Tuesday, March 11, 2014

52 Ancestors-Week 9- Dianacy "Dicy" Wallace (1830-1925)

Dianacy “Dicy” Wallace I believe is my paternal great great grandmother.  While there is some circumstantial evidence that points at a relationship between her and my great grandmother Celia E. Autrey, so far it has not been satisfactorily proven.

Dicy was born about 1830 in Mississippi.  On 3 October 1851 she married John Mabe Autrey in Union Parish where they resided until some time between 1870 and 1880.  After that they lived in the neighboring Parish of Lincoln.
John Mabe died some time between 1880 and 1903.  According to her Widows Pension application, he died on the first day of September 1903.  However according to the 1900 census for Hardin County, Texas, Dicy was already a widow and living with the family of one of her children, J. A. Autrey.
Widows Pension Application

The 1910 census has Dicy living by herself in Range, Texas County, Oklahoma and as far as I can tell there are no immediate family members living in the vicinity around that time. 

In 1920 she is in Beech, Miller County, Arkansas living with her daughter, Mary F. Tubbs and her husband Francis.  For some reason her name is listed as Mary Walace (sic). Sometime between 1920 and her death on 17 Sep 1925 the Tubbs along with Dicy moved to Waco, McLennan County, Texas.

Here death certificate has as the cause of death ‘senility’.  She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas.

Dicy WALLACE Autrey late in life
Possibly a post-mortem picture?
     There are several questions I have about Dicy and her later life:

1.   When and where did they live when John Mabe died? 
       (That 1890 census would really be nice to have for this case.)

2.   According to an un-credited source, The Descendants of Cornelius Autry, Immigrant of Edgecombe 
      North Carolina : Neil Culbreth of Sampson County, North Carolina, and Allied Familes, the Autrey's lived in
      Robertson County, Texas and owned a store.  So far I have not found any evidence for this.

3.   After John Mabe died, why did she move so often?  
      Possibly, and these are just guesses, she was making extended visits to her children and their families, or she      
      was already suffereing the effects of senility and was being shuffled around by family members.

4.   Is the picture of Dicy above a post-mortem photo?  Based on the rigid pose I lean towards a possible yes.

5.   Why in the 1920 census is she listed as Mary Walace?  Perhaps she is the one who spoke to the census taker and if she
      was suffering from senility maybe she got confused.


[1] "Louisiana, Marriages, 1816-1906," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F4C2-Z5T : accessed 21 Apr 2013), John Autry and Dianacy Wallace, 03 Oct 1851.

[1] 1870 U. S. census, Union Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, p. 42 (written), dwelling 319, family 319, John Autry; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 April 2013); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 534.

[1] 1880 U. S. census, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, pop. sch, p. 59 (written), dwell 488, fam. 501, John Autrey.
[1] Vivian Mayo Bundy, The Descendants of Cornelius Autry, Immigrant of Edgecombe County, North Carolina : Neil Culbreth of Sampson County, North Carolina, and Allied Familes (Charlotte, N.C. : Herb Eaton Historical Publications, 1996), 33.


  1. Interesting picture! I live in Union Parish presently and I am moving to Lincoln Parish in a couple of weeks. I ran across this post as I enjoy Union Parish and Lincoln Parish history and (on the rare occasion) I do a little writing about the matters. I suspect that is may be a post-mortem photo as well. In researching my family tree, I have turned up a couple of those. In fact, my very elderly grandmother still photographs people at the funeral home when she goes! (The rest of the family find it annoying but she insists on doing it. She's very old-fashioned--even by her terms!) Good luck with your search!

    Erin Antley

  2. Hello Erin. Thanks for the comments. I like the idea that some still take post mortem photos.