On This Day in 1890

On This Day in 1890, my great great grandparents were wed.

plaque in Lauderdale Co Court House in MeridianThomas Gilbert Lafayette Keene was born 20 Apr 1859 to Green Keene and Sarah Tabitha Keene and grew up in Mississippi. According to records, I believe his parents died during the Civil War. He is shown living with them in the 1860 census, along with his siblings John (1849-) Martha (1851-) Minerva Ellen (1852-1914) and Mary (1855-). He was only an infant. In the 1870 census, he and his sisters are shown living with a woman named Elizabeth Keene (not married) and an 80 year old man named Gilbert Keene. I believe this is his aunt and his grandfather who is Gilbert senior. There is also a Gilbert junior in an earlier census born in 1815.

He more or less disappeared from records until his marriage in 1890, and the next record of him is the marble plaque that is in the Lauderdale County Court House in Meridian, Mississippi showing him as the County Treasurer 1904-1907. (For you “Stuckey’s Bridge” fans, check out the top name – JR Temple, Sheriff.) Later census records list TGL as a member of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, also as a farmer and a Justice of the Peace. He died 26 Sep 1921 and is buried next to his wife at Oak Grove Baptist Cemetery in Bonita. His death certificate lists no parents.t g l keene headstoneTGL Keene death cert




brown william lafayett bible







Sarah Elizabeth “Bettie” Brown was born 19 Nov 1862 (my birthday also) to William Lafayette Brown Jr and Sarah Ann Elvira Dollar Brown in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. (Right is the transcribed family Bible.) There were ten children in her family, seven boys and three girls, one of whom died at birth. Five of the children were born just before the Civil War began, and her father was a sharp shooter guarding the railroad bridges at Chunky, Mississippi, so her mother was home with a handful of children under the age of eight at the start of the war. When her father returned from the war, the next child was born in 1865. They wasted no time!

At the age of 18, Bettie married John Thompson 16 Nov 1881 and had one daughter, Fleta S (1885-1923). I don’t know what happened to Mr. Thompson, but in 1890 Bettie married TGL Keene. They had seven children: Eunice Tabitha (1891-1964) Isaac (1893-1894 infant who is buried near his parents) Essie Mae (1895-1981) Ernest Grady (1895-1947) Benjamin Blaine (1898-1960) Eula Ouida (1899-1981 my great grandmother) and Earl Vandorn (1901-1939). Bettie outlived her husband by five years and died on 18 Jul 1926 at the age of 63. Brown Sarah Elizabeth Bettie Brown Keene

TGL and Bettie lived in the Tunnel Hill area until 1910, when they show up on the census records as living in Meridian.

Happy Anniversary TGL and Bettie!


Brought to you by On This Day available at Amazon.

4 responses to “On This Day in 1890

  1. Is there any possibility that they went to Brazil or South America during the Civil War? I have a whole branch of a tree from Indiana that moved south to Louisiana/Mississippi prior to the Civil War. When the war started they didn’t want to take sides. The family moved to Brazil. One of the sons never returned so there is a whole South American branch. The parents and another son returned decades later, and lived in Mississippi again.

    • You know, Deborah, the Keene family was so hard to trace, I can’t say for sure where or when the rest of the family lived. My cousin said our branch came to America from Dublin and were originally O’Keenes. I’ll have to take a trip to Ireland and research someday. I don’t think I’ll ever get to Brazil though.

  2. I meet some Keene family in Stratford Apon Avon England back in the mid 1980s He told me of his Grandfather also a Keene who had out lived 3 wives & had over 20 children, they were last known to have lived in the Orkney Islands

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