52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Week 19 – Missie (Missy) Austin
Missie was born according to most documents in Georgia between 1866 and1868. This would be about ten years after her oldest brother, Henry Carroll/Cal was born in 1858. Henry is my 2nd great grand father, also born in Georgia. According to the 1870 US Census for Lawrence County, Missie was the fourth born child (age1) of Emma Sims who married Joseph Austin about 1868. The mystery of where Missy and some of her siblings were born in Georgia before migrating to northwest Alabama creates a brick wall in our family research. Missy grew up in the small rural town of Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama on a tenant farm.
Missie married Fred Sherrod 14 April 1888 in Lawrence County. Fred died in 1894 and in the 1900 U.S Census, Lawrence County list Missie is a widow with five children; Lela (1890), Velma (1892) William (1893) Gertrude (1894), Fred Ida (1895). Fred would have been a young man of about thirty-five and not finding a death certificate makes me wonder whether he became ill or had an accident leading to his death. Missie a young woman of about thirty-three with five children continued on the tenant farm to make a living and provide for them. Missie knew the work of a farm after all that is what her parents Joseph and Emma did from the time they arrive in Town Creek shortly after emancipation.
Fortunately, she met and married Hugh Jackson in Leighton, Colbert County on the 4th of January 1903. Missie and Hugh had a son, Emmett and a daughter, Beatrice Jackson. Life must have been on the upswing for the couple had seven children that of course would help on the farm along with them. However, the forward movement lasted too short awhile for by 1920, Missie was back on her on living as a widowed head of house. The house couldn’t have been too large yet Missie, her eighty-three year old mother, Emma along with some of her children and grandchildren lived in the home. Can’t imagine how they managed but they did. Missie’s mother, Emma Austin died in 1927 and by 1930, Missie was living with her single younger son, Emmett who was twenty-seven. This represents a culture of assisting family and making the best of circumstances. No record has been found of where Missie was during the 1940 Census but we are fairly certain she remained in Alabama throughout her life.
Missie Austin Sherrod Jackson died in Morgan County, Alabama in 1952. My gg aunt Missie lived through difficulties with her parents being enslaved to beginning anew in a new state, tenant farming, becoming a new wife twice, having seven children, making it on her own and providing home a for her mother Emma Austin in her last years. There is no question that each of stands on the shoulders of our ancestors. The question now is will we leave enough strength for our descendants to stand on our shoulders.
This family historian feels the responsibilities that have been passed on by our ancestors.