Sunday, July 28, 2019

Forget Me Not: James Monroe Brumfield, 1899 MS

James Monroe Brumfield

14 February 1843 MS – 17 March 1899 MS
Son of Jesse Kelly Brumfield & Hannah Ann Youngblood
Husband of Sarah M. Prescott

Mr. J. Monroe Brumfield died at his home, about seven miles east of this place, on Friday morning the 17th, inst., He had been ill for several months, suffering with carbuncles, and death was a relief. He was a good man, and his death was a great loss to his family and the community where his useful life was spent. To the sorrowing ones we extend sympathy. 


The Southern Herald (Liberty, Mississippi) · 24 Mar 1899, Fri · Page 3
 Downloaded on Jun 2019 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

1905 Petition to Improve Louisiana Roads

As genealogists we usually track down our ancestors in records that show them as a single individual or family; they are in isolation. When I find more than one surname together I get excited. This newspaper article shows several of my family members signing a petition to improve roads in Washington Parish, Louisiana in 1905.

1905 Petition to Improve LA Roads

Petition. Franklinton, La. May 29, 1905. We, the undersigned citizens and taxpayers of the Parish of Washington, respectfully petition the President and Members of the Police Jury of said parish that you order an election after due publication for the purpose of levying a special tax of one dollar per head on all males 18 years of age and upwards, also a property tax of three and one-half mills on all property subject to taxation; that said tax be used for ditching, throwing up, cutting out and making up-to-date dirt roads in said parish; that said tax shall be spent under the supervision of the police jury, and that no money shall be expended by them without due regard to value received therefore; the said tax be carried upon a majority at said election voting therefore, and that said tax be levied for a period of five years beginning with the year 1906. Respectfully signed and submitted.

There is a long list of signatures. I have been able to identify these family members:

J. M. Alford                 Jeptha Martin Alford, 1862 – 1948
H. G. Alford                Hugh Ginn Alford, 1857 – 1923
J. L. Alford                   Jesse L. Alford, 1847 – 1911
J. B. Alford                   Jesse B. Alford, 1855 – 1909
E. J. Alford                   Edwin James Alford, 1846 - ?
M. J. Alford                 Milton John Alford, 1842 – 1921
O. E. Brock                 Ollie E. Brock, 1886 – 1969
E. W. Brock                Eli W. Brock, 1860 – 1925
Bill Brumfield               Could be one of several William Brumfields
L. M. Brumfield           L. McCauley Brumfield, 1886 – 1948
Josiah M. Brumfield     Josiah Brumfield, 1866 – 1928
M. J. Brumfield           Milton John Brumfield, 1842 - 1921
U. V. Brumfield           Uriah V. Brumfield, 1853 - 1934
Magee W. Ott             Magee Walter Ott, 1877 – 1951
W. R. Smith                Wyatt Rankin Smith, 1851 - 1923

There are more that I am guessing are family members but I cannot be sure.

Source: Petition. (Franklinton, LA: The Era-Leader, 5 August 1905) 6; digital image, accessed July 2019.

Friday, July 19, 2019

1969 Men Walk on the Moon 2019

An exciting, historic event!

I remember watching this on television. We would watch, then run outside to look at the moon, then go back inside to watch again. It was very exciting!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Forget Me Not: Jessie M Brumfield, 1891 MS // Sudden Death

Jessie Marion Brumfield

22 September 1843 - 8 January 1891
Son of Charles Brumfield & Harriet Knight
Husband of Mary E. Kelly

Sudden Death

Mr. Jessie Brumfield, well-known throughout the county, and who had many friends and relatives, died suddenly Thursday evening near Valley Station. He and Mr. John Murphy were together all day. In the evening, about 2 o’clock, Mr. Brumfield complained of feeling sleepy and lay down upon a bed. Mr. Murphy also laid down beside him, and dropped off to sleep. After sleeping for about two hours, he awoke and attempted to rouse Mr. Brumfield, when to his astonishment he found that he was dead. Mr. Murphy noticed no usual sound or struggle in Mr. Brumfield, and thinks he must have died from heart failure, from which he suffered at times. Mr. Murphy thinks he had been dead about two hours before he knew it.

