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dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 09:25 pm
Comparing church and military records for the Dunns, Callaways and Williamses...

In July 1863, Julia Ann (Wingfield) Callway and her son, Mason, joined Bethel Union Baptist Church in Clark County.

In 1865, Mary Dunn was a member of New Hope Methodist Church in Clark County.
In 1866, Mary and Martha Dunn were members of New Hope Methodist Church. (Lucinda Hitchcock, mother of David Andrew Williams, was also a member, although I didn't find David in the membership list, but it's a fragmented one.)

A M Callaway and D A Williams appeared on a muster roll dated from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865 in the 10th Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, commanded first by Reuben C Reed, and finally by Col. Robert C Newton.

On 8 Sep 1866, Mary Dunn and Allen Mason "Mace" Callaway were married by an itinerant Cumberland Presbyterian minister in Clark County.

In August 1867, Martha Dunn, Mary Callaway and James Dunn joined Bethel Union Baptist Church in Clark County.

On 27 Jun 1869, Martha Dunn and David Andrew Williams were married by a Methodist minister in Clark County.

On 2 Nov 1876, Martha Dunn Williams died of tuberculosis in Clark County.

On 15 Feb 1877, Mace Callaway died - we presume in Clark County.

On 13 Jul 1878, David Andrew Williams and Mary Dunn Callaway were married by Isom Langley, a clergyman, in Clark County.

And all the while, Robert James Dunn was living two farms over...

And my cousin Jason tells me...Capt Nat M Jones and Pvt. L. O. Ross are the ones that signed the proof of service forms for Mary to apply for her Civil War widow's pension.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 06:14 pm
Frankly, I was disappointed with the offerings at Ouachita Baptist University's Special Collections Section.

I did, however, make a few interesting discoveries.

A glance through the 1932 Southern Standard on microfilm did not yield an obituary I was looking for, but it did give up some interesting tidbits of local flavor about my Herrington relatives who lived in the tiny Clark County Arkansas community of DeGray.

I had never really considered it before, but what did you do for fun when you were dirt poor and the Great Depression sucked the life out of just about everything?

You went visiting...and it made the newspaper.


Searching through the conference minutes of the DeGray Baptist Church provided no information at all about where or how my g-g-grandfather, Mace Callaway died, or where he might be buried.

I asked for copies of all 17 pages of membership notes in the New Hope Methodist Church file for the years 1860-1869. There appear to be skips due to missing records, but they will be useful to my Williams cousin, Jason, and to a lesser degree, to me.

And while I was waiting for copies to be made, I scanned through the Clark County Historical Association's Journal index, and stumbled across a CSA Cavalry unit that seems to be unreported in the usual places, with alphabetized lists of troops who served.

Even more interesting is that it appears possible that Mace Callaway and David Andrew Williams may have served in that cavalry unit together, as shown on a muster roll covering the time from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865. (I'll transcribe that as a separate entry later.)

Another of the CCHA's journals provides more information about years in which Bob Dunn was mentioned in the minutes of the Red River Baptist Association.

So the CCHA made $45 off me today. I bought the 1991, 1993, and 1998 Journals.


Cousin Joe and I made an appalling discovery at the Clark County Courthouse.

We were looking for the letters of administration in the estate of one of our many greats grandpappies, John Callaway, who died intestate in 1834 in Clark County. Joe knew that John Callaway's estate was enumerated in an attachment to the letters of administration.

The probate clerk was able to provide us with a copy of the 6 Jan 1835 probate court order appointing John's widow, Amy, and his son, John S T, as co-administrators of the estate (they were, by the way, fined by the court in 1842 for failure to file an annual accounting of the estate - oops), but the clerk said we'd have to go to the books to look for the letters of administration.

So all three of us tromped over to the closet where the books are kept. 1840 was as far back as we could find.

So the clerk asked us if we wanted to take a look through the other books in storage.

In the attic.

IN THE ATTIC.

Books with documents over 175 years old are IN THE ATTIC. With no climate control.

