dee_burris: (Default)
2013-02-28 08:16 pm

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: C is for Callaway


Mace Callaway to be specific.

He was my great great grandfather.

This is the only known photograph of him that exists in my family.

Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, 3 Jan 1847 - 15 Feb 1877

I know quite a few things about him.

It's the things I don't know that bug me, and even more, that I haven't a clue about how to figure them out.

Like where he's buried.

And if his death at age 30 was related to his service in the Civil War.

And how, since he already knew the man who was to become his widow's second husband as a result of their service in the same CSA cavalry unit - was there some kind of an agreement between the two of them that David Andrew Williams would take care of the young widow, Mary Dunn Callaway, and their daughter (my great grandmother), Julia Ann Callaway?

And why did Mace and Mary only have one child throughout the course of their eleven year marriage before his death?

My C is for Callaway challenge is a challenge in so many ways.

I am taking the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, albeit starting a few months late.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-09-02 09:49 pm

Matrilineal Monday: Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington

She died nearly 7 years before I was born, so I never knew my paternal great-grandmother.

According to what my dad and his sister have told me, if I had only known her at the end of her life, I really wouldn't have known her at all. At the end of her life, Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington lived with her daughter, Addie Louise Herrington Burris, in the house at 8th and Crittenden in Arkadelphia. The place my dad called home.
Seen from the eyes of children, as my dad and aunt were when their grandmother died, Grandma Herrington had changed. Now, she had a sharp tongue and shrill disposition.

Not like the grandmother of their memories when they were younger.

And not like the memories of my grandmother, Louise Herrington Burris.

I don't have Julia Ann's death certificate. The State of Arkansas couldn't find it for me. So I don't know her official cause of death.

I do know that she died on Wednesday, 12 Dec 1951, at her daughter Inez's house, while my grandparents were on an errand. I don't know if her death was expected, but I also don't have the impression that she was on death's door when my grandparents took her to stay with Inez that day.

Maybe Julia decided, as I know of many others who have, to take her leave while the person who cared for her was away.

Maybe she didn't want my grandmother to see her die.
I can only speculate about Julia Ann's early life.

She was the daughter of my primo brick wall ancestors, Mary C Dunn, and Allen Mason Lowery "Mace" Callaway.

According to the historic records I've accumulated, Julia Ann was the only living child that Mary and Mace had in the 11 years of their marriage prior to Mace's death. She was only 4 years old when her father died, so I wonder how much of him she remembered. I wonder if surely, she knew where he was buried. (I haven't found his grave.)

Julia Ann couldn't have known her father as the man he was before he served in the Civil War. Neither could her mother have known *that* man, as Mary and Mace didn't marry until 1866.

In the 1880 census, Julia Ann was living with her mother, new step-father, David Andrew Williams, and her step-sister, Mary Etta Williams in Clark County.

I know nothing about how the two girls - 4 years apart in age, with Mary Etta the eldest - got along.

In 1881, the girls got a new brother, Rubin Ned Williams. Almost a year to the day afterward, they got another baby brother, William Andrew Williams.

A few years after Willie's birth, David Andrew Williams fell ill with an unknown disease that caused wasting of muscles and a great deal of pain. He died on 23 Jan 1888, when Julia Ann was 14 years old, and her little brothers were 6 and 5.

Her mother did not marry again.
On 13 Dec 1891, Julia Ann Callaway married for the first time to Robert Bruce McBrayer.

Robert's family would have been well known to Julia Ann and her mother. They lived in the DeGray community of Clark County, and both families attended the same church.

Julia Ann and Robert McBrayer had 8 children together, including a set of twin daughters and a child who was stillborn. Robert McBrayer died of "kidney trouble" on 1 Jun 1905 at the age of 34, leaving 32 year old Julia Ann with 7 children, the oldest of whom was 13.

I think Julia Ann must have mourned him. She did not remarry for over 2 years.

On 19 Oct 1907, Julia Ann McBrayer married a widower with 5 children. He was Jasper Monroe Herrington, and he and Julia Ann had 6 children together, including two sets of twins, one of whom was my grandmother. They lived in DeGray in what has been described to me as a dog-trot house with three bedrooms.

Altogether, Jasper and Julia Ann had 18 living children. That boggles my mind.

And as I listened to my grandmother, it was clear to me that Jasper and Julia Ann did not do "his" and "hers." All the kids were their kids - no favoritism, and no step-this and half-that.

Julia Ann Callaway and Jasper Monroe Herrington, in one of the only photos I have of her without a child on her lap

From left: Julia Ann, son Larkin Wellington McBrayer, grandson Robert McBrayer, and mother Mary C Dunn Callaway Williams.
Photo circa 1926/27. Julia's mother, Mary, was probably already blind.

Julia Ann's mother, Mary Dunn Callaway Herrington, died at Julia Ann's home on 9 Apr 1929. According to her obituary, Mary Williams had been blind for 7 years before her death, and unable to leave the house for the previous 2 years.

