Thursday, January 20, 2022

Forget Me Not: John J. Brumfield, 1940 MS


John J. Brumfield

11 July 1865 MS – 11 January 1940 MS

Son of Joseph Warren Brumfield & Courtney Jane Simmons

Husband of Eliza Lee




Death Claims John Brumfield

Aged Resident Walker’s Bridge Community Passes


John J. Brumfield, 74, life-long resident of the Walker’s Bridge community died in a Tylertown hospital Thursday. Funeral services were held Friday at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Ed Simmons, of Mesa, with whom he had made his home for several years. Services were conducted by the Rev. W. R. Cooper.


In addition to Mrs. Simmons, Mr. Brumfield is survived by another daughter, Mrs. R. E. O’ Quin, of Magnolia and his sons, Virgil and Sid Brumfield, of Magnolia, and Lee Brumfield of New Orleans.



Source: Death Claims John Brumfield. (McComb, MS: McComb Daily Journal, 15 Jan 1940) 5; digital image, accessed March 2021. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Six Fortenberry Brothers

 These six Fortenberry brothers can be found in various newspapers & photographs. This article was published by the Tucker Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1963. I found it on Facebook. The photograph, below, was on Ancestry. I have no further source information. 

The G – Fs, Fortenberrys, That Is


Six brothers, reared on a 600 – acre Mississippi dairy and cotton farm, pooled their resources about 10 years ago – and through hard work, perseverance and fair dealings – have built a multi – million dollar construction, real estate, hardware and lumber business. 


They are the widely known Fortenberrys of Clarkston, Victor Everett, 47; Ferman Elmo, 46; Adrian W., 44; William Jackson (Jack), 42; Donald C., 38; and H. Clyde, 36.


Their fabulous success story – like that of many Americans – is grounded in a farm boyhood, a deep religious training, and a wonderful mother and father.


“For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” was a favorite Bible passage that the late F. E. Fortenberry quoted to his growing sons.


“And he believed in it and lived by it,” recalls Clyde, the youngest brother.


And of their 71 – year old mother, gray – haired, blue eyed Mrs. Ferman E. Fortenberry of Clarkston, her son, Jack summed it up:


“She was our guardian Angel. Without Mama, it would have been like driving a car without a motor.” 



Ferman Esco Fortenberry & 

Nellie Mae Simmons


Victor Everett Fortenberry b 11 Feb 1915 - 1995

Ferman Elmo Fortenberry b 5 Dec 1916 - 1982

Adrian Woodrow Fortenberry b 7 Dec 1918 - 1996

William Jackson Fortenberry b 7 Dec 1920 - 2002

Donald Curtis Fortenberry b 7 Dec 1924 - 1982

Homer Clyde Fortenberry b 16 Dec 1926 - 1978

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

MS Baptist Preacher: W J Fortenberry

This book, Mississippi Baptist Preachers, gives us information about Willis Fortenberry.


Willis James Fortenberry

28 Nov 1829 Pike Co., MS - 1 Oct 1905

Son of William Jasper Fortenberry & Violette Kennington

Husband of Louisa Blackwell


My 4th great uncle


W. J. Fortinberry, the subject of this sketch, was born in Pike County, Miss., Nov. 28, 1829. He was baptized into the fellowship of New Zion church in August, 1851, by Rev. Calvin Magee. By the same minister he was married, in October 1853, to Miss Louisa Blackwell. He was licensed to preach by New Zion church, August 17, 1861. He was ordained August 16, 1863, to the full work of the gospel ministry by order of New Zion church, Revs. B. A. Crawford, J. E. Pounds, J. C. Seal and I. N. Pigott constituting the presbytery. Immediately after his ordination he was called to the pastorate of New Zion church, which pastorate he has filled for a term of thirty-one consecutive years and which he still fills. In addition to the pastorate of New Zion church he has all these years had the pastoral care of three other churches in the vicinity, preaching to one for a number of years and then changing to another as circumstances directed. During his ministerial life he has been instrumental in constituting three churches. He has baptized about thirteen hundred persons, has assisted in the ordination of twelve ministers and a large number of deacons. His opportunities for attaining an education have been very limited. His entire time in school was about a year.


