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History of Our Family




Good evening everyone. This is indeed a grateful and happy time that God, our Heavenly Father has allowed us to meet and greet each other after two years, to celebrate out family heritage. To all the descendants and close friend, let us not forget to count our blessings and give thanks to our Heavenly Father.


Research records show that Reverend J.W. Stewart was born in the state of Virginia. On April 10, 1853 and was taken by his mother Sylvia Stewart to Noxubee County Mississippi. When he was about three years old his mother was sold as a slave. Separating her from J.W.s father whom they never saw again.


J.W. Stewart grew up on a farm in Noxubee County M1ssissippi where he worked as a farm hand. Every now and then he attended night school, which was rather poorly conducted, but the best afforded at the tine. The lights consisted of pine knots and torches of some kind burning in an open hearth.


While a student he formed the acquaintance of an industrious young woman, namely Mariah Smith, These two young people courted and married on April 10, 1870 in Canton Mississippi. To this union twelve children were born, seven boys and five girls.



  • JORDAN     father of 3
  • MILES                 father of 7
  • CHARLIE -----~ father of 4
  • LEMUEL     father of 1
  • DEWITT     father of 9
  • JAMES      no children
  • GUS        died at an early age




  • MARY STEWART NICHOLSON   mother of 9
  • MARGARET STEWART NOLAN   mother of 2
  • EMMA STEWART FOY           mother of 1
  • ANNIE STEWART ROUERTS    mother of 6
  • PEGGY STEWART             died at age 4



The younger descendants of both Stewarts and Nicholsons want to know about the closeness and relationship between the two families. It could only have started when Armstead Nicholson met and fell in love with Mary Stewart the oldest daughter of J.W. and Mariah. They married and became parents of a clan of nine children. The two families always remained close.


J.W. Stewart also attended Roger Williams University, Nashville Tennessee. Where he started his ministerial course. After leaving Roger Williams University he began teaching school in the state of Mississippi in Kemper County where he taught about four years. J.W. had answered the call to the ministry while yet in his teens and before he was married. The urgent demand upon his time made it necessary for him to go actively into the work of the ministry.


He began his pastorage in the county where he grew up. It covered a large part of the state of Mississippi and Sumpter County Alabama.


As a father, research indicated that he provided for and reared his children in the fear of the Lord and taught them to respect everybody especially older people when ever they came in contact with them. He managed to save his earnings and purchased some property for them in Mississippi and ran a prosperous grocery business for a number of years. His family never knew what it was to be in want and all of them worked hard and saved their earnings under his advice and example.


Rev, and Mrs. Stewart moved to Oklahoma in the early nineteen hundreds. Most of his children followed sooner or later, including some of the Nicholsons, as well as his good friend the late Rev. E.W. Perry and wife. As a minister when he arrived in Oklahoma he continued his ministerial work. He Joined Tabernacle Baptist Church. He was a leader in State Baptist Conventions and became nationally known for his work as President of the National Baptist Convention. He held this office until his death on Nov. 17, 1917.


According to his survivors the last thing he did when he became ill was to call his family together by his bedside and counseled them to stick together and help each other. He left a library of two hundred and seventy one books, which were most useful and valuable for a progressive young minister. He left these books to his son Lemuel who was the only young minister in the family at that time.


His wife Mariah died in Oklahoma City more than twenty years later at the age of ninety. She was a loving grandmother to all the grandchildren on both the Stewart and Nicholson side while growing up.


This information was taken from the obituary of Rev, Stewart, which was in the possession of his son Jordan Stewart (now deceased). Today the papers are fragile and some words are missing. Research was done by Joyce Mosette, daughter of Maggie Jenkins, granddaughter of Emma Watson, greatgranddaughter of Mary and Armstead Nicholson, greatgreatgranddaughter of Rev, and Mariah Stewart and sister of Bobby Jenkins and Fern Nash. Joyce wrote the first history in 1987 and presented it at the reunion In Dallas, Texas.



Information:  Typewritten in 1917

1880 census June 3rd stayed at  Beat  5 

Noxubee County Mississippi


Re-written and presented by Emma Lee Stewart Garcia at 1991 Family Reunion in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Rev. Stewart is listed in the Who's Who Among The Colored Baptist

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