Thank you for an immediate response; I was prepared to wait.I am actually looking for a link to John Webster Abney. I have been reseaching him off and on for the past ten years and all my instincts keep leading me back to the Newton County area of Mississippi.John Webster does not appear in any public records until the 1900 census.By oral history he was born in Mississippi (county unknown)in 1852 where he lived until he was 16 years old. At that time (again by oral history) he escaped across the Mississippi with friends after being pursued by area "Jay Hawkers".For this reason I do not believe his departure from Mississippi was planned.He is reported to have then settled in an area called Dry Creek, La.; and then, later in DeRidder, Louisiana where he married his wife in 1878.He married Harriet Lucrecia Thompson (b. 3-18-62).Harriet was the daughter of L.E. Hall (b.6-24-1834) and J.A. Thompson (b.6-15-1840) They were all from Mississippi.Whether John Webster knew Harriet from his days in Mississippi, I do no know.John Webster and Harriet had 13 children including eight sons.His eighth child was named Wiley; his ninth William.Wiley was born in 1892 and William in 1894.Knowing the tendency in that time of parents to name their children after other family members, I am wondering if William Wiley was, in fact, a half brother of John Webster. The early 1890s would have been about the time William wiley made his trek from Mississippi to Texas. Right?Could he have paid my John Webster a visit which sparked memories of the past and family?
By oral history we have been told that after the Civil War John Webster's mother remarried - possibly a sheriff named Campbell.In that case was John Beck an uncle to John Webster?Somehow I have never trusted that story.My instinct leans more to the death of John Webster's mother during the war and his father remarrying.In that case, could his father have been John Beck Abney?Didn't John Beck marry a Lucy M. C.? Could that C in her name stand for Campbell?Now, the final little monkey wrench in the search is the 1900 census which lists John Webster's father as being born in Arkansas.This I have never felt is correct information.John Webster actually lived with my grandparents, Gladys and William Allen Abney for 2 years prior to his death.Gladys wrote the most accurate description that we have of him.She wrote that "He was such a kind hearted man, so good to me, and I thought so much of him, but he never talked to me about his family.I was young, and he spent so much of his time at the livery stable. He was an honest man and a hard worker, but he held extreme emnity for Negroes and great distrust of the federal government until his death." It is the last part - the part about his distrust of the federal government that makes me believe that the 1900 census is not altogether accurate.In that census, John Webster is also said to have been a farmer.He, infact, did own a small piece of land, but he actually owned and operated the local livery.The livery stable had been his livelihood for most of his married life.Further indication of his distrust of the federal government can be seen in the fact that he had just dropped out of sight for 32 years after crossing the Mississippi River in 1868.Can you help me make a connection in Mississippi for John Webster?After following Abney public records for this period throughout the South, the only name connection that is even close is William Wiley.And then, all my instincts keep pulling me back to Newton County, Mississippi.Hope I have not been too confusing or boring.It is time for me to let ole John Webster RIP and me too.