Merry Christmas from our house to yours. I hope you have all had as great a Christmas as I have had.
Some people come and go in our lives, some stay forever.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours. I hope you have all had as great a Christmas as I have had.
I’m back with Part II of my discovery of the Rev. Francis Hereford Williams. If you missed Part I, that’s ok. You can find it here.
At this point in my research, what I know about Rev. Williams is that he was born in St. Louis in 1843, and that he is indeed the father of my Dona Williams Higginbotham.
What I don’t know is his date of death, Mildred’s (his wife) date of death or where they are buried.
I knew from information gathered that Dona and her husband Rufus were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. After a little research I discovered that Minnie and her husband Charles Hooks were buried in Hillcrest Cemetery and so I headed out to get pictures of both of their headstones, and I was hoping that around one of their graves, I would come across Rev. Williams and Mildred’s headstone.
Here is Dona and Rufus’ headstone, which looks to be in a plot of about six graves, but theirs is the only headstone in the plot and I didn’t find Rev. Williams’ or Mildred’s headstone anywhere else in Woodlawn. If it was once there, it is gone now.
So I headed over to Hillcrest and I found Minnie’s headstone beside her husbands, Charles A. Hooks.
The office had no record of Rev. Williams or his wife Sarah Mildred Martin Williams as being buried in this cemetery and of course, there was no other headstone around Minnie and Charles’.
But wait, what is that on Minnie’s headstone?
A Daughters of the American Revolution symbol!
When I got home I got on the computer straight away. started looking up DAR applications for Minnie, and Booyah!! Found it! Paid for it, downloaded it, and prayed the whole time it was loading up on my computer for death dates for Rev. Williams and Sarah Mildred Martin Williams.
She states: “I am the daughter of Francis H. Williams born 1843, died ____ and his 2nd wife Sarah M. Martin born 1856, died ______ married 1877.”
His 2nd wife??
Who’s the first?
And where are the death dates dad burn it?!?!?!
At this point I can only surmise that when Minnie filled out the application in 1914 they were both still alive. I couldn’t find Rev. Williams on the 1920 census, but I did find his wife Mildred, widowed and living with the Yarbrough family as a roomer.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one. I know that there are some Yarbrough’s in the family on the Higginbotham side so I can see that this could happen. I’m just not sure why she wasn’t living with either Dona or Minnie. They were all alive at this time. I’ll probably never know the answer to this one.
During this time, I made a visit to my Aunt Jane who was in declining health and we chatted and visited and I showed her what all I had discovered and she was very interested but her memory was failing her and she couldn’t help much with information. She did tell me she had some boxes with some stuff in them that I could have, and so Uncle Charlie (Starks) dug them out and gave them to me and I hit the mother lode!
What I thought at first to be a lot of Higginbotham photos and such, ended up being a lot of stuff from the Williams. It was in this stuff that I discovered that Rev. Williams, was a minister, that he had probably been in the war between the states and that he had been in the Austin Confederate Home following the war between the states.
See this box?
It was full of letters to the Williams family. There were quite a few letters in here from Charles to Minnie when he was away at school and working in a pharmacy. There were letters from some of Mildred’s Dial cousins in Louisiana.
Here are some pictures of the Williams’ that I found in the boxes as well:
Dona is on the left, Mildred in the middle and Minnie on the right.
This is my grandfather Earl Higginbotham in 1901, this photo was in the box and what I love so much about this picture is that Rev. Williams wrote on the back of the photo: “Twinkle to his old Granddad”. I found that to be so sweet and it really just touched me.
Mildred Martin Williams. What a very regal picture. I have such beautiful ancestors!!
Minnie Williams Hooks. What a beautiful picture.
Dona Higginbotham. This picture did not come from this box, Gary Higginbotham gave me this picture, but I didn’t want to leave her out because there wasn’t one of her in the box. I love this picture though.
Booyah!! What a great discovery of pictures and letters! How lucky am I that Aunt Jane remembered them, and that Uncle Charlie got them out and gave them to me. I will be forever grateful, from the bottom of my heart and I can’t say it enough.
So, at this point of my journey, I still had no death for Rev. Williams, but I have it down to being between 1914, the date of Minnie’s DAR application and 1920 when Mildred appears on the census as a widow. A very thorough search of all Texarkana cemeteries has left me dry as well.
I’m already working on Part III of this series and I hope you’ll stick around for the rest of this story because I still have the good parts to get to.
Ok, sorry. I just always have to do it one more time.
Don’t forget to come back on the 16th specifically, I have good things in store for you my special friends and family!
Last weekend I had an amazing opportunity to walk on the property of my Higginbotham Ancestors. The current owner, was kind enough to welcome us to his place and let us look around.
