Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The People of Shrock


To the right is a photograph of the front cover of a book edited by Duncan C. Covington. Duncan grew up in Attala County, Mississippi, in the Shrock Community, near where my Branch, Porter, and Baldridge ancestors lived. We are "almost related."This post is about Duncan's book, a wealth of family information and a true treasure trove of family photographs.

Several months ago, my parents were among those celebrating the birthday of Duncan Covington's mother on the 100th anniversary of her birth. The celebration was held at the Shrock United Methodist Church in the Shrock Community near Kosciusko, Mississippi.
See my post at http://attalacountymemories.blogspot.com/2008/08/shrock-methodist-church-circa-1862.html.

While my parents were talking to Duncan, my mother mentioned to him that I was writing this blog about Attala County, Mississippi, and she gave Duncan my phone number. Although Duncan has been a Texas resident for sometime now, he grew up in the Shrock Community, just like several generations of his family before him. See my post about the Covington family at http://attalacountymemories.blogspot.com/2008/08/covington-porter-connection.html

Duncan later called me, and we talked about a number of things, including how the Covington and the Porter families intermarried many years ago and my Attala County Memories blog. I already knew that several years ago Duncan had written a book about the Shrock Community, in Attala County, near Kosciusko, Mississippi. During the discussion, I asked Duncan if he still had available copies. He replied that he did not, stating that he had sold all copies of the book and was having some extra copies printed that would not be available for a couple of months. The next week I wrote a short post here, with details provided by Duncan, about the connection between his family, the Covingtons, and my paternal grandmother's family, the Porters. Descendants of both families have lived near each other in the Attala County, Mississippi area since the early 1800's.

On Monday of this week, I received a copy of the book from Duncan. It is entitled "The People of Shrock, Mississippi 1895 - 1922" as seen by the writers of the local newspapers. The book is edited by Duncan and was published privately in College Station, Texas. I have been reading the book since I took it from the mailbox, and am overjoyed with the information that it provides about Attala County families. The book contains transcriptions of articles about people who lived in or near the Shrock community between 1895 and 1922, as well as other bits of information of local interest at the time. Along with the newsy articles about people, places, and things, including birthdays, engagements, marriages, and deaths, the book contains many wonderful photographs, too. Some of the photographs are copies of the originals, while others have been copied from old glass negatives, and all are owned by the Covington family and are from the Covington Family Collection.

My summary of Duncan's book is that it is indeed a work that can assist many reseachers in finding information about their ancestors who lived in Attala County, Mississippi between 1895 and 1922. He has already donated a copy to the Mid-Mississippi Library located in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and it has been available for sometime now in the genealogy research area's reading room there. I reviewed the book's index first, which is my usual way of first reading a reference material. Although I did not count every name, I estimate that several hundred names appear in the index.

One of my personal findings in Duncan's book was part of the answer to how my great-grandfather, Edward Arthur Branch, died. I never knew the cause of Edward Arthur Branch's death. My paternal grandfather, his only son, had just turned sixteen years old in August before his father died in September 1915. According to the news article, "Ed" Branch, as my great-grandfather was known, went into the hospital in Jackson, Mississippi for surgery, and died several days later. The question now is what surgery had been performed and for what reason.

But as we all know, genealogy research never stops; one stone is overturned, and another is still buried underneath.

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