Although there are almost a dozen members of the Brister family buried in this old cemetery in the Hoffman community of Holmes County, Hockaday Brister, the patriarch of this pioneer family, is the oldest buried there. According to his zinc gravestone, Hockaday Brister was born on December 12, 1781, and he died on September 8, 1858, when he was 76 years, 8 months, and 25 days old.
According to the U. S. Census taken in 1850, "Hockety" Brister, age 70, headed up a household that included his wife, Nancy, age 66, and sons, Drury, age 26, and Zachariah, age 18. Although he was born in South Carolina, his wife and sons had been born in Mississippi. Mr. Brister's occupation was noted on the census as "farmer," and the real estate he owned was valued at $2,600.
Not to be confused with another, much smaller, Brister family cemetery near Bowling Green, also in Holmes County, Brister Cemetery at Hoffman contains over 200 graves. Among those buried here are members of the Allen, Harthcock, and McLellan families. Another Brister Cemetery is located at Rocky Point in Attala County, and additional members of this prolific early Mississippi family are also buried in other cemeteries in neighboring counties.