Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Henry and Dulcenia Eddleman, Beulah Cemetery, Choctaw County MS

Henry and Dulcenia Eddleman were likely newlyweds when they were enumerated in the U. S. Census of 1850. He was 23 years old, born in North Carolina, and she was just 16, and Georgia-born. The couple was living in Attala County, on land that had been ceded by the Choctaw Nation and had been opened up for settlement less than 20 years before. According to the census, not one person living near Henry and Dulcenia Eddleman had been born in Mississippi, and their neighbors in this remote part of Attala County were born in places that ranged from Ireland to Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and other states on the way to Mississippi. Henry was a carpenter by trade, and the couple had no children.

By 1860, the couple were living near Louisville, in Winston County, Mississippi, and Dulcenia had given birth to three children, one son, J. H., age 5, and two daughters, F. J. age 7, and N. C., age 1. Henry was now a farmer who owned real estate valued at $2,000, and his personal property was valued at $3,000. Just six years later, on July 19, 1866, the family's life changed; Henry died and left Dulcenia with three young children.

I searched census records for Dulcenia and her children for years after Henry's death. Although I did find two of the children in 1870, Dulcenia was not listed in the household. Strangely, I was unable to locate Dulcenia again on census records until 1910. At that time, she was a 77 year old widower and a "Boarder" in the household of Robert R. Hunt, his wife, Jennie, and their two young children, Robert W. and Anna M. Hunt. I also failed to locate Dulcenia on the 1920 U. S. Census taken just two years before her death.

In 1930, after Dulcenia's death, I did find John H. Eddleman, his wife, and a son named John Howard, living near Weir in Choctaw County. Based on his date of birth and the birthplaces of John H. Eddleman's parents, I am certain that he was Eddleman's son, "J.H," who was five years old in 1860. It is likely that Dulcenia's daughters were still living in the area, but without knowing their married names, I am unable to determine if this was true.

The double grave stone that marks this couple's grave in Beulah Cemetery near Weir, Choctaw County, Mississippi, must have been erected when Henry died in 1866. Its shape and ornate carvings are reminiscent of that era. Dulcenia Eddleman's date of death engraved on the tombstone indicates that she outlived her husband by almost 56 years.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Watts Family of Attala County

Among those buried in the Macedonia Cemetery near the community of Zama in Attala County, Mississippi, are E. H. Watts and his son, E. L. Watts. A Woodman of the World monument, slightly different from others I have posted on this blog, marks the grave of E. L. Watts.

According to the U. S. Census record of 1900, Edward H. Watts, age 49, headed up a household in Beat 5, Attala County, Mississippi, that included his wife, Mary, age 32, and two sons, Paterson E, age 22, and Ruffie, age 20. Based on Mary's age, it is almost certain that she is not Edward's first wife, and it is unlikely that she is the mother of either of Edward's adult sons living in the household. Although Edward and the other three members of his household were born in Mississippi, each family member enumerated on the census had a parent who was born in Alabama. Since the birthplace of the mother of the two Watts sons is shown as Alabama, it is reasonable to believe that Edward's wife died before the family's migration from Alabama into Mississippi.

Living next door to Edward and Mary on the 1900 census were Eabious L., age 25, and his wife Nancy B., age 24. The couple had been married 6 years, and Nancy had given birth to two children. Only one of the children, a 3-year old daughter named Ella M., born in Mississippi, was living at the time the census was recorded. The census also shows that Nancy's parents and her husband's mother were all born in Alabama.

Eabious (E.L.) Watts died early in the year he would have turned 48 years old. Not only did he die five years before his father, a sad event for any parent, but he died on his father's birthday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Evergreen Cemetery, North Carrollton, MS

Evegreen Cemetery, North Carrollton, Mississippi

At first glance, the large grave marker shown here in Evergreen Cemetery, located in North Carrollton, Mississippi, appears to be a combination marker for a number of deceased members of the Shaw and Hemphill families who died during the past century and a half. But closer scrutiny of the engraved names reveals that Anna S. Billingsley and Thomas M. Billingsley, who died in the early 1930's, are among the ten names listed on the stone.

