I have long awaited a trip out west, to finally locate the graves of ancestors.
We first started in Arkansas after leaving Alabama. I was in search of the location for William H Pickens, 3rd great grandfather. Who, ironically, moved from Alabama headed west with family. The circle of life.
We managed to find the cemetery, just an hour or so before sundown. There was a beautiful church across the street. Calvary church. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Bradley Arkanas. We looked through the cemetery, so many markers were illegible. I only hoped I could find his, but, did not. Just as we were getting in the car to leave, I snapped this beautiful picture of the cemetery where he was laid to rest in 1860.
He died taking his family to a better life out west. Leaving his wife to carry onward alone, with seven children. Some I was able to locate on this trip and have recorded photos. Julia must have been an icredibly determined and strong woman to finish this journey. At the age of 37, she had these children in tow. Mary, james , Harvey, Leonidas, Jane , Josephine and William.
After leaving the cemetery , we headed west to visit some beautiful courthouses, and yes, more cemeteries!!
If you ever are in north Texas, yes, I know it is a big state. Please be sure to visit the courthouse of Hopkins County, in Sulphur Springs. I love courthouses and will photograph them in all the county seats I visit. This probably started on a trip I made to Georgia in 2012. Growing up in Florida, our architecture did not have a great deal of history. And knowing many courthouses had burned during the civil war and after, I knew I needed to record these beautiful structures when I could see them for myself. So, thereafter, I was hooked!
Hopkins county courthouse, so far, is the most beautiful. It was built from 1894-1895, comprised of sandstone and pink granite.
After visiting this lovely piece of history, onward a bit more north, to Honey Grove, Fannin County Texas. Here is where Julia A Pickens was buried. I had known the location of the cemetery. Knwoing the family history, I also knew she had children buried in the same location. We pulled up to the cemetery and did not know where to start. Divine intervention told my boyfriend David, to look to the right. I could not believe, we went directly to it.
This smile indicate just how happy I was to locate it so quickly. Leonidas, James and Josie were all buried with thier mother . A family that had true devotion to their mom, who had endured so much. I was truly thrilled to find this treasure.
Next up, another side of the family who married into Pickens. This plays into the story below of Alice LIndell Davidson, who married long lost James Harvey Pickens. Her mother was Mary Lumley Sullivan of the William Dunklin Sullivan family. She married Hiram Isaac Davidson, who was born in, ALABAMA! Once again, the circle of life. They married n 1875, Leon County Texas, she was just 16. They had ten children together , he died in 1926. I found info, that she later remarried. A widowed Mr Cearley. I have not found a valid record of marriage or a death certificate to authenticate this.
We located the four corners in Sanger, where her address was listed. I could not see but one house that could have belonged to her. I continued to search for information on a death certificate or marriage and still not luck.
She was buried with her first husband with whom she bore ten children.
Story below is long awaited satisfaction of a story untold.
James Harvey Pickens with Alice Lindell Davidosn, my grandfather Harvey Hershel and sister Velma Ruth , taken about 1908
My dad’s grandfather was never mentioned by his father. We only knew he left the family sometime before the trip to Florida. in Florida, my father was born to Harvey Hershel Pickens and Mamie Christine McCall. Harvey’s dad was married to Alice Lindell Davidson. See above picture. They were married in Texas. Years ago, I was able to locate their marriage certificate. It was here in this courthouse, I kind lady mailed me the certificate. It had never been picked up, so now, it is gracefully framed. A memory to them, a mystery to me.
Below is the visit to Hillside Cemetery in Purcell Oklahoma.
James Harvey is buried with his parents. Harvey H Pickens and Sarah F Smith . Their daughter married the local undertaker and they are all in one location in the cemetery. I had found the records of burial years ago, but, there is nothing as rewarding as the real visit. Tommie, the sister married B H Rackley, local man of Purcell Oklahoma.
We drove around the very small town to see where my great granfather may have lived, I had the last census record. Best we could tell, it was an apartment/ boarding house in town.
Brother in law BH Rackley
We visited several other location on this trip through Texas. Seeing a great deal of beautiful places and history.
Now, on to California!!