Author Archives: Byron

About Byron

Widower, father, student, USA Retired.

Obituary for Alvin Jesse Graham

Published in the Appeal-Democrat of Sutter County, California from 2 June to 3 June 2018.

Alvin Jesse Graham

Alvin Jesse GrahamAlvin Jesse Graham went to be with his Lord on May 30, 2018 at the age of 92. Born in Marshall, Arkansas on August 20, 1925, he was the third of four children to Cornelius Jesse Graham and Callie Watts-Graham.

Alvin came to California in 1947 where he worked in a sawmill before becoming a general building contractor in 1962, building homes in the Yuba-Sutter area for over 40 years. He served in the Navy during WWII as a Signalman Third Class aboard the U.S.S. Highlands, where he received the Navy Letter of Commendation for participating in D-Day landings on Beach RED ONE at Iwo Jima in 1945.

Alvin is survived by his loving wife and lifelong sweetheart of 71 years, Dora, and his two sons, Michael Graham (Loretta) of Roseville and Larry Graham (Wendy) of Marysville. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Kristen Graham of Roseville, Ryan Graham of Yuba City and Kale Graham of Marysville. Additionally, Alvin leaves behind three great-grandchildren and a brother, Alpha Graham of Marshall, Arkansas.

Alvin was a devoted Christian who enjoyed studying his Bible and attending church. He taught Sunday School and Adult Bible Study classes and loved an energetic song service and anointed preaching. He was a member of Calvary Temple in Yuba City and Christian Life Assembly in Gridley.

Alvin was renowned for his bountiful vegetable gardens provided for family and friends. He was a fantastic husband, father, and grandfather, who always placed God and family first in his life. He will be sorely missed.

Reverend Dwight Deaton will officiate services to be held by Ullrey Memorial Chapel in Yuba City. Public viewing is scheduled for 9:00 am – 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 with graveside services at Sutter Cemetery following at 11:00 am.


Alvin was my first cousin once removed. Unfortunately, I never got to meet him. My sincere condolences to his family.

In 2015, the Appeal-Democrat published an article recounting the celebration of Alvin’s ninetieth birthday. It was accompanied by a full-color photograph of Alvin wearing his San Francisco Giants jacket. A cropped black-and-white version of that photograph was placed with his obituary.


Ullrey Memorial Chapel. “Alvin Jesse Graham,” published May 2018. Retrieved on Wednesday, 6 June 2018.


Civil War Survey

The Department of Arkansas Heritage is conducting a survey regarding the establishment of a Civil War museum. Below is the email they sent:

Good Morning!

Act 921 of the Regular Session of the 91st General Assembly directed the Department of Arkansas Heritage to conduct a feasibility study concerning the establishment of an Arkansas Civil War museum. The feasibility study is required to include research on the demand and interest in Civil War tourism in Arkansas, and a survey was created as part of that research.

To reach many different Arkansans across the state, your help is needed! Please take this short survey and let your voice be heard. 

Go to the survey here:

Department of Arkansas Heritage

Obituary for John Martin

Originally published in the Harrison Daily Times of Harrison, Arkansas.

John Martin

Oct. 29, 1934 – March 4, 2017

John MartinJohn Henry Martin[1], of Marble Falls, passed from this life on Saturday, March 4 (2017) at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison. He was 82 years old. 

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at Holt Memorial Chapel.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 8, at the Hasty Holiness Church. Pastor Dorvin Ricketts will officiate. Burial will be in Sexton Cemetery. Pallbearers will be his sons and grandsons. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Tom Leslie and his staff. 

The son of Frank and Stella (Graham) Martin was born on Oct. 29, 1934, at Watts. 

John was a member of the Hasty Holiness Church and was a farmer. He married Ardith Reddell on April 14, 1956, in Harrison.

His parents; three sisters, Berniece Earwood, Emma Jean Davis and Matilda Martin; one brother, Kenneth Martin; and two great-grandsons preceded him in death. 

