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James Samuel Wood

James Samuel Wood was born on January 8, 1863.  His parents were Edna Jane (Payne) Wood and James Henry Wood.  His father was in the Confederate Army at the time and away fighting in Tennessee.  James (Sammie) Wood and his mother and older brother Henry Wood were living in Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama at the time of his birth.

Sammie’s father died of wounds received in the battle at Tullahoma, Tennessee.  The date of his death is February 7, 1863.  Sammie was less than a month old.  More to say about his father James Henry Wood in a future blog.

Sammie’s mother, who was a confederate widow, married another confederate veteran in 1865.  His name was Joseph Pinkney Whitehead.  Sammie would have been about two years of age when his step-father came on the scene.  Edna Jane and Joseph Whitehead then had two daughters together.  The first daughter Martha Whitehead was born in 1866 and the second daughter, Flora Whitehead was born in 1869.

Sammie stayed with this family unit until he married Vernettie Jane (Anthony) Wood on July 8, 1883.  Sammie was a farmer and itinerant preacher for the Church of Christ.  He was not in good health.  He and his wife and family decided to move to a better climate because of his ill health.  They had several children before moving to Texas.

The names and years of birth of their children are as follows:

Flora Belle Wood – August 3, 1884

Olen Payne Wood – October 22, 1886

Fletcher Pinkney Wood – August 1889

Bessie Beatrice Wood – December 28, 1891

Zelma Ozema Wood – August 1894

William Henry Wood – January 1897

James Oscar Wood – August 1899

Mayma Vernette and Mary Wood – March 6, 1902

Unfortunately the move to Texas did not help Jimmie in the health issue.  He died of the bloody flux after working the the field all day.  He died on November 11, 1904 at Golden, Texas and was buried at the Sand Springs Cemetery which is a few miles north of Mineola, Texas.

My suspicion is that Jimmie died of the complications of diabetes.  I say this because several of his siblings and grandchildren have developed adult onset diabetes.  There was very little ways to check for diabetes during his lifetime.  The physicians would sometimes drink a little of the patients urine to do a taste test for sugar.  How gross is that!!!





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Working on Ancestry Issues

In this blog we have a picture of my mother, Bessie Beatrice (Wood) Graham and her family.  Her sister Flora and her brothers Olen Payne and Fletcher Pinckney were not in the picture for reasons unknown to me.  Standing in the back is my mother, Bessie.  Her father James Samuel Wood died about a year (1904) after this picture was taken.  Her mother, Vernettie Jane (Anthony) Wood raised the family after his death with the bloody flux (whatever that was).  She is holding Mayma Wood (in the white dress)  Mayma had a twin Mary who died shortly after birth.  James Oscar Wood is on your left and he received his PhD and taught for years at San Jose University in the Shakespeare Department.  William Henry Wood is sitting in the front row.

James Samuel Wood was an itinerant preacher and they moved to Texas from Alabama because his health was not very good.  His death came about after he was out in the pasture grubbing stumps out of the pasture.  He is buried at Sand Springs Cemetery in Wood Count north of Mineola, Texas.  


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The Family Bible and Ancestry

001There are many sources of information about families.  An old family bible is one of the most valuable items that can set a person to tracing a significant link in ancestors.  Older family bibles allowed the owner to add the name of a mate, children and grandchildren to the second (or third) page of this possession.  My grandfather Samuel Armstead Graham and his wife Belle (Arabella) (Bradshaw) Graham had such a bible.

In in headline of this page we have the statement “Family Record of” with names added below in the handwriting of the owner of this bible.  The handwriting states S. A. and Belle Graham Married Nov 18, 1880.  This seems to be written after the fact just above the names:  S. A. Graham & Belle Graham.  Names and Births came next.  S. A. Graham – Feb 19, 1859; Belle Graham – Aug 1, 1859; with the children listed next.  Stella Graham – Jan 16, 1882; Norman Graham – Dec 28, 1883; Olin Graham – May 11, 1886; Mattie Graham – June 8, 1888; George Graham – Feb 16, 1891; Margaret Graham – Feb 14, 1893; Ophelia Graham – May 16, 1894; Paul Graham – April 25, 1896.

Don’t throw those old bibles away.  They have valuable information that someday would pay dearly to receive.


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James W. W. Graham enlistment document

James W. W. Graham.enlist.doc.1861Many of you know that I enjoy genealogy.  Several years ago while researching my father’s lineage, I came across the Fold3 site that accumulates military records.  They have an enormous digital library of records including some on the Civil War.  These were the records that I was interested in at the time because I knew that I had two and perhaps 3 great grandfathers who were killed or died during the duration of the tragic (and many believe necessary) happening of the battles between the North and South.

One of the records that the Fold3 site provided is shown at the right.  This is a copy of the Company Muster Roll of Company K, 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment for September and October 1861.  Pvt. Graham was noted to be from Inka Mississippi.  He had signed up for 7 months duty and his recruiter was noted to be Lieutenant H. Davenport.  At that company muster James was noted to be sick in camp.

A latter company muster roll indicates that James was absent because he had been wounded.  This report was for the months July and August 1862.  It also notes that he had been promoted to Sergeant.  There is a record from General Hospital, Howard’s Grove, Richmond, Virginia dated October 1, 1862 indicating that James was admitted to the hospital.  A later record indicates that he was furloughed on October 8, 1862 for 30 days.  A footnote says that he had an index and middle finger amputated from the right hand.  According to further records he had returned to duty on the November and December 1862 muster roll.

The first part of 1863 indicated that James was present at the company until the July – August Company Muster Roll showed him to be absent.  A further note indicated that he had been captured at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.  Other company muster rolls indicated that he was prisoner of war being held at Ft. Delaware, Delaware.  He died of Influenza of the Lung on April 16, 1865.

Burial records indicate that his body and the bodies of several dozens of other prisoners were buried at Finnis Point National Cemetery at Salem, New Jersey, Site 833.  This is on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River and there is a large tombstone over the burial site with all the names of those interred in this mass grave.  Rest in peace great grandfather James W. W. Graham.