Charley Edna Lewis, daughter of Emma Alford Lewis [daughter of Seaborn John Alford];
·     Robert S. Alford and wife of McComb,
·     J. M. [Joseph Martin] Alford, wife and two children of Tylertown;

Also the following descendants of B. S. Alford:
·     James B. Alford [James Barney Alford b c 1871 MS] and wife, 
·     L. W. [Lewis Wesley Alford, b c 1875] Alford and wife,
·     Norman Alford [b c 1880] and wife and sons, Mason and George, all of McComb;
·     Luke E. Alford [Lucius Edwin Alford b c 1873] of Port Gibson;
·     Dr. C. B. Alford, wife and son, L. E. Alford of Columbia;
·     Mr. and Mrs. D. M. Hayes of New Orleans (Mrs. Hayes being the youngest child and only daughter of B. S. Alford). [Carrie Mabel (Alford) Hayes b c 1886]

In commenting on this joyous reunion, L. E. [Lucius Edwin] Alford said, “The best of good things to eat spread on the dining room table added much to the joy of the occasion and showed that the depression was a thing of the past.”

My notes are in green. I changed the format of the article to list the names.

Source: Alfords Meet in Reunion at Camp Ground. (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 17 Aug. 1936) 1; digital image, accessed September 2018.