Selected Families and Individuals


John HERR [Parents] 1 was born about 1727 in Cocalico, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He died about 1775 in Cocalico, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

He had the following children.

  F i Ann HERR was born in 1760. She died in 1795.

John DOUGLASS [Parents] [scrapbook] 1, 2 was born on 4 Oct 1764 in North Carolina 2. He died on 9 Nov 1839 in Allen, Copiah Co., Mississippi. He was buried 1 in New Providence Baptist Church, Copiah Co., Mississippi. John married 1 Nancy WALDEN in 1804.

John was counted in a census in 1820 3 in Lawrence Co., Mississippi 3.

Other marriages:
UNKNOWN, Unknown

   The most definitive research on John Douglas appears to have been conducted by Edgar Lamar Douglas as recorded in the book "The John Douglass Family of Mississippi," published 1962.  Some researches have claimed that his work is based strongly on family tradition and contains many error.  However, it provides the most complete picture of John's life.  The following summary is primarily derived from this book--where evidence seems lacking for some events, they are appropriately indicated.
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   John Douglas was born in North Carolina, in or near Rowan County. John was apparently his parent's only child.   Soon after his parents wedding, his father returned to Scotland or Ireland on business.  While he was there he was taken ill suddenly and died, after which John was born.  His mother died shortly after his birth, and he was reared by his grandparents.  
    Although John's parents are unknown, David Douglas is thought to be John's grandfather with relatively high confidence, based upon land transaction records.
   On May 20, 1776, twelve year old John Douglas enlisted as a Drummer in the fight for America's freedom.  The "Drummer boys" were usually young boys and held the rank of private, receiving the same pay as the other soldiers. (It is noted that there were four different John Douglases who enlisted in the Revolutionary War.  In the book, Edgar Douglas outlines how he discerned the correct John Douglas enlistment).
   John first served in Captain Samuel Reid's Company, 6th North Carolina Regiment and was later transferred to the 1st North Carolina Regiment and served with this unit until his discharge late in 1778.  John's unit fought in the Battle of Guilford Court House.
   In 1801, John Douglas sold his land in Lincoln Co., North Carolina (which was formerly part of Rowan County).  From there, John made his way to Georgia and then to Mississippi.  During this period John lost his first wife (name unknown).  He later married Mrs. Nancy Walden Denman, a young widow, the daughter of William Walden.
   On 28 April, 1802, John was issued a passport by the state of Georgia for travel through the Creek Nation, required to reach Mississippi.  Traveling with John was a William "Walton", thought to be John's father in law William Walden.  At this time there were only two routes into Mississippi.  John chose the northern route which took them across northern Georgia and into South Tennessee.  Upon arriving in Tennessee, the party was warned by friendly Indians that it was not safe to travel further west or south for the Creek Indians were at war.  They remained in south Tennessee for thee years until the Indians were at peace.  According to family tradition, this Tennessee location was on top of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
   In 1805 a treaty with the Choctaw Indians was signed and the United States purchased land in southern Mississippi.  Upon resuming their migration from southern Tennessee, John and his partly supposedly were going to settle in Amite Co., Mississippi.  It is alleged that upon the party arriving at Doak's Store on the Natchez Trace, a short distance from Jackson, MS, that the guide that was to take them to Amite County did not show up.  Rather, a man from Lawrence County told them of the opportunities there, and the group made their way there instead of Amite County.
   John and his group made their way to the Fair River, where the Natchez-Fort Stevens Road crossed.  This area at the time (ca 1810) was in Marion County but soon became Lawrence County in 1814.  (In 1870 it eventually became the eastern part of Lincoln County).  Here John settled with his father-in-law William Walden.  The cabin that they built in 1810 still stands.  The original logs are boarded on the outside and ceiled inside.  The land on which they settled was owned by Elijah Smith, who had three daughters eventually marrying three of John's sons.
   In 1830 the Choctaw Indians signed the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, by which they sold to the United States the rest of their land in Mississippi. This opened up virgin land to white settlers and John and his sons moved to Yazoo County around this time, some 80 miles to the north of their original Mississippi home site in Lawrence County (or the eastern part of today's Lincoln County).  The area of settlement in Yazoo County was between Benton and Vaughan, in the vicinity of Black Jack Baptist Church (which would only later be established until 1844).  John's wife, Nancy, died in Yazoo County in August, 1836.  (Extensive searching by Edgar Douglas has failed to find her burial spot). Although no land purchase records are known from Yazoo County, records of John and his sons selling land between 1835 and 1839 are found.
   In October, 1836, three month's after Nancy's death, John and his son, Ransom, sold their holdings in Yazoo Co.  They moved south to near the town of Allen, in Copiah County, Mississippi.  There they bought 900 acres of land and settled.  John's son, Elisha, being single also accompany them to Copiah County.  John lived three years in Copiah County, dying on November 9, 1839.  His sons buried him in the New Providence Baptist Church cemetery.
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   The 1896 book "Mississippi Baptist Preachers," by L. S. Foster also has a short summary of John Douglass.  As part of a biography on Elisha Douglass, John's son, it states:
   "John Douglass, father of Elisha Douglass, was a Carolinian by birth.  He lived successively in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi.  With a colony of Georgians, he settled on Fair River, nine miles west of the present Monticello in Lawrence County, while Mississippi was still a territory, and was truly a pioneer in the wilderness."
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Nancy WALDEN [Parents] 1 was born on 20 May 1774 in Copiah, Mississippi. She died in Aug 1836 2 in Yazoo Co., Mississippi 2. Nancy married 1 John DOUGLASS 1, 2 in 1804.

