Friday, June 30, 2023

1900 Flood Waters in MS

This report of flood damage reaches out to us from over a century ago. Buildings and animals were washed away by the rising waters of the Bogue Chitto. The people whose property was destroyed are names from our family tree: Smith, Brumfield & Simmons. We can specifically identify A. S. Smith, my 3rd great uncle. 



Adolphus Scott Smith

22 Jun 1848 - 18 Oct 1921

Son of Wyatt Smith & Euseba Fortenberry

Husband of Julia Jane Simmons




Terrible Destruction


Dr. A. S. Smith returned Saturday from a visit to his farm at Smithburg, and reports great damage done by the high water below there. Bogue Chitto was above high water at Dillon. The gallery on Dort Smith’s residence was washed off also his blacksmith shop; Mr. William Collins lost the gallery to his residence and outhouses. Mr. Jasper Simmons lost his smoke house and a large quantity of meat; Mr. Louis Brumfield lost four yoke of oxen, six horses and several cows and calves and a fine surry was also washed away. He lives five miles from Franklinton, and is so far the greatest sufferer we have heard of. – Magnolia Gazette


The McComb City Enterprise

McComb, MS, 26 April 1900, page 6

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Forget Me Not: Needham N. Alford, 1946 MS

Needham Nugent Alford

7 March 1872 MS – 4 September 1946 MS

Son of Seaborn John Alford & Mary S. Kirk

Husband of Rosa Felder



Needham Alford Dies in McComb


Sept. 5 – Funeral services will be held at ten Friday morning for Needham Nugent Alford from Catchings Chapel with Dr. Joseph A. Smith, pastor of Centenary Methodist church officiating. Burial will be in Hollywood cemetery. Mr. Alford, 74, died Wednesday night at his residence in McComb. He was a former city official and was in the mercentile business for many years as well as aacive in many lines of the city’s endeavors. 


He leaves his wife, three sons, Tom P. Alford, McComb; Oscar E. Alford, Pascagoula and Samuel N. Alford, Summit; and two daughters, Mrs. Charles McGehee, Paducah, Ky., and Miss Smythis Alford, Alford.



Source: Needham Alford Dies in McComb (Jackson, MS, Clarion - Ledger, 6 Sept 1946) 5; digital image, accessed Feb. 2023.  










Friday, June 23, 2023

Funeral Card; Patrick Coyle, 1925 CT

Patrick Coyle 

Born 20 May 1841 Moate, Cavan County, Ireland  

Died 21 Jun 1925 Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Son of Michael Coyle & Mary Cunningham

Husband of Margaret Brady; Father of 11 children

My 2x Great Grandfather

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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Book Report: Edgecombe County, Along the Tar River

Is your family from Edgecombe County, NC? Would you like to learn about the place they lived? I do and that is what prompted me to purchase this book. It has taught me many things.

I drove over the Tar River recently from our home in New York State to to a family vacation on Hilton Head, SC. There was no opportunity to stop but I hope to return.



Three sons of James Alford [my 6th great – grandfather], Lodwick Alford, Goodrich Alford and Julius Alford, lived in Edgecombe County in the mid 1700s. The brothers all owned land there.


The earliest place I can locate my Brown family is in Edgecombe County, NC. My 5th great grandfather, Edward Brown lived there. He and the Alford family were there about the same time. 


This book helped me learn about the area they called home.



Edgecombe County, Along the Tar River


By Monika S. Fleming

The Making of America Series

Arcadia Publishing

Charleston, 2003



“Edgecombe County is located in northeastern North Carolina on the western edge of the coastal plain. It is about 75 miles east of Raleigh and just over 110 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the state’s earliest settlements and has a rich agricultural history that expanded into industry in th elate nineteenth century, as the region was rebuilding after the Civil War. The county also has been home tostate and national leaders in the military and politics, and has produced several acclaimed artists and writers. While some individuals stand out, most residents are average people whose lifestyles nonetheless produce the interesting community that is the story of this book."




Life Along the River in the Eighteenth Century

The Antebellum Years of Growth and Prosperity: 1800 – 1860

War and Recovery: 1860 – 1880

Progress and Change: 1880 – 1920

Growing Pains: 1920 – 1960

Social, Educational, and Industrial Change: 1960 – 1990

Economic Turmoil and Natural Disaster: 1990 – 2000




The Royal Governor Burrington created Edgecombe Precinct in 1732 and the Tar River appears on a map in 1733. Native Americans who lived there included the Tuscarora tribe that camped along the river. The first settlers, many who had traveled south from Virginia, lived along waterways. 



The book includes maps, photographs of prominent people, historic buildings, road signs, documents and more. It includes information on history, politics, geographical changes, wars and battles. Prominent families are mentioned.

Is Edgecombe County the home of your family? Give this book a read.



Thursday, June 15, 2023

Vintage Photograph: Morrison Family

Sharing photographs between cousins is marvelous. We all benefit. Hopefully, by posting these vintage photographs here, I can share with even more family members. When we can learn the names and see the faces, we can keep our families alive. 
I am related to this family through my maternal grandmother, Ivy R. (Gruissy) Mark. Her grandfather, Augustus C. Gruissy was married three times. The Morrison family connects to those branches of our family.

Photograph from Carole Morrison

Two Sisters,
Daughters of Seth Benner Morrison & Margaret Jane Gruissy

Florence 'Flossie" Vera Morrison  Rowlee

29 Nov 1896 OH - 9 Jan 1966 CA

Lena Bella Morrison Swagler

24 Mar 1883 OH - 28 Jun 1962 OH

And a niece

& Nina Belle Hurd Turk

23 Jan 1903 MI - 8 Oct 1968 MI

Daughter of Mona D. Morrison & Roy Hurd

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Forget Me Not: H. S. Brumfield, 1915


Henry Sims Brumfield

5 February 1835 MS – 16 December 1915 MS

Son of Jesse Kelly Brumfield & Hannah Ann Youngblood 

Husband of Martha E Bickham 

Civil War Veteran



H. S. Brumfield


Magnolia, Miss., Dec. 17. – Henry S. Brumfield, aged 81, died suddenly yesterday at his home, ten miles east of this place. He was a Confederate veteran, memer of the Baptist Church and a Master Mason. The funeral took place today at the residence, the Rev. J. B. Quin, of Tylertown, assisted by the Rev. J. H. Lane, of McComb City, officiating. In addition to his wife, he is survived by five sons and five daughters and a large numer of grandchildren and great grandchildren.



Source: H. S. Brumfield (Hattiesburg, MS, The Hattiesburg News, 17 Dec 1915) 2; digital image, accessed Feb. 2023.  



This obituary mentions survivors as including five sons & five daughters. My records show 12 children. Of course, one daughter died before her father. Anyone have information on Henry’s children?




Mary Emma Brumfield Leggett, 1857 – 1950

Lucinda Brumfield Bridges, 1858 – 1946

Elizabeth Brumfield Lee, 1864 – 1950

Martha Lucy Brumfield Lampton, 1866 – 1939

Alice Bickham Brumfield Lee, 1870 – 1957

Amanda Eudora Brumfield Gill, 1872 – 1897

Myrtis S. Brumfield Thigpen, 1884 – 1959



Jesse Thomas Brumfield, 1859 – 1932

John Benjamin Brumfield, 1868 – 1952

Charles Edgar Brumfield, 1874 – 1959

Henry Sims Brumfield, Jr., 1877 – 1959

Dudley Atkinson Brumfield, b 1879








Tuesday, June 6, 2023

VIntage Photograph: Phil Creasy's Grocery

 This is a wonderful photograph because it shows Phil and his family gathered in front of his store. He must have been very proud to show off his establishment.


Philip M. Creasy

19 Jan 1868 OH - 17 Mar 1934 OH

Son of Christian Gruissy & Mary Wise

Husband of Mary E. Wasem 

Father of Harry Lewis Creasy, 1891 - 1950

His grocery in Beach City, Ohio

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Forget Me Not: Zelda Marie Alford Fortenberry, 2005

Zelda Marie Alford Fortenberry

2 March 1915 LA – 1 April 2005 MS

Daughter of Dewitt William Alford & Ina Lucille Brown

Widow of  Ray Luther Fortenberry


My First Cousin, Once Removed

Zelda Alford Fortenberry, 90, of the SilverSprings community, died April 1, 2005, at Beechman Memorial Hospital in Magnolia. 


Visitation is 5 to 8 tonight at Silver Springs Baptist Church. Services are 11 a. m. Tuesday at the church, with the Rev. Wayne Hall and the Rev. James Thornhill officiating. Burial will be in the Silver Springs Cemetery. 


Mrs. Fortenberry was born March 2, 1915, in Angie, La., to William Dewitt Alford and Ina Brown Alford. She was a homemaker and a member of Silver Springs Baptist Church, where she taught children’s Sunday school for 45 years.

First Cousins: Zelda Marie Alford Fortenberry & Joseph Pershing Brown

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Ray Fortenberry, Sr.; a brother, Bruce Alford; and two grandchildren, Darrell Scott Fortenberry and Kelly Ray Fortenberry. 


Survivors include two sons and a daughter – in – law, Billy Joe and Daisy Fortenberry of Progress and Ray Fortenberry, Jr.; a daughter and son – in -law, Alice Fortenberry Overall and Charles of Progress; three sisters, Mary Alice Bennett of Folsom, La.; Louise White of Bogalusa, La., and Linda Breeland of the Improve community; six grandchildren, Tina Myers and husband Charles of Tylertown, Stacy Fortenberry of Bay St. Louis, Michael Fortenberry, Stephen Fortenberry and David Fortenberry and his wife Deanna of McComb, and Dana Nelson and husband Ricky of McComb; six great – grandchildren, Adam Myers and wife Alicia of Camp LeJeune, N. C., Rachel Meyers and Masey Meyers, both of Tylertown, Kelsi Fortenberry, Alexis Fortenberry and Blake Nelson, all of McComb; and two great – great -grandchildren, Adrianna Michelle Meyers and Caden Adam Meyers of Camp LeJeune. 


Pallbearers will be Mark Johnson, James Kemp, Lee Lambert, Roger Moret, David Johnson and Bart Ravencraft.


Source: Zelda Alford Fortenberry (McComb, MS, Enterprise – Journal, 4 Apr 2005) 3; digital image, accessed Feb. 2023.