Aub Hood, from Mississippi to Tennessee

Aub Hood was born in Itawamba County, Mississippi about 1859, a few years before the start of the Civil War, or the War of Northern Aggression if you are a Southerner. The Civil War most likely played a huge role in Aub’s formative years.  His father was Joshua Hood and his mother was Margaret Johnson Hood. Both were born in Alabama and moved to Itawamba County sometime in the mid-1850s. He came from a large family. Aub had ten brothers and two sisters. He was one of the middle children.

When Aub was about four or five, his father Joshua enlisted for six months in 2nd Regiment of the Mississippi Calvary, Company E of the Confederate Army. Joshua’s absence was felt by the family. He enlisted about the time the crops were ready for harvest. The oldest son, James, was only about twelve at the time so Joshua’s brothers probably helped with the harvest.

A marriage record from Itawamba County, dated 5 June 1878, was located for A. Hood and M. I. Pennington, which I believe is the marriage record for Aub and Amanda Bell Pennington. Aub and Amanda were not found in the 1880 US Census, but were living close to Aub’s family based upon tax records and a deed where the older Hood children deeded land to their mother and younger siblings.

Hood, Margaret Etal, Itawamba County, Court House, Deed Rec. Book 25, Page 472

By 1900, Aub, Amanda, and their six children had moved one hundred and ninety-five miles north to Lake County, Tennessee. Lake County sits across the Mississippi River from Pemiscot County which is located in the Bootheel of Missouri. The land is part of the upper Mississippi Delta and suitable for farming.

Auburn was about forty* and Amanda was thirty-four in 1900. They were married twenty-one years. Amanda had birthed six children, two of whom had died. Their four older children, Margaret, William Jesse, Prentis E., and Ruberta were all born in Mississippi. The two younger children, Silas and Mary Denny were born in Tennessee. So it appears the family arrived in Tennessee sometime prior to 1895.

The Civil War ended large commercial farming in Lake County and for thirty-years families were forced to live by subsistence farming. Between 1890 and 1900 things began to change. The boll weevil was devastating cotton crops in southern states, the demand for cotton was on the increase, and the climate was beginning to warm enough to grow cotton as far north as Illinois. Aub and family arrived around the time this switch to cotton was taking place.[1]

The family lived in a rented home which meant they were renting land on which to farm. A search for land records for Aub came up empty, which supports the fact that they were too poor to own land. They eked out a living from the soil. Margaret, age nineteen, helped Amanda with chores and looking after the younger children. William, who was fourteen, helped Aub with the farming.

In 1905 Bossie was born and Georgie followed in 1908. By 1910, Amanda was a widow. Aub had died sometime after 1908 when Georgie was born and before 1910 when the census was taken. At this time it’s unknown where Aub is buried.

This family of Hood’s managed to survive the aftermath of deprivation that followed the Civil War in north east Mississippi. They made their way to Tennessee where farming was as difficult as it was in Mississippi. Aub died around the age of forty. Life and farming took their toll on him.




*The 1900 census showed that Auburn Hood was fifty-six years old. This is in conflict with the 1860 and 1870 census records. Despite the fact that the ages between the documents are in conflict, I believe that this is the same person based upon the date of the marriage record and the number of years Auburn and Amanda were married.

[1]David Donahue and Brenda Fiddler, Lake County Agriculture, : accessed 11 Mar 2016, Citing Marvin Downing, Editor, Published by the University of Tennessee, Martin, 1979.

Aub Hood, Itawamba, DNA, and Elvis Presley

The work of a genealogist is a lot of research, some good analysis of facts, and a little serendipity. Well serendipity has struck this genealogist a few times in the search for my great-grandfather, Aub Hood. And recently it struck again in the form of Mona Mills. But I’ll come back to her in a little while.

I have known for some time that my grandmother Ruberta Hood Lane, better known as Ma, was born in Mississippi and that her father’s name was Aub Hood. No matter how hard I tried, I could never find any online records for my grandmother or Aub Hood in Mississippi. I knew that my father came from Lake County, Tennessee so I tried to find census records for that location…nothing for Aub. They say when you don’t find someone in the census records you should search for others in the family. So I searched the 1900 U.S. census for Silas Hood, one of my grandmother’s brothers. Lo and behold, there was the family. I would never have found this record for the family had I searched for my grandmother’s name because she was enumerated as Rupert A. Hood. My great-grandfather was incorrectly enumerated as Tusturu Hood. So I had found my first record for Auburn Hood.

Then serendipity struck again. This time I connected with a third cousin on one of the internet message boards. He was searching for information about Aub Hood as well. He told me that his family had visited his grandparents in Itawamba County, Mississippi during the summers as he was growing up and he had gathered many stories about his family during the visits. Aub Hood was the son of Joshua Hood and Margaret Johnson Hood. Aub had disappeared and no one knew where he went.

So the search turned to Itawamba County, Mississippi. There I found Asburn Hood, age one, living in the family of Joshwa (Joshua) Hood in the 1860 census and Osborn Hood, age eleven, living in the Joshuaway (Joshua) Hood family in 1870. Aub, Asburn, Auburn, Osborn…I was getting confused by all of these conflicting names. And the ages of the child in these census records conflicted with the age of Auburn in the 1900 census. I still had my doubts that I had found the correct family. But then I found an 1878 marriage record for A. Hood and M. I. Pennington. This record tied in perfectly with the birth of their first child Margaret in 1880 so there was hope.

Ferguson, Tonya and Mills, Mona

Mona Mills (L) Tonya Ferguson

In the meantime I had sent in my autosomal DNA to be processed with Family Tree DNA and I had joined the Hood DNA project. Knowing very little about DNA at the time, the head of the study steered me to a DNA-match, Michael Mills. This is where serendipity strikes again. Michael just happens to live in Itawamba County. And Mona is the wife of Michael, and very involved in the history of the county. In fact, both Michael and Mona are published writers and very busy people.

Just recently I had the opportunity to visit Mona in Itawamba County. I can’t think of anything better than spending time doing research with someone who lives in and is heavily involved in the genealogy and history of the area. For two days we discussed the family, searched for and found records in the Court House in Fulton, and visited a portion of the cabin where Joshua Hood lived, and where most likely Aub Hood was born. I found out that Mona’s mother is a Pennington, as was my great-grandmother Amanda Bell Pennington, but our DNA doesn’t match. But that’s a mystery that has to be solved on another day. I am very thankful for Mona’s time and expertise in finding my family.

And what does Elvis Presley have to do with all of this? Well his grandmother, Minnie Mae is the daughter of William Hood, who happened to be the brother of Aub, my great-grandfather. So Elvis and I are third cousins. How’s that for name dropping? For more information on Minnie Mae Hood go to this link.

And watch for an additional post on Aub Hood.