Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Monday, February 9, 2009

Private Meriwether - Is he Lewis or is he Albert?

I have posted this picture before in the hopes that one of my readers would be able to help me identify the man in the picture, but the mystery is still unsolved. So I thought I would try again today. What you see here is a picture postcard that I found among the pictures in my paternal grandmother's photo album. Handwritten on the reverse of the postcard is "Pvt Meriwether." I am unable to identify the writer, although I know for certain that it is not the handwriting of my grandmother.

My best guess at Private Meriwether's identify is based on this information: My great-grandmother's name was Margaret Susanna Merriweather. She had only one sibling, a brother named Lewis, who served in World War I. I have always assumed the man pictured here was Lewis. But recently, I found that Maggie, as my great-grandmother was nicknamed, had a cousin, Albert Merriweather, who also served in World War I. Albert and his family lived near Black Hawk in Carroll County, Mississippi. And now I am wondering whether the man in the picture is Lewis or if he is Albert.

Tracing the Meriwethers has been a difficult task for me, since the spelling ha
s varied in its use in different parts of the country, especially in Mississippi. The original Meriwether immigrant to the United States was Nicholas, commonly referred to as Nicholas I. And I descend from the family in Mississippi that was headed by Robert Emmett Meriwether and Susan Thornton Meriwether, who lived for a time in Carroll County. Many of them returned to Shelbyville, Kentucky before the Civil War began. Since very few descendants of this old family remain in Mississippi today, I have no one to help with the identification of the man pictured in the military uniform.

I have examined this picture closely to search for any clue that would help identify the man. His uniform appears to be very similar to a modern-day Marine's uniform, and the medal that he wears on the left breast of his jacket is similar to the Navy Cross. The picture appears to be a posed, professional one, and it was likely taken for the sole purpose of making the postcard. The room that appears in the background is richly decorated, with a leaded glass window, wood paneling, and what appears to be an oriental rug. I wonder if the location was somewhere in Europe.

I am hoping again that someone who sees the picture can identify Private Meriwether and possibly claim him (and me) as a relative.

1 comment:

  1. The best way to solve this is to go to Meriweather Lewis (Lewis and Clark) and research the meriweather part. His cousins are the Lewis's group out of Staunton VA. Their ancestory dates back to three brothers. Several of them ended up with relations in Mississippi. But if I am not mistaken Meriweather Lewis mother or grandmother was a Meriweather. So it would stand to reason Pvt. Meriweather might have been Lewis Meriweather (which would have been a disguinished family name.) But check the travel patterns also from northwestern virginia to Sherlbyville KY. Just an idea I had.