Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year, New Family Calendar

For several years I have been making calendars for my family. (Read the related posts below for details.) I usually wrap them up & give them to the family on Christmas. Because of the Pandemic, I took a tower of mailers off to the post office on December 7th. Some of those are still stranded somewhere and not yet delivered.

This year's calendar cover shows vintage photos of my father & his siblings. Inside, my family can read about each of these wonderful people; learn about our ancestors; and see photos of this year's wedding, engagement, birthdays & other special occasions. I give these calendars as gifts each year to my family to show my love for them.

Related Posts: 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Christmas Memory from 1928 NY


These little Christmas ornaments were purchased by my maternal grandparents, 

Nathaniel Gardner & Helen F. Coyle Gardner

They were actually electric bulbs to be lit on the tree.

Nathaniel & Helen bought these the year my mother was born; 

her first Christmas 1928 in New York City. 

My mother, Alberta Joy Gardner Brown, gave these little treasures to me.

I do not hang them because I do not want them to fall & break but I put them out on display in a little clear glass bowl. I think they are adorable and quite special.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas


This year, because of the Pandemic, our homes have become,
more than ever, the center of our lives.
Our wish for you is a home filled with peace & joy.


Monday, December 21, 2020

A Christmas Memory from the Michael Coyle Family

Here is a Christmas memory from Kathleen Gloria Coyle who lived in New York City as a girl.

My grand aunt, Kathleen G. Coyle, was a very private person but there were times when she would open up and give me a glimpse of her life as a young girl in New York City. She was born in 1916, the child of Irish immigrants. She was the youngest of seven children. Her father, Michael Coyle, was a baker.

Kathleen Gloria Coyle
31 October 1916 NY - 21 November 2007 AZ

My aunt told me she remembered looking for the longest stocking possible to hang on the mantle before going to bed on Christmas Eve. Since she was the youngest, her stockings were always the littlest. However, she wanted to get lots of treats so she looked for a long one to hang.

Little Kathleen would go to bed on Christmas Eve and her mother would wake her up at midnight. Their apartment would be dark. Her mother would lift little Kathleen out of bed and hold her up.  As her mother walked through their apartment Kathleen would pull the strings to turn on the lights all over their home.  Kathleen’s mother said this was to light the way for Jesus to come. They’d hear the Church bells ringing.  Then they’d go in the parlor and see the tree and the gifts, none of which had been there before Kathleen went to sleep. There would be candles on the tree and pots of water set around the base for safety. After briefly admiring the lights, they’d be blown out.

Friday, December 18, 2020

A Christmas Memory from my Childhood

Here is a Christmas memory of my own...

At Christmas time there was always lots of baking, especially on
Christmas Eve. My brothers and I all helped. My oldest brother, Lance, was good at stirring the big bowls of thick batter. He could stir thick buttery batter when our mother’s mix master could not. The kitchen would be in a delicious disorder. The counter would be covered with canisters of flour and sugar, teaspoons and measuring cups, spoons and spatulas. On the table we’d have red and green sprinkles and chocolate chips. Decorating the cookies was great fun. We’d make several types of cookies. I liked the Sptitz cookies that we made using a metal cookie press, loading the dough inside and then pushing the handle with just the right amount of pressure to make the shapes of trees, wreaths, reindeer and bells. Making and baking all those cookies and restoring the kitchen to order again was a huge job for our mother. She’d be moving from the stove to the table and back again, with hot trays of cookies. Our attention would be divided between watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas, wrapping the last presents, hanging up Christmas cards, and giving her a hand. I’m sure our mother was hot and tired but she kept smiling and baking making Christmas special for us.


Those favorite Spritz cookies were from our mother’s Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book [unsure of the year of publication because the cover is missing.]