He writes, “I have all along run a farm in connection with my calling and this, with the small pittance that I received from my churches, has been my means of support for myself and family. I have often come home from my appointments, tired and weary, late Sunday afternoon, perhaps into the night; and have been obliged to go early Monday morning to the field with a hoe or between plow-handles. I have tried to preach the plain untarnished truth as revealed in the Divine Word and now feel as great a desire to proclaim the truth to sinners as I ever did. In November 1880, I was elected moderator of Magee’s Creek Association, which office I have held ever since.” 


God bless all these noble, self-sacrificing men who have worked all the week and gone out and preached on Sunday. Mr. Fortinberry’s address now is Tylertown, Miss.



Source: Foster, L. S. Mississippi Baptist Preachers (St. Louis, MO: National Baptist Publishing Company, 1895) 269 – 270; digital image ( accessed July 2021).





Friday, January 7, 2022

The Will of Allen Spurlock, 1841 MS

This will is of value for several reasons.  The dates & locations are important. Allen wrote this in 1841 & it was probated in 1864, both in Amite Co., MS. His wife's name, the names of children and a grandson are mentioned. 

This is a "new" branch for me to research. If there are errors, please contact me.

Allen Spurlock

August 1775 NC - August 1864 MS

Father of Mary Polly (Spurlock) Brown 

Grandfather of Allen Moses Brown

My 4th Great Grandfather

The last Will and Testament of 

Allen Spurlock deceased; 

The State of Mississippi, Amite County

 In the name of God Amen. I Allen Spurlock of the County and state above. Written being in good health of body and of sound mind and disposing mind and memory and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs which I have and capacity so to do, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following:


·      I will that all my just debts be first paid.

·      I will and bequeath unto my beloved wife Frances Spurlock the following described property Ten Head of Cattle, Ten Head of Sheep, Ten Head of Hogs, one Horse and one mule all of which are to be seleccted by herself one wagon and three yoke of Oxen, all of my Household and Kitchen furniture together with Mary a negroe woman and her child, Sam a negroe man, Jim a boy aged about seventeen years and Milley a girl about -?- years old to have, enjoy and hold the above mentioned property for and during her natural life after which I will that the same together with the increase there of be shared and divided equally amony my Respective children and grandchildren in the following manner Viz, my son Thomas J., William, Allen, and James M. Spurlock to have each a child’s part also my daughter Mary Brown to have a child’s part, my grand children of John Spurlock to have divided equally among them equally a child’s part and my grandson Benjamin F. Guamer to share and receive but half the interest in and to the above mentioned property to which his deceased mother Elizabeth Garner would have been entitled.

·      I further will and bequeath unto my beloved wife Frances the following landed property together with all the tenements improvements and buildings thereon for and during her natural life. -?- The South East quarter of Section Thirteen in Township Three of Range Five East containing one Hundred and Sixty four acres and eighty hundredths of an acre. The South west quarter of Section thirteen of Township three in Range five East of the basic Meridian line, and the South West quarter of Section thirteen of Towsnhip three in Range Five east of the basic Meridian of the ands described to be sold at Washington, -?- and at the death of my said wife. I then will that the above described lands together with all improvements and buildings thereon are bequeathed to my wife go to and belong to my three Sons, Allen, Thomas J., and James M. Spurlock to be divided by themselves or disposed of in such manner as they may think proper and best.

·      I further will that on division of my negroe property or procedes coming from the sale thereof three Hundred dollars to be discounted from the interest thereon to each of my three sons, Thomas J., Allen and James M. Spurlock because of the above gift of Lands which I have estimated at nine hundred dollars.

·      I will that my tract of Land commonly known and called the “Brown Tract” together with my farming utensils of every dewscription and such stock as are not herein mentioned and such as I may hereafter accumulate disposed of at public sale by my Executors.

·      I will that in case my grandson, Benjamin F. Garner should die not having attained the age of majority that then the interest and property have in before specified as bequeathed unto him be and revert back unto my Estate to be equally divided among heirs thereof.

·      The property herein specified as bequeathed unto my beloved daughter Mary Brown and all such property as she may inherit frommy Estate I will and desire shall go and belong to her and the heirs of her body exclusively. 

·      Whereas already made advances to my son Thomas J. Spurlock amounting to twelve hundred and twenty dollars. Therefore it is my will that on final division of the proceeds of my Estate, Three Hundred and seventy eight dollars and fifty eight cents be deducted from the amoung of his interest thereto because of this advance.

·      Whereas having made advances to my son Allen Spurlock amounting to twelve Hundred and eighty dollars. Therefore it is my will that on a final division of my Estate four Hundred and thirty eight dollars and fifty eight cents be deducted from the same out of his interest thereto beccause of this advance.

·      Hereas having made advances to my daughter Mary Brown amounting to Eleven Hundred dollars therefore it is my will that two Hundred and fifty eight dollars and fifty eight cents be deducted from the interest in my Estate on a final division thereof because of the advance.

·      Whereas having advanced to my son, John Spurlock four Hundred and forty dollars. Therefore to make his children equal it is my will that on final division of my Estate they have allotted to them by my Executors the sum of four Hundred and ond dollars and forty two cents over and above what would have been their share independent of this advance.

·      Whereas having advanced to my son William M. Spurlock on interest of nine Hundred dollars. Therefore it is my will that on final division of my Estate fifty eight dollars and fifty eight cents be discounted and held back from his interest there in because of his advance. 

·      Whereas having advanced to my deceased son Josiah Spurlock only five Hundred and fifty dollars in his lifetime, Therefore it is my will in order to make his children Equal, that my Executors have set aside two Hundred and ninety one dollars and forty two cents over and above what would have been their interest independent of this advance and to be equally divided amongst them.

·      Whereas having advanced to my son James M. Spurlock but four Hundred dollars. Therefore it is my will on a final division of my Estate that he have set aside to him four Hundred and forty one dollars and forty two cents in order to bring them up equal.

·      It is my will and attention that my grand son Benjamin F. Garner shall not have or inherit any thing more from my Estate than the interest to him mentioned in the second item.

·      It is my will that the balance of my negroe property and such other effects as may have not herein be mentioned I desire to be divided sold or disposed of by my Executors as circumstances may suggest according to the provisions of my will.

·      I do hereby Constitute and appoint my three sons Thomas J. Spurlock, Allen and James M. Spurlock as my lawful executors to carry out and execute this my last will and testament.

·      I do further will and bequeath unto my beloved son James M. Spurlock my tract of Land on the East side of the Amite River commonly known as the “Keith Place” (th enumber of which I have not now with me) containing one quarter Section and an eighth for which I charge him four Hundred and eighty dollars to be deducted out of his interest in and to my Estate upon final settlement and division of the same after my death.

·      It is my will and intention that my Estate be divided Equally among my -?- living children (including the advances already made and spoken of and that interest yet due them) and that my grandchildren herein before mentioned (except Banjamin F. Garner) have divided equally among them among them that portion and interest in and to my Estate to which this deceased parents would have been entitled.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17th day of November in the year of tour Lord 1841.                                                                                                Allen Spurlock (seal)

 Signed Sealed published and declared by the testators as said for his last will and ttestament in the presence of us who at his request in the presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnessed therto. E. M. Davis, E. L. Bramble, Clinton McGehee, F. C. Talbert  The State of Mississippi, Amite County


In the probate Court of said County at the August Term 1864. In the matter of a certain writing proporting to be the last will and testament of Allen Spurlock deceased. Be it remembered that at a term of the Probate Court of the County of Amite in the state aforesaid began and held at the Court House of said county on the Second Monday in August 1864 Personally appeared in open Court E. M. Davis one of the subscribing intreps to a certain instrument of writing proporting to be the last will and testament of Allen Spurlock late of said county deceased who first being duly sworn deposed and said that the said Allen Spurlock Signed published and dictated said instrument as his last will and testament on the 17th day of November 1841 the day of the date of said Insttrument in the presence of this deportment E. L. Brumble, Clinton McGehee and F. C. Talbot the other subscribing witness to said instrument. That said Testator was then of sound and disposing mind memory and the said E. L. Bramble, Clinton McGegee and F C. Talbert subscribed and attested said instrument as intrepes hereto the signature and publication thereof at the special instance and request in the presence of said Testator and in the precence of each other on the day and year of the date thereof and this -?- further says that the said Clinton McGehee and F. C .Talbot and declared as he is informed and believes. 


Sworn and subscribed before me on this day the 8th day Aug AD 1864. A. J. Whittington, Clerk; E. M. Davis


Source: US Wills and Probate Records, 1780 – 1982; MS, Amite; digital image, Ancestry ( accessed Oct. 2021) Allen Spurlock.



Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Got Cash? Buy a Soda Apparatus! 1844 LA


We have several Jacob Otts in our family and I do not know for certain which one was auctioning off this apparatus in 1844. However, the advertisement in the newspaper is intriguing. 

Soft drinks / Carbonated Water / Soda are older than we think. The origins of soft drinks lie in the development of fruit-flavored drinks. In the medieval Middle East, a variety of fruit-flavored soft drinks were widely drunk.Later, carbonation was added to various flavored drinks. Johann Jacob Schweppe developed a process to manufacture carbonated mineral water in the 1700’s in Geneva. I had not thought of any of our early ancestors drinking soft drinks until I read about Jacob Ott involved in this auction of a “soda apparatus”.


According to Wikipedia, “By the 1840s, there were more than fifty soft drink manufacturers – an increase from just ten in the previous decade.” Our Ott ancestors had a hand in the business. 

Source: Soda Apparatus. (New Orleans, LA: The Times Picayune, 23 April 1844) 3; digital image, accessed September 2021.









Thursday, December 30, 2021

Happy New Year, 2022!


I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever. 


 Neil Gaiman


Monday, December 27, 2021

Closed on Christmas

 My father, Delbert Keith Brown,
 ran a Shell gas station in Hudson, Columbia County, New York.
It was called Del's Shell by the Park.

Each Christmas Eve he cleared out the bays where auto repairs were normally done and he gave a party for customers with lots of food and beverages. On Christmas Day he closed the gas station. This 1964 clipping lists his reasons for closing as our mother and us children.

Above: 1964 Hudson Register Star Newspaper clipping

Above: Photo of my father working under the hood of a car at his gas station

Above: blank receipt from the gas station.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Germantown Fire Auxiliary Makes Plans for Santa

This newspaper clipping includes my mother, 

Alberta Joy Gardner Brown.

She was a member of the Germantown Fire Auxiliary.

The clipping from my archives, is dated December 1959, probably from the Hudson Register Star.


Firemen’s Ladies Plan a Christmas Tree


A Santa loaded with gifts for firemen and their wives and children is the focal point of planning by these women of the Germantown Fire Auxiliary. Santa will open Dec. 21 at 6:30 P. M. At the firehouse.


Seated from left:

Mrs. Herman Thoman, president of the Auxiliary,

Mrs. Raymond Moore and

Mrs. Raymond Funk.


Standing left to right:

Mrs. Richard Millington,

Mrs. Delbert Brown [my mother, Alberta Joy Gardner Brown],

Mrs. Robert Altman, and

Mrs. Douglas Dodge

This photograph of the Fire Ladies' Auxiliary from 1963 includes my mother. She is fourth from the right.

In this photograph from 1965 my mother is in the center, fifth from either side.

All of these photographs were taken by Howard Gibson who was a photographer in Columbia County, NY when I was growing up. His photos were often in the newspaper. He took his camera to schools, firehouses, churches, parades, parties, weddings and more.

Go to the website Photos by Gibson to see many more photos.
If you grew up in the area you might see yourself or your family.