Other marriages:
DENHAM, Unknown

They had the following children.

  M i Ransom DOUGLASS was born on 9 Aug 1805. He died on 5 Jun 1889.
  M ii Jeptha DOUGLASS was born about 1808. He died in 1856.
  M iii Joel DOUGLASS was born on 13 Sep 1810. He died on 8 Nov 1884.
  M iv Elisha DOUGLASS was born on 9 Jun 1814. He died on 1 Sep 1900.
  M v
Elijah DOUGLASS 1 was born on 9 Jun 1814 1 in Lawrence Co., Mississippi 1. He died about 1817 1.

James Thomas "Jimmy" FARRAR [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born on 15 Mar 1871 in Arkansas. He died 2 on 30 Oct 1931 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. He was buried 3 in Hamburg Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas. Jimmy married 4 Ethel Melinda TUBBS "Esther" on 22 Dec 1892 in Ashley Co., Arkansas.

Moved to Hamburg from Rawls about the time Amelia (daughter went to school in Texas). Was a drayman, delivered freight from the Hamburg rail depot (Ethyl SMITH SHELL).

Moved to Hamburg in 1925 (Lela Mae Farrar obituary).

Ethel Melinda "Esther" TUBBS [Parents] [scrapbook] was born on 8 Oct 1867 in Arkansas. She died on 23 Aug 1959. She was buried 1 in Hamburg Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas. Esther married 2 James Thomas FARRAR "Jimmy" on 22 Dec 1892 in Ashley Co., Arkansas.

   Ethel was married "at home" by Brother Waldrup, likely in Rawls, Arkansas.  It is likely that this "Brother Waldrop" is Jackson Van Buren Waldrop, whose sister, Artimissy "Jane" Waldrop married William Benson Stone, the first Stone to arrive in Ashley County from Jefferson Co., Alabama.

They had the following children.

  F i
Susan Flovelia "Velia" FARRAR [scrapbook] was born on 26 Nov 1893. She died on 15 Jun 1961. She was buried 1 in Hamburg Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas.

   Velia was the first teacher at Crossett Camp School, which started around 1920.  The school was located "9 miles east of Crossett and 11 miles south of Hamburg."  The Camp school later consolidated with the "Cut Off" School. [Reflections of Ashley County, p. 169, Eunice Taylor]
   Taught at "the new school at" Lower Dry Bayou around 1931. [Reflections of Ashley County, p. 426, Ouida Lockert]
   Taught school in Line, Arkansas (among other places).  She also ran the cafeteria at Hamburg High School. [Ethyl Smith Shell]
  F ii
Lela Mae "Lela" FARRAR [scrapbook] was born 1 on 10 Feb 1895 in Rawls, Ashley Co., Arkansas. She died 1 on 23 Dec 1990 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. She was buried 2 in Hamburg Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas.

Lela and her sister Cornelia taught at the "Cut Off" School, located around 13 miles south of Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. [Reflections of Ashley County, p. 168, Emma Lou Miller].

