Monday, March 27, 2017

Matrilineal Monday

Jacob B. Bixler

Jacob B. Bixler and Matilda Barclay are maternal line ancestors. Mother's mother was Mary Lavenia Ramsey. Venie, as she was known, was the child of Eliza Jane Burnett and Asa Ramsey. Eliza Jane's grandparents were Jacob B. Bixler and Matilda Barclay. Eliza Jane's mother, Latitia Bixler's parents. In researching these maternal line ancestors a Jacob B. Bixler from Pennsylvania is the only one that I could find. Needless to say this is quite a mystery as to how he could have come to Mississippi Territory and married a Matilda who was supposedly born in Louisiana. It is possible though, but how and why? What happened to Jacob B. Bixler after 1820?

The records found for these two ancestors reveal few clues. Is this the same Jacob. Proving this is one and the same who married Matilda has been a trial in patience and endurance. Since I have no family member in my family who can give insight into this mystery maybe there will be someone to stumble across this blog and give some insight into these two ancestors. I would very much like to have them in their rightful place in my family tree if that is where they belong.

Whether or not this is the same Jacob Bixler as the one in Mississippi is unknown. However, research is ongoing to prove or disprove that mystery.
Marriage of Jacob B. Bixler and Matilda Barclay.

There was a Jacob Bixler who owned the slave John in March 1826. He belonged to Jacob Bixler of woodville. Read the article about this slave John.
Amite County, 1820 Census with Jacob B. Bixler listed on the census. The number of family members listed for that year fits what I have for the head, wife, and three children. However, there was a daughter Matilda C.born about 1818, a son John Barclay born about 1819 , Lavenia born about 1820 all born in Amite. 

There is this J. B. Bixler living in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Is that the same Bixler as the one in the 1820 Amite census? 

Matilda Bixler is head of family on the 1840 Pike County, Mississippi census. What happened to Jacob. I haven't found him. Did he abandon her and the children? Or did he die? Was he killed in the War of 1812? 

Looking at these records and analyzing the information on them I came to the conclusion that Matilda Bixler is the mother of Latitia Bixler Burnett and the grandmother of Eliza Jane Burnett. As to what happened to Jacob B. Bixler, maybe he decided to return to Pennsylvania or maybe this isn't the Jacob B. Bixler who married Matilda Barclay. More questions than answers for Jacob B. Bixler. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Zachariah Gipson Edwards, Deputy Sheriff

Son of Charles Edwards and Nancy Baker, Zachariah was born 10 Oct 1847 in Cherokee County, Georgia. He died 31 Aug 1903 in Black Springs, Montgomery County, Arkansas. Another of my Edwards great grand uncles.


Source Public Member Stories, The Mena Star, September 17, 1903, Montgomery Circuit Court.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday

Another Fearless Edwards Woman: Dolly Odessa

Dolly Odessa Edwards was born to John Houston Edwards and Dolly Ophelia Lee 25 Nov 1920 in Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana.
Dolly Odessa Edwards died 30 Nov 2000 in Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama. She is buried in the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
She was married to Jonathan Estes Oakes when she was eighteen years old 5 Nov 1939 in Shelby County, Alabama.
Two known sons Barry Lloyd Oakes and Brett Oakes. One known daughter Patricia Sue Oakes.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thursday's Fearless Woman

Emma Sophronia Meadows 

Parents John Calvin Meadows and Sarah Ann Oliver
Emma was born 10 March 1851 probably in Troup County, Georgia 
Married to William Alfred Lee 05 Sep 1869 in New Site, Tallapoosa County, Alabama
Died 11 Nov 1920 Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana
Mother of James William, Dolly Ophelia, Robert E., and Alice Lee

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Clarisa Messer Edwards Fearless Woman

Clarisa Messer was born Circa 1835 in South Carolina to John A. and Mary Messer. Clarisa  was married to my grand uncle James A. Edwards son of second great grandparents Charles Edwards and Nancy Baker. Clarisa died 2 April 1891 in Shady Point, Le Flore County, Oklahoma. She is interred in Shady Point Cemetery in Le Flore County. Known children were Sarah, David, Savannah, John War, Charles, and Laura, L, Rebecca Edwards.  Living with her family in 1870 were two nephews.

View the Findagrave Memorial here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday

Rethe Cleby Edwards 

Rethe Cleby Edwards was one of my first cousins once removed and, also one of my half aunts. 
She was known to my family as "Rethie." Rethe Cleby Edwards Gallups was the daughter of John Houston and Dolly Ophelia Lee Edwards. She was married to George Morris Gallups. Memorial #79380223 
Harpersville Municipal Cemetery in Harpersville, Shelby County, Alabama
Harpersville Garden of Memories Cemetery

You can read more about Rethe here.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sentimental Sunday

Retha Cleby “Rethe” Edwards

One of the things that I remember about Rethe was that she was kind. She came with her mother and others of her family for a visit with the Lee families in West Carroll Parish. The Edwards matriarch Dollie and of her children came to Louisiana for their annual visit. Rethe, like her sister Maggie, was tall, stocky built, and always seemed to be happy. My memories of Rethe are that she had dark curly hair, big brown eyes, and a smile on her face. She just looked happy. I was only about nine or ten years old at that time and was happy to see the Alabama folks when we went to visit Aunt Leakie.

The Edwards family came to visit the Lee families and when they came it was a time for a reunion. They stayed with Aunt Leakie, widow of Granny’s brother Bob Lee. Aunt Leakie lived in a large old frame house on Lee farm. Her son Bill lived with her and Arnold another son lived nearby.

Grand Aunt Dollie Lee Edwards was the mother of ten children. She was the oldest sister of my Granny Alice Lee Eley. Retha Cleby "Rethe" Edwards, her third child, was born 30 April 1904 in Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana. Rethe's husband was George Morris Gallups. Tillman was the oldest son, and Maggie Mae was the second child and oldest daughter. You can read about Tillman here, and Maggie Mae here.

Retha Cleby Edwards and George Morris Gallups were married 22 December 1922 in Creswell, Shelby County, Alabama. There were two known children of Retha and George Morris Gallups, and they are on the 1940 census. Hubert Morris was born 15 October 1925 in Alabama and Houston was born about 1923. There possibly were other children, but since I don’t have access to the 1950 census they will remain unnamed.

Retha died 18 February 1998 in Harpersville, Shelby County, Alabama. George Morris Gallups died 07 April 1981 in Harpersville, Shelby County, Alabama. Their son Hubert Morris Gallups died 13 October 1973 in Shelby County, Alabama.

 Photo from my private collection.
Maggie, Aunt Dollie, Rethe, and Odessa 


Sources 1910- 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 1, Jackson, Louisiana; Roll: T624_516; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0053; FHL microfilm: 1374529

Year: 1920; Census Place: Harpersville, Shelby, Alabama; Roll: T625_40; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 121; Image: 1004

Year: 1930; Census Place: Harpersville, Shelby, Alabama; Roll: 48; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0018; Image: 907.0; FHL microfilm: 2339783

Year: 1940; Census Place: Harpersville, Shelby, Alabama; Roll: T627_79; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 59-17A U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2011.Number: 419-86-8232; Issue State: Alabama; Issue Date: 1973 Alabama, County Marriages, 1805-1967 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016. Marriage Records. Alabama Marriages. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, UT.Film Number 001571848. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Find A Grave. Find A Grave.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday's Salute

Fearless Females

The female ancestors in our families of long ago are an important part of our family history. Researching them takes certain strategies and techniques to find them. It is possible though, so don’t give up on finding them. You can learn about finding them here

Women have had an influential role in the prosperity and growth of their communities. Females' roles were varied depending on that geographical area and the time in which they lived.

While researching your male ancestors, you have most likely found that those records were easier to find; however, when you research your female ancestors that isn't the case. Females’ roles were household duties. Seemingly, the females' traditional roles kept them quietly working behind the scene including preparing and serving the meals, sewing their clothes, taking care of the children, seeing to the education of the children, in some cases working the garden and crops, and housekeeping chores. If the family had the wealth, then the wife had help with her duties. Otherwise the wife performed her duties until her daughters were of age to help. Women worked extremely hard. There was always something to for the woman and mother of the household. Usually they worked from sun up to sundown.

There were no trailblazers in the families that I have researched. Although, their occupation of farming was an important part of the early days of colonial America. They were trailblazers to their families, though. While the men were working, the fearless females were at home performing their duties. As well as, protecting their families from the dangers during that era. It took all kinds of occupations to get through those difficult years, and the "stay at home moms" were a part of that era. 

March is Women's History Month and a fantastic way to honor your female ancestors, relatives, or fans (friends, acquaintances, and neighbors) in your ancestor’s family. Lisa Alzo, The Accidental Genealogist, has again posted her Fearless Females Blogging Prompts series for 2017. For those of you who do not know of Lisa Alzo she is a teacher, writer and genealogist. You can checkout Lisa's Fearless Female prompts here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday's Faces From the Past

Do you know your cousins? Most everyone has grown up around cousins, but there are many new-found cousins we encounter in our genealogical research and genetic genealogy. Once we get far enough into our genealogy research, we will be faced with a list of cousins some will be first cousins, others will be of varying degrees of closeness to us. A cousin is a person belonging to the same extended family. So, they are our cousins regardless of the degrees of closeness. We share a common ancestor couple with them.

