Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sentimental Sunday

Mary Alma Eley
Christmas Eve 24  Dec 1979 Mary Alma Eley Pearce.
Mary Alma Eley was born 1 May 1938 and died 8 May 2004

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Surname Saturday

Clifton Columbus Coon

Clifton Columbus Coon taken when he was
on a visit to California with his son.
How does a person get a name like Clifton Columbus? Columbus must have been an important figure to Nancy Caroline Hodges when she named this son. Families sometimes had naming patterns and followed those in naming their children. However, I am not sure this is the case with Clifton Columbus. Clifton was born in Pike County, Mississippi January 18, 1882 to Nancy Caroline Hodges. On his World War I Draft Registration Card C his physical description was he was tall, slender, blue eyes, and black hair.

Clifton ancestors were immigrants from Zurich, Switzerland in 1739, and they arrived in Charles Town South Carolina in 1749. Lived in that area for many years then in 1811 Clifton direct line ancestor John Lewis migrated with his family to Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Clifton’s grandfather Jacob moved to Pike County, and his father Lewis Coon lived there until their deaths.
The 1890 Federal Census would have been a great help as I researched this Coon line. Clifton was born in 1882 and he would have been linked with his father Edward Zachariah Thomas Coon and his wife Jane Ann Mason; however, the next census was 1900 where Clifton was living in McClendon, Lincoln County, Mississippi with her sister Sarah and her husband James M. Lentz. Clifton is eighteen years old. Clifton can read, write, and speak English. He is single at the time of the census taking. However, not long after that 9 Jun 1900 he married Missouri Cowart in Lincoln County. That was such a young age to marry, but they did marry and later divorced. They had one child Henry Rowan Coon born 23 Oct 1901. By 1910 Clifton was married a second time to Mary Lavenia Ramsey Blunt.

Clifton and Mary were married about 1908 in Lincoln County. The 1910 census shows that he was married two years. How many children did they have six with six living. He was a farmer and lived on Brookhaven Road. He signed up for the World War 1 Draft Registration September 2, 1918 in Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana., and his wife Lavenia Coon was the contact for his nearest relative. Their address was Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi. 
There is a confusing turn of events with Clifton Coon appearing in 1920 on the Marion County Census and states that he is widowed. He is thirty-nine years old, and is a boarder. Why is he living as a boarder and listed as a widow? A puzzling turn of events from when the 1910 census was taken. In 1920 Vennie, his wife is living in Ruth, Lincoln County on West Providence Road. She has all ten children living with her including Clifton’s son Rowan by his first wife Missouri. Three of those children are by her first husband W. G. Blunt. What is going on that Clifton is living in another county? His wife Vennie died about four years later suddenly, and Clifton, the children and some relatives are in West Carroll Parish on the 1930 census. Did he leave Vennie? Was he in Marion County looking for work? He was a farmer and lived on a farm. Clifton wasn’t a widow because Vennie didn’t die until about 1924.

Clifton has migrated from Pike County to District 7, Ward 4, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana with his children Alma, age fourteen, George age twelve, his step-son-in-law Edd Ethridge age twenty-three, Edd’s wife and Clifton’s step-daughter Mamie age twenty-two, children of Edd and Mammie, Hellen age four years and two months, Dorothy Lee age two years and three months, and Calvin Edgar age seven months. Clifton wasn’t a veteran and was renting his house. He again states that he is widowed. This time is most likely a widow from researching the children I estimate Vennie was deceased by 1930. They arrived in West Carroll Parish about 1926 or early 1927.

Clifton didn’t waste any time finding him another wife.  By the April 30th 1932 Clifton married Mildred J. Easterling a woman twenty-two years old and born in Mississippi. Did she migrate with him and his group from Mississippi?  On the marriage license, she stated she was an orphan. Clifton stated his former wife was Beanie and she was dead. Mildred was born in Mississippi so possibly she migrated with Clifton and his family to West Carroll. Mildred completed the fourth grade and in 1935 she lived in rural West Carroll Parish. She didn’t work but did housework. There were no known children from this marriage. By September 1946 Clifton signed up for Social Security. In 1942 Clifton signed up for the World War II Draft Registration in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish. He was sixty years old and was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi on January 18, 1882.
When I looked at the witnesses on his marriage record, World War II Draft Registration and the people living near him on the 1930 and 1940 censuses those are people who were born in Mississippi. Therefore, I concluded there was a group of people who migrated from Mississippi and settled in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

Clifton left West Carroll Parish sometime after 1942. Oliver C. Coon son of Clifton’s son Rowan is listed in the City Directory and is living in Port Arthur, Texas in 1943. Morris C. Coon Clifton’s oldest son by Vennie is listed in the City Directory and is living in Port Arthur in 1951. Morris is a working as trucker. He and his wife Irma are on the 1940 East Carroll Parish census so they left for Texas sometime after the census was taken.

