This biography of Mary Brumfield was written by Jim Pickering. Because very little in the way of definitive source information for Mary had been found a biography for her had previously not been attempted. Recently I was contacted by Elizabeth Lightbown a very generous lady and a direct descendant of Samuel Alexander and his first wife Rebecca Allen. With the information Beth shared it was possible to write a credible biography for Mary. Any additional information and/or corrections to information included here that is documented will be appreciated.
Mary Brumfield was born 8 December 1826 in York District, South Carolina. She was a daughter of Jesse Brumfield and his wife Mary whose maiden name is unknown. Mary's father was first enumerated in the 1820 census for York County, South Carolina.
Research Note: There is a fairly extensive genealogy of the Brumfield surname that was compiled and self published by Dell Clawson titled Fields of Broom. Mrs. Clawson also wrote a series of articles published in her home town news paper, The Tylertown Times, Tylertown, Mississippi supplementing the original edition of her book published 1972. The information is unsourced so has no credibility, but article # 12 indicates that Mary's mother's maiden name was Cotton.
In the 1850 census for South Carolina Mary was enumerated twice. First in the census for York County, South Carolina dated 14 September 1850 she was enumerated in the household of her father Jesse, and listed as Mary Brumfield. Second in the census for Lancaster County dated 17 October 1850 she was enumerated in the household of S. Alexander and listed as M. Alexander along with Samuel's 10 year old son James from his first marriage. 
Research Note: The census taker for York County listed the Jesse Brumfield family as Bloomfield, but given the individuals named there is no doubt that the record was for the Jesse Brumfield family.
Mary married Samuel Alexander about 1 October 1850. No record has been found for their marriage, but given that Mary was enumerated with her birth family with her birth surname on 14 September 1850 and as Mary Alexander on 17 October 1850 they were married between these dated so an approximate date of 1 October 1850 +/- two weeks. Mary had an instant family of four step children.
Mary's father Jesse died 15 December 1852 intestate and the probate process of his estate took considerable time, but Mary's share of her father's estate was
Research Note: The final settlement document for Jesse's estate was filed with the court in December 1854, but had to have been finalized and funds disbursed much earlier by as much as a year. Both Jesse's wife and son John, who were also recipients of the estate, filed their wills with the probate court in October and August 1854 respectively, and their wills reflected inheritance from Jesse's estate.
No doubt funded by Mary's inheritance Samuel had the wagons packed, and with Mary's inheritance in hand, headed to Arkansas with Mary, his four children by his first wife Rebecca Allen, and his slaves. It is unknown exactly when the family departed South Carolina but likely late 1853 or early 1854.
See Samuel's profile page for more details concerning the first records of the family in Arkansas, and the house that Samuel built.
Unfortunately the family was omitted from the 1860 census in Arkansas so there is a major gap in definitive records for 20 years, one Civil War, and about an 800 mile wagon trip from the 1850 census for Lancaster County, South Carolina to the 1870 census for Columbia County, Arkansas. During that time Mary probably lost her first child before or during the trip, the family had lost Samuel's first son James who died in the war, and her step daughters had all married and flown the nest.
As of 1870 census for Boone Township, Columbia County, Arkansas the family had diminished to just six people living in the Samuel Alexander household.
Samuel Alexander - male age 59 - born 1811 in SC
Mary Alexander - female age 43 - born 1827 in SC
Rosalie Alexander - female age 16 - born 1854 in AR
Frances Alexander - female age 14 - born 1856 in AR
John Alexander - male age 7 - born 1863 in AR
Mary Alexander - female age 5 - born 1865 in AR.
Research Note: Daughter Nora should have been listed with the family in 1870 but for reason unknown was omitted.
As of 1880 the family was enumerated in the census for Calhoun Township, Columbia County, AR still with six family members, but with Frances gone and Nora back with the family.
Samuel Alexander - male age 68 - born 1812 in SC
Mary Alexander - wife - female age 52 - born 1828 in SC
Rosaline Alexander - daughter - female age 25 - born 1855 in AR
Susamie Alexander - daughter - female age 14- born 1866 AR
Research Note: There were three other individuals listed as in the household, more likely on the property, noted as farm labor, one white and two black.
Mary's husband Samuel died 22 April 1889 and was buried in the Lydesdale Cemetery near their home in Columbia County to be joined there by Mary some 16 years later.
Mary was found living with her daughter Nora and son-in-law John Pickering, Jr. as of the 1900 census for Calhoun Township, Columbia county, Arkansas.
Mary is recorded as the mother of 8 children with 5 still living. Three of Mary's children were not recorded in the available census records.