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Ardith Martin, of the home; four sons, Darrell Martin and his wife Phyllis, of Yardelle, Derwin Martin and his wife Rhoda, of Everton, Dalton Martin, of Huntsville, and Dell Martin and his wife Karen, of Western Grove; 10 grandchildren, Becky, Robert, Melanie, Beth, Tye, Nathan, Brandon, Kim, Tim and Kendra; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one brother, Dalph Martin, of Hasty; one sister-in-law, Vinita Martin, of Couch, Missouri; and several other family and friends.


1. John shared his first and middle names with his mother’s father, John Henry Graham.


Harrison Daily Times.John Martin,” published on Monday, 6 March 2017. Retrieved on Friday, 16 June 2017.

The Graham Family

requests the pleasure of your company

at a Reunion of the descendants of
John Henry and Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham

to be held at the South Mountain Fire Department
on the morning of June the Fourth at ten o’clock
with a potluck lunch to be served at one o’clock

5420 South Mountain Road
(South Mountain Road & Wildwood Lane)
Marshall, Arkansas 72650

Obituary for James Leland Rains

Transcribed from the web site of the Roller-Coffman Funeral Home:

James Leland Rains

October 12, 1927  –  January 27, 2017

James Leland Rains, age 89 of Everton, Arkansas passed from this life on Friday, January 27th, 2017 at his home. He was born in Hector, Arkansas on October 12th, 1927 to Sylus Fredrick Rains and Thelma Drucilla Melton Rains[1].

James was a veteran of the United States Army during WWII. He joined in 1944 serving in the 32nd Division 128th Regimented Combat Team and participating in Villa Verde Trail[2], earning 3 combat stars and numerous other medals. He was discharged from his 2nd enlistment in 1953. He married Elsie McGuffin in 1954. James attended Evangel Assembly of God Church in Western Grove, Arkansas. He worked many years as a small instrument repairman for the United States Civil Service. James was a wonderful provider for his family. He will be remembered as a good man, full of kindness and good deeds. The steady, gentle presence of “Big Papa” as he was known by his grandchildren will be missed by all those close to him.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Elsie McGuffin Rains of the home; three sons, James Leland Rains Jr. and wife Lorna of Rockaway Beach, MO, Jon Lynn Rains of Ozark, MO and Roger Allen Rains, also of Ozark, MO; four daughters, Marsha Ann Verduzco and husband Ernie of Everton, Sharon Gail Nichols and husband Dave of West Sacramento, CA, Lanita Kay Longboy and husband Mark of Mt. Vernon, MO and Ronda Elaine Turner and husband Leslie of Harrison; grandchildren, Lisa Dahl, Sheri Oriyavong, Edilberto Doguiles, Lisa Williams, Tamy Keen, Melinda Gallardo, Grace Nalley and Sherolyn Nalley; twenty-four great-grandchildren including his namesake, James Leland Doguiles of the Philippines; and a host of other family and friends who will mourn his passing.

James is preceded in death by his parents; children, Jana Rains and infant son, Harland Joe Rains; grandchild, Richard Leroy Olt; brothers, Clifford Rains, Nolan Rains and Harrison Rains; and sisters, Myrldean Owen and Audra Fowler.

Arrangements by Roller-Coffman Funeral Home in Marshall, Arkansas. Funeral services for James will be 10:00 AM Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 at Evangel Assembly of God Church in Western Grove, Arkansas with Bro. Dorvin Ricketts and Bro. Jeffery Jack Owen officiating. Special music will be provided by the Ricketts family. Burial will be in Nubbin Hill Cemetery near Leslie, Arkansas.


1. Thelma Drucilla Melton was the daughter of Ezekial Henry Melton and Minnie Melinda Graham, and the grand daughter of Jesse F. Graham and Sarah Scott. This means James is my second cousin once removed.

32nd_infantry_division_shoulder_patch2. This article on HistoryNet recounts the horrifying details of the fighting on the Villa Verde Trail. World War II: The U.S. 32nd Infantry Division Battle to Control the Villa Verde Trail.


Roller-Coffman Funeral Home. “James Leland Rains,” published January 2017. Retrieved on Sunday, 29 January 2017.

folded flag

Establishing Senia Scott’s Date of Death

Previously on Graham Ancestry, I wrote that I was able to find Jefferson Scott’s date of death in the probate records of his estate. I think I may be able to establish his wife Senia’s death date as well. The date isn’t so obviously found, however, and will require some identification.