He lived in Silsbee, Hardin County, Texas near his sons Morris and Rowan for two years before his death. He died February 21, 1963 in Silsbee, Texas. The cause of his death was arteriosclerotic cardio vascular disease. He apparently was diagnosed with that a month before his death.
He was listed on the death certificate as a widow. So, what happened to Mildred J. the woman he married in West Carroll Parish in 1932? Did she die? Did he leave her for Texas? More research needed to answer those questions about this mystery.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Faces from the Past

Bertha Ruth Ramsey

About three months ago I changed the way that I was researching and have been researching the family unit. I research each family unit before I move on to the next generation. The matrilineal lineage was where I began researching the family unit. There have been difficult genealogical problems in this line; however, I have finally overcome them. By researching the family unit, I now know how each person fits into that family unit. This is a time-consuming process, but is worth the time that is put into it. Last Saturday. October 22, I went to a family reunion. I have researched the patrilineal family extensively. When asked how a who a person was and who was his/her ancestor, I could tell them who they were, name their ancestor, and how a person fit in that family. I have been researching the Asa Martin Ramsey family unit.

The last Ramsey sibling and the youngest of the Asa Martin Ramsey children is Bertha Ruth. Bertha has a twin brother Percy. Bertha Ruth was born January 8, 1892 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. In 1900 she attended school and could read and write. In 1910 Bertha is living at home with her parents and is nineteen years old.

Then, by 1920 Bertha Ruth has married an Alexander. The Alexander name has popped up in my DNA matches and family trees on Ancestry, but I was not sure how the Alexanders fit into the family. Now, I know how they fit because Bertha Ruth married an Allen Alexander.

There are no Bible records, marriage records, church records, a will or probate records for this family; however, the only record I have is the Federal Census records. There is information on the census that helps in putting a story together about Bertha Ruth. In 1920 Bertha Ruth is twenty-eight years old and married to Allen Alexander and they own their home. Bertha is a homemaker and there are three daughters to the head of the house and living in the Allen Alexander household.  Era May age fifteen, Modena age seven, and then there is five-month-old Wilmer Lee Alexander. They live in District 104, Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi. The older children are probably step-children since Bertha Ruth is only twenty-eight years old and she would have been thirteen at the birth of the oldest daughter Era May. Allen would have been about twenty-three years old at the time of Era May’s birth.

Betha Ruth is thirty-eight years old by the time the 1930 census was taken and living in the same area, Price Town Road is their address. When the 1930 census was taken, the data on the census shows that she was twenty-six years old at first marriage. Her estimated marriage year was about 1918. The children Era May and Modena Alexander living with her and her husband Allen on the 1920 census would be her step-children. The five-month-old would be her child. She would have been married two years on the 1920 census.

By the time the 1930 census was taken the family has grown with three more children born to Bertha Ruth. Allen was born in 1922, Carl was born in 1925, and Daniel was born in 1929 and all were born in Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi.  

Bertha completed the fifth grade and lives in the same house she lived in 1935 in Pike County, Mississippi. By 1940 Bertha had another child Lucius Q. Allen is living at home and is now eighteen years old. Living nearby Bertha and her family is Wallace Ramsey and his family and their two brothers Henry and Percy.

Then, by 1940 Lucius was showing up on the 1940 census. He was born December 17, 1931 in Pike County, Mississippi. Bertha’s oldest child would be Wilma Alexander. Bertha’s husband was not a veteran and didn’t serve in the War. However, their youngest son Lucius Q. served in the war in Korea and was killed in action. Lucius was a Corporal in the United States Army. He was missing in action and presumed dead. He died July 8, 1953. He was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on July 8, 1953. He was presumed dead on July 9, 1954. Corporal Alexander was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. In the Bogue Chitto Baptist Church Cemetery is a Cenotaph. There is a monument and a cross in memory of Pfc Lucius Q. Alexander. His remains are buried in Honolulu ABMC Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Allen Junior enlisted in the Army November 25, 1940 and was released October 4, 1945. He died November 29, 2007. Wilma died May 9, 2001. She is buried in the Enon, Cemetery, Enon, Walthall County Mississippi. She died in Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi. Daniel is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County.

Robert Carl Alexander the third child of Bertha Ruth’s was born August 24, 1924 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi, and he died at the age of ninety on September 5, 2014 in Jayess, Pike County. Burial was in Bogue Chitto Baptist Cemetery at Carters Creek in Pike County. Robert C. enlisted in the Army May 19, 1943 at Camp Shelby. He had one year of high school and his civil occupation was unskilled lumbermen, rafts men, and woodchopper.

Daniel Alexander, Bertha Ruth’s fourth child, was born January 14, 1928 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. He was married to Mary Katherine Boyd. Mary Katherine was born April 28, 1937 in Lawrence County, and died February 16, 1999 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi.  Daniel is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi along side his wife and other family members.  There is no death date on his tombstone, so he possibly is still alive. If he is he would be eighty-seven years old.

All four of Bertha Ruth’s sons served in the Army. That is a tribute to her family and her country that they served their country. One of her sons gave the ultimate sacrifice to his country.  Their grandfather Asa served in the Confederate Army.

Bertha Ruth Ramsey Alexander died December 14, 1978 in Pike County, Mississippi. She is buried in the Bogue Chitto Baptist Church Cemetery in Pike County. She was eighty-six years old at the time of her death. 

