Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Remembering: Psalm 143 verse 5

"I will remember the days of old.... I meditate on all thy works:  I muse on the works of thy hands......(KJV)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


  • (The) African American Experience in Ohio: The African-American Experience
  •  in Ohio 1850-1920 is a digital collection brought together from a number 
  • of individual sources specifically for this project. These sources include 
  • manuscript collections, newspaper articles, serials, photographs, and 
  • pamphlets. (Includes a plantation account book for Eustatia Plantation in MS)
  • Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations From the Revolution 
  •  Through the Civil War: Series J: Selections from the Southern Historical 
  •  Collection Part 6: Mississippi and Arkansas
  • LSU Plantation Records Collection (Lower MS): manuscript collections
  •  documenting plantation society and economy in the Louisiana and Lower
  •  Mississippi Valley. The plantation records and personal papers of planters, 
  • factors, merchants, and others whose livelihood came from plantations 
  •  provide a wealth of documentation supporting research in plantation e
  • conomy, slavery, and the social history of Southern landholding elites 

Baby Place
Bee Lake

Hideout Plantation: Hughes(R.B.) Moor's Plantation: Moor
Pleasantview Plantation: Kearney
Rising Son Plantation: Whittington
River Bend Plantation: Pillow
Roebuck Plantation: Aron
Shellmound Plantation
Starwood Plantation
Wildwood Plantation: McLean, Merrill (Money Planting Co.)
Barry Place
Liberty Hall Plantation: Ervin


 Research Leads for Liberty Hall Plantation
  • Location: Lowndes Co., MS
    Constructed: 1835
    History: William Ethelbert Ervin owned Liberty Hall Plantation, near Columbus, in Lowndes County, Mississippi, near Columbus. He was born to William and Eliza Dick Ervin in Sumter District, South Carolina in 1809. The family moved to Lowndes County, Mississippi, about 1832. His father died there in 1839. William E. Ervin built Liberty Hall in 1835 on the east side of the Tombigbee River. After his home was built he returned to Sumter, South Carolina, and married Sarah McGee Kennedy.

    Associated Surnames: Ervin

  • Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations, Series J: William Ethelbert Ervin Diaries, 1839-1856, Lowndes County, Mississippi. This collection consists of two plantation diaries kept by Ervin between 1839 and 1856. Ervin included information on buying and selling slaves, hiring slaves owned by others, providing slaves with blankets, hats, and other clothing, and paying slaves for their "Christmas work." He made lists of slave birth (and some death) dates. In 1847, he wrote out the rules for slave conduct and punishments in case the rules were broken. There were rules for how to handle quarrels, duties of husbands and wives, absence from the plantation, and the obligation of slaves to be in their quarters by 9 p.m.

Other People Researching This Plantation
  • ----


Shields Plantation:    Shields Plantation
Location: Lowndes Co., MS
History: ----
Associated Surnames: Adams, Shields, Smith
Associated Plantations: Smith Plantation (Halifax Co., NC)

Associated Free White Names
  • Charles Shields: owner; resided in Scotland Neck, Halifax Co. North Carolina
  • Howel Adams: overseer at Shields Plantation in MS
  • William Ruffin Smith: executor of the Shields estate

Research Leads
  • Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations, Series J: William Ruffin Smith Papers, 1772-1959, Lowndes County, Mississippi; also North Carolina. Most of the papers in Series 1 relate to the Mississippi plantation of Charles Shields, William Ruffin Smith's neighbor in North Carolina. Shield bought a plantation in Mississippi and took an unspecified number of slaves there to operate it under the supervision of an overseer, Howell Adams, but died shortly thereafter. Smith, as executor of the estate, administered the property for Shields's heirs. 
Lowndes Co. Links

"When an elder dies, a great library and archives burn to the ground."

GREAT SITE  ////  while thinking of  my Mississippi TRAVIS Clan...
Last Sunday... 6-17-2012... Rayford Travis passed away..... b. 1932, living in Simpsonville SC.
left to right:  Erma Lena Frieson, Teen Henderson, James Travis, Dacron, Danada and Rayford Travis (photo 2010)

I googled a bit and found....
MISSISSIPPI TO AFRICA.... Mel's Roots Diggin' Site

I just love this tree... and Mel's researc tips!!!

Research, Study, and Analyze Federal Census Records
    Armed with names, dates, and places, head to the place that has census records. Such places include state archives departments, city libraries, libraries at some major universities/colleges, family history centers, national and regional archives, etc. Don't forget to take some money with you for copying purposes. Also, for a fee, you can access census records online at
     The 1940 census is the latest census that was made available to the public on April 2, 2012. See Work from the known to the unknown by starting with the 1940 census and continue to the 1930, 1920. 1910, 1900, 1880, and the 1870 census. Unfortunately, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire. Censuses prior to 1870 only included whites and free people of color. If you are viewing microfilmed census records instead of the digital images on, a soundex is available for the 1930, 1920, 1910, 1900, and 1880.  Locate your family in the soundex first, which will tell you exactly where to find them on the county census records. However, the 1880 soundex only contain families with at least one child who was 10 years old or younger. If you can't find your folk in the 1880 soundex, then browse through the 1880 county census. Also, be aware that a lot of county boundaries changed. It is possible that families found in the 1870 census were in the 1880 census of another county and they never moved.
     When you find your family in the census, make photocopies of that page and several of the pages before and after that one. Pay attention to their neighbors. It was common for family members to live close to each other. Plan to go back and view the census records again and again and again. Trust me, you won't regret it. I've found many family members just browsing the census in a specific area where I knew most of my family lived. Ask older family members about the names of the other families you will find living near your ancestors. They may be able to identify them. Also, record all of the families that have the same surnames as your ancestors who were living in the same county, especially the same district.
The following information was recorded in the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, & 1940 Census records:
• Name (head of household)
• Names of the people in the household and the relationship to the head of household
• Sex, Race, Age
• Marital status
• Number of years married (may not have been asked in some counties in 1880) or the age when first married (asked in 1930 and 1940)
• Place of birth
• Place of birth of father and mother (not recorded in the 1940 census)
• Occupation 
The following additional information was recorded in the 1900 Census records:
• Month and year of birth
• Number of children a mother had given birth to and how many of those children are living (also asked on the 1910 census)  
The 1870 Census records only provide the following information:
• Names
• Sex, Race, Age
• Place of birth
• Occupation
Note: The 1870 census does not list the relationships to the head of household.
     The 1870 Census is very important in African-American genealogy research. It was very often the first official record that recorded former enslaved African-Americans by their first name and last name. It is also important because the 1870 census was done just five years after slavery. Therefore, for most African-American adults found in the 1870 census records, they were enslaved just five years prior.
     Many African Americans living together in the 1870 census had lived together earlier as a family group on their former enslaver’s farms/plantations and continued to depend upon these relationships even though some were not of blood relations. In 1870, you may often run across other families with the same last names as your ancestors. Some of them were blood relatives and some were not. However, it is very likely that all of them had labored on the same farm/plantation as slaves. Elderly family members may be able to determine which families were blood related.
The Ties That Bind: Finding a Link to
"The Beckley Five" of Pontotoc County, Mississippi

Researched and written by Melvin J. Collier

Search for other important documents.
Such important documents include:
  • marriage records
    death certificates
    birth certificates
    family obituaries
    pension records
    Social Security applications 
    Educable Children's Records (for Mississippi researchers)
    There are many more records to explore. Order Mississippi to Africa, A Journey of Discovery
       to gain more insight.
     From marriage records, maiden names can be learned. Also, in some counties, the marriage license applications can be found. Often, those documents list the parents’ names. Marriage records can be obtained from county courthouses and state archive departments.  Pay attention to the other names of witnesses on marriage certificates. Often times, they were family members.
     Death certificates are valuable because they contain information such as the name of the spouse, the father's name, the mother's maiden name, the birthplace, the birth date, the place of burial, etc. Also from birth certificates, the parents’ names and the place of birth can be learned.  Those records are typically found at state vital records departments and at state archive departments.
     If you have knowledge that an ancestor or relative may have fought in the Civil War, try to locate his pension records which are stored at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  Over 200,000 African-American men served in the Union Army. The pension records of these soldiers often contain a wealth of information.  View the database at the USCT website.
     Social Security applications are valuable sources. They contain the father’s name, mother’s maiden name, birthplace, etc. Their database can be accessed on the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) website with instructions on how to order applications.
     The state of Mississippi did a census of all of the children called Educable Children's List.  These lists were started in 1878, recording all of the names of all school-age children between the age of 5 and 21 years old for each county.  The age and sex of each child were recorded.  Most of the records were taken every 4 years.  After 1878, the records were divided into districts and by household with the name of a guardian, typically a parent.  Also, after 1878, the lists were racially divided.  These records can be located at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and also at some county courthouses.  The 1885 - 1896 records are a good substitute for the 20-year-gap in the census that was caused with the destruction of the 1890 Census by fire.
     Once you are able to uncover names of more family members from these documents, plan to search for them in the census records as well. Not only trace direct ancestors, it can also be beneficial to trace other relatives that were known by family members. On one occasion when talking with a family member, she mentioned the name of one of my paternal great-grandmother’s older brothers. I was able to find this relative in the census records. In his household was his mother. Tracing this relative led me to the name of another ancestor, a great-great-grandmother.

Monday, June 18, 2012

“Better to write something now, than everything never.”

WHAT SHALL I WRITE ABOUT; hmmmmmmmmmmm   Borrowed inspiration from RECLAIMIN KIN blogsite.....

