One of my Favorite Veterans

Floyd Mayhue Mills & his wife Anne Elizabeth Cole Mills. This picture taken at Fort Smith Arkansas in 1944. Floyd was about 32 years old & Anne would have been about 30. Floyd & Anne are my maternal grandparents. Thank you for your service granddad & great American values that your family still upholds & appreciates. 💕 #jennealogy #wwiivet #veterans #veteransday2016 #grandparents #proud #american #myjennealogy


Nelly Gilliam

Gilliam, Miss Neil, single, born 18 Oct 1883 in Maury, died 10 Jan. 1928 of uraemia coma due to nephritis; buried Morton Cemetery, daughter of Jim Gilliam, born in Maury, and Nancy Miller, born in Maury; information by Mrs. Pearl Hardison, Route 9, Lewisburg, Tenn.

SOURCE: Jill Garrett’s Maury County Genealogist, Vol. 2 – 1973, pg 69, copied from Record of Deaths, Book 8, District 4, 1922-1928.

MyJennealogy Note: Nelly Gilliam was the daughter of James Riley Gilliam and Nancy Miller.  This is my 1st cousin 3x removed.

John Henry Gilliam

“Death’s Harvest.

Aged 97 Years.

John H. Gilliam died last Friday, Jan. 14, at his home near Leftwich in the 3rd district of this county. Deceased had lived to the ripe old age of 97 years, having first seen the light of day in Wythe County, Virginia, on the 24th day of November, 1800, a little over a year after the death of George Washington. When 8 years of age, he, with his father and mother and three other children, moved to Tennessee and settled near Rock Spring in this county, at which time this section of the country was very sparsedly settled. Shortly after the closing of the Civil War, he moved to the 3rd district, where he has since lived. He leaves one sister, Mrs. Nancy Hardison, who will soon be 83 years old, and one son and daughter, who have both passed the marks of “three score years and ten.” His second wife, who is 73 years old, also survives him. The funeral services were conducted at the residence and the burial took place in the (Robert) Hardison graveyard near Rock Spring.”.

SOURCE: Columbia Herald, January 21, 1898.

MyJennealogy Note:  This is my 4th great grandfather.

Lutie May Whitehead Harmon

Harmon, Lutie May, married, born 29 Aug. 1886, in Maury, died 4 July 1926 of intestinal obstruction, cause unknown; buried Hardison Cemetery; daughter of J. D. Whitehead, born in Maury, and Lucindy Wood, born in West Tennessee; information by Mrs. J. A. Hendrix, Lewisburg, Tenn.

SOURCE: Jill Garrett’s Maury County Genealogist, Vol. 2 – 1973, pg 67, originally copied from Record of Deaths, Book 8, District 4, 1922-1928, Maury County, Tennessee

MyJennealogy Note:  Lutie May Whitehead was married to Luther Martin Harmon. Their son, Joe Martin Harmon was married to Ethel Mills.  This is the mother-in-law of my grand aunt, Ethel Elizabeth Mills Harmon.

Thomas P. Hardison

Hardison, Thomas P., single, born 21 Oct. 1845 in Maury, died 20 jan. 1925 of influenza; buried Hardison Cemetery; son of Robert Hardison, born in Maury, and Nancy Gilliam, born in Maury; information by Mrs. W.L. Gilliam, Route 5, Columbia.

SOURCE: Jill Garrett’s Maury County Genealogist, Vol. 2 – 1973, pg 61, originally copied from Record of Deaths, Book 8, District 4, 1922-1928, Maury County, Tennessee.

MyJennealogy Note:  This is my 1st cousin 5x removed.

Francis Marion Hardison

Hardison Frank M., married, born 12 Nov. 1840 in Maury, died 5 Dec. 1924 of exhaustion due to fracture of the hip; buried Morton Cemetery; son of Robert Hardison, born in N. C., and Nancy Gilliam, born in Maury; information provided by Miss Carrie Hardison of Glendale, Tenn.

SOURCE: Jill Garrett’s Maury County Genealogist, Vol. 2 – 1973, pg 60, originally copied from Record of Deaths, Book 8, District 4, 1922-1928, Maury County, Tennessee

MyJennealogy Note: Frank Hardison was married to Sarah Watson b. 13 Feb 1843, d. 27 Mar 1930.  This is my 1st cousin 5x removed.

William S. Gilliam

Gilliam, William S., married, born 17 March 1875 in Maury, died 13 June 1924 of artero sclerosis; buried Rock Springs, son of J. R. Gilliam, born in Maury, and Nancy Millers, born in Maury; information by Mrs. A. A. Rumage, Columbia.

SOURCE: Jill Garrett’s Maury County Genealogist, Vol. 2 – 1973, pg 60, originally copied from Record of Deaths, Book 8, District 4, 1922-1928, Maury County, Tennessee.

MyJennealogy Note: William S. Gilliam was the son of James Riley Gilliam and Nancy Miller.  This is my 1st cousin 3x removed.

Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee– talks of John Henry Gilliam

John H. Gilliam, one of Maury County’s oldest and most respected citizens, was born in Charlotte, VA on 24 Nov 1800.  His parents, Thomas Gilliam (born 12 Apr 1778) and Sarah Pettnes Gilliam (born in 1782) were also from Charlotte County, VA.  Thomas Gilliam came to Rutherford Co., TN in 1806 were he was a very successful farmer for two years.  He relocated to Maury Co. in the Rock Springs community and once again took up farming.  In 1812 he built the first saw mill on the Duck River, known as the Wallace Mill.  After seven years he took up farming when he moved onto a tract of land north of Rock Springs.  Thomas was known as a “Hardshell” Baptist and a Democrat.  He died on 1 Oct 1844 and his wife, Sarah, had died before him on 6 Sep 1835.

John H. Gilliam married Martha Gilliam, daughter of Robert and Estella (Marsby) Gilliam from Charlotte Co., VA, on 6 Jan 1822.  Martha was born 30 Oct 1799.  So at the age of 21, John took up the business of farming in Maury Co., TN.  John and Martha Gilliam had four children, Sarah P. (1824); Edward H. (1825); Stephen M. (1828) and Charles W. (1833).  Martha died 27 Sept 1868 and John married his second wife Julia C. Jones Martin (born 24 Mar 1824) on 6 Jan 1867.

SOURCE: This is from a biography of John Henry Gilliam taken from Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee.

MyJennealogy Note:  This is my 4th great grandfather.

Happy Birthday Granddad!

Mills Ethel Mildred and Floyd LtoRHappy Birthday to my grandfather, Floyd Mayhue Mills.  We always called him “Granddad”.

Granddad was born in Maury County, Tennessee on February 20, 1913 to Milton Everett (1890-1967) and Lunie Mae (Gilliam) Mills (1890-1981), both of Maury County, Tennessee.  Floyd was the middle child of three and the only son.  His older sister Ethel Elizabeth (born June 11, 1911) was 2 years old when he arrived.  His younger sister Mildred Louise (born January 29, 1915) would arrive a couple of years later.

1920 United States Federal CensusFloyd first appears in the 1920 US Census in Maury County, Tennessee, District 3, and was reported as age 6.   He is living in the household with his parents and two sisters. His parents are both reported as age 29 and his sister Ethel is age 8  and Mildred, age 4.  Milton (dad) is listed as a farmer for a “general farm”.  They are all reported as being born in the state of Tennessee.  They are living next door to his grandparents, Marshall and Nan (recorded as Clara) Mills.

Floyd is listed in the 1930 US Census in Maury County, Tennessee,Mills Floyd Milton Mildres Lunie 1930 United States Federal Census District 3, and reported as age 17.  He is living with his parents and they are both reported as age 39.  Floyd’s sister Mildred (age 15) is living in the home; however, his sister Ethel is no longer living in her parent’s home.  The Census reports that the Mills’ own their home and farm.  Milton’s occupation is listed as a farmer and Floyd is reported as a farm-laborer.

In 1931, on July 13, Floyd married Anne Elizabeth Cole (daughter of Edward D. and Cordelia (Tucker) Cole) in Maury County, Tennessee.  Anne was born on March 9, 1914 and died March 24, 2010.  A little over a year after their marriage, his only daughter/child, Dalsie Mabel Mills was born (October 29, 1932).

Mills Floyd Anne and Dalsie 1940 United States Federal CensusThe three of them are found in the 1940 US Census living in the city limits of Columbia, Tennessee.This was the 9th District area of Maury County.  Floyd is reported as age 27. Anne (recorded as Mary) is 26 years old and Dalsie is 7.   The Census reports that they are renting and were living in the same place on April 1, 1935.   Floyd is reported to have achieved an 8th grade education.  His occupation is listed as a refinisher at a furniture store, working about 60 hours a week.

Mills Floyd and Anne Cole MillsOn April 8, 1944 Floyd enlisted in the Army for World War II.  He was stationed in Europe during the war.  Enlistment documents state that he enlisted in the state of Mississippi at Camp Shelby.  He is listed as a Private.  It states that his birth year is 1913 and says his state and county residence is Maury County, Tennessee at the time of enlistment. This picture to the left must have been taken around this time.  Floyd is on the left in his army uniform and beside him is Anne.

Floyd is listed (with Anne) in the 1948 Columbia, Mills Floyd and Anne U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989Tennessee City Directory on page 306.   The directory reports that Floyd was a carpenter and they lived at 1007 Garden Street, Columbia. Their telephone number was 1920J.

I know that my Granddad worked as a dairy farmer for much of his life.  My mother, grandmother and older sisters talked about the Criddle Farm in Maury County where my grandparents milked cows twice a day.  Recently (last 5 years), my uncle has pointed out the “old Criddle farmhouse” that now is fairly close to a main road in Maury County.  I think that this Mills LtoR Dalsie with Jo Floyd and Milton with Jacq March 1953picture may have been taken on the Criddle Farm property around March 1953. Left to right is Dalsie (Floyd’s daughter) with Floyd’s oldest granddaughter, Floyd, and Milton (Floyd’s Dad) holding Floyd’s second oldest granddaughter (Jacquelyn “Jaci” Kaye Byrd).  What a great 4 generation photo of the Mills’ family.

Later my grandparents bought about 50 acres off of Bear Creek Pike on Cranford Hollow road in Maury County, Tennessee. My Granddad built the home and the barn that still stands today.  They had dairy cows and milked cows for some time there.  When I was a child they had cattle that they raised for selling.  The property had a large hill on the northeastern corner, where you could see all the way to the city of Columbia. There were a couple of fish ponds and a large garden in the summer-time for fresh vegetables.  As a child, I enjoyed riding on the tractor with my Granddad on the farm and helping with the chores.  I especially enjoyed picking tomatoes from the garden in summer and having a “fresh” tomato sandwiches for lunch. Tomatoes just don’t even taste the same anymore.

During the early 1970s, Granddad worked for the Maury County Highway Department.  I remember the yellow county truck that he drove.

As depicted in the photo above, Granddad was a larger man, standing about 6’1’’. He was strong, had a deep voice, blues eyes, and a great smile.  He worked hard everyday.  I remember that he was an early riser in the mornings – and when he was up – he expected that everyone in the house should be out of bed.  He listened to the “farm report” and news on the local AM radio station every morning.  He was quite opinionated so he usually had a comment or two to add about the “happenings going on.

Floyd loved family, history, genealogy and community.  His memory of people, places and events was impeccable.  I loved hearing the stories that he could tell of the old stagecoach or about the places that our family settled and lived in Maury County.  He spent time with Maury County historian Jill Garrett, taking her about the county and pointing out places of historical significance (small and large), with a story or two of course.  I met Ms. Garrett a couple of times with my Granddad.  I was mesmerized listening to all the things that they knew about the history and people of the county and Tennessee.