Map from Google Images

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday’s Thoughts on the Ramsey Siblings

Percy Ramsey

He wasn’t a trail blazer, nor did he do anything that would bring him notoriety. He is a member of the Asa Martin Ramsey family and deserves his place in history. One of the things that I have found in researching the matrilineal and patrilineal lineages is they were farmers and hard workers. They didn’t leave a long paper trail; however, they left enough of a trial that I can identify them and write about their lives. Percy Ramsey is one of those family members. Percy Ramsey was born June 8, 1882 in Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi to Eliza Jane Ramsey. His father was Asa Martin Ramsey. Percy had a twin sister Bertha. Possibly Percy was born before his sister, but I will never know. He was named first in the list of children on the census but that isn't proof that he was born before Bertha.

Percy is a grand uncle that I know very little about. He didn’t marry, and as I researched the Ramsey Clan and looked at records for the family Percy was living with his parents when he was old enough to be on his own. I began to suspect there was a disability of some kind and he cannot work or serve in the military. After researching further, that suspicion was verified. He was disabled. On his U.S. World War 1 Draft Registration Card I found out that he had a deformity. What kind of deformity it isn’t described?

The draft registration card has a physical description for Percy Ramsey. He was tall, slender, blue eyes, and light color of hair. It states that he is otherwise disabled on the Draft Registration Card R. He registered in Carter’s Creek Precinct in Pike County June 5, 1917.

He is dependent on his parents since he has a deformity and is unable to work.  Percy is living at home with his mother Eliza J. and father Aaron. His parents are getting up in years now with his father being seventy and his mother sixty-five. Percy in twenty-seven years old on the 1920 District 105, Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi Census. Whatever Percy’s deformity is, he isn’t able to live alone or work to support himself.

By 1930 things have changed in the Ramsey family. Asa has died and Percy is living with Henry and Eliza Jane on Price Town Road, Beat 3, Pike County. His occupation is farm laborer and the industry is farm and he is an unpaid worker. Henry states that he owns the home so I conclude it is probably Asa and Jane’s home. Percy wasn’t a veteran and didn’t serve in the war. But with a deformity he would be able to serve.

Asa died 19 Sep 1929, and by the 1940 census Eliza Jane has died. She died in 1933. Therefore, by 1940 Percy is forty-eight years old and living with his brother Wallace and his family, and Henry his older brother who has lost his wife. Percy did go through the eighth grade in school and he can read and write. That is a plus for him. In 1935 the family lived in the same house they lived in on the previous census. Percy isn’t able to work and has no income from work. Apparently, he is dependent on his brothers for his financial support. He doesn’t have support from other sources. The Ramsey family went through the great depression, and I can only imagine how difficult it was trying to make a living and support that many family members.

Percy died March 5, 1962 in Pike County, Mississippi. He is buried in the Cavalry Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. The one fact that I have found in researching the Ramsey family is, they lived in the Pike County, Mississippi area their entire lives. When Asa came to Mississippi from Missouri with his father and siblings, his father died from a disease that hit the camp where they were staying. Asa and the other children survived, moved on, and settled in the Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi areas. That is the place where Asa and his beloved Eliza Jane died, and Percy their son died there in the area as well and is interred in the cemetery there. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wishful Wednesday

Wallace Ramsey

On this the 26 Oct 2016, my wish is that I could find a male descendant of Wallace Ramsey who would be willing to submit his DNA for a YDNA 67 Marker test. The Ramsey familial lineage has been one of my difficult families to identify the progenitor. There are several John Ramsey who have married a woman named Mary, and as of this date I haven’t linked John Scott Ramsey to his parents. There isn’t a will, probate record or birth record that I have found that would link child to parents. The DNA test possibly would be helpful in connecting with others who have researched this line. The search continues and I will continue researching siblings, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances to try and connect to the progenitor of the Ramsey family.

Five years ago, when I was a member of the Family Tree Ramsey DNA Project I contacted a male Ramsey cousin and spoke with his wife. I explained to her who I was and explained that her husband and I are cousins. I shared with her how I am family genealogists and I am researching the Ramsey family line. I would like for a male Ramsey cousin to volunteer to submit their DNA for the YDNA test and her husband is a cousin. I explained to her that I wasn’t trying to prove anything about her husband and didn’t want anything from him. All that I was interested in was proving the Ramsey family line back to Virginia, and I wanted to make sure that I have the correct family.

After talking with my Ramsey cousin’s wife, she said she would tell him. Later after another phone call to her, she said he would be happy to take the DNA test. So, I ordered the YDNA test kit and had it sent to my male Ramsey cousin. Six weeks later the test had not been sent back to Family Tree DNA. Then, three months later the test wasn’t sent back in to Family Tree DNA Testing Company. During this time, I had tried unsuccessfully to contact the Ramsey cousin, but he wouldn’t respond to emails or phone calls. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact him, I finally realized that he wants to be a part of finding our Ramsey ancestors and wasn’t going to submit the DNA test for testing. That was a very disappointing “blow” to me, because I thought this was going to help me in finding my Ramsey line. However, it didn’t happen and I marked this experience down in “lesson learned book.” This woman was probably concerned her husband might have an illegitimate child out there somewhere and she didn’t want to know about it. But I wasn’t trying to prove that, I only want to prove my maternal Ramsey familial lineage.

