Mary Elizabeth Hilliard went by “Lizzie” and lived her whole life in the Stewart County & Houston County areas of Tennessee. My second great-grandmother was born about 1859, the second oldest child of William Daniel Hilliard and Martha McElroy.

On the 1860 and 1870 censuses, Lizzie was called both Mary and Elizabeth. She lived with her parents in District 7 of Stewart County.

On the 1880 census, Lizzie was listed as “married”, but living with her father. (Her mother had passed away.) Her last name on this census was Manning. I haven’t been able to find her marriage record, but several Manning families lived in the area. There are no known children from this marriage.

On March 26, 1882, she married E.W. Dennis (Edward Whit Dennis) in Stewart County.

She disappears from the census records after 1880. Her husband, Whit, wasn’t on the census again until 1930, and by this time Lizzie had likely passed away. I am disappointed that I can’t find her death date or where she is buried. I am going to try to get additional information from my grandfather.

Through a combination of census records and my 87-year-old grandfather’s memory (which is actually really good), we know they had four children:

  1. Edward “Edd” Dennis was born about 1882. He first married Sallie Coffelt. They had a daughter named Callie. They also had a son, Elvis McHenry, who died as an infant. Sallie died in 1914, the same year as Elvis. Edd remarried in 1915 to Lillie Rushing (the widow of James Miller). There are no known children from their union. Edd died between 1930 and 1936 from falling off a wagon. **
  2. Florence Dennis was born about 1888. She married John Robert “Bob” Warden and they lived in nearby Humphreys County. She had several children: Lillie, Stella, JR, Nellie, Martha…? I am not sure when she died. Census would indicate before 1920, but she is mentioned in Whit’s death notice in 1936 like she’s still living.
  3. Addie “Add” Ira Dennis was born July 3, 1893. He married Emma Emmie Rose Durham. They had at least these children: Dollie, Nettie, Bessie, Susie, Lucille, Irene, Eugene, Louis, and Gloradine. He passed away on April 30, 1947 in Houston County, Tennessee.
  4. Lonnie George Dennis was born August or July 14, 1897. He married Myrtle Ruth Aaron. They had nine children, including my grandfather. Lonnie died in November 1974.

** A note about Edd on the 1920 census – Living with Edd was his daughter, Callie, from his first wife, along with his second wife, Lillie. There are two other children listed: Leonard, 24 and Lizzie, 17. I don’t know who these kids are, since Edd was 35 and Lillie was 30.

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