Mills Floyd and Anne Cole headstoneGranddad, after battling several years of great illness, predominantly diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, died at the young age of 68.  Prior to his death on November 23, 1981, he was bedridden and could not speak.   So much was lost then, in so many ways.  He is buried at Jones Cemetery in Maury County, Tennessee.  His parents and now his beloved wife Anne are buried there as well.

Floyd’s influence in my life is still strong, as I believe he is the one that stirred my interest in genealogy and wanting to know more about my family at a young age.  Looking back, I only wish that he had written down all those great stories and the things that he remembered or that I had.  I hope that somehow, in some small way, I can generate that same love for history, family and community for and in others, as Granddad did for me.

I love you Granddad! Happy Birthday.

Veterans’ Day – Dedicated to the Cause of World Peace

Norman Charles WAccording to, Veterans Day (November 11th) was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day – the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. Established by Congress in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’ The declared holiday honored the veterans of World War I. Then in 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, the Act of 1938 was amended by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Today I think of all the those within my family that sacrificed so much to serve America in wars that have been critical for world peace.  They were dedicated to the preservation of freedoms and liberties of our Nation and throughout the world.  For over 235 years, members of my family have defended and fought for the sacred values held within their hearts, many of the same are written within the Bible and the documents of our Nation’s foundation.  They have  served and fought for freedom not only because they felt it was their duty, but because they knew it was a call of honor.  Today I enjoy many liberties and freedom in America because of those who served and sacrificed for all.   Thank you to many family members, particularly the following:

  • Thanks to my husband for serving in the Persian Gulf War, including service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
  • Thanks to my dad, Charles W. Norman (1932-1979), for serving in the Korean War, as a member of the U.S. Army.   He entered into active service on February 20, 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee as a Private – 2nd Class.  He was promoted to Corporal (T) June 29, 1954.  He was transferred to the US Army Reserves on December 18, 1954 through Fort Knox, Kentucky.  He remained in the US Army Reserves, in standby mode, until he was fully released and honorably discharged on February 24, 1961. He received several metals for his service, including National Defense Service Metal (NDSM), United Nations Service Metal (UNSM), Korean Service Metal (KSM) and Good Conduct Metal (GCM).
  • Thanks to my great uncle William “Bill” Cole (1923-2002), a pilot serving in World War II.   He enlisted in the Army  on the 29th December of 1942, serving until October 17, 1945 as a Private.
  • Thanks to my granddad, Floyd M. Mills (1913-1981), for serving during World War II.  My grandfather served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army.   He was enlisted on April 8, 1944 in Camp Shelby, Mississippi as a Private.  I know from stories by my mom and grandmother that at some point my grandfather was stationed in Texas and later served in Germany.
  • Thanks to my great-grandfather George W. Gibson (1844-1923) for serving during the Civil War.  He was wounded at Ramond, Mississippi in 1863 with a mini ball in his left shoulder. A small  Bible in his pocket deflected the bullet away from his heart. He was a prisoner in Yankee Camps at Fort Donelson in Nashville, Tn in 1864.
  • Thanks to my great-grandfather John M. Tucker (1840-1888), for serving during the Civil War.  He was captured, imprisoned and traded several times during his service.  He was hit by a riffle ball in the hip, and although he was crippled from the shot, he continued to serve.   Continuing problems with this crippling wound lead to his early death.
  • Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Gilliam (1733-1794), who served in military operations of the American Revolutionary War with the Colonial soldiers of Lunenburg County, Virginia, including rangers and militia.
  • Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Lafayette Norman (1750-1809), who is believed to have served during the American Revolutionary War, possibly within the North Carolina militia.

Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and do serve in defending America, the values of life, liberty and freedom, and the hope of world peace.