The Buford Family History



    Willie Mathis was born in November of 1857, this was the time that slavery was abolished in the United States.  Although I do not know the exact reason he came to this country, I assume he was forced to come to this country by slave owners.  Willie was sold as a slave along with his mother, Mary Mathis, and his brother Jacob, somewhere in the sate of Missouri.  It was there, a slave owner named David Mathis bought them.  It is believed that their prior last name was Hannah.  Willie was bought to Oxford, Mississippi as a young boy to be a slave.  Willie Mathis met and married Mariah Richmond in the late 1800's.  To this union, fifteen children were born.  As a trade, Willie was a builder of log houses and rock chimney and also weaved farm baskets, his wife Mariah made aprons.  Mariah was called "Grandma Ri," she loved to cook, and she was known to cook rice pudding, apple pies, and sweet and sour beats.  Willie died in January of 1936 and Mariah died in 1943.

    Their children are all deceased: Albert Mathis who was married to Robert Johnson, they had nine children;  Albert Mathis and his lovely wife Effie Parham, together they had twelve children; Alice Mathis married Willie Avant and they had five children; Fannie Mathis married Ernest Young, they had seven children; Grannison Mathis married Epsie Herod, they had ten children together: John Mathis married Corinne Edwards and had six children; Lee Mathis married Mattie Smith, they had eleven lovely children together; Martha Mathis and Willie Buford Senior had fourteen children; Newton Mathis died at the age of eight years of age;  Robert Mathis was blinded at an early age, he was a broom maker; Susie Mathis married Wash Buford and they had six children, they were my great grandparents.  Walker Mathis and Susie Pettis had one child; West Mathis and Mary Hill had six children and Willard Mathis and Lula Stockard had ten children.

    My great grandparents moved form Oxford Mississippi to Byhalia Mississippi in the early 1900's.  I don't know why they chose Byhalia to reside because of my lack of knowledge.  My Great Grandfather Wash Buford died at an early age; my great grandmother ( Susie) lived to be eighty years old.  From this union my grandfather, Walker Buford was born on June 19, 1908.  Walker Buford met Dorthy Hearn in 1920.  Dorthy Hearn's family migrated from Ireland in the early 1800's.  I have no knowledge of why they immigrated to this country, but i do know that their were three brothers that migrated from Ireland named, Jack, Bud and neely Hearn.  Walker Buford and Dorthy Hearn married December 27, 1921.  To this union fourteen children were born which included my mother Laura Kemp and her brothers and sisters.  My parents Laura Buford and Clifton Kemp had three children including myself.
    My grandparents are still living in Byhalia Mississippi, and are still capable of caring for themselves.  They still drive and attend church on a regular basis.  Walker Buford, my grandfather was a carpenter by trade and in his spare time would follow in his dad's footsteps, making baskets.  Dorthy Buford, my grandmother was a cook by trade until she retired.  Below are pictures of  my family that i have access to.   The top left corners is Percy Hearn to the right, in the middle is his wife Zell Hearn and to the left is their daughter Janie Hearn.  The pictures on the right are, in the right my grandparents Dorthy Hearn and Walker Buford.  


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