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Tishomngo, does that name sound familiar?

Captain Tisho Mingo

Captain Tisho Mingo was a veteran warrior of the Choctaw, departed this life on the 5th inst. Although but little known beyond the limits of his nation, yet he was a man that has seen wars and fought battles—stood high among his own people as a brave and good man. He served under General Wayne in the Revolutionary War, for which he received a pension from the Government of the United States; and in the late war with England, he served under General Jackson, and did many deeds of valor. He had fought in nine battles of the United States. As a friend he has served the white man faithfully. His last words were: “When I am gone, beat the drum and fire the guns.”

 

  I hear the sound of the drum—the report of “death guns” is roaring in our valley—a warrior’s spirit is passing away. The brave Tisho Mingo, the veteran warrior of our tribe, is gone! His clansmen are gathering around the corpse. Long years have passed since first his native hills re-echoed his war-hoop—when grey-headed warriors gathered around his war dance, and said, “Go, young warrior, go—It is beloved Washington who calls for help.” Our aged warrior and chieftains are all gone. Tisho Mingo, the last of the brave, is gone! They are all gone!—Tuscaloosa Flag of the Union, June 30, 1841.Source: Thomas McAdory Owen’s Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama, Alabama Department of Archives.

 

 

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Hang down your head Tom Dooley…

Life Story of James Martin Isbell

Colonel James Martin Isbell was a noted local historian and author. James Martin Isbell was the son of Thomas Isbell and Lucinda Petty.James Martin Isbell was a grandson of Thomas Isbell and Discretion Howard Isbell.

James Martin Isbell married Sarah Louise Horton, daughter of David Eagles Horton and Sarah Jane Dula Horton. Sarah Louise Horton was the granddaughter of Nathan and Elizabeth Eagles Horton on her paternal side. She was the granddaughter of William S. Dula and Theodosia Beasley Dula on her maternal side.

Sarah Louise Horton Isbell was a second cousin of Tom Dula (Dooley) who was tracked down and captured by Colonel James Martin Isbell for the murder of Laura Foster. Colonel James Martin Isbell had previously led the search which located the body of Laura Foster. The song about Tom Dooley has been revived a couple of times over the decades, the most famous version being sung by The Kingston Trio; it was entitled Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley. The ballad was number one for one week in 1958. It has been re-recorded by many singers since.

Colonel James Martin Isbell was a second cousin of Col. Thomas Charles Land (1828-1912), who wrote the Ballad of Tom Dula (also known as “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley”), and his brother Linville Land who made the coffins of both Laura Foster and Tom Dula.

Tom Dula was a grand-nephew of the John Dula who got into a brawl with Thomas Isbell, grandfather of Colonel James Martin Isbell, on28 November28, 1796, during which Dula bit off Tom Isbell’s earlobe.

Ballad of Tom Dula by John Foster West: “Col. James M. Isbell, if we may believe the records, was more responsible for finding Laura Foster’s body…and…the prosecution of Tom Dula than any other individual. Col. Isbell was one of the aristocrats of Happy Valley. He was the great-grandson of Benjamin Howard…”

Colonel James Martin Isbell is cited as an authority in many local histories, pioneer North Carolina and Virginia accounts as well as several family histories. He is cited throughout records and newspaper articles of the Tom Dula murder trial, consistently referred to as Col. James M. Isbell.

“Col. James M. Isbell’s grandfather(sic), Martin, told him that Daniel Boone used to live six miles below James M. Isbell’s present home near the bank of the Yadkin river, on a little creek now known as Beaver Creek, one mile from where it flows into the Yadkin river, near Holman’s ford. The Boone house was in a little swamp and canebrake surrounding the point of a ridge, with but one approach—that by the ridge. The swamp was in the shape of a horse-shoe, with the point of the ridge projecting into it. The foundations of the chimney are still there, and the cabin itself has not been gone more than 52 years. Alfred Foster, who owned the land, showed Col. Isbell the cabin, which was still there during his boyhood, and he remembered how it looked. His grandmother, the wife of Benjamin Howard, knew Boone well as he often stayed with her father, Benjamin Howard, at the mouth of Elk creek, now Elkville.”[2]

“COL. JAMES M. ISBELL. According to the statement made by this gentleman in May 1909, Benjamin Howard, his (great)grandfather, owned land near the village of Boone and used to range his stock in the mountains surrounding that picturesque village. He built a cabin of logs in front of what is now the Boys’ Dormitory of the Appalachian Training School for the accommodation of himself and his herders whenever he or they should come from his home on the headwaters of the Yadkin, at Elkville. Among the herders was an African slave named Burrell. When Col. Isbell was a boy, say, about 1845, Burrell was still alive, but was said to have been over 100 years old. He told Col. Isbell that he had billoted Daniel Boone across the Blue Ridge to the Howard cabin in the first trip Boone ever took across the mountains.”[3]

Footnote 5: In the same book is the statement of James M. Isbell to J.P.A. in May, 1909, at latter’s home.[4]

Footnote 6: It [meaning the cabin of Benjamin Howard] “could still be seen, a few years ago, at the foot of a range of hills some seven and a half miles above Wilkesboro, in Wilkes county.” Thwaites’ “Daniel Boone,” p.78.

1885: The LENOIR TOPIC, 1(?) October 1885, p.4, printed a letter from W.E. White about Daniel Boone’s life in the Yadkin Valley area, which included, “Col. James Isbell, of King’s Creek township(,) could perhaps say something concerning Godfrey Isbell and Pendleton Isbell who were pioneers and also soldiers of Col. Cleveland’s command.” Godfrey Isbell had been bondsman at the marriage of Col. James Isbell’s grandfather Thomas Isbell to Discretion Howard.

Daniel Boone: Master of the Wilderness (1939), by John Bakeless, p. 438, footnote 32.2 gives a footnote citation as follows about the cabin and Burrell’s account of it: “Burrell, the old slave, told the story to Col. James Martin Isbell, of King’s Creek, N. C. Col. Isbell’s grandmother, Mrs. Jordan Councill, daughter of Burrell’s owner, verified the story. She had herself known Daniel Boone.[5]

Mrs. Jordan Councill was the former Sarah Howard, sister of James Martin Isbell’s grandmother. Mrs Sarah Howard Councill was Col.James Martin Isbell’s great-aunt.


Thomas Isbell and Lucinda Petty Isbell household is listed in the 1850 Federal Census record for Caldwell County, North Carolina. The census shows the parents of James Isbell, age 13. According to the census, the parents were Thomas Isbell, b. circa 1800 in N.C. and Luncinda Isbell, b. circa 1811 in N.C.

Name: Thomas Isbell
Age: 50
Estimated birth year: abt 1800
Birth Place: North Carolina
Gender: Male
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Kings Creek, Caldwell, North Carolina
Household Members: Name Age
Thomas Isbell 50 *
Lucinda Isbell 39 *
James Isbell 13 *
Louisa Isbell 9
Cornelia Isbell 1[6]

Marriage:

Name: James M. Isbell
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 01 Mar 1857
Event Place: , Caldwell, North Carolina, United States
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Sarah Louisa Horton
Spouse’s Gender: Female
Reference ID: V. 1-5 p19
GS Film Number: 000590352
Digital Folder Number: 007613706[7]

Military Service during the War Between the States

James M. Isbell was Captain of Company A, 22nd N.C. Regiment. Three sons of John and Frances Knight Land (James, Thomas, & John) served under him until he was wounded and discharged. He was also a witness in Tom Land’s Confederate pension application, filed in east Tennessee.

Name: James M Isbell
Residence: Caldwell County, North Carolina
Age at Enlistment: 23
Enlistment Date: 30 Apr 1861
Rank at enlistment: 2nd Lieut
State Served: North Carolina
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company A, North Carolina 22nd :Infantry Regiment on 30 Apr 1861.
Mustered out on 15 Jul 1861.
Enlisted in Company A, North Carolina 22nd Infantry
Regiment on 09 Aug 1861.
Promoted to Full Captain on 31 May 1862.
Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 01 May 1862.
Mustered out on 13 Oct 1862.

Civic Duty

1864 – James Martin Isbell was a member of the North Carolina Senate for the 46th Senatorial District


1870 Federal Census:

Name: James M Isbell
Event Type: Census
Event Year: 1870
Event Place: North Carolina, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 32
Race: White
Race (Original): W
Birth Year (Estimated): 1837-1838
Birthplace: North Carolina
Page Number: 2
Household ID: 16
Line Number: 17[8]
Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
James M Isbell M 32 North Carolina
Sarah L Isbell F 31 North Carolina
John Isbell M 10 North Carolina
Mary V Isbell F 8 North Carolina
Thomas Isbell M 6 North Carolina[9]

Death of Mary Virginia Isbell:

Name: Mary Virginia Isbell
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 07 Feb 1940
Event Place: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina
Birth Year: 1861
Burial Date: 08 Feb 1940
Cemetery: Isbell
Residence Place: Lenoir, NC
Gender: Female
Age: 78
Marital Status: Single
Race (Original): White
Occupation: None
Birth Date: 06 Oct 1861
Birthplace: Nc
Father’s Name: J M Isbell
Father’s Birthplace: Nc
Mother’s Name: Sarah Horton
Mother’s Birthplace: Nc
Reference ID: fn 2164 cn 279
GS Film number: 1943179[10]

Death of daughter Sarah Louise Isbell:

Name: Sarah Louise Setzer
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 18 Aug 1955
Event Place: Morganton, Burke, N. C.
Birth Year: 1875
Burial Date: 20 Aug 1955
Burial Place: Caldwell Co., N. C.
Cemetery: Grandin Bapt.
Gender: Female
Age: 80
Marital Status: Married
Race (Original): White
Occupation: Seamstress
Birth Date: 10 May 1875
Birthplace: Caldwell Co., N. C.
Father’s Name: James Martin Isbell
Mother’s Name: Sarah Louisa Horton
Reference ID: v 18A cn 18416
GS Film number: 1927217[11]

Death of daughter Sarah Frances Isbell:

Name: Sarah Frances Thomas
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 28 Sep 1964
Event Place: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina
Birth Year: 1873
Burial Date: 29 Sep 1964
Burial Place: Caldwell County, North Carolina
Cemetery: Grandin Baptist Cemetery
Residence Place: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina
Address: 208 Vance Street
Gender: Female
Age: 91
Marital Status: Widowed
Race (Original): white
Occupation: Housewife, Ret.Teacher
Birth Date: 03 Feb 1873
Birthplace: Caldwell County, North Carolina
Father’s Name: James M. Isbell
Mother’s Name: Sarah Louise Horton
Spouse’s Name: J. W. Thomas
Reference ID: v 27A cn 27083
GS Film number: 1953510[12]

James M. Isbell and Sarah Louise Horton Isbell are still head of household in the 1910 Census for Kings Creek, Caldwell County, North Carolina. They still have some children residing with them.[13]

His wife, Sarah Horton Isbell, died in Jan. 1919 and the death certificate stated she was a widow.

The original memorial created by Autumn on Find-A-Grave states:

Burial:
James Martin Isbell
Isbell Cemetery (uncertain as to the location)
  • His wife’s death certificate stated burial at Isbell Cemetery.

(Location of the Isbell Cemetery was probably at the site of the Isbell plantation.)

The joint tombstone of Colonel James Martin Isbell and wife Saray Horton Isbell’s grave is at Grandin Baptist Church Cemetery.

Biography written by Carolyn Murray Greer 13 Sep 2017

Sources

  1. Find A Grave Memorial# 52594193
  2. Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) By John Preston Arthur,1914), p.81
  3. Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) By John Preston Arthur,1914), p.82
  4. Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) By John Preston Arthur,1914), p.95
  5. “Trail of Daniel Boone,” Skyland Magazine, by John P Arthur, 1:652 (S 1914)
  6. 1850 United States Federal Census Record, Kings Creek, Caldwell, North Carolina
  7. Citing this Record: “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZ1Z-X25 : 22 December 2016), James M. Isbell and Sarah Louisa Horton, 01 Mar 1857; citing , Caldwell, North Carolina, United States, p. V. 1-5 p19, Office of Archives and History, Division of Archives and Records. State Archive of North Carolina and various county Register of Deeds; FHL microfilm 590,352
  8. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Publication Number: M593, GS Film number: 000552626, Digital Folder Number: 004277203, Image Number: 00052
  9. Citing this Record: “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW8H-C12 : 12 April 2016), James M Isbell, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 2, family 16, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,626
  10. Citing this Record: “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FPK8-Q9F : 17 July 2017), J M Isbell in entry for Mary Virginia Isbell, 07 Feb 1940; citing Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina, fn 2164 cn 279, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,943,179
  11. Citing this Record: “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FPDY-DBC : 17 July 2017), James Martin Isbell in entry for Sarah Louise Setzer, 18 Aug 1955; citing Morganton, Burke, N. C., v 18A cn 18416, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,927,217
  12. Citing this Record: “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FG1X-8VG : 18 July 2017), James M. Isbell in entry for Sarah Frances Thomas, 28 Sep 1964; citing Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina, v 27A cn 27083, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,953,510
  13. 1910 United States Federal Census, Kings Creek, Caldwell County, North Carolina

The Tragic Death of little Grace Arrants, adopted daughter of Estelle Peebles Arrant….

Little Grace Arrants, the adopted daughter of Frank H Arrants and wife Estelle Peebles Arrants was born 9 October 1915, but did not live to reach her eighth birthday. She perished in the tragedy of the Cleveland School Fire 17 May 1923. [1]

ENTIRE FAMILIES PERISH AS PARENTS AND CHILDREN BATTLE TO REACH EXITS.

MANY LEAP FROM ROOF WHEN OVERTURNING OF A LAMP ON STAGE AT ENTERTAINMENT PRECIPITATES FIRE AND MAD PANIC.

SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL HOUSE FUNERAL PYRE FOR COMMUNITY.

Camden, S. C., May 18 — Seventy-four persons, many of them school children, lost their lives last night in a ghastly fire which swept through a country school house six miles south of here.

They were burned, suffocated and trampled to death in a mad, terrified scramble for the one exit that led from the top floor of the flimsy wooden structure.

Death List Expected To Grow. Perhaps a score of others are so badly burned they may die, and many who were successful in their frenzied dash for the stairway are suffering from injuries or varying degrees of seriousness. The terrible tragedy occurred at what is known as the Cleveland School. Those who escaped today told the horror details of a night of horror. Between 150 and 200 persons were gathered in the school house for graduation exercises. The school house was of the old fashioned country, wooden type, with a stairway in the rear and lighted only with kerosene lamps, located in a comparatively isolated community with no other houses or building nearby. The audience was made up of fathers, mothers and children, the latter dressed in their “Sunday best” for the biggest community event of the year. About 10:00 P. M. after most of the exercises had been completed and the superintendent of schools was presenting the ribbon-bound diplomas to the graduates of the eighth grade, there was a terrific explosion. It came from a smoky kerosene lamp swinging in the rear of the hall from the ceiling. Burning oil was scattered over the back part of the big square room and flames appeared instantaneously, catching readily at the dry wood. The only staircase was in the rear and almost before those in the room realized what had happened escape was virtually cut off. The flames immediately surrounded the stairway.

Leap From Windows. Those in the rear of the room dashed through the blinding smoke and jumped from the windows to safety below. Those nearest the platform and in the front seats of the hall were not so fortunate. With no windows from the platform and the smoke and confusion growing worse every second, there resulted a mad, terrified scramble for the one hope — the stairs. It was sheer panic and it paid the usual price of panic. Women and children, gay in their white graduation costumes were knocked down and trampled under foot ant the interior of the hall became in a few minutes a screaming, milling mass of horror-stricken people, intent upon but one thing — escape. Some of those who escaped said later the doors of the auditorium “opened the wrong way,” and that a score of persons got jammed against a closed door and thus held up escape for many.

Warning Ignored. The Superintendent of Schols[sic], on the stage with diplomas in his arms, made a futile attempt to stem the tide of panic. He shouted that all could get out safely, if they took their time, but his voice was lost in the screams of the women and the children. The superintendent and those of the graduating class, being furthest from the stairway, are believed to have perished. The flames spread through the dry wooden building with almost unbelievable speed. Within a few moments after the explosion the whole rear portion was blazing high, and the flames, fanned by a stiff wind, began to eat into the flooring.

70 In Inferno. Then, the second floor collapsed and down into that raging inferno of fire and burning embers went all who were left — established at about 70 persons. The first of hose who escaped by jumping out of the windows dashed across fields for the nearest farm houses for telephones by which to summon aid. Practically the whole countryside was at the school house, however, and some houses were locked. Telephones are not many any way, in the community. Camden finally was notified and chemical fire apparatus was sent on the run. When it arrived it was too late — the school house was a mass of burning embers, smoking and black — the funeral pyre of half this little community. When the Camden firemen arrived they looked upon the mass of ruins around which stood weeping mothers, frantic fathers and wailing children, looking for their loved ones. There were a score of persons lying groaning on the ground, suffering from broken limbs and fractures suffered in leaping from the windows.

Night Of Terror. The darkness was lighted only by the ruddy glow of the smouldering fire and in the intense heat and amid confusion the work of finding out who had escaped and who had died continued throughout the night. Dawn this morning found a wearied, blackened crowd on men working feverishly. At 8 o’clock they had succeeded in pulling 74 bodies from the ruins. The work of identification has not been completed because of the confusion and the stunned condition of those who escaped. Several whole families, however, have been wiped out. “There was no one to blame,” said the chief of police here. “It all happened so quickly and the panic was natural.” All of the victims were either graduates, students of the little school or parents and friends.[2]

 

Sources

  1. Grace Arrants’ name appears on a list taken from the plaque on the memorial on the Site of the Cleveland School
  2. The Syracuse Herald New York, 18 May 1923

Thomas Lewellyn Looney: tried and true pioneer…

Thomas Lewellyn Looney was born about 1718 on the Isle of Man. He was the oldest son of Robert Looney and Elizabeth Llewellyn.He immigrated to Pennsylvania with his parents and into Virginia when they moved to Virginia circa 1740. He passed away about 1760.[1]

Thomas Looney and Jane Harmon’s marriage is acknowledged and their birth dates given in the Huntsville History Collection. It reads, “Thomas LOONEY was born 1718, and died 1755. He married Jane HARMON. [2]

Thomas Lewellyn Looney and wife Margaret Jane Harmon, who married circa 1742 had children, one was Mary Looney. Mary Looney was born 1742 at Washington, Augusta County, Virginia.[3] Mary Looney married in 1759 to George Birdwell in Stafford, Stafford, Virginia, USA. Mary Looney Birdwell died 1781 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

A second daughter, Louisa Looney was born about 1745 in Augusta County, Virginia.

Thomas was the first of the Looney brothers named in the 1742 muster roll of Augusta County, thus is designation as the oldest son. He obtained 400 acres in what would become Abb’s Valley that was named after his brother, Absalom Looney. Thomas was reported as having settled there by 1754 but that is uncertain given other information.[4]

Named on the roll in Capt George Robinson’s Company of Militia during the time of the Revolutionary War for the commonwealth of Virginia was Thomas Looney. Also, named in the same company was Robert Looney, Daniel Looney, and Adam Looney.[5]

The story of an early demise for Thomas Lewellyn Looney were very much presumed. There were probate papers for his estate filed on more than one occasion of his presumed death, but never acted upon by the courts. It is often reported that he was killed by indians in 1746, but he was much alive until 1760.

Thomas Looney was reported killed during an attack by Shawnee Indians who raided the settlement in early 1746. There was a petition on behalf of Margaret Lundey [Looney] that informed the court that her clothes had been taken by David Logan, Constable on attachment vs. her deceased husband Thomas Lundey [Looney] as suit of Daniel Harriss, be returned.[6] Since Lundey is not a name that appears in any of the printed abstracts of Augusta County, the correct name must have been Looney.[7]

Thomas Looney was appointed road work in November 1746 in court documents. The road work traversed “from Adam Harmon’s to the north branch of Roan Oak.” That would be pretty difficult for a dead man to accomplish. Men in the day would go on long hunting expeditions and would not return home for long periods of time. That might explain why court papers were filed presuming Thomas Looney’s death.

In the fall of 1760 there was a conflict with Shawnee at the Little River. It has been named the Battle of Little River. There was a large band of Shawnee who surprised and fell upon a Dutch family. The family had delayed the call for everyone to come inside the fort, actually there was an order for the entrance into the fort. They did not need the order.

The Shawnee killed some of the family and captured a Dutch woman, took property among which were horses and cooking vessels. They then headed in the direction of Little River.

Captain Henry Harman, brother of Margaret Jane Harman Looney, and his milita went into hot pursuit. Among the soldiers of his militia were Margaret Jane Harman Looney’s husband, Thomas Lewellyn Looney and David Lusk.

The Shawnees had stopped where there may have been cover by the tall sedge grass, cooked a meal in the stolen vessels and were gleeful in their enjoyment of the meal of which they were partaking.

Knowing the make up and willpower of the militia that served under him, he chose Thomas Looney and David Lusk to place in the rear. Thomas Looney and David Lusk were ‘tried and true’ soldiers that held his trust. He placed them in the rear to rally and bring the soldiers in should the militia falter; Looney and Lusk were told they would be at his back at first fire should the militia falter.

Captain Harman acted as if a vidette and was creeping ever so close to the feasting of the Shawnee party as a tall Shawnee bent over and sopped his bread in the food. Upon rising, Captain Harman fired a well aimed bullet and the Shawnee’s back bent as if an elbow. The Shawnee party sprang into quick action, positioning themselves behind trees and firing back at Captain Harman who was also positioned behind a tree.

Suddenly, Captain Harman felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and there smiling back at him were Thomas Lewellyn Looney and David Lusk, his ‘tried and true’ comrades in battle. A lot battle ensued with splinters from the gunfire of the Shawnee becoming embedded in their hair. The splinters were not picked out until they returned to the safety of the fort; more work lie ahead for them.[8]

Captain Henry Harman questioned the Dutch woman they had recaptured from the Shawnee as to the number in the party of the Shawnee. He first questioned her in English and she did not answer. He then questioned her in the Dutch language and she replied there were thirty.

Then at the fire of Thomas Lewellyn Looney’s own gun that brought down an approaching Shawnee, he heeded the instruction of his Captain by “…aim like you are shooting at an old buck ” and the shot felled the Shawnee. The others in the militia unit came forth. The battle continued furiously until the Shawnee who had seven felled by the militia, escaped into the tall sedge grass in retreat.

The probate record for Thomas Looney was published on 19 Nov 1760 in Augusta County, Virginia.[9] Another source for this information states that David Looney was made administrator of Thomas Looney’s estate on the same date. At the same time, David Looney was appointed administrator of Daniel Looney and Peter Looney’s estates. The reports of his estate being brought into the legal court system, may have no indication of his true date of death. In the Looney family along there are many recordings of the brothers and close kin being killed or were taken off by the indians.

The Looney family even intermarried with some of the indians. The second Robert Looney family has two such marriages documented and there was a third. The third married a niece of Enoli, Black Fox, who was chief of the Cherokees. This Enoli lived and died in Alabama, likely Mississippi Territory. John, the son of the niece of Enoli and a Looney became a Chief and died 1846 in Washington while in D.C. to sign a treaty with the government. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery.

Samuel Looney, son of the second Robert Looney is supposed to have married a grandchild of Pocohontas, but that is without record. [10]

On 26 Dec 1766 [2QQ98] the son-in-law of Thomas Lewellyn Looney, James Brigham, and David Looney of Fort Chiswell presented a letter to William Thompson of Back Creek relating to a financial matter in which Looney and Henry Harmon are involved. The file was witnessed by Anthony Bledsoe, and endorsed by James Brigham and David Looney. This further connects the Harman and Looney family.[11]

Sources:

  1. Uprooted: An American Family Saga, Volume Two, by Kathleen Shelby Boyett, page 223, published 2014
  2. http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/hhpics/pdf/rankin/LooneyCemetery_SummaryReport.pdf
  3. Uprooted: An American Family Saga, Volume Two, by Kathleen Shelby Boyett, page 223, published 2014
  4. Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, Kegley
  5. Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers, Militia Miscellany in the Draper Manuscripts, page 225, Looney-136.jpg
  6. Augusta Order book One, page 26, dated 15 April 1746
  7. Reported by Madge Looney Crane, Uprooted: An American Family Saga, Volume Two, by Kathleen Shelby Boyett, page 223, published 2014
  8. Periodical: Harmon Genealogy (Southern Branch), 1700-1924, written by John Newton Harmon, S, Publisher: W. C. Hill printing company, Richmond, Virginia, page 89
  9. Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 9 Nov 1760, Augusta County, Virginia. Notes: This probate record was originally published in Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800
  10. page 226 of Uprooted
  11. The Preston and Virginia papers of the Draper Collection of ManuscriptsVolume I. Preston manuscripts, page 59

Looney and Birdwell family of our ancestors…

An article I wrote and it is posted on the WikiTree profile for Thomas Lewellyn.

Thomas Lewellyn Looney was born about 1718 on the Isle of Man. He was the oldest son  of Robert Looney and Elizabeth Llewellyn. He immigrated to Pennsylvania with his parents and into Virginia when they moved to Virginia circa 1740. He passed away about 1760.[1]

Thomas Looney and Jane Harmon’s marriage is acknowledged and their birth dates given in the Huntsville History Collection. It reads, “Thomas LOONEY was born 1718, and died 1755. He married Jane HARMON[2]

Thomas Lewellyn Looney and wife Margaret Jane Harmon, who married circa 1742 had children, one was Mary Looney. Mary Looney was born 1742 at Washington, Augusta County, Virginia.[3] Mary Looney married in 1759 to George Birdwell in Stafford, Stafford, Virginia, USA. Mary Looney Birdwell died 1781 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

A second daughter, Louisa Looney was born about 1745 in Augusta County, Virginia.

Thomas was the first of the Looney brothers named in the 1742 muster roll of Augusta County, thus is designation as the oldest son. He obtained 400 acres in what would become Abb’s Valley that was named after his brother, Absalom Looney. Thomas was reported as having settled there by 1754 but that is uncertain given other information.[4]

Named on the roll in Capt George Robinson’s Company of Militia during the time of the Revolutionary War for the commonwealth of Virginia was Thomas Looney. Also, named in the same company was Robert Looney, Daniel Looney, and Adam Looney.[5]

The story of an early demise for Thomas Lewellyn Looney were very much presumed. There were probate papers for his estate filed on more than one occasion of his presumed death, but never acted upon by the courts. It is often reported that he was killed by indians in 1746, but he was much alive until 1760.

Thomas Looney was reported killed during an attack by Shawnee Indians who raided the settlement in early 1746. There was a petition on behalf of Margaret Lundey [Looney] that informed the court that her clothes had been taken by David Logan, Constable on attachment vs. her deceased husband Thomas Lundey [Looney] as suit of Daniel Harriss, be returned.[6] Since Lundey is not a name that appears in any of the printed abstracts of Augusta County, the correct name must have been Looney. [7]

Thomas Looney was appointed road work in November 1746 in court documents. The road work traversed “from Adam Harmon’s to the north branch of Roan Oak.” That would be pretty difficult for a dead man to accomplish. Men in the day would go on long hunting expeditions and would not return home for long periods of time. That might explain why court papers were filed presuming Thomas Looney’s death.

In the fall of 1760 there was a conflict with Shawnee at the Little River. It has been named the Battle of Little River. There was a large band of Shawnee who surprised and fell upon a Dutch family. The family had delayed the call for everyone to come inside the fort, actually there was an order for the entrance into the fort. They did not need the order.

The Shawnee killed some of the family and captured a Dutch woman, took property among which were horses and cooking vessels. They then headed in the direction of Little River.

Captain Henry Harman, brother of Margaret Jane Harman Looney, and his milita went into hot pursuit. Among the soldiers of his militia were Margaret Jane Harman Looney’s husband, Thomas Lewellyn Looney and David Lusk.

The Shawnees had stopped where there may have been cover by the tall sedge grass, cooked a meal in the stolen vessels and were gleeful in their enjoyment of the meal of which they were partaking.

Knowing the make up and willpower of the militia that served under him, he chose Thomas Looney and David Lusk to place in the rear. Thomas Looney and David Lusk were ‘tried and true’ soldiers that held his trust. He placed them in the rear to rally and bring the soldiers in should the militia falter; Looney and Lusk were told they would be at his back at first fire should the militia falter.

Captain Harman acted as if a vidette and was creeping ever so close to the feasting of the Shawnee party as a tall Shawnee bent over and sopped his bread in the food. Upon rising, Captain Harman fired a well aimed bullet and the Shawnee’s back bent as if an elbow. The Shawnee party sprang into quick action, positioning themselves behind trees and firing back at Captain Harman who was also positioned behind a tree.