And not just in the attic...they were just dumped in the attic in hodge-podge, helter skelter fashion...many looking as if they were thrown in there by whomever was assigned the chore of moving them because before they had been IN THE BASEMENT - where they kept getting damp.

Joe and I kept grimacing at each other over the clerk's head as we looked, each of us righting a book here and there.

We did not find the letters of administration of the estate.

I'm hoping that book was rescued by the Arkansas History Commission and filmed.

So I'll be squinting at microfilm there tomorrow.


The journey is good.

And it continues...
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 04:52 pm
Photobucket

My office is undergoing renovation in stages.

There's a window of opportunity for me to try and fill in some pieces in the Bob, Mary, and Martha Dunn mystery.

It's time for the rubber to meet the road. Next Thursday and Friday, I'm taking leave from the office and going to Hot Spring and Clark counties to try and get some answers. My Callaway cousin, Joe, is going to shepherd me through the Special Collections section of Ouachita Baptist University.

I'm also going to be cold-calling a cousin who lives in Arkadelphia who has never heard of me. I understand he may have some answers - and maybe even some documents and pictures.

I can hardly wait...

You too can create a puzzle out of one of your own family photos by going here.
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, March 21st, 2011 07:51 pm
There's no tombstone for Martha L Dunn of which I am aware. I have no idea where she is buried, and the places I would customarily look have left me empty handed.

I think Martha was the sister of my g-g-grandmother, Mary C Dunn.

As with Mary, and the man I suspect is her brother, Bob Dunn, I can't find her in the census as a child.

Martha L Dunn was married to David Andrew Williams in 1869. According to her obituary, she bore him two children, although I have been able only to account for one.

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Martha L Dunn Williams' obituary as published in
The Southern Standard in Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas
on 11 Nov 1876, on page 3 column 3.


Died,
At Hollywood, in this county, on the 2d inst. Mrs. Martha L., wife of Mr. David Williams, of this city, in the 28th year of her age.

She had been a severe sufferer, with that dread disease, consumption, for the past eighteen months, but bore her sufferings with that patience and fortitude known only to the truly religious, and died in the full triumphs of a well grounded faith. She leaves a husband, two children and numerous friends to mourn her loss.


Getting a generation behind these Dunns is one of my biggest brick walls.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 06:52 pm
I think my third cousin, Jason, found Mary Dunn's younger brother.

He worked off the only clues I had about this photo:

Photobucket


I've been told the man with Mary in the undated (and truly weird looking) photo was Bob Dunn, who came to visit her from Texas.

As another blogger commented in the original entry, they look as if they posed in front of a bedsheet.

And then, there's that nail sticking out.

And the look on Mary's face.

She doesn't look terribly pleased to be there.


So Jason started looking for a Bob, or Robert, Dunn.

And he found one in the 1880 census, living three farms away from Mary and her second husband, David Andrew Williams.

Photobucket

So he tracked Robert J Dunn.

And found him living next in Hunt County, TX.
Robert James Dunn was born 3 Dec 1853 in Georgia. Like Mary.

He died 15 Dec 1926 in Hunt County, TX.

Jason and I cannot find his death certificate, although we have found death certificates for the same period of reported time, 1890-1976, for several of his at least 25 children by two different wives. (More about that later.)

We also cannot find his parents, or find him as a little kid in census records.

Like Mary.

Unless you count the church record, which Jason found at the Arkansas History Commission.

And which we believe shows Mary (Dunn) Callaway, her brother James Dunn, and sister, Martha Dunn, joining Bethel Union Baptist Church by experience in August 1867. (That would have been right after Mary's marriage to Mace Callaway, whose mother was already a member of Bethel Union, back in 1863, and before Martha Dunn married David Andrew Williams on 27 Jun 1869 in Clark County.)


Photobucket
Robert James Dunn married Sarah A "Sally" Hickman on 10 Jul 1873 in Clark County, AR.

According to census records, draft registrations and death certificates, their first 10 children were born in Clark County, including Ella in December 1892. Mollie and Charlie Benford Dunn were born in Hunt County, TX.

However, the 1900 census in Hunt County said that Sally was the mother of 15 children, 14 of whom were living at the time of the census, so I've not yet found three little kiddos.


