Monday, March 31, 2008
Always remember that a Federal land patent is where a person simply obtained land and does not necessarily mean the person actually lived on that land. In addition, the patentees of adjoining sections of lands were not necessarily neighbors.
Always remember that in many instances, land was obtained through patents by land speculators, especially in the newly opened Chickasaw Cession counties of northeast Mississippi. These patentees never intended to live on the land, but the purchase of these lands through the Federal land office was simply a financial investment with the idea of later reselling the land to settlers at a profit. The records show that these speculators lived in other states in addition to Mississippi and many as far away as New York.
However, one valuable record group in Mississippi counties relating to land purchases is the collection of Range Abstract books. Itawamba County lands were found in six ranges east of the Chickasaw Meridian (six through eleven). A range abstract book will have a section for each township, and within each township section an entire page devoted to each section of land. Each land section page has four columns - one for each quarter section of land within the section (northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast quarters). The top of each column has the original patentee’s name and date the land was obtained. Under this information, in chronological order, is a running title of the particular quarter section of land giving the grantee’s name and deed reference.
If a researcher has an old deed reference to an ancestor’s land, this land can be easily researched in the Range Abstract books giving a reference for when the land was sold, and to whom the land was sold. This book will also show the length of time the ancestor owned the property. These books are also valuable in giving a more accurate account of who an ancestor’s neighbors were, at any given time.
In researching your Itawamba County ancestors’ land, always remember the Range Abstract books – a most valuable often-overlooked resource that tells so much more than the patent records.
Photograph by Bob Franks
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The green leaves, when bruised, has a faint smell of lemon. The following is taken from a 1912 edition of the book, The Americana: A Universal Reference Library by Frederick Converse Beach: “The roots of sassafras very early in American history became an important article of medicine, worth three shillings a pound, and they were one of the objects for which an English expedition landed in 1602…the oil of sassafras is used for a perfume for soaps, etc. The wood itself is orange-colored with pale sap-wood, and when stripped of its bark resists decay for some time, while in contact with the soil, so that it can be made into fence posts.”
The sassafras makes an excellent specimen yard tree with its beautiful upright trunk, horizontal branches and unique mitten-shaped leaves. During the fall, the leaves turn a vivid rusty red.
Photograph by Bob Franks
Thursday, March 27, 2008
“The Wall is more than just 58,000 plus names,” explains Richard Schroepfer, a Vietnam War Veteran. “Many of these people were my friends. And now Footnote.com helps me create a remembrance of these fine gentlemen.”
Footnote.com started the project by contracting the expertise of Peter Krogh, a National Geographic photographer, who was given the challenge to photograph the entire wall. Creating this online version of the Wall required almost 1,500 individual photos that were stitched together to create one single image. The process took over five months and resulted in an image that is nearly five gigapixels in size. Despite the immense size, just about anyone can view the image on Footnote.com via an Internet connection.
Footnote.com partnered with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to link the service records and casualty reports to each name on the Wall. “The records of the Vietnam War in the National Archives are essential resources for veterans to revisit their history and establish their rights,” explains Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. “These extensive files are mined by scholars every day as they continue to interpret and understand this pivotal period in American history.” Footnote.com will also be digitizing National Archives photos from the Vietnam War.
Finding someone on the Wall is as simple as typing a name into a search box and letting Footnote.com quickly locate and zoom into the area of the Wall where the individual name can be viewed. Once the name is located, visitors can see the soldier’s service record and view comments, stories and photos that have been contributed by other visitors.
“Footnote.com is about discovering, discussing, and sharing the stories of our past,” says Russell Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. “We know that there are many untold experiences represented on that Wall, and we hope that this interactive version of the memorial helps those affected by the war by sharing their stories.”
Footnote.com also provides a way for visitors to create a tribute page dedicated to the brave men and women who served in Vietnam, who may not be on the Wall. These pages become a way for veterans, family and friends to share experiences and feelings about this event that has had a great impact on so many. Footnote.com hopes that this interactive Wall becomes a means for healing and paying tribute to those whose sacrifice and service have been under-appreciated for so long.