Suddenly, Captain Harman felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and there smiling back at him were Thomas Lewellyn Looney and David Lusk, his ‘tried and true’ comrades in battle. A lot battle ensued with splinters from the gunfire of the Shawnee becoming embedded in their hair. The splinters were not picked out until they returned to the safety of the fort; more work lie ahead for them.[8]

Captain Henry Harman questioned the Dutch woman they had recaptured from the Shawnee as to the number in the party of the Shawnee. He first questioned her in English and she did not answer. He then questioned her in the Dutch language and she replied there were thirty.

Then at the fire of Thomas Lewellyn Looney’s own gun that brought down an approaching Shawnee, he heeded the instruction of his Captain by “…aim like you are shooting at an old buck ” and the shot felled the Shawnee. The others in the militia unit came forth. The battle continued furiously until the Shawnee who had seven felled by the militia, escaped into the tall sedge grass in retreat.

The probate record for Thomas Looney was published on 19 Nov 1760 in Augusta County, Virginia.[9]. Another source for this information states that David Looney was made administrator of Thomas Looney’s estate on the same date. At the same time, David Looney was appointed administrator of Daniel Looney and Peter Looney’s estates. The reports of his estate being brought into the legal court system, may have no indication of his true date of death. In the Looney family along there are many recordings of the brothers and close kin being killed or were taken off by the indians.

The Looney family even intermarried with some of the indians. The second Robert Looney family has two such marriages documented and there was a third. The third married a niece of Enoli, Black Fox, who was chief of the Cherokees. This Enoli lived and died in Alabama, likely Mississippi Territory. John, the son of the niece of Enoli and a Looney became a Chief and died 1846 in Washington while in D.C. to sign a treaty with the government. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery.

Samuel Looney, son of the second Robert Looney is supposed to have married a grandchild of Pocohontas, but that is without record. [10]

On 26 Dec 1766 [2QQ98] the son-in-law of Thomas Lewellyn Looney, James Brigham, and David Looney of Fort Chiswell presented a letter to William Thompson of Back Creek relating to a financial matter in which Looney and Henry Harmon are involved. The file was witnessed by Anthony Bledsoe, and endorsed by James Brigham and David Looney. This further connects the Harman and Looney family.[11]

Sources

  1. Uprooted: An American Family Saga, Volume Two, by Kathleen Shelby Boyett, page 223, published 2014
  2. http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/hhpics/pdf/rankin/LooneyCemetery_SummaryReport.pdf
  3. Uprooted: An American Family Saga, Volume Two, by Kathleen Shelby Boyett, page 223, published 2014
  4. Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, Kegley
  5. Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers, Militia Miscellany in the Draper Manuscripts, page 225, Looney-136.jpg
  6. ↑ Augusta Order book One, page 26, dated 15 April 1746
  7. ↑ Reported by Madge Looney Crane, Uprooted: An American Family Saga, Volume Two, by Kathleen Shelby Boyett, page 223, published 2014
  8. ↑ Periodical: Harmon Genealogy (Southern Branch), 1700-1924, written by John Newton Harmon, S, Publisher: W. C. Hill printing company, Richmond, Virginia, page 89
  9. Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 9 Nov 1760, Augusta County, Virginia. Notes: This probate record was originally published in Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800
  10. ↑ page 226 of Uprooted
  11. The Preston and Virginia papers of the Draper Collection of ManuscriptsVolume I. Preston manuscripts, page 59

Benjamin, Benjamin, Benjamin…

there were so many of you, and George, and William, and John, and the ands could go on and on.

Benjamin Birdwell born 21 Dec 1765 in Virginia. He died 17 Oct 1840 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. He is the son of  George Birdwell and Mary Looney Birdwell.

Benjamin Birdwell married Mary Perry on 3 March 1791 in Sullivan County, Tennessee[1]

Children
  1. George Birdwell born 12 Feb 1792, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  2. David Birdwell born 26 Sep 1794, Washington County, Tennessee
  3. Jesse Birdwell born 17 Dec 1796, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  4. Elizabeth Birdwell born 22 Jan 1799, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  5. Mary Birdwell born 13 Dec 1800, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  6. Benjamin Birdwell born 8 Feb 1803, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  7. Jane Birdwell born 16 Jan 1805, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  8. Nancy Birdwell born 16 Jan 1805, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  9. Joseph Birdwell born 1 Sep 1809, Washington County, Tennessee
  10. Rowell Perry Birdwell born 20 March 1812. Washington County, Tennessee
  11. Ruell Allen Birdwell born 30 March 1814, Sullivan County, Tennessee[2]

Benjamin Birdwell was a patriot lending service on at least two tours of duty during the Revolutionary War. His service is documented by the Daughters of American Revolution as follows:

Ancestor #: A010379
Service: NORTH CAROLINA Rank(s): PRIVATE
Birth: 12-21-1765 VIRGINIA
Death: 10-17-1840 SULLIVAN CO TENNESSEE
Pension Number: S*W218
Service Source: S*W218
Service Description: 1) CAPT CAVIT, COL SHELBY

The pension files for Benjamin Birdwell’s widow gives us information, some she recollects from hearing her husband give an oral recitation, some from the bible record and some from Interrogatories she underwent during the application process. We know these facts:

1781– they were residents of the county of Sullivan, then in the state of North Carolina, now in Tennessee

Revolutionary War – Benjamin Birdwell served under the immediate command of Col. Isaac Shelby and Mahan; who were under Capt Cavit in the Army under the Division of General Frances Marion

1782 – Benjamin was discharged from that tour and volunteered again under Col John Sevier to go against Cherokee Indians, then the Chickamaugas – on arrival of the Army the indians retreated

– The British stationed themselves among the indians

1791 -Mary Perry and Benjamin Birdwell married on 3 March 1791 in Sullivan County, North Carolina, now Tennessee

1845 – In the Interrogatories on 6 Feb 1845, Mary Perry Birdwell stated she was 73 years old

– She stated that the bible record, in great part, was in her husband’s own handwriting
– She stated that there was no original record of marriage can be found due to the imperfect manner in which the records have been kept
– She also stated that the couple had lived in Sullivan County, North Carolina, now Tennessee most of their lives together[3]

It appears that this Benjamin Birdwell may have also served in the War of 1812, but needs documentation if true.

Sources

  1. Application for Revolutionary War Pension by widow, Mary Perry Birdwell 1840s
  2. Children named in George and Mary Perry Birdwell’s bible record
  3. Application for Revolutionary War Pension by widow, Mary Perry Birdwell 1840s

A peach of a man…

is our first known immigrant ancestor with the surname of Menefee. Carolyn Murray Greer wrote this biography which is posted on WikiTree for the progenitor of the Menefee family…which extends down to Giles County, Tennessee and into northern Alabama.

Name

George Menefee Esquire, spelled Minifye in earliest documents

Birth

Born: circa 1596
Devon, England, UK

Parents

Probable: George Minifie and wife Mary Pendleton

Siblings

Sister Minife who married John Bishopp
Sister Menife who married Roger Booker
William Minifie who George Minifye sponsored in 1639

Spouses

Jane Pierce
Mary Potts

Marriages

Married first to widow of John Rolfe whose maiden names was Jane Pierce
Married second to
Married third to
Married fourth to Mary Potts

Children

Elizabeth Minifye who married Capt Henry Perry by Mary Potts

Immigration to America

Name: George Minifie
Arrival Year: 1623
Arrival Place: Virginia
Source Publication Code: 3520
Primary Immigrant: Minifie, George
Annotation: From state papers in the Public Record Office, London, a census of the inhabitants of Virginia taken between January 20 and February 7, 1624 or 1625. Lists 1,232 names, with ages and ships taken. Item no. 1272, Colonial Records of Virginia, has many more[1]
Page: 31

Death

His death date is given as 1646 in records I have researched.

Burial

1645
Parish Church of Weston(Westover) Virginia

The name Menefee has had numerous spelling variations over the centuries. Some spelled the name: Minife, Minefie, Minifye, Menifye and other variations of the surname, but the most prevalent spelling has become the surname written as Menefee. Those Menefee men were important people to lend their name to the history and the formation of this country, the great United States of America.

First settled by the English colonists in 1607 at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, the County was formally created in 1634 as James City Shire by order of King Charles I. James City County is considered one of only five original shires of Virginia to still be extant today in essentially the same political form.

To further information on his immigration to America, George Menifie, who was born in 1596 or 1597, came to Virginia in 1623 on the Samuell from Wiltshire, England.

George Menefee is listed as counted among the living in James City on the first census taken in February of the year 1623. This first census was taken after the 1622 great Indian massacre who took the lives of a quarter of the 1,240 inhabitants within an hour of the start of the bloody ordeal.[2]

George Minify was listed among those in the VA Early Census Index in 1624. He lived in Virginia Pioneer Township, James City County in Virginia.[3]

George was born about 1596. George Menefee passed away in 1646. George Menefee was responsible for bringing over immigrants from England and with each sponsorship he received a grant of land.

In 1639 George Menefee sponsored William Minifie to be brought over to Charles City with a large group of people, and George received a bounty land warrant of acreage in Charles City.[4]

George Menifie arrived in Virginia in 1623, was Burgess for James City County, 1629, and member of the Council, 1635-1646.He was one the wealthiest men of his day in the Colony, and was probably the leading merchant.

In 1634 he lived at “Littleton,” or “Littletown,”‘ not far below Jamestown.His large garden here ” contained fruits of Holland and Roses of Provence.” His orchard was planted with apple, pear and cherry trees, and peach trees. George Menifie introduced the first peach trees to America as he cultivated the first peach trees.Around the house grew, in the fashion of the times, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.He took a prominent part in the deposition of Governor Harvey.

Later he removed to “Buckland,” an estate of 8,ooo acres in Charles City County. His only child, Elizabeth Menifie, married Captain Henry Perry of Charles City County. Captain Perry was a member of the Council. They left two daughters and co-heiresses. Daughter Elizabeth Perry married John Coggs, gentleman, of Rainslip, Middlesex, Esq. Daughter Mary Perry married Thomas Mercer, stationer, of London.

