Friday, January 8, 2010

Elder William Hood

During my trip to Pontotoc County this week, I was interested in finding information related to the Hood family who lived there during the mid to late 1800s. These Hoods were originally from St. Clair County, Alabama and are related to the Itawamba Hoods, although the exact relationship is not yet known. Joshua Hood, my husband's GGGgrandfather was born in St. Clair County in 1831, and his father is not known to us although some researchers have indicated that William and Elizabeth Hood were his parents. See this earlier post for further discussion regarding the unlikelihood of William and Elizabeth being Joshua's parents.

Hiram Hood is often given as being a brother to Joshua Hood, and since Hiram Hood lived in Pontotoc County I hoped to find out more information about him during my visit. I knew that Hiram was the son of William Hood and Cecelia Quinn, although he is sometimes mistakenly noted to be the son of William and Elizabeth Hood, just like Joshua. In addition to Hiram, there was another Hood in Pontotoc County with St. Clair ties. Burrell Hood (sometimes Burwell) was born in 1817 in St. Clair County, and was the son of Robert Hood and Sarah Roland (sometimes Rowland). It is believed that all of these Hoods can be traced back to John Hood and Sarah Austin. The question for researchers is to determine just how they all connect, and specifically for many Itawambians, how does Joshua fit in. It is possible that information found in Pontotoc may provide clues for the Itawamba Hoods' heritage.

While nothing turned up in Pontotoc on this trip that would help with the Joshua puzzle, I did find out more information about Hiram, and more importantly, information about Hiram's father, William Hood. William Hood was a Baptist preacher, and the records I've found indicate that he was actually of the Primitive Baptist faith although "back then" it wasn't called Primitive Baptist. It is also important to note that some of the Itawamba Hoods were preachers, including Joshua's son.

There were two sources of wonderful information that I found in the Pontotoc County Library's genealogy room. One was the minutes of Cherry Creek Baptist Church, which was near today's town of Ecru. The other was the original minutes from the Aberdeen Baptist Association annual meetings from the years 1846-1854. The Cherry Creek minutes included a death notice for Elder William Hood in 1884 that provided new leads for further Hood family research. There was also a death notice in the minutes for William's wife, Cecelia Quinn Hood. Since the minutes indicated that an obituary was to be placed in the Baptist Record for William Hood, next on my list is to track down that publication.

The minutes for the Aberdeen Baptist Association also provided good information. This association was composed of Baptist churches in Monroe, Lee, Itawamba and Chickasaw counties, and each year a meeting was held at a host church, with the meetings attended by elected delegates from each church, much like the association meetings of Primitive Baptist churches today. The Aberdeen Baptist Association minutes indicated that Elder William Hood was pastor of Enon Baptist Church near Camargo in Monroe County from at least 1846 through October 1853. The 1854 minute book showed him as pastor of Liberty Church in Monroe County. That year is the last year for which the library had minutes.

I really enjoyed looking at the minutes of these old churches. Below I have copied some of what I transcribed, for your reading pleasure. Maybe you will enjoy it was much as I did. Although there wasn't any grand discovery, and Joshua's parents still remain a puzzle to be solved, sometimes you take your pleasure where you find it. I've got more if anybody is interested.

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Cherry Creek Baptist Church
Pontotoc County, Mississippi
Minutes Book II, 1875-1900

May meeting, 1884

Bro. W. R. Spencer chairman committee obituarys made the following report:

Elder Wm Hood was received into this church May 1880. Departed this life March 4, 1884 at the venerable age of 87 years 3 months and 21 days. He joined the Hopewell Baptist Church in St. Clair Co, Ala in 1832 began to preach the same year. Was ordained by the Big Creek Baptist Church in 1833 elders Mead White and Jesse Thomas constituting presbytery. Was actively engaged in the ministry about 50 years. Father Hood's opportunities for acquiring an education in early life were quite limited, but being full of energy and zeal by dint of hard study he became a man of considerable attainments and thus fitted for the useful sphere in which he moved. His was a laborous life - and although he had a large family to raise support and educate he went forward in his mistereal (sic) week sometimes as pastor of churches sometimes as mishinary (sic) evangelist, not allowing the claim of his family as any worldly consisteration (sic) to interfere with the great work to which his master and brethern had called him.

His success in his days of his strength was in building up churches, in waist (sic) places and confuting was wherever he found his strict adherance to sound doctrine all attest his worth and usefulness.

