Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Forget Me Not: Samuel A. Ott, 1927 MS



Samuel Adolphus Ott

C 1858 MS – 29 July 1927 MS


Son of Jacob Jackson Ott & Margaret L. Addison

Husband of Georgia Ritchie

Father of 11 children

My 1st Cousin, 4x removed

S. A. Ott, Osyka, Died Friday


S. A. Ott, a prominent citizen and long-time lumberman of Osyka, died Friday evening of last week. Funeral services were conducted at five o’clock Saturday afternoon.


He suffered a stroke of paralysis several days ago, but for a time it was hoped that he would recover. His heart gave out, however, at 5 o’clock Friday afternoon.


Mr. Ott was the father of a large family and was loved and honored by all who knew him. His home was always open to his friends at all times, and he was universally loved and respected. He was the father of Mrs. J. C. McNees of McComb.


Mr. Ott was a frequent visitor to McComb, being a familiar figure at baseball games and other events of the city and was known by practically every one in the city.


Source: S. A. Ott, Osyka Died Friday. (McComb, MS: Semi-Weekly Journal, 3 Aug 1927) 5; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed Sept. 2021.



Saturday, April 16, 2022

Timeline: The Alford Family

Here's another fun timeline from my book in progress, 'Our Brown Roots.' Timelines are useful tools when trying to understand the lives & movements of a family. They are also very useful for understanding a family in relation to local and world events. I am currently writing a book, 'Our Brown Roots.' At the beginning of each surname section I have included a timeline like the one below. 

Click on the links to learn more about the people in this timeline.


 1607                First British settlement in Colonies established at Jamestown, VA

1640                The first book is printed in North America; Bay Psalm Book 

1645                Birth of John Alford, in VA

1687                Birth of James Alford, son of John, in VA

1717                Birth of Julius Alford, son of James, in VA

1729                North Carolina became a royal British colony

c 1745             Brothers, Lodwick, Goodrich & Julius Alford, moved to Granville, NC

1761                Birth of Jacob Alford, son of Julius, in Granville, NC

1764                A portion of Granville Co., where the Alfords lived, became Bute Co. 

1771                Nov. Death of Julius Alford, son of James, age 54, Bute County, NC

1775 - 1783     Revolutionary War: Jacob, James & Lodwick Alford served

1779                Bute County, NC became Warren and Franklin Counties

c 1785             Marriage of Jacob Alford & Elizabeth Bryant in NC

1789                30 April. George Washington was inaugurated the first president

1789                21 Nov. N. Carolina became 12th state; 1790 population 393,751

1792                2 April. U. S. Mint was established 

1792                25 Nov. Birth of Edwin Barksdale Alford, son of Jacob, in NC

c 1793             Death of Elizabeth (Bryant) Alford; Marriage of Jacob & Frances Alford 

1795                Jacob Alford and family lived in Montgomery County, GA

1798                Edward Jenner developed first successful vaccine, smallpox vaccine

1803                Louisiana Purchase made for 15 million dollars

1804                Richard Trevithick invented the steam locomotive

c 1807             Jacob Alford and family lived in Washington Parish, LA

1812                30 April. Louisiana became the 18th state

1812 - 1814     War of 1812; Edwin Barksdale Alford served in LA Militia

1818                10 March. Marriage Edwin B. Alford & Martha P. (Smith) Alford

1818                Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley

1824                16 July. Jacob Alford died in Washington Parish, LA

1846                Birth of Martha Elizabeth (Alford) Brumfield, daughter of Edwin, in MS

1861 – 1865    Civil War; many Alfords served in Confederate Army in MS & LA units

1878                10 March. Death of Edwin B. Alford, in Pike Co., MS

1917 – 1918    World War I; Dewitt T., Elmer C., & Hollis V. Alford served

This chart shows the connection between the Alford family & my paternal grandfather.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Poem: Burial of the Beautiful

This is another Newspapers.com discovery. I have Dillon family who were in MS at the time this poem was printed in the Rodney Telegraph. However, I do not know this John B. Dillon. I feel the poet put in a diligent effort and did find rhymes that worked but it does not flow. Perhaps it is a good example of poetry of the time it was written. I appreciate the novelty of a poet in the family.