George Menifie helped raise an native american boy after he reached about ten years of age. It can be presumed that he took care of him after the death of William Perry. The following is an account:

Pg 281
[June 10, 1640.] Mr. George MeniFye, Esqr., this day presented to the court an indian boy of the country of Tappahannock, Christened and for the time of ten years brought up amongst the english by Captain William Perry, deceased, and […]”The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography”
Pg 282
Mr. George Menifye: the indian was examined and found to have been well instructed in the principles of religion, taught to read, instructed to writing: and whereas there hath formerly been given by will, a stock of three hundred pounds sterling by Nicholas Farrar, late of London, Merchant, deceased, by [for?] the Indians, whereof 24 pounds sterling was yearly to be paid to any person that should bring up three of the indian children the said Mr. Menifye for his better supportation in the education of the said indian boy desire certificate from the court of the bringing him up and instructing him in christian religion as is said: the governor and council approving and commending the care that hath been used towards this youth have condescended to the request of the said Mr. Menifye and have thought goo to recommend hereby his suit for the allowance of 8 pounds per annum, part of the said 24 pounds. towards the maintenande the said youth and to that purpose in testimony of the premises have thought good to cause the seal of the colony to be hereunto affixed.Given at James city the tenth day of June, a domini 1640.[5]

The site of old Westover Church, near the house at “Westover,” still contains a number of tombs formerly in or near the old building. The name John James supplies information as to one of the early ministers of the parish. John Bishop was an early resident of Charles City County, as was Walter Aston. Howell Price was once clerk of the county. Virginia Council, 1641.

George Menefye was present at Court held at James City October 13, 1641. Those in attendance were:Sir Francis Wyat, Knt., Governor, Captain John West, Captain Wm. Pierce, Mr. George Menefye, Mr. Wm. Brocas, Mr. Amb. Harmer, Mr. Richmond Bennet.

The land owned by George Menifye, at least at the time, might be located using the information from this source:

[…]The area of the plat of John Harvey being given, also its northern boundary. Back Street, its eastern boundary “the Swamp lying on the East side of the said New Towne,” its southern boundary, **upon the highway close to the banke of the Main river, the approximate position of the tract was ascer- tained after several trials.

From the descriptions of the Harvey and Hamor tracts the position of those of George Menefy J and Richard Stephens, and also those of the two cross streets, all of which are men- tioned in the descriptions of the two first named, were readily found, and finally the tract of John Chew, all as shown on the Map of lames City, Va., 1607-1698.

N. B. — Lines indicated on the *’ Plat of the Tracts ** by numbers I, 2, 3, 4, II, 10, 9, are part of Sherwood (5) survey. [6]

Will

GEORGE MENEFIE of Buckland in Virginia, Esquire.Will 31 December 1645; proved 25 February 1646-7.To be buried at discretion of my wife in parish Church of Weston [Westover]. All debts in Virginia to be satisfied.All Tobacco or money debts in England to be transferred to my books, “The shipp Desire now Iyeinge before Buckland may with all possible expedition be dispatched way for England, and to bee part loaded with what Tobacco is ready here above, and receive the remainder of her ladeinge belowe, vizt, tooe hundred Hoggsheads on the partable account” 100 hoggshead my own account and the rest by discretion of a note to be found in a small book of tobacco shipped and to be shipped.
My 100 hogsheads and my part in the ship Desire and cargo, and my 1-16 part of the William and George be consigned to Captain Peter Andrews, he to give an exact account to my heirs and executors.
To my daughter Elizabeth Menefie all my land at Weston, att James Citty, and at Yorke River.
To my brother John Bishopp, the money he owes me, and one-third part of my crop of Tobacco made the last summer at my plantation of Buckland.
My sheep at Buckland to be a joint stock between my daughter Elizabeth, and son-in-law Henry Perry.
To Mr. Jo. James £20 and 1000 lbs of Tobacco, he to preach a sermon at my funeral.
To Mr. Jo. Converse, Chirurgeon, 2000 lbs of Tobacco.
To my brother Roger Booker £50, he to assist Humphrey Lister in collecting my debts.
To Jo. White, Merchant, £50, provided he continue one year longer in Virginia and collect my debts as formerly.
Tobacco not able to go in the Desire to be sent in the Flower of London Goods consigned in the William and George to be returned in Kind.
Everything to my wife and daughter.Executrix and guardian to my daughter; my wife Mary.
Tobacco due to me from Captaine Tho. Varvell shall be Satisfied by Walter Aston. Satisfaction to be made to Mr. Humfrey Adlington for his care in my business concerning Chamberlaine, by Captaine Peter Andrews. Overseers friends Captain Peter Andrews, Richard Bennett, Esq.
Witnesses Howell Prise, Hunifrey Lister.Fines, 31.

Sources

  1. Source Bibliography: JESTER, ANNIE LASH, and MARTHA WOODROOF HIDEN. “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia 1624/1625.” In Adventurers of Purse and Person; Virginia, 1607-1625. N.p.: Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1620 [Princeton University Press], 1956, pp. 5-69.
  2. Original Lists of Person of Quality, by Hotters
  3. Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1607-1890
  4. Complete listing of Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 (from book published 1912 by George Cabell Greer, now copyright-free)
  5. The Virginia Council & General Court Records 1640-1641 From Robinson’s notes, Virginia Historical Society Collection.
  6. Virginia Land Patent Record, Book I, p. 3. t /did, Book I, p. 5. J /did, Book I, p. 4.

A journal of a life of memories…

has been written in parts by Beth Terry Murray. She has approved our posting some of them here. They will come in the parts as written. Enjoy.

One Man’s Life (cont.)

I should mention here that most people remember him being called Wilbo or as his family called him “Bo”.

We had been living in a house next door to my Uncle Glen and Aunt Stella, I loved it because I got to see my cousin Pam every day and there were kids around the neighborhood that we saw all the time. In that house we slept on a sleep porch at the back, my daddy and Ricky slept in a full size bed at the very end of the porch, then I slept in a baby bed that was turned to touch the foot of their bed, and my mother slept in a half bed that touched the end of the baby bed. Yes…..from what I remember I slept in that baby bed until we moved into our new house in 1961, where I had my own bedroom with a new bedroom suit.

Mother had inherited 4 1\2 acres when her parents died and my daddy had bought one of her sisters 4 1\2 acres which then meant he had 9 acres. I really didn’t know what exactly that meant, but I knew by the smile on his face that it meant a lot to him. He bought me and my brother Shetland Ponies and himself several Black Angus Cows. Now the cows were by no means a huge herd, but it was his dream to have something that belonged to him and his own family that he could love and knew would always be there for him. I never doubted for one minute that he loved me and would have done anything for me. As a matter of fact, I remember when we were studying how to tell time in school. I could not get the hang of it and when the teacher would give us a test on clocks I would break out in a cold sweat. My daddy knew I couldn’t read clocks so he took off work 1\2 a day when I was out of school. He went into his and mother’s bedroom and got his Big Ben alarm clock and sat with me all afternoon until the light went on over my head and I had the hang of it.

His mother moved to Town Creek when I was about 8 years old, and he treated her as if she had never left. By the time she came home my grandfather Tom had been killed in Leighton at a little store he managed. A man had come in late one night and stabbed him to death. When Mama Terry moved back to Town Creek it was as if she never left, daddy went to see her every morning before he went to work. His work consisted of being a meter reader for the gas department, I know he would mention wanting a higher paying job periodically, but with the one he had he got to talk to people and that was something he loved to do. He came into my bedroom every Sunday morning and read the comic paper to me, in a very deep voice. To my knowledge he never culled anybody, no one was beneath him or better than him. He never met a stranger and he helped anyone that he saw in need. He called the brothers and sisters that lived out of town to schedule vacations and to let them know when they were expected to be home. I can assure you if Bo wanted you at home at that time, then you were home. The brothers and sisters would fish and sit around and talk about all the old times. Most of the kids would sit there and listen as long as we could, at least until the mosquito’s came out.

 

 


Will you be my hero?

John Birdwell is one of my heroes and ancestors. John Birdwell led a very storied life. He is the son of George Birdwell and Mary L Looney Birdwell. His father was a Revolutionary War Patriot. He is likely one of yours, too, if your surnames include Allen, Looney, Harmon, Isbell, Murray, Birdwell, Gregory, Sparks, Lenz, and a myriad of others.

The featured image is where John Birdwell’s property was located in Mississippi Territory, later Madison County, Alabama. He owned property in Tennessee, and in the counties of Madison, Lawrence, Franklin County, and Fayette County, Alabama. He also owned property in Texas, Rusk County and possibly Nacogdoches County.

John Birdwell was born in the Bent of the James River (sound familiar Peebles family?) on 24 Sep 1770. He lived and owned property in the states of Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas. He died at Mt Enterprise, Rusk County, Texas on 16 Feb 1854 at the home of his son, Allen Birdwell. The account of his death is tragic.

The Birdwell descendants are eligible to join:

  • First Families of Tennessee
  • First Families of Alabama
  • Daughters of the Republic of Texas
  • Sons of the Republic of Texas
  • Daughters of the American Revolution (#A098196)
  • Sons of the American Revolution
  • Colonial Dames of the XVII Century

He first came to Texas in 1838 by some accounts [4] , while one reference gives a date as early as 1835, he did not move permanently until 1842 after the death of his wife, Mary Allen Birdwell. His son, Col. Allen B. Birdwell, wrote in his own notebook ledger that he moved to Texas in 1842 and that his father John Birdwell lived with him in Nacogdoches County[5]. John Birdwell was still living in Allen Birdwell’s household in Rusk County in the 1850 census. The Handbook Of Texas by the Texas State Historical Association, says: “Allen Birdwell’s father John may have moved to Nacogdoches County, Texas, in 1838, and Allen and his wife Lucinda (Ross) followed by 1842.” [6]

John Birdwell was in Houston on July 8, 1838, when he wrote a letter of recommendation for George Nixon which is preserved in the George Antonio Nixon manuscripts collection at the University of Texas Arlington [7]

A family history states that John Birdwell moved to Nacogdoches County in 1838 and “lived at Old North Church two years,” then moved twelve miles to Mt. Enterprise in what became Rusk County when Rusk was formed from part of Nacogdoches.

John Birdwell signed his will Jan. 24, 1854, and it was entered in Probate Court April 27, 1854.Will is provided as image in this narrative.

John Birdwell died Feb. 16, 1854. The estate included $1,400 cash and included slaves and possibly other property since Col. Allen B. Birdwell posted a $4,000 bond with the Rusk County Probate Court to serve as administrator of his father’s estate, a considerable bond in those days.[8]

FIRST FAMILIES OF TENNESSEE Descendants of John and Mary Birdwell are eligible for membership in the First Families of Tennessee, First Families of Alabama, the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

1770 John Birdwell and Mary Allen grew up in Sullivan County, N.C., which later became Sullivan County, Tennessee. They married and lived there several years before moving to Alabama.

1781 John Birdwell (born 1770 Virginia, died 1854 Texas) and wife Mary Allen… in 1781 were in Sullivan County, North Carolina (now Tennessee), 1809 Madison County, Alabama; 1819 Lawrence County, Alabama.[9]

FIRST FAMILIES OF ALABAMA 1805 The Birdwells settled in Madison County, Alabama in 1805, where they were charter members of the Enon Baptist Church which later became First Baptist Church of Huntsville. John Birdwell was the first clerk. (Alabama Historical Society marker in Marshall County lists their daughter “Sarah Birdwell Isbell, one of the earliest settlers of Madison County, 1805.” His son Allen Birdwell stated in his ledger that his parents took him to Alabama in 1805, when he was three years old).

1808 “Birdwell Family Tree” by Velma Stovey Schonder, p. 59: “JHB thinks that JB was living in Madison Co., AL by 1808. He was one of the organizers and first clerk of The First Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL. …The church minutes for 6-1-1811 state that the church authorized Brethren Watkins, Pruet Brock, Birdwell and Powell to view a place for a meeting house (Dale Langston, from microfilm notes at Madison Co. Library Heritage Room, Huntsville). “JB is on the 1809 census Madison Co. Al/Ms Territory, p.7, with 2 males under 21, 1 male over 21, 6 females under 21 and 1 female over 21. According to JHB his last 4 children were born there, while his first 4 children married there.” Page 23 (different version, p.72): “John Birdwell…moved Tx 1838.”

1809 Enon Baptist Church Records (Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama), Sept. (2?), 1809:

1809 September (1st?) Saturday 1809. 1st The Church Met & after Prayer proceeded to Business– …5th The Church Appoints Brother Birdwell to Write the Association Letter & Bring the same to next meeting–

1810 Enon Baptist Church Records, Sept. 1, 1810: September 1st Saturday–1810 The Church met and after proceeded to business– 1st Opened a door for the reception of member– 2nd the church took up a reference from last meeting and laid it over till next meeting– 3rd The Church agree to delegate Bros. Hellums, Childress and Birdwell to The Association.

1818 Madison Co. DB E, p. 133 #500: item 500: dated 8-18-1818 Grantor, John & Mary Birdwell Grantee, George Oglethorpe Gilmer For the sum of $3300 Ind. SW/4 Sec. 18-2-E lying east of Briar Fork of Flint River, & 10 Ac. in 3/2 & 10 a. N/2 NW4 sec. 17-2-1E. Proven 11-3-1818 & DR (Pope) (Note: 10 a. in S/2) purchased by Birdwell from Joseph Powell. Witnessed by: Lewis B. Taliaferro, Jacob Pruett, and Levi Isbell.[10] 

1818 1818, Aug. 18 – Madison County, Alabama; John Birdwell and wife Mary deeded land to George. Oglethorpe Gilmer. Witnesses: Lewis B. Taliaferro, Jacob Pruitt, Levi Isbell. Levi Isbell was John and Mary Birdwell’s son-in-law.[11] 

1819 In January 1819 John and Mary Birdwell moved to Lawrence County, Alabama where they purchased large tracts of land and were also founders of this church,Birdwell Springs Baptist Church, which later changed its name to Enon Baptist Primitive Baptist Church. They were both established within the Mississippi Territory since Alabama was still a part of the native american nation and not yet a state.

The First 200 Years of the First Baptist Church of Huntsville [Alabama] gives the origin of that Enon Church as several years earlier: “All of Enon’s very first members were squatters since the government’s Nashville land office, which handled the sale of Madison County lands, did not even open for business in the Madison County area until August 1810, more than a year after Enon was established.[12]

Page 3: “After having met in private homes for two years, the church in June 1811 appointed a committee —- William Watkins, Jack Prewit, Isaac Brock, John Birdwell, and Joseph Powell –‘to view a place for a meeting house.’ That led to the start of construction of a log building on the western bank of the Brier Fork of Flint River, a few hundred yards north of the present terminal of the North Huntsville Executive Airport. The small building, exact location unknown, was close to the river bank…, affording a convenient place for baptismal services. For some reason, perhaps a shortage of funds, construction was halted short of completion. Almost two years later, Feb. 6, 1813, a new committee was named, consisting mostly of the first group plus William Hellums, to complete the work, and while there was apparently no fanfare to herald its conclusion, the structure was finished and in 1815 did accommodate the second annual meeting of the Flint River Association. …”with regard to the squatter hypothesis, it is interesting to note that the providers of Enon’s one-acre lot, John Birdwell and Joseph Powell, did not themselves receive title to their jointly-held property until April 1814, the church construction having begun on their proffered land three years earlier. But things were ‘looser,’ less formal in those days.”[13]

A History of Early Settlement: Madison County Before Statehood,” The Huntsville Historical Review (2008) by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society provides this information of the church and its: “The closest meetinghouse was Enon Baptist Church on the Briar Fork of the Flint Reiver. Established in 1809, one of its three founders, and its first pastor, was a preacher who lived and owned two pieces of property in the region, John Canterbury. There is no evidence that he was a slaveholder, but the second Enon pastor, Richard Shackelford, was a major landowner who at his death had more than a dozen slaves. He was called as a pastor in 1815 and served until his death in 1823. Enon’s first meetinghouse was a lot building constructed in 1813 on the Briar Fork. (This is on land of the present Madison County Executive Airport.)[14] “Joseph Powell and John Birdwell, charter members of the Enon Church, jointly owned the land adjacent to land owned by both Canterbury and Shackelford. The church building had been erected and in use for a year before Powell and Birdwell themselves received title to the property that they had provided to the church.”[15]

1819 1st Saturday January 1819 (Jan.2) “John Birdwell and Mary his wife” were granted letter of dismissal from the Enon Church in Madison County on the first Saturday in January, Jan. 2, 1819. (ref., First Baptist Church Minutes, James K. Harrison, First Baptist Church History Committee.)

They moved to Lawrence County near Moulton and established a new church.

1819 “F.W. Helmbold, Curator of the Society, in his historical presentation, revealed the fact that the Enon church was constituted originally as Birdwell Springs Baptist Church on the third Monday in June (June 21), 1819.”[16]

1820 The 1820 Federal Census Record reads: Lawrence County, AL.

John Birdwell & wife over 21,
3 sons under 21,
6 daughters under 21.

The 1820 Federal Census Record in Franklin County, Alabama has John Birdwell listed there as well. He owned property in many places.

The 1820 Federal Census Record for Giles County, Tennessee lists a John Birdwell, but this one is John Birdwell’s nephew John (son of Robert) and family His nephew was probably the John Birdwell in Giles County, Tennessee.

1820 John Birdwell was assigned by an act of the Alabama legislature to review the Flint River in Cotaco County (later Morgan) Alabama, from its junction with the Tennessee to its main fork, to see if it was navigable.[17]

3 Dec 1820 “On December 6, 1820, an act of the Alabama Legislature was approved which designated David Parker, Jonathan Burleson, and John Birdwell, or any two of them, to make a careful “review” of Flint River, from its mouth to the main fork therein, and report the practicability of its navigation, the distance examined, and the expense necessary to improve the river for navigation. On the 20th of December an act was approved to incorporate the Flint River Navigation Co. The incorporators were Fleming Jordan, George Taylor, James McCartney, John Sprowl, Stephen Pond, John P. Brown, John Grayson, Dial Perry, David Walker, Ebenezer Byram, Stephen McBroom, William Derrick, and David Cobb, and they were authorized to improve the navigation of the Flint River in Madison County, from Capt. Scott’s Mills to the Tennessee River. Section 2 of the act provided a penalty of $3 for each day a tree cut or felled into the stream so as to obstruct navigation was allowed to remain, the proceeds of such fine to be applied to the improvement of the river.”[18] The Act is quoted in Alabama Genealogical Quarterly, vol. 1, p.216, and also the Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc., Magazine (1976) vol. 18, issue 1-4, p.38.

Owen, op. cit., p. 595: “It does not appear that much, if any, work was done under either of these acts. In any event, there was none of sufficient permanence to affect the navigation or other characteristics of the stream at the present time. References.—Acts, 1820.[19]

1819 “Enon Church. This church is situated in Lawrence county, ten miles east of Moulton. It was originally called Birdwell’s Spring Church. It was one of the constituent members of the association. It was organized in July, 1819, on nine members, whose names are as follows: Stephen Penn, Mary Penn, John Birdwell, Mary Birdwell, Ezekiel Thomas, Jenny Thomas, George Keys, Elizabeth Keys, and Sarah Simpson.”[20]

They left this church for a few years and helped organize Hopewell Church near Danville.