Photography Courtesy of The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
During 1875, Samuel G. and William Morgan purchased the north half of the northeast quarter of Section 17, Township 11, Range 9 from John Thomas Culpepper Evans, in addition to other adjoining lands. It is not known if the house was already on the site at the time of this deed signing or not, but the property was a part of the Evans family’s vast land holdings in the New Salem area. Parrott Evans had purchased this particular piece of land from the Federal Government at the Pontotoc land sales during 1842.
During the later 1800s Morganton was a bustling community and during 1905 the south half of the section, adjacent to the house property was sold to the firm of Booker, Evans and Morgan. This firm had a sawmill, gristmill and operated a timber company.
Today this historic home has been revived thanks to the efforts of Reggie and Debbie Ann Johnson, the current owners of the property. This husband and wife team have made the revival of the old Morganton structure a labor of love and Reggie is a direct descendant of the original owner of the property, Parrott Evans.
The couple retained many of the 19th century details in the home, including the old wooden walls, high ceilings and original doors with glass doorknobs . In restoring the historical structure, the couple found in one place, where the floor had been patched with a Prince Albert tobacco tin. They left this unique floor patch intact.
Throughout the beautifully appointed house many family heirlooms are displayed. Today, the mostly forgotten old Morganton settlement is being revived, thanks to the noble preservation efforts of the Johnsons. The Itawamba Historical Society commends this couple for their work with the preservation of a part of Itawamba County’s rich history and heritage.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
No Easter-tide is complete for the children without an egg hunt. If the weather permits this should be out of doors. Hide eggs of all sizes and colors, hard-boiled, and candy ones, in every conceivable place. If the party is a large one there should be four prizes, one to the child getting the golden egg (gilded), one for finding the silver egg, one for finding the most and one for the child who finds the egg marked “third prize.” The prizes should be some of the many Easter novelties, or candy boxes filled with candy eggs. A pot of jonquils or hyacinths is a suitable price if the winner is about eight or ten years old. Serve ice cream, rabbit-shaped cookies and bonbons. There is a very old game called “egg pick” that the children should play after the hunt. Use only hard-boiled eggs. A child who strikes out with his egg at one held by another child and whose egg breaks or cracks first wins the other egg. If there is a hill conveniently placed, or even a slight slant to the ground, there may be an egg-rolling on a small scale such as the children had in Washington at the White House for many years.
Photograph by Bob Franks
Friday, March 21, 2008
D.N. Cayce was another old timer of Fulton, of whom I wish to say something. He had removed from
You never saw him but that he was as neat as a pin, wearing a bouquet on the lapel of his coat when flowers were to be found and his deference to women was proverbial. He was very fond of young misses, and nothing gave him greater pleasure than to drive them round in a fine turn out. After the war Colonel Cayce came back to
Page 381, Iuka Post Office, 2557-2557
D.N. Cayce: 45, M, Farmer, $20,000, $50,000, TN
Isabella J. Cayce: 18, F, TN
Shadrack N. Cayce: 16, M, Farm Laborer, TN
George B. Cayce: 14, M, MS
Isabella J. Gaither: 65, F, NC
John A. Blair: 23, M, Attorney at Law, $1,000, TN
Page 494, Town of
Newnan Cayce: 35, Attorney, TN
Fannie: 34, MS
Lizzie: 8, MS
Mable: 1, MS
Amanda Clifton: 57, Mother in Law, AL
Lewis: 50, B, Servant, MS
Willie: 49, B, Servant, MS
Samuel: 18, B, Servant, MS
Billie: 12, B, Servant, MS
Margie: 10, B, Servant, MS
Robt.: 6, B, MS
Newnan Cayce: 69, Father, TN, Farmer
Nora Owen, 20, Niece, TN
Monday, March 17, 2008
This year will mark the 70th Annual Pilgrimage sponsored by the Holly Springs Garden Club. Homes features during this year’s event will be Athenia (1858), Montrose (1858), Burton Place (1840), Strawberry Plains Davis House (1851) and the Walthall Freeman Clark Place (1848). Featured churches will be Christ Episcopal (1858), First Methodist (1849), First Presbyterian (1860) and The Church of the Yellow Fever Martyrs (1841).