Just as our ancestors and relatives of long ago had a community of friends, acquaintances, and neighbors, we too have them. Because of the manner of travel, the community of the past were made up of people who lived near each other. Our community of today may be different - our fans may live across town or attend church in another area. These are the people who have an impact on our lives, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors.These are people who are there for us when we need them.

The photo of Alice Lee, Unknown man, and Ollie Landrum was shared by a second cousin with the Family Facebook Group on our Facebook page. Grandmother Alice Lee Eley was a a young woman, when this photo was taken. The two other people in the photo were her family friends. Alice’s brother, Uncle Bob Lee, married Leakie Landrum, Ollie’s sister. The families were close to each other living in West Carroll Parish. There have been pictures shared with the group of Granny (Alice Lee Eley) and Aunt Leakie Landrum Lee. They stayed close until their deaths. Uncle Bob Lee Aunt Leakie's husband and Alice's youngest brother died in 1941 in West Carroll Parish. Even after Uncle Bob died Granny and Aunt Leakie remained close.

The unidentified man is a mystery man to me and my cousin who shared the photo. I would love to know who he is, but I don’t have a clue. Possibly the unidentified man is James Benard Landrum. I compared him to a picture when he would be older and there is a remarkable resemblance. But I won't know for sure unless a descendant of the person comes across this blog and recognizes him and identifies him.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday's Tip

Family photos are a treasured part of family history. Analyzing and looking for clues in photos to identify ancestors in the photos has been a hobby that I enjoy studying and learning about. Looking at photos of people, kin folks or any kind of photo is interesting.

New found cousins and cousins that I have reconnected with have shared family photos with me. There were very few family photos of my parents, grandparents and their families. I am fortunate to have this photo of Uncle Johnny and Aunt Dollie Edwards. A cousin who I recently connected with through this blog sent it to me.

You may have photos that you can’t identify the people. There are ways to identify and date old photos. By looking at some clues or identifiers in the photo you may be successful in your quest.

The setting for the photo may give you clues to the location and time the photo was taken. Look at the clothing they are wearing. What was the occasion or event? Was it a wedding, funeral, reunion, or family photo? Look at details in the photo. Is the photographer’s name on the photo? If so, research the photographer and get all the information you can find for him. That information may help in identifying the people in the photo and the location.

Also, look at the props used in the photo, the jewelry, the hair styles, and the background. Using these resources, you may possibly identify the people in the photos.

The photo that I am sharing was given to me by a new-found Edwards cousin who lives in Alabama. In the photo is my biological grandfather John Houston Edwards and his wife Dollie Ophelia Lee Edwards, oldest sister of my grandmother Alice Lee Eley. The Edwards lived in Alabama.

I don’t know the details of when or where this photo was taken; however, I am guessing this photo was taken on a Sunday afternoon after church. They were dressed nicely. Uncle Johnny had on his nice khaki pants and shirt. From what I remember Uncle Johnny was a farmer, and Aunt Dollie was a midwife. A farmer wouldn’t wear this attire to work on the farm. They were taking a well-deserved rest after a long hardworking life.

Uncle Johnny (as he was called) and Aunt Dollie were sitting comfortably and relaxing in their chairs probably in the living room of their home. If you notice the chairs they were sitting in, they were different styles. Aunt Dollie had a flower in her hair which was her signature; she always wore a flower in her hair and with her curly hair pulled up. She had what looks like a watch on her left arm and wedding ring on her finger. I would guess that she always wore a watch because of her job as a midwife. She was wearing glasses, and her ears were pierced. I would guess that this photo was taken late in their lives.

When I was a young girl growing up in West Carroll Parish Aunt Dollie was “old” looking to me. Realize now, that I was a young girl of about nine years old. It looks as though there is a pin just above the first button on her dress. I think Aunt Dollie most likely made her dress that she was wearing. There was a doily placed on the back of the chair Uncle Johnny was sitting in. Aunt Dollie probably knitted the doily or crocheted it. Aunt Dollie affectionately had her hand on Uncle Johnny’s arm, and a smile on her face. Uncle Johnny had his head leaning to his right and he wasn’t smiling. I wonder if he was ill and wasn’t feeling well when the photo was taken. He has his left leg crossed over his right leg.

