Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Ousley Family in Mississippi

Among many individuals who migrated to early Mississippi from Georgia and Alabama, were members of the Ousley family. According to the U. S. Census taken in Mississippi in 1850, the family's patriarch, Thomas, had been born in Georgia about 1778, and lived alone in a household enumerated in Township 12, Attala County, Mississippi. It should be noted here that other spellings of the Ousley surname over the years have included Hously and Owsley. A full account of the Owsley/Ousley family in America can be found in Ronny Bodine's "Thomas Owsley, A Virginia Gentleman."

According to most accounts, however, Thomas Ousley, who lived in the Kinchen District of Hancock County, Georgia, Cherokee Territory, Alabama, Attala, Hinds, and Leake Counties in Mississippi, is believed to be the son of Weldon Owsley/Ousley, born in Stafford County, Virginia. Although the father-son relationship between Thomas Ousley and Weldon Owsley/Ousley has not been established by the writer, this relationship does seem likely since Thomas named his first son "Weldon."

According to Terry D. and Cathleen Smith of Las Vegas, Nevada, who have completed extensive research on early members of the Ousley family, Thomas Ousley in 1838 was no longer living in Georgia. Records show he had enlisted in Captain Armbrester's Company, Norwood's Battalion, Alabama Militia, for a term of three months. Thomas was mustered out at Gunter's Landing, Alabama, on July 17, 1838 and in 1840 he was already living in Mississippi. Beginning in 1851 and continuing until his death in early 1857, Thomas Ousley lived in Leake County, Mississippi.

Leake County, Mississippi probate court records show that Nixon Ousley presented Thomas Ousley's will in August 1857 for probate. County records also show that Weldon Ousley and other heirs filed protests against the probate, and after due consideration, the will was declared null and void by the court. Subsequent to the ruling, Ousley's son, Nixon, was appointed administrator of his father's estate and proceeded to sell his property at a public auction at the residence of the deceased on January 11, 1858. As a result of numerous petitions filed by Thomas Ousley's heirs after the court's ruling, his estate was not settled until June 16, 1862.

The U. S. Census of 1850 shows that Ousley family members lived in five (5) other households in the Mississippi counties of Attala, Winston, and Carroll. An description of each household appears below.

W. Ousley, believed to be Thomas Ousley's oldest son, Weldon, was born about 1802 in Alabama. The census record showed that Weldon lived in Township 13 of Attala County, with his wife, Nancy, age 46, also born in Alabama, with their daughter, Lugenia, age 18, and two sons, Elias, age 16, and Rufus, age 12. Each of the three children were shown on the census record with a birthplace of "Mississippi."

Nixon Ousley, born about 1814, was living in Township 12 of Attala County, Mississippi, and headed a household that included his wife, Mary Ann (Mabry) Ousley, born about 1823. Alabama was shown as the birthplace of both adults. According to the census record, Nixon and Mary Ann Ousley were the parents of four young children, Elizabeth J. Ousley, age 8, Rufus N. Ousley, age 6, Thomas J. Ousley, age 4, and Percilla Ousley, 2 years old. All four children were born in Mississippi.

Thomas Ousley, b. about 1825, and his wife, Jane Ousley, born about 1831, lived in Winston County, Mississippi. No children or other family members were shown to be residents of this household, nor were places of birth shown for either member of the couple.

Jackson Ousley, born about 1823, and his wife, Margaret, born about 1830, lived in Township 12, Attala County, Mississippi. Also listed in the household was the couple's one-year old daughter, Sara A. Ousley. Although Sara had been born in Mississippi, the census record showed Alabama as the birthplace of her parents.

David Ousley, born about 1828 in Georgia, was enumerated on the U. S. Census of 1850 in the Northern Division of Carroll County, Mississippi. At the time the census was recorded, David was living in the house of G. F. Neal Hammons, his wife Caroline, and their three small children, Robert, Henry, and Amanda Hammons.

Sources: U. S. Census of 1850, Place: Township 13 R 4 E, Attala, Mississippi; Roll M432_368; Page: 99B; Image: 253; Thomas Owsley, A Virginia Gentleman, by Ronny Bodine; Limbs and Branches of the Smith Family Tree, by Terry D. and Cathleen Smith

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mississippi Memories Receives "Happy 101" Award

When I logged into Mississippi Memories this afternoon, I found a comment from another Geneablogger, Debbie Blanton McCoy, who writes Blanton Roots. Debbie graciously informed me that she had awarded this blog with the "Happy 101" award." Thank you, Debbie, for bestowing this award on Mississippi Memories!

The award does come with two requirements, the first of which is to list ten things that make me happy. My list looks like this:

1. Children and the special things they say and do
2. Hugs
3. Sunrises and sunsets
4. Spring flowers
5. Fall
6. Snow (at least when I am inside looking out)
7. A good book and a warm fire (that's two, isn't it?)
8. Pets
9. Chocolate
10. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

The second requirement is that I pass the award along to ten worthy bloggers. This is another easy task, because there are so many well-deserving blogs that are maintained by some very talented and resourceful writers.

