Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Calvin Caston Last Will and Testament 2

Lydia Caston petitioned the court on April 11, 1913 to receive the stated benefits in the will of her late husband Calvin Caston.  It is in this document the date of death of Calvin Caston is recorded  as July 19, 1912.  

 Calvin Caston had his insurance policy from the Masonic Benefit Association through the M. W. Stringer Masonic Grand Lodge.  This black Masonic lodge was organized in Vicksburg, Mississippi by Thomas W. Stringer in 1867 and received it's charter in 1873. This was the first black Masonic lodge in the state of Mississippi. I am happy to say that this organization is still in existence in Jackson, Mississippi. I would also like to mention that Thomas W. Stringer was the first black man elected to the Mississippi state legislature and started several other lodges in Louisiana.

Calvin Caston had the Masonic benefit policy more than 30 days and less than a year. Calvin's will was found to be true and admitted to probate.  All debtors and funeral expenses are usually paid and any remaining money is given to the beneficiaries. His heirs were eligible for $300 which equivalent to $7221.20 in 2015.  It is not known how much money Lydia and Silas Caston received after debts were paid.   

-----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Calvin Caston Last Will & Testament

A will and testament is a legal document which names a person or persons to manage an estate or personal property after the death of another person the testator. Calvin Caston had a will.

 It was through a search of the website Ancestry.com  I found the Last Will & Testament of Calvin Caston.  I have searched for several years concerning the date Calvin Caston died. The state of Mississippi did not register deaths until November, 1912. Calvin Caston died July 19,1912. At the time of his death, he was still a resident of Pike County, Mississippi.  His will and testament was recorded on March 29, 1912. Calvin was a member of the Masonic Benefit Association.  As a member of this association, he purchase a policy with a graduated pay out with a maximum  face value of $700.00 he bequeathed 1/3 to his wife Lydia Caston and 2/3 to his son Silas Caston. Seven hundred dollars in 1912 would have an approximate value of $16,874.00  in 2015. It is clear from this act that he want to insure that Lydia would have the financial means to care for herself and the family homestead would be maintained through his son Silas. 

Will of Calvin Caston

Will of Calvin Caston
More information to come.

----- The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


FAN is a mnemonic in genealogy circles for Friends, Associates and Neighbors.  In my genealogical research,  I try to accumulate information from my ancestor's FAN (Friends, Associates & Neighbors) club. The FAN of ancestors is comparable to the modern social network.   I have many surnames which include my ancestors names, their neighbors, their in laws and my in-laws. I have also found that in  genealogical  research that having the same surname in the same geographic area does necessarily equal a blood relationship.  Some surnames of individuals have no  obvious relationship I have seen repeatedly in my research.  I can not resist saving information of a family that lived in same geographic area and may or may not be  related to an ancestor.       

I have been able to people in connect FAN connections from geographic location using homestead information from the Bureau of land Management. The chart has information posted in a previous blog except for Calvin Caston.

Walkers Bridge Pike County, Mississippi

Homesteader                Year Start of                       Witnesses                          Year final of
                                       Homestead                                                                        Homestead

Robert Brumfield         Sept. 12, 1869              Henry Conerly                       Aug. 31, 1876
                                                                                 Irvin Brumfield

Isham Broomfield      March 6, 1873/              Robert Magee,                       June 21, 1883
 (Brumfield)                   Dec.,1870                     Joseph Conerly 
                                                                              & Jacob Ellzey    
Irvin Brumfield             Sept. 1, 1870                 Henry Conerly &                  June 13, 1881
                                                                                  Calvin Caston

Gale Brumfield             Dec 10, 1869                R. S. Wilson &                        March 14, 1876
                                                                                 W. W. Wilson

Calvin Caston                  August 15,1870            Tom Brumfield                      June 11, 1889
                                                                                  Joe McEwin
                                                                                  David Walker
                                                                                  Henry S. Brummel

All of these men possibly knew each other prior to establishing a homestead. Calvin Caston was probably the stepfather of Irvin and Tom Brumfield. Henry Conerly knew Calvin Caston, Robert and Irvin Brumfield.  Possibly Henry Conerly and Joseph Conerly are related. I found Henry and Joseph enumerated in the 1880 census.
Henry Conerly 55 years old and Joseph Conerly 23 years old enumerated  in the  Pike County, Mississippi 1880 Federal Census

Maybe they homestead near each other because they had were friends or previously lived together.  

------The Tree Gardener