The Buford Family History
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.