By Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1997


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The editors of the early Methodist journals/newspapers recognized the importance of publishing obituaries of ordinary persons as well as those well-known or preachers. Even persons of other denominations contributed obituaries of their deceased relatives to the Methodist newspaper occasionally. These obituaries varied considerably in content; some were replete with essential vital statistics of the deceased person as well as comments about ancestry, marriages, children, migrations, church related activities and milestones and oft-surprising but frank comments about individual character.

A very real attempt has been made by this compiler to abstract data from the old Methodist newspaper, accurately and concisely. The deaths reported in the "Obituaries" and "Deaths" columns have been abstracted while randomly mentioned deaths, those of celebrities or those who lived "in foreign parts" have not been; the latter usually have little of genealogically-worthwhile information and much of the lives of many of these persons are better described in other types of publications.

The extant issues of the LOUISVILLE AND NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, later becoming the NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, begin with 1846. Annie Sandifer Trickett has gleaned and published from the oldest issues the genealogical data reflected in the title of her book, GENEALOGICAL ABSTRACTS OF MARRIAGES AND DEATHS FROM THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, 1846-1851 (Dallas, Texas, 1985). With the publication of this particular volume, now in hand, the deaths will have been abstracted from this newspaper from 1846-1861; 1869-1873; there was a long period in the 1860s for which there are no extant copies, at least not as a series.

Although an effort has been made to spell the surnames and given names and list all other data from these death notices accurately, it is probably too much to hope for complete accuracy. Some of the surnames are so outlandish that it is likely the editors of the newspaper misread the letters addressed to them containing the information about some of the decedents; the editors or their "helpers." This is not to make disparaging remarks about anyone's "name," all such deserving respect in the proper context.

Gratitude is here extended to Ann Robbins Phillips, official historian and archivist of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church for providing the opportunity to glean these data from the microfilm copies of the church newspaper kept in the church archives in the Lambuth University Library in Jackson, Tennessee. Also, gratitude is extended to other staff members of this library for their courtesy and helpfulness to the compiler during his many long hours of research in their domain.

Abbreviations used in this publication:

MEC = Methodist Episcopal Church (up to the year 1845)
MECS = Methodist Episcopal Church, South (from the year 1845)
d/o = daughter of
s/o = son of
w/o = wife of
md = married

Jackson, Tennessee
Summer 1997


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