Tag Archives: Harris

52 Ancestors – #3 James Edmund Harris

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my 2nd great-grandfather, James Edmund Harris.  Week three and my third post in the challenge.

James Ed Harris

Grandpa Ed, as he was so affectionately called was the son of William James Harris and Mahala Valentine Harris.  He was born in August of 1864 but I have not found what day of the month he was born on.

In the 1870 census, I find him living in Ward 10, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana with his father, mother, and brother George Washington Harris.

1870 Census Harris Family

In the 1880 census, I find him living in Albany, Nevada Co., Arkansas with his father, mother, and brothers, George Washington, Jarrett R., and Levi Harris.

1880 Census Harris

On April 2, 1885 Grandpa Ed married Martha Alice Herring, the daughter of James F. Herring and Mary George Hooker Herring.

Ed and Alice Harris Marriage Record

I’m guessing here, but since they got married in 1885 in Miller County, and Martha Harris Horn and Butch Harris had these two letters from Dr. Ignatius Few, from 1891 and 1892, that he was no longer living in Nevada County but had moved to Miller County, Arkansas sometime between the 1880 census and the time of these letters. I looked up Dr. Few and he was a Dr. in Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas.

James Ed Harris Dr note May 1891

James Ed Harris Dr note April 1892

Per the bible record of Martha’s mother, Mary Hooker Herring, Ed and Alice had the following children:

Martha and Butch also had this poll tax receipt from 1900 for the 1899 poll tax year. They also have land deeds, promissory notes, and other records but it would take me days to get all those put in this post.

James Ed Harris Poll Tax Receipt 1899

On the 1900 census I find Ed and Alice with their children, a servant and Alice’s mother Mary Herring, living in Boggy Town, Miller County, Arkansas and Ed is listed as a farmer.

1900 Census Harris

In 1905, my great-grandfather Major married Mollie Agnes Davis. In this photo, ca. 1909 or 1910 of the Davis family, you can see Major and Mollie Harris on the front row, far right with Mollie holding my grandmother, Edna Harris Higginbotham who was born in 1908. Standing above them on the porch you can see Alice Harris standing to the right of the pole close to the steps and Grandpa Ed Harris standing next to her.

Davis Family ca 1910

On the 1910 Census, I find Ed and Alice living in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas with two boarders.

1910 Census Harris

I could not find them on the 1920 census. Martha and Butch have both told me how their father Walter Harris, the son of Uncle Doc was raised by Grandpa Ed, and Momma Alice as Walter referred to them. Uncle Doc and Pearl, Walter’s parents divorced and times being hard like they were, Pearl took Earl (Walter’s brother) with her, and Grandpa Ed and Momma Alice took Walter to raise until Grandpa Ed died in 1933. Somehow I missed what Uncle Doc was doing, but I know he was always around and I’m sure he stepped in when Grandpa Ed died. You know the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Here are a few pictures that Martha and Butch shared with me.

This photo is of Grandpa Ed and Momma Alice, with Walter Harris. Martha and Butch’s father.

James Ed Martha and Walter Harris

This group photo has Grandpa Ed as the second man from the left, with Walter standing in front of him, Mollie Harris my great-grandmother standing behind him, Momma Alice next to Mollie, my great-grandfather Major Harris behind Momma Alice and I have been told that is Clarence Davis and family to the right of Major Harris but I am not sure.  If you see this Tony, let me know and I will correct this part of the post. I don’t know who the gentlemen is on the far left either.

James Ed & Martha Harris Walter Harris Clarence Davis

This group photo is again of the Harris Family.  Momma Alice is on the far left, with Grandpa Ed next to her.  Aunt Birdie Harris Williams is standing next to Grandpa Ed, and her husband T.E. Williams is standing next to her.  Walter Harris is in front of T.E. Williams. The woman behind the girl standing next to Walter is Rhodean, Uncle Doc’s second wife and to the far right, you can see Uncle Doc.  The children are Birdie’s I’m guessing, but I don’t know who the man is behind Aunt Birdie and T.E. Williams.

Martha James Ed Birdie Doc Rhodean and children

I called Martha last night and asked her if she had a story about Grandpa Ed and she shared with me that Grandpa Ed was always known to be very kind-hearted. The story had been told to her by her father Walter that when they would go downtown during the depression, Grandpa Ed would throw change out on the ground to the children on Broad St. and Momma Alice would fuss at him because she was “tight”.

I love stories like that, and I love that I have gotten to know Grandpa Ed through Martha and Butch, so a big thank you to them for sharing these photos, documents, and bibles with me.

