About Melinda Holloway

Genealogy is my hobby.  I have many hobbies, but this one has stood the test of time (no pun intended).  I have spent many years collecting information, books, maps, photos and any other tidbit I could find that would add another piece to my puzzle.  Only now do I have enough information and materials to begin piecing together the remarkable stories of individuals I have come to know along the way.

I’ve always been more of an historian than a strict record-keeping genealogist. It’s because I love the stories.  They make the records and facts put on flesh and bone to become real people, living real lives in real times, with real emotions, trials, joys, hardships and triumphs.

In my real life, I am a Christian, a wife of 30+ years who has home-schooled our four children, a children’s minister at my local church, and a graduate of Louisiana State University.


63 thoughts on “About Melinda Holloway

  1. Melinda,

    Gasp and wow! I am completely in awe of your stories about the “Strong Tree.”
    I have always been facinated about the life of Jasper Strong. Several years ago, I traveled 4 1/2 hrs to Pensacola FL, to hear a talk sponsored by the Fl Park Service called ” Slaves for hire: Strong and Company and Pensacola Forts.”
    It just made me thirst for more information about him. Then I found your blog.

    I want you to know what a spectacular job you have done bringing his life story alive! What an honorable and respectful act! You are to be commended in a big way!

    Now for the interesting part. Your Great Grandfather Dewy and my Great Grandfather Charles M Jr. were brothers. If I calculated things correctly from your article “Cousin Quandry”, we would be third cousins! I find this simply amazing! I am so glad to meet up with a long lost cousin!

    I look forward to your stories. Maybe we could even email.

    Your cousin,


  2. That’s exciting! I have more information on the Strong’s that I’ll be writing on in the future. So according to my information your great-grandfather’s nickname was Jack and his birth date is 08 Mar 1876. Is that correct? Looking forward to getting to know you and sharing information! Email me at my church account and we’ll talk more: melinda@crossroadshammond.com

  3. Melinda,
    My name is Jeff Giambrone, and I am working on a book for Arcadia Press about Mississippi Confederate soldiers. I was wondering if I could obtain a copy of the photo of John Thomas Broome for use in my book. You can contact me directly at jeff@commarts.net

    Thanks very much,

    • Jeff & Melissa, have you read Southern Voices by Robert Williams Crook? His book recounts family tales and Confederate history of his MS family. It is available thru Amazon. He ties to Melissa’s Guice tree. Bob lived in Baton Rouge a long time and is now in TX.

      Jewel Bragg

  4. Melinda,
    You were more successful than I in finding the Guice Cemetery and house site. I also descend from Jacob and want to go back to McNair to try once more. Can you give me directions to the cemetery or tell me if Henry Bryant is still living? I enjoyed reading all of your posts.


    • Girault and Melissa,
      I connect to the Guice line and have done a good bit of tree research in Franklin & Jefferson Co., MS. There are several sites known as “Guice Cemetery”. My cousin recently found one of them that is on the farm of the French family 2 mi. west of Hamburg in Franklin Co. MS. Only 9 markers are still visible. There were a number of sunken graves. I have photographs. This cem. was surveyed years ago by the MS Genealogical Society. My Christopher Columbus Campbell (physician and Methodist preacher) who d. in 1866 is bur. there. His second wife was Melinda Caroline Guice, b. 1826 dau. of Absalom Christopher Guice & Rosannah Elizabeth Magee.

      Also, Dr. Nepoleon L. Guice who became a noted MS physician apprenticed under Dr. C. C. Campell, above. I want to learn more about where these early physicians of that area would go for their formal training and degree. Anything you can share will be appreciated.

      Jewel Bragg

  5. Melinda……I am amazed & (almost even slightly jealous) in a way, of the legacy your parents (you mom in particular) left you with & how that has transpired into your kids! I grieve that loss (loss of legacy) in my life……..not much passed down thus far from my parents (even though they are loving & friendly people) regarding any kind of relationship legacy. So I really admire that when I learn of it in other families & even yearn for it in my own. Anyway, I’ve been following your blog posts recently & have absolutely enjoyed everything I’ve been reading! I love history…..family history ESPECIALLY! I couldn’t help but notice that you have a passionate hobby of geneology?? Do you or have you ever helped to teach other “beginner” geneologists how/where to get started in their efforts to learn more about their heritage?? Ever considered having a 1st potential geneology student to teach?? (wink wink) =)

    • Melissa, I LOVE genealogy and history. The personal connection of my ancestors with different eras of history make it come alive! I’d be glad to get you started, but the very best place is to interview your oldest relatives and video the interview if possible. Because once they are gone much valuable information and fascinating stories disappear with them. We can talk more soon!

  6. Frederick Stump is my fifth great grandfather. I am related via Elizabeth Cox(1829-1908),dtr. of Samuel Cox(1790-1880). Samuel was son of Barbara Stump, daughter of Frederick Stump.
    I am an RN, live in Lynnwood, WA.(native of Tulsa, OK.) Have been researching my family for past 7 yrs. and hope to join DAR by next yr. I am only child, so have been happy to find relatives.
    Hope we can meet someday. Thank you for your blog and for your commitment to family research. I know we are cousins, but have not calculated how far removed.
    I found and purchased book written by Julia Cook Guise of Biloxi, Mississippi. Book entitled Frederick Stump: The Rest of the Story. Would be interested in your opinion if you have read it. As an FYI, there is a group on FB composed of Stump descendants.
    Will look forward to reading your blog. Take care, and God bless. Best wishes, Jo Ann

    • Hi, Just looked at your Branches, so obviously you are familiar with the book! Would like your opinion. Have a great day!! Jo Ann

  7. Is this Jasper Dallas Strong, you are talking about? Jasper Dallas Strong is my great grandfather, my Grandmother was his daugther, Minnie Parks Strong.

    • I’ve never seen a middle name for my Jasper Strong on any documentation or his grave so I would say no. Also my Jasper Strong would be too old to be your great-grandfather since he died in 1865. Do you know any other information about Jasper Dallas Strong? His birth and death information? His parents’ names? Where he lived? Surely there is a connection somewhere.

  8. His parents were Capt. Chase Strong and Mary Byrd Dallas Strong of Pensacola, FL. Jasper was born in 1860 died 1907, he was married to Mary Exum Day. They lived in Yazoo County Mississippi.

    • Oh yes! Major William Henry Chase Strong was the son of Jasper Strong in the story. He was named after Jasper’s friend William Chase who built many of the forts on the Gulf Coast. W.H.C. Strong was brother to my great-great grandfather Charles Matthew Strong who was also born in Pensacola, but lived most of his life in Bay St. Louis, MS as a Customs Official. I have some information on W.H.C.Strong in case you don’t have it:

      — from Norwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor edited by William Arba Ellis


      William H. C. Strong, son of First Lieut. Jasper Strong, U. S. A., a native of Hartford, Vt., and Eliza Julia (Nixon) Strong, was born in Mississippi in 1834, and died in Yazoo City, Miss., in 1906. He prepared for college in the schools of Pensacola, Fla., and entered the University from that city in 1853, graduating B. S. in 1856.
      He served as major in the staff of Gen. William H. Whiting, C. S. A. during the Civil War. After the war, he engaged in cotton planting at Yazoo City. He was a member of the Episcopal church and the Masonic Lodge.
      He was married, February 20, 1860, to Mary Willis, daughter of Capt. Alexander James Dallas, U. S. N. Mrs. Strong resides in Washington, D. C. Four children were born to them: Jasper Dallas; Trivavion; Achille Murat; Conrad M., resides in Washington, D. C.

      It’s nice to find a new 4th cousin!

  9. Thank you for the info, it is nice to find a new cousin. This is my dad’s, mother’s side of the family, She had five children and my dad was the only one who had children (7), we have no cousins. So it is very exciting for me to find relatives. My Grandmother was Minnie Parks Strong, (m) Luther Curtis Miller, children Mary Ida, Luther Thomas, Cutis Lee, John David, and Cylde Strong. Do you know if she was born in Pensacola?

    • I don’t believe Minnie Parks Strong would be from Pensacola since most of the family members had moved elsewhere by the time she was probably born, but I don’t know that for sure.

