Sympathy Saturday: Reverend Lorenzo Harper Jamieson

Reverend Lorenzo Harper Jamieson
Reverend Lorenzo Harper Jamieson

“Departed this life Sept. 27, 1901, Lorenzo Harper Jamieson was born March 20, 1820, in York District, South Carolina. He moved with his parents to Tenn., in 1832, where they remained 4 years; then moved to Mississippi and settled six miles south of Ripley, near Orizaba in 1836. He was married to Minerva Childers, daughter of Squire James Childers, Dec. 15, 1846, at the crossing of the Salem and Saulsbury roads. He then entered a place on the Saulsbury road 8 miles north of Ripley, where he lived until his death. He was 81 years, 6 mos., and 7 days old. He was a noble character; devoted most of his time to farming and fruit growing at which he was very successful. He turned from his sins and joined the Primitive Baptist church at Antioch, in 1868, was baptized by Elder Miles Moore, was licensed to preach May 1871, and ordained July 1876, by Elders J.W. Norton and H.T. Rowland. He was the father of 12 children, six sons and six daughters; nine of whom they raised to be grown. He leaves a wife, one son, and four daughters, a host of grandchildren and friends to mourn his loss. We are made to feel that he has paid the debt we are indebted too. Though we may miss his voice and his sweet smiles, yet we feel confident that our loss is his gain. It makes us sad to part with such a friend, a friend that has made home pleasant, and those whom he came in contact with to feel proud of his presence. His noble deeds should be a good example for his bereaved friends, and let them say, they will try to live so as to meet this beloved friend in the better world, where there will be no more pain or sorrow, but will forever be peace and happiness. We know that God’s power is beyond man’s and if he breaks the greatest human cord, we must think there is a greater attraction in heaven for us than before. And where we look at the longevity of older people and see what steps they have taken, while drifting down the stream of time, a thought is impressed upon our minds that we should live so as to walk in their footprints and share with them in the treasures of Heaven. This good man was taken sick the second day of Sept. and was sick nearly four weeks. He was taken with typhoid fever of which he suffered untold misery. His remains were laid to rest in the Little Hope cemetery, Sept. 28, 1901. There was a host of friends and relatives that followed him to the last resting place, and as they laid eyes upon this good man for the last time, it almost broke their hearts to part with him. Weep not dear wife, children, relatives, and friends, for his last words were, “I am going home.” We know he is better off, in that happy home than he was here. Now may God’s richest blessings rest upon the bereaved home and when God calls you from this world you can reach forth your hand and say, I have fought the good fight, and have let my light so shine, that those around me are illuminated by its beautiful rays and are ready to step on board the Ship of Zion and sail through the pearly gates of Heaven, where you can shake hands with this dear friend.

Life is but a moment time,
We cannot prolong the wave,
Let us live for God above,
And in Heaven we shall be saved.

By a friend,

J.T. Linebarger”

This obituary from the Southern Sentinel in Ripley, Mississippi is flat out amazing. I don’t think there’s anything else to say about it except it would be nice to have a friend that wanted to remember me like that.


Sympathy Saturday: Manuel Fratis

On 20 February 1865, on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, a little boy who came to be known as Manuel Fratis was born. His parents were Lewis Fratis and his wife, Rosa Minnise. Lewis and Rosa were coming out of some of the worst years the Azores, a Portuguese possession, had ever seen. First there was Portugal’s civil war in the 1820s and then famine in the 1850s.

It’s during this time that you find a rise in Portuguese immigration, just like the rise of Irish immigration during their famine in the 1840s. To the best of my knowledge, Lewis and Rosa were not among the immigrants to America.

Manuel married Rosaline Rapose around 1894 in the Azores, soon beginning their own family with the birth of son Manuel Junior the next year.

Meanwhile in America, Ashtabula, Ohio had recently become the busiest port on the Great Lakes, sending out iron ore and coal on Lake Erie and the recently completed Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Ashtabula Railroad. The city experienced a thirty-year boom, attracting immigrants from around the world including Manuel Fratis and his growing family. However, he was leaving behind the twin sister of his infant daughter, Dorothy.

