Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Epitaph of the Week

Miss me a little, but let me go,

When the sun has set for me;

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not too long,

And not with your head bowed low;

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me..but let me go.

For this is a journey that I must take,

And we must go alone;

It’s all a part of the Masters plan,

A step on the road to “Home”.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Who was Mary J. Byne?

According to her intricately carved gravestone, Mary J. Byne was born in 1790 and died on May 23, 1860, and was "aged about 70 years" when she was buried in Liberty Chapel Cemetery, near Ethel, Mississippi, in Attala County. Mary's gravestone is an interesting one. It shows a young woman in a flowing dress, with her head propped in her right hand, while her right elbow and left hand are resting on a some type of monument that is similar to a tombstone.

An immediate question comes to mind.....what does the far away look represent? Is the image reflecting on years past, or is she pondering her eternal future?

Something about this gravestone made me want to know more: Just who was Mary J. Byne?

So I began a search for something about Mary the person. I wondered if I might identify her relatives, or at least the relative or friend who cared enough for her to mark her grave with such a lovely gravestone. But my search has not yet uncovered that information.

First, there are no other Byne family members buried in that cemetery or others nearby. I found this simple fact alone to be odd, since Mississippi family members were more often than not buried in the same cemetery, especially in 1860. Maybe Mary was unmarried.

Next, I searched for Mary Byne on census records in Mississippi, but I was unsuccessful in locating anyone by that name who was "about 70 years" on either the 1850 or 1860 U. S. Census Records. This finding makes me believe that Mary had not arrived in the U. S. in 1850, perhaps was living in another state, or maybe that she even had another name at that time. The fact that I did not find Mary on the 1860 U. S. Census was predictable, since she likely had already died by the time the census was taken in September of that year. Oddly, I did find a Mary J. Byne, aged 24, who lived in another Mississippi County, with other family members named "Youngblood."

As I continued to search, I found a "Mary Byne" who appears on the 1850 U. S. Census taken in the 8th Ward of the town of Madison in Jefferson County, Indiana. Mary's birthplace, like that of four other household members, was shown as "Ireland." Others enumerated in the household were Catherine, Bridget, Margarett, and Michael. Strangely, no ages and no relationships are shown for Mary or others appearing in that household.
I finally located an individual enumerated as "Mary Byne"on the U. S. Census of 1860, living in Stamford (Fairfield County) Connecticut. Since she was already 71 years of age when the census record was made in August 1860, it appears unlikely this person is the Mary Byne buried in Liberty Chapel Cemetery.

Although my search did not reveal the information I sought, Mary continues to lie at rest under the lovely gravestone placed there many years ago by someone who considered her dear.

But I will continue to wonder: Just exactly who was Mary J. Byne?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Sallis Family of Sallis, Mississippi

Sallis Cemetery, Sallis, Mississippi, contains these two graves of John and Mary Edmonson Sallis, pioneers of Attala County. Photos here show the original and the newer gravestones for John and his second wife.
The town of Sallis and the cemetery are named for the Sallis Family that migrated from Georgia to Mississippi about 1848.

Left: Sallis Cemetery, Sallis (Attala County) Mississippi

John Seals Sallis III was born on September 29, 1789 in Wilkes County, Georgia. He died on July 21, 1865 in Sallis, Mississippi and was buried on July 24, 1865. According to a census record dated 1810, John was still living in Warren County, Georgia, formerly Wilkes County. He was first married in 1812 to Mary Shows, born in 1790 to Daniel Shows and Mary Cody Shows. Before Mary died in 1817, she gave birth to their only child, a daughter also named Mary, in Warren County Georgia.

John later married his second wife, Mary Edmondson, born on November 11, 1793, to Ambrose Edmondson and Elizabeth May Green. By all accounts, John and Mary moved to Attala County about 1848 and settled in the portion of Attala County that later became known as Sallis. According to the U. S. Census taken in 1860, John Sallis owned real estate valued at $5,000, and his personal estate was valued at $34,500.

John and Mary Edmondson Sallis had ten children. Their names were John Seals Sallis IV, Joseph Melton Sallis, Sarah Ann Sallis, David E. Sallis, James Green Sallis, Thomas Dred Sallis, Robert J. Sallis, William Jackson Sallis, Faith Elizabeth (Bettie) Sallis, Suzanna Angeline (Angie) Sallis.
On August 18, 1849, Mary Edmondson Sallis died and was buried in Sallis Cemetery. John's death followed in 1865.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Two Wives of Perry Morrison Porter

Left: Headstone of Andromeda Wasson, wife of P. M. Porter. According to the headstone, Andromeda was b. Feb. 9, 1842, and d. Dec. 16, 1876.

Right: Headstone of Louisa J. Porter, consort and wife of P. M. Porter. b. Dec.17, 1833, d. Aug. 15, 1860.

The two graves are located in the Liberty Chapel Cemetery near Ethel, Mississippi. Ironically, both markers are very similar in design and size. It appears, however, that a newer, flat marker may have been added to Andromeda's grave in recent years.

A total of ten (10) living children were born during these two
marriages. According to Porter family history, Andromeda Wasson was born in Green County, Alabama. She and Perry Morrison Porter, born also in Alabama, in 1827, had two children before she died, Francis and Archibald. Their son, Archibald, was named for Perry's father, Archibald Porter, born on April 7, 1799, in South Carolina. Perry's mother was Susan Morrison Porter, born August 26, 1806, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

Louisa J. Kimbrough was born December 17, 1833. She and Perry M. Porter had seven children, all whom were born in Attala County, Mississippi. Louisa apparently died giving birth to their eighth child in December 1876. The child's headstone simply says "Infant Porter" and is located nearby in Liberty Chapel Cemetery near Ethel, Mississippi.

Childen born to Perry and Louisa Porter were Nancy C., on October 13, 1863, Eliza B., in 1865, Susanna B. Porter, in 1867, Ella Porter, in 1869, Julie Sebell Porter, on March 23, 1870, Newton Porter, in 1872, and Perry Morrison Porter, Jr., born March 25, 1874.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Grave of Judge Jason Adams Niles, Kosciusko City Cemetery

The grave marker shown here is that of Judge Jason Adams Niles, who was born on December 19, 1814 in Burlington, Vermont. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Jason Niles became a teacher.

While still a young man, Niles settled in Attala County, Mississippi and subsequently became a lawyer, where he was active in state and local politics for over 40 years.
Judge Niles served as a circuit judge for the 13th Judicial District from 1871 to 1872, and in 1872, he was elected to the 43rd congress, where he served one term. Judge Niles died on July 7, 1894, just a few months before his 80th birthday, and he is buried in the Kosciusko City Cemetery. The diary kept by Judge Niles between the years 1861 and 1864 is a popular tool among Attala County genealogists, since it contains an account of everyday life in Attala County during the Civil War. A link to an electronic copy of the diary, now maintained by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, can be found on the Attala County Memories blogspot, located at