Mr. John Brumfield, brother of the deceased, and deputy Circuit Clerk, was notified Friday morning, leaving at once to the burial, which took place that evening. 

Mr. Brumfield leaves a wife and several children to mourn his death, who have the sympathy of many in the sudden death of their husband and father.

The Yazoo Herald (Yazoo City, Mississippi) · 9 Jan 1891, Fri · Page 5 
Downloaded on June 2019 

                                  Photo from Find A Grave Memorial #68887328

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Books: South Carolina History

In writing about my family I find history to be a wonderful tool to understand their lives. Finding a book on the history of a state or county makes me smile. A digital book is useful but I love handling a book, turning the pages & writing in the margins.

My father’s family had branches in South Carolina. I have researched many relatives in the state. Including: 

§  Alexander Brumfield b 1811 York, SC
§  Charles Brumfield 1796 York Co, SC – 1870
§  David Brumfield 1795 York Co, SC – 1863
§  Elijah Brumfield b 1805 York, SC
§  Isaac Brumfield 1801 York Co, SC – 1862 MS
§  James Brumfield 1803 York, SC
§  Jesse Kelly Brumfield 1807 York SC – 1884
§  John Brumfield c1768 – 1834 LA; lived in York Co, SC
§  Willis Brumfield 1794 in York Co, SC – 1833
§  Israel Faulkenberry c 1784 Lancaster, SC – 1861 AL
§  Nathaniel Faulkenberry b c 1788 Lancaster SC
§  Calvin Kennington Fortenberry 1806 Lancaster, SC – 1877
§  Gasua Chapman Fortenberry 1805 Lancaster Co, SC – 1884 MS
§  William Jasper Fortenberry c 1772 Lancaster Co, SC – 1842
§  William John Fortenberry 1814 Lancaster Co, SC – 1896
§  William M Fortenberry 1799 Lancaster, SC – 1867
§  Joanna (Dillon) Smith 1778 NC – c 1821 MS; lived in SC
§  Jeremiah Smith 1773 SC – 1843 MS
§  Martha P (Smith) Alford 1802 SC – 1861 MS
§  Jacob Ott II 1755 Orangeburg, SC – 1816
§  Jacob Ott III 1774 Orangeburg, SC – 1836 LA
§  Melchoir Ott 1699 Switz – 1755 Orangeburg SC

To help understand their lives I have these books which I recommend to you:

·     Edgar, Walter. South Carolina, A History (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1998). 
·     Ervin, Sara Sullivan. South Carolinians in the Revolution(Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976).
·     Logan, John H. A History of the Upper Country of South Carolina(Charleston, SC: S. G. Courtney & Co., 1859).
·     Salley, A. S., Jr. The History of Orangeburg County, South Carolina(Westminister, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 2011). 
·     Weir, Robert M. Colonial South Carolina (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1997).

I especially like to learn the social history of an area. What was everyday life like there? How did they earn money? Were there schools? What was their method of transportation? Was it an isolated area? What was life for women like? I always have more questions. Ha!

Do you have a book on the early history of South Carolina that you would recommend? 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday's Obituary: Martha E. Bickham Brumfield, 1893 MS

Martha Elizabeth Bickham Brumfield

24 October 1840 - 4 November 1893
Wife of Henry Sims Brumfield 

Photo from Find A Grave Memorial # 170863576

Brumfield – On Saturday, Nov. 4th. 1893, at home of her husband Mr. Henry S. Brumfield, 9 miles east of Magnolia, Mrs. Martha Bickham Brumfield, aged 53 years and 10 days.

The death of this good lady has caused many to mourn. She was born in Washington parish, La., and has numerous relatives in that State, also in Texas, who will regret that she is no more, while the grief of those at home, more closely connected with her by the ties of kindred and friendship, is indeed poignant.