Obituary from the 2 Jan 1991 edition of the Ashley County Ledger:
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   Miss Lela Farrar, 95, of Hamburg died Sunday, December 23, 1990, in the Hamburg Leisure Lodge.  Miss Farrar was born February 10, 1895, in Rawls. She was the daughter of James Thomas and Ethyl Tubbs Farrar. She attended high school at what is now the University of Arkansas at Monticello. After graduation, she attended business school in Tyler, Texas.
   In 1925, she and her family moved to Hamburg where she worked for many years as a stenographer in the Ashley County Abstract office. When she retired in 1963, she was employed in the office of the Ashley County Judge where she had worked under the Honorable L. C. Dew and the Honorable W. T. Higginbotham.
Survivors include six nieces and nephews, Thomas N. Bunn of Louisville, Kentucky, Ethyl Shell of Hamburg, A. T. Bunn of Shreveport, La., Flora Williams of Magnolia, James N. Farrar of Houston, Texas, and Alice Farrar Spalding of Marrero, La.
   Funeral services were at 1:30 p. m. Wednesday, December 26, in the Hamburg First Baptist Church with Rev. Klois Hargis and Rev. Bobby Pennington officiating. Pallbearers were Boyette Goodwin, Chris McGilton, Kevin McGilton, Frank Williams, Jimmy Goodwin and Bobby Ferguson.  Interment was in the Hamburg Cemetery under the direction of Jones-Barnett Funeral Home of Hamburg.  Memorials may be made to a favorite charity.
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  F iii
Nancy Cornelia "Cornelia" FARRAR [scrapbook] 1 was born on 24 Jan 1897. She died on 20 Apr 1973.

Cornelia and her sister Lela taught at the "Cut Off" School, located around 13 miles south of Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. [Reflections of Ashley County, p. 168, Emma Lou Miller].
  F iv Amelia Carolyn FARRAR was born on 13 Oct 1898. She died on 14 Jan 1980.
  F v
Maggie FARRAR was born on 7 Oct 1901. She died on 19 Jul 1903. She was buried in Morgan Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas 1.
  M vi James Thomas Benjamin "Ben" FARRAR was born on 27 Sep 1903. He died on 18 Dec 1961.

Ovid Thompkins SWITZER [Parents] was born on 21 Feb 1903 1 in Crossett, Ashley Co., Arkansas 1. He died on 7 Feb 2001 2 in Crossett, Ashley Co., Arkanas 2. He was buried in Pinewood Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas 3. Ovid married 4 Ruth Marguerite TAYLOR on 6 Jun 1936.

Obituary excerpt from the "Ashley County Ledger":
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   Ovid T. Switzer, Sr., 97, of Crossett died Wednesday, February 7, 2001, at the Ashley County Convalescent Center in Wilmot. He was born February 21, 1903, to Fred H. and Lillie Switzer, members of the pioneer Ashley County family who came to the area from North Carolina in 1849 and purchased 2,000 acres of land southwest of what later became Crossett in the area of Sulfur Springs and Petersburg, then a thriving river-front community.
   Mr. Switzer attended the Crossett school then housed in the Green building on Gates Avenue (Third Avenue) under Superintendent D. C. Hastings. He attended Mississippi State College from 1919 to 1921. Prior to becoming an attorney, he worked for C. W. Woods at a service station in North Crossett and was also employed at the Crossett Post Office under Postmaster Cammack.
   He was admitted to the bar and became the first lawyer in private practice in Crossett in 1929. Mr. Switzer served the county as deputy prosecutor for twelve years and as state senator from 1935-1938.  One of the greatest aspects of his life was his devotion to the Department of Parks and Tourism, of which he was a commissioner. In 1957, he began the Lake Chicot State Park project.
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Ruth Marguerite TAYLOR [Parents] [scrapbook] was born 1 on 1 Feb 1918 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. She died on 6 Oct 1972. Ruth married 2 Ovid Thompkins SWITZER on 6 Jun 1936.

They had the following children.

  M i Living.
  M ii Living.
  M iii Living.

Buckner Franklin CHRISTMAS [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born in Oct 1850 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. He died 2 after 23 Jun 1900 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. Buckner married 1 Emma Elizabeth BREWSTER on 21 Sep 1879 in Ashley Co., Arkansas.

Emma Elizabeth BREWSTER [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born in Jun 1863 in Arkansas. She died after 1920 2 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. Emma married 1 Buckner Franklin CHRISTMAS on 21 Sep 1879 in Ashley Co., Arkansas.

They had the following children.