When Robert James Dunn turned up in the 1910 census without Sally, I thought I found another daughter, Bettie, and that Sally had died.

Then I remembered Jason's email. Robert had remarried on 18 May 1901 to Bettie Dorella Wofford. There was a congratulatory article in the Commerce Journal:




"Parental inteference (sic)?" I looked more closely at the census.

47 year-old Robert Dunn married the 15 1/2 year-old daughter of one of his neighbors. "Prosperous farmer" or not, that couldn't have made them happy.

Especially since the 1910 census reported that Bettie was the mother of 5 children, 4 of whom were living at the time of the census.

And then I found Sally Dunn. Living with her son, William Oliver Dunn, and his wife Annie Anderson, in Mitchell County, TX.

Bob Dunn's third son was older than his new wife.


If Robert James Dunn is the Bob Dunn in the photo above, I have to wonder...

Did his marital hijinks have anything to do with the look on his sister's face?


Circumstantially speaking, I think we got our man.

And as Jason said, maybe together, we'll figure it out one day.

I'm going down to Clark County to nose around - real soon.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, March 6th, 2011 11:31 am
He is descended from David Andrew Williams, and is my cousin by way of David's marriage to my great-great grandmother, Mary C Dunn.

And he has been burning the midnight oil, searching for Mary's kin. He found my blog entry with the photo of Bob Dunn and Mary during our recent record snowfall (when everyone was housebound), and ran with it.

He has some very intriguing thoughts about the possibility that Bob could have been Mary's brother.

And as with Mary, he can't find any parents for Bob either.

Maybe the two of us will, as he said in his very well-written and researched email, "figure it out one day."
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 06:45 pm
Keep the secret or not...that is the question.

I've discovered secrets in my family - on both sides. Some of more gravity than others.

But yeah...I blog about them.

And in some instances, I have questions...why did so-and-so do thus-and-such?

In most cases, I will never know the answer to that question.

Because most of the time, I lack the context in which to frame the answer to this...gee, do I think that was right or wrong?

So I really ought not to judge, huh?

It's also good to remember that they were then just like we are now. Most of them dealt the hand they were played.

Some better than others.


Yes, I write about things that were kept quiet for years - things that I or others have discovered.

From multiply married and murderous Chapins, to Burrises with multiple families or the mid-19th century bad boy Callaway who died so young and had a mysterious wife named Mary, my family tree provides me with countless opportunities to mutter, well, would ya look at that?

My newest curiosity is over a mystery Burris child, whom I would not be at all surprised to find was another of James Littleton Burris' sons.

The discovery of the Mountain Meadows massacre was probably the most shocking surprise I had one Saturday morning in my slippers, with coffee and cigarette...

No one in my family for four generations ever mentioned that.

Maybe they were just trying to forget.

It worked.


Some of the family secrets and mysteries are having an effect on lives today.

I know firsthand of multiple individuals who have questions about true parentage. The people about whom they have questions have been dead for decades - in one case, for over a century.

If there's information out there to help them establish *who they are* - their identity - then, I won't be keeping secrets about my family, and hindering that.

I won't attempt to draw some moral conclusion about my ancestors without knowing the context of their situation. Did James and Adeline have an "understanding" that they didn't blab to everyone else because it was none of their business?

They could have. I don't know.

But I also don't know that they didn't. That's not the point.

The point is - someone out there needs the facts in order to find out who they are.

Good enough for me.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, January 1st, 2011 06:21 pm
I imagine the surname McBrayer to have Scottish or Irish origins. I have only traced my McBrayers back to Cumberland Co., PA in 1764. William McBrayer, born in Cumberland County, married in 1788 in Rutherford Co., NC to Elizabeth Martin.

For the next three generations, McBrayers farmed the land of several North Carolina counties until around 1868, when Eli Wellington McBrayer and his younger brother Tilman (sons of Tilman W McBrayer and Elizabeth Amelia Bridges), removed to the fertile farmland of Clark County, AR and began farming there. In 1877, Tilman moved on to neighboring Pike County, AR.

