Sunday’s Obituaries – Lela Webb Cole

Crockett County Sentinel
Thursday, June 8, 1950

Death… Services for Mrs. Lela Cole of Bells, who died of a heart attack Tuesday, were held on Wednesday at the Pond Creek Methodist Church. She was 74. She leaves a daughter, Mrs. William Mansfield of Bells; a son Buck McCall of Portageville, Mo.; two brothers, Willie Webb of Milan, and Joe Webb of Dyersburg.

Lela Webb Cole was born on 10 Apr 1876 to Robert and Mary Ellen White Webb. In 1897, she married J. William Cole. Lela Cole is  know in my daddy’s family as “Big Mama”. Big Mama raised my great-grandmother Hazel Lee Call Mansfield as her own child after she was abandoned.

Happy Searching!



My Great-Great-Grandparents in the 1940 census! added new indexes today!  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado and Vermont are all searchable, along with New York, Nevada, District of Columbia, Delaware and Maine that have been searchable for a while now. I am very excited about Tennessee, since that is where most of my ancestors on my daddy’s side of the family come from. My Mansfield, Call, Brasfield, etc. lines all come from around Crockett County. Here is my first find for today!

This is the census records for my great-great-grandparents, Joe Allan and Maud May “Maudie” Griggs Mansfield. Joe was born on 18 Dec 1880 in Crockett County, Tennessee to James and Mary Ann Brasfield Mansfield. Maudie was born on 22 Jan 1884 in Crockett County to William Riley and Margaret “Maggie” Johnson Griggs. On 26 Dec 1899,Joe and Maudie married in Crockett County. Joe died in 1948 and Maud lived to be 95 years old, passing in 1979.

They had 8 children:

  • Annie Lou (Hatch) 1901-1984
  • Marvin Mansfield 1904-1979
  •  William Lesley 1905-1985 (my great-grandfather)
  • James 1909-?
  • Ola Mai 1912-1994
  • Mary 1913-?
  • Mosie 1920-?
  • Rebecca 1923-2007

By the time the 1940 census came along, Rebecca and Ola Mai were the only two daughters still living at home. Ola Mai was divorced and had come back to her parents home with a daughter Evelyn Rodgers (her father was Homer Rodgers). She would go on to marry in 1942 to Osca Hensley.

Rebecca would go on to marry Robert Peace (1916-1947) and have two children with him. I’ll share the story of how Robert, along with Annie Lou’s son, died later.

Happy Searching!

Sunday’s Obituary – Raymond Alton McKnight

Since today is Father’s Day, I thought I would share with you my daddy’s obituary.

McKNIGHT, RAYMOND passed away peacefully at home in Cullman, AL on December 22, 2008. Beloved husband of Donna McKnight; son-in-law of Lucille Lindsay of Ferndale, MI; brother of Ron (Vera) McKnight of TN; dearest father of daughters SueAnn McKnight of Cullman, Skilynn (Fred) Lafner of MI; son Shannon (Mehgann) of MI; grandfather of six; also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Bernard McKnight and brother Rickie James McKnight. Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Ray circa 1951-2

My dad was born on 27 April 1950 to Bernard and Bernice Mansfield McKnight.

He was the best daddy that I could have ever asked for! He is very much-loved and missed! 

Ron, Ray, and Rickie McKnight circa 1955

Happy Father’s Day!

Sunday’s Obituary – Joe Allen Mansfield

Funeral services for Joe Allen Mansfield, farmer, who died at his home here February 10 (1948), were held Wednesday, February 11 at 2 p.m. in the Providence Baptist Church with Brother Lowrance, of Maury City, the officiating minister. Burial was in Providence Cemetery with Ronk Funeral Home in charge of the services

Mr. Mansfield is survived by his wife; six children, Mrs. Annie Hatch, Marvin Mansfield, William Mansfield, Mrs. Ola May Hensley, Mrs. Merle Love, Mrs. Rebecca Peace; one brother, Mr. Tolley Mansfield and two sisters, Mrs. Lou Burnett and Mrs. Maudie Midgett.

Joe Allen Mansfield is my twice great-grandfather.  He was born in Crockett County, Tennessee on 18 Dec 1880 to James and Mary Ann Brassfield Mansfield.  His married Maudie May Griggs (1884-1979) on 26 Dec 1899 in Crockett County.

This was published on Thursday,  12 Feb 1948 in the Crockett Times, Alamo, Tennessee,Vol. 15, No. 50.

Happy Searching!

Sentimental Sunday – McKnight Family Photo

This is the only picture I have of my grandparents Bernard and Bernice Mansfield McKnight with their children (well minus my uncle Ricky who wasn’t born yet) Ronald and Raymond (my daddy). I believe this picture was taken at Easter 1953 in Friendship or Crockett Mills, Crockett County, Tennessee. My dad would have been turning 3 later that month, my uncle Ron would have just turned 4 (they were only 13 months apart), Bernice was 20 and Bernard 29.

Bernice, Ray, Bernard, and Ron McKnight
Taken April 1953 in Crockett County, Tennessee

From the story that my daddy told me, about two years after this photo was taken my Bernice left the family and moved away. My dad would visited her a few times while she was living in Florida but lived mainly with his father in Michigan.

I think that my dad and uncle could have almost passed as twins in those days.

This photo is very sentimental because not is the only family photo I have but also because in 2008 my daddy passed on and then in 2009 my uncle passed. My Grandpa Bernie was 53 when he died, my dad 58, my Uncle Ron 60, and my Uncle Rick passed at the age of 47. Bernice also passed away in 2009 at the age of 76. It’s quite sad to realize my father’s entire generation of his family passed away too soon.

May they all Rest In Peace.


Funeral Card Friday – Hazel Lee Call Mansfield

This is the funeral card for my great-grandmother on my daddy’s side. She was born on 8 August 1912 in Tennessee and died 14 February 1998 in Jackson, TN. Hazel married William Leslie Mansfield on 24 Dec 1925 at the age of 13 and by the time she was 21 she had 4 children. Her children were, Wiley Joe, Bobby, Bernice and Ann. She was a life-long resident of Crockett County, TN.

I am still looking for information on Granny’s parents. I believe (but don’t have any proof) that either her father or grandfather was named Robert Call.  In the 1920 census, she and her brother Bernard were being raised by William and Lela “Big Momma” Cole with an Robert Call being the couples “Aged helper”. Her brother Carl Gunn was a half-brother and he was a few years younger than Hazel.

I have very fond memories of my Granny, she was a very caring woman who loved her family greatly. My daddy spent a lot of time with her growing up. He would always tell stories about going from Michigan to stay with her and my great-granddad for the summer. I was 16 when my Granny died and I am very grateful I got to know her.

William Leslie and Hazel Lee Call Mansfield