My Paternal Great-Great-Grandmother.
This photo was given to me by my first cousin, twice removed - Dorothy Lewis. Mary was her grandmother.

This photo is courtesy of Virginia Ewing. THANKS, VIRGINIA!

Mary Olivia McNeil was born on July 31st, in the year 1855 to Elbert Burton McNeil and Susanna Cassels - the 7th of 8 children. Mary came from a diverse background. Her maternal grandfather, Reuben Cassels, may have come from Scotland, and his wife, Mary Katherine Sojourner, may have been born in Ireland. Mary's grandmother was a French Huguenot who fled France with a daughter(her name is unknown), and sons John (Mary Katherine's father), Reddick and Fryer (or Friday). Nothing is known about the husband. This grandmother, Mrs. LaJournier, landed in South Carolina in the mid 1700's, and their surname was changed to Sojourner sometime after landing in America.

On November 26th, 1872, in Wilkinson county, Mississippi, Mary was joined in marriage to Bythrall Day - the son of David Day and Mahala Arsilla Byrd, who was known as Sissley. Bythrall was the 5th child of 7. Bythrall's father, David, married again to Mary Indiana Hastings in 1878 (after Mahala's death in 1877) and had 7 more children, giving Bythrall thirteen siblings.

Mary lost her mother at the tender age of 5. Susanna would never see her grandchildren from Mary. Only 5 years after her marriage, her mother-in-law passed away. Mahala was never to see her other 8 grandchildren from Bythrall, her son, and Mary.

To Mary and Bythrall were born ten children of their own. Abby Bethel - born 1873, Mary C. born - 1875, William David - born 1878, Susie Daisy - born 1880, James Grover - born 1882, Edward Byron - born 1884, Ethel Corine - born 1886 (This is my line), Florence Elma - born 1888, Georgia Estelle - born 1890, and Marvyn Vashti - born 1892 (This is the line of my first cousin, twice removed - Dorothy Lewis).

Mary lost her husband on November 9th, in 1912. He is buried in the Day Cemetery, in, I believe, Wilkinson county, Mississippi. Mary, herself, died on February 14th, in 1923 and is buried in Rosetta Cemetery, Wilkinson county, Mississippi.

I know that Mary is missed by many. I never met her, as she died a long time before I was born, however, after having done much research on her and her family members, I too feel the loss of this woman. A woman who helped to create what I am today - her Great-great-grandchild. Through all my data gathering, I have learned but a small portion of the life she led, and the person she was, and I hope that I have done right by her in this sketchy biography.