Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Story of Carlotta Nelson Fairchild - Introduction

This past Tuesday, I posted a photo on Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek of the grave stone that marks Carlotta Nelson Fairchild's burial place in Hillcrest Cemetery in Holmes County, Mississippi. I photographed Carlotta's headstone while visiting this old cemetery off U.S. Highway 51 North, near the town of Goodman, early last year.  My actual purpose of the trip to Hillcrest Cemetery was to visit the graves of my paternal grandparents and great-grandmothers and to photograph all the headstones of my deceased Porter and Branch ancestors who are buried there.  After I completed what I had set out to do, I walked among the other graves, intrigued by the Confederate section of the cemetery, where many of the community's young men lay buried, and by so many old and unusual monuments. 

As I neared the top of the hill where the earliest burials at Hillcrest began, I immediately was drawn to a family plot that contained the grave sites of members of the Nelson Family. The plot was surrounded by a wrought iron fence, rusty but still in fairly good condition.  Based on the substantial size of the monuments located in the plot, I thought the Nelson family must have been among the more prosperous citizens of Goodman around the turn of the twentieth century. 

But what really caught my eye was the word "Denmark,"  inscribed on the markers, which told me that Nelson family members had been born in Denmark. The fact that someone buried in Holmes County, Mississippi, in the very small hamlet of Goodman, was born in Denmark is significant.  Of the hundreds of thousands of people who migrated through Mississippi during the 1800s in their search for land and new lives, the Nelson family would be in a very small minority of settlers who would have been born in Denmark.  

How and why the Nelson family would have chosen Holmes County and Goodman as a place to settle fascinated me, to say the least, and I wanted to know more.  So I photographed the gravestones of those buried inside and near the family plot, including Carlotta's.  Those photographs led me on a research journey that ended just this week.  I hope you will follow me here as I tell Carlotta's story.

Next:  Carlotta Nelson's Beginnings


  1. Denmark to Mississippi? I definitely want to hear this one!

  2. Carlotta was the sister of my great grandmother Dorothea. I have learned quite a bit about my Arkansas/Mississippi relatives from your blog. Thank you.