      The posts I have written on my blog so far about the Strong family that are also your ancestors are entitled:
      The Fort Builder
      How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways
      The Find
      Pilgrim Swept Overboard!
      Cousin Quandry

  10. Cora Agnes is my Great-aunt, her sister Lillian Veronica Luc is my grand mother. My mother was named Agnes Nathalie after two of her sisters. I have heard stories simular to Tales in the Trees, but never knew if they were true. My grand mother left the Bay at an early age so we never knew the family there. I enjoyed the story, although I’m not proud of it, but thats a part of genealogy. I would love to hear from you! Your cousin OLIN

    • So nice to hear from you Olin! I’m not proud of that story either, but many of my stories on this blog, I wish I could change. But as you say, our family stories are a mixture of the good and the bad. I will contact you privately to gather more specific family information because I have a photo of Cora Agnes on the “Blonde Hair and Bootleggers” post that is actually cropped out of a larger picture of her with another young woman. It might be your grandmother! Maybe you can help me identify her. Thanks for commenting!

  11. Hello Melinda,

    I am writing on behalf of my grandmother, Mary Anne Pecot deBoisblanc. She would be very interested in communicating with you (she has plenty to say!).

  12. Hi Melinda,

    My name is Christen Thompson and I am the Mississippi and Louisiana Commissioning Editor for The History Press. I came across your site while doing research for a book, and I would love the opportunity to talk to you about possibly doing a book.

    Please feel free to email me at Christen.Thompson@historypress.net

  13. Dear Melinda,
    My parents bought a house in Clermont Harbour a year after Camille. It was originally owned by the Schwartz family, I believe, and was located on Ioor/Clermont Blvd between the cure and deFraites homes. We spent weekends and summers there, and some of my best memories are of Clermont Harbor and the beach. Lovely to read your story (I am always searching for articles on Clermont Harbor!)

  14. Hi. I am descended from eva my brooe and craven p. Fairchild. I was hopeing to discuss them if possible.
    Thank you so much
    Andrea fairchild

  15. Hello, I’ll enjoy reading your blog. We are distant cousins through the Guices & Stumps. My grandmother, Annie Lee Spruill Owens, was the granddaughter of David Monroe Stringer, whose parents were Noah D. Stringer & Hannah Matilda Kinnison. They were from Hamburg, Franklin Co., MS, but left for Texas soon after the Civil War ended. On the way, Noah was killed in northeast Louisiana in a fall from a horse in 1869, leaving a widow & 5 children. I have never learned what became of Hannah, but her parents, John Kinnison and Susannah Guice, lived to be extremely old. Their house was still standing in the vicinity of Hamburg as late as the 1930s, but I don’t know what it looked like or whether there are any descendants still there. Most of Hannah’s brothers & sisters never married. John Kinnison was the son of Nathaniel Kinnison & Priscilla Guice. Susannah was the daughter of Jonathan Guice & Anna Stump, so she & John were first cousins.

    • Jeffrey, I have Christopher Columbus Campbell b. abt. 1828 in SC. He settled in Hamburg in abt. 1839 and was the first postmaster of Hamburg. He was a medical doctor and operated a general store in Hamburg. His second wife was Malinda Caroline Guice, b. 10 May 1826 in MS, dau. of Absalom Christopher Guice and Rosannah Elizabeth Magee. They are buried 2 mi. west of Hamburg in the Martin & Guice Cemetery on the rural property owned by descendants of Mrs. Posey French. About two years ago my cousin (now deceased) located this “lost” cemetery (now called Guice Cem.) and had it photographed. I have the online photos of what is left of it, as it is in poor condition. Do you know the location of the Guice homeplace mentioned in your post? My email: Jewel_Bragg@Yahoo.com

  16. Hi Melinda! I am a librarian at the Stillwater Public Library and we are trying to get photos of our past directors for a permanent display. Our second director was Mary Kitchen Graves who was the daughter of Benjamin Graves and Cornelia Guice. We are hoping you might have a photo of any kind, at any age of Mary? Any info will be much appreciated!

    • Thanks for writing. I am sorry, but I do not have a photo of Mary Graves. I only have a photo of her mother Cornelia as a girl. If I find one though, I will send it to you.

  17. Hi Melinda!
    Loved reading about the “questionable end to the Armant Plantation”. Can you tell me please if you have any photos of the mill there or houses on the property? My family lived on the plantation, but have no photos.
    Thanks so much!

