Tag Archives: Higginbotham

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

52 Ancestors: #1 Ben Martin

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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.

First up in my challenge is Ben Martin.  My 4th great-grandfather.  Many years ago, my grandfather, Earl Higginbotham sold the house he and my grandmother were living in. The house is no longer there but it sat right where the gas station is in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Texarkana, Arkansas.  The house was moved down the road and is now a restaurant.  As they were cleaning out the barn behind the house, cousin Nedra saved a few things, one of which was a letter because her husband Jerry saved stamps at the time.  Lucky me, because when I started doing genealogy she gave me this letter.

Ben Martin Inquiry Letter

The letter, dated 1913 and signed by my great-grandmother, Dona Higginbotham, inquired to the Adjutant General about whether or not Ben Martin served during the War of 1812.

At first, I was wondering who Ben Martin was, but then on the inside of the letter, was a written out a lineage history of her sister, for my great-aunt Minnie Williams Hooks, Dona’s sister.  Here it is:

Ben Martin Descendants

The crazy thing is, Charles Augustus Hooks, Minnie’s husband is a 1st cousin 4x removed on my mother’s side of the family.

So I decided to see what I could locate on Ben Martin in War of 1812 records.  Nada on Fold3.com but I haven’t looked anywhere else.

Then I decided to look and see if I could come up with anything on Minnie.  Maybe she had found Ben’s record and was a member of the DAR or some other organization.  Since I was already in Texarkana when Nedra gave me the letter I decided to look for Minnie and Charles’ grave.  I found them at Hillcrest Cemetery, and what do I find on Minnie’s headstone?

Minnie W Hooks Headstone

A Daughter of the American Revolution symbol.  This is good news because maybe she has submitted lineage and proof!

So I headed over to the DAR database, promptly found her application, paid for it and downloaded it.

Ben Martin was her Revolutionary Soldier, and was apparently not in the War of 1812!

This is what I found out from her application.

Minnie Hooks DAR Info

So, Ben Martin, married 2nd Melissa Highnot.  I’ve tried at the time to locate some information on either of these two people and came up empty.

Then in August last year I went to DC and went to the DAR headquarters and was able to look in the file for Ben Martin so I could see all the paperwork that Minnie submitted with her application, and guess what?  There was not a single piece of proof submitted with her application.  I guess since she was a charter member of the Texarkana chapter, at a time when the application was good enough and no proof was needed so she didn’t submit any documentation.  She did write on the application that she had heard stories of his battles throughout her life.  What I wouldn’t give to hear one of those stories.

I’ll keep digging up information on them.  Maybe one day I will get to go to North Carolina and see what I can find in Hyde county, or maybe I’ll take a trip to Butler County, Alabama and find something on them.

Here’s my relationship to Ben Martin and Melissa Highnot, and I all I have for proof is the paper written up above by Dona and Minnie.  In fact up past Rev. Williams and Mildred Martin Wiliams, all my evidence is what you’d call shady!  :)

Ben Martin to Me

If you have any Martin’s or Highnot’s in your ancestry, I would love to hear from you!

I think I’m going to like this challenge!

Tombstone Tuesday – Rufus F and Dona A Higginbotham

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When we went to Texarkana a couple of weeks ago, I took Knucklehead by Woodlawn Cemetery to visit the grave of his 2nd great grandparents, Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Jr. and Eudonia A. Williams Higginbotham.  I try to take him by at least one cemetery on every trip.

Headstone of Rufus F and Dona A Higginbotham

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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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Treasure Chest Thursday – Memaw’s Victrola

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One of the things I remember the most about going to my Memaw’s (Edna Harris Higginbotham) house was how still and quiet it always was.  We would sit in the living room and you could hear the tick tock.. tick tock.. tick tock .. of her clocks.  She would have a lamp on, but no over head lights and it always seemed kind of sad to me.

Dad would turn the TV on and she would become annoyed.  She was hard of hearing and I think all the noise that we brought with us, plus the TV must have been sounded like a jumbled mess to her and I imagine it felt overwhelming to her compared to the tick tock.. tick tock.. tick tock .. of her clocks.

I never heard her play music, or see her watch TV.  So, when my Uncle Charlie Starks called and told me to come by and get my Memaw’s Victrola, I was very excited.  I didn’t remember her having one and she certainly never played it for me.  Then I saw it, and remembered the cabinet, I just never knew what was in it.

IMG_6510

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