She was a noble Christian woman and her place will be hard to fill in the community in which she lived, as well in the home life of which she was the centre. 

The bereaved husband, Mr. H. S. Brumfield, is one of the best known men in this portion of the State, having held the office of treasurer of Pike county for sixteen successive years, and his popularity is coextensive with his acquaintance. Of the fourteen children born to them, thirteen are living, seven of whom are married. To these, as well as the grandchildren and other relatives, the Gazette extends sincere sympathy, coupled with a hope that they may all meet again on the blisstal shore of Eternity. 

The McComb City Enterprise (McComb, Mississippi) · 16 Nov 1893, Thu · Page 3
Downloaded June 2019

According to Find A Grave, the children of Martha & Henry [memorial #170863576]:

1. Mary Emma Brumfield (1857-1950)
2. Sarah Lucinda Brumfield (1858-1946)
3. Jesse T. Brumfield (1859-1932)
4. Leah Louise Brumfield (1861-1862)
5. Hannah Elizabeth Brumfield (1864-1950)
6. Martha Lucie Brumfield (1866-1939)
7. John Benjamin Brumfield (1868-1952)
8. Alice Bickham Brumfield (1870-1953)
9. Dora Amanda Brumfield (1872-1897)
10. Charles Edgar Brumfield (1874-1959)
11. Henry Sims Brumfield (1876-1959)
12. Dudley Atkinson Brumfield (1879-1971)
13. Myrt Sandiage Brumfield (1884-1959)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Richard Dillon, Revolutionary War Soldier

Richard Dillon

1745 VA - 1833 MS
son of James Theopilous & Mary Dillon
My 5x great grandfather

Here is an exert from my book in progress, 'Our Brown Roots'.
 I am sharing it here to celebrate Independence Day by telling the tale of just one soldier who helped to win our independence. 

Richard Dillon, Revolutionary War soldier, was born 7 October 1745 in Norfolk in the Virginia Colony[i][ii]and became an apprentice to a cooper when he was 12 years old. He was bound to Christopher Harrison until he turned 21 as he was taught the business of being a cooper.[iii]The prevalent theory is Richard’s father died and therefore he was bound as an apprentice to learn a trade and support himself.
            A cooper made barrels, or casks, which were cylindrical wooden containers. They may have held flour, gunpowder, tobacco or liquids like wine or milk. Casks served as shipping containers.[iv]

Many colonial coopers worked on plantations to produce the many hogsheads needed to ship tobacco from Virginia to Great Britain. Other coopers worked in towns like Williamsburg, turning staves and hoops into everything from butter churns to tubs. Large plantations often trained slaves in the trade. Coopers could also be found on military and merchant vessels, since casks were common aboard ships.[v]

            In 1764, when Richard was 19 years old, he was living in Bertie County, North Carolina. He was still with Christopher Harrison under whom he apprenticed as a cooper. The county’s tax list shows Richard as a ‘white servant’.[vi]He continued in the same situation through 1768[vii]. At that time Richard must have completed his apprenticeship and moved on, using his skills as a cooper on other farms. In 1770 he was a ‘white servant’ for Thomas Sutton[viii]. In 1772 he worked for Humphrey Nichols[ix].
            Beginning in 1774, when he was 29, Richard Dillon established his own home in Bertie County[x]. He was no longer shown as another man’s servant but was shown as a taxpayer in the county. He witnessed a will in May 1777.[xi]
By the time Richard lived in the county it already had a long history.