Tours of historic Hillcrest Cemetery will be given and will be the setting for storytelling of Holly Springs’ most illustrious characters brought to life by local townspeople dressed in costumes of the day reenacting roles of those historic figures.
Other special events will be luscious luncheons at Montrose, First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church parish house, and a Simply Southern Supper featuring old-time southern catfish with “all the fixins.” Visitors may also enjoy carriage rides down Holly Springs’ beautiful historic streets.
In addition to the art collections featured in several of the homes on tour, there will be works on display as well as arts and crafts vendors set up on the lawn of the Kate Clark Art Gallery and Montrose.
Take time to explore beautiful and historic Holly Springs, Mississippi during the 2008 Pilgrimage. For further information, visit the Holly Springs 2008 Pilgrimage website.
Photographs Courtesy of The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Forsythia - called Golden Rods by some, has been a popular garden shrub in Itawamba County for generations simply because of its tolerance and ease of propagation. Gardeners can cut a branch and simply push the branch into the soil. After a good dose of water, a new shrub will usually start on its own with no special worry or care.
Introduced in America from the Orient shortly after 1900, Forsythia is a genus of flowering plants in the Oleaceae (olive) family. There are about eleven species.
The genus is named in honor of William Forsyth. Forsyth (1737-1804). was born near Aberdeen, Scotland, but moved to London and became the gardener at Syon Park. During 1784 Forsyth was appointed Superintendent of the gardens of St James’s and Kensington Palaces. During 1802 he published a "Treatise on the Culture and Management of Fruit Trees."
Forsythia Photograph by Bob Franks
William Forsyth image courtesy of Wikipedia
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Railroad construction work was slow and difficult during antebellum times and by 1860 the Mobile and Ohio’s construction was in full swing in the northwestern portion of the county. The railroad company hired many men from the area and other southern states, but most of the men who constructed the railroad were laborers from the North, with the vast majority being born in Ireland.
The 1860 Federal Census gives a wonderful documentation of these workers constructing the railroad in northwestern Itawamba County. They will probably be missing from their home states because they were down South in Itawamba County, Mississippi building a railroad. Below is a listing abstracted from the 1860 Itawamba County Federal Census honoring those men from Ireland who helped forge a railroad through the hills of northeastern Mississippi:
Davis Wren: 35, Ireland
Michael McMarrow: 27, Ireland
John Ryan: 25, Ireland
John Davis: 26, Ireland
James Kahn: 28, Ireland
John Dunn: 30, Ireland
John McKinley: 32, Ireland
Archibald Wilson: 30, Ireland
Michael O’Bryan: 26, Ireland
Levi Smith: 30, Ireland
David Frolly: 23, Ireland
Simeon Hassett: 30, Ireland
Martin Hanley: 27, Ireland
Edward Burke: 35, Ireland
Daniel Carry: 35, Ireland
Edward Donahoe: 20, Ireland
John Murphy: 40, Ireland
Andrew Kelly: 30, Ireland
Michael Flannigan: 45, Ireland
Patrick Smith: 35, Ireland
George Matthews: 47, Ireland
James M. Sains: 21, Ireland
Richard Nolen: 25, Ireland
Dennis Cary: 35, Ireland
Owen Logan: 33, Ireland
John Collins: 23, Ireland
Patrick McVilly: 30, Ireland
Roderick Coleman: 28, Ireland
John Book: 35, Ireland
Robert Sullivan: 30, Ireland
Patrick McCarter: 25, Ireland
Jno. Kernes: 55, Ireland
Michael O’Bryan: 25, Ireland
Joseph McDonald: 20, Ireland
Edward Smith: 30, Ireland
Jery McKay: 35, Ireland
Thomas Farrell: 35, Ireland
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Board of Police Records in Mississippi Offer a Vast Amount of Genealogical and Historical Information
This governing board granted licenses for mills, gins, saloons and other types of businesses. During the Civil War era this board oversaw the disbursement of military relief monies to citizens within its jurisdiction and also received petitions from citizens for new schools and changes in roads. They also approved all payments to local businesses for county supplies and such. During the later 1800’s the board was in charge of the disbursement of Confederate Civil War pensions among the veterans of the county.
