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dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, December 4th, 2010 08:50 am
What a pleasant surprise to wake and find that Jenny had given my blog the Ancestor Approved award.

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Thank you, Jenny.

The award comes with a couple of requests:
1. List ten things that you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.
2. Pass the award to ten other genealogy bloggers.

What I've learned:
1. My Burrises did not move from Arkansas county to county in the 1840s and 1850s, as I thought they did - the county lines moved. Lesson: the rotating census maps are my friend.
2. One of my paternal great-great grandfathers had a second family about a half mile down the road from the family compound in Pope County, AR.
3. Corollary to #2 - you almost never have the whole story with the "official" family oral history. Be open to those contacts and questions from other people seeking their roots.
4. My Callaways are *not* descendants of Daniel Boone. Not.
5. The story about great Grandma Maxie (Meek) Williams beating the Yankee solider over the head with a buggy whip as she was taking the cotton to market is not true. Grandma Maxie wasn't even a gleam in her daddy's eye during the Civil War, and she didn't grow up on a cotton farm, or marry into one. And my cotton growing ancestors did not take the cotton to market in buggies - they didn't even own buggies as far as I can tell.
6. The probable cause of Cedric Hazen Williams' reputation as a misfit and ne'er-do-well was most likely due to a brain injury he suffered as an 11 year old boy, when a wagon rolled over his head.
7. My branch of the Chapins, although descended from Deacon Samuel Chapin, did not remain in Massachusetts, and were not wealthy all their lives. They were, however, highly skilled wood workers who made fine cabinetry.
8. Great-great Grandma Mary (Dunn) Callaway Williams was Indian, as we had been told by my grandmother. DNA testing recently sought by one of my aunts has confirmed that. We do not know what tribe Mary's mother came from.
9. The Burrises did not own slaves, as I would have expected. The Callaways did, and increased the number of slaves they owned when Jonathan Owsley Callaway married Emily Hemphill, whose father, John brought many slaves with him to Clark Co., AR from South Carolina about 1818.
10. The innate curiosity of "reporting" runs in my family, and comes to me from my Baldings.

I'd like to present the Ancestor Approved award to these bloggers:
My Ancestors and Me
Nolichucky Roots
Our Georgia Roots
Little Bytes of Life
The Turning of Generations
Slowly Bring Driven Mad by the Ancestors
AncesTree Sprite
Hanging from the Family Tree
Tangled Trees
From Little Acorns
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, November 27th, 2010 06:18 pm
It happens every time I open the Williams family photo album.

More dry rot, and more photos falling out. It's to be expected from a photograph album that's soon to be 125 years old.

So I dutifully scan.

And mutter under my breath cuss out loud as I do it.

Because Maxie hardly ever labeled a thing.

I get a work out researching photographers and when they were in operation.

Click here to amble through anonymity with me... )
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, November 27th, 2010 08:53 am
This is one of the many photos of people unrelated to me that are falling out of the Williams family photo album.

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Unlike others, this one IS labeled.

On the front, it says Miss Mary Bond.

On the back, it says 1876. This is the lady who started me in Art needlework.

The album belonged to my great grandparents, Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek. In 1876, Maxie was 7 years old. Her mother, Mary Emily Conner, had re-married in 1871, in Grenada County, MS. By 1880, the family lived in Pope Co., AR.

So the photo could have have been acquired in either location - I don't know where Miss Mary Bond lived. The photo was taken by John A Scholten of St Louis, and two addresses for his studios are listed on the back of it.

I'd love to re-unite the photo with the family of Miss Mary Bond.

Maxie obviously put more than just Williams family photos in the album. Although I'm told Grandma had many sterling qualities, labeling her photographs was not one of them...

Note to self...
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 07:44 pm
One of them was Mary Emily Conner, and like the proverbial chip off the old block, her daughter, Maxie Leah Meek, followed in her footsteps.

Mary Emily Conner was born in Hernando, DeSoto County, MS on 12 Apr 1837. I do not yet know who her parents were, but I continue to look.

The day after her nineteenth birthday, Mary married James Alexander Meek, son of Jefferson John and Henrietta Ann "Hettie" (Donahoo) Meek. The Meeks were a large and well-heeled family, but that was not why Mary remembered her wedding day for the rest of her life. In 1910, she recounted how her grandfather-in-law, Alexander Meek, stole her thunder.

A ridiculous figure in a black velvet coat, with knee britches, silk stockings, and silver-buckled shoes, wearing a dusty wig and ill fitted false teeth carved of wood, he played his violin and carried on like an Irishman. From the attention given him, you would have thought him the center of attention instead of the bride. Upon this spoiled day my marriage began. Like all the Meeks, he lived forever and buried his wives. At the last reunion of Revolutionary Veterans in North Mississippi, only three veterans attended; two more carried to the reunion but old Alexander walked and danced the whole afternoon. Source: Guy Meek of Anne Arundel County, Maryland : descendants, intermarriages and neighbors, Vol 2. (1660-2004) by Melton P Meek, at page 405. Digitized at this website.

James Alexander and Mary Emily Meek separated before the birth of their youngest child, Maxie Leah, on 10 Feb 1869. Mary was now functionally the single mother of two children, having lost a daughter, Hettie Ann Elizabeth, before her first birthday in 1868.

The 1870 census found Mary and her children, William Thaddeus and Maxie Leah, in Grenada Co., MS, running a store where she employed a clerk. ...from being able to read French, M E Meek Webb learned how to make hats from a French fashion magazine. This was also how she made her living after the Civil War. She also manufactured cosmetics, a business carried on...for years. The factory was moved to Chicago and discontinued during the Depression. (See the same source cited above, at page 570.)

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Mary Emily (Conner) Meek Webb, in 1873


Mary and James Meek divorced on 10 Oct 1871. Sixteen days later, Mary married Samuel Webb, and at some point during the 1870's, the couple moved, with William and Maxie, to Russellville, Pope Co., AR. The 1880 census for Russellville says Samuel's occupation was "confectioner."

Samuel Webb died on 28 Nov 1882 in Russellville, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery there. Although her children continued to live in Pope County, Mary returned to Mississippi about 1912, living in Sardis in Panola County, until her death on 27 Apr 1913.