Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Story of Adam Ragland

Finding Adam was simple.  He appeared first on the U. S. Census of 1870, living in the household with Robert W. Ragland, and five other children, Bettie, Turner, Sarah, Louvega, and Lucy. Earlier posts have discussed Robert's children born during his marriage to Sarah Jane Porter, who apparently died prior to 1860.  In 1870, however, three additional children, Louvega (9), Adam (6), and Lucy, four years old, resided in Robert's household.  All three of the younger children have been identified as "mulatto." Since relationships were not shown on the 1870 census, it is impossible to determine the true relationship of any of the five children to the head of the household, but the name "Raglin" is written only once for all who resided in the household.  To the researcher, this observation appears to indicate that everyone enumerated in the household shared a common surname.  It is important to add here, that no wife was recorded in Robert's household in either 1860 or in 1870.

But who are the parents of Louvega, Adam, and Lucy? Was Robert their father??

A review of the U. S. Census of 1880 found R. W. Ragland, then 53 years old, enumerated as the head of a household in Beat 3 of Holmes County, Mississippi.  His household included a wife, P. A. Ragland, age 33, a 7-year old child named Julia Miles, Adam, 14, shown as Robert's son, and Lucy, 13, identified as his daughter. The race of Ragland and his wife, along with Julia Miles, most likely his step-daughter, was shown as "W," while Adam and Lucy were identified with the code "Mu" for mulatto. The fact that Lucy and Adam continued to live in Robert Ragland's household, even after he remarried and moved to another county, coupled with the fact that they are identified as his children on the census, confirms what the census a decade earlier could not.  No further information is available about the full name of Robert's wife, nor details that would shed light on the relationship of Julia Miles to either Robert or his wife. I suspect, but cannot prove, that Julia's was P.A.'s daughter and that Robert's wife's name before their marriage may have been P. A. Miles.

A search of the U. S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index on provided information about P. A. Ragland's death.  According to that source, P.A. Ragland, a 33-year old Holmes County housewife, died in April of 1880.  The cause of her death was "consumption."  Seventeen years later, Robert W. Ragland died on October 13, 1897.  Buried in Harland's Creek Cemetery near Coxburg, a Holmes County community, the inscription on Robert Ragland's grave stone simply states "age 74 years." 

The next source of information about Adam Ragland is the U. S. Census of 1900 recorded for Holmes County, Mississippi, where Adam Ragland is enumerated as a resident of Beat 4.  Adam, by then 34 years old, resided in a household headed by March Travis, a 61 year old black male. Adam Ragland's relationship to Travis is shown as "son-in-law."  Also residing in the household with March Travis is his North Carolina-born wife, Sophia, age 54, two adult children, Walker, 30, Mandy, age 18, and Adam's 17 year old son, who is also named Adam. The census record shows the younger Adam Ragland's relationship to March Travis to be that of "grandson." Interestingly, the racial designation of Adam Ragland and his son, Adam, like the other individuals residing in the Travis household, was shown as "B" for Black. 

Twenty years earlier, the elder Adam Ragland, evidently the son of Robert W. Ragland, a white man, had been identified on the U. S. Census as "Mulatto."  

A review of the U. S. Census of 1910 found Adam Ragland, Sr., living with his wife of twelve years, Mandy, age 37, near Eden, in Yazoo County, Mississippi.  The census shows that Adam and Mandy were the parents of two daughters, Lucy, 10 years old, and Elizabeth, 7, both certainly named for two of Adam's sisters.  

Next:  What Happened to Adam's Son?

USGenweb, (MS), List of Burials in Harland's Creek Cemetery, compiled by Dudley Rinicker; accessed online November 16, 2010.
Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry Operations Inc., 2006; Year: 1880; Census Place: Beat 3, Holmes, Mississippi; Roll: 649; Family History Film: 1254649; Page: 149D; Enumeration District: 6; Image: 0720.ear 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Year: 1910; Census Place: Eden, Yazoo, Mississippi; Roll: T624_764; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 91; Image: 1010.

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