Henny's Family ~ Up from Slavery

Bailey, Buie, Burnett, Kelly, McNair, Reed, Shaw and Whalum Families
of Jefferson County, Mississippi

Contributed by Christopher Whalum
Researched by Linda Durr Rudd

This page is dedicated to the memory of Christopher Whalum.

Some facts about my family tree. I have never seen my fatherís father, and I have never seen my motherís mother.

According to some of the things my mother told me, my maternal grandmother was born a slave. As was the custom in that era, slaves had to bow at the masterís command. So, when my grandmother was very, very young she was given a man named Jake McNair for a husband. After one son was born to this couple, Jake was sold to another land-lord. Then my grandmother was given another husband by the name of George Reed-to this union were born three daughters and two sons. Again the husband was sold to another land-lord who did not own many "hearty" men. About that time the Civil War had brought an end to the slave trade. The young man who was named to take care of Widow Reed and her children married her. His name was Roy Allen Buie. (Bowie). To this last and lawful union a son and daughter were born. This son was named Scott Buie and this daughter was my mother- Lou Anna Buie.

So my maternal grandmother gave birth to the following sons and daughters:
Jake McNair
George Reed
Wesley Reed and Deanie Reed-Shaw - Twins
Harriet Reed-Kelley
Sarah Reed-Burnett
Scott Buie
LouAnna Buie-Whalum

The members of the above named tribes are so numerous they may be compared to the number that John (Bible) saw. (no man can number.) My mother moved from Union Church shortly after my father died, so I do not know too much about them.

The following are the names of my sisters and brothers: Cornelius (Connie), Cora- Mrs. Lewis Oliver, Esther- Mrs. Sam Richardson, Hudie (H.D.) Sarah- Mrs. Wiley Williams, Minnie Edna-died in infancy, Blanche- Mrs. Clayton Love Sr., Roy Allen, Joseph, Willie, Arcenia- Mrs. Hawkin Hudson Frederick, Jr., and Beulah Maye- Mrs. Dave Brewer


Slaves were transferable property when a major life event occurred in the slave owner's household. Henny's family would have several slave owners due to death, marriages and sale. The slave owning matriarch of the family would have two husbands to die leaving her with four small children to raise. The slave family would be divided among the four children and members of the slave family sold near the end of the matriarch's life. The name Harriet, Henny's probable mother, is seen throughout the slave owning's family documents. It is difficult to be certain of the relationship of Henny to the few slaves living on the farm with her because the only information provided concerning the slaves was a brief description, name and value. Harriet was the only adult female named in the probate records of the slave owning family, making it reasonable to conclude that Harriet was Henny's mother or the mother figure in Henny's life.

HARRIET was a slave of Allen Grafton, they lived in Natchez, MS. The1809 will of Allen Grafton recorded Negro Harriet worth $450 who was given to Allen's daughter Nancy Agnes Grafton. Harriet was not ascribed a description of girl or woman. Nancy Grafton married John Buie June 1818 in Jefferson County, MS. If Harriet was part of Nancy's dowry, Harriet would become the sole property of John Buie. During the time Harriet was owned by the Buie family, she may have given birth to four children; boys Joe, Littleton, Spencer, and girl Henny. John Buie died in 1822, Harrriet and the children were named on Buie's 1826 division of his slave property. This group were the only slaves named in John Buie's probate records. Harriet was given to John Buie's widow Nancy and she would (again) be the property of Nancy Grafton Buie.

After John Buie's demise, Nancy married John D. McNair January 1825. During the ten years Harriet was the property of the McNair couple, she may have given birth to five more children: Ben, Nathan, Nelly, Daphney, and Sarah. John McNair died in 1835; McNair's 1836 inventory listing named a man Jacob, woman Harriet and five children. One year later, another slave owner would be in Harriet's future. Nancy Grafton Buie McNair would sell Jacob and his wife Harriet and four children 3rd January 1837 to Peter McLaurin for $2650. Nancy died in 1843, there were no slaves named within her probate records.

