Monday, December 15, 2008
The McAfee Family Buried at Bethel Cemetery
"Sacred to the Memory of James Taliaferro McAfee, born November 8, 1806, died April 10, 1852" appears on the headstone of James Taliaferro McAfee. The headstone of Rebecca, his wife, shows that she was born in 1811 and died in 1866, fourteen years after her husband. These two early settlers are buried in Bethel Cemetery, beside Bethel Church, an independent Methodist Church located in the community of Hesterville in rural Attala County, Mississippi. The top of the stone marking the grave of James McAfee contains a masonic emblem.
b. 1811, d. 1866
If naming conventions of the 1800's were followed, James Taliaferro McAfee's mother's maiden name may have been "Taliaferro." According to Wikipedia, "Taliaferro," and its variations, "Tolliver" and "Toliver" were names of a prominent Virginia family who settled there in the 17th century. The name itself is derived from the name "Tagliaferro," meaning "ironcutter" in Italian, and its origins can be traced to Northern Italy. Some well-known individuals with the surname "Taliaferro" include Richard Taliaferro, the architect of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Benjamin Taliaferro, United States Senator from Georgia, for whom Taliaferro County, Georgia is named.
According to the U. S. Census recorded for Attala County in 1850, Rebecca G. and James Taliaferro McAfee lived with their 11 children in Township 14, Range 6 East. Rebecca was shown to be 39 years old and James was 43. The birthplace of each was shown to be North Carolina. James's occupation was shown as "farmer" and the value of real estate he owned was $2,000. Apparently, the couple lived in Georgia for some time before settling in Mississippi, since their six oldest children shown on the census were shown to have been born in that state. The five youngest children of Rebecca and James were all born in Mississippi. According to the census, their names and ages were Robert G., age 18, Marshal D., age 16, Samuel H., age 14, Elizabeth, M., age 12, John M., age 10, Abrmins I.F., age 9, William I., age 7, Susan M., age 5, Sarah R., age 4, Germernah, age 2, and Missouri, age 6 months.
Bethel Independent Methodist Church
Hesterville, Attala County, Mississippi