22 Jun 1967: Birth in Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA (1967 Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA death certificate)
22 Jun 1967: Death in Macon, Noxubee, Mississippi, USA (1967 Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA death certificate)
23 Jun 1967: Burial in unknown cemetery in Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA (1967 Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA death certificate)
NOTES: Mama was six months into her second pregnancy and while out walking, she went into premature labor with William. He only lived for two hours and the loss was so painful that she could not bear to look at him. I do not know if he had a funeral but she said his father buried him [somewhere in Macon, Noxubee County]. When we visited Mississippi in 1985, we visited his grave and took pictures of the simple marker. There were so many tall grasses and weeds, we were told to be careful where we stepped because of snakes. I immediately thought of the cottonmouth moccasins for some reason although I didn’t know if the cemetery was near any water. For obvious reasons, Mama did not like to talk about William’s death so I could glean very little information from her. However she told me a lot about his father, if only I could remember his name. I hope one day, if he is still alive, he will read this page and contact me. I have so many questions that need answering and sadly Mama is not here to help me.
2 September 2012 update: Thanks to my brother Billy for asking Mama’s sister, Edna, for the name of William’s father. Thanks also to A’Edna! I hope to find out next if William’s surname is SLEDGE or JOHNSON.
21 September 2013 update: At last I now know my brother’s full name and that he survived 9 more hours than was previously thought. Maybe I heard Mama wrong or she forgot. Even though Mama is actually a WILLIAMS, her mother gave her the Sledge surname. My brother Billy is really a SANDERS and William is a JOHNSON but Mama gave them the SLEDGE surname. There is something about that SLEDGE name! But I think the shocker was that it appears she named William after her brother, William Lloyd BELL (Uncle Cot). Its highly possible since Mama named Billy (Lil Bill) after Aunt Edna’s husband, Billy DAVIS, due to his being in the Vietnam War. Maybe Mama did the same for Uncle Cot if he was in the Vietnam War? I will have to ask Aunt Edna.
16 October 2013: My sister Tina asked A’Edna and Uncle Cot if Mama named William after him. A’Edna then talked to Uncle Cot but either one of them knew. A’Edna and Tina think Mama did this because Uncle Cot was in the military at the time. I guess we’ll never really know but its nice to think she would do that for her brother.
TRANSCRIPTION OF RECORDS
1967 Mississippi Death Certificate
Name: William Lloyd Sledge
Date of death: 22 Jun 1967
Place of death: Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi
Mother’s maiden name: Margaret Sledge
Informant: Margaret Sledge
Find A Grave Memorial http://bit.ly/1dzhbf5
Name: William Lloyd Sledge
Birth: Jun. 22, 1967
Death: Jun. 22, 1967
Parents: Margaret Ruth Sledge Gregory (1950 – 2006)
Specifically: Cemetery indicated as unknown on death certificate
Created by: Tara R. Gregory
Record added: Feb 09, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 124846907
None available as of this time.
21 Feb 1950: Birth in Macon, Noxubee, Mississippi, USA
1950-1968: Resident of Macon, Noxubee, Mississippi, USA
1972: Marriage to Curtis Allen GREGORY
1987: Divorce from Curtis Allen GREGORY
1968-2006: Resident of St. Louis, Missouri, USA
27 Oct 2006: Death in St. Louis, Florissant, Missouri, USA
4 Nov 2006: Burial in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Mama grew up in the small town of Macon, Mississippi where everyone knew your business before you did. I do not know exactly how her parents met but I do know that parts of his land bordered the back of Grandmama Lillian’s house and she worked in his grocery store.
Mama loved to tell stories of life in the old days. She and her cousins had an amazingly carefree life coming of age in the Jim Crow South. They swam and fished in the creeks, eating turtle and frog legs (yuck). They paid a dime for a hamburger and ate it at the movie theater, paying a quarter for admission. They played softball in the fields where she broke her wrist. It was an even less than memorable occasion because her father was passing by at the time and at the moment when she broke her wrist, she said “shoot” and he thought she said, “sh*t” so he whupped her for that. My favorite recollection of Mama’s childhood memories was of her picking cotton. A truck would come to pick them up at dawn before school to take them to a cotton pickin’ farm. They would put rocks at the bottom of their bags to make it weigh more and get more wages. While it was not an honest way to make extra cash, I understand how they could do it in the context of survival. Farmers just did not compensate them enough for their hard earned labor and some probably cheated them too.
At seven years of age, Mama was a student at a segregated school in Macon. Integration of schools in Noxubee County did not happen until 1970! Billy’s paternal grandfather, Reverand Benny SANDERS Sr, was one of the bi-racial committee members serving on the Noxubee County Board of Education trying to find a solution for the boycott against public school integration. It was a mess but I digress. Mama’s favorite subjects were math and history. She was on the basketball team. The woman loved her sports! Watching basketball, football and baseball with her were always full of laughter and fun.
Mama had wanted to go to college to play the piano and be a singer. She had a lovely voice and if I close my eyes now, I can still hear her singing.
By 1967, Mama was a young mother to my brother Billy. Her second child, William, was born prematurely and only lived about 11 hours. A short time afterwards, she migrated to St. Louis, Missouri with her sister, Edna. She got a job working at White Castle as a car hop and met Daddy this way. They were married 14 years before divorcing. However they continued to have an amicable relationship while raising me and my siblings.
Daddy wanted Mama to stay home and take care of us. She thought that was one of the best things she could have done for her children. Being a stay-at-home mother allowed her to be very involved in our education. While going to public schools, we didn’t ride buses but we usually lived within walking distance of our schools and she was very devoted at walking us to and from. Just to have that kiss and hug before school was comforting and the excitement at seeing her face again at the end of a long day of learning was everything. Two incidents which she liked to revisit and have us laughing at were: 1) being called to Simmons-Marshall School when my brother Billy would fall out on the playground playing dead one too many times 2) the day she couldn’t walk me to school and it fell upon Billy and his friends to drop me off. That day she opened the door to find that I had walked home from school at only 4 years of age because he had left me at the school’s gate instead of taking me inside. Mama said I had an angel guiding me…I wonder if it was that man I encountered along the way and stopped to talk to. I wish I could remember the conversation! (I vaguely remember Charles Henry Turner school but Billy says it was actually St. Matthew’s Catholic church school).
Mama volunteered at McKinley Elementary School where me and my sister, Tina, were enrolled. This eventually landed her a job as the ice cream lady working in the cafeteria where she could also see me and Tina when we came to eat. We could get ice cream on the days she didn’t have any money…on credit…then it came out of her check haha! Credit was also extended to teachers and staff because she was nice like that and the administration trusted her. In the end, she always collected from whoever owed because the trust was mutual and she was an excellent bookkeeper. The other jobs that she held were as a car hop and cashier at White Castle (where she first met Daddy), a cashier at Uncle Richard’s liquor store, Woolworth, La Merite Bridal Shop, Family Dollar, Burger King and a fast food pizza restaurant inside the famed Admiral boat. She worked mostly in retail and food service which suited her talkative and lively personality.
Mama died of pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver (not related to alcohol) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She was always a beautiful person, inside and out, kind, caring and forgiving. She was also a people person with a great sense of humor, just like my father, and was quite the talker. Many a time she cracked us up with her sayings, of which there are way too many to list here. Family was dear to her and she kept in touch with hers and my father’s. There are two holes in my heart that can never be patched up, one for my father and one for her.
TRANSCRIPTION OF RECORDS:
1950 Birth Certificate
State of Missouri
State file no: 123-50
Name: Margaret Ruth Sledge
Date of birth: 21 Feb 1950
Place of birth: Macon, Noxubee County, Mississippi
Name of father:
Birthplace of father:
Name of mother: Lillian Sledge
Birthplace of mother: Noxubee County, Mississippi
1957 Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
LIST OF EDUCABLE CHILDREN
Street or R. F. D.:
Attendance Center: Macon (Separate) Col.
Names of Parents or Guardians (Family Name): Sledge, Lillian
Names of Children (GIven Name): Sledge, Margaret
Line number: 24
Month Born: Feb
Sec. T. R.:
Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957
Digital Folder Number 004625773
Image Number 01249
2006 Death Certificate
State of Missouri
State file no: 124-06203663
Name: Margaret Ruth Gregory
Date of death: 27 Oct 2006
Place of death: St. Louis, Missouri [county]
Name of father: Sam Williams
Name of mother: Lillian Sledge
United States Social Security Death Index
first name: Margaret
middle name: R
last name: Gregory
birth date: 21 February 1950
social security number: XXX-XX-XXXX
place of issuance: Mississippi
last residence: Florissant, Saint louis, Missouri
zip code of last residence: 63032
death date: 27 October 2006
estimated age at death: 56
Margaret Ruth Gregory February 21, 1950 – October 27, 2006. Birthplace: Macon, Mississippi. Resided In: St. Louis MO. Funeral Home: Austin Layne Mortuary [7239 West Florissant Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63136, E-mail: email@example.com, Web Site: http://www.laynemortuary.com. Visitation: 4-7pm, November 03, 2006. Service: 9am, November 04, 2006. Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery [5239 W. Florissant Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63115, 11:15am, November 04, 2006].