This monument marks one of over 2,000 graves in this large old cemetery about 10 miles from Greenwood, Mississippi, the county seat of Leflore County. Evergreen Cemetery is very near Malmaison, the home of Greenwood Leflore, the last Chief of the Choctaw Nation and later, a Mississippi statesman. In fact, several of Leflore's descendants and their relatives are buried here in this cemetery. Others are buried in the Leflore Cemetery nearby.

Once a thriving agricultural area with a large population, North Carrollton is now a small town with barely 500 residents.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Empty Crypt in Brandon Cemetery
Brandon (Rankin County) Mississippi

(Photographed by Natalie Maynor)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - J. H. Marshall, Woodman of the World

J. H. Marshall's grave monument stands tall and seemingly unblemished by time in Broom Cemetery, near Coffeeville in Yalobusha County, Mississippi. According to the inscription, Marshall was born on Februry 25, 1865 and died on May 11, 1913. Palm leaves adorn the center section of the stone marker where Marshall's name and dates of birth and death appear. Like all Woodmen of the World grave monuments, symbolic logs bearing the Woodmen of the World emblem appear in a prominent place. This design is one of many others that appear on monuments provided for deceased members of the Woodmen of the World society and erected in Mississippi cemeteries during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Christmas Family of Holmes County, Mississippi

Entrance to Odd Fellows Cemetery
Located in Lexington, Mississippi

Pictured above is the double gravestone of Lucy and Henry Christmas. Lucy was born in Mississippi in 1843 and died in Holmes County, Mississippi in 1921. Her husband was born a year earlier, also in Mississippi, and he died in 1911. According to the U. S. Census of 1870, Henry, 28 years old at the time, and his older brother, Thomas, age 32, were the heads of households living next to each other in the Eulogy community of Holmes County, Mississippi. Henry's occupation was "physician," and Thomas was shown to be a "farmer."

Living down the road from the two Christmas families were Richard M. and Mary H. Garrard, my great-great-grandparents. Their daughter, Martha Elizabeth Garrard, who later became my great-grandmother, was 12 years old when the census was taken.

In 1870, Lucy and Henry were the parents of two young daughters, Mary, age 4, and Sarah P., age 6 months. According to the census record, both children were born in Mississippi. Living in the household with Lucy and Henry and their two children was Dixon Christmas, age 22, whose birthplace was also Mississippi. Possibly Dixon was the younger brother of Thomas and Henry.

Thomas and his wife, Fanny, age 31, were also born in Mississippi. According to the 1870 census, the couple had three children, Fanny, age 8, Thomas, age 5, and William, age 3. The birthplace for each of the children was shown as "Mississippi." The value of real estate owned by Thomas was shown as "25,000," and his personal property was valued at "2,000."

A total of 37 individuals whose surnames were "Christmas" were enumerated on the U. S. Census of 1870 taken in Mississippi. This figure included the 10 family members living in Holmes County.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Broom Cemetery, Yalobusha County, MS

The Broom Cemetery, located near Coffeeville in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, contains the graves of the Broom family, including the patriarch and matriarch of the family in Mississippi, Elizabeth and Ezekial Broom. Elizabeth was born in Georgia on December 2, 1798, and Ezekial F. Broom was born on November 25, 1799. The couple died two years apart; Ezekial's death occurred on September 1, 1959, and Elizabeth died on October 30, 1861. It appears that some gravemarkers for older Broom family graves may be replacement stones, since they are newer and are similar in design.

Among other families buried in the Broom Cemetery, some related to descendants of Elizabeth and Ezekial, and some not, are those with the surnames of Basinger, Dorris, Holland, Langham, Pate, Speir, and Walters.