Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Vanished Downtown

Leah Rawls Atkins of The Birmingham News takes on a trip back downtown--the way it used to be. Even though this is an Alabama story, a lot of East Mississippians shopped in Birmingham on occasion and so many of us have memories just like this.

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A Mississippi Case Study

In her article "After Disaster Strikes the Courthouse" in the July/August 2007 issue of Family Chronicle, Emily Croom, author of Unpuzzling Your Past, uses a case study identifying the maiden name of Matilda Shelby of Smith County, Mississippi. The case was complicated because Smith, Jones, Covington, and Jasper Counties all suffered record losses. If you don't subscribe, you should purchase a copy at a bookstore or read a library copy. It's an interesting case! By the way, if you don't have a good introductory book on genealogical research, pick up a copy of Croom's book as well. It's shorter than some books of similar nature and gives a good introduction to the types of records available for research. I often recommend it to persons who are just beginning their ancestral quest.

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You just never know where you will find something truly interesting. There's a little town in Chickasaw County which has a most unusual name of Trebloc. I had always just assumed it was probably one of the towns with a name of Indian origin. As I was reading through some obituaries in a notebook at Evans Memorial Library in Aberdeen the other day, I came across an account of how the town got its name. The obituary was that of Clarence Earl "Newt" Colbert and was taken from the Commercial Appeal probably sometime in the 1970s. It had likely been reprinted in either the Aberdeen Examiner or Amory Advertiser at the time. Clarence was the son of J. M. Colbert. According to Newt's widow, J. M. Colbert . . .

applied to the government for a post office in the late 1800s. The government asked Colbert to suggest a short name for the community, and he picked "May," the nickname of his only daughter.

But for an unknown reason, the postal department crossed the name off the form and substituted Trebloc--Colbert spelled backward.

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Sally Greene of GreeneSpace took a field trip to Carrollton, Mississippi about two years ago. The post includes a fascinating account of the Carrollton Massacre.

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Big Creek

I just returned from a trip to Mississippi. On Tuesday's Mornin' Show on WTVA, they featured the town of Big Creek in a series on Ghost Towns in North Mississippi. Big Creek is located in Calhoun County, about 5 miles west of Calhoun City. They had rebuilt the town based on an old postcard. An account of that can be found in an article that appeared in Mississippi Farm Bureau's magazine in September 2001.. That afternoon, I loaded my parents in the car, and we took off to see the little town that looked so interesting.

The east side of the rebuilt town.

The west side of the rebuilt town.

They are presently trying to get the old wheel at the mill in working order.
Old gas pumps.
The Pullen Family Cabin. It is located a little over a mile north of the town.

Presently the old general store is open. A lady who was making some wonderful-looking caramel cakes is running a bakery out of it. She also has some cold drinks available for thirsty travelers. There were a few small cans of stuff on one shelf. She indicated that more stuff was on order. If you want to order one of those caramel cakes, you apparently have to place the order for them ahead of time as she had already sold all the ones on that date and had her orders lined up for the next day as well. I personally think she needs to stock some of the old timey drinks like Sarsaparilla, Birch Beer, Grape Nehi, Peach Nehi, Nugrape, Root Beer, etc.

Also open is a steak house which is open only on the weekends. The steak house apparently draws a lot of traffic from many outlying areas.

I'd love to see this little town revitalized. It has so much potential to be Mississippi's equivalent of a Mast General Store, a Rabbit Hash, or some other quaint little place.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Sherman School Reunion

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 20, 2007. The Sherman School Reunion is being held in the Sherman Library conference room and the day's events will begin at 10:30 AM . Many will remember the small grammar school building which is now the Sherman Library. Lunch is "pot luck" so please bring your favorite dish. Drink and paper products are furnished. Help us make this the best reunion ever by passing the word to anyone you are in contact with that attended Sherman School......former teachers and friends included. For further information please contact Faye Gory Turnbaugh at 931-320-2441 or email her at mrtsix3@bellsouth.net. We look forward to seeing you on October 20th, 2007.

By the way, Lee County MSGenWeb has a great photo of an old baseball team from Sherman thanks to Faye's generosity. (Sherman is actually located in Pontotoc County; however, it's location in a corner of the county bordering both Lee and Union Counties makes it important to folks living in parts of all three counties.)

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African-American Genealogy Workshop in New Orleans

The Historic New Orleans Collection will be hosting its annual genealogy conference. It looks like a great event with Reginald Washington and Elizabeth Shown Mills lined up as the speakers. If you've never heard these two speak and you can make it to New Orleans, you need to make a special effort to be in attendance. Here's the full press release:

Genealogy workshop to focus on Tracing African American and Female Lineage

July 2007, New Orleans, LA — On Saturday, August 18, The Historic New Orleans Collection will host its ninth annual genealogy workshop from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street. Dedicated to exploring African American genealogy, the day-long program will feature one morning session and two afternoon sessions. Registration is required and ranges from $25.00 to $35.00.

Reginald Washington, a member of the Research Support Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., will open the event with a presentation titled “Using Federal Records for African American Genealogical Research.” Washington will discuss the use of census records, military service and pension files, and Freedmen’s Bureau and Freedmen’s Bank records in conducting genealogical research.

Historical researcher and writer Elizabeth Shown Mills will lead two afternoon sessions, both focused on reconstructing the lives and lineage of African American females. In her presentations, Mills uses central characters from two overlapping historical novels—Cane River by Lalita Tademy and Mills’s own Isle of Canes―to demonstrate how each work recreated the lives and ancestry of four enslaved females.

The first afternoon session, “Philomene & Her Foremothers of Cane River,” will focus on the genealogical research methods used to trace the lineage of an aging freedwoman in 1900 back through three generations of enslaved women. The second afternoon session, “Coincoin of Isle of Canes,” centers on biographical research and finding records to reconstruct the lives of an 18th-century slave and freedwoman.

Seating is limited for the genealogy workshop, and all participants are required to register by calling (504) 523-4662. The registration fee is $25.00 until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. After that point, participants may continue to register for a fee of $35.00, as space is available. All registered participants will receive a preservation kit and refreshments. Lunch, however, is not provided. A complete schedule of activities follows.

The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Ninth Annual Genealogy Workshop
Topic: African American Genealogy
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2007
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Registration is required. Visit http://www.hnoc.org/ or call (504) 523-4662 for details.

Schedule of Events
8:00–8:45 a.m. Registration
8: 45 a.m. Session I: “Using Federal Records for African American Genealogical Research”
Presented by Reginald Washington
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Session I resumes
11:45 a.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m. Session II:
“Philomene & Her Foremothers of Cane River” Presented by Elizabeth Shown Mills
2:30 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. Session III: “Coincoin of Isles of Canes”
Presented by Elizabeth Shown Mills
4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Ninth Annual Genealogy Workshop is sponsored by Hollinger Corporation and Louisiana Binding Services. Their support is gratefully appreciated.

Editor’s Notes:
Interviews with the speakers and/or representatives from The Historic New Orleans Collection may be scheduled by contacting Teresa Devlin (teresad@hnoc.org, (504) 598-7170).

Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. For more information about The Historic New Orleans Collection, please visit http://www.hnoc.org/ or call (504) 523-4662.

The Historic New Orleans Collection – Preserving our Past for a Brighter Future.


Teresa Devlin, The Historic New Orleans Collection
(504) 598-7170 / teresad@hnoc.org

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fire Damages Funeral Home

Fire damaged Waters Funeral Home in Baldwyn.

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Sisters to Write History of Suggs Pottery

Two sisters, descendants of the founders of Suggs Pottery, plan to write a history of the family business. The pottery on Jug Shop Road near the Monroe-Itawamba county line was founded in the early 1900s.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Alabama Records In Danger

Many Mississippians have Alabama ancestry. Because there are some records in danger of being destroyed in Tuscaloosa County, I wanted to alert Mississippi researchers to the problem.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Moonshine in Calhoun County

Making moonshine has always been one of those activities in Mississippi that might get you in trouble with the law (or the "revenuers"). There's an interesting account of such a run-in at Calhoun County MSGenWeb.

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Exhibit of Delta State History

There is an online exhibit of Delta State University's history available at their website. There are some interesting scanned letters, some oral histories, info on the sports teams, student organizations, presidents, and much much more. Enjoy exploring! Delta State is located in Cleveland in Bolivar County.

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Hickory Flat Photos

The town of Hickory Flat is located in Benton County. There are a few photos of the town and its people on Benton County MSGenWeb.

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Delta Gamma Sorority has Mississippi Roots

Delta Gamma was founded by three girls from Kosciusko, Mississippi (Attala County) while they were students at Ole Miss in 1873.

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Historic Photographs Online

Itawamba Historical Society is very busy adding content to its website. They are placing their archival photographs online.

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New Itawamba Resource Available Online

Thanks to the indexing of Terry Thornton, a new index of chancery court records for Itawamba County from 1836-1900 is available online via Itawamba Historical Society's website. [Estate and probate proceedings are handled via the chancery court in Mississippi.] A previous index had been published that was by packet number and printed over several issues of Itawamba Settlers; however, this one is arranged alphabetically. You may also wish to read Terry's acknowledgements.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Christian Churches in Mississippi

Collectively known as the Restoration Movement, the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), Churches of Christ (non-instrumental), and the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (Independent) share a common history throughout much of the 19th century. That history is recorded in M. F. Harmon's History of the Christian Churches in Mississippi which includes B. F. Manire's Reminiscences of Preachers and Churches in Mississippi.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Gillsburg, Amite County

The community of Gillsburg in Amite County was once the home of Gillsburg Collegiate Institute which educated congressman Percy Edwards Quin for whom Percy Quin State Park is named. There's a photo album on MSN Groups of this community.

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The name is not very appetizing, but these sandwiches apparently owe their origin to Corinth, Mississippi. The city of Corinth has a great article from a local book on its site describing them in detail. For a more nostalgic piece on these culinary wonders, read Fred Sauceman's article.

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Natchez Fall Pilgrimage

Natchez will offer its annual Fall Pilgrimage on September 29-October 13, 2007. A printable brochure describing the homes on this fall's tour is available at http://www.natchezpilgrimage.com/brochurefall.htm.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Carolina Heritage Day

The Carolina Community is planning to celebrate 174 years of community history on Sunday, September 30, 2007, from 9:30 a.m. – until. Carolina Heritage Day organizers are excited about hosting past and present residents, former students, historians, and friends at the Carolina Community Center. Admission to the event is free; donations will be accepted for community center restoration.

The community was established around 1833 when pioneers from North and South Carolina began to settle in the newly opened Mississippi territory. Because the foothills of North Mississippi strongly resembled the settlers’ original home, the community became known as Carolina.

Many of those original pioneers’ descendants call the community home today. It is hoped that the Carolina Heritage Day will generate interest in the community’s rich history. You can discover more about Carolina’s past at http://www.roadtocarolina.com.

Everyone attending the event is invited to dress ‘old fashioned’ as way of participating in the community’s celebration. There will be a covered dish lunch at noon.

Activities will include a grist mill demonstration, Carolina classroom re-enactment, wagon train, story time, dulcimer music, quilting, and others. Displays will include Chickasaw artifacts, Carolina School day photos, family photos, and more. A time schedule of these activities will be published prior to the event, but most of the historical activities will occur in the afternoon.

Nearby cemeteries contain the graves of many of the area’s first residents. These cemeteries include the Carolina Cemetery, Wiygul Cemetery, Conwill-Goodwin Cemetery, Myers-Shumpert Cemetery, New Chapel Cemetery, Elliot Cemetery, Boozer Cemetery, and Bean Cemetery. Local genealogists will be able to assist visitors in locating the graves of these first settlers.

For more information, please call Thomas Conwill (963-3756), Mike Bethay (963-3783), Patsy Pettit (963-2748), or Curtis Hall (963-2478). The Carolina Community Center is located on Carolina Road in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Celebrating 143 on July 14

Activities are planned for July 14 to celebrate the 143rd Anniversary of the Battle of Tupelo (or Harrisburg). The article mentions some interesting local history as well.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chickasaw Museum

In the planning stage . . . a museum to explore the culture of the Chickasaws.

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Pontotoc's McMackin House

The Methodist Church and the Historical Society are exploring restoration options for this home.

Update: Things aren't looking so great.

Update (8/3/07): The Methodist Church says the house is not for sale.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mississippi's 155th BCT

A 10-minuted YouTube video featuring Mississippi's 155th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq.

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Mississippi & the 4th of July

We all know that the 4th of July is the day that we celebrate America's birthday because of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. However, the 4th of July is also an important day for Mississippians because on this date in 1863 the Battle of Vicksburg ended with the surrender of Vicksburg to the Union Forces having been under siege for 47 days. You'll find more information about this important Civil War battle at the Vicksburg National Military Park web site.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

27th Carnival of Genealogy at Kinnexions

There are several Mississippi entries in this 27th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted as Kinnexions.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Carnival of History at Historianess

Historianess is hosting the 54th Carnival of History.

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Andrew Jackson Weds in Natchez

A very interesting post about Andrew Jackson's wedding in Natchez.

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