Wallace Ramsey was the son of Asa Martin Ramsey and his wife Eliza Jane. Wallace was born 27 Apr 1889 in Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi. Wallace was the fifth child born to Eliza Jane, and was a twin of Maggie Lucinda Ramsey. Which one was born first Maggie or Wallace, I will never know. The 1900 District 109, Beat 3, Pike County census has Wallace is eleven years old and is listed before Maggie his twin sister, so maybe he was born first. Under education on the census there was a section that stated attended school in monthly and it shows that Wallace attended school six months, and he can read and write. Wallace’s father Asa M. Ramsey’s place of birth was Missouri and his mother Jane’s place of birth was Mississippi.

Again, on the 1910 District 101, Beat 3, Pike County census Wallace is listed first on that census. On the 1910 census Wallace is twenty years old, single, and living with his parents and siblings. He worked odd jobs and was out of work ten weeks. It also shows that Asa was a survivor of the Confederate Army. I haven’t found Wallace on the 1920 census possibly he was in the service when the census was taken. Kate was living at home with her parents in 1920, and was single at the taking of the 1920 census. The estimated marriage date for Wallace and Kate is about 1920. Their first child was born in 1924, and Wallace and Kate were probably married prior to the birth of their first child.

Per his World War 1 Draft Registration Card R Wallace was tall, slender, had blue eyes, red hair and had no disabilities. He signed up for the draft in Oktibbeha county, Mississippi, and he was twenty-eight years old at the time he signed up for this draft. He served in Branch 1 of the Army.

Wallace Ramsey's World War I Draft Registration Card R.
Wallace Ramsey's physical description.

The estimated marriage date for Wallace and Kate is about 1920. Their first child was born in 1924, and Wallace and Kate were probably married prior to the birth of their first child. On the 1930 District 6, Beat 3, Pike County census Wallace was shown that he was thirty years old at his first marriage when asked age at first marriage. He was forty years old on the 1930 census, therefore I conclude he was married about 1920. Kate was twenty-eight on the 1930 census and she stated she was eighteen years old when asked age at first marriage. Wallace owned his home, and there were two children Estelle age six and Mary age two, and his mother-in-law Mrs. Fannie Cochran age fifty-nine. He was a veteran in the World War. He was a farmer and owned his farm.

By 1940 Wallace was working as a a brick mason for the State Park in government work. His wages, or salary that he received was four hundred and thirty-two dollars. He received more than fifty dollars from sources other than money, wages, or salary. He was still living in Pike County, Mississippi, and was fifty years old living with Kate, Estelle, Mary, his daughters, and his son Paul. His two brothers Henry and Percy ages fifty-three and forty-eight were living in the household. Estelle was now a teenager sixteen years old, and Mary was twelve, Paul was eight years old. Wallace completed the eighth grade.

In May 3, 1918 Wallace enlisted in the Army and was released July 3, 1919. Wallace Ramsey died in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi August 6, 1972 and is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. I would like to know why he was release a year after enlisting. Was he sick? Was he injured? What was going on that he was released after a year of service?

Wallace Ramsey enlistment date and release date.

Wallace Ramsey place of burial; name of cemetery.  

Wallace Ramsey burial place town, county, and state. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mystery Monday

George D. Conn

Is the marriage certificate for the first marriage of George D. Conn brother of Alma Lavenia Coon? Friday my husband and I made a road trip to West Carroll Parish Courthouse in Oak Grove to research marriage and land records. Courthouses are one of my favorite places to research, and each time I have been to a courthouse I have found documents for my family. The Oak Grove Courthouse staff is a welcoming friendly office staff. They are very helpful, and allow a researcher to go through the records. When I needed copies, they made copies for me and made sure they were good copies. The purpose of the trip to the courthouse was to look for records on the paternal Lee family who migrated from Alabama to Jackson Parish and later to West Carroll Parish.

The first thing that I did as I went into the courthouse was to look for the Clerk of Court office. Once inside, the clerk asked how she could help us. I explained to her that I would like to look at marriage records and land records. The clerk explained the years for the marriage books, and showed me where the brides' book was and then grooms' book. She then showed us the land records and where the grantor and the grantee books were, and the years covered. She explained that if we don’t find what we were looking for there we could then go into the vault where more records are stored. The clerk explained there were records stored upstairs in a locked room and we could look at records upstairs if we didn’t find what we were looking for in the vault. She said she would give us the key and we could go up there but be sure to lock the door when we leave.

I looked through the marriage book and found the original for George D. Conn and his bride Myrtle Ola Thomas married in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana on the 11 January 1947. Is this George D. Conn brother of Alma Lavenia Coon? His father was Clifton Columbus Coon.  

I have thought about this marriage and the parties involved. Uncle George signed his name George D. Coon on documents. Uncle George lived with us when I was growing up until he was called into the military to serve his time. He enlisted in the Army 30 May 1941. When he got out of the Army he came back to live with our family. He was released from the Army 31 October 1945. Then, there are years that I can’t account for him.

The mystery further deepens as I find out from a woman who called me in 2001 from Napiersville, Illinois. She told me she was the daughter of George Coon.As the woman was talking, I remembered about a year before Uncle George died he asked me if I could help him find his two children. That was the first that I heard of him having children. I told Uncle George that I would try to research and find them. However, I didn't know where to look so I dismissed it. 