But he has finished his work and our loss is his eternal gain, and we can orle (sic) exclaim in the languages of the sainted Servant of God well done.

The battle fought the victory won Enter thy Masters joy.

Respectfully submitted,
W. R. Spencer, Chairman

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Aberdeen Baptist Association
Minutes of Meeting

Salem Church, October 16, 1846

... a committee of three was appointed on ministerial education, to report at this meeting. That committee are brethren Christman, W. Hood, and Compere.

.... on the subject of the moral and religious improvement of the colored population, and said committee to report at this meeting. That committee are brethren Gill, R. Harrison and W. Hood

1st What course should be adopted toward such church members who attend for the first time Theatres, Circussus, Horse Races, Tippling Shops, Billiard Rooms, N'nep'n Alleys, or Balls?
2nd Also what should be done with such members, as persist in attending such places?

Your committee, to whom was referred the Queries from the Aberdeen Church beg leave to report: That we deem all such conduct as mentioned in said Queries, as unchristian, highly reprehensible and tending to be the worst of influences. We would therefore recommend the following answer: 1st clause, They should be reproved by the Pastor 2nd clause, They should be urged to refrain, and in the case of obstinance, continuance in such a course should be dealt with by the church, for refractory and unchristian conduct.
All of which is respectfully submitted,

Wm. Hood, Chairman


Anonymous said...

My mother was born in Dec. 1901, and the Dyer family were Baptist. She always referred to some of the Baptist churches down in the sw part of Marion County as being "Hardshell" Baptist. Since my daddy's Stone and Robinson families were Methodist, my brothers and I attended the Methodist churches since there were no known Hardshell Baptist in the Hamilton, AL area.

Now I have a question about your trip to Pontotoc County: is there any evidence of the old courthouse standing today? The Cemetery Inscription book for the western part of Marion County has the information written on the tablet at the John and Annie E. Lyle (Liles) Stone's graves at Shottsville Methodist Church Cemetery which states that John, his sons and sons-in-law made the trip to Pontotoc, MS to make the purchase of over 6,000 acres of what is known today as Shottsville. Fortunately for me, the late GGgrandson of John and Annie, Judge James Edgar Shotts,Sr. also had all these lands mapped out on grid paper to represent where these farmlands were located - but it is hard to visualize all this when looking at a current day map. bettye

Mona Robinson Mills said...

Bettye, the courthouse in Pontotoc County today is not the original courthouse. On the county's rootsweb site, there is a "historical tour" which includes the Federal Land Office which was built to handle the land sales following the Chickasaw treaty. It appears, then, that the land office is still standing although I'm sure it has been remodeled well beyond its original state. Or maybe I misunderstood, and the site only points out the location of the original land office.

Were the Dyers Primitive Baptist (also known as Hardshell)?

Arvel said...

Bettye, I believe there is a picture of the old Federal Courthouse hanging in the Pontotoc Courthouse. The first Federal Courthouse in North Mississippi was at Pontotoc, though Federal Court was later moved to Aberdeen. The old Federal Courthouse would have housed the Federal land office where John Stone would have gone to get his patent.

Anonymous said...

The only churches that I recall hearing my aunts and grandparents (Dyer family)discuss were Friendship North Baptist Church (this was on or near the Cody family lands around Cody Mountain) and then just a short mile or two north up county rd. 26 is Pleasant Site Freewill Baptist Church - maybe someone reading your blog can give us greater information! - I only remember passing by it. I believe Bud and Mary Anna Riggan measured the distance from the old Dyer homestead (originally one of the Cody families land)and Friendship church as 5/8 mile when we caravaned from the Cody reunion in Aug. 2003 for me to reassure them that had been the original location of the Wright cabin which sat on a little hill behind Daddy Dyer's blacksmith shop. This is the homesite from which the Wright Cabin located near the Museum in Amory, MS was removed, thanks to Judge Fred and Brynda Wright.

Arvel, it's a mighty long way from Ft. Worth to Pontotoc, MS for an old lady!, so I doubt that I will ever set foot in the courthouse. .
I will have to depend on you and Mona to provide "cover" stories about where our ancestors lived and what happened to those places! Earlier in the week, my older brother and I reminisced for an hour or more about who lived where and when. "Drawing pictures" over the phone gets a little complicated!, but the old retired Jr. High principal has more knowledge of who lived where than I do - just wish I had a recording machine built into the telephone - wouldn't that be a nice invention? bettye