Here is my list of recipients for the "Happy 101" award:

Judith Richards Schubert, who writes Tennessee Memories, was one of the first geneabloggers I met online. Judy, the name she prefers, is a resourceful researcher, a prolific writer, and an excellent photographer. Judy also writes Cemeteries With Texas Ties and Genealogy Traces.

Amy Coffin, author of We Tree, chronicles her day-to-day research for ancestors in a creative and often clever manner, and also writes many posts that provide helpful hints for successful family research.

Vickie Everhart, self-proclaimed "blog keeper" of BeNotForgot has developed one of the most creative blogs in the blogosphere. Not only is Vickie's blog a beautiful one, her posts contain carefully researched and comprehensive fact-based information.

Mona Robinson Mills, writer of Itawamba Connections, uses an extensive family photo collection to offer readers a look into days gone by in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

You Go Genealogy Girls, written by Ruby Coleman and Cheri Hopkins, chronicles the blog partners' often humorous accounts of their quests for family history data on the genealogy trail. Cleverly written and aesthetically pleasing, Ruby and Cheri offer readers an entertaining and informative look into family history research.

Becky Wiseman at Kinexxions - what can I say? Becky's posts and lovely photographs allow the readers of this blog to experience her recent personal genealogical journey throughout this beautiful country.

Little Bytes of Life, authored by Elizabeth O'Neal, contains informative and well-documented posts in an eye-pleasing format. This interesting blog is a mix of current family happenings and stories of Elizabeth's ancestors' past lives.

Lisa, who writes The Light That Shines Again, is a talented researcher and writer who maintains an authoritative and well-written look into Irish family history.

What Women Write, written by six contributors, Joan Moara, Julie Kibler, Susan Poulas, Pamela Hammond, Kim Bullock, and Elizabeth Lynd, who chronicle their literary pursuits while maintaining the lives of contemporary women in a changing world.

Ooh Wee Designs developed and maintained by Tracy Harpe Branch, is a creative presentation of a young Mississippi artist's unique collection of contemporary designs. And I am proud to say that we are related!

Now each recipient of the award is tasked with the same two responsibilities: Write about the ten things that make you happy, and pass the award on to ten other bloggers.

I hope my readers will visit the blogs of each of the "Happy 101" blog recipients. And if you like what you see, please let them know - we bloggers thrive on comments!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Something to Think About

Often, I receive emails from friends who ask me to forward the contents of a message on to family and friends. More likely than not, I don't forward the email. But once in a while, something arrives in my inbox that I feel strongly about and feel the need to share with those I know will appreciate it. The remainder of the post here today contains one of those emails I chose to forward to others.

It is surely something to think about........

A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain, the mouse wondered.

He was devastated to discover the package contained a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and exclaimed, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! "The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse then turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow replied, "Mr. Mouse, this sounds very important to you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap.

That night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness she saw a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

Now everyone knows you treat a fever, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued.

Soon, friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.

Many people came for her funeral, and the farmer needed to feed them.

So he slaughtered the cow to provide enough meat for everyone.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with much sadness.

So the next time you hear someone is facing a problem, and you think it doesn't concern you, remember this:

When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this Journey called Life, and we must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage those we know.

Our lives really do intersect for a reason.

-Author Unknown

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Year 2009, According to Google Analytics

Although this blog is not yet a year old, its first year was a very good one. According to Google Analytics, Mississippi Memories had 6,484 visits from 55 countries/territories, with 4,119 unique visitors. These vistors arrived primarily through the use of various search engines, such as Google, and accounted for 46.08% of all traffic to the blog. Referrals from other sites accounted for 41.54% of total traffic, while 11.75% of all visits resulted from direct traffic to the blog. Other types of traffic amounted to a minimal 0.63%.

Surprisingly, four posts generated the most traffic. Subjects of these posts were Robert Johnson's grave, the Bridgewater Inn, a bed and breakfast in Greenwood, Mississippi, the new B. B. King Museum located in Indianola, Mississippi, and a review of a recently published book, One Night of Madness, written by native Mississippian, Stokes McMillan.

The past year was a terrific year for communications from readers, and during 2009, I received many emails from throughout the country. Some of these emails were from new cousins who are now proud additions to my family tree, while others originated from readers who are not related. Although they are not related to the writer of this blog, several of these readers were kind enough to share family history information that was included in posts here on Mississippi Memories. Posts entitled The Restoration of a Cemetery: Conner Cemetery and The Hemingway Family Migrates to Madison County, Mississippi resulted from reader contacts and information and facts provided by these dedicated family researchers.

The simple fact is that Mississippi Memories owes its success to you, its readers. And I thank you, one and all!