Bessie Griffin (1883-1983)
Bessie was a daughter of Noah Webster Griffin and Lillian Melissa Knight, a granddaughter of William Washington Knight, and a great granddaughter of Levi J. Knight, and of Jesse Carroll, both pioneer settlers of the Ray City, GA area. Her parents grew up in the 1144 Georgia Militia District (Rays Mill District).
Bessie was born August 11, 1883. Tax records at that time show her father owned 175 acres on Lot #371, 10th Land District, Berrien County, GA, increased to 245 acres in 1884. The Griffin farm was in the Connells Mill district (Georgia Militia District 1329), just west of the Rays Mill community (now Ray City, GA), although at that time, the community of Ray’s Mill consisted of little more than the grist mill built by Thomas M. Ray and Levi J. Knight, and the store owned by Henry H. Knight.
Bessie’s early childhood, from 1883 through 1890, was spent on her father’s farm on the same Lot #371. Tax records of 1890 show Guilford I. Parrish, Molcie Parrish – wife of Elder Ansel Parrish, James W. Parrish, John S. Carter, Joel J. Carter, James P. Devane, Millard F. Devane, Georgia R. Devane, William E. Fountain Jr, John Webb, Thomas W. Ray, William W. Knight, Sovin J. Knight, and Matthew H. Albritton were among their neighbors.
Apparently, the Griffin’s moved to the Lower Fork district of Lowndes county (Georgia Militia District 658) before the birth of Bessie’s brother, Lester Griffin, in 1890.
Bessie Griffin married Joseph S. Bazemore on December 20, 1899, in Lowndes County, GA. The bride was sixteen; the groom was a 29-year-old farmer. Joseph Salem Bazemore was born March 10, 1870 at Hazlehurst, GA. He was a son of James J. Bazemore (1853-1893) and Mary Elizabeth McIntyre (1848-1924).
Image source: http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/u?/countyfilm,123494
In 1900, the newlyweds were renting a farm in Lowndes County, in the Lower Fork District No. 658, next to the farm of Bessie’s widowed mother. Boarding with them and working as a farm laborer was William J. Lamb, and his wife Mary Carrol Knight Lamb. Among the neighbors were David and Rachel Passmore and their children.
By the census of 1910, Bessie and Joe Bazemore had moved to the Hazlehurst, GA area, Georgia Militia District #1364. Their place was on “Rural Route Road #1” near where it intersected with Graham & Smith Landing Road. Joe’s brother, Captain Bazemore, and his wife Ida were living next door.
Joe and Bessie, as well as Cap and Ida, remained in Hazlehurst through the 1920 census.
- Bazemore-Griffin Wedding 1899
- Family of Lester Griffin
- Obituary of William J. Lamb ~ died June 13, 1908
- The Poetry of Mary Elizabeth Carroll