Texas family organization needs help in seeking its Mississippi roots

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The term &uot;GTT&uot; (Gone To Texas) was common in Mississippi during the last half of the 19th century. The westward migration saw many Mississippi families pull up stakes and carve out new lives in the country beyond the Mississippi River.

But this migration created strong ties among those family members who stayed behind and those who heard the call and moved on. A great many Texans have Mississippi roots, and one such family is looking for your help now.

The family organization of the descendants of those buried in the McKinney Cemetery in Guadalupe County, near Luling, Texas, are working toward the state registration of the site as a Texas State Historical Cemetery.

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THE MCKINNEY FAMILY ORGANIZATION is working to restore the site with repairs or replacements of markers and fencing around the cemetery and providing scheduled upkeep.

The organization is requesting the help of all those who are descendants of those buried in the cemetery to provide information about which relatives they may have there and also as much information about those individual relatives as they may have to share. The family originally came from north Mississippi and now there could be descendants across the whole state.

To date over 50 ancestors have been identified. There exist complete records of RICHARD LAND MCKINNEY, son of JOHN and ROSANNA LAND MCKINNEY, or ALBERT, A. J., ABE M., or ROCELLUS MCKINNEY and their spouses.

The children of JACOB ENGLAND and his spouse, REBECCA SUMNER, and JOHN FLETCHER and LOUISA PEPPER ENGLAND with some of their daughters (1. Martha &uot;Mattie&uot; England Hall, wife of Jesse Cemon HALL, 2. Louisa England Robins, wife of William Fountain Pitts ROBINS, 3. Susan Jane England Mckinney , second wife of Richard Land MCKINNEY) have all been identified.


It is known that the many of the Mckinney ancestors came to Texas by way of Splunge and Monroe County, Miss.

This cemetery was first identified as the burial ground of BLACKSTONE HARDEMAN, his wife and a maidservant. Some Hispanics are also known to be buried here who need to be identified as well.

If you or any of your family think you may have ancestors in this cemetery, the family organization urgently requests that you search your family records, old Bibles, deeds, marriage, birth and death records, church records Masonic, Odd Fellow and WOW records, and above all the memories of the elder members of your families to help with information to share.

If you can assist or you would like to participate in this effort, you are requested to contact any of the following: Claudda McKinney Barrett, President of the Mckinney Family Organization, 13309 Dayton Pike, Soddy Daisy, TN 37379, (423) 332-4719; Billy Seay, Jr., P. O. Box, Luling, TX 78684, (830) 875-2304); Rocellus McKinney, 1320 Flint Street, Orange, TX. 77630, (409) 886-1437; or Bob & Pat Collins, 600 Monticello Circle, Devine, TX 78016, (830) 663-2576.

The McKinney Family Organization greatly appreciates your interest and your support in this effort. This is a super opportunity to add information to your family tree while helping create a monument to them.


… Karen Rogers (Illinois, email


) requests help in locating a mulatto woman, VIRGIE MABRY FLAKES. She was the daughter of Nancy Mabry and has a sibling VANNIE (SAVANNA MCGAUGHY) TANDY. She married twice: John RUFF AND Wiley FLAKES. This is her great grandmother and she had thirteen children. She lived in Lee County, Miss. And although she has been found in census records, there are no death recordings or other records to be found. Can any reader help with information on this woman and her family?

… Sam Wilkes (


) is searching for the descendants of ROBERT and JANE CALDWELL LAIRD of Covington County, Miss. Robert Laird is buried at Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery at Mt. Carmel. He was born 14 January 1801, and died 15 October 1871. They had the following children: James T., Horatio Gates, Erastus E., Sarah Jane, Robert P., Elizabeth M., and William C. who died young. Does anybody know of the descendants of this family? Can anyone help in this quest?

Please send your announcements and queries to FAMILY TREES, 900 Main Street, Natchez, MS 39120 or email to


. All queries printed free of charge. We look forward to hearing from you!