Saturday, June 22, 2013

Q & A from the grave

I'm back from a road trip to Mississippi. Although I didn't get a chance to get to the courthouses, the cemeteries had much to tell me. And visiting with relatives that I only knew through social media offered an insight into my paternal grandparents' life that dusty courthouses could not.

My greatest find was the tombstone of my great great grandmother. It gave a short family tree!

It reads "Winney Dear Born to Mary Cotten Dec. 10, 1824 Mother of Hiram and Richard Cain, Poley and Elizabeth Cotten Died July 10. 1903." 

I never knew my great great great grandmother's name. It gave me the date of Winney's birth and death, and it also let me know which surname Hiram used most of his life.

As is the case in genealogy, when one question is answered, another question appears. I am now trying to pinpoint Mary Cotten on the censuses. I believe Hiram Cain lived in Franklin County. I still don't know why the different surnames.  

I wish I had found my great grandfather's tombstone. It was probably there but many of the markers were undecipherable. I will return to Mississippi, probably next year, God willing. This time I will head to the courthouses and try my luck there.