  18. Hello, My name is Craig Whitehead. My father, Culbreath Cecil Whitehead, Jr died last year and I have inherited some pictures that supposedly came from his side of the family. His fathers adoptive grandmother was Kate Young Whitehead, who married William Brown Whitehead in Bradenton/Palmetto Florida. One of the pictures in the album is the same you have on your blog of Walter Harvey Hurt and Joseph Eldridge. So I am wondering if we may be related. There are also pictures, and letters from WB Marr, an attorney in Nashville, who was a cousin of Kate Young Whitehead, and Victor Hubert Gramount. Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated. thank you, candlercraig@yahoo.com (I grew up in Florida, now live close to Asheville,NC)

    • That’s very interesting. I will investigate these names further, but you and I are not related through this family. I am related as a cousin to Walter Hurts wife. So we could possibly be related by marriage. 🙂 Thanks for writing!

  19. Hi Melinda,
    Sallie Eugenia Guice is my great grandmother. She is Cicero Lewis Guice’s sister. I have photos of Elbert Hampton Guice, Lillie Lee Guice (as a child), of Cicero Guice and many others. I also have some correspondence and other documents. I am so happy to find your website!
    Anne G

  20. Hello my name is David Pellerin & my family history steep in St. Mary’s Parish. I am of Creole descent & I have been researching a lot of info about the Pellerin Family. I have been told that we are also related with the Chitimacha Indian Tribe. I have researched a lot of things but I am interested in knowing more info about which plantation the Pellerin family owned in St. Mary’s Parish. I have a hunch it is ‘. Shadows On The Teche’ can you offer any pertinent insight & help me find some answers

  21. Hi David, I have not done research into the Pellerin family since I am not related to them directly, so I could not give any more insight about them personally. But I don’t believe Shadows-on-the-Teche is their plantation. Every reference I’ve read says that it belonged to the Weeks family. The Pellerin’s plantation was more likely upstream near Charenton. That would be my hunch.

  22. Dear Melinda,

    I descend from Eusebius Bushnell, a land speculator from Connecticut who moved to what is now the Nashville, TN area in the 1780s. Bushnell had a lot of different business interests (after the Tennessee interlude he would end up in Kaskaskia, New Orleans, Charleston, SC and finally on a Spanish land grant near St. Augustine, FL, where he died in 1812). I find in this link (http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~madisontn/appndxa.html) that Bushnell sold two slaves to your ancestor Frederick Stump. I am writing a book about my ancestors’ three centuries of involvement with slavery, and am trying to find out the names of these enslaved people, to the extent possible. I notice in the link provided above that many of Frederick Stump’s slaves are named. I’m hoping it’s possible to identify the two that Bushnell sold to him. Any information you can share will be very much appreciated. My email address is grantmenzies at gmail dot com

    Best regards – Grant

    • Thank you so much, Allan! I have read bits and pieces about G.H. Nixon’s military career, but this link has actual documents attached. I’m going to have a great time digging into these further. Thank you! I hope you were able to find information on your ancestors as well. Let me know if you do!

  23. Melinda, Really enjoyed reading your post about our mutual 10th Great Grandfather John Howland. What a wonderful story. Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
    Best, Arthur Newkirk

  24. If you would like to come and visit the Armstrong cemetery in McNair and see some of the land some time shoot me a message and I will be glad to take you.

  25. Melinda, my 4 xs GF, John Rufas Broom(e) from Fairfield Co. SC, came to MS in 1818. His brother, Matthew Broom(e) came down a few years later and settled in Utica. Mostly likely this is the same Broom(e) family. If so, this John Thomas Broome would the nephew of my 4 Xs GF, John. All of this is so interesting. I have been researching the Broom(e) family for years now and the research is fascinating.

  26. Melinda, the Whites Creek Historical Society has a new website, whitescreektn.org. We would like to use some of your information about Frederick Stump on our website and include a link to your blog. Is that okay?

  27. Hi Melinda, Your 2 Greats Grandmother Louise Christine Frere age 13 was the sister of My 2 Greats Grandmother Elizabeth Aspasie Frere age 3. I believe that makes us 3rd Cousins. I can just imagine your 13 year old Christine being very sweet and protective to my 3 year old Aspasie. I was 10 years older than my only sibling Barbara and I was so proud of her and loved to teach her nursery rhymes when she was little. I love your stories and look forward eagerly to another one. Thanks for all of your excellent research. I guess you have heard that Mary Anne Pecot de Boisblanc died 17 Dec 2015. She is the one who painted all of those Acadian pictures in the String of Pearls book in the St. Martinville Museum. She was my 2nd cousin and I had so many wonderful times with her and surely do miss her. She left us a wonderful legacy of all of her paintings with her great talent. Glad to find we are such close cousins. Keep up your good work!