The list can go on and on in regards to what valuable information can found in old Board of Police minute books. Currently the Itawamba Historical Society is publishing transcripts from Itawamba County’s Board of Police Minutes for the 1860’s decade and it is simply amazing the amount of interesting material being garnered from those old pages.
In conducting Mississippi local research, don’t forget the often-overlooked Board of Police minute books in a county. The valuable records within the large volumes may provide a valuable piece of information about an elusive Mississippi ancestor.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
New Salem Methodist Episcopal Church Deed: 1840
Itawamba County Masonic Records: 1881-1885
Taking a Rest
Google Books Affords Easier Access to Many Old and Obscure Books
Elvis Presley: His Itawamba Ancestors and Cousins
Hauling Logs From the Tombigbee River Bottom Near Fulton
Itawamba County News Abstracts: 1912
A Pensacola Florida Civil War Connections
An 1858 Elopement on the Whitesides Plantation
In Memory of Rolling Stores
James Whitesides’ Last Will and Testament and Slave Inventory
John Walker Last Will and Testament: 1860
Police Court Minutes: 1864
An Old Civil War Service Discharge Reflects and Family Story
George Shumpert Estate Depositions: 1881
The James Boatwright Crypt at Keyes Cemetery
William Clark McQuiston Legal Advertisement: 1866
Itawamba County Elected Officials Portrait: 1884
Notes on Researching the Itawamba County Federal Census Schedules
The Forrest Lamar Cooper Postcard Collection
A Mississippi Hill Country Farmer with His Best Friend
To subscribe to Itawamba Settlers magazine, visit the society's membership area for further information.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Photograph by Bob Franks
Joseph W. Ellerbee was born July 22, 1839 and died February 26 1857.According to the 1850 Itawamba County census he was born in Georgia and was listed in the household of William and Cassandra Johnson. The census listing is as follows:
William F. Johnson: age 45, Farmer, born in GA
Cassandra: age 32, born in NC
John W. Houston: age 21, born in GA
Joseph W. Ellerbee: age 10, born in GA
Ellerbee monument photograph by Bob Franks
Sunday, March 2, 2008
2008 will be no exception to what has been offered by past festivals and committee members this year have said they desire to stage the very best festival ever, featuring outstanding entertainment, delectable food and quality arts and crafts.
Amory’s very existence is due to the railroad. The town was established by the K.C.M.&B. Railroad (Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham) at the halfway point between Memphis and Birmingham and was named for business magnate and cotton mill owner, Harcourt Amory of Boston (born February 10, 1855, died November 26, 1925). Harcourt Amory helped finance the buying of right-of-way for the railroad through the area. Shortly after the town was surveyed and plotted, the first lots were sold at auction in November 1887 and incorporation followed during 1888.
Each year the festival features the best in entertainment, arts and crafts, good Southern food, a fantastic car and truck show, carnival, a 5k railroad run and special museum events.
Take time to discover historic Amory – northeast Mississippi’s railroad town, this April 16-20 during the 30th Annual Amory Railroad Festival. For further festival information, visit the Amory Railroad Festival website.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Littleton Temple was married to Lydia Powell (born March 20, 1811) on October 24, 1833 in Wake County. She was the daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth Powell.
Littleton Temple brought his family and slaves first to Pickens County, Alabama and later to Itawamba County during 1848 where he purchased a sizeable plantation of 1,000 acres in southwestern Itawamba County. He served as a Justice of the Peace for three terms and was seated on the county Board of Police when Lee County was organized during 1867. As president of the board at the time, and living in the territory that was to become Lee County, it became his duty to order an election to vote upon organizing the new county of Lee.
Littleton Temple was a prohibitionist, a member of the Farmer’s Alliance and Primitive Baptist church. The children of Littleton and Lydia Powell Templeton included: Harriet E. (married Wesley B. Strickland), Lucy Ann (married Stephen A. Shackleford), Milton M. (married Louisa Roberts), Martha H. (married John G. Marler), Matthew D. (married Philora A. Riley), and Josie.
Littleton Temple died on November 20, 1898 in southeastern Lee County (old Itawamba County).