On the 1930 census, I find them still living in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas and indeed Walter, grandson, is listed as living with them as well.

1930 Census Harris

Martha and Butch also had a copy of his obituary, but there was no date of death written on it or in the obituary.

James Ed Harris Obit

Their headstone shed no light on specific dates either. Here is Grandpa Ed and Momma Alice’s headstone in the family plot in Harmony Grove Cemetery.

James Ed and Martha Harris Headstone

I went to the vital records office in Little Rock, Arkansas and requested a copy of his death certificate in hopes that I could find out his parent’s names but they couldn’t find his death record. I did however find his date of death eventually from the Bowden Funeral Home records.  According to the records, Grandpa Ed died on 30 Jan 1933, and Uncle Doc paid the funeral home.

Bowden Funeral Home Records

If you have more information on the Harris family, I would love to hear from you. Also, if you have a story to add about Grandpa Ed, I will be happy to do that.

Here is how I descend from Grandpa Ed.

Descendant Chart James Ed Harris to Susie

Travel Tuesday – Trip Down Home

Where is Down Home you say?  Well, down (south) in Texarkana, and while I have never actually lived in Texarkana, I consider it down home because your home is where your heart is, or family is right? Considering this is where all the family is for both my maternal and paternal side, I just call it down home.

As soon as Knucklehead got off the bus on Friday afternoon, a week or so ago, we headed down home.

Knucklehead's Bus

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And the Winners Are…

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Congratulations to 1st place winner of the Fold3.com one year membership:  Michelle Harris who said, “I’d probably like to be my 6th great grandfather, who was a cherokee chief and diplomat and negotiated with the British government in the 1700s.”

Congratulations to 2nd place winner of the Newspapers.com one year membership:  Kookie Hemperley who said, “After giving this much thought, I would like to spend the day with my grandmother, Emma Pearl Bain Martin and her son, my uncle, Ray Houston Martin. I would like to know how Granny Pearl survived the Depression with an out of work ill husband that died leaving her with children to raise and no income. Uncle Ray was killed in WW II in Tunisia at the age of 27. I have to tried to obtain his service records but have been unable to do so due to the fact that the repository that housed them burned. Since they both died before I was 2 years old, I have no memories of either of them , I would like to know them in person not through documents.”

Congratulations to 3rd place winner of the $30 gift certificate to Blurb.com:  Ken Wilder, who said, “If I could, I would pick to be my great, great grandfather, James Banks of Georgia. He was a civil war veteran who had to file for his pension as being indigent. He was reported to have to depend on his daughters to support. I can’t even begin to imagine how he might have felt about having to do that.
If I could travel back and be James, my hope would be that there would be a way to have made it easier on him and his family.

I will be contacting you soon with your prize information!

FYI – I use a plugin that chooses the winners for me, it’s totally random and I have no say in it.

Blogiversary Winners

Tombstone Tuesday – Where is Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley’s Tombstone?

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I need your help in locating Mary George Herring Bickley’s tombstone.  First, I would like to give you a little information on her.

Please meet Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley, my 3rd great-grandmother.

Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley

She is the daughter of Alfred Hooker (1806-1893) and Martha Clark Hooker (1811-1875).

She first married James F. Herring (1839-1875) on 19 Jun 1865 in Lafayette Co., Arkansas.  She had five children with James F. Herring: Alfred Smith Herring (1866-1943), my 2nd great-grandmother Martha Alice Herring (1867-1945), Owen Corinth Herring (1870-1878), Joseph W. Herring (1872-1943), and Mary Alga Herring (1874-1882).

She next married Jacob J. Bickley (1826-1884).  They did not have any children together.  Jacob had previously been married to her sister, Sarah Catherine R. Hooker (1831-1881).  Jacob and Sarah had five children:  Mittie B. Bickley Little (1853-1912), Samuel C. Bickley (1856-1865), Jacob Guy Bickley (1858-1935), Joseph R Bickley (1861-1866) and Matthew A. Bickley (1875-1886).

Now, please forgive if I got the spelling wrong Bickley/Bickly.  At some point, some of them dropped the “e” and some did not. I can’t keep it straight as I have seen all the names spelled both ways.

I have been unable to locate the final resting place for Mary George.  I have my suspicions that she is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery, in Texarkana, Arkansas.  Possibly in this plot.  I could be wrong.

