1. A Little Background 5. Newton, Mississippi, McMullan Cousins and Cemeteries
2. Heading Out 6. On Through Alabama to Georgia for More McMullan Family and History
3. Texas and My Great Grandfather, William Rufus McMullan 7. Through South and North Carolina and Tennessee and on to Arkansas
4. Leaving Texas and Our Trip to Bourbon Street in New Orleans 8. Interstate 40 Through Oklahoma, to Texas and Home

By Jay S. McMullan
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
May 2003

A Little Background

I began to take interest in my family’s history about a decade ago. I contacted Milton McMullan of Newton, Mississippi and he sent me a copy of Captain Albert McMullan’s book, “History of the McMullan and Allied Families”. I found an incomplete list of my lineage starting with my great grandfather down to my grandfather and some of his brothers and sisters. The book was very hard to follow for me and I put it on the shelf. Finally, toward the end of 2002, something sparked my interest again and I decided to put Captain McMullan’s book into a computer file so it would be easier for members of the McMullan family to trace their lineage. I found out later that the book has many errors but it was a good starting point. I was able to find more information on the Internet through web sites like Ancestry.com and Rootsweb.com. I was also able to contact other McMullan’s through e-mail. Beverly Adams of Portland, Texas, one of the McMullan relatives is making corrections to the computer file I have compiled.

My Grandfather, Hubert Newton McMullan, was born in 1896 a few years later than all of his brothers and sisters and was orphaned by the age of ten. After his father, William Rufus McMullan, had passed away, he went to live with his sister, Annie, near the small town and community of Sweetwater, Oklahoma. All of his brothers and sisters had passed away by the time I was born in 1959, or did not live much more than a couple of years after that. At the time I was born, my family lived a block west of Grandad and Grandma McMullan. My brothers and I would walk across the field, in between the blocks, to visit our grandparents. By the time I was seven, we had moved to the small town of Spearman in the top of the Texas panhandle. Frequently, we would make the trip to see my grandparents one hundred and twenty miles away. As I got older, I began to be more interested in my grandparent’s history and I began to ask my grandfather and grandmother questions about their lives and the lives of their families.

Captain McMullan’s book stimulated the interest that I had in finding out more about my family’s history. In 1992, my first wife and I were having some problems and we had separated. I decided to take a trip. I had heard that there were all kinds of businesses in Newton and Decatur, Mississippi that had the McMullan name and that intrigued me. I also heard that there were many McMullan’s in that area. For some reason, instead of choosing Newton County, Mississippi as my destination, I chose to go to Big Bend National Park in Texas. Years later, I am glad that I made that decision because now I have been able to find out more about my ancestors and due to the Internet, have been able to contact some of my distant relatives, not only in Mississippi but also in Georgia and Virginia. Had I gone then, I would not have learned and experienced what I did in April 2003, when my wife, Michelle, and I traveled to Mississippi and Georgia to see where my people come from.

Toward the end of 2002, I got interested in family history again. I began to search for as much information as I could on the Internet about the McMullan family and also the Mullennix and Vitato families on my mother’s side. Doing so, I was able to exchange information with other members of the McMullan family and I found out much more information on the family than I had ever known. I finally decided this would be a good time to take the trip down south to see where my family comes from. Working in an oil refinery requires that we staff the plant twenty four hours a day and therefore, we are required to work rotating, twelve hour shifts. Doing this allows us to get our time in, in a fewer amount of days and actually gives us more lumped time off. The particular schedule we work now has a twenty-eight day rotation and it works out that we get a week off every month. Of course, shift work has it’s drawbacks but by taking only forty-eight hours of vacation, I can have two weeks off. The only obstacle I thought Michelle and I would have to face, was her health. She had been in the hospital four times in less than a year and in January 2003, we almost lost her. The doctors admit that it was only by a series of miracles that she lived through a night after being diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The cardiologist also shocked us with information that Michelle was in dire need of a heart transplant. We could not understand how, at the young age of thirty four, Michelle would need a heart transplant. But after much prayer and many miracles, the cardiologist, ten days later, tested Michelle and he was amazed that her heart was almost completely normal. When he told me that Michelle’s heart was weak, he also told me that her heart would not get better, that once the heart muscle had died, it could not repair itself. Twenty-one days after Michelle was admitted to the hospital she was released. Needless to say, we did not want to get one thousand miles from home and have to admit Michelle to a hospital. Michelle made appointments with her primary care physician and with her cardiologist. They both gave us the green light to head out on our quest.

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