Spritz Cookies


Mix thoroughly: 1 cup soft butter; 2/3 cup sugar; 3 egg yolks; 1 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring. Work in with hands: 2 ½ cups sifted flour. Force the dough through cooky [sic] press onto ungreased baking sheets in desired shapes. Bake until set but not brown. 400 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies


Monday, December 14, 2020

A Christmas Memory from Ireland

A Christmas memory from Ireland... This Christmas card is evidence of the connection
between our family in Ireland and our family New York City. The Daniel Mullane family lived in Clonmel, Tipperary 
Ireland. Daughter, Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle left Ireland in 1885 for the United States where she married Michael Coyle and raised seven children. 

This Christmas  card was sent from the Mullanes in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland to the Coyles in New York City, c. the mid 1930s. 


The card was signed by Aunt Ellen (Ellen Mullane, 1874 – 1952) and Uncle Dan (Daniel J. Mullane, Jr., 1882 – 1965). They were the siblings of Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle [deceased]. It was sent to the daughters of Mary Josephine, the Coyle sisters, Marguerite (Coyle) Marshall, Lillian A. Coyle and Kathleen G. Coyle. After Mary Josephine's death in 1927, her daughters continued to keep the connection alive. It must have been a special connection because the card was treasured and saved and is still in the family.



Friday, December 11, 2020

Christmas Gift for my Dad, 1939 OH

This book was a gift to my father,
from his mother's sister,
for Christmas 1939.

Fortunately, my Great Aunt Wava wrote in the front of the book, signing  and dating it.

At that time my father was 11 years old. His aunt was 20. They were both living in Ohio. A year later, my grandparents moved their family to New York State. They had a large extended family in Ohio; through Ivy Regina Mark Brown, my grandmother. My grandmother must have missed her family terribly. My father talked about his Ohio relatives and we visited Ohio a few times when my brothers and I were small. 

The book, Beautiful Stories of the Bible, was printed in 1937.
There are several black & white illustrations. It is well worn. 

1938 Photo of the Mark Sisters:
left to right: 
Viola Cathern Mark Nothstein,
 Isabel Esther Mark Nee,
 Ivy Regina Mark Brown [my grandmother]
and Wava Alice Mark Braun

They were the daughters of 
Thomas Kenneth Mark (1879 OH - 1975 OH) &
N. Regina Victoria Gruissy (1879 OH - 1959 OH)

Monday, December 7, 2020

A Christmas Memory from the Thomas K. Mark family, OH

Here is a Christmas Memory 

from my grand aunt,

Viola Cathern (Mark) Nothstein, 1913 – 2004,

 daughter of Thomas K. & 

N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark. 

She talked about Christmas in Ohio when she was a girl, 

one of seven children.


Viola said her father, Thomas Kenneth Mark (1879 - 1975), dressed up as Santa Claus for the program at church. He wore a red costume from the church. Viola said, “I remember one year when we were pretty small Owen got up in church and said, ‘That’s my Daddy!’ Another time Dad had a turkey for the church.  After the program Daddy come over to home and he had the red suit on and he’d said. ‘Now you guys better be in bed before I get back.’ He always done a lot around the church. If they wanted anything fixed they would always ask Dad.”

Thomas Kenneth Mark

19 Jul 1879 OH - 12 Feb 1975 OH

Related Posts:


Thursday, December 3, 2020

December Anniversary: Jeremiah G Smith & Rose E Brumfield; 1798 SC

Jeremiah George Smith

23 December 1773 SC – 1843 MS

Son of Jeremiah Smith, Sr. & Jemimah Hollis



Joanna Dillon

22 August 1778 NC – after 1821 MS

Daughter of Richard Dillon & Anne Lawrence


My 4x great grandparents


Married 16 December 1798 SC


Parents of 

Hollander Smith Morris

Martha P. Smith Alford

Elias V. Smith

Jane Smith Warner

Edwin Smith

Wyatt Smith

Eliza Smith Bullock

Calvin Smith

Lidda Smith Harvey

Mehala Smith

Milevey Smith Harvey

Joanna Smith Bullock

Jeremiah Smith 


Other December Anniversaries:


3 December 1754 SC                 Jacob Ott I & Margaret Fitchtner          266 years ago

My 6x great grandparents


6 December 1868 OH           Augustus Ceaser Gruissy & Esther B. Wolf     152 years ago

My 2x great grandparents


8 December 1910 LA         Dewitt W Alford & Ina Lucille Brown                   110 years ago

My great aunt & uncle


20 December 1818 MS      Edwin Barksdale Alford & Martha P. Smith      202 years ago

My 3x great grandparents


21 December 1887 MS           Jasper P. Brown & Rose Ella Brumfield           133 years ago

My great grandparents


24 December 1921 LA              James A. Ball & Mildred O. Brown              99 years ago

My great aunt & uncle


29 December 1933 NY            Wilfred S. Marshall & Marguerite C. Coyle    87 years ago

My great aunt & uncle


31 December 1924 OH     James Everett Mark & Effie M. Carter                  96 years ago

My 2x great aunt & uncle



Monday, November 30, 2020

Civil War Soldiers Honored, Smith Brothers, 1999 MS

The idea of honoring Confederate soldiers is not socially acceptable at this time. However, in 1999 these young men were honored for their service which had resulted in their deaths in 1862. Although the idea of slavery is detestable, service did not always mean support of slavery. Whatever their reasons for serving, these men were a part of our family  and this newspaper article documents their lives. William & Newton are featured in the article because their service resulted in their deaths. Another brother, Arnold Jasper Smith, was also killed in 1862.  

William J. M. Smith 

(1835 - 1862)

Son of Wyatt Smith & Euseba Fortenberry 

Newton Oscar Smith

(c1842 - 1862)

Son of Wyatt Smith & Euseba Fortenberry 

Rankin Smith

Possibly the son of Wyatt Smith & Euseba Fortenberry; 

or a Smith relative raised by Wyatt & Euseba

John Shaffer Ellzey, Jr.

 (b1829 - 1874)

Husband of Saryntha A. Smith;

son of John Ellzey & Elizabeth Coney 

William J. and Newton Smith will be honored at 11 a. m. Sunday, May 8, 137 years after their deaths in the Civil War. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans of Louisiana and Mississippi will remember the Smiths, sons of Wyatt and Euseba Fortenberry Smith of Silver Springs. 


Memorial markers have been placed in the cemetery and will be dedicated along with ones honoring their brother-in-law, John S. Ellzey and another relative, Rankin Smith, who was raised by Wyatt and Euseba Smith.


The cemetery is five miles north of Mount Hermon, or three miles south of Progress, on Progress – Mount Hermon Road.


The public is invited to the dedication ceremonies, which will include authentically attired Confederate living historians firing rifle salutes, as well as the unveiling of the markers. A covered dish dinner will follow in the fellowship hall of Silver Springs Baptist Church.



Source: Confederate Soldiers to be Honored Sun. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 4 May 1999) 4; digital image, accessed August 2020.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020


 I am thankful for

Our country home, sheltered & peaceful;

Brilliant autumn colors adorning every tree;

Our children, independent & resourceful;

Our three grandsons, smiling & laughing;

Our big family, diverse & lively, healthy & safe;

Our friends who know our history & share our fun;

A holiday meal, board games & jigsaw puzzles, a glass of wine & pumpkin pie;

Our beautiful world, full of wonders to explore.

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Twins Born! 1944 MS


John Hugh Brumfield

Gwendolyn Jane Brumfield


Born 5 March 1944 MS


Fletcher Mead Brumfield & Diane Payne



Twins Born to Mr. and Mrs. M. Brumfield of Tylertown


Mr. and Mrs. Mead Brumfield, of Tylertown, are the proud parents of twin babies, a boy and a girl, born at the McComb Infirmary, Sunday March 5, 1944. The boy, who weighed 7 ¾ pounds, has been named John Hugh. The girl’s name is Gwendolyn Jane. Her weight was 6 ¾ pounds. Mr. and Mrs. Brumfield have two other children, Terry and Meadette, who are happy over the arrival of the twins. The mother was the former Diane Payne. The maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Payne, of Atlanta, Ga., and the paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Brumfield of Tylertown.


