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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Emmett Till's Ties To Starkville?


It seems that Wiley Nash Carthan aka John Carthan, Emmett Till's maternal grandfather, was born in Starkville, MS in 1902. At least that's what the Baltimore Afro-American reported in a February 8, 1969 article upon Mr. Carthan's death.

I figured that with a quick review of census records, I'd be able to substantiate this claim--not! While I did find several Carthans, I was unable to locate a key, older brother named Emmett Carthan, born in 1898, on the 1900 Oktibbeha County census. Furthermore, on September 12, 1918, when Emmit (sic) Carthan registered for the third round World War I Draft Registration, he had removed to Glendora, Tallahatchie County, MS.

As Nash Carthan was born after September 12, 1900, he was not old enough to register. Worst still, I have found them only on the 1930 Census -- in Summit, Cook County, Illinois. I'm not one to give up easily and so I'll keep looking for that Starkville connection.

NB: In 1955, while visiting family in Money, Mississippi, Emmett Till was alledged to have whistled at a white woman. He was forcibly removed from the home of his uncle, Moses Wright. Two days later, his mutilated body was found in the Tallhatchie River. Rest in peace Emmett.

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