Sanford Higginbotham, my 3rd Great-Grandfather came to Arkansas in 1843 and settled in what was then Stover but is now Bucksnort in the Fordyce, Arkansas community. He had 1,200 acres, a plantation, and ran a mercantile store all around what was then called the lower road. This road ran all the way from Pine Bluff to Camden back then. Today, this road is known as Dallas County 131.
This would have been a prime location for Sanford back then. Many people traveled this road and it would have been good business for his store.
It also made him an easy target, as would be proven later, years after he passed away and the Union Soldiers burned his plantation down during the civil war, causing his widow and my 3rd Great Grandmother Jane Holley Higginbotham to flee into Texas.
But that’s a story for another time. Today I want to share with you what I saw, and what I learned during this trip.
First, I was able to meet two wonderful cousins that I have been corresponding with for some time, Henry Broach and Lisa Higginbotham Guidroz. Henry, a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their son John Jefferson Higginbotham. Lisa, a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their son Joseph Green Higginbotham. I am a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their son Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Sr.
We missed our Memphis Higginbotham cousins, Hugh, Joy and Marilee. They couldn’t make the trip, but they are descendants of Sanford and Jane’s through their son James Oliver Higginbotham.
We also missed our Salt Lake Higginbotham cousins, Ray and Madeline Lynch. Ray is a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their daughter Amanda Caroline Higginbotham Vinson.
In this photo, we are standing on the 1,200 acres that Sanford once owned. In front of us is the private cemetery where our relatives are buried. Behind us, way back in the tree line was where Sanford and Jane’s house was prior to the Civil War.
This is Lisa with her two friends Jenny Cheramie, and Marci Brown who were kind enough to make the trip with Lisa from Louisiana. They have been best friends for a very long time and I’m so happy they shared this experience with Lisa.
This photo is of my son Justin Cole, my niece Leslie Golden, myself and Lisa Guidroz. I was very happy to have my son and niece along with me to share the experience. All the land you can see around us, once belonged to Sanford.
It was truly an amazing experience to walk on that land, knowing this is where it all began in Arkansas for us Higginbotham’s. Then, to do it with cousins, was something I will always treasure.
This is a partial view of the Higginbotham Cemetery on the property, you can see it is all grown up and most of the headstones are buried under leaves and such. We stood there for quite a while and made plans to come back in the fall and do a cleanup.
I love this picture of Henry. He is such a sweet man and so knowledgable of the Higginbotham’s and the area. He has researched the Higginbotham’s for a very long time and he and his wife have traveled to Georgia and Virginia collecting documents on our line of Higginbotham’s.
Henry was kind enough to take us on an ancestral tour of Fordyce. The one major thing I learned from Henry that I had no idea about was the mercantile store that Sanford owned. After Sanford died in 1851, Sanford’s son John Jefferson Higginbotham, took the store over, and administered the plantation until he died in 1860 from Typhoid Fever. John Jefferson Higginbotham is buried there on Sanford’s old plantation.
Sanford’s Mercantile Store formerly located at the corner of what is now Hwy 8, and Dallas Co. 131. There is nothing but trees standing there now where the store once stood.
Now I have a big surprise for all you John J. and Sarah (Wyatt) Higginbotham researchers. John J. and Sarah lived in a house behind where the store used to be.
It is still standing.
Barely. But it’s there.
Now, for you avid Wyatt researchers, the parents of Sarah Wyatt – John J. and Elizabeth Wyatt lived across the road from John J. and Sarah Higginbotham. Their place is no longer there.
In this photo you can see where Henry is standing by the car, back behind him, is the old Wyatt place. The house that is there is actually on the next property, and the Wyatt house is gone. The place where the mercantile store was would have been directly in front of Henry, and then to his right, behind these trees is the old home place of John J. and Sarah Higginbotham. I hope this gives you an idea of where they were located.
Next Henry took us over by the Barnes cemetery. His mother was Erma Lee Barnes Broach, and this is all of her people.
Henry had a really interesting story about Seth Barnes, his great-grandfather, and the Union soldiers that burned Sanford’s plantation down.
But, again, that’s a story for another time, and one that Henry has already written up and as soon as I get a copy of it, I will post it here.
Henry shared this really great photo with me of his family.
In Henry’s words about the photo:
In the picture, the man on the left is, William Alexander “Alec” Broach, my Grandfather. His wife was Mary Frances Higginbotham c1857, daughter of John Jefferson Higginbotham c1825. Alec was born in Walton County GA in 1847 and the following year at age 1 1/2 he came to Arkansas along with two sisters, his Mother, Martha Green Broach c1817, and his father Jones A. Broach c1815. A very important link in the Broach/Higginbotham line is the marriage of Elizabeth Broach c1811, an older sister of the above, Jones, my GGrandfather. She was the wife of Joseph Higginbotham who accompanied his older brother Sanford from Chambers County, AL to Arkansas in what I feel was 1843. An interesting observation about this Elizabeth Broach, sister of the above Jones Broach, is that Jones and Martha along with Alec and the two sisters came to AR later in the early fall of 1848. The 51 day trek via oxen pulled wagon is a story you will love when I have the time to relate some of the details.