On January 3rd 1837, Nancy McNair sold Jacob, Harriet and their four children to Peter McLaurin for $2650. From John D. McNair's Jefferson County Probate Records - Case Number: C154

HENNY is first documented in the records as the slave property of John Buie in Jefferson County, Mississippi, an owner she would not remember. She was born about 1824, after the death of John Buie who died in 1822, before the marriage of Nancy to John McNair in 1825. Henny was one of five slaves, the youngest living on the Buie's farm. John and Nancy Grafton Buie had two children, Ann Elizabeth b. 1819 and Daniel Grafton b. 1821, both in Union Church, Mississippi. Harriet was given back to Nancy, Littleton and Spencer were given to the Buie's daughter Ann, Henny and Joe were given to their son Daniel Grafton Buie in the 1826 and 1835 division of John Buie's property. Henny was described as "yellow girl Henna" valued at $500 in 1835. Nancy's new husband John D. McNair became the stepfather and guardian of the Buie children, thus, John McNair would be Henny's defacto slave owner until his death in 1835, at which time the Buie children's mother Nancy McNair would became their guardian.

Henny's owner Daniel Grafton Buie married Emily Torrey 28 January 1846 in Jefferson County, MS. Emily was the daughter of Dougald Torrey and Flora Gilchrist. By the time of Daniel's marriage, his mother Nancy was deceased, he was the guardian of his two McNair half siblings, his slave Joe had been sold to his uncle Thomas Grafton, and his slave Henny had made an increase, a son Jacob McNair, Jr.


According to Blanche Whalum's narrative, Henny would have children with three husbands.
JACOB MCNAIR, SR., was Henny's first husband, the father of her first child. There were two Jacob/Jake McNair in the 1880 Jefferson County Federal Census; one was Henny's son; research has not revealed how the other Jake connects to this family.

JACOB MCNAIR, JR., was born about 1843, he farmed in Jefferson County, MS. Jacob, Jr., married Sophia Whalum, daughter of Jackson and Charity Whalum. Sophia was born about 1850 in Jefferson County. The couple's children were: Watson, John Wesley, Hester, Charity, and Nathan McNair. Members of the Whalum family were the slaves of Gilbert M. Buie and John Mitchell. During the Civil War, Sophia's first cousin Eddy/Atty Mitchell Whalum served with the 6th Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery. Jacob and Sophia are last seen in the 1910 census of Jefferson County. Jacob died sometime between 1910-1915 and Sophia died in 1916.

Henny's second husband was GEORGE REED aka SAMPSON REED. Whether he lived on the same plantation with Henny or a neighboring plantation, George was sold from Henny near the beginning of the Civil War per the family's history. The two shared at least ten years together resulting in the birth of five children. Per Blanche's narrative, Henny became the widow of George. He may have died from natural causes or from some cicumstance connected to the Civil War. Henny's last child with George was born about 1860 giving credence to the family history.

George and Henny's children were:
Twins, Deanie and Wesley Reed were born about 1850 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. They married siblings.
DEANIE REED married Horace Shaw born about 1850 who was the son of Samuel Shaw and Celia Shaw. The couple's children were: Lula, Edgar, Clara and Melissa. Deanie died in 1941 and Horace died in 1943. Both are buried in the Hickory Block Church Cemetery near Union Church, Jefferson County, MS.
WESLEY REED married Elva Shaw 13 January 1877 in Jefferson County, MS. Elva born about 1856 was the daughter of Samuel and Celie Shaw. The couple's children were: Louanna, Elias, Effie Ann, Renola, Vernon, Paul, Hugh, Mamie, Ella, Whitfield, and Thomas. Elva died in 1939 in Coahoma County, MS. A death record was not found for Wesley.
SARAH JANE REED was born about 1854 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. She married Anderson Burnett 11 November 1881 in Jefferson County. Anderson and his parents Robert Burnett and Jane Harris Burnett were the slaves of John Torry who was a son of Dougald Torrey and Flora Gilchrist. Anderson's father Robert served with the 58th Regiment, United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. Sarah and Anderson had one son, Frank Burnett who was born in 1892. Frank left Jefferson County to live in Chicago, IL.
HARRIET REED was born about 1856 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. Harriet first married John Bailey 05 January 1871 in Jefferson County. John was born about 1851 and he was the son of the blacksmith Richard Bailey and his wife Maria. Richard and Maria Bailey were the slaves of William Anderson Killingsworth. William's slaves murdered him and they set his house on fire. Other slaves of William rescued his body and his three young children from the burning home. Richard and Maria may have been involved in rescuing the family. John Bailey, son of Richard and Maria, was listed on Killingsworth's 1861 annual hire list as a nine year boy whose hire value was $10. John and Harriet's children were: Norah, Frank, Thomas, John, and Josephine. Harriet's second marriage was to Calvin Kelly 07 January 1885 in Jefferrson County, MS. Their children were Charles, Dezine, Alice, Lucy, Pearl, and Solomon. Harriet died April 06, 1927 in Jefferson County, MS.
GEORGE REED was born about 1860 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. He married Jane Johnson 11 May 1883 in Jefferson County. The couple's childrn were Robert, Hattie and Carlyle. George died 02 April 1933 in Jefferson County, MS.

ROY ALLEN BUIE was Henny's last husband. Allen, as he was known, was born about 1835 in Mississippi to Olive and or Nannie Buie. Per Blanche's narrative, Allen was orginally assigned to take care of Widow Reed and her children, he later married her. Being assigned the task to take care of Henny probably was a command from the slave master. Allen and Henny probably shared the same slave owner, Daniel Grafton Buie. Allen would marry twice after the death of Henny which occurred sometime between 1870 and 1877. Allen married Maria Pickett, widow of Dan McCallum, Dec 1877 in Jefferson County, MS. In August 1883 he married Charity Woodard, widow of Ambrose Woodard, in Jefferson County, MS. Allen died sometime between December 1908 and the 1910 census.

Allen and Henny's children were:
SCOTT BUIE was born about 1862 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. He married Valentia (Lynch) Bias 06 February 1886 in Jefferson County. Lynch was the daughter of Philip Bias and Rose Bush. Their children were: Lou Anna, Estella, Sadie, Marie, Henie, Cora, Mattie, George, and Beulah.
LAURA BUIE was born about 1864 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. She married John Lewis March 15, 1883 in Jefferson County, MS.
LOU ANNA BUIE was born about 1866 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. She married Frederick Whalum, Sr., born about 1856 in Union Church. He was the son of Jackson and Charity Whalum. Their children were: Cornelius, Cora, Esther, Hugh, Sarah, Blanche, Allen, and India. Frederick died between 1900 and 1910. The family lived briefly in Lincoln County, MS, before permanently settling in the Chicago area.
JOSEPH BUIE was born about 1869 in Union Church, Jefferson County, MS. Little is known about Joseph, he vanishes from the records after 1880.

The 1870 census is the only census record Henny was found. Her description of mulatto is in agreement with the description of "yellow girl Hena" in John Buie's probate records.
1870 Jefferson County, Union Church, MS - Page 25
Allen Buie, 35, Farmer, MS
HENY, 44, Mulatto, keeping house, MS
Wesley Reid, 19; Sarah J., 16; Geo, 11; Scott, 9; Laura, 5; Anna, 3; Infant, male, 6 months; Buda Buie 5

Here is the family in 1880. Allen married Mariah McCallum Pickett 02 Dec 1877.
1880 Jefferson County, Beat 1 (Union Church), MS - Page 145
Allen Buie 45
Maria, 38, wife
Scott, son, 18; Laura, daughter, 16; Anna, daughter, 14; Joseph, son, 10; Henry McCallum, stepson, 20

It appears Henny spent all of her life in the Union Church area. Henny may be a nickname for Harriet as one of the death certificates for her children gave her given name as Harriet. She was separated from her mother and several siblings when she was about 13 years of age. Littleton McNair may be the only sibling Henny had contact with after the Civil War. Littleton lived near Henny and her family and he named his children the names of his siblings and his mother Harriet. Henny died between 1870 where she was last seen on the census record, and 1877 when her husband Allen married his second wife.


Lynch Buie's Death Certificate - MS1933-5679
Scott Buie's Death Certificate - MS1942-19638
Harriet Kelly's Death Certificate - MS1927-6625
Sophia McNair's Death Certificate - MS1916-1134
Elvy Reed's Death Certificate - MS1939-4168
George Reed's Death Certificate - MS1933-5678
Deanie Shaw's Death Certificate - MS1941-3029
Horace Shaw's Death Certificate - MS1942-657
Allen Buie's Jefferson County Chancery Court Case - Case Number: 1350 - Microfilm Number: 12259
John Buie's Jefferson County Probate Papers - Volume A - 1823-1836 - Page 512 - Microfilm Number: 12282
John Buie's Jefferson County Probate Records - Case Number: B245 - Microfilm Number: 12138
Allan Grafton's Jefferson County Probate Records - Case Number: A81 - Microfilm Number: 12129
William A. Killingsworth's Jefferson County Probate Records - Case Number: D61 - Microfilm Number: 12192
John D. McNair's Jefferson County Probate Records - Case Number: C154 - Microfilm Number: 12154
Nancy Grafton Buie McNair's Jefferson County Probate Records - Case Number: C495 - Microfilm Number: 12172
All microfilms were found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
Jefferson County Marriage Records

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