The first time we find Manuel in America is in the 1902 Ashtabula city directory. His brother Anthony was already there.

1902 Ashtabula City Directory showing Manuel and Rosa Fratis. Notice the different spelling (Frates) and brother Antonio (Anthony) living across the street.
1902 Ashtabula City Directory showing Manuel and Rosa Fratis. Notice the different spelling (Frates) and brother Antonio (Anthony) living across the street.

Manuel worked on the docks in Ashtabula’s harbor district. Unloading ships of iron ore and reloading them with coal was hard work, often taking 150 men to unload a ship.  Thousands of immigrants flocked to the harbor, competing aggressively and often violently for work.  Ashtabula had earned a rough reputation as a port city and was considered, along with Calcutta and Shanghai, one of the three roughest ports in the world.  The district was filled with bars and brothels.

Postcard picturing the harbor, 1906.
Postcard picturing the harbor, 1906.

It was not an easy place to be. But Manuel had to support his family that now included eight children by 1910. He never spoke any English or not enough to do business on his own, anyway. This was a time just before the First World War when immigrants were expected to assimilate quickly into society, like they were in the mid-19th century and a good bit like many expect today. The immigrant who does not learn enough English to get by can easily be taken advantage of and mocked as dumb and unpatriotic. But English is not an easy language to learn.

Manuel’s life was not easy and it was short. Manuel worked hard at a dangerous job to support his family, while Rosa stayed home to take care of the kids. Their oldest son, Manuel Junior, is found at the Boy’s Industrial School in Hocking in 1910. It was a reform school for juvenile offenders. Home life must have been stressful and difficult.

Then in the summer of 1911, Manuel noticed tumors on his neck. Two months later on Saturday, September 16, he was dead of liver and stomach cancer. He had gone to bed Friday night and never woke up. Rosa found him still in the bed. He was only 46.

Manuel's death certificate
Manuel’s death certificate



Sympathy Saturday: John Green Holley

Holley, J.G. - 1903
My great-great grandfather’s death certificate

John Green Holley was born on 18 December 1833 on the family farm in Franklin, Tennessee, a few miles south of Nashville. His parents were Sion Holley and his wife, Martha Bradford. Apparently, the unique child naming ended with Sion because John and all of his siblings have those nice, common names like John, William, and Nancy. They must not want to be found.

John had moved with his family to Tippah County, Mississippi by 1850. By the turn of the next decade, we find him married to Nancy Rich and beginning a family of his own.

Seems all nice and sweet and rose colored, right? Happily ever after, maybe?

Nope. Just plain nope.

By 1880, John and Nancy are living apart and just a few years later, John completely moves off to Texas. He wanted his space and just getting out of the house wasn’t enough. He had to put a state between his family and himself.

He wanted his peace and quiet and he got it.

He died alone.

Sympathy Saturday: Anthony and Joseph Rapose

One of the saddest things I come across in research for any family is the death of children. But this case was worse to me for the simple fact that death certificates existed for the kids. You might wonder why that would bother me. “Wouldn’t that mean you know what happened to the kids? You wouldn’t have to wonder.” Exactly. I have to imagine what the parents went through. I get a good picture in my mind of the circumstances because of all the details I found. And I’m not ashamed to admit I cry, even when it isn’t my family, such as in this case.



These are the newborn sons of Anthony Joseph Rapose and Mary Dorothy Fratis. As I found in Ohio birth records, their names were Anthony and Joseph. Anthony and Mary were brand new parents with the birth of these sons. I can imagine mom’s nerves when she realized she was in labor much too soon. There was no time to get to a hospital, if indeed one was available. The boys were born at home and died there three hours later. Their bodies weren’t developed enough to support them, so they passed away. I can imagine the parents cradling their newborns, fervently praying for a miracle that wasn’t forthcoming.

Anthony and Joseph Rapose were interred in Ashtabula’s St. Joseph Cemetery the following day.