Margaret Ruth Gregory
Saturday, November 4, 2006, 9:00am
Austin Layne Renaissance Chapel
7302 West Florissant Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63136
Reverend E.G. Shields, Sr., Pastor
Mount Beulah M.B. Church, Officiating
Margaret Ruth Gregory was born on February 21, 1950 to Lillian Sledge and the late Sam Williams, in Macon, Ms. She departed this life on October 27, 2006.
Margaret was educated at Macon High School, in Macon, Mississippi. Margaret enjoyed her school career, often mentioning the pride she felt at being named valedictorian in junior high school. Showing her athletic ability, Margaret played basketball for Macon High School and also played in neighborhood softball games when she could. An equal fan of nature, Margaret remarked on the numerous adventures she had during the spring and summer months.
Margaret confessed hope in Christ at an early age at Second Baptist M.B. Church of Macon, MS. In later years, she continued her faith at St. Peter’s A.M.E. Church in St. Louis. Margaret was a devoted reader of Scripture and loved to sing, especially gospel.
In March of 1966, Margaret gave birth to her son, Billy Johann Sledge. In 1968, she and Billy made the journey to St. Louis, Missouri. During this time, one of her first jobs was a ‘carhop’ at White Castle. It was there she met her soon to be husband. Margaret Ruth Sledge and Curtis Allen Gregory were married on March 24, 1973. Curtis was very proud to become the father of Billy and soon all three welcomed the births of Tara Renee Gregory in January of 1975 and Tina Nicole Gregory in March of 1976.
Margaret’s life was full of loving and nurturing her children. She worked diligently as a housewife to make sure that they had the necessary comforts in life, often doing without them herself. Margaret also worked in the retail industry and volunteered at her children’s schools. In later years, Margaret’s volunteer work in the field of education turned employment. This led to a lifelong love of helping and creating joy in the life of each child she met. Margaret worked for Emerson Family YMCA and also Normandy School District.
Although divorced from Curtis, she was saddened by his death in 1994. Margaret’s love of people knew no bounds. If you talked to her for five minutes, you knew her and she never forgot you. She felt that three of her greatest accomplishments were her children and she shared tremendously in their success, watching each one graduate from college. Her latest joy was being able to help raise her first grandchild, Omar Nafel Alenazi.
Margaret leaves to mourn her passing: a loving mother, Lillian Sledge of Macon, Ms; three children, Billy of St. Louis, MO, Tara of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Tina of St. Louis, MO; her grandson, Omar of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Five siblings (born to Lillian Sledge), Jean Holman and William Bell of Memphis, TN, Carlene Graham and Wade Sledge of Macon, MS, and Edna Davis of St. Louis, MO; also leaves, siblings born to her father, Sam Williams a multitude of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Order of Service
Prayer…..Rev. Robert Houston
Acknowledgment of Expressions of Sympathy…..Tina Gregory
Selection…..Rev. L.P. Colyer
Obituary (Read Silenty)…..Soft Music
Eulogy…..Reverend E.G. Shields, Sr. Mount Beulah Missionary Baptist Church
Parting View…..Austin A. Layne Mortuary
The family of Margaret Ruth Gregory wishes to express their gratitude and appreciation for not only this time of need, but for each moment that you have given her and us over the years. Thank you for your expressions of kindness and love offered through cards, floral arrangements, phone calls, visits, and other equally important acts. May God continue to bless each and everyone. ~The Family
Are you really gone? It is difficult, at the very least, to believe. You would be overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support. It equals the love and support you so willingly bestowed upon each of us, day after day. You never complained and you always gave, even if you didn’t have it to give. You were (and still are in our hearts), one of the best people to have graced this earth. Your intelligence, humor, warmth, and beauty are everlasting. Thank you, thank you, thank you. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU ~Billy, Tara, Tina, and Omar
Pallbearers: Family and friends
Interment: Calvary Cemetery
Services entrusted to:
Austin A. Layne Mortuary, Inc.
7239 West Florissant Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63136
Burial Index of Archdiocese of St. Louis, 1700-2010
Inter #: 512253
Name: Margaret R Gregory
Burial date: 4 Nov 2006
Find A Grave Memorial
Name: Margaret Ruth “Reese/Ree” Sledge Gregory
Birth: Feb. 21, 1950
Death: Oct. 27, 2006
St. Louis County
Sam Williams (1892 – 1979)
Lillian Claudell Sledge (1917 – 2013)
Spouse: Curtis Allen Gregory (1946 – 1994)
Margaret R Gregory
Feb 21, 1950
Oct 27, 2006
Mother of perpetual help pray for us
Note: Age 56
Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum
St. Louis City
Plot: Section 033, Lot 0182
Maintained by: Tara R. Gregory
Originally Created by: T.V.F.T.H.
Record added: May 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52805669
Oral history from Margaret Ruth GREGORY nee SLEDGE and Tara Renee GREGORY
1950 Macon, Noxubee, Mississippi birth certificate –> copy of certified copy of birth record from the personal collection of Tara Renee GREGORY –> State of Mississippi –> State Registrar of Vital Statistics –> Jackson, Mississippi –> 19 March 1968 –> http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/31,0,109.html
1957 Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children –> “Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK6D-3HRT : accessed 25 September 2015), Margaret Sledge, 1957.
Mississippi Civil Rights Project, History County-By-County –> School Desegregation in Noxubee County –> http://fur.ly/cd57
Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) –> Sovereignty Commission Online –> Sanders, Rev. Benny –> Pages 1-6 –> Elbert Hilliard to MDAH Board, January 24, 1977, Series 1250: Minutes and Related Material, folder “Regular Quarterly Meeting, January 28, 1977,” box 5531, MDAH; Erle Johnston, Mississippi’s Defiant Years, 1953-1973: An Interpretive Documentary with Personal Experiences (Forest, Miss.: Lake Harbor Publishers, 1990), 379-380; Katagiri, The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, 415-418; “Department of Archives and History, Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee Board of Trustees, March 11, 1977,” Series 1250, folder “Executive Committee Meeting, March 11, 1977,” box 5331; Laws of Mississippi, 1977, Chapter 320, 447-448; Clarion-Ledger, January 28, 1977, March 3, 1977, March 7, 1977, March 20, 1977, May 22, 1977; Daily News, January 28, 1977. –> http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/sovcom/colldesc.php
2006 St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri death certificate –> copy of the certified copy of the original from the personal collection of Tara Renee GREGORY –> State of Missouri –> Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services –> Jefferson City, Missouri –> 1 November 2006 –> http://health.mo.gov/data/vitalrecords
2006 Funeral program –> original from the personal collection of Tara Renee GREGORY –> also published in Obituaries at FuneralNet http://bit.ly/zO4MHB
“United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VS9G-G2F : accessed 9 November 2015), Margaret R Gregory, 27 Oct 2006; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
Burial Index of Archdiocese of St. Louis, 1700-2010 –> Home –> Catholic Cemeteries –> Burial Search –> Calvary –> Lot: 0182 –> http://bit.ly/1aKTgyE
Find A Grave –> Memorial for Margaret Ruth “Reese/Ree” SLEDGE nee GREGORY –> Maintained by TaraG, member #47897707 –> Created by T.V.F.T.H., member #6496806 –> http://bit.ly/MVBVoH
Screen capture of the front of McKinley Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri (building for grades KG-3 with gym and cafeteria) –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbtd
Screen capture of the side/back of McKinley Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri (building for grades KG-3 with gym and cafeteria) –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbta
Screen capture of the front of McKinley Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri (now demolished building for grades 4-6, administration, music and library) –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbti
Screen capture of Simmons-Marshall School on St. Louis Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbtv
Screen capture of 3915 St. Louis Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbty
Screen capture of the front of Charles Henry Turner School, St. Louis, Missouri –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbuk
Screen capture of the side of Charles Henry Turner School, St. Louis, Missouri –> Google Maps –> http://fur.ly/cbum
This blog was created to help me organize my genealogy research and act as a backup system and repository for all of the information I have collected thus far and will continue to collect. I will be adding more to the family tree as they are found. BROUSSARD, GREGORY, SLEDGE and WILLIAMS are the main surnames in my family tree but are not excluded to those particular surnames (see the image below). DUCK and SANDERS are the surnames that I am researching for my brother (he has a different father). I intend to upload photos, certificates, newspaper articles, etc., with or without transcription. If you’d like to keep up with new posts, either click “follow by email” or enter your email address (located on the sidebar). Feel free to email me if you have additional information on any of these families or have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have family in LA, TX, MO, CA, SC, VA, TN, IL, MS, PA.
All surnames in the family tree so far are in the image below. Can you spot your surname? If not, submit it by following the instructions on this page, COLLECTION OF NAMES FOR FAMILY TREE.