Source: Twins Born. (McComb, MS: McComb Daily Journal, 9 March 1944) 3; digital image, accessed March 2017.




Friday, November 20, 2020

Forget Me Not: Canolia A. Simmons Fortenberry, 1925 MS

Canolia A. (Simmons) Fortenberry

1858 MS – 1925 MS
Wife of William Jackson Fortenberry

Mrs. Fortenberry Dies at Brandon.
Beloved Osyka Woman Falls into Final Sleep at Daughter’s Home.

Mrs. W. J. Fortenberry of Osyka, aged 68 years, and widely known and held in very high esteem throughout Mississippi, died at 11:30 o’clock Saturday night, February 7, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. O. L. Simmons, at Brandon, after an illness that had extended over a period of several weeks. Mrs. Fortenberry had been at a local hospital and had been taken to the Simmons home for further treatment. 

The funeral will be held at the Silver Springs Baptist Church at Osyka Monday, February 9, at 11:30 a. m., with services by her pastor, Rev. A.J. Davis od Tylertown and Rev. J. H. Lane of McComb.

Besides her husband, who himself is ill at the Simmons home at Brandon, Miss. Mrs. Fortenberry is survived by six sons as follows:

Dr. A. J. [Andrew Jackson] Fortenberry of Canton,
F. E. [Fermon Esco] Fortenberry of Atlanta, Ga.,
E. B. [Victor Eurel, possibly] Fortenberry and
C. L. [Charlie Lane] Fortenberry of Monticello, and
H. G. [Henry Glen] Fortenberry of Natchez; 

And by five daughters,

Mrs. J. C. Denmore [Lelia Paline Fortenberry] of Franklinton, La., 
Mrs. A. M. Dodds [Myrtis Jane Fortenberry] of Eddiston, Miss.,
Mrs. Henry Steinbrenner [Sarah Louise Fortenberry] of Brandon and
Miss Wanzie [Jimmie Wanzie] Fortenberry of Osyka.

She leaves also several grandchildren and many other relatives and family connections.

Children not mentioned in this obituary:
Josie Lee Fortenberry, 6 Nov 1899 – 9 Nov 1900
Burrell Sheldon Fortenberry, 1890 - 1951

Source: Mrs. Fortenberry Dies at Brandon (Jackson, MS: Clarion-Ledger, 8 Feb. 1925) 12; digital image, accessed August 2020.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Brumfield Reunion, 1950, MS

The family of Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr. & Mary Sauls gathered in Holmesville, MS in July 1950 for a picnic dinner. Their seven children & most of their grandchildren enjoyed the day. 



Brumfield Family Reunion is Enjoyed



Mr. and Mrs. Henry Brumfield, who live on the Quin’s Bridge Road were made happy when they held a family reunion with all their children and their families attending with the exception of two grandchildren, Sgt. C. A. (Al) Bennett, who is stationed at Norfolk, Va. And Delores Brumfield, who is playing baseball with the Kenosha Comets, an all girls’ league. 


The Brumfields spread a bountiful picnic dinner at Battes Beach in Holmesville. Those attending were:


Miss Helen Brumfield of McComb,


Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brumfield and family, Lamar and Mary Helen, Pritchard, Ala.,


Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Brumfield and family, Bob, Jean, Jane, Belzoni, Miss.,


Lt. and Mrs. Lyle Brumfield family, Terese and Buster, St. Louis, Mo., 


Mr. and Mrs. [Sylvia] Stanley Johnson, Jr., and sons, Billy and Stanley III, Providence, R. I.,


Mr. and Mrs. [Evelyn] Dolph Ellzey and son, Dolph, Jr., Holmesville,


Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Shirley and family, James Lee and Mary Martha, Friendship.


