Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Mississippi Court Records - 1799 - 1835"

Since I am still searching for John P. Gibson, my last brick wall ancestor, I decided to take one more look through the handy reference guide above. First printed in 1936, this 193-page book of Mississippi Court Records spanning the time period 1799 -1835, was compiled by J. Estelle Stewart King, a descendant of some of Mississippi's earliest settlers. My copy of Ms. King's book is a Clearfield Company, Inc. reprint (1992, 1994, 1995) of Genealogical Publishing Company's reprint (1969) in Baltimore, MD.

Included in the book are abstracts of wills and marriage records for Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hinds, Warren, and Yalobusha Counties. Along with an alphabetical index, an appendix was added to the 1969 reprint that includes cemetery inscriptions from City Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi and an excerpt from the Copiah County Orphan's Court (1823-24).

For family history researchers looking for ancestors who lived in the Mississippi Territory and in the state during the early years after its formation, Ms. King's book may be a great source of information.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Porter Family - Alabama>Mississippi

Recently, while researching online for information about one of my Porter ancestors, I found a book entitled Some Alabama Pioneers, written by Madge Pettit, on GoogleBooks. Although I was unable to locate the family members for whom I searched, I did learn more about the early Porter family that settled in Lancaster County, Virginia and who migrated first to South Carolina, and then to places in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

If you are searching for southern branches of your Porter family, I highly recommend this book.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ten Most Endangered Places in Mississippi

Each year, the Mississippi Heritage Trust announces the ten most endangered places in Mississippi.

What is the Mississippi Heritage Trust? According to its website, the trust is a "statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the prehistoric and historic cultural resources of Mississippi."

Although the list for 2010 has not yet been posted, the 2009 list of 10 most endangered places can be read here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March is Women's History Month

Since March is Women's History Month, I decided that I would write a short post about a Mississippi woman that I have always admired - the writer, Eudora Welty. Thanks to my paternal grandmother, an avid reader who enjoyed books more than anyone I have ever known, I knew Miss Welty's name before I ever started school. Since Eudora Welty was one of my grandmother's favorite authors, her book collection at the time included "Delta Wedding," and "The Optimist's Daughter." By junior high, I had read both books, although I did not yet fully understand nor appreciate how well-known Miss Welty was at the time, in Mississippi or elsewhere in the country. I did know that she was a resident of Jackson and lived in the Belhaven area of the city, since my parents pointed out her house to me once when we were driving down the street where she lived.

On an occasion almost a decade after I first read "Delta Wedding," I met its author at Millsaps College in Jackson. Miss Welty was kind enough to sign the book, which my grandmother had given to me a few years earlier. Inscribed "Fondly, Eudora Welty," the book is one of my most prized possessions and a reminder of both my grandmother and of one of Mississippi's finest writers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Did You Watch "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Yes, I did watch the show when it aired last Friday evening on NBC, and I plan to watch additional episodes that will air during the next few weeks. I thought the search for Sarah Jessica Parker's ancestors was an amazing one.

The show, I am certain, will draw others into the search for their own roots.

While I watched Sara Jessica Parker's coast-to-coast search for details about family members she had never known, the following quote came to mind:

In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage--

to know who we are and where we came from.

Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning.

No matter what our attainments in life,

there is still a vacuum, an emptiness,

and the most disquieting loneliness.

-Alex Haley

Friday, March 5, 2010

In Memory of Anna Jones Covington 1908 - 2010

The following obituary was published on March 4, 2010, in the Clarion Ledger, Jackson's daily newspaper:

"Anna Jones Covington, 101, passed away on March 1, 2010. Born Emily Vianna Jones on June 30, 1908, she was the oldest of the nine children of James Franklin Jones and Minnie Lee McCrory Jones. Visitation was held Wednesday March 3, 2010, from 5:00-8:00 pm at Southern Funeral Home in Durant. The funeral service will be on Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 2:00 pm at Southern Funeral Home in Durant. Interment will be at the Seneasha Cemetery in Goodman. Throughout her life, "Miss Anna" enjoyed gardening and her many canine companions. She was a member of Shrock United Methodist Church, Shrock United Methodist Women, and the Society of Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge through the service of her great-great-grandfather, Ensign James McCrory, 9th North Carolina Regiment. Survivors include three children, Christine Vianna Covington of Goodman, Duncan Cicero Covington of College Station, TX, and Noel Jones Covington Sr. of Goodman; one brother, Tommy Jones (Nancy) of Kosciusko; four grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Duncan Noel Covington; an infant daughter; a son, James Howard Covington; and seven brothers, William Jones, Johnny Jones, Walter Jones, Melvin Jones, Lee Anderson Jones, Cecil Jones, and Bennie Jones. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Seneasha Cemetery Fund P.O. Box 328 Goodman, MS 39079 or Shrock United Methodist Church P. O. Box 137 Goodman, MS 39079."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dixie's Dirty Secret

Today, I finished reading a very interesting and enlightening book. Entitled Dixie's Dirty Secret, the book was written by James Dickerson, a Hollandale, Mississippi native and long-time journalist, and published in 1998 by M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY and London, England.)

Dickerson's book, which took over 20 years to research and write, focuses on events that occurred in Mississippi between 1955 and 1996. Contained within the book's 249 pages are the results of the author's interviews with educators, journalists, former politicians, and others who had knowledge of activities surrounding the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war activities that occurred during the Vietnam war era.

Throughout the book, Dickerson reveals often disturbing details of covert investigative activities conducted by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a state funded entity organized by former Governor J. P. Coleman on May 2, 1956. Of interest is the fact that the Commission's files remained sealed and secret until they were released to the public a little over a decade ago.

Dickerson's book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know the inside story of Mississippi politics during this significant period in history and how the Sovereignty Commission's clandestine activities were so closely interwoven with U. S. politics in general.