Burial of the Beautiful


By John B. Dillon in 1836


Where shall the dead, and the beautiful sleep?

In the vale where the willow and cypress weep;

Where the wind of the west breath’s its soft’st sigh;

Where the silvery stream is flowing nigh,

And the pure, clear drops of its rising sprays

Glitter like gems in the bright moon’s rays –

Where the sun’s warm smile may never dispel

Night’s tears o’er the form we loved so well –

In the vale where the sparkling waters flow;

Where the fairest, earliest violets grow;

Where the sky and the Earth are softly fair,

                        Bury her there – bury her there!


Where shall the dead, and the beautiful sleep?

Where wild flowers bloom in the valley deep;

Where the sweet robes of spring may softly rest,

In purity, over the sleeper’s breast;

Where is heard the voice of the sinless dove,

Breathing notes of deep and undying love;

Where no column proud in the sun may glow,

To mock the heart that is resting below;

Where pure hearts are sleeping, forever blest;

Where wandering Perri love to rest;

Where the sky and the Earth are softly fair,

                        Bury her there – bury her there!


Source: Burial of the Beautiful. (Rodney, MS: The Rodney Telegraph, 15 Jan 1836) 1; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed Nov 2021.





Friday, April 8, 2022

Baby Son Born 1946 MS

Weldon Fortenberry, Jr.
son of Weldon Willis Fortenberry & Ivy Mae Smith


Weldon Fortenberry, Jr. 3 – months – old son of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Fortenberry, Baton Rouge. Recently, the Fortenberry clan met for a “get together” picnic, marred only by the absence of one of the nine children, the oldest son, Clifton, who was being treated in a San Diego, Calif., Navy hospital for wounds received in Leyie invasion. The family had hoped during the war, in which several members were serving, that all could attend the picnic. The presence of Little Weldon, who helped entertain the crowd, partly made up for the absence of Clifton, his grandmother reports.


Source: Fat and Fine. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 6 Jun 1946) 1; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed Jul 2021.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Forget Me Not; Patricia Ann Brock Smith, 2010 MS

Pat was a wonderful lady. We corresponded and I was lucky to have the opportunity t meet her. She was kind and helpful. She was never too busy to share family information with me. She prepared a delicious lunch for my family & myself when we were visiting. We have special memories of this lovely lady. 



Patricia Ann Brock Smith

15 Jul 1932 MS - 31 Aug 2010 MS

Daughter of Leslie William Brock & Dollie Lura Smith

Wife of Fay Seward Smith



Patricia Ann “Pat” Brock Smith, 78, of the Progress community, died Aug. 31, 2010, at the Cardiovascular Institute of Mississippi in McComb.


Visitation was 5 to 9 p. m. Friday at Hartman – Hughes Funeral Home in Tylertown and 10 a. m. Saturday at Silver Springs Baptist Church until services at 11. The Rev. Byran Wilkinson and the Rev. Wayne Hall officiated. Burial was in Silver Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.


Mrs. Smith was born July 15, 1932 in Walthall County, to Leslie William and Dollie Lura Smith Brock. She owned and operated Smith’s Grocery in Progress. She was a member of Silver Springs Baptist Church, where she served as treasurer and taught a Sunday school class. She was a member of Silver Springs Seniors and was a hospice volunteer. She was a member and former president of the Pike – Amite – Walthall Library Board.


Mrs. Smith was a 1949 graduate of Lexie High School, where she played basketball. She loved working with genealogy and was a member of the Alford American Family Association, from which she received a Hall of Fame Award in 2009. She was a beloved member of the Progress community and will be greatly missed by many.


She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 49 years, Fay Seward Smith; a sister, Peggy Brock Stringer; a granddaughter, Tara Brock Leonard and two sisters-in-law, Nathalee Smith Comeaux and Wilma Smith Butler.