I was skeptical of the call from the woman, but listened as she talked. And talk she did. She had a lot of family history information and was sharing that information with me. Apparently, she had done her research.  The story that she told me was her mother was Lois and her daddy was George. Her mother left her daddy,and would not let him have her and her brother, so she and her brother were put up for adoption when she was six years old. Uncle George and Lois took them to the adoptive parents. I just recently found the divorce papers for this couple and confirmed the marriage.This marriage would have been number two for George D. Coon.  

I also found a divorce record for George D. Coon and Cora A. Coon, of which this is Uncle George, Mother's brother. I was puzzled about this marriage to a Cora, because I thought Uncle George's wife's name was Ola, and I wasn't aware of a Cora. I recall Mother mentioning an Ola and Uncle George. So, the name Ola  has been tucked away in my memory and I couldn't get that puzzle piece put in place.

According to the story Uncle George told me when he came to live with Mother, Cora wanted to go to live with her son in Dallas. So, when she left to go to Dallas, Texas Uncle George came to Louisiana to live with Mother and Daddy. There were no children from Cora and George's marriage.

Myrtle Ola Thomas would have been George D. Conn’s first wife. And a 1947 marriage for Uncle George would have made sense, because he would have been twenty-nine years old. I researched the Ancestry database searching for a George D. Conn married to an Ola, but didn’t find anyone. I looked for a George Conn in census records and found one living in West Carroll Parish in 1930 and 1940 in the household of Henry Conn. Henry's wife was Carrie. I looked for the witness, Henry S. Conn, listed on the marriage record and he wasn’t on the censuses for West Carroll Parish. George D. Coon migrated from Mississippi to West Carroll about 1924. There was a George Darling Conn born in West Carroll Parish in 1921; however, he didn’t marry there. He moved to Texas and married in 1953.

I conclude the marriage license is for George D. Coon son of Christopher Columbus Coon, and brother of Alma Lavenia Coon. This marriage was his first marriage. Until it can be proven differently this is my conclusion.

This mystery of this marriage, and is this the first marriage of Uncle George will remain a mystery until someone can prove this isn’t George D. Coon my uncle. For now, I believe this to be the first marriage of George D. Coon and his bride Myrtle Ola Thomas.

Louisiana Marriage License Book J Page 430
West Carroll Parish Courthouse, in
Oak Grove, Louisiana

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sentimental Sunday

Lee Reunion:  Lee Cousins and Related Families

Progenitor of Lee descendants
William Alfred Lee and Emma
Meadows Lee.
What a way to welcome in fall and coming holiday season than getting together with family and sharing stories, photos, and family history of long ago. Saturday, October 22, 2016 was a day that I will cherish and savor for a while. It was a day filled with reminiscing, seeing long ago cousins, meeting new cousins, and talking about the old home place, Concord Community. Daddy, Esters Eley, died in February 1990, and I haven’t been to a Lee reunion since Daddy died. I went to a few of the reunions when I was younger and living close enough to go to them; but when I moved away to New Orleans, then Fort Worth, and later to Shreveport the trips were too difficult to make with small children for a weekend.

Daddy’s mother was Alice Lee. The progenitor of the Lee group was William Alfred Lee father of Alice. William’s son James William Lee or Uncle Jim as he was known to us was the oldest of his children. Uncle Jim’s descendants organize the reunion and take care of all the organizational needs for the reunion. Those descendants live in the area where the reunion takes place, West Carroll Parish.

Organizing an event for a large family takes lots of planning making sure all necessary needs for the event is taken care of. The Lee reunion planners and organizers did a fantastic job and the reunion was a huge success. There was plenty of food, door prizes and games. There were displays of memorabilia. The American Legion was decorated in fall colors and was a perfect place for a large group. A person from each family group got up to speak on behalf of their family and tell from which family they came and how they connect to the Lee family.

I had not been to a Lee reunion since about the early 1970s so I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I didn’t know if I would know anyone attending the reunion. That uncertain feeling was soon put to rest when I went in and saw my second cousins Roger and Betsy Ann. Betsy Ann and I haven’t seen each other since my family moved from West Carroll Parish in 1956. Betsy Ann and I were neighbors and we played together when we were growing up. We lived in Concord Community and Betsy Ann’s parents and her siblings lived next door to our family. Those were happy times, and seeing family again after all those years was a happy moment in time.

How did all this reunion and reconnecting with living cousins come about? Social media! Had it not been for social media this reunion with Lee cousins would never have taken place. I am the self-appointed family historian of the Eley family, and I am a family history buff. The Lee family research has taken me back in time to 1778 Jordan Lee in Richland, South Carolina. I have been using social media or Facebook since its beginning for registered users. Up until this time I was looking for dead folks; and then when I set up a Facebook account I started looking for living folks or living cousins. Facebook has been a tool that has made it possible for me to connect with living descendants of William Alfred Lee or the Edward and Lee cousins. Using social media has made it possible to find long ago cousins and reconnect with them and to find new cousins; learn how they connect to the Lee family; and to keep up with happenings in their families. Edward cousins live in the same vicinity that the original Lee family migrated from in 1904. William Alfred Lee and the Edwards family migrated to Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana from Elmore County, Alabama. About 1912 the Edwards family migrated back to Elmore County, Alabama.  The Edwards family is connected to the Lee family by way of Dolly Ophelia Lee who married John Houston Edwards.

