About Me

I work for the government. I used to be a graduate student, a teacher, a legal assistant, and a retail banker. I am not entirely sure where I am, but I know where I am going. I know how to be alone without being lonely. I enjoy being outside, reading, traveling, and meeting new people. I like and I am good at solving puzzles, trivia, and getting to know people. And.. I guess that's all for now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paul Meek Library

First Families of Weakley County membership applications and documents of verification 
First Families of Weakley County (Weakley County, Tenn.)

Special Collections 1st Floor, MS 102

Weakley Co., Tennessee : enumeration of male inhabitants of twenty-one years of age and upward, cities 
[Paris, Tenn. : Henry County Tennessee Archives, 2006?] 

West Tenn Heritage Study Center TENN, F443.W5 W225 2006

Weakley County Genealogical Society surname index
Hutchens, Martha J
Martin, Tenn: The Society, 1981
West Tenn Heritage Study Center TENN, F443.W5 H87 1981

Weakley County Genealogical Society
Weakley County, Tennessee: history & families, 1823-1998
Paducah, KY: Turner, 1999
West Tenn Heritage Study Center TENN F443.W5 W43 1999
Special Collections, 1st floor

West Tennessee/West Kentucky ancestry charts / compiled & edited by Linda S. Dunlap
WTHSC F396 .W7 2008 2 volumes

Weakley remembered : (Weakley County, Tennessee) / compiled by Pansy Nanney Baker, Charlotte Stout ReynoldsF443.W5 B34X  v.1

Weakley County research

Guide to the Weakley County Court Records
Held by the UTM Special Collections department

Box 51/58
1 Alexander Rooks v William Carter and P W Lee 1874
19 W G Rudd v F M Hutchins et al 1885
20 W G Rudd v Illinois Central Railway Company 1912

Box 35/58
4 F M Hutchens v W G Rudd 1868

Box 15/58
15 William Carter and P W Lee v A Rooks 1874

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mary Ida Britt

Mary Ida Britt was my great, great grandmother on my maternal grandmother's side.

She was born on October 8, 1854 in Decatur, Georgia to Margaret Emily Dunbar and William Gregg Britt.

She married Addison Milton Wier on November 9, 1870.

They had 6 children:
Mamie Wier
William Swansea Wier
Addison Milton Wier, Jr.
Robert Lee Wier
Katie Wier
Ernest Wilkinson Wier

She died on January 6, 1933 in DeKalb, Georgia.
Source: State of Georgia. Indexes of Vita Records for Georgia: Deaths, 1919-1998. Georgia, USA: Georgia Health Department, Office of Vital Records, 1998. Certificate: 617.

She is buried __________________.

Census 1860: Mary Ida Britt, 6, Pike, Georgia. Lived with father William G Britt, 32, and mother Margaret E Britt, 25, brother Cassius M Britt, 7. Farmer: owned $4100 in real estate and had $13900 in personal value. : 1860; County: Pike, Georgia. Roll: M653_134; Page: 55; Image: 56.

Slave Census 1860: 19 slaves: 9 men-[30,23 (2), 15, 22, 11, 8, 7, 3], 10 women [26, 24, 12, 8 (2), 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 months]. Number of slave houses: 4. Source: 1860 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls. Page 21, (number on right 110), Pike County, GA, taken July 5th, 1860.

Census 1870:

Census 1880:

Census 1900: Addison Wier, October 1847; Mary Wier, October 1854; Milton Wier, son, August 1882; Katie, daughter, August 1885; Robert Wier, son, July 1889; Earnest Wier, son, September 1894.
Source: Decatur, DeKalb, Georgia. Roll: T623_192; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 13.

Census 1910: Addison M Wier, head; Mary Wier, 55, wife, Ernest, son, 14, Hugh Wier, grandson, 4.
Source: Decatur, DeKalb, Georgia. Roll: T624_184; Page 21A; Enumeration District: 20; Image 751.

Census 1920
: Addison M Wier, head, 72, writer/news writer. Mary I Wier, 65. Hugh Bean, grandson, 17. Ernest W Wier, 25, son. Ala P Wier, 24, daughter-in-law.
Source: DeKalb, GA. Roll: T625_249; Page 13A; Enumeration District: 13; Image: 151.

Britt genealogy--Wm S. Wier

"Buddy" Wier and "Sissy" Britt--He was a son of Swansea Wier, who was the youngest son of Thomas Wier and Mary Withrow. "Sissy" Britt's line is traced on Page 4 in this Sketch Book.

"Buddy Wier went agadding after Appomattox while "Sissy" Britt was growing to marrying age. By trade he was a Printer, and became a noted writer under the by-line "Sarge Plunkett."

A study of pictures tells you that Sissy was an ante-bellum "Aristocrat" and Buddy was a "Hillbillie," to whom neckties (and other conventionalities) were an abomination. This Mother of mine, Sissy Britt, told me, from her own folk-ken, the stories Uncle Remus told, before Joe Harris put them in print--she had heard them from her own Black Mammy. So, these two are presented to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren as somebodies to be cherished.-- Wm S. Wier.

Mary Ida Britt Obit

The Atlanta ConstitutionSaturday, January 7, 1933Sarge Plunkett’s Widow Dies HereMrs. Wier Was Inspiration for Many of Husband’s Famous StoriesMrs. Mary Ida Wier, widely known over the south through the stories written of her by her husband, whose pen name was “Sarge Plunkett,” died Friday afternoon at her residence at 104 Adair street, Decatur, where she had resided for 52 years. She was 78, and had been ill with influenza for three weeks.Mrs. Wier, the former Mary Ida Britt, of Pike county, Georgia, was married to the late A.M. Wier, for more than 25 years a noted humorist and writer for The Constitution in the days when “Bill Arp,” Joel Chandler Harris, Frank L. Stanton and Henry Grady wrote daily articles.Many were the stories written by Mr. Wier about his wife, though all of his articles and sketches of life during the War Between the States purported to be of “Sarge Plunkett” and his wife, “Lucy.” They were written in the first person and contained all the dry humor that which made Bill Arp famous, the human interest of a poem by Stanton, and the touch of genius which Joel Chandler Harris gave to his “Uncle Remus” stories.Born in Pike CountyBoth Mr. and Mrs. Wier were born in Pike county, and were married shortly after the Civil War, in which “Sarge Plunkett” conceived the idea for his sketches of battles and famous marches. She was devoutly religious and had been a member of the Oakhurst Presbyterian church almost since its foundation. Her many-sided character furnished the material for a multitude of short sketches by her husband.One particularly humorous piece in which she played the leading part was “Scary Lucy,” a story of the war. In it “Sarge Plunkett” tells how his wife, then living near Jonesboro, went one afternoon to carry corn to the mill near by to be ground into meal. Upon her return she found that a battle was in progress all around her home, and the house itself was directly between the northern and the southern armies. “Scary Lucy” was indeed frightened, but to let to mere armies interfere with her job of getting the meal home in time for supper was far from her mind. She simply ignored the ferocious fighting men, and walked across the line of fire to her cabin. The men of the Blue and Gray were taken by surprise, but their gallantry was not lacking. They quit firing and both armies rested while “Scary Lucy” carried her meal home and prepared the repast for her people.Provided Much MaterialThis tale and others showing her character were great material for her husband. Mr. Wier worked as foreman of the weekly division of The Constitution for many years. He was “discovered” by Henry Grady, it was said, when his ability to find “human interest” stories became known. “Sarge” was the author not only of newspaper stories, but of countless poems, each dryly humorous, and of a widely read book, “Old Times in Georgia,” which appeared first in The Constitution and later in book form.Mrs. Wier was highly interested in her noted husband’s works and encouraged and aided him in every possible way. As “Lucy” she became almost as widely known as “Sarge.” Mr. Wier, who died ten years ago, never signed a single article with his own name, preferring to remain merely the chronicler of the doings of “Sarge” and “Lucy,” good old-fashioned Georgia people, as he called them.Funeral services for Mrs. Wier will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Oakhurst Presbyterian church, in which she was a leading member. The Rev. C.H. Pritchard will officiate, and interment will be in Hollywood cemetery. A.R. Turner is in charge.Surviving are three sons, the Rev. W.S. Wier, a teacher in Joe Brown Junior High school, and A.M. and Robert L. Wier, of Birmingham, Ala.; two daughters, Miss Mamie Wier, of Decatur, and Mrs. D.P. Blake, of Concord, and a brother, W.H. Britt, of Sparta. Twenty-three grand-children and nine great-grand-children also survive.[Transcribed 20 May 2008 Lynn Cunningham]


Addison Milton Wier ("Sarge Plunkett")

Cited in Highbrows, Hillbillies & Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930 By Steve Goodson. University of Georgia Press, 2002. Pgs 142-143.

