Friday, May 9, 2008

A Note from Mrs. Mary Lafferty Wilson

"I started to write this two weeks ago and got side tracked. I just want to say that I really enjoyed the road trip to see the schools and other sights. I enjoyed meeting everyone there. Listening to the stories about your lives and those of your parents and grandparents. Seeing the photos of your parents, grandparents and great grandparents. It was such a delight.

I had been in Izard County twice before but both times we went down toward the town of Lafferty and the first time the Mill was still standing but I do not remember if it was still there the second time. The house of Sarah Lafferty Lindsey we were told was down a road that we needed a 4 wheel drive to get through. I am not sure that it is even standing now. We never did get down that road as it had rained we were afraid of getting stuck.

I really enjoyed this trip to Melbourne and the areas that I did get to see. The old history book says that people in Izard county are nice and polite and I you are all evidence of that.

I was wondering if there was a genealogy group in Melbourne for Izard county. There is so much history left there and someone should take time to interview all the older generation that remember their parents and grandparents and put a book together for the County, for future generations and for those whose roots are in Izard County.

When I talk about Izard County I feel like I am in a genealogy time warp. My ties to the county are to the first settlers there.

My father James A. Lafferty was born in 1875 in Young County, Texas, my grandfather John Annis Lafferty in 1838 in Carrolton, Arkansas (my grandfather was born 104 years before I was born), my great Grandfather Jacob Binks Lafferty in 1796 in Franklin Co., Georgia he arrive from Sumner county Tennessee in 1810 in Izard County as a young man along with his father John Lafferty born 1759 in Ireland Also with them was the mother of the Lafferty children, Sarah Lindsey.

Sarah was related to Caleb Lindsey, who started one of the first schools in the area, and Eli Lindsey who brought the word of God to the area.

It was interesting that you all knew your grandparents and some of you your great grandparents. I enjoyed the stories you told about your parents and grandparents and the part they took in building a community that you have all been part of."


"I was the last child of James Lafferty (number 15) that he had with 3 wives.

My lack of knowledge of my fathers family spiked my interest and I tracked down my half siblings and we put together a book of descendants of Jim Lafferty. His first child born in 1904.

From there I wrote "Lafferty, genealogy, legend, history, myth". a 400 page book copy written 1995 and I traced the descendants of the old Izard County pioneer and at that time I had found 1200 plus descendants and their stories and history. Since then I have continued to add to my database and if God gives me time, I will do another book next year.

The Lafferty's of Izard County married into many of the early families there and the Lafferty genealogy links with the Criswell (5 Lafferty/ Creswell marriages), Hankins, Bundy, Dillard, Hams, Billingsley, Shell, Denton, Sheid, Herman, Clem, Guffey, Clay, Campbell, Hickman, Curtis, Caulder, Brazaele, Nailor, Fletcher, Reinhart, Hooper, Sipes, Slover, Maples, Woody, Hodges, Harris, Tinkle and many more.

It has been interesting to follow the families and find descendants in many parts of the country. To know that their ancestors and kin played a part of the history of the early settlement of Izard County.

I am excited that some people have spiked interest in working toward the preservation of the Schools. The School played such an important part in the settlement of the area. Those one room schools were a long way from the first school in the area where Caleb Lindsey gathered the children of the neighborhood in a cave in what is now Randolph County and taught Elementary school there.

I hope to see you all again when we have another road trip in April of Next year. Maybe even sooner."

Mary Lafferty Wilson

You can find the website Mrs. Mary hosts for on the sidebar. Mrs. Mary wants everyone to "please feel free to contribute information".

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