Recently, I communicated with a reader of this blog, Mitchell Sawyer, about one of his ancestral families, the Hemingway family, that migrated from South Carolina to Madison County, Mississippi. I first learned about the Mississippi Hemingway family from Mitchell earlier this year when he provided me with name of some of those who are interred at Kirkwood Cemetery near Camden, Mississippi, in Madison County. The name of Henrietta Hemingway, one of Mitchell's ancestors, was among those names, and Mitchell was kind enough to provide the copy of Henrietta that is seen here today.
Although I am not certain, It is likely that the Hemingway family and the family of former Mississippi Governor William McWillie knew each other before they ever left South Carolina. The idea that the two families had a relationship is supported by a family story handed down throughout the generations. According to Mitchell Sawyer, this story relates how McWillie's wife is said to have styled his Hemingway grandmother's hair before her wedding.
The fact that many families living in the Camden, Mississippi area during the mid to late 1800's had lives that were intertwined is not unusual. The community was a small, rural one, fairly close to Kosciusko, but somewhat remote from the larger towns of Yazoo City, Lexington, Greenwood, and Jackson, all miles away. It seems reasonable to assume that children of families who live in close proximity would marry someone who lived nearby. In fact, this assumption follows a cardinal rule of family history research, one that states eligible men and women meet and marry because they know and live near each other. And that was exactly what happened in the case of the families of Camden, Mississippi and numerous other places throughout history.
Starting tomorrow, I hope you will join me here as I tell the story of Mitchell Sawyer's ancestors, the Hemingway Family of South Carolina and Mississippi.