  M i
Tommy CHRISTMAS was born 1 after 1881 in Arkansas. He died 2 before 1900.
  M ii
Frankie CHRISTMAS was born 1 about 1882 in Arkansas. He died 2 before 1900.
  F iii
Ella Elizabeth CHRISTMAS was born about 1883 in Arkansas. She died 1 before 1900.
  F iv
Mamie "Fannie" CHRISTMAS 1 was born 1 after 1884 in Arkansas. She died 1 before 1900.
  M v Buckner Fred "Fred" CHRISTMAS was born in Aug 1886.
  M vi
James Yancey CHRISTMAS was born 1, 2 on 14 Feb 1888 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He died 3 in 1967.
  M vii
Robert Lloyd CHRISTMAS was born 1, 2 on 21/26 May 1890 in Longview Twp, Ashley Co., Arkansas. He died 2, 3, 4 on 25 Sep 1964 in San Diego Co., California.
  M viii
John Holscore "Halston" CHRISTMAS was born 1, 2 on 13 Oct 1896 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. He died 3, 4, 5 on 7 Feb 1973 in Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas.
  M ix Horace Jewell CHRISTMAS was born on 21 Mar 1901. He died on 4 Aug 1985.

Dr. Buckner Davis CHRISTMAS [Parents] [scrapbook] was born on 30 Jun 1819 in Warren Co., North Carolina. He died 1 after 1859 in Arkansas. Buckner married Martha Matilda BOND on 17 Jun 1849 2 in Drew Co., Arkansas 2.

Married to Martha Bond by William G. Guice [Drew Co. Marriage book B]

Martha Matilda BOND [Parents] 1 was born 2 about 1830 in South Carolina. She died 3 after 1863. Martha married Dr. Buckner Davis CHRISTMAS on 17 Jun 1849 4 in Drew Co., Arkansas 4.

Will filed in Ashley Co. in 1863.

They had the following children.

  M i Buckner Franklin CHRISTMAS was born in Oct 1850. He died after 23 Jun 1900.
  F ii
Mary Elizabeth CHRISTMAS was born 1, 2 about 1852 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. She died 3 in 1890.
  F iii
T. G. CHRISTMAS was born 1 about 1853 in Ashley Co., Arkansas.
  M iv
James Yancey CHRISTMAS was born 1, 2 in Sep 1856 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. He died 3 in 1904.
  F v
Fanny J. CHRISTMAS was born 1, 2 about 1858 in Ashley Co., Arkansas. She died 3 in 1883.

Thomas H. CHRISTMAS [Parents] 1 was born 1 in 1795 in Orange Co., North Carolina. He died 1 in 1842 in Warrenton, Warren Co., North Carolina. Thomas married 1 Elizabeth Chapman DAVIS 2 on 8 Feb 1817 in Warren Co., North Carolina.

Elizabeth Chapman DAVIS [Parents] 1 was born in 1780 in North Carolina. She died in 1842. Elizabeth married 2 Thomas H. CHRISTMAS 2 on 8 Feb 1817 in Warren Co., North Carolina.

They had the following children.

  F i
Leonidas CHRISTMAS was born 1 on 20 Nov 1817 in Warren Co., North Carolina.
  M ii Dr. Buckner Davis CHRISTMAS was born on 30 Jun 1819. He died after 1859.
  M iii
Lewis Yancey CHRISTMAS was born 1 about 1821 in North Carolina.
  M iv
Thomas H. CHRISTMAS was born 1 about 1823 in Warren Co., North Carolina.
  M v
William L. CHRISTMAS was born 1 in 1822 in Warren Co., North Carolina.

John Alexandria F. TAYLOR [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born on 1 Mar 1853 in Clarke Co., Mississippi. He died on 26 May 1930 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. He was buried 2, 3 in Promised Land Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas. John married 2 Viola Jane RHODES on 7 Apr 1874 1 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas 1.