What are you going to do with all your old photos that you inherited? Whatever you do, don’t throw them away. Store them in a container that is made for preserving them. Invest in a storage container that is archival-quality, acid and lignin free boxes. Keeping your photos in archival-quality boxes that are lignin free will preserve your photos for many years. If you are interested in taking  on a new hobby you might consider getting out your photos that have people in them who are unidentified. You might use the identifiers or clues in
 identifying the people in a few of photos. You will be glad you did.

You can always ask family members for help in identifying people in those photos. I had a picture of Daddy when he was about forty years old. The man in the picture with Daddy was unknown to me. I posted the picture on my Facebook timeline and a cousin that I had reconnected with identified the unknown man in the picture. Now the unknown man has a name and he was Daddy’s cousin. I researched the cousin, and now he has his place in my family tree.

I have only about four family photos taken when I was a young girl of about nine or ten years old. Those four photos are a treasure, and I am thankful to all the cousins who have been willing to sharing family photos.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday’s Child

Tillman Lee Edwards, Sr.

Tillman the oldest child of John Houston and Dollie Ophelia (Lee) Edwards was born 05 September 1900 in Tallassee, Elmore County, Alabama. Tillman Lee Edwards died 21 July 1979 in Wilsonville, Shelby County, Alabama. His wife Ostella Marie preceded him in death 06 December 1972. They both are buried in Fourmile Cemetery in Wilsonville.

Tillman Lee was given the Lee surname for his middle given name. He registered for the World War Draft 12 April 1918. He was a medium built, medium height, brown eyed, black hair eighteen-year-old young man. At the time of his registration for the draft he was living in Vincent in Shelby County, Alabama. He was living on the farm and working for his father. His mother Dollie was listed as his nearest relative when he registered.

By 1920 Tillman Lee is still living at home with his parents and a laborer on the farm. He is single. Then, by the 1930 census he has settled down living on Bethel Church Road in Columbiana. Tillman was a young man of twenty-five years old when he married his wife. His occupation is farming and working on his own. He wasn’t a veteran in any branches of the military. Tillman completed the eighth grade and his wife completed three years of high school. By 1930 Tillman and Ostella had been married four years and they were the parents of two children Tillman, Jr. his namesake, three and a half years old and a daughter Doris Marie, one month old infant. Did Tillman and Stella have more children? I don’t know because the 1940 census is the last census until the 1950 census is released April 1, 2022. In 1960 Tillman, Jr. was living Bessemer, Alabama with his wife Lazelle. They lived at 2716 Clyburne Avenue TCI employee. He and his wife are listed on page 99 in the Bessemer City Directory for 1960.

A strange turn of events happened by the time the next census was taken. April 1, 1935 Tillman and his family were living in rural Shelby County, Alabama. Tillman, his wife and two children were living in Beat 5, Monroe County, Mississippi by the time the 1940 was enumerated. Tillman was a farmer that was his occupation and Stella was a laborer and they worked for themselves; so, why were they living in Monroe County? Why did Tillman moved from the area where he was born and reared to Mississippi? Did he have better opportunities?

This is a new twist in the Edwards family place of residence. The Edwards families have lived in Shelby, Jefferson, Tallapoosa, Coosa, and Elmore Counties for many years. I am not aware of Edwards families living in Mississippi, though there might be families living there. Perhaps Stella has family there and they moved to be near her family. There isn’t an answer to these questions yet; however, there may be a cousin who will come across this blog and have answers.

Tillman Lee Edwards is my father’s half-brother. They share the same biological father. Tillman made occasional trips to Louisiana to visit family. There are happy memories of the Alabama folks coming to Louisiana for their visits.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 1, Jackson, Louisiana; Roll: T624_516; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0053; FHL microfilm: 1374529

Year: 1920; Census Place: Harpersville, Shelby, Alabama; Roll: T625_40; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 121; Image: 1004

Year: 1930; Census Place: Columbiana, Shelby, Alabama; Roll: 48; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0002; Image: 557.0; FHL microfilm: 2339783

Year: 1940; Census Place: Monroe, Mississippi; Roll: T627_2050; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 48-34

U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Alabama; Registration County: Shelby; Roll: 1509430

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 for Tillman L Edwards; Bessemer, Alabama City Directory 1960, page 99.

Marriage Records. Alabama Marriages. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, UT, Film Number 001571849.

Find A Grave Memorial# 75021891, Tillman Lee Edwards, Sr. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current,

Social Security Death Index, Number: 417-24-1230; Issue State: Alabama; Issue Date: Before 1951