Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - A Murder in the Family

Nuna Pierce Jackson
Dec 25, 1898 - June 3, 1929

It always amazes me how one's research takes unexpected twists and turns. This one came flying out of left field around 12:00 this morning. (You do know I'm an aging night owl and do some of my best research in the wee hours of the morning.)

Cousin Nuna's grave

Where do I begin? I know. Last week's trip to the family history center.

My microfilm and microfiche finally arrived, so this past Thursday, I made the trek to the Family History center to begin viewing In remembrance, Cemetery Readings of Walton County, Georgia (Historical Society of Walton County, Inc.). This is the microfilm I had viewed 13 years ago but at that time, paid no attention to possible collateral relatives. Yes, all I was interested in was my direct line ancestors.

Now armed with new information attained during the past year, I anxiously and excitedly "walked" back through the cemeteries of Walton County. I paid particular attenttion to Sheats Cemetery, where my great grandfather, Cornelius Pierce, is interred, since it was there that I recently discovered my third cousin twice removed (my grandmother's first cousin), Mood Pierce was also interred there.

As I viewed the names in Sheats, I was actually hoping to find my great grand uncle's, Lonnie Pierce, grave. Instead, I came across what most surely had to be his daugther Nuna. A Nuna Jackson was the informant of Uncle Lon's death certificate. Surely this Nuna Jackson was the same Nuna Jackson. The information contained in the book showed that Nuna died just four years after Uncle Lon at the age of about 31. My natural assumption was that she died during childbirth, a flu epedimic, or other natural cause.

No Routine Death 

When I should have been in bed resting up for the next days work, cousin Nuna would have none of it. Obviously, she was restless for whatever reason. I realized that her death put her in the time period of Non-indexed death certificates that can be located on Georgia Virtual Vault. When I realized this I begin hunting for her death certificate with the sole purpose of getting a clue about the other Fannie, Uncle Lon's wife. If you've followed my blog, you probably have figured out what I was thinking. "Maybe Uncle Lon's Fannie could help lead me to my own grandma Fannie."

Checking the index first. Yes there was a death certificate for a Nuna Jackson in Walton County. Dates are matching. Felt like I couldn't point and click fast enough. Finally, getting to the appropriate batch of death certificates. NO, say it isn't so. Cousin Nuna was murdered!

I came across the amendments to her death certificate first, which ruled her death a homicide. Cause of death was a gunshot wound. Third click produces the actual death certificate confirming that his is our Uncle Lon's Nuna.

In that instant, in the wee hours of this morning, my ancestors became even more real to me and it brought home one more time that this pursuit is more than just names, dates, places and events. It's about telling their story. How they lived, played, worked, and died. So, I can't just let this be the final word on Cousin Nuna's death. I must find out the how, why, and by whom. Please don't let the by whom be "persons unknown."

To be Continued


  1. wow, what an exciting story. I'm 'dying' to see who murdered her and why. You tell it very well!

  2. Oh my heavens! Interesting... I guess you'll be digging around on newspapers sites now, huh? Good luck!

  3. My curiosity is roused! I'll be waiting and watching to see what you learn.

  4. Wow Mav! You have me sitting on the edge of my seat with this one! This is going to be GOOD!:-)


  5. Mavis, How exciting. I found a murder in our tree and I am turning it into a novel. Better than anything we could view on TV. Keep us posted. Can't wait to hear the resolution.

    -A. CAIN

  6. Goodness, this is the best "Tombstone Tuesday" story this week! I hope you find the culprit!

  7. I bet that one hit you like a ton of bricks.
    More! More!

  8. Mavis,

    I can't wait to hear more about this mystery.


  9. How sad. I hope you are able to "crack the case" and tell us about it.


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