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Allen Mason Lowery Callaway. Mace, they called him.

It's the name of my great-great grandfather. He only lived to be 30 years old. He died in 1877.

One of my Callaway cousins and I puzzle over that.

We can't find his grave. What little is left of the written and oral Callaway family history does not include him.

Historic records about him are hard to come by.

We know from his marriage record that he lied about his age to marry my great-great grandmother, Mary C Dunn. They married on 8 Sep 1866 in Clark Co., AR. She was 17. He was 19, but lied about his age and said he was 28. (You had to be 21 to marry without your folks' permission then.)

They had a daughter in 1873, Julia Ann Callaway.

No record of any other children, and no tiny little graves in the DeGray Baptist Church Cemetery.

My cousin and I pondered that as we went through the cemetery *one more time* about a month ago.

Why didn't Julia Ann (who is buried there, along with both her husbands, her mother and her half-brother) mark her daddy's grave? Why didn't her mother, his widow?

And why was Julia Ann the only child of a couple married 11 years, in days long before reliable birth control?

My cousin and I think Mace must have been a bad boy.

His fellow parishoners at Bethel Union Baptist Church thought so. He made the conference meeting minutes on 11 Dec 1869. (Bethel Union Baptist Church later became DeGray Baptist Church.)

...There being charges prefered against brother Mason Calaway for immoral conduct, a committee consisting of brothers Jno B Smith and Harry Hasse was then appointed to see brother Calaway, and request him to come before the church at the next conference meeting and give satisfaction...

We don't know if the next conference meeting was when he appeared, but he did appear on 8 Jan 1870.

After divine service by the pastor, the church met in conference. Brother Mason Calaway came forward and made acknowledgement, was forgiven of his error, and restored to the fellowship of the church. The committee appointed to see brother Calaway were then discharged...

He is such a mystery...

Church Record Sunday

Date: 2010-11-28 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
What a great church record! It just goes to prove that even the bad boys left behind church records.

Thanks for sharing this.

--Gena Philibert Ortega

Date: 2010-11-29 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
So many stories here. Best of luck digging them up. I wonder how many more times he showed up in the church records.

Date: 2010-11-29 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ironically, in 1874, just three years before he died, he was appointed to two church conference committees to go counsel a couple of uppity women in the church who were keeping "untidy houses." Makes me wonder if some men in the church had a little too much time on their hands...hard to believe because this is farming country, still is to this day.

These church records are a hoot. As badly as the church needed members, they "disfellowshipped" people every Sunday. I have to wonder if that was not at least part of the reason Bethel Union died, and in its place, DeGray Baptist Church came into being, in the same building...

Date: 2011-03-05 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I love old church records, when I can find them! Some of their issues- "being lazy on Sunday", "caught fishing on Sunday", ..seem pretty tame to me, but were probably considered to be horrible behavior back then.
...Terri B., (Southwest Arkie)


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Dee Burris Blakley

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