Page 169: “Hopewell Church, Morgan County. This church was received into the association in July 1825. It was constituted on the first Saturday in December, 1824. The presbytery was Elders Featherstone, Walden, Stephen Penn and John Birdwell. …We suppose it is the place where the church house now stands, about two and one-half miles east of Danville.”

SOME EARLY ALABAMA CHURCHES (ESTABLISHED BEFORE 1870) (1973) by Mabel Ponder Wilson, Dorothy Youngblood Woodyerd, Rosa Lee Busby, Daughters of the American Revolution Alabama Society, p. 95: “Organized in 1819, this church was first known as Birdwell’s Spring Church. The nine organizing members were Stephen Penn,…John and Mary Birdwell….”

Page 130: “Hopewell Baptist Church (located two and one-half miles east of Danville) Hopewell Baptist Church was constituted… l824, with the Presbytery composed of Elders Featherstone, Walden, Stephen Penn, and John Birdwell.”

LIFE AND LEGEND OF LAWRENCE COUNTY, ALABAMA’, by Dorothy Gentry (Tuscaloosa, 1962): “Enon, originally called Birdwell’s Spring Church, located ten miles east of Moulton was organized in July, 1819 on nine members, whose names were Stephen Penn, Mary Penn, John Birdwell, Mary Birdwell, Ezekiel Thomas, Jenny Thomas, George Keys, Elizabeth Keys and Sarah Simpson.”

1823 In October 1823, one William Birdwell (1766-1823), age 57, was executed at Moulton, Lawrence Co., AL. for the murder of Mr. Rhea. Thought to be the son of John Birdwell’s older brother Robert Birdwell (1751-1815) of Giles County, Tennessee. The two had had a dispute 10 years before.

1824 The Morgan Baptist Association: “One of the oldest churches in Morgan County, Hopewell was organized on the first Saturday in December 1824. It is mentioned in Hosea Holcombe’s 1840 A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists of Alabama. The presbytery was composed of Elders John Birdwell, Stephen Penn, Walden, and Featherstone. Charter members were Barkley Ballard, Polly Ballard, William Johnson, Sarah McDowell, Martha Rodgers, James Simmons, Stacy Simmons, Elizabeth Simmons, Polly Simmons, Solomon Simmons, Mary Simmons, Nicholas Gillentine Sr., Jane Gillentine, Richard L. Gillentine Jr., Martha Gillentine. Annie Gillentine, Gideon Spalden, and Nancy Spalden.” The first deacon was Nicholas Gillentine and the first clerk was William Johnson. The first recorded pastor was Henry W. Hodges in 1827. The church was located on land deeded to the church by William Johnson, “near the well of Brother Simmons” about two and one-half miles east of Danville, eight tenths of a mile south of what is now Highway 36, between Hartselle and Danville. The church was received into the Muscle Shoals Association in July, 1825.”

1828 Lexington (KY) REPORTER, July 23, 1828, p.1 contains a letter John Harris of Moulton, Lawrence Co, AL., to Andrew Jackson on the character of his late father John Harris, Justice of the Peace of Lawrence County. Column 1 cites “John Birdwell, Esq.” among those vouching for him. Column 5 is signed by John Birdwell, Allen Birdwell, and others.

John Birdwell received letter of dismission from Enon in 1842 when his wife Mary died and he moved to Texas. He was known to have visited Texas already by 1838 and probably made several other trips between Texas and Alabama.

Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. magazine, Volume 21, Issue 1-2 (1958), (reissue? 1989) p. 24: “The First Meeting House. On Saturday, June 1, 1811, the church appointed the following committee ‘to view a place for a meeting house’: …John Birdwell and Joseph Powell.” p. 25: “…west bank of the Brier Fork of the Flint River, on a triangular piece of land about one acre in size. It was in the Northwest Quarter of Section 17, Township 2, Range 1 East of the prime meridian. This entire section (160) acres) was patented (or deeded) by the United States of America to John Birdwell and Joseph Powell…” p.26: “John Birdwell was the son of George Birdwell and Mary. John Birdwell was born in 1770 in Virginia. He married Mary Allen in Tennessee. Some of his children were born there. He moved to Mississippi Territory, Huntsville Meridian about 1805. According to the minutes of Huntsville First Baptist Church, his last Sunday as clerk was January 2, 1819. From there he moved to Lawrence County Alabama where he donated land and helped form the Birdwell Springs Baptist. About 1836 he moved to Fayette County, Alabama, then into Walker County, Alabama. Around 1845, after the death of his wife, he moved with his son, Col. Allen Birdwell, to Rusk County, Texas, where he died in March 1854. He has many descendants in Texas.”

FOOTPRINTS (Ft. Worth Genealogical Society, 1979), vol. 23-23, p. 107 says John Birdwell moved to Rusk Co, Texas in 1845.

His will is published in Alabama Genealogical Society Magazine (Birmingham, AL: 1985), Vol. 19, Issue 1. (Reissue 1989?)

Isbell Country: Genealogy of an Isbell Family by Odessa Morrow Isbell (2000), pp. 11, 19-20: “John Birdwell was in Alabama by 1805; settling north of Huntsville in 1805. He owned land in Sullivan Co., Tennessee and kept two homes so he could homestead Alabama property. He came to Texas in 1842-43 with son Col. Allen Birdwell. …”

1842 George W. Birdwell administered the estate of Robert Bell estate in 1842 in Rusk County, Texas (one book states incorrectly it was John Birdwell). Robert Bell (27 May 1797 TN-13 June 1842 Rusk Co, Tx) was former sheriff of Cherokee County, Alabama. His wife Belinda Scott (b.4 Jun 1795 TN d. 1842) also died in 1842 not long after her husband.

Some Mallorys and Bells (Greenville, Tx.: 1950) by James Robert Mallory, pp. 21-22: “Robert Bell…sent down to Cherokee County, Alabama, for John Birdwell, who was County Judge when Robert Bell was Sheriff.” (Correction: Robert Bell was sheriff of Cherokee County when John Birdwell’s nephew George, son of Joseph Birdwell, was county judge there.) Page 22: “The three families, Bell, Gray and Birdwell came out to Texas together, arriving in 1839. Bell’s headright joined that of Houston….” The author recites his grandfather’s descriptions of Sam Houston visiting the Bell home when he was a young boy. p.26: “John Birdwell, who had come to Texas with Robert and Belinda Bell and had been very close to the Bell family since their days in Alabama, was made Administrator of the Estate of Bell, at Bell’s dying request. Creditors immediately asked for an accounting and Birdwell auctioned off the farm and all the personal belongings of the family for benefit of the creditors.” p.27: “Birdwell, who had taken a headright and then bought up several more from disgruntled settlers, saw that it was impracticable for the Howeths to try to take care of all these children, so he ordered that the two boys, James, fifteen, and William, eleven, be bound out to Robert Gray, who had married Cynthia Scott, a sister of Belinda Scott Bell.”

1854 Birdwell family records show that John Birdwell died Feb. 16, 1854, at age 83 years, 4 months, 23 days, in the home of his son, Col. Allen Birdwell, and was buried in the family cemetery on the site. A fairly large number of the Birdwell family was buried in the cemetery, along with some related families and a number of slaves. After the farm had passed out of the Birdwell family, the later owners rather callously plowed the cemetery under. Trees marking some of the graves were cut down, while the gravestones were thrown into a ditch and covered. A partial list of those known to be buried there was supplied by Mrs. Bohannon of Mt. Enterprise, and a descendant of the Birdwell family, and printed. Some burials were recorded in the Birdwell family bible and appear in the book The Mitchells of Linn Flat by Gwenneth Mitchell, including the notation that John Birdwell’s grave is there.

Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas, 1854-1857, by A.S. Ruthven, Grand Secretary and Past Grand Master, vol. II (1857), p.242: Mount Enterprise Lodge, No. 60. p.243: Past Masters. Master Masons. …Allen Birdwell, John Birdwell

The Mitchells of Linn Flat, by Gwenneth Aenone Marshall Mitchell (Austin, 1981), refers to the Birdwell Cemetery on pp. 174, 202, 214 and 215. Page 174: John Birdwell, his grandson John C. Birdwell, and John A. Birdwell Jr. were buried in a row, side by side, “at the Birdwell family burying ground on the Allen Birdwell place, not far from the family residence near Orton Creek,” three miles from Mt. Enterprise. On p. 202: “The cemetery has been abandoned for some years and pine trees grew over it. Some twenty years ago the ground was smoothed over and seeded in range grass.” From Gwenneth Aenone Marshall Mitchell (posted 10-29-1999 on Birdwell List, on Rootsweb.com): “Rusk Co., Texas History by the Rusk Co. Historical Society, 1982: page 112: John Birdwell, “old great-grandpap”, John C., his grandson, and John Birdwell (Old Uncle John) are all 3 buried in a row side by side. John C. in the middle, Grandpap on the southside, and Uncle John on the north side. Lucinda Ross Birdwell was most likely the first buried there.

1809 census shows 2 sons and 6 daughters born 1788-1809.

1820 The Federal Census record for Lawrence County, Alabama shows:

John Birdwell & wife over 21
3 sons under 21, 6 daughters under 21

1830 Federal Census for Lawrence County, Alabama shows:

John Birdwell & wife,
1 son (John),
2 daughters 15-19 (Lucinda & Ann),
1 dau 5-9 (Talitha).

1840 census shows all children gone from home.