Here goes my list:

History of that city, or rural area
Example: The city of Tifton, GA (and the county) was named for Captain Henry Tift, who built large sawmills to harvest the lumber that would be central to this community. My great-great grandfather John Smith was born in Tifton. Many rural areas were named for large slaveowners.
Geography-what was the landscape like?
Example: Many of my ancestors from Hardin County lived along the Tennessee River, so that was a major influence on people’s lives. At the turn of the century, steamboat travel was frequent as were, according to the local paper, drownings of local citizens.
Migration patterns: where did most of the people that settled here come from? Where did many go to?
Examples: Most of the people in early Tennessee were a part of the westward migration from Virginia and North Carolina. This matches exactly the path of the slaveowner of my Tennessee ancestor, Malinda Holt. Also, I have mapped the migration of African-Americans from this county to Northern industries in the 1940s.
 Items from U.S. national history, State history, and/or county history
Hardin County, TN was the site of a large Civil War battle and in many ways that informed the experiences of many slaves who ran away and joined the war effort. Tennessee had more black volunteers than any other state.
Use slave narratives & autobiographies from that area to document the slave experience, even if its not your ancestor
Example: For my ancestors from Montgomery County, MD, I include excerpts from the autobiography of Josiah Henson who was enslaved there. For Hardin County, TN, I use the WPA slave narrative of Edward Bradley, who was enslaved there.
Laws relating to slaves and  freedmen
Example: After the Civil War, Maryland’s Eastern Shore utilized the apprenticing laws to basically re-enslave the children of their former slaves. The Freedmen’s Bureau had to fight to get their children back.  I discuss this in my write-up of my ancestors from Somerset County, MD.
Illnesses and deaths
Example: There was a smallpox epidemic in 1873 in Jacksonville, FL, where my dad’s family lived, which forced many people to temporarily flee the city. Also, the 1918 flu pandemic touched just about every community. Use mortality census records for this topic as well.
Prominent People (both black and white)
Example: Harry Hooks amassed a fortune as a freed black shoemaker in Hardin County, TN before the Civil War, even enabling him to purchase his wife & children. Also, many prominent whites in the county, like William Cherry, were Unionists during the Civil War, which created an interesting dynamic there versus other Southern cities.
Major African-American churches, schools & businesses
Example: My grandfather owned two successful pharmacies in the booming 1940s business district of Jacksonville, Florida, which in part explains why this family never migrated North along with so many others. I find this community he was a part of simply fascinating, and I have documented other black businesses that existed alongside his.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shared Memories...

It's been 15 years since Daddy passed.... This is a Re-post of Facebook today....
Howard Jr Huggins in his early twenties...abt 1950
is more of how we remember daddy ..maybe in in forties ... abt 1970
I've visited by phone with Craig Huggins in Ohio....  relatives from the Howard Huggins Sr... side of the family.....

 Below is the Travis=Morgan=Huggins side of the family  
Mama Dooley and Sister Stafford .. maybe Frederick, OK...long ago

Uncle DD
Aunt Hattie

 Aunt Ruth

Monday, June 4, 2012

A June Wedding ~ 64 years ago!!!

There's a twinkle in daddy's eye.... and mama leans her head ever so sweetly....

Tana said that daddy's first cousin from Aunt Molly Travis-Clark is standing next to mama... the picture smudged him a bit... he is Paul Clark, his wife is seated in front of him??? and I can't remember who the children are....

Bruce Fisher has an old suitcase underneath a bed at Ada and Warren's House located at 4009 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK.   Year and a half-ago... I stopped by and photographed....

This verifies that my mother, Helen Huggins did leave Langston University, OK ... I have a picture of her in a Freshman LU Class.....
she moved to Chicago to stay with one of Big Mama's sisters (an aunt)... and graduated from a business school in may 1947....

Then.....  this is a little bridal book page..... really sweet and sentimental ... (Dad Sipuel had passed in Sept 1946)... so Big Mama prepared a wedding announcement..   I notice that..yes... Daddy was already an ordained COGIC minister when marrying mama.

On.... June 18, 1948 in Chicago Illinois, Howard Jr. Huggins and Helen Sipuel were married...
I found something on Prayer Garden COGIC while scanning the COGIC internet a few days ago...

One more cute thing... whatever book this is with Daddy's handwriting... He had recorded five of US-Chillun.... Tana didn't come along until 1965!!!

Now.... lastly.. I wonder if Orville's middle name is spelled the same on his birth certificate... I always thought it was Thurston!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Clinton ~ Oklahoma

The houses we lived in . . . . where we grew up and played.....

Chickasha, Frederick and Geary, OK . . . .back to Chickasha... then to the big city.... 4916 N Wisconsin, OKC, OK ! ! !