Tag Archives: Herring

Tombstone Tuesday – Leaving Rocks on Headstones

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When I went to Texarkana a couple of weeks ago, I went by some of my ancestor’s graves and replaced some flowers, and left some rocks.

Rev. Williams' Headstone

Rev. Williams’ Headstone

Yes, I said rocks.

I’m sure you are wondering why I would leave a rock.  Traditionally,  I believe it’s a Jewish custom to leave a rock when you visit a grave.  It means you remember the person you are leaving it for.  The way I understand it to work, anytime you think of a person who has passed away, you stop right there, and pick up a rock.  Then, the next time you visit their grave, you leave the rock.

Now, I’m not Jewish but I think it’s a great way for anyone, no matter the religion or ethnicity to leave a reminder that someone was there, and the person the rock was left for, isn’t forgotten.

In the picture above, you can see that the rock was painted and written on (I love you Pinterest), it says, “At Rest with God” and I thought this one was appropriate for Rev. Williams’ grave, my 2nd great-grandfather.  I also put the cross out there with the flowers on it.

I put flowers on the headstone of my great-grandparents, Rufus and Dona (Williams) Higginbotham.  I didn’t leave them a rock though because sadly I had forgotten the bag of rocks when I was putting the flowers on.

Rufus and Dona Higginbotham Headstone

Rufus and Dona Higginbotham Headstone

Next, over at East Memorial Gardens, I replaced the flowers on my grandfather and grandmother’s headstone.  I had already put this rock there sometime last year, and I was actually very pleased that it was still there, and the paint is holding up well and it still looks really good.  This rock says, “Until we meet again.”

Earl and Edna Higginbotham Headstone

Earl and Edna Higginbotham Headstone

Then at Harmony Grove, I put a rock on my great-grandparents headstone, Major and Mollie Harris. Everyone called them “Big Mama & Grandpa”, so that is what their rock says.

Major and Mollie Harris Headstone

Major and Mollie Harris Headstone

I also left one for Uncle Doc, Joseph William Harris.  His says, “Rest in Peace”.

Uncle Doc's Headstone

Uncle Doc’s Headstone

I couldn’t leave out my 2nd great-grandparents, James Ed and Martha Alice (Herring) Harris.  Their’s is just a painted rock with a bird on it.

Ed and Alice Harris Headstone

Ed and Alice Harris Headstone

How’s that for added flare to a headstone?

I think I’ll do more of these rocks and take them next time I go!

Thank you to Alix, for painting this set of rocks for me.

52 Ancestors – #12 Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley

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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.

This is week 12, and my 12th post in the challenge.  Please meet my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley.

Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley

Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley

Mary, is the daughter of Alfred Hooker and Martha (Clark) Hooker.  According to the family bible, which you can find a copy of all the pages posted here:  Bible of Mary George Hooker Herring, Mary was born 11 Jan 1835, and according to census records, she was born in Alabama.  Her father was listed in the 1840 census, as living in Franklin Co., Alabama.

Bible Record of the Birth of Mary George Herring

Bible Record of the Birth of Mary George Herring

Unfortunately, her death was not listed in this bible, and I have been unable to find when she died or where she is buried.  I have talked about this before on Tombstone Tuesday – Where is Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley’s Tombstone?

So, instead of retyping all the information I listed in the above blog post, such as her husband’s and children, and where she was when, I’ll just share some more photos of Mary that our family is very fortunate to have.  Thank you to Martha (Harris) Horn and her brother Butch Harris for kindly sharing the bible and photos with me.

Now, none of these photos were labeled, but from the ones that were labeled, I can tell these photos are of her.  If you disagree, let me know.

Mary George (Hooker) Herring

Mary George (Hooker) Herring

Here is a favorite of mine.  I don’t know who the lady on the left is, but Mary is on the right. Don’t they look beautiful? I wonder if the lady on the left is her sister?  The sister (Sarah C R (Hooker) Bickley) that was first married to Mary’s second husband?  Sounds juicy right? I think it was pretty typical for the day.  Her sister died, and years later after Mary’s husband J.F. Herring passed, she remarried to J.J. Bickley.

Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley on right

Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley on right

I’m also very fond of this close up of Mary.

Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley

Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley

Now, this one I’m not even sure what to think about this. Even Martha was a little creeped out by it when she was showing it to me while I was scanning other pictures that she was letting me copy. Do you think this is a postmortem picture of her? I simply can’t tell, but it has a little creepy edge to it for sure.  I think it’s Mary’s eyes that do it for me!  Her daughter Martha (Herring) Harris is sitting on the step of the porch.

Martha A (Herring) Harris and Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley

Left: Martha A (Herring) Harris and Right: Mary George (Hooker) Herring Bickley

I wish we knew more about Mary, but we just don’t.  We haven’t found her final resting place or her death certificate and I haven’t been in touch with any Herring’s or Hooker’s from this area that might know something on her or the family.  It would be wonderful if I could make that connection.

This is how I descend from Mary:

Mary to Me

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

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.


Find Me Friday – Unidentified Photos

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This photo is from an album that Butch Harris and Martha Harris Horn let me make copies of.

The album belonged to Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley, and could be anyone from the Harris, Hooker, Bickley, or Herring families.

The two men on the top look very similar, but they are not the same person because they are both in the photo on the bottom right with two women. Could they be twins, or brothers very close in age?

As usual, if you recognize anyone in these photos please contact me.


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