MR. ROY PINKERTON, LONG BEACH, CA for his untiring efforts collecting over 85,000 records from two central Texas newspapers. He urges everyone to learn about their families before all those who can furnish data are gone. His ancestors are the Jackson, Hilton, Johnston, and Pinkerton lines.
His AUNT LAURA JACKSON COOK who encouraged his collecting of this history and putting it into permanent form.
THE THORNDALE CHAMPION and ROCKDALE REPORTER for keeping Central Texas aware of happenings in the area and for preserving their many records for all to use in future years.
TO THE FOLLOWING DEVOTED MCGS MEMBERS for the many hours of work, typing and proof reading the entire book.TYPISTS:
We thank all of you for your dedication and encouragement in the preparation of these records for research and the enjoyment of Central Texas families and communities.
Obituaries are written at life's end, but it is more importantly, a celebration of a life lived.
Milam County was established in 1836 with towns and communities being organized around 1846 or later. A valuable and important instrument for the genealogist's research arsenal is the local newspaper. Newspapers generally contain information of births, the lives, and deaths of local persons, families and local events, information not found elsewhere. With most of Milam County records burned in 1874, this volume should be an important link to some of the pioneers of Central Texas and the State of Texas.
For over 30 years Mr. Roy Pinkerton of California, for whom this volume is dedicated, collected and indexed newspaper clippings from the following area newspapers, The Thorndale Champion and Rockdale Reporter, concerning persons who had roots in this Central Texas Area. Some locations mentioned are Taylor, Thrall, Bartlett and Williamson County; Thorndale, Rockdale, Milano, Cameron, Buckholts, Sharp, Davilla and Gause, all in Milam Co.; Lexington and Giddings in Lee County and several other locations, including Austin, Houston Dallas and localities outside of Texas such as Ohio, Minnesota, New York, Florida, New Mexico, Hawaii and Guam. The obituaries are usually found in both papers and/or other surrounding community papers.
We have entered over 4,000 obituaries, 600+ pages, from the original articles. This is not an index. Some printing errors were made originally, but the in depth information available from the items has been captured and an attempt has been made to include all vital information that was listed.
Our criteria for information is as follows:
1. Complete name, including married or maiden name, husband's name, nickname, if available
2. Age at time of death
3. Date of death (month/day/year), when obit appeared in paper; where death occurred and details (medical reasons or cause)
4. Date and location of rosary and/or funeral services
5. Location of burial
6. Person(s) officiating at service
7. Funeral Home in charge of arrangements
8. Birth Date, location, parents name, if listed
9. Marriage date, location and spouses name
10. Club and/or church membership. Additional information about deceased.
11. Pallbearers if family
12. Preceded in death by
14. Social Security Death Benefit Number if available
Several members of one family are included or clues to finding that elusive family member. Earliest date of birth is 1846; death dates span from 1906 to 1994.
We have taken the liberty of abbreviating such as Mr. and Mrs. to M/M.; some abbreviations were made because of spacing or line length; dates are written as month/day/year.
An attempt was made to keep numbers consistent, such as WW-I is WW-1 or WW-II as WW-2 or 2 sons survive.
We tried to include colorful obituary information for a more enjoyable book. Whenever - - - - - - appears the obituary is complete.
As a second source for research, the Social Security Number was entered for the ancestor, wherever possible. To obtain Social Security information write to the addresses in the back section of the book. To obtain further vital information contact the state in which the birth, marriage or death occurred. (See back of book for addresses). If the ancestor did not have a Social Security number, check person's status, was the person too old for Social Security (beginning in 1937); maybe a teacher or retiree from the Railroad. Check these sources for further information.
We have noted at the end of the entry if a photo was printed at the time of the obituary. Most of the pictures were not clear, but if you have not seen your relative before the picture would be great to see.
As we prepared this "history" we have been provided a new knowledge of the families that we have known throughout the years. A great deal of satisfaction was derived from compiling and preparing the text. We hope you will enjoy this book as we celebrate these Central Texas lives.
The attached documents are an accumulation of genealogical data collected from information (obituaries), given in the Thorndale Champion and Rockdale Reporter. The information on each person can be used as a guideline, but should be verified by legal documentation or other means before being accepted as correct. The data is only as good as what is printed and errors have shown up as the data was gathered. Other errors are sure to have been made in transcribing and typing even though every precaution has been taken to prevent errors. In other words, use the data carefully and verify by other means as needed.
As long as you keep the above in mind ------
HAPPY ANCESTOR HUNTING!!
Way Back When --- There were no modern funeral parlors, no licensed embalmers, no fancy satin-lined steel caskets, no stream-lined hearse, no limousines, no mechanical tools to lower the body into the grave, and no picturesque flower shops to furnish elegant sprays, people were prepared to take care of the dead.
In those days, whom death had claimed, were readied for burial by their relatives, friends, neighbors, and occasionally a local community caretaker whose specialty was to take care of the dead.
Immediately following the death of an individual, he or she was stripped of all clothing, bathed for the last time, and laid on the "cooling board", which was the homemade ironing board stripped of all of its coverings and laid across two cane bottom chairs. They were dressed in their "Sunday best" clothing, including shoes. A saucer containing salt was placed on the stomach to prevent excessive swelling, or sometimes the body was sprinkled all over with salt.
Upon completing these rituals, the arms were folded across the chest and the body was covered with a white sheet.
The coffin or casket had to be made, the task, which was accomplished by neighbors, friends and someone skilled in carpentry. This consisted of a wooden box made of pine or some other available lumber, usually draped in black and its interior decorated with cheesecloth or whatever material was available in the home.
Final services for the deceased were always held at a local church. The body was transported in a common wagon, or a spring latch wagon, which was drawn by two mules. In later years, these wagons were embellished with rubber tire wheels, which cut out the solemn squeaky noises made by the wooden wheels. The casket was covered with a favorite quilt and a bouquet of homegrown seasonal flowers or homemade crepe paper flowers sufficed as a spray.
Volunteer grave-diggers prepared the grave site free (without charge). There were no modern tools to lower the bodies into the grave. Ropes and buggy lines supported the coffin until it reached its final resting place.
Taking Care of the Dead, had its values also, for friends were really true friends; neighbors were real neighbors; everyone seemed to care and everyone was willing to share.
SPECLAL NOTE: Alex Alford and Doc Mobley of the Liberty Hill Comm. were well known for their skill in preparing the dead for burial.
Created on 16 Feb 2005 and last revised on 22 Mar 2005