Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thomas Minyard, father of Lydia

Lydia Ann Minyard married Harrison H. Hood, son of Joshua H. and Margaret Hood, on February 26, 1880. Lydia's grandaughter was Pearl Johnson Dulaney, my husband's grandmother. I've found where several researchers indicate that Lydia's maiden name was Maynard instead of Minyard, however it seems that evidence points more strongly that she was a Minyard. The 1870 census for Itawamba County includes a six year old "Lidda" in the household of Thomas and Martha Minyard.

It is puzzling to me that the Minyard family appears to be living west of the Tombigbee River, based on their surrounding neighbors, while the Hood, Dulaney and Johnson families lived well to the east of the river nearer to the Alabama state line. How did Lydia meet her future husband? This may be one of those forever-mysteries.

Lydia Minyard Hood

The 1870 census indicates that Thomas was born about 1808 in North Carolina while a much younger Martha, his wife, was born about 1839 in Alabama. There were two other daughters in their household besides six-year old Lydia: Matilda, 11, and Mary, 9. In the earlier census of 1860, it appears that Thomas may have been living in St. Clair County, Alabama. According to the gravemarker below (yes, it is a Loyd marker), Thomas died July 25, 1878. The marker is the only one found for a Minyard in Hopewell-Keyes Cemetery, but it is surrounded by several unmarked graves. The location of a grave for Thomas Minyard in Hopewell-Keyes Cemetery near Dorsey is consistent with the family's location in the 1870 census.

What happened to the rest of the Minyard family? We know for sure that the 9 year old daughter in the 1870 census was actually named Georgia, and she married John Thomas Hood, a brother of Harrison, on October 10, 1879. The 1880 census shows these two couples living next to each other among the Hood, Dulaney and Johnson families in the eastern side of the county. There is a marriage record for a Miss T. C. Minyard to J. F. "Burlism" in 1877 in Itawamba County; this is likely "Tilda Caroline." Another marriage record reveals that the widow, Martha, may have remarried to William Griffin.

Who was Thomas Minyard? We don't really know much about him. We know he was born in North Carolina, and there is some indication that he may be related to a family of Minyards found in early Franklin County, Georgia. Martha was likely a second wife with whom he had three daughters. And as to the Maynard-Minyard debate - either is possible. The name may have been Maynard at one time; in some places, it is found as Mennard or Minnard.

Don Dulaney provided the picture of Lydia Minyard Hood. Don, do you remember who gave you this picture? I also need to credit Bob Franks for telling me about the grave marker for Thomas Minyard, and either he or Don took the picture of the marker you see above.


Don Dulaney said...

Mona the picture was provided to me by Mrs. Jesker Miles. Great Post. Thomas Minyard was gave Itawamba county alot of Hoods. LOL

Janice Tracy said...

Mona, I enjoyed your post. I am wondering if you have found other Minyard family members in Mississippi? I have seen that name while doing family research in Carroll County. Interestingly, Minyard's is the name of a well-known grocery chain here. Since a portion of Carroll County became known as "Little Texas," it's possible the Minyard family that started the grocery chain is descended from Mississippi Minyards.

Janice Tracy said...

Mona, this is a follow-up comment on your post today. It's very likely the name "Burlism" was a mispelling of "Burleson." Members of that family also lived in and around Carroll County, and some of them migrated over to Texas, as well. Burleson is the name of an old town, now a bustling suburb, about 20 minutes southwest of Fort Worth. The Burleson family in Texas has a fairly well-chronicled and rich history. good luck!

Mona Robinson Mills said...

Janice, I've come across those Carroll County Minyards in my research - they really stand out because of the unusual surname and the large cluster of them in Carroll County. And now, with the Burleson connection, I need to look a little closer and see if something pops up to connect the Carroll County folks with Itawamba County. Thanks for the information!

Gwen said...

I am Gwen Hood Dye, daughter of Olun Hood, brother to Jesker Miles. When I saw that photo of Martha, I knew it came from Aunt Jesker. It hung in my grandparents' living room the entire time I was growing up, so I immediately recognized it.

Aunt Jesker told me about this blog back in December. I read a little of it then, but had since gotten busy with other things. I just remembered it tonight and thought I'd check back in to read.

Interesting information about our family. Thank you!