DEATH NOTICES FROM
THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE,
By Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 2000
Special thanks to go Mr. Smith for allowing his work to be posted on the web
and to Laurel Baty who transcribed Mr. Smith's book, thus making these web pages possible.
The NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE became the official periodical of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and extant issues date from 1846; from 1851-1854 this publication was entitled the NASHVILLE AND LOUISVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE and in 1858 it reverted to the simpler, CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, Nashville. These publications featured articles dealing with church polity, doctrine, news from the conferences, religious celebrities, even current market reports and one of the most popular items, obituaries and death notices, generally but not exclusively of deceased Methodists.
The editors of the early Methodist newspapers/periodicals recognized the importance of publishing obituaries of ordinary persons as well as the more note-worthy ones. These obituaries varied considerably in content; some were replete with essential vital statistics of the deceased persons as well as comments about ancestry, marriage, children, migrations, church related activities and milestones and oft-surprising but frank comments about individual character.
Annie Sandifer Trickett 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). The present writer has abstracted the "deaths" from the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATEs 1852-1861; 1869-1873; the files of several years are thus missing. The present publication carries these available death notice abstracts through 1876.
Many marriages were announced in the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE but as most of them were recorded in the public-records of the counties involved, these have not been abstracted by the present writer.
The researcher will note few deaths being mentioned of deceased persons having lived in western Tennessee. These were reported for such persons in the MEMPHIS AND ARKANSAS CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, its first issue dated January 1, 1866; in 1870 this periodical was renamed the WESTERN METHODIST, published initially in Memphis, Tennessee but with the decimating effects of the yellow fever, the paper's office was moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1879. In the mid-80s this publication was suspended and the ARKANSAS CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE somewhat picked up the slack. For a brief time in the 1890s there was a revival of the MEMPHIS CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE. If existent, these issues would contain an immense amount of genealogical information but they are in fact missing except for possible scattered issues and clippings.
The deaths reported in the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, Nashville were from middle and east Tennessee, central Kentucky, northern Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, western North Carolina, southwest Virginia. At one time there were several CHRISTIAN ADVOCATEs being published throughout the South.
Abbreviations used in this publication:
dau = daughter of
son = son of
wf = wife of
md = married
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