    • I am so saddened to hear that Mrs De Boisblanc passed away! I did not know! The last I saw her was the previous December when officials from Louisiana College came to talk to her about possibly making a permanent display of her art. I even videoed the discussion. I will write a post about her and her wonderful contribution to Acadian history through her art, in her memory. Thank you for letting me know. And thank you for your compliments on my blog posts. I have been on an unintentional hiatus from writing because of my other oral history blog I also write called Veteran Voices. I’ve been working on interviewing veterans, especially WWII veterans. But I can’t wait to get back to writing ancestor stories again! Thanks for writing, Cousin!

  28. I found your blog through a search for my great-great-grandfather, Walter Nesbit Hurt. I am SO excited to find pictures of him and my great-grandfather, Harvey Hurt. I’m not sure even my grandfather, William “Billy” Clarence Hurt, had seen those pictures when he was alive. Sadly, Harvey’s last surviving child, Betty Jane Hurt Fillingane just passed away at Christmastime 2016. All Harvey’s children, Harvey, Jr.; Billy; and Betty Jane, were raised and buried in Waynesboro, MS and, curiously, all died from Parkinson’s Disease. Harvey was a third-generation newspaper man, taking over The Wayne County News from his father, Billy was a world-renowned periodontist, and Betty Jane was an accomplished musician and composer of sacred music. They are all buried in Waynesboro cemetery.

    • I am so glad you found these photos! I am sorry to hear about Betty Jane. I actually was able to meet her about two years ago when I brought the album to Waynesboro for her to see. I had lunch with her and a cousin and I got a tour of the town, the hospital, and the cemetery. In Betty Jane’s house was another album very similar to the one I have that also had some Hurt photos in it. I hope someone has it and takes care of it. Thank you for letting me know about Betty Jane! I have some photos of my visit with them that I may send you in an email. Thanks for writing!

  29. I loved your stories about Col. Stump! What a colorful man–crazy–but colorful. I believe he is my 6th great grandfather through the Anna Stump/Jonathan Guice line. Can you please contact me privately? I would like to ask your permission to site you as a source in my tree.

  30. Hi melinda! Jacques cantrelle is my 7th great grandfather as well! My family has gotten super far on that end, even meeting folks in France from that line. 🙂 my sister might have even ran into you at one point, Claudia Queiroz?

  31. I am researching my Jacob Guice line in order to qualify for membership in the Order of First Families of Mississippi. Can you give me information regarding the location of the John Grantham Guice Bible (Jacob’s son) and where I can obtain a copy of the recordings of births/deaths/marriages, etc. that is in it? All I have found is typed/transcribed information from the Julia Cook writings, and I’m not sure if this will be considered “official.” Thank you very much!

  32. I’ve got a Guice family tree, been to the Guice family reunion in Franklin County, and have quite a few dates, etc. but don’t know where the Guice Bible is located.

  33. Ms. Holloway,
    While visiting Park City, Utah this summer, I went in to an LDS Church Geneology Center. By the entrance, there was a large genealogy “tree” covering a whole wall with John Howland’s geneolgy. I have since become fascinated by Mr. Howland and his story and not just the number of descendants but the quality of people in his/your family line.

    I am LDS and since first seeing the information and reading William Bradford’s account of Mr. Howland, I started putting thoughts together for a talk. I plan to speak on the impact one person can have not only those around him but upon future generations. I think no one better illustrates this than John Howland.

    I am hoping you can be of assistance. When I google the descendants of John Howland, I can not find the list of people as shown at the Geneology Center Park City. Might you have the information that is shown in the Geneology Center there?

    Also, I would love it, if you would allow me, to get a brief quote from you regarding your thoughts on the impact John Howland, a former indentured servant, who nearly lost his life after being swept off the Mayflower has had upon the world.

    William Bradford wrote “but it pleased God that he caught hold of the topsail halyards”. I truly believe that God had a hand in and a purpose for sparing Howland’s life that day.

    Thank you in advance and I look forward to any correspondence from you.


    Jeffrey B. Hill
    Kinston, NC

  34. I stumbled across your story of Natchez while researching Jacque Cantrelle. He is my 7xggrandfather through Nicholas Verret. I am also related to the Judice family. Thanks for the story. It was interesting to read how Jacque and his 2nd wife connected. Once again thanx.

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