#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Tombstone

This week’s #52Ancestors prompt is “Tombstone.” I decided to share several of my favorites.

Stevens Cemetery Plot, Clopton Cemetery Pensacola

Stevens Cemetery Plot, Clopton Cemetery, Pensacola










These are probably the first graves I ever visited. My great-grandmother, Mollie Elizabeth (really Mary Elizabeth) Pittman Stevens died when I was about a year and a half old, and I came home to Pensacola with my mom for her funeral. I don’t really remember this but I know it. Over the years, I went with my mom and/or my maternal grandmother to the Stevens plot at Clopton Cemetery many times to clean up the plot. Also buried here are Mollie’s husband, James W. (Billie) Stevens; her brother Thomas E. Pittman, who never married; and Mollie’s youngest daughter Nellie Mae Stevens Nobles, who died during her first pregnancy.  The Stevens line is one of my brick walls; I know Billie’s father’s name was William A. Stevens (or Stephens, which is how it’s spelled on his parents’ marriage record), but I can’t figure out who his parents are.

Arminta Alice Stephens Cooper - Cooper Cemetery, Baldwin County, Alabama

Arminta Alice Stephens Cooper – Cooper Cemetery, Baldwin County, Alabama

My first genealogical field trip took me to several graveyards in Baldwin County, Alabama. I photographed my 3x Great-Grandmother Arminta, wife of John J. Cooper, is buried at the Old Cooper Cemetery (on Old Cooper Cemetery Road). How nice of them to put her maiden name on the marker – except that it’s wrong. During my research, I found that Arminta’s mother married Daniel McKenzie when Arminta was about 3 or 4 years old. I don’t know that he ever formally adopted her, but he was clearly the father of her heart, because her own was gone so early in her life. Her birth name, found on other records, was Stephens. Arminta is one of my brick walls. I know who her mother was, and I have identified her father’s family to a certain extent, but I have never found his name.  I would like to know if these Stephens are related to my other Stevens!

Dr. Mae Cooper

Dr. Mae Cooper

I used to watch “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” never realizing that I had pioneering women doctors in my own family, although neither are direct ancestors. One of them was Dr. Mae Draper Cooper. She was one of Arminta Coopers’s daughters-in-law. I’ve found just a few brief mentions of her in Baldwin County newspapers, but no details about her practice or where she learned medicine, which I would dearly love to know.

Each week, genealogist Amy Johnson Crow provides a prompt intended to inspire others to write about and share their family history. #52Ancestors is open to anyone who needs or wants a little push to share their genealogical findings, and you can join in at any time.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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