Sunday, August 2, 2020

Forget Me Not: G. K. Fortenberry, 1959 MS; Genealogist


 If you have researched the Fortenberry family you may have read “The Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family" by G. K. Fortenberry. He was like many of us; learning about his family & recording his findings for future generations.Wish I could have thanked him for all his work.
[Note: On his book he spelled his name 'Fortinberry' but his obituary spelled it 'Fortenberry' as most of the family does.]


George Kellie Fortenberry
23 March 1889 MS – 28 Aug 1959 MS
Son of Willis Monroe Fortenberry & Victoria May

World War I Veteran

My 2nd cousin 3x removed




Rev. G. K. Fortenberry Dies at 70. The Reverend G. K. Fortenberry, Baptist minister and family historian, died at Amite, La. Friday. Funeral services were held Sunday from the First Baptist Church of Amite, with the Rev. O. B. Robertson and Dr. Sam R. Gordon in charge. 

Burial was in the Amite city cemetery.

George Kellie Fortenberry was born near Tylertown, March 23, 1889, a son of Willis Monroe Fortenberry and Vickie May Fortenberry and a grandson of the Rev. Willis Fortenberry, pioneer Baptist preacher of Southwest Mississippi.

Kellie was educated at Mississippi College and the New Orleans Baptist Bible Institute, and was ordained to the ministry at Gretna, La., April 18, 1920.

He served many months in World War I, part of the time overseas. An American flag on the casket was presented to the family through the American Legion. 

Besides his work in the ministry, he spent many years gathering data on the Fortenberry Family, and in 1942 had published a volume, “Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family.” He was widely known as an authority on family relationships.

He held pastorates in Baptist churches at Independence, Sunny Hill, and Zachary, La., Silver Springs church in Pike County and other places.

On Aug. 19, 1922, Kellie was married to Miss Clare Miller, who survives him. One son also survives, George Kellie Fortenberry Jr., an uncle, W. M. May, lives in McComb, and there are many other relatives in this area. 



Source: Rev. G. K. Fortenberry Dies at 70. (McComb, MS: Enterprise - Journal, 1 Sep 1959) 8; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed June 2020).

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Estate of Sims Kelly



Newspapers.com is filled with interesting information about our ancestors. I recently found a series of articles concerning the estate of Sims Kelly. His son, Samuel Camp Kelly, was the executor of the estate which was not settled for several years. These articles give information on Sims’ children, his personal belongings and the location of his land. There are more articles than I have transcribed here but there are many duplicates. 


Sims Kelly

11 March 1784 NC – 17 Jul 1860 AL
Son of William Stark Kelly & Mary Frances Durham
Husband of Mary Camp

My 1st Cousin, 5x removed





This newspaper clipping concerned with the estate of Sims Kelly is filled with information about his children. Not only does it list his sons, it also names daughters, giving their maiden names & the names of their husbands. I don’t think I have ever seen that before. Sims & Mary Kelly were the parents of 13 children. Eight are named below. One child died before their father. Nancy Grace (Kelly) Miller died in 1843 TN. Her family is mentioned in the Will. Martha (Kelly) Gladden is not mentioned but James A. Gladden is mentioned; Mary Ann (Kelly) Bryon is not mentioned but Jesse U. Bryon is mentioned; Ava Ann (Kelly) Hendrick is not mentioned but John ‘Hendrix’ is mentioned; and Emmeline Amanda (Kelly) Draper is not mentioned but Joshua Draper is mentioned. These could be the husbands of those sisters. This accounts for all the children of Sims Kelly.


September 1860


The State of Alabama, Calhoun County, Court of Probate for said County, Special Term, September 4th, A. D. 1860.This day came Samuel C. Kelly [Samuel Camp Kelly], Joshua Draper, Jesse U. Bryan, John Hendrix, and James A. Gladden, and filed in Court their petition in writing, representing that Sims Kelly, lately died at his residence in said County, leaving a paper writing, purporting to be the last Will and Testament of the said Sims Kelly, deceased and in which petitioners are respectfully appointed the Executors thereof, and they herewith present the same, and ask that it be probated, established and admitted to record, as the last Will and Testament of the said Sims Kelly deceased, and that Letters Testamentary issue to them upon the estate of the said Sims Kelly, deceased. 

Heirs at law of said decedent, to wit:

·     William C Kelly [William Clark Kelly],
·     Benjamin G Kelly [Benjamin Gerard Kelly],
·     And Elizabeth McLemore, late Elizabeth Kelly, and now wife of Daniel McLemore,
Who are all of full age and reside in the State of Texas,

·     Albert Kelly, [Albert Gallatin Kelly] which is full age and resides in the State of Mississippi,

·     James S Kelly [James Sims Kelly],
·     Sallie Moore, late Sallie Kelly, and now the wife of Aaron Moore,
·     and Nancy Meek [Nancy Grace Kelly],
all of whom are under twenty one years of age and reside in the State of Arkansas,

Mary Frances Miller,
Robert S Miller,
Sarah K Miller,
And Albert Miller,
All of whom who are over twenty one years of age and reside in the State of Tennessee].


It is therefore ordered by the Court, that the 8thday of October, A. D. 1860, be set for the probate & c., of said Will, and that thereof be given to non residents Heirs, by publication in the Jacksonville Republican, a weekly newspaper printed and published in said County, for three successive weeks, prior to said day as a notice to non resident Heirs and Legatees of said estate, to be and appear at a Regular Term of said Court, to be holden at Court House of said County, on the 8thday of October, A. D. 1860, and show cause, if any they have why said paper in writing should not be probated, established and admitted to record as the last Will and Testament of the said Sims Kelly, dec. and Letters Testamentary issue thereon if they think proper.

Witness. A Woods, Judge of said Court at Office this 4thday of September A. D. 1860

A. Woods Judge of Probate
September 1860

Source: The State of Alabama. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 6 Sept 1860)  2; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).


November 1860

Executor’s Notice. Letters testamentary on the estate of Sims Kelly dec’d, having been granted to the undersigned by the Hon. A. Woods Judge of the Probate Court of Calhoun co., Ala., on the 26thday of Oct., 1860, all persons having claims against said estate are herby notified to present them, legally authenticated within the time prescribed by law, or they will be barred. Samuel C. Kelly, Executor, Nov. 1. 1860

Source: Executor’s Notice. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 15 Nov. 1860) 4; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).



January 1861

Executor’s Sale of Personal Property. Under and by virtue of an Order and Decre of the Probate court of Calhoun County, Alabama, made on the 8thday of December, 1860, I will proceed to sell, on Monday the 14thday of January A. D. 1861, at the late residence of Sims Kelly, deceased the following Personal Property belonging to the Estate of the said Sims Kelly, deceased, to wit:

One mare, six head of Mules, Several hundred bushels Corn, Wheat, Oats, Fodder, 2 wagons, one Cart, Cattle, Hogs and Sheep, Blacksmith and Farming Tools, One buggy and Harness.

Terms of Sale, will be a credit of twelve months with interest from date. Note with two good and sufficient securities will be required to secure the purchase money. Cleared land will be rented at the same time and place. Samuel C. Kelly, Exr. Dec. 13, 1860

Executor’s Sale of Personal Property. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 10 Jan 1861) 1; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).



April 1862

Notice. During my absence, James S. Kelly is my authorized agent to transact business of the estate of Sims Kelly, deceased. Apr. 3, 1862.  S. C. Kelly, Ex’r

Source: Notice. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 3 April 1862) 3; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).



October 1864

Notice. A Valuable Plantation & House to Rent. By virtue of an order from the Probate court of Calhoun county, I will proceed to rent the land belonging to the Estate of Sims Kelly, deceased on Saturday the 5thNovember to the highest bidder for twelve months at the residence of Sims Kelly deceased, will commence renting by 11 o’clock A. M. Terms made known on the day of renting. S. C. Kelly, Executor of Sims Kelly deceased; October 27, ‘64

Source: Notice. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 27 Oct. 1864) 1; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).



August 1868


Executor’s sale. Valuable Plantation. 1, 2 & 3 Years Credit. By virtue of a degree of the Probate court of Calhoun county, Ala., I will, as the Executor of the estate of Sims Kelly, deceased, sell on Friday the 9thday of October next, upon the premises, four miles south of Jacksonville, at 42 M., the valuable plantation of Sims Kelly, deceased, containing about 840 acres, viz:

The North half of Section 33; and also the north east fourth of the south west fourth of said section 33; also the south east fourth of section 28; and the east half of the south west fourth of said section 28; also the east half of the north east fourth of section 32; all in Township 14 of Range 8 east in said county. 

The place will be sold on One, Two and Three years credit, with interest from date – the purchaser to give notes with approved security and titles made when purchase money is paid.

This is one of the most desirable places in the County – over 300 acres in cultivation – abundance of excellent timbered land – good Dwelling, two-story framed – with out buildings  - a never failing spring – fine Orchard – splendid range adjoining for Cattle and Sheep – for health unsurpassed by any plantation in the county.

S. C. Kelly, Executor

Jesse U. Bryan resides on the place, and will with pleasure show the premises to persons desiring to purchase.

For further particulars, address me at Oxford, Ala. SCK August 1, 1868


Source: Executor’s Sale. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 29 Aug. 1868) 4; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Forget Me Not: Bernarr Jesse Reynolds, 1995 MS

Bernarr Jesse Reynolds


1925 MS - 1995 MS

son of Donald H. Reynolds & Thelma Lady Brown
Grandson of Jasper Pascal Brown & Rose Ella Brumfield

Husband of Jessie Elizabeth Overby

World War II Veteran, US Army

My 1st Cousin, Once Removed

Forget Me Not



B. J. Reynolds, 69, of Magnolia, died Feb. 1, 1995, at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. Visitation will be from noon Saturday at Hartman Funeral Home of McComb until services at 2 p.m. Saturday in the funeral home chapel, with the Rev. Byron Wilkinson officiating. Burial will be in Silver Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Pike County. Mr. Reynolds was born in Hinds County [Pike Co.],the son of Thelma Nelson. He was a retired chef for an offshore catering company, Ocean Butler Inc. of New Orleans. He was a U. S. Army veteran of World War II and a member of Silver Springs Baptist Church. He is survived by two sons, Michael Reynolds, of New London, Conn., and Patrick Reynolds, of Lexington, Ky.; and one daughter, Becky Dickens of Bowling Green, Ky.; and one grandson, Jonathan Dickens of Bowling Green.[i]



[i]B. J. Reynolds. (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 3 Feb. 1995) 14; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed May 2020.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Three Alfords Killed Tragically, 1959 Texas



Sometimes a random genealogy search can take you to a place you had not anticipated. While looking for information about my Great Aunt Ina L. (Brown) Alford, I found these newspaper accounts of the deaths of two of her grandsons, sons of Bruce L. Alford. 

On 7 November 1959 Ina’s two grandsons, Bruce David Alford and Roy Edwin Alford, and their wives were traveling in a car north on US Route 75 near Ennis, Texas. For reasons unexplained in the newspaper accounts of the accident, their car collided head on with a pickup truck containing four people. The highway patrolman who responded to the scene of the accident said, “the two vehicles met with such force that they were ‘welded’ together.” Bruce, 22, and his sister-in-law, 17-year old Mary, died instantly. Bruce’s wife and his brother were unconscious and taken to the hospital. Roy Edwin Alford, 20 years old, died the next day. Roy and Mary had a little son, Billy Dwayne Alford who was not in the car. Bruce’s wife was the only one in the car to survive the accident. There was a combined funeral service for Bruce, Roy and Mary Alford and they were buried in Laurel Land Memorial Park. This terrible accident must have brought sorrow to all members of the Brown and Alford family.





Bruce David Alford 
 6 August 1937 - 7 November 1959 TX

Roy Edwin Alford 
15 January 1939 - 8 November 1959 TX

The brothers were my 2nd cousins.

Mary Alford , wife of Roy 
 c 1942 - 7 November 1959 TX





These three newspaper articles tell the story as it unfolded. Other newspapers also reported the accident but they give no additional information. 


Ennis. Nov. 7. Two persons were killed Saturday night and six others were critically injured n a grinding, head-on collision of a pickup truck and an automobile on U. S. 75 five miles south of Ennis. The dead were identified as Bruce David Alford, 22, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Roy Alford, 17, both of Irving. Both were occupants of the automobile. Three of the six taken to Ennis hospital were unconscious. The injured included Roy Alford, 20, and Mrs. Bruce Alford, 22, the other occupants of the car; Woodrow Wilson Morehead, 36, R. J. Rutledge, 59 of Houston, and Joseph Starr of Irving. The Moreheads, Rutledge and Starr were in the pickup. Mrs. Bruce Alford, Mrs. Morehead, and Starr all were unconscious. A hospital spokesperson said the condition of all six of the hospitalized was critical. Highway Patrolman R. H. Pecot of Ennis said the two vehicles came together head-on. Both were demolished. The Alford car was traveling north towards Irving. 

Source: Head-On Wreck Near Ennis Kills Two; Six Hurt Critically (Fort Worth, TX: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 8 Nov. 1959) 20; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed May 2020).

Ennis. Nov. 8. Roy Alford, 20, of Irving died in a hospital here Sunday, the third person to die of injuries received Saturday night when a car and a pickup truck collided head-on. His wife, Mary, and brother, Bruce, driver of the car in which they were riding, died instantly in the crash on U. S. 75, five miles south of Ennis. Of those in the car, only Mrs. Bruce Alford survives. Her condition and the conditions of four persons in the pickup were described by a hospital spokesman Sunday as satisfactory. Those in the pickup included Woodrow Wilson Morehead, 36, and his wife, Laura, both of Irving, and R. J. Rutledge, 59 of Houston and Joseph Starr of Irving. The Alford car with its four occupants was traveling north towards Irving when the collision happened. Highway Patrolman R. H. Pecot of Ennis said the two vehicles met with such force that they were “welded” together. 

Source: Collision Deaths Mount to Three (Fort Worth, TX: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Nov. 1959) 24; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed May 2020. 


Combined funeral services for three Irvingites, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Alford and Roy’s brother, Bruce David Alford, were held Monday in Lamar and Smith Funeral Home. Rev. Howard Conatesner officiated. Burial was in Laurel Land Memorial Park. The three were killed in a 2-vehicle, head-on collision three miles north of Ennis Saturday night. Mrs. Alford, 17, is survived by a son, Billy Dwayne Alford of Irving; her mother, Mrs. May Neal; two brothers, Marvele Yates Jr., and Hames Roy Yates; her grandmother, Mrs. Minnie Cooper, and a great-grandmother, Mrs. Maude Hackney. Surviving the two brothers are their mother, Mrs. Wilson Elms; Bruce L. Alford and grandmothers, Mrs. Lovick White and Mrs. Ina Alford. Bruce Alford, 22, is survived also by his wife; a son, Ricky Alford, and a daughter, Patricia Dianne Alford. Roy Alford was 20. 

Source: Car Accident Kills Three (Irving, TX: The Irving News Record, 12 Nov. 1959) 1; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed May 2020. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Brumfield Reunion, 1943 MS


Newspaper reports of family reunions offer lots of family information. This newspaper article centers on Henry and Mary who had their children and grandchildren visiting in May 1943. The visiting families came from various parts of Mississippi, Alabama & North Carolina. It is a small reunion but contains three generations of information. 


Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr.

1877 MS – 1959
Son of Henry Sims Brumfield & Martha E. Bickham

My 2nd cousin, 3x removed





Family Reunion Enjoyed Recently at Brumfield Home


Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Brumfield [Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr. & Mary Sauls] had as their guests last week-end [sic] their children as follows: 

[1] Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brumfield, son, Buddy and daughters, Delores and Mary Helen;

 [2] Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Thornhill, Jr. of Prichard, Ala.; 

[3] Coach and Mrs. Dudley Brumfield, son Bob, and twin daughters, Jean and Jane, of Rosendale, Miss.; 

[4] Pfc. Lyle Brumfield, who is attending Officers Training School at New River, N. C., and wife and daughter, Teddy, of Sumrall, Miss.; 

[5] Mr. and Mrs. Dolph [Evelyn] Ellzey, and son, Dolph, Jr., of Summitt, Route 1; 

[6] Miss Helen Brumfield, of Magnolia; 

[7] Mrs. Stanley [Sylvia] Johnson and son, Billy, who make their home with Mrs. Johnson’s parents,

And Mrs. F. E. Tedder of Sumrall, mother of Mrs. Lyle Brumfield.

Other relatives and friends called during the afternoon.

Source: Family Reunion Enjoyed Recently at Brumfield Home. (McComb, MS, 7 May 1943) 3; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed June 2020).