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Ella McCaleb Young

NATCHEZ — A celebration of life for Ella McCaleb Young, 90, who died peacefully Saturday, May 18, 2019, and joined her husband, Calvin Young Jr. in heaven, will be 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020, at Kingston United Methodist Church during the Jersey Settlers Reunion weekend.

The Cremation Society of Virginia assisted the family with arrangements, and burial will be at the Jersey Settlers Cemetery in Kingston.

Mrs. Young was born June 7, 1928, in the family home on Smithland Plantation in Adams County, the youngest of five children, to Sidney Briscoe and Anne Farrar McCaleb.

Ella was a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln High School in Wesson, and attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She married Calvin C. Young Jr. at the age of 20, on Sept. 4, 1948, and together they lived to celebrate 70 years of marriage before Calvin’s death, Sept. 27, 2018

In 1991, Ella organized a Young family reunion in Lebanon, Tenn. An outgrowth of the reunion was a book published in 1995, “The Descendants of Sarah Phillips and David Young of Wilson County, Tennessee,” Calvin’s fourth great-grandparents. And thus began her love of genealogy. She also researched the Bradshaw, Carter, Courtney and Horn branches of Calvin’s family.

Following that, Ella continued her research into a number of branches of her own family who arrived in Adams County around 1800: Boyd, Bisland, Custard, Dougharty, Farrar, King, McCaleb, Pipes, Robson, Thomas, Sojourner and Swayze.

When they retired, Ella and Calvin returned to Smithland and built a home large enough for children and grandchildren to come for visits, and visit they did. Thanksgiving traditions included the grandchildren climbing on the roof to clean out the gutters, and enjoying a giant bonfire after a fried turkey dinner. Many an hour was passed on the gracious front porch, enjoying the swing, the sounds of the country and the company of family.

While in Mississippi, they became active in the community. In addition to being active members in Kingston United Methodist Church where she served as trustee chair, Ella was a past president of the Governor George Harlan Chapter of Colonial Dames XVII Century, the Friends of the Armstrong Library and the Rose Craft Garden Club. As a member of the Descendants of the Jersey Settlers, she served as co-chaplain, VP of programs and on the cemetery committee. In the Natchez Historical Society, she was publicity chair.

They were both members of the Scottish Heritage Society of Natchez.

In 2014, they moved to a retirement community in Newport News, Va., to be near their daughter, but Ella always considered herself to be from Adams County.

Survivors include four children, Calvin C. Young III and wife, Victoria, Thomas Randolph Young and wife, Carolyn, Jennifer Anne Young McNeil and husband, Wilfred, and Andrew Edgar Young and wife, Barbara; eight grandchildren, Calvin C. Young IV and wife, Melissa, Megan Lynne Young, Victor Sidney Young, Lauren Anne Young, Shannon Megan Mills Kovalevsky and husband, Adam, Hope Marie Mills, Christina Anne Young Brown and husband, Corey, and Andrew Edgar Young Jr.; three great-grandchildren, Lana Marisa Young, Calvin C. Young V and Sofia Hope Kovalevsky; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Found in her notes, dated Nov. 26, 2003: “Genealogy begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, continues as a vocation, takes over as an obsession, and in its last stages, is an incurable disease.”

If it was a disease, it was one which brought her much joy and many new friends.

Memorials may be sent to Kingston United Methodist Church in Natchez or to the Descendants of the Jersey Settlers.