Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Hollimans of Alabama

by Glenn N. Holliman

Back to the 19th Century...A Series of Articles on the Hollimans and Related Families of Fayette County, Alabama

Spring Hill Cemetery in Bluff, Alabama is the final resting place of a pioneer ancestor who made the trek from the Carolinas to Alabama in 1836, raised a large family, survived the Civil War although losing a husband and two sons, farmed, midwifed and lived to be 94 years old.  Family lore has her enjoying her 'flowers' - her 'Four Roses' - deep into her final years.

"Mary Polly Lucas Holliman, January 2, 1819 - July 5, 1913, Pioneer Strength, Integrity, Human Kindness"

Even thought 'strenth' may be mis-spelled, this grave stone speaks eloquently of the wife of Uriah Holliman, 1817 - 1862.  As Dr. Rhodes Holliman, a great, great grandson has written (see Archives of this blog, March 2010 and copy below), Polly buried a husband and son (Charles Daniel Holliman) at Okalona, Mississippi after the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.  Sick herself, she rode home, raised the children remaining and lived to the age of 94.  During the decades after the war she served as a mid-wife, delivering many of her own grandchildren.

"In 21 years of married life, Mary Polly and Uriah would produce 13 children - seven boys and six girls.  She could hitch up a mule to a plow and till the soil as well as any man.  While maintaining her farm, she became the only source of medical assistance in her community as a herb doctor, caregiver, and midwife to many of her neighbors.  She would accept appeals for help from all over the area, saddle up a mule and ride out to provide services." - Dr. Rhodes Holliman

Below family members, four of whom are direct descendants of Polly Lucas Holliman, gaze over the Spring Hill Cemetery in the Bluff community of Fayette, County.  Left to right: Wally Allen, Jean Holliman, Tommie Holliman Allen, Bill Holliman, Bishop Holliman (great grandson of Polly Lucas) and Jeanette Holiman Stewart.  Bishop Holliman,b 1919, is a first cousin of Rhodes Holliman's father, Cecil Rhodes Holliman (1903 - 1982).

On that early April day in 2011, when sixteen Holliman descendants traveled through Fayette County, the trees were leafing out in pastel green. One noticed that the soil of Fayette County could not decide if it wanted to be red clay or sandy stone and rock.  Both pine and oak thrive in the ravines and on the ridges adjacent to the Sipsey River that flows north to south through the county. Swamps cover many areas near the river bottoms. From this soil our 19th Century ancestors harvested cotton, corn and lumber.   Hogs and cattle grazed in the woods and pastures. Below the ground, coal emerged, and today oil and gas flow deep from the Alabama earth.
                                       Above, a  dirt road winds off from the Bluff cemetery

Next more posts on the Hollimans of Alabama....

Plan now to attend the Holliman and Associated Families Genealogical Round Table at the Fayette County, Alabama Civic Center, 10 am to 3 pm, Saturday, October 15, 2011. For information and reservations for lunch, contact Glenda Norris at gnorris@bcbsal.org or Glenn Holliman at Glennhistory@gmail.com.  Sessions to include Tracing the Holymans from England to Alabama, Holliman Farm Sites in Fayette County and sharing of information on Associated Families.  All invited!

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