Strong(e)/Strang(e) Research in Britain and Ireland

Researching Strong(e)s and Strang(e)s in Britain and Ireland

Discussion of Brazilian Strong Lineages

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Discussion of Brazilian Strong Lineages
Originally published by: Maria Elisa Botelho Byington (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Note: The following is a reproduction of an email message originally forwarded to the Rootsweb Strong-List by Maria Elisa Botelho Byington on August 9, 1999:br>


EMAIL From: Maria Elisa Botelho Byington 
Subject: Identification and Message
Date: Monday, August 09, 1999 3:38 PM
Salute to the Strong Tribe!
(I'll try to send this in a PLAIN TEXT format)
IDENTIFICATION: Maria Elisa Botelho Byington
e-mail: (4web succeeded Tecepe)
Direct descendant of 3 Henry S. Strong (Copiah Co. MS), son of 2 John Strong (SC), grandson of 1Edward Strong (Norfolk VA).
My line:
3Henry S Strong >4 Mary Matilda Strong >5 Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) Ellis >6 Pearl Ellis McIntyre > 7 Albert Jackson Byington, jr. >8 Maria Elisa Botelho Byington
two motives for subscribing to STRONG - D
(1) completing the genealogical tree of Henry S. Strong
(2) publishing "Letters ... to Miss Sally Strong l862 -1869"
In 1867, after the Civil War, Henry Strong, from Brookhaven, MS, with his daughter Sarah Amanda (Sally) Strong and other southerners, went to New Orleans from where they embarked on the ship Marmion and immigrated to Sao Paulo, Brazil. See History of this immigration and of the Fraternity of American Descendants
In 1998, my sister and I, while searching for material for a biography of our grandmother, a pioneer in social work, in Sao Paulo, found a little suitcase with wonderful letters written more than one hundred and thirty years ago to our g-great-aunt Sally Strong by Tom Atkins, a Mississippian, who was very much in love with her. These letters are being prepared for publication in the U. S. A.
At about the same time Janett A. Gibbs of Athens, GA, who had heard of the Fraternity in Santa Barbara, Sao Paulo, wrote to Noemia Pyles asking for information about the Fraternity annual reunion, since she is a descendant of a brother of Henry Strong. Noemia Pyles, wrote to Janett in Portuguese. Janett gave the letter to a Brazilian girl in the University of Georgia to translate it and the letter was lost. While telling Noemia about our recent discovery of the little suitcase, she remembered Janett's letter and handed it over to me, since she did not speak English. I was surprised when I saw the name of Strong mentioned in Janett's letter for Noemia did not even know my ancestor's name was Strong.
How unexpected to suddenly come in contact with a cousin six generations removed! We corresponded through the Internet and Janett, herself a genealogist, sent me a lot of information on the Strong and Ellis families, to whom we are also related, for she was born in Hazlehurst, MS, where most of the Ellis family came from. Hazlehurst is just next door to Brookhaven and Janett still has relatives there.
Among the papers she sent me was a newspaper article, of December 1, 1981, with a picture of the house built around 1857 by Henry Strong in Brookhaven. I was fascinated to see the house of my g-great-grandfather because the farm and the house which Henry Strong built in Brazil has long disappeared amidst a sugar cane plantation. Through the web and the Chamber of Commerce directory in Brookhaven, I contacted Betsy Smith properties, a real estate business, and received notice from Mr Sydney Wilson with the name, address and telephone of Mrs. Faye Douglas, its present occupant. Together with it came the message: "Good Luck!". Next I called Mr. Johnny Smith, a photographer in Brookhaven, and before long I was receiving free-of-charge pictures of the house as it is today!
In April, 1999, Janett came to the Fraternity reunion in Santa Barbara, SP. In May I met her in Athens, GA, and we drove all the way to Mississippi. Janett is quite a driver. We covered 1730 miles in eight days! We went to Jackson for the Mississippi archives. We visited with cousins in Hazlehurst and searched for the Strong-Hill Cemetery on Dentville Road. The abandoned cemetery, encircled by woods, is located on private grounds, but thanks to Mr Gregg Morrison, who lives nearby, we found the tomb of Henry Strong's wife and children and also of his father, John Strong, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The tomb was marked in the eighties by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and we are now trying to find a way to preserve the access to the Cemetery.
In Brookhaven we met with Mrs. Faye Douglas, present occupant and restorer of the old Strong house, and Dr. Natalie Herndon, its present owner. Dr. Natalie has invited us to be there next April during Pilgrimage to tell the love story of Tom Atkins and Sally Strong! The house built by Sally's father is one of the oldest ante-bellum constructions in that area. There Tom and Sally met for the last time (as reported in one of his letters) before she took the train to New Orleans from where the group of immigrants embarked to Brazil.
How much fun to find new relatives and roots of which, a year ago, in Brazil, I knew nothing about for Mississippi was only a distant reference for our family. I am thankful for all those who are helping me discover my old roots and for the tips I have been receiving through Rootsweb and the SFAA. I also received, as a gift from my recently discovered cousin Janett A Gibbs, Vol. V of the Strong Family Histories, with all the information on the Edward Strong branch, of Norfolk, VA,