Looking through the hundreds of images of Jefferson Scott’s probate records online at, I discovered two claims from doctors that were filed against the estate on 7 November 1901. One, from Dr. L. A. Martin, seeks payment for “services rendered in waiting on and taking care of Mrs. S. P. Scott” from 12 December 1892 to 12 August 1896, three years and eight months, at the rate of $6.00 per month, a total of $264.00.

The other claim is from Dr. M. M. Albright, transcribed below:

Estate of Jesse M. Scott, deceased
To M. M. Albright  Dr

To services rendered in waiting on and taking care of Mrs. S. P. Scott, widow of said Jesse M. Scott, deceased, at the instance and request of said Mrs. S. P. Scott, from the 13th day of August 1896 to the 7th day of May 1901, 4 years and 1 month at $6.00 per month     $294.00

The State of Alabama  }           Before me A. A. Hurst
Cleburne County    }          Judge of Probate

in and for said state and county personally appeared M. M. Albright who being duly sworn deposes and says, that the above and foregoing account is justly due after allowing all proper credits and is unpaid.

Sworn to and subscribed }
before me this 7 day         }
of November 1901.           }      M. M. Albright
A. A. Hurst     }
Judge of Probate     }

Dr. M. M. Albright was specifically Senia’s son-in-law, Madison Merriman Albright. He married Senia’s daughter Nancy Caroline Scott.

Recall from my previous post that in June 1900, Senia was enumerated on the census in the household of her grandson, Newman Albright. Based on the date of that enumeration, I estimated that Senia’s death “occurred sometime during the 16 months between June 1900, the census, and October 1901, the Petition for Letters of Administration”, the first mention of her death. (An aside: quoting myself is strange, yet strangely fun!) The above claim narrows that window further, to May 1901 through October 1901, a period of five months. I believe the claim also gives us Senia’s date of death if we consider it likely that Dr. Albright’s care ended when his patient died.

Therefore, my conclusion is that Senia P. (Malone) Scott died on 7 May 1901, with a margin of error of five months.

Sources Estate Case Files (Cleburne County, Alabama); Author: Alabama. Probate Court (Cleburne County); Probate Place: Cleburne, Alabama. Name: Jesse M. Scott. Probate date: 28 October 1901. 1900 United States Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Muscadine, Cleburne, Alabama; Roll: 9; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0136; FHL microfilm: 1240009

The Estate of Jefferson Scott

I’ve been doing some digging into my 2x great grandmother Sarah Scott’s family. last year added wills and probate records to their collections, and as luck would have it, they have  probate records online for Sarah’s parents, Jefferson M. Scott and Senia P. Malone. I found a lot of information on Sarah’s parents and siblings in these records!

For genealogical research, the most useful page from the probate records was a Petition for Letters of Administration, dated 28 October 1901. This document not only provided Jefferson Scott’s date of death, but also provided a list of his living heirs. (Jefferson is called Jesse Scott throughout the probate records, so I’m just going to roll with that name for the rest of this article.)

Jesse Scott Date of Death

Jesse M Scott’s date of death in the Petition for Letters of Administration.

Per the Petition, Jesse M. Scott died on 18 November 1880 at his home in Cleburne County, Alabama, leaving no will. His estate was “administered by one J.M. Scott,” his son James Monroe Scott. Ancestry has inventory records for Jesse’s estate dated February 1882 showing that property that was “exempt from administration, set apart and delivered to Mrs. S. P. Scott, the widow of said decedent”. It lists such things as “all wearing apparel of the deceased, $10.00. All wearing apparel of the widow, $10.00. Yarn and cloth on hand, $3.00. Books, $1.00. Family portraits and miniatures, $……….”, no value, or perhaps priceless.

Jesse Scott Inventory 1882

Excerpt from Jesse Scott’s estate inventory, 1882.

Except for property that was used to pay debts, Senia Scott inherited a “widow’s dower consisting of 240 acres of land”, per the 1901 Petition.

