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Re: Robert NORRIS, Wilcox County, AL, 1861-1940

Thanks Tony.

I looked at Robert McMillen in 1870 but I think he's an unlikely possibility mainly because of geography.

Are you familiar with Gees Bend of quilt -- and now stamp -- fame? Well, Gees Bend was located in a bend in the Alabama River almost 20 miles off a main road which even today makes it difficult to get to the other side of the county. The "Benders" just got their ferry back after 40+ years so that now its a 20 minute trip across the river to get to the county seat in the central part of the county rather than a a 40 mile drive. Rehobeth is on the road to Gees Bend in the northeast part of the county. Bonham, where this Robert McMillen was enumerated is southwest of the county seat. I'm inclined to believe that if my GF was in Rehobeth from at least 1879 when his first son was born until 1918 when he took his family to Selma that he was probably also born in that area because of its relative isolation. And some of the roads that exist today were not there in 1860 making the area even more cut off from the rest of the county.

The Robert Mixon in 1870 in Rehobeth is the one I identified in my query as my best guess to be my GF. At least for now this is my working assumption.

The Robert Mixon in 1900 living near Mose Wood in Rehobeth was probably not the Robert Mixon in 1870 in Becca Mixon's household. For one thing there's a five year age difference. I did find a Bob Mixon in 1880 the same age as the 1900 Robert Mixon living with his parents and also found this same household in 1870 enumerated as "Nixon" with an "N". Have not been able to find the Robert Mixon in Becca's household in 1880 or later -- unless he's the same person as my Robert Norris.

Thanks for help. I'm trying to think outside the box, literally, since I've used that bend in the river as a sort of container for my research for so long.

Another quirky thing abut the geography of the area (and even more so back in the 19th century before the current roads were built) is that Rehobeth is located near where four counties come together --Wilcox, Perry, Dallas and Marengo. In some ways it was/is easier to move back and forth north and west across those county lines than to get to the rest of Wilcox County so I have also been looking there, especially in southern Dallas County where there were also some Norris families. In fact back ca 1860, the main road out that area ran through Rehobeth and on to Caha(w)ba and Selma which were major cities in the State at the time. There would have been a lot of traffic (and trafficking) along that road. I've been collecting maps of the area from the period to get a better idea of where people were located relative to travel routes.

Thanks again.

B.J.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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