McKnight Photo Collection
Evans Memorial Library
Aberdeen, Mississippi

Transcribed by Robin Linn and Teresa Neaves

Here is the information you will need to follow-up if you have a name listed and if you want more research done or if you go yourself. In most instances, the McKnight collection is going to be difficult to utilize long-distance.

The Evans Library has a wonderful collection for Southern researchers. Because of the many Monroe settlers from GA, AL, and the Carolinas, they have compiled an impressive number of books for those states as well as MS.

When you arrive, you will be given a card that allows you access to their genealogy room. The room contains one film reader (that copies) one computer and two helpful, friendly librarians. Their fine reputation is well-deserved! Since their staff is small, they can only do limited research by mail. So, they have developed a list of local researchers - usual disclaimers, no endorsement, etc. which they will send to you. This list also includes an overview of what they have available, so I would encourage ALL of you to send a SASE to the library asking for a copy of their Genealogical Research Guide. Their resources are limited, so be sure to send a stamped envelope. I am sure any donations are very welcome as they are trying to upgrade their films to better copies and they would like to switch over to census on CD sometime in the future.

What you will find:

  1. Two big file cabinets of surname folders. The folders contain trees, letters from researchers, etc. that people have sent to them. They would LOVE to have what you have developed on your line.
  2. Binders of newspaper clippings from about the 1930's up of Monroe family reunions and obituaries, NOT indexed other than by A,B,C. This takes some time - I doubt they have time to look up anything in it for you. You (or a researcher) just have to sit and look through each page.
  3. Binders of abstracted minutes and member lists from old churches, again, a sit and look through exercise, but VERY interesting, sometimes touching, sometimes funny. For the "early" names, it tells a lot about their life and times.
  4. Binders of cemetery listings, with notation of names and dates on headstones. - includes many family cemeteries. These were compiled by Dr. Evans in the 1930's and may include info. on some people whose stones have since worn away.
  5. Index to marriage records for 1821 to 1825 and 1834 to 1921.
  6. Shelves of bound family histories.
  7. City directories - post 1900.
  8. Telephone books.
  9. Binders of early land purchases, indexed.
  10. Binders of census indices and for the early ones, abstracted entries.
  11. Books of WPA interviews with Monroe old-timers - Very interesting! You may find references to your family in them. Again, a look-through exercise.
  12. Monroe County and surrounding counties history books (No plans to reprint the Monroe County books at this time.)
  13. Binders of land purchases - but you really need to go to the Aberdeen Chancery on Commerce St. for land records. A must do!
  14. Much, much more printed material.

FILMS:

  1. Census - Fed. Southern states from 1820 to 1920.
  2. Monroe county agricultural census - very hard to read, but worth the effort.
  3. MS state census
  4. Early MS newspapers from about 1830 up - hard to read, but fascinating. I didn't notice many local names in the "Sunny South" which was the only one I had time to look at. However, there are great ads and little tidbits that flesh out the time period.
  5. Cemetery listing - didn't look at this one.
  6. Local veterans - ditto.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all their holdings, just a guide.

Evans Memorial Library
105 North Long Street
Aberdeen MS 39730
(662) 369-4601

They ask that you call first if you plan to visit on or near a holiday and I believe their summer hours differ from their winter hours. While I was there they opened their gen. room at 11:00 am and closed at 6:00 pm. Copies are 10 cents a page, on the honor system, pay as you leave, so you don't need a pocket full of quarters. There is a computer, but I think its use is limited to the McKnight collection. Their air conditioner works really well - take a sweater. There is a nice little cafe about 4 blocks away, open for breakfast and lunch - not dinner. No fast food within walking distance. There is a good Chinese restaurant downtown too, open all the time, clean, inexpensive ($5.00 for buffet) and delicious.

There is a Best Western outside of town and a great B & B in town - the Huckleberry Inn, I recommend it highly. They are very "genealogy" friendly, and the food is excellent. Each room is wired for a computer, has a telephone and, of most importance, the front porch has a swing!

The town is charming; it is very easy to step back in time and imagine your ancestors walking the streets one hundred years ago. The architecture is outstanding. All directions from the locals start at the one four-way stop on the main street (Commerce also Hwy 45) so it is very easy to get around.

I only had time for the library and the Chancery this trip. The Chancery is only a few blocks from the library and it contains land, will and divorce records. There are big index binders for specific time periods, alphabetized ABC, etc. You will have to search each page under your "letter" to find the binder with the deed or will, then go to other binders to find the actual document. I found many more listings of land purchases for my "names" than are shown in the indices at the library, so the search is really worthwhile. Copy costs are 25 cents a page here.

 

Please note: These photos appear to have been taken from about 1895 to 1930, perhaps too late for many of you. They will not be on the internet. Most of you who have an entry under your surname will find it necessary to do further research or hire someone before you actually order something. However, order costs are as follows:

Contact Print $10.00

Exhibition Quality Print $25.00

Postage and handling $5.00

Dup. of Contact print negative $5.00

Dup. of Exhib. print negative $25.00

Write to the library for their Order Form to place an order. One person said, "You probably won't be happy with the quality of the $10.00 print." If you have only ONE or TWO entries of a photo, you MAY be able to have the librarian check to give you an idea of the subject matter of the photo. The name listed is of the person who PAID for the photo, not necessarily the subject, i.e.: Entry for John Doe may actually be a photograph of a woman - name unknown. If you have more than two entries for the name, I suggest that you write the library, include SASE and copy costs, and ask them to copy the index page with your names on it. Then you can look them over and decide if you want to hire someone to look in the binders at the photocopy of the picture. I don't think they (the library) will copy the photocopy in the binder for you.

The descriptions varied, we tried to put down if it showed something specific like wife, or family group.

Without further ado:

Please Note: This is not a comprehensive list. It is a list of surnames submitted by Monroe County researchers to be checked by Robin and Teresa when they visitied the Evans Library.

ADAMS - Three Will Adams listed, about 20 other Adams, description says family group on one and grandchildren on another.

ALEXANDER - Many listings, a Willie in Aberdeen; a family and Dr. listed

ANDREWS - 8 from Aberdeen, Nettleton, Houston, initials: A.B., C.H., H.C., Mrs. M.J.

AUSBORN - 2, both L.B. Ausborn, description - family group, 2 children

BALLARD - 1, an H.J., subj. says Cassie

BANKSTON - not listed

BASHAM - many listed, all from Aberdeen, description says children, mother-in-law and Wise baby

BASHAM, WM. - one W.P. listed

BEAKS - a Rev. Beaks listed.

BEEKS - a page (about 40) description says, Family, babies, grandparents, lots of names.

BENNET - about a dozen, descript. cabs (?) dwelling, PC (?)

BIBB - none listed

BIRD/BYRD - 2 listed, H.E and a Miss Lenore. (The BYRD was N.D.)

BISHOP - 5 listed, baby, little girl

BOWLES - none listed

BOYD - 2 pages (about 80) description: family group, girl, self, wife.

BUNN - 2 listed, Dr. J.T. from Sulligent, baby and self

BUTLER - 2 listed, Addie and Zoraide

CARNS - none listed

CLAY - no Geo. or Martha, but about 40 listed.

CLEMENTS/CLEMMENTS - none listed.

CONWILL - 2 listed, J.E. and Miss Stella, several CONWELL's listed.

COOPER - a page (40)

CROSBY - about 25 listed.

CRUMP - one page listed, one S.E.

DALE - one, Miss Nellie from Tipton, TN. 1898

DILWORTH - about 20 listed and one DELWORTH listed.

DRAKE - one page (40) listed.

DYER - none listed

EASTER - almost two pages of these guys - all kinds of descriptions.

EDGE - nothing listed

EDMONDSON - none, but there is an Edmanson, G.N. from Vardeuan, MS. one picture.

ELLIS - 4 listed, Angie, Miss W.C., Mrs.and Mary

EVANS - one page but not Parrot listed.

FORTSON - 23 listed from Egypt, MS and Praira (Prairie?)

GHOLSTON - 5 from Aberdeen around the turn of the century. Descp. family group and wise (?) boy

GORDON - 17 listed, descp. family group, from 1895 to 1925

GREEN - 2 pages listed, varied desc.

GREGORY - 16 listed, varied

GUNN - about 20 listed, varied

HAND - none listed.

HARMON/HARMAN - about a dozen listed.

HATHCOCK - about six all taken in the 1920's

HARRISON - about 15 listed, varied

HAUGHTON - about 80 listed - variety of descriptions.

HOOPER - 6 listed, varied

HICKS - 6 listed, varied

HORTON - one, noted as J.J. Woodson

HUGHES - six, varied

HUTCHINSON, Catherine - There were three for a C.R. Hutchinson

JONES - there were five pages with approximately 40 on each page.

KERN - one, noted as M.A. Kern from Illinois 1915

LAMBETH - two

LAND - two and one-half pages, noted: Capt., HJB Land, 1887 was the
earliest.

LANGSTON - none listed

LEDBETTER - there was a G.W. and Mrs. GW. descripton was dwelling, self, wife, daughter and two boys

LITTLE - no Frances Marion, but about a dozen listed under Little.

LOGUE - none listed

MAGERS, Ausborn - no Ausborn, only one Henry Major from Egypt in 1928.

MARTIN - about 10 listed, all after 1900

MASSENGALE - none listed

MASSEY - none listed

MC CELVANEY/MC ELVANEY - none listed.

MC COWN - one McCowan and one MCCown, descrip. baby, self

MEEK/MEEKS - there are many of both names, all after the turn of the century. description: Meek Family, Meek Home. The name appears in the Riley interview.

MIDDLETON - none listed

MILLER - almost two pages listed, varied descriptions

MOORE - two listed for Alice iin 1920, no David, Elvira or Carolyn about two
pages of Moore.

MORELAND - five listed, all from Amory and Quincy from 1899 to 1920

MORROW - about a dozen

MURFF - there were about six under this name. Next to the name MERIFF was a handwritten note that said, "See MURFF." So I think Mrs. N.O. MERIFF is yours. ALSO - In looking through the minutes of the M.E. Church of Aberdeen, I noticed that in 1895 W. MURFF was the steward.

NEAL - no Frances Marion & Eliz, but there was one E.L.in 1919 - about one-half page of NEALs.

NEAVES - none listed

PAGE, - no Wm, or John Calhoun but about 5 entries for the surname PAGE one described as family group.

PARCHMAN - about 20 listed after 1900. ALSO - this name is mentioned in the Riley interview.

PARISH - four listed, L.D., Leola, Louella, Mrs. J.W. from 1897 to 1921

PEGUES - 1 Mrs. Callie in 1895 and 2 others

PIERCE, - no Issac or Rebecca but two for C.E. in 1922 from Smithville.

POOL - no Phillip, but a J.H., Josephine and Miss Lula

PRESTON - two G.W.'s in 1908

RAGSDALE - four in 1897 and 1910. This name popped up quite a bit in the library materials.

RANSON - fourteen, and a Frank who paid for a picture every year for 10 years.

REECE - seven from 1904 to 1924

REESE - twenty from 1900 to 1925

REIVES - none listed

REEVES - one-half page (about 20) with this spelling.

RICHARDS - no William Watson

RITTER - no Wm. & Mary but a Mrs., a M.L. and a W.T. description baby 1925

ROBERTSON - five listed

ROBERSON - many listed under this spelling

ROSS - one-half page of this name.

SANSOM - five, one was a Miss Sallie from Okolona

SMITHSON - about six. There is also a SMITHSUME

STEPHENSON - none listed

STEVENSON - about six listed under this spelling

STEWART - there is about a page (40) all after 1900

SUMMEY - none

TAYLOR - there are about three pages, varied descriptions. The name appears in the Riley interview.

TATE - three listed, Jessie, Miss Effin, W.F. after 1900

TUBB - there are three pages listed, varied descriptions. Napoleon TUBB is mentioned in the Riley interview.

TUNNEL - no Elizabeth (Betsey) but there is a H.G. and a Miss Fannie, 1898 and 1921, respectively.

WALKER - one James Walker in 1912, and over three pages of other Walkers. There was no William but there was a Willies, W.B. and W.W.

WALTON - almost a page. One William, dated 1895.

WARE - lots of this name, no Wm. Henry, but there were W.A., W.E., W.T., Will Ed.

WEAVER - eleven listed, varied descriptions

WEBB - one-half page listed, no Jacob or John, but there was a J.H.

WEST - there were two pages listed, no Herbert Doster but there was a H.D. in 1919.

WILLIS - two pages listed.

WYGUL - none listed, but there was a WIGGUL, L.A., and a WIYGLE, W.P. in Aberdeen.

YOUNG - none listed.

 


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