52 Ancestors #9: Nancy CARR PRUITT – Is she really a Creek Indian?

Nancy CARR PRUITT is my paternal great grandmother.  She the wife of Henry Bristol PRUITT and is the mother to my grandfather, Samuel Wilson PRUITT.  I will just say that I don’t know as much as I would like to know about her.  I was able to obtain her death certificate1, thanks to the work of the Rankin County Historical Society in Rankin County, Mississippi and their documentation of the cemeteries there2.  I was excited to find her death certificate, because it was one of the first ones that I was able to find during my first research trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  When reviewing the document, it seemed to be riddled with a lot of ‘I don’t knows’, but that could have just been my frustration making those words more noticeable on the paper.  Either way, it didn’t give me very much new information to go on.

I did find her on the census the 19103 and 19204 census with Grandpa Britt and their children, but I have yet to find her in the other census years.  The thing that has lingered in the back of my mind is a question of her really being a Black Creek Indian.  That is really the only thing that my family members remember being told about her, other than that she was from Alabama.  I know, I know!  Everyone says that they have Indian in their family and yes, I have read Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr’s article on “Why most black people aren’t “part Indian,” despite family lore.”   But I don’t want to count the Indian out just yet.  It is something that I want to research, but haven’t gotten enough information on her to even know where to start.  It would definitely help to have some documented evidence to corroborate family stories. In the meantime, I will work on trying to get all the information I can find about her during the period of 1870 – 1943.

This is my ninth post as a part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

Footnotes:

1. Mississippi State Board of Health, death certificate 4442 (1943), Nancy Pruitt; Death Certificates and Indexes; Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson.

2. Rankin County Historical Society, Rankin County, Mississippi Cemetery Records, 1824-1980 (Brandon,MS: Rankin County Historical Society, 1981), 120.

3. 1910 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 3, dwelling 31, family 33, Nancy Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 1374749

4. 1920 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 6, dwelling 55, family 58, Nancy Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 2340876.

© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.

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Cite This Page:
Amy L Cole, “52 Ancestors #9: Nancy CARR PRUITT – Is she really a Creek Indian?,” Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey, 29 April 2014 (http://tracingamy.wordpress.com: [access date]).

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52 Ancestors #8: Henry Bristol PRUITT

Henry Bristol PRUITT, Grandpa Britt as his known by the family, is my paternal great grandfather and the father to my grandfather, Samuel Wilson PRUITT. No one seems to know much about him.  My sister started researching a few years back but didn’t find a lot of information for him either. So far, we have found him on the 19101 and 19202 census of Clarke County, MS. I may have found him in the 1930 census3, but not quite sure its him because he is not living with his wife and children. My sister has shared her research so far, so I am using the tree that she built as a start, but other than what she knows, here is the rest that I have to go on.

  • He is possibly from Alabama and later lived in Jasper County, MS
  • He married Nancy CARR, who is said to be part Creek Indian and also from Alabama. They most likely married in Jasper County, because that is where their oldest son Lafayette was born.4
  • They might have separated or divorced at some point. No one knows when, but I think the 1930 census5 might be the clue I need, if it is him that I found.
  • His trade, outside of farming, was weaving baskets and seat bottoms.6
  • He died near Jackson, MS maybe around 1953 and is buried in Mount Olive Cemetery in Ranking County, MS. Grandma Nancy is also buried there7.
  • We believe they had a total of 9 children together: Bertha, Lafayette, Mary, Ethel, Thomas James, Bessie (think she is listed as Chastana on the census), Samuel Wilson, and Lola8.

Not knowing exactly when he died and with no Mississippi death record index accessible past 1943, I decided to take a chance to see if there was a death certificate on file for him. I filled in what I knew which was his name, the county that I thought he died in and the year. I was quite disappointed when I received the death certificate in the mail. It was for a Henry Prewett9 sure enough, but it was definitely not my Henry Pruitt because this death certificate makes him born around the same time as his oldest son. So now, I definitely need to gather more information.

I will have to try again to research his children. I don’t have much information on them either, but I am sure something will turn up soon. I may have to accept the fact that my research on this line may really require me to visit home and do more research on-site versus on-line.

This is my eighth post as a part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

Footnotes:

1. 1910 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 3, dwelling 31, family 33, Henry Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 1374749

2. 1920 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 6, dwelling 55, family 58, Henry B Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 2340876.

3. 1930 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 13, dwelling 121, family 122, Britt Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration, 1920; Roll T625_2070.

4. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918, images, Ancestry.com, card for Lafayette Pruitt, serial no. 606, Registration Leake County, MS.

5. 1930 U.S. census, Clarke Co., Mississippi, pop.sch., p.13, dwell. 121, fam. 122, Britt Pruitt.