Survivors include two sons, Michael D. Smith and Kim Lee Smith, both of Progress; a daughter, Patricia Gail Smith Hall of Tylertown; a sister, Joanna Brock Breeland of Tylertown; a brother-in-law. Cletus Strin ger of Southaven; four grandchildren, Tricia Ann Hall and husband Ray McElveen and their children, Will and Mary Grace; James Don Hall Jr., and wife Teena and their daughter, Jaden; Judy Larisa Hall and husband, Randall Sheets Sr. and their children, Regan, Larisa, Randall Jr., Zachary and Genell; Dustin Michael Smith and wife Shellie and their children Sadie Claire, Everhett and Austin; and Jeremiah Williams and Samarah Leonard, whose mother was the late Tara Lee Smith Leonard; two step-grandchildren, Jody “Jojo” Jr. and Aimee, and Randall Sheets Sr., as mentioned above.


Pallbearers were James Hall J., Dusstin Smith, Ray McElveen, Randall Sheets Sr., Wade Brown and Mac Breeland. Honorary pallbearers were the deacons of Silver Springs Baptist Church.


Source: Patricia Smith. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 5 Sept 2010) A003; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed May 2021.

Friday, April 1, 2022

No Joke: the 1950 US Census is Here!

 The 1950 US Census is Here!


1 April 2022. The 1950 US Census reports will be released to the public! According to the National Archives:

 “Taken every 10 years since 1790, the United States census provides a snapshot of the nation's population.” 

Records are held for 72 years before they are released to the public. Genealogists use those records to learn about their families. The last release was the 1940 census. Now it is time to find those families, ten years later.


I have a Wish List of people I am hoping to find in the 1950 Census reports. Here are my priorites:



·      My Parents. They were married in 1948. They lived with my maternal grandmother at first & later rented a nearby apartment. I know the town, county & state. Were they in the house or apartment in 1950? I’d like to see their names and feel the connection to my wonderful parents. 



·      My Paternal Grandparents. Roy & Ivy Brown. They were in New York State but had moved a few times. Which was their home in 1950 and which of their children were still at home? I'd like to see my grandparents, my aunts & uncles names.

·      My Great Grandfather, Jasper Pascal Brown. His wife had died in 1948. In 1950 was he living alone or with one of his children? He died later in the year so that would have been the last census he was listed in. What will I learn?

·      My Great aunts & uncles, the living children of Jasper & Rose Brown: Lucy V. (Brown) Fortenberry, Ina L. (Brown) Alford, Junius Earl Brown, Hubert Allen Brown, Lyda M. (Brown) Pierce, Mildred O. (Brown) Ball & Thelma Laddie Brown. Where were they living & which of their children were still at home?

·      My Great Grandparents, Thomas & Regina Mark. They were living in Medina Co., OH. Was Thomas retired or still working as a carpenter?

·      My Great aunts & uncles, the children of Thomas & Regina Mark: Isabell E. (Mark) Nee, Vera V. (Mark) Ballard, Viola C. (Mark) Nothstein, O. Andrew Mark & Clarence W. Mark, Wava A. (Mark) Braun. Where were they living & which of their children were still at home?


·      My Maternal Grandmother, Helen (Coyle) Gardner. She was a widow in Columbia Co., NY. I know where she lived. I don’t have any questions that I think the census will answer but I would like to see her name and feel that connection.

·      My Great Grandfather, Michael Coyle. I do not know where he was in 1950 or if he was still living. I will start by searching New York City, his last known residence. He is a mystery to be solved. 

·      My Great aunts & uncles, the living children of Michael & Mary Jo Coyle: Marion J. (Coyle) McCall, Marguerite C. (Coyle) Marshall, Thomas A. Coyle, Lillian A. Coyle, Kathleen G. Coyle. Was Thomas still living? The sisters were all single at the time. Were they living together? Were the sisters still in New York City or in Florida?

This list of questions is just a starting point with the 1950 Census. I'm sure it will lead in many directions!