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Mississippi John Hurt was born July 2, 1892, in Teoc, Mississippi. John was the eighth of ten children born to Paul Hurt and Mae Jane Smith.
According to personal biography of his life John Hurt learn to love and appreciate music and guitar playing from William H Carson, a man infatuated with his teacher at the St. James School, located in Avalon, Mississippi. John Hurt stated, " I wasn't allowed to bother Mr. Carson's guitar. I would wait until he feel asleep at my house, then I would slip his guitar into my room and try to play. There I learned to play the guitar at the age of nine years old. After that, my mother bought me a second hand guitar at the price of $1.50! 1 can tell you there was no beautiful sound than my own guitar music. I was playing for country dances at the same time working very hard on a farm new Avalon Mississippi."
In 1916 John Hurt met and married Gertrude Hoskins. Three years later they had a son TC Hurt born April 1, 1919. Then in 1921, they had a daughter Ida Mae Hurt born June 26, 1921. Shortly after the birth of Ida Mae John and Gertrude separated for unknown reasons.
John and Gertrude never divorced, however, did go there separate ways as couple. Yet they continued to raise their children as one. Gertrude soon met Will Connelly who shared the parenting of the two children. They never had children together. John and Jesse Lee Cole shared the parenting of the two children and had one son of their own, John William.
The children of John and Gertrude both preceded their parent in death. Ida Mae was killed at the age of 19 by her estranged husband, Doc Johnson she left behind two small children whom Gertrude raised as her own. TC Hurt died of cancer in 1965 at the age of 46 years old leaving 14 children behind many under the age of adulthood.
Between John Hurt's three children he had eighteen grandchildren. TC and his wife Annie Dora Richardson had fourteen children. Ida Mae and her husband Doc Johnson had two children. John William and his wife Bonnie Lott had two children which John and Jesse raised as their own.