6. Clifton Pruitt, Pachuta, MS, interview by Amy Pruitt Cole 16 March 2013; audio privately held by interviewer, Georgia, 2014.

7. State of Mississippi, death certificate 4442 (1943), Nancy Pruitt; Death Certificates and Indexes; Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson.

8. Evelyn Pruitt Payton, “Complete Genealogy Report for Henry Bristol Pruitt,” p.3; report Georgia, 12 August 2007; digital held by Amy Pruitt Cole.

9. State of Mississippi, death certificate 4824 (1953), Henry Prewett; Vital Records, Jackson.

© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.

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Cite This Page:
Amy L Cole, “52 Ancestors #8: Finding Henry Bristol PRUITT,” Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey, 22 April 2014 (http://tracingamy.wordpress.com: [access date]).

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52 Ancestors #7: 103 Years of Life: Samuel Wilson Pruitt (1900 – 2004)

Samuel Wilson Pruitt

Samuel Wilson Pruitt
1900 – 2004

My paternal grandfather, Rev. Samuel Wilson PRUITT (or Papa as he is known to the family) passed away just short of his 104th birthday, on February 12, 20041.  I often wonder about all the things that he might have witnessed, experienced, or was indirectly affected by during his lifetime.   So I have decided to take a stab at listing some of the events that occurred during his 103 years on Earth.

Papa was born to Henry Bristol PRUITT and Nancy CARR PRUITT in Jasper County, MS on February 22, 19002, just 35 years after the abolishment of slavery.  At that time, President William McKinley was serving his second term in office, but President Theodore Roosevelt would soon take office.  During the 103 years, there were 19 people to serve as President of the United States and 24 people to serve as Governor of Mississippi.

World War I (1914 – 1919) – I found draft cards for him3 and his brothers; however his brother, Lafayette Pruitt, did go on to serve in the Army during WWI4.

The Great Depression (1929 – 1939)

World War II (1939 – 1945) during which his son, J. W. Pruitt served in the Army5.

Korean War (1950 – 1962) – two of his son’s served in the Army during this time – Clifton Pruitt in Alaska6 and my father, Lee Roy Pruitt in Korea7.

The Vietnam War (1963 – 1989)

He endured the “Jim Crow” Era (1880s – 1960s) and the Civil Rights Movement (1954 – 1968), which led to The Voting Rights Act of 1965 being signed into legislation and finally granting him the right to vote in his own country at the age of 65.  A right that most people today have enjoyed since the age of 18 and have taken for granted.

The Persian Gulf War (1990 – 1992)

The beginning of a new millennium (2000)

September 11, 2001 attacks & War on Terror (beginning in 2001)

After two marriages (Louella DUKES & Betty Louise JACKSON), 12 children (including 2 step-children), 29 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and 16 great great grandchildren8, I would say that Papa lived a full life.  He may not have enjoyed many of the luxuries that some have, but I believe he was happy just the same.

This is my seventh post as a part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

Footnotes:

1. Mississippi State Department of Health, death certificate 123-04-005576 (2004), Samuel Wilson Pruitt; Vital Records, Jackson.

2. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918, digital images. Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 14 April 2014), card for Wilson Pruitt, serial no. 1121, Registration Clarke County, Mississippi; Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

3. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918, images, Ancestry.com, card for Wilson Pruitt, serial no. 1121, Registration Clarke County, MS.

4. Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 14 April 2014), memorial page for Lafayette Pruitt (1890–1959), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3,167,532, citing Memphis National Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee; the accompanying photograph by Family Hunter is materially informative.

5. East Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery (Jasper County, Mississippi; 232 County Road 1828, Rose Hill, MS 39356), J W Pruitt marker, photograph taken by Amy L Cole, 10 March 2013.

6. Clifton Pruitt, Pachuta, MS, interview by Amy Pruitt Cole 16 March 2013; audio privately held by interviewer, Georgia, 2014.

7. Lee Roy Pruitt, phone interview, interview by Amy Pruitt Cole 06 October 2013; audio privately held by interviewer, Georgia, 2014.

8. Samuel Wilson Pruitt funeral program, 2004. privately held by Amy (Pruitt) Cole, Georgia.

© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.

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Cite This Page:
Amy L Cole, “52 Ancestors #7: 103 Years of Life: Samuel Wilson Pruitt (1900 – 2004),” Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey, 14 April 2014 (http://tracingamy.wordpress.com: [access date]).

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Finding Henry Stokes: Clarke County Marriage Records 1865 – 1909

I have spent the last month going through five roles of microfilm that I have rented from the Family History Library trying to find any of my relatives that were married between 1865 – 1909 in Clarke County, MS.  The records were segregated at that time, so I was specifically looking at the microfilm of the books labeled “Freedman Marriage Record, Colored”. Since I am focused on the STOKES line, I did find the marriage records for almost all of Grandpa Henry’s children and also the marriage records for several of Grandpa Henry’s siblings. But I could not find his marriage record nor could I find the marriage record for his father, Taylor STOKES.