Maria E. B. Byington, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
==== STRONG Mailing List ====

From: RootsWeb Review
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 11:15 PM
Subject: Missing Links, Vol. 6, No. 9


by Maria E. B. Byington

My letter about some love letters found in a little straw suitcase from B. T. (Tom) ATKINS, a Confederate soldier, to Miss Sally STRONG, who immigrated to Brazil with her father after the Civil War appeared in MISSING LINKS 4:41 on 6 October 1999. Sally sent her photo, taken in New Orleans just before she sailed to Brazil, to her sister, Mrs. ELLIS, and to dear friends in Brookhaven (Lincoln County created in 1870, from parts of Franklin, Lawrence, Copiah, Pike and Amite counties), Mississippi. Her sister gave the photo to Tom, who placed it in Amy HOOKER's album, for if it had been sent directly to him "no one's album could have presented an array of pictures brilliant enough to have ever held it." All this Tom describes in one of the letters to Sally in Brazil.

I needed a photo of Sally to place in the book I was preparing with Tom's letters, so I wrote to MISSING LINKS to inquire if by any chance some of these photos sent to her friends in Brookhaven might have turned up in some family's album or some old photographs exhibit [SOMEBODY'S LINKS 2:1, 7 January 2000]. I received several letters from people giving me suggestions about where I should look, such as universities, collections of old photographs, private collections, etc.

I had almost given up having a photo of young "Aunt Sally," who inspired such strong feelings in at least three gentlemen, but who would not think of marrying for "her heart was buried in a battlefield," (so goes the story collected by Judith Mac Knight Jones, historian of the descendants of Southern immigrants to Brazil). Then one day I found the photo right under my nose. Judith had published in her book about the descendants a picture of a young girl immigrant with the following caption: "member of DUNN's group," but unidentified. However, as I turned the pages I had gone over more than 100 times, I saw a picture of the same girl with the same dress between a young couple, and this time with the following caption: "The BANKSTONs and Sally STRONG."

The BANKSTONs were relatives of Sally who had gone to Brazil together with Sally and her father. The story of how the house in which the STRONGs formerly lived in Brookhaven was found captured the interest of Megan Smolenyak, who published it in her book IN SEARCH OF OUR ANCESTORS: 101 Inspiring Stories of Serendipity and Connection in Rediscovering Our Family History (Holbrook, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation, 2000), companion to the PBS series (see my letter in MISSING LINKS 5:46, 15 November 2000).

The story also aroused the interest of Martha Strong, who published it on her Web site "Welcome to my World" at

So, now the book is finally ready and in April 2001 I will be visiting New Orleans, Louisiana for the first time. Then I will take the train to Brookhaven, Mississippi, making the trip back to the place my family left more than 130 years ago. My book will be presented at the local library, and on 21 April 2001 I will take part in the Tour of Homes in Brookhaven and visit the Old Strong House, which belongs to Dr. Natalie Herndon. It is located at the intersection of Interstate 55 and Exit 42.

The many success stories published in MISSING LINKS and ROOTSWEB REVIEW inspired me to continue with my searches. I am most thankful to librarians Mary Sanders and Rebecca Nations of the Lincoln County (Mississippi) Regional Library, who helped me with this project, and to all who have written sending me suggestions on where to search for Sally's photo.

Editors' Notes: Cynthia Forde in a 27 February 2001 message to quotes the work of Anne Martin Haigler, of St. Louis, Missouri, on the BANKSTON line that went to Brazil. At page 404 of BANKSTON COUSINS, Anne Haigler stated that Francis Marion Bankston, son of Jacob Marberry Bankston and Nancy Tuombs, was born circa 1845 in Copiah County, Mississippi and on 9 October 1872 gave power of attorney to his mother, at which time he was living in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Forde continues: "Campo: A North American Cemetery in Brazil," by Cyrus B. Dawsey and Betty de Oliveira, printed in TAPROOTS, Vol. 36, #3, Jan. 1999, by the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, gives further information regarding the American settlement in this area. A list of burials in the Campo Cemetery includes: ANDERSON; AYERS; BAIRD; BANKSTON, Francis Marion -- 17-12-1844 to 23-09-1878, spouse Sarah ELLIS died Sao Paulo City; Henry M. BANKSTON, 28-09-1867 to 07-09-1869, son of Francis M.; Nancy S. BANKSTON, 25-08-1872 to 08-08-1875, daughter of Francis Marion; BARNSLEY; BOOKWALTER; . . .]

ROOTSWEB REVIEW 3:37, 13 September 2000, noted these sites at RootsWeb's FreePages :

BRAZIL, CAMPO CEMETERY. Prepared by Betty Antunes de Oliveira of Rio de Janeiro.

BOOK LINKS: LETTERS FROM A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER AND OTHERS TO MISS SALLY, edited by M. E. B. Byington; Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2001; softbound, 224 pp. with illustrations; US$16.95 plus US$7.50 handling and mailing. To order Fax 55-11-3031-4751 or e-mail or write to Maria E. B. Byington, Rua Alberto Faria 429 - Alto de Pinheiros, Sao Paulo, SP 05459-000 BRAZlL. Available after 15 April 2001; count on two weeks delivery time after receipt of payment.

"Among the families who left the United States after the Civil War to seek their fortunes in Brazil, and settled in the vicinity of Santa Barbara and later Americana, was the clan of Henry STRONG. Henry left his home in Brookhaven, Mississippi, in 1867, and headed south with his daughter Sarah Amanda (Sally) and other family members. Sally STRONG left behind a love-sick young Mississippian named Tom ATKINS. From the middle years of the war, through its convulsive conclusion and into the turmoil that was the Reconstruction, Tom pined for his love across the seas. Sally kept his letters in a little suitcase and these letters were preserved over the years until, through the tireless efforts of Maria Elisa Byington, they have come to light in this collection. Tom's chronicles open a window onto life in 19th-century Mississippi." [Comments by Prof. Cyrus B. Dawsey, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, who was reared in Brazil and most recently has published in collaboration with his brother, Professor James M. Dawsey, THE CONFEDERADOS: Old South Immigrants in Brazil (University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama), which describes the events and consequences of the migration of Americans from the Old South, who settled in Brazil immediately after the Civil War.]

Maria Elisa B. Byington was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, of Brazilian and American heritage. When the letters to Sally STRONG were found, she hoped that their publication might increase interest in the study of the contributions of the southern immigrants who went to Brazil "never to return."

Return to Lineages Directory, (at Edward Strong, of Norfolk Co., Virginia)

Go to: "Book I: Researching Strong(e) and Strang(e) in Britain and Ireland"; 2nd Edition (Rootsweb)Copyright 2001; David B. Strong; All Rights Reserved.
Go to: "Book I: Researching Strong(e) and Strang(e) in Britain and Ireland"; 1st Edition (Geocities)Copyright 1997-2001; David B. Strong; All Rights Reserved.

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Please let us know if this webpage has been helpful! We would very much appreciate being advised of any possible additions or corrections to the database or the descendency chart set out here. Email: David B. Strong

Created: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 - 2:26:02 PM
Last Updated: Friday, November 16, 2001 - 9:24:52 PM

Copyright 2001, Email: David B. Strong

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