Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jackson and Melissia Sloan

Jackson Samuel and Melissia Caroline, my great-great grandparents, were residents of the Peaceful Valley community of Itawamba County. Their grave marker in Carolina Cemetery, pictured above, tells us the year of their deaths but no month or day. Recently, it occurred to me that I could order their death certificates to find out Jack and Melissia's full dates of death. And so I did.

The death certificates came this past week, and I was pleasantly surprised at what they revealed. In addition to their dates of death - August 13, 1930 for Jack and February 25, 1933 for Melissia - I found out that Jack was born in Bedford, Alabama on October 14, 1853. I already knew he was born in Lamar County, but now the community has been identified, plus I now have his date of birth! Previously, I had relied on census records which had the month right but not the year. Jack died at 7:45 p.m. of cardio-nephritis, and his death certificate was signed by Nabors & Sloan, M.D.s of Nettleton, Mississippi. This little bit of information tells me that Jack's son, Dr. William Alfred Sloan, was practicing medicine in Nettleton in 1930 with Dr. Nabors. Finally, Jack's mother's maiden name was identified as Irvin. Both Irvin and Lowery have been found as her maiden name so this appears to narrow it down. Since the 'informant' for the death certificate was Jack's widow, Melissia, the information should be reliable.

Melissia's death at 3:35 p.m. was caused by arteriosterosis and uremia, and her death certificate was signed by her son W. A. Sloan, M.D. whose address was given as Caledonia, Miss. Apparently Dr. Sloan had moved to Caledonia in Lowndes County between 1930 and 1933. Melissia - spelled thus on her death certificate - was born in Mississippi (Itawamba County as a matter of fact) to Jesse and Fannie Potts. Informant for Melissia's death certificate was J.E. Burdine, apparently James Elvie Burdine, her grandson. He was only 22 years old which explains why some items on the death certificate are missing, such as Melissia's date of birth and her mother's maiden name. Thankfully, I have both of those.

I have a first-hand account from my Aunt Tootsie for her Granny's death. The community was alerted to her impending death by Aunt Zadie Blake who was taking care of Granny at her home. According to Aunt Tootsie, who was about six years old at the time, Zadie was a "hollerer," and by the tone of her voice, the family knew that Granny's death was near and so everyone started for her house. Tootsie remembers irons being heated in the fireplace and placed at the foot of Granny's bed to keep her warm.

The death certificates provided nice surprises, and now I can't wait to order certificates for some of my other ancestors.

1 comment:

Sarah Thompson said...

Have spent the last hour catching up on the post about the "Sloans". Thank you. I, especially, am intrigued to find out Melissa Caroline's name was Melissia. How unique! Perfect name for a grandchild, if I am ever lucky enough to be blessed with one! Did you receive the picture of Grandpa Sloan? Do hope so. Again, thank you. Sarah