By the start of the American Revolution, Bertie County had undergone two centuries of change. It had evolved from the tranquil home of the Meherrin and Tuscarora to a thriving English colony with large prosperous tobacco plantations worked by thousands of African, Native Americans, and mixed-blood slaves. It had developed lucrative trading ties with its neighbors Virginia and South Carolina, as well as intercolonial and international trade with New England, Britain, and the British Caribbean. By 1774, Bertie County was one of the most prosperous counties in North Carolina. It had benefited greatly from being adjacent to Edenton, the colonial capital, and from serving as home for five colonial governors who guided the colony through difficult times.[xii]

Richard Dillon married Anne Lawrence, daughter of Humphrey Lawrence and Ann Ashley. The Lawrence family had lived in Bertie County for many years and Richard was there at least a dozen years before his marriage, circa 1776. Their children were: Joanna (Dillon) Smith, Nancy Ann (Dillon) Stallings, Lawrence Dillon, Clarkston Dillon, Willis D. Dillon, Mary (Dillon) Morris, Theopilous Dillon, Clarissa Clara (Dillon) Smith and Sarah (Dillon) Graves.[xiii]
Richard served in the Revolutionary War. When applying for a pension he said:

…he was drafted under Captain John Faulk in Bertie County, North Carolina, marched from thence to Northwest River Bridge in the month of March, next to headquarters and placed under Colonel Bluntin Maginnis, but has no recollection of the names of any of the subaltern officers nor their places of residence, was also commanded by General Gregory Cloissiant himself, resided when drafted near Edenton Sound Bertie County, North Carolina, claimant entered the service in the year 1781 served in one battle under Gregory at the North West River Bridge and served one three months tour under him, received his discharge and returned home,  Afterwards in the summer of 1781. Enlisted on Board of Privateer Greyhound commanded by Captain Saml Butler and remained on Board until he was taken prisoner by Frigate Baloosa bearing 36 guns and commanded by Captain Kennedy a Scotsman, and has no particular recollection of the length of time he was a Prisoner of War but as well as he recollects nine months, and that paroled upon honor, can't recollect of any man living who can prove the services here referred to, has no documentary evidence at all, and herby relinquishes any claim whatsoever to a pension of annuity except the present, and declares that my name is not on the pension roll of any agency in the state.[xiv]
Richard said he served on a privateer. Those vessels had an important role in the war.

When the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, the infant nation was in no position to defy British rule of the seas. Britain’s navy in 1776 was the world’s most powerful. States individually outfitted vessels of war and Congress established a navy, but it was a slow beginning. At no point in the conflict did the American naval forces have adequate resources to confront the Royal Navy on its own terms. The Royal Navy—once the protector of American shipping—now made every effort to suppress and destroy it. The Americans responded to the situation with the time-honored practice of privateering. Privateering encompassed two levels of participation. A Letter of Marque authorized armed merchant ships to challenge any likely enemy vessel that crossed its path during the course of a commercial voyage. A Privateer Commission was issued to vessels, called privateers or cruisers, whose primary objective was to disrupt enemy shipping. The ideal target was an unarmed, or lightly armed, commercial ship. Vessels of every size and description were pressed into service as privateers. Privateers achieved the best results if they could bluff an opponent into believing opposition was futile. When this failed the result was often vicious combat with unpredictable results. Many privateers were captured or sunk when the odds were against them. In spite of all the risks and hazards, the overall effort to cripple Britain's commercial fleet was highly effective, and fortunes destined to finance the new republic were made.[xv]

Following his time fighting for freedom, Richard was living again in Bertie County.  In 1783 he owned 150 acres of land.[xvi]In August 1785 Richard and Anne sold a tract of land in Bertie County to Benjamin Terlinton.[xvii]In February 1787 William Billips, William Cook and Richard Dillon were appointed “searchers in Capt. Ashburn’s District.”[xviii]In the same month Frederick James was bound to Richard “to learn the trade of a Cooper.”[xix]In November 1789 Richard and Anne sold another piece of land. They sold this land to Andrew Stanton.[xx]Richard and Anne were most likely selling their land because of their upcoming move across the border to South Carolina.
The family next lived in the Barnwell District of South Carolina, moving there about 1790.[xxi]The 1800 census report shows Richard in Barnwell District with six family members and six slaves.[xxii]They did not stay in South Carolina long but continued moving south to Mississippi where they would stay.

