Location: Harris County, Texas
STATE OF TEXAS COUNTY OF HARRIS Before me, GRAYCE RUNDLE EBDON, a Notary Public in and for Harris County, Tex., on this day personally appeared CHARLES WINFIELD BEST, who being by me duly sworn, upon oath says that the following statement made for the purpose of preserving a family record is to the best of his knowledge true and correct.
My grandfather was Bija Best, and his wife's name before marriage was Mason. They were both born and married either in North or South Carolina. About 1840 they moved to Marshall County, Mississippi, about six miles from Holly Springs, Mississippi. They reared eleven children, six boys, William, Berry 0., Wash, Nute, John and Charles Burrow, my father, all of whom were born and reared in Marshall County and all except Nute served in the Confederate Army, he failing to do so because he was a cripple; and five girls, Ann, Jane, Mapheny, Martha, and Narcissa. Their ages were about in the order named. All of the boys lived to old age.
My uncle, William Best, moved to Judsonia, Arkansas, rearing his family and dying there. He had five wives.
My uncle, Berry 0. Best, lived and reared a family in North Mississippi. He fought both in the Mexican and Civil Wars. He was killed when he fell from a train on returning home after attending an Ex-Confederate reunion at Memphis. His wife's name was Stephens. There were three children, two boys, Walter, who was a doctor and Taylor, and one girl. They lived in Teasdale, Mississippi. The girl married an Owen and lived about thirty miles from Gulfport, Mississippi.
My Uncle, Wash Best, moved from Marshall County to Judsonia and then moved to Texas near Waco. He had three or four boys, among which was one called Bud and another George. I think the others were Andrew and Adolphus.
Uncle Nute, or Newt, was a cripple. He married a woman by the name of Lizzie, whom we called "Old Liz". They had an adopted boy, or a nephew of his wife's whose name was Tom Brown. Uncle Nute died on the Bija Best farm near Holly Springs, Mississippi.
My uncle, John Best, lived in Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. He had two boys, Lee and Johnny.
My father, Charles Burrow Best, known as Burrow, was born January 10, 1835, in Marshall County, Mississippi; and died at Newport, Arkansas, June 7, 1917. When a young man, he worked on his father's farm, later serving in the Confederate Army, and then working for himself. He enlisted in the Army at the age of twenty-four at Holly Springs, Mississippi. He was a member of the 17th Mississippi Regiment, Barksdale Brigade, Longstreet's Corps, McGraws Division. He was wounded in the Battle of Wilderness, a bullet striking him at the elbow and coming out at his thumb. For this wound he was given a furlough and returned to his home. When recovered sufficiently to fight again he did not return to the East to fight again but remained until the close of the war in and around his home, fighting the Yankees whenever and wherever he found them. Soon after the war at the age of twenty-eight, he married my mother, Mary Elizabeth Jones, who was nineteen years old. They had nine children.
My Aunt Ann married a man by the name of McAnulty -- Joe, I think his given name was. They lived in Western Texas, about two or three days' travel by wagon from Waco. She lived to be quite old.
My Aunt Mapheney died quite young.
My Aunt Jane Best married a man by the name of Dave Parker who lived near Conway, Arkansas. She died soon after July, 1907.
My Aunt Martha Best
My Aunt Narcissa Best
My mother's father was Hawk Jones and her mother Neely Goodwin. Her mother was born at Water Valley, Mississippi, and died at Wall Hill, Mississippi in 1904 at the age of about 75. Grandpa Jones died at Wall Hill, Mississippi in 1886. My mother was born about 1848 and died in June, 1927. For some time before Grandpa Jones death he thought he had too much blood in his body and finally after much persuasion on his part, and much against the doctors' wishes, this operation was performed in the doctor's office of his own home town. He tried to return home but found himself too weak. He stopped at the home of his oldest daughter, Lucy, where he died within a few hours.
From the marriage of my mother and father were born nine children. This was the only marriage of either. The children were as follows:
"Little Charlie", born about 1867 and died eighteen months later;
Charles Winfield Best, the undersigned, born November 30, 1870. Now living.
Robert Marion Best, born November 21, 1872 at Wall Hill, Mississippi. From his first marriage to Mabel Holder there were two children, Iris Holder Best, born on October 13, 1902, who is now married and living in Arkansas; and Newel Judson Best, who is living in Des Arc, Arkansas. From his second marriage to Josie Herndon there were five girls born; Mary Best, who was born in Alexander, Arkansas; Robbie Joe, Neely Lee, Nellie Voile, and Minnie May Best who were all born in Alexander, Arkansas.
