The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

George Henry Peebles, Part II

There are several sources that document his birth on 9 March 1842. He was born just below Elkton which is in Giles County, Tennessee; Elkton is a short drive to Decatur, then Courtland Alabama. One report for military service he had stated his place of birth was Bell Buckle, Tennessee. He was the oldest son of two; and likely the fifth child of ten known to have lived of John M Peebles and Elizabeth Octavia Laughlin Peebles. John Peebles and Elizabeth Octavia McLaughlin married on 27 August 1813 in Limestone County, Alabama. His maternal grandparents were: Alexander McLaughlin 1784 – 1850 and Lucinda Menefee McLaughlin 1779 – 1880. The McLaughlin name was written in numerous variations in the spelling to include Laughland, Laughlin, Laughlon, Loftin, and Loftland.

The first record for George Henry Peebles is the 1850 Federal Census Record. It shows George as age 6 in his parents John and Elizabeth Peebles’ household in District 1 of Giles County, Tennessee. He is in a family of one son and six daughters at that time. Living in the house is his maternal grandmother, whose name is listed as Lucinda Loftlin and her age is given as 62; this would have made her birth date 1788. Records found to date give her birthday as 1779 making her around 71 on the date of that census.

1850 Federal Census Record

Name: George Peebles
Age: 6
Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: District 1, Giles, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Family Number: 669
Household Members:
Name Age
John Peebles 40
Elizabeth Peebles 37
Emaline H Peebles 13
Ann M Peebles 12
Priscilla Peebles 10
Ann M Peebles 8
George Peebles 6
Mary Peebles 4
Rusanna Peebles 0
Lucinda Lothlin 62

Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Giles, Tennessee; Roll: M432_879; Page: 453A; Image: 296.

Source Information: 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:


The next census record included George Henry Peebles in his parents’ household again. The 1860 Federal Census record shows the family in District 16 and the Post Office at Millville which is in Giles County, Tennessee. The grandmother had died by then, and there were eight children. George Henry Peebles’ brother William M Peebles shows up on this census record as age seventeen, but was not shown in the household on the 1850 census record.

1860 Federal Census Record

Name: George Peebles
Age in 1860: 15
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: District 16, Lincoln, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Post Office: Millville
Household Members:
Name Age
John Peebles 50
Elisabeth Peebles 48
Emaline Peebles 23
Ann Peebles 22
Priscilla Peebles 20
William Peebles 17
George Peebles 15
Mary Peebles 13
Sarah Peebles 10
Wynona Peebles 2

accessed from 2011

George Henry Peebles married Catherine Rebecca Jane “Kate” Terry on 10 March 1870 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Kate Terry was the daughter of George Washington Terry and Matilda Ann Rodgers. Catherine Rebecca Jane Terry was born circa 1854 and died circa 1887 in Lawrence County, Alabama. George Washington Terry and Matilda Ann Rodgers Terry’s oldest daughter was Catherine Rebecca Jane “Kate” Terry and their youngest daughter was Elizabeth Anna Garth Rachel Matilda “Lizzie” Terry. Lizzie Terry’s second to youngest daughter, Betty Drue Jane Tolbert, later married George Henry and Kate Terry Peebles’s son, Robert Duncan Peebles.

Justice of the Peace, D W Ward married George H Peebles and R J Terry on 10 March 1870. A record of the marriage was located on and at the archives. The information on the record is below.

The User-Submitted Comment reads:

Peebles rather than Peebles

Comments are incorrect: George Henry Peebles and [Catherine] Rebecca Jane Terry are WHITE. They were married in Lawrence County on the date given. Comment: Colored in error.

Submitted by kidrickettes on 12/2/2009

Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969

Name: George H Peebles
Spouse: R J Terry
Marriage Date: 10 Mar 1870
County: Lawrence
State: Alabama
Performed By Title: Justice of the Peace
Performed by Name: D W Ward
Comments: (COLORED)
Source information: Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research

The 1870 census record provides more questions than answers for George Henry Peebles and Kate Terry Peebles. The variations in the spelling of the surname Peebles are innumerable – here it is Peeples. The census was enumerated on 18 July 1870, so the couple had only been married four months. Their race is included and it is given as WHITE. They were residing in Township 5, Range 7 West, and the Post Office was given as Courtland.

                                                         1870 Federal Census Record

Name: George H Peeples
Age in 1870: 28
Birth Year: abt 1842
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1870: Township 5 Range 7, Lawrence, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Courtland
Household Members:
Name Age
George H Peeples 28
Cathorine Peeples 16
Henry Thorn 48
Zulphe Thorn 28
Johny Thorn 15
Leethe Am Thorn 12
Judy Thorn 10

accessed at 2011


Below is a screen capture of the actual census record. Information not shown provides the birthplace of the members of the household. George H Peeples was born in Tennessee; Henry Thorn was born in Pennsylvania while all the others were born in Alabama. Henry Thorn was also enumerated on the 1880 census in Lawrence County; Bolden Thorn age 27 was also listed, as were Sarah Thompson and Pheby Owen. Sarah Thompson was listed as his sister. Henry Thorn and Sarah Richardson were widowed. Bolden Thorn was the son of Henry Thorn, but was born in Alabama. Pheby Owen’s race was given as black and was something other than a relation with an occupation given as cook. It is undetermined if George Henry and Kate Terry Peebles had any relation to Henry Thorn.

The 1880 census record shows him with wife Kate R Peoples and two children, William Henry aged six, and George Washington aged five. William Henry Peebles was called Henry by family; George Washington Peebles was called Maj by family. His father’s birthplaces is given as Virginia and his mother’s birthplace is given as Tennessee. His surname is given as Peoples, but a suggested correction to Peebles has been made.

                                                      1880 Fedeal Census Record

Name: G. H. Peoples
[G. H. Peebles]
Age: 35
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1880: Courtland, Lawrence, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Kate R. Peoples
Father’s Birthplace: Virginia
Mother’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Occupation: Farmer
Household Members:
Name Age
G. H. Peoples 35
Kate R. Peoples 25
W. Henry Peoples 6
George W. Peoples 5

accessed at 2011

There were to be two more sons born to the marriage of George Henry and Catherine Rebecca Jane “Kate” Peebles before her death In Lawrence County circa 1887 at age thirty-three. The children in order were: William Henry “Henry” Peebles 1870 – 1947, George Washington “Maj” Peebles 1875 – 1951, Daniel Edward “Dan” Peebles 1885 – 1954, and James Walter “Jim” Peebles 1888 – 1962. Before another census could be recorded, Kate Terry Peebles would die; she was buried in Smyrna Baptist Church Cemetery as were a number of relatives. George Henry Peebles would marry a second time in Lawrence County, Alabama. He married Willie KAGLE circa 1888. On the marriage record the bride was listed as Mrs. Willie Kagle. What became of that wife is not known to date.

On 25 December 1896 he married a younger wife, Alice Graham, in Lawrence County, Alabama. Alice and her sister Eliza were daughters of John Harrald Franklin Graham and Frances Scoggins. She was born about 1876 in Fannin County, Texas. Eliza Holland Graham married William Henry “Henry” Peebles, a son of George Henry Peebles. Eliza and Alice were sisters and Eliza was Alice’s [step] daughter-in-law. George Henry and Alice Peebles had the following children: an infant who was born and died 1897, Lillie Peebles born 1898, James Frank or Jessie Frank “Frank” Peebles 1900 – 1981, Susie Peebles 1904 – 1991, Winston Peebles born 1905, Alice R Peebles born 1907, an infant who was born 1909 and died in 1910 and Lottie Peebles born 1910. Alice Graham Peebles died 14 Dec 1912 in Courtland, Alabama. She was but thirty-eight years old.

An interesting artifact was discovered while in the archives in downtown Moulton a couple of years back. A relative from Colorado had asked to go there to find a newspaper article on one of her great-grandmothers. While there browsing through the records I discovered that George Henry Peebles has married a fourth wife. Katie Frank Terry, from Lawrence County Alabama, had told me some years earlier that he was married when he died and an interesting story relating to that marriage. George Henry Peebles had married one of her friends, Mittie Elizabeth Dotson. The record provided the marriage year as 1914. The marriage was performed in Morgan County, likely at the courthouse in Decatur.

Katie Frank Terry’s account of that marriage piqued my interest. She and her friend Saphronie had discussed it right before I visited Katie Frank. She stated that Mittie married Dick Peebles, but refused to ever live in the same house as him ever again. This vow was made after George Henry threw a stick of wood at her while she was cooking at the stove. There seems to be no further record of that marriage. No one in the family ever mentioned it, but the marriage record exists. No further documentation for Mittie Dotson Peebles has been found to date.

I would so like access to church and cemetery records from the past for Smyrna Baptist Church and Cemetery near Moulton in Lawrence County, Alabama. The hope would be that more information on all our family members would come forth as so many of them are buried in the cemetery. It is presumed that they may have attended church services there as well. Perhaps information from church or cemetery records would reveal the actual factual death date of George Henry Peebles. It has always been believed that he died in March of 1928. That is the death date that Gran, Robert Duncan Peebles, represented on the homemade gravemarker that he made of concrete and marbles and had placed on his grave at Smyrnie as it was pronounced. But, research for a death record from the state has an unusual result. Gran had the name of his father as Richard Peebles on the homemade gravemarker. The following is the only death record located to date of a Peebles whose death year was 1928. Richard Peebles died in Austinville [later Decatur] in Morgan County, Alabama. His birthdate is an estimation and his death date is given as 13 Jan 1928. His father is given as John Peebles. This has to be our George Henry Peebles. Since he was technically married at the time, perhaps Mittie Peebles was the informant for the death record. Anyone who has better information, please share it with us.

                                                     Alabama Deaths and Burial Index 1881-1974

Name: Richard Peebles
Birth Date: abt 1833
Death Date: 13 Jan 1928
Death Place: Austinville, Morgan, Alabama
Death Age: 95
Gender: Male
Father Name: John Peebles
FHL Film Number: 1908450

The next published article will be about George Henry Peebles’ life and military service.

5 responses

  1. weston terry

    this that I have been reading is about my kin people I’ve heard lots of talk of dick which I think would be my great great uncle something like that my grandparents are buried at morris chaple cemitery he was henery peebles witch would be dicks brother would like to know more about them my mother tells me alot she has alot of stories of them

    December 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

  2. Gary Roush

    I happened across this web site and found it very interesting. Winston Peebles was my grandfather and J. Frank Peebles was my great uncle. Lilian Irene Peebles my mother
    was born in Courtland, Alabama in 1928.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    • Then we are kin. Iirc, without benefit of my records in front of me, your Winston Peebles who a son of William HENRY Peebles who was a brother of my George HENRY Peebles.

      June 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm

  3. Janet Peebles

    I’ve been reading your blog and doing other research on family. I’m the youngest daughter of Houston Peebles . I previously shared a photo of my grandfather William Henry Peebles with my sisters Tootsie and Betty seated on a porch.

    April 4, 2015 at 12:03 am

    • Janet, Tootsie and Betty, a Peebles reunion is scheduled for August 1, 2015. I hope you and your family attend. Request to join the closed group Peebles Family on Facebook. It is a reunion for family of the children of George Henry Peebles. It is connected to my personal page. It will be fun and we will find family we never knew.

      April 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm

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