Eli stayed put. On 8 Nov 1870, he married Harriet "Hattie" K Thornton, and the couple had three children with another on the way when brother Tilman moved on.

The first of those three children was a son - Robert Bruce McBrayer, born 10 Oct 1871, in Clark County. Robert was the first husband of my great grandmother, Julia Ann Callaway.

And although Robert is not related to me by blood, he was still family. As far as I know, McBrayer kids were just as much the kids of Jasper Monroe Herrington as Jasper's kids were Julia Ann Callaway's when they blended their families in 1907. And then went on to have six more.

Robert's parents were well-respected in their little Clark County community called DeGray.

Eli Wellington McBrayer and Hattie K Thornton had 11 children that I have been able to document. Eli was a leader in their church, DeGray Baptist (formerly Bethel Union Baptist). At least four of those children died before they reached the age of 20. DeGray Baptist Church Cemetery is the resting place of Eli, Hattie, and many of their descendants.

Among the photos I got on my recent successful visit to see my aunt was this one of Mary C (Dunn) Callaway Williams, and Hattie K (Thornton) McBrayer. According to the writing on the back, it was taken in the late 1800s.

Photobucket


This would have been a photo cherished by my great-grandmother Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington.

Her mother and her first mother-in-law, who surely had known each other for years. They were contemporaries and only born two years apart, Hattie being the younger. If the photo is from the late 1800s, then Robert McBrayer was still alive at the time it was taken. (He died in 1905.)

I think there may be a possibility that the names of the women on the photo were reversed. My aunt wrote that Hattie was on the left, and Mary on the right.

My cousin and I zoomed the photo on my laptop and compared it to the 3 known photos of Mary Dunn in my possession. (Took those suckers right off the wall, we did.) We believe Mary is the woman on the left.

And we have no reason to doubt that the women in the photo, regardless of their position, are Mary and Hattie.


I. Love. This.


Photobucket

Verna McBrayer Feimster


Verna was the daughter of Robert McBrayer and Julia Ann Callaway. Born on 5 Sep 1900, she was sixth of the eight children. She married William A "Bill" Feminster on 21 Jun 1928.

So I figure this was Verna's single gal, flapper look - before she married.


Most of Eli and Harriet's children stayed in and around Clark County all their lives.

So did most of their grandchildren, although two of Robert and Julia's sons moved to Texas (Larkin and Charlie).

That's still a long way from Scotland or Ireland...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, December 25th, 2010 10:23 pm
Southern Standard, 18 Apr 1929
A Beloved woman of De Gray Dies.
Mrs. Mary C. Williams, one of the oldest and most beloved citizens of DeGray departed this life at the home of her only daughter, Mrs. Julia Herrington, on Tuesday, April 9th. She was 80 years, three months and 3 days old at the time of her death. She had been a member of the Baptist church at DeGray 62 years. She lived a Christian life. She was the mother of three children, Julia Ann Callaway, Ned Williams and Willie Williams. She was a kind and loving mother and dutiful wife. Mrs. Williams was married to A. M. Callaway in 1866 and in 1878 she was married to D. A. Williams. She has gone but not forgotten. She has been blind for the past seven years and hasn't been out of the house in two years.


Photobucket



Photobucket

DeGray Baptist Church Cemetery, Clark Co., AR
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 11:23 am
No matter how "busy" I get with other lines of descent in the family tree, I always come back to her.

Even some of her historic "facts" are open to debate, as far as I am concerned. I made myself a little chronology of what I know about Mary.

Date of Birth: 5 Jan 1849
Source information for this date includes her death certificate, census records, obituary, gravestone, and family lore

Place of Birth: Georgia
Source information for this location includes census records, her death certificate and family lore

Parents: Unknown
I cannot find a single document that gives the identity of Mary's parents. For almost two months, I chased little girls named Mary Dunn across the United States of America, and never found her. However, I can tell you the parentage and location of just about every other Mary Dunn my g-g-grandmother's age.