By 1810 Dillon was a resident of Amite County (listed in the 1810 Census for that year). In that same year he obtained a land grant in Marion County in a portion of the county that later became Pike County. This was probably the land that became known as ‘Dillon’s Bridge’.[xxiii]

That part of southern Mississippi was the Piney Woods which was “large in land but small in population.” 

Historically, the Piney Woods was settled by a few hardy pioneers, who made a living through a combination of lumbering, small farms, and commerce. Those independent families came to Mississippi with little money and could not afford to buy the richer lands of the prairies or the Delta.[xxiv]

At the time of the War of 1812 the Dillons were in Mississippi. Richard’s sons, Clarkston, Theopilous and Willis D., enlisted in the Mississippi Territory Militia on 3 January 1815 and served until April of the same year.[xxv]
While living in Mississippi Richard and at least three of his sons lived close together. In 1819 Richard Dillon purchased two tracts of land, 160 acres each, in Walthall County, “west of the Pearl River”.[xxvi]The following year his son, Clarkston Dillon, purchased 160 acres that were also “west of the Pearl River”.[xxvii]The 1820 census showed Richard with several family members and 13 slaves. His sons, Lawrence Dillon, Clarkston Dillon and Willis D. Dillon lived close by.[xxviii]In 1825 Richard and his son, Lawrence, of were joint owners 80 more acres in the same area.[xxix]
Richard may have become an ancestor whose life’s story faded with time as has happened with many men of that era. However, an important document survives which details his life, especially his military service. His pension application survives. On 26 August 1776 the Continental Congress enacted the first pension law which gave benefits to any officer, soldier or sailor who had lost a limb in battle or who was so disabled in service that rendered him unable to earn a living. At that time the Congress actually had no money and relied on the states to give money to the veterans. Over the years pension benefits were expanded to include more veterans. On 7 June 1832 Congress extended those benefits more widely than previously. This act provided for full pay for life for all officers and enlisted men who served at least 2 years in the Continental Line, the state troops or militia, the navy or marines. Men who served less than 2 years but at least 6 months were granted pensions of less than full pay. Almost 28,000 veterans claimed pensions under this 1832 act. One of the veterans who traveled to his local courthouse to apply for a pension was 87-year-old Richard Dillon. Veterans or their widows were required to file applications detailing their military service and other information about themselves and their families. Most of the early documents were destroyed by fire in Washington, D. C. Later documents survive and are protected at the National Archives.[xxx],[xxxi]Richard Dillon’s original application with his signature is preserved there for the future and the digital image is available for anyone to view. [A transcript of that application is included in this chapter.] His pension request was not decided until after his death. In November 1833 his request was rejected.[xxxii]
Richard Dillon died 7 October 1833 and is buried in the Smith Cemetery in Dillontown, Mississippi.[xxxiii]After his death his sons, Lawrence and Willis settled his estate as evidenced by a newspaper notice.

Letters testamentary having been granted to the undersigned last Nov’r. term of the Probate Court of Pike County, on the estate of Richard Dillon, late of said county deceased – Notice is herby given to all those having claims against said estate, to present them, duly authenticated, to the undersigned, within the time prescribed by law, or they will be barred. Willis Dillon, Lawrence Dillon.[xxxiv]

'Our Brown Roots' is a work in progress.

[i]Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA, Pension #R2959, Fold3 ( November 2017) Richard Dillon.
[ii]Mississippi Genealogical Society, Mississippi Cemetery and Bible Records, Vol. 7(Jackson, MS, 1960) digital image, Genealogy Gophers( accessed May 2018) 83-84, The Hollingsworth Bible.
[iii]Haun, Weynette Parks, Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1740 thru 1743; 1758 thru 1762. Book II (North Carolina: 1977). 
[iv]Cooper; digital image, Colonial Williamsburg ( accessed Sept. 2018).
[v]Cooper; digital image, Colonial Williamsburg ( accessed Sept. 2018).
[vi]Pruitt, A. B., List of Taxables 1755-1764, Bertie County, N. C.(NC: privately printed, 2009) 73.
[vii]Pruitt, A. B., List of Taxables 1765-1771, Bertie County, N. C.(NC: privately printed, 2009) 34.
[viii]Pruitt, A. B., List of Taxables 1765-1771, Bertie County, N. C.(NC: privately printed, 2009) 65.
[ix]Pruitt, A. B., List of Taxables 1772-1784, Bertie County, N. C.(NC: privately printed, 2010) 4.
[x]Pruitt, A. B., List of Taxables 1772-1784, Bertie County, N. C.(NC: privately printed, 2010) 22.
[xi]Almasy, Sandra L. Bertie County, North Carolina Wills 1761 – 1780(Joliet, Illinois: Kensington Glen Publishing, 1990) 124. 
[xii]Smallwood, Arwin D., Bertie County: An Eastern Carolina History(Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002) 67.
[xiii]Conerly, Luke War, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi, 1798 – 1910 (SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989) 117-119.
[xiv]Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files; NARA catalog 300022, Record group 15; digital image, Fold3 ( accessed Oct. 2018) Richard Dillon.
[xv]Frayler, John, ‘Privateers in the American Revolution’, The American Revolution; digital image, National Park Service ( accessed Oct. 2018).
[xvi]Pruitt, A. B., List of Taxables 1772-1784, Bertie County, N. C.(NC: privately printed, 2010) 98.
[xvii]Haun, Weynette Parks. Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1781 thru 1787.Book V (Durham, North Carolina: 1982) 81. 
[xviii]Haun, Weynette Parks. Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1781 thru 1787.Book V (Durham, North Carolina: 1982) 123. 
[xix]Haun, Weynette Parks. Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1781 thru 1787.Book V (Durham, North Carolina: 1982) 126. 
[xx]Haun, Weynette Parks. Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1788 thru 1792.Book VI (Durham, North Carolina: 1982) 46. 
[xxi]Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA, Pension #R2959, Fold3 ( November 2017) Richard Dillon.
[xxii]1800 US Census, SC, Barnwell District; digital image, Ancestry( accessed November 2017) Richard Dillon.
[xxiii]Conerly, Luke Ward and E. Russ Williams Jr.,Source Records of Pike/Walthall Counties Mississippi, 1798-1910 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989) 117.
[xxiv]Loewen, James W. and Charles Sallis. Mississippi: Conflict & Change (NY: Pantheon Books, 1974) 22.
[xxv]Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812 in Organizations from the Territory of Mississippi; NARA; Fold3 ( Aug 2017).
[xxvi]US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Accession #CV0110-145; 1819; digital image ( accessed April 2019) Richard Dillon in MS.
[xxvii]US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Accession #CVo111-126; 1820; digital image ( accessed April 2019) Clarkston Dillon in MS.
[xxviii]1820 US Census, MS, Pike; digital image, Ancestry( accessed November 2017) Richard, Lawrence, Clarkston and Willis Dillon.
[xxix]US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Accession #Cv0122.118; 1825; digital image ( accessed April 2019) Richard Dillon & Lawrence Dillon in MS.
[xxx]Graves, Will. An Overview of Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Legislation and the Southern Campaigns Pension Transcription Project; digital image ( accessed November 2017).
[xxxi]Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files; NARA catalog 300022, Record group 15; digital image, Fold3 ( accessed Oct. 2018) Richard Dillon.
[xxxii]Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files; NARA catalog 300022, Record group 15; digital image, Fold3 ( accessed Oct. 2018) Richard Dillon.
[xxxiii]US Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963; March 1957; Old Smith Cemetery, Dillontown, MS; digital image, Ancestry( accessed November 2017) Richard Dillon.
[xxxiv]Notice.(Jackson, MS: The Weekly Mississippian, 31 Jan. 1834) 4; digital image, accessed January 2018.

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