Newspaper Article on 75th Birthday Celebration:
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   J. A. Taylor celebrated his 75th birthday, March the 1.  On March the 3rd, Messrs. C. W. Taylor, N. R. Taylor, J. W. Taylor, T. H. Taylor, R. D. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Hagen of Crossett motored to the old home and carried their dinner as a surprise to J. A. Taylor.  All had a nice dinner.
   Dad Horton of Crossett Camp was Mr. Taylor's guest.   Mr. Horton is over 78 years of age.  Mr. Taylor received several presents.  Others present were 7 of the children with their wives, 9 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and several friends.  Everyobody hade a nice time.  There is no place like home.
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Newspaper Obituary:
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   J. A. Taylor, age 77, died at the home of his son, C. W. Taylor, at Crossett Camp, Monday morning at 2:00 o'clock.
   Mr. Taylor was born March 1, 1853 in Clark County, Mississippi and moved to Ashley county in 1858.  He married Miss Viola Rhodes of Ashley county April 7, 1874 by Rev. T. J. Wells.  To this union were born 7 boys and 5 girls, all of whom survive him except one son and one daughter, his wife having preceded him August 19, 1920.
   He is survived by 6 sons, C. W. Taylor, of Crossett Camp; J. L. Taylor, N. R. Taylor, Sr., J. W. Taylor, T. H. Taylor and R. D. Taylor of Hamburg; four daughters, Mrs. Lillie Ganther of Eudora; Mrs. W. H. Hagan of Dumas; Mrs. Vada Dugan of Little Rock; Mrs. Helen Sampson of New York.  All attended the funeral services except Mrs. Sampson.
   He is also survived by 33 grandchildren, other relatives and a host of friends.
   He was a devoted husband and has been a member of the Promise Land Baptist church for many years.  He was been in failing health for a number of years, having suffered with high blood pressure.
   Funeral services were conducted at Promise Land Cemetery at about 10:30 Tuesday morning, Rev. W. F. Warren, pastor of the Crossett Baptist church, conducting the services and assisted by Rev. A. T. Powers, pastor of the Promise Land Baptist church.
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Viola Jane RHODES [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born on 22 Feb 1859 in Berea, Ashley Co., Arkansas. She died on 19 Aug 1920 2 in Hot Springs, Garland Co., Arkansas 2. She was buried 1 in Promised Land Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas. Viola married 3 John Alexandria F. TAYLOR on 7 Apr 1874 1 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas 1.

Newspaper Obituary:
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   God has the right to the purest and best.  He has called to that Heavenly home Mrs. J. A. Taylor.  She was born in Ashley County, Arkansas, February 22, 1859; died August 19, 1920, at Hot Springs, where she had gone for the benefit of her health.  Her daughter, Mrs. F. W. Hogen was with her when the end came.
   Her life was characterized by warmest devotion and trust in the promises of God.  She joined the Methodist church very early in life, in 1899 she became a member of the Baptist church, so that she might worship with her children.  She has transferred her name from the church militant to the church triumphant and has exchanged this world for a home in that city which hath foundation, whose maker and builder is God.  Our hearts are sad and we deeply feel our loss, loss to the church, to the community, lodge and her family.  Her life was beautiful, her deeds beneficent, she was full of faith and good works, she was true and faithful in every department of life.  It seems strange, one so pure and good should die.  God knows best, and we bow in humble submission to His will.  We will long to see the dear face that has vanished, and hear the voice whis is still, but we can with assurance say, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."  We are grateful for her long beautiful life.
   We extend our tender sympathies to the surviving husband, brother and children.  Our prayers ascend for thee, and we commend them to the care and keeping of God.  She was tnderly laid to rest in the Promise Land cemetery Saturday morning, August 21st, 1920.   --A FRIEND.
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Marriage Notes:

Married in home of Lemuel C. Taylor (John's older brother) by Thomas J. Wells, J. P.  Marriage recorded in Book "B", p. 20 of Ashley County.

They had the following children.

  M i Charles Washington "Charlie" TAYLOR was born on 13 Mar 1876. He died on 2 Feb 1941.
  F ii
Jessica TAYLOR 1 was born about 1877 in Arkansas.
  M iii Jasper Lemiel TAYLOR was born on 25 Dec 1877. He died on 13 May 1951.
  M iv Newsom Robert TAYLOR was born on 26 Nov 1879. He died on 29 Aug 1941.
  M v Searcy Duncan TAYLOR was born on 13 Mar 1882. He died on 5 Jan 1911.
  F vi Myrtice Amelia TAYLOR was born on 18 Mar 1884. She died on 22 Feb 1917.
  F vii Lillie Elizabeth TAYLOR was born on 16 Mar 1886. She died on 3 Mar 1949.
  M viii John William "Willie" TAYLOR was born on 3 Dec 1887. He died on 30 Jul 1940.
  M ix Twyman H. TAYLOR was born on 26 Aug 1889. He died on 17 Nov 1962.
  F x Pearl Edith TAYLOR was born on 3 Sep 1891. She died on 13 Jun 1976.
  F xi Helen TAYLOR was born on 26 Aug 1894. She died on 15 Mar 1952.
  F xii Mary LaVada "Vada" TAYLOR was born on 29 Nov 1896. She died on 18 Mar 1974.
  M xiii Rhodes Dunnigan TAYLOR was born on 26 Aug 1900. He died on 21 Jun 1970.