Children of Mary Brumfield Alexander and Samuel Alexander
1. Unknown (b 1851 - 1852 NC - d as infant NC)
2. Rosaline E. aka Rossie (b 1854 AR - d 1943 AR)
3. Frances Roxana (b 1856 AR - d 1941 AR)
4. Sarah Alexander (b 1858 AR - d 1868 AR)
5. Harriet Lenora aka Nora H (b 1861 AR - d 1912 AR)
6. John Graham (b 1863 AR - d 1944 AR)
7. Mary Sam aka Sammie (b 1866 AR - d 1945 AR)
8. Annie (b 1875 AR - d 1880 AR)
Research Note: Sarah was one of Mary's children not enumerated in any available census record. The family was omitted from the 1860 census and given Sarah's DOB and DOD 1860 was the only possibility. There is confirmation with her burial at Lydesdale Cemetery.
Research Note: Annie came very late in Mary's life to the extent that she would have been over looked if not for the information in the 1900 census indicating that Mary had 8 children. Annie was not named in the 1880 census because she died in May and the census was dated June 1880.
Research Note: The census and grave memorial records combined account for 7 of Mary's 8 children. Reviewing the dates of birth for the known seven children there is no time to squeeze in another child between Rosaline and Mary Sam. If the eight child had been born between Mary Sam and Annie certainly the child would have been buried in the Lydesdale Cemetery and would have had a gravestone as did Sarah and Annie. Therefore the only logical time for the unknown child would have been before Rosaline. Mary and Samuel were married late in 1852. Obviously both were fertile so unlikely they would have gone from October 1852 until 1854 without a child. The parts fit neatly for them to have had a child late 1851- early 1852, and for Mary to recover to have had Rosaline in 1854.
Mary died 13 April 1905 at the age of 76 and was buried in the Lydesdale Cemetery next to Samuel and two of her children.
↑ "Find A Grave, Mary Brumfield Alexander (8 Dec 1826–13 Apr 1905)" database and images ( : accessed 07 March 2018), Memorial no. 90539738, citing Lydesdale Cemetery, Columbia County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Michelle Garner (contributor 47234478)
↑ "United States Census, 1820," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHG6-265 : accessed 7 March 2018), Jessee Brumfield, York, York, South Carolina, United States; citing p. , NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 121; FHL microfilm 162,024.
↑ Alma Dell McGee Clawson, Fields of Broom, Published 1983 A.D.M. Clawson, New Orleans, LA
↑ "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8QG-71H) (12 April 2016), Jesse Bloomfield, York
county, York, South Carolina, United States; citing family 838, NARA microfilm publication
M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
↑ "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8QJ-3BR) (12 April 2016), S Alexander, Lancaster
county, part of, Lancaster, South Carolina, United States; citing family 848, NARA microfilm
publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
↑ "United States Census, 1870", Samuel Alexander, Boone, Columbia, Arkansas, Household 124, Line 21. 
↑ "United States Census, 1880", Samuel Alexander, Calhoun, Columbia, Arkansas, District ED 39, Household 150, Sheet 172A, Line 10. 
↑ "Find A Grave, Samuel L Alexander (9 Apr 1812–22 Apr 1889)" database and images ( : accessed 07 March 2018), Memorial no. 90539749, citing Lydesdale Cemetery, Columbia County, Arkansas, USA ;
Maintained by Michelle Garner (contributor 47234478).
↑ "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3XP-K6X) (accessed 12 March 2018), Mary
Alexandra in household of John Pickering, Calhoun Township, Calhoun town, Columbia,
Arkansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 47, sheet 3B, family 55, NARA
microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration,
1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,054.
↑ "Find A Grave, Sarah Alexander (10 May 1858–9 Sep 1868)" database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/90539763/sarah-alexander#) (accessed 11 March 2018), memorial page for, Find A Grave Memorial no. 90539763, citing Lydesdale Cemetery, Columbia County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Michelle Garner (contributor 47234478).
↑Find A Grave, Annie Alexander (9 Sep 1875–2 May 1880)database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/90539641/annie-alexander#) (accessed 11 March 2018), memorial page, Find A Grave Memorial no. 90539641, citing Lydesdale Cemetery, Columbia County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Michelle Garner (contributor 47234478).
↑ "Find A Grave, Mary Brumfield Alexander (8 Dec 1826–13 Apr 1905)' database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/90539738/mary-alexander) (accessed 11 March 2018), memorial page for Find A Grave Memorial no. 90539738, citing Lydesdale Cemetery, Columbia County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Michelle Garner (contributor 47234478)
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Mary by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Mary: