Saturday, April 25, 2015

Magnolia Cemetery - "Graveyard Working"

On Saturday, 18-Apr-2015, Magnolia Cemetery in Ragley, Louisiana held a “Graveyard Working”, or Cemetery Cleanup Day.  This day is when family members and friends meet at the cemetery to clean and perform maintenance to their family’s graves.  It rained the night before, so the turnout was light. Nevertheless, a few brave souls showed up to help clean and preserve this graveyard.

Magnolia Cemetery is in the Ragley community, which is located in the SE part Beauregard Parish.  Magnolia is an old cemetery with graves dating back to the 1880’s or earlier.  The cemetery is divided into two sections by a chain link fence.  The section on the east side is where the oldest graves are located.  Two sides of the cemetery are bordered by tall pine trees and another side by Magnolia Church Road and the Masonic Lodge.

There are many Burnett’s and associated families buried in this cemetery.  Two of Alfred and Julia Burnett’s children are buried there; Sidnah and James Jefferson.

George Gilley and Pheriba Davis Gilley are buried at Magnolia Cemetery too.  Three of George and Pheriba’s children married children of Alfred and Julia Burnett and a fourth child married a grandchild of Alfred and Julia.

 Augustus Hodges and Alizenith Insall Hodges are also interned at Magnolia Cemetery.   Many of the Burnett’s in the Ragley area are related to this Hodges line.

During the cemetery cleanup day, we were able to clean the graves and headstones of James Jefferson Burnett, wife Leona, and Sidnah Burnett Gilley.  Below is a map of where James Jefferson and Sidnah’s graves are located and some before and after photos of the cleanup.

Aerial view showing grave location of James Jefferson Burnett and Sidnah Burnett Gilley.
James Jefferson and Leona Burnett graves before and after clean up. Photos by Michael Burnett.
Sidnah Burnett Gilley headstone before and after clean up.  Photos by Michael Burnett 18-Apr-15.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

William C. Seaman, Part II

William Christopher Seaman spent much of his adult life serving in local and state government.  During this time he lived in Hancock, Jackson and Harrison County, Mississippi.  These three counties are located in the most southern part of Mississippi and are adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.  There is evidence that William was a lawyer, which is consistent with the government positions he held.

Below are some of the documented positions he held.

1822, 1824 -Justice of the Peace, Jackson County

1827 - Representative, Jackson County to the Mississippi Legislature

1832 - Delegate, Jackson County to the Constitutional Convention of Mississippi

1841 - President Board of Police, Jackson County

1842 - Clerk of Court, Harrison County

Below are some good sources for further researching William Christopher Seaman’s public life.

Jackson County Courthouse archives, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Harrison County Courthouse archives, Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi.

Cain, Cyril Edward. Four Centuries on the Pascagoula. Spartanburg, SC: Reprint, 1983. Print.

Cassibry, Nap L. Early Settlers and Land Grants at Biloxi. 5th ed. Vol. I, II. Biloxi, Miss.: Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, 1986. Print.

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi: Embracing an Authentic and Comprehensive Account of the Chief Events in the History of the State, and a Record of the Lives of Many of the Most Worthy and Illustrious Families and Individuals. Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 1962. Print.