This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small, and this week’s prompt is “Large Family.”
Hays Rodgers and Marey A Scott Rodgers
- Lewis Rodgers 1817-1890 m. Nancy Powell Ward, nine children
- James Rodgers 1818-1862 m. Martha A Sanderford, five children
- Allen Rodgers 1820-1894 m. Judith Walker McGehee, seven children, m. Nancy Abigail Chatham, six children
- Jackson Rodgers 1821- unknown
- Susannah Rodgers 1822-1904 m. Elijah Jackson Chatham, twelve children
- Stephen Rodgers 1824-1834 died young
- William Hays Rodgers 1826-1834 died young
- Mary Ann Rodgers 1828-1898 m. Rice Benjamin Carpenter, five children, m. William Eades Jolly, three children
- Timothy Rodgers 1830-1862
- Hays Rodgers Jr 1832-1913 m. Lucinda Graham, ten children
- Wilson Rodgers 1834-1864 m. Sarah Jane Graham, one child
- John W Rodgers 1836-1864
- Elizabeth Rodgers 1839-1875 m. George Malon Graham, ten children
- Martha Jane Rodgers 1844-1880 m. Martin V Warren, m. James Knox Meeks, m. Adam James Edgar, three children
Hays and Marey were my 4th great grandparents. #8 Mary Ann and Rice were my 3rd great grandparents.
One can only imagine what Christmas would look in a house like this. After a while, the birth of a new child would be common place, and one might even have to decide which birth to attend and which one to not attend. There must have been a lot of love and a lot of chaos, but large families also have the potential for great tragedy. Hays and his large family lived in Mississippi, and when the Civil War broke out in 1862, they had no idea what was to come.
#9, #10, #11, and #12 served in the Confederacy. Only #10 returned home, and he came home with a useless arm that had taken a mini ball.
#8, #13, and #14 had husbands who served. As a matter of fact, #14 had two husbands who served. The only one who came home was #13’s. #14 was twice widowed by the age of twenty.
#5 had an eldest son who served. He was the first-born grandson in the family. He died at the age of 18 of illness at the training camp, one of the first casualties of the war.
If losing seven men in a single family wasn’t bad enough, typhoid also swept through the county the winter of 1862/63. During that terrible winter, Hays and Marey died within months of each other. Others lost to the disease were #2 and his wife within days of each other, leaving five orphans. #8’s infant son was also lost.
Looking at it from #8’s perspective. She lost three brothers, three brothers-in-law (one being her husband’s brother), four sisters-in-law (three were her husband’s sisters), an 18-year-old nephew, her husband, her infant son, and both parents within a seventeen month period. FIFTEEN PEOPLE! It turns my stomach to think about it.
Mary Ann seemed to be the one who held the family together after the tragedy. She was an amazing woman who had no idea how capable she was. Not only did she see the family through the tragedy, she came out on the other side a strong woman with an amazing story. Her story is detailed in my book Okatibbee Creek.