Thursday, June 24, 2010

Harrison Hoods abound...

Did Joshua H. Hood actually name three of his sons Harrison? Let me elaborate further. Joshua Hood and Margaret Johnson were married in December 1849 in St. Clair County, Alabama and moved to Itawamba County around 1854. Joshua's middle name is said to be Harrison, but I've not found evidence to support that. His tombstone at Mt. Pleasant only has his initials: J. H., and census records do not indicate anything other than the name Joshua. Was his middle name Harrison? Maybe someone with better information can provide the answer.

Joshua and Margaret had thirteen known children: 11 sons and 2 daughters. It appears that three sons may have shared the name Harrison.

The couple's second-born son was William Harrison "Buck" Hood, or at least Harrison has been ascribed as his middle name - I have no proof. Census records do indicate that his middle initial was "H". Was he really William Harrison Hood? He named a son Harrison. William is believed to be buried at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Cemetery in Itawamba County, his grave marked by a simple, homemade concrete stone, along with his wife and daughter Sallie.

Then, there is the fifth son of Joshua and Margaret: Harrison H. Hood. What did his middle initial "H" stand for? His tombstone indicates his name as Harris H. Hood while his census record indicate Harrison, and the 1908 school census for Itawamba County lists him as H. H. Hood. I think it is a sure bet that his name was Harrison.

Next, the ninth child of Joshua and Margaret: Joshua H. Hood, Jr. who went by the nickname of Josh. His tombstone at Mt. Pleasant has his name as Joshua Hood with no middle initial, but at least one census record gives his middle initial as "H". If Joshua was named after his father, and his father's middle name was Harrison, then it stands to reason that Joshua Jr. had a middle name of Harrison although I've not found other evidence to support this.

Why use the name Harrison for several sons? If Joshua Hood Sr. was the son of James Hood of St. Clair County, Alabama, and if Joshua did have a middle name of Harrison, it would be odd because there was another, older son of James named Harrison. Was it a family tradition to use Harrison as a name multiple times in the same family?

The use of the name Harrison is important in itself. DNA testing, though not an exact science just yet, has indicated that the Hoods who came through St. Clair County, Alabama (and some of them to Itawamba County later) do not descend from Tunis Hood yet it is interesting to note that Tunis Hood Sr.'s wife's name was Elizabeth Harrison. Harrison is used as a given name in multiple generations of the Hoods who came from St. Clair County.

If there are descendants of the William H. Hood and Joshua H. Hood, Jr. who have Bible records or other records that indicate that these men did indeed have the middle name of Harrison, I would be interested in hearing from them.

Oh, and if someone has thought that perhaps the "H" stood for Henry.... well, Joshua and Margaret's last son was named Richard Henry Hood!



Anonymous said...

Mona, I know that you, Don and your chauffeur (Mike!) spent time in St. Clair County this spring so did you learn anything about that "stopping off point" in northeast Alabama to cause this be the apparent "first stop" in Alabama on their way to points west and or places unknown? I have only driven or ridden through that part of Alabama and know this is in the foothills of the Smokies (lots of forestery, but not much of anything else to see as one rides the roller coaster hilly countryside.) The more I read of families that "left" St. Clair County for Marion County, AL and Itawamba County, MS gets my curious streak stirred up! Somehow, it doesn't appear that any of the early settlers went there with any intent on remaining longer that necessary to recover from the long trek out of VA, NC and SC. As a young woman, I only recalled the highways through this part of the state simply led one from Atlanta to Birmingham. . . and on into MS, eventually then to Memphis.

From what little I have learned about "your/my" Robinson's, it would appear that they traveled a more northerly route thru TN to reach the MS valley that we know as Itawamba Co. today, or am I wrong here? bettye

Mona Robinson Mills said...

Bettye, this area of Alabama was opened up for settlement after the War of 1812 and subsequent treaty with the Indians. The settlers came here first simply because it was available first. Land to the east, in extreme eastern, present-day Alabama was still occupied by Indians, as was western Georgia, at that time. Many of the settlers were volunteer soldiers who fought with Gen. Jackson and thus were familiar with this land from their battles and service in the area. After the war was over, they went back home, packed up their families and move south from Tennessee (mostly) and other places. The first ones there got the best land, in the valleys. The later settlers got what was left, and since that land wasn't always good land for farming (you picked up on that), or farming for an extended period of time, then they moved on to Itawamba, Marion and other counties in the 1830s when that land became available after treaties with the Chickasaw Indians. It was always about better land and a better life.

You are correct about our Robinsons. At the time of their migration from South Carolina, the safest route was up into Tennessee and across the bottom of that state before dipping down into Alabama and subsequently into Itawamba County when that land became available.

Alabama became a state in 1818, I believe, although not in the form that we now know it. There were still large parts of it still in Indian hands, as were the contiguous states of Mississippi and Georgia. These states were formed piece by piece as the native Indian tribes left or were removed.