On This Day – The Year of the Rooster

2017 The Year of the Rooster!


If you were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, or 2005, this is your year!! Not necessarily all good luck, but definitely a year of change and growth.

The rooster is the sign of punctuality. Think of the real rooster, who awakens farmers with the rise of the sun. People born in the Year of the Rooster are honest and intelligent, and most are born naturally good looking.

bbd77de8536ebd73d77ccd3a7ec79627In the Chinese zodiac, January 28, 2017 begins the tenth of the twelve year cycle. Most people would think this year would bring good fortune to those born under the sign, but in truth, this year brings change. The question of luck depends on how you look at those changes.

If you’re a rooster, you may face career changes this year. It won’t all be bad, but you’d be wise to put away a few dollars in case some months get a little tight during the transition. Your relationships will remain stable this year. And, health-wise, make sure you get your annual physical.

Rooster folks have lucky numbers of 5, 7, and 9 and lucky colors of gold and brown.

Celebrities born under the sign of the rooster include Justin Timberlake and Elton John, so maybe we’ll see more of them. Jennifer Aniston and Bette Midler also share this sign. And it wouldn’t upset me to see a bit more of Matthew McConaughey. 🙂

(rooster painting by Theresa Paden at www.TheresaPaden.com)




On This Day in 1985 William Clinton Culpepper

William Clinton CulpepperOn This Day, September 14, 1985, William Clinton Culpepper died.

Uncle Clinton, as he was known to me, was my great uncle, brother of my grandfather. He lived next door to my grandparents and I have many fond memories of his kindness and love and especially his hugs.


culpepper Sam and Annie CulpepperClinton was born in Kemper County, MS on May 11, 1900 to William Samuel Culpepper and Annie Josephine Blanks (photo). He was the eldest of nine children totaling five boys and four girls. His father was a sawyer who followed the saw mill business, gone from home for great lengths of time, so the boys were taught to run the farm when their father was away. I imagine, being the eldest child, most of the responsibility fell to Clinton.

In 1922, when Clinton was 22, he married Miss Eloise Snowden. Following the birth of their two daughters, Eloise came down with breast cancer. For a man who was used to running the family, Clinton took the illness terribly. He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Eloise survived the illness and Clinton survived the gunshot wound, but he now had a severely reduced mental capacity, and their marriage couldn’t stand the strain. They divorced.

William Clinton Culpepper and Thelma Smith CulpepperIn 1945, Clinton found love for the second time and married Miss Thelma Edna Annie Smith (photo). Again disaster struck. Thelma was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again Clinton put a gun to his head. Again they both survived the disasters. Thelma took care of Clinton for the rest of her life. She died 9 May 1984. Clinton died a year later 14 Sept 1985.

dec 2012 212







They are both buried near Thelma’s parents in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in DeKalb, Kemper County, MS.

Rest in peace, Uncle Clinton. ♥


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On This Day in 1862

My 3rd great grandfather, Rice Benjamin Carpenter, was born August 15, 1828 in Greene County, Alabama to Benjamin Carpenter and Nancy Rice Carpenter. He was the eighth of ten children.

In 1834, following the signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, his family moved to Pine Springs, Lauderdale County, Mississippi for the low-cost land and fertile soil. Rice was six years old.

He married Mary Ann Rodgers in 1846. They were both seventeen.

They had five children – Martha Lettie, Benjamin Hays, William Travis, Charles Clinton, and MF – one girl and four boys.

frs4544After living with some friends in Pine Springs for a few years, in 1853 they bought 80 acres of land from Mary Ann’s father and began farming, but within a few short years, Rice realized he was a better merchant than a farmer, and by 1860 they had opened a general store in Marion Station, Mississippi.




dec 2012 388When the Civil War began, Rice signed up for the 41st Mississippi Infantry, Company C on February 8, 1862. This must have been a frightening time for the family, as Mary Ann was eight months pregnant with their last child who was born March 12th, 1862.




dec 2012 394On This Day at dawn on December 31, 1862, amid limestone boulders and cedar forest, his infantry attacked the Union soldiers at the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (only 20 miles from my house)





Page 6Private Rice Benjamin Carpenter died on that day on the battlefield at the age of 34, leaving behind his wife and children.









dec 2012 407He is laid to rest at Confederate Circle, Evergreen Cemetery, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

RIP 3rd great grandpa. Rest well soldier, your job is done.

A portion of his story is told in my book, “Okatibbee Creek.” Available at Amazon.

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On This Day in 1848, 1859, 1879, 1917, 1939, 2010

There are some days in my family tree that have far too many events attached to them. There won’t be a death or birth or marriage for the weeks prior and following, but on one day, they all stack up. Very strange. December 10th is one of those days.

On Thisblanks martha lettie carpenter Day in 1848, my 2nd great grandmother was born. She was Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter. She was born to Mary Ann Rodgers and Rice Benjamin Carpenter. Her father died during the Civil War when she was only fourteen. The story is written in Okatibbee Creek. Mattie married William Henry Blanks III, and they had seven children, six being girls. (photo Mattie Carpenter Blanks)

On This Day in 1859, my other 2nd great grandmother was born. She was Nancy Didama Spencer, and she was born to George Washington Spencer and Nancy Virginia Holdcroft.

On This Day in 1879, my 2nd great grandparents wed. The above Nancy Spencer married an Irish immigrant named John Francis Burke. They had six children and twenty-seven grandchildren.

On This Day in 1917, my great aunt Minnie Ellen Crane was born, baby sister of my grandfather.

culpepper Sam and Annie CulpepperOn This Day in 1939, my great grandfather William Samuel Culpepper died. He was 66 and suffered from hypertension. He married Annie Josephine Blanks, daughter of the above Mattie and William Henry Blanks. So Annie’s husband died on her mother’s birthday. (photo of Sam and Annie)

On This Day in 2010, my great aunt Myrnis Burke died at the age of 76. She was my grandmother’s little sister. She was a granddaughter of the above Nancy Spencer and John Francis Burke. She died on their wedding anniversary.

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On This Day in 1893

On This Day in 1893, Mary Elizabeth Howington was born to John Thomas Howington and Florence J Smith in Mississippi. She was the first born to the union, followed by three sisters and four brothers.

burke JP and Mary howingtonShe and her younger sister Julia married Burke brothers, both in November 1912. Mary Elizabeth was 18 and married John Patrick “Pat” Burke and had seven children. Julia was 16 and married David Edmund Burke and had eight children. (photo is Pat and Mary)

john thomas howington florence j smith marriage recordThere have been family stories of one of my grandmothers being a full-blooded Choctaw Indian. In all of my research, I could never find any records for Mary Elizabeth’s mother, Florence, other than her marriage record which states she was 16 years of age. I believe Florence Smith is the Choctaw Indian my family speaks of.

burke Mary Howington Burke headstoneMary Elizabeth remained in the small community of Newton County, Mississippi her entire life and died at the age of 83 on 7 July 1977. Her husband died in 1958. She never remarried. She is laid to rest at Liberty Baptist Church with her husband and children.

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On This Day in 1911

On This Day in 1911, Amos Bolivar Crane Jr. was born to Amos Sr. and Minnie White Crane in Mississippi. He had three older siblings: Frank 8 (my grandfather), Horace 6, and Evelyn 1. There would be two more children to follow: Tommy and Minnie Ellen.

seated from left Tommy, Amos Sr, Minnie, Amos Jr, Minnie Ellen. Standing Toots Peterson, Evelyn, Horace, Horace wife, Frank, WillieAmos is seated to the right of his mother in the front row. The names left to right front row: Tommy, Amos Sr. Minnie, grandchild in lap, Amos Jr, Minnie Ellen. Left to right back row: Friend of Evelyn’s, Evelyn, Horace, Horace’s wife, Frank (my grandfather), Frank’s 1st wife Willie.

baaef72c-9c81-4cc3-9ee6-213bca036f0fcrane, amos bolivar jrAmos was in the United States Navy. This photo was taken in the 1930s at the San Diego Naval Training Center. He died at the young age of 29 on 22 Nov 1941 and is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Zero, Lauderdale County, MS with his siblings. His parents are buried at McGowan Chapel Cemetery in Harmony, MS. He married Ardessa Pierce in 1939. They were only married two years before he was killed in a car accident. They had no children.

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On This Day in 1921

Burying children used to be a more common occurrence than it is today.

On This Day in 1921, Fleta Marie “Clarice” Pickett was born in Lauderdale County, Mississippi to Benjamin Berry Pickett and Eula Ouida Keene Pickett (my great grandparents). She had two older siblings: Howard who was four and Margaret Azalea (my grandmother) who was two. She was named after her mother’s older sister, Fleta. Months before, Fleta had given birth to a daughter and named her Eula. The two sisters, though fourteen years apart, were obviously very close.

Clarice was born into a large family as her father had five siblings and her mother had seven who all lived nearby. Her father’s mother was from the Fisher family, and the Picketts, Keenes, and Fishers were numerous in the area, and still are today. So much so, that they have their own family cemetery on Zero Road called Fisher Cemetery. Even though family cemeteries fell out of vogue in the early 1900s in favor of community cemeteries, Fisher Cemetery is still used today.

At one year and five months, Clarice succumbed to pneumonia. Note in her obituary that the family held the funeral in their living room as was custom in those days. Before the mid-1900s, the family of the deceased prepared, dressed, and displayed their loved ones, and following the funeral, the body was carried out of the house head first. Clarice’s obituary reads as follows:

pickett fleta clarise pickett death certFleta Marie “Clarice” Pickett Born: December 1, 1921 in Lauderdale County, MS
Died: May 8, 1923 in Lauderdale County, MS 

Fleta Marie “Clarice” Pickett, 17-month-old daughter of Ben Berry and Eula Keene Pickett, who reside near Zero, MS, passed away this morning at 4 o’clock. Funeral services will be held from the residence Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock. Interment is to follow in Fisher Cemetery.


pickett fleta clarise headstoneRest in peace, little one.

You have not been forgotten.

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