Charles Clifton was born in Delaware about 1822. By the late 1840's he was living in Greene County, Georgia, where he wed Winnie Kennie. She was a native of Georgia and was born about 1830. Charles and Winnie joined other families from Greene County who came in a wagon train to central Mississippi in the early 1850's. The couple had several children, including Reuben Alexander who was born in Greene County on November 11, 1852.
Alex married Margaret Bell on September 4, 1875. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 31, 1852. Her parents, Charles Bell and Easter Gordon, were natives of Ulster who immigrated to America about the time of the great potato famine and eventually settled in Ethel. Alex Clifton died on September 6, 1890, a victim of the measles. Margaret raised their large family in Ethel and died there on July 22, 1933. One of their sons was my grandfather, Emmett Ross Clifton, Sr., who was born February 8, 1884.
Emmett married Ida Virginia White in Ethel on July 23, 1910. She was the daughter of Jonathan Wright White and Hattie Lettitia Jamison. Both the Jamison and White families had been in the New Hope community in Attala County (a few miles southwest of Ethel) since the 1850's. Ida and Emmett had 11 children. My mother, Vivian Esther Clifton, born May 8, 1912, was the oldest of their nine children who survived infancy. Ida died April 23, 1949, and Emmett, Sr. died on February 17, 1953. Like most members of the family they are buried at the Stonewall Cemetery in Ethel.
Family of Ida and Emmett Clifton
Standing, from left to right, Emmett Ross Clifton, Jr., Chlorene (who wed LeRoy Sylvester, Sr.), Ida, Dorothy Eugenia (who wed Stuart Gibson Smith, Jr. and Charles D. Maddox), Emmett, Sr., Alla Hunter (who wed Horace Bond), Wayland Ross (who wed Katherine Byars), and Vivian Esther (who wed Clarence Edward Hutchison). Kneeling, from left to right, Martha Pope (who did not marry), Mary Donjaree (who wed William Rhodes and Thomas Swayze) and Catherine "Kitty" Elizabeth (who wed James T. Gibson).
This photograph was probably made in 1948 and is almost certainly the last to include all family members.
The photo above shows the extended Clifton family in about 1939.
The children in front are Martha Pope Clifton and her cousin Samuel White, Jr. The twin girls on the right are Ruth and Rita White, sisters of Samuel. Their mother, Wilkie Barnes White is behind them (wearing a hat). Others shown, from left to right:
The photo at the right is of Martha Pope, the youngest child in the family of Emmett Clifton. She had just been selected Miss Ethel High School and finished her junior year when she died in 1950 at the age of only 16. Her death, from Bright's Disease--a rare kidney disorder--was devastating to her family and friends.
The older members of the third generation of the Ida and Emmett Clifton family are shown above in a photo taken about 1948. In front are Emmett Lewis Sylvester and Ronald Clifton (being held by his father, Wayland Clifton, Sr.). The back row, from left to right: Stuart Gibson Smith, III, Eugenia Smith Lowe, Janice Catherine Gibson Larche, Edward Ross Hutchison, LeRoy Sylvester, Jr., John Melton Hutchison, and Wayland "Buster" Clifton. Over the years, eight more grandcildren were born to the couple's eight surviving children. They were: Linda Kaye Gibson Jensen, Natalie Dianne Gibson Jordan, Cheryl Clifton Bonnette, Carol Sylvester Boyer, Mary Virginia Sylvester Butler, Martha Rose Rhodes Collins, Beth Rhodes Harris, and Emmett Ross Clifton, III.