The combined censuses of 1809, 1820 and 1830 show these children:

1 m b1788-1809 Moses 1796
1 m 1788-1809 Allen 1802
1 f Nancy 1795
2 f Eliz 1797
3 f Sarah 1799
4 f ?Mary Polly c1800-1804?
5 f Susan c1805-7
6 f Jane 1807
1 male 15-19 (1811-1815) John 1814
1 f 15-19 (1811-1815) Lucinda 1812
1 f 15-19 (1811-1815) Ann 1813
1 f 5-9 (1821-1825) Talitha 1821

Children of John Birdwell and Mary Allen:

1 Nancy Birdwell b Nov. 3, 1795 married James S. Romine
2 Moses Birdwell b 1796 married .1815 Sarah Duncan
3 Elizabeth Birdwell b Dec.31, 1797 (Jan. 1, 1800?) married 1813 James Isbell
4 Sarah H. Birdwell b Feb 14, 1799 married Levi Isbell
5 Allen B. Birdwell b Mar 22, 1802
6 ? Mary/Polly Birdwell c1800-5 (on some lists), (died young?)*
7 Jane Birdwell 1806- m. Samuel Neal (Jane Birdwell m. 10/27/1825 Samuel Neal (10/29/1825 recorded Lawrence Co. Marriage Book 1A, p.226; Gandrud, p.27); lived there 1830 w/ 1 son under 5. Lived in Panola Co., MS in 1850.
8 Susan Birdwell 1807- married Joel S Watkins
9 John Alexander Birdwell 1812-1871
10 Lucinda Birdwell 1809-1811 married James M. Vaught
11 Ann Birdwell Feb. 15, 1813-1868 married James B. Fowler
12 Son bc1816 (1810-20) on 1820 census, d 1820-30*
13 Talitha R. Birdwell June 18, 1821 married James Smyley Wright
  • It is possible that one of the married daughters and her husband (Romine or Isbell?) was living with them in the 1820 census and there was no son who died young. However, both James Romine and Levi Isbell were born well before 1800 and do not fit the 1810-20 age bracket.

Some lists of children online include these:

  • 1 Mary Birdwell 1800-1888 m1 John McCormack,2Josiah Phelps. This Mary was the daughter of John, son of Robert Birdwell
  • 2 George William Birdwell 1811-1831, some lists show him as another son, and some say died at Moulton, Lawrence Co., AL. (confusing him with Moses?), but he was not in the household in the 1830 census.
  • 3 Matilda Birdwell Jan 20, 1816-d 1895 Bristol, Ellis Co, Tx is on some lists as another daughter, but note that Talitha R. Birdwell’s name is incorrectly transcribed as Matilda by some researchers. The Matilda Birdwell of Bristol, Tx. was the daughter of John Birdwell of Giles Co., Tn.; granddaughter of Robert and Ellen (Sanford) Birdwell, Robert being the brother of John Birdwell who married Mary Allen. Matilda married in Giles CO., TN. 12 Dec 1834 Neal C. Dever (1802-1878).
  • 4 Judge Thomas Gaines Birdwell b1804 Giles Co, TN was not a son. He was a son of John Birdwell’s nephew John (son of Robert), and a brother of Mary and Matilda above. Interestingly, his son Thomas J. Birdwell’s daughter Pearl married John William Culver, son of Susannah (Culver) Isbell Culver, widow of Zach Isbell, son of Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell Conway.
  • 5 William McElree Birdwell 1837-1906 was a grandson (son of John A.), rather than a son as some lists incorrectly show.[21]

1912 “For My Children: Memoir of Rev. George Preston Birdwell” (1912): “My grandfather, John Birdwell,…died at my father’s house near Mt. Enterprise, Texas, at the age of 84 years. He was never sick in his life, never had a chill nor a fever. There were nine boys in the family, and all died between the ages of 84 and 90. My father, Colonel Allen Birdwell, was born in West Tennessee…moved with his parents to North Alabama and settled about one mile from Raleville in Lawrence County…. In 1838 he came to Texas to look at the country. He was well pleased and in 1841, he moved to Texas. He settled first near Old North Church in Nacogdoches County. I think he made two crops there before he bought his home, three miles south of Mt. Enterprise, in Rusk County. This was all Nacogdoches County then, in Rusk County. This was all Nacogdoches County then….”[22]
Family links: Parents:

George Birdwell (1721 – 1780)
Mary Birdwell (1742 – 1811)

Spouse:

Mary Allen Birdwell (1780 – 1840)

Children:

Nancy Birdwell Romine (1795 – 1885)
Moses Birdwell (1796 – 1832)
Sarah H. Birdwell Isbell (1799 – 1876)
Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell Conway (1800 – 1872)
Allen B. Birdwell (1802 – 1893)
Susan Birdwell Watkins (1809 – 1888)
Lucinda Birdwell Vaught (1811 – 1873)
John Alexander Birdwell (1812 – 1871)
Ann Birdwell Fowler (1813 – 1868)
Talitha R. Birdwell Wright (1821 – 1905)

Siblings:

Robert Birdwell (1745 – 1815)
George Birdwell (1760 – 1816)
Benjamin Birdwell (1765 – 1840)
Moses Birdwell (1769 – 1848)
John Birdwell (1770 – 1854)
William Birdwell (1772 – ____)

Sources

  1. Find A Grave Memorial# 50518424
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 50518424
  3. Find A Grave Memorial# 50518424
  4. The Mitchells of Linn Flat by Gwenneth A.M. Mitchell, pp. 184, 201
  5. Col. Allen B. Birdwell Journal
  6. Jennifer Eckel, “BIRDWELL, ALLEN,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association
  7. Special Collections, George Nixon Collection, Box GA122, Document 00189
  8. Rusk County Deed Book N-O (1860), p. 367
  9. FOOTPRINTS, vol. 23-24 (Ft. Worth: Fort Worth Genealogical Society, 1979), p. 107:
  10. Madison County, Alabama Deed Books A-E, 1810-1819, by Dorothy Scott Johnson (1976)
  11. Madison County, Alabama Deed Book E Page 133
  12. The First 200 Years of the First Baptist Church of Huntsville by Joseph M. Jones, p. 2
  13. The First 200 Years of the First Baptist Church of Huntsville by Joseph M. Jones, p. 2
  14. A History of Early Settlement: Madison County Before Statehood, The Huntsville Historical Review (2008) by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, p. 69
  15. A Dream Come True, The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United States, Vol. 1, James Record. (Huntsville: Hicklin County, 1970), pp. 39-40.
  16. The Alabama Baptist Historian (1970), p.20
  17. History of Morgan County, Alabama by Knox, p. 54
  18. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, published 1921 by Thomas McAdory Owen and Marie Bankhead Owen page 595
  19. Betts, Early history of Huntsville, by Betts, 1916, pp. 33, 70
  20. History of the Muscle Shoals Baptist Association by Rev. Josephus Shackelford, 1891, p. 165
  21. Find A Grave Memorial# 50518424
  22. Birdwell Family, East Texas Families, pp.233-34, 279-80

A Journal of a Life of Memories….

has been written in parts by Beth Terry Murray. She has approved our posting some of them here. They will come in the parts as written. Enjoy.

One Man’s Life – ending

My daddy was not perfect and I am not trying to make it sound as if he was, but I was a child and as I have talked about before girls and daddy’s have a different relationship. Also, mothers and sons have a different relationship. With all the things that his mother had done to him, he still loved her. I never heard him say anything bad about anyone, I suppose he may have, but he would not say anything in front of me. (He probably knew I would tell it!!) This was my feeling about his life, the facts are the facts, I witnessed a lot of the things that went on between him and his brothers and sisters. They loved him very much and it was hard for them to see us in later years. Because they had those feelings it made me feel hard toward some of them…..but I’m jumping ahead.

My mother’s brother E.T. had bought all the other brothers and sisters, except Aunt Sybil’s land so he owned close to 36 acres or some such. My daddy wanted the land badly and he would beg my Uncle to let him buy it from him and eventually my uncle caved and daddy bought the land in 1968. He was so happy to finally own more than just 9 acres and I suppose he told everyone. 1969 dawned with so many fantastic things happening that year. The “Wild Woman” made headline news in Town Creek, Man walked on the moon, our family and the Yates family went to Six Flags together and on the way home we went to a store that Mr. John knew about and daddy bought 2 new suits, we went to a Restaurant that served a variety of things, but Ricky ordered Steak and when asked how he wanted it he said “Cooked”, when we got back in the car I thought my Daddy was going to kill him, because as he said “we acted like we had never been in public before”!! I don’t think it bothered Mr. & Mrs. Yates or Johnny, just my daddy.

Before I knew it, September had arrived and I was now 13, a teenager, and the changes would soon (so we thought) take over my body. Daddy was very upset about all the changes he was afraid would happen and even cried to my mother, because he did not want me to grow up.

October 3rd was a day like any other he woke Ricky and I up to go eat breakfast. He usually would sing “All God’s Children Got To Rise and Shine”, and we would drag ourselves to the bar in the kitchen to eat breakfast. As he was leaving for work he got up and kissed all of us goodbye and told us he would see us that afternoon. It was a Friday, and Ricky, Vicki Mitchell and myself were going with Miss Grace to the Football game at Elkmont, or so we thought. As we were getting in the car to go to her house Brother Whatley came to our house and told us that “daddy had been killed in an accident.” Unfortunately I remember a lot that took place after that moment, but this was about “A Man’s Life” and that life has now ended. The person I always adored and worshipped no longer existed. As quick as he was there he was gone, nothing was the same after that.

He did not walk on water, he was not perfect, he went through some very rough times and overcame all of that and found true happiness in his life, finally. Then, in the blink of an eye it was gone. My mother remained faithful to him for 36 years and ironically she died on Friday, June 17th, Saturday, June 18th would have been their anniversary, Her funeral was June 19th, Father’s Day. Timothy conducted the funeral and made the statement that for the first time in 36 years Mother was able to spend her anniversary with Daddy in Heaven. His life was cut short at the age of 44, but he certainly did a lot of living during his time on earth. The only thing left for me to say and I’m sure there is no need to say it, but I loved my daddy and have loved him everyday of my life and I will miss him as long as I live..