If you aren't using social media in researching family then you are missing out on the possibilities of finding living cousins or relatives. Social media is very safe tool to use when used following the guidelines stated by the company. The possibilities of finding living cousins and relatives is greater when using all available resources. And it is fun reconnecting with family or connecting with new found relatives or cousins.. Will I go back to the Lee reunion next year? Only time will tell. As for now I will cherish the memories of yesterday. 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday’s Family from the Past

Maggie Lucinda Ramsey

I continue to research the Ramsey familial lineage to identify the progenitor of the Ramsey clan. The problem that I have run into is there are so many John Ramsey’s and John Ramsey’s who married a Mary that it has been difficult to link John Scot Ramsey, a third great grandfather, married to Nancy Hazelwood to his father. That generation is where my research has taken me and has become even more difficult. Now, I have gone back to the beginning of my research on the Ramsey lineage and started researching each direct line ancestor the spouse, and the children. 

I have DNA tested with all three testing companies; Family Tree DNA; Ancestry DNA; and 23 and Me Testing Companies. There are matches in the atDNA test results who has Ramsey in their ancestry. I have worked with a group trying to find our common ancestor but have been unsuccessful. I continue to research to prove the progenitor of my Ramsey clan and research is ongoing. For now, I will work on Maggie Lacinda daughter of Eliza Jane and Asa Martin Ramsey. Maggie is the fourth child born to Eliza Jane and she is a twin. More on her twin later. Maggie was born 27 April 1889 in Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi. She is eleven years old living with her parent on the 1900 Beat 3, Pike County census. She has attended school six years. Maggie can read, write, she speaks English, and she attends school in 1900.

By 1910 Maggie is twenty years old, single, and is still living at home with her parents and siblings. It interested to note the census taker spelled their surname Ramsy. When researching this family or any ancestors I look for variations in spelling and incorrect birth years, places of birth, and initials for names.  

Maggie has taken a gigantic step by 1920, and married a sixty-three-year-old man name William Jones. One thing that I have learned in researching that seems to be a common event is young women marrying elderly men. He is thirty-two years older than Maggie. Why would she marry a man old enough to be her father? Does she think that is her only chance at marriage? Does she need someone to take care of her? Does he need someone to take care of him? The reason is unknown, but by 1940 she is widowed. William died 2 Jul 1939 in Lincoln County, Mississippi. There are three children in the household Elzye a son age seven, Annie M. female age five, Hezzie Jones age two. Those are probably her children born after she married William. She would have been twenty-one when Elzye was born. Maggie and her family is living in District 70, McCall, Franklin County, Mississippi in 1920. 

Living in District 2, Ward 1, Franklin Parish, Louisiana W. M. Jones age seventy-four, head of the family, Maggie, age forty, Elsie, daughter and seventeen, Anna Mae daughter, age fifteen, Clyde son age twelve, and Maggie Lee daughter age seven. Looking at the two censuses 1920 and 1930 Maggie had five children. Hezzie age two isn’t listed on the 1940 census so she must have died after the 1920 census was taken. The 1930 census shows that Maggie was twenty-two years old at her first marriage.  An estimated marriage year is 1918 in Pike County, Mississippi

Back in Franklin County, Mississippi living on Round Top Hill Road Maggie is living with her daughter Maggie age sixteen and her son Clyde age twenty-two with Clyde head of the family.  Maggie is fifty and a widow. Clyde Maggie’s son worked 48 hours during the week March 24-30 1940. The census showed he worked fifty-two weeks in 1940. He was a farmer. 

Maggie Lucinda Ramsey Jones died 8 November 1975 in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi and is buried in the Natchez City Cemetery. She has a double headstone with her daughter Mary Mae Jones. Mary was born 30 July 1923 and died 27 July 2004 in Adams County, Mississippi. Sometime after 1940 Maggie moved to Adams County, Mississippi. She is listed as widow of Wm living in h302 N Canal in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi in 1950 where she is listed on page 212 in the Natchez City Directory. Again, she is listed in a Natchez Mississippi City Directory in 1960 on page 244 of the city directory living with her daughter Mary M. on h606 Maple Street. She is listed as wid of Wm.

If only I had a letter or a family story about what life was like for Maggie Lucinda Ramsey that would be a treasure to keep forever. It is only left to my imagination as what her life was like. She was a young woman and married an elderly man and was dependent on him at a very young age. Following her path to Adams County where she lived until her death, she was dependent on her children for her lively hood. One can only imagine how difficult life was for her. ■
Maggie Lucinda Ramsey, daughter of Asa Martin Ramsey
and Eliza Jane Burnett Ramsey.
Created by: RUBY CARMAN
Record added: Jun 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 112037413

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday’s Thoughts

Henry Ramsey

I have been researching the Ramsey familial lineages for ten years with difficulties along the way. One of the greatest barriers in finding family members are indexing errors. Misspelled surname was a common error for the Ramsey line. Knowing the Ramsey’s lived in the Pike County area for many years I knew they had to be on all the censuses through 1940. Trying variations in surname spellings I found Henry Ramsey as Romsey on 1920 census, and he was living with an unknown family. On the 1910 census he was living in another county. His family has lived in Pike County, Mississippi since Asa Ramsey arrived in 1862.  So I wasn’t looking for Henry in other counties away from family and the family’s usual place of residence

Asa Martin Ramsey and Eliza Jane his wife were the parents of seven children, with two sets of twins. Henry was Asa and Eliza Jane's first son born. And from all indications of my research he lived a quiet life, living on a farm in Pike County, Mississippi. There are only a few records of him and he didn't leave a paper trail other than the necessary census records, and World War I Draft record. 