And there's a story there - something that was a closely guarded secret. Since she was underage to contract for marriage, Mary's first marriage record had this to say about her parents:

...Mary C Dunn aged 17 years...her having no father and the consent of her mother made her home with another family in their presents (sic) was the sight (sic) for porfomace (sic)...

Her death certificate, for which her son Rubin Ned was the informant, was equally tantilizing for its seemingly deliberate omission of her parents' identities. On it, Ned said Mary's father's name was Mr. Dunn. He did not know what her mother's name was.

I don't believe that.

Religion: Baptist, member of Bethel Union (later DeGray) Baptist Church, DeGray, Clark County, AR
Source information for this includes Conference Meeting minutes of Bethel Union Baptist Church, DeGray, Clark County, AR and her obituary.

Date of Marriage: 8 Sep 1866 to Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, in Clark County, AR
Source information for this marriage includes the marriage bond and license, and her obituary

Date of Marriage: 13 Jul 1878 to David Andrew Williams, in Clark County, AR
Source information for this marriage includes the marriage bond and license, and her obituary

Children: Marriage 1: Julia Ann Callaway, born 19 Jun 1873, in Clark County, AR
Marriage 2: Rubin Ned Williams, born 14 Nov 1881, in Clark County, AR; and
William Andrew Williams, born 13 Nov 1882 in Clark County, AR
Source information for children includes census records, Mary's obituary, her children's obituaries, and family lore

Date of Death: 9 Apr 1929 in DeGray, Clark Co., AR
Source information for this date includes her death certificate, obituary, gravestone and family lore

Cause of Death: Noxemia, i.e., insufficient oxygen in the blood
Source information derived from her death certificate

Burial: DeGray Baptist Church Cemetery, DeGray, Clark County, AR
Source information for this location includes her death certificate and gravestone.

Family lore about Mary is about as sketchy as historic documents. There's a photo of Mary and a man I have been told was Bob Dunn, who came to see her from Texas. I don't know if the photo was taken while she was married to Mace Callaway or David Williams. She certainly doesn't look as old as she was in another undated photo of her with her daughter and adult grandson.

And Dunn - aha! A family member?

Photobucket


Brother, cousin, father? I chased Robert/Bob Dunns around the country in census records. I have no idea which, if any, is him in the sub-folders I have on Robert Dunn. I can't put the two together in any context, even though I feel sure he was related to her. He just doesn't look old enough (to me) to be her father.

My paternal grandmother, who was Mary's granddaughter, always told me and other members of the family that Mary was her "Indian grandmother." Several in our family did not believe that.

A few months ago, we laid that one to rest when one of my aunts took a mtDNA test. Grandma was right. If, as my father and I suspect, Mary was illegitimate and a man named Dunn was her father, then she may have been half native.

And if she was born in Georgia, it doesn't necessarily mean she was Cherokee. There were a multitude of native tribes whose homeland was Georgia.

So I stand, once more, in front of her photo, and ask her to give me a sign.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 06:10 pm
It was a friend of my son's, looking over my shoulder one afternoon, who asked the questions.

Why were there so many sections to the old marriage licenses? And what was a marriage bond? Did people really have to post a cash bond to get married back then?

I used my 2X great grandmother's second as an example.


Photobucket


There were four parts to a marriage record in 1878 in Arkansas - the bond, the license, the certificate of marriage, and the certificate of record.

The bond required a principal and his security - the principal's back-up if he had to pay the $100 and couldn't. ($100 in 1878 had the same buying power as $2190.75 does today.)

Photobucket


The bond was required in the event it was later found that one or both parties could not legally contract for marriage. It was a penal bond, essentially a punishment for lying.

Photobucket


If, for example, one or the other parties was underage, was married to someone else, or had been coerced, the marriage could be set aside.

And someone had to pay the piper, as it were...
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 07:36 pm
As I have researched the people in my family tree, my heart has gone out to quite a few of them. But probably none more so than David Andrew Williams.

I am not even related to him by blood. He was the second (and final) husband of my g-g-grandmother, Mary C Dunn.

I'm not going to pretend David was an angel. There's a fair amount of evidence that he wasn't.