William A. Sinclair, Aftermath of Slavery: A Study of the Condition and Environment of the American Negro. Ayer Publishing, 1968. pg 262.

Lucian Lamar Knight, Reminiscences of Famous Georgians: Embracing Episodes and Incidents in the the great men of the state : vol. I ..., Franklin-Turner, 1908, pg 508.

Elizabeth Ann (Bess or Bessie) Carter Smith Carson (12/7/1897-3/16/1967).

Name: Elizabeth Ann Carter, later Smith, later Carson
Born: 12/7/1897 (or 1898) [SSDI]
Died: 3/16/1967 in Michigan [SSDI]

Bessie Smith with Aunt Patricia, 1942 (or 1943).

Marriage One: James Elias Smith, approx 1918 [JES WWI draft card]

Marriage Two: Alfred Ray Carson, approx 1940 [Port Arthur News, June 5, 1940]

1900 Census:
Location: Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas. Lived on "Pecan."
Father: W. Sherman Carter (b. July 1865)
Paternal Grandmother: Ann (b. Feb 1932 in TN, both of her parents were also from TN)
Siblings: Clara (b. Nov 1891), Matilda (b. Sept 1892), Myrtle (b. May 1895).
Notes: No mother is listed, so my guess is that Bessie's mother was dead before then.
Source: Year: 1900; Census Place: Texarkana, Miller, Arkansas; Roll: T623 68; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 122. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

1910 Census:
Location: Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas. On Broad Avenue.
Father: W. Sherman Carter (b. 1865 in TN. His father was born in VA, his mother in Kentucky), contractor/brickworks,
Step-mother: Ada M
Siblings: Clara (18?), Tillie (16),
Half-Siblings: William (5), James (3), Richard (2), Kelley (sp?)(1).
Notes: All of the children were born in Arkansas.

--Sometime between 1910-1920, she had lost her left arm and right leg due to blood poisoning.

1920 Census: Bess lived in Little Rock, Pulaski County,
Arkansas. Lived with James Elias Smith and their three children. According to the this census, her father was born in Kentucky and her mother born in Tennessee.

--Last child was born 1927. Husband James Elias Smith died between 1927-1930.

--According to my 2nd cousin Lisa, Bessie's children were sent west on an orphan train and Bessie followed them out there.

1930 Census: Bess lived in El Paso, was a house servant for an Earl Barron. Shows that she is a widow. Her children stayed in the El Paso Protestant Children's Home. Her children are/were: James Everett Smith, Sr. (my grandfather), Clara Nell, Mabel Irene, Edward Charles, Annie Laurie, Wilma, and William Carter.

-1933-1940: Bess took children out of children's home and moved them to Port Arthur. This is disputed by my cousins who say the children never returned to their mother's care. Grandfather James Everett Smith joined CCC then the army.

1940-lived in Port Arthur, married Alfred Ray Carson, staff Sargent in US Army, born approximately 1912.

-lived in Port Arthur, TX for many years, then after death of A.R. Carson, moved to Michigan with son, Edward Charles.

-died 1967 in Michigan.

Notes: She was dark complexioned and my dad says that she was part Native American, but he doesn't know how much so or from what side of the family. Below are two links to pictures of my great-grandmother in 1942 with my aunt Patricia. My 2nd cousins say that Bessie worked/lived on an Indian reservation in New Mexico.

Questions: How did a double amputee marry a staff Sargent from a well known Port Arthur family who was 14 years younger than her? How did she meet him when she was living in Little Rock, then El Paso, neither of which are close to Port Arthur (east coast of Texas near Galveston)? Who was Bess' mother? Where was William Sherman Carter in 1870?

Posted to: Carter, Miller AR, Arkansas Genealogical Society, Arkansas Family History Association