Senia was enumerated on the 1900 census for Cleburne County, Alabama, as a boarder living with Newman and Lee E. Albright. In fact, Newman was her grandson, the child of Senia’s daughter Nancy Caroline Scott and Madison Albright.

Senia Scott 1900 Census

Senia Scott on the 1900 census for Cleburne County, Alabama.

Jesse’s estate again entered probate following Senia’s death. I haven’t found a precise date for her death. It occurred sometime during the 16 months between June 1900, the census, and October 1901, the Petition for Letters of Administration. Per the Petition, “… said widow, S. P. Scott is now dead and said dower is now subject to administration as assets of the estate of said Jesse M. Scott.”

The reason for the Petition was that James Monroe Scott had been discharged as administrator following the original settlement of Jesse’s estate in 1882 and was by 1901 living in the Oklahoma Territory, and therefore unavailable. Senia’s death had created a need for a new administrator to be appointed to settle the dower. The Petition had been submitted by one W. H. Barnes.

The Petition goes on to say “the names, residences, ages and condition of the heirs and distributees of the estate of said decedent, so far as your petitioner knows  or believes, are as follows, to-wit:”


Heirs and distributees, Petition for Letters of Administration, 1901.


Heirs and distributees, continued in the right margin.

“John H. Scott”. Jesse and Senia’s son, John Henry Scott, then residing at Muscadine, Cleburne County, Alabama.

“Nancy Albright”. Daughter Nancy Caroline Scott, who had married Madison M. Albright. Also then residing in Muscadine.

“Sarah Graham, residing at Watts, Ark.” Daughter Sarah Scott, who was then the widow of Jesse F. Graham. Watts is a populated place in Searcy County, Arkansas.

“Mary Anderson, residing at Roberty, I.T.” Daughter Mary Ann Scott, who had married Lewis James Anderson and was then living in the Indian Territory (today part of Oklahoma). Mary and Lewis can be found on the 1900 census residing in Township 8, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. On the census page, the name given of the nearest incorporated town is Utica Town. I haven’t discovered the location of Roberty.

“John Willis Lee Scott, residing at Idor, Ala.” The city of Ider is located in DeKalb County, Alabama.

“J. M. Scott, residing at Shawnee, O.T.” Son James M. Scott, who resided in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma Territory.

“John W. Scott, whose residence is to petitioner unknown, Martha Jane Brown, Rosewood, Ala., Mary Elizabeth Killgore, Sackville, Ga., the last three named are the heirs and duly heirs of Thomas Scott, deceased”. William Thomas Scott was the eldest son of Jesse and Senia. He was killed serving the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, though the details of his death elude me. His wife was Elmina P. Little and the three named above were their children.

“…the children and duly heirs of Eliza J. Pounds, dec’d, to wit: Neuman Pounds +  Lou Pounds, each residing at Camanchia, Texas…” Eliza was a daughter of Jesse and Senia who had married Andrew Pounds.

“…and the children and duly heirs of Sene Emiline Barnes, dec’d, viz: Jesse Barnes, Bennett Barnes, Ida Barnes + Sarah Barnes, each residing at Chualla, Tex. All of said  heirs are  over the age of 21 years, except the two last named, and are all of sound mind.” Sene was a daughter of Jesse and Senia who had married James M. Barnes. The petitioner, W. H. Barnes, was likely related to James.

Pettition for Letters of Administration - Jesse Scott 1901

The full Petition for Letters of Administration, 1901. Click to expand.

Sources Estate Case Files (Cleburne County, Alabama); Author: Alabama. Probate Court (Cleburne County); Probate Place: Cleburne, Alabama. Name: Jesse M. Scott. Probate date: 28 October 1901. Wills, 1867-1937; Minutes, 1869-1944; Author: Alabama. Probate Court (Cleburne County); Probate Place: Cleburne, Alabama. Name: Jesse M. Scott; Probate date: 8 February 1882. 1900 United States Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Muscadine, Cleburne, Alabama; Roll: 9; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0136; FHL microfilm: 1240009 1900 United States Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 8, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1852; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1241852

%d bloggers like this: