Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Tallahatchie Flats

Entrance to Tallahatchie Flats, overnight lodging outside Greenwood, Mississippi, and near Robert Johnson's gravesite. (Digital Photo Collection - Privately held by Janice Tracy)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crossing the Yazoo

Seen here is the historical bridge that spans the muddy waters of the Yazoo River and connects downtown Greenwood, Mississippi and the surrounding area to the rest of the town. The bridge's unique design includes a "swivel" base near the center of the bridge that allows the bridge to turn into a position parallel with the river's banks. Once the bridge was in its parallel position, riverboats and barges laden with cotton were able to navigate the river. Amazingly, the "mechanical process" to "turn" the bridge was accomplished by manpower - several men, as the story goes.

Source: Digital Photo Collection (2009) - Privately Held by Janice Tracy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Susan Elizabeth Coggins, 1855 - 1921

I never knew that my mother had relatives named Coggins until about two weeks ago. I was not alone in this lack of information, because my mother knew nothing of the Coggins family, either. While researching the Trigleth family of Nash County, North Carolina and later Holmes County, Mississippi, I discovered that my maternal great-grandmother, Lucy Lula Trigleth, was the daughter of Susan Elizabeth Coggins and George W. Trigleth.

According to the U. S. Census recorded on June 14, 1880, Susan Trigleth was 22 years old and was living with her 27-year old husband George W. Trigleth in District Nine of Holmes County, Mississippi. The couple already had three children, Walter, age 4, Johnny, age 2, and Milton, born in September of 1879. Susan and George had another child in 1881, my maternal great-grandmother, whom they named Lucy Lula, and who would later marry William Elza Pettus. Soon after Lula's birth, Susan's marriage to George ended, and she married Isaac Garrett ("Ike") Killebrew, with whom she later had two children named Raiford Killebrew and Rosa Killebrew.

By all accounts, the Coggins family also migrated from North Carolina. Although I have found several Coggins families in Mississippi, beginning with the U. S. Census of 1850, including some who lived in Chickasaw County and in Smith County, I have been unable to find young Susan living in the household with her parents.

It sounds as if I have much more research to do, since the Coggins family story is far from complete. If you are related to this family, I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Holmes County, Mississippi Courthouse

The Holmes County Courthouse in Lexington, Mississippi is one of many beautiful and historical courthouse structures in Mississippi. The courthouse seen here is actually a replacement for the second courthouse that burned in 1893. On a more personal note, this courthouse is where my parents obtained their marriage license almost 65 years ago.
Font size

Source: Digital Photograph Collection (2009) - privately held by Janice Tracy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Trigleth Family - Nash County, NC > Mississippi

According to the U. S. Census recorded in Holmes County, Mississippi in June of 1880, Milton Eugene Trigleth was only 9 months old, having been born in September of 1879. He was enumerated in the household with his parents, Walter W. and Susan Coggins Trigleth. Also living in the household were Milton's two young brothers, Walter, age 4, and Johnny, age 2. Milton's sister, Lucy Lula Trigleth, would not be born until 1883. Also living in the household with the Trigleth family was Walter's step-father, "Wily" Williams, age 66, and Walter's sister, Lizzie, age 13.

Walter Trigleth's place of birth on the census record was shown to have been Mississippi, while his father had been born in North Carolina and his mother in Virginia. Like her three young children, Susan was also born in Mississippi, while her father was born in Louisiana and her mother in Alabama. Mississippi was shown as the birthplace of both Mr. Williams and his daughter, Lizzie, as well as that of his parents.

This photo, taken about 1930, shows Milton Eugene Trigleth with his sister, Lucy Lula Trigleth, along with an unidentified female. My maternal grandmother, Rosa Mae Pettus Netherland, was the daughter of Lula Trigleth and her first husband, William Elza Pettus. Lula would go on to remarry several times before her death and subsequent burial in Coxburg Cemetery in Holmes County. A photo of Lula's grave stone can be seen on Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Walter W. Trigleth and his wife, Susan Coggins Trigleth, were my great-great-grandparents. Walter was the son of Richard Berry Trigleth, born about 1822 in Nash County, North Carolina, and his wife Mary Jane Nichols, born about 1829 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Richard and Mary Jane, my great-great-great-grandparents, were married on October 12, 1844, in Madison County, Mississippi. had three children together, Sarah, born about 1847 in Madison County, Mississippi, George Walter, born about 1851, and James Richard, born about 1853.

