Friday, October 20, 2017

Yellow Fever

George Howard Alford survived yellow fever. This newspaper article tells us that George and another student battled yellow fever while they attended college. It tells me that he did attend college & where he went. I know he survived because I have information on his marriage and his children. 

George Howard Alford
1875 – 1958
s/o Jeptha J. Alford
My 2nd cousin twice removed

Starkville, Miss. Oct 5. – Dr. Grant pronounced two cases of yellow fever today at the A. and M. College. These two cases are G. H. Alford and H. E. Cutrer, both of Pike County, Miss. They are both students who have spent their vacation at the college and it is not known how they caught the disease. This evening Sargent Barr reports a third case, that of Prof. C. T. Ames. Alford and Cutrer are both nearly well. Most of the people from the college and many from the town of Starkville will leave on a special train tomorrow at 8 o’clock for St. Louis.

The Quarantine. (New Orleans, LA: Times Picayune, 6 October 1898) 2; digital image, Genealogy Bank: accessed Sept. 2017.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Leander R. Alford Dead

This obituary actually holds little information about the deceased. It gives his age but not his birth date or place or his parents. It does not give his education or occupation. We know he left a wife but not her name.

The obituary mentions an “only brother”. There were seven children of Seaborn John Alford and Mary Catherine Felder. Leander had four brothers. I believe the obituary meant that B. S. [Barnabas Seaborn] Alford was the only living brother.







Leander Raiford Alford
1832 MS – 1911 MS
s/o Seaborn John Alford




McComb, Miss. Sept. 4. – The remains of Leander R. Alford, one of this county’s oldest and most respected citizens who died at his home near Johnston Station Friday evening at the advanced age of 78 years, was brought here Saturday and interred in the City cemetery. He leaves an aged wife and daughter, Mrs. J. W. Kinnebrew, of New Orleans, whose husband, until his retirement a few years ago, was one of the oldest passenger conductors on the I. C. railroad, also two sons, Robert Alford, for many years a freight conductor, and Hon. J. M. Alford, a promising young lawyer of Tylertown. Deceased also left an only brother, B. S. Alford of this place, father of J. B. Alford, of the firm of Denman & Alford, Rev. L. E. Alford, a Methodist preacher and Norman Alford, assistant cashier of the first National Bank.


Leander R. Alford Dead. (Jackson, MS: Jackson Daily News, 4 Sept. 1911) 3; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed 4 Sept. 2017.




Thursday, October 12, 2017

Top 10 Surnames

Family Tree Maker is the program I use to organize my genealogy information. Using this program I can print out various reports on the data I input. The information below came from the Surname Report, sorted by surname count.


                                    Total   Male    Female            Earliest           Most Recent
ALFORD                           377     221     154                 1645               1995

RITTER                            350     210     139                 1710               1967

BRUMFIELD                      348     198     150                 1720               1954

FORTENBERRY                  334     194     138                 1772               1979

SMITH                              243     121     121                 1756               1993

WOLF                              199      113     85                   1694               1911

BROWN                           154      87       64                   1730               2011

ELLZEY                           117      66       51                   1796               1980

MARK                              100      58       42                   1812               1979

OTT                                  95      56       38                   1666               1919


Note: The number of males + females does not always = total. There are many infants or children who died young and no first name or sex was recorded.



It is interesting that the common surnames Brown & Smith are not #1 & #2 on this list. It is precisely because they are so common that it makes it harder to claim an individual. If I find Adolphus Ott in rural LA in the mid 1850s I can be confident he is mine because that is an unusual name. But it is much harder to find the correct John Brown at the same time and place because there are many with that name.

Follow the links connected to each Surname to my website for more information on each family.

All of these surnames are on my father's side of the family tree. My mother's family is much smaller.


What are your Top Surnames?

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Various Branches of my Tree Met in 1868

Our research usually finds our family members in isolation. In a census record we might find relatives in neighboring homes. A birth or marriage record might show more than one generation. When I came across this newspaper article it did not stand out because of the meeting it described but because many of those who attended come from various branches of my family tree. Fathers and sons, and brothers who were interested in agriculture came together. Men from various branches of my tree, men whose lives I have traced came together. They sat together, shared their thoughts and perhaps sipped coffee. It is not surprising that they spent time together. They were neighbors. They intermarried. They had much in common. And now I have evidence that they did get together.



“A meeting of many citizens was held at the residence of Dr. J. J. Alford…22 July 1868 for people interested in pomology [the science of growing fruit] and horticulture.” People from Washington parish, LA and neighboring counties in MS were welcome to join the meeting. They planned to meet monthly to discuss pomology and horticulture.

A list of attendees was included and several are members of our family tree. Several others are most likely family members but I cannot definitely connect them at this time.

Note: I have added family information after the names of attendees. This was not included in the newspaper.

Dr. J. J. Alford             1830-1914; son of Edwin Barksdale Alford

Ira. P. Alford                1822-1901; son of Edwin Barksdale Alford

Edwin Alford               1792-1901; son of Jacob; m Martha Smith, d/o Wyatt

B. F. Ellzey                  1827-1904; Benjamin Franklin Ellzey; son of John

J. S. Ellzey                   1829-1874; John Ellzey; s/o John; m. Saryntha Smith, d/o  Wyatt

G. C. Fortenberry        1805-1884; Gasua Chapman Fortenberry; son of William J.

W. F. Fortenberry        1840-1906; William Franklin Fortenberry; son of Gasua

Wyatt Smith                1809-1844; son of Jeremiah; m. Euseba Fortenberry, d/o Gasua

T. J. Tynes                   1823-1900; Tyra Jennings Tynes; m Harriet Alford, dau. of Edwin B.

[Edwin Barksdale Alford & Wyatt Smith are two of my 3rd great grandfathers.]

A second newspaper article, written the following year is evidence that the group continued to meet. “We are glad to see our native farmers and planters are striving to change the old ways for new, where it is found that the old ways wear out the land, or are circuitous or slow, and that the new improve the land and bring the cultivator with rapidity to abundant enjoyment of its fruits.” The second article mentions Dr. J. J. Alford but does not list all the members of the group.

Sources:
  • Agricultural Meeting, Osyka. (New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Times, 8 August 1868) 3; digital image, Genealogy Bank: accessed September 2017. 
  • Agricultural Progress. (New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Times, 5 December 1869) 2; digital image, Genealogy Bank: accessed September 2017.

          Are you related to these families? Let's talk.