Mother told me about her grandmother having twins and they “run in the family.” Those were Mother’s words for describing the twins in the Ramsey family. I was about twenty-one years old and married when Mother shared that information with me, so I thought one of Mother's daughters might have twins. However, they didn't. When Mother died a library of family history died with her. She didn’t talk about her family, or growing up in Brookhaven, Mississippi. What I would give to let her talk and tell me about her Ramsey family.

Henry was the third born child of Eliza Jane, and was born 12 March 1886 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. On the World War I Draft Registration Card R it shows that Henry had blue eyes and light hair. He signed up for the Draft in Pearl River County, and he lived in Holmesville. His physical description fits the description of the family - blue eyes, light color hair, stout, and medium tall. On the World War I Draft Registration Card it states that Mrs. Henry Ramsey is the nearest relative. He was thirty-two years old when he signed up for this draft.

Finally finding him on the 1920 census, the next big challenge was on; and that was to find Henry in the 1910 census. I continued searching for Henry on the 1910 Pike County census, and didn’t find him there. So, I did a broad search for Mississippi.  Since I had found Henry Ramsey on the 1920 Pike County census I knew he had to be on the 1910 census because he wasn’t listed with his parents and siblings. The possibilities that I had to keep in mind were:   Either his surname was misspelled; he was living in another county; he was living with another family; in an institution census; the census taker missed him; or he died. I knew he wasn’t deceased because I had his death information. Not giving up on finding Henry in 1910, I continued and finally found a him living in another unknown household, in another county, working as a hired hand, mail repair for the mail industry, a wage earner, single, and his age the age that Henry Ramsey would be. Perseverance has paid off and I was excited. These searches were made using Ancestry by using various ways of searching.

It just didn’t seem possible that Henry had married since I couldn’t find a marriage record for him searching and exhausting all possibilities. There wasn’t a record of a marriage on Ancestry for Henry, and searching the family trees for Henry Ramsey, there was no spouse listed for him. So, no one seemed to know his spouse’s name. However, I finally found the 1920 District 104, Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census with Henry listed on there and living with another unknown family. I previously searched the Ancestry trees, My Heritage, Wiki Trees, Family Search and Find a Grave and there was no wife or widow listed for Henry. Therefore, I concluded from the evidence that Henry Ramsey was married, even though I hadn’t found a marriage record.

I was able to solve the mystery of his status of married or not. On the 1920 census it showed he was married to Dora Rayborn age fifty and born in Mississippi, and had three step-children, Boyd, age twenty-one, Alma age twenty, and C. D. a male age nineteen. His wife previously married a Rayborn.  Eliza Jane, Henry’s mother was related to the Rayborn family.

I had Henry’s wife’s name from the 1920 census, so I searched again in the 1910 census on Ancestry for his wife. In the last name search box, I put in Rayborn. In the lived in search box I put in Pike County, Mississippi and hit search. The search results came up with a Chancy M. Rayborn head and his wife Dora I. (Isabell), age forty, with three of their children, Alma R. age thirteen, Boyd W.  age eleven and C. D. age nine. Dora was the mother of five children but only three living. Living in this household was the future wife of Henry Ramsey. What happened too Chancy? Did he die? Were they divorced? More research needed to answer those questions.  

While I was researching on Ancestry and had the search results for Chancy M. Rayborn, I looked through the result on him and Dora and found a goldmine of records. Chancy was born 18 November 1868 and died 23 January 1911 and is buried in the Boyd Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. Dora Isabell Boyd was born 27 September 1869 and died 18 November 1924. Dora is also buried in Boyd Cemetery. C. M. Rayborn and Dora Boyd were married in Pike County 17 December 1895.

Chancy’s parents were Joe J. Raborn and S. J. Raborn born in Mississippi. More research is needed to determine how this Raborn line is related to Eliza Jane Burnett Ramsey mother of Henry.

On the 1930 Price Town Road, District 6, Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census Henry stated he was widowed and was forty-two years old. His age at his first marriage as shown on the census was twenty years old. This bit of information hindered the search for him because I was looking for him married to Dora in 1910. If he was twenty at his first marriage that would put him marrying in 1908 in Pike County, Mississippi. However, he gave the wrong information to the census taker, and he would have married about 1911. Lesson learned is to use variants when searching. By 1930 Henry was a widower, owned the home he was living in. He was working on his own farm. Living nearby Henry are his brother Wallace, wife Kate and their children and his sister Bertha, her husband Allen Alexander and their children. In the household with Henry Ramsay are his brother Percy age thirty-eight, and his mother Jane age seventy-five years. Asa his father was deceased by 1930.

By 1940 Eliza Jane Ramsey had died and Henry’s situation had changed. On the 1940 Pike County Federal Census for Henry Ramsey living with his brother Wallace and his wife Kate and their three children, Estelle, age sixteen, Mary, age twelve, and Paul age eight, and his brother Percy whom is forty-eight years old and single. Henry again states on this census he is widowed. He was working on his own account, and owned his home. He had completed the eighth grade and working sixty hours a week. He lives in the same residence in 1935 and he worked three weeks in 1939.