William Andrew RAY [Parents] 1 was born on 4 May 1838 in Alabama. He died 2 on 10 Sep 1890 in Mississippi. He was buried 3 in Mississippi. William married 1 Henrietta Frances CROWLEY 1 on 29 Jul 1862.

In the 1860 census, it is seen that William lives next door to Henrietta F. Crawley in Township 20 of Choctaw Co., Mississippi.  William and Henrietta were married in 1862.  

Henrietta Frances CROWLEY [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born on 20 Jan 1847 in Alabama. She died on 23 Jul 1915 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas. She was buried 2 in Hamburg Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas. Henrietta married 1 William Andrew RAY on 29 Jul 1862.

Henrietta was supposedly a Cherokee Indian, and preferred to wear moccasins and strongly disliked the style of womens shoes in the white culture.  [Freeman Shell, Jr., as passed down to him from his mother Reba Shell and aunt Mae].

They had the following children.

  F i
Lucinda RAY 1 was born about 1863 1 in Mississippi 1.
  M ii
Nathaniel Newton Golden RAY 1, 2 was born on 15 May 1867 1, 2 in Mississippi 1, 2.
  M iii Thomas Walter RAY was born on 22 Mar 1870. He died on 1 Sep 1947.
  F iv Belle RAY was born on 5 Jan 1874.
  M v
James RAY 1 was born about 1876 1 in Mississippi 1.
  M vi William Andrew RAY was born on 9 May 1876. He died on 15 May 1945.
  F vii Cora Jane RAY was born on 15 Jan 1881. She died on 30 Nov 1960.
  M viii
Charles L. RAY 1 was born in Jun 1883 1 in Mississippi 1.
  F ix
Mattie L. RAY 1 was born in Jan 1886 1 in Mississippi 1.

John W. TAYLOR [scrapbook] 1 was born on 1 Oct 1812 2 in Edgecombe Co., North Carolina 2. He died on 13 Apr 1853 3 in California 3. John married 2 Elizabeth A. NEWSUM "Betsy" on 22 Oct 1832 in Greene Co., Alabama.

John was counted in a census 4 in 1840 in Greene Co., Alabama. He was counted in a census 5 in 1850 in Clarke Co., Mississippi.

   John W. Taylor was born 1 October 1812 in Edgecombe Co., North Carolina.  It is possible that his middle name is William, as there is a grandson named John William Taylor.  There is no knowledge of John's parents or siblings.  John is known to have migrated from North Carolina to Greene Co., Alabama by October 1832, when shortly after turning twenty years old he married Elizabeth A. Newsum.  
    John and Elizabeth are known to have resided in Greene Co., Alabama through at least December 1841, when their fourth child was born.  A further march west ensued, and by 1844 John and Elizabeth had made it to Mississippi, and were known to reside in Clarke Co., Mississippi by June 1846.  John and Elizabeth lived in Clarke Co., Mississippi until at least early July 1852, likely in the Beaverdam community.  (Presently there is not a Beaverdam community in Clarke Co., Mississippi--however, there is a Beaverdam creek and nearby is an historical school site called Beaverdam school, location is 31.871ºN, 88.897ºW.  There is also a Beaverdam Cemetery located at 31.868ºN, 88.851ºW).  
    Sometime in late 1852, John W. Taylor headed to California to participate in the Gold Rush.  This move is perhaps a bit odd, as by 1851 it was common news that few new arrivals to California were making meaningful finds.  Whatever his expectation was for his fortunes, John's account of his journey to California is recorded in a letter he wrote back to Elizabeth on 6 March 1853, which happened to be five days after the birth of their last child who was conceived prior to his departure from Mississippi.  
    John's journey to California was harrowing, and he took a route that was common from the southern United States at that time.  John likely departed by ship from New Orleans and then landed in Panama.  From there, an overland journey across the isthmus through the jungle was taken where he then embarked on another ship for San Francisco.  On these journeys disease was common, in particular dysentery.  John records the deaths of several men on the journey, which were thrown overboard en route.  John attempted to stay healthy by sleeping in the fresh air and by lying near on open port hole as he slept.  At the time of writing his letter on 6 March, John was in Sonora, California, and stated that he had "escapt [sic] sickness" and only had a "bad cold."  He was preparing to go on a prospecting trip, and return to Sonora in three or four weeks.  However, it was only five weeks after this, on 13 April 1853 that John died.  Perhaps he had developed pneumonia.
   A transcription of the letter follows:  
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Calaforna Tuolama [Tuolumne] Co. Sanora
March the 6th 1853