All above mentioned were sons, daughters and grandchildren.


Guests were:


Mr. and Mrs. Hollis O’Quin, McComb,


Mrs. Aline Crain and granddaughter, Carmen Klotz, McComb,


Mrs. Brumfield’s nieces and nephews, all of Hattiesburg;


Mr. and Mrs. Ray Chughlin and family, Raymond, Helen and Mary Ray,


Mr. and Mrs. Bob Keahey and son, Bobbie,


Mrs. Peggy Herring,


Mrs. Mary Swelling and children, Sylvia and Ray,


Mr. and Mrs. George Sauls and daughter, Mary Audine,


Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Sauls and son, Clyde.


Other relatives and friends called during the afternoon. 



Source: Brumfield Family Reunion is Enjoyed. (McComb, MS, Enterprise-Journal, 24 Jul 1950) 3; digital image, accessed June 2020).

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Forget Me Not: Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr., 1959 MS

Henry was a veteran of 2 US wars, according to his obituary. I believe those wars were the Spanish American War and World War I. Additional research is required to prove this.

Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr.
1 April 1877 MS – 12 Jan 1959 MS
Son of Henry Sims Brumfield & Martha E. Bickham
Husband of Mary Sauls

Father of:
Mary Helen Brumfield, 1902 – 1999
Evelyn (Brumfield) Ellzey, 1904 – 1988
Earl H. Brumfield, 1905 – 1979
Mabel Aline Brumfield, 1908 – 1908
Dudley Brumfield, 1909 – 2002
Lyle Elmer Brumfield, 1911 – 2002
Sylvia (Brumfield) Johnson, 1914 – 2013
Dixie Martha Brumfield, 1916 - 1997

My 2nd cousin, 3x removed

Brumfield Rites Held Here Today

Funeral Services for Henry Sims Brumfield Jr., 81, soldier in two United States Wars, and a member of a pioneer area family, were held at 3 p. m. Tuesday from Catchings Chapel. 

The Rev. Ed Williams, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, of which Mr. Brumfield was a member, conducted services, with friends of the deceased and family serving as pallbearers. 

Mr. Brumfield died suddenly at 2:10 p. m. Tuesday while visiting in the home of his brother, D. A. (Dud) Brumfield, Summit, route three, together with a daughter and other members of his family. 

He was born April 1, 1877, in Pike County, a son of the late H. S. and Martha Bickham Brumfield.

Entering the Army as the Spanish-American War developed, he served throughout that conflict. Some two decades later he was again a member of the infantry, in World War I.

He operated a nursery ear McComb for many years, and at other times was employed in various capacities n the community and he managed his farm.

He and Mrs. Brumfield had lived on their place n Quin’s Bridge Road for almost 20 years.

His survivors include his wife, Mrs. Mary Sauls Brumfield; four daughters, Miss Helen Brumfield, City Tax Collector of McComb, Mrs. Dolph Ellzey, Holmesville, Mrs. Stanley Johnson, Fabyan, Conn., and Mrs. Roy Smith, Brookhaven.

Three sons, Earl H. Brumfield, Mobile, Ala., W. C. Brumfield, Ruleville, and Lyle Brumfield, Baton Rouge, La.: two brothers, Charles E. Brumfield, Brookhaven, and D. A. Brumfield, route three, Summit. 

Two sisters, Mrs. Will Mackey, Rogers, Ark., and Mrs. Mert Thigpen, Biloxi; 14 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. 

Burial was in Magnolia Cemetery with Catchings Funeral Home in charge of services. 

Source: Brumfield Rites Held Here Today. (McComb, MS, Enterprise – Journal, 13 January 1959) 8; digital image, accessed June 2020).