Harmony Grove Plot

Harmony Grove Plot

I also suspect this is where Jacob J. Bickley is buried, but I have yet to find a headstone.  The broken headstone could be either one of them, or someone else completely.  It’s also been broken for a very long time.  I found this picture of Bobbie and Trudie (East) Harris at Grandpa (Major) Harris’ funeral.  He died on March 10, 1955 and as you can see in the top right of the photo, it was broken then.

Bobbie and Trudie at Majors Funeral

It’s directly in front of the tall headstone for Remica Bickly, Jacob Guy Bickly’s wife, and right behind it is the headstone for Matthew A Bickley, the son of Sarah and Jacob J. Bickley.

I have tracked Mary George to the 1910 census, widowed and 75 years old, living with her son Alfred S. Herring in Cove, Arkansas.  She is listed as a Herring even though I believe her name was Bickley unless she changed it back after Jacob died in 1884. I lost her after this, and she was a no-show on the 1920 census.

1910 Census Mary George Herring

If anyone has knowledge of whose broken tombstone that is in the Harmony Grove Cemetery, or where Mary George is buried, I would really like to hear from you.  I also have quite a bit of information on the Bickley/Bickly family that Florence Bickly Crank was kind enough to share with me.

Susie

Happy Mother’s Day!

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I took this picture of my Momma last year, but I love it.

Mary Helen Parks Higginbotham

She is a wonderful, wonderful woman and words can’t even begin to express how much I love her.  I see her daily struggle with Alzheimer’s and it saddens me to no end.  If I could have one wish granted it would be to take this horrible disease away from my mother.  She has never expressed one worry about her herself throughout this whole ordeal.  She worries about being a burden and what she is doing to us.  I tell her and I mean it, she will never be a burden.  EVER.  We love her and we will see this through with her, together as a family.

These two boys, are the apple of my eye.  I love them to the moon and back and I am so thankful God chose me to be their mother.

Justin Cole and Michael Cunningham

Yesterday I called my Dad and asked him to think about a special memory of his mother and to ask my mother to do the same.  When I called back later in the day, they had some stories for me to share with you.

Dad told me that when he was about 5 or 6 years old, his momma played on the women’s Independence Basketball Team as a guard and they always played at the North Heights Gym in Texarkana. He loved to go and watch her play. This is one of his favorite memories of her. This is a picture of my Dad with his Mother, Edna Harris Higginbotham at an anniversary party for my Mom and Dad. It was their 25th anniversary. This year will be their 49th anniversary.

Rufus Higginbotham and Edna Harris Higginbotham

Here is a picture of Dad and Memaw from the way back files.

Edna Harris Higginbotham and Rufus Higginbotham

Mom told me that one day when she was a little girl she and her mother were walking down the street in downtown Texarkana and as they got closer and closer they could hear the radio playing over the loud-speaker at Hawkins Feed Store, and they heard the announcement that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. My grandmother grabbed my mother’s hand and they ran all the way home. Not long after that, my grandfather volunteered for the Army and ended up in Japan fighting. They lived with my great-grandfather Parks at the time in what my mother calls “The Big House”, on Walnut Street in downtown Texarkana. Granddad Parks took in women to live in the house whose men were away at ar, and my mother remembers all the good times she had with all the women in the house. After the war was over she and my grandmother went to Fort Chaffee to pick up my grandfather, and he was so skinny and worn down they walked right by him and didn’t even recognize him until he called out to them.

Here is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks

This is the house they lived in during the war, and until my Granddad Parks died in 1966.  My mother always lived here until she went to college.  She had a room in the big house with her grandparents, and my grandparents lived in the little apartment house to the side of the big house.  This house is at 406 Walnut.  A group of lawyers have it now and they have restored it beautifully.  They gave my mom and I tour of it one time.

The Big House, 406 Walnut, Texarkana Arkansas

This is a picture of my mom and grandmother, probably at about the time of the war.

Mary and Mary Helen Parks

One of my favorite memories of my mother and I (I have many though) is the time she, Addie and I went to Bethany, Missouri and found out all about her maternal grandmother’s family that she had never met.  Her grandmother died giving birth to her father so she had never known her.  Her name was Helen Roleke Parks and her father was the mayor of Bethany for 32 years!  Addie took this picture of Mom and I standing by a street sign for a road they named for him.

My Mom and I in Bethany Missouri by a street named after my 2nd great grandfather

Well, that’s our walk down Mother Memory Lane, I hope you will take the time out today to think of your favorite memories and preserve them for future generations.  Had I not asked my father and mother for their memories to do this post, I would never have known my grandmother Higginbotham played basketball!

Susie

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