Monday, February 21, 2011

Another branch on the Family Tree - Welcome, Luke!

Michael Luke Mills was born February 18, 2011, at 6:31 p.m.   Precious baby Luke weighed 7 lbs 12 ounces, and we are thrilled to finally get to meet and welcome him into the fold.  Luke has an outstanding Itawamba pedigree, and I can't wait to tell him all about his family tree.

Michael Paul Mills, Jr.
Jada Carol Jamerson

Mona Robinson
Michael Paul Mills, Sr.
Cindy Thomas
James Wilburn Jamerson

Betty Jean Pennington
James Luke Robinson
Shirley Joyce Dulaney
Paul H. Mills
Patsy Johnson
J. B. Thomas
Jessie Bane Senter
Harlon Wilburn Jamerson

Great-great grandparents:
Fessie Manuel Pennington
Rebecca Davis
Luke Lee Robinson
Ella Pearl Cofield
Pearl Faye Johnson
Lawrence Orr Dulaney
William Henry Mills
Glader Mae Johnson
Hershell Johnson
Eula Mae Miller (still living!)
Lou Vonnie Thomas
Belvie Thornton
Jesse Alvin Senter
Nervia May Dulaney
Edgar Ellis Jamerson
Martha McDowell

Great-great-great grandparents:
Ethel Dee Sloan
William Hugh Pennington
James Kelly Davis
Queenie Victoria Clayton
Gideon Casibay Robinson
Arthusa Parneshia Evans
John Richard Cofield
Marinda "Dollie" Loyd
James Nathan Johnson
Alma Etta Hood
James Henry Dulaney, Sr.
Laura Bertha Warren
Jesse Thomas Mills
Onady Randolph
Fisher Demarcus Johnson
Nora Thornton
William Jack Johnson
Sarah Ann Wooldridge
William Houston Miller
Ethel Tubb
Benjamin Frank Thomas
Missouri Cromeans
John T. Thornton
Nancy Elizabeth "Betty" Griffin
Reuben Wiygul Jamerson
Sarah Jane McKee
Thomas Alfred Senter
Susan Rebecca "Becky" Woodard
Alfred "Babe" Dulaney
Lucinda Alabama "Bama" Chilcoat

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dee and Minnie Spearman, with daughter Lola

Here is another photograph supplied by Sue, great-granddaughter of James Lavert Spearman and Martha Lou Taylor.  

Pictured above are Dee Spearman and his wife, Minnie Brown Spearman, and their daughter Lola Ann Spearman who was born in 1911.    Dee was the son of Jim and Martha Spearman while Minnie was the daughter of John Wills Brown and Josephine Hardwick Brown.  Dee and Minnie moved to Florida before 1920, and they both died there in the 1960's. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

J. K. and Queenie Clayton Davis
Itawamba sweethearts

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Martha Lou Taylor Spearman

Martha Lou Taylor, daughter of Wade Columbus Taylor and Delila Duvall, married James Lavert "Jim" Spearman on July 25, 1883 in Itawamba County.  She and Jim had eight children together before her untimely death in 1905 at age of 40.  Martha was buried at Providence Cemetery, north of Tremont in Itawamba County.  

Martha and Jim's children were Dee, Lee Alvin, Effie, Troy, Audye, Archie, Bonnie and Johnnie Celesta.    Troy died in France during World War I while Bonnie and Johnnie, twins, died young.     Lee Alvin Spearman's granddaughter, Sue, shared this photograph of her great-grandmother with me.   Sue has accumulated quite a collection of memories, documents and photographs of her ancestors in Itawamba County.

Friday, February 11, 2011

James Lavert and Mary Almeda Spearman

Pictured above are James Lavert "Jim" Spearman and his second wife, Mary Almeda Baldwin.  Jim was the son of William Harvard Spearman and Elizabeth Isabella Lochridge.  He was born in 1860 in Franklin County, Alabama and died in 1934 in Itawamba County.  

Behind Jim and "Meadie" is their store located in the Patton Flat community near Gum in Itawamba County. 

Jim's great-granddaughter, Sue, shared this photograph with me.  Sue's grandparents were Lee Alvin Spearman and Lee Etta Todd.   A few years ago Sue found the original receipts in his grandfather L. A. Spearman's billfold when he and his wife had purchased land from Thomas J. and Laura Jamerson Johnson in 1913 in Itawamba County.  The receipts had the original signatures of Thomas and Laura Johnson.

Thank you, Sue, for sharing!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sarah Maxcy 1777-1853

Sarah Maxey's grave is the earliest marked grave in the Gilmore-Evans Cemetery (Old Asbury Methodist Church Cemetery) south of Tremont.  As her headstone indicates, Sarah was born April 8, 1777 and died May 18, 1853.  She was the wife of Walter Maxey.  There are no other marked Maxey graves.

Quick research indicates that Sarah was the daughter of Rhodam Allen and Mary Emily Ransom Allen, and that she was born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.   Her husband was Walter Grenada Maxey, son of Jesse and Elizabeth Maxey.  Walter was born in 1775 in Tennessee, died in 1839 in Itawamba County, and descendants indicate that Walter was buried on the Maxey Family farm.

In this 2008 blog post by Bob Franks on the Itawamba Historical Society Web-blog,  the Walter Maxey family is discussed as being one of four families found living in what was still Indian territory in 1833 (Itawamba County wasn't formed until 1836).  Surveyors of the land obtained through treaty with the Chickasaw Indians in 1832 were in the area shortly after the treaty to survey and draw off sections of land for eventual purchase by white settlers.   The field notes of these surveyors show that Walter and Sarah Maxey were living just west of the old wagon road that came out of Monroe County (Monroe County was formed in 1821 from lands earlier ceded by the Chickasaws) into the Chickasaw Nation.

Can you imagine moving with your husband and eleven children to  the wilderness of pre-Itawamba County, only to lose your husband in 1839?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Old Asbury Cemetery

It dawned on me just the other day that as we approach the warm days of spring (hard to believe with the current weather we've been having, I know), the time for exploring old, out-of-the-way cemeteries is winding down.  There are a couple of such cemeteries that I wanted to get to during the dead of winter in order to avoid snakes and other scary creatures.

The Gilmore-Evans Cemetery south of Tremont is a cemetery that one needs to visit during colder months, and in fact Cousin Don and I were there two years ago today on a fairly pleasant, sunny day (unlike today).   This cemetery is also known as Old Asbury, not to be confused the current Asbury Cemetery located nearby.  When the adjoining Asbury Methodist Church burned sometime in the early 1900's (unsure exactly when, would love to know more if anyone has information), the church rebuilt their building which is now located on Highway 23, not too far away.  A new cemetery was established near the new church, and the old cemetery was essentially abandoned and is now on private property.  The first time I visited the old cemetery, now known as Gilmore-Evans to distinguish it from the newer Asbury Cemetery, I could barely see the headstones and trees were growing up throughout the cemetery.  I couldn't explore like I wanted because it wasn't yet winter time.  It was a couple of years before I got back to the cemetery, and in the meantime someone had gone in and done some serious clean-up.  Yea!!

My Evans ancestors are buried here, and pictured in the top photo are a row of Evans graves.  The second photograph is of the headstone of my great-great grandparents, John Thomas Evans and Elizabeth Ann Bishop Evans.  Also buried here are William M. Evans and Sarah Pearce Evans, John's parents, as well as some of John's siblings.

The Gilmore-Evans Cemetery was still being used as a burial ground at least as late as 1936 when Elizabeth A. Evans was buried there next to her husband who died in 1929., but the burials at the cemetery seem to really slow down during the 1910's.  I suspect that John and Elizabeth were buried there simply because this was the Evans family burial place; the old church probably had burned before they died.  The earliest grave appears to be dated 1853:  Sarah, wife of Walter Maxey.  Sarah was born 1777.