This is about my Powells. And about documentation.
In my mother’s Powell file, which has documents from my Powell grandparents, I found a photocopy document entitled Family History.
No date, no author, no idea where the original resides.
But this is what it says (I kept the author’s misspellings and punctuation):
“As I record. this history, May 1970, it seems farfetched to think it took six weeks to travel from Yazoo Co. Miss. to LaSalle, Parish La. when man can travel to the moon in something like four days. Travel by rocket is quite an improvement over the covered wagon mode of travel in 1895. A span of only 75 years.
Reese (Reason Powell) first married Ann Gibson and fathered Mary, Christine, and George W. (could have been others, don’t think so though). After Ann died, Reese married Louisa Foster who was some twenty years younger than he, and fathered Nancy Ann, John Wesley, Benjamine Franklin, William Henry Harrison, James Randolph*, Francis Marion, Josephine, Thomas Jefferson.
Reese Powell’s father came to America with a Brother and Sister late in the 17th. century and Landed at Charleston, S. C. His Brother and Sister returned to Ireland but he stayed, married and fathered Reese. This Emigrant Powell (first name unknown) was a descendant of the Powel who fought with Cromwell during the Puritan or Religious wars in the 16th century. Because of his service to Cromwell was given land on the northern shores of Ireland. It is tradition that this Powell who fought for Cromwell was a Scottsman.
Reese Powell with his family moved from Sumter Co. Ala. to Lauderdale Co. Miss. about 1855. This family lived many years at Meridian, in Lauderdale Co. and Reese died and was buried there. “
The document goes on to describe the families of William Henry Harrison Powell who married Matilda. Rushton; John Wesley Powell who married Syrilde Rushton, Matilda’s sister; and related families. JW Powell and WHH Powell were uncles to my grandfather.
The history recounts some movement between Yazoo MS and Caldwell Parish LA of the families and their friends, culminating in an 1875 trip that involved weeks of rain, camping in a cabin that burned, camping in covered wagons and other adventures. It ends with :
“William H. H. Powell family settled in Calahoula Parish (LaSalle now). Some of the men went to work loggin woods and some farmed. “
Because of the last paragraph, I think perhaps this was written by a descendant of W. H. H. Powell. Because it was in the file with my grandparent’s deeds, wills, marriage license, and a letter from a Beeman relative, I am thinking the author is a cousin to my grandfather who perhaps sent it on to Granddaddy thinking he would be interested. Or maybe Mother asked for it back in 1970. I don’t know because Mother, bless her heart, didn’t write down where she got it, or where GrandPowell and Granddaddy got it.
LESSON: Record your sources.
*William Reason Powell>James Randolph Powell>James Toxie Powell, Sr.>James Toxie Powell, Jr.>me