Henry continued the family tradition as a farmer. He lived in the Pike County, Mississippi area until his death 12 June 1958 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. According to a note posted with Henry Ramsey's information on Rootsweb from a family member, he lived on his father's "place" until his death. Henry is buried in the Calvary Baptist Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi, rather than in the Boyd Cemetery with Dora. Dora was buried beside her first husband Chancy M. Rayborn.  There are other Ramsey family members buried in the Calvary Baptist Cemetery as well.

Researching Henry Ramsey was a challenge and I used as many search variants as I could think of to search for him. Henry is in my Family Tree Maker program with his parents, Mary Lavenia, and Florence A. Ramsey. ■ 

Burial is in Calvary Cemetery,
 Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wordy Wednesday

My Ancestors’ and Their Stories

Those of you who have followed me on my Facebook Groups and Esther’s Roots and Ramblings Blog know I love genealogical research and family history. It is a thrill when I find a long lost ancestor, uncover a family secret, prove a family story, find siblings of family members, find marriage records, birth information, death dates, and occasionally place of burial. Through research and evidence, I work very hard to prove each person belongs in my family tree before they are placed in my family tree program.  Researching my familial lineages is fun and a way to get to know and understand my personal heritage. What practices or traditions were passed down through the generations?  What characteristics were passed down from my ancestors? What were their cultural backgrounds? What were their occupations? What possibly was the cause of their deaths? The cause of death is information for medical history. These are all questions that I work to answer as I research my matrilineal and patrilineal lineages.

Genealogical research and family history is so much more than birth and death dates of an ancestor. It is very interesting to follow the migration paths of my ancestors. I like to know their occupations and were they land owners.  I work to determine the reasons for them leaving certain areas and settling in another area. Census records can give you a story of an ancestor and his family. I can use the sources for an ancestor and write a story from it. If you are fortunate to have photos write stories using the photos and the information you have on them. You may have letters and newspaper articles about an ancestor use that to write a stories of your ancestors.

In researching my ancestors, I have come across a murderer, deputy sheriff, blacksmith, farmer, housewife (stay at home mom), tailor, three immigrants to the colonies, slave owner, and one who spent time in a mental institution. Every one of these ancestors are important to my family’s history. Their lives had a story, and their stories needs to be told. Documenting their lives and their stories is what I am doing on a daily basis. If I don’t write about their lives who will?

Family is very important to me, and the ancestors that I am researching had an influence on someone’s life. Then, that eventually was passed down to me, and I in turn passed to my children. Therefore, it honors my ancestors by researching them and writing about them. I have found some very interesting facts about my ancestors and related family members. I am writing to tell their stories. ■

This is the Autrey House located in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana.
Absalom Autrey and his wife Elizabeth lived in this dogtrot house. 
He and Elizabeth built this house in 1848 after arriving
from Selma, Alabama. Behind the house is a family cemetery 
where Absalom,  Elizabeth, and other family members 
are interred. This house is listed on the Register of National
Historic Places. My husband's ancestors owned the land and home. 
Can you imagine for a minute the stories this house could tell?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mystery Monday

Florence A. Ramsey

The Ramsey family has been one of the most difficult families to research. Everything went along smoothly researching Mary Lavenia Ramsey my maternal grandmother. Her father Asa Martin Ramsey was more difficult to find; however, once I overcame obstacles that basically I created, then I was able to link him to his daughter.

Mother had given me tidbits of information on her mother such as her name Mary Lavenia "Venie" Ramsey; death information, such as mother was three years old when her mother died; her birth place was Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. However, Mother didn’t give me information on her Grandfather Ramsey.  I assumed he was born in Mississippi since that is where all Mother’s family lived. That was obstacle number one; assuming Grandfather Ramsey was born in Mississippi instead of Missouri.

I was new to genealogy and family history, and had researched the Ramsey familial lineage from the beginning of my new venture into family history research.  Ace Ramsey was an ancestor that had been right in front of me for five years, but I didn't see him.  One day after going back over previous research for Ace Ramsey aka Asa M. Ramsy, aka Aaron M. Ramsey, I realized this is one and the same person. I was enlightened at that moment on the importance of starting at the beginning of research and look carefully at all the information on records for an ancestor.

Once I overcame these obstacles research on the Asa Martin Ramsey family moved forward.  Asa and Eliza Jane have seven known children. Florence A. is the oldest of those seven children. She was born January 1875 in Pike County, Mississippi. Florence is listed as F. A. on the 1880 Pike County, Mississippi Census. On the 1900 Pike County census she is listed as Florence A. What happened to her after 1900 is a mystery.  She isn’t on the 1910 census with the other family members. She could have got married, but I looked for her living nearby her family and she wasn’t there. She isn’t showing up as being married on family trees on Ancestry.   If she married she could have moved to another county. If that happened, it will be difficult to locate her. One day I would like to take a trip to the courthouse in Pike County and look through the records there. I will continue to look for Florence A. Ramsey and maybe she will eventually show up.

The search will continue for Florence A. Ramsey oldest child of Asa Martin Ramsey and wife Eliza Jane Burnett Ramsey of Pike County, Mississippi. ■