By most accounts, Richard Berry Trigleth must have died before 1859, since Arkansas marriage records show that Mary Jane Nichols Trigleth married William Wiley Williams on January 4, 1859. Lizzie Williams, enumerated as Walter Trigleth's 13 year-old sister in Walter's household, must have been Walter's half-sister, born to Mary Jane and Wiley after their marriage in 1859. Since Mary Jane Nichols Trigleth Williams was not included in the household with her husband and daughter, it appears likely that she may have died prior to June of 1880 when the census was recorded.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trigleth Family of Holmes County, Mississippi

Beginning today, I plan to write a series of posts about the Trigleth family of Holmes County, Mississippi, beginning with my maternal great-grandmother, Lucy Lula Trigleth Pettus and working back in time. I already know the Trigleth family migrated to Mississippi from Nash County, North Carolina, with other family members later living in Onslow and Cartaret Counties there. But when and why did the family leave North Carolina, and why did members of this family migrate to Mississippi?

Here is what I know today. According to the U. S. Census of 1920, Lula (Trigleth) Petties (Pettus), 37 years old, was living in Beat 3 of Holmes County, Mississippi with four minor children, Mattie, age 16, William, 13, Rosa, 11, and Eloise, age 8. Her eleven-year old daughter, Rosa, was my maternal grandmother. William Elza Pettus, my maternal great-grandfather and Lula's husband, was absent from the household. Hopefully, further research will determine why he was absent when the census was recorded: was he working elsewhere, had the couple separated for other reasons, or had he died while he was still fairly young?

Living next door to the Pettus family was Lula's brother, Walter, his wife, Mollie, and their ten children. According to the census, Walter was born in Mississippi, was 44 years old, and he owned the home in which the family lived. Mollie was shown to be 43. Although Mollie's place of birth was shown as Mississippi, according to the census, her mother was born in Ireland. The names and ages of the Trigleth children were: Manuel, age 17, Maude, 15, Ollie, 13, Estelle, 12, Cordell, 10, Leona, 7, Flossy, 7, Claudie, 5, Cecil, 3, and Hattie, 18 months old.

Please join me while I search for answers about the Trigleth family, and if you have information to add, please contact me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Legacy of John T. Baldridge, born in Orange County, NC

John T. Baldridge, a veteran of the War of 1812, was born on February 8, 1780, in Orange County, North Carolina, the son of Francis Baldridge, who served in the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Elizabeth Turrentine. One of the ten children born to his parents, John migrated with his family to the Mississippi Territory circa 1802, in what later became known as Jefferson County, and was shown on the Petitioners List in that same year. On September 20, 1804, John T. Baldridge married Nancy Jane Owens, born September 1, 1788. John and Nancy Jane would become parents to eleven children.

Still a young man, John served in the War of 1812, and when lands opened up in the area that later became Carroll County, Mississippi, John moved his large family there. Along the way, on May 15, 1830, less than a year after the birth of their youngest child, Nancy Jane Owens Baldridge, died in Yazoo County, Mississippi. The names of the children born in Jefferson County, Mississippi, to John and Nancy Jane are shown below:

1. Mary "Polly" Baldridge, b. April 22, 1806

2. Tabitha Baldridge, b. May 23 1809
3. Rev. James Wesley Baldridge, b. March 18, 1811

4. Sarah "Sally" Baldridge, b. April 5, 1813
5. Jane Baldridge, b. May 6, 1815
6. John T. Baldridge, Jr., b. April 12, 1817
7. Thomas Alexander Baldridge, b. May 10, 1819
8. Elizabeth Baldridge, b. March 22, 1823
9. Francis Baldridge, b. April 10, 1824
10. William Baldridge, b. December 23, 1825
11. Jane Adaline Baldridge, b. August 28, 1829

John Baldridge remained a widower for 6 years. On June 1, 1836, he married his second wife, Nancy Cheek Marble, the young widow of Stephen Marble, in Grenada, Mississippi. Nancy, who was born in Kentucky on December 28, 1812, not yet 24 years old, already had two young sons, Thomas Marble and James Marble. Although there was a large difference in the ages of John and Nancy Baldridge, in addition to the fact that John aldready had eleven children from his previous marriage, theirs was a union that would continue until John's death and would produce nine more living children.

According to the U. S. Mortality Index of 1860, John died on February 18, 1860, just 10 days after his 78th birthday. The cause of death was shown to have been "palsy."

John T. Baldridge, son of a Revolutionary War veteran and a veteran himself of the War of 1812, was laid to rest in Enon Church Cemetery, south of Carrollton, Mississippi, near where he had lived for more than two decades.

Names of the children born to John T. and Nancy Baldridge, including my paternal great-great-grandfather, William M. Baldridge, are listed below.

1. Calvin W. Baldridge, b. February 7, 1837
2. Wesley C. Baldridge, February 25, 1839
3. Martha Ann Baldridge, b. February 4, 1841
4. Ira Byrd Baldridge, b. February 8, 1843
5. William Martin Baldridge, b. December 25, 1844
6. George W. Baldridge, b. February 7, 1847
7. Benjamin L. Baldridge, b. March 21, 1849
8. Mary Frances Baldridge, b. March 21, 1851
9. Elizabeth, b. September 5, 1854

For over a decade prior to her death on March 7, 1908, Nancy Cheek Marble Baldridge would live with her daughter, Martha and her German-born husband Conrad Smith and their children in Beat 5, Camden, Mississippi. According to the U. S. Census of 1900, my great-great-grandfather, William Martin Baldridge, and his wife, Huldah Catharine Smith Baldridge, lived next door, and other Baldridge relatives also lived nearby.

In neighboring Attala County, in the community of Newport, Mississippi, William's daughter, Claudia Mae Baldridge and her husband, Edward Arthur Branch, lived with their five children, a son and four daughters. Their son would later become my paternal grandfather, Clark Commander Branch.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

William Martin Baldridge and Huldah Catherine Smith Baldridge of Carroll County, MS

Although I did locate William Martin Baldridge, enumerated as "Marten" Baldridge on the U. S. Census of Carroll County, Mississippi, taken in 1850, living in the household with his parents, John and Nancy Baldridge, I was unable to find him on another U. S. Census until 1910.

When the census was recorded that year, W. M. Baldridge and his spouse, Huldah, were living in Attala County, Mississippi, and his occupation was shown as "farmer." According to family oral history, Huldah was actually Huldah Catherine Smith, whom Baldridge married after his first wife, Kitty Baskin, died. That oral history also says that Claudia M. Baldridge, William Martin Baldridge's daughter, and my paternal great-grandmother, was born after he married Huldah Smith. This information is validated by the 1910 census record, which shows Claudia's age to be 30 years old and the length of her parents' marriage as 34 years. The length of her parents' marriage is further validated by a marriage record in Carroll County, Mississippi, that shows Miss H. C. Smith married William M. Baldridge on January 6, 1876.

In 1910, William Martin Baldridge was 65 years old, and his wife was 54. The census indicates Baldridge's father was born in North Carolina, his mother in Kentucky, and Huldah's parents in South Carolina. Although William Martin Baldridge was raised in Carroll County, Mississippi, in 1910, he and his wife lived in a portion of Attala County very near many of my other ancestors, including J. J. and Maggie Merriweather Porter, my other paternal great-grandparents, and Maggie's mother, Malvertie Gibson Merriweather Felts, my great-great-grandmother.

When the 1910 census was recorded, two adult Baldridge sons, Beecher, age 28, and Caswell, age 18, were living in the Attala County, Mississippi household and working as laborers on the family farm.
I have been unable to find the names of the children, if any, who were born to William Martin Baldridge and his first wife, Kitty Baskin.

Sources:, 1850 U. S. Census [database on-line] 2006. Provo, UT, USA; 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line] 2006. Provo, UT, USA. For details on the contents of the film visit the following NARA web page: NARA Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census.Description: County: Carroll

Carroll County Marriage Records, available online, accessed September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Delta Flower Bed

Source: Digital Photo Collection (2009) - privately held by Janice Tracy

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Descendants of John and Nancy Baldridge, Carroll County, MS

In 1850, John and Nancy Baldridge were enumerated in Carroll County, Mississippi, in the U. S. Census taken that same year. John Baldridge, a North Carolina-born veteran of the War of 1812, was my paternal great-great-great-grandfather. The census recorded in 1850 estimated John's birth year to have been about 1780, making him 71 years old at the time the census was taken. Nancy, John's wife, was shown on the census to be 35 years old. Based simply on the difference in their ages, Nancy was likely John's second wife.

According to the census record, John and Nancy Baldridge already had seven children in 1850. The children's names and ages were Calvin, 12, Wesley, 10, Byrd, 8, Martha A., 7, Marten, 6, George 4, and Benjamin, age 1. During a later post, I plan to write more about Marten, age 6, who was actually William Martin ("Mart") Baldridge, and my paternal great-great-grandfather.

In addition, Thomas Marble and James Marble, ages 18 and 16, respectively, were also household members whose occupations were each shown to be "laborer." According to the census, John Baldridge was a "farmer," but it is likely that his age prevented him from engaging in physical labor required by the farm, and that James and Thomas Marble were relatives who worked the land for him.

Next: The Family of William Martin Baldridge

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Atwood Family in America

During the past week, I have been researching my Atwood family connection, beginning with Harriett Atwood who married James Baldridge in Madison County, Mississippi in 1834, and working myself back to the 1700s. Interestingly, over a two hundred year period, I found a number of Atwood women named Harriett. But it was not until yesterday, when I discovered this article during a Google search, that I knew why so many of the Atwood female children were named "Harriett."

The article also validates the Atwood family's settlement in New England after its patriarch, Abraham Atwood, arrived with other colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The name "Abraham," like Harriett, was handed down to subsequent generations of Atwood male family members, including Abraham Atwood who claimed land in Bibb County, Georgia for his service in the War of 1812.

Next: The Atwood Family in the South