According to most Ragland researchers, John W. and Elizabeth Smith Ragland had nine children, five daughters and four sons. Winiford Ragland (Branch), my paternal great-great-great-grandmother, was one of their five daughters. Winiford's sisters' names, along with some personal information, including their dates of birth, death, and burial locations, are below:
Sarah S. Ragland, who was born in 1814, married Newton Haxall, born about 1802, in Hinds County, Mississippi. Like so many other Mississippi families, the Haxall family had its U.S. origins in Virginia. Two children, Emily and Joseph, were born during their marriage. According to an affidavit signed by Sarah Haxall in an effort to assist her sister, Winiford Ragland Branch, in obtaining widow's benefits on her late husband's record, Sarah stated she was present when Winiford and Edward Branch were married.
Eliza Ragland was born June 28, 1832. According to the U. S. Census recorded for Hinds County, Mississippi in 1850, Eliza, age 19, was living in a household headed by her husband, James J. Dromgoole. Also living in the same household was Elizabeth Ragland, Eliza's mother and a 60 year old widow, and Eliza's younger sister, Julia, 11. Julia's birthplace was shown on the census record as Louisiana. Interestingly, one of James Dromgoole's ancestors, Edward Dromgoole, a minister, married Winiford Ragland Branch's in-laws, Martha Tilman and Edward Branch in Brunswick County, Virginia, on February 17, 1797.
Eliza Ragland Dromgoole died in 1852, when she was only twenty years old, and is buried in Palestine Cemetery near her mother and sister, Mary V. Ragland. Also buried in Palestine Cemetery is a child named Arthur Dromgoole, born on January 7, 1851, who died in 1857. I believe this child was the one child born to Eliza before her death and who she named for her deceased brother, Arthur Ragland, who had died in 1847.
Mary V. Ragland was born on March 28, 1835 and died on November 28, 1849, when she was barely 16 years old. She is buried in Palestine Cemetery near her mother and her sister, Eliza.
Julia B. Ragland was born May 22, 1840, and when the U.S. Census was recorded in Hinds County, Mississippi in 1850, she was shown as 11 years old, having been born in Louisiana. According to The Gillespie Collection, a compilation of historical records relating to the history of the Gillespie family and of Raymond, Mississippi, Julia was married first to a Mr. Daniel, who died in the Civil War. To date, I have been unable to determine Mr. Daniel's full name. Also, according to these documents, while still a young widow, Julia married again in 1869, this time to Andrew Jackson Willis. Known in Raymond as "Captain Jack," A.J. Willis was born in Tennessee, but was then a well-known resident of Raymond, Mississippi. Julia's marriage to Mr. Willis, produced one child, Mary Austin Willis, who was born on April 18, 1870 in the house on Main Street in Raymond where the couple lived. On April 23, 1874, just days after Mary Austin's fourth birthday, tragedy struck the Willis household, when her mother died. Julia Ragland Willis was buried in the Gillespie plot in Raymond, Mississippi. A photo of the common grave stone that Julia shares with Andrew Jackson Willis, along with photos of grave stones of other Ragland family members, can be seen at Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.
Next: The Ragland Sons
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch; Accessed November 1, 2010.
Find-A-Grave, a digital collection of cemetery data; accessed November 1, 2010
The Gillespie Collection, a digital collection of family history, accessed via Raymondhistory.org on Nov. 1, 2010