But whether you call it fate, destiny, karma, or just plain bad luck, it seems to me that the deck was stacked against him. I have to wonder how much of it came from Momma, since my impression of her (*not* confirmed by anyone or any document) was that she was an iron willed woman who ran roughshod over anyone she could, and wrote her own version of family history to suit her own sense of self-righteous importance.

David was born in Hardin County, TN to Wright Williams and Lucinda H Clem on 28 Sep 1845. He was the middle kid of three, having an older brother, William H, and younger sister, Lucinda, who was born on 24 Apr 1847.

His dad died in 1847 - I don't know whether it was before or after Lucinda Jr was born. But Lucinda Sr did not remain a widow for long.

In 1848, she hitched her wagon to Lorenzo Hitchcock, a self-made man and a widower 23 years her senior. By 1860, they moved to Clark County, AR from Hardin County, TN., and Lorenzo continued his trade of metal work, employing his wife's oldest son in his shop. Several of Lucinda's family members, including her parents and younger brother, James Mason Clem, lived in nearby Hot Spring County.

By 1870, the clan moved to Arkadelphia, the largest town in and county seat of Clark County. Additionally, provision was made for Lucinda's sons to also have homes, conveniently located next door to Momma and step-dad, as both William and David were married.

It was not David Andrew Williams' first marriage.


On 24 Apr 1865, tragedy struck Lucinda Hitchcock's extended family, as it had so many other families of the era. Her brother, James Mason Clem, died of disease at the end of his Civil War service in Little Rock, Pulaski County, AR. He left a widow, Delilah (Gibbs) Clem, and at least four minor children. (James and Delilah had eight children together before his death.)

Obviously, Lucinda's widowed sister-in-law needed some help. Now who would be a suitable husband for her?

Enter David Andrew Williams.

In 1867, 22 year-old David Andrew Williams married his maternal aunt, 42 year-old Delilah (Gibbs) Clem, and became an instant father to his cousins, the oldest of whom was two years younger than he was.

I am not customarily a person who gets squicky about the family tree stuff. I blithely enter all those marriages of cousins, usually muttering under my breath the reminder that in those days, statistics showed people rarely married people farther than a five mile radius from home, and that was likely to be kin.

But this one just had ick written all over it for me.

And it may well have for David, too. He and Aunt Delilah were married long enough for her to bear him a son, William Wright Clem Williams, born 16 Dec 1867 in Hot Spring County, AR.

She sued him for divorce in Hot Spring County Court, which was granted 11 Mar 1869, on the grounds of "violence and drunkenness." Delilah had custody of their son.

I don't know about violence, but I think I mighta gotten drunk, too.

Why do I see Momma's hand in this, from the marriage all the way to the name of the grandchild?


Violence and drunkenness aside, it was a really fast courtship for David and wife #2, Martha L Dunn. She and David married on 27 Jun 1869 in Clark County, and by the June 1870 census, they had a one year-old daughter, Marietta Williams.

That was a weird census to puzzle through. Aside from David and his brother William living in the two houses next to their mother, the census showed David and William living together, and their wives, Martha and Sallie, living next to them with Marietta.

I finally got some help from one of David's direct descendants.

Martha Williams had consumption. She may have been quarantined in one of the houses, with Sallie Williams going back and forth.

Martha Dunn Williams died on 2 Nov 1876 of tuberculosis. Marietta either escaped the illness, or was treated successfully.

In any event, David Andrew Williams was now a widower with a six year-old daughter.


I don't know how David met my g-g-grandmother. All the records show that they lived in two different townships, and had two completely different lifestyles.

Mary Callaway was Baptist, David's family was Methodist. Mary was country - David was a city boy. (In the 1870 census, he did say he was a farmer, which was another oddity...I cannot figure out where in Arkadelphia *town* he was doing any farming.)

They did have one thing in common. Each of them had been widowed - David in 1876, and Mary in 1877 - and each had a young daughter.

They married on 13 Jul 1878 in Clark County. The 1880 census shows them living in Greenville Township in Clark County, and David is a famer. Both their daughters, Marietta Williams and Julia Ann Callaway, are listed in the household, as well as a 17 year-old farmhand named Cicero Smith.