Donnie Easton Best, born on October 19, 1874 at Wall Hill, Mississippi, and died April, 1899, at McCrory, Arkansas. She married Dr. William T. McCain in 1895. There was one child from this marriage; William Enoch McCain, their son, was born in 1927 at Dallas, Texas.
Edwin Quil Best was born on August 6, 1877 and died December 10, 1917. From his first marriage to Laura Hilton there was one child born, Irma Elliot Best, who was born at Judsonia, Arkansas and married Ray Wools. From this union there is one child, Mary Madeline Wools, born at Judsonia, Arkansas. From his second marriage to Myrtle Holden there was one child, Phillip Holden Best, born June 21, 1911 at Newport, Arkansas.
Berry Joseph Best was born January 7, 1880 at Arkabutla, Mississippi. From his first marriage to Jessie Braden, who died on November 26, 1915, there were three children; Burrow Braden Best, who died at Newport, Arkansas; Marguerite Best, who also died at Newport, Arkansas, and Beatrice Best, born May 17, 1910 at Newport, Arkansas. From his second marriage to Eunice Feryn Fausel in 1920, there is one child, Polly Jean Best, born December 19, 1922.
Jewel Simpson Best, born January 5, 1882, and died October 3, 1918, married Belle Richards, whose whereabouts are unknown. From this marriage there was one child, Lottie Perla Best, born September 28, 1910 at Newport, Arkansas, but who was legally adopted by Perla and now bears the name of Lottie Best Ethridge.
Ira D. Best, born October 5, 1883 at Arkabutla, Mississippi, married Bettie Coe. There was one child who died at birth. On July 7, 1907, he married Nettie Hughes, who died in 1908. From this marriage there was one child, Ira Hughes Best, born April, 1908 and died in May, 1908. In November, 1921, he married Laura Gravette. There is one child, Jewel Juanita Best, born on October 15, 1922.
Perla Lorena Best, born February 28, 1888, and married Donnell James Ethridge, who was born on September 12, 1882. On July 7, 1907, Lottie Best Ethridge, daughter of Jewel S. Best, was adopted by them in the year of her father's death, 1918.
I, Charlie Winfield Best, was born November 30, 1870 near Wall Hill, Mississippi. My father moved from Marshall County to Tate County, Mississippi, about six miles west of Arkabutla when I was about six years old, and lived there until my son, Jewell Boyd, was about six months old. On January 23, 1895, I married Pearl Pace who was born on August 9, 1874 and died March 11, 1922 at Newport, Arkansas. She was born at Strayhorn, Mississippi. This was my only marriage. We had five children:
Jewell Boyd Best, born October 2, 1895 at Arkabutla, Mississippi and married Margaret Callahan, who was born in Japan on August 8, 1894, on November I, 1919. From this marriage there are two children: J. B. Best, Jr., who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 21, 1921 and William Callahan Best "Billy", who was born in Houston, Texas on March 23, 1928.
Donnie Emma Best was born April 28, 1899 at Strayhorn, Mississippi. On February II, 1926 she married Clarence Holmes Welch from Mississippi and who died on April 2, 1942. There are three children from this marriage; C. H. Welch, Jr., born at Houston, Texas on November 17, 1926; Robert Wesley Welch "Bobby", who was born at Houston, Texas on July 13, 1928 and Donald Ray Welch, born at Houston, Texas on December 31, 1933.
C. W. Best, Jr. was born in 1907 at Gulfport, Mississippi and died in 1909.
Ethridge Charles Best, who was born June 26, 1910, at my Father's old home in Newport, Arkansas, was graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1933 and at the outbreak of the present war was a Major in the Marine Air Corps stationed at San Diego, California.
Etta Pearl Best was born on August 20, 1912 at Amarillo, Texas and was married to Samuel Joseph Taylor at Houston, Texas on September 15, 1932. Her husband was born at Meredian, Mississippi on June 23, 1908. There are no children from this marriage.
After I was twenty-one years old, I was in the mercantile business with Mr. Brannon at Arkabutla and remained with him until my Father and I left Tate County and went to Pecan Gap, Texas, when my son, J. Boyd, was about six months old. My Father and I went into the mercantile business at Pecan Gap, Texas. We remained there a year, after which time we left, my Father going near McCrory, Arkansas. After about a year at McCrory, he moved to about two miles out of Newport, where he farmed two or three years, after which time he moved to Newport where he died.
Signed: CHARLES WINFIELD BEST
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 23rd day of February, 1943, to certify which witness my hand and seal of office.
Signed: GRAYCE RUNDLE EBDON
NOTARY PUBLIC in and for HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS.