Large crowd attends Magilbry, Dolly's reburial
Wow! What a Saturday.
I attended the Magilbry Findley re-burial at Fairmount Cemetery in Red Level and believe me, I was not the only one. There were probably more than 300 people in attendance, many of them from Brewton.
Magilbry Findley and his wife, Dolly, were first buried at their home site in Loango, but the land had been sold out of the family and the graves neglected until some family members decided to move their remains to a nearby cemetery where the grave would be maintained.
The remains of both Magilbry and Dolly were placed in a wooden box (as bodies were in times past) and brought to Fairmount Church in a mule-drawn wagon. They were escorted by several reenactors representing the time period of the War of 1812 of which Magilbry was a veteran.
A service was held inside the church and then the remains were carried to the cemetery by members of the Findley family and laid to rest for the second time. Bob Bradley, chief curator for the Alabama Archives and History, was in attendance and brought with him a musket that had belonged to Findley and was donated to the Archives by a descendant. The musket was placed on the wooden box atop the greenery supplied by descendant Ronny Herrington of Brewton. The reenactors then saluted with the firing of their ancient weapons. The atmosphere at the cemetery was one of quiet reverence for a couple that had been dead for so long. Cousins mingled and hugged and many looked as if they were baffled by so many different faces. It was an interesting event, one not to be repeated very often.
Immediately after this ceremony, there was another held in memory of one of Magilbry's sons, Bluford Findley, who was buried nearby, a veteran of the Civil War. There was a large group of Civil War reenactors assembled with a gun salute and afterward they moved over to another ceremony where another Civil War veteran was honored.
The Rev. Henry Kierce, who also has many ties to Escambia County, is also buried in Fairmount where he once preached. Some of his descendants were on hand to lay a marker at his grave.
I must tell you of something funny that happened at this ceremony. Judy Jolly, who is with the Santa Rosa Heritage Committee was introducing me to the "widow" who was walking around the cemetery. It seems that the "widow" attends many of the Confederate ceremonies. I am not quite sure why, but I have seen them on other occasions. Anyway, when Judy introduced her as Dolly White, I reached out and lifted the black veil and told her that I was very familiar with Dolly White. In fact we were related. It brought back a memory of walking into the Pensacola Library and asking for information about Dale County, Ala. The librarian said she was also very interested in Dale County as her ancestors came from there. We compared notes and realized we were descended from the same man who died in 1862. Small world, isn't it?
Now I have promised to let you know a couple of important things. Lisa Franklin, who maintains her own website, www.trackingyourroots.com, with all matter of information, was in attendance. She had a few copies of her book about the family of Magilbry Findley and I was lucky enough to get one. I told her I would let you know where to contact her to get your own copy. Her email address is groups.yahoo.com/group/MagilbryFindley/ and her mailing address is 13719 Grosvenor Street, Houston, Texas, 77034.
Another bit of information is that Santa Rosa is getting ready to publish their second volume of "The Heritage of Santa Rosa County, Fla." They can accept information until March 31 and I am told that there are a lot of features including quite a few American Indian stories and photos and a special section on Hurricane Ivan. You can find out more or send your material to Santa Rosa County HBC, P.O. Box 267, Bagdad, FL 32530. You may also email them to Joyce Schnoor, the family coordinator, at email@example.com, or to Judy Jolly, committee member, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have not seen the first volume. But remember that many of the people who settled in Santa Rosa County had many ties with Escambia County, Ala.