They added two sons to their family - Ruben Ned Williams, born 14 Nov 1881, and William Andrew Williams, born 13 Nov 1882.

It looked like things were turning around for David Andrew Williams.


In 1884, David was slowly struck with some sort of creeping paralysis. According to his obituary, it began in his hands.

Reading the obit, it sounds to me like polio. But apparently, no one else got it. Maybe ALS?

Here is the obituary, published in the Southern Standard on 10 Feb 1888.

Williams, David Andrew, was born in Hardin Co. Tenn. Sept 28,1845. He was married to Mary C. Callaway July 13, 1878. His affliction was paralysis. In 1884 it began in his hands and gradually diffused itself through his whole system. His long affliction and the peculiarity of his case might have been much profit to the medical fraternity had it watched the stages of his disease. His affliction was four years and five months standing. His flesh all virtually perished away. The last two years of his illness he was entirely helpless. In the year 1855 he professed religion and joined the Methodist Church, and died in peace January 23, 1888 aged 43 years, 4 months and 15 days. He was the son of Mrs. Lucinda Hitchcock.

Okay, say I am perseverating, but I see Momma in this one, too.

Where is any mention of his kids? Or his step-daughter, who lived in the home until her marriage in 1891?

He had *four* kids, all living at the time of his death.

His wife gets a mention, but his mother wraps it up.

And...his mother carted his earthly remains over two townships to bury him in the Methodist cemetery, rather than lay him to rest 1/2 mile down the road from his home, where his widow and one of his sons, along with grandchildren, later would be buried.

In those days, traveling that distance for a burial wasn't easy.


My g-g-grandmother was 39 and a widow for the second time. She died 41 years later, still the widow of David Andrew Williams.

Maybe she didn't want to risk becoming a widow again.

Or maybe, she didn't want to risk another mother-in-law from hell...


Looking forward to meeting you on the other side, David.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, November 27th, 2010 07:50 pm
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.)

Photobucket
...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.

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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...
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 04:11 pm
I will update this entry from time to time as I run across all the marriage indices I've collected over the years from various Arkansas counties. The letter and number combination at the end of each record is the marriage book volume and page number.

Click for long list of counties and names... )
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, October 31st, 2010 06:19 pm
She is my great great grandmother.

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She is also my most challenging "brick wall."

All the historic documents say she was born in Georgia, but that is as far as it goes. She was born 5 January 1849, and died at the age of 80, on 9 April 1929. According to her obituary, she was blind for several years before her death.

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I have never been able to find out the identities of her parents and/or siblings. I hoped to find out by reviewing her death certificate. The informant for the certificate was Mary's son, Ruben Ned Williams. On it, Ned said Mary's father's name was Mr. Dunn. He did not know what her mother's name was.

And I don't believe that.

Mary was first married to my great great grandfather, Allen Mason Lowery Callaway. They married on 8 September 1866 in Clark Co., AR. Because Mary was still a minor, the family she lived with gave permission for, and witnessed her marriage. But they were not named in the marriage certificate.

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Mace Callaway died on 15 February 1877, leaving Mary and their daughter, Julia Ann Callaway. I have found no evidence of other children borne to them - either live or stillbirths.

On 13 July 1878, Mary Dunn Callaway married David Andrew Williams in Clark Co., AR. David was a widower himself, and had a daughter from his marriage to Martha L Canady, named Mary Etta (Marietta) Williams. He and Mary had two sons, Ruben Ned and William Andrew Williams, before he died on 23 January 1888 in Clark County.

Mary's granddaughter, Addie Louise Herrington Burris, was my paternal grandmother. Mary lived with my grandmother when Louise was a child, and all my life, I was told by my grandmother that Mary was her "Indian grandmother." There were two members of my family who felt that while my grandmother did not intentionally lie, she was mistaken about Mary's ethnic origins.

One of my aunts took a DNA test several months ago to try and resolve the issue of Mary's ethnic origins.

Grandma was right about that.