Although I could not find his marriage record, while going through page by page on several of the rolls, I began to notice that a lot of the records were recorded in the book from little slips of paper. Most looked like a note from the person who performed the ceremony or either the nearby merchant asking the clerk to send back the marriage license. Most of the notes had the date, the names of those being married and the assurance that they were both of the appropriate age.

Seeing this helped answer a question I have had since 2012 when I found the marriage record for Grandpa John STERLING to Grandma Bessie STOKES. The record had the ages 21 and 18 respectively. I incorrectly assumed that the clerk was listing their ages and thought that my great grandparents had fudged the truth since they would have been older at the time. After seeing those notes, I realize that the law at that time may have been that the male must be at least 21 years old and the female 18 years old in order to marry without parental consent (I have yet to find it). Since the notes didn’t have their actual ages, I don’t know how the clerk could really confirm that they were of age.

Having to go through the microfilm because I didn’t find what I was looking for in the index has definitely helped me understand the records a bit better. I now understand how most of them were recorded and the what information I can possibly use from them in my research. Still bombed that I haven’t found Grandpa Henry’s record. The search continues!

52 Ancestors #6: Anna not Angeline

Anna Dukes is my paternal great grandmother.  I haven’t done much research on her and to-date I have only found a couple of census records and a death certificate when doing a basic search.  The family stories say that she was the first wife of William Dukes, but died when my grandmother was young. They had 10 children together. After her death, my great grandfather seems to have married again to a woman named Angeline.   Just looking at the census records, one might think that Anna and Angeline might have been the same person, because the names are similar.  But, I did a little detective work based on the information gathered from my family and found Grandma Anna’s death certificate.  It turns out that she died in January 9, 19171. This means that she definitely is not Angeline who appears on the 1920, 1930, & 1940 census with Grandpa William. This is just a start to trying to correct the posting that I mentioned in my last post.

On the death certificate, it lists her age at about 30 years old and that she was born in Mississippi.  The birth date was unknown.  She was married and was a housewife.  She was buried in the Galilee Cemetery2 (East Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery) by John Jordan, who was a neighbor on the 1910 census3.

Her mother’s name is Mira Young and the father’s name is unknown.  I noticed that the informant’s name was Lindsey Bradley4.  Initially, I thought that this was a woman, maybe a friend of possibly a sister since they knew the name of the mother.  However, when I looked into the 1910 Census on Ancestry I found that the only Lindsey Bradley in the area was a 49 year old male5.  Could this be her brother or cousin?  Why was he the informant and not Grandpa William?

I looked back went back to the 1880 census and found that Lindsey Bradley (15) living with his father Lott Bradley6 and just one page over there is a 2 year old Anna living with a 28 year old Mirah Young who is widowed7.  Could this be my Grandma Anna and Great Grandma Mira?

I want to find out more about her and have a lot of questions swirling in my head to research:

  1. Is Mira really her mother’s name?
  2. What is the name of her father?
  3. Does she have any siblings?  If so, what are their names?
  4. Who is Lindsey Bradley in relation to Grandma Anna and why was he the informant on her death certificate?
  5. When did she and Grandpa William marry?

My initial view of the census doesn’t give me too much information to go on.  I will have to dig a bit deeper to see what else I find to answer these questions so that I can piece together her story and ensure that it is well documented.

This is my sixth post as a part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

Footnotes:

1. Mississippi State Board of Health, death certificate 815 (1917), Anna Dukes; Death Certificates and Indexes; Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson.

2. Mississippi State Board of Health, death certificate 815 (1917), Anna Dukes.

3. 1910 U.S. census, Jasper County, Mississippi, population schedule, Beat 2, p. 4, dwelling 196, family 196, John Jordan; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2013); citing Family History Library microfilm: 1374757.

4. Mississippi State Board of Health, death certificate 815 (1917), Anna Dukes.

5. 1910 U.S. census, Jasper County, Mississippi, population schedule, Beat 2, p. 20, dwelling 115, family 115, Lindsy Bradly; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 6 April 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 1374757.

6. 1880 U.S. census, Jasper County, Mississippi, population schedule, Northest, p.34, dwelling 298, family 299, Lott Bradley; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 6 April 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T9.

7. 1880 U.S. census, Jasper County, Mississippi, population schedule, Northest, p.35, dwelling 308, family 309, Mirah Young; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 6 April 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T9.

© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.

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Cite This Page:
Amy L Cole, “52 Ancestors #6: Anna not Angeline,” Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey, 06 April 2014 (http://tracingamy.wordpress.com: [access date]).

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