Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rachel McNiece Dulaney

This is a familiar picture that accompanies most Dulaney family histories. It has appeared alongside the Dulaney family history in the Itawamba County Times as well as the historical society's publication Itawamba Families. Rachel McNiece was married to Alfred Dulaney, one of the original three Dulaney brothers who arrived in Itawamba County in the early 1830s. She was born in 1812 in South Carolina, the daughter of Henry and Polly McNiece. [This surname can be found spelled also as McNeece, McNeese, and even Macknese. ]

Rachel and Alfred had ten children, all but one who lived and died in Itawamba County. Their son Thomas moved to Arkansas, and his descendants are scattered throughout Arkansas and Texas.

I think the reason that we so often see Rachel McNiece's photograph alongside Dulaney family histories, aside from the fact that she married a Dulaney, is that this is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, photograph from that generation of Dulaneys. Yesterday, I had the occasion to the see the original 8 x 10 inch tintype photograph of Rachel and meet its owner: Charlie Dulaney, son of Vecil Dulaney and great-great-grandson of Alfred Dulaney and Rachel McNiece. Cousin Charlie was gracious enough to meet with Don and me yesterday at his lovely home in Batesville during a busy Saturday afternoon. In addition to Rachel's photograph, he shared original Civil War-era letters from the Dulaney and McNeiece families - true treasures to be sure. Just to hold and read letters from that era was amazing. Vecil Dulaney, Charlie's father, was an early family historian and his collection has been a wonderful resource for johnny-come-lately genealogists such as myself.

The scanned version of Rachel's photograph, above, certainly looks fresher than the other copies I've had or seen, and I'm grateful for Charlie Dulaney's spirit of sharing.

1 comment:

Terry Thornton said...

Wonderful! What treasures shared with you and with us all. Thanks.
Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi