Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Netherland Family of Holmes County

According to the U. S. Census recorded in November 1850 for Warren County, Mississippi, John P. Netherland was 46 years old and was shown with a birthplace of Scotland. John P. Netherland, or "Patrick," as he was known, was my maternal great-great-grandfather. According to Gena Ayres Wall, in her book entitled "Netherland, Leatherlin Legacy," John Patrick Netherland was the son of William Neatherlin, born about 1776 in Richmond, Georgia, and Rachel Fenner, born around 1780 in Tennessee. I have found no information to tell me how their son, John Patrick, would have been born in Scotland, although most research indicates that Rachel Fenner's parents had migrated to the U.S. from Ireland.

On October 1, 1848, Patrick married Mary Denkins, who was born in Kentucky. On the U. S. Census of 1850, Patrick headed a household in Warren County, Mississippi, that included Mary, age 30, and their 3-month old son, William. According to the census record, Patrick was a "carpenter." Although young William had been born in Mississippi, only a few of those who lived near the Netherland family in 1850 had been born in Mississippi; the majority were born born in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, and Alabama. Their occupations were planter, overseer, merchant, raftmaker, and engineer.

In 1860, "Jane" and William Netherland were living in the Eulogy Beat of Holmes County and were enumerated in a household headed by John Allman, 48 years old, and his wife, Amanda Allman, age 38. Jane is likely "Mary Jane," who was married to Patrick Netherland in 1850. John Allman's birthplace was shown as Virginia, and his wife's as Tennessee. A farmer by occupation, the value of John Allman's real estate was estimated at $5,400, and his personal property at $5,115.

Since no relationship information is shown for either Jane or William, it is impossible to know whether these household members were related to Jane Netherland or to William's father. Perhaps Amanda was Mary Jane's younger sister who had taken her in, along with her child, after she and Patrick Netherland had separated, or perhaps after his death.  Although no age information is shown on the 1860 census record for the mother and her son, Jane would have been about 40 years old, and William would have been just over 10.

By 1870, William Bailey Netherland, raised primarily by his mother, had already served in the Confederate States Army (CSA), as a member of Red's Company, Mississippi State Troops. According to the U. S. Census recorded that same year, he was shown living in the Eulogy Beat of Holmes County, Mississippi. There he is shown as the 25-year old head of a household that included Elizabeth Netherland, age 45, who was listed as "keeping house." No relationship was shown for Elizabeth, and this fact, along with her age, created a question in my mind. Just who was this Elizabeth? Was she an aunt or a hired housekeeper? Or was she Elizabeth Jane?  But then who was Mary, and who was Jane, names shown on earlier census records? My questions were resolved after a review of the U. S. Census of 1880, detailed later in this post.

By June 1880, my great-grandparents, William B. (Bailey) Netherland, then 35 years old, and M. E., aged 25, were already married. The initials, "M.E." stood for Martha Elizabeth Garrard. Ironically, Richard M. and Mary H. Garrard, along with their daughter, Martha E. and her four sisters, Cena, Alice, Theodocia, and Victoria, had lived in the same community since at least 1870, when they were enumerated on the same page of the census taken that year, also living in the Eulogy Beat of Holmes County. Two other Garrard families  lived nearby, one headed by John, age 52, and another by William Garrard, age 22. Although John Garrard and Richard Garrard, Martha Elizabeth's father, and likely brothers, were born in Georgia, Martha Elizabeth, according to the census record, was born in Alabama.

The U. S. Census recorded in June of 1880 shows that William Bailey and Martha Elizabeth Netherland already had six children. Living in the household were three daughters, A. E., age 7, and M. O., age 2, and J. A., age 6 months, as well as three sons, J. K., age 6, William B., Jr., age 5, and B. L., age 4. William Bailey, as he was known to his family, was a farmer, with personal property valued at $200. Also living in the household with William Bailey and his wife, was E. J. Netherland, identified on the census as William's 53 year-old mother. Strangely, over a period of 30 years, not only had William's mother been enumerated as Mary, Jane, Elizabeth, and now E. J., her age, if correct in 1850, had been recorded incorrectly on each subsequent census record.

Eventually, six more children were born to William Bailey and Martha Elizabeth Netherland, and one of those children, born on February 1, 1886, was my maternal grandfather, Ralph Ernest Netherland.

Often, family history research finds little known or long forgotten information. In her book mentioned earlier, Gena Ayres Wall has included information about causes of death, including copies of the death certificates for some of the children born to William Bailey and Martha Elizabeth Garrard Netherland. These documents, along with other research, produced an ironic and sad fact: 5 of these 12 children Netherland children, including my own grandfather, died of stomach cancer.

The picture seen above was taken by Weaver Photo on October 20, 1921, in the front yard of the Netherland home in Holmes County, Mississippi. Seated in the center are my maternal great-grandparents, William Bailey and Martha Elizabeth Garrard Netherland. Since Elizabeth Netherland had died on July 1, 1901, the lady in widow's garb seated to the right of Martha Elizabeth, must have been her mother and my great-great-grandmother, Mary H. Garrard. Ralph Ernest Netherland, my maternal grandfather, is the tall, dark-haired man wearing a bow tie, pictured on the right side of the back row.

References:
U. S. Census records for Holmes County, MS, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900 - personal research.


Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, Mississippi Marriages, 1826-1900

Wall, Gena Ayers, Houston, TX, The Netherland, Leatherlin Legacy, with Allied Crane and Wall Families


Harthcock, R. E., Register Report for William Neatherlin (Developed using Ancestry.com and FamilyTreeMaker)

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