Elsberry B JACKSON and Christmas Day

Elsberry B. JACKSON was born on Christmas day about 1859 * in Georgia.

He married his first wife Mary (Mollie) J. COKER on Christmas Day in 1879.  The 25th of December was a special day. Marriage certificate of Mary "Mollie" J. COKER and Elsberry B. JACKSON

He and Mollie had the following children:

  1. Alma Josephine – born 9 July 1882 (mother of Eula Mae HOLDER LINN)
  2. Manson T. – born Aug 1885
  3. William Grady – born Jan 1890
  4. Lillian Amelia – born 1891

Elsberry B. JACKSON

The Way Things Were

According to the census records, Elsberry never learned to read or write.  It’s hard to imagine not being able to read a street sign, a letter, the Bible, a novel, directions;  never expressing your thoughts in a journal or letter.

From the book Race and Schooling in the South 1880-1950 by Robert Margo (Un. of Chicago Press) come the following statistics of those who were illiterate:

  • Year            Blacks          Whites
  • 1880           76%               21.5%
  • 1930           19.7%            3.8%

Elsberry fell into a pretty exclusive percentage of less than 4% by the year 1930.  It’s amazing to see how much work was done to educate people, especially blacks during this time period.  Before emancipation, it was illegal to teach slaves to read or write.

Family story indicates that E.B. had some type of walking disability as well.   Still, he was able to work as a farm laborer in his early years and when in his 60’s ran an elevator, probably at the local cotton mill.  Near the JACKSON family in Henry County was the  WEEM Plantation.   The largest slave burial site in Georgia was discovered there in 2011.   The 4000 acre farm estate, established in 1848 by Samuel WEEMS is now part subdivision and woods.  Click HERE to read more about the cemetery.

Mary (Mollie) J. COKER died in Jun 1891.  Seven years later, he married another Mary J. who’s last name was CROWELL.

Mary Jane CROWELL JACKSON (sitting) with daughters Luvene and Emmie

Mary Jane CROWELL JACKSON (sitting) with daughters Luvene and Emmie

They married in March instead of December.  Together they had three children:

  1. Raymond – born  July 1901
  2. Luvene – born  Sep 1905
  3. Emmie – born abt 1912
*All census records establish this date as his birth although his tombstone says it is 1849.

Mary ‘Mollie’ Jane COKER

Mary 'Mollie' J. COKER

Mary COKER was born the 4th of April 1857* in Henry County, GA.  She was a child during the Civil War and evidence indicates that her family was needy during those years.   At the age of 22 she married Elsberry B. JACKSON on Christmas day 1879.  Together they had 4 children:

1. Manson 2. Alma Josephine 3. William Grady 4. Lillian

Marriage certificate of Mary "Mollie" J. COKER and Elsberry B. JACKSON

She died within the year of Lillian’s birth in 1891 or 1892.  She was young.

Daughter Alma Josephine was mother to Eula Mae HOLDER

*The 1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA records Mary’s birth as Mar 1870 but a family bible records her birth as 4 April 1857.

The WHOLE William & Mary HOPKINS Family

This picture was found on find-a-grave.com  (awesome site).  I shared it via e-mail a week or so ago but wanted to include it in the site. It’s such a lovely portrait of the family. It was taken about 1896.

From Left to Right:

Front RowJames Elmer HOPKINS , Cassie Lee HOPKINS (He died at age 22).

Middle Row – Mary Elizabeth COCHRAN/HOPKINS  holding Della Camilla HOPKINS, William Claiborne HOPKINS  (sheriff of Union City) holding Lillie Mae HOPKINS

Back Row – Artie Abigail HOPKINS, George Thomas HOPKINS, William Wright HOPKINS, Laura Bell HOPKINS