Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wilson "Babe" Johnson, c.1858-1930, Lamar County MS

Wilson "Babe" Johnson, my maternal great-great grandfather, was born c. 1858 in Marion County (now Lamar County), Mississippi, the son of Edward Johnson and Martha Ann Lee.  He is shown in the household with his parents on the 1860 and 1870 census records of Marion County, Mississippi.  

Babe married Elizabeth G. "Betty" Fillingame about 1874.  She was born March 1860, the daughter of Moses Fillingame and Elizabeth Anderson.  

Wilson Johnson and his wife Elizabeth are first shown together on the 1880 census in Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi.  They had one child- Robert, age 2.  Babe lived within an entire circle of other Johnson family members at that time.  His brother, Stephen Johnson, lived on one side with his family.  On the other side was Babe's brother, Fleming with wife Nancy; then his sister Emily with husband James Nobles; next his parents Edward and Martha were listed with the rest of the siblings.  

1880 Federal Census, Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi

On the next census record available, I found the Wilson Johnson family in Beat 1, Marion County, Mississippi.  The 1900 census record shows that Babe's family had grown quite considerably in the past twenty years.  Their oldest son, Robert, still resided with them.  In addition, there were 7 more children in the household- son Henry, son "Ebbie" (Abb), daughter Martha A, daughter Margeret L (Margaret Ella), daughter Julia A, daughter Fannie, and daughter Mary.  The census also shows Wilson and his wife "Bettie" had been married 23 years and had 8 children born, of whom all were still living.  Wilson was listed as a farmer and his three eldest sons, Robert, Henry and Abb were all farm laborers.  With eight children in their household, I'm sure there was much to do both indoors and outdoors, and it required the participation of every family member that was of age to assist.  

1900 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 1

Ten years later Babe and Betty were shown as residents in Beat 5, Marion County, Mississippi.  The 1910 census record shows that several of their children had moved out while there were three children remaining with them- daughters Fannie and Mary, and a new addition to the family- daughter Ida Belle, age 8.  Ida Belle was the ninth child born from the union of her parents.  Babe and Betty's son, Robert, had married Sarah Herrin and they resided next door.  Their son, Abe (Abb), had married Ella Jane Johnson and resided on the other side of them.  

1910 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 5

Since county lines changed in the early 1900's, the Wilson Johnson family is listed on the Lamar County, Mississippi census for the year 1920.  Their daughter, Ella, whom had married Wesley Sistrunk, was listed as widowed and resided with them, along with her three children, Adolph, Velma and Geneva? (name difficult to read).  Babe and Betty's youngest daughter, Ida Belle, also resided with them.  Living next door was their daughter Mary, who had married Charley Kelly.  

1920 Federal Census, Lamar County, Mississippi, Lumberton, District 100

By 1930, Babe and Betty were "getting on up in age" so to speak.  Babe was in his 70's by then, which was considered a good, ripe old age during that era.  The couple had moved in with their son, Robert, who resided in Lamar County.  Living nearby was their daughter, Ella, who apparently had not remarried at that time as she was living with her son, Adolphe Sistrunk.  Adolphe's sister, Velma, had apparently married a Dunaway and she was a young widow, living with her brother in 1930.  According to the census, they all resided on Pine Burr Road.

1930 Federal Census, Lamar County, Mississippi, Beat 3, District 5

Pine Burr Road, Lamar County, Mississippi is located between
the cities of Columbia and Lumberton, near Baxterville.  Several
of the Johnson families lived in the approximate area surrounding
the small towns of Baxterville and Pine Burr, Mississippi.

Wilson "Babe" Johnson died 19 August 1930 in Lamar County, Mississippi.  I speculate that he died at home because his death record indicates there was "no doctor in attendance".  He was laid to rest in the Caney Baptist Church cemetery located in Lamar County, Mississippi.  His wife, Betty, died 26 December 1943 and she is buried next to him.  

Death Certificate- Wilson Johnson

Children of Wilson "Babe Johnson" and Elizabeth G. "Betty" Fillingame:
Henry Johnson, married Sarah Ellen Johnson
Robert "Bob" Johnson married (1) Sarah Herrin  (2)  Harriet Woodard
Abb Johnson, married (1) Ella Jane Johnson  (2) Betty Lambert
Martha A. Johnson
Margaret "Ella" Johnson, married Wesley Sistrunk
Julia Ann Johnson, married George Williams
Fannie Johnson, married William I. Johnson
Mary Johnson, married Charley Kelly
Ida Belle Johnson, married Michael Thompson

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