Dear Elizabeth

I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to in form you that I am well with the exceptions of a bad cold and hope these few lines will find you all the Same.  I arrived at Sanfrancisco on the 19th of feb. and came to this place the 22nd and found in the post office a letter from Alexander and last Sunday I met with him hear and have came hear to day to meet him and Andrews and I Expect to gow with them this Evening.  I am with some men that appear very willing for me to stay with them but they do not Suit me  I have nothing of importance wright  We had a great deal of sickness on the Ship in going from panaman [or panamar] to Sanfrancisco  their dyed a bout fifty one day 10 or 12.  [I think he means that about 50 men died enroute and one day 10 or 12 died.]  Some nights their would be 5 or 6 Some hollowing and scraming and dying clost to me and expected by time next thought to keep from taking the diseases I slept out on the herricane deck as much as possible and when I slept in by birth I would open the port hole and I lie with my face at it So as to keep from Smelling the cent of the Ship and to get pure air and have Escapt Sickness, only a bad cold.

I have worked hear some but have not made a nery thing yet more than board  Some people hear are making large Sumes of gold and others are not making anything worth a mention               walker I have joined a compony to go on _________ river  we have cent 15 to min ___ the[?] to prospect the Start to day and will be back in 3 or 4 weeks the presumption that a man can make his pile their a shorttime and we have sent those men to se and they are to report to the company that sends them  Write me at this place direct your letter to Sonora Calafornia Tuolla Co

(signed) John Taylor

Elizabeth A. "Betsy" NEWSUM [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born on 7 Jun 1818 1 in Bedford Co., Tennessee 1. She died on 11 Jul 1897 2, 3 in Hamburg, Ashley Co., Arkansas 3. She was buried 4 in New Texas Cemetery, Ashley Co., Arkansas. Betsy married 1 John W. TAYLOR on 22 Oct 1832 in Greene Co., Alabama.

Marriage Notes:

Married by the Revd John Lamboth.

They had the following children.

  M i Robert W. TAYLOR was born on 29 Aug 1835. He died on 11 Jul 1862.
  M ii James Lewis TAYLOR was born on 14 Apr 1837. He died on 1 Nov 1903.
  M iii
William G. TAYLOR was born on 19 Apr 1839 1 in Greene Co., Alabama 1. He died on 11 Dec 1862 in Van Buren Co., Arkansas.

-1860 census:  working as "farm hand", residing in the residence of Dempsey Barnes, Bearhouse Township, Ashley Co., Arkansas.

From Taylor Family Bible records, he "died in army", so he was presumably a Confederate soldier.  However, the death location of Van Buren Co, Arkansas indicates that he did not die on the battlefield, but perhaps from an illness.
  M iv Lemuel Columbus TAYLOR was born on 19 Dec 1841. He died on 22 Nov 1905.
  F v A. Nancy Clementine "Clementine" TAYLOR was born on 6 Feb 1844. She died on 10 Nov 1917.
  F vi Cornelia E. TAYLOR was born on 9 Jun 1846. She died after 1920.
  F vii
Victoria TAYLOR 1 was born 1 about 1848 in Mississippi.
  F viii Amanda J. "Mandy" TAYLOR was born on 9 Sep 1848. She died on 14 Apr 1889.
  F ix
Isabell Sephronia "Froney" TAYLOR 1 was born on 9 Dec 1850 2 in Clarke Co., Mississippi 2. She died after 1880 1.

1870:  single and residing in household of her brother in law and sister, Nancy Clementine and Jefferson Mitchell in Bearhouse TS, Ashley Co., Arkansas.  Sephronia and Clementine's mother Elizabeth is also living there.
1880:  single and still residing in home of her brother in law and sister.

  M x John Alexandria F. TAYLOR was born on 1 Mar 1853. He died on 26 May 1930.

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