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 of its 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 of 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; 1869-1876; the files of several years are thus missing. The present publication carries these available death notice abstracts through 1879.
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.
Persons living in Arkansas, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi generally submitted their obituaries for deceased relatives in the MEMPHIS AND ARKANSAS CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE (under its various titles) which dated from the summer of 1850 until sometime in 1882. There is no complete set of these issues although some years from that period are available in the archival commission on history at Drew University or in the Methodist Library of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
As an addendum, the obituaries from several of the extant issues of the MEMPHIS, ARKANSAS AND OUACHITA CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE have been abstracted; those from the holdings in the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and one issue of the WESTERN METHODIST from the holdings of the library of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. It may be noted, here, that the deaths reported in the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, Nashville, were from the middle and east Tennessee, central Kentucky, northern Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, western North Carolina and southwest Virginia areas. At one time there were several CHRISTIAN ADVOCATES published throughout the South.
Abbreviations used in this publication:
dau = daughter
s/o = son of
Return to Contents