At least 4 of Julia Ann's children were still living at home at the time of Mary's death, including my grandmother. Jasper died in 1943, 8 years before Julia Ann's death.

Julia Ann learned much about loss from a very early age. Perhaps she was responsible - at least in part - for the attitude about death that I saw in my grandmother.

We live, we love, we lose. We remember and reminisce, and we go on.

It's the cycle of life.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-02-16 10:17 am

It's been almost a year...

Since my cousin, Joe, and I made the trip to Memphis to mark our 3rd great grandfather's grave.

I remember how happy we both were to get the photos and how satisfying it was to finally be able to mark his resting place.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-12-30 06:40 pm

It was a good day for portable scanning...

Took my Flip-pal on the road today. All of 15 minutes up the interstate to my aunt's house.

I have lots of aunts. But this is an aunt who has, for 30 years, had physical custody of every family photo, news clipping, obituary, letter, or court document belonging to her parents.

For safe-keeping. From her brother and sisters, it would appear. Kind of a gatekeeper, as it were.

Last summer, I thought it would be a good idea to get all the stuff she had and bring it home to scan. Another aunt let that idea come up in conversation.

It was a wonderful idea! For about 8 hours or so.

Then, it was not a good idea...well, not right now.

Last week, I decided it was time to get serious about getting the stuff copied - and now, I didn't have to move anything out of my aunt's house. Backing up my Flip-pal with two digital cameras, I was completely portable and self-sufficient.

It took a week and five lengthy phone conversations.

My aunt enjoyed herself. We took a lunch break and went into town to eat.

She is now very into the "sharing" of family history, and says she is sure there is other stuff tucked away in closets.

So I will be going back again.

And sharing what I think is a really cool photo I got today. Finally, a photo of Julia Ann (Callaway) McBrayer Herrington, without a kid sitting on her lap. Her husband, Jasper Monroe Herrington, is standing next to her. It's the only photo of him that I have.


They were my great-grandparents.

And another, different photo of my grandmother, Addie Louise (Herrington) Burris. (Her parents above.)


Happy dance...
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-15 06:36 pm

Tombstone Tuesday: Laura Isibelle (Holder) Callaway

The old Callaway family cemetery in Clark Co., AR is now abandoned. The pine woods of Clark County have reclaimed it.

A few of the stones are still legible, including the one for Laura "Isibelle" (Holder) Callaway.


Isibelle was the daughter of Andrew Jackson and Elvira (Huckleberry) Holder, born on 6 Nov 1858, probably not far from where she was laid to rest on 6 Oct 1900.

She married Thomas Nathaniel Callaway on 13 Dec 1876 in Clark County. My great great granddad, Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, who was Thomas' older brother, signed the marriage license giving his underage brother permission to marry Isibelle.

Although she preceded Thomas in death by 33 years, they raised eleven children together, most of whom lived to adulthood, and who loved, married, and died in Clark County, too.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-02 06:56 pm
Entry tags:

What happened to Mace Callaway?

He was only 30 years old when he died. He married my great great grandmother in 1866, when he was 19 years old and she was 17. He lied about his age to get married. He must have looked 28 at the time.

Allen Mason Lowery "Mace" Callaway was the first of five children born to Nathaniel C and Julia Ann (Wingfield) Callaway.

Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, 3 Jan 1847 - 15 Feb 1877

I have been unable to find Mace's grave...I suspected he might be buried at DeGray Baptist Church Cemetery, because I know he, his wife, Mary, and his mother Julia Ann (Wingfield) Callaway attended church there. At the Holder/Callaway family reunion in Clark Co., on 27 Jun 2010, one of my Callaway kin gave me copies of pages of the church minutes, which said:
After Divine Service by the pastor the Church met in Conference...There being charges perfered (sic) against brother Mason Calaway (sic) for immoral conduct, a committee consisting of brothers Jno B Smith and Harry Haise was the appointed to see brother Calaway and against him to come before the Church at the next conference meeting and give satisfaction... Bethel Union Dec 11th 1869

The next entry that mentioned Mace was dated Jan 8th 1870.
After Divine Service by the pastor, the Church met in Conference. Brother Mason Calaway (sic) came forward and made acknowledgements, was forgiven of his error, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. The committee appointed to see Brother Calaway (sic) were then discharged.

That has me wondering if he was not in the good graces of the church at the time of his death at age 30 and may have been denied the right to be buried in the cemetery, but I have no leads as to other possible locations of his grave.

And it's very curious to me that he and Mary only had one child in eleven years of marriage. I have found no evidence of other live or stillbirths. Mary's obituary said she only had three children, and two of those were with the husband she married after Mace died.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-10-31 06:19 pm

Mary C Dunn Callaway Williams

She is my great great grandmother.


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.


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.


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.