Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday's Child- Bessie Mcmanus

Pisgah Baptist Church ,Sumter County, South Carolina

    The William A. McManus family were members of the Pisgah Baptist Church in Sumter County,SC for many years. Several of the family are buried in the church cemetery. I was excited when my parents took a trip to take pictures of the headstones for me.
  I received the pictures and was surprised to find a picture of the headstone of a child named Bessie McManus. I had never heard of Bessie. She was not in any family record that I had seen. She was not recorded in the family Bible.  I asked my Grandmother and her older sister Mildred if they knew anything about her, but neither had any memories of a child named Bessie in their McManus line. Growing up they had heard that the McManus' were kind and generous. They were known to "take in children". Their own mother, Loretta, is said to have been adopted by William and they were not surprised to see evidence of this "adopted " daughter.

Headstone of Bessie McManus
Pisgah Church Cemetery, Sumter County, SC

                                                           Adopted daughter
                                                                      of                                                                     of
                                                              W.A, & Fannie
                                                          Born Dec. 10, 1887
                                                          Died Mar. 31, 1892

 So far a search of court, church and vital records have not shed any light on this little girl. She lived for such a short time-just a little over 4 years. I can't imagine how hard Bessie's death must of been for my Great Great Grandparents. This was not the first loss of a child William and Fannie had suffered. Years earlier they endured the pain of losing their first born twin girls. Hattie and Lula McManus died just days apart at only 3 months old.
  Bessie McManus is now found and she will not be forgotten. Her life story will be researched and added to the family who loved and cared for her.                                                                                                                                                                                       


  1. I love stories about the kindnesses of people in our pasts (not to mention the present). My aunt and uncle who lived in Sumter also "took in" children, stretching the food and sleeping quarters to go around. And so many stories of children dying young, or as infants. Several in my grandmother's family, and several in my own family. I do have faith in the basic goodness of most people . . . their "humanity."

  2. I found it very touching to read that Bessie is "now found and she will not be forgotten". This little child is indeed no longer forgotten because of you.

  3. Mariann it sounds like our Sumter kin had a lot in common!
    Thanks for reading!

  4. Thanks so much for reading my blog post Yvonne! Finding the graves of little children is always so sad!

  5. This is such a touching story. Thank you for sharing.