Joseph Groome was the first child born to Joseph and Elizabeth (Smith) Groome. He was born in the Shoreditch area of Greater London on 3 Apr 1838. The family emigrated to America, arriving at New Orleans in 1850. As a young man, Joseph followed in his father's footsteps as a shoemaker.
In 1861, at the outbreak of the American Civil War, Joseph and some of his brothers joined the Confederacy as members of the 28th Mississippi Cavalry, Company C. Following the war, Joseph apparently returned home to Vicksburg and took up his late father's work. [The 1866 Vicksburg City Directory gave his address as Open Woods Street between Farmer and 1st North, and his occupation as shoemaker.]
It is not clear how long Joseph remained in Vicksburg after his mother's death in 1867. He has not been found anywhere in the 1870 census, although that is not necessarily significant, given that the census takers in the South during that time were not always faithful to record all families, particularly those of former Confederate military personnel.
We next find Joseph in the 1880 census, living in Corpus Christi, Texas, and working as a shoemaker. He apparently had set up a shop with another shoemaker named William Barry. [1880 Federal Census: Texas, Nueces County, Corpus Christi, District 116, page 5A, household 81/81] There is no indication that he was married at this time.
Joseph agains drops out of sight until we find him in the 1910 census. The census record indicates that he is a patient in the Confederate Annex Hospital (retirement home) in Vicksburg. [1910 Federal Census: Mississippi, Warren County, Vicksburg Ward 1, ED 53, page 43A]
Joseph died on 4 Jan 1924 at the Beauvoir Confederate Home. The following obituary was printed in the Vicksburg newspaper.
Joseph Groome Dies At Confederate Home
Joseph Groome, for may years a resident of this city but for the last few years a resident at the Confederate Soldiers' Home at Beauvoir, died at that place early Friday morning. Telegrams to his relatives conveyed the sad news.
Mr. Groome was the eldest of seven brothers, all of whom preceded him to the grave. he was a brother of Richard G. Groome, one time chief of police of Vicksburg, and William Groome, postmaster during Cleveland's first administration. He leaves a number of nieces and nephews in this city, Clarksdale, Chicago, Washington and other places to mourn his death.
Deceased was a gentleman of highest character, quiet and unassuming and possessing the good will of all who knew him. He was born in London, England, 84 years ago, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Groome. His parents came to this country in 1846 [actually 1850], settling in Tennessee, near Memphis, and coming to Vicksburg in 1850 [between 1851-1856]. Mr. Groome served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War in General Nathan B. Forrest's command.
The deceased was a member of the Episcopal church.
The funeral services will be held at the Confederate Home, interment to be at the cemetery at Beauvoir.
According to Joseph's certificate of death (Mississippi #3461), he was born 10 Jan 1838 [birth record indicates 3 Apr 1838] and died 4 Jan 1924 while living at the Beauvoir Confederate Home in Harrison County MS. The certificate indicates that he was a widower, although no other record of a marriage has been yet located. It also identifies his parents as Joseph Groome and Elizabeth Smith, both born in England. His cause of death was given as chronic bronchitis. He was buried on 5 Jan 1924 in the Beauvoir Cemetery.