Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Report: Abstracts of Obituaries in LA & MS

Williams, E. Russ. Abstracts of Obituaries from the Minutes of the Magee's Creek Baptist Association (Mississippi and Louisiana), 1882 - 1924. Monroe, Louisiana: Privately printed, 1978.

During my visit to the Louisiana Archives in Baton Rogue I was able to leaf through a very useful book. I went straight to the index, found my surnames & headed to the photocopy machine. Once back home I was able to analyze my findings and found many of family members in the pages, especially Alford, Brumfield, Fortenberry & Smith surnames.

I enjoyed the language of the church records such as: She ‘was called from earth to heaven.’ And ‘He never turned one empty from the door, nor looked unpityingly upon the forms of suffering and sorrow around him; his heart yearned for the desolate, wept for the unfortunate, and his means were the property of the needy.’ The language reflects the thoughts of the times.

Most of the obituaries include this information:

  • Name
  • Birth Date & sometimes location
  • Death Date
  • Church membership
  • Name of Spouse & occasionally a marriage date

Here are some of the family names I found in this interesting book:

Jesse B. Alford 1855 – 1909
Margaret Alford 1819 – 1885 wife of John S. Alford

Cinderella Brumfield c1820 -1884 wife of J. W. Brumfield
Cinthia Brumfield 1804 – 1884 wife of Davis Brumfield
Elizabeth Brumfield 1808 – 1890 wife of Isaac Brumfield
J. A. Brumfield 1838 – 1914
John W. Brumfield 1811 - 1899 husband of Cinderella Lamer
Josiah Brumfield 1827 – 1897
Lula Brumfield 1878 – 1909 wife of H. J. Brumfield
Willis N. Brumfield 1834 – 1895 husband of Nancy E. Haley

Ibbey Fortenberry 1812 – 1886 daughter of William Fortenberry
Narcissa Fortenberry 1813 – 1800 wife of C. R. Fortenberry

Martha J. Sims 1863 – 1900 wife of John K. Fortenberry

Martha Simmons 1846 – 1885 daughter of John S. Alford

Calvin Smith 1812 – 1881 father of J. W. Smith
Eliza J. Smith - 1899 wife of J. C. Smith
Irine Bankston Smith 1859 – 1914 wife of Wyatt R. Smith
Jeremiah Smith 1821 – 1894 husband of Pernesa Smith
Lucrettie Smith 1825 – 1896 wife of W. D. Smith
Pernesa Smith 1820 – 1887 wife of Jeremiah Smith
Seletia E. Smith 1850 – 1902 wife of W. L. Smith
W. D. Smith 1818 – 1906

I’d like to return to the archives to browse through this book again. I’m sure I’d discover more family members in its pages. If you have the opportunity to read this and you have family in the area, you’ll be glad Mr. Williams assembled this information.

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