Wilson-Mitchell-Gray-Thompson families from Attala & Chickasaw Counties in Mississippi

Category Archives: Books & Other Sources

I’m sorry to say I do not know where this came from, who wrote it, or where the rest of the document can be found. If you do, please let me know.

Wilson Chronicles – page 1 (pdf)

Wilson Chronicles


John F.

Somehow I blessedly discovered the website Chronicling America, sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Chronicling America provides access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Today’s discovery: the Okolona (Mississippi) Messenger. And a paragraph about John A. “Jack” Thompson (1841-1917), father of Alice Madora Thompson Gray (1880-1907), and grandfather to Annabelle Gray Wilson (1907-2002).

Check out this great newspaper banner:

Okolona Messager cover

And about my great-great-grandfather, who lost part of a leg due to a gunshot wound in the Battle of Franklin (TN) in the Civil War:

Jack Thompson

“In this issue will be found the announcement of Mr. Jack F. Thompson, of Houston, as a candidate for county treasurer of Chickasaw, in the usual form. Honest Jack Thompson is the complimentary way in which his neighbors, and everybody in the county for that matter, refer to him, and it is difficult to imagine any more complimentary identification that could be made of one who is so generally well known and universally respected. Mr. Thompson has served the people of the county in various capacities as a public servant, and in no case has he ever been found wanting. He has served as county treasurer before and will doubtless find all who have supported him in the past only too willing to again confer upon him the honor. As the custodian of the people’s money, Mr. Thompson’s past record is a most excellent guarantee of future reliability, and no one will have the slightest fear but that the charge will be fully kept, in case he is again chosen treasurer. Those who know Mr. Thompson understand that he cannot do much running on foot, but that he will who his ability to pass under the wire at the finish, if his good conduct in the past is taken as a signal, none will doubt.”

Jack Thompson #2

“Jack F. Thompson, of Houston, candidate for county treasurer, was over and with the smiling encouragement of other friends and supporters he met here from various ports of the county did not fail to greet those whom he had not been able to meet before this spring and tell them how much he would appreciate their vote and kindly support. Jack Thompson has the confidence of a large number of the old timers who have watched his course as a public official and always admired his fidelity to the trust.”

Jack Thompson elected

April 25, 1915 in the Okolona (MS) Messenger

April 25, 1915 in the Okolona (MS) Messenger

“The familiar name of Jack F. Thompson will be found in our announcement column as a candidate for County Treasurer. For many years this one-legged Confederate Veteran has been known to the voters of this county, serving in different official capacities at different times. Twice he has filled the office he now asks at the hands of the people and each time to the satisfaction of those who elected him. Other official trusts reposed in him have been equally well executed.

You know this man, you know what he has done heretofore and what to expect of him in the future, why should we say more when nothing we might tell you would add to your knowledge of him or add to your good opinion of his fidelity to duty. He is before you and asks your support on merit and past duties well performed. Remember him when you go to the polls next August.”

This time it appears he was not re-elected.

Jack Thompson not re-elected 1915

Jack Thompson not reelected 2

Magazines: I like ’em. Particularly new-to-me and/or regional publications. Last year I discovered and immediately subscribed to Garden & Gun. Bought a few gift subscriptions too. I posted about my discovery on Facebook, which spurred a neighbor to not only subscribe to the magazine but to order as many back issues as they had available.

When in the Asheville, NC airport a few days ago I found Our State: Down Home in North Carolina. Here’s another magazine I think you’ll like, Kathy.

Why am I posting about a regional magazine on a family history blog? There is an article in the August 2012 issue of Our State that details the physical burden a Confederate soldier carried. As author Philip Gerard stated, “Every soldier must carry his part of the war to the great staging grounds and then help to assemble it.

For readers of this blog — who may be descendants of Jack Thompson or his brothers, of Pierce Mitchell or his brothers Whitman, George, and Ben, of Coleman Gray, Singleton Hughes, his sons Robert, Thomas, and James — this article helps us picture the burdens they bore.


The Burden of War 
by Philip Gerard
Our State: Down Home in North Carolina
August 2012 issue

The weight men carry nearly leaves them limp underneath their sacks. But there is only one way to shed that weight, and the price for that is far worse that shouldering the load...[click here to read more]


Read the entire series of articles published to date: Civil War Series. Articles include:

  • A General’s Fatal Anger
  • A War of Songs
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Caught Between Blue and Gray
  • Baptism by Blood

There’s more of our Wilson family history than you can shake a stick at on

Important dates, events, photos, stories, even death certificates and marriage licenses can be found for our extended family as well as specific census records, handwritten World War I draft registration cards, obituaries, and photos of headstones.

This blog is the place I use to post the family stories. The family tree on Ancestry.com contains the details. Here’s a sample of the tree view. At the bottom of this post is a partial view of an individual, as well as how you can access this information.

Family tree view


Partial individual view


How can you see this trove of family history? Post a comment here and I’ll reply with an invitation from within Ancestry.

In 1969, Ruby Thompson Woodruff wrote  a letter to her niece Anna Belle Gray Wilson that included dates of birth and death of the Thompson siblings. Click to see each page larger.



Ruby Thompson letter -  pg 4

Page 4 of Ruby's letter

A few details:

  • Died in Houston, Mississippi in July 1930
  • His first name is Lott. His middle name appears in other sources with various spellings (Doolin, Dulin, etc.)
  • Buried in Houston’s Prospect Methodist Church cemetery among several other members of his extended family
  • Children: Thompson (Tip), Mrs. Earl Trussell (Edna), Mrs. Willie Wilson (Anna Belle).
  • One grandchild: Neither Tip (wife: Sabella) nor Edna (husband: Earl) had children. Anna Belle had one boy (Billy), the grandchild mentioned here, and one girl (Barbara Ann). She was 7-8 months pregnant with Barbara Ann when her beloved father died.
L.D. Gray's 1930 obituary

L.D. Gray's 1930 obituary

p1090399Kosciusko-Attala History

by the

Kosciusko-Attala Historical Society

Walsworth Publishing Company, Marceline MO


(Used copies are available online – $45 and up – on  Alibris, Abe Books, and  Amazon. Contact the Attala Historical Society for the availability of new copies.)

At 313 pages, this book contains a tremendous amount of information about the Kosciusko and Attala County (but little or no information on the Mitchell and Wilson families). “Geographically, its boundaries have remained as they were first set. Economically there have been no periods of great prosperity or poverty. As to her population, it too, has for the most part, remained stable – made up of the descendants of the first settlers.”

Attala County, named for an Indian princess in the popular 1798 book The Natchez by Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (who spelled it Atala). The town of Kosciusko is named for a member of General George Washington’s staff during the Revolutionary War, Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

Sadly, this book does not contain an index.