Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finding the Raglands

Searching for the graves of a few of my ancestors, including members of the Ragland Family, has been like an Easter egg hunt - especially for those who died before 1850.  Although I knew where they lived in Mississippi at one time, often based on a marriage date, I often had virtually no information about where they lived at the time of their deaths.  

One of my own rules for research, regardless of the situation, has always been "Go with what you know." And it was with this philosophy, that I began my search for the grave sites of Ragland family members in Hinds County, Mississippi, since I already knew that Winiford Ragland and Edward Tillman Branch, my third great-grandparents, were married there in 1833.  With a little luck, I found the graves of three Ragland family members buried in Palestine Cemetery, in Hinds County, near Raymond, Mississippi. Buried in this small rural cemetery are Elizabeth Smith Ragland, my paternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, who died in 1850, and two of her children, Arthur S. Ragland and his sister, Mary V. Ragland

As was the case then, and now, as well, parents named their children for sisters and brothers.  And this was exactly what Winiford and Edward Branch did when they named two of their children for Winiford's brother, Arthur S. Ragland, and for her sister, Mary V. Ragland. According to the U.S. Census recorded in 1850 for Attala County, Mississippi, "Auther" Joseph Branch (Arthur Joseph, later known simply as "Joe") was 12 years old.  Later, Joe would become the father of Clark Commander Branch, my paternal grandfather, and over one hundred years later, one of my brothers would be named for him. In 1860, the U.S. Census shows that Winiford and Edward had a daughter, Mary V. Branch, likely named for her mother's sister who died before the six year old was born.

For photos of these Ragland family members' grave stones, please visit Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.  

Source Information: 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch; Accessed 10/31/2010. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Accessed 10/31/2010.
Find-A-Grave, Palestine Cemetery, Hinds County, Mississippi; Site accessed on 10/30/2010.

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