The woman sitting by Alec, is my Mother, Erma Lee Barnes Broach c1900. Next is yours truly, Henry Alexander Broach, Jr. c1934 and to my left is my Father, Henry Ashley Broach c1895. To his left is my maternal Grandmother, Lafonia Belle Stover Barnes c1873.
Henry also shared this picture of James Oliver Higginbotham and his wife Amanda Zinn Higginbotham.
Then we headed over to Bucksnort and heard more of Henry’s great stories. Henry will be traveling for the summer but this fall when he gets back, I will get with him again and get more of his stories to share with you.
Thank you Henry, for the two wonderful pictures, and the tour of Fordyce. I’m looking forward to getting to know Henry better and hear all the stories that he has been working on for so long!
After this, I was able to visit with Lisa and her friends some more, just getting to know them. What a wonderful bunch of ladies. I’m so proud to have Lisa as a cousin, and to have this opportunity to get to know her. She brought me a wonderful gift basket, (which she didn’t have to do!) but I loved each item in there, and I will treasure them always!
It was a great trip, I look forward to more of them!
I’m pretty sure I live on a farm now.
If I leave for any length of time, by the time I come home, I have new animals.
When I was gone on my research trip, I game home to these little piggies.
This is Ham, Petunia, and Bacon. Petunia is here to stay, she is the cutie in the middle. Ham, and Bacon, I don’t even want to think about it. I just know I can’t get attached to them.
Yes, they are piggin’ out… HA! Sorry I couldn’t help it.
They are actually standing in their food bowl.
I told them, “You sound like pigs when you eat.”
Oh, yeah, they are pigs!!
Our little chicks we got a couple of weeks ago are actually starting to look like chickens.
Do you think these two are plotting their escape??
Shortly after my husband came home with the chickens, my mother said, “I sure wish you had gotten guineas instead, I’ve always wanted guineas.”
So, guess what?
The Hubs then comes home with these. The suck up!
Who is going to feed all these animals if The Hubs has to go out-of-town on another contract???
Ok, I’ll feed them, but I refuse to clean up any bombs left any where.
The Hubs has also been busy with my birdhouses.
I’ve had this bird house for about eight years. It occupied a corner of my garage and housed spiders. The spiders are no longer happy. I imagine they were in shock when the first birds moved in and had them for a snack.
I’ve been asking for a long time for him to help me get it put up and so I’m sure he got tired of me whining about how my bird house was being ill-used and he decided to go ahead and put it up for me.
Plus he got brownie points and I quite whining.
But doesn’t it look pretty on the top of that cedar tree?
Then, The Hubs and Cameron made me this bird house for Mother’s Day.
I love my birdhouses, so thank you family.
Michael got me a really pretty hanging basket of flowers for the porch for Mother’s Day. So thank you Michael! (I’m a bad mother, picture coming soon!)
Our garden is growing too, here are a few pictures of it.
And, last but not least, the kiddo report.
Tori had a whole day in the pool by herself before the boys got here.
And it was a good thing, because Tori and Michael left all the toys in the pool on Saturday and when I went outside all the toys were jammed into the return basket and the pump was sucking air.
So they lost pool privileges for a day.
Sadly, I don’t think they cared, but I’ll let you know if I made any kind of impression on them whatsoever about pool rules. I’ll know by whether they leave toys in the pool or not the next time they go swimming.
So, since they couldn’t get in the pool, they had to be inventive.
The boys rode their skateboards, and Cameron was showing off tricks. Michael rode his trickless, and Tori stood over by Cameron’s truck and sang to them the whole time! Watch out American Idol!!
Please take a moment to notice that even though I didn’t catch it in the photo, all that dust behind Cameron is from a car that went down the road. It’s important to remember that before you scroll down, because I swear that it’s dust from the road, and not dirty WIND coming out of Cameron’s rear!
LOL! Sorry Cam! It’s just that this photo was too funny not to share!
Well, that’s the Around the Compound report for this week. I hope you have been enjoying your life as much as I have.
My wonderful cousin Nedra sent me this news clipping today and had my website been working properly, I would have posted it earlier.
As you all know, today is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the anniversary of Hubert Aaron’s death as he was aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. The Texarkana Gazette did a wonderful story on him today so I thought I would share it with all the cousins like me who don’t have access to the newspaper.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that there are two people in this world that are willing to give their life for you. Jesus and an American Solider. I believe she is right.
So thank you to Hubert for your sacrifice and to all the other soldiers that died on that day, and any other day in history that they made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, so that we can all enjoy our freedom. You are NOT forgotten.